Rediscovering Joseph Hagenbuch’s Family and the United States Hotel
One of my goals through genealogy is to reconnect forgotten branches of the Hagenbuch family tree. During the past year, while researching the family of Christian Hagenbuch (b. 1747), his son, Joseph, was rediscovered.
Joseph Hagenbuch was born on November 15, 1795 to Christian and Susanna (Dreisbach) Hagenbuch in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. He was a grandson of Andreas Hagenbuch (b. 1715).
As a boy, Joseph likely worked at his father’s distillery in what is now East Allen Township. He, along with his older brother Andrew (b. 1782), inherited the distillery and plantation in 1812. Together they ran the family business until 1823 when it went bankrupt and was sold.
Joseph Hagenbuch married Catherine Seip on April 18, 1821 at the First Reformed Church in Easton, PA. For a while, the couple lived in Allen Township, but in the 1840s they relocated to Easton. There, according to historian Richard F. Hope, Joseph purchased the Golden Lamb Inn, which he renamed the Black Horse Tavern. This was situated at the corner of North 3rd and Spring Garden streets.
In Easton, Joseph and Catherine (Seip) Hagenbuch would raise two sons and five daughters.
Owen Hagenbuch (b. 1822, d. 1896)
Owen was born on January 31, 1822 and married Maria Annette (birth surname unknown). They had several children and lived in Easton as well as Bushkill Township, Northampton County, PA. Owen died on July 13, 1896 and is buried in the Hagenbuch family plot in Easton Cemetery.
Susan (Hagenbuch) Butz (b. 1823, d. 1884)
Susan is believed to have been born sometime in 1823. She is mentioned in Joseph’s will as having married Joseph Butz. The couple lived in Easton, though it is unknown if they had any children. Susan died in December of 1884 and is buried in Easton Cemetery with her husband.
Sabina (Hagenbuch) Mutchler (b. 1825, d. 1901)
Sabina was born on May 11, 1825 and, according to Joseph’s will, married Henry M. Mutchler. The couple lived in Easton and are believed to have had several children. Sabina died on February 22, 1901 and is buried with her husband in the Hagenbuch family plot in Easton Cemetery.
Mary C. Hagenbuch (b. 1827, d. 1883)
Mary C. was born on February 20, 1827 and was never married. She died on October 5, 1883 and is buried in the Hagenbuch family plot in Easton Cemetery.
Jacob C. Hagenbuch (b. 1829, d. 1870)
Jacob C. was born on January 30, 1829 and is not believed to have married. He took over his father’s tavern business in 1853. At the start of the Civil War, Jacob joined the Union Army and eventually rose to the rank of Captain in the 67th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company H. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war on June 15, 1863 at the second battle of Winchester, Virginia. After being released, he continued to serve until March of 1865. Jacob died on October 26, 1870 and is buried in the Hagenbuch family plot in Easton Cemetery.
Caroline Amelia (Hagenbuch) Arndt (b. 1834, d. 1897)
Caroline Amelia was born in 1834 and married Jacob H. Arndt. They had five children, three of whom died young. According to researcher John Stover Arndt, Caroline was widowed in 1863 when her husband was wounded during the Civil War and later died of his injuries. He had been serving in the Union Army as a Captain in the 67th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company A. Later in life, Caroline went into business selling shoes with her sisters Mary C. and Annie. She died on June 3, 1897 and is buried in the Hagenbuch family plot in Easton Cemetery.
Anna “Annie” Hagenbuch (b. 1840, d. 1897)
Anna, who was known as Annie, was born on September 10, 1840. She is not believed to have married. Annie died on June 19, 1897 and is buried in the Hagenbuch family plot in Easton Cemetery.
The 1850 census shows the Joseph Hagenbuch family living together at the tavern, along with additional boarders. In 1852, Joseph decided to renovate the property and to replace the original stone tavern with a larger brick building. Upon its completion, the grand structure was named the United States Hotel.
Unfortunately, Joseph did not live to see the opening of his new hotel. He died on October 12, 1853 at the age of 57 and is buried alongside his wife and children in Easton Cemetery. After Joseph’s death, the United States Hotel was owned and managed by his son, Jacob. However, the family appears to have struggled financially, perhaps due to the debt incurred from the development. The property was eventually seized and sold at a sheriff’s sale in 1856.
Future owners would find the United States Hotel a more lucrative business, and it remained an important fixture in Easton until 1908. In that year, the business was sold and rebranded as The Karldon Hotel. The original brick building remained until the 1930s when it was finally torn down. Today, a Santander Bank occupies the corner of North 3rd and Spring Garden streets where Joseph Hagenbuch’s hotel once stood.