Jacob Neff
Barbara Kauffman
John Kauffman Neff


Family Links

1. Susanna Huyett

John Kauffman Neff 1

  • Born: 29 Mar 1802, Petersburg, Huntingdon County, PA, USA
  • Marriage (1): Susanna Huyett
  • Died: 20 Dec 1876, Williamsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, USA at age 74
  • Buried: Presbyterian Cemetery, Williamsburg, Blair County, PA, USA

bullet  General Notes:

Bio ref 1892 Samuel T. Wiley Bio's of Blair county with latest ancestory research corrections.


A worthy descendant of an old and honorable family, and whose active and useful life was intimately connected with the material development of Williamsburg and Blair county, was born near Petersburg, on the Juniata river, in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, March 26, 1802, and was a son of Jacob and Barbara (Kauffman) Neff.

Jacob Neff (father), who settled at Petersburg, in Huntingdon county, where he died. He married Barbara Kauffman and reared a family of seven children: Daniel, Jacob, Susan Neff, Mary Stoner, Barbara Burkett, Nancy Neff, and John K.

John K. Neff received a practical education in the early schools of his day, and was engaged in farming until 1829, when he came to Williamsburg, where he and his father-in-law, Major Huyette, bought the village mill. In addition to operating the mill they engaged in the general mercantile business, and were thus actively and successfully engaged for severalyears. In connection with milling and merchandising Mr. Neff carried on a considerable business in "arking" on the Juniata river, before the old Pennsylvania canal was completed. He was active in all interests calculated to advance his town and county, and kept pace with the progress that was born of canal and railroad. In 1857 he turned his attention to iron manufacturing, and became the leading member of the firm of Neff, Dean & Co., which built in that year Juniata furnace at Williamsburg. From this time on he increased the sphere of his business operations. Having, in 1865, sold Juniata furnace to the Williamsburg Manufacturing Company, he sought for a wider field for the active employment of his ability and energy, and in 1869 found it in the then new risen iron industry of the south. In that year he became the head of the Rome Iron Manufacturing Company, of Rome, Georgia, which established the extensive iron plant of that place, and which comprises a large rolling mill and nail factory. His wisdom in founding this enterprise has been well attested by the continued success and present prosperity of the company, and the development of Rome into one of the great manufacturing and industrial centers of the new south. He was more or less actively engaged in his business affairs from 1869 until his death, in 1876.

On November 27, 1827, Mr. Neff married Susanna Huyette, daughter of Major John Huyette, a native of Maryland, and an early settler in Huntingdon county. Mrs. Neff was born January 1, 1806, in Hart's Log valley, and still resides in the old mansion at Williamsburg, where she has survived nearly all of those who were her neighbors when she came to the village. To Mr. and Mrs. Neff were born ten children, seven sons and three daughters: Reuben; Abram K.; William L., who lives in Fayette county, and is in the employ of the Cambria Iron Company; Milton, who died some years ago; Joseph, Elizabeth H., widow of Peter Van Devander; Albert J., a graduate of West Point, who died at Fort Smith in 1868, aged twenty-seven years; Emma C. Patton, married M. V. B. Ake, and to whom were born two sons - Edwin L., and Clarence N., who still resides with his parents in Cedartown, Georgia. Elizabeth H., the eldest daughter, on December 12, 1858, married Peter Van Devander, and to their union were born five children: Herman N., who lives in Polk county, Georgia, is engaged in the iron business, was
married in 1888 to Miss Louise Calhoun, of Georgia, and to this union were born two children, Belle Elizabeth and Karl Calhoun; Abraham H., who lives in Fayette county, and is in the employ of the Cambria Iron Company; Mary H., married to John W. Wheatley, and resides in Spokane, Washington, where Mr. Wheatley is engaged in the practice of law - two children bless their union, Ricarda Elizabeth and Paul Van Devander; Albert M., who is engaged in the wholesale grocery business in Spokane, Washington; and Georgia B. Peter VanDevander was an active and thorough going business man, whose career was cut short by death October 16, 1874, when he was in the forty-fifth year of his age. He was a civil engineer by profession, and for several years previous to his death was largely interested in the iron business. He was the first superintendent of Etna furnace, Georgia, and had made many friends in the Empire State of the south by business ability and energy.

John K. Neff was a republican in politics, and for twenty years had been an efficient official in the Presbyterian church. He had traveled extensively through different States of the Union, crossed the continent twice, and thus
learned much of men and things by observation. His summons from toil to rest came on December 20, 1876, when his spirit passed from time to eternity. His remains lie entombed in a well chosen and beautiful lot in the Presbyterian cemetery at Williamsburg. It was written of him by one who knew him will that: "John K. Neff was a man of warm impulses, cheerful temperament, and enlarged ideas. Ever alive to the needs of the hour, he was ever ready to exercise judicious enterprise in the development of advanced thought where is concerned business prosperity. He lived respected, and died sincerely
mourned. His record is a valuable heirloom to his
posterity, to whose heart, many of the lessons of which he was the teacher, may be proudly and profitably

John descends from the Neff family B line.

B-Line: HENRY and BARBARA NEFF; arrived in USA in Sept, 1717. First settled in Whitemarsh Twp., now Montgomery Co., PA.; by 1723 settled in what is now Manor Twp., Lancaster Co., PA then Hempfield Twp 1750. Mennonites. Family lines migrated to Huntingdon Co., PA and Preble Co., OH. Manor Twp Neffs of today are descendants of this family. This line is the subject of the book NEFF-NÄF FAMILIES by William A. Neff. 1


John married Susanna Huyett. (Susanna Huyett was born on 1 Jan 1806 in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, USA and died in 1897.)



1 Find A Grave, Find A Grave (www.findagrave.com : accessed 5 Apr 2016).

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