Jesse Labar

Jesse Labar

Jesse Labar (1835-1913) lived in Slatington, Lehigh County, PA. Jesse Labar was born November 29, 1835, in Lower Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, PA. He fought in the Civil War in the 28th PA Volunteers, had a brother named Jeremiah, lived in Slatington, and had a daughter named Laura who married David Walter Straub. He married Permilla Showeriskey.


29 Nov 1835 in Mount Bethel, Northampton, Pennsylvania


Jesse married Permilla Showeriskey on December 16, 1855, in Reading, Adams County, PA


  1. Lillian Bella LaBar. Born 19 Sep 1856. Died 1858.
  2. Laura Sherisky LaBar. Born 24 Dec 1858 in Slatington, Lehigh County, PA. Died 17 Feb 1925, in Reading, Adams County, PA.
  3. Emily L. LaBar. Born 31 Jul 1861 in Slatington, Lehigh, PA. Died 29 Sep 1938 Allentown, Lehigh, PA.
  4. Howard I. LaBar. Born about 1864.
  5. Robert A. LaBar. Born Abt. 1867. Died Aft. 1870.





Washington, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA

1850 United States Federal Census - Jesse Labar

1850 United States Federal Census – Jesse Labar


1860 United States Federal Census - Permilla Showeriskey

1860 United States Federal Census – Permilla Showeriskey


The following biography is from the book Portrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Carbon, and Northampton Counties, Pennsylvania (published in 1894), page 568.

“JESSE LA BAR, of Slatington, is a dealer in fancy and staple groceries, conducts a general insurance business, and is also a dealer in all kinds of slate. In many of the city enterprises and business industries he has taken active part, showing that he has her welfare at heart. The birth of Mr. La Bar occurred in Northampton County November 29, 1835; he is the son of George R. La Bar, who is now a resident of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, having attained the good old age of ninety years. During his active life he followed agricultural pursuits in Monroe County, near the city of Stroudsburg. His father, who bore the Christian name of Henry, was also a native of this county, and passed from the scenes of labor in 1852, having also reached advanced years, being at the time of his death in his ninety-fifth year. The La Bar family have for many generations been prominent in the history and development of this region, having emigrated to the Keystone State from France, of which country they were originally natives. The mother of our subject, also a native of this county, bore the maiden name of Mary Long, her father being Major Long.

While Jesse La Bar was but an infant, his parents removed to Monroe County, where they settled on a farm near Stroudsburg. The educational privileges of our subject were very meager; but he made the best of his opportunities and is largely self-educated. In 1848 the family removed to Lehigh County, settling at Slatesdale. Here the father engaged in the slate business, being one of the pioneer slate operators of Lehigh County, and continuing in that line of enterprise until 1861. When a lad of only thirteen years, Jesse obtained a practical knowledge of slate mining in its many details. Later he became superintendent of large slate interests, conducting the manufacture of various kinds of slate until 1880, since which time he has been engaged in dealing in the commodity, buying and selling in large and small quantities. Being of an inventive turn of mind, he patented a school slate in 1865, the sales of which have been extensive, particularly in the large cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Jersey City, Brooklyn, Newark, New York, and other cities. This slate is still used largely in many states, and has brought to the owner a considerable income. He it was who introduced the slate blackboards in Ohio, as he sold the first used in that state in 1874. For many years he traveled almost continuously through the central and eastern states.

Responding to his country’s call for Assistance, Mr. La Bar in August, 1861, donned the blue and enlisted in the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry, commanded by Colonel Geary. As he was a member of the regimental band, at the end of a year’s service he was honorably discharged by the act which dispensed with all regimental bands. During his service he participated in a number of engagements, and was always found faithful to the trust reposed in him. On his return from the army he at once resumed business, and in 1869 started in the insurance line, in which, with his other enterprises, he has been successful. In 1890 he established his present grocery business, and carries a large and complete stock.

In January, 1856, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. La Bar and Miss Permila Showeriskey, whose birth took place in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Three daughters and two sons were born of this union. Laura is the wife of Dr. D. W. Stroup, of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Emma became the wife of Joseph Pfaff, of Slatington, and Howard is assistant to the engineer of the Belvidere Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The eldest daughter, Lillian, and the youngest son, Robert, died in infancy. The parents are devoted members of the Presbyterian Church, and have the friendship and esteem of all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance. Our subject is a member of the Lodge No. 216, O.U.A.M., having been one of the charter members of the same. He also belongs to the Slatington Lodge No. 440. F. and A.M., and politically is a Republican. For a number of years he served on the City Council, taking an interested part in works of public improvement.”

Obituary of Mrs. Jesse Labar (Permila Showerisky) from the Slatington News, February 28, 1913, page 1.

Mrs. Jesse Labar, wife of the well known businessman and insurance agent of town, died yesterday morning at the Rittersville Asylum. She had been a sufferer with a complication of diseases for some time. Mrs. LaBar was seventy-five years of age. She was born in Reading and was married in that city, January 1856. Three daughters and two sons were born to them, Laura, wife of Dr. D.W. Straub, of Bethlehem; Emma, wife of Joseph Pfaff, of town and Howard, a railroad engineer, of Philadelphia. The eldest daughter, Lillian and the youngest son Robert, died in infancy. A number of grandchildren also survive. Mrs. LaBar was a member of the Presbyterian church. Undertaker Berkemeyer took charge of the remains. Mr. Labar has been living retired for a number of years. He is one of the pioneer slate operators of Lehigh Co., a patentee of a school slate and the first man to introduce slate boards in the Ohio school in 1874. During the war he was a member in the band of the Twenty-eight Pennsylvania Infantry.


08 Mar 1913 in Bethlehem, Lehigh, Pennsylvania


Here is his obituary, from the Slatington News, March 14, 1913, p. 1.

“Jesse LaBar, aged 78 years, died Friday night at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. (Dr.) D.W. Straub, at Bethlehem, with whom he was staying temporarily.

For the past thirty-two years Mr. LaBar conducted an insurance business until a few months ago when his health failed, his grandson, C.E. Pfaff, looked after his interests.

Deceased was a veteran of the Civil War; a member of the G.A.R. and of the Masonic Lodge of town. He is survived by three children, Mrs. Joseph Pfaff of town; Howard LaBar of Philadelphia, and the daughter at residence he died. His wife died two weeks ago. The funeral took place from his late residence, Upper Main Street, on Tuesday at 2 o’clock. Large delegates of the G.A.R., F. & A.M. and S. of V. attended the last rites. The pallbearers were, A.S. Haines, A.S. Morgan, H.R. Dettmer, I.W. Griffith, E.F. Schertzinger and Dr. L. Campbell. Interment was made in Fairview cemetery, Rev. Boal officiated.

Mr. LaBar was born in Northampton County, November 29, 1835; he was the son of George R. LaBar. Mr. LaBar was one of the pioneer slate operators. When a lad of only thirteen years, he began working in his fathers slate quarry. Later he became superintendent of large slate interests, conducting the manufacture of various kinds of slate. In August 1861 he donned the blue, in response to his Country’s call and enlisted in the Twenty-eight Pennsylvania Infantry.

On his return from the army he at one resumed business, and in 1869 started in the insurance line, in which, with other enterprises, he has been successful.”


Jesse is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Slatington, PA.