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Charles Elmer Hires' Heritage


Early primary sources of information documenting Charles Elmer Hires’ family heritage generally concur with a description of his paternal line documented by Gilbert Cope and Henry Graham Ashmead in Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania.  This subscription volume of personal biographies was gathered during 1903 and published in 1904.  Given the details provided, the material was contributed by Hires family members, perhaps Charles Elmer Hires himself.  Here’s a portion of Cope and Ashmead’s description of the Hires family’s line of descent in the United States:

The progenitor and founder of this family in the country was John Hires, who in company with his brother, Gunrod Hires, came from Germany some time prior to the revolution.  John Hires settled near Shiloh, Cumberland county, New Jersey, and there purchased a large tract of land and pursued farming for a number of years.  He later removed to Salem county, New Jersey, where he spent the remaining years of his life and died aged ninety-eight years.  He had by his union in marriage a family of ten children.

Salem County’s web site touts the area’s historical attraction:

Salem, which means “peace,” is…the site of the first Quaker Colony in North America established in 1675.  The majestic Salem Oak, which still stands today, is said to be the site where John Fenwick, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, entered into a treaty with the Lenni-Lenape tribe for the land that is Salem County today…Even in those early days, Salem County had a reputation for being a peaceful place, and that quality attracted many settlers.  Swedes, Finns, English, Germans, Africans, Irish, and French Huguenots soon made the County home before the Revolution.


Charles Elmer Hires’ paternal grandparents were John Hires (born 1778, died 1866), and Phoebe Sayre Hires (born 1780, died 1823).  Their children included at least three sons: George Hires; Charles Hires (Charles Elmer Hires’ namesake?); and John Dare Hires.


Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Cumberland County, New Jersey, published in 1896, included this information about Charles Elmer Hires’ parents:

John D. Hires, son of John, was born February 17, 1817, in Hopewell, and there grew to manhood.  After reaching man’s estate he was for many years successfully engaged in farming.  For eleven years he lived in Salem County; but in 1862 he returned to this county, and settled in Roadstown.  He spent the last twenty years of his life engaged in buying and selling cattle and other stock on commission.  In political affiliation he was a stanch Democrat, and was frequently chosen to fill important town offices.  For fifteen years he acted as Tax Collector of Hopewell. His wife, Mary Williams before marriage, was born at Port Elizabeth, N.J.  Ten children were born of their union… The father died January 6, 1878, and the mother two years later, on January 8, 1880.  Both were members of the Cohansey Baptist Church, which the father served for many years as Deacon.

Mary Williams, a daughter of Samuel Williams and Elizabeth Oglee Williams, was born in 1819.

John Dare Hires and Mary Williams Hires’ children were: 

  1. Cecelia Barcliff Hires Wright (born 1840, married John A. Wright, a Philadelphia, PA confectionery dealer, died 1914)

  2. Rebecca Paget Hires (born 1842, married Daniel Brook of Bridgeton, NJ, died 1913)

  3. Isaac Elmer Hires (born 1844, died 1922)

  4. Mary Elizabeth Hires (born 1847, died 1863)

  5. Anna Marie Hires (born 1849, married John Stremme, Reading Railroad engineer, died 1926)

  6. Charles Elmer Hires (born August 19, 1851, died July 31, 1937)

  7. Susan W. Hires (born 1853, died 1854)

  8. William Nelson Hires (born 1855, traveling salesman for the Charles E. Hires Company, died 1934)

  9. Benjamin Franklin Hires (born February 17, 1858, married November 27, 1879 to Elizabeth B. Gilman of Roadstown, NJ, fertilizer and agricultural implements dealer, died 1918)

  10. Sarah (“Sally”) Williams Hires (born 1860, married Thomas Kirkley of Camden, NJ, died 1940)