The Preacher John Risser Farm: 1644 Brunnerville Road. Lititz, PA
Above: Farmhouse on the Preacher John Risser Farm as seen on Google Earth Street View.
Preacher Christian Risser (1767-1826) acquired this land ca. 1820. He also owned the farm now known as the Historian John Hess Farm, where Christian and his family were living at that time. By ca. 1827 this 100-acre farm was owned by Preacher Christian's son who later became a preacher also: Preacher John Risser (1801-1873) and wife Elizabeth Hess (1807-1839). John Risser was ordained preacher of the Hammer Creek Mennonite congregation in 1851. John's second wife was Barbara Martin (1813-1851). In the 1860s the farm was occupied by (but not owned by) a son of Preacher John Risser: Jacob H. Risser, and wife Fanny Eby, prior to their relocation to Washington County, MD ca. 1867.
John H. Risser: His mother-in-law was also his stepmother:
In 1850 Preacher John and Elizabeth Risser's son, John H. Risser (1829-1905), married Eliza Ann Brackbill (1832-1904). A few years later, John Sr. married Eliza Ann Brackbill's widowed mother, Barbara Landis Brackbill (1809-1880). So this marriage meant that John H. Risser's mother-in-law was also his stepmother.
In 1873, John H. Risser acquired this farm after the death of his father, Preacher John Risser. Two years later he sold the farm to his first cousin Bishop Christian S. Risser. In 1942 Bishop Christian S. Risser's son, Henry L. Risser (1864-1956) sold the farm out of the family.
View this farm in a larger Google map.
An 1846 Sampler made by 13-Year-Old Eliza Ann Brackbill,
She later married John H. Risser, who was born and raised in this Risser house.
Above: Eliza Ann Brackbill, described above on this page, stitched this sampler in Mrs. Zook's needlework school. Not much is known about Mrs Zook and her school, but she apparently taught needleworking to young women in Lancaster County.
When Eliza created this wool-on-homespun sampler, she was living in East Lampeter Township, with her widowed mother, Barbara Landis Brackbill. Eliza worked her mother initials into the bottom of this sampler: "B B." The mother later became the third wife of Preacher John Risser, and lived here on this Risser farm. The sampler has a strawberry-vine border, and is in its original tiger-maple frame. (Sampler: Clarke Hess Collection)
John and Eliza Ann Risser Receive a Celery Stand for their 1850 Wedding,
(It's the same Eliza Ann who made the sampler shown above.)
Hopefully John and Eliza Ann Risser liked celery. They received this flint-glass celery container as a gift for their wedding in 1850. Actually celery was very popular then, and was often served in a celery stand such as this one. Water in the bottom of the stand kept the celery fresh. This example was mold blown in one of the glass houses of Pittsburg. The stand descended through four generations of Risser descendants until it was sold at auction in 2005, accompanied by a note recording its history. (Celery stand: Clarke Hess Collection)