Author Topic: Silknitter, Solomon 101025-3  (Read 6681 times)

Offline nord

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Silknitter, Solomon 101025-3
« on: October 31, 2010, 04:11:22 PM »

Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties by James B. Whisker and Larry W. Yantz

Special Thanks to Ms. Doneva Shepard for providing a family history of Solomon Silknitter.

This is the information about your Solomon Silknitter and wife Caroline Couch Coder:

My great-great grandfather is Solomon Silknitter but not the Solomon Silknitter who built this rifle. This Solomon Silknitter is related, he is my 2nd cousin, 4X removed...he is of a different line of Silknitters...the Huntington County, PA Silknitters.

My line of Silknitters 'served' in the military but I don't see that they achieved any particular 'special' awards. The families of the wives of your Silknitters were also military inclined. I don't have much on my database about that but I remember the wives brothers, fathers and Uncles were all successful military people. (I haven't been able to find the maiden surname of my line of Silknitter wives.
 Pronunciation is is the anglicanized version of "Sydenstriker" in German. They were fabric makers/shirt makers...using silk fabric they made in their own mills. The Sydenstriker mills are still in operation in Germany and they now make silk pajamas (along with the standard silk shirts they were originally famous for.) The original name was pronounced Zy-den-schtriker and the "r" in the name is rolled off the tongue. And, I've also learned the schtriker means knitting needles. I remember my German Grandma knitting with her "strikers" (knitting needles).

Our claim to fame is the distinguished author Pearl Sydenstriker who married John Lossing Buck and became Pearl S. Buck.


A number of changes have taken place in the population of Oneida, many who were there formerly engaged in lumbering, on the decline of that interest removing to other localities.  The property-roll of 1857, the year following the organization of the township, contained the following names:

Name - Acres.


Anderson, John P. (per A. Corbin) - 200

Allison, Andrew - ....

Blair, David - 40

Barnett, Samuel - 21

Bricker, William (one hack) - ....

Cunningham, Josiah - 100

Cornelius, John, Jr. (tenant) - ....

Cochrane, John - 45

Coy, John (tenant) - ....

Decker, Samuel (tenant) - ....

Decker, Nicholas - 86

Decker, Peter H. - 140

David, John C. - 192

Evans, Mark - 100

Evans, Rolland (heirs) - 96

Foster, Josiah - ....

Greene, Charles - 175

Greene, Elijah (heirs) - 76

Greene, George - 100

Given, James (per George Miller) - 300

Gorsuch, Jesse (lot) - ....

Hughes, William - 100

Hamilton, James - 200

Hetrick, Samuel - 50

Hall, John (saw-mill) - 279

Hare, David  - 147

Jackson, Francis - 110

Kimberlin, George - 3

Livingston, John, Sr - 200

Livingston, William (tenant) - ....
   Name - Acres.


Logan, John (tenant) - ....

McCartney, James B - 150

McDivitt, Nathan - 190

McDivitt, William (tenant) - ....

Moore, James - 89

Miller, George - 80

Miller, Henry S. (tenant) - ....

McCracken, James (saw-mill) - 127

Miles, John G. (saw-mill) - 371

McCool, George - 109

Miller, Abijah B. (tenant) - ....

McCartney, Robert - 50

Peightal, Samuel - 279

Prior, Henry - ....

Rankin, William (tavern at Warm Springs) - ....

Reed & Bricker (saw-mill) - 270

Shank, Nicholas - 100

Stewart, Alexander (tenant) - ....

Steel, John - 82

Stewart, John P. (saw-mill) - 250

Steel, Henry - 38

Smith, Andrew - 185

Smith, William - 110

Silknitter, Solomon - 180

Walker, Paul O. (tenant) - ....

Whitesill, David - 170

Wilson, Robert - 200

Walker, Andrew - 62

White, Adolphus P. - 193



A half stock with significant "artistic merit."
Lots of information, but few rifles; interesting history. Solomon was a skilled and artistic maker who undoubtedly made many other fine rifles. Where are they? This is a truly fine gun with some interesting anomolies; the patchbox, the half stock configuration, the carving, the half round rifled barrel, and the rounded cheek rest. Silknitter was a man with condsiderable vision in his concepts of what a good rifle should look like, and did not hesitate to include artistic ornamentation that was likely out of fashion when he made this one.
This is one great gun! Hope some more turn up.

I'm not a big fan of the stock architecture on these later Huntingdon/Sommerset County guns, but this one has exceptional detail work. The attractive carving on a later gun is a nice detail, as is the fine engraving even if in a later style...and I particularly like the "different" cheekpiece inlay with a federal eagle that is better done than on many more classic guns. This is a fine rifle and should be in the museum, and even more so being the only currently known example of this maker's work. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 09:42:43 PM by Dennis Glazener »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.