A photograph of what remains of the home built for John Jacob Umholtz (1796-1853), gunsmith of Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, after a disastrous fire that occurred in 2017.
According to property records, John Jacob Umholtz purchased Lot #5 of the original town plan from Simon Gratz on 20 October 1829, and shortly afterward constructed the earliest part of this house. Over the years, additions and improvements were made. As can be seen from the photo of the ruins of the house, it was built of log construction.
In 1830, he was still named as the lot owner, but by 1835, a new owner, John Sallada Jr. was found in the records. However, John Jacob Umholtz most likely remained in Gratz where he practiced his gunsmith trade until his death on 10 November 1853. He and his wife, Catharine [Schoffstall] Umholtz (1795-1880) are buried in Gratz Union Cemetery.
Not much is known locally about his work as a gunsmith although regionally, he was said to be as well known as the other gunsmith of Gratz, Leonard Reedy (1776-1837), who is also buried at the Gratz Union Cemetery and whose home, about a block away on East Market Street, benefits from an historical marker.
Corrections and additional information should be added as comments to this post.