Joseph Duncan, general foundry and machine shop, Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, was born in Derbyshire, England, 13 May 1846.
Joseph Duncan‘s father, George Duncan, was born in Scotland. In his younger days he was a miner. While still a young man he removed to England, locating in Derbyshire, and followed the trade of machinist with the Sheffield and Lancastershire Railway Company. He married Elizabeth Joshuason, born in Leicesterchire, England. They had nine children:
Jennie Duncan; and
The father and mother of Joseph Duncan both died in England.
Joseph Duncan attended school until he was nine years old, when he went to work for six pence a day in the machine shops. This continued until he was fourteen years old, when he was bound to Byer and Peacock, locomotive builders near Manchester, England. For the first three years his wages were one shilling per day. During the next four years he received one shilling and six pence per day. After his term of apprenticeship had expired he visited many parts of England and worked in various places, getting new ideas on the working of iron, etc.
In 1869 Mr. Joseph Duncan came to this country on the steamer City of Paris, landed at New York and after a short stay went to Philadelphia, and soon after to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After a few days he came to Lykens, where for ten years he was machinist for the Summit Branch Railroad Company and spent nine years in the shops of the Lykens Valley Railroad. In 1888, Mr. Joseph Duncan bought the present plant from J. M. Hensel for $8000, and improved it at an additional outlay of $8000, making it for convenience and completeness of equipment one of the most thoroughly appointed plants in the state, with a capacity for any product, from a tack to a locomotive. The plant is capable of an output of one hundred tons of finished casting per month.
Mr. Joseph Duncan was married at Manchester, England, in 1866, to Sarah Kemp, a native of England, born in 1846. They had twelve children, five of whom are deceased:
Harriet Duncan, wife of George Hersh, miner;
Elizabeth Duncan, wife of Frederick Senior, foundryman;
George Duncan, deceased;
Mary Duncan, deceased;
Sarah Duncan, deceased;
David Duncan, deceased; and
Katie Duncan, deceased.
Mr. Joseph Duncan is a member of the Episcopal Church. His politics are Republican. Comfortably situated in his fine dwelling house, with a safe and prosperous business, surrounded by a host of friends and well wishers, Mr. Joseph Duncan may call his career a successful one.
The above information was modified/edited from Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, published in 1896 by J. M. Runk and Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A free download is available from the Internet Archive.
According to his death certificate, Joseph Duncan died on 21 November 1914 at Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He is buried at the cemetery at that place.
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