Solomon Hess Jr., wholesale bottler and late proprietor of the Williamstown Hotel, was born in Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 31 March 1846. He is a son of Solomon Hess Sr. and Eva [Saltzer] Hess. Solomon Hess Sr. was born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1814. He was reared a farmer and continued in that calling. He was married in Dauphin County; his wife Eva Saltzer, was a native of Berks County. After his marriage, he took up his residence in Lykens Township. His wife died at Gratz about 1878. Mr. Hess Sr. died in Loyalton, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Daniel Good, in 1880 or 1881 [on 3 March 1882]. Their children were: Sarah Hess, Mrs. Daniel Good, Loyalton; John Hess, farmer, Lykens Township; Catherine Hess, Mrs. Michael Horstman, Gratz; Harry Hess, hotelman, Uniontown [Pillow]; Solomon Hess Jr.; Cornelius Hess, farmer, Lykens Township; Charles Hess, baker, Gratz; and Reilly Hess, laborer. Mr. Hess Sr. was a Republican. He was a member of the Reformed Church, and was well known and popular.
Solomon Hess Jr., attended school at times in his native place until be was twenty-one. Being reared on the farm, he took his share of the farm work, which often presented his going to school. At sixteen years of age he drove team, hauling produce to market at Pottsville. His father owned and cultivate four farms, the products of which he disposed of at neighboring markets. The son remained at home until the spring after marriage. His father paid him at the rate of $150 per year, and his board and clothing from the time when he was twenty-one until he left the farm. Being frugal and economical, he laid by most of this money.
Mr. Hess Jr. was married, at Uniontown [Pillow], Dauphin County, 27 June 1869 to Miss Julia Ann Paul, daughter of George Paul and Elizabeth [Baum] Paul. In the spring of 1870 he took up his residence on a farm near Gratz, which he rented from his father for nine years. [On] 6 February 1879, he removed to Loyalton, Washington Township, where he opened a hotel and conducted it for three years. After this he had a hotel at Gratz for one year, then came to Williamstown and rented the Mansion House, which he conducted for two years. He was afterwards clerk in the same hotel for eight months, and then bought the Williamstown Hotel, of which he has ever since been the proprietor and manager. He also owns another double house in town. While in Lykens he lost $1100 in an insurance company. On 6 April 1896, Mr. Hess rented his hotel business in Williamstown to J. H. Pontius; he is now about to embark in the wholesale bottling business at Tower City,. Schuylkill County.
Mr. Hess takes an active interest in politics as a member of the Republican Party. He is a member of the Gratztown Lodge, No. 563, I.O.O.F., of Gratz, and of the Patriotic Sons of America.
Mr. Hess’ children are: Dora B. Hess; Susan A. Hess; John Henry Hess, died young; George E. Hess, at home; David S. Hess, at home; and Ellis Lloyd Hess, died young.
Mr. Hess is a member of the Reformed Church.
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.