Thomas A. Hensel was born in Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 6 December 1853.
His grandfather, Andrew Hensel, was born near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was born near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and was a shoemaker. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. He married Mary A. Geisse, by whom he had six children:
Adam Hensel, deceased;
George Hensel, deceased;
Anna Barbara Hensel, deceased;
Andrew Hensel; and
Andrew Hensel was a Democrat. He and his wife were members of the Reformed church. Both died in Bloomfield, Perry County.
John Hensel, father of Thomas A. Hensel, was boon at Bloomfield, 11 December 1824, was educated in his native county, and learned carpentry, which he made his occupation. He has resided in Lykens since 1846. On 1 March 1853 he married Susan Moyer, born in Lykens Valley, daughter of Jacob Moyer, a shoemaker of Lykens Valley, and of an old family. They had six children:
Thomas A. Hensel;
Rebecca Hensel, wife of Edward Harris;
John Hensel, of Lykens;
Jennie Hensel, resides in Lykens;
Jacob Hensel, deceased;
Charles Hensel, deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. John Hensel are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics, Mr. John Hensel‘s views are liberal.
Thomas A. Hensel was educated in the schools of Lykens and at Dickinson Seminary, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He learned printing under Samuel B. Coles and S. M. Fern. From 1872 to April 1885 he worked at the top of Lykens Valley slope, unhooking cars, which was a very responsible position. He served as clerk for one Eli Kohlberg, clothier, from April 1885 to April 1891. At the latter date, he and J. J. Nutt, as partners, bought the clothing establishment of L. Marks, who removed to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In May 1895, Mr. Thomas A. Hensel bought the interest of his partner, Mr. Nutt. He has been very successful in the clothing and furnishing business, handling only first class goods. When the firm of T. A. Hensel and Company began business in 1891 there were three clothing stores in Lykens. Two left town the first year, and the other was sold out by the sheriff within the next three years.
Mr. Thomas A. Hensel joined Wiconisco Lodge, No. 533, I.O.O.F., when he became of age, and has since joined Wiconisco Encampment, No. 181, I.O.O.F.; Estella Degree Lodge, No. 19 of Rebeccas; and Lykens Lodge No. 106, K. of P. He has served as district deputy grand master for northern Dauphin County for several years, and as district deputy grand patriarch of the Encampment for eight years. He has attended the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for ten years.
Thomas A. Hensel was married 23 October 1882 to Miss Kate E. Coles, daughter of Samuel B. Coles. They have two children, a girl and a boy:
Lillian Anzella Hensel is eleven years old and is the largest girl of her age in Lykens;
Forest Stanley Hensel, the son, is six years old, and is also large for his age.
Mr. and Mrs. Hensel have been active and prominent in promoting sociability in Lykens. They were members of the Social Club, “L.C.C.”, whose ball parties and masquerades will long be remembered as the “good times” of 1875-1890, which drew the young people and lovers of entertainment from places fifty miles away.
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.
Corrections and additional information should be added as comments to this post.
According to his death certificate, Thomas A. Hensel died on 14 December 1921. He is buried at the the Lykens Cemetery, Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.