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OUR EARLY YEARS

Sometime in the early 1700's our Weeter relatives must have caught a tall masted sailing ship to America. Peter (Weter) Weeter was born around 1760 in Pennsylvania. He married Catherine Over soon after the Revolutionary War. She was born in 1766. Her grandparents, Jacob and Anna (Ober) Over, probably were born in Switzerland in the early 1700's. They arrived in Pennsylvania by ship in 1729 and eventually settled in Lancaster Co. Her father, John Over, was born in 1735, served with the Lancaster County Militia and may have fought the British as a soldier during the Revolution. Her mother, Christina (Bruecker/Bricker) Over was born to Swiss parents who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732. These hardy Swiss folks were Mennonites and quite possibly had herded cattle in the Swiss Alps.

The John Over family located in the Hog Trough Valley of Franklin Co. in 1785. Peter and Catherine Weeter moved to the Hog Trough Valley in 1790 and lived on an adjacent farm. Tax records of the period show that Peter Weeter owned "100 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows and 1 distillery". So much for the myth of sober European farmers. Jacob Weeter, the first of their eleven children, was born in 1793. Peter and Catherine Weeter soon located a new homestead in the Path Valley along Conocoheague Creek in the shadow of Tuscarora Mountain. Their 1798 homestead was known as Landscape. Two centuries later the Path Valley remains a scenic pastoral setting in the Pennsylvania mountains with the site of Landscape four miles south of the village of Fannettsburg.
Christian Over, the twenty year old brother of Catherine Weeter, struck out for the western Pennsylvania wilderness in 1802. He would have carried a Pennsylvania flintlock rifle, knife and axe. Probably his horses, meager provisions and a few tools would have gone with him. The Pennsylvania that he traversed would have been on primitive roads, trails and footpaths across forested mountains and remote valleys. Wolves, deer, bear and cougars were primary inhabitants of a vast region that had until now been controlled by the Seneca and the Iroquois confederacy. These Native Americans left a rich heritage and cultural legacy. The journey of Christian Over was not an adventure for the meek or the timid. Christian took up a homestead in northwest Pennsylvania and then returned to the Weeter family in Path Valley with tales of a bountiful Clarion River country. Peter Weeter picked up his rifle and some supplies to head off once again toward a distant horizon and a new home.
Peter and Catherine Weeter established their homestead in 1805 south of the Clarion River and just to the north of Licking Creek. Christian and his new bride, Nancy (Witmer) Over, lived on their nearby homestead. These early settlers must have been resourceful, tough and willing to take risks. Subsistence hunting and crop agriculture would allow the Weeter and Over families to establish themselves in western Pennsylvania. They built homes and barns and farmed and raised families on these rolling forested hills for several generations. The pleasant community of Callensburg grew over the years close to their homesteads. Weeter and Over family descendants still live in Clarion County.