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GEORGE EBERLEIN-For generations the Eberlem family in Germany has maintained the Eberlein Blacksmith Shops, which were founded by one of their forebears in 1788. Every generation has produced one sturdy and efficient blacksmith, who loves his trade and manages the shops so well that their excellent reputation continues. George Eberlein himself began to learn smithing when he was ten years old, and had mastered it by his fourteenth year with German thoroughness, and he has greatly benefited by his knowledge since he came to America. William Eberlein, his grandfather, died in Germany in 5876. His son, William Eberlein, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1840, dying there in 1893. He served in the German army during the wars from 1866 to 1870. Like his father and four brothers, he was a blacksmith. William Eberlein married Marie Ahles, a native of Bavaria, who died in 1952. Their son was George Eberlein, subject of this sketch.
George Eberlein was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 10, 1866. He received his education in the schools of his native town, learned the trade of blacksmith and also of machinist, and at twenty entered the German army for his term of service. This he completed in two years, the only soldier out of 9,500 to finish the required service so expeditiously. For a time thereafter he worked in his father’s shops, and in 1889 was given charge of the machine shop of George Dabbalt. In March, 1890, he migrated to America, settling in Hatfield, Massachusetts. For eleven years he worked with the Porter Machine Company in Hatfield, then bought his present property on Main Street, where he built a small shop twenty by thirty feet and started his own business. This has flourished, and his business in horseshoeing and building tobacco trucks, dump carts and farm wagons has been so extensive that he has increased the shop to forty by seventy-five feet and had to employ many men. Sometimes he built from forty to ninety tobacco trucks a season. On this property George Eberlein had a store market, cider null and paint shop, which were destroyed by fire at great loss in 1920.
In their place he has built a cement garage, and contemplates entering the automobile business. In 1920 on a visit to Germany for his health Mr. Eberlein became interested in bringing over some young men to enjoy the opportunities in this country, and he has been instrumental in so assisting some twenty-five. In addition to his other activities, Mr. Eberlein owns a good deal of land in the village, on which he raises tobacco. In 1900 Mr. Eberlein was naturalized and became a citizen of the United States, and for fifteen years he was policeman for the Electric Road, followed by five years of service as constable.
George Eberlein married, April 25, 1890, Maria Soller, born in Germany, from his native State of Bavaria, who came to America at the same time as Mr. Eberlein. They were married in America, and are the parents of five children born in this country: 1. George, Jr., who continued his education at Syracuse University and is now an instructor in the schools of Cleveland, Ohio. 2. John, who died November 10, 1919. 3. Charles John, of Hatfield, who is in his father’s shop; he married Anna Follinger, and is the father of one child, Charles J., Jr. 4. Joseph, who is employed by the Holyoke Street Railway Company. 5. Mary.