John Gasser, a representative business man of Lowville, New York, is a descendant of a German ancestry, his parents and grandparents having been natives of Germany. The latter, John and Barbara (Farney) Gasser, were the parents of three children, namely: John, born in 1813, a mute; Mary, and Peter, see forward.
John Gasser (grandfather) died in his native country in 1832, leaving his widow and children in straitened circumstances. Owing to the laws of France, which compelled all young men to enter the army, Mrs. Gasser, realizing that her dependence must eventually devolve upon her youngest son, Peter, concluded to join a colony from her native country and emigrate to the United States. Accordingly in 1837 they set sail, and after their arrival here they located in northern New York in the locality known as Castorland, Lewis county. They settled on a tract of heavily timbered land in the town of Grogham, now New Bremen, cleared a farm from the wilderness, and here the widow reared and educated her children, they becoming useful and honored citizens. The affliction of the elder son threw the greater responsibility upon the younger son, Peter, who was born in Alsace, Lorraine, France, Nov. 15, 1825. He was the main support of the home, cultivating the farm until it became most productive, and he succeeded to the ownership of the same whereupon his mother, brother and sister resided during their entire lives, realizing some of the comforts of life after having endured the hardships and privations incident to the life of a pioneer. Mrs. Gasser died at the advanced age of nearly one hundred years, retaining her mental and physical faculties until nearly the close of her life.
(II) Peter Gasser (father) received a common school education, but he improved every opportunity for learning and became a linguist, speaking English, French and German fluently. His youth was spent in assisting in clearing and improving the farm, and in this manner he acquired habits of thrift and industry which were useful to him in after life. After attaining manhood, in connection with his farming pursuits, he engaged extensively in the lumber business at Beaver Falls and Naumburg, in which enterprise he was eminently successful. He acquired a certain amount of property, but owing to his generous disposition and confidnece in human nature, he met with serious losses, being induced to indorse notes and use his credit for the benefit of his friends, so that from a financial standpoint he was a poor man at the time of his death, leaving his family in limited means, but rich in the remembrance of his kind and generous nature. He was strictly honest in all his dealings, and won the confidence and esteem of all who came in contact with him. He was a practical veterinary surgeon, and was a lover and owner of fine horses.
He was a Baptist in religion and a Democrat in politics.
He married in Grogham, New York, Katharine, born in Metz, Germany, 1829, daughter of John and Katherine (Keefer) Schwendy, natives of Germany. Thirteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Gasser, five of whom died in early life, namely: Norman, Mary, Katherine, Matilda and Barbara. The other children were:
1. Joseph, married Mary Hughes; resides in Waterbury, Conn.
2. Priscilla, married William D. Hilts; she is now  decease, also her child.
3. Samuel, died from the effects of an accidental gunshot wound received while in the Adirondack Mountains; he was unmarried.
4. Sarah, married Haravey A. Stoddard of Beaver Falls, N.Y.; children: Gertrude, married William Ebersol of Beaver Falls, N.Y.; Inez; Leon; Child, died in infancy.
5. Alpheus G., a commercial traveler, resides in Lowville, married Emma L. Wallace.
6. Louisa, married William Honer of Beaver Falls, N.Y.; had two children, one now living, Leona.
7. Timothy, an optician and jeweler of Copenhagen, Lewis county, N.Y.; married Mary Reed of Lowville; children: Raymond and Walter John.
8. John, see forward.
Mr. Gasser, the father of these children died at Beaver Falls, N.Y. Feb. 7, 1895; his wife died March 21, 1873.
(III) John, son of Peter and Katherine (Schwendy) Gasser, was born in Naumburg, Lewis county, N.Y., May 7, 1866. He attended the public schools acquiring a practical education. On Sept. 1, 1881, when fifteen years of age, he accepted a clerkship in the hardware store of W. L. Boshart, remaining until Jan. 1, 1882, when his employer sold out the business. He then entered the employ of V. L. Water & Company, proprietors of a dry goods store, Jan. 22, 1882, and remained with them until Jan. 1, 1892, when he went to Chicago, Illinois, and became a traveling salesman for Bush, Simmons & Company, serving in that capacity for a short period of time, traveling through Illinois and Wisconsin. After severing his connection with that firm he entered the employ of the firm of Seigel & Cooper as assistant buyer. On Jan. 1, 1893, he returned to New York state, locating in Lowville, and formed a partnership with W. J. Graham, establishing their present day [pub. in 1910] good business under the firm name of Graham & Gasser, which has proved a most successful and remunerative enterprise. By means of honest dealings with their patrons and close attention to the details of their trade, they have built up one of the largest concerns in their line in Lewis county, and are recognized among the substantial and leading firms of their section of the state. To the success of the firm, Mr. Gasser has contributed his full share of effort, and both partners take commendable pride in their success.
Mr. Gasser is what may well be termed a self-made man, rising step by step from a horrible position to one of affluence and power in the business world, his success being due largely to his own exertions. Mr. Gasser is a Republican in politics, but has never held or sought public office, prefering to devote his time and energy to his business. He is a member of Lowville Lodge, No. 134, Free and Accepted Masons; Lowville Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and the Citizen's Club of Lowville.
Mr. Gasser married, Oct. 2, 1901, Jennie Elizabeth, born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, April 26, 1882, daughter of W. Evan and Sinah (Roberts) Jones, the former of whom was born in North Wales and the latter in Wales.
1. John Ralph, born April 13, 1903.
2. Sinah Katherine, June 10, 1905.
3. Dorothy Louise, Feb. 19, 1907.
[transcriber's note: this material was published in 1910. This couple may have had subsequent children].
The family attend the Presbyterian church of which Mrs. Gasser is a member.
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