Descendants of
Adam Michael Ranck (1850-1922)

Wenger Ranck about 1909

WENGER6 RANCK (Adam5-4, Jacob3, Valentine2, John Philip1) was born at Upper Leacock Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on 6 March 1881, son of Adam Michael Ranck and his wife Caroline Wenger.

Wenger graduated from 8th grade at a County School in Leacock Township, and then graduated from Millersville State Normal School, Millersville, Pennsylvania, in 1909. He worked as assessor of Leacock Township to earn money for college.

Wenger taught three years in a one room school, from 1909 to 1912 in Upper Leacock Township, and then farmed for the rest of his life after 1912. According to daughter Anna, he said, "I couldn't stand to look at the four walls of that school any longer."

Wenger Ranck and MAUD SHAUBACH7 HARNISH (Jacob6, John5, Abraham4, Michael3, John Jacob2, Martin1) were married, probably in Lancaster County, on 10 May 1911, by Rev. Seldomridge, probably a Brethren minister. They went to Washington, D. C. on their honeymoon. The daughter of Jacob S. Harnish and his wife Annie Marie Shaubach, Maud was born at a farmhouse on Hans Herr Drive, West Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, on 20 January 1884.

They lived at the farm home on the NW corner of Smithville and Refton Roads, near Refton, Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, from 1915 to 1919. Then they lived for the rest of their lives on Hans Herr Drive, West Lampeter Township.

About 1920, when they moved to Hans Herr Drive, Wenger and Maud joined the Evangelical and Reformed Church at Willow Street. According to family tradition, Maud had suggested joining the Willow Street Mennonite Church, but Wenger did not want Maud to dress plain. So they joined the Evangelical and Reformed Church.

In 1920 Wenger Ranck hosted a barn raising. The Strasburg Weekly News reported on 26 June 1920:

. . The frame of a large barn on the farm of Wenger Ranck, at Refton, was raised Tuesday by about 80 carpenters, neighbors and friends. The work started about 1 o'clock and a little after 5 o'clock the structure was up without mishap.
Wenger Ranck died at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on 19 October 1960. He was buried at Willow Street Mennonite Cemetery, West Lampeter Township, on 22 October 1960. For Wenger's obituary, see below. Maud died at Lancaster on 25 July 1969. She died at Lancaster General Hospital, the day after having a stroke at the home of Adam and Anna Ranck, where she had been staying. She was buried at Willow Street Mennonite Cemetery on 28 July 1969.

Wenger and Maud Ranck had the following children:

  1. JACOB HAROLD7 RANCK b. near Refton on 4 March 1912
  2. CAROLINE7 RANCK b. near Refton on 25 October 1915
    • b. near Refton on 28 November 1916
    • married, three step-children
  4. ADAM MILTON7 RANCK b. near Refton on 1 September 1919
  5. SAMUEL HARNISH7 RANCK b. near Refton on 26 March 1925
Some of the memories the children had of Wenger and Maud:

Grandpa Ranck was proud of his Millersville education and proud of his books. He kept them in the corner cupboard--never had dishes there--just books--leatherbound books--the classics.--Anna Ranck

The summerhouse over the well in front of the big house--Once when their parents were in market, Aunt Caroline and Aunt Anna were babysitting Milt in the summerhouse. "Our playhouse was the loft. Milt fell off the ladder to the loft and broke his leg. We kept feeding him cookies trying to get him to stop crying."

Saturday nights we had a wooden washtub for baths."--Caroline Ranck Harnish

The summerhouse had the cutest front porch and railing. We stacked milk buckets on a bench and had to wash them--washed globes for oil lamps. Caroline was about 12 when the family moved away. White picket fence around the yard.

Maude and Wenger started their married life at the Greentree Hotel, (on the east side of the intersection of Refton and Smithville Roads). Then when this farm was for sale, they bought it. Clay Eshelman ran it.

The farm--1 bedroom ran the whole end of the house with 9 beds. Jake Steinman pointed the gable ends of the house in the 1920s.

The Green Tree hotel closed about 1921. Mr. Shelly, the last hotel keeper, lived there. Frank Paff was the hotel keeper before. Grandma Ranck took Mr. Shelly in at the end of his life, and he died in the stone house.

The farm on Church Road near Bird-in-Hand is where Wenger lost his arm. He lost it in a corn fodder shredder. They flagged down the railroad, and a horse drawn ambulance from St. Joseph Hospital met them at the train station. In the hospital he asked one of the nuns if they had hair on their heads, or if it was shaved off. She showed him that she did have short hair. Another time in the hospital, Wenger insisted that if he could just have some chewing tobacco, he'd feel better. The nuns said they couldn't do that, but one night some mysteriously appeared.--Charlie Ranck

After Wenger lost his arm, he felt a need to find something else to do. He received a diploma from Millersville after 5 years of study.--Anna Ranck

Wenger Ranck's Obituary, from the Lancaster New Era, Oct. 20, 1960.

Wenger Ranck Dies After Fall

Wenger Ranck, seventy-nine, Lancaster R7, died Wednesday afternoon at the General Hospital. He had been in ill health for some time and was admitted to the hospital Monday after he fell in the yard at his home and suffered a hip injury.
Born in Upper Leacock Twp., he was a son of the late Adam M. and Caroline Wenger Ranck, and was a member of the Willow Street United Church of Christ.
A graduate of Millersville State Normal School in 1909, he taught school for three years in Upper Leacock Twp. He was also one of the first county farmers to take an active part in extension service sponsored by the Pennsylvania State University.
In addition to his wife, the former Maude Harnish, surviving are these children: J. Harold Ranck, Lancaster R7; caroline, wife of Preston Harnish, Lancaster R6; Anna, wife of Adam M. Ranck, Old Philadelphia Pike; A. Milton Ranck, New Providence R1; and Samuel H. Ranck, Lancaster R7.
Also surviving are 11 grandchildren and a sister, Mrs. Annie R. Harshberger, Leola.

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