Benjamin Levan (1806-1886)

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Family History

Benjamin Levan was descended from a Huguenot family who came to America early on[1]. His grandfather, John Le Van, settled in Berks County, PA, where he owned a farm[2]. Benjamin Levan's father, Daniel Levan, was one of six children born to John Le Van and Margaretta Kahler[3]. Daniel Levan married Hetty Stout and later moved to Schuylkill County, PA[4].

Early Life

Benjamin Levan was born on October 26, 1806 in Berks County, PA[5]. Benjamin Levan had ten siblings; and, shortly after his birth, the family relocated to Kutstown, PA[6]. Benjamin Levan was a grocer's clerk in Philadelphia for five years, until he relocated to Lehigh County, PA and settled in Ballietsville[7]. He became the superintendent of the Lehigh Furnace in Washington Township, PA, a position that he held for twenty-eight years[8]. Benjamin Levan later moved to Whitehall Township and was integral in establishing the furnace at the Lehigh Valley Iron Company, where he remained for thirty years serving as secretary, treasurer, superintendent, and general manager throughout his time with the company[9]. Benjamin Levan married Maria, the daughter of Stephen Balliet (1753-1821), and together they had seven children: Albert, Steven, Francis, Paul, James, Garret, and Susan[10].

Later Life

Benjamin Levan founded the town of Coplay, PA and served as its first burgess[11]. In 1863 Benjamin Levan was identified as one of the top twenty earners in Lehigh County. He earned $11,130 through his interests in the Lehigh Valley Iron Company and in the Ironton Iron Mine[12]. Benjamin Levan also served as a school director at Coplay in 1870 and 1874[13]. Benjamin Levan was also an elder of the Reformed Church of Coplay[14] and was a major proponent of the church establishing its own building, which was constructed in 1872[15].


  1. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  2. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  3. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  4. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  5. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  6. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  7. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  8. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  9. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  10. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  11. The Carbon Advocate May 7, 1887
  12. Hellerich 1987, 144
  13. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 494
  14. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  15. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 497


  • The Carbon Advocate. 1887. Current Events Epitomized, May 7, 1887.[1]
  • Hellerich, Mahlon Howard. 1987. A History of Allentown: 1861-1865. In Allentown 1762-1987: A 225-Year History, edited by Mahlon Howard Hellerich, 91–180. Allentown, PA: Lehigh County Historical Society.
  • Mathews, Alfred, and Austin N. Hungerford. 1884. History of the Counties of Lehigh and Carbon, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Everts & Richards.