Stephen Balliet (1781-1854)

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Stephen Balliet was born on October 27, 1781 to Stephen Balliet (1753-1821) and Magdalena Burgalter (1765-1805)[1]. Stephen was a member of the second generation of Balliets born in the United States. His grandfather Paulus Balliet (1717-1777) came to the United States in 1738[2].

Stephen Balliet married Susan Ihrie (1784-1852). They had eleven children together, including Stephen (1805-1805), Susan Balliet (1806-1873) who married Dr. Jesse Hallman, Stephen Balliet (1809-1860), Paul Balliet (1811-1886), Aaron Balliet (1813-1895), Maria Balliet (1815-1867), George Balliet, John Balliet (1819-1886), Charles, Sabina, and Caroline[3]. Stephen's daughter, Maria, married Benjamin S. Levan, who for many years was the superintendent of the Lehigh Furnace, under the employment of Stephen Balliet, and continued to be active in the iron industry after Balliet's death[4].

Iron Industries

In 1826 Stephen Balliet and Samuel Helffrich bought the land upon which the Lehigh Furnace would be built, purchasing twenty-five acres at the southern foot of the Blue Mountain from Christian Snyder and Christian Bloss[5]. The spot was chosen because of its proximity to materials needed to produce iron — especially the wood for charcoal — on the mountain[6]. At almost the same time as the Lehigh Furnace began operating, surface iron in the area was exhausted, prompting a switch to mines. In 1830 Helffrich died[7] and his shares in the iron business were bought by Stephen Balliet two years later[8]. Stephen Balliet continued to operate the furnace until his death in 1854; his heirs then took over the business until they sold it to Cooper & Hewitt, of New York, several years later[9].

In 1828 Stephen Balliet and Helffrich erected the East Penn Forge on the north side of the Blue Mountain in East Penn Township, Carbon County[10]. In 1837 Stephen Balliet purchased three thousand acres of land near the forge, built another furnace, and constructed additional housing for workers, bringing the total to eleven[11]. Charles Nimson (1834-1907)[12], the son of A.B. Nimson, was listed as the clerk at Lehigh Furnace in 1852 and was associated with management at East Penn Furnace and Forge in 1855[13]. Aaron Balliet was in charge of operations on the north side of the mountain from 1838 to 1855, until he sold it to Solomon Boyer and Charles H. Nimson. Nimson was married to Elmira S. Hallman, the granddaughter of Stephen Balliet (1753-1821)[14] and daughter of Susan Balliet Hallman. In the 1860 Census, Nimson was listed as an iron master[15][1], and as a Superintendent of Iron Works in the 1870 Census[16][2]. In 1858 possession of the furnace and forge property came to John Balliet, another of Stephen Balliet's sons[17].

In 1853 Stephen Balliet, along with Stephen Balliet (1809-1860), Aaron Balliet, and Benjamin Levan purchased land on the west bank of Coplay Creek to build another furnace, later incorporated as the Lehigh Valley Iron Company; however, his death about a year later ended his involvement in the project[18].

Other Enterprises

Stephen Balliet was the postmaster of Ballietsville for almost his entire life[19]. In 1816 Stephen Balliet was elected the first president of the English School Society of Ballietsville. Prior to this, German was the only language taught in the local schools[20].

According to a document listing business engaged in East Penn Township in 1830, Stephen Balliet was also associated with gristmills[21]. Stephen also seems to have at one point owned much of the land of the village of Rockdale, including the sawmill[22].


  1. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 511
  2. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 511
  3. Roberts et al. 1914, 51-54
  4. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  5. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 553
  6. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 553
  7. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 553
  8. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  9. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 553
  10. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  11. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  12. Find a Grave
  13. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722-723
  14. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 723
  15. United States Census, 1860
  16. United States Census, 1870
  17. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  18. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 504
  19. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 526
  20. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 535
  21. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 719
  22. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 529


  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 22 June 2020), memorial page for C H Nimson (1834–1907), Find a Grave Memorial no. 71102534, citing Dinkey Memorial Cemetery, Lehighton, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by A M P (contributor 46600193) .[3]
  • Mathews, Alfred, and Austin N. Hungerford. 1884. History of the Counties of Lehigh and Carbon, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Everts & Richards.
  • Roberts, Charles Rhoads, John Baer Stoudt, Thomas H. Krick, and William J. Dietrich. 1914. History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and a Genealogical and Biographical Record of Its Families. Vol. II, Allentown, PA: Lehigh Valley publishing Company, Limited.
  • United States Census, 1860, database with images, FamilySearch : 24 March 2017, Pennsylvania > Carbon > East Penn Township > image 1 of 22; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," database, ( : n.d.); citing NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • United States Census, 1870, database with images, FamilySearch : 15 June 2019, Pennsylvania > Lehigh > Allentown, ward 6 > image 70 of 70; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).