This is an excerpt from the book, 'INDIANA COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA, HER PEOPLE, PAST AND PRESENT' by JOSHUA T. STEWART, published in 1913.

NICHOLAS DANIEL ALTIMUS is living on his father’s old farm in Buffington town ship, Indiana county, where he was born Dec. 27, 1860, son of David and Susan (Dick) Altimus.

The Altimus family, particularly well known in Brushvalley township, is one of the oldest and most respected in this portion of Indiana county. The first of the name in Brushvalley was Adam Altimus (Altemus, as the name is also spelled), who was of Holland (Dutch) extraction and a native of Northampton county, Pa. Coming to Indiana county about 1798 he located in Center township, near the line of what is now Brushvalley township, on what is now known as the Robert McPhetris farm, and here he settled down to farming, having a tract of 200 acres, which he improved very materially. He built a fine brick dwelling house on the farm, the first of its kind in that section, the brick being made on his place. He spent his active life on the farm, and when he retired from active labor moved to Mechanicsburg, where he owned a home and spent the remainder of his life, dying there in September, 1863; he was buried in the Lutheran Church cemetery. He was blind some years before his death. Mr. Altimus was a member of the Lutheran Church, was a Whig and Re publican in politics, and was known to all as a man who did his duty faithfully in his walk of life. He married Evaline (Eve) Shaffer, a native also of Northampton county, and she is buried in the Lutheran Church cemetery near Graceton, in Center township. Children as follows were born to this pioneer couple: Nicholas; Margaret, who married Peter Steffy; Daniel, who married Elizabeth Hendrickson; John, who married Mary A. Drennen; Thomas, who was killed, with the horse he was riding, by a falling tree, while returning from Wake field’s mill; William, who married Prudence Peddicord; Susanna, who married Samuel Wolf; and David, who married Sarah Peddicord.

Nicholas Altimus, eldest son of Adam Altimus, was born in 1800 in Center township and there grew to manhood. What education he received was obtained in the subscription schools of the day. He worked at home with his father until of age, when in 1823 lie settled on Brushcreek run, in Brushvalley township, and with his father’s help built the first grist and sawmill in Brushvalley township (then a part of Wheatfield township), which he operated. In 1853 the old mill was replaced by the present structure, and operations have been carried on there ever since. In 1848 lie built the frame dwelling house which is now the home of his son William Wolf Altimus. Besides attending to the mill work he farmed a tract of 128 acres near the mill, and was a successful business man, acquiring the owner ship of over five hundred acres before his death; most of it is still in the possession of his sons and grandchildren. On Feb. 23, 1872, while leaving his home to attend a. sale, the horse he was riding slipped on the ice and fell, and Mr. Altimus fell from the horse, his head striking on the hard ground. He died from the effects of his injuries in a few days, and was buried in the Lutheran Church cemetery in Brushvalley township. He was a member of the Lutheran Church and active in its work. In polities he was a stanch Whig and Republican. He was prominent in local affairs, serving as assessor, tax collector and school director of the township, as well as in other public offices.

In 1821 Nicholas Altimus married Mary Wolf, who was born in Brushvalley township in 1802, daughter of John Wolf, and died in that township. She is buried in the cemetery of the Lutheran Church, of which she was a member. Fourteen children were horn to this marriage: Martha H. married Alexander Noble, and both are deceased; Margaret married Frank Hurlinger and both are deceased; Adam married Catharine Conrad; Elizabeth married C. R. Weaver and died in Brush- valley; Susanna died in young womanhood; David, born April 19, 1831, married Susan Dick, and resided in Buffington township, this county; James, born Dec. 27, 1832, married Mary E. Dorney, and died in Buffington town ship; Evaline married Robert Pringle; Sarah married Amos Knabb and both are deceased; Mary married George Paul; Charlotte married John Shaffer; William Wolf and Mathias S. are residents of Brushvalley township and fully mentioned elsewhere; John A. died when four and a half years old.

David Altimus was born April 19, 1831, in Brushvalley township, there attending subscription school. Later he bought part of his father’s farm, a tract of 100 acres located in what is now Buffington (then a part of Brush- valley) township, to which he afterward added 500 acres, and he engaged in the clearing and cultivation of this place with great success, becoming a prosperous general farmer. He also raised a large amount of stock, and ran a sawmill located on Blacklick creek, near the old red mill, he and his brother James building and operating this mill in partnership. Mr. Altimus built a large and substantial house and barn on his farm. He was one of the prominent men of the locality in his day, serving many years as township assessor and auditor, was a Republican in political connection, and a member of the Lutheran Church. He died April 16, 1887.

Mr. Altimus married Susan Dick, who was born May 19, 1834, in Brushvalley township, daughter of Daniel and Susan (Lightner) Dick, and she survives him, now residing with her son Nicholas. Nine children were born to this union, as follows: Sarah C. married James TT. Duncan, now a retired farmer, of Sioux City, Iowa; Robert Thomas married; Nicholas Daniel is mentioned below; William Harry, born July 14, 1863, died m December, 1908, and is buried at Strongstown, this county, where he had served as postmaster (he married Jennie Gillespie) ; Lorenzo Dick. unmarried, lives at Sioux City, Iowa; Katie Belle married Charter Meeks and lives in Sioux City, Iowa; Mary Susan married Edward Burns, who is a farmer and merchant at Ebensburg, Pa.; John died young; David Hays, unmarried, lives with his mother.

Nicholas Daniel Altimus attended common school in Buffington township. He has passed all his life there except one year, when he was in Sioux City, Iowa, upon his return from the West purchasing the home place from the other heirs. He owns and operates 240 acres, and has followed farming and lumbering. He sold the old sawmill built by his father. Mr. Altimus has set out a large number of fruit trees, built a commodious barn, arid made numerous other improvements upon the property during his ownership, and the fine condition of the place is sufficient evidence of his progressive and enterprising nature. He is interested in all local affairs, and has held township office, having served three years as school director and three years as auditor. In polities he is a Republican. He is a prominent member of the M. E. Church at Strongstown, of which he has been trustee and steward for the last three years.

On Aug. 26, 1886, Mr. Altimus married Annie H. Duncan, daughter of John W. and Harlan (Griffith) Duncan, and they have had five children: Orah Belle; Maude Delle, who has taught school in Buffington township for the last five years; Susan May, who has taught four terms of school; Hugh Mack; and Russell John.