Philhower Family Association

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The Philhower Family Emblem was authorized by the family September 7, 1968

This is not a coat-of-arms. They were only bestowed by the sovereign ruler upon persons who had performed some outstanding military feat; also, occasionally for exceptional scientific or political service to the country.

The Philhower emblem is designed on a modification of the Old German Empire emblem and signifies German ancestry.

The shield imposed upon the emblem is divided into three parts of three different colors of the German Empire flag -- black, white and red.

  • The top black section has the word "Wolhauer" the original name and spelling which eventually became Americanized as "Philhower."
  • In the middle white section is a sketch of the first Wolhauer home, still being occupied by a Philhower family in this year of 2005.
  • In the red bottom section is the date 1748, the year of the first Wolhauer arrived in America from Germany.

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Of the original settlers in Hunterdon County, many put down roots that have held fast to the present. The Philhower family's tenure in and around Tewksbury Township and Califon is typical of so many family histories which tell of the development of an area strong in character and tradition.

The patriarch, Philip Wulhauer, emigrated from Germany on the ship Patience, landing in the port of Philadelphia on September 16, 1748 at age 24. He met and wooed his wife on shipboard, and Philip and Anna Maria traveled to Hunterdon County to settle.

Philip leased 14 acres in what is now Tewksbury Township in 1758 and established the Philhower homestead, building first a log cabin--a large room and a loft. He soon built the house that still stands today. It was put together with mortar, lime, sand, and clay, and its walls were 18 inches thick. His land was then 100 acres. Philhowers have occupied the homestead continuously.

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Philip and Anna Maria had seven children, all of whom survived, married, stayed in the area, and produced large families (73 grandchildren for Philip and Anna Maria.) A few descendents moved out of the area, but much of the family history is close to home.

Among the family names entwined with the Philhowers are Apgar, Sutton, Fleming, and Hoffman. Philhowers have represented this area as soldiers in all the wars. They were farmers, millers, physicians, ministers, merchants, bankers, and educators. One was considered a prophet.

In 1917, the Philhowers held their first family reunion, attended by nearly 400 descendents of Philip and Anna Maria. As noted in a newspaper report: "ice-cold lemonade was served from a twenty-gallon stone pot. The children were keen competitors in the various races. George M. Lindaberry's victrola was loaned for the afternoon. An actual count of the vehicles at the luncheon hour showed 52 touring cars and 21 wagons."

The Philhower family has continued its traditional gathering uninterrupted, having recently celebrated their 89th reunion.

Material on this site supplied by Philhower Family Association & maintained by M. Freibergs, Web Coordinator.
Updated August 2014.

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