Samuel J. Shimer was the founder of S. J. Shimer & Sons, makers of cutterheads for machining woodwork.
Courtesy of Homer Folk: On September 9, 1887, Samuel J. Shimer bought lots on the river side of Water Street, now Front Street, from John Runkle and his son-in-law, William A. Heinen. Located between Upper Market Street on the south
and Locust St. on the north, the narrow lots were 100 feet deep from Front Street to the low water mark of the Susquehanna River on the west. Runkle's lot had a frontage of 114 feet, 3 inches and brought $3000. Heinen, who paid Ellis F. Gundy $350 for his 76 foot frontage lot on September 9, 1887, sold it to Samuel J. Shimer on the same day for $500.
On the north end, Samuel proceeded to widen the lot toward the river by having a stone retaining wall constructed from the lower river bank to a height that would be above what was called a freshet (flood) at that time. On this lot he built a stately house, now 246 N. Front St. This became the residence of Samuel's eldest son Elmer Stout Shimer. On May 14, 1900, Samuel sold the home at 246 N. Front St. to Elmer for $6000.
Adjoining his son's lot on the south, he deepened the lot with a retaining wall and built another stately house. This became his own home, now 228 N. Front St.
His youngest son, George Stout Shimer, moved into the homestead at 231 Turbot Ave. On May 14, 1900, he sold the homestead and the lots on the east side of Turbot Avenue to son George for $8000, it being a part of two larger tracts of land bought from the Robert Mack estate and Allen Hottenstein. Also on that same day, he sold the remaining land to the south of his on N. Front St. to his son George for $1000. George proceeded to build a retaining wall and another stately house at 216 N. Front St.