William Steir was a German immigrant. He arrived in the colonies from Rotterdam on the ship Edinburg in 1753. Mr. Steir took the Oath of Allegiance to the King of England upon his arrival on October 2, 1753. Although his full name was Jn. Wilhelm Steir, also called William Stear or Steer. Once in the colonies, he adopts English spellings more often than the German.
Mr Steer was recruited to work at Fort Roberdeau with the smelter. In Europe wives and children worked at the lead works. They helped with the refining and smelting operations. We do not know if his wife Elizabeth was part of such work, nor do we know if she accompanied him during his stay at the fort.
“taken measure to get a Wm. Steer an old German who lives next adjoining a Mr. Trindle living about 8 or 10 miles from Carlisle to go up, which one of the Owners must see is effected, as the most probable means of success I can think of, next to getting a Mason and Smelters from Chizels work“Daniel Roberdeau
Steir continued working at Roberdeau until the end of the smelting operation. He is again mentioned in a letter concerning the problems the fort was having with the works.
“Mr. Stear a practical smelter was not able to make more than two or three & twenty hundred weight of lead chiefly owing to the want of water for the furnace wheel”Mr. Henry
Alexander Trindle, mentioned in the letters that referred to the location of Wm. Steer, is still Mr. Steirs neighbor in 1784 when Mr. Steir’s died. Trindle assists in the execution of his Last Will and Testament.