Fred (Frederick Charles) Brenckman.

History of Carbon County, Pennsylvania; also containing a separate account of the several boroughs and townships in the county, online

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Online LibraryFred (Frederick Charles) BrenckmanHistory of Carbon County, Pennsylvania; also containing a separate account of the several boroughs and townships in the county, → online text (page 28 of 44)
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the Sunday school connected therewith for a number of

In 1889 he was united in marriage to Agnes M.,
daughter of Edward Boyer, of Millport, Carbon

Boyle, James J., editor and owner of the Mauch
Chunk Daily Times, the pioneer daily newspaper of
Carbon county, is the son of Daniel and Grace (Han-
Ion) Boyle, and was born at Seek, Schuylkill county,
April 4, 1872. His father emigrated to this country
from Ireland in 1869.

When James was still quite young, his parents re-
moved to Old Buck Mountain, Carbon county, where
the father was employed as a coal miner, while his son
picked slate on the breaker of the colliery and during
the winter months attended the public schools. After
a residence of fifteen years at this place, the family
removed to Beaver Meadow, where Mr. Boyle received

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the rest of his schooling and worked in and about the
mines in various clerical and mechanical capacities.

In 1902 he became a reporter on the staff of the
Daily Standard, the only morning paper published in
Hazleton, continuing in this position for six years. On
February 21, 1908, he purchased the journal, together
with the job printing business which he now owns.

The forerunner of the Times was the Lehigh Pioneer
and Courier, first issued on April 2, 1833, and the old-
est newspaper in the Lehigh coal region. The paper is
clean and reliable, reflecting the personality of its
editor and publisher. It is accorded liberal advertis-
ing patronage.

Mr. Boyle was married to Annie E., daughter of
Lawrence Boyce, a mine foreman of Duyrea, Luzerne
county, but formerly of Beaver Meadow, June 3, 1903.

Bray, Walter M., postmaster of Palmerton, a direc-
tor of the First National Bank of that town, and a
member of the firm of Lewis & Bray, operating a slate
quarry near Millport, is a son of Andrew and Mary
(Tucker) Bray, and was born near Dartmouth, Eng-
land, November 30, 1859. He is one of a family of fif-
teen children, all of whom grew to maturity.

Leaving school at the age of ten years, he found em-
ployment in the slate quarries near his home; when
he was fourteen he was already a full-fledged slater,
and did the work of a man. He continued in this ca-
pacity until reaching his majority, when he sailed for
America, settling at East Bangor, Northampton coun-
ty. Pa. Following his trade there for a short period,
he went to Canada for a time, but returned to East
Bangor, and later lived at Newton, N. J.

Coming to Carbon county in 1895, Mr. Bray became
the partner of William Lewis, the firm having a lease
on the Old Millport Slate Quarry, near Millport. They


are still associated in this enterprise, and employ about
twenty-five men in their operations. Mr. Bray has
been a resident of Palmerton since the inception of the
town, in 1900. He was one of the organizers of the
First National Bank, and is still a member of its di-
rectorate. In 1909 he was appointed to the position of
postmaster, while he is connected with the Palmerton
Co-operative Association, which aims to foster and
advance the best interests of the community bearing
that name.

Mr. Bray was united in marriage to Mary E. Rob-
erts, of East Bangor, October 16, 1886. They have be-
come the parents of these children : Liona, Walter A.,
Charles, Jennie M., Edith B., Lester C, Margaret, Bes-
sie, William R., Martha, Dorothy, John, Evelyn and
Richard Bray.

Mr. Bray holds membership in various fraternal or-
ganizations, among the number being the Odd Fellows,
Red Men, Knights of the Golden Eagle and the Masons.
He and his family attend the Episcopal church. Mr.
Bray is a staunch Republican.

Brenckman, Henry L., was born at Hazleton, Pa.,
on September 15, 1869, the son of Frederick and Su-
sannah (Bittner) Brenckman. His paternal grand-
father, who also bore the name of Henry, emigrated to
the United States from Germany, about 1835, settling
at Beaver Meadow, where he conducted a hotel until
his death.

Frederick Brenckman learned the trade of a car-
penter, which he followed all his life, also acquiring a
farm at Hudsondale, where he died in 1884 at the age
of forty-four years.

Henry was but fifteen when he became the bread-
winner of a family of six children and a widowed moth-


er, and he played the part of both a father and a
brother toward his younger brothers and sisters.

In 1889 he entered the service of the Tide Water
Pipe Company, at Hudsondale, where he is still em-
ployed as a stationary engineer. He has been the pres-
ident of the Packer township school board for many
years, and has always taken great interest in Sunday
school work. He has been the teacher of the Bible class
of the Hudsondale Sunday school for more than twenty
years, having also served as superintendent of this
organization for nearly the same period of time. It
was under his leadership that the handsome chapel of
the school was built.

Formerly he was the Democratic county committee-
man for his district, but in 1912 he joined the Progres-
sive movement and supported Theodore Roosevelt for
the presidency.

On September 1, 1892, Mr. Brenckman was married
to Minnie, daughter of Herman Strunk and his wife
Ellen, of Hudsondale. Their children are: Raymond,
Virginia, Lillian, Herman, Dorothy, Ruth, deceased;
Esther, Frederick and Louise.

Breslin, Andrew, president of the Citizens ' National
Bank of Lansford, and one of the foremost contractors
and builders in this portion of the state, is a resident
of Summit Hill.

His grandfather, Patrick Breslin emigrated to this
place from County Donegal, Ireland, in 1824, at which
time there was not a house on the present site of the
town, while there were but two or three dwellings in
the locality. He was one of the pioneer miners of an-
thracite coal, spending nearly the whole of his active
life in the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation
Company as a foreman. His death occurred at Sum-
mit Hill in 1865.


Jolin F. Breslin, a son of the aforementioned, was
born at Summit Hill on September 7, 1845. He was a
cabinet maker, later becoming a contractor and build-
er. He was married to Ann, daughter of Andrew and
Susan Boyle, of Tamaqua, in 1866, who bore him four
sons and three daughters, Mr. Breslin served on the
side of the Union during the Civil War, and was an
active Democrat, being one of the most influential cit-
izens of Summit Hill. He died on September 20, 1892.

Andrew Breslin, son of John F. Breslin, claims Al-
lentown, Lehigh county, as the place of his nativity,
his parents having made their home here for a few
years. He was born on August 1, 1870, while his boy-
hood was passed at Summit Hill, where he attended
the public schools. Under his father's instructions he
learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed until
his twenty-first year, when he entered the office of a
Philadelphia architect as a student of that profession.

The death of his father taking place a year later, he
was compelled to forego his ambition in this direction
to take charge of the affairs of the deceased, who, in
addition to his other interests also conducted an un-
dertaking establishment. This portion of the business
he turned over to his brother, John J. Breslin, in 1907.

Among the more important buildings which Mr. Bres-
lin has constructed, the following may be mentioned:
The Schwab school building, at Weatherly; the Third
Ward school building, at Lehighton; the Greek Cath-
olic church, of Nesquehoning ; the Philadelphia Bar-
gain Store and the Elks' Building, in Tamaqua; the
Citizens' National Bank, of Lansford; the magnificent
new high school building at Summit Hill; the public
school building of Coal Dale, and the plant of the
Freeland Brewing Company, of Freeland, Luzerne
county. He also built the sewer systems of Summit


Hill and Coal Dale, among the first of the flush-tank
variety in the state, besides the large storage reservoir
of the Summit Hill Water Company. He owns and
conducts a planing mill at Summit Hill, which is the
principal enterprise of an individual nature in the

Mr. Breslin was one of the organizers of the Citi-
zens' National Bank, of Lansford, of which he was
elected president in 1909. He was president of the
town council for three years, and has served as a mem-
ber of the school board. His political allegiance is
given to the Democracy, being now a member of the
county executive committee of that party. He is a
member of the Sons of Veterans and of the Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks, while being an adherent
of the Roman Catholic church.

Mr. Breslin was married on April 3, 1893, to Agnes
Daly, daughter of Eugene and Ann Daly, of Mahanoy
City, Pa. Their three children are : Annie, Mae, and
John F. Breslin.

Breslin, James M., a leading member of the bar of
Carbon county, residing at East Mauch Chunk, was
born at Tresckow, Banks township, on January 1,
1870. He is the son of Daniel and Ann (Gallagher)
Breslin, both natives of Ireland. His father was born
in County Donegal, August 6, 1833. Emigrating to the
United States at the age of sixteen, he located at Buck
Mountain, spending the whole of his active life as a
miner at various operations in the Lehigh district. He
was a Democrat, and took an active part in the political
affairs of Banks township and of the county at large.

Seven of his ten children, all of whom attended the
public school at Tresckow, became school teachers.
The father died at Beaver Meadow, February 6, 11908.


James M. Breslin started life as a slate picker, later
working in and about the mines of Banks township.
He taught school for ten successive terms, and choos-
ing the law as his profession, he became a student in
the office of Hon. E. M. Mulhearn, of Mauch Chunk.
Being admitted to the bar of Carbon county in October,
1897, he opened an office at Mauch Chunk, soon gaining
recognition and building up a good general practice.

Mr. Breslin has been particularly successful as a
criminal lawyer. He has defended many cases coming
under this category, and his record is one of unbroken
successes. For three years he served as the legal ad-
viser of the county commissioners, having also been
retained in a similar capacity by the officers of various
districts of the county.

During a period of nearly ten years, Mr. Breslin, in
association with David Pursell, very successfully oper-
ated the old coal mines at Hacklebernie, near Mauch
Chunk. On February 14, 1899, he was married to Miss
Elizabeth Murphy, a school teacher, of Wilkes-Barre,
Pa. They have two children: James D. and Eliza-
beth, aged nine and seven years, respectively.

Mr. Breslin served several terms as a member of the
school board of East Mauch Chunk. He is a supporter
of the principles advocated by the Democratic party,
and a communicant of the Roman Catholic church.

Bretney, Clement H., the leading photographer of
Lehighton, was born in Mahoning township. Carbon
county, on September 18, 1873. He is the son of
Thomas J. and Mary (Schaffer) Bretney, both natives
of Mahoning township. His father was formerly a
railroader, and later owned a local freight and express
business in Lehighton, where he now conducts a baking


After leaving the public schools, Clement studied the
art of photography as a private pupil under H. Parker
Rolfe, of Philadelphia. Subsequently he pursued a
general course at the Curtis-Taylor Studio in the same
city. Following this he worked with W. D. Rishel, a
Lehighton photographer, whose establishment he pur-
chased, and whom he succeeded in business, in 1899.
This studio was situated on the Bankway, and was oc-
cupied by Mr. Bretney for two years, when he built his
present place on Second street. Here, by painstaking
and artistic work, he has secured a large and con-
stantly growing patronage.

He is also a dealer in kodaks, and carries a large
stock of all kinds of photographic supplies, besides
doing finishing work for amateurs. He has one of the
largest and best equipped establishments of its kind
in the Lehigh Valley.

Fraternally Mr. Bretney is identified with the Pa-
triotic Order of Sons of America, the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and is a member of various Ma-
sonic bodies. He attends the United Evangelical
church, and is still unmarried.

Bretney, Henry J., cashier of the First National
Bank of Lehighton, is a son of Clinton Bretney, and
was born at New Mahoning, Carbon county, January
12, 1856. His father, in the early fifties, married
Amanda Meinhard, a native of Carbon county. The
family removed to Lehighton in 1861.

Mr. Bretney received his education in the public
schools of Lehighton and at the Carbon Academy,
which last named institution started many of the young
men of the lower end of the county upon successful
careers. After leaving school, Mr. Bretney learned the
trade of a coach painter, after which he entered the
forwarding office of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Com-


pany at Packerton, serving in a clerical capacity at this
place for nine years. For four years he was employed
by the same corporation at Mauch Chunk.

On January 1, 1892, he entered the employ of the
First National Bank of Lehighton as a bookkeeper,
being promoted to the cashiership October 1, 1908.
Mr. Bretney has served as borough auditor and as
school director, while he has been the borough treas-
urer for eighteen years. He was also treasurer of the
Lehigh Valley Building and Loan Association for
twelve years. He is a charter member of Zion's Re-
formed church, of which he is also the treasurer. Mr.
Bretney is also a charter member of Lehighton Coun-
cil, No. 370, Royal Arcanum, having served as secre-
tary of this lodge for a quarter of a century. He also
belongs to the Knights of Malta.

In 1878 Mr. Bretney was married to Mary A. Trox-
ell, daughter of Paul Troxell and his wife Mary, of
Egypt, Lehigh county. Their children are: Clara,
Charles, Bessie and Florence. Clara is a graduate of
East Stroudsburg State Normal School, and has been
a teacher in Lehighton for a period of nine years;
Charles is cashier of the First National Bank of
Weatherly, and was married to Mayme Portz, of
Lansford; Bessie is the wife of Robert R. Ash, of
Lehighton, while Florence remains at home.

Browell, Joseph H., a prominent young business man
of Palmerton, is the son of John and Margaret (An-
gus) Browell, both natives of Northumberland county,
England. They were married in 1872, becoming the
parents of five children. In 1880 the family emigrated
to America, first settling at Jeddo, Luzerne county,
Pa., and later removing to Centralia, Pa. The father
was a contract miner and rockman.


Joseph H. Browell was born at the old home in Eng-
land on January 7, 1876. He graduated from the high
school of Centralia, and at the age of fourteen entered
a drug store in that town with the object in view of
learning the business. Four years later he went to
Philadelphia, where he was employed in a similar es-
tablishment, being afterwards successively located at
South Bethlehem and at East Mauch Chunk. It was
while stationed at the last named place that he was
licensed by the pharmaceutical examining board of the

In 1901 Mr. Browell took charge of the drug store
of J. M. Hess, at Palmerton, becoming a partner in the
enterprise at the end of a year. Subsequently the firm
also engaged in the hardware business, and in 1909
Mr. Browell purchased the interest of his partner and
became full owner.

He was one of the promoters of the First National
Bank of Palmerton, of which he has been a director
since its organization. Every measure intended for
the welfare and upbuilding of Palmerton receives his
loyal and constant support.

In June, 1903, Mr. Browell was married to Daisy,
daughter of Luther and Alice La Barre, of East Mauch
Chunk. They have two children : Jack and Margaret
L. Browell.

Butler, Henry A., a representative Mauch Chunk
business man, was born at that place on January 3,
1861. His father, Alexander W. Butler, whose birth
occurred in 1822, was a native of Susquehanna county.
When a boy he came to Mauch Chunk, and by industry
and integrity he established himself in the confidence
of the community in which he spent the remainder of
his life as an honored and influential citizen. For a
period of about thirty years he was the cashier of the


First National Bank of Mauch Chunk, the predecessor
of the Mauch Chunk National Bank of to-day.

In early life he was married to Anna, daughter of
John Eichards, an ironmaster, of Weymouth, N. J.,
who was also interested for a time in the operation of
the Maria Furnace, in Franklin township. Carbon
county. They became the parents of these children
William R., Elizabeth, wife of Hon. Laird H. Barber
Mary, who married C. A. Braman, of New York city
Fannie, and Henry Butler. The father died during the
year 1888.

Henry A. Butler gained his elementary education in
the public schools of his native town, graduating from
the high school with the class of 1879. Entering Le-
high University he completed his course in 1883 with
the degree of B.S. For a few years he was employed
as a bookkeeper by the Mauch Chunk National Bank,
later entering the service of B. F. Barger, a wholesale
dealer in lumber and grain, at Mauch Chunk, as a book-
keeper and salesman.

In 1889 he accepted a position as private secretary
to M. S. Kemmerer, for whom he also very successfully
managed the Parryville Iron Works until 1905. Since
then he has been engaged in business on his own ac-
count as a wholesale dealer in coal, maintaining an of-
fice at Mauch Chunk. He is also interested in a man-
agerial way, in a number of coal properties in the

In association with W. A. Leisenring, Mr. Butler, in
1895, established the Penn Forest Brook Trout Hatch-
ery, which soon became famous as the largest of its
kind in the world. Mr. Butler was principally instru-
mental in the prosperity which attended this enterprise
during the ten years he was associated with it. He is
the president of the Mauch Chunk Gas Company, and


is one of the trustees of the Dimmiek Memorial Li-

On October 26, 1887, he was married to Nellie L.
Blakslee, daughter of W. W. Blakslee, of Weatherly,
Pa. Their children are: Marion L., Alexander W.,
and Edith B. Butler. Marion is a graduate of the Na-
tional Cathedral School, of Washington, D. C, while
Alexander is a student at Lehigh University.

Mr. Butler is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal
church, of Mauch Chunk, of which he has been a ves-
tryman for more than fifteen years, also being a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity. His home is in East
Mauch Chunk.

Chamberlain, Harry, chief electrician of the electric
light plant of the borough of Weatherly, is a grandson
of John Chamberlain, who came to Columbia county,
Pa., about the year 1800. The family was established
in America during Colonial times, while several of its
members participated in the war of Independence.
John Chamberlain was a farmer and lumberman, being
the father of a large family. One of his sons was Wil-
liam H. Chamberlain, who was twice married. His first
wife, before her marriage, was Salome Van Horn, and
they became the parents of seven children, all of whom
have died.

Following the death of his first wife, Mr. Chamber-
lain, in 1864, was wedded to Miss Maria Eames, of
Mansfield, Pa. The issue of this union was ten chil-
dren, eight of the number surviving: Frank, Harry,
Salome, wife of S. P. Burke ; Maggie, wife of George
B. Murphy; Annie, relict of the late H. A. Beers;
Joseph, Jennie, wife of Charles Hunsinger, and Ar-

Mr. Chamberlain was a lumberman, following that
vocation practically all his life. In 1864 he came to


Packer township, Carbon county, later removing to
Weatherly, where he died in 1894.

Harry Chamberlain was born in Weatherly, January
10, 1869. He acquired his education in the public
schools, early assisting his father in his various lum-
bering operations. Later he was employed for several
years in a clerical capacity by G. W. Miller, a Weather-
ly merchant. In 1894 he entered the service of the
borough of Weatherly as a fireman and engineer at the
electric light plant, being placed in full charge in June,

It is worthy of note that Weatherly is the only mu-
nicipality in Carbon county owning and operating its
lighting plant. Other towns in the county that have
tried the experiment have found it to be a losing prop-
osition and have either leased or sold their plants to
private parties, who, with the application of business
methods and stricter economy, are succeeding where
the municipality had failed. The success of the Weath-
erly plant for some years seemed doubtful, and the
indications were that it would go the route of nearly
all municipal lighting plants. Now, however, it is es-
tablished on a sound, self-supporting basis, and, ac-
cording to the borough statement for the year ending
March 1, 1910, the net earnings of the plant for the
previous year amounted to $5,155.51. Much of the
credit for the good showing made is due to Mr. Cham-
berlain, who has given this public utility the same
careful and intelligent supervision that private enter-
prises usually receive. Mr. Chamberlain is a gradu-
ate in one of the electrical courses offered by the In-
ternational Correspondence Schools, of Scranton. He
has served as a member of the school board of the
borough and was chairman of its building committee
at the time of the erection of the Schwab school build-


ing. He is a member of the Methodist church of
Weatherly, and as assistant superintendent of the
Sunday school connected therewith, has been particu-
larly active and progressive.

On August 17, 1893, occurred the marriage of Mr.
Chamberlain to Sallie L., daughter of Margaret and
William Sigafoos, of White Haven. They have become
the parents of these children: Maggie, Elsie, Harry
L., May, Helen and Joseph W. Ruth died in infancy.

Christman, David A., a former jury commissioner of
Carbon county, now conducting the Alameda Restau-
rant at Lehighton, was born near Kresgeville, Monroe
county, December 19, 1866.

He is a grandson of John Christman, while his fa-
ther was Edward Christman, both natives of Monroe
county. His mother bore the maiden name of Chris-
tiana Eckhart, being reared near Stemlersville, Carbon
county. Mr. Christman is a product of the Slatington
high school, having also attended the Polytechnic In-
stitute, at Gilberts, Monroe county. He taught school
for several years in Lower Towamensing township,
after which he was engaged as a produce dealer.

In 1893 he came to Weatherly and secured employ-
ment in a clerical capacity in the mercantile estab-
lishment of Elmer Warner. For six years he was em-
ployed as a salesman for 0. J. Saeger, a wholesale
fruit and produce dealer, of Lehighton. In 1900 Mr.
Christman purchased the Alameda Restaurant, which
he has successfully conducted since that time.

On December 31, 1887, he was united in marriage to
Mary L. Shiner, daughter of John A. Shiner and his
wife Fiana, of Slatington. Their children are : Harvey
J., Jennie E., William E., Edward H., and Bessie A.


Harvey is employed as a clerk in the First National
Bank of Lehighton, while William is a graduate of the
Lehighton high school and of the South Bethlehem
Business College.

Mr. Christman holds membership in the Odd Fel-
lows, Knights of Malta, Eed Men, and the Eagles. He
is also connected with the Germania Saenger Bund,
of Lehighton, and with the Rod and Gun Club of that
town, besides being associated with Lehigh Fire Com-
pany, No. 1. He was elected to the office of jury
commissioner of Carbon county in 1906. He is now a
member of the Lehighton Board of Commerce.

Christman, Hiram, operating one of the finest and
most productive farms in Towamensing township, is a
son of William H. and Lavina (George) Christman.
The father was a native of Towamensing township,
born in 1834. He followed the vocation of a farmer
and was the parent of five children. He died at the
age of thirty-one.

Hiram Christman was born in Eldred township,

Online LibraryFred (Frederick Charles) BrenckmanHistory of Carbon County, Pennsylvania; also containing a separate account of the several boroughs and townships in the county, → online text (page 28 of 44)