John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) online

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are devoted members of the First IMemorial
church of Palmer township, and they are earnest
Christian people, true to their faith and their
professions. A life of diligence guided by sound
judgment has won for the subject of this review
a comfortable competence and a creditable stand-
ing in business circles. As a citizen he is pro-
gressive, interested in all things pertaining to
the welfare of his town, and as an official he has
ever been prompt and faithful, winning com-
mendation by his excellent service in public office.

DR. E. J. DECH is one of the younger repre-
sentatives of the medical profession in the citv
of Easton, but his ability does not seem to bf
limited by his years, as he has already attained a
standing and success in professional circles that



many an older practitioner might well envy.
One of Pennsylvania's native sons, his birth
occurred in the city of Bath, on the 24th of April,
1871. He is a son of James and Anna I,.
(Unangst) Dech, both of whom are natives of
Northampton county. The father is now a re-
tired farmer, who owns a valuable tract of land
of one hundred acres. For many years he en-
gaged in its cultivation and made of it a highly
improved property, but now he leaves the tilling
of the soil to others, and he is enjoying a well
merited rest. He is a gentleman widely known
and much respected in his community, and he and
his wife are faithful and consistent members of
the Reformed church. At the time of the Civil
war he manifested his loyalty to the government
bv doing active service in behalf of his country.
His children were nine in number: Samaritan,
Oscar, Harvey J., Mrs. A. I'erson, E. J., Rudy J.,
Mrs. Jacob Banner, Schuyler H. and Palmer.
Of this number Harvey J. and Palmer are de-
ceased. Schuyler H. is a physician, who is suc-
cessfully practicing his profession in Allentown,
Pennsylvania. The paternal grandfather of Dr. E.
J. Dech was Jesse Dech, a native of Dryland,
Pennsylvania, and he married a Miss Ritter. The
Dech's are of German lineage, and the represen-
tatives of the family have been valued citizens in
€very community in which they have resided.

Under the parental roof Dr. E. J. Dech spent
the days of his boyhood and in the common
school began his education, his preliminary
training being supplemented by a course of
study in the academy at Bath, Pennsyl-
vania. On putting aside his text books he
■devoted his time to pharmacy for two years, and
in that period became deeply interested in the
science of medicine and resolved to make its
practice his life work. Accordingly, as a pre-
paration for this calling he entered the Lehigh
University, and subsequently took up the study
of medicine. In 1890, he began reading under
Dr. Moore, of Philadelphia, and in 1891 con-
tinued his studies under the direction of Dr.
Johnstonbaugh, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In
1894, he was graduated with high honors in the
Eclectic Medical Institute, of Cincinnati, Ohio,

and later he pursued a post-graduate course in
the Polyclinic Hospital, of New York. He was
thus well C|ualified for the arduous and responsi-
ble duties of his profession by broad and
thorough preliminary training.

In 1894, Dr. Dech began the practice of med-
icine in Pandora, Ohio, where he remained for
six years, during which time he built up an ex-
cellent business and made for himself a host of
friends. During his residence there he was also
elected to the position of coroner in the year 1896,
and was re-elected in 1899, serving until 1900,
when he resigned. In that year he returned to
his native state, locating in Easton. He had
been president of the Northwestern Eclectic Asso-
ciation of Ohio while a resident of the Buckeye
state, and filled the position most acceptably. In
the city where he now makes his home, he has
gained recognition as a medical practitioner of
marked skill and ability, and one whose devotion
to his calling and his fidelity to the ethics of the
profession are noticeable features in his work.
He is a worthy member of Dallas Lodge, E. and
A. M., also belongs to the Independent Order of
Odd Eellows and the Knights of Pythias fra-

In September, 1894, was celebrated the mar-
riage of Dr. Dech and Miss Lizzie Miller, a
daughter of Edwin and Caroline Miller, of Bath,
Pennsylvania. The young couple have many
friends in the city where they now reside, and
the hospitality of many of the best homes is cor-
dially extended to them. Dr. Dech now enjoys
a wide practice, and is popular not only with his
patients but with all who know him.

reputation is the property of the world. The
laws of nature have forbidden isolation. Every
human being submits to the controlling influence
of others, or as a master spirit wields a power
either for good or evil on the masses of mankind.
There can be no impropriety in justly scanning
the acts of any man as they affect his public and
business relations. If he is honest and eminent
in his chosen field of labor, investigation will
brighten his fame and point the path that others



may follow with like success. From among the
ranks of quiet, persevering yet prominent citizens
— prominent on account of what he has done in
commercial circles — there is no one more de-
serving of mention in a volume of this character
than F. Louis JNIorgenstern, who has been
actively identified with the building interests of
Easton for many years, and whose labors have
been of marked benefit to the city.

This gentleman is one of Easton's self-made
men, and is certainly deserving of great credit for
what he has accomplished. He was born in
Saxony, Germany, in 1846, and emigrated to the
United States in 1869 when a young man of
twenty-three years, the business opportunities of
the new world attracting him. He had heard
splendid reports of American institutions and her
advantages, and resolved that he would benefit
thereby. On reaching the shores of the United
States, he made his way to Easton, Pennsylvania,
and here soon became a factor in industrial cir-
cles. As the 3"ears have gone by he has built for
himself a reputation for honesty of purpose, up-
rightness of life and stability of character that is
most enviable. In his native country he had
learned the carpenter's trade, and he became an
€xpert workman, being thorough and practical in
all that he did. He continued as a journeyman
at the bench until 1886, when, believing that he
might profitably conduct business on his own
account, he became a contractor. The result of
his former faithfulness in little things and his
■conscientiousness in the discharge of the duties
■devolving upon him, gained him patronage when
he started out for himself. Taking contracts, he
"began the erection of buildings, and his reputation
soon grew and his patronage likewise increased.
He then again extended the field of his labors
and the scope of his activity by buying real estate
and improving it through the erection of houses.
He thus added materially to the development of
Easton, and the nature of the buildings which he
put up also improved the appearance of the city
and was the source of added wealth. He has
owned many houses in Easton, besides other pro-
perty. His business shops are located at Pine

street, where he has been in business for sixteen

Mr. Morgenstern has devoted his entire time
and attention to the business, in which as a young
tradesman he embarked. His life has been one of
untiring industry, and he stands to-day as a
splendid example of the self-made man of Amer-
ica. Truly such a life is worth having lived and
such lives deserve permanent record on the pages,
that others, seeing their accomplishments, may
follow in their footsteps. He is prominent among
the energetic, far-seeing and successful business
men of Easton, and his life history most happily
illustrates what may be attained by faithful and
continued eft'ort in carrying out an honest pur-

In 1871, Mr. Morgenstern was united in mar-
riage to Miss Christiana Shickley, a native of
Baden, Germany, and to them have been born
seven children, six of whom yet survive, namely :
George A., Emma E., Oscar L., James A., who
is now studying medicine with the intention of
making its practice his life work ; Arthur C, and
Clarence E. The son who has passed away was
named Charles W. Two of the sons have also
been carpenters, and have erected and owned
houses in the city.

WALTER C. STIER. Fortunate is he who
has back of him an ancestry honorable and dis-
tinguished, and happy is he if his lines of life are
cast in harmony therewith. Walter C. Stier is
blessed in this respect, for he not only springs
from a prominent family but has attained to an
enviable position in musical and social circles,
where his remarkable talent as a musician is
highly appreciated.

On the paternal side he is descended from
Henry Stier, a native of Antwerp, Germanv, and
a nobleman by birth and education, whose daugh-
ter married George Calvert, the sixth Lord Bal-
timore. Philip F. Stier, father of Walter C.
Stier, was born in Finesville, New Jersey, on the
6th of June, 1830, and was a son of Jacob and
Diana Stier, both of whom were natives of the
northern part of Northampton countv, Pennsyl-



vania. During his boyhood PhiHp F. Stier at-
tended the common schools, and the education
there acquired was greatly supplemented by read-
insr and study in later years. By trade he was a
potter. A man of prominence in his community,
he became an active factor in public afifairs and
was elected sheriff of Northampton county in
1865. He also filled the office of coroner for
some years, was a director of the Northampton
County Bank, and treasurer of the Easton Fair
Association for a number of years. On his re-
tirement from the office of sheriff in 1868, he
embarked in the wholesale tobacco business and
was thus engaged throughout the remainder of
his life. He was widely known and universally
liked by both political parties, and in his death,
which occurred April 7, 1894, the community
realized that it had lost a valued citizen. In early
manhood, he married Miss Malvina Schmuck, a
daughter of Peter Schmuck, and to them were
born three sons: Walter C, Frank E., and P'hilip
F., deceased.

Mr. Stier of this review was born in Johnson-
.ville, Pennsylvania, and was given excellent ed-
ucational advantages. After attending the com-
mon schools of Easton, he entered Lafayette Col-
lege, at which he was graduated with the class of
1884, and he is also a graduate of the New York
College of Music, where he received his diploma
in 1888. Subsequently he went to Paris, France,
where he studied under noted artists, and com-
pleted his musical education under the celebrated
master, Dudley Buck, of Brooklyn, New
York. He possesses remarkable musical
talent, and he has met with success as a
teacher of both instrumental and vocal music.
For twelve years he had charge of the Lafayette
College of Music, and has presided with grace
and effect at the organs of St. Bernard's Roman
Catholic church for eighteen months, the Second
Presbyterian church for one year, the First Pres-
byterian church for three years. Mr. Stier was
Lutheran church for three years. Mr. Stier was
at the head of the Phi Gamma Delta Society of
the state for twelve years, and is also a member
of Dallas Lodge, No. 396, F. & A. M., Easton

Chapter, No. 137, R. A. M., Hugh De Payne
Commandery, No. 19, K. T., and of Rajah Lodge,

Mystic Shrine.

STEPHEN D. NAGLE. The Nagle family
was founded in this country by two brothers,
John and Leonard Nagle, who were born in
Germany, and emigrated to America when the
former was but a lad of twelve years, taking up
their residence in Philadelphia, F'ennsylvania.
There John Nagle learned the butcher's trade,
which he followed quite successfully for a num-
ber of years. After residing in Philadelphia for
some years he removed to Easton, which was then
a small borough, and here he made his home
throughout the remainder of his life. He married
a Miss Clemens, a native of Scotland, and to
them were born six children, all of whom are
now deceased. Of this number four were sons,
namely: John, Charles, Stephen and William.

William Nagle, just mentioned, was the father
of our subject. He was born in Easton in 1805,
and in early life learned the tailor's trade, which
he carried on in Easton as long as he was able
to do the work. He was one of the best in his
line in the city, and secured a good patronage.
Finally, on account of failing health, he was
obliged to abandon his trade, his lungs being
affected, and he then sought outdoor employment.
Buying a boat, he followed the canal until his
life's labors were ended in death, in 1854. His
wife survived him many years, dying in 1888.
She bore the maiden name of Sarah Hauk, and
was born in Easton in 1805. Their family con-
sisted of ten children, three of whom are now
living : Louise, Anna and Stephen D.

The last named was born in Easton in 1844,
his birth occurring in the house which has now
been his home for fifty-nine years, having never
moved during his entire life. He was reared and
educated in much the usual manner of boys of
his day, and throughout his business career he
has followed the tinsmith's trade, his shop being
situated on Church street. Being a good W'Ork-
man he enjoys an excellent patronage.

In 1879 Mr. Nagle was united in marriage



to Miss Mary Mosher, who was born in Easto-
in 1856, her parents being John and Ehzabeth
Mosher. This union was blessed with four chil-
dren : Mary, deceased; Ada; Lou, deceased; ai
Eva. A peculiar fact in reference to this family
is that while they are all females, the first letter
of each name when put together spells "male,"
making the family of all girls both male and
female. Socially, Mr. Nagle is an honored mem-
ber of the Royal Arcanum, the Home Circle, and
the United Order of American Mechanics, and
he is highly respected and esteemed by all who
know him on account of his genuine worth and
many excellencies of character.

ALBERT C. KLECKNER, of Easton, Penn-
sylvania, a popular railroad man, and one of the
most valued employees of the Lehigh Valley
Railroad Company, comes of a family counted
among the earliest settlers of the Lehigh Valley.
He is in the direct line of descent from one of
three brothers of the name who came from Ger-
many and made homes for themselves in the vir-
gin lands of Lehigh county. One of these
brothers became the father of Casper Kleckner, a
prosperous farmer, considered wealthy in his
day. To Casper Kleckner were born seven chil-
dren, one of whom was Charles, a rich and influ-
ential citizen of Lehigh county. The three chil-
dren of Charles Kleckner were Peter, Benjamin
and Mary.

Peter, son of Charles Kleckner, was born in
Bucks county, and became a carriage builder.
With his brother Benjamin he at one time con-
ducted a business in that line at South Bethlehem.
As far back as 1840 Peter ran a stage line be-
tween Bethlehem and Philadelphia. His wife was
Caroline George, of Bucks county. Both Peter
and his wife were members of the Moravian
church, of which Caroline was "deaner" for
forty )'ears. Peter died in 1879. The children
of this couple were Albert, who met his death by
drowning ; Moulton, now a photographer in Kan-
sas ; and Valentine, an expert carriage builder,
most of whose life was passed in Bethlehem,

Valentine Kleckner, son of Peter and Caro-

line Kleckner, was born in South Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, June 7, 1833. In early life he drove
stage for his fa.ther on the Philadelphia route, and
later adopted his father's trade. He soon became
an expert in the carriage building business, sell-
ing his work in English and other foreign mar-
kets. He was classed with the best workmen in
the country, and was known to the business for
half a century. He removed from Bethlehem to
Indiana, where he continued the carriage manu-
facturing business for two years. He then moved
back to Pennsylvania again, this time locating at
Reading. It was while he was living at Reading
that the Civil war broke out, and he ofiiered him-
self as a volunteer. Enlisting in the Twenty-fifth
Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, he served
most faithfully, and was honorably discharged at
the expiration of his term of service. He then
enlisted (October 21, 1861) in the Sixth Penn-
sylvania Cavalry, Colonel Rush commanding, and
was honorably discharged August 10, 1862, at
Harrison's Landing, Virginia. He was not only
a brave and spirited soldier, but a gifted musician,
and at different times in his life was a member of
various musical organizations. On returning to
Bethlehem after his discharge from the army he
joined the Bethlehem Band, playing the cornet.
He subsequently joined the Fair View Band, and
was widely known as its crack baritone soloist.
When he removed to Indiana he became a mem-
ber of the first band at Hope, Bartholomew
county. In Reading he belonged to the famous
Ringgold Band. He was widely known as a
cornetist and baritone soloist. Mr. Kleckner held
to his ancestral religion, and was a member of
the ^Moravian church. He belonged also to Star
of Bethlehem Castle, No. 42, K. M. C.

He was twice married, his first wife being
Eliza Brunner, of Lower Saucon township. She
died in 1862, leaving four children: i. Cordelia,
wife of W'illiam Constable, of West Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania ; 2. Albert C, of Easton, Pennsyl-
vania, whose career is sketched in this article ;
3. Charles H., of Allentown, Pennsylvania ; 4.
Elmer, deceased. On April 5, 1864, Mr. Kleck-
ner was married to Mary Hackman, of Ritters-
ville. Of this marriage two children were born :



I. Alice, wife of Edgar S. ^lorrow. of East
Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania ; 2. Frank V., of
West Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Valentine Kleck-
ner died October 30, 1900 ; his wife survives him.

Albert C, first son and second child of Valen-
tine and Eliza (Brunner) Kleckner, was bom in
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, November, 1855. He
was educated in the ^Moravian parochial school at
Bethlehem, and in early life worked at carriage
painting in his father's shop. He subsequently
became a fresco painter, but finally abandoned
ihat line of work for railroading. In 1871 he
entered the employ of the Central Railroad of
New Jersey, where he remained for three years.
The year 1874 he spent with the Reading Rail-
road Company, and then became a coal brakeman
on the Lehigh Valle>' road. A thoroughly trust-
worthy and competent employee, he was pro-
moted from one position to another until he was
made conductor of a passenger train running be-
tween Jersey City and Mauch Chunk. He is
still in this situation, and has well deserved his
advancement. He is a member of Niagara River
Lodge No. 785, F. and A. J\I., and of Star Coun-
cil, No. 15s, Royal Arcanum.

Mr. Kleckner was married in 1874 to Isabel
J. E., daughter of Jonas and Sarah Kline of Le-
high county. Three sons were born of this union,
— Moulton, Robert and Arthur. Moulton mar-
ried Margaret Kennell, but has no children ; Rob-
ert married Stella Raub, to whom four children
were born, three of whom, Lillie, Stanley and
Blanche, are living: Arthur married Amanda
Bishop, and is the father of one child, Edith.

Isabel J. E. (Kline) Kleckner, like her hus-
band, is of German descent. Her early American
ancestor, Jacob Kline, was born in the Lehigh
Valley, of German parents. He owned a farm
of two hundred acres, and also carried on a mill-
ing business. He was a member of the Lutheran
church. His wife was Susan Gross, and their
family consisted of the following children : Maria,
Jonathan, Charles, Samuel, Joseph, Hattie, Kate,
David, Hannah, Susan, and Solomon.

Jonutlian, first son and second child of Jacob
and Susan (Gross) Kline, was born on his
father's farm in 1808. Like his father he was a

miller and farmer, and a member of the Lutheran
church. His wife was Judith Fenstermacher, of
Lowhill, born in 1812. Their children were
Jonas, and Lizzie J., who became Mrs. Hass.
Jonas was born at the old homestead, April 5,
1832. He worked in the mill early in life, and
subsequently became a contractor. In 1869 he
moved to Allentown and engaged in the butcher
business, which he followed for six years. He is
now superintendent in the H. Leh & Company
shoe factory. Mr. Kline is a member of the Lu-
theran church, in which he holds the office of •
deacon. He married Sarah Kemmerer in 1852.
The children of this marriage are as follows :
Isabel J. E., now Mrs. Albert Kleckner ; Sarah,
Howard J., Oscar E., Minnie (deceased), Elmer
and Lillie.

FRANK LAWALL, a salesman, has repre-
sented the firm of Mills & Gibb, of New York
city, for fourteen years, and his standing in busi-
nesss circles is a credit to his energy and business
promptness, and his genial manner making him
popular with all with whom trade relations bring
him into contact, as well as his acquaintances of
social life.

Mr. Lawall is a representative of an old fam-
ily oi French-Huguenot origin. His paternal
great-grandfather, John Michael Lawall, came to
this country in the year 1749. He had a son,
John Lawall, who married a Miss Bornstein
and to them were born twelve children : William
F., Jacob, John, David, Michael, Mary, Susan,
Salina, Katherine, Matilda, Peter and Peggy. Of
this number only Mary is now living.

William F. Lawall, the eldest, and the father
of our subject, was born in Lower Nazareth town-
ship, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, in 1826,
and was reared upon the old family homestead,
while in the common schools he acquired his edu-
cation. When a young man he came to Easton,
where he followed the trade of brick-making, and
his excellent workmanship in this line enabled
him later to lie engaged in an extensive and profit-
able contracting Inisiness on his own account. He
took contracts for the erection of many of the
large and substantial buildings here, and the



volume of his business constantly increased, mak-
ing him one of the prosperous representatives of
the building interests in the city. He continued
in the business until 1871, when he purchased a
farm in Lower Nazareth township, where he re-
sided until 1876, after which he lived a retired
life in Easton, until called to his final home in the
year 1890. He was a man of sterling qualities,
whose character was upright, and whose life was
blameless. Of the Third Street Reformed church
he was an acceptable member, and he was also
an exemplary representative of Easton Lodge,
No. 152, F. and A. JNI. His widow, who bore the
maiden name of Ellen Horn, is still living in
Easton. They became the parents of six chil-
dren : jMarschaund ; William H. ; Flora, deceased ;
Edwin ; George, who has also passed away, and
Frank. All were born in Easton.

Frank Lawall, whose birth occurred in 1867,
was reared in Easton until 1874, when he went
with the family to his father's farm, where he re-
mained until thirteen years of age. His prelimi-
nary education, acquired in the common schools,
was supplemented by study in Track's Academy
in Easton, and after his school days were over he
entered the dry-goods house of Geehr & Lawall,
remaining there for a year and a half, during
which time he gained a good knowledge of com-
mercial methods and practices. He next en-
tered the employ of the firm of Bush & Ball, with
whom he continued for three years, and in Jan-
uary, 1888, he entered into a business relation
with the firm of Mills & Gibb, of New York, ex-
tensive importers of lace, white goods, lace cur-
tains and linens. He has represented this house
for fourteen years, having given entire satisfac-
tion to his employers, for whom he transacts a
large amount of business annually, that makes
his services of value to the firm, and of profit to

On the i8th of June, 1891, Mr. Lawall was
united in marriage to Miss Jennie J\I. Lerch, a
daughter of Peter B. and Dorcas A. Lerch. Mrs.
Lawall was born in Easton, April 4, 1867, and
to this happy marriage two children have been
born: Douglass P., born January 2, 1893. and
Frederick F., born ]\Iay 3, 1900. ^Ir. Lawall is

an interested and active member of the Masonic
fraternity, belonging to Easton Lodge, No. 152,

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) → online text (page 29 of 92)