John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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

. (page 77 of 92)
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 77 of 92)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


born to them : Antoinette Amelia, who died in



430



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



infancy; and Helen. Mr. Krause is a manufac-
turer of noiseless school slates and the inventor
of several machines for making slates and pencils.
6. Ella E., a dressmaker. 7. ^ielvin B., who mar-
ried Katie Morehead ; he is president of Neff,
Chattoe & Co., manufacturers of stained glass
windows. 8. Calvin N., who died at the age of
four years. 9. Walter C, who died at the age of
nine vears. ^Ir. Xeff and his famil)' are mem-
bers of St. John's Reformed church of Slating-
ton.

William F. Xeit spent his bo}-hood days in
Slatington, attended the public schools thereof,
and for seven years following the completion of
his studies worked in the slate quarries. In 1883
he engaged in the slate root business, and fol-
lowed the same until 1893, a period of ten years,
when he came to AUentown and engaged in the
stove, sheet metal work and tile roofing business.
His store, which is located on the corner of North
Hall and North Seventh streets, is twenty by
one hundred feet, with a basement the entire
length of the store. Here he handles kitchen
furnishing goods, stoves, ranges and furnaces.
His shop is twenty by eighty feet, three stories
and basement, and here he manufactures sky-
lights, galvanizeil and copper cornices and sheet
metals of all kinds, employing none but skilled
workmen, and thus his work is performed in a
thorotighly reliabl^ manner. Mr. Neff is the ex-
clusive handler of tile roofing, and has done the
best and finest roofing in the cit}' of AUentown,
Philadelphia, and has. gone. as far west as Pitts-
burg, Pennsylvania, and also throughout New
Jersey and Delaware. He is a member of Le-
high Lodge, No. 83. of AUentown, Independent
Order of (Jdd ]'"ellows, the Encampment, and the
luitcr])ean ( Jrotorio Societv of AUentown. He is
a 1 )emocrat in jjolitics.

( )n Xdvt'mlxT 21, 1890, Mr. Neff married Cora
J. Krause, who was born in Lowhill township,
Lehigh county, I'ennsylvania July 6, 1868, a
dan.gther of Wilson and Abigail (Clauss)
Krause, a granddaughter of Frederick and Cath-
arine Krause, the former named a native of Hei-
delberg townshiij, a great-granddaughter of
Ceurge Krause, also a native of Heidelberg town-



ship, whose father emigrated to this country from
Germany at an early date. Wilson Krause (fa-
ther) followed the occupation 01 fanning in Low-
hill township, his native place, and by his mar-
riage to Abigail Clauss was the father of five
children, namely : Richard A., who married El-
len Leh, and their children are : jNIarcus D.,
Mamie A. and Harold W. Oliver N., who mar-
ried Martha Steckel, no issue. Cora J., afore-
mentioned as the wife of William F. Neft'. Annie
\'., who became the wife of Charles Bradbury,
and their children are ; Clarion A. and Blanche
K. Eugene W'., who married Annie Wagner,
and their children are : Daisy, Clarence, Llewel-
lyn and Earl. The family of ^Ir. and ^Irs. Neff
consist of five children, as follows : Florence
A., Russel M., Mabel A., Hilda E., and Esther
K. j\Ir. Neft" and his family are members of St.
.Vndrew's Reformed church, one of the finest
chruches in the state, in which they take an active
and prominent part : it is located near their home.
]\lr. Neft" was one of the original fifty-four mem-
bers who organized the congregation and ob-
tained the charter.

ROBERT IREDELL, Jr., in whose death
AUentown lost one of its most jjrogressive citi-
zens and enterprising journalists, was descended
from ancestry honorable and distinguished. In his
veins mingled the blood of English and Quaker
jiarentage. Other representatives of the name
left their impress for all time upon the progress
and development of eastern Pennsylvania and
other sections of the country. Among the early
distinguished jurists of America was Justice Ire-
dell, contemporary of General \\'ashington,
whose confidence and respect he enjoyed to a
hi.gh degree.

Robert Iredell, Jr., was born in Norristown,
Pennsylvania, March 17, 1844, and was a son of
Robert and Teressa (Jones) Iredell. His father
enjoyed distinction in Pennsylvania as a journal-
ist, and for years was at the head of the Xorris-
toii'ii Herald and Free Press, which was estab-
lished in 1796. He survived his son, being ei.ghty-
four years of age at the time of the death of
Robert Iredell, Jr. His wife possessed literary



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



431



ability of a high order, and was a refined cultured
lady, whose example as a wife, mother and friend
is indeed worthy of emulation. Her patriotic
spirit led to the large assistance she rendered to
the families of the soldiers at the front, and she
also spent many hours in caring for the sick and
wounded who were brought from the scene of
battle to their home in Xorristown. In her fam-
ily were five sons and a daughter, but two of the
sons died in infancy, and the daughter, Phebe,
passed away a number of years ago.

Robert Iredell, Jr., was fortunate in that his
toyhood days were spent in the atmosphere of a
refined home. He was provided with good edu-
cational privileges, and in his youth attended a
boy's seminary in Xorristown. Pennsylvania, con-
ducted by Samuel Aaron, who was one of the
noted educators of that day, and was also a most
eloquent speaker and famous abolitionist. Robert
Iredell was an apt student, and made rapid pro-
gress in school. He not only mastered the
branches of study, but also imbibed many of his
professor's ideas concerning the slavery ques-
tion. In the early years of the Civil war, when
the demand of his country for men had depleted
his father's printing office, he left school to enter
the office, and from that time until his death was
continuously engaged in newspaper work as ed-
itor, publisher and proprietor. In his boyhood
he thoroughly mastered the printer's art, and this
enabled him in later years to carefully direct the
labors of those who served him. He early began
to write for his father's paper, and when still but
a V! ung man made an honored name for himself
in journalistic circles. In September, 1862, at
the time of the emergency call, when but eighteen
years of age, he enlisted in the state militia in
order to repel the invasion of the Confederate
troops into Pennsylvania. He became a mem-
ber of the Company D. Eleventh Regiment Penn-
sylvania ]\Iilitia, under Captain William H. Cook
and Colonel Charles A. Knoderer- The regi-
ment was in service for only twelve days, and
Mr. Iredell then returned to the printing office,
re-entering the field of labor from which he never
deviated throughout the remainder of his active
career.



In 1864 i\Ir. Iredell became one of the owners
of the paper, in connection with Morgan R. Wills,
and on the admission of Howard M. Jenkins to
the firm, the business style of Wills, Iredell &
Jenkins was assumed. Not long afterward,
however, Mr. Jenkins withdrew. In the winter
of 1868 the firm of Wills & Iredell purchased the
Lehigh Register, a weekly paper published in
Allentown Ijv Elisha Forest. For several months
the firm continued the publication of their two
papers, Mr. Iredell having the Register under his
immediate charge, while ]Mr. \\'ills managed the
Herald and Free Press at Norristown. In I\Iay,
1869, ]\Ir. Iredell sold his interest in the Norris-
town paper to his partner and became sole
owner of the Register. In the meantime the office
had been thoroughly equipped with modern ma-
chinery and all the new ideas and methods of
journalism had been introduced. In 1870 he
began the publication of the Daily Chronicle,
giving its first issue to the public ]\Iarch 3, 1870.
In 1872 he purchased the Lecha Patriot, a Ger-
man weekly paper, which he conducted in the
German language during the campaign of that
year, and in December, 1872, he merged it with
the Lehigh Register. jMarch 19, 1875, I'ls P""""
chased the old Dail\ Xcivs, which he merged with
the Chronicle under the name of the Chronicle
and News. The paper was then enlarged, and
the subscription price raised to ten cents a week.
In November, 1877, the Daily Herald was estab-
lished by I\Ir. Iredell, and merged with the
Chronicle and A^eivs. The Chronicle and
Xezcs is owned and carried on by the widow of
]\Ir. Iredell, also the Lehigh Register. In an edi-
torial published by a contemporary at the time of
the death of Mr. Iredell appeared the following:

"His paper always stood for everything that
was upright and patriotic, and every measure
looking to the advancement and prosperity of our
country and city found in him an advocate and
upholder, and by pen and purse he strove to add
to everything that promised to contribute to our
common weal. He yielded to no man in his love
for the home of his adoption, and no man took
greater pride in our material resources and pros-
peritv. He possessed the impulses, the trained
mind, the intellectual capacity and the energetic



43^



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



spirit that caused him to inscribe his name upon
the pages of journaHsm in his native and adopted
county in characters that will long withstand the
mutations of time. He has left the monument to
his worth behind him in the paper of which he
was the founder, publisher and editor, and which
he conducted for nearly a quarter of a century —
the Chronicle and Nczvs, and its weekly edition,
the Lehigh Register. He was an original, accom-
plished, virile and graceful writer. He wrote
from the inspiration of a mind well stored with
knowledge and enriched by wide and careful read-
ing. He was in close touch with all those cur-
rents of events which shaped, controlled and
guided the destiny of our country in his time, and
though he left in his later years much to his sub-
ordinates, he continually kept a closer and more
careful supervision of the journal which was
always a source of just pride and gratification to
him.

"To the Republican party he ever gave stanch
and unswerving allegiance and loyal fealty. He
never wavered in his support of the grand prin-
ciples of which it is the exponent. He never knew
the political trickster's ways, nor ever allowed
personal prejudices or preferences to blind him to
the duty he owed the party of his adoption.
Though an uncompromising partisan who was
able to give and take blows, and who wielded a
vigorous and effective pen in the numerous politi-
cal battles that took place during his career as edi-
tor, and which were often waged with unrelent-
ing energy and bitterness — when the smoke of the
conflict had cleared away and the issues were de-
cided, he never cherished any animosity against
his political opponents or entertained a feeling of
resentment, and it is a noteworthy fact that
among his closest personal friends and intimates
were many found in the ranks of the opposing
party-"

Mr. Iredell was never a politician in the sense
of office seeking, yet he held two positions of im-
portance in his community. Early in the '70s
he was appointed .bank assessor by Governor
Hartranft, and occupied the position through sev-
eral terms- He was for nine years postmaster of
Allentown, and it was during his first term that
the delivery system was introduced. He made a
])opular official, and administered the affairs of
the office with a fidelity that won him high com-
mendation from the postal authorities. He was
for one tvrni a member of the Republican central
committee of 1 'nnisylvania from Lehigh county.



He belonged to no secret organization, but was
one of the founders and the first secretary of the
Livingston Club, and was also a member of the
Clover Club.

Perhaps no better estimate or picture of Mr.
Iredell, when judged from the standpoint of his
personal characteristics, could be given than ap-
peared in one of the local papers published at the
time of his death and which said:

"He had the qualities which called forth the
love and respect of those who knew him most
intimately. In those whom he had confidence, he
revealed the generosity of a mind in which there
wasn't a mean strain, and there are many, who, in
his death, will realize the fact that they have lost
a friend and benefactor. His trust and confidence
were often abused, but his forgiving nature was
never appealed to in vain. He possessed a tender
and sympathetic heart, and we can lay no truer
tribute upon his coffin lid than thistle was a
true, faithful friend, a tender husband, a loving
and indulgent father."

j\Ir. Iredell was united in marriage in 1870 to
Miss Mathilde von Tagen, who is very prominent
not only in the social circles of Allentown, but is
also widely known among the Daughters of the
American Revolution, and who is now serving
for the second term as regent of Liberty Bell
Chapter of Allentown. Six children were born
to Mr. and l\Irs. Iredell: Edmund Lowell, Flor-
ence, James Wilkins, deceased ; Robert, deceased ;
Lloyd Jones, and Rodney Rodgers.

BERGER. Florence Iredell, a daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Iredell, is the wife of Rob-
ert James Berger, an enterprising business man
connected with the Nitro-Powder Company of
Kingston, New York- He was born in Catasau-
qua, Pennsylvania, in 1870, and is a son of Milton
and Caroline (Reich) Berger. The father was
twice married, his first union being with a sister
of his second wife. By that marriage there were
three children : Charles Berger, who wedded Mary
Kramer and had one daughter, Louise; Milton,
who married, and has four children — Dorothy.
Marjorie, Ruth and Annie; and Ida Virginia, the
wife of William A. Endy. To Milton and Caro-



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



433



line Berger were born two children, John F. and
Robert J. The former married Mary Snyder,
and has one son, Edgar Milton.

Robert Berger, the younger son, spent the
first nine years of his life in Catasauqua, and then
accompanied his parents on their removal to Al-
lentown. He attended the public schools, later
was a student in Muhlenberg College, and after-
ward entered Eastman's Business College of
Poughkeepsie, New York, in which he was grad-
uated. He then returned to Allentown, and en-
tered upon his business career as a member of the
Allentown Shirt Company, with which he was
connected for five or six years. He then closed
out this enterprise and became connected with
the United States Dynamite Company, with which
he continued for eight years. In 1903 he entered
into business relations with the Ditmas Powder
Company, and in 1904 he joined the Nitro-
Powder Company, of Kingston, New York, and
in this connection he handles all the quarry busi-
ness in this section of Pennsylvania. He is also
associated with Jesse R. Brown as agents for
the New York Mutual Life Insurance Company,
with offices in the Commonwealth Building in
Allentown-

Mr. Berger belongs to the Livingston Club,
the leading social organization of Allentown, and
in his political affiliation is a Republican. Both
he and his wife belong to the Reformed church,
and Mrs. Berger is the corresponding secretary of
the Daughters of the American Revolution. They
have one child, Robert Iredell Berger.

HERMAN SIMON, of Easton, Pennsylva-
nia, "is known throughout the mercantile world
as the founder and proprietor of one of the largest
silk manufactories in existence, and one of the
leading industries of the state.

Mr. Simon was born April 29, 1850, at Frank-
fort-on-the-JMain, Germany. His father, Robert
Simon, spent his early years in Holland, and, be-
ing a tobacco expert, in 1849 took up his resi-
dence in the city in which his son was born, one
of the largest commercial centers of the German
Empire. He was a man of sterling character
and large business ability, and amassed ample

28



means. He married Alarie Broell, a native of
Frankfort-on-the-Main, and they became the par-
ents of two sons, Robert and Herman, both of
whom were born on the family estate. Mr. Si*
mon died in 1888.

Herman, elder of the two sons of Robert and
Marie (Broell) Simon, received his education in
his native city. He is a graduate of the Weaving
School at Muelheim on the Rhine, and acquired
a thorough knowledge of silk manufacturing and
everythmg pertaining to it in Italy, France,
Switzerland and Germany. He inherited the
business tastes and abilities of his father, from
whom he also received somewhat of the inspira-
tion which led him into fortune's highway. The
elder Simon was too well established to think of
removal to a strange land, but he was a close
observer of events, and he was so much in S3'-m-
pathy with American ideas and had such strong
faith in the stability of the United States govern-
ment, that in the early days of the Civil war,
when that government was seeking means for
the maintenance of its army and navy, he in-
vested a considerable portion of his means in its
bonds.

In 1868, at the age of eighteen, Herman Si-
mon came to the United States, landing in Bal-
timore, whence he came to New York City.
There he entered the silk department of the
wholesale store of A. T. Stewart & Co., then
the leading merchants of the metropolis, in order
to familiarize himself with the wants of the pub-
lic with reference to silken fabrics. His brother
Robert came two years afterward, and the two
rented a couple of rooms and began the manu-
facture of silk upon a small scale. This was a
period of unremitting industry, activity and en-
terprise. The brothers labored constantly with
their own hands, not only every day but nearly
every night, and often until nearly daybreak.
Their effort found abundant reward. Having
learned the public taste, and turning out no goods
but of exceptional quality, their trade developed
rapidly, and they were enabled to extend their
operations into a broader field, and in 1874, with
some aid afforded them by their father, they es-
tablished the large silk mills at Union Hill. New



434



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



Jersey, and which are still operated by Mr. Si-
mon, furnishing employment to more than one
thousand operatives.

In 1883 Herman Simon came to Easton,
where he founded the large silk mills with which
his name is indissolubly connected, and which
have been developed into one of the most import-
ant manufacturing institutions of the city, and
one of the largest of its class in the world. Ev-
ery improvement in machiner}- and method is
brought into use as soon as its utility is demon-
strated, and elev.n hundred operatives are kept
employed. The product of the mills is of the
finer grades of silk and of the first quality, and is
favorably known in every market reached by
American commerce. A distributing office is
maintained at No. 63 Greene street. New York
City.

Robert Simon, the younger of the brothers,
died in July, 1901, deeply regretted by all who
were brought into intercourse with him. Since
that time the entire conduct of the business has
devolved upon Mr. Herman Simon. In all its
large and diversified affairs he follows the same
thorough course in which he set out, keeping in
close touch with his agents and employes, and
an intimate acquaintance with trade conditions
throughout the world. His relations with those
who are in his employ are peculiarly cordial, and
he enjoys their confidence and esteem in the
highest degree, while the business community
look upon him as one of their most thoroughly
representative members, and one of the most
useful residents of the city in all that pertains
to its commercial and social life.

Mr. Simon i< a member of various leading
social organizations — the Pomfret Club of Eas-
ton, the Art Club and the German Club, both of
New York City, and the German Club of Ho-
boken. New Jersey. In religion, he was reared
in the German Reformed cnurch, but is now an
allendant of the Protestant Episcopal church.
Of kindly and sympathetic disposition, his bene-
factions to benevolent institutions and to deserv-
ing individuals arc many and generous, but he
is so devoid of ostentation that liis good deeds



go unspoken of save by the recipients of his
bounty. He is a man of wide information, has
traveled much, in Europe as well as in the United
States, and his beautiful residence in Easton is
adorned with costly furniture and art treasures,
which he has at various times brought with him
from abroad.

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN
REVOLUTION. The Daughters of the Amer-
ican Revolution of Lehigh county, led by their
Regent, Mrs. Robert Iredell, held the state con-
ference at Allentown, November 16, 1904.

The State Regent, Mrs. W. F. Reeder, of
Bellefonte, on account of the death of her hus-
band, was unable to attend, and the Vice-Regent,
Mrs. Henry C. Pennypacker, presided at the bus-
iness meetings- The date was selected as Military
Day, on which the Liberty Bell Chapter erected a
beautiful bronze tablet on the court house com-
memorating the going of Companies B and D,
Pennsylvania National Guard, to the Spanish-
American War. The address, presentation and
unveiling of the tablet were made by the Regent,
Mrs. Robert Iredell. The response and accept-
ance for the county was made by presiding Judge,
Frank M. Trexler ; and the mayor of Allentown,
Mr. Fred E. Lewis, responded for the city. Gen-
eral J. P. S. Gobin made a stirring address.
Companies B and D of the Fourth Regiment,
Pennsylvania National Guard, Colonel C- T.
O'Neill commanding, with stafl and field officers,
paraded and attended the exercises which took
place in the court house. A large number of
Pennsylvania Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion were present, including the Vice-President-
General of the National Society for Pennsylvania,
and other distinguished women. Mrs. Robert
Iredell, Regent, presided, while Alaycr Lewis was
master of ceremonies. After the exercises the
unveiling took place on the plaza of the court
house. The Regent, surrounded by her chapter
officers, awaited the signal of the regimental
bugler, who gave the salute tc the colors, when
she drew the flag, exposing to view the beautiful
tablet made by the Paul E. Caberet Company of



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



435



New York. Then followed "The Star Spangled
Banner." r\Iany were the congratulations to the
Regent and her chapter.

The morning of the same da\' was taken up
with the opening exercises in Zion Reformed
church, under the floor of which the Liberty Bell
was secreted during the Revolution, while the
British occupied Philadelphia. After an invoca-
tion by the rector. Rev. Dr. Hacker, there was
an address of welcome by the Mayor, Mr. Fred
E- Lewis, and then an address by the Regent,
Mrs. Iredell, followed by solos beautifully sung
by Mrs. Charles D. Shrady and ]\lrs. Robert
James Berger, daughter of the Regent in a most
artistic manner. This was followed by the sing-
ing of "My Country 'Tis of Thee," the audi-
ence joining, which closed the exercises.

The following da}', Thursday, was given up
to the business pertaining to the state affairs of
the Pennsylvania Daughters of the American
Revolution. The same evening a brilliant recep-
tion was given at the residence of the Regent,
Mrs. Robert Iredell, to the visiting Daughters
and about one hundred other guests. On Friday
morning, November i8th, a business session was
called which adjourned at twelve o'clock. The
whole conference then assembled at two o'clock
to go to Bethlehem, where a reception was given
the visiting Daughters at the old Sun Inn, after
visiting the historical spots. This ended the
eighth annual conference of the Daughters of
Pennsylvania.

At the closing session, the following resolu-
tions were unanimously adopted:

The Pennsylvania Daughters of the American
Revolution are indebted to the Liberty Bell Chap-
ter for a delightful week of exceptional interest.
From the opening exercises in the beautiful
church built on hallowed ground to the final visit
to historic Bethlehem, will be a pleasant memory
to the fortunate attendants to the eighth confer-
ence. We desire to thank the Liberty Bell Chap-
ter for giving us the privilege of listening to the
eloquent words cf Judge Trexler and General
Gobin, which filled us with fresh enthusiasm, and
we congratulate the Chapter on the splendid work
it hns accomplished.

To the Regent, ^Irs. Robert Iredell, we



especially extend our thanks for her interesting
and instructive addresses, as well as for her de-
Lghtful hospitality extended to visiting Daugh-
ters. We thank the city of Allentown, which has
so warmly welcomed us through the gracious
words of its mayor, Mr. Fred E. Lewis. We
would express our sincere appreciation to the



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 77 of 92)