Morton L. (Morton Luther) Montgomery.

Historical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. online

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Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 100 of 227)
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hamim-er's Cafe, at No. 13 North Eighth street, and engaged
in the hotel and restaurant business very successfully for
nineteen years, becoming as well and as favorably known
in his line as his father. He finally sold out to a Mr.
Harner in order to devote himself to another enterprise,
the manufacture of cigars. On March 21, 1904, he com-
menced this business in the old Rainbow fire house, No. 23
North Eighth street, where he conducted a thriving estab-
lishment in partnership with Charles E. Nagle and Hiester
C. Nagle, the firm being known as the N. & N. Cigar
Company, until Jan. 1, 1909, when he purchased his part-
ners' interest and is now the sole owner of the business.
Employment is given to twenty-five skilled workmen, and
only high grade products are made, a few of the brands
being the "Triple N.," which is in both five and ten-cent
varieties, the "Jerry Murphy" and "Honor Bound," both
five-cent brands, the "Major N.," a ten-cent product, the
"N. B.," and the "J. G. N.," both fifteen-cent cigars, and
the "Hoya-Uneva," a twenty-five cent cigar. The local
trade is large and steady and there is also an extensive
out-of-town business. Besides his manufacturing interests,
Mr. Niethammer has a retail cigar store at No. 17 North
Eighth street, and in connection therewith has six bowling
alleys, three pool tables and a billiard table. He put up
the building in which this establishment is located, a four-
story structure, in April, 1904. Mr. Niethammer's energy
and progressive spirit have won him a standing among
the substantial business men of the city, and he enjoys the
confidence and respect of his associates wherever he is
known.

On April 16, 1885, Mr. Niethammer married Eleanora
Loewen, and their hom.e is at No'. 45 South Eighth street.
Mr. Niethammer devotes his time and attention to busi-
ness chiefly, but he has served fifteen years as treasurer
of the Rainbow Fire Company, in whose welfare he is
much interested. INIr. Niethammer has been the owner of
some very fine horses, and at one time owned the famous
"Major N.," widely known and a great favorite through-
out this circuit.

CALEB WEIDNER, city clerk of Reading and one of
the prominent workers in the Democratic party, was born
in Exeter township, Berks county, Nov. 11, 1869, son of
George D. and Susan (Clark) Weidner, and member of
an early settled family of the county.

Peter Weidner, great-grandfather of Caleb, was born in
Oley township, Berks county, April 13, 1759, and he died
at the Falls of the Schuylkill, where he had conducted a
ferry for many years, March 30, 1822, at the age of sixty-
two years, eleven months and twelve days. His wife,
Susan Leveriiig in her maidenhood, was born Nov. 23, 1757,
and she died Oct. 17, 1845, in the eighty-seventh year of
her age. Their children were : Henry, born Aug. 30, 1781,
died Feb. 5. 1846 ; Charles, born Sept. 11, 17S:i : Elizabeth,
born Aug. 6, 1785, died .Aug. 14, 1785 ; Peter, born Sept.
4, 1786. died June 18, 178S ; Peter (2), born Feb. 6, 1789;
John, born June 22. 1791 ; ^Margaret, born Feb. 17, 1794 ;
Elizabeth (2), born July 26, 1796, died April 25, 1822;
Susan, born Jan. 26, 1799, died Dec. IS, 1800; Susan (2),
born Oct. 25, 1801; and Catharine, born Oct. 28, 1803.

Peter Weidner, son of Peter, born at the Falls of the
Schuylkill Feb. 6, 3 789, learned the cooper's trade in his
youth, and followed it all his life. In 1833 he came with
his family from Ro.-choro to Stonctovvn, and he died at
the latter place June 21. 1S7S, in the ninetieth year of his
age. He was twice married. By his first wife he had
lliree suns: Charles, wlio died at Bird^boro; Malcolm, who



died at Philadelphia; and John, who died at Stonetown.
For his second wife Peter Weidner married Elizabeth
Good, who died in March, 1884, at the age of seventy-four
years. Their children were : Jane, m. to William Sher-
man; Susan, m. to Thomas Wolf; Mary, m. to Caleb B.
Ruth; Margaret, m. to George Hart; Peter, who died
young; and George D., mentioned below.

George D. Weidner, son of Peter and Elizabeth, was
born at Stonersville, in Exeter township, Sept. 23, 1844.
In his young manhood he learned telegraphy, and for
many years he was station agent at Exeter, now Lorane.
During the Civil war he evinced his patriotism by enlist-
ing in Company K, 151st Pa. V. L, and was assigned to
the Army of the Potomac. He participated in the battles
of Antietam and Gettysburg, and was severely wounded
at the latter. He was for some time in the hospital at
Harrisburg, and after his release and partial recovery he
came to Reading and learned the cigar maker's trade. This
he was obliged to abandon on account of his health, and
he then worked at the Signal tower near Exeter until 1865.
The next year he timed the trains at Quinter's Bridge, and
continued there until 1868. From 1868 until 1872 he was
operator at Exeter station, and in the latter year he pur-
chased the store and hotel property at Exeter, and these
he successfully conducted until 1883. The next two years
were spent in Wayne township. Schuylkill county, where
he owned a valuable farm which he cultivated. , His wife
and family then removed to Reading, and there the family
home has since been maintained. Since locating in Read-
ing Mr. Weidner has worked at different vocations, for
several years being in the employ of the railroad. Mr.
Weidner married Miss Susan Clark, who was born April
1, 1848, daughter of William and Susan (Hiester) Clark.
Eight children — six sons and two daughters — blessed this
union: Miss Mary; Kate, m. to Frederick Weidenhatmner,
of Reading; Caleb; George, m. to Laura Weidner, daugh-
ter of Henry Weidner. of Reading; Harry, of Reading;
William, m. to Ella IMorris, and engaged as a barber in
Reading; Winfield S., of Reading; and Walter, a well
known showman who has traveled all over the United
States.

Caleb Weidner, son of George D., attended school
in the township and later in Schujdkill county. He
early started out for himself, working upon the farm in
Schuylkill county. On Dec. 2, 1884, he accompanied his
mother to Reading, and this has since been his home. He
has been the main support of his mother since before he
was eleven years of age. His first emploiTnent in this
city was with the Reading Hardware Company, with whom
he remained for two years. He then learned the hatter's
trade with John H. Hendel, and this he followed from
1886 to 1903. On May 1, 1903, he became registry clerk
to Elmer H. Beard, in the city engineer's office at the city
hall. After four years of efficient service with the city
engineer he was elected by the council to the office of city
clerk of Reading, on .March 11, 1907, and in .A.pril fol-
lowing assumed the duties of that office.

Ivlr. Weidner is one of the leading men at the city
hall, and wields a powerful influence in local politics. He
has always been a Democrat, and has been a worker for
his party since he was nineteen. He has frequently been
a delegate to county conventions, and in 1906 was a dele-
gate to the State Convention. His first political office was
election inspector of the 2d precinct of the Tenth ward.
Since lOou he has been a member of the Citv Democratic
executive committee, and is vice president of same. The
future looks most promising to him. He has kept himself
upright and honorable, keeping his promises and fulfilling
his obligations, and he has won the respect of men in all
parties.

Mr. \\'ei(lner was instrumental in the reorganization of
the Wool Hatters' Union of Reading, which is a chartered
institution, Of this he was president from 1892 to 1904.
Tn 1 S'l:! he was Jectcd national vice president, and was presi-
dent, for s number of years, of the International Hatters
Union of North .-Vmerica, after having been twice sent
as delegate to that convention by the local association
which he placed on so high a standard. He is a mem-



BIOGRAPHICAL



395



ber of many organizations, among them being: Lodge No.
549, F. & A. M., Reading; Reading Chapter, No. 152; Allen
Council, No. 23, R. & S. M., Allentown; De Molay Com-
mandery, No. 9; Rajah Temple, Mystic Shrine; Reading
Aerie No. 66, Fraternal Order of Eagles, of which he
is treasurer; Freedom Circle No. 7, Brotherhood of Am-
erica; and he is an active member, stock holder and vice
president of the Eagles Mountain Home Association. He
also belongs to Washington Fire Company No. 2, of which
he was trustee for six terms. He is likewise connected
with a number of social clubs. In his religious faith he
is a member of the First Reformed Church. He is well
read, progressive and intelligent, and has hosts of warm
friends. He is a great comfort to his venerable mother,
with whom he resides at No. 253 South Tenth street,
Reading.

WEIDNER. The ancestor of the Weidner family in
Berks county was. (I) Adam Weidner, who settled in Oley
township prior to 1744, in which year he bought a con-
siderable tract of land from Benjamin Lee, a part of
which, located in the vicinity of Pleasahtville, is now the
property of Philip D. Hoch. He had three sons, (H)
Tychicus, Lazarus and David, whom, tradition says, were
born in Wurtemberg, Germany. They, too, came to Penn-
sylvania, and Tychicus Weidner, who is also called
"Dietrich" Weidner, and his brother Lazarus had settled
in Oley township before 1744. In 1759 "Dehecus" Weidner
paid a federal tax of 17 pounds in Oley. He died in 1798,
the year in which his will was probated. He was a large
land owner, and at his death left a large estate, which he
divided equitably among his children, who were eleven in
number and named as follows : Jacob, John, Hannah,
Catharine, Esther, Susanna, Mary, Peter, Jonathan, Chris-
tian and Daniel. The eldest daughter, Hannah, was never
married. She was bequested with a house, so much flax
every year, and the walnut wash props.

In 1788 (II) Tychicus Weidner sold a tract of land
located in Amity township, this county, to his eldest son,
Jacob, and to the same son he soldi another tract, of 200
acres, situated in Oley township (being a part of a tract of
404 acres), in the year 1791.

(III) Jacob Weidner, eldest son of Tychicus, was first
married to Elizabeth Price, and they became the parents
of the following children: Peter, who settled at the Falls
of the Schuylkill; Daniel, who died aged twenty years;
David; Jacob, m. to Hannah Yoder (they had Benneville
and Mary) ; Hannah, m. to Daniel Brown, of Pricetown,
Berks county (she lived to the great age of ninety-eight
years) ; a daughter m. to David Yoder, moving with him
to New York State ; and William.

(IV) William Weidner, son of Jacob, married Susanna
Yoder. They were farming people and lived in Oley
township. Their nine children were : Jacob ; Daniel, who
moved to Northumberland county. Pa., and later settled
in Ohio; William, m. to Catharine Beam; Reuben, m. to
Mary Beam; George, m. to Theresa Berndt; Rachel, m.
to William Dilaplain; Amanda, m. to, Reuben Dry; Leah,
m. to Israel Keim (they settled in the vicinity of Milton,
Pa.) ; and Polly, m. to David Weidner.

(V) Jacob Weidner, eldest son of William, was born
in Oley, and during his earlier manhood followed farming,
also conducting a wheelwright shop above Pleasantville
until 1855, when he moved to Reading. There he was a
car builder for Johnston & Shaaber. He married Mary Ann
Weidner, a daughter of David Weidner, of Friedensburg,
Pa., and they had the following named children : Augustus,
who died young; Jacob, who died young; James, who was
killed in battle in the Civil war ; Gideon ; Daniel W. ;
Malinda'.

(VI) Gideon Weidner was born in 1842, son of Jacob,
was a shoemaker in Reading all his life, and he died
in 1906. His wife was Esther Graul, and to them were
born two children : James L. and Annie, the latter the wife
of Samuel Kridler, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

(VII) James L. Weidner, son of Gideon, was born in
Reading Aug. 8, 1865, and still makes his home in that
city. He is , engaged as a brick maker during the warm



weather and as a shoemaker in the wintertime. In 1889 he
married Mary Monroe, and to them have been born two
children, Annie and Charles.



(VI) Daniel W. Weidner, brother of Gideon, was born
Oct. 12, 1844. When seventeen years old he commenced
to learn shoemaking, and has ever since followed that
trade, having his shop and home at No. 231 South Tenth
street, Reading. He is active in religious work and identi-
fied with independent church activities as a member of the
Gospel Tabernacle in Reading. In 1866 Mr. Weidner
m. Sallie Price, by whom he has two children': Harry J.,
a shoemaker of Reading; and Annie, m. to Jeremiah Auge,
of Reading.

(V) Reuben Weidner (son of William, son of Jacob,
son of Tychicus) was born in 1832 and died in 1889. He
m. Mary Beam, and had a family of five children; Annie
m. Alvin Levan; Elias m. Amanda Cleaver; Helen ^n.
Chester B. Cleaver; William m. Hannah George; Amanda
m. Charles Holt.



After the death of (III) Jacob Weidner (eldest son of
Tychicus) his widow Elizabeth, nee Price, remarried, her
second husband being Peter Weidner, a younger brother of
■ her first. Peter Weidner was born in 1774 and died in 1838,
in his sixty-fifth year. His widow survived a number of
years, dying July 4, 1857, in the eighty-eighth year of her
age. He was a farmer, and owned a large tract of land
in Pike township, this county. To Peter and Elizabeth
Weidner were born two children, viz. : John P. and Mary.
The daughter, who was the youngest, m. Daniel Weidner,
and they settled at Milton, Pa., where they both died.

(IV) John P. Weidner (son of Peter, son of Tychicus)
was born in Pike township, Berks county, April 13, 1812,
and died March 7, 1885, in his seventy-third year. He was
a weaver and farmer by occupation. By his wife, Eliza-
beth Reppert, he had a family of ten children, namely:
William R., Jonathan, Sarah, John R., Eliza, Kate, Leanda,
Caroline, Mary and Peter.

(V) William R. Weidner, son of John P., was born in
Pike township, Nov. 27, 1837, and is a farmer by occupa-
tion. He has lived successively in Oley, Ruscombmanor,
Alsace and Exeter townships, having made his home
continuously on one farm in Exeter from 1881 to the
present time. In 1884 he married Emma Himmelreich, by
whom he had these children: Seth, Amanda, Emma, Wil-
liam, Katie, John and Daniel (twins) and Thomas.

(V) John R. Weidner, brother of William R., was born
in Pike township, Oct. 12, 1842, and lived upon the farm in
that township until 1866, in which year he moved to Read-
ing, where he has lived ever since. He is a boss carpenter,
and has for niany years been engaged in the building and
contracting business. In 1867 he was married to Hattie
Brown, by whom he had one child, Clara, and in 1880 he
was married to Elva F. Weber. Nine children have been
born to the second union, namely: Nora, Howard, Flor-
.ence, Bessie, Almeretta, John, Benjamin, Minerva and Edgar.

(III) Jonathan Weidner, one of the sons of Tychicus, of
Oley, was born there in 1766, and died in 1838, in his
seventy-third year. He lived on a farm near Pricetown,
in Ruscombmanor township. He m. Bevvy Gambler, and
their family consisted of three children : Abraham, who
lived in Alsace township, m. Katie Beck, and they had two
daughters. Bevvy and Amelia; Bevvy m. John Focht ; Jon-
athan was born in 1805 and died in 1861.

(IV) Jonathan Weidner, son of Jonathan, was born in
1805, and died in 1861. He had a family of three children :
Augustus, who is mentioned presently; Maberry, of Allen-
town, Pa.; and Sarah, m. to Elias Becker.

(V) Augustus Weidner, eldest son of Jonathan, was
born Aug. 14, 1838, is a huckster and farmer by calling,
and lives near Pricetown. He m. Maria Diehl, and they
have had children as follows: Katie m. Harry Fritz;
Hiannah mi. Howard Hartman ; Olivia (deceased) m.
Oscar Bush; Anna M. m. Howard Homan; Edwin m,
Nora Ballard; Augustus m. Lizzie Kern; Irwin m. Louisa
Everhart; John died in childhood.



396



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



(II) Lazarus Weidner, son of Adam the emigrant an-
cestor, settled in Oley township, where he and his brother
Tychicus owned adjoining estates. These lands were sep-
arated by a lane which has since become a public road.
In 1759 Lazarus Weidner paid a federal tax of 18 pounds.

His will was probated in 1803, the executors being his
son Jacob and his sons-in-law George Yoder and Jacob
Preiss. An item of the will was to the effect that Eliza-
beth, a daughter of John Lobach, was to have 15 pounds in
money. The following children were mentioned in the
will: Abraham; Catharine Seisholtz ; Elizabeth m. Jacob
Preiss; Mary m. George Yoder; Jacob; Daniel; Isaac;
David, and John,

(III) Jacob Weidner, son of Lazarus, obtained the
homestead in Oley, and he is buried there in a private cem-
etery on the farm. His wife, Veronica, died in 1865. They
had three children: Catharine, born March 29, 1823, m.
Isaac Reiff; Caroline m. Jacob Keim; John m. Sarah Ang-
stadt, and they had two children, Samuel and George.
The son, John, came into possession of his father's home-
stead, which he cultivated.

Samuel Weidner (who had a brother Benjamin) was a
farmer in Pike township, where he died in 1876. His wife
was Catharine Gauger, and they had the following chil-
dren: William G. came into possession of the homestead;
Samuel G. m. Hannah Yoder; John G. obtained part of
the homestead ; Catharine m. Thomas Weidner ; Rachel
m. Samuel G. Ruppert; Sarah ni. (first) Henry Adam and
(second) Henry Miller; Anna ra. David Fry; Caroline m.
Israel Leinbach. Both of the parents died at South Beth-
lehem, Pa., in December, 1906, at about the same time,
and they were buried the same day in one grave.

PANNEBECKER-PENNYPACKER. Few families
have contributed to the State of Pennsylvania as many
men of sound judgment, wisdom and unselfish partiotism
as that founded in America by Hendrick Pannebecker, who
was born on or about March 21, 1674. He came to Amer-
ica from Flomborn, a village on the River Rhine, near
Worms. There is a reference to him in an account book
of Pastorious, on the 3d of 1st month, 1703. Abotit 1699
he married Eve Umstat, daughter of Hans Peter Umstat,
of Germantown. They had eight children : Martha, 1706-
1761; Adolph, 1708-1789; Peter, 1710-5 770; John, 1713-1784
(was prominent in the early days of the Revolution);
Jacob, 1715-1752; Henry, 1717-1792; Barbara; and one oth-
er daughter who married a Keyser.

Peter Pannebecker, son of the emigrant Hendrick, mar-
ried Elizabeth Keyser, and they became the parents of a
son William.

William Pennebecker, son of Peter and Elizabeth, was
born Aug. 26, 1740, and he married Mary Hause. They
had a son Jesse.

Jesse Pennebecker, son of William and Mary, was born
Feb. 1, ]7S3. He was a farmer near Keely's Church,
Schwenkville, and is buried in the cemetery there. He
married (first) Salome Berkey, and among their children
were: Jesse B.. born in 1820; Amos; and two daughters.
His second wife was a Livengood, and to this marriage
were horn : JNIoses and Elias.

Jesse B. Pannepacker, son of Jesse, was born at
Schwenkville, Montgomery Co., Pa.. Sept. 23, 1830 ;
he died at his home in Colebrookdale township, Berks
county, April 23, 1885, and his remains rest at Fairview
cemetery, Boyertown. He was a blacksmith by trade, and
for ten years worked in his shop at Eshbach. He then
spent eight years in farming at the same place, after
which he located in Colebrookdale township, where he
had a farm of thirt3r-eight acres, and this he cultivated
from that time on until his retirement. He added twenty-
eight acres to his original tract. His industry and good
management brought him success, and about eleven years
before he died he was able to retire and to pass his last
years in the enjoyment of the competency he had earned.
As a public-spirited citizen, he was in the' front rank. His
political principles were those of the Republican party
and he ably filled the offices of school director and tax



collector. Like all his family he belonged to St. John's
Lutheran Church at Boyertown, and he at various times
held all the offices in the gift of the Church. He is buried
in the family lot in Fairview cemetery. He married (first)
Mary Bechtel, born Oct. 23, 1821, daughter of Gehart (or
Gerhart) Bechtel and wife (whose maiden name was Erd-
man). Both Gehart Bechtel and wife are buried in the
Mennonite graveyard at Bally. Airs. Mary (Bechtel)
Pannepacker died Feb. 11, 1878. The only child born to
Jesse B. and Mary (Bechtel) Pannepacker was Amos B.
Jesse B. Pannepacker married (second) Esther Krause
(1819-1905.)

Amos B. Pannepacker, son of Jesse B., was born at Esh-
bach Corner, in Washington township, Berks county, Oct.
26, 1843. He attended the old pay school held in a spring-
house at Eshbach, on the John Reidenauer farm. The
teachers were a Mr. Siegenfuse and Mr. John TroUinger.
Later he attended a public school. He gave his services
to his parents on the home farm until he attained his
majority, and continued working for his father after that
time until he was twenty-eight. After his marriage he
began farming for himself in Colebrookdale township, two
miles from Boyertown, on one of his father's farms. This
continued to be his home until 1882, when he rented the
farm of seventy-five acres. The farm on which he now
lives he purchased in 1894. It consists of 110 acres of
fertile land, and is improved with substantial buildings,
part of which Mr. Pannepacker himself erected. He is
one of the heavy taxpayers of the township. Besides his
farm he is interested in the Clayton Creamery, and is
president of the Clayton Creamery Association. This
Creamery averages about five thousand pounds of milk
daily the year round. He is also interested in the Boyer-
town Candy Company, and in a number of different enter-
prises.

Mr. Pannepacker has been active in local matters as a
strong Republican, and for two years he served the town-
ship as supervisor. He was township committeeman for a
number of years and was delegate to a number of county
conventions. He is a member of Christ Lutheran Church,
at Niantic, which he has served as deacon and elder, and
at the present time is serving as trustee. His wife belongs
to the New Mennonite Church at Bally.

On Dec. 34, 1870, Mr. Pannepacker married Annie
Clemmer, daughter of John and Susan (Bauer) Clemmer,
of Washington township. To this union was born a daugh-
ter, Annie, who is now the wife of Ulysses C. Moyer, the
farmer on Mr. Pannepacker's farm. They have had two
children : Amos H., who died aged two and one-half vears ;
and Rosa.



On Oct. 4, 1877, the anniversary of the battle of German-
town, was held a re-union of the descendants of Hendrick
Pannebecker. The site selected was the camp ground oc-
cupied by Washington and the Revolutionarv armv at
"Pennypacker's Mills," on the Perkiomen creek. "The
program on that occasion included an oration bv Samuel
W. Pennypacker, since Governor of the Commonwealth; a
hymn, written by Isaac R. Pennypacker, and adapted to
Mennonite music, commemorative of Leonard Kej'ser, a
Mennonite martyr, who was one of the forefathers of
the family, to be sung to illustrate the first epoch; the
ballad of Washington at Pennypacker's Mills, written by
Theodore Winthrop in his novel "Edwin Brothertoft" to
be read or sung as an illustration of the Revolutionary
epoch ; and "Gen. Pennypacker's March," by Pierre Latour,
to be played for the present epoch.

The story of Leonard Keyser as given hy Van Braght
is as follows : "In the year 1537 was the learned and good
Leonard Keyser taken and condemned to be burned. As
he neared the fire, bound in a cart, he broke off a flower
that grew in the field and said to the judges, for thev
rode along with him, 'If ye can burn this little flower and
me, then have ye judged aright; if not, take heed and re-
pent.' Thrice the great fagots were heaped around him
at the stake and kindled. Nevertheless when they had
burned away, his body was found unmarked save that his
hair was singed and his nails wore a little brown. Like-



BIOGRAPHICAL



397



^wise the little flower yet lay in his hand unchanged. There-
upon, the sheriffs cut his body into pieces and cast them
into the Inn. But a judge was so moved thereat that he
yielded up his office, and one of the sheriffs became a
Mennonite brother and ever thereafter lived a pious life."

HYMN.

When Leonard Keyser heard the cries

Of grief for martyred dead,
And saw the place of sacrifice

Whereto his pathway led.
He pleaded not, with useless prayer



Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 100 of 227)