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

. (page 103 of 227)
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 103 of 227)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

settlements and formation of the townships, and the de-
velopment of all the districts of the county, he determined
to publish the "History of Berks County." In the course
of his investigations he contributed a number of historical
articles to the press, and in 1883 published the "Political
Hand-Book of Berks County, Pa." In 1884, he issued a
prospectus, announcing his proposed publication of the
"History of Reading," but finding soon afterward, In the
course of his undertaking, that the practice of law and the
labors of an author and publisher could not be conducted
together successfully, he entered into a contract with
Messrs. Everts, Peck & Richards, publishers of histories,
etc., at Philadelphia, for the publication of the "History
of Berks County" in one large octavo volume, to comprise
all the history of the entire county, and thereby conclude
his undertaking more speedily and satisfactorily, and the
publishers named issued the work (comprising 1,200 pages)
in 1886. The labor of Mr. Montgomery in behalf of that
history was necessarily arduous during a period of ten
years, he having carried on his investigations and re-
searches without any assistance, visited many places, trav-
eled throughout the county repeatedly, and examined
county records, newspaper files, and libraries here and
elsewhere, besides looking after his increasing legal prac-

In 1889, Mr. Montgomery published a "School History
of Berks County" (pp. 300) for use in the local schools,
and the book having received the indorsement of the lead-
ing educators in the county, it was adopted and introduced
in all the districts. At a number of county institutes, it
was earnestly recommended. It was the first book of the
kind published in the United States, and Mr. Montgomery
received much commendation from prominent educators
and school journals in all parts of the country for his
enterprise and zeal in behalf of encouraging the study of
local history in connection with national and general

Shortly after this school history had made its appear-
ance, he began to deliver lectures on the "Life and Times
of Conrad Weiser, the First Representative Man of Berks
County," and on the "Revolutionary Heroes of Berks
County," in all parts of the county before local teachers'
institutes at the request of the county superintendents, and
he continued these lectures successfully until 1893, when,
under the auspices of the Reading Board of Trade, he
published the former in a pamphlet of 40 pages, and 3,500
copies of this pamphlet were distributed gratuitously among
all the schools of the city and county for the purpose of
securing a suitable memorial to Conrad Weiser.

In 1894, he published a volume of 300 pages, entitled
"Berks County in the, Revolution," and this was also the
first book of the kind issued to show what a participating
county in the Revolution had done in behalf of independent
representative government. These three publications are
in the leading libraries of the country from Boston to San
Francisco, which evidences their popularity. About this
time, he also compiled the "Centennial History of Lodge
No. 62, F. & A. M.," a volume of 250 pages, which was
presented by the Lodge to the members as a suitable me-
mento of the occasion.

In 1898, the Sesqui-Centennial of the founding of Read-
ing was properly celebrated under the auspices of the
Board, of Trade, and the executive committee having em-
ployed Mr. Montgomery to compile and publish a suitable
book in commemoration of the event, he issued a superior
volume of 300 pages, which was highly appreciated for
its conciseness and comprehensiveness.

After the lapse of more than twenty years, numerous
persons, who appreciated the necessity of having the his-
tory of the county published again, embracing all the im-
portant local events which have occurred since, suggested
to Mr. Montgomery that he should revise his "History of
Berks County." Agreeing that such a revised history

would be acceptable to the public, he accordingly made the
arrangements with Messrs. J. H. Beers & Co., publishers
of histories, at Chicago, 111., for its compilation under the
title "Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks
County," and this large and comprehensive work is the
result of his labor in that behalf.

Mr. Montgomery's father, John Leonard Montgomery,
was born in 'Northumberland county, near Sunbury, in
1812, and moved to Reading in 1841, where he was en-
gaged in the hardware business for twenty-five years, and
then in the flour business for a number of years, after
which he lived in retirement, until his decease, in 1880..
He was married to Catharine Rush, of Reading (daughter
of Philip Rush), by whom he had five children: Jonas-
(married to Mary Renninger) ; Morton Luther; Mary Eliz-
abeth; Sarah, and John, the last two dying in early girl-
hood and youth, respectively.

His mother's father; Philip Rush; born a;t Reading in
1784, learned the trade of weaver, which he followed until
1861. He was enlisted in the War of 1812-15 and served
as fife-major of the 1st Regiment, in the 2d Brigade of
Pennsylvania Volunteers. He died in 1871. He was mar-
ried to Barbara Spohn (daughter of Capt. John Spohn,
who raised at Reading the second company of volunteers
in the Revolution, which was engaged in active service,
more especially at the Battle of Long Island, on Aug. 27,
1776). She died in 1853, aged sixty-seven years. They
had three sons and four daughters, including Catharine,
above-named. Before 1800, the Spohn family was inter-
related ty marriage with all the prominent families of
Cumru, Heidelberg and Robeson townships.

His mother's ancestors on the father's side were resi-
dents of Reading from the founding of the town in 1751.
Her great-grandfather, Michael Rosch, was born at Rem-
mingsheim, in Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1703. He was a
carpenter by trade, which he followed until 1751, when he
emigrated to Pennsylvania from Rotterdam, on the ship
"Duke of Wurtemberg," having qualified Oct. 16th.
He was accompanied by his wife, two sons (Michael and
Stephen) and four daughters. Immediately after landing
at Philadelphia, he proceeded to Reading, and there pur-
chased a lot (No. 189, on south side of Penn street, below
Tenth) which he improved by the erection of a dwelling-
house under the conditions of purchase, and obtained his
patent in 1753. He lived on these premises until he died in
1796. In 1767 he also secured by patent the adjoining lot
on the corner (No. 192). His wife was Catharine Fischer,
daughter of John Fischer, of Remmingsheim. She died
at Reading in 1775, aged seventy-one years. Their six
children survived them. He and his descendants have been
members of Trinity Lutheran Church at Reading since its
establishment in 1751.

Her grandfather was the second son, Stephen Rosch.
He was born in 1740 at Remmingsheim. He learned the
trade of cooper at Reading, which he followed until his
decease in 1816. In his last will, dated 1815, he still signed
his name Rosch, in German. In 1770 he married Magda-
lena Gittelman, daughter of John Gittelman, who lived in
Berks county beyond the Blue Mountains and was there
engaged in farming. She died in 1826, aged seventy-eight
years. They had three sons (Stephen, John and Philip)
and two daughters.

Mr. Montgomery married Florence Baugh Bush, daugh-
ter of Dr. Andrew Bush and his wife, Mary Price Baugh,
of East Coventry, in Chester county, and they have a
daughter, Florence Baugh, married to Joshua Brooke Les-
sig, banker and iron manufacturer of Pottstown, Penn-

Dr. Bush was born at Philadelphia in 1805, studied med-
icine and was graduated from the University of Pennsyl-
vania in 1832. After traveling through the Southern States
for a year, he began an introductory practice of medicine
at Philadelphia, and continued in that place until the death
of his father in 1836, when he located in East Coventry
township, Chester county, and there carried on an active
practice for twenty-five years. He then directed his
attention to the cultivation of certain choice fruits in
connection with farming until his decease in 1874. He



was an accomplished linguist, speaking the German, French,
Spanish and Italian languages, and was also a fine Greek
and Latin scholar, keeping up his interest in these lan-
guages until he died.

Dr. Bush's father, Andrew Daniel Michael Busch, was
born in 1763 at Wesel, in Rhenish Prussia, near Duessel-
dorf, and was thoroughly educated in the University of
Berlin. After his graduation he emigrated to Pennsyl-
vania, locating at Philadelphia, where he became exten-
sively engaged in the wholesale shoe business, and he
followed this business successfully for many years. For a
considerable period, before and after 1800, his philan-
thropic spirit in behalf of immigrating Germans, who
landed at Philadelphia, gave him much distinction. He
died in 18.36. Dr. Bush was his only child.

Dr. Bush's wife, Mary Price Baugh, was a lineal des-
cendant of John Sebastian Bach, of Eisenach, in Upper
Saxony, born 168.5, and died 1730 ; whose son John, born
at the same place in 1740, emigrated to Pennsylvania and
located in East Coventry township, Chester county, where
he was engaged in farming until his decease in 1819. His
grandson, also named John Baugh ( the father of Dr.
Bush's wife), was born in 177.5 in the township named,
became the largest proprietor of farms in that section of
the county, and died in 1841. He married Mary Price, a
lineal descendant of Rev. Jacob Preisz, who emigrated to
Pennsylvania in 1710.

MILTON PI. De long, a member of the furniture and
undertaking iirm of T. & M. H. De Long, at Topton, died
at his home in that town Feb. 20, 1893, at the age of
forty-seven years, one of the most highly esteemed and
substantial citizens of his community. Pie was born m
Rockland towMiship, Sept. C, 1843, son of David D. and
Catherine (Haas) De Long.

David De Long, though born in Upper Macungie town-
ship, Lehigh county, passed the greater part of his life in
Longswamp township, Berks county, where he followed
the trade of weaver, buying and selling carpets, and he
also engaged in farming. He was frugal and industrious,
and became a man of considerable property. By his wife,
Catherine Haas, who was born in Longswamp township,
he became the father of Ihe following family: (1) David
died at the age of twenty-eight years. (:2) Plenry, born
Dec. 18. 18.38, clerked in a store at Hancock ; he m.
Adeline Fenstermacher. (3) jMilton H. is mentioned below.
(4) Tilghman, former partner of Milton PL, is in the
furniture business at Topton ; he m. Angeline Fenster-
macher. (5) Alvin H., a hotel proprietor in Longswamp
township, m. Catherine Zondt. (6) Sally Ann died aged
two years. The father died Sept. 6, 1893, and the mother
Nov. 28, 1S77.

Milton H. De Long was given an excellent education,
completing his literary training in Collegeville Seminary.
His first venture into the mercantile world was when he
and Jacob Stcininger had a store in partnership at
Bowers Station. He next was for a number of years em-
ployed as a clerk in the marble yard of Schwcyer & Leiss,
at Bower's Station. From there he went to Bridgeport,
where he was similarly employed for a year and a half.
Returning to Topton he and his brother Tilghman opened
the furniture and undertaking business in wliich thev were
successfully engaged when Milton H. died. He had "a high
reputation for honesty and integrity, and in his private
life as well as in the business world so ordered his ac-
tions that at his death it could be truthfullv said that
"No better man lived in Topton."

Mr. De Long was twice married. On Sept. 25, 1869,
he wedded Catherine Kaiser, of Longswamp township.
The only child of this union died in infancy, and Mrs.
De Long passed away Dec. 6, 1.S7I. On March 31, 1878,
Mr. De Long married Louisa E. Knoske. who was born in
Reading, iSlarch 2, 1838, daughter of Capt. Edward and
Catherine (Bower) Knoske. To this union was born a
daughter. Katie Elda. April 26, iss.'. who graduated from
the Keystone State Normal School, Kutztown, in 1900, and
taught school one term at Morgantown and two terms at
Leesport, and who married, Sept. 15, 1903, Dr. Oscar F.

Kunkel, of Albany, and has two children, Alton De Long
and Lester De Long. At the time of his death Milton
H. De Long was serving as director of the poor, having
been elected to that office only a few months prior to
his decease. He was also serving the borough of Topton
as president of the school board.

Knoske. The Knoske family, to which Mrs. Milton H.
De Long belongs, had its early home in Germany. Johann
rleim-ich Knoske was born at Herrenstadt, near Breslau,
Prussia. He married Rosina Trautschen, and both died
in their native land strong in the faith of Luther.

Rev. Johann Knoske, son of Johann Heinrich and
Rosina, was born at Herrenstadt, June 24, 1779. _ He came
to America when a boy, and settled in Schuylkill county,
Pa, He was twice married. His first wife was Anna Plate,
daughter of Heinrich Plate, and their marriage took place
in 1803, and her death a year and eight months later. He
married (second) July 1, 1806, Elizabeth Koch, daughter
of William and Margaret (Neuf anger) Koch, of Schuyl-
kill county, and their married life covered a period of more
than half a centurv. He died Sept. 24, 1859, and his wife,
Elizabeth, born Sept. 1, 1782, died Feb. 16, 1868. They
had a family of four sons and five daughters, namely :
Wilhelmina m. David Hottenstine: Louisa m. John Trago;
Elizabeth m. Benjamin Miller; Maria m. Skiles Trago,"
William; Capt. Edward; Charles; and two died young.
Mr. Knoske made his home in Kutztown from ISll to
1856, in the latter year locating in Reading where he was
living at the time of his death. He was an eloquent min-
ister of the Gospel, and did much for the spread of Chris-
tianity in his section.

Capt. Edward Knoske, son of Rev. Johann, was a well-
known citizen of Berks county and an honored veteran
of the Civil war. He was born in Kutztown, and there
learned the tanner's trade. For some time he clerked in
a store in Reading, and then located at Bower's Station in
Maxatawny township. While there he brought the first
car load of hard coal ever shipped to that town. He was
prominent at the time of the Civil war, being a lieutenant
in the Ringgold Light .Artillery (to which he belonged for
nine years), his commission being dated Feb. 22, 1861. On
May 9, ISCl, he enlisted for two years in Company D, 4th
N. Y. V. I., and "was discharged ?ilav 5, 1863. He re-en-
listed in December, 1863, at New York, as a private to
serve three years in Company G, 5th N. Y. V. Artillery,
and was transferred to Company A, Jan. 6, 1864. tie was
promoted to corporal Jan. 27, 1864, sergeant major July
10, 1854, and discharged Feb. 18, 1865, to accept the sec-
ond lieutenancy. He was made captain :\Jav 25, 1865, at
Harper's Ferry, Va. At the battle of Antietam a bullet
passed through his hat, and grazed his skull, necessitating
his removal to a hospital. The hat is still in the posses-
sion of the family at Bowers. He married Catherine
Bower, daughter of Jonas Bower, and she still resides
at the homestead at Bowers Station. He died Sept. 11,
1896. Their children were: J. Charles, of Baltimore is
an engmecr on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad ; J. William
A. resides at Topton ; Harrison, m. to Clara Troutman, is
eiigaged in the music business at Delaware, Ohio; Louisa
E. is the widow of JMilton H. De Long.

Jonas Bower, grandfather of Airs. De Long, was born
ill Maxatawny township, at the station that now bears his
name, Jan. 29, 1797, and he became a prominent farmer.
He gave the land in his district for the Railroad Company
to build their station. He also built the well-known
V\'ashington House" at that place. Pie married Elizabeth
Sell who was born Alay 20, 1801. daughter of George and
Barbara (Haak) Sell. She died April 10, 1879, and he
passed away Sept. 6, 1882. Thev had three children ■ Cath-
erine m to the late Capt. Edward Knoske; Elizabeth, m.
V ,-i7i- ?■ Wanner; Aaron, born April 25, 1828, and
died Feb. 21, 1903.

HARRY DRY SCHAEFFER, district attornev of Berks
comity was born Nov. 14, 1873, on the old Drv 'homestead
ni Kock and township, Berks countv, and belongs to a fam-
ily which has been identified with the affairs of the county
tor several generations. His grandfather, Jonathan



Schaeffer, was a well-to-do farmer of Richmond township.

George B. Schaeffer, father of Harry Dry Schaeffer,
was long engaged in the coal, lumber and iron ore business
in Fleetwood, this county. After serving some time as
deputy sheriff, under Sheriff Kemp, he was elected to the
office of sheriff, in which he served with fidelity some
three years, from 1887 until 1890. He is now living retired
in Reading. He married Mary A. Dry, daughter of Ben-
jamin E. Dry, formerly of Rockland township, this county.
Mr. Dry died about two years ago, at the age of eighty-
seven, while living in the City of Reading. The Drys are
remarkable for their longevity, and Mr. Dry's sister, who
was buried in September, 1905, reached the advanced age
of ninety-six years. Mr. Dry was a merchant at Dryville,
Rockland township, which was named after him^ and
lived a most useful and active life, having served his county
in the Legislature and as register of wills, and was justice
of the peace of Rockland township for over twenty-five
years. Mr. and Mrs. George B. Schaeffer had a family
of eight children, as follows : Wester and Llewellyn, coal
and lumber dealers at Fleetwood, doing business under the
firm name of Schaeffer, Wanner & Co. ; Warren, at school ;
Kate and Sue, at home; Minnie, m. to Dr. Fred Kelchner,
of Philadelphia; Rosa, wife of Dr. George S. Bleiler;
and Harry Dry.

Harry D. Schaeffer attended the public schools of Fleet-
wood and later the Keystone State Normal School, at
Kutztown, where he was graduated in 1891. He then took
a course at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa.,
and was graduated in 1895. Mr. Schaeffer matriculated
at the University of Pennsylvania as a law student, and
after a year at that institution began reading law in the
office of D. Nicholas Schaeffer. He was admitted to
the Bar in 1899, since which time he has been engaged in
the active practice of his profession in Reading. Under
the firm' name of Dumn & Schaeffer, he formed a part-
nership with Harry J. Dumn, former clerk of Quarter Ses-
sions. Mr. Schaeffer was appointed assistant district at-
torney in January, 1905, and served in that" capacity for
three years under District Attorney Kutz. In 1907 he was
elected as district attorney and is filling that office at

On April 17, 1901, Mr. Schaeffer was married to Miss
Annie R. Wanner, daughter of the late Louis A. Wanner,
who was a member of the firm of Schaeffer, Wanner & Co.,
of Fleetwood. One son, George Wanner Schaeffer, has
come to cheer their home. Mr. Schaeffer is a member
of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Kutztown Lodge,
No. 377. He also belongs to the Reformed Church.

HENRY MAY KEIM was born of a family which has
been prominently connected with the city of Reading and
county of Berks since the time of the earliest settlements
therein. His father was Gen. George May Keim, who rep-
resented his district in Congress and died at the beginning
of the Civil war while preparing to leave with his troops
for the front. His grandfather was Gen. George de Ben-
neville Keim, who was born during the war of the Revo-
lution and was in the military service during the Whiskey
Insurrection. His great-grandfather was John Keim, who
was one of the leading merchants of Reading, where he
amassed a considerable fortune. His great-great-grand-
father was Nicholas Keim, who was one of the earliest
proprietors of the "Old White Store" at Fifth and Penn
streets, shortly after it was first established by Conrad
Weiser; and his great-great-great-grandfather was John
Keim, the elder, who arrived in Pennsylvania shortly after
its foundation, and settled in Oley township, Berks county,
as early as 1718.

Henry May Keim was born at Reading, Aug. 16, 1842.
He graduated at the Reading high school in 1858, at the
head of his class, and he entered the Sophomore class at
Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., graduating in 1862.
Shortly after his graduation he enlisted for service in the
Civil war, in Company I, 11th Pennsylvania Militia, and
saw service in Maryland. He entered the service for the
second time the following year, during Lee's invasion of
Pennsylvania, when he was commissioned lieutenant in

Company A, 53d Pennsylvania Militia, and received distin-
guished mention from his superior officers. Meantime he
had undertaken the study of law in the office of Jacob S.
Livingood, Esq., and was admitted to the Bar of Berks
county Aug. 7, 1865.

During the years 1874 and 1875 he served as one of the
three auditors of the city of Reading. In 1876 he was
Democratic county chairman, and succeeded in increasing
the Democratic majority in the county for Tilden beyond
all previous figures. In recognition -of his valuable party
services and general ability, in 1885 he was appointed by
President^ Cleveland United States consul at Charlotte-
town, Prince Edward Island, where he most creditably
represented his government and gained the highest respect
and regard of the officials and people of the Island. Upon
his return from this service, he was elected president of
the Valley Railroad of Ohio, with his offices at Cleveland.
The finaiicial troubles of the country occurring about this
time having forced the railroad into a receivership, he
was appointed one of the receivers, and by his careful man-
agement soon succeeded in bringing it out of the receiver-
ship and restoring it to prosperity. Upon the completion
of his task he returned to Reading in fulfilment of his
long-cherished desire to continue his residence here.

Mr. Keim was devotedly attached to the places, people
and traditions of his native county, and was foremost in
all undertakings designed for the public welfare. He was
a trustee of various important institutions, and was untir-
ing in his exertions in behalf of the sesqui-centennial
celebration of the founding of the city and in the move-
ment to liquidate the debt of the Reading Library and
to establish it as a free library. He was one of the or-
ganizers and original corporators of the Historical Society
of , Berks county, and was from the beginning its cor-
responding secretary and member of the council. His
public spirit, his careful attention to detail, and his zeal
in all his undertakings made him a most useful member of
society, while his uniform kindness and affability made
him a general favorite with all classes and attached his
near associates very closely to him.

In 1867 Mr. Keim was married to Miss Emma E. Trex-
ler, daughter of Horatio Trexler, and she survives. He
died at his residence in Reading, Feb. 18, 1899. Mr. Keim
was a devout member of Christ Protestant Episcopal
Church at Reading, having joined in his boyhood. When
he became of age he was selected as a vestryman, and he
filled that position for a continuous period of thirty-five
years, his services terminating with his decease. His de-
votion to the Church was so highly appreciated that a tab-
let was erected to his memory on the south wall of the
auditorium, which bears the neat and expressive inscrip-
tion: "A faithful friend — An Earnest Churchman — A sin-
cere Christian." A Bishop of the Church said of him :
"He was a perfect type of a Christian gentleman."

De long. The first settler of the De .Long family in
America was Peter De Long, a French Huguenot, who
came to this country in 1732. His son, Henry, the great-
grandfather of Tilghman De Long, was born, perhaps, in

David De Long, son of Henry, was born in America,
Jan. 4, 1770, and died Nov. 12, 1828. . He married Barbara
Gery, and they had the following children : Daniel m.
Catherine Long, of Butler county, Ohio; Benjamin ni.
Catherine Rohrbach ; David ; Catherine m. Martin Kersher ;
Esther m. John Fenstermacher ; Susannah m. Jacob Schra-
din; Mary m. George Rohrbach; and Elizabeth m. Jacob

David De Long, father of Tilghman De Long, was born
July 6, 1813, and died Sept. 6, 1893, at the age of eighty
years and two months. He married Catherine Haas, who
died Nov. 28, 1877, aged sixty-four years, five months,

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 103 of 227)