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 105 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 105 of 227)
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grated to New Jersey in 1738, and settled along the North-
kill, Berks county, about 1750, where, as one of the "Breth-
ren" or "Dunkards," he orcachcd the Gospel for up-
ward of twenty years). Thev had eight children: David
Rehocca, Abraham, Hiram, George, Samuel, Sarah and
Calvin, of whom the onlv survivors are Hiram and Cal-
vin. The first two children, David and Rebecca died



w





BIOGRAPHICAL



409



whilst young, and Sarah at the age of nineteen years.
Abraham became a banker at Pottsville, having been con-
nected with the Miners' Bank for many years. Hiram
served as a teacher in the public schools in Berks coun-
ty; became a graduated physician of Jefferson Medical
College and practised in Berks and Schuylkill counties ;
served as a surgeon in the Civil war; then located at
Chicago, 111., where he invented and introduced "The
Whitner two-rope safety device" for facilitating the work
of and protecting window cleaners of large public build-
ings, which has come to be extensively used in all the
principal cities throughout the United States. George
served as postmaster of Reading from 1881 to 1885.
Samuel served in the Civil war with the Ringgold Light
Artillery (First Defenders) and Durell's Battery, act-
ing as quartermaster-sergeant from 1863 to the close of
the war.

Calvin K. Whitner received his education in the town-
ship schools, and worked on his father's farm until nine-
teen years bf age, when he entered the country store
of Spang & Son, at Spangsville, situated about a mile
north from the farm, which had quite an extensive trade
on account of the "Spang Forge" at the Manatawny
creek near by. He remained here, about a year, when
he became clerk for Isaac Plank in his general store at
the "Half Way House," eight miles north of Reading,
on the Kutztown road. After serving in this position
faithfully for three years, he became ambitious to con-
duct a store of his own, and feeling qualified to do so
established himself at Friedensburg," in Oley township;
but after carrying it on for two years he decided to go
into a larger field, with greater opportunities for suc-
cess, and, disposing of his store stock, went to Reading
in 1868.

After looking over the business situation at the county-
seat for a short while, and determining to follow a mer-
cantile life there as his chosen vocation, he found em-
ployment in the large and prosperous establishment of
Kline & Eppihimer, on Penn Square, in order to become
thoroughly acquainted with the manner of conducting bus-
iness in a growing city, which was different from chat
in the country. He continued with this firm until- the
spring of 1877. With this prepara^tion, and appreciating
the great resolution necessary to embark at that trying
time in business for himself, he opened a dry goods store
with a single department and six salesmen at No. 432
Penn Square, in a room 20 feet wide and 90 feet deep.
Here he persevered with a constantly increasing trade for
six years, when his quarters were found to be altogether
too small, and, being obliged to secure a larger place
to accommodate the demands of his business, and the
opportunity being then afforded, he secured just such
a place as he needed in the immediate vicinity, a .few
doors to the east, on the same side of Penn Square,
at Nos. 442 and 444. In the spring of 1883, he removed
to the new quarters, with a floor space increased to near-
ly four thousand square feet (the room being 30x130
feet), and started with ten departments and twelve sales-
people. His announcement of a "Grand Opening on '
March 17th" was greeted with a flattering recognition
by the public. His course of dealing was found to be
so straightforward and satisfactory, that notwithstand-
ing great competition his trade multiplied rapidly, and in
1891 he enlarged the room, added four new departments,
and increased the number of salespeople to forty.

In 1898, he purchased the adjoining property to the
west, when he remodeled and extended the whole inter-
ior of the building to cover a total floor space of 42,000
square feet, developed the departments to thirty-one and
increased the salespeople to 215, or oyer five times the
number in 1891. Since then, the departments have been
somewhat changed and consolidated, so that now they
number twenty-eight, but the salespeople have been in-
creased to 260. His numerous patrons come to his "Day-
light Store" not only from all parts of the city and coun-
ty, but also from many places in the surrounding coun-
ties. The brightness, cheerfulness and cleanliness of his
establishment are not exceeded anywhere. The details



of his business have been gradually developed to a high
state of perfection, even to drilling his employes to the tap
of a bell to meet a sudden emergency — such as a panic
caused by a real or false alarm of fire. Having been
asked to what he attributed his success mainly, he re-
marked epigrammatically : "From the start of my career
as a merchant, I have made my business a constant pleas-
ure for myself as well as for my employes, and not pleas-
ure a business."

In 1889, Mr. Whitner's son, Harry K., was- admitted
as a partner in the business, and the firm then became
C. K. Whitner & Son; but the son's promising career
as a superior business man of Reading in the footsteps
of his father was cut short by his untimely decease
in 1891. A faithful employe for many years, John A.
Britton, was taken in as a partner in 1897, when the firm
name became C. K. Whitner & Co.; and Jan. 1, 1907,
his son-in-law, John Rick, was also admitted as a part-
ner.

Notwithstanding his great devotion to the establish-
ment of his business in a thriving community, Mr. Whit-
ner has shown much interest in the religious, social and
financial affairs of Reading for many years. He and
his family are members of St. Paul's Memorial Reform-
ed Church, in which he officiated as a vestryman for
several years. He is a trustee of the Y. M. C. A. ; a
director of the Reading Mutual Fire Insurance Com-
pany; president and director of the Farmers' Nation-
al Bank, and president of the Merchants' Association
of Reading.

In the Sesqui-Centennial of Reading, in 1898, he was
chairman of the "Historical Committee," which super-
vised the publication of a souvenir of the great and
successful occasion, which was comp^ed by the author
of this revised history of the county.

In 1864, Mr. Whitner married Amelia Knabb, daughter
of Daniel D. Knabb, of Oley, and Sarah (Hill) Knabb,
his wife, and to this union there were born three chil-
dren : Harry K, Sarah K. (m. Arthur E. Carrier, of
New York), and Charles. Harry K. Whitner m. Es-
tella Davis (daughter of Charles Davis and Emma Par-
ker, his wife), of Reading, and he died in 1891, aged
twenty-five years, leaving a son, Harry Davis Whitner.
Charles Whitner died in infancy. Mr. Whitner's first
wife died in 1873, and in 1876 he married (second) Mary
Shalter, daughter of George Shatter, an ironmaster of
Cumru township, and Eliza (Kline) Shalter, his wife. There
were four children born to this second marriage: George
Shalter, who died in 1901, aged twenty-four years, after
having shown much promise as a business man in his
father's store ; Elizabeth S. ; Carrie G. (m, John Rick,
of Reading, and has .one daughter. Mary Elizabeth, and
one son, Horace Whitner) ; and Mary S. Mrs. Whit-
ner died Jiine 9, 1909.

Mrs. Whitner's father, George Shalter, carried on the
iron furnace business at the Mount Penn Furnace in
Cumru township, several miles south of Reading, Pa.,
for a number of years. He died there in 1881, in his
eighty-second year, after he had lived for a number of
years in retirement. His wife survived him until 1892,
dying at the age of seventy-seven years. They were
the parents of ten children: Richard m. Hettie Swartz;
Isabella m. William M. Kauffman ; Sarah m. Cyrus Hun-
ter : Emma m. Dr. John Kalbach ; Mary m. Calvin K.
Whitner; William m. Mary Kurtz; four children died
young.

JAMES M. HIGH, a prominent citizen of Amity town-
ship, Berks county, was born in Richmond township, this
county, Aug. 23, 1846, son of the late Joel and Maria
(Merkel) Hoch. He was reared upon his father's farm,
pvd was educated in the common schools, White Hall and
Olev Academies and the Kevstone State Normal School
at Kutztown. At the age of eighteen years he began teach-
ing school, and taught five winter terms and two summer
terms in the select school at Fleetwood.

On Sept. 24, 1869, Mr. High with his family moved to
Amity township, where he had purchased the Mount



410



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Pleasant Mills from his father-in-law, David Dry. This
was then an old style custom mill, but in 1873 Mr. High
remodeled it, substituting turbines for the old fashioned
water wheels, and changed it to a flour mill. In 1890 he
again remodeled it, this time instalhng a complete roller
process, and changing the name to the Amity Roller Mills,
under which he is still operating, turning out annually
large quantities of flour and feed, for which he finds a
ready market. He also has a well cultivated farm of
some forty acres in connection with his mill.

Mr High is a firm believer in Republican principles, and
takes an active part in politics. Notwithstanding his party
is in the minority he served his township three years as
school director, and fifteen years as justice of the peace.
Since 1891 he has been a notary public, and was re-ap-
pointed only last February (1909). He served three years
as county auditor, and for forty years has followed sur-
veying, during that time settling many boundary disputes,
besides being frequently appointed by the courts to lay
out public roads and bridge sites for the county. He has
officiated in the settling up of many estates as executor,
administrator and assignee, and is frequently consulted in
legal matters. He is a scrivener and conveyancer, and
has always held the confidence of the community.

In addition to all these many duties, Mr. High is secre-
tary and a director of the Yellow House Creamery Asso-
ciation ; and a director of the Sinking Spring Fire Insur-
ance Company, of which he has also been president. In
the spring oi 1908 he moved to near Yellow House, from
where he can look after his many interests. His son
Wilson D. at the same time moved to the mill. Mr. High
and his family belong to the Reformed Church, in which
for twenty years he held the office of elder.

On Nov. 23, 1867, Mr. High married Amanda Y. Dry,
daughter of David Dry, late a prominent farmer of Rock-
land township. They have had three children, namely:
Wilson D., a miller in his father's mill, m. Ellen Herbein,
daughter of the late Aaron Herbein; Maria D. m. Samuel
R. Rhoads; and Annie D. ra. Edwin H. Schearer, one of
the proprietors of the Yellow House.

A. RAYMOND BARD, a member of the firni which
makes up the well known business house of Reading, the
Bard Hardware Company, was born at Tremont, Pa., in
1873, son of George W. and grandson of Adam Bard.

Adam Bard was the founder of this large and import-
ant business of the city of Reading. Originally the firm
was made up of Adam Bard and James T. Reber, and the
location was at No. 741 Penn street. The business was
organized in 1856, and was continued at the original lo-
cation until 1878, at which time the firm bought property
at the corner of Penn and Eighth streets. Adam Bard
remained a member of the firnn until 1878, after which the
members of the firm were George W. Bard, D. P. Schlott,
A. F. Kramer and James T. Reber. The latter retired
in 1893, and at the same time James M. Bard was admitted
to the firm, and in 1897 A. Raymond Bard became a
partner.

George W. Bard was born near Ephrata in 1841, but
moved to Reading in early childhood. He was still a stu-
dent when he enlisted for service in the Civil war, entering
the 93rd Pa. V. I., and for three years he honorably wore
the Union blue and took his chances as a soldier. He
then entered into the hardware business at Tremont, in
Schuylkill county, and when his father retired he
took his place in the firm of Bard, Reber & Co. The
company owns a four-story building which extends from
Penn to Cherry streets. Their business is both wholesale
and retail, and the house is known for its reliability all
over the State. George W. Bard married Irene Barbour
Wummer, a resident of Reading, who graduated from
the Reading high school in 186S. They have these child-
ren : Alma, wife of Dr. C. H. Shearer ; A, Raymond ;
Charles W. ; Claude M.; George P.; Mary E. ; R. Lynn;
Warren; Margaret .A., and W. Hugh. Mr. Bard is a
director in the Penn National Bank (chartered March
12, 1883) of which his father was one of the founders.
He is also a director in the Reading Trust Company and



of the East Reading Electric Railway Company. Mr.
Bard and family reside at No. 27 South Ninth street.

A. Raymond Bard attended the public schools of Read-
ing and was graduated from the Boys' high school in 1889.
He then entered a business house in the capacity of
cashier, and spent one year in Philadelphia, connected
with the Phoenix Bridge Company. Since he entered the
firm of Bard Hardware Company he has been in charge
of the office, as well as purchasing agent for cutlery, paints,
bolts, etc., and is a competent and shrewd man of busi-
ness. He is a very popular citizen. During the Spanish-
American War he was in the service for nine months,
a' member of Company A, 4th Pennsylvania Volunteers,
and spent five months in Porto Rico, being acting Hos-
pital Steward in the Reserve Medical Corps. He has
numerous business connections, one of these being treas-
urer of the East Reading Electric Railway Company, of
Reading. He is superintendent of the Sunday school of
Trinity Lutheran Church, and treasurer of the Humane
Society of Berks County. For five years he was president
of the Luther League of Pennsylvania, and for two years
was president of the Reading High School Alumni As-
sociation, during which time he founded a Free Scholar-
ship Fund, of which he is treasurer.

DANIEL F. KELCHNER, one of the leading business
men of Fleetwood, proprietor of the Fleetwood Creamery,
owner of a creamery at Moselem Springs, is a member
of a family whose first representative came to Berks
county between 1731 and 1741.

Matthias Kelchner was the first to settle in Richmond
township, Berks county. Tradition says that four broth-
ers, George, Matthias, Michael and Henry, emigrated be-
tween 1731 and 1741. Records show that Hans George
Kelchner crossed the ocean on the "Pennsylvania Mer-
chant," landing at Philadelphia in the fall of 1731, and
that he and iVIatthias were brothers. It is probable that
Matthias was under twenty-one years of age in 1731, hence
his name is not on the passenger list. On the "Pennsyl-
vania Merchant," landing in 1733, was Michael Kelchner,
whose brother Henry also came to America. These four
settled in eastern Pennsylvania.

Michael Kelchner, son of Matthias, was a taxable in
1759, in Richmond township. He married Maria Eva Frey,
whose tombstone bears the following inscription : "Maria
Eva Freyin, wife Michael Kelchner, had 4 sons 1
daughter. In 1761 she married Peter Stetzler. With him
she had 5 sons. She was married first in 1752. She was
born June 24, 1730, died March 14, 1807, aged 76 years
S mos. 10 days." She is buried at Zion's Church
in Perry township. Three of Michael Kelchner's child-
ren were: John m. and had a son, Henry; Jacob m.
(first) Magdalena Wanner, and had children — Catharine,
Maria Elizabeth and Daniel — and (second) Maria Wan-
ner, and had children — Jacob, Samuel (who had an only
son, Isaac), Mary and Hannah; Daniel. Michael Kelchner
made his will Feb. 26, 1761 (See Book 1, p. 98) and his
death occurred soon afterward. He gave to his wife,
Maria Eva, one-third of his large estate. His father
Matthias and his friend Christian Rothermel were his
executors. It is probable that two of his children died
young, as one item in his will is as follows : "That the
three children shall be sent to church and school diligent-
ly, and that they shall be instructed in English and Dutch."

George Kelchner, of Richmond township, on Dec. 13,
1794, made his will as recorded in Will Book B, p. 356,
and witnessed by Casper Merkel and John Christ, with
Peter Kelchner, son of George, and the latter's wife
Agnes as executors. Peter Kelchner received the Rich-
mond township home. The six children were; Peter;
INIrs, Jacob Yoh ; Henry; John; Jacob; and Esther,

John Kelchner, probably a son of George, lived in Rock-
land township. He made his will in October. 1836, and
it was probated in November of the same vear, and re-
corded in Book 7, p. 400, His son, Benjamin, and Samuel
Beaver were executors, Leah Lorah, daughter of his
wife, was remcn'bcred in the will.



BIOGRAPHICAL



411



Jacob Kelchner was born in Richmond township, July
11, 1801. He passed the greater part of his life engaged
in fanning about one and a half miles from Fleetwood.
In 1834 he married Anna Sheirer, who was born in
Maxatawny township. Thirteen children were born of
this union, namely: Samuel; Mary; Joel; Edwin; Martin;
Jacob; Hannah; Esther; Caroline; Isaac; Charles Augus-
tus; Daniel P.; and Wilson R. The father died April
21, 1861.

Daniel F. Kelchner was born in Richmond township Oct.
6, 1853, and his education was acquired in the public
schools of his native township and Keystone State Nor-
mal School at Kutztown. He was but seventeen when he
began teaching, a profession he continued in for three
terms in Richmond and Ruscombmanor townships, and at
the end of that time he accepted a clerkship in a general
store at Fleetwood. He followed this business for ten
years, and then began in the produce business, continuing
in same up to the present time. He is also engaged in
the operation of the Fleetwood Creamery, and of another
at Moselem Springs, each of which ships about 5,000 pounds
a year to the Philadelphia" markets, where good returns
result. In July, 1901, Mr. Kelchner added the manufacture
of hosiery to his list of interests, and gives employment to
eighty-five people in that line. He has an established
reputation for honesty, and is industrious and energetic,
quick to see the practical side of new methods and adopt
them in his work.

Mr. Kelchner was married Sept. 9, 1885, to Emily Peters,
daughter of Joseph and Maria (Hoch) Peters, the fotmer
of whom, now deceased, was engaged in a mercantile
business in Molltown. Five children have been born to
this union : Raymond, Harry, Walter, Daniel and Emily. Mr.
and Mrs. Kelchner are members of the United Evangelical
Church at Fleetwood, in which he has been a trustee some
years. He is superintendent of the Sunday-school, and
is very popular in its work. In politics he is a Republican,
and for four years was school director, for six years a
member of the borough council. In 1907 he was one of
the organizers of the Fleetjvood National Bank, of which
he is now President. He is a large property owner, and is
a leading useful citizen, thoroughly respected in both
public and private life.

SCHULTZ (Line of Melchior, 1680-1734) Hereford
township, in the extreme eastern end of Berks county,
and bounded on the east by Lehigh county and on the
southeast by Montgomery county, is the home of a number
of families belonging to the religious s^ect kn6wn as
Schwenkf elders, founded by Kaspar Schwenkfeld (1490-
1561), a Silesian nobleman and mighty factor in the
Reformation. Many of the Schultz, Kriebel, Yeakel and a
few other Schwenkfelder families have their homes in this
district of Berks county, while about thirty Schwenkfelder
families live in the adjoining region of upper Montgomery
and western Lehigh counties.

The Schultz or Scholtze family is traced to one Mathias
Schultz. who was born A. D. 1612, on a Sunday (In-
vocavit), lived through the Thirty Years' war, and died
A. D. 1682, in the seventieth year of his age, at Lower
Harpersdorf, in what was then the principality (now a
government district) of Liegnitz, Silesia. His son, Mel-
chior Schultz, is said to have been born A. D. 1647, and
died on a Sunday (Invocavit), A. D. 1708, in the sixty-
first year of his age. And his son, also called Melchior
Schultz, was born June 26, 1680, and died Feb. 15, 1734,
in the fifty-fourth year of his age, at Berthelsdorf, Sax-
ony, about two months before the emigration to this
country, then being contemplated. The last-named Mel-
chior Schultz was the father of George, Melchior and
Christopher, all of whom married, and descendants of
George and Christopher still flourish in Berks county.

George Schultz, son of Melchior, died Oct. 30, 1776,
aged sixty-five years. On Jan. 31, 1744, he married Maria,
daughter of Abraham Yeakel, and their children were
Abraham and Melchior. The mother died Dec. 13, 1797,
aged seventy-nine years.



Melchior Schultz, son of Melchior, died Sept. 1, 1787.
He was twice married, first to Anna Maria Meschter and
second to Maria Hartranft, but had no issue by either
wife.

Rev. Christopher Schultz, Sr., the youngest son of Mel-
chior, was born at Lower Harpersdorf, Liegnitz, Silesia,
March 26, 1718. In the spring of 1726, owing to religious
persecution, this family with others left home and pos-
sessions and fled by night, arriving at Berthelsdorf, in
Saxony, May 1st. Here Christopher became a shepherd
boy, but his humble circumstances did not quench his
spirit or ambition. In his youth he evinced a burning de-
sire for books. His kind friend. Rev. George Weiss, as-
sisted him in his study of the Latin, Greek and Hebrew
languages. He also had the kindly assistance of Court
Zinzendorf.' The three orphan boys, George, Melchior and
Christopher Schultz, joining some forty Schwenkfelder
families, forever turned their backs upon their native
land, embarking for Philadelphia, where they arrived after
a tedious voyage of about five months, Sept. 22, 1734.
Young Christopher kept a diary ("Reise Beschreibung"),
which is found in print in tRe "Erlauterung." At a com-
paratively early period he was looked upon as a leading
spirit among the Schwenkfelders, and was chosen their
minister, serving as such efficiently and faithfully until
the end of his days. He was the chief organizer of the
Schwenkfelders into a religious body or congregation,
composed the catechism still in use, compiled their hymn-
books and wrote their constitution, as well as a "Com-
pendium" of religious doctrines of faith of 600 octavo
pages.

For many years, up to the end of the American Revo-
lution, "Father" Schultz, as he was called, kept up cor-
respondence with friends left in Germany. He lived in
stirring times and had varied experiences. At the age of
eighteen years we find him, with his two brothers, select-
ing a site for their future home in a dense wood forty-
two miles north of Philadelphia, two miles west of what is
now the borough of East Greenville, where they had found
an excellent spring of water. Here, in 1736, assisted by
Melchior Newman, carpenter, they commenced felling the
tall oaks, rolling them on a scaffold over a trench, sawed
them by hand into three-inch planks, whereof the outside
walls of their capacious two-story house were constructed.
Wagon wheels were made of the same article, horse col-
lars were skilfully plaited of straw, traces were made
of hemp, the grubbing hoe preceded the plow with wooden
moldboard. There was no sawmill or gristmill within
fifteen miles, and every resource of the pioneer was taxed
to the utmost to supply the many lacks experienced in a
new country. For clothing the Schultzes raised their own
flax and wool, spun it with the aid of a single spindle,
erected a weaver's loom, and wove the yarn into cloth.

The three brothers lived in peace and harmony, and at
the end of about ten years, under the blessing of Provi-
dence, they had considerably extended their landed do-
mains, increased their flocks and filled their coffers, so
that the question which once engaged the attention of
Abraham and Lot, at their parting, now confronted them.
The result was that Melchior and Christopher sold out
to their elder brother, George, the former going about
three miles north, where he bought a farmi; Christopher,
having married in 1744, now bought and settled at Clay-
ton, Berks county. Here he lived to the end of his life.
Among the early records of Berks county we find the last
will and testament of Christopher Schultz, a model of
its kind. It is dated the 24th day of October, A. D. 1788,



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 105 of 227)