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 110 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 110 of 227)
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tenant, 5th U. S. Inf., March 27, 1861; transferred to 15th
U. S. Inf., May 14, 1861; in New Mexico in command of
battery, May, 1861, May, 1862; promoted captain. May 14,
1861 ; engaged in action of Apache . Canon, March 28,
1862; Peralta, April 14, 1862; brevetted major March 28,
1862, for "gallant and meritorious services at the battle
of Apache Canon, N. M."; in campaign resulting in the
dispersion of Confederates under Gen. Sibley, May, 1862;
made Colonel, 1st Missouri Cavalry, Aug. 9, 1862; in
camp near Helena, Ark., Sept. — Nov., 1862; acting in-
spector general of the Army of the Southwest, November,
1862; in the defences at Memphis, Tenn., Dec, 1862 — ^July,
1863; commanding brigade 16th Army Corps, March, 1863;
in command Third Brigade, Davidson's Cavalry Division,
in campaign resulting in the capture of Little Rock, Ark.,
Sept. 10, 1863; brevetted lieutenant-colonel, Sept. 10, 1863,
for gallant servicgs at the capture of Little Rock; on leave
of absence Oct. 14, 1863 — ^Jan. 6, 1864; in command of
cavalry brigade, 7th Army Corps, Little Rock, Ark., Jan-
uary — March, 1864; on General Steele's Campaign to Cam-
den, and returning, March 23 — May 2, 1864, being engaged
in several skirmishes; on veteran furlough. May 16 — ^July
29, 1864; in command of cavalry brigade, 7th Army Corps,
and scouting about Little Rock, Ark., July 29 — Dec. 5,
1864; in command of recruits (resigned volunteer com-
mission Dec. 5, 1864), Fort Adams, R. I., January — April,
1865, and of company at Lookout Mountain, Tenn., April
— August, 1865 ; on leave of absence, Aug. 12 — Sept. 24,
1865; in garrison at Mobile, Ala., Sept. 24, 1865 — Jan. 18,
1866; Vicksburg, Miss., January— September, 1866, being
acting assistant inspector general of the Department of
Mississippi March 7 — Sept. 25, 1866 ; transferred to 33d
U. S. Inf., Sept. 21, 1866; in command, Natchez, Miss.,
Sept. 21, 1866— Dec. 1, 1866; Macon, Ga., Jan. 4— April
15, 1867 ; and Rome, Ga., April, 1867.' His last regiment
was the 8th United States Infantry. He died at Catskill,
N. Y., Aug. 1, 1872, and was buried in the family plot in
the Charles Evans cemetery, Reading. He had the respect
and esteem of officers and men alike, all recognizing his
great kindness of heart and irreproachable character.

Albert Ritter was educated in the common schools of
Reading, and also at Clinton Liberal Institute, Clinton,
N. Y. Returning to Reading he engaged as a dry goods
salesman for Asa M. Hart for two years, and then took
up the study of music. For thirteen years Mr. Ritter was
organist of St. Peter's Church (Catholic), and for ten
years at Trinity Lutheran Church. He has given his life
to his art, studying under both French and German in-
structors, and he taught music in Reading for a period of



424



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



forty-five years. He retired in June, 1908. Mr. Ritter is
well known not only all over the city of Reading, but in
the surrounding country as well, having been one of the
leaders in his profession. He is a member of St. John's
Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M., in which he is past master.
He was made a Mason May 14, 1869; is past high
priest in Reading Royal Arch Chapter, No. 132; member
of Creigh Council, No. 16 ; past commander of De Molay
Commandery No. 9, K. T. ; and is a thirty-second-degree
Mason, formerly belonging to Wilmington Consistory No.
16. He is a charter member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N.
M. S., and also belongs to the Masonic Veterans. For
eleven years he served on the board of managers of the
Masonic Home of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia. In
1862 Mr. Ritter enlisted in Company E, 11th Pennsylvania
Militia, Emergency Corps, and later re-enlisted in the 42nd
Pennsylvania, serving as first corporal until discharged by
General Orders. He is a member of Gen. William H.
Keim Post. No. 76, G. A. R. ; and at present (1909) he
is serving as Aide-de-Camp on the stafif of Gen. Henry
M. Nevius, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of
the Republic. He is connected with the Military Order
of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Department
of Pennsylvania, being in Class One, by inheritance from
his brother. Col. John F. Ritter, and the number of his
Insignia is 9,513.

WILLIAM D. SMITH, son of Levi B. and Emily H.
Smith, was born at Joanna Furnace March 12, 1835. He
attended the New London Academy, in Chester county,
Pa., and the Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass. He
was engaged from his youth in the iron manufacturing
business with his father and brothers at Joanna, and from
1865 to 1881 at Isabella Furnace, in West Nantmeal town-
ship, Chester county, the greater part of that period in
association with his, brother Horace V. In the latter year
the establishment was sold to Col. Joseph D. Potts. From
1861 to 1865 he served as an adjuster in the office of Dr.
Edward Wallace, naval officer in the United States Custom
House at Philadelphia, and from 1876 to 1888 was deputy
collector and auditor during the terms of Alexander P.
Tutton and his successor. Gen. John F. Hartranft, as col-
lectors of the port, a position involving much labor and
responsibility. In June, 1S63, he raised and commanded
Company D, 42d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Mili-
tia, a part of the force called out to repel the invasion
of the State. The regiment was in service about six weeks,
and during the latter part of that period his company did
provost duty at Hagerstown. Md. In the summer of 1887
he made a tour of Europe, and upon his return became
a permanent resident of Reading.

In addition to the care of the private business interests
of himself and members of his family, he has engaged for
upward of twenty years in a career of active usefulness
on philanthropic lines, being prominently connected with
the administration of various humane and charitable public
institutions, to all of which he has given liberally of his
means, his time and his personal services.

Of the board of trustees of the Reading Hospital,
erected in 1886, he has served as president from 1889 to
the present. The Home for Friendless Children was
founded in 1886 by a number of charitably disposed citi-
zens of Reading, and in 1888 its main building on Centre
avenue, north of Spring street, was erected. As chair-
man of the building committee Mr. Smith supervised its
construction, and he has since erected at his own expense
the two wings, which have more than doubled its original
capacity. By its charter the administration of the institu-
tion is committed to a female board of managers, with a
male board of trustees. To this charity Mr. Smith devotes
his unremitting attention, in looking after the comfort of
its little inmates. Since 1890 he has been a member of the
board of trustees of the Charles Evans Cemetery. Among
other public charities with which Mr. Smith is "connected,
either as member or officer, are the Reading Benevolent
Society, the Hope Rescue Mission, the Humane Society,
the Associated Charities, and the Society for the Preven-



tion of Tuberculosis. He is a member of the County
Historical Society, a vestryman of Christ Protestant Epis-
copal Church of Reading, and one of the founders and a
leading benefactor of the recently organized St. Mary's
Church of that denomination in the northwestern section
of the city. For many years he has been a trustee of
the Young Men's Christian Association. He is a director
of the Reading & Temple Railway Company, the Reading
Trust Company and the Reading Gas Company. He has
been a member of the Republican party since its organiza-
tion, but has not been connected with its local manage-
ment. He is the advocate of a high standard of municipal
government, and a warm supporter of every movement
for civil, social and moral reform. He has no superior
in his own community in the zeal and energy which he
devotes to the promotion of organized charity and prac-
tical benevolence.

FREDERIC A. ROLAND. One of the prominent busi-
ness men of Reading is Frederic A. Roland, Cashier of
the Second National Bank. In matters of finance Mr.
Roland is looked upon as a safe and conservative coun-
sellor, and his careful and efficient service has done much
to place the institution which he represents in the enviable
position it holds in the financial world.

Mr. Roland is a son of Henry A. and Jane W. (Heyl)
Roland, of New Holland, Pa. He is descended from an
old and honorable family which has been identified with
affairs in America for about two hundred years. The
Rolands were originally from the region of the Rhine in
Germany known as the Palatinate. Jacob Roland, great-
great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was one
of the thousands who on account of religious persecu-
tion left Germany, and came to America some time after
1709. In 17.'33 a large tract of land in the vicinity of New
Holland, was granted to him by Thomas Penn, one of the
Proprietaries of the Colony of Pennsylvania. Since that
time the family has been more or less prominent locally
and in the affairs of the State.

In 1775, Jonathan Roland, a son of Jacob, and great-
grandfather of Frederic A., was one_of the Committee of
Safety chosen to provide for and protect the country dur-
ing the trying times of our war for Independence.

Henry Roland, grandfather of Frederic A., was during
his life prominent in the local affairs of his district.
Major John F. Roland, son of Henry and uncle of our
subject, was a distinguished officer under Generals Taylor
and Scott during and following our war with Mexico.

Henry A. Roland resided during his life time in New
Holland, taking an active interest in local enterprises. A
gentleman of deep learning and high principles, his advice
was eagerly sought and cheerfully given. He died in 1901,
at the advanced age of eighty-one, and lies buried
amongst his forefathers in the Trinitv Lutheran Cemetery
at New Holland. He married Jane VV. Heyl, daughter of
Philip and JMargaret Heyl. She is descended from an
old Philadelphia family, whose lineage dates from 1702.
Besides Frederic A,, there were also born to this union :
Dr. Oliver and William H. Roland, both of Lancaster,
older sons, the latter a leading attorney,

Frederic A. Roland, who forms the subject of this re-
view, was born in New Holland, and passed the formative
period of his life among the scenes and people which gave
sturdiness to his ancestry. He was carefully educated
in the public schools and later matriculated at Princeton
College, New Jersey, from which famous institution he
graduated m 1879. The following year he came to Read-
ing with the intention of entering upon a legal career,
but after the study of law for a period of nine months, he
accepted a position with the Second National Bank as
teller, and in 1889 was promoted to the Cashiership, which
position he has since honored. Mr. Roland is also a
Director of the Second National Bank. He was one of
the original Committee appointed to organize the Reading
Clearing House Association in 1906. and has been an
active officer of that important Association ever since.




WILLIAM D SMITH



BIOGRAPHICAL



435



JACOB D. HOFFMAN, a substantial and highly re-
spected farmer of Perry township, Berks county, was born
April 16, 1846, in Windsor township, son of Samuel and
Hannah (Dunkel) Hoffman.

Mr. Hoffman belongs to a family which has been estab-
lished on American soil for many generations. The
earliest ancestor of whom we have authentic informa-
tion was Jacob Hoffman, who camie from the Rhine
Valley during the middle of the eighteenth century. In
1756, when the first tax of Greenwich township was col-
lected, he was a taxable. It is known that he had these
children, George and Michael. The former was the great-
grandfather of Jacob D. Hoffman, and the latter is re-
membered with pride by the family as one who fought
for the freedom of his country from oppressive British
rule. The following record of his service is in evidence.

Pennsylvania State Library Division of Public Records.
Harrisburg, Pa., Nov. 17, 1906.
To Whom It May Concern :

I hereby certify that the name of Michael Hoffman ap-
pears as that of a private on the roll of Captain Michael
Funer's Company of Berks County Militia, stationed at
South Amboy, N. J., September 5, 1776. Later his name
appears again as a private on the Roll of Captain Jacob
Baldy's Company which was mustered into service August
10, 1780.

See p. 279, Volume Fourteen, Penna-. Archives, Second
Series, 1888 ed. [Signed] Luther R. Kelker,

Custodian of the Public Records of the Pa. State Li-
brary. [The seal of the Department of the State Public
Records is affixed to the document.]

George Hoffman, the great-grandfather of Jacob D.
Hoffman, was a farmer all his life. His wife was Han-
nah Schappell, and they had a large family of children,
among whom were : Michael, born in 1786, died in 1874 ;
and George, who, tradition says, settled in Hereford town-
ship. In his will which was probated in the register's
office in Berks county in 1847, he mentions these children :
Jacob, Henry, Dora, Elizabeth (which was also the name
of his wife) Christian, Abraham, Hannah and Rebeka.

Michael Hoffman, grandfather of Jacob D., was born
Nov. 28, 1786, and died Jan. 10, 1874, at the age of eighty-
seven years, one month and twelve days. The major
part of his life he devoted to the cultivation of the home-
stead, which is situated in Perry township, and is now
owned by George Hoffman, a grandson. He erected the
stone house which is still standing in an excellent state
of preservation. Frequently he made trips to Philadel-
phia with four or six horse teams, and exchanged farm
products for general merchandise such as the farmers
needed. He was an influential man and wielded con-
siderable political influence, being elected on the Demo-
cratic ticket to the State Assembly in 1845, 1846 and 1847,
riding to the State Capitol on horseback and taking some
of his provisions with him. His salary was seventy-five
cents per day. He was an official member of Zion's
Lutheran Church, was regular in church worship and was
highly esteemed by all who knew him. He married
Catherine Shappell, born Sept. 12, 1780, daughter of Eber-
hart and Catherine Shappell, natives of Germany. Mrs.
Hoffman died June 30, 1857. To her and her husband
were born these children : Samuel, oldest born (1808-1879) ;
George (1811-1887) m. Abbie Fisher (1816-1871) ; Michael
(1813-1874) mi. Esther Wartzenluft; Charles (1816-1900)
m. Rachel Dunkel, and Benjamin (1820-1896) m. (first)
Susanna Fisher and married (second) Elizabeth Bailey.

Samuel Hoffman, father of Jacob D., was born Nov.
28, 1808, and died in the year 1879. He obtained a good
education in the pay schools of his day and in the Mor-
gantown Academy, after graduating from which he en-
gaged in agricultural. pursuits, in which he continued for
the remainder of his life. He was a successful man, own-
ing 155 acres in one tract and seventy-five acres in an-
other, was a director in the Shoeraakersville ' Building &
Loan Association, of the Farmers Assistance and Mutual
Fire Insurance Company, and of the Reading Savings
Bank. Politically he espoused the principles of Thomas



Jefferson. He was elected as a Democrat to the office
of county surveyor, as which he served from 1848 to 1850,
and as justice of the peace, serving in this office for up-
wards of fifty years. He was an active worker for Zion's
Church of Perry township, and an official for many
years. He married Hannah Dunkel, and they had these
children: Elizabeth and Caroline, deceased; David; Han-
nah; Jacob D. ; Esther and Caroline (2), both deceased.
Mr. Hoffman died in 1879, and his wife on Jan. 14, 1892.
Jacob D. Hoffman was educated in the public schools
until he was sixteen years old, when he entered Freeland
Seminary,^ under the well known Henry Hurisicker, later
the Reading Academy, and completed his education in
1863 at Fairview Seminary, under Prof. Nicks, the well
known educator. Subsequently he taught school for five
years, four terms of this being at the Hoffman school
in Perry township. In 1865 he associated himself in the
mercantile business at Shoemakersville, with Richard
Dunkle, the firm name being Dunkle & Hoffman, which
continued for one year. Mr. Hoffman then turned his
attention to farming and operated the home farm in
Windsor (now Perry) township for two years, and then
purchased the Bausher farm, of 180 acres, for which he
paid $97.25 an acre, two years later making a very ad-
vantageous sale of the same, receiving $105 per acre. He
settled upon his father-in-law's farm in Windsor town-
ship in 1870, and two years later he purchased his father's
farm of 140 acres of good land, and then moved to this
farm on which he remained for ten years. He made
many improvements during each year, adding materially
to the value of the farm. In 1880 he bought his present
homestead of 160 acres, a tract which is considered some
of the best land in the district. Among the modern im-
provements which he has installed here is a large water
tank constructed back of his barn, from which with a
two-horse power gasoline engine, he pumps water all over
the place. He was one of the prime movers in the build-
ing of the Windsor Castle Creamery, and the success
of this industry is largely attributable to Mr. Hoffman,
who has continued' its president from its organization.
In 1888 he bought his father's old farm upon which he
was born and reared, but some years ago he sold it to his
son, George R., who now occupies ■ it. It was the desire
of our subject that this old farm should remain in the
family, and that it should be known as the Hoffman home-
stead for generations to come.

Mr. Hoffman is one of the most thrifty, prosperous and
up-to-date farmers of Perry township, and more than
that he is a man of sterling qualities. His word carries
weight in his section and his advice is frequently sought
and followed by his neighbors. Politically he is a stanch
Democrat, and wields strong influence. On numerous
occasions he has been elected to office, having served as
school director both in Windsor arid Perry townships;
was auditor in Perry township for six years; and at pre-
sent is superior of his district. From 1879 to 1881, in-
clusive, he was auditor of Berks county, and audited the
record of the late Adam M. Dundore, county treasurer.
On many, occasions he was a delegate to county con-
ventions. Mr. Hoffman is a Lutheran, and with his family
worships at Zion Union Church of Perry township, being
a deacon, for many years a church trustee, and for the
past twelve years church treasurer.

On June 3, 1865, Mr. Hoffman was married (first) to
Mary Ann Sunday, daughter of George and Mary (Sieg-
fried) Sunday, and a granddaughter of George Sunday.
To this union were born the following children : Charles
L. m. Elmira Strasser, had two sons, Clinton and Willie
(deceased), and is now deceased; (jeorge R. m. Lizzie
Stetzler, and had three children, Milton, Mary (deceased)
and Wilson; Annie m. Franklin G. Jacoby; and Catharine
(deceased) m. Allen Burkhardt and had children, Reana
v., Erraa M. and Jennie (deceased). On Dec. 17, 1887,
Mr. Hoffman m. (second) Catherine (Schappell) Stump,
widow of Alfred Stump and daughter of, Samuel and
Catherine (Adam) Schappell, and they have one son,
Jacob C, at home. By her first marriage Mrs. Hoffman
has one son, Elmer L. Stump.



a



436 HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

J EDWAiRD WANNER, assistant cashier of the Na- Mr. Wanner's grandfather was John Wanner, of Maiden-

tional Union Bank, and president of the Reading school creek township, where he was born Oct. 10, 1788. He

board, is a descendant of one of the earliest families removed at an early age to Ruscombmanor township, there

which settled in the northeastern section of Berks county, married Elizabeth Biehl (a daughter of Christian Biehl)

wnicn seuieu "'1''= 'y , , anj carried on farming. He had twe ve children: Maria

He was born at Reading on July ^^^lll^'.^fj^^'J^^^ Magdalena (m. David Sharadin) ; Anna (m. John Mertz) ;

cated in the local public schools. Upon his g^radua ion ^^ ^.,j.^^ (m. Elizabeth Deisher) ; John

from the high school in 1882, he took a commercial course j^^^.^, ^_^^ Elizabeth Bower) ; Joel B. (m. Louisa Zieber) ;

in the Eastman National Business College at i^oughkeep- p^^^^. Q^ristian (m. Sarah A. Moyer) ; John Charles,

sie, N. Y., in the fall of that year; and in 1883 he became ^-^^i^. j^j. Charles Herman (m, Hannah Hilbert) ; Eliza-

a clerk in the National Union Bank of Reading, with i^^jj^ ^^ jgy,„ Humbert); Amos B., above; and Henry,

which financial institution he has continued until the single,

present time. He was gradually promoted from one posi- yjg great-grandfather was Peter Wanner, a farmer

tion to another, and on Feb. 26, 1901, he was elected as ^f Colebrookdale township, who married three times,

assistant cashier by the board of directors on account jjis first wife was Esther Rothermel ; his second, Anna

of his superior record in the service of the bank for m Schwartz; and his third, Magdalena Rothermel

nearly twenty years. . (widow, nee Dreibelbis), he having had by the third

In 1892, Mr. Wanner assisted in organizing the Reading jn only child, John Wanner above named.

Paper Box Company. His brother Howard officiated as His great-great-grandfather was Martin Wanner, who

president from that time until his decease in 1895; then emigrated to Pennsylvania from the Palatinate in 1733,

he succeeded him in the position, which he has filled until gn thie ship "Samiuel," from Rotterdam, landing on the 17th

now In 1900 Mr. Wanner was one of the incorporators day of August,
of the Greth Machine Works for the manufacture of

stationary engines, &c., and he was selected as one of the JACOB B. OBERHOLTZER, miller and farmer of

directors, and also vice-president of the company, filling Colebrookdale township, who conducts the White mill,

these positions until the present time. located on Swamp creek, was born on the family horae-

Upon reaching his majority in 1885, Mr. Wanner stead in Washington township, this counts', Oct. 29, 1844.

identified himself with the Americus Club, the leading xhe Oberholtzers have lived in Berks county for several

Democratic Society at Reading, and he took an active generations. According to the Pennsylvania Archives three

part in its affairs from the start. His activity led to his of the name came to America in the early days of the

selection as vice-president of the Club several years after- Commonwealth, viz. : Hans Jacob Oberholtzer arrived in

ward ; and having filled this position for a number of 1730 ; Jacob Oberholtzer arrived in 1732, at which time he

years, when the president, Jefferson M. Keller, Esq., died was twenty-eight years old, and had a daughter Elizabeth,

in 1899, he was elected as his successor. The members aged six years, and a son Samuel, aged three years, to

have appreciated his services so highly that they come with him to the New World ; Hans Georg Ober-

have retained him since then as their president. holtzer arrived in 1754. One of the two first mentioned

In 1894, the Democratic electors of the Seventh Ward settled in Milford township, Montgomery county (now in-
elected Mr. Wanner as a school controller, and he has eluded in Lehigh county), and there is a well-founded
been one of the representatives of the Ward in the board tradition that Jacob Oberholtzer, great-grandfather of
of controllers continuously until now. In 1898 the con- Jacob B, Oberholtzer, whose name heads this sketch, was
troUers selected him to be the president of the board ; of this Montgomerv county stock. The familv is of Swiss
and again in 1905, 1906, 1907 and 1908. While connected origin, and its members have clung to the ]\Iennonite re-
with the board, twelve large modern school buildings were Hgion. They have been upright in morals, successful in
erected in different parts of the city; and during his later business and true to the traditions and faith of their
presidency the superior high school for boys was erected forefathers.

at a total cost of $365,000, this great structure in the Jacob Oberholtzer, previously mentioned as the great-
cause of local education receiving a great deal of his at- grandfather of Jacob B. Oberholtzer, located about 1770
tention. In social matters, Mr. Wanner has affiliated with in Colebrookdale township, Berks county, in that section
the Free Masons, Elks, Wyomissing Club, Penn Wheel- now included in Washington township,' There he con-



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 110 of 227)