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 112 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 112 of 227)
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of the public schools and to encourage the young to make
use of them. In 1894, Mr. Rhode was elected a represen-
tative in the State Legislature from Berks county, re-
elected in 1896, and served faithfully through two terms
in which Democrats were decidedly in the minority. In
1903 he was elected a justice of the peace for Kutztown,
and is now serving in that capacity. ,

On Oct. 2, 1872, Cyrus J. Rhode was married to Amanda
F. Knerr, of Weisenburg township, Lehigh county, born
July 17, 1849, daughter of Jonas and Elizabeth (Knerr)
Knerr, and granddaughter of David and Susannah (Derr)
Knerr, all of Lehigh county. To Mr. and Mrs. Rhode
have been born four children, as follows : Minerva E. m.
David B. Levan and lived in Kutztown, until her death
from pulmonary trouble. May 23, 1909 ; John W., a lumber,
coal and feed merchant of Topton, m. Kate Keller, and
has had two children, Harold and one deceased ; Homer J.,
an eye specialist of Reading, is mentioned below;
and Solon L., who graduated from the Keystone State
Normal School, is now attending lectures in the University
of Pennsylvania. Mr. Rhode and family belong to the
Reformed Church, where - his ancestors worshipped for
generations. >

Dr. Homer Jones Rhode, specialist in Diseases of the
Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat, Reading, was born in Weisen-
burg. Lehigh county, Dec. 9, 1877. His early education
was obtained in the public schools of Kutztown, and later
at the Keystone State Normal School. He was graduated
from the latter institution in the class of 1895, after
which he took post-graduate work preparatory to study-
ing medicine, and he then taught two terms of school at
Richhill, in Bucks county. Entering the Medical Depart-
ment of the University of Pennsylvania, he graduated
from that famous institution in 1901, and was at once ap-
pointed resident physician of St. Joseph's Hospital, Phila-
delphia, where he remained one year. In July, 1902, he
entered the- Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, and' there
he served as resident surgeon for one year, after which
he took charge of Dr. S. Lewis Ziegler's practice in Phila-
delphia, during that gentleman's trip abroad. In the fall
of 1903 Dr. Rhode established himself in Reading, where
he has since been located, and he has built up an exten-
sive practice in his specialties. Since 1904 he has been
connected with the Reading Hospital. He is a member of
the Berks County Medical Society, the Reading Medical
Society, the State Medical Society, and the American
Medical Association.

On April 9, 1904, Dr. Rhode was married to Miss May
Friel, daughter of James Friel, of Philadelphia, and they
have had these children : Dorothy, who died aged eighteen
months ; Homer J., Jr., and Virginia. The Doctor and
his wife attend the Reformed Church. Socially he is a
member of St. John's Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M., Read-
ing. His home is located at No. 220 North Sixth street,
and there he and his good wife delight in welcoming their
many friends.

CHARLES P. HOFFMAN, manager of the G. M. Brit-
ton Company, Pottsville, Pa., and director in the Mer-
chants National Bank, of that city, was born in Friedens-
burg, Oley township, Berks county, Sept. 20, 1866, son of
Rev. P. P. A. Hoffman and his wife, Aravesta M. Bodder.



430 HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

Rev P p. \. Hoffman was born in CherryviUe, North- Reading. Mrs. Hoffman is a graduate of the Reading

ampton county, March 25, 1836, and died at Reading high school where she was a classmate of her husband.
June 30 1888 in the fifty-third year of his age He was BOWER, D. D. S., of Boyertown, one of

educated m the common schools and later attended the ^^e leading dentists o7 Berks countv,' was born in this town

Mercersburg Preparatory School, then that college and '(^V 07 i840 son of Henry O. and Barbara (Borneman)

Theological Seminary, graduatmg at an early age. He g^^'^^d grandson of JohriZBower.

was mstalled at Fnedensburg, m Berks county, and ^, ^^^^^ Bower, the American ancestor of the family,

preached at Friedens Church there for twenty-five emigrated from Switzerland between 1708 and 1717. He

years, or until his death. His twenty-fifth installation gettfed in Colebrookdale township, with other Mennonites

was celebrated at Hill Church in the presence of a large ^^^ fjgj because of persecution. In time he bought three

congregation, which congregation he served from his entry different tracts, and his first purchase consisted of 215

into the ministry until his death. The Friedens charge acres which he bought from Thomas Hopkinson. His

consisted of four congregations, viz. : Hill, Friedens, Lo- second purchase which was 201 acres, he secured in 1734)

bachsville and Pricetown, He was an able minister and the third was made from the Penns in 1734, fori

and eloquent preacher. For some years before his which he paid twenty-three pounds, five shillings. This'

death he lived at Reading, and is buried in the Charles land was located in Hereford township, Berks county,

Evans cemetery there. In 1864 he married Aravesta M. and is now owned by Rev. John Ehst. In 1749 he sold this .

Bodder, daughter of Charles and Susanna (Mason) Bod- tract to his two sons, Mjchael ancTAbrahara (whose chil-.j;

der. Mr. Bodder was a hatter and furrier at Bethlehem, dren were — George, Samuel and Jacob),
where he was a member of the town council and a very (H) Michael Bower, son of Hans, and great-great- _

prominent citizen. To the Rev. Mr. Hoffman and wife grandfather of Dr. Bower, married Fronica, daughter of'fC

were born the following children: Charles P.; Willard U., Johannes Landis. On July 7, 1784, Tie sold a tract of ^

of Reading; J. Lange, of Chicago; Bertha B., m. to land containing 108 acres to his son-in-law. Christian"^

Thomas Paine, of Reading; and C. Herbert, of Pottsville. Moyer, for the sum of 325 pounds ; also a tract contain-

Charles P. Hoffman received the benefit of an ex- {ng seventy-four acres and twenty-eight perches, for 175^ ^
cellent education, attending the public school, Oley Acad- pounds. His children were : (^amuel,) Fronica; and 'Aiina.]
emy, a preparatory school at Bethlehem, and graduated (III) Samuel Bower, son of Michael, was born Aug. 6,
from the Reading high school in 1885, with the class 1746, and he is buried at Hereford Mennonite Meeting
honors. He then became a bookkeeper for the Manhattan House. Fie was a farmer in Douglass township, Mont-
Hardware iManufacturing Company, of Reading, serving gomery county. His wife was Elizabeth Ziegler, and they
in that position for two years. In 1887 he became collec- had children as follows : Susanna, Barbara, Deborah, John ,
tor for the Gately & Britton Installment House, of Read- Elizabeth, Samuel, Hannah, Andrew and Christopher,
ing, and his promotion to a better position was soon (IV) JohrCBower, son of Samuel, was born in Doug-
merited. In 1894 the firm opened up the Pottsville branch lass township, Montgomery county, Dec. 24, 1773, and died
in a small store under the management of Mr. Hoffman, there March 30, 1854, and he is buried at Bally. He
and this has since become the largest furniture, carpet bought a farm of 156 acres in 1814 for $13,000. This he
and clothing store in all Schuylkill county. It sold to John Moyer in 1890 for $5,600. He was
employs thirty-five to fifty persons and enjoys a large a well-known farmter and a most excellent mian. Dur-
and lucrative trade. Besides making this store a mecca ing the panic of 1814 to 1820, he hauled rye flour to
for the buyer of household goods, he has found time to Philadelphia, receiving seventy-five cents per hundred
devote to the best interests of the city. He is broad- pounds. Later he prospered, and although many lost their
minded and public-spirited, and is ever in the front rank farms during this time of stringency, he did not. His wife's
of new enterprises. He has become the standard bearer maiden name was Susanna Overholtzer, and they had five
for those interests that stand for progress and civic ad- children : Catherine married Samuel B. Latshaw ; Elizabeth
vancement — and the leader 'in all public demonstrations m. Jonas Sassaman; John O. ; Samuel O. and Henry O.
and events that tend to advertise and advance his adopted (V) Henry O. Bower, son of John and father of Dr.
city. During the first years of his connection with the Bower, was born in Douglass township, Jan. 6. 1807, and
firm of Gately & Britton (a partnership that has since di- died there Feb. 14, 1867. He was a clockmaker, and made
vided, Mr. Hoffman continuing with Mr. Britton) he con- 130 grandfather clocks, some showing the movement of
ducted for three years the Tropical Garden, then located the moon. His grave is at the Mennonite Meeting House
at Eighth and Penn streets, Reading. at Bally. The last clock he made, completed about 1845,

Mr. Hoffman is one of the organizers of the Merchants is in the possession of his son Dr. Joel B. Bower of Boyer-
National Bank, of Pottsville, and has since been one of its town. Mr. Bower was well-known and traveled from
directors, secretary of the board and a member of the house to house in eastern Berks county, repairing clocks.
Finance committee. Fle is actively identified with church. His wife was Barbara Borneman, also a native of
political, social and fraternal associations in Pottsville. Montgomery county. They had six children, as follows:
With his family he attends Trinity Reformed Church. He Dr. Joel B. ; John, deceased, a farmer in Douglass town-
is past master of Reading Lodge, No. 549, F. & A. M.; ship; Priscilla, deceased wife of Levi Ehst; Johanna, de-
Reading Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M. ; past commander of ceased wife of Daniel B. Rittenhouse, of Montgomery
De Molay Commandery. No. 9, K. T. ; and a charter county; Dr. Daniel B., of Boyertown; Elizabeth, living at
member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Reading, Boyertown, widow of John Bechtel.

which he has had the honor of representing at the Imperial (VI) JoeF B. Bower was reared in Douglass town-
Council of North America. Socially he is a member of ship, where he attended school, but later he went to the
the Pottsville Club; a charter member of the Sphinx Freeland Seminary, and then studied with his uncle. Dr.
Club; a miember (and past president) of the Commercial J. H. Borneman, vvho was a dentist at Boyertown. Still'later
Club; The West End Fire Company; Schuylkill County he attended the Philadelphia Dental College, from which
Historical Society; and Liederkranz. Fle has been presi- he was graduated in 1867. He immediately located at
dent of the Merchants' Association of Pottsville and vi- Boyertown, where he followed his profession "for a period
cinity since 1903 ; president of the Pottsville Civic Society, of forty-five years. , In 1905 his son Dr. .\. L. Bower
which is in the nature of a board of trade, since its incep- took charge of the office. In 1892 Dr. Bower opened a
tion in 1905; he is a member and chairman of the Finance branch office at Pottstown, and this his son Dr. Samuel
committee of the board of control of the famous Third Bower now conducts. Flis son Dr. Daniel Bower had
Brigade Band. Mr. Floffman is one of the leading men charge of the Pottstown office for ten years prior to his
of Pottsville, and he has the well merited respect of his death in 1905. Dr. Joel B. Bower and his family are
fellow citizens. members of the ;\Iennonite Church of Boyertown, aiid he

In 1885 Mr. Floffman married Sue E. Bickley, daughter is very active in Church work. He resides in his own

of the late Capt. Frank and Amelia (Lotz) Bickley of house on Philadelnhia avenue.



BIOGRAPHICAL



431



Dr. Bower has been married three times. His first
wife, Sevilla Stauffer, of Boyertown, died at the age of
twenty, leaving one son, Henry , who died soon thereafter.
He married (second) Elizabeth Latshaw, of East Vincent,
Chester Co., Pa., who bore him hve children : Dr. Danie l,
born March 2, 1873, died unmarried, Feb. 15, 1905 ; I acob
died at the age of four years; Miss Mary lives at Boyer-
town; Dr . Abram L. is mentioned below; Dr. Samue l, of
Pottstown, graduated from the Philadelphia Dental Col-
lege in 1902, and married Blanche Grubb, of Chester
county (no issue). Dr. Bower married (third) Annie
B. Bickhart, who died Oct. 16, 1906, aged sixty-nine
years (no issue).

Dr. Abram L. Bovver, son of Dr. Joel B. Bower, was
born Jan. 23, 1879. He graduated from the Boyertown
high school in 1894, and from the West Chester State
Normal School in 1896. He taught school two terms,
after which he attended the Philadelphia Dental College
two terms and graduated from the Dental Department
of the University of Pennsylvania in 1901. He has prac-"
tised dentistry since at Norristown, Pottstown, and Boy-
ertown, in which latter place he is now engaged. Dr.
Bower has been granted nine patents and a number of
other patents for his inventions have been allowed by
the United States Patent Office but have not yet been
issued. He has invented a dental preparation to be used
in the operation of capping live and exposed nerves in
teeth. This method and preparation were quickly adopted
by the dental profession and are now largely used for that
purpose. His other inventions relate to railway signalling,
chiefly cab signalling, where three classes of signals are
transmitted to the train through a single circuit from
the rails to the engine and displayed in the cab in front
of the engineer. These three classes of signals are clear,
cautionary, and danger, shown by colored electric incan-
descent lamps, the colors being white, green, and red, re-
spectively. Bells are also automatically rung in the cab
to call the engineer's attention to a change in the signal
displayed.

Dr. Bower's device also makes the service applica-
tion of the brakes when caution is indicated, and the emer-
gency application of the brakes when danger or stop is
indicated. The throttle also is operated, shutting off
the steam. The entire device operates automatically but
it is adapted so as to be instantly controlled by the en-
gineer.

His inventions also include block signals for electrically
operated trains or trolleys which automatically shut off
the power or reduce the speed of the vehicle by introducing
resistance into the motor circuit. Also a governor to
prevent the application of the brakes when the speed is
not over six miles per hour; also a distance device which
automatically displays the danger signal after the train
has proceeded a certain predetermined distance without
receiving a clear or cautionary signal impulse from the
devices on the roadbed. This distance device checks
any failure of the other devices to operate. The Block
Signal and Train Control Board of the Interstate Com-
merce Commission authorized a practical test of these
devices, to be made by the Board in March or April
of 1909, on the Colebrookdale Branch of the Philadelphia
& Reading Railroad, near Pottstown. j^

Dr. Abram L. Bower married ^j^T'^'l lOi . J Mtiii'' °^
New Britain, Pa. They have two~hildren, Joel L. and
Elizabeth L.

GEORGE BRUBAKER, one of Reading's substantial
business men, who conducts a lumber yard on South
Third street, is a native of Reading, born Jan. 20, 1854,
son of Solomon and Anna Mary (Reiff) Brubaker.

George Brubaker, grandfather of George, married Bar-
bara Hoover, and they settled at New Holland, Lancaster
county, where Mr. Brubaker was a leading farmer and in-
fluential man. He was a member of the Lutheran Church,
while his wife was a Mennonite, and they were the par-
ents of these children : Sally m. Samuel Baer, a farmer
of Lancaster county, and had children, Anna and David ;



Isaac m..and had one child, Isaac; John died young; and
Solomon.

Solomon Brubaker was born in Lancaster county in
1814, and remained at home until his eighteenth year,
when he engaged at clerking in stores at Hinkletown,
Reamstown and Ephrata, and it was while working at
the latter place that he was induced by Philip Bushong
to locate in Reading. After clerking for several years,
Mr. Brubaker turned his' attention to the milling business
in company with Joseph Raudenbush and a Mr. Frill, and
during the war purchased Mr. Frill's interest, carrying
on the business alone until 1869, when he sold out to
Barnhart & Koch, who in turn sold out to the Bushongs,
now the site and property of the Reading Paper Mills.
In 1874 Mr. Brubaker organized the lumber business now
operated by his son on South Third street. Here he
successfully continued to operate until 1880, when his death
occurred, in his sixty-sixth year. Mr. Brubaker was prom-
inent both in a business and social way, and on the Re-
publican ticket was elected a councilman in the old Spruce
ward. Mr. Brubaker was an attendant of the Universalist
Church. His widow survived him until 1899, and died
when sixty-nine years of age. They were the parents
of four children : George ; John, who died aged two years ;
Isaac, died in infancy ; and Sally L., who married John
E. Harbster, and had children, John M., George B., Robert
M., Anna M., Matthew (deceased), Carl and Marion.

George Brubaker was educated in the common schools
of Reading, in the old Spruce ward, later attending the
high school and subsequently took a course in Chester N.
Farr's Business College. Upon completing the prescribed
course he entered the employ of his father, with whom
he continued until the latter's death, when he continued
the business for his mother, and after her death purchased
it, since which time he has been conducting it for himself.
Mr. Brubaker is a reliable business man, of honesty and
integrity, and he controls some of Reading's best trade,
handling a complete stock of builders' lumber, and being
the only one in the city to handle Washington cedar.

Mr. Brubaker was married in 1885, to Miss E. Amanda
Schwartz, born in Berks county, daughter of James
Schwartz, and two children were born to this union : Anna
Mary, a graduate of the Girls high school of Reading, and
L. Eli?abeth, attending high school. Mr. Brubaker is a
member of Neversink Fire Company. He is highly es-
teemed in his community as a good neighbor and a useful
and public-spirited citizen.

CHARLES RICK, a veteran of the Civil war who has
been living retired in Reading since 1904, was for many
years one of the proprietors of Rick Brothers' foundry,
also known as the Reading Butt Works. Mr. Rick was
born in October, 1840, in Bern township, Berks county,
son of Charles and Ellen Louisa (Ruth) Rick, and grand-
son of John George Rick.

Herman Rick, great-grandfather of Charles, came to
America with his parents in the early part of the eigh-
teenth century, being then about twelve years of age,
and after receiving his education in the pay schools of Bern
township, he engaged in farming, at which he continued
for the remainder of his life. Among his children was
John George.

John George Rick, son of Herman, married Catherine
Weiser, grand-niece of Conrad Weiser. Mr. Rick en-
gaged in farming in Bern township, and became a large
land owner and highly respected man. He was a member
of the German Reformed Church, was a Whig in politics,
and was very patriotic and public-spirited.

Charles Rick, father of Charles, was educated in the
primitive schools of his day, and early in life conducted
a general store at Centreport and later at Peacock's Locks,
coming to Reading in 1841, where he was engaged in a
mercantile business and in real estate operations. The
latter years of his life were spent in retirement. He died
in 1878, and his wife in 1880. They were the parents
of the following children : Cyrus, for many years cashier
of the Farmers' National Bank, and a member of the
firm of Rick Brothers, m. Emma Madeira; John, who



■132 HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

died in 1000, was also a member of tlie firm of Rick gressed gradually and surely, to a position of unques-

Brothers ( m, Emma Ammon) ; Charles; Mary m. Franklin tioned influence. Besides filling the presidency of the

Dundore, of Philadelphia, and had three children — Charles, Reading Iron Company, he serves as a member of the

Frank and Ella; James, of the firm of Rick Brothers, now executive committee as well as a. director of the Penn-

proprietor of the Rick Knitting Mills of Reading, m. (first) sylvania Steel Company, as well as a director of each of the

Ellen Trate. and (second) Julia O'Hara. and had five subsidiary companies owned or controlled by that com-

children by the last marriage — James, Edward, Albert, pany. He is a director of the Reading Trust Company;

Harrison and Julia; and Ellen m. William A. Arnold, de- president of the Deer Park Land Company; and a director

ceased, and had six children — William, John, Franklin, of the Spanish-American Iron Company; the Pure Oil

Anna, Ellen and Mary. Company; the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad Company;

Charles Rick was educated in the common schools of his the Schuylkill & Lehigh Railroad Company; the Mary-
locality, and in 1857 graduated from the old high school, land Steel Company; the Penn Mary Coal Company;
Until the outbreak of the Civil war he clerked in various and the Temple Iron Company. He is also interested
stores, but in May, 1861, he went to the front, enlisting in several iron and mining companies of lesser magnitude,
at Washington, D. C, and was discharged in July, 1861. In December, 1866, Mr. Smink married Clara C, daugh-
Hc then re-enlisted in Company E, 128th Pa. V. I., be- ter of Augustus and Elizabeth (Seidel) Thompson, of
coming first sergeant, and was discharged as first lieuten- Reading, and they have four children, namely: Harry A.;'
ant after nine months service. On his return to Reading, Augusta, now the wife of Samuel Heim; Emily M., wife
JNIr. Rick entered the office of the general superintendent, of J. Bennett Nolan, Esq., and Elizabeth. The family are
G A. Nicolls, of the Reading Railroad as clerk, and con- members of Trinity Lutheran Church,
tinned with that company until 1871, when he resigned to Mr. Smink's social connections include membership
engage in business with his brothers, who had founded, in the Wyomissing Club, the Berkshire Country Club (of
in 1867, the business of Rick Brothers Foundry, or Read- which he is president), the Manhattan Club of New York
ing Butt Works. He continued in this business until his City, Pennsylvania Society in New York, the Railroad
retirement in 1904, at which time the firm sold out. Club of New York, American Iron and Steel Institute,

In 1868 Mr. Rick m. Emma A. Pauli, a native of Berks New York, American Institute of Mining Engineers, the
county, daughter of Rev. W. A. Pauli, of the Reformed Philadelphia Country Club, of Philadelphia, and Frank-
Church, and to this union there have been born six chil- lin Institute, Philadelphia.

dren : Mary m. F. H. Muhlenberg, and has four children Harry A. Smink, only son of F. C. Smink, was born

Hiester H., Charles R., Ernest and Mary; Miss Grace; i" the city of Reading in 1867. He received his early

Mabel m. H. P. Weile, of Reading; Bessie m. Lindsay education in the public schools of his native place, later

McCandlish, and has one child, Jane R. ; Miss Florence attending a preparatory school, and in 1892 entered the

is at home ; and .-Vrthur is a member of the firm of Hutch- employ of the Reading Iron Company, with which he is

inson-McCandlish Coal Company, Reading. still connected. He began as a clerk, and was advanced

Mr. Rick is a member of the Military Order of the upon his merits, until in 1897, he was promoted to be

Loyal Legion of the United States; and of Chandler assistant superintendent of the Tube Works of the Com-

Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M. He is a Republican in pol- P^^y< a position he has ably filled since. The charge is a

itics, and in 1874 he was a member of the common coun- responsible one, over two thousand people being employed

cil. He is a director of the Charles Evans cemetery, the '" 'he plant.

Reading City Passenger Railroad Company, and the Mount Mr. Smink married Rosie Deysher, daughter of William

Penn Gravity Railroad. G. Deysher, and they have two children, Frank and Rus-
sell. The family are Catholic in religious connection.

F. C. SMINK, president of the Reading Iron Company,
IS associated with so many enterprises typical of the com- FERDINAND THUN, manufacturer of textile machin-

rnercial prosperity of Pennsylvania that he is not only con- ery and president of the borough council in Wyomissing,

sidered a representative business man of Reading, but of was born in Barmen, Germany, Feb. 14, 1866. He was



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 112 of 227)