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 113 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 113 of 227)
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the State as well. The Reading Iron Companv, to the educated in the schools of that place and graduated from

direction of which the greater part of his time is' devoted, the technical high school in 188.-.. He then entered the

has one of the largest independent plants of the kind office of a large establishment which manufactured braids,

in the United States. laces and dress trimmings — this constituting one of the

Mr. Smink was born in 184.5 in Kutztown, Berks county, principal industries of Barmen, for many years a famous
Pa., son of H. B. and Elizabeth (Ebert) Smink. He was manufacturing center of Germany — and" continued there
educated in the public schools of Reading, graduating three years, when he determined to visit America. He
from the high school in 1861, after which he taug'ht proceeded to Stony Creek ]Mills. Berks county. Pa., reach-
school during the winter season, doing farm Avork in ing the place in September, 1880, and secured employment
the summer months. He has since been identified with as bookkeeper in the office of Louis Kraemer & Co., the
Reading. His first position in this city was that of book- senior proprietor being an old friend of his father. While
keeper in the shoe manufacturing establishment of H. so employed he devoted his spare time to the study of
F. Felix, with whom he remained two years. In 1864 the English language, .\fter remaining there until the
he entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading spring of 1888, and having successfullv acquired the Eng-
Railway Company as secretary to Superintendent G.A. lish tongue, he returned to Barmen, biit was at home only
Nicolls, in which service he remained three years, after a short time when he decided to locate permanently in the
which he resigned to accept the chief clerkship in United States, and there to engage in the manufacturing
Bushong Brothers Bank. Soon afterward he ivas pro- business. He directed his special attention to the manufac°
moted to cashier, and acted as such until the bank ture of braids, ribbons, etc., until the following February,
failed, in 1877. Meantime he had also become treasurer by which time he had familiarized himself with°the practi-
and general manager of the Berks & Lehigh Railroad cal side of this business. He then went to New York
Company, and president of the Keystone Flardware Com- and was employed in a leading braid factory' for three
pany. The latter concern also suspending business in years, serving for a considerable part of the tinie as super-
1877, Mr. Smink entered the service of the Reading Iron intendent of the works. While there he met a vounc^ man
Works as general business manager, Jan. 1, 1878. He con- also from Barmen, Henrv K. Janssen, an expert ma'chinist
tinued m that capacity until 1889, in which year the works in the manufacture of textile machinery, and thev agreed
failed. On the organization of the Reading Iron Company, to form a partnership in that branch' of business and
Mr. Smmk was made vice-president and general manager locate at Reading, Pa., where thev had friends and where
under the presidency of George F. Baer, whom he sue- the prospects of success appeared to them ver'v encouras-
ceeded m 1902 as executive head of the company. ing. They accordingly went to Reading in 1892, and in

Mr. Smink has risen to a position ot affluence from a modest way started" the new enterprise at Nos' 220-'''^'>

a modest beginning. Starting as a clerk, he has pro- Cedar street, 'emploving only a few hands In four~years



BIOGRAPHICAL



433



they had become so successful that they required a larger
place with greater facilities for increasing development.
They selected a tract of several acres of land at Wyomis-
sing, along the Lebanon Valley railroad, where they
erected a factory capable of accommodating 100 hands,
and theirs was the first industrial establishment in that
place. In 1900 they organized and incorporated the com-
pany under the name of the Textile Machine Company,
with Mr. Janssen as president, and Mr. Thun as secretary
and treasurer, which positions they have held until now.
In December, 1906, this company employed 300 hapds,
a remarkable increase in ten years, showing the skill,
energy and success of its projectors. Mr. Thun was in-
strumental in establishing at the same place the Berkshire
Knitting Mills and the Narrow Fabric Company, two new
industries which employ nearly 500 hands.

In 1902 Mr. Thun started the Wyomissing Suburban
Building and Loan Association, and in 1906 the Wyomis-
sing Building and Savings Association, and he has served
as treasurer of both organizations until the present time.
With these large and promising enterprises at Wyomissing
he naturally became very active in the movement for
establishing a borough, and upon its incorporation in 1906
he was elected one of the first councilmen, and in the or-
ganization of 'the council was chosen president.

In 1896 Mr. Thun married Anna M. Grebe, daughter of
Louis Grebe, of Stony Creek Mills, by whom he has six
children : Anna, Margaret, Wilma, Hildegard, Ferdinand
and Louis.

Ferdinand Thun, father of Mr. Thun, is a native of
Barmen, born in 1830. He learned the foundry business
there, which he followed successfully for forty years, and
he has been living in retirement since 1890. He married
Julia Westkott, "of Barmen, who died there in 1881, aged
forty-two years. They had four children : Ferdinand ;
Emil, who succeeded his father in the foundry business ;
Mary; and Emilie. The last three are living at home in
Barmen.

EDWIN BOONE, vice-president and cashier of the
National Union Bank, of Reading, was born on the Boone
homestead, in Exeter township, Berks county, Jan. 14,
1846. His emigrant ancestors were among the first settlers
in this county, coming from England and settling along
the headwaters of Monocacy creek, in what is now Exeter
township, prior to the year 1720. His father, Ellis H.
Boone, moved to Reading in early manhood, and there
became a well-known man in his line, serving for more
than forty years as foreman in the Philadelphia & Reading
car shops. Ellis H. Boone married Ann Cleaver, daughter
of Derrick Cleaver, whose ancestors were also among
the first settlers of that section of Berks county.

Mr. Boone was educated in Reading, and was only fif-
teen years old (havin-g left high school) when tendered
a position as clerk in the National Union Bank, with
which institution he has ever since been connected. He
accepted the clerkship March 4, 1861, the day Lincoln was
first inaugurated President. It is of interest to note that
Lincoln's ancestors were near neighbors of the Boones
ill Exeter township, before 1730. Mr. Boone commenced
his business career with a determination to succeed which
he has never relinquished. He gave evidence of ability
from the start, and was promoted steadily until he at-
tained the position of cashier in 1878, though then but
thirty-two years of age.- Over twenty years later, in 1901,
he was honored with election to the office of vice-president,
and still retains both responsibilities. In all the years he
has been intrOsted with the heavy obligations of these
positions his vigilance and fidelity have been marked,
and no cloud has ever marred the history of the insti-
tution or its management. Under his management the bank
has enjoyed continual success, and a steady growth, the
business transacted in 1906 amounting to over $82,500,000.
But it is only due to the directors of the bank to say
that Mr. Boone's services have been both appreciated and
rewarded, and he has the satisfaction of enjoying the con-
fidence of those in authority at the bank and of the public
upon whose patronage its prosperity depends.
28



Mr. Boone's alertness, keen perception, knowledge and
long experience in matters of finance have brought him
into many congresses and councils, and -in contact with
some of the greatest minds and financiers of the country.
Whatever threatened or menaced, whether depression or
panic or stringency of any kind, the National Union Bank
has had in Mr. Boone a pilot who knew the channel and
knew of every reef and ledge, and whatever the tempest
this commander carried his barque safely through to the
calm sea.

In the year 1892, seeking a respite from business cares,
Mr. Boone made a tour of the United States, visiting
many points of interest, and extending his trip through
Nova Scotia and Canada. Six years later, in company
with Messrs. James A. and Dr. Charles A. O'Reilly, he
visited France, sojourning most of the time in Paris.
Again in 1902, in company with his friend, Rev. F. K.
Huntzinger, pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of
Reading, he journeyed to Jamaica, stopping at Kingston
(since destroyed by earthquake), where they remained for
three weeks, meeting many of the distinguished and in-
fluential citizens of the Island. This jaunt proved so
enjoyable to Mr. Boone and his companion that another
was planned, and in 1905 they set sail for Europe, visiting
France, England, Holland and Germany.

While in London rare respect and privileges were ex-
tended them. They were shown through the Bank of
England, an unusual courtesy to those having no creden-
tials or recommendations. However, identity and confi-
dence were established through a five dollar National
Union Bank note bearing the signature of Mr. Boone
as cashier. This was accepted as a satisfactory sponsor,
and they were shown through this historic institution,
being specially interested in the printing, as all currency
circulating throughout England and the English Colonies
i.=; printed there. They were also admitted to both Houses
of Parliament, while in session, and at a time or on a day
when visitors were excluded.

In the summer of 1907 these two friends took a six
weeks' trip together, ^n this occasion visiting Norway,
Sweden, Denmark, northern Germany and Holland. They
sailed from New York on July 17th, on the "Noordam,"
of the Holland-American line, and though the trip across
was not particularly pleasant, the weather being cold and
foggy, they had the novel experience of coming close to
an iceberg, so close that the vessel was slowed down until
it made scarcely any progress, because of the danger of
a collision. Icebergs at that season show little of their
bulk above the surface, and are a source of danger
avoided by every captain. During the trip the fog at onp time
prevailed for thirty-six consecutive hours. At Hamburg, Ger-
many, the friends boarded the tourist steamer "Vega"
for Norway, and they had a delightful voyage along the
romantic and mountainous coast of that country, also pen-
etrating many of the fjords which indent the mountains,
whose sides slope directly into the sea. The marvelous
color effects on the water, the snow-covered mountains,
the mountain forests, the beautiful cascades formed by
the melting snow — all the bold scenery of the coast was
pleasantly varied by the trips up the fjords, which afforded
them many delightful glimpses of peaceful farm and vil-
lage life. The wonders of the midnight sun were among
the glories of that far northern land they enjoyed to
the full.

From^Bergen, Norway, they went to the larger cities
of Scandinavia, visiting Christiania, the capital of Nor-
way; Stockholm, with its beautiful public and private
buildings, parks, streets and places of amusement; Up-
sala, the great university town, the intellectual center
of Sweden, and its handsome Dome Church, founded
two hundred years before the discovery of America, and
rebuilt in modern times; Copenhagen; and Berlin, where
they remained for a week, on Sunday attending divine
service in the new Dome Church, and during their stay
visiting many noted places of interest. From that city
they proceeded to Rotterdam, where they embarked on
the "Ryndam," of the Holland-American Line, arriving
at their home on August 27th. The tour was one of



434



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



unusual interest and enjoyment, and Mr. Boone and
his friend live through their experiences again in many
pleasant hours of friendly intercourse.

Fraternally Mr. Boone is a 33d-degree Mason, and
is likewise a member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He belongs to
the First Baptist Church, with which he united in boy-
hood, and since 1879 he has served as treasurer of that
church.

On April 9, 1868, Mr. Boone was united in marriage
with Mary J. Buchanan, and to them have been born
two daughters : Mary, now the wife of Theodore Bond
Harrison, whose home is at Germantown, Pa.; and Annie,
wife of Henry Moore Hawkesworth, living at Brookline,
Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Boone is a man of fine
physique and personality, a safe counselor, though never
obtrusive, generous and charitable without ostentation,
and upright in every relation of life.

COL. GEORGE NAGEL was born near Coblentz, Ger-
many, about 1728, son of Joachim Nagel. He came to
Reading about 1755, and engaged in blacksmithing. He
served as an ensign in the French and Indian War, and
in 1763 he returned to Reading and resumed his trade.
In 1771 he was elected sheriff of Berks county. When
the Revolution commenced he raised the first company
in Berks county to fight for American liberty. His com-
pany participated in the campaign at and about Cambridge,
Mass. He was a brave and true soldier, and rose to the
rank of colonel. Col. Nagel continued in the military
service until 1783, when he returned to Reading and
engaged in the mercantile business. He continued in this
business until his death in March, 1789. His remains
were interred in the Reformed cemetery. He married
Rebecca, daughter of Mordecai Lincoln, of Exeter town-
ship.

Captain Peter Nagel, a brother of the above Col. George
Nagel, was born near Coblentz, Oct. 31, 1750, and came
to Reading as a young man and learned the trade of a
hatter under Samuel Jackson, the first hat manufact-
urer at Reading. He followed this occupation until 1807,
first as a journeyman, then as a manufacturer. During
the Revolution he was prominently connected with mil-
itary affairs, and was a captain from 1777 to 1783. He
held various civil offices, including justice of the peace,
coroner and county treasurer. This latter office was
subsequently held by a son, a grandson, and from 1873
to 1875 by a great-grandson, the late Dr. Hiester M.
Nagel. He took an active part in the military parade in
1794 in honor of President Washington, and held a re-
ception to the distinguished gentleman at his house, at the
site of the present post-office, to enable the citizens to
meet the "Father of his Country." Capt. Nagel was a
man of fine, commanding presence, and nearly six feet
tall. He died Nov. 30, 1834, and was buried in the
Reformed graveyard. Afterward his remains were re-
moved to the Charles Evans' cemetery. His name ap-
pe:;rs frequently as one of the church officers. Mr.
William' N. Coleman, a well-known citizen of Reading,
now eighty-six years of age, is a grandson of Capt.
Peter Nagel. The latter possesses an excellent oil paint-
mg of Capt. Nagel, which he prizes highly.

JOHNSON WILMER FISHER was born in Reading
June 18, A. D. 1870.

Henry B. Fisher, his grandfather, was born in Oley
township, Berks county, and was well known in the man-
ufacturing world in his day. For many years he operated
the well known Fisher's Woolen Mills, located on the
Swamp Creek, near New Berlinville, in Colebrookdale town-
ship. He came to Reading in 1857, where he continued
the same business for some years and where he died
March 16, 1887. He married Mary B, Johnson.

Henry J. Fisher, his father, was born near New Berlin-
ville, Colebrookdale township, Berks county, Pa., and
moved with his parents to the city of Reading in 1866,
where he has since resided and been actively engaged in
the grocery business. He was a loyal defender of the



Union, having served for three years in the Civil War
as a member of Company H, 104th Pennsylvania Volun-
teers. He married Mary C. Keever, daughter of Henry
V. and Lydia C. Keever, of Reading, and had two
children : Johnson Wilmer, and Mary L.

J. Wilmer Fisher attended the old Friends' School in
Reading, and the public schools, leaving the public schools
at the age of fourteen to "take up the battle of life.
He was not satisfied with his education, however, and
after his day's work as an errand boy in his father's
grocery store, he attended night school and prepared
to take up civil engineering. He thus gained sufificient
knowledge to enable him to accept a position as rodman
in the city engineer's office at the age of sixteen, where
he remained for some years, filling successively the
positions of rodman, transitman, assistant engineer and
general superintendent of the department. In the spring
of 1894 be resigned his position in the city engineer's
office to accept the position of assistant to the superin-
tendent of the Water department, and while acting in this
capacity prepared the first detailed plan of the water
pipe system of the city. Having formed the determina-
tion to adopt the law as a profession, he resigned his pos-
ition in the Water department in the fall of 1894 and
matriculated as a student at the Dickinson School of
Law, at Carlisle, Pa., from which institution he graduated-
in 1896. He registered as a law student in the office of
Judge Sadler in Cumberland County and was admitted to
the Cumberland County Bar June 9, 1896. He took the
examination for admission to the Berks County Bar, to
which he was admitted Nov. 9, 1896, and has since been
admitted to practice in the Supreme and Superior Courts
of Pennsylvania, the United States District and the United
States Circuit Courts. Since his admission to the Bar he
has continued in the active practice of his profession and
enjoys a large cHentele at the present time.

Mr. Fisher is active in the affairs of the Republican
party and his face is a familiar one at all its conven-
tions, to many of which he has been a delegate, and he is
an exceedingly valuable man in the field, having been
very useful in State and National campaigns. In
1901 he was nominated for district attorney. In 1904 he
was chairman of the Congressional Conference of the
Berks and Lehigh Congressional District, which placed
in nomination William H. Souden of Allentown, Lehigh
county. In 1906 he was the Republican Congressional
nominee for the Berks and Lehigh Congressional Dis-
trict, and received a large complimentary vote, and in
1908 was prominently mentioned for the appointment to
the Common Pleas Bench to succeed the late Judge
Ermentrout. He is at present treasurer of the Republican
county committee, having served in that office for many
years. Mr. Fisher takes a keen interest in local affairs.
He served as a member of the Reading School Board for
eight years, during which time he was chairman of
many important committees, and as chairman of the Fi-
nance committee for a number of years inaugurated many
reforms in conducting the business of the board. He
is an active member of the Board of Trade and a member
of its committee on Legislation. He is a member of
Trinity Lutheran Church, his maternal ancestors having
been members of that Church, since its organization in 1748.
He is active in Masonic circles, and is a charter member
of Isaac Hiester Lodge No. 660, F. & A. M. ; a member
of Excelsior Chapter No. 237, R. A. M. ; Reading Com-
mandery No. 43, K. T. ; Philadelphia Consistory. 32d de-
gree ; and Rajah Temple, A, A. O. N. M. S. He is also
a member of Gen. George G. Meade Camp No. 16, Sons
of Veterans.

CHARLES M. RICHARDSON, one of the most ex-
tensive creamery operators in Pennsylvania, was born
Oct. 8, 1858, in Ontelaunee township, Berks county,
where his father and grandfather resided before him.

William Richardson, his grandfather, lived at one time
in Bern township. He was located at Baltimore during
the Civil war. He died in Ontelaunee township, leaving
one son, Emanuel.



BIOGRAPHICAL



435



Emaniiel Richardson, the father of the subject of this
sketch, was born in Ontelaunee township and there fol-
lowed farming, also engaging in milling to some extent.
Moving to Exeter township, also in Berks county, he
bought the old "Daniel Boone" homestead, containing
153 acres, upon which he carried on farming until his
death. He married Lydia Miller, and they had the fol-
lowing children: Charles M. ; Kate, the wife of Edward
Beck; Owen, of Reading; Mary, wife of Daniel Snyder,
of Reading; Frank, of Reading; Wilson, of Berne; and
Ella, wife of George Lee, of Reading.

Charles M. Richardson attended the public schools of
his district when a boy, and later (1878-1879) the busi-
ness college of Prof. D. B. Brunner, at Reading. He was
engaged in creamery work as early as 1883 in Exeter
township, near Stonersville. He made his iirst independ-
ent venture in the creamery business in 1888 at Lyon Val-
ley, Lehigh Co., Pa. During the twenty years which have
since intervened he has developed his business and in-
creased his operations to such an extent that he is now
interested in more than thirty creameries located through-
out this State and New York. He is president of the
High Ground Dairy Company, of Brooklyn, N. Y., which
operates a number of large creameries in New York State,
and also conducts a large retail' milk business in Brook-
lyn, New York City. He is vice-president of the Har-
ford Dairy Company, of Harford, Susquehanna Co., Pa.,
which operates eight large plants in that county. He is
also a member of- the firm of Richardson Brothers, of
Berne, Pa., and he is associated with Mr. Howard E.
Ahrens, of Reading, Pa., in the firm of Ahrens & Rich-
ardson, Bernville, Pa. During the past ten years he has
also obtained control of ten small plants, scattered along
the East Penn branch of the Reading Railway, between
Allentown and Reading. These plants he operates in-
dependently under the management of S. W. Hacock,
Mertztown, Pennsylvania.

In 1891 Mr. Richardson located at Bernville, Pa., at
which place he has since made his home. He is promi-
nent and active in the public life and welfare of the
borough. He has served for thirteen years as a member
of the school board, acting at various times as secretary
and president. He was treasurer of the Old Home Week
Committee in 1907 and is at present the secretary of the
First National Bank of Bernville, with which he has been
connected as a director since its organization. He is a
member of the Reformed Church, which he has served as
both deacon and elder. He has also served as treasurer
of the Sunday school for a number of years.

In politics he is a Republican, and for the past few
years he has been the Republican committeeman of the
borough. In fraternal connection he is a member of I.
O. O. F. Lodge No. 122 and of P. O. S. of A. Camp No.
113.

As for his private life, Mr. Richardson married Eliza-
beth T. Snyder, daughter of 'Squire William H. Snyder,
of Oley Line, Berks Co., Pa. His family consists of four
sons : Edgar S., a graduate of Princeton University, class
of 1905, and at present a registered student-at-law from
Berks county in the Law Department of the University of
Pennsylvania (he was also prominently connected with
the celebration of Old Home Week in 1907) ; William E.,
a prominent m'ember of the class of 1910 of Princeton
University; and Charles S. and Frank, both students in the
Bernville grammar school.

HENRY F. PRINTZENHOFF, a retired contractor and
one of the leading citizens of Hamburg, Berks Co., Pa.,
who has been prominently identified with all public meas-
ures calculated to be of benefit to the community, was
born July 7, 1847, in Rockland township, this county, son
of Charles and grandson of Frederick Printzenhoff. The
name Printzenhoff signifies "Prince's Court."

Frederick Printzenhoff emigrated to America from Ger-
many in his young manhood, and, locating in Philadelphia,
followed coach-making until his removal to Friedensburg,
Berks county, where be continued the same business until
his decease, in 1863. He was married to an English-



woman, and became the father of five children: Charles,
William, Jerome, Caroline and Amanda.

Charles Printzenhoff, eldest son of Frederick, was born
in Philadelphia in 1812, and while a boy accompanied
his father to Friedensburg, where he learned the trade of
a tailor, following same for several years. He then en-
gaged in the hotel business at different places for varying
periods of time. In 1866 he removed to White Deer Mills,
in tfnion county, where he died in 1901. His wife, Sarah



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 113 of 227)