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 115 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 115 of 227)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


fraternity, and also belongs to the Washington Library
Company, of which he is vice president.



JOHN G, XANDER, of the Xander Machine & Supply
Company, is not only a machinist of ability, but an in-
ventor whose machines are in use all over the country.

Born in Hamburg, Pa., Aug. 6, 1854, Mr. Xander re-
mained there in school up to the age of fourteen, when he
entered his father's shop to learn the machinist's trade
from his father, George A. Xander, who was a man of
considerable ability in that line himself. After mastering
his new calling, Mr. Xander went to Reading and secured
employment in the Harbster (now the Reading) Hardware
Company. He worked there five years, and in the mean-
time developed such a marked taste for mechanical pur-
suits that he entered the employ of the Reading Iron Com-
pany as foreman in the tool room. He remained with them
only six months, and was next with W. H. Wilhelm & Co.,
manufacturers of hat machinery, with whom he remained
from 1882 to 1892. In the following year he went into
partnership with James T. and James C. Reber as the Acme
Manufacturing Company, to continue the manufacture of
bicycles which Mr. Xander had patented and made after
he left Wilhelm & Company. The new firm continued till
1897 when Air. Xander sold his interest to the Rebers, and
left Reading to locate instead in Lebanon, Pa. There he
organized the Keystone M. & M. Company, and for four
years was engaged in the manufacture of bicycles on a
very extensive scale, but in 1900 he disposed of his interests
there, returned to Reading and opened his present establish-
ment at Nos. 926-930 Bingaman street. He does an
extensive business in general machinery, in the manu-
facture and repair of automobiles, and in the manufacture
of hat imachinery, filling orders for the last all over the
United States and Europe. Mr. Xander is also a de-
signer and builder of special machinery, besides having
on the market a water motor for running washing ma-
chines, and the Xander Brazing Compound, for cast iron
and other metals, all of which are sold and used over the
entire country. Mr. Xander is a man who has proved his
claim to a foremost place in his line of work, and who has
reaped substantial financial returns for his work. In addi-
tion to the above business he is also on the staff of the
General Adjustment Bureau of New Y'ork, as machinery
expert, in appraisement of machinery. His establishment
is an official station for the American Motor League.

Mr. Xander married, in 187.'), Miss Afatikla Richards, like
himself a native of Hamburg, Pa. Their only child is a
daughter, Florence, cashier for the G. M. Britton Com-
pany. The family are all members of St. Andrew's Re-
formed Church. Mr. Xander's business interests have left
him little time for any political work, but he is an intelli-
gent student and observer of conditions, and in voting
always takes an independent stand. He is a member of
Camp No. 78, P. O. S. of A., Hamburg,, and of the Veteran
Association of the same order.

ELDRIDGE ZIMilERMAN. The ancestors of Eldridge
Zimmerman, prothonotary of Berks county. Pa., came to
this county as early as 1743.

Isaac Zimmerman, grandfather of Eldridge, was born
in Maxatawny township, Berks county, where his life' was
spent as a farmer.

Daniel Zinunerman. son of Isaac and father of Eldridge,
was a farmer and hotel keeper. He was a school director
at Kutztown, and was recorder of deeds for Berks county
for the years 1879, 1880 and ISSl. He died March 10, 1888,
aged sixty-three years. He married Susan Caroline Fisheri
daughter of Jacob Fisher, of Kutztown, where he kept a
hotel. They had three children, viz.: Marv, wife of .■\. S
Hottenstein, a lawyer of Milton, Pa. ; Jacob F., U. S. store-
keeper and ganger at Kutztown; and Eldridge of fopton,
Pennsylvania.

Eldridge Zimmerman was born .-^pril 13. 1852, in Alaxa-
tawny township. After completing the common school
course at Kutztown, he attended the State Normal School
there, and subsequently taught school for two terms. He
then engaged in the grain, flour and coal business at Kutz-
town, in which he continued for three years, and then
served as deputy recorder during the vcars 1S79, i.sso and
1881. .After retiring from this position he returned to the



BIOGRAPHICAL



439



homestead and farmed until 1889, when he served as deputy
treasurer for five months during that year. After retiring
from this position he moved to Topton, Berks county, Pa.,
where he has since resided. For six years he served as
school director in Maxatawny township, for fourteen years
was justice of the peace in the same township, and for six
years served in the same position in Topton. He was
deputy prothonotary of Berks county during the years
1901-02-03-04-05-06, and in the fall of 1906 was elected to
the office of prothonotary which he now fills, his term
expiring the first Monday of January, 1910.

Mr. Zimmerman married Nov. 30, 1876, Louisa A. Miller,
daughter of Charles Miller, a retired farmer, who died in
May, 1905, aged ninety-nine years and twenty-eight days.
They have one son, Charles D., born Dec. 25, 1880; he is a
graduate of the Kutztown State Normal School, and taught
school for several terms, but is now a clerk for the Phila-
delphia & Reading Railway Company. Mr. Zimmerman is
a member of the Lutheran denomination while his wife
attends the Reformed church. He belongs to the Masonic
fraternity, having joined when twenty-one years and
twenty-seven days old. He was the first Mason admitted
to Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. & A. M., at Kutztown, and
he also belongs to the Knights Templars and to the Nobles
of the Mystic Shrine. His son was raised a Mason when
twenty-one years and one day old, and is also a Knight
Templar and a Shriner.

In politics Mr. Zimmerman is a Democrat as were his
forefathers, and he has been an active worker
in his party since attaining his majority. He is a man
of upright character, liberal education and broad-minded
views.

ALFRED SCHROEDER JONES was born at Fisher's
Ferry, Susquehanna river, a few miles below Sunbury, Aug.
18, 1835. When he was six years old his father, Thomas
Jones, who was a farmer and the proprietor of a tannery,
died, and his widow with three children returned to Read-
ing, her native place.

The subject of this sketch received his education in the
public schools of Reading; in the classical school of John
Kelly, Court street below Sixth, who had been educated
for a priest; in Trinity Lutheran Parochial school, south-
west corner of Sixth and Washington streets, taught by
Constantine Deininger, a linguist, and in the Reading In-
stitute, No. 225 South Fifth street, a classical school of
which Prof. James S. Lee and Rev. Dr. William A. Good
were the principals. In the spring of 1857 he became an
assistant teacher in the latter school, which position he
held for several years. Subsequently he taught a select
school at Snydertown, Northumberland county, and public
schools in Maiden-creek, Bern and Cumru townships, and
at Rehrersburg and Strausstown, Berks county, and during
the summers read law in the office of Amos B. Wanner,
but that being too sedentary for Mr. Jones he turned his
attention to the newspaper publishing business.

In April, 1864, he started the Reading Daily Reporter,
the publication office being located at No. 517 Penn street,
having previously personally canvassed a portion of the
city for subscribers, which gave him needed outdoor exer-
cise. He bid for the city printing, which was awarded to
him, and the newspaper was so successful that the receipts
from its circulation and advertising paid all the expenses
from the_ beginning until the paper was enlarged at the
suggestion of a candidate for office who promised financial
aid, but did not give it, when the expenses became greater
then the receipts, and the publication was suspended after
being in existence six months.

A number of years before he published the Daily Re-
porter he did his first newspaper work when he contrib-
uted to and edited the Educational Department of the
Berks County Press which was specially intended to be
read by the school teachers of Berks and surrounding
counties. He was then a teacher himself.

When the Civil war was in progress Mr. Jones spent
three years in the employ of the Ordnance Department of
the United States Navy, drawing his pay, nearly $4,000, from
the paymaster located at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia. After



spending two years at Scott Foundry, Reading, he was
sent to Fort Pitt Foundry, Pittsburg, where he remained
a year, until the manufacture of cannon ceased there, the
war having closed. His duty was to be in the foundry when
the naval guns were cast, note the different stages of their
fabrication in the machine shop, and be at the proving
ground when they were tested with powder and shot, and
prepare weekly reports, which were signed by the Naval
Ordnance Inspector, and sent to the Navy Ordnance de-
partment at Washington, D. C.

Mr. Jones had begun the study of shorthand when he
was a school boy, and he put it to practical use when he
was one of the official reporters in the Pennsylvania State
Senate during the session of 1867-68. When he returned
to Reading at he close of the session the Reading Daily
Eagle had just been started, and he accepted a position
on it, which he has retained ever since, a period of forty
years. He has done all kinds of reportorial work up to
and including the reporting in shortlaand of the proceed-
ings of political State conventions. When he first be-
came connected with the Daily Eagle he was for some
time the only newspaper reporter in Reading. Later he
occupied the position of city editor, and he now edits the
manuscript of correspondents of the paper, of which
there are over 300 in Berks and adjoining counties.
Every week he prepares special articles for the Sunday
Eagle, and he has written more historical articles about
aged persons and occurrences in Reading and Berks county
in olden times for publication in the daily and weekly
press than any other person in eastern Pennsylvania. When
he first became connected with the Eagle in 1868 he began
interviewing for publication the oldest residents, veterans
of the War of 1812, persons prominent in politics, business
and other pursuits, and he has continued this ever since.
He is a member of the Historical Society of the County
of Berks, and has prepared historical sketches for the
archives of this organization. Mr. Jones is proud of the
fact that he is the oldest reporter in Reading, and has
been continuously connected for over forty years with
such a wide-awake and progressive journal as the Eagle.

On April 11, 1861, Mr. Jones was married to Catharine
Hammer, daughter of the late Judge Jacob Hammer, of
Orwigsburg. She died March 29, 1906. Two children
were born to them, Thomas H. and Lilian H.

JOSEPH O. FLATT, Sr. (deceased), founder of the
brush manufacturing business now conducted by the firm
of Joseph O. Flatt & Co., was a native of Baden, Germany,
born Oct. 4, 1829. There he spent his youth and early man-
hood, receiving the thorough training characteristic of his
country and her institutions. He learned the trade of
machinist in the Fatherland, not only familiarizing him-
self with the more practical details of the work, but also
attending several of the leading technical schools of Ger-
many, acquiring an education above the average.

In 1856 Mr. Flatt came to America, and settling in
Reading, Berks Co., Pa., found employment readily with
the Philadelphia & Reading Company, with which he re-
mained until the panic of 1872. On Oct. 22d, of that
year, he turned his attention to the manufacture of
brushes, a business in which he continued the remainder
of his life. He made a financial success of the undertak-
ing, and won high personal standing, being noted for his
honest and upright methods of dealing. His death, which
occurred in 1894,, was widely mourned in Reading, where
he left a large family and numerous friends and acquain-
tances who admired and respected him as an able and use-
ful citizen.

Mr. Flatt married April 7, 1857, CaroHna W. Maurer,
a native of Saxony, Germany, and a daughter of Christian
and Henrietta (Crasser) Maurer. Children as follows
were born to this union : Anna and Mary, twins, died in
infancy. Charles married and became the father of two
children, Sally and Walter. William, a printer, m. Sallie
Kolb and had two children, William and George." Max
(deceased) m. Maggie Rodenberger, and they had one
child, Hattie. Mary m. Harry Wentzel, of Philadelphia.
Anna (deceased) m. George Hoffman. Frederick died at



440



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



the age of two years, Joseph 0., Jr., is mentioned
below. Harry, a blaclcsmith and horseshoer of Reading,
is mentioned elsewhere. George W. is in business with
his brother Joseph O., being junior member of the firm of
Joseph O. Flatt & Co., and is mentioned below. Caro-
line m. Ralph Fink and lives in Philadelphia. The entire
family are identified with the Lutheran Church.

JOSEPH O. FLATT, senior member of the firm^ of
Joseph O. Flatt & Co., brush manufacturers, of Reading,
has passed all of his life in that city. He was born in
Reading, Aug. 27, 1872, son of the late Joseph O. and
Carolina W. (Maurer) Flatt, and received his education
in the public schools and at.Brunner's Business College.
Immediately after leaving school he began keeping books
for his father, by whom he was employed until the latter's
death, Nov. 25, 1894. Joseph O. Flatt carried the business
on alone for about a month, and on Jan. 1, 1895, formally
assumed control of same in partnership with his younger
brother, George W. Flatt, under the firm name of Joseph
O. Flatt & Co. They have continued the business ever
since. Until 1897 it was located at No. 641 Pine street, and
then was located at Nos. 548-552 Miltimore street in a
factory 28 x 42 feet in dimensions, and three stories in
height. This they still own, but it is rented, as on May 1,
1908, they removed to Nos. 137-139 Cedar street, where
they had built a large three-story brick factory building,
35 X 120 feet, with all conveniences, where they are equip-
ped to turn out brushes in carload lots. The product
includes all kinds of brushes, which the firm ships to all
parts of the United States, and through jobbers some of
the brushes are also exported. Employment is given
to about twenty hands the year round. Joseph O. Flatt
acts as treasurer and general manager of the company,
and George W. Flatt is the traveling representative of the
firm. Both brothers rank among the substantial men of
the city in commercial circles, where their business acumen
has earned them an honorable place.

In March 1894, Mr. Flatt was married to Anna C.
Bentz, and they have one child, Anna Catherine. The
family home is at No. 122 North Ninth street. In fra-
ternal life Mr. Flatt is quite prominent as a member of
various Masonic bodies, being past master of Teutonia
Lodge, No. 367, F. & A. M. ; a member of Excelsior
Chapter, No. 237 ; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T. ;
Reading Lodge of Perfection, and Rajah Temple, A. A.
O. N. M. S. He is also a member of the Knights of
the Golden Eagle and of the Schuylkill Fire Company.
Mr. Flatt in religious connection unites with St. John's
German Lutheran Church.

GEORGE W. FLATT, junior member of the firm of
Joseph O. Flatt & Co., brush manufacturers, of Reading,
is one of the young business men of that city, but the
house with which he is connected was founded by his
father over thirty years ago. Mr. Flatt was born in Read-
ing, March 4, 1876, son of Joseph O. and Carohna W.
(Maurer) Flatt. He was educated in the public schools
of the city, and ever since leaving school has been iden-
tified with the business he is now conducting, working
with his father until the latter's death. On Jan. 1, 1895,
he and his brother Joseph O. formed the partnership which
still exists, George W. Flatt being business manager and
traveling representative of the house, while Joseph O.
acts as treasurer and general manager. The output of
the factory is 8,000 brushes daily, but the patronage is
increasing so steadily that they are kept very busy filling
orders, and the business has shown a creditable growth
under their management. They have a sales and sample
room at No. 138 North Ninth street, Reading, and a well-
equipped factory, where twenty hands are given regular
employment. The Flatt brothers have given evidence of
the same enterprise and progressive spirit that character-
ized their father, who was a man of more than ordinary
ability and education, and their irreproachable treatment
of customers has been rewarded with continued success.

George W. Flatt married, in 1902, Miss Anna Otto. He
is well known in Masonic circles, being a member of Teu-



tonia Lodge, No. 367, Excelsior Chapter, Readin;? Com-
mandery, Reading Lodge of Perfection and Rajah Tcnipli;.
The family are all musical, and George W. Flatt plays
the clarionet and was financial secretary of the Ringgold
Band of which he was a member, but since April 1, 1908,
he has discontinued the active part of the music business,
so as to devote more time to his growing brush business.
He resides at No. 128 North Ninth street.

HENRY AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG (1), clergyman,
Congressman and first minister to Austria, was born at
Lancaster, Pa., May 13, 1782. He was the eldest son of Rev.
Henry E., and grandson of Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlen-
berg, the American ancestor of the family who, in 1741,
emigrated from Saxony as a missionary of the Lutheran
Church to the German population of Pennsylvania.

According to the wishes of his father Henry A. Muhlen-
berg studied theology under the Rev. Dr. Kunze, of New
York, and in 1802 he became pastor of Trinity Lutheran
Church at Reading, Berks county, and continued there for
twenty-seven years. His health becoming impaired, he
resolved to withdraw from ministerial duties and retire
to a farm, but his fellow-citizens, who had long admired
his consistent support of Democratic principles, solicited
him to represent the district in Congress and he was
elected. In December, 1829, he took his seat at Washing-
ton, and gave his support to the administration of Presi-
dent Jackson. His views on the tariff question were mod-
erate. He was opposed to the United States Bank, and
coincided in all the views hostile to that institution which
were expressed by the President, and it was he who, on
Feb. 18, 1834, after more than two months of daily
appeals in behalf of the banks, moved the previous ques-
tion. He retained for nine years his prominence as a
member of the House. In 1835 he was a candidate of a
portion of the Democratic party for the governorship of
Pennsylvania, but was defeated. In 1837, President Van
Buren tendered him a seat in the cabinet as Secretary of
the Navy, and afterward the Russian mission, but for pri-
vate reasons he declined both positions. In 1838 he was
named minister to Austria, and was unanimously confirmed,
officiating at Vienna until the close of 1840. In 1844 he
was nominated by the Democratic State Convention for
Governor, and he accepted the nomination, but died sud-
denly on Aug. 11, 1844, two months prior to the election.

Mr. Muhlenberg was a man of studious habits and
great learning, rather retiring in disposition, decidedly
eloquent, and strong and forcible when his feelings or
conscience were once aroused. His influence is attributable
in large part to his sterling integrity of character, for
when the community found that he was earnestly in favor
of any public measure, they knew that he believed that
measure to be just and were generally willing to adopt
his estimate of it as correct. As a relief from his pub-
lic duties Mr. Muhlenberg was a great lover of nature
and outdoor sports, and spent quite a portion of his
spare moments in hunting and fishing.

Mr. Muhlenberg was married twice: First to Elizabeth
Hiester, daughter of Gov. Joseph Hiester, and they had
one daughter, Mary Elizabeth (m. E. Jonathan Deininger) ;
and second to Rebecca Hiester, also a daughter of Gover-
nor Hiester, by whom he had six children, Emma Eliza-
beth, Hiester H., Henry A., Emma Elizabeth, Rose Cath-
arme and Henry A. His first wife died in 1806, and the
second in 1841.

ABRAHAM H. ROTHERMEL. The large and influen-
tial Rothermel family of Pennsylvania is descended from
John Rothermel, who was born in Wachbach, a province
of Holland, in 1688. In 1708, he married Sybilla Zimmer-
man, a sister of General Zimmerman, of his native land.
In 1730, after the birth of one daughter and five sons, he
set sail from Rotterdam, with his entire family, for Amer-
ica. John Rothermel died at sea and never saw the shores
of the country for which he started. His wife and
children arrived in Philadelphia Aug. 29, 1730. The
daughter, Anna Maria, who had married Peter Fetherolf
in Wachbach, in 1729, settled with her husband in Ma-




HENRY AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG



BIOGRAPHICAL



441



cungie township, Lehigh county. The five sons, namely:
Lawrence, Paul, Peter, John and Christian, all settled in
Berks county.

Abraham H. Rothermel, the subject of this sketch, is a
descendant in the fourth generation from John Rothermel,
of Wachbach. His father, Abraham Rothermel (1823-
1903), was a son of Peter Rothermel (1773-1856), who
was a son of Peter Rothermel, the son of the aforesaid
John Rothermel. All of Mr. Rothermel's paternal ances-
tors in America, with the exception of his father, whose
remains are interred in Spies's Church Cemetery, lie buried
in the Rothermel family cemetery, at Walnuttown, Berks
county.

Mr. Rothermel's mother was Magdalena (Heckman)
Rothermel (1828-1888), daughter of Adam and Catharine
(Heffner) Heckman, of Alsace township. His paternal
grandmother was Magdalena laeger, daughter of Frederick
laeger, of Oley township (1748-1822), and his paternal
great-grandmother was Magdalena (Dreibelbis) Rother-
mel, daughter of Jacob Dreibelbis. The last named, as
well as Frederick laeger, above mentioned, were soldiers
of note in the war of the American Revolution.




• Abraham H. Rothermel, one of Reading's ablest lawyers,
and ex-district attorney, is the youngest son of Abraham
and Magdalena (Heckman) Rothermel. He was born in
Maiden-creek township, Berks county, March 8, 1863. His
parents removed to the Quaker community m Amity
township when he was two years of age, and there his
youthful character was moulded under the pure and re-
fined influence of. a Christian home. He attended the
schools of the township, being qualified at an early age
to teach a township school, and this he did for several
years with boyish dignity and marked aptitude, more than
half the pupils being older than himself. After teaching
several years, he entered upon a course of preparatory
study at Palatinate College, Myerstown, Pa., and later
at the Franklin and Marshall Academy. In September,
1883, he entered Franklin and Marshall College, at Lan-
caster, Pa., from which institution he was graduated in
1887 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Later the same
institution conferred the degree of Master of Arts upon
him. Immediately after his graduation from college, Mr.
Rothermel took up the study of law under the preceptor-



ship of the late Hon. Augustus S. Sassaman, and he was
admitted to practice in the courts of Berks county, Nov.
24, 1888,; and, later, on motion of Richmond L. Jones,
Esq., was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of
Pennsylvania.

In November, 1889, Mr. Rothermel entered into a part-
nership in the practice of law with David F. Mauger, Esq.,
under the firm name of Rothermel & Mauger, and the
partnership, which has been eminently successful, has con-
tinued to the present time, the firm enjoying a large and
representative clientage. In politics Mr. Rothermel has
always been a consistent Democrat, and he has done val-
uable service for his party in many campaigns. He is an
eloquent and forceful pubhc speaker, and has been on the
platform on many notable occasions. His fame as an
orator is not confined to political circles. In May, 1897, he
delivered the oration at the laying of the corner-stone of
the Watts de Peyster Library at Franklin and Marshall
College, as the representative of the donor, Gen. J. Watts
de Peyster, of New York; and again, in June, 1898, he
was selected by General de Peyster to make the formal
presentation of the library to the board of trustees of the



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 115 of 227)