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 117 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 117 of 227)
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of the public school system. Not alone did he oppose it
by words, but he donated land on which a school house
in which to teach the German language was erected. It
was still standing a few years ago, but had long since be-
come a public school.

(VI) William Early, third son of John William Early,
was born in Londonderry township, Lebanon county, Sept.
13, 1808. His education was acquired in special and private
schools of his day, and he early turned his attention to
agricultural pursuits, following that line all his active
life, owning the farm previously owned and occupied by
his father. His death was caused by a fall, and it occurred
Oct. 13, 1876, when he was a little past sixty-eight years
of age. He married Leah Detweiler, daughter of John and
Elizabeth (Williams) Detweiler. To bless this union
came six children, namely: John William; Henry; David;
Leah, who died aged four years; Mary L., who died aged
one year; and one that died in infancy unnamed. In their
religious faith the family were all Lutherans.

(VII) Rev. John William Early, son of William, is
active in the ministry of the church of his fathers, the
Evangelical Lutheran. He was born near Palmyra, Lon-
donderry township, Lebanon county, Sept. 3, 1835. His
boyhood days were spent on his father's farm. For about
three years he attended a private school in charge of
Alexander Dasher, and then the common schools, after
their introduction. He entered the preparatory department
of Pennsylvania College in 1853, and graduated in 1857.
After a year spent at home recruiting shattered health,
he, in the fall of 1858, entered the Theological Seminary,
and was ordained by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania,
June 7, 1860. After supplying the pulpit of St. Michael's,
Germantown, during the sickness of the pastor. Dr. C. W.
Schaeffer, he took charge of congregations in Lancaster
county. Pa. He spent eight years in that county, and then
removed to the northern part of the State, serving con-
gregations at Selinsgrove, Stone Valley, Danville, etc.
Having spent twenty-five years in that section he came
to Reading to be near his sons, employed there, also to
be where he could be nearer the sources of historical and
genealogical research in which he was interested.

He was secretary of the Fourth (or Lancaster) Confer-
ence from 1861-68, of the Fifth or Northern District from
1869-75. He filled the office of president of this latter Con-
ference from 1874-77, and again from 1880-83.

Since residing at Reading the Rev. Mr. Earlv has pre-
pared and published the "Lives of Lutheran M'inisters of
Berks County"; likewise "Sketches of the Lutheran Con-
gregations of Berks," besides preaching whenever occasion
offered, and acting as Statistician of the Conference until

On Jan. 8, 1861, he married Jane M., eldest daughter of
Rev. L. G. Eggers, then pastor of the Stouchs-
burg parish. Their children, all residing in Reading, are •
Lewis Gustavus, of No. 131 South. Ninth street, Reading,
night editor of the Reading Times, m. Anna Bechtel, and
has two children, George William and Annetta Margaret
Martin Luther, a carpenter at No. 505 South Fifth street,
m. Magie E. Garman, and has seven children— Paul Fred-
eric (now at No. 1931 East Momnouth street, Philadelphia
m. Kathryn Yeager, and has two children, Paul William
and Ellen Henrietta), Jennie Eliza, Ella Miranda, John
William, Jr., Leah Esther, Charles Garman and Clarence
Robert (at home) ; Henrietta Catharine m. Harry W
Grim, No. 939 Ritter street, and has two children, WjUiani



George and Ralph Early; David Frederic, No. 141 South
Sixth street, m. Margaret H. Hiester, and has one child,
Albert Hiester; John Henry, assistant to his brother in
the Times office, is at home; and Leah Jane is also at

JOSEPH N. SHOMO, a retired merchant of Hamburg,
Berks county, was born in that place Oct. 27, 1833, son of
Joseph Shomo, of Hamburg, grandson of John Shomo
(1753-1836), and great-grandson of Bernard Shomo.
. Joseph Shomo, father of Joseph N., was born in Ham-
burg in 1794, and there he died in 1867. The mother of
Joseph N. Shomo was Mary Lesher, daughter of Jacob
Lesher, a hotel-keeper in Richmond township. The fol-
lowing are his brothers and sisters : John, Elizabeth,
Charles, William, Amanda, Mary, Harrison and Ellen.
Joseph came between Mary and Harrison : he is now the
only surviving member of the family.

After receiving a common school education Joseph N.
Shomo entered a general store at the age of fourteen
years, and was engaged a? salesman until his twentieth
year, when he went to the State of Ohio to engage in the
store business, but on account of the climate he was obliged
to return to Hamburg after a trial of two years. He then
entered the general store of his brother William, and
remained with him as salesman for fourteei; years, until
1869, when he purchased the Union Grist Mill in Hamburg,
carrying on the milling business for three years. The
dust of the mill proving injurious to his health, Mr.
Shomo discontinued the business, and after selling the
mill purchased the "Washington House" at Hamburg,
which he conducted successfully for nineteen years, until
he retired from active business life.

U.pon the establishment of the Keystone National Bank
at Reading, Mr. Shomo became one of the directors, and
he has continued as such to the present time. He officiated
as a town councilman for two terms, serving as president
of the council for four years, and was also a trustee of
the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, for up-
ward of ten years, by appointment of the Governor. When
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company came to extend its
branch railroad through the Schuylkill Valley, beyond
Reading, to Pottsville, in 1884, the management selected
Mr. Shomo as a special agent to adjust all land damages
by reason of the construction of the railroad, and in this
responsible position he performed his duties to the entire
satisfaction of the company. In 1901, when the county
office of controller was created to take the place of the
county auditors, the Governor appointed Mr. Shomo as the
first incumber^t to serve until the 1st of January, 1902, and
he filled this appointment in a very creditable manner. His
careful supervision of the fiscal matters of the county
for seven months resulted in the saving of many thousands
of dollars and this service proved at once the utility and
importance of this new local office.

Mr. Shomo was married in 1861 to Helen S., daughter
of Daniel Wolff, who was born and died in Hamburg, and
his wife, Sevilla Weiser (Fesig). Mrs. Wolff was born in
Womelsdorf, and later lived with her grandfather, Jabez
Weiser, on the Conrad Weiser farm; at the age of fifteen
she came to Hamburg, and at nineteen was married. Mr.
and Mrs. Shomo have one daughter, Carrie (m. to S. H.
Moyer). They are active members of St. John's Lutheran
Church, Mrs. Shomo having been a most devoted worker
in the church and Sunday-school of this congregation
since her girlhood. She has been the superintendent of
the infant department for the past sixteen years, and this
long-continued service evidences the love of her pupils
and the appreciation of the church officials.

R. MONROE HOFFMAN, sor. of Peter and Mary C.
(Althouse) Hoffman, was born in Exeter township, Berks
county, Oct. 16, 1862, and educated in the common schools
of Reading, graduating from the high school in 1882,
qualifying himself particularly for a business career. He
started as a clerk with the firm of B. W. Grist & Co., and
after serving them for several years entered the employ
of the Farmers National Bank, with which he continued

for eighteen years. His fidelity and proficiency were ap-
preciated by the directors of the bank, and he was grad-
ually promoted from one position to another until he be-
came the cashier, and he served as cashier until August,
1903, when he resigned. Shortly afterward he was elected
secretary and assistant treasurer of the Reading Trust
Company, and has been filling these positions until now.
He has been much interested in the success of the Homeo-
pathic Hospital, serving as a trustee since 1905.

Mr. Hoffman was married to Rebecca H. Schaeffer,
daughter of Nicholas S. Schaeffer and Susan High, his
wife, of Muhlenberg township. They are members of the
First Reformed Church at Reading. He has officiated as
treasurer of the congregation for seventeen years. He
is also one of the elders and has repeatedly represented
the church as a delegate to the classis, the Eastern Synod,
and to the General Synod of the Reformed Church, and
is at present • the treasurer of the Eastern Synod of the
Reformed Church.

HARTMAN. The common ancestor of the Hartman
family in America was Valentine Hartman, a pioneer of
Alsace township. His remains and those of his wife lie
side by side among those of other members of the Hart-
man family, in the old graveyard at Spies's Church in Al-
sace township. A brown sandstone marks his grave, and
upon it appears the following inscription :
"hier ruhet der leib


valentine hartman



31 JULY 1794











74 JAHRE."

The following were probably the children of Valentine
and Magdalena Hartman, all of whom are buried in the
same old graveyard at Spies's Church : Valentine, born
1766, died in 1835; a daughter; Jacob, born in 1771, died
in 1837; a daughter; Johannes, born in 1777, died in 1843;
Daniel, born in 1780, died in 1840. Near the grave of the
elder Valentine Hartman is a brown sandstone on which
is the following inscription :

"denkmahl von


JUDITH hartman




The elements have almost obliterated this inscription.
There is doubt as to the fourth word, the word back
of "Tochter" is almost entirely effaced. Judith Hartman
probably was a sister of the elder Valentine Hartman,
born in 1738.

Among other interesting facts relative to the Hartman
family gleaned from gravestone inscriptions to be found
in the burial ground of the Oley church, are : Adam Hart-
man (son of George and Elizabeth Hartman), born Oct.
6, 1793, died Sept. 7, 1865, aged seventy-one years, eleven
months and one day. He married Anna Margaret Von
Mathias, born Aug. 14, 1795, died May 3, 1872, aged
seventy-six years, eight months, nineteen days. David
Hartman, born Nov. 27, 1836, died May 13, 1905, aged
sixty-eight years, five months and sixteen days. Daniel
Hartman, born Feb. 19, 1817, died April 1, 1899, aged
eighty-two years, one month and twelve days, married
Elizabeth Von Moyer, born in 1812, died in 1880 Joseph
Hartman, born Jan. 3, 1825, died March 2, 1879, aged fifty-



four years, one month and twenty-nine days, married
Elizabeth Von Eshbach, born in 1827, died in 1877, and
they had one son and three daughters. John M. Hartman,
born Jan. 16, 1829, died May 29, 1900, aged seventy-one
years, four months and thirteen days.

Sydney J. Hartman, cashier of the First National
Bank of Oley, Pa., was born in Alsace township, Jan. 4,
1874, and he is the great-grandson of John Valentine Hart-
man, who was the first of the family to settle on the
Hartman farm in Alsace township, which property is now
owned by Ephraim R. Hartman, father of Sydney J. The
tract then consisted of 170 acres, and much of it was wood-
land when John Valentine Hartman secured it from a
man by the name of Lancisciis. This man one day while
hunting brought .hoiTie in his pouch a little pine tree which
he planted on what is now the Hartman farm. It grew
into a fine tree and stood for more than one hundred
years, but in 1876 a violent hail storm broke it down, and
thus passed away one of the old landmarks of Alsace town-
ship, if not of Berks county.

The barn on the property was built by John Valentine
Hartman in 1814, but the house was built by Valentine
Hartman in 1843. There is a fresh spring on the farm that
never runs dry, and adds materially to the value of this
really fine property. The Hartman farm was used during
the life of the old State militia as a drilling ground once
a year. There annually all able-bodied men between
twenty-one and fifty-five came and were given military
training. This great event was called Battalion Day.

John Valentine Hartman was married to Catherine
Deibler, and they are both interred in the old Spies's
church burial ground, the following inscriptions appearing
on their tombs : John Valentine Hartman, born Nov. 4,
1766, died May 5, 1835, aged sixty-eight years, six months
and one day. Catherine Hartman, born in 1776, died in
1827, aged fifty-one years. The children of John Valen-
tine and Catherine Hartman were: (1) William settled
near Circleville, Ohio, where he was three times married,
and had twenty-four children. (2) Samuel lived and died
in Alsace township, and is buried in the Spies's church
burial ground; he had children, Gideon, Valentine, Lewis,
Israel, Sarnuel and Emma, and Justina. (3) Abraham
lived at Spies's church where he is buried, and had three
children, Rebecca, Sarah and Susan. (4) Valentine. (5)
Hannah married John Ritter, who moved to Union county,
Pa. (6) Polly Maria, born in 1806, died in 1851, married
first a Mr. Young, and second Henry Schmeck. John
Valentine Hartman was one of the early supervisors of
his district, and among the heirlooms of the Hartman
family is an account book kept by him showing the in-
come and expenditures of the district during his term of
office, and the items in his careful penmanship afford a
good idea of the early history of those times.

Valentine Hartman, son of John Valentine Hartman,
was born in Alsace township in 1808, and died there in
1882. All his life he followed farming and became a
prosperous landowner and proprietor of the Plartman
farm, now owned by his son, Ephraim Hartman, father of
Sydney J, Hartman. In politics Valentine Hartman was
a Republican after the formation of that party, and served
his district as assessor. In religious matters he was con-
nected with the Spies's church, and is buried in the fam-
ily lot of the old Spies's church cemetery. He married
Mary Rothermel (1814-1889), daughter of Leonard Roth-
ermel, of Maiden-creek township. The following child-
ren were born of this marriage: Levi, of Oley township;
Catherine, who died at the age of twenty-four years ;
Jeremiah, of Friedensburg; Valentine, who died in 190"'.
aged sixty-eight years, at Friedensburg; Harrison, who
died about 1870; Moses, of Belleville, 111.; Amos, deceased;
Mary, wife of Samuel Rapp; Amanda, who married Levi
Cronrath, has one son, Thomas H., and lives in Exeter
township; Ephraim R. ; Emma, who died in infancy;
Sarah, who died in 1872, and is buried at Spies's church;
Mahlon, an extensive farmer at Freeburg, 111.; Ezra, of
Friedensburg; and Hannah, who married Appolonius
Shalter, of Alsace township. During his long and useful
life Valentine Hartman was a prosperous and representa-

tive man of his township and is pleasantly remembered
as one of the men who helped to make Berks county what
it is today.

Ephraim R. Hartman, father of Sydney J. Hartman and
son of Valentine Hartman, was born July 7, 1848, in
Alsace township, where he lived until he attained his
majority, working on the family homestead. In 1873 he
began farming for himself in Alsace township on the
Pricetown road, continuing there for five years. He
then removed to the homestead, where he remained until
1891, at which date he settled at Friedensburg to engage
in a general merchandise business, but after nineteen
months he sold his interests to H. R. Yerger, the present
proprietor of the store. Mr. Hartman then retired, and
now resides at Friedensburg in a handsome, large stone
residence, which was once known as the Benneville Glase
house. In addition to his home, ]\Ir. Hartman o\vris a
valuable farm of 151 acres in Alsace township, the Hart-
man homestead; the foundry and machine shops at Fleet-
wood, formerlv known as the Sphaeffer & Merkel foundry,
now occupied by the Reading Metal Body Company,
a successful corporation employing 120 men. He is also
the owner of No. 837 Penn street, on which property is
located "Leitham's Hotel." It has a frontage of 30 feet
9 inches, and. being in the very center of the business part
of the city, is very valuable. In addition to his other in-
terests Mr. Hartman was one of the organizers of the
First National Bank of Oley incorporated in 1907, of
which he is now director. He is also a director of the
Oley Knitting Mills where thirty people are employed.
During the Civil War a very valuable iron ore mine was
worked, 4,000 tons of ore having been taken from the
mine which is located on the Hartman homestead. In
all of his business enterprises Mr. Hartman has been very
successful, and he has not only won prosperity, but also
the confidence and esteem of his associates for his hon-
orable methods and unflinching integrity of purpose. In
religious affiliations Mr. Hartman and his _ family are
members of the Reformed denomination of Spies's church.

In 1872 Mr. Hartman married Amanda Gass, daughter
of Jacob Gass, of Muhlenberg township, and these children
were born to them : Sydney J. ; Esther m. Jabez Hartman,
of Lehigh county. Pa., now a grocer of Reading; Warren
G. is cashier of the First National Bank, at Fleetwood, Pa.;
Valentine is a student of Franklin and Marshall College ;
and six died young.

Sydney J. Hartman was educated in his township schools,
the Keystone State Normal School, the Oley Academy,
and was finally graduated from the Franklin and Marshal!
College at Lancaster, Pa., in 1897, having entered that in-
stitution in 1893. Following his graduation he was ap-
pointed principal of the Leesport high school, and held
the chair for one term, resigning to become a teacher
in the Robesonia grammar school. Later he became gram-
mar school teacher at Brielle, N. J., and remained in that
capacity for four years, thus completing his successful
career as an instructor. He then became bookkeeper for
William F. Remppis Co. at Reading where he remained
for four years, or until his election to the position of
cashier of the First National Bank of Oley, located at
Friedensburg, where he has since remained, his connection
with the bank adding to its financial strength and firmly
establishing its management in the confidence of the busi-
ness public.

Socially Mr. Hartman is a member of Oley Castle No.
119, K. G. E. He is a member of Friedens Reformed
church. Mr. Hartman is justly regarded as one of the
most representative young business men of Oley. He has
a wide circle of warm personal friends, as we'll as many
business associates, who recognize his ability and excellent
business training, which fit him so well forhis responsible

Levi R. Hartman, son of Valentine Hartman, and
father of Ammon S. Hartman, an aged and very substan-
tial resident of Oley township, was born in Alsace town-
ship on the Hartman homestead Sept. 17, IS.'^J. He was
brought up on the farm, working for his father until he
was twenty-two years of age, at which time he engaged



in farming on his own account on one of his father's farms
of fifty-eight acres in Exeter township. Here he resided
for twenty-two years, and in 1860 he bought the farm,
and still owns it, but has it tenanted. His next purchase
was a fine farm of 135 acres located on the road from
Yellow House to Friedensburg, and on the Oley turnpike
from Yellow House to Reading. This is regarded as the
best farm in Oley township, and is well supplied with
substantial buildings. The house is of stone, and was
built by Casper Griesemer in 1782, while the barn was built
by Daniel Griesemer in 1839. The crops are excellent and
the profit is good. This farm is also rented. Mr. Hart-
man owns still another farm, this one being of seventy-
four acres, at Pleasantville. As are his other farms, this
one is well located, is well stocked, and has good build-
ings. Formerly it was a Yoder farm. Mr. Hartman owns
considerable woodland, and resides near his 135-acre farm
on a small tract he purchased from Benneville Griesemer.
A portion of the house was built over one hundred years
ago, and the other was put up in 1868. The three acres
of land surrounding the house are well laid out, and
there is plenty of fruit. A very large spring supplies
water that is recognized as good as any in the world, and
Mr. Hartman takes great pride in the spring. Not only
is Mr. Hartman a large landowner, he also holds bank
stocks and bonds, and is one of the heaviest tax payers
of the township, and a man whose word is as good as his
bond anywhere.

On Oct. 4, 1857, Mr. Hartman married Mary Ann
ShaeflFer, daughter of Capt. Henry Shaeflfer, of Light
Horse Brigade fame in the Civil war. Mrs. Hartman was
born Oct. 2, 1833, and died Oct. 19, 1903, aged seventy years
and seventeen days, and is buried at Spies's church in the
Hartman family lot. The children born to Mr. and Mrs.
Hartman were: Henry, born in 1858, died in 1881; Emma
R., born in 1860, died in 1861; Abner, born in 1861, died in
1862; Ammon S. ; William C, born in 1864, died in 1865;
Mary Ann, born in 1866, died in 1873 ; Calvin, born in 1867,
died in 1905, m. Hannah Long, and had five children —
Harry, Levi, Clarence, Erma and Ira (he was a farmer
of Oley township) ; Lillie m. Seth De Turck, a very sub-
stantial farmer of Oley township; Carrie, born in 1871,
died in 1873; Elizabeth, born in 1875, died in 1877; and
Miss Clara is at home attending her aged father, whose
great comfort she is. This young lady is a model of
daughterly love and devotion and the attachment between
her and her father is beautiful. Since her mother's death
she has endeavored to fill her place, and is rewarded
by seeing the pleasure her father takes in her ministra-

Ammon S. Hartman^ second vice president of the First
National Bank of Oley and a prominent business man of
lower Berks county, was born in Alsace township, Jan. 21,
1863, son of Levi R. Hartman. Until his twenty-second
year, when he married, Mr. Hartman worked for his
father farming, but in 1884 he began working for himself
and for eleven years worked in Oley township on shares.
He then sold his farm stock, and in that same year (1897)
moved to Oley Line, buying a farm of 122 acres from
Hiram Kauffman. This land was located at Oley Churches,
and at the time of his purchase there were no buildings
upon it, so that he has built the substantial ones now
standing. The house is 39 x 40 feet with a kitchen and sum-
mer house attached. The Swiss barn is 45 x 100 feet.
He also has a carriage shed, a big wagon shed, 30 x 40
feet, a straw shed and pig sty and good chicken house.
Although lumber was then cheap, compared to present
prices, these buildings cost him $7,500.

In addition to his home property, Mr. Hartman owns
a 120-acre farm, located near the Oley Churches on the
Manatawny creek. This property belonged to Jacob
Griesemer and Mr. Hartman purchased it at an assignee's
sale in 1896, and it is now rented. In 1898 Mr. Hartman
went to Wyomissing, a suburb of Reading, and purchased
two houses and twelve building lots. However, after two
years he moved to Friedensburg where he bought of
Jacob Levan the home he now occupies on Main street.
After securing this property, he erected the coach making

establishment opposite his home, where he is conducting a
large and constantly growing business. He gives employ-
ment to five skilled mechanics, and manufactures all kinds
of home-made vehicles. Mr. Hartman was also engaged
in the manufacture of farm implements until the spring of
1908, when he sold that branch of the business to Charles
H. Hoppes, of Oley. He also owned the building and
store at Manatawny, where he built a warehouse, renting
the property to Tilghman Hausman for three years, but
he then sold to James Brumbach, who in turn disposed of
it to Manatawny Castle No. 461 K. G. E., of which Mr.
Hartman was the organizer and a charter member. So in-
terested was he in the success of this society that he had
a lodge hall built and made many improvements upon the

Mr. Hartman bought two farms from Mahlon D. Clauser
of Manatawny, and these he sold five days later to C. B.
Cleaver of the same place at a good profit. Mr. Hart-
man is a man of progressive ideas and is always inter-

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 117 of 227)