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 118 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 118 of 227)
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ested in matters calculated to prove beneficial to the com-
munity. He was one of the organizers of the First Na-
tional Bank of Oley, of which he became a director, ■ and
of which he is now second vice president. He is actively
interested in educational matters, and when the Pleasant-
ville district school was built, in 1887, Mr.
Hartman acted as architect and builder, and rendered
very efficient service, which was fully appreciated as is
shown by the many testimonials he received from the of-
ficials and members of the district.

In addition to his other interests Mr. Hartman belongs
to Suyeto Tribe No. 477, I. O. R. M. ; Griesemersville
Lodge, I. O. O. F., as well as the K. G. E. No. 461 already
mentioned. He and his family are members of Spies's Re-
formed Church.

In 1885 Mr. Hartman married Mary R. De Turck,
daughter of Samuel De .Turck, of Oley. They have three
daughters : Sallie E., a graduate of Reading Collegiate
Institute, was licensed to teach in the public schools of
Berks county; Annie D. took a course in stenography and
typewriting, and is now the clerk at the A. J. Brumbach
factory at Reading; Nora E. is an accomplished musician
and a charming young lady.

The Hartman family as has been shown in these brief
sketches is one of the oldest and most important of Berks
county. Its representatives are numbered among the
leading financiers, professional men and farmers of the
several communities in which they reside, and they are
all worthy of the name. They are all prosperous, in-
fluential and progressive, and each in his way has borne
an important part in the development of his locality.
They are all industrious, honest and frugal, and ever
ready to bear a part in the support of state and church.
Surely the name of Hartman is one that is honored and
respected not only in Berks county but wherever it is

JOHN H. STONER, select councilman from the Elev-
enth ward of Reading, who is engaged in an extensive dry
goods business at No. 919 Buttonwood street, was born
in 1858, in Myerstown, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of the late
Augustus D. and Susan (Myers) Stoner, the latter being
a member of the old Myers family after whom the vil-
lage of Myerstown was named. August D. Stoner
was for many years engaged in the mercantile business at
Myerstown, as a member of the firm of Donges &

John H. Stoner attended the public schools of his
native county, after leaving which he became a clerk in
the firm of A. D. Stoner & Son (composed af his father
and brother Myers R.). For five years, 1881-1886, he
lived in Ohio, and in 1886 he came to Reading, where he
clerked for several years, and in March, 1903, bought out
the well-known stand and business of J. Fred Gerhard,
which he has conducted with much success to the present
time. Mr. Stoner is a Democrat, and although not a
politician accepted the nomination to the select council,
to which he was elected in 1906, serving in that body
with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of


his constituents. He is fraternally connected with Wash- & Co., his partners being his brother, Charles Nolan,

ington Camp No. 64, P. 0. S. of A., with which organiza- and John Dunn. With William Nolan at the head the

tion he connected himself in 1876; the P. O. S. of A. firm was busy and prosperous, and during its duration

Veteran Association, and the North Eastern Democratic completed many bridge contracts, not only in Pennsyl-

Association. vania but also in other States.

In 1893 Mr. Stoner was married to Lena Eckert, daugh- Perhaps the main work of William Nolan's business

ter of Jacob and Catherine (Hilderbrand) Eckert, and career was the organization of the firm of Nolan &

to this union there have been born two sons, namely: Brothers, now the Nolan Construction Company, which,

Roy A and Russell E both attendmg school. Mr f^^ ^ -^^ approaching a half century, has stood at

Stoner has a prosperous busmess, and may well be classed ,, , „ , . ^i ,■ r ■. i ,1' j i, -j

with the substantial men of his community. u^}'^^-'""..^^ '"'!■ °^ 'fl?^'^ contracting and bridge

building in this section of the country. The firm was

WILLIAM NOLAN, deceased. In recalling the names "'^de up of William Nolan and two of his brothers,
of those former citizens of Reading who contributed Charles and James Nolan, all men of the same tiber, fitted
through many years to her commercial development, that by nature for this close association. The firm established
of William Nolan comes naturally to mind, for he was headquarters at Oil City and the series of stone bridges
a man whose native ability, executive capacity and high which they built on the Oil Creek & Allegheny railroad,
sense of business integrity made his life one of usefulness in the face of many natural difficulties, not only thor-
in many directions. He was born in Queen's County, oughly filled an imperative need at that time but possessed
Ireland, March 17, 1840, and died Feb. 28, 1903, after an the substantial qualities which made them enduring and
illness of six months, at his home at No. 520 Walnut also the artistic attractiveness which was so often a
street, Reading. His parents were James and Annie marked feature of Mr. Nolan's work. A recount of but
(Bennett) Nolan. a small part of the enormous amount of building and

The parents of William Nolan were natives also of construction work done by this progresssive and able
Ireland. In 1846 James Nolan brought his family to business firm, dating from 1871 in the recital, would
America and established his first home in the city of New include some of the finest roads, viaducts, bridges, arches
York. From there he subsequently removed to Reading, and other structures that adorn the landscape and make
where he died in 1858. In the twelve years of life ac- possible the great transportation industries of a large
corded him after landing in the United States James Nolan part of the Atlantic seaboard. This firm executed all
proved himself a man of intense energy, within that the mason work on the Philadelphia & Erie railroad
period accomplishing more in his special line of activity between Renova and Driftwood, including the large stone
than many others complete ip a whole lifetime. He en- viaducts at Hemlock and St. Mary's ; built thousands of
gaged in railroad building and contracting and was one feet of masonry on the low grade division of the Pennsyl-
of the capable constructors of a part of the Lebanon vania railroad from Driftwood, on the Susquehanna, to
Valley railroad and that section of the Philadelphia & Redbank on the Allegheny; built the Linden line for the
Reading railroad that connects 'Auburn with Dauphin. Pennsylvania railroad, around Williamsport, and also the
He was the father of the following children, who, with bridges across the Schuylkill, at Port Clinton, for the
their mother, returned to New York after his decease: Philadelphia & Reading railroad.

William, Charles, James, Thomas, Edward, Kate and In 1873 this company secured the contract to erect
Mary. Kate is the wife of William Kearns, of Reading, the great Richmond street bridge at Philadelphia, with its
and Mary is the wife of Dennis iMcAvoy, of Norristown. twenty-three tracks, for the Philadelphia & Reading Com-
William Nolan was six years old when his parents came pan}f, and in the following year began the building of
to America and he went to school both in New York and all the mason work on the Bound Brook railroad, from
in Reading. Although he returned to New York with Bound Brook, N. J., to a point in the same State on
other members of the family after the death of his father, the Delaware river, an undertaking of great im?rnitude.
he had made friends in Reading to whom he was anxious which was promised and successfully completed for the
to return, one of these being Heriry Jacobs, who was then accommodation of visitors to the Centennial Expo'=ition
master mason for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway in 1876. During the next four years this firm built the
Company, with whom he secured employment as a stone- connecting links between the New York City & Northern,
cutter. Even then, Mr. Nolan exhibited those steadfast and the Sixth avenue electric railways; the Askew arch
traits that later so thoroughly characterized him, and be- over the Fairmount Park drive, on the west bank of the
fore he had attained his majority he was appointed fore- Schuylkill: double-tracked the main line of the New York
man of a large gang of workmen, who were employed & Erie railway, from Callicoon to Hawkins, N. Y. ; built
by the large contracting firm of Riley, McGrann & Co., the great drawbridge across the Hackensack, the bridge
of Lancaster, in their building for the Navigation over the Susquehanna river at Susauehanna, and the
Company. His work on this and other similar tasks was bridge over the Chemung river, at Corning, New York,
so satisfactory that it not only satisfied his employers In ISS'^ this firm continued its large ooerations. In
but it^ also gave him the courage to embark in business connection with Thomas A. Reillv, capitalist, of Potts-
for himself. He selected as a partner John Jacobs, a ville, they built the branch railroad from Shamokin to
man who was industrious and ambitious like himself, and, Milton, Pa., for the Pennsylvania system, and this
although the firm' started with no appreciable capital, included all the grading and ma<=nn work, together
they made some money out of their first large contract with the erection of that noble bridge, with its mighty
and also brought their ability to the attention of those spans and total lenfth of 2,600 feet of strength, which
requiring any kind of stone or mason work. was proved when the floods of the nemorahle year of

In this business connection, like every other one with 1889 bent upon and over it and it stood the strain, when
which he was associated, Mr. Nolan was a leader, pos- many lesser 'structures went down. .-\nnther piece of
sessing the foresight which is often as necessary to sue- fine work was the building of a portion of the Perkiomen
cess as is technical abilitv. He kept on the alert and bridge for the Philadelphia & Rendine railroad and also
secured contracts at Reading, Easton and other points, a portion of the Pennsylvania railrmd, between Reading
for work of more or less importance, and thus was fully and Pottsville. In association with T, N. DuBarry, this
experienced when, under a sub-contract, he completed firm built nine miles of the To-'ihickpn branch of the
the Eighth street bridge for the Philadelphia & Reading Pennsylvania railroad. In the latter pa-t of 1SR9 the firm
Railway Comnany. at Reading, a piece of work which completed the -Mlcntown Terminal railroad; built the
commanded the admiration and approbation of the ablest railroad bridge at Port lervis. N. V.; a bridge at Hor-
cngineers of the country. Mr. Nolan was always disposed nellsville, fof the New York & Erie railway ;°the bridge
to feel that this was the real foundation stone of bis spanning the Delaware, at Hancock. N. Y. • "other bridges
subsequent uninterrupted business success. Shortly after located in the environs of Philadelnhia ; and in the short
this came the organizing of the firm of William Nolan space of eighteen months built the beautiful bridge on





the Norristown branch of the Philadelphia & Reading
railroad, over the mouth of the Wissahickon.

In the face of such a remarkable aggregation of com-
pleted work, it is totally unnecessary to dwell upon the
difficulties met and overcome, for even the casual reader
must recognize that undertakings of such magnitude would
involve the handling of an immense working capital and
the directing force of master minds. One of these be-
longed to the late William Nolan. With his brothers, he
personally supervised much of the work as it progressed,
and so careful, so practical and so thorough were his
methods that no fault of construction ever escaped him.
He was a man of ideas also, and not content with the
opportunities offered in his own land, great as they were,
went abroad and in his later work incorporated many de-
tails of form and construction which he gained from con-
templating many of the most notable buildings in Eu-
rope. Mr. Nolan continued as the active head of the
firm until 1896, when he retired, an accident which he suf-
fered in 1888 probably contributing as a cause. During
his later years, while still connected with the administra-
tive work of the firm^ he was a frequent guest at several
leading hotels in Philadelphia and was there met socially
and in business relations by men of affairs and prominence
from every section.

No mention has yet been made of Mr. Nolan's con-
nection with business interests outside of those connected
with the firm of Nolan & Brothers, these, in fact, being
large enough to have occupied the whole time and atten-
tion of an ordinary man. But Mr. Nolan was not an or-
dinary man, and he became identified with other impor-
tant enterprises, many of these being directly concerned
with the upbuilding of Reading, the city of his pride.
He was a stockholder in a number of successful con-
cerns, a director in many, and was the promoter of a num-
ber of the infant industries of the city which later be-
came gianfs. He was a man of public spirit and of such
benevolence that, while a member and one of the trus-
tees of St. Peter's Catholic Church, and its munificent
benefactor, his distribution of charity was not confined to
his own religious body, but was given to those in need,
no matter what creed might be theirs. Since his death
St. Peter's congregation has built a fine new edifice, and
its great organ, which cost the sum of $6,500, was placed
there by Mr. Nolan's nine children, as a memorial to their
father and mother. Genial by nature, broadened by travel
and educated largely by contact with men of broadened
view and enlightened understanding, William Nolan com-
manded respect and enjoyed the warmest friendship and
esteem. He was too prominent a man not to be more
or less of a politician, but he never accepted any political
preferment and served in but one office, and that without
compensation, being a trustee, for a time, of the Hunt-
ingdon Reformatory. In his views on public questions he
was an ardent Democrat, and he was frequently sent as
a delegate to State and national conventions of his

Mr. Nolan married May 9, 1867, Miss Katherine Mc-
Donough, and to this happy union was born a family
of nine children, namely: Anna, Kate, James, William, Jr.,
Charles J., Thomas G., Edward Campion, Bernard J. and
Reilly. Anna, the eldest daughter, married Charles P.
Bower, a civil engineer. Kate is the wife of Frederick
G. Jones. William, president of the Nolan Construction
Company, married Margaret Coppinger. Charles J. mar-
ried Lottie M. Schaeffer. Thomas G. married Annie M.
Cavanaugh. Edward Campion, vice-president of the First
National Bank of Reading, married Cora Louise Sembow-
er, daughter of Clarence H. Sembower. The family is
one of both social and financial prominence in Reading.

, CHARLES S. RHOADS, of Birdsboro, member of the
firm of Huyett & Rhoads, shoe manufacturers, has been
engaged in his present line, and connected with the same
establishment, ever since his location in that borough.
He is a thorough business man, and has gained his present
standing by the most honorable and commendable methods,
holding the respect of all who have had dealings with him.

He is a native of this courrty, born in 1862 in Amity town-
ship, son of Abraham L. and Harriet (Straub) Rhoads.

Abraham L. Rhoads was a successful farmer all his
life, and during his younger years also followed cattle
droving, which he found very profitable. He owned a
farm in Amity township, and was considered well-to-do.
He lived to the advanced age of eighty-one years, dying
in 1905, and his wife survived him, passing away in 1907
at the age of seventy-nine. He was a Lutheran in church
connection, she a member of the Reformed Church. Of
the children born to them five lived to maturity: Irvin,
Calvin, Charles S., Alice (m. William E. Henderson), and
Ida (m. Samuel Fix).

Charles S. Rhoads received his early education in the
public schools of his native township, and then for three
terms taught school, after which he entered the Bryant
& Stratton commercial school in Philadelphia, from which
he graduated in 1884. He again taught school, this time
continuing for five terras, making eight terras in all, and
had his first business experience as clerk in a tea and
coffee house at Kensington, Philadelphia. About 1890
he settled in Birdsboro, where he at once became interested
in shoe manufacturing with E. & A. Huyett, continuing in
partnership with them until 1900. In that year, Mr. E.
R. Huyett retiring on account of ill health, the present
firm of Huyett & Rhoads (A. H. Huyett and Charles
S. Rhoads) was forced. They manufacture infants' and
children's footwear, and their orders keep them constantly
busy. From sixty to seventy-five hands are employed.
The firm has a substantial position among reliable business
houses in this section of the county, and is steadily widen-
ing its patronage and improving the output to a creditable

Mr. Rhoads married Laura M. Huyett, daughter of
Isaac and Catharine Huyett, Baumstown, and to them have ,
been born eight children, namely : Garson, Verna, £arl,
Marian, Vernon, Norman, Melvin and Harold. Mr.
Rhoads is a Lutheran in religious connection and much
interested in the local activities of his church. He is a
member of the National Shoe Manufacturers' Association.

A. H. HUYETT, senior member of the shoe manu-
facturing firm of Huyett & Rhoads, located at Birdsboro,
began the shoe business when he was only sixteen years
of age, and has followed it without interruption to the
present day. The establishment with which he has been
connected since its foundation has for many years been
regarded as one of the reliable industrial factors of the

Mr. Huyett was born in 1870 in Exeter township, Berks
county, son of Isaac and Catherine (Root) Huyett, who
are still living on a farm at Baumstown, this county. He
was educated in the schools of his native township, where
he passed his youth and early manhood, being reared upon
a farm. When he was sixteen he and his brother, E. R.
Huyett, engaged in the manufacture of children's shoes,
carrying on their business for the first two years at home.
But it was evident that under more favorable commercial
conditions the trade would expand rapidly, and the young
men moved to Birdsboro and began in a modest way what
has since become one of the profitable manufacturing
estabhshments of that place. They did business under
the firm name of E. & A. Huyett. At first they employed,
only four hands, but the demand for the product grew
steadily, and now the factory gives constant employment
to between sixty and seventy-five operatives. In 1900 Mr.
E. R. Huyett, the senior partner, retired because of poor
health, and Mr. A. H. Huyett then entered into partner-
ship with Charles S. Rhoads, who had been associated
with the business from 1890. The average daily output is
from sixteen to twenty cases of children's and infants'
shoes, of an excellent grade at a medium price, which find
a ready market throughout the States. The plant is very
well equipped, with the latest machinery invented for the
work, and the factory is well managed in every respect,
with due regard for the health and comfort of the em-
ployees as well as the interests of the proprietors.



In 1892 Mr. Huyett married Annie D. Seifert, daughter
of Reuben and Harriet (White) Seifert, and to them have
been born six children, viz. : Beulah, Erma, Russell (who
died when six months old), Marie, Dorothy and Paul.
The family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which
Mr. and Mrs. Huyett belong; Mr. Huyett is a member of
the Modern Woodmen of America. In political matters he
is independent, voting as his principles dictate, and taking
little active part in public affairs. His energies are de-
voted almost exclusively to his business affairs, which
have well repaid his earnest and efficient labors.

REV. FRANKLIN K. BERND. The earliest American
ancestor of the Bernd family came from the Palatinate,
Germany, and settled in Bucks county, Pa. He landed
at Philadelphia, Sept. 7, 1748, in the ship "Alary Galley,"
George Lavvson, captain, and his name stands upon the
records as Peter Barnd.

This progenitor had a son, George, who was married
twice, but the names of his wives are missing. By his first
marriage he had two sons, namely George and Peter, and
by his second marriage also had two sons, John and
Philip. These four sons settled in Bucks county, and as
far as is known spent the remainder of their lives there.

George Bernd, the elder of the two sons of the first
marriage of George Bernd, was a tailor by occupation,
and worked at that trade not only in his own home, but
at certain seasons of the year at the homes of his patrons,
going from one to the other and making clothes for their
families, as was the custom in those early days. He was
organist for the Indian Field Lutheran congregation in
Bucks county, and afterward for many years for the
congregation at the "Six Cornered," or St. Paul's, Lutheran
Church in Montgomery county. He died at the age of
seventy-eight years, and was buried in the old graveyard
at Pennsburg, Montgomery county.

He married Miss Magdalena Gable, a member of an
old and representative family of the vicinity of Penns-
burg, and to them there was born in August, 1818, a son,
Francis Gable.

Francis Gable Bernd grew to manhood in Rich Valley
near the boundary line of Bucks and Montgomery coun-
ties, and obtained the full advantage of the schools of
that locality. He inherited his father's taste for music,
and, practising the art from his earliest youth, became an
accomplished musician, excelling as a performer on the
organ. He was not merely an efficient performer, how-
ever, but thoroughly understood the mechanism of the
organ which, under his skilful manipulation produced
the music, and frequently persons who desired to pur-
chase instruments consulted him as to the merits of the
different makes. He was also a successful school teacher,
was able, ambitious and progressive, and the first teacher
in Lehigh county to whom was awarded a professional
certificate. The various employments afforded by music
and teaching were his life-work, he confining himself to
them exclusively, and achieving in them a distinction which
but few men attain. When in his prime he was without
doubt among the most thorough and progressive musicians
and educators in the State of Pennsylvania, outside of the
cities. In 1845 he married and settled in the town of
Egypt, Lehigh county, where he continued to reside the
rest of his life, being organist to one congregation for
forty-one consecutive years. He died in February, 1892,
and his wife in 1886, both being buried in the cemetery
at Egypt. He married Christina Kline, daughter of
Michael Kline, and granddaughter of Michael, Sr., both
leading farmers and influential citizens of Klinesville,
Montgomery county, who are buried in the graveyard of
the Six Cornered Church in that county. According to
tradition the father of Michael Kline the elder came from
the Palatinate, and is also buried in the same graveyard.
To Francis G. Bernd and wife were born children as fol-
lows : Maria m. Hiram Ruch ; Ketura m. Sylvester J.
Rensheimer; Franklin K. ; Victor K. ; Lydia F" m. Peter
Laubach ; and George T.

Franklin K. Bernd, the third child of the above family,
was born March 16. 1850, in the town of Egypt, Lehigh

county, and there grew to manhood. As soon as he reached
eligible age he entered the pubhc schools of his native
place, from which he entered the high school of North
Whitehall township, then taught by Eli G. Schwartz, Esq. In
April, 1867, having completed the high school course, Mr.
Bernd entered the Keystone State Normal School at Kutz-
town, remaining there the following summer session. By
this time he had decided to become a teacher, and on
application was elected as an assistant instructor for the
following winter in a school in North Whitehall township,
of which his father was principal. In the spring of 1868

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 118 of 227)