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 121 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 121 of 227)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


survived him forty-two years, dying at Reading at the
remarkable age of ninety-four years.

When but five years old James Nolan emigrated with
his mother and four brothers to America, landing at
New York. He received his education in the public
schools of that city, and when seventeen years of age
began an apprenticeship as a stone-cutter in the erection
of the great St. Patrick Cathedral, on Fifth avenue and
Fifty-first street. After he had been so employed for
two years the building operations were suspended on ac-
count of the Civil war. He then turned his attention to



learning the trade of a boiler-maker, and continued at it
for four years, after which he entered the employ of his
brothers, Charles and William, railroad contractors. After
working for the brothers several years, until 1870, and
showing great aptitude for the business, he was admitted
into the partnership, and under the firm name of Nolan
Brothers they did business for thirty years. They were
prominently identified with the construction work of the
Pennsylvania railroad and the Philadelphia & Reading
railroad on all their branches, and, in carrying out their
contracts, established a very high reputation, being rec-
ognized in railroad and financial circles as one of the
most successful firms of Reading and the country. Though
not inclined to engage in municipal contract work, they
constructed at Reading the Hampden reservoir and several
squares of the Buttonwood street sewer, west from the
railroad, which was the beginning of the extensive storm
water sewer system in Reading.

Mr. Nolan has been identified with the financial insti-
tutions of Reading for more than twenty years. He is
at present a director in the Farmers National Bank,
Reading Steam Heat and Power Company, Reading Brew-
ing Company, Reading Stove works, and is president of
the Reading Trust Company, the Reading Electric Light
and Power Company, the Reading Academy of Music
Company and of the board of trustees of St. Joseph's
Hospital. From the time of attaining his majority, he
has been an active adherent and supporter of the Dem-
ocratic party. In 1903 he was given the nomination of
secretary of Internal Affairs by the Democratic party on
the ticket with Robert E. Pattison for governor and G.
W. Guthrie for lieutenant-governor.

Mr. Nolan married Kate Stewart, the only child of
Dr. Lemuel and Angeline (Smith) Stewart, and they
had three children : James Bennett, who graduated from
Cornell University, and is a member of the Berks county
Bar, married May Smink, a daughter of Frank C. Smink,
president of the Reading Iron Works ; Angela married
Thomas Hall Ingham, of Philadelphia; Mary is not mar-
ried. The mother of these children died in 1882.

CHARLES B. SPATZ, former member of the Penn-
sylvania State Legislature and the editor and publisher
of the Berks County Democrat and Dcr Boyertoivn Bauer,
was born in Philadelphia Nov. 25, 1865, son of Charles and
Julia (Busch) Spatz. The Spatz family is highly con-
nected in Germany, and closely related to the Krupps
of the famous gun manufactory.

Charles Spatz, father of Charles B., was born in Elber-
feld, Germany. He learned the printer's trade, and this
he followed the greater part of his life. His education was
broadened by travel, and he became an excellent linguist,
speaking fluently German, English, French, Russian,
Polish, _ Hebrew and Italian. He was married and had
two children when he came to America, bringing his little
family with him. He found employment at his trade,
and in 1871 he moved to Boyertown, buying the Boycr-
town Democrat, which he conducted until his death Aug. 7,
1884. He was an active Democrat in politics, and in re-
ligion was a member of the Reformed Church. He married
Julia Busch, and their children were: Mrs. William
Grosscup, of Camden, N. J. ; Mrs. Gussie Orr, of Camden,
N. J. ; Charles ,B. ; and Mrs. Otto Janssen, of Camden.

Charles B. Spatz was educated in the public schools,
Kallynean Academy and Mt. Pleasant Seminary. From
boyhood he has been familiar with the printer's trade, and
he was but nineteen when his father died and he assumed
the management of the estate. Like his father he pub-
lished the paper in both English and German, but later he
took a more advanced ground and published two papers,
the Democrat, an English weekly, and the Bauer, a German
sheet. Both are progressive, newsy papers, and are very
popular. The plant is equipped with a linotvpe, large
presses and folding machines, besides modern job presses.
The politics of both papers is Democratic.

Mr. Spatz has alwavs been interested in politics and has
been several times a delegate to State and National Con-
ventions. He served two terms in the State Legislature,




j



Oiyy]y\_L<).



k.^c



Ou]y\^



BIOGRAPHICAL



457



beginning with 1896, and he took an active part in the
legislation at that time, being the author of the first resolu-
tion acknowledging the belligerent rights of Cuba passed
by any Legislature; and he was also responsible for legis-
lation in behalf of good government. He is at present
committeeman from his district. He is a Past Master of
Stichter Lodge, No. 254, F. & A. M., Pottstown; and is
also a miem'ber of Pottstown R. A. Chapter; Nativity Com-
mandery K. T., No. 71 ; Bloomsburg Consistory, 32d degree
Masonry, and Rajah Temple of the Mystic Shrine.

On Jan. 17, 1889, Mr. Spatz married Anna Muntz, daugh-
ter of Andrew Muntz, of Reading. They have five child-
ren: Flora, Carl, Ruth, Frederick and Anna.

COL. WILLIAM HEINS, who died April 27, 1899, at
his home at Eshbach, after an illness of some six months,
was one of the best known men of his community, and
for years had taken a prominent part in the commercial and
municipal life of the town.

The Heins family was one of the best known in Phila-
delphia county. Pa., its early home being at Germantown.
Various members of the family were active in the Revolu-
tion. The grandfather of Col. William was a farmer liv-
ing near the village of Mt. Airy, now a part of German-
town, ard he became one of the wealthy and influential men
of that time and place. His children were: Peter; Charles;
Abraham; Daniel; Hettie, m. to John Siner; Sally, m. to
a Beecher ; Sarah, deceased ; and a daughter m. to Jacob
Bechtel. Thev were all reared in the Lutheran faith.

Daniel Heins, father of Col. William, was born in Ger-
mantown, in 1779, and was reared on his father's farm.
Upon reaching manhood he engaged in the hotel business,
becoming proprietor of the "Washington House" in German-
town, one of the most popular public houses there. In 1824
among the distinguished guests he entertained was General
LaFayette. Later in life he had charge of the "Dove Ho-
tel" in Mt. Airy, and also carried on farming. In his re-
ligious faith he was loyal to the teaching of his parents,
and he died Feb. 23, 1842. In March, 1816, he married
Elizabeth Hearring, who died May 25, 1833, the mother of
the following children: John, born Feb. 10, 1817, was a
farmer owning a part of the farm where the Norristown
(Pa.) Asylum now stands; Hannah, born Nov. 18, 1819,
is deceased; Susan, born Feb. 2, 1821, is deceased; Anna
Margaret, born March 2, 1825, is deceased ; Elizabeth, born
Jan. 20, 1827, became the wife of John Guisen, of Phila-
delphia; Daniel, born Sept. 20, 1829, lived in Montgomery
county, and there died May 25, 1858; and William.

Col. William Heins was born in Germantown July 21,
1823, and was reared upon his father's farm, receiving such
education as the common schools afforded. His first ven-
ture for himself was as a clerk in a store in Sassamans-
ville, Montgomery Co., Pa., where he remained two years.
He then moved to New Berlinville, Berks county, where
as a clerk and huckster he continued for but one year,
then removing to Limestone, Douglass township, where he
was employed in a similar line by Peter K. Ludwig.
The latter then sold his business and with Col.
Heins went to Amity township, and engaged in the
manufacture of gunpowder with young Heins as
teamster, hauling the powder from that point to Philadel-
phia, Lancaster, Carlisle and Chambersburg. Col. Heins
continued in this business for some years after which he
went to Bechtelsville, and there for five years was em-
ployed at huckstering by Isaac Bechtel. After five years
in this business on his own account he bought a farm
of sixty-two acres at Eshbach, carrying on general farm-
ing. He also fitted up a store in his house, and did a large
and paying business among his neighbors. In December,
1894, his son Daniel succeeded to the business, and the
Colonel retired to spend his last years in quiet.

In politics Col. Heins was a Democrat, and he took an
active part in party work. In 1856 he was a member of
the State Legislature, and was a member of the committee
on Military Affairs, and it was while serving as a member
of this committee that he acquired his title of Colonel. He
was also a member of the Banking committee, and chair-
man of the committee on Roads. He played a conspicuous



part in passing the bill to charter the Reading & Lehigh
Railroad, running from Reading to Allentown, and now
called the East Pennsylvania Railroad. He served in a
number of local offices, was committeeman for Washington
township for many years, and was license commissioner
for four years. During the Civil war he filled the quota
for his township. Like all his family he was a Lutheran
in religious belief.

On Jan. 16, 1859, Col. William Heins married Anna
Deysher, daughter of Peter Deysher, of Eshbach. She
died July 18, 1894. The children born to this union were:
Daniel, who succeeded his father to the store; Horace, a
baggage master on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad;
Amelia, who died in infancy; Katie, who died at an early
age; William, employed in the United States Mint- in
Philadelphia; Mary; James and Alvin, both deceased in
youth; Emma, wife of Daniel Eshbach, who has charge
of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad freight depot at
Lancaster, Pa.; and Warren, on the home farm.

Miss Mary Heins, daughter of Col. WilHam, was
educated in the Keystone State Normal School, graduating
in the class of 1887. For fourteen consecutive terms
she, taught school at Barto, and two terms at Heydt's school,
in the same township. After her father's death she was
obliged to give up teaching to devote herself to the man-
agement of her property, persorially looking after her
farm of fifty-six acres. She also owns the store building
at Eshbach. Miss Heins has taken an active part in Sun-
day-school work. She is a great reader, and is a thor-
oughly educated intelligent woman, highly respected
throughout her district.

OBADIAH B. DORWARD, controller of the city of
Reading, was born at Hamburg, Nov. 26, 1855, and is a
member of a family for several generations conspicuous
for good and useful citizenship.

Daniel Dorward, grandfather of Obadiah B., was born
in Greenwich township, Jan. 1, 1779. He lived below
Krumsville on a small farm, which he cultivated. His
earlier life was spent as a shoemaker. He died at his
home March 25, 1858, and is buried at Grimville church.
His wife, Maria Christina Arnold, born Sept. 26, 1780, died
March 13, 1858. Their children were: Ephraim, Joseph,
Anna, Eliza, Charles and Daniel. In 1801 when the father,
Daniel Dorward, became the owner of the farm on which
he died, he purchased it from one Conrad Haffner.

Ephraim Dorward, father of Obadiah B., was born in
Greenwich township in 1817, and was a stone mason and
plasterer, also working at the brick layer's trade, and
as a butcher and tanner, and it said he was skilled in
every trade he worked at. He died of smallpox June 29,
1872, and was buried at Tamaqua. His wife, Martha Bach-
man, was born in Lynn township, Lehigh county, in 1827,
and she died at Hamburg in 1869. Their children were:
Manasses, who died of lock-jaw in his young manhood;
Frank, of Norristown, who served as a soldier in the
Rebellion in which he participated in thirty-two engage-
ments, and was wounded nine times ; Mahala, who married
George Miller; Henry, a soldier in the Rebellion, who was
killed in front of Petersburg when but sixteen vears of
age; Cyrus, of Pottsville; Albert, who died at Roanoke,
Va., in 1893, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery,
Reading; Obadiah B. ; John A., of Reading, manager of
Lee's London show, and one of the best animal trainers in
the country ; and Elizabeth.

Obadiah B. Dorward passed his boyhood days in Ham-
burg, and there in the public schools obtained his early
education. He was but fourteen when he left Hamburg
and came to Reading, where he lived with his sister, Mrs.
George Miller. In 1870 he returned to Hamburg, and
began to learn the brick laying trade under his father. In
the spring of 1871 the family moved to Mahanoy City,
where . the father engaged as a contractor, our subject
working as an apprentice. On June 14, 1872, they moved
to Tamaqua, and on the morning of the 16th, the father
was taken with smallpox, and in a house not yet fixed up,
the son cared for him for thirteen days, the father dying
June 29, 1872. Young Obadiah B. with three men buried



458



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



him in the cemetery at Tamaqua. The young man had
great trouble in getting back in the "American House,"
where his father was taken ill, but this was finally accom-
plished, and he remained there until August, when he
came to Reading and finished his trade. In 1880 he went
to Hamburg, where he had charge of the building of the
furnaces at the Hamburg Rolling Mills, and he continued
there in charge of the mills four years.

Mr. Dorward is an active Republican, and^ has taken
an interest in politics ever since he attained his majority.
His first presidential vote was cast for Rutherford B.
Hayes. In 1907 he became a candidate for city controller,
and in February, 1908, was elected by a flattering majority
over his competitor. He took the oath of office on April
13th, and then announced the appointment of his deputy,
William W. Britten, of the Thirteenth ward (whose house
numbers also count thirteen). Mr. Dorward is a controller
who believes in the application of honest business methods
to the conduct of his office and he has the confidence of
the citizens.

Fraternally Mr. Dorward is a member of the Brick-
layers' Union, which he joined in 1883, and of which he
was president until 1907, when having been elected to his
present office he resigned. He was a member of the Arbi-
tration committee for years, and vice-president of the
State Conference from 1904 to 1906, rendering this body
most valuable services. In 1885 he became a member of
Fidelia Chamber, No. 5, O. K. of F., and in 1887 he joined
the Consultory of the Order, and has ever since taken
an active part in it. He is a past 'grand officer of both
bodies, and when he passed through the Grand Chamber
he received an honor higher than that previously bestowed
on any officer in that body, being presented with a jewel
that is the only one of the kind in existence. Mr. Dorward
and his family are members of St. Stephen's Reformed
Church, Reading.

In 1880 Mr. Dorward married Alice Kline, eldest daugh-
ter of Alexander and Mary Ann (Goodman) Kline, of
Hamburg. They have no children of their own, but
adopted a younger sister of Mrs. Dorward, Mame Kline,
who is now Mrs. William G. Batzel, of Reading, and the
mother of one son, Carrol.

JAMES H. WAGNER, proprietor of the Crown Knit-
ting Mills, at Mohrsville, Berks county, was born March
IC, 1861, in Centre township, and is a member of the
fourth generation of his family in this country.

John Wagner, his great-grandfather, was a native of
Germany, and came to America with his wife when a young
man, settling in Berks county. Pa., at what is now Bern
Station. He engaged in butchering, in which business he
was very successful. He died at that place, and is buried
at St. Michael's church.

John Wagner, the grandfather of James H. Wagner,
was born Feb. 8, 1801, in Upper Bern township, Berks
county, but moved to Lebanon county where he died, and
is buried at Newmanstown. He was a butcher and fol-
lowed that business in Lebanon county. On Feb. 10, 1821,
he married Maria Schilling, daughter of John Schilling,
and they had the following children: Jesse, deceased at
Hamburg, Pa., whose children are Frank, Jacob, Dr. John,
Elias, Catherine and Mary (Mrs. Tobias) ; Valentine,
who died in Lebanon ; John S. ; and two daughters and one
son who died young.

John S. Wagner was born Sept. 24, 1826, in Heidelberg
township, Lebanon Co., Pa., and lived in that county until
twelve years old, when he came to Centre township, Berks
county. He did farm work, and when twenty-two years
old began farming on his own account, near Leesport
When he gave up farming he went to work for the Phil-
adelphia & Reading Railroad Company, and he was later
in the employ of an iron company until his retirement, in
1902. Mr. Wagner is now living at Mohrsville, in ex-
cellent health, and if necessary he can still do a good
day's work, but he is enjoying the results of his former
industry. On Sept. 28, 1850, Mr. Wagner married Mary
Haag, daughter of Jacob and Juliana (Hafer) Plaag, and
eight children were born to them, namely : Isabella, wife



of Eli T. Schlappich, assistant freight agent at Mohrs-
ville for the Philadelphia & Reading Company, has two
children, Mary and Benjamin; Eli H. died aged twenty-
seven years ; John H. is living at Odebolt, Iowa ; Frank is
a resident of Philadelphia; James H. is mentioned farther
on; Jacob H. lives in Reading; Mary died unmarried; Ben-
jamin died young. The mother of this family died April
26, 1883, aged fifty-four years, one month, sixteen days.
Mr. Wagner's second marriage was to Fiaetta Snyder,
daughter of John Snyder. No children have been born to
this union.

James H. Wagner received his education in the public
schools, and when his school days were over learned the
tailor's trade at Leesport, following that line of work
for about eleven years. He then became a general mer-
chant, at Mohrsville, continuing in that business for five
years, after which he engaged in the creamery business,
also for a period of five years. In 1892 he entered the
line in which he has since engaged, at Mohrsville. He
began the knitting business with but three machines, con-
ducting what was then known as the Mohrsville Knitting
Mills, and his father-in-law, Isaac Fraunfelter, was in
partnership with him for four years, until the older man
died. Mr. Wagner then started his present establishment,
v/hich is known as the Crown Knitting Mills, conducted
by J. H. Wagner & Co. The factory is 70 x 35 feet in
dimensions, and employment is given to between sixty-five
and seventy hands. The equipment includes twenty-six
body frame machines, fourteen sleeve machines and forty-
two finishing machines, and a fine line of ladies' ribbed
underwear is turned out. Mr. Wagner has been very
successful, as the steady growth of his business would
indicate, and he is regarded as one of the substantial
citizens of Mohrsville, where his plant is one of the indus-
tries which add to the prosperity of the place very ma-
terially.

Mr. Wagner's first marriage was to Rebecca Fraunfelter,
daughter of Isaac and Caroline (Smith) Fraunfelter, and
six children were born to this union, viz. : Edgar (who is
associated with his father in the knitting business), Laura,
Carrie, Mamie and Minnie (twins, who died when three
months old) and Rebecca. For his second wife Mr. Wag-
ner married Miss Mamie Yoder, daughter of Jacob S.
Yoder, of Centre township, and they have had five
children: Arthur, who is deceased; Wayne, deceased; Ira
and Irene, twins ; and Ray.

Mr. Wagner is a Lutheran in religious faith. He is
independent in political matters, voting as he sees fit, and
his support of or opposition to a cause is regarded as an
important element in the success or defeat of any move-
ment. He is a desirable and highly respected citizen,
and Mohrsville owes much of its progress to his activity.

REV. GEORGE WASHINGTON GERHARD is by
descent, as well as by education and choice, a lifelong mem-
ber of the Reformed Church. His great-great-grandfather,
Frederick Gerhard, who emigrated from Langenselbold,
Hesse-Cassel, Germany, to America in 1737, and settled
in Berks county, Pa., was a stanch upholder of the Re-
formed faith. The same is true of the father, grand-
father and great-grandfather.

Plis parents were Elias Gerhard and his wife Sarah
(daughter of Daniel and Judith Kauffman). He was born
at Bernville, Berks Co., Pa., and was thirteen years old
when his father was accidentally killed by a runaway horse.
His mother had died six months prior to his father's acci-
dental death. After the father's death the young bov made
his home with Aaron R. Bucks, at Stouchsburg, Berks Co.,
Pa., where he spent his youth on the farm. He worked
on the farm during the summer and attended the Whitehall
Academy of Stouchsburg during the winter months. At
the age of sixteen years he taught one term of public
school in Alsace township (Hartman's school), close to
Spies's Reformed and Lutheran church. At the close of
the school term, April, 1876, he entered Palatinate College,
Myerstown, Pa., where he remained one year. In the fall
of 1877 he entered the Sophomore Class of Franklin and
Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., and graduated from thai



BIOGRAPHICAL



459



institution in June, 1880. In September, 1880, he entered
the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church at Lan-
caster, Pa., and graduated in May, 1883. After his grad-
uation he traveled four months through the West. On
Sept. 1, 1883, he received a call from a Mission at Lock
Haven, Pa., which he accepted, and entered upon the active
duties of the pastorate the same month. In this congre-
gation he labored faithfully and energetically for nine
years. During these nine years the membership increased
rapidly, the indebtedness was wiped out, the church prop-
erty improved, and the congregation brought to self-sup-
port, paying the pastor a living salary. During his pastor-
ate at Lock Haven, the Rev. Mr. Gerhard was elected in
the spring of 1887 Chaplain of the 12th Regiment of
the National Guards, of Pennsylvania, which office he ac-
cepted, receiving his commission from Gen. James A.
Beaver, then Governor of the State. ,He served six years
as Chaplain, and spent three weeks with his regiment at
Homestead during the memorable labor strike of 1891.

In 1890 Rev. Mr. Gerhard was elected Colonel of the
Sons of Veterans of the State of Pennsylvania, at the
Annual Encampment at Wilkes-Barre. At the expiration
of his term of office it was a source of great pleasure to
him to find that the division under his command had made
commendable progress. Like his father, he is very patri-
otic. His father served his country during the Rebellion,
being mustered in Nov. 10, 1863, in the 167th Regmient,
commanded by Col. Charles A. Knoderer. The regiment
passed through some rough experiences, and at the expir-
ation of his term of enlistment he was mustered out,
Aug. 12, 1863, and returned to his home without a single
injury.

On Oct. 14, 1890, the Rev. Mr. Gerhard was married to
Miss Lillie Rebecca Klopp, of Stouchsburg, Pa. William
A. Klopp, father of Mrs. Gerhard, was a successful busi-
ness man and highly respected citizen of Stouchsburg, his
native town, where he spent the whole of his busy life,
excepting the last few years which were passed at Wer-
nersville. Pa., where he died June 1, 1900, and he was
buried at Tulpehocken Reformed Church, near Myerstown,
Pennsylvania.

There was born to the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard
onje son, Earl, a bright and interesting boy who in all prob-
ability will follow in the footsteps of his father and enter
the holy ministry of the Reformed Church.

On March 18, 1898, Rev. Mr. Gerhard received and
accepted a call from the First Reformed Church, Ham-
burg, Pa. As in his iirst field of labor he was eminently
successful. On April 4, 1898, St. John's Reformed and
Lutheran Church building was destroyed by fire. These
two denominations had worshipped jointly in the same
church building for a period of 125 years, but when
the church was destroyed by fire Rev. Mr. Gerhard took
a firm stand for a division, and after three months' dis-
cussion and labor, the two congregations by a majority
vote decided to divide the property and each congregation
erected its own building. The Rev. Mr. Gerhard was un-



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 121 of 227)