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 123 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 123 of 227)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Scott Foundry; Anna Victoria m. Isaac Quinter, a shoe
dealer of Reading; Amelia m. Martin Bright, of this city;
and Winona is at home. Mr. Weber was survived by
seventeen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren,
and a sister, Theresa, of Reading; the latter, however, has
since died. He was a member of Germania Lodge, I. O.
O. F., Reading ReHef Association, and in religion of the
Reformed Church. Mr. Weber passed away, Sept. 3, 1907,
from the effects of catarrh.

William F. Weber was born in Reading, Feb. 2, 1855. He
passed his boyhood in the pursuit of an education in the
excellent schools of his home town, and at the age of thir-
teen began his active business life as a carrier of the
Post aiid Eagle, daily papers of the city. After a short
period in this branch of the service, he became appren-
ticed to the printing trade in the office of the Daily Times.
He finished his trade in this office, and afterward served
four years there as a journeyman. Mr. Weber then ac-
cepted a position in the Freight Department of the Phila-
delphia & Reading railroad. However he did not stay
but returned to the printing business, taking "cases" in the
Telegram.

Taking quite an interest in politics Mr. Weber was
elected to the common council from the Tenth ward, at
which time he was the youngest member of that body. In
1889 he was elected a member of the same body from
the Eleventh ward, being also at that time president of
the famous Eleventh Ward Democratic Club, an organi-
zation which was a powerful political factor during the
three years he served as its head. Shortly after the ex-



piration of his term, April 16, 1891. he was appointed ald-
erman of the Eleventh ward, by Governor Pattison, to fill
the unexpired term of George Kramer, who had died the
previous March. The following year, 1893, Mr. Weber was
the aldermanic candidate of his party, and after a hotly con-
tested campaign was elected by a majority of 437, the term
being for five years. Again in 1897 and in 1902 he received
the indorsement of his constituents, by majorities of 517 and
443, respectively. During the years of his incumbency Mr.
Weber has given the most painstaking and careful atten-
tion to the needs of his ward, and in matters which affected
the weal of the whole city has ever been found on the
side of progress.

In March, 1880, Mr. Weber married Miss Kate Egelhoff,
daughter of William Egelhoff, a respected resident of Read-
ing, To them have come three sons: W. Wayne; Walter
W., a machinist; and Edwin C, a member of the class of
1908, Reading high school, who is now taking his college
course in Civil Engineering.

Alderman Weber was for thirty-three years a member
of the Reading Hose Company, during which time he
served for eleven years as president, and is now on the
Honorary Roll. He is affiliated with the Order of Red
Men and the Knights of the Golden Eagle, and is a mem-
ber of the First Reformed Church. His activity in polit-
ical circles makes him a valued member of the Northeast-
ern Democratic Club, and in all the varied interests of his
home city, he is ever ready to do a full share of the
necessary work. As a citizen he is universally esteemed
for his loyalty to home institutions, and as a friend and
neighbor all unite to do him honor.

W. Wayne Weber, son of William' P., is a graduate of
the Reading high school. Class of 1897. He served as time-
keeper for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company two
years, and then became associated -with the Reading Cement
Company as its clerk and secretary. In 1906 he was engaged
with the Interstate Railway Company, with offices in Phila-
delphia, and since 1907 he has been salesman for eastern
Pennsylvania for the Edison Cement. He was a member
of the Democratic Northeastern League, and was chairman
one term. In 1906-07 he was a member of the State Legis-
lature from the First District of Berks county. He is a
member of the Masonic fraternity, the Red Men, and is
an active member of the First Reformed Church.

FRED B. HOSSLER, justice of the peace, farmer and
surveyor of Tilden township, is one of the oldest justices
in Berks county, having served continuously since the
year 1867.

Mr. Hossler was born April 3, 1839, on the farm in Til-
den township where he now resides, and he is a great-
grandson of Frederick Hossler, who first settled in the
Heidelberg district. Thence he removed to what was then
Bern township, settling where the Squire now lijtes. He
took up about 325 acres of land, and lived and died here,
and he is buried at St. Michael's Church. He divided the
farm into three tracts, giving one to each of his three
sons.

John Hossler, son of Frederick, also died in Bern town-
ship, and is buried at St. Michael's Church. His wife was
Rachel Rickert, and their children were as follows: John
(died young) ; Henry, Benjamin (died in Schuylkill
county) ; Elizabeth (m. John Conckling) ; Sarah (m. Sam-
uel Meek) ; Catharine (m. Peter Fink) ; and Rebecca (mar-
ried Henry Fink).

Henry Hossler, son of John, was born July 17, 1804,
on the old homestead, and died there Aug. 27, 1892. He,
too, is buried at St. Michael's Church. His property or-
iginally comprised 187 acres, part of which he sold, the
homestead at present consisting of 130 acres. Henry
Hossler engaged in general farming throughout his active
years, passing his last years in retirement. He was a
captain in the State militia, and was a Democrat in poli-
tics. Henry Hossler married Mary Ann Scheidy, and they
had a family of six children: Four died young; John
died at Auburn, Schuylkill county; Fred B. is mentioned
below.



BIOGRAPHICAL



463



Fred B. Hossler attended the public schools in the local-
ity of his home and later went to Morgantown Academy,
and he taught school for one term in Upper Bern town-
ship, now Tilden township. He then went to Port Clinton,
where he remained for six months, in 1865 returning to
the home farm, where he has ever since been located. As
previously stated, the farm contains 130 acres, all of which
is valuable land and in a profitable state of cultivation.
Squire Hossler is well known, especially in his public
capacity, having been first elected justice of the peace in
1867, so that his period of service in that office alone covers
over forty years. He had previously served eleven years as
township auditor. In addition to farming Mr. Hossler
has done considerable surveying, and he is a substantial
and much respected 'citizen of his locality. He is also a
homeopathic veterinary, of considerable experience, hav-
ing practised for over forty years. He is a member of
St. Michael's Lutheran Church and of Vaux Lodge, No.
406; F. & A. M., of Hamburg, Pennsylvania. In politics he
is a Democrat. '

Mr. Hossler married Matilda Savage, daughter of Joseph
Savage, of Tilden township, and they have two children :
Alvin E., who is in the express business at Hamburg, Pa.,
married Bessie Hadesty, and they have one son, Herbert.
Lillie Jane married Milton S. Balthaser, of Kutztown, who
died Jan. 11, 1909, and was buried at St. Michael's, leaving
to survive his wife, Lillie, and three minor children —
Curtis F., Miriam and Wayne.

DANIEL R. BECHTEL, merchant at Huff's Church, in
Hereford township, was born at Bechtel's Mill, in District
township, the original Bechtel homestead, March 9, 1846.

Peter Bechtel, great-grandfather of Daniel R., was an
early settler of East District township, in Berks county.
Prior to 1774 he had settled there, and in 1790 he was the
owner of much land. He died about 1794, and is buried in
the cemetery on the farm now owned by David B. . Raach.
This was a private burial ground where many Mennonites
were buried. It is now in a dilapidated condition, but some
of the tombstones are still standing. The Kaufman, Zim-
merman, Noll, and Johan Friiederich Huff and wife graves
are in good condition. Most of the burials here took place
prior to 1812 when Huff's church and its cemetery were
established. Peter Bechtel had a number of children.

Jacob Bechtel, son of Peter, was born during the war of
the Revolution. He was a man of more than ordinary in-
telligence and enterprise, and was the owner of con-
siderable land. He and his wife attended the Mennonite
church at what is now Bally. They are buried in the
cemetery on the Rauch farm. They had four children :
Pollv m. Abraham Mensch; Sussana m. Henry Moyer;
Elizabe th m. Jonas Heistand; and John.

John Bechtel, son of Jacob, was born at the Bechtel
Mill homestead in District township, April 29, 1805, and
he died May 10, 1876. He became a farmer and miller.
The property contains about 200 acres of land. The pres-
ent frame mill was built in 1769, and is still in good condi-
tion, and used for milling purposes. ■ The sawmill attached
to the property is now operated by Frank Benfield. The
present barn was built by John Bechtel in 1860, and the
stone house by Jacob Bechtel. John Bechtel was a man
very well known in his section, and he was always active
for the best interests of the community. He and his family
were Lutheran members of Huff's Church. John Bechtel
married Maria Rohrba ch. born June 17, 1813, daughter of
George Rohrbach, and she died April 18, 1865. Their child-
ren were : Henry, John, Annie, Betzy, Sarah, Susanna,
Maria, Catharine, George and Daniel R.

Daniel R. Bechtel was educated in the township schools
and his home training was along agricultural lines. In
1871 he began clerking in the general store of William
Gernand, of Breinigsville, Pa., where he remained one year.
In 1872 he went to Zionsville, in Lehigh c ounty, where he
bought out Frank N^ Gery, and he cdnducfed"'llie store four
years. In 1876 he located at Huff's Church, in Berks
county, where he has built up a fine business, carrying
on a general store to the present time, a period of thirty-
two years. His stock is good and his customers are always



well pleased. He resides in a large brick residence which
he built in 1890. The well kept lawn adds to the at-
tractive appearance of this, one of the finest places in the
township.

In politics Mr. Bechtel is a Republican, and from 1876
to 1890 he was postmaster at Huff's Church. He and his
family are Lutheran members of Huff's Church. Mr.
Bechtel married Sally Ann Biddenbender, daughter of
Samuel and Catharine (Berkey) Biddenbender, and grand-
daughter of Jacob and Susanna (Young) Biddenbender.
(

FREDERICK A. MARX, who has his law office at No.
528 Washington street, Reading, and his home at No. 932
North Fifth street, same city, was born at Kutztown,
Berks county, .March 19, 1876, and has been practising
law since 1900. On March 12, 1907, he left Kutztown and
took up his residence in Reading.

Mr. Marx is a member of an old and respected family
of the county. His grandfather, Samuel Marx, was a
resident of Kutztown, and there his father, James H. Marx,
still lives. James H. Marx was educated for the law, and
has for many years been a member of the Berks county
Bar. He has taken an active interest in public affairs, and
has been honored with many of the borough offices, having
served on the school board and as town clerk. He mar-
ried Sarah Springer, daughter of Augustus Springer, a
jeweler of Kutztown. Of the five children born to them,
two died in infancy; Sallie died at the age of twenty-one,
while attending school in Philadelphia The survivors of
the family are Frederick A. and Anna, the latter the
wife of Charles S. Ort, a merchant at Quakertown, Penn-
sylvania.

Frederick A. Marx received his early education in his
native place, and after his graduation in 1892 from the
Normal School there was sent to Lafayette College, where
he graduated in 1896. Having settled on the law as a
profession, he now took up its study in the office of his
father, and was admitted to practice in 1900. Later he
was admitted to the higher courts. Mr. Marx took a final
course at Dickinson Law School.

Mr. Marx married Oct. 21, 1903, Miss Rebecca H. Fen-
sterrnacher, daughter of John P. S. Fenstermacher (a
cousin of General Gobin), postmaster of Kutztown and
aconductor in the Philadelphia & Reading passenger ser-
vice, with which road he has been connected since boy-
hood.

Mr. Marx is a Democrat in politics. He is active in the
religious life of the community, being a member of Trinity
Lutheran Church of Kutztown. He became a member of
Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. & A. M., on Dec. 26, 1901,
and served as its worshipful master for the year 1905. On
July 11, 1908, he resigned membership in Huguenot Lodge,
and on Oct. 17, 1908, affiliated with Isaac Hiester Lodge,
No. 660, F. & A. M., constituted on that day, in the city
of Reading, being one of the twenty-five charter members
and its first worshipful master. He holds membership in
Adonai Castk, No. 70, K. G. E.; and Charles A. Gerasch
Council, No. 1004, Jr. O. U. A. M. He retains his interest
in educational affairs, having been a member of the school
board of Kutztown, until his removal to Reading.

JOHN H. MILLER, who has been prominently identified
with all the leading interests of the borough of Topton for
many years, was born April 1, 1845, in Maxatawny town-
ship, Berks Co., Pa., son of Charles and Marie (Heff-
ner) Miller.

John Miller, his paternal grandfather, lived in Lowhill
township, Lehigh Co., Pa., but later moved to a farm in
Maxatawny township, Berks county, the same being now
owned by Rev. A. J. Fogel. He had six children as follows :
Charles m. Marie Heffner; John m. (first) Caroline Bortz
had three children— Alfred, Mary and Catherine— and
(second) Eliza A. Good and had one child— Lizzie ; Jonas
m. a Miss Weiser, and had two children— Jemima and
Sallie; Joseph m. May Zeigler, and had six children-
Oscar, Alvm, George, Sallie, Montana and Fiana; Joshua-
m. Frederica Zangley, and had children— George, James,
Emma, Francisco and Charles ; Esther m. Napoleon Dresh-



464



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



er, and had children— Joseph, John, Fiana, RosaHnda, Ange-
lina and Jane.

Charles ]\'Iiller, the eldest of the above family, was born
in Lowhill township, Lehigh county, on the banks of the
Jordan river, Feb. 14, 1806. He accompanied his father to
Maxatawny township and worked on the home farm mitil •
his marriage, when he bought the farm now owned by
his son, John H. Miller, in Maxatawny township, on which
he lived until May 13, 1905, when his long and blameless
life closed at the age of ninety-nine years, two months
and twenty-eight days. He was a member, and in the
latter part of his life an elder, of the Reformed congre-
gation of the Siegfried Church in Maxatawny township.
In political feeling he was a Democrat, and he always
took an active part in politics, but never solicited an of-
fice. On Oct. 6, 1842, he married Marie Heffner, born
Dec. 31, 1818, died May 31, 1857, aged thirty-six years
and five months, daughter of Jacob and Esther Heffner.
Mrs. Miller was born and reared on a farm now owned
by her only son, John H. Miller, in Maxatawny township.
She was a devoted Christian all her life, and was bap-
tized April 5, 1819. Jacob and Esther Heffner had a family
of six children, the other beside Mrs. Miller being: David,
Daniel, Solomon, Lydia and Esther. Charles Miller and
wife had two children-: John H. and Mrs. Eldridge Zim-
merman, both residents of Topton, and three grand-
children, namely : Charles D, Zimmerman and Milton and
Harvey A. Miller.

John H. Miller was afforded far better educational op-
portunities than were given many youths of his day. After
close attendance in the public schools of the township, he
spent two terms at McAllisterville Academy, in Juniata
county, one term at Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus Col-
lege, in Montgomery county, and two terms at Fairview
Seminary at Kutztown, now the Keystone State Normal
School. Having a preference for business rather than
farming, he accepted a position with J. A. & Isaac Fegley
who carried on a hotel and general store business at Mont-
erey, Berks Co., Pa., and after serving there for two
years, he accepted a position with Butz & Hefifner, who
were engaged in the coal, grain and lumber business at
Topton Station, on the East Pennsylvania Railway. At
the same time he was appointed station agent at the place
for the railroad company, which position he filled for six-
teen years, giving it up on account of ill health.

After being with Butz & Heffner for two years, iNIr.
Miller then associated himself with P. L. Diener and B.
C. Bear, trading under the firm name of Baer & Diener
& Miller, and bought out the firnxs of Butz & Heffner,
and Diener & Ubil, also engaged in the same business to-
gether with a general store business. A combination was
effected and the entire business was carried on for eight
years. In the meantime Mr. Miller was attending also to
his duties as station agent for the railroad company, and
served as secretary of the Topton Iron Company, and also
of the Topton Loan and Building Association, which posi-
tion he held from the day of its organization until it had
run out, which was in eight and one-half years, when all
shareholders had drawn out two hundred dollars, par value
less fixed premium. Later on, in connection with his
railroad duties, Mr. Miller associated himself with P. L.
Diener, D. D. Hinterstites. Jacob Carl and Jacob Leshcr,
under the firm name of Diener, Carl & Co., and engaged
in mining iron ore. having mines on the lands of Charles
Miller, Edwin A. Trexlcr and Nathan Luan. Two years
later Mr. Miller sold out his interest in the ore business
and devoted himself for a time exclusively to his railroad
business.

A short time after resigning his position as station
agent, he accepted that of salesman for the sale of hard
and soft coal for the firm of Percy Heilner & Son, of
Philadelphia, which position he held for eight years. Then,
he and his son, Harvey A. Miller, accepted work
as sales agents for the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron
Co., a position in which he continued until six years later,
when the company decided to sell all their products direct
and to dispense with sales agents. This closed Mr. Mil-
ler's active participation in business although not his active



interest. In 1887 he was elected a director in the Farmers'
National Bank of Reading, a position he still holds. In
1878 he was one of the incorporators of the borough of
Topton and is now holding the position of councilman,
to which he was elected in 1905. For fully fifteen years he
served as a school director, and his advice has been asked
and his judgment consulted in almost all that has par-
ticularly concerned the development of the town's various
public interests. For two terms he served as a justice of
the peace. In 1904 he helped to organize the Crown Knit-
ting Company of Topton, now employing about one hun-
dred hands, and turning out about 12,000 half hose a day,
shipping their product all over the United States.

On Oct. 20, 1865, Mr. Miller was married, by Rev. A. J.
Herman, to Eliza A. Kuhns, of Maxatawny township,
daughter of Solomon and Mary Ann (Becker) Kuhns. To
this marriage two sons were born, namely : Milton Robert,
bom Aug. 20, 1866 ; and Harvey Albert, born June 15, 1868.
The older son married Ida L. Sell, daughter of Daniel
K. and Mary (Knab) Sell, and they have one daughter,
Pauline, born March 24, 1891. The younger son married
Jennie C. Trexler, daughter of Charles D. and Catherine
(Haas) Trexler, and they have two children, Marie K. and
Alae E.

Mr. Miller was baptized April 20, 1845, by Rev. Charles
Herman, and his sponsors were Amos Clouser and his
wife Esther. He was confirmed in the fall of ISOl, by
Rev. Charles Herman, and became a member of the Ger-
man Reformed Church of Maxatawny, called Siegfried's
Church. He is one of the seven men who, forty years
ago, organized the Topton Union Sunday school (and
was for many years its superintendent), which was the
nucleus of St. Paul's Church, now a flourishing body of
Topton.

FREDERICK LEAF SMITH, A. B., A. M, (deceased),
represented the third generation of his family devoted
to the legal profession and was himself for many years a
prominent member of the Berks county Bar. He was a
son of the late Henry W. Smith, grandson of Judge
Frederick Smith, and great-grandson of Rev. John Fred-
erick Smith, an eminent pioneer of the Lutheran Church
in Pennsylvania.

Judge Frederick Smith was one of the most distinguished
citizens of his time in Berks county. He was bnrn in
1773, received unusual educational advantages for the
time, and after careful preparation for the profession of
law was admitted to practice Aug. 7, 1705. He had been
thorough in his studies and was equally conscientious in
the preparation of his cases, and he soon won a prom-
inent position among the lawyers of his day. Like many
others of his profession he hecame interested and active
in politics. From 1S02 to 1803 he was a member of the
Legislature: in 1818 he was appointed deputy attorney gen-
eral for Berks county, a position he held for three years;
from 1823 to 1828 he was attorney general of the State
under Governor Shulze, by whom he was appointed asso-
ciate justice of the Supreme court of the State in 1828,
and this honorable position he filled with great credit
until his death. Judge Smith was clear and logical in his
reasonings, and just and impartial in Iiis decisions. He
died at bis home in Reading, after but a brief illness,
Oct. 5, 1830, aged fifty-seven years, seven months, four
days, and his remains were interred in the Roman Catholic
cemetcr\-, but later removed to the Charles Evans ccmetevy.
The Bar Associations in Reading and in Philadelphia
passed resolutions in testimony of his high charactei
and distinguished ability. He married Catharine Leaf.

Henry W. Smith, son of Judge Frederick Smith, was
born Jan. 4, 1804. He received the benefit of a good
literary education, studied law under the wise and able
instruction of his father, and was admitted to the Bar
Jan. 5. 1825. He became an active politician, and was a
delegate to the State Democratic conventions of 1832,
1835, 1841, 1844 and 1846, and to the National Democratic
convention in 1835. In 1836 he was a candidate for Con-
gress : in 1843 and 1844 he served as a member of the
Legislature, and again in 1846 became a candidate for




tyrt^c/ eA^dJ^ fy^ QpLiMc^



BIOGRAPHICAL



465



Congressional honors. Twice he was the candidate of Philip m. Sarah Mohn, sister of Catherine Mohn; and
his, party for the office of president judge. In his pro- Joseph.

fession, like his father, he attained high rank, and he Adam Grill, grandfather of Adam F. E., was born in
that llT. I^\- ^^ extensive practice. The successes Spring township, and was a lifelong farmer, owning the
wnrl. ,^^ Z '"^''f the result of careful, painstaking farm now in the possession of our subject, where he lived

he cont HerpH 7Z' -^ 'w !"* ^% ^°^^ ^' ^' ^T.^ °t^ ^^^^ *e major portion of his life. He married Catherine Mohn,
he ^ave .W. tt . ""''/"t Profffon on earth/' In 1873 who bore him the following ten children: Samuel settled
ne gave able service to the State as a member of the - - - _ - . _. . .

Constitutional convention. He died Aug. 37, 1878, and
he was survived by his wife, Mary, and one son, F.
Leaf. Mrs. Smith was born Dec. 11, 1811, and died
March 3, 1881.

F. Leaf Smith was born Aug. 31, 1831, and received his
early education in the public schools of Reading.' During



at Bowmansville, Lancaster county; Catherine m. Christian
Kress; Elizabeth m. Henry Von Neida; Mary m. Richard
Hornberger; Levi; Sallie m. Nicholas Mosser; Ad'am lived
on the old homestead; Lydia m. James Leininger; Daniel
was a tax collector of Reading, Pa. ; and Henry . resided
at Oakbrook, Cumru township.
tVio lofa *„,<-;„<, i,„ „„*". A r- ^~ ~~ /f^""/^=\ ^rr"""° Levi Grill, father of Adam F. E., was born in Cumrif

from^wbLn was"Sa?ed"rir4 l^th'^t eX?ee' '"^ - ^ f°^- ^/^^O and his entire life was spent in

St^w^r'e^il^orab^e" ^^^T^''^ ^"l^- "^^ ^ ^t^kTmi' tay^b^etw^ ^^^^^^^^
^Vd" T'h^iV/HS^A^.'l'f/.\'!!'L!iL^?°fi.,fil^ Gouglersville, his fine 'farm. consisting of 100 acres. He

built the present home upon it m 1874, the barn being built



on the day of his graduation he had the honor of deliver-
ing a discourse on "The Influence of Philosophy" before
President Pierce, who was present at the commencement
exercises. In 1858 he received the degree of A. M. from
his alma mater. After leaving college Mr. Smith took



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 123 of 227)