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 124 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 124 of 227)
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up the study of law for which he had inherited aptitude,
which was greatly strengthened and developed by his con-
stant association with his father, while the latter continued
in active practice. Owing to the fact that his father had
acquired a competent estate and he was the only child.



by his father, Adam Grill, in 1838. This property has a
good meadow of twelve acres, eight acres of woodland,
and an excellent spring of clear water. In 1853 Mr. Grill
was married to Mary Eshelman, daughter of Daniel and
Lydia (Heberling) Eshelman, and to this union there were
born two sons : John E., a well known merchant of Read-
ing; and Adam F. E.
Adam F. E. Grill received his education in the public



there was an absence of 'that in ent^e to f,^ devefopm nt itmal fchoo, "^^T^ *°"" p'"' T.^h'* *^ Keystone State
of his powers so essential to the average man, but not- !l°^.?tlll*l°5£"It°„^"'.?!,\AV*^.:,1?ly^



withstanding this absence of the spur of necessity Mr.
Smith practised his profession with commendable diligence
and remarkable success, continuing for a number of years.
He was a wise counselor, a diligent student of his cases,
and an adroit trial lawyer, and as long as he maintained
his interest in the practice of the law stood in the front
rank of the profession, becoming one of the most prom-
inent members of the legal fraternity in his section. That
he was not merely a lawyer is shown in the fact that
he added to his professional attainments a varied and
sound knowledge of business, and possessed the prompt
and practical judgment which rendered his opinions as a
man of affairs valuable in the management of his own
business as well as that of his clients.

In personal integrity, in inflexible devotion to the inter-
est of his clients, in urbanity of feeling and bearing to his
professional brethren, in h'is respect for the law when
it was declared by the court, and in his habitual deference
to the judiciary, he was a model for imitation, The
benevolent feelings of his heart were displayed by regular
and unostentatious giving to charitable objects, and his
sympathy with the beauties of nature by his interest in
the systematic culture of plants and flowers. His private
life was one of remarkable purity, sincerity and unflinching
honesty.

On July 2, 1879, Mr. Smith married Mary Coulter, and
they had one child, Marie Carroll, who resides in the old
family home on South Fifth street, _ Reading, where Mr.
Smith passed away April 10, 1898.

ADAM F. E. GRILL, one of the foremost citizens of
Cumru township, Berks county, resides in the borough of

Shillington, Pa., in a fine residence at the northwest cor- , „^ „, ... , ,, ,, _ ... , - - - - , - .-,— -■ - - - -"

ner of Lancaster and Wyomissing avenues. He was born ^f\t= °^*!'f"'^ *^°J'^f^5J" homestead which belonged

on his father's farm, now the property of Joshua Dives, *° ^'= grandfather and father, in which the latter was

Jan. 28, 1857, son of Levi and Mary (Eshelman) Grill. ^ " -r ,_ • nj r- -n

Philip Grill, great-grandfather of Adam F. E., was an A°"J^"-fr!JL I' P""-^^^ ^f%"'^.V'^^ *° Mary Huyett,

extensive land owner in Spring township, having fully 255 t'^ltll of Tohn and FH.^h.^1.^ m^'L^^fS' ^"^ ^'"""t

acres. He died on the farm on which he had resided all ^^"i^t^^LvJ t^?^ Elizabeth (Hartman) Huyett, an old

of his life, and his remains were interred at Sinking Spring ^"'^ '?°"°«d X^'ly, of, Berks county. No children have



years he began teaching school in the village of Mohnsville,
when there was but one- school at that place. He finished
one terni there, after which he taught in different other
schools in Cumru and Spring townships and then went
back to Mohnsville and took charge of the grammar school
there to - teach his twenty-third and last term, when the
hamlet had grown to be a large town. His long career
as an educator was begun in 1872, when D. B. Brunner was
county superintendent, and he became well and favorably
known as a pedagogue. During the summer months Mr.
Grill worked upon his father's farm, where he had spent
his boyhood days. In politics Mr. Grill is a Democrat, and
in 1892-3 he was elected township committeman, and in the
latter years was elected county chairman of ' the Demo-
cratic party, a position he filled with efficiency for a full
term. He was the last judge of election of Cumru town-
ship when it had over 800 voters, it being then divided inro
five voting precincts.

On Feb. 18, 1895, Assistant U. S. Treasurer W. B.
Bigler of Philadelphia appointed Mr. Grill to a respon-
sible clerkship in the Philadelphia U. S. Sub-Treasury, and
in this position he has served most acceptably ever since.
His work consists of counting and assorting money, r.nd
in the last fourteen years he has handled hundreds of
millions of dollars. He has charge of the Assorting Tel-
ler's desk. For the past ten years he has made daily
trips from his home in Shillington to Philadelphia. In
1899 Mr. Grill built his fine residence at Shillingtoii, it-
being one of the most beautiful and substantial brick
residences of the place, and in 1903 he erected two fine
brick residences on Lancaster avenue on a side lot of his
residence property. He has two other good houses on
Lancaster avenue, one of brick and the other frame, and he



burying-ground, as were those of his wife, whose maiden
name was Lesher. They had these children : Christina mar-
ried Philip Kappes ; Samuel obtained the original homo-
stead, erected the present buildings upon it, and then re-
moved to Ohio ; John was given another of the old home-
steads, later removed to Centre county, Pa., and then fol-
lowed Samuel to Ohio'; Katie m. Jacob Hatt; Eliza m.
Jacob Brossman, and removed to Naperville, 111.; Adam;
30



been born to Mr. and Mrs. Grill. Mr. Grill stands high in
the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and is one of the most
substantial men of his locality and an influential molder
of public opinion in his township.

ISAAC UNGER, late of Windsor township, Berks
county, was a great-grandson of Christopher Unger the
first of the name in this country, of whom we have the
following record :



466



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



(I) Christian Unger emigrated to America in the ship
"Edinburgh," landing at Philadelphia Sept. 19, 1752. In
3756 he was a taxable resident of Greenwich township,
Berks county. He had these children : Michael, who was
a taxable in Greenwich township in 1759 ; John, who settled
in the vicinity of Shatnokin, Pa.; Herman; one son (.name
unknown) who settled in Maryland; Susanna, m. to John
Schappel; Elizabeth, m. to George Heffley; and Mrs.
Christian Reeser.

(H) Herman Unger was born in Greenwich township. He
married Elizabeth Keim, and they had the following child-
ren : Daniel, who settled in Windsor township; Samuel,
who also settled in Windsor township; Jacob, who settled
in Wabash county, Ind. ; Abraham, who settled in Sandusky
county, Ohio ; Christina, who married John Hollenbach :
and Mrs. Coleman.

(ni) Daniel Unger, son of Herman, married Elizabeth
Smith, and their only son was Isaac Unger, late of Wind-
sor township.

(IV) Isaac Unger was born Jan. 22, 1829, and died March
16, 1SS4. On Nov. 18, 1849, he married Syria Weidman,
who was born in Windsor township April 17, 1828. After
their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Unger resided on his farm
of 206 acres, about one mile east of Shoemakersville — one
of the best farms in Perry township. Here they prospered
and reared their family. Mr. Unger left his widow and
children a large estate. He never held any political office,
but was active in the church, for several terms serving as
one of the trustees of the Lutheran congregation at Shoe-
makersville.

Mrs. Syria Unger was the daughter of John and Mag-
dalena (Kauffman) Weidman, and was educated in the
schools of her district. She was conversant with both the
English and German languages. She was reared in the
Dunker faith, but in 1850 she and her husband became
members of the Lutheran Church, to which faith she after-
ward adhered. After Mr. Unger's death she resided in
the Unger home at Mill and Belleville streets, Shoemakers-
ville. She was an intelligent, benevolent woman, and
though she lived to advanced age possessed a clear mind
and a contented heart. She was the mother of children
as follows: John married Ella Teeter; Sarah died at the
age of four years; Sylvester died at the age of two years;
Catherine, who married Newton Moyer, died in 1900, aged
forty-four years; Laura, deceased, married Franklin W.
Seidel, M. D., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal
School and of the medical department of the University
of Michigan, who practised his profession in Chester, Pa.,
and who at his death left two children, Roy and May;
Annie, who married David S. Wolfe, was a teacher and
a highly accomplished woman, and died in 1902, aged
thirty-nine years; Charles married Sallie Koenig; George
W. is a prosperous business man and manufacturer of
Boyertown.

(V) George W. Unger was born Nov. 10, 1865, in Perry
township, Berks county, and was educated in the public
schools of the home district. He was reared on the home-
stead, but he himself has never followed farming. When
fifteen years old he became a clerk in H, K. Miller's gen-
eral store at Shoemakersville, where he remained one
year, after which he was with J. B. Miller, at BernviUe,
for two years. He then worked about a year for Filbert
& Brother, at Womelsdorf, and he has since been at Boyer-
town. I-Iis first employer in the borough was C. A. Mory,
for whom he clerked a year in his large dry goods store.
In the fall of 1888 he engaged in the grocery and shoe
business on his own account, locating on North avenue,
Reading, and he met with success in this venture, carrying
on a retail business for seven years. In the fall of 1896
he comrnenced his present business, the manufacture of
ladies' ribbed underwear, in which line he now employs
from fifty to sixty hands the year round. He is established
in a brick factory, 80 x .38 feet in dimensions, three stories
in height, and the business has grown to such an extent
that it is considered a factor in the commercial importance
of Boyertown. In addition to this, his principal interest,
Mr. Unger has been identified with others in enterprises
affecting the advancement of the town, and he was one of



the organizers and charter members of the Boyertown
Electric Company, which was chartered in August, 1908,
and is capitalized at $35,000. Mr. Unger is president of
the company, which is to furnish light, heat and power to
the borough, and which has a most promising future. He
is a faithful worker for the interests of his community.
On Oct. 24, 1889, Mr. Unger was married to Miss L.
Legora Deppen, daughter of Dr. Daniel D. and Isabella
(Miller) Deppen, of Bernville, and four children have
blessed this union, namely : Earl D., Laura I., John S. and
Daniel H. The eldest son, Earl D. Unger, is a student
at Mercersburg Academy, class of 1909, is already an ex-
pert bookkeeper, and is his father's chief assistant in the
(manufacturing business. He is a member of the Glee
Club. The family reside in a beautiful mansion on Chest-
nut street, between Third and Philadelphia avenues, in
Boj'^ertown, one of the finest residences in the lower end of
the county. Mr. Unger built this home in the summer of
1903. It is constructed of Pennsylvania blue marble from
the quarries at King of Prussia, in Montgomery county,
Pennsylvania. Mr. Unger and his family are members of
St. John's Lutheran Church at Boyertown.

HENNE. The Henne family was settled in Bucks
county, Pa., in 1771 by Samuel and Daniel Henne. In
Berks county it dates back to Samuel Henne, who was born
in Tulpehocken, now Jefferson township. He is buried
at Blue Mountain church in Upper Bern township. By
occupation he was a farmer and carpenter, and owned a
small farm of fifteen acres, which he operated in addition
to working at his trade. A Democrat in politics, he served
a period of two terms as supervisor of the township, and
was a member of the State militia. He married Barbara
Noll, daughter of Peter Noll, of Lebanon county. Their
children were : Samuel, a carpenter of Strausstown ; Will-
oughby, of Schuylkill Haven, a contractor and builder ; Ma-
linda (m. Josiah Boltz, and died in 1907) ; Barbara (m.
Albert Leminger, a veteran of the Civil war who died in
1898 in Lebanon) ; John of Williamsport, a carpenter;
Ephraim ; Adam, a carpenter of Schaefferstown ; Levi, a
contracting plasterer of Hamburg.

Ephraim Henne, son of Samuel and father of Oscar,
was born in Jefferson township, July 8, 1853. He attended
the public school of his district, and when fifteen years
old went to Pittston, Pa., to learn the carpenter's trade.
Ip 1881 he and his family moved to Schuylkill Haven, and
there he followed his trade until 1901 when he came to
Reading, and now resides at No. 361 Schuylkill avenue,
busily engaged in contracting and building. He has been
identified with many building operations in Reading and
throughout Berks county, being recognized as an excellent
workman.

On M-ay 23, 1873, Mr. Henne married -Miss Kate Zerby,
a daughter of John Zerby (whose wife was a Pliester),
of Upper Tulpehocken township. Their children are:
Oscar D. ; James I. died in infancy; Minerva m. Calvin
Fitler; Sadie m. Dr. Harry Rentschler; Charles E. died
at the age of six; Beulah; Mary died in childhood; Elsie;
Herman ; Martin. Mr. Henne is an independent voter, cast-
ing his ballot for the man he believes best fitted for the
place without regard to party lines. He is a member of
St. Matthew's Lutheran church, and he is a man widely
known and universally respected.

Oscar D. Henne, building inspector of Reading and
a man of high standing in the community, was born in
Upper Bern, Berks Co.. Pa., March 9, 1874. When only
eight years of age his parents moved to Schuylkill Haven
and there he attended excellent schools, although he left
school when quite young to learn the carpenter's trade
under his father. In 1893 he went to Wilkes Barre, where
he was in the employ of M. B. I-Ioupt & Son in their
planing mill. After a year, in 1894 he removed to Phila-
delphia, and worked for D. Dougherty, a large contractor
In 1896 he left his employ and traveled in Indiana and
Minnesota, working at his trade until 1898, and seeing
much of the country. In the last named year, he returned
home and enlisted in Company F, of Pottsville, Pa, 4th
Reg. Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served throughout the



BIOGRAPHICAL



467



entire Porto Rico campaign. In Porto Rico he was pro-
moted to the rank of artificer, and when he was mustered
out Nov. 17, 1898, he was so recorded. In 1899 he came
to Reading and engaged in contracting and building, fol-
lowing these lines successfully until May 1, 1908, when he
was appointed by Hon. William Rick building inspector
of the city of Reading, which responsible position he now
holds, his practical knowledge of contracting and building
making him an excellent city official.

Mr. Henna resides in his own home at No. 134 West
Greenwich street. Fifteenth ward, of Reading. He is a
Republican in politics, and is very prominent in the ranks
of his party. He belongs to the Lutheran church, while
his wife is a member of the Reformed church.

On Nov. 21, 1903, Mr. Henne married Emily Tyson,
daughter of Irwin and Ellen (Becker) Tyson, of Schuylkill
Haven, and they have one son, Allen T. Naturally Mr.
Henne is regarded as one of the leading young men of
Reading, whose business and political future is very bright.
He comes of good, solid stock, originally German, but
now thoroughly Americanized, and is a fair example of
vigorous, sturdy American manhood.

DR. JACOB S. RITTENHOUSE, one of Reading's lead-
ing medical practitioners, has been in constant practice in
that city for the past twenty-four years, during which time
he has won the confidence and esteem of the entire com-
munity and has occupied positions of honor and trust.. He
was born June 3, 1861, son of Dr. Samuel R. and Anna
M. (Shaffer) Rittenhouse.

The Rittenhoiases originally came from Holland, the fam-
ily being established in America in 1690, in which year
the progenitor established the first paper mill in America
at Germantown, Pa. Dr. Samuel R. Rittenhouse, father of
Dr. Jacob S., was born near the Trappe, Montgomery Co.,
Pa., Jan. 16, 1832, son of Jacob D. Rittenhouse, one of the
substantial agriculturists of that section, who died of apo-
plexy aged sixty-one years, April 17, 1843. Samuel R.
Rittenhouse attended the public schools of his native town
during his younger years, and then took a medical course
in the University of Pennsylvania from which he was
graduated in 1853. He immediately entered upon practice
as an allopathic physician near The Trappe, but not being
satisfied until he had received the best education possible,
he returned to the University the following fall and at-
tended another course of lectures, also taking advantage
of the Clinics at the University Hospital. During the
following year he formed a partnership with Dr. Lesher
Trexler at Longswamp, Berks county, and they acquired
a large and remunerative practice which they held until
1855. At the time he had no faith in the Homeopathic
School of Medicine, having been led to believe that it was
nothing more than a delusion; but the wonderful accom-
plishments of that year opened his eyes, as it did those
of every other man who was deeply interested in the ad-
vances of medical science. He decided, therefore, to
make a careful investigation, and at once read the Or-
ganon and studied the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
With the coming of faith in the new school,_ faith in the
old school began to wane and finally made its departure,
when upon testing the medicines in active practice he be-
came thoroughly satisfied with the principle of Hahnemann
— Similia similibus curantur. In 1857 he removed to Mil-
lerstown, now Maoungie, Lehigh county, where for
years he had charge of a lairge practice. Indeed, it grew
to such an extent that it required his entire attention, his
health became greatly impaired, and, fearing that it would
be necessary to relinquish his practice entirely, he removed
to Reading in October, 1868," where he hoped to better
the condition of his health. He soon after took up practice
again, and continued with much success uritil his death,
June 26, 1895. Dr. Rittenhouse was a member of the
Homeopathic Medical Societies of Berks and Schuylkill
counties, the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State
of Pennsylvania, and the Reading Society of Natural
Sciences. He frequently . contributed papers to medical
journals of both schools, and was a writer of merit. Dur-
ing the Civil war he was an enthusiastic advocate of the



Union cause, and contributed numerous articles to local
papers intended to stimulate patriotism in the people and to
continue the support of the Union. He was a consistent
Republican, and in 1863 was the popular candidate of his
party for the State Legislature, but was defeated at the
election. At the time of his demise he was acting as
consulting physician of the Medical Staff of the Homeo-
pathic Hospital, and was also the first president of the
Hahnemann Medical Society of Reading. By his marriage to
Anna M. Shaffer, he be'came the father of two sons and
two daughters : Jacob S. ; Anna ; Hannah ; and a son who
died in infancy. ,

Dr. Jacob S. Rittenhouse was but seven years of age
when his father removed the family to Reading, and there
he obtained his elementary education in the public schools,
later taking a course in languages and the natural sciences
at the Scientific Academy under the preceptorship of the'
Hon. D. B. Brunner, after which he matriculated in the
Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1882. On
April 3, 1885, he was graduated, and the degree of Doctor
of Medicine was conferred upon him. During the last year
in college he was elected by the class to "quiz" them on the
subject of pathology and the practice of medicine. After
his graduation he became associated in practice with his
father in Reading, and during the winter of 1887-8 he at-
tended the New York Polyclinic and other well-known
hospitals, devoting particular attention to the diseases
of the ear, nose and throat. He has since made a
specialty of these subjects, and is at present the Special
United States Pension Examiner for the district of Berks
county on ailments of the ear and eye. He Was one of
the first surgeons on the staff of the Reading Homeopatljic
Hospital. He has been successful in practice beyond his
fondest expectations, and numbers among his patients many
of the leading citizens of the county. For twelve years
Dr. Rittenhouse has had his home at Lorane, Pa., although
actively continuing his medical work at his office in Read-
ing.

Professionally Dr. Rittenhouse is a member of the Read-
ing and the State Homeopathic Societies, and is an ex-
president of the Hahnemann Medical Society of Reading.
His fraternal connections are with Vigilant Lodge, I. O.
O. F.; the Encampment, I. O. O. F.; and the A. O. U..
W. For many years he has been extensively interested in
horticulture and fruit growing, and he is one of the judges
of apples at the fairs of the Berks County Agricultural
Society. He belongs to the Pennsylvania Horticultural
Society and to the American Pomological Society. Dr.
Rittenhouse is a man of high cliaracter and is greatly re-
spected by his fellow-citizens and practitioners.

On June 12, 1888, Dr. Rittenhouse was married to Emma
K. Griesemer, daughter of Benneville D. and Hannah K.
Griesemer, and four children were born to them, namely:
Roger G., who died at the age of eleven months, after a
severe illness of a few weeks; Mary Esther, born Jan. 18,
1892; Samuel B., born Oct. 14, 1893; and Ruth Helen,
born Dec. 14, 1897.

CHARLES M. PLANK, a lawyer of Reading, who
has been somewhat prominent in Republican politics for
a number of years, is descended from French-Huguenot
stock. His grandfather, Jacob Plank, resided in Cam-
bridge, Lancaster county.

Adam Plank, father of Charles, was a farmer in Lan-
caster county in the early part of his career, but later
moved to Reading, where he was in business until his
death, in 1880, at the age of seventy-two years. He mar-
ried Joanna Moll, daughter of John and Elizabeth Moll,
of Salisbury township, Lancaster county. -Of their eight
children, five are deceased, as follows : Winfield Scott,
who died when four years old; Margaret; Elizabeth, who
died at the age of twenty-one; Catharine, who died aged
fifty; and Mary. The survivors are: Jennie P., wife of
James A. Lanning, of Camden, N. J.; Ida M., wife of
Henry M. Phillippi, of Reading; and Charles M.

Charles M. Plank was born Sept. 23, 1860, and was reared
in Reading, where he received good school advantages
He graduated from the high school in the class of 1876



468



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



and for three years thereafter taught school. Having
decided upon the law as his life work, he began its study in
the office of the late Daniel H. Wingerd, passed the ex-
amination in 1881, and at once began practice. In the
ensuing years he has acquired a very comfortable clientele
and been admitted to the Superior, Suprem'e, United States
District and United States Circuit courts. He has con-
. fined himself principally to private practice, yet at various
times he has been engaged in legal work in the public
service, for four years acting as assistant city solicitor,
for three years as solicitor for the school board and for
three years as deputy collector of Internal Revenue.

Mr. Plank has given considerable attention to public
affairs. He is a good "mixer," and a valuable man in Re-
publican councils. He has been chairman of the Republican
county committee for ten years and his face is a familiar
one in all the local conventions of his party, and in State
and national conventions as well, he having been delegate to
State conventions nineteen times. He was a delegate in
1S96 to the national convention in St. Louis which nomi -
nated McKinley. Mr. Plank's name has given strength to
the local Republican ticket in several elections, and in 1896
he was the candidate of his party for State senator. He
was leading a known forlorn hope, however, so that his de-
feat was not a disappointment. He came out of the con-
test with the rather startling record of having carried the
city of Reading by a plurality of 3,380 votes, and he came



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 124 of 227)