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 128 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 128 of 227)
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farm of thirty-three' acres in Exeter township. Samuel
Strunk was a prominent Democrat, held the office of poor
director for Berks county from 1873 to 1876, was super-
visor, tax collector, assessor (for thirty-six consecutive
years) and school director of his township, and tried to
carry out his id^s of good citizenship in every way. He
married Maria Snyder (daughter of Samuel Snyder),
born in 1822, died in 1905, aged eighty-two years. Mr.
and Mrs. Samuel Strunk had these children : Jacob S. is
mentioned below; Caroline, widow of Peter Glassmoyer,
lives at Reading, and has two children, Cora S. (of Read-
ing) and Howard S. (of Springfield, Mo.) ; Mary, now
of Reading, married David F. Dunkle, and has two child-
ren, Maria S. and Robert S. Dunkle, of Reading; Ammon
S. is mentioned below; Samuel S., of Kansas City, was a
farmer, but in 1907 sold his farm and now lives retired
(he has had three children, Frank R., George R. and
Emma R., deceased) ; Henry S. is mentioned below.

This old and representative family is worthy of all hon-
or. Its representatives are not only well known through-
out Berks county, but are also to be found among the
substantial people in various parts of the country.

(V) Jacob S. Strunk was born July 11, 1847, in Ex-
eter township, and was reared upon his father's farm. He
alternated going to school and working for his parents
until he was eighteen years of age. In 1869 he became
foreman of construction on the Oley turnpike, and was
thus employed for four years. In 1873 he commenced
farming on his own account on the Charles Brenheiser
farni in Exeter township. In 1876 he went to the Amos
Reiff property, which he farmed three years, and then com-
ing to Oley settled on the Jacob Herbein farm, of 135 acres,
where he remained for thirteen years, and then bought
the old Samuel Hoch farm, one mile west of Griesemers-
ville, near Limekiln post-office. Here he has since lived,
although in the spring of 1907 he retired from active life.
The farm is a fine property, consisting of 135 acres, of
the most fertile land in the Oley Valley. The barn, 98
feet long, was built in 1823 by Samuel and Elizabeth Hoch,
who also built the big stone house, in 1808. Politically
Mr. Strunk is a Democrat, and was school director of
Oley township for six years. He and his family belong
to the Reformed denomination.

In 1870 Mr. Strunk married Lucy Herbein, daughter
of Isaac and Susan (Moyer) Herbein, of Exeter town-
ship. She died in 1905. They had these children : Sarah
Ann m. Charles Cleaver, and died in 1901 ; Mary m. Ed-
ward Kieffer, of Reading; Deborah m. Solomon De Turck,
of Oley township; Samuel m. Clara Hartman, and lives
in Exeter township ; Emma m. Charles Cleaver ; Hannah
m. James Fisher, who farms his father-in-law's farm in
Oley township; Grover, unmarried, resides at home and
is now a student attending school; Laura is unmarried.

(V) Ammon S. Strunk was born May 25, 1854, in Ex-
eter township, and there spent his early life working on
his father's farm, during the busy seasons also working
for neighboring farmers. He received his education in
the local common schools, which he attended during the
winter time, and later taught school, doing excellent work
in that profession in his young manhood. He graduated
from the Lock Haven State Normal School in 1878. Later
he was a valuable public servant, having been ap-
pointed census enumerator in 1880; in 1881 he was
appointed deputy sheriff; in 1883 became deputy to the
clerk of the Orphans' court ; in 1884 was elected register
of wills, serving a term of three years in that office. While
in this office he registered as a law student in the office
of D. Nicholas Schaeffer, Esq., and later was admitted to
the Bar.

In 1904, while in the midst of a contest for the nomina-
tion for county controller, Mr. Strunk was stricken with
paralysis. Though confined in the hospital and unable to
direct his campaign personally, his friends ahnost suc-
ceeded in securing him the nomination under his powerful
leadership and political sagacity. However, an independent
candidate. Dr. H. F. Livingood, was elected by 4,088
majority over the regular nominee — something that had



never happened in the "Gibraltar of Democracy." He died
March 16, 1905, thus ending a short but strenuous life.^

(V) Henry S. Strunk is a native of Exeter township,
born March 16, 1864, and began his education in the "Old
Hill School" in that township. He was only sixteen years
old when licensed to teach, and in three terms of teaching
in his native township, and by such other opportunities for
work as are open to sons of farmers, he saved sufficient
money to enable him to take a course at the Keystone
State Normal School, at Kutztown, from which he was
graduated in 1885.

In the fall of the same year his brother, Amrhon S.
Strunk, appointed him deputy register of wills, and he
remained in the office for sixteen consecutive years, during
three of which— 1891-92-93— he filled the office of register
with signal credit and ability. Resigning the position of de-
puty register of wills in the fall of 1901, Mr. Strunk ac-
cepted a position as teller in the Neversink Bank of Read-
ing, then being organized. He served in this position until
October, 1908, when he was elected cashier of the bank.
By virtue of his able service in the various positions of
trust he has filled, Mr. Strunk is well and favorably known
throughout the county.

On April 6, 1896, Mr. Strunk married Sarah Trimble
Dwight, a daughter of Francis G. and Ida (Hoeckly)
Dwight, of Readings To this union have been born three,
children : Grace D., Blanche D. and Henry D.

SAMUEL L. DUNKLE, broker, located at No. 703
Penn street, and residing at No. 136 North Eighth street,
Reading, is a native of Berks county, born in Bern town-
ship, Dec. 17, 1851.

His parents were David and Catherine (Lesher) Dun-
kle, farming people in Ontelaunee township, this county,
and his grandfather was Michael Dunkle ; his great-grand-
father was Peter Dunkle, whose remains rest in the old
burying grounds of Dunkle's Church, Greenwich town-
ship, Berks county. The ancestors were from Germany,
the arrival in America being in or about 1725.

David and Catherine (Lesher) Dunkle died in 1866 and
1868, respectively, and are buried in the old cemetery at
Gernant's Church, in this county.

Samuel L. Dunkle was left an orphan at the age of
seventeen years. He was raised on the farm, and attended
the public schools where he mastered all the branches
taught at that time. He then attended Dickinson Semin-
ary at Williamsport, Pa., for several terms. In 1870-1 he
taught public school in Windsor township, Berks Co., Pa.,
and in 1872-3 he attended the Eastman Business College at
Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he was graduated in book-
keeping and business laws. On March 30, 1873, he secured
a clerkship in the general store of Sunday Bros., at Lees-
port, Pa., at a salary of $50 per year and board. At the
expiration of three months he accepted a position in the
general store of Jame^ A. Koller at Centreport, Berks
county, at $150 per year and board, and on April 1,
1874, he became a member of the Firm of Sunday & Dun-
kle, successors to James A. Koller, at Centreport, in the
general store business. At the end of four months Mr.
Dunkle disposed of his interest in the firm of Sunday
& Dunkle, and in September, 1874, he went to Fredericks-
burg, Lebanon Co., Pa., and again engaged in the general
store business. In 1878 he again disposed of his business
and taught public school for two terms in Lebanon county,
after which he resided at Myerstown, Pa. In 1881 he
traveled quite extensively throughout, the far western
States, and in February, 1882, he engaged in the Loan
and Brokerage Business at No. 703 Penn street, Reading,
where he is still to be found in the same line, in which
he has been very successful, having a large patronage in
the loan business, and a good trade in the sale of watches,
diamonds, jewelry, etc. During all these years he has ex-
tended his closest attention to his business and patrons and
IS noted for his strictly upright methods. In the meantime
he IS also engaged in other pursuits. During the years
of 1896-7-8 he was also engaged in the manufacture of
hosiery m the Ammon building, on South Front street
He has been a director of the American Casualty Company



478



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



of Reading, Pa., since its organization in July, 1903. In
March, 1906, he organized the National Porcelain Com-
pany, manufacturers of electrical porcelain specialties, in
Trenton, N. J., of which he is president.

On Jan. 30, 1875, Mr. Dunkle married Miss Mary R.
Loose, daughter of Abraham and Susan (Ritter) Loose,
of Centre township, Berks county. Three children have
been born to them, as follows : Claudius C, a machinist
employed in the Navy Yard at Washington, D. C. ; Calvin,
a musician residing in Trenton, N. J., after five years of
musical study in Germany; and Bayard L., also residing
in Trenton, N. J., where he is treasurer and general
manager of the National Porcelain Company. In 1898
Mr. and ;\Irs. Dunkle made an extended tour through
England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
They are members of the First Reformed Church of Read-



JACOB M. BORDNER. Among the representative
citizens of Bernville borough, Berks Co., Pa., one who
stands high in the regard of his fellow-men is Jacob M.
Bordner, county commissioner, who for more than a quart-
er of a century has been conducting the stage route be-
tween Bernville and Reading. Mr. Bordner was born
Sept. 16. 1854, in Bethel township, son of Percival and
Lovina (Miller) Bordner.

Daniel Bordner, grandfather of Jacob M., was a farmer
of Bethel township, where he died at the age of forty-five
years. He married Catherine Bender, and they had three
children : Percival ; Isaac, who served as a soldier in the
Civil war; and Elizabeth, who married the Rev. Mr.
Bixler, a local preacher.

Percival Bordner was born March 23, 1830, and died
in 1903, his active life having been spent in Bethel town-
ship, although shortly before his death he removed to
Myerstown, Pa. He was buried at the Salem churchyard
at Millersburg. Mr. Bordner married Lovina Miller,
daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Gruber) Miller, of
Bethel township, and they had these children : Jacob M. ;
Kate m. Israel Frantz, of Bethel township ; Percival resides
in Cincinnati, Ohio ; Theodore died at the age of forty-
four years at Myerstown; Daniel lives in New Jersey;
John died at the age of three years ; Plenry lives in the
West ; and Charles lives in New Jersey.

Jacob M. Bordner attended the public schools of Bethel
township and the Palatinate (now Albright) College of
Myerstown. After leaving school he engaged in clerking
for G. M. F. Rick at Millersburg for three years. After
one year spent in clerking for J. B. Miller at Bernville,
he began to drive the stage for the late Tobias Barto, of
Reading, and in 1880 purchased the stage route, which he
has since conducted very successfully. He also does a
large produce business, conducts a grocery store and butch-
ering business, and is one of the best known business men
of his locality. Mr. Bordner was elected to the office of
borough assessor six years, served as tax collector five
years, constable twenty-three years, and school director
for twelve years, six years of which time he was treasurer
and one year secretary of the board. He was a committee-
man for eighteen years, served eleven years as county
delegate, in 1893 was appointed mercantile appraiser,
and was nominated by the Democratic party at the pri-
mary election, April 11, 1908, to the office of county com-
missioner; he had a majority of 3,136 votes above the second
highest nominee, and was elected to said office Nov. 3,
1908. His religious belief is that of the Lutheran Church.
Socially he is connected with Camp No. 113, P. 0. S. of A.
and Consistory No. 15; Lodge No. 122, I, O. O. F., Bern-
ville; Schaefferstown Castle, K. G. E. ; Good Fellows of
Stouchsburg; and Rebekah Lodge at Leesport, and at
the time of the organization of the Bernville Fire Com-
pany, was a member of that bodv.

In 1878 Mr. Bordner married 'Ellen H. Bright, daugh-
ter of Amandon and Clara (Hain) Bright, and they have
had three children : John A., who died aged two years,
five ^months, twenty-one days ; Harry A., telegraph operator
at Robesonia; and Clara A., who graduated from the Key-
stone State Normal school at Kutztown at the age of



seventeen years, taught four years in Bernville, Berks
county, and one year in Bucks county, and is now teaching
her fourth term in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania.

JOHN P. S. FENSTERMACHER. On Sept. 9, 1738,
the ship "Glasgow," Walter Sterling, master, arrived at
the port of Philadelphia from Rotterdam. Among the
emigrants on board were Mathias Fenstermacher, aged
sixty year's; Jacob Fenstermacher, aged twenty-nine years;
and Wilhelm Fenstermacher, aged twenty-five years.
Where these three Germans settled is not definitely known,
but it is probable it was in Longswamp, Berks county,
for in 1756 there appeared upon the tax list of that town-
ship three Fenstermachers, Mathias, Jacob and Philip.

As near as can be ascertained one of these early taxables
— probably Jacob — had a son John who married Elizabeth
Kutz, and settled in the vicinity of Orwigsburg, Schuyl-
kill county. John Fenstermacher and Elizabeth Kutz, his
wife, were the parents of fifteen children, thirteen of
whom grew to maturity. Four of their sons, Daniel, Plugh,
John and Jacob, lived all their days in Schuylkill county,
and many of their descendants are yet residing there.
Daniel and John were married twice. A daughter Eliza-
beth married a man named Aughinbaugh and lived at Le-
banon ; Lidy married a man named Ducer, and Barbara
married a man named Dietrich. Lidy and Barbara are
still living, the former in Pottsville, and the latter in
Tower City. Two other daughters, Sarah and Rebecca,
were also married and they lived in Schuylkill county,
but further information concerning them is lacking.

A son named William, who was the ninth child of this
large family, married and settled at Shippensburg. He
died in June, 1898, in the seventy-fourth year of his age,
and his descendants are still living in that town.

John and Elizabeth (Kutz) Fenstermacher had a son
named Joseph who was bom at Orwigsburg, Schuylkill
county, Feb. 10, 1816. He grew to young manhood at
Orwigsburg, then went to Reading, and learned carriage
building. Shortly after completing his trade, he located
permanently at Lebanon, where he followed his trade dur-
ing most ofhis active years, and always bore the reputation
of being a skilled and satisfactory worlanan. Later in
life he engaged in the restaurant business, and for about
fifteen years was also a tipstaff in the courts. He was a
person of fine physique, measuring six feet in height. He
was good-natured and generous, and participated freely
in politics, which along with his character and duties of his
several occupations, made him one of the best known and
most popular men in Lebanon county. Joseph Fenster-
macher married Mrs. Louisa Goshert, widow of Henry
Goshert, and daughter of Col. Jacob and Elizabeth (Leisen-
ring) Shindel, a descendant of brilliant ancestry. In 1678
there Hved in Gemmelsbach, Providence of Erbach, Ger-
many, Conrad von Schindel, and his wife Barbara. On
Oct. 16, 1685, there was born to them a son, whom they
named Johann Conrad. This Johann Conrad von Schindel,
on Jan. 10, 1710, married Susanna Trexler, and by her
had ten children, the youngest of whom was a son named
Johann Peter, who was born in Euerlebach, Germany,
Feb. 38, 1733. In 1751 this Johann Peter von Schindel
came to America in the ship "Neptune," landing at Phila-
delphia Sept. 24, 1751. He settled where now is the city
of Lebanon, Pa,, and long afterward was engaged on the
side of the colonies in the Revolutionary war. He died
in Lebanon May 29, 1784. In America most of his
descendants have omitted the letter "c" from Schindel,
preferring to spell it Shindel, and the title "von" has been
dropped by all of them. Johann Peter Shindel married
Anna Margretta Gephart, and had eight children, the
eldest of whom was a son, John Peter, born Aug. 31,
1766. He also was a soldier of the Revolution, afterward
served as a member of the State Legislature, as justice of
the peace for many years, and from 1823 to 1826, chief
burgess of Lebanon. This John Peter Shindel was gen-
erally known as Peter Shindel, and so always signed
Ins name. He died Sept. 17, 1839. He married Anna
Maria ISIengas, of Snyder county, and by her had eleven
children. The third of these eleven children was a son



BIOGRAPHICAL



479



Jacob, who was a soldier in the war of 1812, and after-
ward a colonel of militia, known to history as Colonel
Jacob Shindel. He married Elizabeth Leisenring, of
Sunbury, and by her had six children, of whom Louisa,
for her second husband, married Joseph Felistermacher.

To Joseph Fenstermacher and Louisa, his wife, the fol-
lowing children came : Elmira T., born Oct. 9, 1842, m. Hi-
ram W. Hess, of Lebanon, Pa., deceased; Jacob A., born
April, 1844, died in Jan., 1845; Winfield Scott, born
Oct. 6, 1846, m. Rebecca Hultzeizer, of Finesville, N. J.,
deceased ; Emma Catharine, born Dec. 30. 1848, died March
IG, 1858; John P. S.; Joseph S., born April 11, 1850, died
in Jan., 1851; Rebecca, born Feb. 6, 1856, died Feb. 9,
1856; Anna L., born Feb. 11, 1858, m. Aaron B. Fry, of
Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

John P. S. Fenstermacher was born in Leban-
on March 30, 1853, and grew to manhood in that city.
His education was obtained in the public schools of his
native town and was limited, as he early had to apply him-
self to the earning of a livelihood. At the age of four-
teen he became a railway news agent, running between
Lebanon and Philadelphia, and by his pleasing ways be-
came very popular with the patrons of the trains. Frank-
lin B. Gowan, then president of the Philadelphia & Read-
ing Company, learned to know and like him, and had him
promoted to the position of brakeman when yet but
seventeen years of age. From brakeman he rose to
baggage master, and from that on Jan. 15, 1885, to pass-
enger conductor on the Kutztown branch, a place he held
continuously till 1909, a period of twenty-four years.

Mr. Fensterrnacher has long been active and prominent
in secret societies. He is a member and was an officer of
Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. & A. M. ;■ a member of the
Jr. O. U. A. M., and a member and was trustee of Camp
No. 383, P. O. S. of A. He is also a member of the K.
G. E. and organized Adonai Castle, No. 70, of that or-
der in Kutztown, and was its master of records for
thirteen years. He is a member of the F. O. E., Aerie No.
839, of Kutztown, and at this writing its treasurer. For
many years he has been active in Republican politics, do-
ing much hard and efficient party work, frequently repre-
senting his party in county and State conventions. He
has always been in close touch with county and State
leaders, and long recognized by them as a faithful and
trusted lieutenant. These relations naturally brought
him to the front for political preferment, and in 1898 he
was made postmaster of Kutztown. Immediately upon
assuming the duties of the position he set himself to work
improving the office and succeeded so well that in 1903,
and again in 1906, he was re-appointed without opposition.
He is an attentive and obliging official, ever on the watch
to improve the efficiency of the office and the rural de-
liveries that radiate from it, and he has won high praise
both from the Department at Washington and from the
the patrons he has served.

In the year 1870 Mr. Fenstermacher married Emma
Heilig, of Lebanon, Pa., daughter of John G. and Harriett
Hanley Heilig. To them were born children as follows :
Elizabeth Shindel, born Jan. 25, 1871 (m. (first) to George
Fisher, deceased, and (second) to Lynn J. Koch, of Fleet-
wood, Pa.) ; Sarah Jane, Sept. 2, 1872 (m. to Harry J.
Reiflf, of Reading) ; Rebecca Hultzeizer, Nov. 5, 1874 (m.
to Frederick A. Marx, Esq., of Kutztown) ;. Edwin Hutter,
April 25, 1877 (m. to Emma Fridy, of Lancaster) ; Char-
lotte Ely, July 10, 1879 (m. to George Gensemer, of Read-
ing) ; Louise Shindel, April 29, 1886 ; Ella Hess, June 21,
1888 (who died Aug. 31, 1888) ; Mabel Helen, Sept. 15,
1889 ; Marguerite May, June 18, 1892 ; and Jay Dee Barnes,
Nov. 27, 1893.

GEORGE R. VAN REED was a descendant of one of
the representative families of Berks county, which has
been active and influential for upward of a hundred years
in the development and upbuilding of the county.

The first of the name in the western division of the
county was John Van Reed, who died April 18, 1820, in
the seventy-third year of his age. He settled in the
northern part of Cumru township — that part which is now



' Spring township — about the time of the Revolutionary war.
His wife was Eva Yost, and of their children there were
four sons, John, Charles, Henry and Thomas. The Van
Reeds were members of the Reformed Church, but in poli-
tical opinions they have been more or less divided, all par-
ties being represented. They have, however, never been
office seekers.

John Van Reed, son of John, was born in Cumru town-
ship, on the Cacoosing creek, near its outlet into the Tul-
pehocken, in 1786. He married Catherine Huy and their
children were: Henry, James, Lewis, John, Joshua, Jacob
and Mary.

Henry Van Reed, son of John and Catherine (Huy)
Van Reed, was born on his father's farm in Cumru (now
Spring) township, Aug. 21, 1821. His education he ac-
quired in the schools of Reading, Lititz, Lafayette College
and Dickinson College, completing the course at the last
named institution with the class of 1843. Selecting the
profession of law as his life work, he entered upon his
studies in the office of David F. (Gordon, of Reading, a
most able and conscientious attorney who was afterward
made president judge of this judicial district. Under his
careful tuition Mr. Van Reed attained a thorough know-
ledge of law and of the ethics of the profession, and on
April 5, 1844, was admitted to the Bar. He opened an
office in Reading, and in a comparatively short time had
a large practice, continuing it twenty years. In 1851 he
went to California to visit his brothers, James and Lewis,
and with the former he engaged in banking in San Francis-
co for some months, but the East called him, and he re-
turned to his profession in Reading, the same year.

'On July 13, 1869, Mr. Van Reed, on the recommenda-
tion of the Republicans of the county, was appointed
law judge, with powers similar to the president judge, by
Gov. John W. Geary. This was in compliance with an act
passed by the Legislature authorizing an additional judge,
and his term of office was to continue until his successor
was duly elected -and qualified, which was on the follow-
ing 6th of December. Judge Van Reed had always been a
good Republican, but he did not believe that a judgeship
should be made a matter of political self-seeking, and true
to his convictions at no time offered himself as a candidate.
What came to him was the unsought reward of faithful
and efficient service. From Jan. 12_, 1875, to Jan. 2, 1876,
he again filled the same office, having this time been ap-
pointed by Gov. John F. Hartranft to fill a vacancy. He
filled the office with dignity and impartiality, but the pre-
ponderance of the Democratic majority made his filling it
by election impossible. After leaving the Bench he gradu-
ally retired from practice. He was a member of the Con-
stitutional Convention in 1873-73. During the Civil war
he gave warm support to the administration, and in Sep-
tember, 1862, he became a member of Company G, 2d
Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, commanded by Capt. F.
S. Bickley, to repel the threatened invasion of the State.
They performed military duty for eleven days, and were
then discharged. At the time of the battle of Gettysburg,
he again enlisted, becoming sergeant in Company C, 42d
Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia, under Col. Charles H.
Hunter, and served from- July 6 to Aug. 12, 1863.

At his death, June 30, 1885, many highly eulogistic ad-
dresses were delivered by members of the Berks County
Bar, and in the resolution passed it was said of him : "As
a lawyer and judge he was able, conscientious and pain-
staking. As a man he despised sham and hypocrisy; and



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 128 of 227)