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 129 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 129 of 227)
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he took for his own example the Christian virtues. He
had the rare gift of courage equal to his convictions; and
therefore in public as well as in private life he acted as he
believed an honest, upright man should act, without re-
gard to affiliations or personal consequences."

On Sept. 2, 1852, Judge Van Reed married Miss Harriet,
daughter of George Gernant. She died Jan. 13, 1883.
Their children were : George R. and Anna.

George R. Van Reed was born in Reading Sept. 21, 1853.
He obtained his earlier education in the public schools and
then entered Lafayette College, at Easton, graduating
therefrom in 1874. He became division engineer for the



480



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



South Mountain & Boston Railroad, and later assistant en-
gineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad, being stationed at
Paoli. He assisted in the construction of the Schuylkill
Valley Division, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, continuing
in the service of that company from 1876 to 1884. He was
a very able civil engineer, and the mastery of difficulties
in 'that work afforded him keen enjoyment. He read law
under Garrett Stevens, of Reading, and Jan. 31, 1888, was
admitted to the Bar, but he never engaged in practice.
He died Aug. 12, 1908.

In 1891 Mr. Van Reed married Miss Effie, daughter of
John H. Knapp, of Menomonie, Wisconsin.

THOMAS P. MERRITT, son of Abraham and Margaret
(Irick-Budd) Merritt, was born at Mt. Holly, N. J.,
Sept. 29, 1844. He received his education in the schools
of his native place, and in the University of Lewisburg,
Pa. (now Bucknell), and upon completing his special
course of preparation for business located in Philadelphia,
engaging in the lumber business with a firm trading as
Norcross & Sheetz. After remaining with this firm sev-
eral years, he went to Norristown and started in business
for himself. He continued at Norristown until 1870, and
then removed to Williamsport, for the purpose of carrying
on the wholesale lumber business and manufacturing all
kinds of lumber.

Shortly after 1870 Mr. Merritt took his younger broth-
er, A. Howard Merritt, into partnership, and they trad-
ed mider the name of Merritt Brothers until 1880, build-
ing up a very extensive business, and shipping lumber
to all parts of the country. Disposing of their business
at Williamsport, the firm purchased the well-established
lumber stand of Boas & Raudenbush, at Reading, and mov-
ing to that place have since been engaged in the retail
lumber business in a very extensive and successful man-
ner, having in the past thirty years supplied a large pro-
portion of lumber used in the construction of the many
thousand buildings which were erected in Reading dur-
ing this time.

Immediately after locating in Reading, Mr. Merritt
identified himself with its numerous local affairs, but more
especially of a business nature and the enterprising men
of the community soon learned to appreciate his worth
lay selecting him to fill prominent positions and cooperat-
ing with him in establishing financial institutions. His
first public position was on the board of health. This was
in 1882, and he has officiated on the board ever since. Be-
coming interested in public charities, he participated in
the proceedings of the Reading Benevolent Society, and
served the Society as its president ; and he served the
Associated Charities of Reading as vice-president. When
the State of Pennsylvania established the large hospital
in Berks county near Wernersville in 1894, for chronic
insane, he was selected by Governor Pattison as one of the
first trustees, and he was reappointed by Governor Hast-
ings, serving in this position for ?ix years, and he was
chosen by the board as its treasurer. In 1904, though a
Democrat, he was reappointed by Governor Pennypacker
for a third term.

Mr. Merritt assisted in organizing the Pennsylvania
Trust Company in 1886. and the Reading National Bank
in 1893, and he has served on the board of directors
of each body from their inception until now. He was
also one of the projectors of the Reading Electric Light
& Power Company for supplying light and power by
electricity (this eventually becoming the propertv of the
Metropolitan Electric Company') ; of the Reading Steam
Heat & Power Company, for supplying steam "heat to
dwellings and public buildings in the central portion
of the city; and of the beautiful sulmrban town Wy-
omissing, two miles west of Reading along the main
thoroughfare.

^ The municipal affairs of Reading attracted Mr. ^Mer-
ritt's earnest attention, and to put himself in a position
to favor them he became a member of the Board of
Trade. When councils established the park board in
18S6. they selected him as one of the first four com-
missioners, and he officiated until 1890 — the first import-



ant step in the creation of the park system having been
taken during this time. In 1894 he was elected president
of the Board of Trade, and he filled this position very
successfully for four years. During his incumbency the
first steps were taken toward a proper celebration of
the Sesqui-Centennial of Reading in 1898, which cul-
minated in a most successful demonstration. Upon the
reorganization of the Historical Society of Berks coun-
ty in 1898 he became a member of the Society, and he
was selected as one of the executive council, which po-
sition he has served since then. And about this time
he was appointed by councils as one of the trustees of
the Reading Library, and he has served by reappoint-
ment until now. He represented Pennsylvania as one
of the Commissioners to the World's Fair at Chicago
in 1893, by appointment of Governor Pattison.

When Mr. Merritt reached his majority, he identi-
fied himself with the Democratic party, and he has been
a stanch advocate of its principles ever since. Upon
fixing his residence at Reading, he at once manifested
a keen interest in local politics through the party, and
this gave him great public prominence before the peo-
ple; indeed, so prominent had he become by 1890 that
the Democrats placed his name on their ticket for mayor,
and he was elected, evidencing his unusual popularity.
During his official term, from 1890 to 1893, numerous
important questions were considered, more particularly
such as related to improved lighting, streets and sewers,
and they received his earnest encouragement.

Mr. Merritt was made a Freemason in 1867 at Nor-
ristown, becoming a member of Charity Lodge, No. 190,
and he still retains his membership in that lodge ; he
was made a Knight Templar in Hutchinson Commandery,
No. 32, but he transferred his membership to Reading
Commandery, No. 42, of which he was eminent com-
mander in 1888. He has taken the thirty-third degree.

Immediately after locating in Reading, Mr. Merritt
was admitted to membership in Christ Episcopal CTiurch,
and he has since then shown much interest in the welfare
of the congregation. He has served as a vestryman since
1886.

Mr. Merritt married Emma P. Rambo Nov. 30. 1871.
She is a daughter of Nathan Rambo and Ann Broades
fCurrie-Ross), his wife, who are descendants of the oldest
families in the Schuylkill Valley in the vicinity of Norris-
town, Pennsylvania.

MORRIS C. BERGER. farmer of Penn toxyn^^hip, the
present tax collector of that township, and a director of
the First National Bank of the borough of Bernville, is
one of the most respected citizens of his section of Berks
county. The name he bears is an old and honorable one
hire, several generations of Bergcrs having lived in this
region.

Afr. Rerger's great-great-grandfather had the following
named children: Elizabeth, born Feb. 8, 1760; George W.,
Sept. 20. 1761; Tobias, Jan. 21, 176.",: Catharine. Tuly 9,
1706; Maria B., .'\pril 8, 1768; Johannes. June 24." 1769;
IMaria i\l.. June 9, 1771; Diana Maria, .April 27, 1773; Ma-
ria Alagdalena, Sept. 18, 1774; John Christian, Nov. 5.
1777; Johan Ludwig, Jan. 28. 1779; Johan Philip, born June
June 3, 1782.

The great-grandfather of Morris C. Bergcr lived and
died near the Blue Mountains. His children were born
as follows: Sarah, Feb, 12, 1797: John, .\pril 16. 1798;
Solomon, May 5, 1801; Catharine. Dec. 2, 1S03; Elizabeth'
Sept. 14. 1805; Daniel, Sept. 16, 1,807. George, Sept. 7. 1S09;
William, July 30, 1811; Susannah, JNlay is, 1814- Joseph'
Feb. 26, 1818; Benneville, Sept. 21. 18:20.

Solomon Berger. born May f), ISOI, owned a farm in
Bern township, which he cultivated. Later he removed to
Bernville, where he died. He married Elizabeth Pottei-
gcr, and to them were horn six children : .Adam ; Levi, of
Bernville; John, who died young; Rebecca, m. to Daniel
Slrause (their daughter, I\Iiss Strause, of Bernville, has the
record of the great-great-grandfather's children previouslv
given); Esther, who died unmarried; and Eliza, m. (first)





. A . VajuuvJxV,






' :!'}'



BIOGRAPHICAL



481



to Benneville Bethra.m and (second) to William Schlapp-
ich.

Adam Berger, son of Solomon and father of Morris
C. Berger, born in 1830 in Bern (now Penn) township,
died in 1882. After his father's death he took the home-
stead, where he passed most of his life, and besides man-
aging the place he was for many years engaged in the
contracting business with his brother Levi under the name
of Berger Brothers. They built many churches, among
them being St. Michael's, Leesport Union, which they re-
built after its destruction by fire, St. John's Reformed
at Schuylkill Haven, Mohrsville Union and three Bap-
"st churches. Adam Berger was a well known man in
his day in pubhc affairs as well as in business life, served
his township as school director, and was also active in re-
ligious matters, being a prominent member of the Bern-
ville Reformed Church, in the work of which he was deep-
ly interested. He married Elizabeth Hafe, daughter of
Samuel Hafe, and to them were born four children :
James and John, who both died at the old homestead;
Morris C. ; and Mary, who died at the old homestead.
The mother now lives with her only surviving child,
Morris C. Berger, in Penn township.

Morris C. Berger was born in Penn township April 11,
1863, and there attended the public schools. He was
eighteen when his father died, and though rather young
took charge of the homestead at that time, making a suc-
cess of his work. His land comprises eighty-five acres,
three miles northeast of Bernville, and is in very good
condition, giving evidence of his care and intelligent man-
agement. He has prospered well as the result of indus-
try, and when the First National Bank of Bernville
was organized he became a member of the first board of
directors, and is still serving in that capacity. He is
progressive and energetic, and has done his share toward
the advancement of the township, having given six years
of service as school director, fpr five years of that time
acting as treasurer of the school board. For" three years
he has been tax collector of the township. He is a Demo-
crat in political belief and a worker in the local ranks of
the party, having been a member of the election board
of the township. Like his forefathers he clings to the Re-
formed denomiination, being a member and deacon of St.
Thomas Church, Bernville.

Mr. Berger married Rebecca Seaman, daughter of Will-
iam and Rebecca (Wertz) Seaman, and eight children
have blessed their union : Alice, who taught three terms
in Penn township before her marriage to Milton Potteiger
(they have a daughter, Pearle) ; Kate, wife of Elwood Kra-
mer (they have one daughter, Ruth) ; Alvin, a teacher,
who taught four terms in Penn township; Mary M. ;
Allison; Edwin; Stephen, and Earle.

C. W. B. TODD, a representative business man of Read-
ing, Pa., who is proprietor of the "Merchants' Hotel,"
at the corner of Third and Penn streets, was born Dec.
30, 1839, in Montgomery county, Pa., son of John and
Christina (Bachman) Todd, and grandson of Andrew
Todd.

John Todd, father of C. W, B., was also a native of
Montgomery county, and was a leading manufacturer
of spinning wheels when nearly all the cloth used was
spun by hand. He was known far and wide for his
supe/ior workmanship in this line, and his trade ex-
tended far into tthe surrounding counties. Later ,in
life Mr. Todd engaged in farming. He was one of
Montgomery county's best known and most highly-res-
pected men, and his popularity was proved when he was
elected sheriff by a handsome majority. He proved him-
self a (faithful and efficient official, serving in that high
office with credit and distinction, and to the satisfaction
of all. He died in 1862, at the age of eighty-four years,
and his faithful wife in 1873, when seventy-four years
old. Mrs. Todd was a good wife and loving mother, and
was well known in her neighborhood as one who could
be depended on in times of sickness and trouble. To
Mr. and Mrs. Todd there were born children as fol-
31



lows : John, M. D., of Pottstown, Pa., married (first)
a Miss Smith, and (second) a Miss Heller of Boyer-
town. Pa.; William, a contractor of Norristown, Pa.,
m. Mary Saylor; Christiana B. m. Horace Royer, and
their deaths occurred within a week of each other; Emily
m. H. W. Kratz, of Norristown; Samuel M., M. D., is
of Boyertown ; and C. W. B.

C. W. B. Todd received his education at the "Trappe"
in the Freeland Seminary (now Ursinus College), and
after leaving school he apprenticed himself to learn the
blacksmith's trade, which he followed until the out-
break of the Civil war, when, in 1861 he enlisted in the
2d Pennsylvania Reserve Corps as a musician. After
serving thirteen months he was honorably discharged,
and returned home, where he was engaged at various
occupations for some time. He then accepted a posi-
tion as traveling salesman for an agricultural imple-
ment firm, and this he followed successfully for several
years, and in 1901 he came to Reading, leasing the "Mer-
chants' Hotel," which he has conducted with much suc-
cess to the present time. At the time of Mr. Todd's lease
the hotel had been neglected and allowed to run down,
but Mr. Todd has built up a fine, first-class trade, and
today the hotel is considered one of the best of the mod-
erate rate houses in the State. The house contains sixty-
six sleeping rooms. Having been a "Knight of the Road''
himself, Mr. Todd fully understands what is required
for the comfort of traveling men, and his place is fully
equipped with every convenience. He personally attends
to the dining-room service, doing his own buying, and
he sees that nothing but the best that the rates can afford
enters this department. Mr. Todd is very popular in
fraternal circles, and is a member of Warren Lodge,
F. & A. M., of Trappe, Pa.; Chapter No. 152, Reading;
De Molay Commandery, Reading; and Rajah Temple, A.
A. O. N. M. S.

In 1872 Mr. Todd married Miss Adaline Schwenk and
to them have been born these children : Emma, and C.
Wallace B., who married, Feb. 21, 1901, Miss Sallie Gil-
bert. Mr. Todd is a Democrat, but claims the right to
vote independently.

RHOADS. The name of Rhoads (original spelling
Roth) has been continued through many years in Berks
county. Pa., whither came Mathias Roth from Germany
at an early date, settling near Boyertown. In the pres-
ent generation are found Ben Jonson Rhoads, proprietor
of the "Hotel Allen," and John Gilbert Rhoads, deputy
prothonotary, both well known and highly respected in
Reading.

John Rhoads. their grandfather, a grandson of Math-
ias and son of Jonathan, was born on the old Boyertown
homestead, and after a life devoted to agriculture, died
within' the borough limits in the house erected by his
father, Jonathan.

Dr. Reuben B. Rhoads, son of John, was born on the
old Boyertown farm. He became a physician, and be-
sides his practice in medicine, was a surgeon in the army
of the Rebellion, at one time was warden of the Berks
county prison, and later was burgess of Boyertown. He
married Catherine Gilbert, daughter of Adam Gilbert,
of Douglass township, Berks couhty. Five children were
born to this union: Margaret Elizabeth, who died at the
age of thirteen years ; Ben Jonson, proprietor of the
"Allen House"; Laura, wife of Harvey Bridenbaugh ;
Mary Ella, wife of George Guldin; and John Gilbert.

Ben Jonson Rhoads, son of Dr. Reuben, was born
at Zieglerville, Montgomery Co., Pa., March 24, 1861.
He was educated in the public schools of Amityville,
in Berks county, and was licensed to teach under Prof.
S. A. Baer, then county superintendent. His first school
was in Earl township, but after teaching three terms
in all he directed his attention to farming, for five years
engaging in that calling on his father's farm. Going
then to Boyertown he assisted his father in the coal
and lumber business for about five years. In July, 1893,
he was appointed postmaster of Boyertown by President
Cleveland, and in that office he served efficiently for up-



483



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



wards of five years. In 1900 he came to Reading, and
his first employment was as a clerk in the Citizens bank,
a position he filled acceptably for two years. He assist-
ed in straightening out the business of the Citizens Bank
when it was transferred to the Second National Bank.
For three months then he served as deputy prothonotary
under his brother, John G. In May, 1902, Mr. Rhoads
piirchased the stock and good-will of the "Hotel Allen",
and since then has conducted that popular hostelry with
great success. He has made many improvements in the
buildingj and brought the whole to the plane of an up-
to-date, progressive, hotel. The stand is well known to
the traveling public, and the table bears a very high
reputation.

Mr. Rhoads is a member of Reading Aerie, No. 66,
F. O. E. ; Metacomet Tribe, No. 416, I. O. R. M.; Junior
Fire Company; Humane Association; Eagles Mountain
Home Association; Berks County Retail Liquor Deal-
ers Protective Association.

On Feb. 5, 1882, Mr. Rhoads was married to Miss
Laura Weidner, daughter of Charles and Elmira Weid-
ner, of Amity township. They have had four children,
one of whom died in infancy. The others are : L. Ger-
trude m. H. W. Ulrich, an electrician of Philadelphia;
Carl M. is a bar clerk for his father; and John C. is
a clerk for the Berks County Trust Company. Mr.
Rhoads is well known as a loyal Democrat, and he has
long been active in the councils of his party.

John Gilbert Rhoads, son of Reuben B. Rhoads, was
born Jan. 17, 1865, and he received his education in the
schools of his native town and in Reading high school,
graduating from that institution in 1886. The next three
years he spent in the coal and lumber business, after
which he went to the Philadelphia Bridge Works at Potts-
town, where he was engaged at structural iron work.
In 1895 he became deputy prothonotary, and in 1897 he
was defeated for the position of prothonotary by one
vote, and in 1900 was elected prothonotary. At the expira-
tion of his term he was again appointed deputy prothono-
tary, a position he still holds. He was elected to the schopl
board for the City of Reading in 1907. and reelected for
four years Feb. 16, 1909.

Mr. Rhoads married Clara Ritter Guldin, daughter of
Jeremiah R. Guldin, and to this union were born : Mag-
gie Esther, who died in infancy; and Clarence G., liv-
ing in New Berlinville. The wife and mother
died April 9, 1893. Mr. Rhoads married (second)
in 1896, Annie May Hartenstein. daughter of Henry Hart-
enstein. One son, Frederick, born of this union, died
in infancy, and Catherine and Robert still survive. Mr.
Rhoads is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is
very highly esteemed in Reading where his many sterl-
ing traits of character are known and apipreciated.

ALBERT BRODEN, superintendent of blast furnaces
of the Reading Iron Company, and one of Reading's
prominetit and influential citizens, was born in Sweden,
April 22, 1851, and was educated at Skara College, in
his native cquntry.

Mr. Broden came to America in 1873, and located
in Reading, where he has ever since been connected with
railroad and iron work, with the exception of one year
spent in the United States of Colombia, building blast
furnaces. He also spent six months at Ogden, Utah,
for Richmond L. Jones, making an experimental blast
to determine the value of iron ores in the Rocky Moun-
tains. Since 1887 he has been connected with the Hon.
George F. Baer, in the iron interests, and since that
time he has been superintendent of the Reading Iron
Company's furnaces, and is also manager of the Tem-
ple Iron Company's furnaces.

Mr. Broden is a member of the Wyomissing and Berk-
shire Clubs. He is connected with St. Matthew's Luther-
an Church. In politics he is a Republican.

Mr. Broden through the storm and stress of Amer-
ican business life, for the past eighteen years, has been
a notable example of the success of well-directed energy.
Cool, careful, thorough, he has mastered details and
brought about results which could only have been com-



pleted by one well equipped by Nature, and molded by
experience.

E. RICHARD MEINIG, a representative business man
of Reading, where he owns a well-equipped factory and
carries on a large silk glove manufacturing industry, was
born near Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany, May 10, 1874.

In his native land Mr. Meinig secured an excellent
education and then thoroughly learned the business of
m.anufacturing fabric gloves, mastering every detail. In
1900 he came to America and became the foreman of the
Reading Glove and Mitten Company, two years later
being made manager of this concern. After filling that
position for three years he embarked in business fgf
himself, organizing the E. Richard Meinig Company, for
the purpose of manufacturing silk and other fabric gloves.
He is secretary and treasurer of this corporation as well
as its general manager, the president being George Horst,
of the hosiery manufacturing concern of Nolde & Horst,
Reading.

In 1907, the E. Richard Meinig Company erected a fac-
tory on McKnight street between Greenv^rich and Oley
streets. It is of brick construction, four stories and
basement, with dimensions of 210 x 50 feet. There has
been erected an addition two stories high with dimensions
of 180 x 30 feet. This glove factory has the name of be-
ing the most complete in its equipment of any building of
its kind in the world. Employment is given to from 700
to 800 employees, and the product is sold in the United
States and in other lands, probably reaching every enlight-
ened country. Mr. Meinig possesses remarkable business
capacity together with high standards of commercial life
and a personal character above reproach.

In 1903, Mr. Meinig married Maria Vogt, daughter of
Plans and Catrina (Horst) Vogt, also of German birth.
They have four children : Ernst, Louisa, George and Karl.

JAMES GAUMER TREICHLER, a well-known resi-
dent of Kutztown, who has for a number of years been
engaged in farming in that section, is a native of Berks
county, born at Treichlersville Sept. 7, 1S45, son of David
M. and Luzetta (Gaumer) Treichler.

There is a tradition in the Treichler family that the
immigrant ancestor was Jacob Trycler, and that he came
from the city of Treichlerdorf, Holland, landing at Phila-
delphia, Oct. 16, 1727. It is also believed that his wife
came from Amsterdam, Holland. The Treichlers origin-
ally settled in New Jersey.

Samuel Treichler, Sr., grandfather of James G.. is sup-
posed to have been the first of the family to come to
Berks county, where he settled in Hereford township. It
is said he came from Kintnersville, Bucks county, on
the Delaware river, on which stream the Treichlers were
engaged as rafters. He followed mercantile pursuits and
also engaged in the manufacture of linseed oil, and was
the founder of Treichlersville, Berks county. Born July
1J-, 1776, he died INIarch 29, 1865, aged eighty-eight years,
eight months, fifteen days. He married Maria Magda-
lena Mumbauer, daughter of Philip and Barbara Mum-
bauer, born May 18, 1781, died Dec. 28, 1851, aged seventy
years, seven months, ten days. They had these children :
John, Jacob, David, Samuel (born Oct. 15, 1806, died
Jan. 29, 1860), Joseph, MoUie (m. Samuel Wehr), Sally,
Anna, and two who died in infancy. The will of Samuel
Treichler, Sr., is on record in Will Book 11, page 380.
The executors were his sons David M. and Joseph. The
following children are mentioned in the will : Jacob, John,
David M„ Samuel, Sarah, Mary and Joseph.

Anna Treichler (1763-1792) and Elizabeth Treichler
(1768-1851), sisters of Samuel Treichler, Sr., were the



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 129 of 227)