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 131 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 131 of 227)
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was eminently successful; as a citizen he was enterprising, and in 1861 he received a license to teach school, from

progressive and public-spirited; and in his home he was Prof. John S. Ermentrout. For five terrns he followed the

friendly and social with a host of warm friends. He died profession, the first term in Lower Heidelberg, near Wer-

Jan. 13, 1906. nersville, this county ; the next year in Lower- Providence

On Sept. 14, 1861, by the Rev. George F. Miller, Mr. township, Montgomery county ; the third in West Pikeland

March was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Livingood, township, Chester county; the fourth term in Hereford

daughter of Matthias and Elizabeth (Reinart) Livingood, township, Berks county, where he was engaged at the
of Amityville. She survives him, and still makes her Clemmer school, at Clayton; and the fifth and last term

home in Birdsboro, where she is greatly beloved for her at Huber's Church, in Montgomery county. Having been

many kindly deeds. The children born of this union were: reared upon the farm, he turned to agricultural pursuits



when he settled down after his marriage, which occurred
in 1868, and for three years rented land at Clayton, in
1873 coming to his present home. Here he has since car-
ried on both farming and milling with much success, prov-
ing himself to be a man of intelligence as well as industry.
His farm consists of 152 acres, of fertile, productive land,
formerly the homestead of David Clemmer, who erected
the present stone house upon the place in 1857. Mr. Funk
has made a number of improvements during his ownership,
including an addition to the barn, and has added to the
value of the place in various ways. The mill was erected
bv David Clemmer during the forties, but the engine house
was added by Mr. Funk. His establishment enjoys a large
patronage, the proprietor being noted for his integrity and
honorable dealings. He is an influential and esteemed
citizen of his locality, held in the utmost respect, and
his fine home and family would be a credit to any com-

Mr. Funk is a progressive citizen, as shown by his con-
nection with various enterprises affecting the general
welfare. He has been treasurer of the Hereford Turn-
pike Company since 1893, and is a member of the Clayton
Butter and Cheese Company, of which he was one of the
organizers ; he has been a director ever since its organiza-
tion, and is treasurer of the board of directors, which
consists o'f five members. He has been a school director
of his township for many years, and is still holding that
office. He was elected on the Republican ticket.

In 1868 Mr. Funk married Susan Clemmer, daughter of
David and Mary (Bechtel) Clemmer, and six children have
been born to them, as follows : Oswin assists his father ;
Ambrose is in Pendleton, Oregon, where he is at present
serving as deputy sheriff ; Horace is a respected public
school teacher in Hereford township ; Warren is a student
at Cornell University; Anna is a Mennonite missionary
in Janjgir, Central Provinces, India; and Cora, unmarried,
is at home. Mr. Funk and his family are members of the
New Mennonite Church at Bally, in which he is a faithful
and active -worker and is at present serving as deacon.

HOWARD E. HARBSTER, who makes his home at
No. 138 West Oley street, Reading, is a representative of
one of the city's oldest families. He was born March 2,
1861, in Reading, son of William and Ellen (Matthews)
Harbster, the former the founder of the Reading Hard-
ware Company.

Mr. Harbster received his education in the schools of
his native city, and when a boy entered the employ of
the Reading Hardware Works, known as "Harbster's." In
the fall of 1877 he entered a preparatory school to make
himself ready to enter Yale College and remained there
for two and one-half years, but before completing the
course left to enter Eastman's Business College, after
graduating from which, in 1881, he again found employ-
ment with the Reading Hardware Company, working in
the various departments of this great enterprise until after
his father's death, in June, 1885. In 1886, in company with
his brother, Frank, he engaged in the brass foundry busi-
ness at the old Keystone Hardware Works, Tenth and
Muhlenberg streets. There he continued for a short time,
when he purchased his brother's interest, and conducted
the enterprise alone until 1889, when he took as partners
Miller M. Deem and George Tyson, the firm continuing
under the firm name of Harbster & Co. The plant was
then removed to Ninth and Bingaman streets, where the
company added the manufacture of novelties and specialties
and in 1890 Mr. Harbster organized the National Brass
Works with H. K. Getz, president; H. E. Harbster, vice-
president, and general manager ; Charles Peacock, treasur-
er; Miller M. Deem, superintendent of the manufacturing
department ; and Joseph S. McConnell, bookkeeper. The
company continued on the old grounds until 1892, when
the site of the present plant was purchased and the build-
ings erected. Mr. Harbster continued with the company
until 1893, when he sold his interest and engaged in the
brass foundry business with William Kline at Second and
Beach streets. This they continued until 1897, and in this
year Mr. Harbster engaged in business for himself on

South Front street. Later, in company with George Mil-
ler, Mr. Harbster started the plant now occupied by Dick
Brothers, but sold this to engage in the foundry and
platers' supplies business. Mr. Harbster is considered oiie
of the substantial business men of Reading, and he is
possessed of much executive ability. He is a member of
Reading Lodge No. 549, F. & A. M., and Wyomissing
Council, Royal Arcanum.

Mr. Harbster married Mary A. Kline, of Reading, and
to them have been born two children : William H. and
E. Marguerite. Mr. Harbster is a member of Trinity
Lutheran Church, while Mrs. Harbster attends the Re-
formed Church.

REV. J. J. CRESSMAN. On Normal Hill, on the
western borders of the flourishing borough of Kutztown,
resides the Rev. J. J. Cressman, one of the best known
and best loved Lutheran clergymen of eastern Pennsyl-
vania. Like most of the ministers of the Lutheran faith
in this State, Rev. Cressman is of German descent. HiiB
great-great-grandfather came to America from Saxony
about the year 1733, and settled in Philadelphia county,
where he spent' what of life remained to him. At that
early period family records were either poorly kept or
wholly neglected, and consequently little is known con -
cerning this early, ancestor, his first name even being lost
in obscurity. It is known, however, that he had a son
named Christian, who was born April 13, 1753, and who
died Dec. 5, 1827. On»Feb. 24, 1781, Christian had a son
born whom he named John, and who early in life removed
to Northampton county, where he died Feb. 14, 1853. This
John Cressman had a son named Abraham, who became
the father of Rev. J. J. Cressman.

Abraham Cressman was born in Lower Mt. Bethel town-
ship, Northampton county, Feb. 1, 1817. In 1840 he moved
to Moore township, near Petersville (living there the rest
of his life). He died Nov. 8, 1893. His first wife was Ly-
dia Frutchey, who bore him eight children, and died July 4,
1870, at the age of fifty-four years, four months, nine days.
His second wife was Catharine Elizabeth Smith, who bore
him two children. Four of the sons of the first marriage
entered the ministry of the Lutheran church, three of
whom are still living, the Rev. J. J. Cressman being the
eldest of the three. The fourth to enter the ministry
died suddenly Oct. 6, 1898, while pastor of the first Luth-
eran Chur<:h of Ridgeway, Pa., and his remains are buried
at Bethlehem.

Rev. J. J. Cressman was born in Moore township, North-
ampton county, Jan. 10, 1841, and was baptized in the
Kreiderville Church on July 25th of the same year by
Rev. W. F. Mensden. His boyhood was spent upon the
farm, and in his father's mill, engaged in duties and pas-
times adapted to his strength. On reaching the required
age he was sent to the district school where he soon be-
came known for his studious habits and good conduct,
qualities that all through his scholastic career were marked
characteristics. Rev. Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, Professor of
Greek in Pennsylvania College, said of him: "Rev. Cress-
man was one of the best students I ever had." At sixteen
he took a course of catechetical instruction under Rev.
Augustus Fuchs, and by him was confirmed in Immanuel
Lutheran Church near Petersville, Northampton county.
He next sought employment at teaching and for several
years taught in the public schools of Moorestown and
Fhcksville with very gratifying success. For the purpose
of attaining a higher education, and to prepare himself for
the sacred calling he had in view, he then quit teaching
and enterM an academy at Weaversville under the man-
agement of Prof. Savage. After spending a year in Prof.
Savage's academy he entered the Collegiate Institute of
Easton, Pa., of which Rev. William Phillips was principal
and Selden J. Coffin, D. D., one of the instructors, and
under them completed his academic course. In the fall
of 1860 he entered the freshman class of Pennsylvania
College at Gettysburg, and graduated from that institution
m the summer of 1864. This college being situated near
the theatre of the great Civil war, and for a time actually
enveloped by the conflict, he pursued knowledge under



disturbing and distracting circumstances. When the Con-
federate invasion came in 1863 he and many of his fel-
low students enlisted in Company A, 26th regiment of
Pennsylvania Militia, and under General Couch assisted
in the defense of the State. Their regiment was one of
the first commands upon the ground and participated in
the early stages of the battle of Gettysburg, and a large por-
tion of it — including about forty of the student soldiers —
was captured by the Confederates. Their caps, coats and
shoes were taken from them, and after being paroled, they
were marched, bareheaded and barefooted to Harrisburg,
by way of Shippensburg and Carlisle. Exhausted and suf-
fering from hunger and exposure, they were sent from
Harrisburg to a parole camp near West Chester. From
these hard conditions young Cressman broke away, and
as quickly as he could made his way back to Gettysburg
to look up the personal effects he had left there. These
consisted of a lot of books, some furniture, a new suit
of clothes, a valuable watch and the money which was
intended to cover his school expenses for the year. With
the exception of two or three books and a few pieces of
furniture, all these articles were gone. The loss to him
was very serious and embarrassing, but though sorely dis-
couraged he wasted no time brooding over his misfortunes.
Although a paroled prisoner his sense of duty did not
permit him to remain idle in face of the awful wreck of
battle that lay all around him. He promptly reported to
the provost and volunteered to assist in burying the dead —
blue and gray — and to re-inter such as had been only par-
tially buried. This grewsome work done he returned to
his home in Northampton county, but soon after reaching
there was stricken with typhoid fever and became dan-
gerously ill. For four weeks he hovered between life and
death, and four months elapsed before he was able to
resume his studies at Gettysburg.

While at college and in the seminary he made good and
proper use of his vacations. He permitted none of his
time to go to waste, employing it all either tutoring, selling
books or working on the railroad. His experience under
James Smith, a contractor on the Lehigh and Susquehanna
railroad, is an interesting episode in his life. Applying
to him one vacation for employment he was put to work
a* bridge building at Penn Haven. After working five days
he was promoted to the foremanship of a gang of carpen-
ters to construct a depot and other buildings in the vicinity.
His daily wages were $3.65 and although he paid at the
rate of $21 a month for board and had other expenses
besides, he in six weeks saved the round sum of $100,
almost enough to see him through a year at college.

After graduating from college he entered the newly
established theological seminary, which is now located at
Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. He was one of that institution's
first regular students, and his name was enrolled upon its
records before it afforded proper accommo,dations for the
young men who came eagerly to seek the pure Lutheran
doctrine at the blessed fountain of its learned faculty, con-
sisting of Drs. C. F. Schaeffer, C. P. Krauth, W. J. Mann,
C. W. Schaeffer and G. F. Krotel.

Upon completing his course at the seminary he was or-
dained to the ministry by the Synod of Pennsylvania at
Lebanon in 1867. He then received an unanimous call
from a parish at South Easton, and accepting it labored
there successfully for ten years, building a fine parsonage
and preparing the congregation for the subsequent build-
ing of a new church. He also actively interested himself
in education, and was instrumental in founding the South
Easton borough high school, of which he was elected the
principal, a position he held continuously for six years.
In the last year of his principalship he, in addition, was
made superintendent of the borough schools, which, with
his church work, gave him almost a greater amount of labor
than he had time and strength to perform. Doing double
duty in this way, he found was impairing his health, and in
the fall of 1876 he resigned both his school positions and
his pastorate, for the purpose of taking a much-needed
rest. This he was allowed to enjoy but a few months, as
prominent members of St. John's Church at Kutztown and
Friedeiis of Bernville — then comprising one charge — tender-

ed him an urgent call to come and minister unto them. He
hesitated to accept as the two churches were twenty-two
miles apart, and to attend to their wants properly involved
much travel and an incredible amount of labor. But with
the understanding that better arrangements should be made
within a year or two he accepted and entered upon pas-
toral relations which continued for twenty-four years with-
out alterations, and in part still exist. In the spring of
1901 he resigned the pastorate of Friedens church at
Bernville, leaving its congregation with a new church
edifice, built a few years before, completely furnished and
paid for, and with money in its treasury. Since resigning
the Bernville part of his charge he devotes himself ex-
clusively to St. John's Church at Kutztown. Here also his
zeal and energy have borne good fruit, and with his good
people here he feels very much at home. The present St.
John's Church edifice he had the honor of helping to
finish in 1877, and with the assistance of Rev. J. S. Her-
mann, the Reformed pastor, to dedicate; and with the
assistance of Rev. J. H. Leinbach (successor to Rev. Her-
mann) he collected the monev needed to liquidate the
debt remaining unpaid at the time of its completion, and
to make subsequent important improvements. The church
building presents a fine appearance, is in splendid condition
in all its details, elegantly furnished, and has one of the
best organs in the county and one of the finest bells in the
world. Its congregation never wearies in well doing, and
is vvarmly attached to the pastor who watches over its
spiritual welfare.

The Rev. Mr. Cressman's pleasant home on Normal
Hill was built in 1885, with the assistance and liberality
of his good people. Besides being convenient and com-
fortable it is neat and attractive. The house is surrounded
by a yard and garden, 112 feet front by 350 deep, partly
donated by his friend and neighbor Charles Deisher. Every
tree, vine and shrub, as well as every post in the fences
and the arbors on the premises was set by the pastor's
own hands. Both in theory and practice he is a disciple
of the strenuous life, but busy as he has been and hard as
he has worked his career is dotted full of pleasant inci-
dents which he loves to recall and dwell upon. Among these
are the receptions tendered him by his people at South
Easton in April, 1867, and at Bernville in March, 1877, and
the party given him on his sixty-fifth birthday by the mem-
bers and friends of his Kutztown charge. These he fondly
treasures as marks of the appreciation of his labors, and
for their comforting ■ influence he gives God the praise.

At the South Easton reception a valuable gift was thrust
upon him so informally and unejfpectedly that it afforded
amusement to all who were present, and also a topic of
conversation in the community for some time. As the
large party was about to be invited to adjourn to the
dining room, the pastor happening to look out of the win-
dow noticed that one equipage had not as yet been cared
for. It consisted of a beautiful sorrel horse and a fine bug-
gy, perfectly new. No one in the company seemed to know
to whom it belonged, but the good pastor insisted that
the horse should be put up and fed before he would sit
down to dinner. This evoked broad smiles all around the
room, and to allay his anxiety'he was finally informed that
it was a gift to him from his congregation, that the horse
had lately been fed, and could easily wait until after din-
ner when his new owner could take formal possession
of him and test his qualities. He was also informed that
if agreeable to him the horse could be kept in the stable
of one of his good members and cared for free of charge.
The generous donation touched the loved pastor deeply
and his feelings can better be imagined than described.

The Rev. Mr. Cressman is a great lover of books, and
owns one of the finest private libraries in Berks county. It
comprises over 1,500 volumes, some very rare and of great
value, and_ he has them so carefully arranged and is so
familiar with their order that he can find almost any vol-
ume in the collection in the dark. These books are all
housed in well constructed and costly cases, planned by
the owner himself, and constructed under his immediate



On Aug. 27, 1865, the Rev. Mr. Cressman was married
to Emma C. M. Walter, of Allentown, and they have six
children, as follows : Charles F. S., who holds a civil ser-
vice position at Greenville, Pa.; Krauth H., who is super-
intendent of an Indian reservation at Naper, Nebr.; John
L., who resides at Harrisburg, and is a railway mail clerk
on the route between Pittsburg and New York; Abraham
I., who is connected with the cement business at Nazareth,
Pa.; Benjamin F., a teacher at Macungie; and Esther
Lydia, who married John D. Wink, and has two sons, David
Deshler and Charles Frederick.

Although devotedly attached to the Lutheran Church,
her doctrines and usages, and caring faithfully for his own
flock, Mr. Cressman is tolerant and liberal with those who
hold religious views at variance with his own. He in no
way interferes with other people's business, and avoids
giving offense, aiming to be just and fair in all the re-
lations of life, with words of good cheer and a smile for
all. His mission. in life is to do good to his fellow men,
and this he endeavors at all times to fill.

St. Luke's Lutheran Church at Reading for forty years,
was born in West Cocalico township, Lancaster county,
near Reinholdsville, June 18, 1844. He is a son of Jared
Huntzinger and Leah Krick his wife, of Lower Heidelberg
township, in Berks county.

His great-grandfather, John George Huntzinger, emigrat-
ed from Germany in 1749, having taken passage on the ship
"Jacob" from Amsterdam and been qualified on Oct. 2d, of
that year. He became a resident taxpayer of Brunswick
township, beyond the Blue Mtountain, then in Berks
county, where he carried on farming until his decease in
1803. He had nine children : Six sons — Jacob, George,
John, Henry, Michael and Daniel — and three daughters
— Rosina, Molly and Catharine. His son Michael located
in Heidelberg township, Berks county, and carried on
farming near Brownsville until his decease in 1845. He
left a widow and seven children : Three sonS' — Jared, Dan-
iel and William — and four daughters — Anna, Harriet,
Catharine, and Mary.

The eldest son, Jared (the Rev. Mr. Huntzinger's father),
was born March 27, 1815, in Lower Heidelberg township,
near Brownsville, and was there reared on his father's
farm. In 1843, he removed to West Cocalico township,
Lancaster county, and was there engaged as an undertaker
and carpenter for three years, when he returned to Berks
county, and purchased a farm near Wernersville, which
he cultivated very successfully until his decease, Dec. 27,
1892. He was a liberal-minded man and always showed
an active interest in education and other public affairs.
In 1840, he married Leah Krick, a daughter of Peter Krick
and Anna Hill, his wife, of Spring township, and they
had twelve children : Eva m. Reuben T. Landis ; Eliza-
beth m. (first) Richard Brossman, and (second) Jacob
Hassler; Amelia; Franklin K. ; Benjamin K. (whose
sketch and portrait appear in this publication) : Mary m.
Daniel Plertzog; William became a merchant in Indiana;
Amanda m. Daniel Stuber; John m. Mary Krick; .'\dam K.
m. Mary Gensemer ; Henry m. Elizabeth Hemminger; Em-
ma m. William S. Fisher. The mother died April 24, 1899,
aged eighty-five years. The parents were devoted members
of the Lutheran Church at Sinking Spring, in which
Mr. Huntzinger filled various offices for a number of

The fourth son, the subject of this sketch, was two
years old when his father removed from Lancaster county
to Berks county. He received his preliminary education
in the district school, and at the Reading Classical Acad-
emy (which was conducted by Prof. D. B. Brunner) and
the preparatory institutions maintained under the auspices
of the Lutheran Church for the education of ministers
until 1866, when he passed a successful examination and
was admitted into the Lutheran Theological Seminary at
Philadelphia. He pursued the prescribed course of studies
with great earnestness for three years, and was graduated
on May 19, 1869, and ordained as a minister a week
afterward in Trinity Lutheran Church at Reading.

Shortly before this time, the Trinity Lutheran congre-
gation had organized a Sunday-school in the northeastern
section of Reading (Ninth and Green streets) with a view
of establishing a congregation there, and the people of
that vicinity, having come to appreciate the character and
ability of this young minister, invited him to organize
a congregation. He accepted this call and the result of
his endeavors was very successful, for he founded a
church which has flourished until the present time, and
of which he has continued to be the devoted pastor, a
continuous period of forty years. In 1886-87 a large two-
story brick edifice was built in the place of the chapel
by the congregation, and in this the members have con-
tinued their worship until the present time. The member-
ship is about seventeen hundred. The attendance at the
services has always been uniformly large on account of
the pastor's popularity. The church services were con-
ducted by him in the German and English languages
(Sunday morning in the German, and evenings in the
English) until December, 1907, when he began to preach
in the German language only every other Sunday morning,
on account of the increasing demand for preaching in the
English language.

From 1869 to 1881 Rev. Mr. Huntzinger also served as the
pastor at Kissingers Church, in Spring township ; from
3870 to 1876 at Friedens Church, at Lenhartsville, and at
St. Paul's Church, near Hamburg; from 1873 to 1897 at
Alsace Church, at the northeastern boundary of Reading;
and from 1874 to 1904 at St. Peter's Church (Becker's),
in Richmond township. All the congregations of these
several churches were served by Rev. Mr. Huntzinger while
serving St. Luke's at Reading.

He has baptized over eight thousand children, officiated
at nearly four thousand funerals, and- solemnized nearly
three thousand marriages. He also took great interest in
the establishment of the Lutheran Orphans Home at Top-
ton, in October, 1896, and became one of the first trustees,
serving since then as such trustee, and also as the president
of the board since 1897.

In 1869 Rev. Mr. Huntzinger married Mary M. Hassin-
ger, daughter of John Hassinger and Catharine Birch, his

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 131 of 227)