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

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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 133 of 227)
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gle, and by her had nine children: Jacob; Michael m.
Elizabeth Binkley; William m. Kate Pennepacker; Lu-
cetta m. John Paine; Mary m. Michael Hain; Harriet
m. Levi Wolf; Catharine m. Samuel Binkley; Rosa m.
Charles Winter; and Hannah died unmarried.

Christian Kegerize, maternal grandfather of Michael
K. Keith, married a Miss Harting, and their children
were: Michael; Daniel m. Susan Blankenmiller ; Christian
m. Catharine Hatt; Samuel m. Sarah Leininger; William;
Rachel m. Jacob Keith; and Susan never married.

WILLIAM GARBER ROWE, who has been promi-
nently identified with the mining interests of the country
for a period covering thirty-five years, was born in Read-
ing, Sept. 16, 1849, son of William' Rowe and grandson
of John Rowe, a native of England.

John Rowe was an expert mining engineer, and traveled
almost all over the world. He came to America and
opened copper mines near Shannonville and Phoenix-
ville. Pa., then went to Australia to operate gold mines,
and finally to Brazil, where he died of yellow fever, when
fifty-two years of age. He was known as one of the
most skilled engineers and prospectors of his time.

William Rowe, son of John, was born in England, and
came to America with his 'father when a lad of fourteen
years. He always engaged in the mining business, and,
like 'his father, was very successful. He traveled through
Cuba and Australia, and in 1849 went to California to
engage in gold mining. He opened the first iron ■ ore
mine of the Eastern Pennsylvania valley, which was very
successful, and he likewise operated in Berks, Lancaster
and Chester counties. He was very skilled in his pro-
fession, and was known as one of the leaders thereof.
Mr. Rowe died April 3, 1906, having been for twenty-
five years retired. He married Julia V. Vache, who sur-
vived him and resided at No. 1040 Penn street, Reading,
until her death, Feb. 3, 1907, when more than four score
years of age. To Mr. and Mrs. William Rowe were
born : H. T., engaged in plumbing on Penn street, Read-
ing; Thomas M., a druggist; Mrs. T. B. Maurer, of Long
Beach, N. J.; Mrs. A. F. Smith; Misses Mary M. and
Jane A., at home; and William Garber.



492



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



William Garber Rowe attended the schools of Reading,
and under his father's instructions became skilled in
mining. He has been actively engaged in that occupa-
tion since 1871. For seven years he was superintendent
of the Edge Hill Iron Company, Pa., and operated mines
in Orange county, Va. He was for ten years at Barto
and operated the Rhoads mines at Boyertown, and was
superintendent of the iron ore mines for the Reading Coal
and Iron Company. In 1901 Mr. Rowe, knowing the
value of the ore deposit in the location of Boyertown,
bought up all the mining properties, including the Phoe-
nix or California mine, the Warwick, Gable No. 1 and
Gable No. 2, and the Lewis estate, in all covering over
300 acres in fee simple and mineral rights. They are
a continuation of the large Cornwall ore beds in Lebanon
county. Pa., and next to them for quantity thus far dis-
covered. This is now owned by the Boyertown Ore Com-
pany. They have title to the mineral rights under Boyer-
town from one end of the borough to the other. Since
1903 this company, of which Mr. Rowe is general super-
intendent, have conducted the mining operations, and
they have on hand large quantities of ore and are shipping
daily.

Much trouble was caused in the operation of these
mines in the past, and one of the most exciting of the
experiences was that of 1887, when William Garber Rowe
and George F. Baer were operating the Rhoads mine.
A cofferdam was located between this and the Phoenix
operation. The superintendent of the latter followed
the vein of ore, and, it is alleged, broke through this dam
and continued this drift into the Rhoads property. One
morning at 7 :30 o'clock, Mr. Rowe received a telegram
at his home in Reading, stating that the Phoenix miners
were trying to take possession of the Rhoads mine. He
at once consulted with his partner, then drove his trotter
to Boyertown, covering the distance in one and one-half
hours. Upon reaching the scene Mr. Rowe went under-
ground and found the men in his mine. All were ar-
rested and taken before Squire Schoenley, of Gables-
ville, and held under bail for forcible entry. The case
was taken to court and Mr. Rowe won.

The most complete plant is the Gable No. 2 mine. The
shaft house is of structural iron, making it perfectly
fireproof. There is a double-acting first-motion engine
of 300 horse power. Since Mr. Rowe assumed charge
of the mine larger tanks have been placed in the shaft,
and by means of these 1,000 gallons of water are ejected
each minute, day and night, thus controlling the coming
water from all the mines. The company proposes to in-
stall a new plant at the Warwick shaft similar to that
at the Gable No. 2, and thus opening up the operations
which have been lying idle for twenty years. Mr. Rowe
also operates mines at Gardner, Lehigh county, and
Siesholtzville, Berks county.

Mr. William Garber Rowe married Zipporah E. Bech-
tel, daughter of Abraham B. Bechtel, and she died in
January, 1881, leaving two children : William A., who was
associated with his father in mining operations until
his death, Aug. 6, 1908, when thirty-two years of age;
and Miss Leonore, at home. In politics Mr. Rowe is a
Republican. He is a member of the First Presbyterian
Church of Reading, and resides at No. 1156 Franklin
street, that city. ■,

REV. JONAS O. HENRY, pastor of the Topton Lu-
theran parish, is the great-grandson of John A'dam Henry,
who came to America from Germany and settled near
Wanamakers, in Lynn township, Lehigh Co., Pa., and
later resided on a farm about one-half mile south of
Lynnport, Lehigh county. He was a farmer by occupa-
tion.

Joseph Henry, son of John Adam, was born on the
family homestead in Lehigh county, Dec. 14, 1810. His
home was near Lynnport, Lynn township, Lehigh county,
where he died July 5, 1871, and was buried at Jackson-
ville, Pa. He married Miss Judith Kistler, who was born
April 14, 1806, and who died May 24, 1879, and was in-
terred in Jacksonville. They were blessed with eight



children, five sons and three daughters, as follows : Daniel
K.; Moses m. Sabina Long; Jacob m. Rebecca Koenig;
Benjamin m. Sarah Greenawalt; Charles m. Sarah Schlen-
ker; Katherine m. Elias Wagamann; Florence m. Reuben
Ebert; and Angelina m. Elias Dengler.

Daniel K. Henry, son of Joseph, was born Feb. 18,
1836, in Lynn, township, near Lynnport. He followed
an agricultural life in what is known as Kistler's Valley.
He died April 5, 1901, and was laid to rest at New
Jerusalem Church in Albany township, Berks township.
He married Miss Sarah Wagamann, born Dec. 7, 1836,
in Weisenburg township, Lehigh county, died April 13,
1881 ; she was laid to rest at New Jerusalem Church.
This marriage was blessed with nine children, five sons
and four daughters, namely : Harrison, a farmer near Jack-
sonville, m. Delia Snyder; Joseph, a carpenter at Kutz-
town, m. Rosa Hollenbach; Monroe, a carpenter at Lynn-
port, m. Emma Hollenbach; George, a farmer at Rising
Sun, m. Missouri Kemmerer; Rev. Jonas O., of Long-
swamp township; Rosa m. Lewis Snyder, of New Tripoli,
Pa.; Cordelia m. Wilson Snyder, of Pleasant Corner, Pa.;
Sarah Jane m. Amandus C. Oswald, of Rising Sun,
Pa.; and Lizzie M. m. William Sechler, of Hynemans-
ville, Pennsylvania.

Jonas O. Henry was born March 2, 1874, at Stein's
Corner, Lehigh Co., Pa., and was reared on the home
farm and received his early education in the local schools.
For three years he taught school and later entered Muhl-
enberg College where he was graduated in June, 1899. .
He completed his course in theology in the seminary
three years later, and on May 26, 1902, he was ordained
a minister of the Lutheran faith in St. John's Church
at Easton, Pa. On the last Sundaiy in November of the
same year he was installed by Rev. G. F. Speiker, D. D.,
and Rev. H. S. Fegley, as pastor of the Topton Lutheran
parish, consisting of St. Peter's, Topton, St. Paul's, Fleet-
wood and Christ (of Rockland township) Churches to
which charge he has faithfully ministered ever since.

On May 31, 1903, the Rev. Mr. Henry married Miss Ida
L. Sefing, daughter of Leonard Sefing, son of Herman
and Anna Margaret (Conrad) Sefing, of AUentown, Pa.
Her people came from Hessen, Germany, in 1854. The
Rev. Mr. Henry and wife have three children : Karl Sefing
born June 4, 1905; Paul Jonas, born Oct. 17, 1906; and
Leonard Daniel, born June 21, 1908. The family resides
at Topton, Berks Co., Pennsylvania.

JEREMIAH MOLL DeTURK, who has been war-
den of the Berks County Prison since 1904, was born
in Maiden-creek township, Berks county, March 1, 1857,
and received his education in the public school of
the township and at the Keystone State Normal
School. He then served as a clerk in general stores
at Molltown and Schaefferstown in Berks county
for four years, and conducted a store for himself at
the latter place for four years. While residing at
Schaefferstown he officiated as the assessor and tax-col-
lector of Jefferson township for six years, and he was
also elected one of the justices of the peace of that town-
ship on the Democratic ticket. In 1896 he filled the posi-
tion of deputy county treasurer, and in 1897 and 1898
served as a clerk in the employ of the Philadelphia and
Reading Railroad Company. While filling this last posi-
tion, the board of Prison Inspectors of the county elected
him clerk of the prison and his services proved so highly
satisfactory that upon a vacancy occurring in the position
of warden in July, 1904, they elected him to serve as such
for the unexpired term. His management of the prison
affairs until the following December having been very
successful, the board elected him for the succeeding term
pi one year, and his continued superior management has '
led to his annual unanimous re-election until the present
time, notwithstanding his adherence to the Democratic
party. He is now serving his sixth term. The grand juries
of the county and the State Board of Public Charities



BIOGRAPHICAL



493



have frequently commended his management of this pub-
lic institution.

In 1881, Mr. DeTurk married Catharine S. Stetzler,
daughter of Jacob Stetzler, farmer of Perry township,
and Esther Shappel, his wife. They have six children :
Elder (m. to Sallie Lieb), Herbert, Jeremiah, Edna, John
and Elmer. Mrs. DeTurk has been the matron of the
prison since her husband's incumbency as the warden, and
the management of her department has been equally com-
mendable. The family is connected with the Reformed
Church. He has been a member of the Knights of the
Golden Eagle for twenty years, having joined the Castle
at Schaefferstown while residing there.

Mr. DeTurk is a lineal descendant of Isaac DeTurk
who located in Oley township in 1712, as one of the first
settlers in that section of the county. His father Jere-
miah was a son of Abraham, who was a son of John, who
was a son of John, who was a scti of the immigrant.
The father was born in Exeter township in 1817, but was
reared in Maiden-creek township on a farm which he
afterward came to own and operate in a successful manner
for thirty-five years. He died in 1891. He married Cath-
arine Moll, of the same township (born 1817, died 1881),
by whom he had ten children : Sarah (m. to Solomon
Stoudt) ; Amos (m. to Louisa Deisher) ; Ellen (m. to
Allen Moser); Mary and Catharine (single); Jeremiah
M. ; Esther (m. to William C. Dries) ; and three who died
in infancy.

Jacob Stetzler (Mrs. DeTurk's father) was a son of
Daniel Stetzler and Catharine Hoffman, his wife; and
Daniel Stetzler was a son of Martin, all of Perry town-
ship. Jacob Stetzler's wife, Esther Shappel, was a daugh-
ter of Jeremiah Shappel, of Perry township. [See gene-
alogy of Shappel family in this publication.]

Mr. DeTurk's mother was a daughter of David Moll of
Maiden-creek township, who died in 1857 leaving eleven
children : George, John, Daniel, Samuel, Peter, Catharine
(above), Lucy (m. Charles Coleman), Elizabeth (m. Peter
Adam), Diana (m. William Yerger), Lydia (.m. William
Hieter) and Mary (m. Henry Buchard). And her grand-
father was Michael Moll, farmer of the same township,
who died in 1810 leaving a widow Anna Margaret and
eight children : John,, Daniel, Michael, Henry, Peter, David,
Catharine (m. Samuel Ely, Jr.) and Susanna.

LEMUEL STEWART, M. D. (deceased), who prac-
tised medicine and surgery at Reading from 1848 to 1853,
was born near Stouchsburg, Berks Co., Pa., Sept. 1, 1815,
son of Jacob Stewart.

Jacob Stewart was of Scotch Ancestry. He married a
daughter of Conrad Weiser. They were old and respected
farming people of Berks county, and their children were :
Rebecca m. Adam Ulrich ; Priscilla m. Mr. Miller ; Ur-
silla m. a Mr. Royer; Clementine died unmarried; William
was accidentally drowned at Hagerstown, Md. ; and
Lemuel.

The early education of Dr. Lemuel Stewart was secured
in the common schools, but later he pursued higher
branches at St. Mary's College at Emmitsburg, Md., where
he became a convert to the Catholic faith. Dr. Stewart
was an unusually brilliant man, was thoroughly yersed
in English literature, and spoke and wrote other languages
fluently. He was a brilliant writer of both prose and
poetry, and at his early death left many works of high
merit. A large part of his medical papers were written
in French. One of his medical books, which is widely
known, bears the name of "The Physician and the Pub-
lic." He was graduated in medicine at Jefferson Medical
College, Philadelphia, and his certificate was signed by
Professor Jackson. On numerous occasions Dr. Stewart
addressed both literary and medical societies, and he was
always listened to with the respect and admiration which
his learning and oratory commanded.



Dr. Stewart married Angeline Smith, daughter of
George and Margaret (Bright) Smith, granddaughter of
Frederick Smith, Judge of the Supreme Court of Penn-
sylvania, and great-granddaughter of Johan Frederick
Schmidt, born Jan. 9. 1747, and died May 16, 1812.- Dr.
Stewart and wife had two children: Margaret, who died
aged three years, and Katie Leaf, who became the wife
of James Nolan, and at her death left three children,
James Bennett, Angela and Mary E. Mrs. Stewart is a
member of the Catholic Church. Dr. Stewart died in
1853 at Reading.

HENRY STOYER, manufacturer of paper boxes at
Shoemakersville and Fleetwood, Berks Co., Pa., who has
been placed prominently before the public in business and
political life, was born Oct. 14, 1848, at Hamburg, this
county, son of Samuel F. Stoyer.

Samuel Stoyer, of Greenwich township, grandfather of
Henry, married Catherine Focht, of Windsor township,
and to this union there were born children as follows :
Samuel F. ; Benneville m. Catherine Raubenhold; Daniel
m. Anna Miller; Elizabeth m. Jacob Kepner; Hannah m.
William Kepner; Catherine m. John Billman ; and Sallie
m. William Deisher.

Samuel F. Stoyer, son of Samuel and now of Bethel
township, where he has been a farmer for thirty years,
was born and reared at Hamburg. He married Catherine
Weidner, daughter of Jonathan Weidner, and to them
were born twelve children : Henry ; Susan m. Andrew
Schmeltzer; Franklin m. Mary Schreck; Sarah m. John
Peiffer; Charles m. Clara Moore; Caroline m. Werren
F. Kline; Amanda m. George Snyder; Ida m. Samuel
Strausse ; Anna m. Charles Strausse ; Samuel m. Clara
Resh ; Joel m. Mame Reber ; and John died in infancy.

Henry Stoyer received his education in the public schools
of his native place, upon leaving which, while still a boy,
he assisted at butchering and store-keeping until his
twentieth year, then going to Centreport, where, after serv-
ing as a clerk in the butchering business for two years,
and for four years in the general store of James A. Koller,
he engaged in the huckstering business for nineteen years.
While engaged at the latter occupation, Mr. Stoyer came
to know the whole northwestern section of the county,
and this acquaintanceship was afterwards of great politi-
cal assistance to him, for in 1893 he secured the nomination
for county commissioner on the Democratic ticket, and
-was elected. He served in this important county office
for a term of three years, from 1894 to 1897. Upon the
erection of the borough of Centreport, in 1884, Mr. Stoyer
served in the council for three terms, and also in the
school board for the same period; and when his name was
on the Democratic ticket for election, there was no nomi-
nation against him on the opposition ticket, he receiving
the unanimous vote of the electors, an exceptional honor.

Upon assuming the office of county commissioner, Mr.
Stoyer removed to Reading so as to be able to devote all
of his time to the interests of the county, and he served
his term with great fidelity to his trust. At the expira-
tion of his term, he served as collector of ward and
county taxes for four years. In 1902 he purchased the
Acme Paper Box Factory at Shoemakersville, and in 1907
he purchased the Fleetwood Paper Box Factory which he
has been operating successfully to the present time. He
manufactures all sizes of paper boxes, which are supplied
to the mills in the village and vicinity. He retains his resi-
dence in Reading, traveling to and fro daily in operating
his business.

Mr. Stoyer married Catherine Dunkel, daughter of Jacob
Dunkel, of Upper Bern township. She died in 1870, leaving
one daughter, Sallie (m. W. P. Brown). Mr. Stoyer m.
(second) Annie Schiffert, daughter of Reuben Schiffert,
of Perry township, and to this union were born : Katie



494



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



(m. Thomas Bickel) ; Tamah (m. Harry A. Breidegam) ;
and Annie (died in infancy).

HENRY B. LEVAN is descended from Huguenot
ancestry. His great-great-great grandfather, Daniel Levan,
fled from France to Amsterdam, Holland, during the time"
when the Huguenots were persecuted. He was married in
France to Marie Beau.

Isaac Levan, son of Daniel and Marie, emigrated from
Amsterdam, Holland, and located in Exeter township,
Berks Co., Pa., in about 1730, being one of the first
settlers there, He was engaged in farming until the latter
period of his life, when in 1770, he moved to Reading, Pa.,
where he died in August, 1786. He and his wife,
Mary Margaret, had the following children : Abraham,
Isaac, Daniel, Jacob, Mary (wife of Peter Feather) and
Judith (wife of Samuel Weiser).

Jacob Levan, St., son of the emigrant, was born at
the old homestead in Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa.,
about 1736 and died there in January, 1814. He was en-
gaged in farming all his life. He was married to Susan-
nah Ludwig, and had the following children : Abraham,
Daniel, Jacob, Margaret (m. (first) Peter Rightmeyer,
(second) John Wollison), Judith (m. Henry Leese),
Susannah (m. John Stitzel), Elizabeth (m. .Samuel Kurst),
Mary (m. Henry Werner), Hannah (m. Godfrey Kersh-
ner), Catherine (m. Jacob Goodman), and Sarah (m.
Adam Stitzel.

Jacob L. Levan, Jr., grandson of the emigrant, Isaac
Levan, was born at the old homestead in Exeter town-
ship, Jan. 1, 1784, and died Jan. 1, 1853. He was mar-
ried to Catherine Fegeley, of Richmond township, Berks
Co., Pa., and they had the following children: Isaac;
and Anna, who m. Capt. Henry Schaefifer.

Isaac Levan, son of Jacob L., was born at the old home-
stead in Exeter township, July 31, 1816, and died Jan. 7,
1837. He was married (first) to Rebecca Brumbach,
daughter of Jacob Brumbach, and (second) to Louisa
Wein, daughter of Henry Wein. His children were as
follows: WiUiam, Jacob, Isaac, George (deceased), Henry
B., Daniel (who died in infancy), and Rebecca (nt.
John Knorr).

Henry B. Levan, son of Isaac and Rebecca (Brumbach)
Levan, has for nearly a quarter of a century been post-
master at Lorane, Exeter township, Berks county, where
he has been engaged in a general merchandise and hotel •
business. He was born in Exeter township June 30, 1850,
and was educated in the public schools. After the death
of his father he went to live with Joseph Levan, his
guardian, with whom be remained until nineteen years
of age, when he entered the employ of the Philadelphia
& Reading Railway Company, as telegraph operator. He
spent about eleven years in that employment. In 1883 he
purchased property in Lorane, where he has since been
located in business with the exception of two years. In
addition to his mercantile business Mr. Levan has also
dealt extensively in coal and feed, has served as post-
master since 1883, with the exception of the two years
that he was out of business and has done much toward
making Lorane the hustling, enterprising village that it
is. He has always been esteemed and respected by his
fellow-citizens, who recognize and appreciate his many
sterling qualities of character. In politics he is a Dem-
ocrat, while fraternally he is connected with Reading
Lodge, No. 62, F. & A. M.

In 1883 Mr. Levan was married to Isabella Ganser,
daughter of Joseph Ganser, of Reading, and she died
in 1893, when thirty-seven years of age. She was the
mother of one child, Harvey Ralph, who is employed by
his father in the store. Mr. Levan is a member of the
Schwartzwald Reformed Church.



EZRA S. HASSLER, a prominent merchant and in-
fluential citizen of Wernersville, Pa., where he has re-
sided for fifteen years, was born June 27, 1854, in Rus-
combmanor township, Berks county, son of Philip and
Sarah Ann (Seidel) Hassler.

Philip Hassler, great-grandfather of Ezra S., lived in
the vicinity of Friedensburg. His wife was a Miss Shofer
or Shafifer, and their children were: William, of Fried-
ensburg; Mrs. Sally Roemer, of Kutztown district; Mrs.
Moses Sarig, who moved West; and Jacob.

Jacob Hassler, grandfather of Ezra S., was born in
Berks county in 1801, and died in 1875. He attended
school in Reading, when the only school building was
a log house, and in early life lived near the Oley line,
where he owned a small farm. He was also a cabinet
maker by trade, and this he followed at his house, which
was situated on the Reading road two miles from Fried-
ensburg, working until his retirement, when he removed
to Reading and there died. He is buried at Spies's Church,
of which he was a Lutheran member. He married (first)
Elizabeth Fox, by whom he had children as follows:
Eliza, Benjamin and Isaac, all of whom died young;
Philip; Jonas died at IMilton, Pa.; Sarah m. Adam Scha-
del, and died of small-pox ; Susan ra. Daniel Hartman,
and died in May, 1905; William lived at Yellow House;
Amos died at a Soldiers' Home; and two died in in-
fancy. Mr. Hassler m. (second) Mrs. Judith (Lukens)
Thompson, and there were two daughters born to this
union : Mary Ann, of Reading, m. (first) Israel Rauen-
zahn, and (second) William A. McDonough ; and Louisa
m. (first) Albert Herbine, by whom she had one son,
Harry, and (second) William Merkel, now also de-
ceased.

Philip Hasler (Hassler), father of Ezra S., was born
Aug. 6, 1829, in Oley township, and died in Ruscomb-
manor township, March 11, 1860. He was a cabinet maker
by trade, and also engaged in farming, owning a tract
of about thirty acres of land. For a number of years
Mr. Hassler was a constable of his district. He is buried
at Pricetown. Mr. Hassler's wife, Sarah Ann Seidel,
was born at Hamburg, Pa., Nov. 2, 1828, and died in
Ruscombmanor township. May 18, 1895, being also buried
at Pricetown. They had these children : Ezra S. ; Well-
ington S. resides at Akron, Ohio; and Emma A. m.
Albert J. Evans, of Lancaster county.

Ezra S. Hassler attended the common schools of his
native locality until reaching the age of seventeen years,
and in 1873 was licensed to teach school by the late Prof.
D. B. Brunner, subsequently teaching in Pike and Rich-
mond townships, Berks county, for two years. He then
learned telegraphy from William Schantz, of Blandon,
Pa., and was appointed station agent at Reinholds Station,
Lancaster county, where he remained for a period of thir-
teen years. During the latter year of his service with
this company he was also engaged in the mercantile busi-
ness at Reinholds, but in 1887 removed his business to
Sprmg Grove, Lancaster county, where he continued with
much success for five years, being also the postmaster
at this point during President Cleveland's administration.
He came to Wernersville in 1893, and erected his present
store building, 31 x 86 feet, two stories high, with a



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 133 of 227)