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 135 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 135 of 227)
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board and clothing, and they sent him to a neighboring
school taught by teachers Greenawald, Reedy, Steiger-
wald, the first two coming from the south side of Blue
Mountains, Heidelberg and Stein's Corner. (He remem-
bers his benefactors with gratitude, and he called them
always "Father" and "Mother." Mr. Dreibelbies worked
for the Lehigh Valley Railroad three years, and then
returned to the Wertman home and began teaching school
and preparing for college. His first select school was
Myerstown Academy, during the presidency of Dr. Will-
iam C. Schaeffer, and he then entered Franklin and Mar-



498



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



shall College, Lancaster, graduating in June, 1890. The fol-
lowing year he entered the Theological Seminary at Lan-
caster, and was graduated therefrom in May, 1893. That
spring he was licensed and examined by the Lehigh Classis,
which convened in Lehighton. Immediately after he was
licensed he received a call to the Caroline Charge, Heidel-
berg Classis, Central Synod of the Reformed Church.
He served this charge with great satisfaction twenty-
three months, when the Board of Home Missions com-
missioned him to go to the Paulding Mission in
Paulding county, Ohio. In June, 1895, he moved there,
and on Sept. 9, 1896, his wife Amanda died. She was
a daughter of Thomas Wehr, of Sittlers, Schuylkill Co.,
Pa. About two years later he married (second) Orpha
Arwilda Klingler, daughter of Adam F. Klingler, of
South Whitley, Ind., and they have had children : Louisa
Henrietta, Adam Jacob, Helen Matilda, and George Mi-
chael (born Nov. 16, 1906, died March 23, 1908). Since
1899 the Rev. Mr. Dreibelbies has been pastor of the
Shanesville, Ohio, charge, of St. John's Classis, Central
Synod. He is a broad minded. Christian gentleman, and
is kindly and benevolent.

(VI) Ambrose Eldeid Dkeibelbies, second son of
Jacob E. and Catherine (Bankes) Dreibelbies, was
born in New Ringgold, Schuylkill county, July 16, 1864.
His boyhood days were spent at Tamaqua and Lehighton.
When but a lad of ten years he left home, and secured
employment with Thomas Wehr, a farmer in West Penn
township, Schuylkill county, where he attended the
township school, and this with the public schools of Tama-
,qua and Lehighton afforded him his educational priv-
ileges. In September, 1880, he left the farm and se-
cured a position as clerk with William Kemerer, in the
general store business at Lehighton, which position he
held for eight years, at the end of that time being com-
pelled to leave on account of failing health. Next he
secured a position with the Lehigh Valley Railroad com-
pany in their coal forwarding offices at Packerton, where
he held a responsible position for a period of twelve
years, again leaving on account of ill health. In September,
1900, he accepted a position as traveling salesman for
the wholesale fruit and produce house of O. J. Saeger,
Lehighton, and this position he holds at present writing.
Politically Mr. Dreibelbies is a Prohibitionist, and has been
nominated by his party for sheriff, member of the State
Legislature and of Congress. He is a member of the
First Methodist Episcopal Church of Lehighton, which
he joined when a young man seventeen years of age,
and has been a zealous member ever since. He is a popu-
lar local preacher, and has served his church in official
capacity for many years, on the board of trustees, of
which he was Secretary and Treasurer ; and has served
on the board of stewards for twenty-one years consecu-
tively and is the recording steward. He is serving his
eighth year as superintendent of the Sunday school. On
March 14, 1885, Mr. Dreibelbies married Miss Emma Ame-
lia Kemerer, daughter of Nathan and Lucinda Kemerer of
Lehighton. Six children have been born to them, two sons
and four daughters. Wilm.er Clayton, a student at Jeffer-
son Medical College, Philadelphia; Warren Hilbert, a
salesman in the large dry goods store of C. A. Rex at
Mauch Chunk, Pa.; May Ethel, deceased; Martin Lo-
raine; Bertha Katherine and Carrie Evelyn.

(VI) Carete J. Dreibelbtes, daughter of Jacob Ed-
ward and Catherine (Bankes), was born in New Ring-
gold, Schuylkill county. After the removal of the family
to Lehighton, Carbon Co., Pa., she there attended public
school. In 1890 she entered upon home mission work
in Philadelphia and other cities ; and in 1895 entered the
Union Missionary Training Institute, in Brooklyn, N. Y.,
where she took a four years course, and graduated
in the spring of 1899. In the autumn of the same year
she sailed for China to enter the foreign missionary
work, being appointed by the Womans Foreign Missionary
Society of the Methodist church to go to Kiukiang, China.
In the summer of 1900 vi'ith other missionaries she was
driven out by the Boxer uprising, and went to Nagasaki



for seven months, at the end of that time returning to Kiu-
kiang, In 1902 she adopted a Chinese baby girl, eight days
old, according to Chinese laws. In the spring of 1905, she
returned to America on furlough and brought the little
girl with her, and the next year (1906) secured papers
of adoption for her in the court of common pleas
of Carbon county, Pa., naming her Mary Elizabeth Dreibel-
bies. In August, 1906, Miss Dreibelbies was appointed
bv the Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed
Church in the United States to return to China, and take
up work at Yochow, in the Province of Hunan. She
sailed in the autumn and lived there one year, when fail-
ing health obliged her to return to America.

(VI) Lewis Daniel Dreibelbies, son of Jacob Edward
and Catherine, was born at Tamaqua, Pa., July 6, 1868.
He married Florence Koons, of Lehighton, Pa., and they
had one son, Edward Thomas, born at Lehighton. Pa.,
Sept. 28. 1894. Mr. Dreibelbies moved to Perth Amboy,
N. J., Nov. 1, 1898. His wife died April 29, 1907.

(V) William H. Deeibelbies, son of George Dreibelbies
and Anna (Heisler), was born at New Ringgold, Pa.,
Oct. 1, 1844. His youthful years were spent around his
native place. When the Rebellion broke out he enlisted
in 1861 in Company H;, 48th Pa. V. I., and came home
in 1865 at the close of the war. He worked in New
Ringgold until 1869, when he went to Cleveland, Ohio,
where he obtained work with the Standard Oil Company,
continuing with that company twenty-eight years. He
is now living retired in Cleveland. On Oct. 29, 1870 he
married Mary McNannie. Five children were born to
them : William, July 29, 1871 (deceased) ; Mabel, June
26. 1874; Emma, July 21, 1876 (deceased); Isabel!, Jan.
22, 1879; George, Dec. 3. 1880 (deceased). Mabel m.
George Stebner ; and Isabell m. Sylvester Hubbell.

(V) Alfeed H. Deeibelbies, son of Georgfc and Anna
(Heisler), was born at Ringgold, Schuylkill Co., Pa.,
July 12. 1850. He received his education in the common
schools at that place. His first work was carrying water
for the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Co. at Ringgold.
He then learned the blacksmith's trade with the same com-
pany, and this trade he followed for twelve years. For
four years he was engaged in bridge building for the
same company, and one and one-half years was brakeman.
For ii period of thirty-five years he was employed by this
same company, part of the time as- special police. In
1871 he came to Reading, and in 1876 was followed by
his family. In 1894 he became an employe of the United
Traction Company, as motorman, on the Perkiomen divis-
ion, and this position he continues to hold. In 1871 he
married Molly A. Slouch, daughter of Thomas and Caro-
line (Boyer) Slouch, of Ringgold. She died Aug. 27, 1900,
and is buried in the family lot in the Charles Evans ceme-
tery, Reading. Their children were ; Esther, born Nov. 15,
1872, died young; Louis M. C, born Jan. 11, 1874,
died young; Annie L. E,, born March 2, 1876, keeps house
for her father; Bessie M., born June 15, 1879, died young;
Barbara R., born July 31, 1880, died young; and Amos A.,
born July 19, 1882. Harry S. Brobst, a nephew of Mr.
Dreibelbies, also makes his home with this family; he. too.
is an employe of the United Traction Company. Mr. Drei-
belbies is a member of the Salome Lodge, No. 105, I. O.
O. F., of Reading; Encampment No. 52, of the same grder;
Castle No. 63, K. G. E. ; Lodge No. 301, Red Men; and
the Relief Association of the United Traction Company.
His religious connection is with St. Luke's Lutheran
Church of Reading.



(II) Jacob Dreibelbis, son of John Jacob, was born
in Richmond township, on the original Dreibelbis home-
stead, May 9, 1754, and died April 19, 1831. Pie was
reared to manhood on the farm near Fleetwood, and lived
there until his marriage. On Oct. 2, 1778, he bought a
farm from his father-in-law, George Merkel, located at
Virginville, on the east bank of the Ontelaunee, which
Mr. Merkel had purchased because of the heavy timber
upon^ it._ This tract then consisted of 247 acres of land,
and it is now owned by his grandson, Joel Dreibelbis.



BIOGRAPHICAL



499



Here in 1787 he built a log house, and this served three
generations of the family. It was torn down in 1868,
and its site is now occupied by the large brick residence
built in that year by Joel Dreibelbis. In 1809 the barn
was destroyed by lightning, and the one that was erected
in its stead stood until 1884, when it was replaced by a
modern barn. This new barn was destroyed by fire Aug.
3, 1908, with all the year's crops, causing a heavy loss.
A modern barn was rebuilt the same year. The heavy
timber was bought along the southern Atlantic coast. The
land that George Merkel sold in 1778 to his son-in-law
Jacob Dreibelbis, he bought in 1760 from William, Joshua,
Jeremiah and Hezekiah Boone, sons and executors of
George Boone. G«orge Boone on Jan. 4, 1734, obtained
from the lawful heirs of William Penn— John, Thomas
and Richard Penn— a tract of 8004 acres on the Ontelaunee,
and the land purchased by Jacob Dreibelbis from George
Merkel was a part of this tract. In 1809 Jacob Dreibel-
bis built the large stone store building in Virginville. This
building is 35 x 45 feet, two and one-half stories high.
The land on which Virginville is built was all embraced
in the Dreibelbis acreage, which included also part of the
land now owned by the Aug. Dreibelbis estate, Jacob
Dreibelbis (of the Fifth generation) and part of the land
of Orlando Driebelbis. The Virginville store building
is the only building built by Jacob that is still standing,
and it has always been used as a mercantile house, and
it has never been out of the family name, being now
owned by George A. Dreibelbis, son of Joel. In 1777
Jacob Dreibelbis married Mary Magdalena Merkel, born
Nov. 22, 1759, daughter of George and Christina Merkel,
and died July 3, 1832, after a married life of fifty-four
years. They had eleven children, forty-five grandchildren
and eight great-grandchildren. Their children were:
Hannah, born Aug. 23, 1778, m. Jacob Dunkel, and died
March 27, 1845; Esther, born Dec. 24, 1779 m. Michael
Dunkel, brother of Jacob, and died Jan. 21, 1875; Jacob,
born Feb. 23, 1785, died May 6, 1857; Joh;i, born July
.22 1787, died Oct. 8, 1847; Molly, born Sept. 27, 1789, ra.
John Berned, and died Sept. 17, 1873; Samuel, born 1792,
died 1876; William, born Nov. 14, 1793, died Sept. 18,
1869; Elizabeth, born Nov. 7, 1797. died May 3, 1861;
David, born March 14, 1802, died Nov. 9,. 1886 ; and two
died young. Jacob Dreibelbis and his children were mem-
bers of the German Reformed congregation of Richmond
township, and he is buried in the cemetery adjoining St.
Peter's Church. He was a foremost member of this
church, and served as an official. In 1809 he was a
member of the building committee that erected the third
building at that place. In 1815 he served in the General
Assembly from Berks county, and in 1780 he was a soldier
in the Revolution. He was one of the early residents
along the Ontelaunee, purchasing his land for the ex-
cellent timber and very fine water there.

(Ill) Jacob Dreibelbis, son of Jacob, was born in Rich-
mond township, on the old homestead, Feb. 23, 1785, and
died May 6, 1857. He was a life long farmer, and was a
very prominent man. He was tall, well built and very
strong. When but eighteen years old he was elected a
captain in the State Militia, an office he filled very ef-
ficiently for twenty-seven years, when he became disquali-
fied by age. He was a member of St. Peter's German Re-
formed congregation, and did substantial service in the
erection of the church in 1809. The remains of both
himself and wife rest in the cemetery adjoining this
church. For many years he served as township super-
visor, and during the war of 1812 rendered valuable ser-
vice to his government. On Jan. 31, 1813, he married
Elizabeth Heffner, born July 7, 1792, daughter of George
and Magdalena (Hummel) Heffner, of Greenwich town-
ship, and she died March 11, 1873. To this union were
born five sons and five daughters: Mary, born in 1813,
died June 12, 1886, m. Samuel Heinly, and had children —
Marie E., Florenda, Catharine, Esther, Amelia, Theresa
and Enoch J.; George, born July 20, 1815, died Jan. 13,
1835, unmarried; Jacob, born May 1, 1817, died Jan. 8,



1841, m. Elizabeth Fegley, and had a son — Samuel; Simon,
born May 1, 1819, died May 30, 1890, is mentioned be-
low; Peter, born March 14, 1821, died April 28, 1889, m.
Elizabeth Lesher (still living), and had children — Sarah
and Rev. Emanuel L. (a Lutheran minister at Melrose, N.
Y.) ; Elizabeth, born Aug. 8, 1824, died aged forty-five
years, m. Henry Sunday, of Tilden township, and had
children — John, William and Henry; Joel is mentioned
below; Esther, born Nov. 24. 1839, died Oct. 29, 1871,
m. Joseph Raubenhold, of Hamburg, and had children —
Peter, Amanda, Amelia, George, Mary, Alice and Wil-
liam; Salome, born 1832, died 1907, m. Charles Levan, of
Maxatawny township, and had children — Susan, Jacob,
Salome, Nicholas and Henry; and Hannah, born July
6, 1834, died Sept. 9, 1855, m. William Heinly, of Green-
wich township, and had one son — ^Jefferson.

(IV) Simon Dreibelbis, son of Jacob and Elizabeth,
was born in Richmond township May 1, 1819, and died
May 30, 1890. He married Leah Strasser, daughter of
Conrad and Rosina (Hummel) Strasser, and they had
four children : Alfred, born Sept. 25, 1843 ; Cleophas
S.; Rolandus, born June 16, 1849, m. (first) Elizabeth
Dietrich, and (second) Nora Luckenbill; and Simon P.,
born March 9, 1856, m. Rosa Kramer. Simon Dreibelbis
the father worked for his father for a number of years,
and later from 1840 until 1890, kept a hotel in Virgin-
ville, Perry township, continuing to conduct his 136-acre
farm in conjunction therewith.

(V) Cleophas S. Dreibelbis, a successful business man
of Berks Co., Pa., who is engaged in milling and farming
near Shoemakersville, in Perry township, was born March
2, 1846, in Richmond township, on one of the Dreibelbis
homesteads, son of Simon and Leah (Strasser) Dreibel-
bis. His educational advantages were rather limited,
being confined to the public schools of his district, and
but a few terms there. At the age of seventeen years
he commenced to help his father on the home farm, and
this he faithfully continued until thirty years old. For a
number of years he hauled mine ore in dull seasons, and
in the winter months would go butchering among the
farmers. His territory covered a large radius of miles
and his services were always at a premium. In 1884 Mr.
Dreibelbis began farming for himself on his father's farm
consisting of 141 acres of land near Shoemakersville, Pa.
This farm he purchased from his father, and some years
later added twenty adjoining acres, and this large property
he has greatly improved by fertilizing the soil and by
rebuilding the large Swiss barn, which was struck by
lightning and damaged in 1897; by renovating and en-
larging the house, and by enlarging the mill and supply-
ing it with improved machinery. He is the manufacturer
of the "Straight Winter" and "Blended 30 per cent
Spring" flour, which are superior brands and are sold in all
the large cities in the eastern part of the country. He
also manufactures a superior brand of corn meal and
buckwheat flour, which he sends into all of the populous
places of the East and to Canada. Mr. Dreibelbis is an
ideal farmer and has made his business a paying industry.
He has applied in practice the valuable hints and advice
of that great agriculturist, the Rev. J. D. Dietrich of
Montgomery Co., Pa., and has been materially benefited
by the latter's lectures. Mr. Dreibelbis has a fine dairy
of thirty-five cows. He understands cattle and the feed-
ing of them, having two silos which he fills annually with
cut corn with the stalks. His milk is shipped daily to
Pottsville, Schuylkill county, and his milk receipts amount
annually to more than $2,500; before he had silos the re-
ceipts were only about $800 annually. Mr. Dreibelbis is an
enthusiast on the modern methods and principles of farm-
ing. Since 1873 he has been a member of the Industrial
Grange No. 29, of Shoemakersville, and has been delegate
to many State conventions of that body. In politics Mr.
Dreibelbis is a Jeffersonian Democrat. He was elected school
director of his township for twelve successive terms and
eleven years was secretary of the board, materially benefit-
ing the schools of his district by faithful and efficient ser-
vice, but refused re-election, feeling that he had done his



500



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



full duty in that line. He was county committeeman for
one year in his township, and has attended a number of con-
ventions in the capacity of delegate. He is a thoroughly
honest man, who by hard, incessant labor has accumulated
a comfortable fortune, and his many acts of neighborly
kindness have made him esteemed by all who know him.
He is a member of Zion's Union Church of Perry town-
ship, belonging to the Reformed denomination, and has
served as deacon and trustee thereof. Mr. Dreibelbis has
been twice married. On Dec. 21, 1867, he m. Catherine
Anna Wartzenluft, by whom he had children: J. Carolus,
born Feb. 28. 1869, m. Mary Egolf; Samuel M., born May
30, 1870, died in infancy; Ellen S., born Feb. 22, 1872, m.
Henry Miller; Simon D., born March 1, 1874, died an ac-
cidental death aged eighteen years, eight months, three
days; Catherine R., born Sept. 26, 1876, m. Chester Bauer;
and Daniel C, born Dec. 11, 1877, m. in St. Louis, Mo.,
after returning from the Cuban and Philippine wars. Mrs.
Dreibelbis died of typhoid fever Aug. 31, 1878, aged thirty-
one years. Mr. Dreibelbis m. (second) March 16, 1880,
Martha Anna Noll, daughter of Henry Noll, and they
have these children; William H., born Dec. 2, 1880, m.
Dina Rothermel; Israel W., born May 14, 1883, died in
infancy; and Charles B., born Oct. 14, 1884, Sarah A., born
Feb. 7, 1887, and John J., born June 14, 1889, are at home.



(IV) Joel Dreibelbis, son of Jacob, was born Dec. 22,
1826, at Virginville, and is one of the representative men
of northern Berks county, and despite his advanced years
is still active in mind and body. He is well posted on relig-
ion, politics and public events. He has given a great deal
of attention to archaeological studies, and has one of the
finest complete collections of Indian relics in the county,
consisting of arrow heads, spear heads, drills, axes, toma-
hawks, jasper blades, knives, beads, pestles, spades, badges,
turtlebacks and all kinds of working implements for sowing,
boring, cutting, etc. This valuable collection consists of
about 15,000 specimens, of which 800 are hammers. This
collection is especially interesting to its owner because he
and other members of his own family collected them all on
his own property. The country about Virginville was a
densely populated Indian settlement and the home of the
chief of the Sacunk tribe. Since Mr. Dreibelbis became
interested in the relics more than 40.000 have been gathered
on his farm. The more valuable specimens in his collection
his daughter. Miss Hannah Blandina, has neatly arranged
in drawers and cabinets, while the small ones repose
in frames which decorate Mr. Dreibelbis's study. During
1907 and 1908 the local and metropolitan press wrote and
published descriptions and photographs of the collection.
Mr. Dreibelbis was reared upon his father's farm, obtain-
ing his early education in the German and English pay
schools of his vicinity. In 1847 his father sent him to, near
Lewisburg, in Union county, to become proficient in the
English language. There he remained for two and one-
half years, living with a relative of his mother. Returning
then to Berks county he worked on his father's farm in
the summer, and taught school. In 1850 when the public
school system was established in Greenwich township,
he was one of its first teachers, serving there three years
, with high efficiency. In 1853 when his own township
adopted the free school system, he became a teacher at
Kerchner's where he taught two terms. In 1855 Mr.
Dreibelbis began farming on his father's farm, continuing
it two years as a tenant when his father died. At the ap-
praisement of his father's estate he took the homestead,
and continued farming successfully until 1890. He has
been one of the first farmers to adopt new machinery, and
his mower and reaper were among the first seen in this
locality.^ His farm is located one-quarter mile south of
Virginville, and consists of 180 acres. His premises are
supplied with an abundance of fruit and grapes, excellent
spring and well water, twelve substantial buildings, etc.
The farm forms almost a perfect square, the western side
of which is bounded by the Ontelaunee. Thirty-two acres
of the original tract lie on the west side of the Ontelaunee.
This tract is now owned by John Schucker, a son-in-law



of Joel Dreibelbis. On this farm is "Dreibelbis Cave"
which was discovered in 1873, and in 1907 was explored
to the depth of 340 feet, by William J. Dietrich, who re-
corded a full description of it in a paper read before the
Berks County Historical Society in 1907. The 100-foot
Swiss barn built in 1884, was destroyed by fire Aug. 3,
1908, with all its contents, and was rebuilt the same year.
,One of Mr. Dreibelbis's. favorite pastimes is fishing, and
he spends many hours during the season along the On-
telaunee and Maiden creek. His daughter, Miss Hannah
Blandina, has saved the jaws of 1000 chubs and suckers,
and by a process cleaned therp, and has tastefully ar-
ranged them in various designs on velvet, making frames
of different sizes, and these have been much admired by
the many visitors to her home. Mr. Dreibelbis and his
family are members of St. Peter's German Reformed Con-
gregation of Richmond township, and the family burial
lot is in the cemetery adjoining. During the erection of
the present church edifice in 1890, no one contributed more
liberally of time and means than Mr. Dreibelbis. He
was deacon and trustee of the church, and served on the
building committee. For more than a quarter of a cen-
tury he was an elder. The large bell in the steeple of the
church bears the following inscription : "Donated by Joel
Dreibelbis to the German Reformed Congregation of St.
Peter's Church in Richmond township, in 1904." Mr.
Dreibelbis has also been liberal in his contributions to the
United Evangelical Church in Virginville.

In October, 1853, Mr. Dreibelbis married Elizabeth
Deisher, daughter of Jacob and Annie (Schwoyer) Deish-
er, and this union was blessed with the following children :
Jefferson m. Ella Miller; Jacob D. m. Hettie A. Leiby;
Maria m. Lewis Adam; Lovina m. John Schucker; Stella
m. Lewis Gehret; Louisa died in 1879, aged thirteen years;
George A.; and Miss Hannah Blandina, who ministers to
the comfort and happiness of her aged father. In politics
Mr. Dreibelbis is a Democrat, and has seldom missed an
election. He served Richmond township as an auditor,
school director, supervisor, and justice of the peace. In
the latter office he served twenty-five years, and was re-
lieved by his son, George A., who was elected to the office.
Mr. Joel Dreibelbis was a real peace-maker, and settled
many _ estates. He was frequently called upon to. act as
guardian, assignee, administrator, executor and trustee.
He is a most valued and esteemed citizen of his township.

(V) Jacob D. Dreibelbis was born Oct. 1, 1855, in Rich-
•mond township, near Virginville, son of Joel Dreibelbis.
He spent his boyhood days on his father's farm, and his
education was obtained in the schools of his native town-



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 135 of 227)