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 136 of 227)
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ship, which he attended until attaining the age of eighteen
years. On April 8, 1883, Mr. Dreibelbis married Hettie
Ann Leiby, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Mengel)
Leiby, the former a stone cutter and farmer in Perry town-
ship. To this union were born children as follows: a
son died in infancy; and Joel P.

Mr. Dreibelbis is the owner of the well-known summer
resort, "Ontelaunee House," which he built in 1902 on
the banks of the Ontelaunee river, opposite Virginville
The hotel is located on an elevation, this affording a
grand view of the adjoining country. The Ontelaunee
is met at Virginville by Sacony Creek, and the best fishing
in this part of the State is to be found at this place-
black bass, trout, suckers, cat-fish, sun-fish and eels abound-
ing. The fresh, pure air, the fine fishing and boating and
the restful quiet are very beneficial, and afford great in-
ducement to residents of cities in the eastern part of the
State. The hotel is large and commodious and the build-
ing modern and substantial. Mr. Dreibelbis lives retired
with his family on one of his farms near Virginville, which
he bought at public sale in 1893, and which was formerly
owned by his uncle Simon, deceased. In his dealings
with his fellow men he is upright and honorable, and Is
a citizen he is public-spirited. In politics Mr. Dreibelbis is
a Democrat. He and his family attend St. Peter's Re-
formed Church, of which he has served as trustee

(VI) Joel P. Dreibelbis, son of Jacob D., was born
Nov. 7, 1883, on his grandfather's homestead. He as-



BIOGRAPHICAL



501



Sisted his father in farming till 1901-1902, when he at-
tended the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown,
Pa. In 1903 he attended Schissler's College of Business
at Norristown, Pa. In 1908 he bought the Kutz-
town Bottling Works, and moving to Kutztown has since
been engaged in their operation. On Oct. 1, 1904 he mar-
ried Hattie S. Moyer, daughter of William Moyer, of
Greenwich township, and they have one daughter, Helen
Annie.

(V) George A. Deeibelbis, son of Joel, was born on
the Richmond township homestead Oct. 13, 1868. He
was reared upon the farm and educated in the public
schools of his native township and later in the Keystone
State Normal school at Kutztown. He began farming on
the homestead in the spring of 1891, and has since pursued
that vocation with much success. He has a valuable
collection of farm machinery, and is thoroughly up-to-date
in his methods. On Aug. 3, 1908, he suffered a severe loss
in the burning of his barn with the year's crops. He
owns the Virginville store property, which he purchased
at public sale in the fall of 1907. He was one of the
organizers of the Kutztown Fair Association in 1905, and

" has since served as a director. In 1909 he was elected
a director of the First National Bank of Kutztown. He
has been prominently identified with the Democratic party,
and since 1904 has been a justice of the peace, being re-
elected in the spring of 1909 without opposition. He was

' school director of Richmond township three years, and
was secretary of the board; and he has been delegate to a
number of county conventions. He attends the Reading
market once a week, having stand No. 113 in the Penn
street market. Mr. Dreibelbis married Clara E. Dreibel-
bis, daughter of Dr. David and Emma (Schultz) Dreibel-
bis, Jr. To this union have been born children as fol-
lows: David S., born May 17, 1890; Daniel P., Dec. 14,
1891; Stella E., May 6, 1894; Simon J., Jan. 24, 1896; Paul
J., Dec. 21, 1897 (died April 23, 1898) ; Sallie H., Feb.

21, 1901; George P., Sept. 25, 1904; Anna Blandina, June
26, 1906; and William J., July 22, 1908. Mr. and Mrs.
Dreibelbis have also an adopted daughter, Maude Bucks
Dreibelbis, who has been with them since she was seven
years old.

(III) John Dreibelbis, son of Jacob, was born July 22,
1787, and died Oct. 8, 1847. He was a farmer in Green-
wich township, owning the farm now the property of his
grandson, Dr. Perry K. Dreibelbis, of Dreibelbis Station,
along the Berks & Lehigh Railroad. He married Susanna
Kershner, born Feb. 27, 1789, died March 29, 1866, and
both are buried at the New Jerusalem (Dunkel's) Church
near Dreibelbis Station. Their children were : Hannah,
born April 12, 1812, died April 17, 1894, m. John Heinly,
and had a daughter — Susan; Manasses, born May 30, 1813,
is mentioned below; Ephraim, born Feb. 1, 1815, died
April 6, 1887, m. Mary Fister, and had two children —
George and Sophia; Diana, born Jan. 14, 1817, died Oct.
5, 1877, m. Peter Fister, and had children — David, Peter,
Annie and Susan; Susan, born June 22, 1818, died March

22, 1889, m. Benjamin Hager, and had two children —
Lucy Ann and Henry; Elizabeth, born Nov. 15, 1820, died
Oct. 10, 1828; Catherine (Kate), born Aug. 24, 1823, died
March 30, 1903, m. Jeremiah Dietrich, and had children —
John, Susan, Mary, Joel, Perry, Jeremiah and Catherine
(twins) and Samuel; Esther, born May 8, 1826, died July
1, 1822, m. Daniel Kershner, and had children — Conrad,
Daniel, Franklin, Susan and Maria; and J^nni, born Aug.
8, 1827, died Nov. 8, 1896, m. Moses P. pietrich, and had

.children — Wilson, D. Elenious, Henrietta, Cyrus and
Maria.

(IV) Manasses Dreibelbis, son of John, was born May
30, 1813, and died Dec. 15, 1876. He married Christiana
Kline, born Nov. 16, 1817, died Feb. 2, 1901. To them were
born children as follows : Solomon, born Dec. 2, 1841, died
in December, 1900, m. Issabella Balthaser, and had child-
ren — Monroe, Cyrus, Callamanna, Emma, Mary, Calvin,
Aaron, Anson and Franklin; Susan Elizabeth, born Aug.
13, 1843, m. Amos Heinly, and had children— George,
Manasses, Cyrus, Richard, Annie, Florenda, Mary, Elwood,



Elmer, Hannah and Angelina; John P., born May 19, 1848,
died Sept. 10, 1880, m. Lucy Ann Waxwood, and had child-
ren — Elenious, Amandus, Florenda and Alice Christina;
Jacob, born Dec. 23, 1850, died unmarried Aug. 24, 1868;
Hannah Sophia, born May 15, 1854, died unmarried June
30, 1860; Thomas K., born Oct. 12, 1855, died unmarried
Oct. 13, 1890; Perry K. is mentioned below; Tilina Chris-
tina, born April 29, 1860, died May 26, 1861; Franklin
Manasses (twin to Tilina Christina), born April 29, 1860,
died May 27, 1861; Catherine, born June 1, 1861, m. George
P. Dietrich, and had children — Samuel, Carrie and Willie.
The parents and their children are buried at the New
Jerusalem (Dunkel's) Church.

Mrs. Manasses Dreibelbis was a daughter of Peter
Kline, born Aug. 16, 1784, died Aug. 6, 1809. He married
Elizabeth Altenderfer, born May 3, 1791, died Oct. 15,
1844.

Her grandfather, Peter Kline, Esq., was born Feb. 15,
1760, and died Nov. 27, 1836. He married Eva Margaret
Lichty, born Jan. 21, 1765, died May 9, 1831. All these
ancestors are buried at title New Jerusalem (Dunkel's)
Church.

(V) Perry K. Dreibelbis, son of Manasses, was born in
Greenwich township, Feb. 7, 1858. He completed the
course in the public schools of his native township, and
took his course in veterinary surgery at the Ontario Vet-
erinary College, Toronto, Canada, from which he was
graduated March 27, 1885. Returning to his native town-
ship, he opened an office and began practice, which he
has since followed, having built up a large practice over an
extensive territory. In addition he is interested in farm-
ing, owning a fine place of ninety fertile acres, upon
which substantial and commodious buildings have been
erected. The farm was formerly the property of his
father and grandfather. He is a man of high standing
iii his section, respected throughout the neighborhood,
and for nineteen and one-half years served as postmaster
at Driebelbis Station, which was named after his father.
The postoffice was discontinued, and an R. F. D. route
was established from Virginville in 1905. He is a member
of the Reformed Church, and has for many years been
secretary of the consistory. On Dec. 28, 1878, Dr. Dreibel-
bis married Miss Louisa A. Seip, daughter of John B. and
Maria (Reigelman) Seip, of Lenhartsville. They have no
children.



(Ill) Samuel Dreibelbis, son of Jacob, was born in
Richmond township in 1792, and died in Venango county.
Pa., where he is buried, in 1876. He was twice married,
first to a Close, and second to a Rahn of Leesport.
Before his removal from Berks county he conducted a
mercantile and feed store along the canal at Shoemakers-
ville. Sometime after his marriage to Miss Rahn, wlio
had relatives and acquaintances in Venango county, he
moved to that place and there carried on farming. He
held the office of justice of the peace for some years.
Six of his children were born of his first marriage. His
children were : Moses, Esther, Sarah, Charles, Samuel,
Jacob and Catharine.



(III) William Dreibelbis, son of Jacob and Mary
Magdalena, was born Nov. 14, 1793, and died Sept. 18,
1869. He was a merchant at the old stand in Virginville
for thirteen years. Later he removed to his farm, which
consisted of eighty acres, and he lived thereon until 1839,
in the latter year purchasing the tract which is now owned
by his son Gustavus, and there engaged in the hotel busi-
ness, in connection with farming, imtil his death. He
married Susanna Miller, daughter of George Miller, and
their children were: Stephen; Susanna m. William Seidel;
William; Hannah m. John Wanner; Jacob; George'; Mary
m. William Merkel ; Charles J. ; Eliza m. William Hotten-
stein ; and Gustavus.

(IV) Gustavus Dreibelbis, son of William and Susan-
na, was born March 27, 1846, on the premises he occupied
at the time of his death, March 12, 1909. He spent his
early days in Virginville, and was educated in the schools
there. In 1867 he purchased the seventy-nine acres of



502



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



excellent land from his father, and there he made his
home. On this farm is located Dragon's Cave, a natural
curiosity, which has been explored several hundred feet,
and which is supposed to be a continuation of Crystal
Cave, several miles away, which is visited by many each
year, having been explored for several miles. He was
a director in the Windsor Mutual Fire Insurance Com-
pany, and from 1894 was secretary of this well-known
institution. He conducted the "Virginville Hotel," which
has been a hotel stand since the American Revolution, and
was an able business man, honest in his dealings and
highly esteemed. In 1871 he married Mary, daughter
of William S. and Esther (Dunkel) Merkel, of Richmond
township, and their children are: William, of Reading;
Howard.; Harry; Alice m. William J. Hein, of Virgin-
ville; Annie m. Maurice Mertz, of Fleetwood; Johnj of
Moselem; Frederick M., of Virginville; Sallie M.; and
George Logan, of Kutztown.



(III) Dr. David Dreibelbis, son of Jacob, was born
on his father's farm in Richmond township March 14,
1803, and died Nov. 9, 1886. He was a member of the
Evangelical Association. In February, 1835, Mr. Dreibel-
bis married Sarah Lesher, born in Greenwich township,
April 11, 1806, daughter of Isaac and Maria Lesher. She
died May 9, 1872, the mother of the following family :
(1) Esther (1825-1902) m. Reuben Ely. (3) Sarah (1829-
1S78) m. John Kutz. (3) Reuben (1833-1874) was a
minister of the Evangelical Association at Brownstown
from 1867 until his death. He m. Mary Fisher, and had
children: Andora, Magdalena and Dr. David F. (Prac-
tising at Lehighton). (4) Dr. David L. (1842-1872) grad-
uated from Hahnemann Medical College in 1865, and had
a large practice in Reading. He m. Emma Shultz, and
their daughter Clara E. m. George A. Dreibelbis. He m.
(second) Annie Ely and their daughter, Luella, is the
widow of Prof. H. C. Mohn. who died in 1908. (5) Eva
Ruffina (1843-1873) died single. (6) Dr. Samuel L. (7)
Elizabeth (1852-1904) m. (first) Albert Miller, and (sec-
ond) Alfred Schappell.

(IV) Dr. Samuel L. Dreibelbis, of Reading, son of
David and Sarah (Lesher), was born March 25, 1848.
Pie was educated in the common schools and later at
Union Seminary at New Berlin, in Union county, from
which he was graduated in 1868. After that he attended
the Lebanon Valley College, Annville, one year, and then
entered Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, from
which he graduated in 1871. He has since been practis-
ing very successfully in Reading. The Doctor is ,j Repub-
lican in politics. He has been prominently identified with
the First United Evangelical Church at Reading, and
was the superintendent of the Sunday-school eighteen
years, and class leader fourteen years. He has been pres-
ident of the Berks County Sabbath-school Association
six years, and has done excellent work in church and
school. He was actively interested in the organization
of the Homeopathic Plospital in 1891, and has since then
been its obstetrician. On Nov. 28, 1872, Dr. Dreibelbis
married Louisa Ely, daughter of Rev. Solomon and Eliza-
beth (Merkel) Ely, and to this union were born four
children: Lloyd died in infancy; Laura m. Dr. Robert E.
Strasser, of Reading; Bertha m. Howard A. Lewis; Dr.
S. Leon, who graduated from the Reading high school,
class of 1903, and in 1907 from Hahnemann Medical Col-
lege, Philadelphia, assists his father in his large practice
in Reading, and makes a specialty of surgery, and is most
successful.

JOHN K. ROTHERMEL. In every age and country,
whether in a crisis or in times of peace, there is gener-
ally one person who looms up into special prominence,
and such constitute the famous men in history. The
country districts are no exception to this social exper-
ience ; they also have (heir men of local eminence and



such a man, it may be truly said, was John K. Rother-
mel in the community in which he lived. This local dis-
tinction he had not sought; he was neither ambitious
nor proud; he did not want ofBce; he preferred to be a
private citizen. It was his character and dealings with
others that account for this estimation.

John K. Rothermel was born in Maiden-creek town-
ship. Berks Co., Pa., Oct. 5, 1833, and died Feb. 27, 1908,
on his farm in Richmond township, although his home
was then at Fleetwood, Pa., and was buried at the Beck-
er's St. Peter's Church, of which church he was a mem-
ber and one of the founders. He was a son of Daniel
and Esther (Koller) Rothermel, of German descent, a
lineal descendant of John Rothermel — who died on the
ocean leaving his orphan children to settle (1730) in
the New World— and of the fifth generation of the Rother-
mel family in America: 1st generation John, 2d Peter, 3d
Peter, 4th Daniel, 5th John K., the subject of this sketch.
On May 20, 1861, he married Susanna Elizabeth, eldest
daughter of Benjamin B. and Sarah (Kindt) Peters.
His family consisted of the following children: Ira P.,
Sallie, John P., Esther, Sue, Florence and Harry P.'
His widow and children survived him. Ira married A
Lizzie Grim, of Kutztown; children, John. Daniel and
Catharine. John married Sallie K. Bechtel,' of Reading;
children, Julia and Leonard. Esther married Jacob H.
Rothermel, of Fleetwood. Sue married Rev. M L Her-
bein, of Reading, a minister of the Reformed Church
Harry married Mabel Pryor of Langhorne. Pa., and they
have one child, Dorothy.

He was medium sized, strong and wiry, active and
quick. Pie had hazel eyes and black hair. His strong-
est traits of character were strict integrity and his desire
to see justice done to all especially to the poor. He was
no admirer of competition in business, believed in a
chance for everyone, and a "square deal" for all He
was a good neighbor and highly respected. His greatest
weakness of character was his impatience and irritability
with what he considered wrong. Although not a reader
having received but nine months' schooling, yet he was
a man of originality and independence of thought

He was an advocate of education, good schools,' and
good teachers, a director of schools of Richmond town-
ship for severa terms, first in his community to intro-
duce the English language into a German family as best
he could He sent his children to the Normal school
at Kutztown where the daughters graduated and the
sons prepared for college. Ira is a graduate of Lafay-
ette College, and a successful attorney-at-law, residing
m Reading. Sallie is a teacher in Fleetwood. John is
a graduate_ of the Medical Department, University of
Pennsy vania. Esther and Sue were at one time teach-
ers. Florence, a graduate of Dickinson College, is now
a teacher in the Camden (N, J.) high school, and was
formerly a teacher in the State Normal School at Kutz-
town. Harry a graduate of Lafayette College, is now
professor in the Boys' high school, Philadelphia, and was
the organizer and first principal of the Shoemakersville
(Pa.) high school.

He was a farmer by occupation all his life. When
Hie Northampton Iron Company opened their mines in
Richmond township, he was chosen as their superintend-
ent as long as the mines were operated He was also
treasurer of Rothermel & Co.'s iron ore mines in Maiden-
creek township, but he did not relinquish farming while
thus engaged. He owned and operated several very large
farms and_ was unusually successful.

In politics he placed citizenship above partisanshi,p.
Although religiously inclined and a member of the Ger-
man Reformed Church, his religion was not of the emo-
■jonal kind. His Christianitv was practical — loving hi'
neighbor as himself, his God above all else, contribut-
ing liberally but unostentatiously to both church and
charity.



BIOGRAPHICAL



503



GEORGE A. RAVEL, a merchant of Reading, is a
native of that city, born there Dec. 28, 1865, son of George
Ravel, Sr. The father still resides in Reading, but has
retired after his long years of labor as an iron-molder.

George A. Ravel was sent first to the public schools,
and then to a parochial one, but at the age of twelve
his attendance stopped altogether, and he went to work-
as an errand boy for Jonathan Mould. He worked for him
from 1877 to 1887, and was promoted a number of times
acting as clerk in various departments, and finally being
put in charge of the domestic department. After a year
spent in Chicago, still in the mercantile line, Mr. Ravel
returned to Reading, and on Oct. 13, 1888, opened a store
of his own in a private house located at No. 113 North
Ninth street. He began with a room twenty by thirty
feet, but two years later he built an addition twenty by
forty-five feet, and remained in those quarters until
1897. He then bought the property and erected a store
building 20 x 100 feet, four stories in height, where he
carries a full line of notions, dry goods and ladies' and
gentlemen's furnishings. He employs twelve clerks, and
has a constantly increasing volume of trade. In 1903,
as he felt his health failing somewhat from overwork.
Mr. Ravel took Mr. E. P. Fidler in as a partner, thus
lightening his own responsibilities. Mr. Ravel has also
gone extensively into building operations, lately, and dur-
ing the past four years has erected forty buildings in
different parts of the city. He is a most capable busi-
ness man, with unusually good judgment, and ranks
among the most successful merchants of the city.

The wife chosen by Mr. Ravel was Miss Annie M.
Bitting, daughter of Jacob and Sallie Bitting, both now
deceased. Three sons have been born to this union,
Harry, Walter and George, all attending school. The
family reside at No. 1357 Eckert avenue. Mr. Ravel is a
member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, but his wife be-
longs to the Reformed Church.

DR. FRANKLIN B. NICE, physician at Hamburg
for upward of fifty years, was born in Hummelstown,
Dauphin Co., Pa., Aug. 26, 1830, and during his in-
fancy his. parents removed to Hamburg, Berks county.
After a thorough preparatory education he studied medi-
cine under the direction of his father, and then attend-
ed a regular course of lectures in the Jefferson Medical
College, from which he was graduated in 1851. After
practising for a while under his father, he established
an office of his own at Hamburg, and continued in active
and very successful practice until shortly before his de-
cease, June 29, 1905. For several terms he officiated as
councilman (1876-77-78) and also as a school controller;
but his increasing practice, which extended into the coun-
try for many miles, prevented him from doing any con-
siderable work in municipal, social or political affairs.
He was recognized as a superior and devoted physician;
and the large number of accounts unpaid at his decease
evidenced his sympathetic and generous nature. Finan-
cial matter"! engaged much of his attention, and in their
management he was very successful.

Dr. Nice was married to Elizabeth Heffner, daughter
of Daniel Heffner, a farmer of Perry township, and
Elizabeth Graeff, his wife (who was a daughter of Ab-
raham Graeflf, a farmer of Maiden-creek township), and
they had two children : Benjamin H., also a practising
physician at Hamburg from 1877 to his decease in 1907;
and Lizzie, who was married to Rev. J. G. Neff, a na-
tive of Kutztown. who for a number of years served as
pastor of the Reformed church at Shenandoah and Ban-
gor; he departed from this life Aug. 23, 1906.

Dr. Benjamin Reinard Nice, father of Franklin B.,
was a successful physician with a large practice at Ham-
burg arid vicinity for thirty years, from 1832 to 1862.
He was married to Margaret Brugler, by whom he had
ten children : John, Milton, Franklin. George, Walter,
Caroline (who married Enoch KoUer), Margaret (who
married John Sunday), Anna Mary (who married Rev.
Frederick Kolb, a well-known Presbyterfen minister), and



two children who died in their infancy. Of this family
Mrs. Anna Mary Kolb, now eighty odd years old, is still
living at Alburtis, Pa. She is the mother of Rev. John
Kolb, a noted Presbyterian missionary, who is doing
a noble work in South America.

John Nice, the grandfather, was born in 1767 in Fred-
erick township, Montgomery Co., Pa., and died in 1844.
He married Hannah, daughter of David Reinard, who
was born in 1768 and died in 1817.

Anthony Nice, the great-grandfather, emigrated with
his brother Cornelius from Wales, and settled ' in Phil-
adelphia county. Pa., where he carried on farming un-
til his decease, at Nicetown, a village named after him.

A. N. KISSINGER, manager and owner of the ex-
tensive storage, auction and flour house at Nos. 31-35
South Eighth street, as well as president and general
manager, of the well-known Farmers' Market House,
at Reading, Berks Co., Pa., is rated as one of the most
.substantial and progressive business men of the Key-
stone State. He is a son of Washington S. and Eliza-
beth (Yost) Kissinger, born Dec. 5, 1850.

Washington S. Kissinger was accounted a man of un-
usual natural force and broad business capacity. After
receiving but an imperfect common school education, at
Reading^ he became employed, while still quite young,
on the canal near that city. Later he located in Read-
ing, and in time became prominent in the lime and sand
bus.iness, building also the famous Farmers' Market
House. At the time of his death in November, 1873, he
was not only an acknowledged business leader and a pro-
gressive citizen, but the owner and operator of several
valuable farms in Berks county. His wife, Elizabeth
Yost, died in Reading at the age of seventy-three. Their
children, besides A. N., were : Harry A., a wholesale-
grain dealer at Birdsboro, Berks county; George W.,.
formerly a sign painter and skilled mechanic; Mrs. Mary
A. Dick, widow of the late Henry D. Dick, of No. 106;
South Ninth street, Reading; and Mrs. Susan Dubson>
living near Blandon, Berks county.

A. N. Kissinger received a common school education
in the schools of Berks county, locating at Reading, Ap-
ril 1, 1870, and entering the employ of C. S. Birch & Co.
In the following year he established a clothing and shoe
business, later he and his father also associating them-
selves at the same location. No. 929 Penn street, in the
flour and feed business, continuing together until the
death of the latter in 1873. The Market House business
was founded May 10, 1871, and July 16, 1871, A. N. Kiss-
inger assumed its active management. He has contin-
ued in that capacity ever since, has been one of the own-
ers, and the manager and treasurer of the Farmers'
Market House. Under Mr. Kissinger's management ex-
tensive and important improvements have been made in
the original house erected by his father, so that he now
as president, general manager and one of the largest
stockholders controls the largest and most complete mar-



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 136 of 227)