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 139 of 227)
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ship for three months each winter, and this constituted
a term. During the rest of the winter months he assisted
his father by threshing with the flail and chopping wood.
In 1865 he learned the tailoring trade from John Stauf-
fer of Bechtelsville, and this he followed for fifteen years
at Boyertown, to which place he came in 1871. In 1888
he engaged in the general merchandise business on Phil-
adelphia avenue, where he has since continued, noW
controlling an excellent trade not only from the people
of Boyertown, but the territory contiguous to it. He
carries at all times a full line of general merchandise,
and because of his enormous amount of business and
his superior connections, he is enabled to offer specially
attractive inducements. In addition to his other inter-
ests Mr. Weller built three houses at Boyertown in 1890,
which are very handsome residences.

In 1874 Mr. Weiler married Miss Emma Bahr, daugh-
ter of Joshua and Elizabeth (Shauer) Bahr, of Boyer-
town, and they have two children: Mamie (.m. Thomas
Gabel, of Boyertown) and Miss Olivia. Mr. Weller and
his family are consistent members of the Reformed Church
of the Good Shepherd of Boyertown, where he has served
as deacon and elder. Formerly he was a member of
Hill Church. In 1874 when the church at Boyertown was
built, Mr. Weller collected $3,500 for its erection, and
rendered the church very valuable assistance, receiving
the heartfelt thanks of the congregation. He narrowly
escaped with his life at the time of the Boyertown Opera
House fire Jan. 13, 1908. being the last to leave the build-
ing alive ; he was confined to the house for months with
the burns received, and has never fully regained his
healtTi. Mr. Weller is a large-souled, capable, energetic
man, whose capacity for business and executive force
is remarkable, as he demonstrated when he carried through
the erectaon of the new church home, and the raising
of the monument to the Weller family. Without him
neither would have been accomplished. He is never con-
tent with merely subscribing to any undertaking, but gives
largely of his time and personal attention. In his busi-
ness relations he is affable, courteous, prompt in meet-
ing all obligations, and in every way has proven himself
the right man in the right place whenever his services
have been required to carry on anything, whether of
public or private interest.

(V) Daniel Weller, brother of Joel H., had children:
Charles, Willie, Warren and Paul (deceased).

(VI) Charles Weller, son of Daniel, has a son (VII)
Earl — a representative in the seventh generation of the
family in Anierica.

JOHN A. HIESTER. alderman of the Sixth ward,
Reading, and one of that city's most prominent and in-
fluential citizens, is descended from the Hiesters who
have been prominent in Pennsylvania affairs for so many
years.

John Hiester, grandfather of John A., was a farmer
of Berks county, as was also his son, Benneville, the
father of the alderman. Benneville Hiester died in 1857,
aged fortv-two years. His wife was Sarah Brown, daugh-
ter of Daniel Brown, a well known farmer of Berks
county. They had six children : Henry died in 1866, aged
■ ineteen years; Daniel F. is a carpenter; Amanda mar-
ried Isaac Menviller, a farmer of Berks county; Sarah
m. James Keller, o^ Kansas; Emma m. Joshua A. Schle-
gel, of Topeka, Kans. ; and John A.

Jfohn A. Hiester was born in Cumru (now Spring)
township, Berks county, Sept. 21, 1846, and was educated
in the public schools. When nearly twelve years old his
father died, and, after working on a farm for a time,
young Hiester went to Monroe county, where he had
charge of a sawmill. Tiring of this he located in North
Heidelberg and became a farmer. His friends elected
him judge of election as well as a member of the
school board. In 1883 Mr. Hiester removed to Reading
and established a livery and boarding stable, and this
business, still owned and managed by him, has grown to
large proportions. Mr. Hiester served efficiently as a



director of the poor for nine years, so efficiently, indeed,
that he was elected alderman of the Sixth ward of
Reading, on the Democratic ticket (although the ward
was largely Republican) in February, 1903. While a resi-
dent of Bernville, in 1876, Mr. Hiester was elected chief
burgess of the place although only thirty years old at
the time.

Mr. Hiester was married in 1873, to Catherine E. Weber,
daughter of Z. Weber, a carpenter of Bernville. Ten
children have been born to this union : Charles, who died
at the age of three years; Mary M. has been employed
in the U. S. Mint Service at Philadelphia since 1894;
Martha m. Edwin Laruiii, a clerk at the Philadelphia and
Reading freight station at Reading; John C. is a carpenter
of Reading; Vernon was mustered out of the army in the
summer of 1904, after serving three years, two years of
which were spent in the Philippine Islands, where he was
made provost sergeant; James D. and Herbert are at
Reading; Eleanor is at home; and Arthur and Catherine
are at school.

Alderman Hiester belongs to Mt. Penn Lodge No. 65,
K. of P.; K. G. E., No. 49; the Home Circle; the Liter-
ary Society; Schuylkill Fire Company, No. 12. and to the
uniformed rank of this company. In his religious affilia-
tions he is connected with the Reformed Church. The
alderman has two offices, one being at No. 10 North Third
street, and the other at No. 20, the same street.

WILLIAM F. McLEAN, one of the most nrominent
farmers of Berks County, Pa., and a leading citizen in
the affairs of Heidelberg township, owns a tine farm of
135 acres one mile east of Womelsdorf. on the Berks and
Dauphin pike. He was born Oct. 17, 1854, in Philadelphia,
Pa., son of Daniel J. and Adeline F. (Futcher) McLean.

The great-grandfather of William F. McLean, who was
the progenitor of the family in this country, came here in
middle life from Aberdeen, Scotland, and was a member
of the noted military McLean family.. He was married
and had children at the time of his location in America.

William McLean, son of the progenitor, was born Feb.
15, 1778, at Philadelphia, and died Jan. 20, 1S44. He
married Sarah Douglass, born Sept. 10, 1783, who died at
Philadelphia, Dec. 31. 1843, and both are buried at the
old Philadelphia cemetery, Mr. McLean was a jeweler all
his life, and was very successful. He and his wife had
these children : Elizabeth, born Oct. 3, 1801 ; Andrew, born
Feb. 23, 1803; Martha, Alay 25, 1804; John D., Feb. 28,
1806; William S., June 3, 1808; James V., Jan. '29, 1810;
Margaret, Jan. 22, 1812; Samuel G.. Oct. 6, 1813; Robert
M.. Oct. 4, 1815; Col. George P., July 13, 1817 (was
colonel of the 88th Pa. V. I.); Daniel J., July 14, 1819;
Jonathan D., May 4, 1831 (Lieut.-Col. of the 88th Reg.
Pa. V. I.) ; Joseph A., May 32, 1833; and Marv E., March
28, 1826. Lieut. Col. Joseph A. McLean was killed at
the head of his regiment while leading a charge on the
Confederate masked battery at the second "battle of
Bull Run, and his body was never recovered, resting
in an unknown grave on the battlefield. ]\IcLean Post,
G. .A. R., No. 16, was named in this hero's honor.

Daniel J. McLean, father of William F., was born at
Philadelphia, July 14, 1S19, and died May 30, 1880, in the
place now occupied by his son William F. Lie was a watch
case maker by trade, which he followed for many vears
at the old stand at Dock and Walnut streets, Philadelphia,
under the firm name of McLean & Harper. Much of the
concern's business was done in the South, and at the
outbreak of the Civil war the partners sustained much
loss, and finally mutually agreed to sever their business
connections. Mr. Harper, however, continued the busi-
ness on a smaller scale, Mr. McLean also served in the
militia of emergency men who were mustered in at
Philadelphia during the raid of the Confederates into the
State of Pennsylvania. Mr, McLean was active in the
ranks of the Republican party, serving for a number of
vears in the city council from the Twentieth ward, and
being highway commissioner. He was on the presentation
committee when the city of Philadelphia awarded General
McClellan a gold medal for bravery; participated in the



BIOGRAPHICAL



511



Philadelphia Council's reception committee, June 9, 1860,
when the first Japanese embassy visited the United States,
and was on a similar committee, Feb. 31, 1861, when Pres-
ident-elect Abraham Lincoln vis.ited Philadelphia. He is
buried at the Union cemetery, Womelsdorf.

Mr. McLean was married to Adeline F. Futcher, born
Oct. 17, 1834, who died Aug. 38, 1893, and was buried at
Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, daughter of William
and Catherine (Talbert) Futcher. One child was born
to Mr. and Mrs. McLean: William F.

William F. McLean was educated in the public
and pay schools of Philadelphia which he left at the
age of nineteen years, his last schooling being in the
Philadelphia High School for Boys. In the spring of
1873 his parents removed to the old Manderbach property,
opposite Womelsdorf station, in Berks county, this removal
being made on account of the failing health of Mr. Mc-
Leari's father. Here William F. McLean taught in the
public schools for three terms, and at the end of this
time engaged in the poultry business, raising fine thorough-
bred poultry, which he sold in different parts of the
country, disposing of their eggs all over the United States.
This he followed with much success until the spring of
1876, when he was appointed to the position of turn-stile
keeper at the entrance gate to the exhibition of the Phila-
delphia Centennial, serving with ability until the end of
the exposition, by which time he had been promoted on
merit to a lieutenancy. His duties completed here, Mr.
McLean returned to poultry raising which he continued
until his father-in-law, William Scheetz's death, in 1884,
when he purchased one of the latter's farms at appraise-
ment and since that time has been giving his entire atten-
tion to the cultivation thereof. He breeds thoroughbred
Jersey cattle and has also made numerous importations
from England of Scotch collie dogs. His farm consists
of 135 acres of which forty acres is woodland located on
the South Mountain, and it is very highly cultivated. Mr.
McLean is a practical agriculturist and has his farm
furnished with the best and most modern farm implements,
and in the spring of 1897 he built an addition tO' his resi-
dence. He operates a dairy, the product of which he
sells to a creamery. In politics Mr. McLean is a Repub-
lican, but in local matters votes independently.

On Nov. 30, 1873, Mr. McLean was married to Mary
Agnes Scheetz, daughter of William and Henrietta CDep-
pen) Scheetz, and to this union four sons have been born:
William S. m. Reta, daughter of John and Isabella Filbert,
and resides at Robesonia, and has charge oi the hospital
department of the State Asylum at Wernersville ; Walter
D. m. Catherine Scheetz, works for his father and resides
in the tenant house ; Robert ■ D. resides at home ; and
Edgar P. died in infancy.

WILLIAM E. FISHER, one of the leading young
attorneys of Reading, is descended from an ancestry
who were sturdy yeomen in Germany prior to the days
of the American Revolution. They emigrated to this
country before that great struggle, and were leading
farmers in Berks county during its continuance, and
indeed to the present time.

John Fisher, great-grandfather of William E., was a
soldier of the war of 1812, and participated in^ the bat-
tle of Baltimore, in Aueust, 1814. He was engaged in
boating on the Schuylkill and Union canals. He rear-
ed of a family of four sons and one daughter, one of
whom, Daniel Fisher, was the grandfather of th«! sub-
ject of this sketch.

Daniel Fisher was also engaged in boating up to the
time of his marriage with Sarah Gruber, daughter of
John Adam Gruber, of Heidelberg township, after which
he was engaged in farming up to the time of his death.
He reared a family of two sons, John W. Fisher, born
Nov. 9, 5844: arid Albert A. Fi.sher. born June 4, 1852.

John W. Fisher (father of William E.) in his early
days worked on a farm, and was a student at Freeland
Seminary, now Ursinus College, Collegeville, Montgom-
ery Co., Pa. At the age of seventeen years he began
teaching school, making his first teacher's certificate



under John S. Ermentrout, county superintendent of
Berks county. He taught school for twenty-five years
in all : The first term in Centre township, and the bal-
ance in North Heidelberg.

At the age of twenty-one years, he was appointed jus-
tice of the peace of North Heidelberg township and
was re-elected for nine successive terms, holding that of-
fice up to the time of his removal from North Heidel-
berg township in 1907. In 1864, Mr. Fisher married El-
len M. Lamni, the youngest daughter of Benjamin Lamm,
now deceased, who for many years was an influential
and _ well-to-do farmer of North Heidelberg township.
Benjamin Lamm's father was John Lamm, and he had
four sons and four daughters. Benjamin Lamm was
niarried to Lydia Ruth, daughter of Frederifck Ruth, of
Lower Heidelberg township, and he had four sons and
four daughters. To John W. Fisher and Ellen M., his
wife, were born twelve children, as follows : Adelaide
E., who died March 25, 1881, aged sixteen years; Lillie A.,
m. to Nelson Brossman, of North Heidelberg township;
Emma V., m. to Henry G. Stump, of Heidelberg town-
ship; SalHe L., m. to Michael A. Fox, of Jefferson town-
ship; Heela M.,"who died Aug. 11, 1878, aged six years;
Ellen Nora, at home; Diana R., m. to William Alvin
Christman of Womelsdorf ; William E. ; John C, a Luth-
eran clergyman of Germantown, Philadelphia; Cora C.,
m. to Lloyd K. Minnich, of Robesonia ; Anna G., married
to Howard E. Brown, of Robesonia. and F. May, married
to Herbert C. .Schell, of Oley.

William E. Fisher was born in North Heidelberg town-
ship, July 11, 1878, and passed his youth on the farm,
developiiig a good physique and laying the foundation
for his future education. He attended the country
schools in the winter and assisted on his father's farm
in the summer. At the age of fifteen years he attend-
ed the Bernville Grammar School for five months. At
the age of sixteen years he successfully passed the teach-
ers' examination under William M. Zechman, county
superintendent of Berks countv, and during the winter
of 1894 and 1895 he taught Lengel's school in North
Heidelberg township. In the spring of 1895, he entered
the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, as a
student, and subsequently was a student there during the
fall and spring, when not teaching school. During the
winter of 1895 and 1896 he taught the Forge School in
North Heidelberg township, and in the spring of 1897
he eraduated from the Keystone State Normal School
at Kutztown. For a time thereafter, Mr. Fisher contin-
ued his studies under private instruction, giving partic-
ular attention to Latin and mathematics. On Nov. 6,
1897, he successfully passed the preliminary examina-
tion as a student at law, and registered as a student in
the office of Ermentrout & Ruhl, and for the following '
three years he studied law under the preceptorship of
Christian H. Ruhl, one of the foremost practitioners at
the Reading Bar. During the winter of 1897 arid 1898
he taught school at Newmanstown, Lebanon county, in
connection with his legal studies. During the winter of
1898 and 1899 he taught in the public schools of Robe-
sonia. On Nov. 12, 1900. he was admitted to practice
law in all the courts of Berks county, and immediately
thereafter opened an office at No. 38 North Sixth street,'''
where he practised his nrofession until March 35, 1908,
when he removed his office to No. 541 Court street. On
Nov. 11. 1903, on motion of his preceptor. Christian H.
Ruhl. he was admitted to practice in the Superior court
of Pennsylvania, and on Jan. 5, 1903, on motion of Wil-
liam Kerper Stevens, at present a Judge of the court
of Common Pless of Berks county, he was admitted to
practise in the Sunreme Court of the State. Since his
admission to the Bar he has enjoyed a large practice,
Drircipally in the Orphans' Court of Berks county, where
he has been engaged in the settlement of a large num-
ber of decedents' estates.

_ On Oct. 1. 5904, he, in connection with his law prac-
tice, engaged in the building business, and since that
time has erected in the city of Reading one hundred and



513



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



ninety-five houses. Mr. Fisher has the confidence of
his clients and those that are doing business with him
as a builder.

In 1896, Mr. Fisher married Minnie Ellen, daughter
of John E. Moyer, a retired farmer of Robesonia, Berks
county. They have two children, Earl Eugene and Mil-
dred May. They reside at No. 145 West Douglass
street, Reading, Pa. Mr. Fisher has always taken an
active part in the political life of the county, engaging
in every campaign since he arrived at voting age. He
is a Democrat, and was solicitor during 1903 for the board
of directors of the poor of Berks county. He is a mem-
ber of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Read-
ing, Pa., and a vestryman of that church since Eas-
ter, 1900, and takes an active part in all that pertains
to church life. Mr. Fisher is a member of the follow-
ing Masonic organizations : St. John's Lodge, No. 435,
F. & A. M. ; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M. ; Read-
ing Commandery, No. 43, K. T. ; Reading Lodge of
Perfection, A. A. S. R. ; Philadelphia Consistory, A. A.
S. R.; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and of Pro-
gressive Lodge No. 470, L 0. O. F., of Reading, Penn-
sylvania.

LOUIS RICHARDS, law writer and member of the Bar
of Berks county. Pa., was born May 6, 1843, at Gloucester
Furnace, Atlantic Co., N. J., of which his father, John Rich-
ards, was proprietor. The latter, a native of Berks county,
came of a vigorous stock, of Welsh descent, his paternal
ancestors having settled in Amity township as early as
1718. He was for many years of his long and active life
engaged in the iron manufacturing business, principally in
the State of New Jersey, also representing Gloucester
county in the Assembly in 1836 and 1837. From 1848 to
1854 he resided at Mauch Chunk, Pa., as proprietor of
the Carbon Iron Works at that place, and in the latter year
retired to a handsome country seat known as "Stowe," in
the vicinity of Pottstown, Montgomery county, where he
died Nov. 39, 1871, at the patriarchal age of eighty-eight.
The subject of this sketch was his youngest son, and only
child by his second wife, Louisa (Silvers) Richards, a
native of Monmouth county, N. J., descended upon the
maternal side from the well-known Rogers family of that
section, and, in the third generation, from Henry Lawes
Luttrell, second Earl of Carhampton. Employed in early
life as an instructor of youth, she was distinguished for
her mental culture, marked individuality of character, and
social tastes and accomplishments. Her decease occurred
Jan. 36. 1880, when well advanced in her eighty-first year.

Mr. Richards received his preliminary education in the
public schools of Mauch Chunk, and subsequently took an
academical course, attending the West Jersey Collegiate
School at Mount Holly, N. J., the Hill School at Pottstown,
and the Upland Normal Institute at Chester, Pa. In No-
vember, 1861, he came to reside at Reading, commenced the
study of the law under the direction of his cousin, John
S. Richards, Esq., a highly talented and widely-known
practitioner at the Berks county Bar, and was admitted to
practice Jan. 16, 1865. While a student he served in the
Pennsylvania Militia, during the invasions of the State by
the Confederate armies in 1863 and 1863.

Having an early inclination to write, he contributed
largely to the press, both before and after his admission
to the Bar, furnishing incidentally accurate reports of all
the cases tried in the county courts. In 1869 he married,
and engaged in journalism, becoming a partner of the firm
of J. Knabb & Co., in the publication of the Reading Times
and Dispatch and the Berks and Schuylkill Journal, the
daily and weekly organs of the Republican party in Berks.
In 1871 he resold his interest to the firm, and resumed
the practice of the law. lA 1875 he purchased his fath-
er's estate at "Stowe," which he occasionally occupied
until 1883, when he disposed of it to the Pottstown Iron
Company, which erected thereon a very large manufactur-
ing plant.

For many years Mr. Richards devoted much attention
to municipal law, and the municipal affairs of his adopted
city. While serving as a member of its Councils in 1875-



1876 he personally revised, amended and codified its local
laws, and published in the latter year the first Digest of
the Statutes and Ordinances of Reading. Of this work
he subsequently compiled three other and more elaborate
■editions, containing many valuable notes and citations of
judicial decisions. In December, 1876, he was selected
as Secretary of the State Municipal Commission, ap-
pointed by Governor Hartranft to devise a uniform plan
for the better government of the cities of Pennsylvania.
Of this body, which was composed of eleven eminent
lawyers and citizens of the State, the Hon. Butler B.
Strang was Chairman. The Commission presented its
final report to the Legislature in January, 1878, and the
principal features of the code which it submitted were
subsequently incorporated in the Act of June 1, 1885,
for the government of the city of Philadelphia, known as
the "Bullitt Bill." As a member of committees appointed
by the Inter-Municipal Conventions of 1886 and 1888,
Mr. Richards was deputed to prepare the original drafts
of the Acts of May 24, 1887, and May 23, 1889, the latter
constituting the present frame of government of cities of
the third class in Pennsylvania. In these several capacities
he rendered much valuable service to the people of the
State, and acquired a wide reputation as a skillful drafts-
man of municipal statutes. He is a charter member of the
Pennsylvania Bar Association, organized in 1895, serving
for some years past upon its committee on Legal Biog-
raphy. In the interest of law reform he devised and
secured the passage by the Legislature of the Act of July
9, 1897, "declaring the constructiob of words in a deed,
will or other instrument, importing a failure of issue."

In 1889, in association with the Hon. G. A. Endlich,
Law Judge of the Berks district, then also a practitioner
at the Bar, he was the author of a treatise upon the "Rights
and Liabilities of Married Women in Pennsylvania," de-
voted principally to the exposition of the Married Persons'
Property Act of 1887, which greatly enlarged the con-
tractual powers of femes covert. In 1895 he issued, in
two volumes, the "Pennsylvania Formi Book," containing
precedents in the various branches of law practice — a
work in general use by the profession throughout the State
—and, in 1898, a "Digest of Acts of Assembly for the
Government of Cities of the Third Class," which was
followed by two successive editions. His other published
productions include numerous law pamphlets, historical
and genealogical sketches, and reports and addresses upon
various subjects of professional or general interest. Pro-
foundly devoted to antiquarian researches, he has since
1903 been President of the Historical Society of Berks
County, giving to its affairs much attention and intelli-
gent direction. He is also a member of the Historical So-
ciety of Pennsylvania, and an occasional contributor to its
Magazine of History and Biography. His only business
connection is with the Charles Evans Cemetery Com-
pany, of which he has been for the past fifteen years
the efficient secretary and treasurer.

Distinguished for his public spirit, he has employed
his time and talents in the promotion of every movement
in the line of progress, good government and reform.
In politics Mr. Richards is a Republican, and in the Presi-
dential campaign of 1884 was the candidate of the minor-
ity party in the Berks district for Congress against Dan-
iel Ermentrout, the sitting member, receiving 9,405 votes.
His political views are, however, strongly tempered with
the spirit of independence, which inclines to subordinate
mere partisan considerations to the superior obligations
of individual good citizenship.

As a member of the Bar he is recognized as a highly
reputable, accurate and painstaking practitioner, though
It is in the capacity of a writer, of marked vigor and
skill, that he is best known to the public. His literary



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 139 of 227)