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 147 of 227)
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office as his clerk. This was in January, 1882. In 1885
he took a position with the ■ Pennsylvania Steel Company,
at Steelton, as clerk to the manager of their commissary
department, and in the experience he secured in that line
in the following four years, lies the secret of his success
in the hotel business at a later period. Coming to Read-
ing about this time, he was variously employed for sever-
al years, in different service for the railroads. The point
to be' noticed is that he was always "employed" and to
this his advancement and prosperity may be ascribed. In
the spring of 1904, he became proprietor of the "Mansion
House," having previously served there as clerk and mana-
ger, and it is needless to add that these experiences well
equipped him for the fuller responsibilities. It is but fair
to state that under the present liberal regime the house
has come into much favor. The hotel is complete in every
detail, thoroughly accoutered, and spacious enough for the
accommodation of 150 guests. Whether by endowment or
acquisition, no matter, we find in Mr. Umble a man of
pleasing manners and personality, to which no doubt his
popularity is attributable. To the prince, pilgrim or peas-
- ant, the same welcome and hospitality meted to one, is
measured to all, when within the doors where "Joe" Umble
presides.

Mr. Umble is a prominent member of several of the most
popular fraternal and club organizations of the city, among
them being the Elks, the Masons, the Berkshire Country
Club, Wyomissing Club, and he is quite active in the State
Association of Hotel Men. He is a Republican in politics,
though he takes little part in such matters, aside from
casting his vote on 'election day.

GLYNDEUR HICKMAN, D. D. S., a prominent den-
tist of Reading, was born in Chester county. Pa., Sept. 6,
1863, son of John W. and Elizabeth (Lamborn) Hickman,
and a grandson of Benjamin and Julia A. (McFarland)
Hickman. Benjamin Hickman located at Brag Hill, Ches-
ter county, and there cultivated a farm all of his life.

Dr. Glyndeur Hickman was educated in the schools of
Chester county, and then entered the office of Dr. R. L.
McClellan, where he studied dentistry for five years. In
1885 he entered the Philadelphia Dental College, and
graduated therefrom in ]886. Two years later he located
in Reading, and here he has resided ever since, engaged in
the practice of his chosen profession. His well appointed
offices are located at No. 35 South Fifth street. Dr. Hick-
man is a member of the I. 0. R. M. and the Royal Arca-
num.

In 1887 Dr. Hickman married Mary E. Thompson, and
two children have been bom to this union, namely : J. Earl
and Roy L. The Doctor is a member of the Baptist
Church. In his political affiliations he is connected with
the Republican party.



HOWARD ERASMUS GERHARDT, dealer in pianos
and all kinds of musical instruments, was born Jan. 18,
1879, in Millersburg, Bethel P. O., Berks county, Pa., son
of Dr. Erasmus and Agnes (Weber) Gerhart.

The Gerhardt family is of German descent, and Mr. How-
ard E. Gerhardt has succeeded in tracing his line back to
(I) Christian Gerhardt, Burgomaster of Grafenhaininchen,
Saxony, Germany, who died July 11, 1637. His wife was



Anna Dobler, daughter of Gallus Dobler, Court Chaplain
at Dresden. They became the parents of a son, Paul.

(II) Paul Gerhardt, son of Christian and Anna (Dob-
ler, was born March 12, 1607, and he died June 7, 1676.
On Feb. 11, 1655, he married Anna Maria Berthold, daugh-
ter of Andrew Berthold. Paul Gerhardt was known as a
religious poet, the Luther of the seventeenth century
hymnology.

(III) Paul Frederick Gerhardt, son of Paul and Anna
Maria (Berthold), was born Aug. 2, 1662.

(IV) Christopher Gerhardt, son of Paul Frederick, died
Aug. 15, 1736.

(V) William Gerhardt was a son of Christopher.
■(VI) Frederick Gerhardt, son of William, was born

March 26, 1714, in Langenselbold, Dukedom of Isenberg,
Germany. He emigrated to America prior to the Revolu-
tion. On Jan. 22, 1737, he married Elizabeth Fisher, daugh-
ter of Henry Fisher. With their son John Peter, born Oct.
28, 1737, they emigrated to America, landing at Philadel-
phia, Aug. 27,. 1739, having made the voyage on the ship
"Samuel," Hugh Percy, commander. Shortly after their
arrival in Philadelphia, the wife died, and Frederick Ger-
hardt located in Heidelberg township, Berks county, where,
Feb. 14, 1740, he married a widow, Barbara Rieger. On
Dec. 1, 1768, he purchased of George Brendle, a tract of
seventy acres of land in Heidelberg township. By trade
he was a wagoner. His parents had been members of the
German Reformed church, but through a sermon
preached in 1742 by the Rev. Mr. Ruettner, a Moravian
minister, he became a member of Reed's Church, and subse-
quently he became one of the principal founders of the
Moravian Brethren in North Heidelberg township, known
as the Herrn Hiiter Church. As an elder of the Mora-
vian Church he attended the first public convention of the
Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, held Aug. 29, 1743.
He died Nov. 30, 1779, and is buried in the cemetery ad-
joining the church. Through the efforts of a grandson,
John K. Gerhardt, a monument was erected by subscrip-
tion. Frederick Gerhardt was the father of ten children,
namely: (1) John Peter Gerhart, born Oct. 2§, 1737, m.

Elizabeth , and had one child, Andreas (born Oct.

13, 1791, died Oct. 31. 1791), and was buried at Host
Church. (2) Conrad Gerhard, born Nov. 22, 1740, was
engaged in mercantile pursuits in Heidelberg township
until 1808, when he retired from business and located in
Philadelphia. In 1768 he m. Rachael Rogaert Ysselstein,
and they had seven children — Rachael, Elizabeth, William,
Mary, John, Elonora and Thomas. In 1815 he m. (second)
Elizabeth Jungmann, daughter of Rev. George Jungmann.
There were no children by this marriage. (3) EHzabeth
Gerhardt was born Sept. 29, 1743. (4) Frederick Ger-
hard, born Sept. 23, 1744, m. Susanna Dundor, daughter
of Jacob and Anna INIaria Dundor. In his will, dated
Nov. 30, 1822, he mentions three sons and two daughters :
Frederick (1780-1845) m. Magdalena Troutman, and had
eleven children; Jacob, who m. (first) a Miss Leiss, had
two sons, and (second) Catharine Magdalena Schock,
and had eight children ; John died in 1852 ; Anna Maria
m. Jacob Ebling; and Barbara m. a Mr. Strauss, and died
in 1840. (5) Johannes Gerhart, born Feb. 12, 1747, lo-
cated in the neighborhood of Swamp Church in Lancaster
county, and there he and his wife. Susanna Rhoads, are
buried. They had nine children: Peter, John, Frederick.
Jacob, William, Susannah, Barbara, Christian and a daugh-
ter who married a Mr. Bixler. (6) Anna Maria Gerhart,
born June 13, 1750. m. Jacob Meahlaesen. (7) Jacob was
born Jan 1, 1752. (8) Anthony Gerhart, born Feb. 10,
1754, died in infancy, (9) Anna Rosina Gerhart, born
Oct. 29, 1755, m. Henry Burkholder, and had children:
Daniel, Peter, Jacob, Elizabeth, Samuel, Sally and Maria,
(10) Catharine Gerhart was born Oct, 2, 1758,

(VII) Jacob Gerhart, son of Frederick by his second
marriage, was born Jan. 1, 1752. By his father's will
dated Nov. 26, 1779, he received the old homestead. He
was a private in Capt. Ferdinand Ritter's Company, 6th
Battalion, Berks county militia, commanded by Joseph
Hiester in the service of the United States in 1780. He
died Dec. 13, 1808, and both he and his wife Elizabeth



BIOGRAPHICAL



535



Potteiger (born May 7, 1752, died April 25, 1824, daugh-
ter of Martin and Susanna Potteiger), are buried at the
Eck Church. They had three sons: (1) Martin Gerhart,
born April 6, 1776, died Dec. 7, 1826, m. MargUeretha Leiss,
and had four children : Isaac m. Catharine Klopp, and
had four children, Kate (m. George Zimmerman), Emma
(m. Nick Hunter, and had two sons, Edward and Fred-
erick), Rebecca (m. George J. Ecker't) and Elizabeth;
John Gerhart; Elizabeth Gerhart; and Elias Gerhart. (2)
Frederick, born April 13, 1781, is mentioned below. (3)
John (born April 11, 1789, died March 20, 1827) m.
Anna Maria Klopp (born . March 5, 1791, died Aug. 28,
1824) and had eight children: John K., Elias, Isaac, Maria,
Joel, Nathan, Elizabeth and Esther.

(VIII) Frederick Gerhart, second son of Jacob and
Elizabeth (Potteiger), was born April 13, 1781, and died
March 20, 1823. He m. Elizabeth Kalbach (born Sept. 17,
1786, died April 15, 1817). They had six children: (1)
John Gerhart, born May 24, 1805, died Sept. 5, 1868.
He was twice married. By his first wife, Kate Meiser
(1805-1837), his children were: (a) Mary Gerhart m.
(first) John Filbert, and had children — ^Henry R. Filbert
(m. Amelia Kalbach, and has eight children, Ella, Anna,
Nathaniel, Millie, Mary, Ida, Carrie and Charles) ; John
Filbert (m. Emma Stump) ; Agnes Filbert (m. James
Wagner) ; and Emma Filbert. Mary m. (second) Sam-
uel Dundore, and to this marriage were born four child-
ren : Clara Dundore (m. Clayton Schaeffer) ; James Dun-
dore (m. Ella Himmelberger) ; Thomas Dundore (m.
Catharine Burkey) ; and Darius Dundore (m. Kate Hies-
ter). (b) Lizzie Gerhart m. Adam Stump, and their son
Levi m. Emma Seidel. (c) Levi M. Gerhart, captain of
Company G, 151st P. V. I., in the Civil war, was mustered
into service Nov. 1, 1862. He m. Elmira Lamb, and their
children were: Beulah, Sallie, James and Kate, (d) Kate
Gerhart m. Adam Stoudt, and had three children, Ida,
Kate and Levi. John Gerhart m. for his second wife,
Martha SchuU (1810-1878), and they had five children:
Ellen; Louise m. John Keener, and had three children —
Adam, Ella and Sarah; Amelia m. Amos Graul, and had
one child; Emma Victoria; and John, (s) Mary Ger-
hart (born July 4, 1807, died Dec. 21, 1894, m. George
Beyerle (born March 19, 1804, died Sept. 20, 1875) and
their children were: (a) Dr. Wellington G. Beyerle m.
(first) Anna Hines, and had eight children: George; Flora
Grace (m. Milton H. Fahreiibach, and has two children,
Russel Fahrenbach and Sarah Fahrenbach) ; Charles ; Wil-
liam Percival (m. Hannah Peters, and has a daughter,
Helen) ; Louis Allen (m. Gertrude Heffner, and has a son,
Wellington); Ida E.; Walter Henry; and Anna Matilda
(deceased). Dr. Beyerle m. (second) Arabella Daniels,
and they have one child, John Franklin, (b) Mary Ann
Beyerle m. Rev. Franklin H. Schwartz, a Reformed
pastor (no children), (c) Percival Beyerle was twice
married^ but no records can be found, (d) William
Beyerle m. Valeria Lesher, and had three children: Ida
(m. Edward J. Krause, and has two children — Walter
Krause and Alfred Krause) ; Alice ; and William, (e) Sybil-
la Beyerle m. Dr. John Brobst, and has six children : Laura
(m. Newton Harrison, and has four children, Edward, John,
Robert and Laura) ; Mary ; Minnie ; William (m. Victoria
Grunwell, and has three children, Thomas, Robert and
Marshall); Lillie; and Jennie. (3) Isaac Gerhart, born
Nov. 26, 1808, is mentioned farther on. (4) Elizabeth
Gerhart (born May 22, 1811, died April 4, 1880) m.
George Miller (born July 34, 1806, died March 22, 1888).
Their children were : Kate, nl. to Nathaniel Kalbach ; and
Lizzie, m. to Abraham 'S. Groh. (5) Ephraim Gerhart,
born Feb. 24, 1816, -died in infancy. (6) Gabriel Gerhart,
born Feb. 24, 1816 (twin to Ephraim), died December,
1891. He m. Catharine Gruber (born Feb. 1, 1815, died
March 24, 1865), and their children were: (a) Emma S.
Gerhart m. John G. Royer, and had two children : Kate
(m. Jeremiah Hartman, and had one child, Edith Hart-
man) ; and Liza Jane, (b) Amelia Gerhart m. Adam D.
Stump, and had children : Laura. Robert, Lillie, Florence,
Harvey and Allen, (c) Elmira Gerhart m. Monroe Zerbe,
and had children : Charles ; Laura (m. John Bohn) ; Ed-



ward; Lovey; and Cora, (d) Jonathan, (e) Amos Ger-
hart died unmarried.

(IX) Isaac Gerhart, son of Frederick and Elizabeth
(Kalbach), was born Nov. 26, 1808, and died July 12, 1894.
He m. Elizabeth Kurr (born July 3, 1813, died May 9,
1898). Their six children were: (1) Emma Gerhart, born
May 24, 1836, m. Charles H. Zieber (born Aug. 13, 1840).
(2) Ephraim J. Gerhart, born July 1, 1837, m. Mary Brown
(born Feb. 11, 1845) and has children: Lizzie m. John
Lindenmuth; Emma, born Feb. 24, 1871, m. Wall Piefer;
Charles W., born Feb. 19, 1873, and died Aug. 1, 1873;
and Paul W., born June 13, 1882. (3) Minnie Gerhart
was born Nov. 11, 1839. (4) Erasmus, born June 25,
1843, is mentioned in full below. (5) Meranda Gerhart
and (6) Celissia Gerhart died in infancy.

Mrs. Elizabeth (Kurr) Gerhart, wife of Isaac, was
born July 3, 1813, and died May 9, 1893. She was a daugh-
ter of John Kurr (died March 38, 1863, aged eighty-one)
and Mary (Rehrer) (died Sept. 9, 1875, aged eighty-one),
a granddaughter of Thomas Kurr (who died Nov. 28,
1832, aged seventy-eight years) and of Godfried Rehrer
(State Representative m 1819 and 1822, who died Sept. 33,
1823), and great-granddaughter of Thomas Kurr, Sr.
(Deacon in 1757 of the AdtoUohoe or German Evangelical
Lutheran Church, Rehrersburg) and of Godfrey Rehrer
(who in 1768' had a tavern in Rehrersburg, where in 1789
was the voting place of the 4th District).

(X) Erasmus Gerhart, M. D., born June 35, 1842, son
of Isaac and Elizabeth (Kurr), died July 27, 1896. He
was enrolled Oct. 7, 1858, as a student in Swatara College
at Jonestown, and on Nov. 3, 1859, at Freeland Seminary,
Perkiomen Bridge, Montgomery county. On Oct 10,
1864, he entered the Medical Department of the University^
of Pennsylvania, and graduated therefrom March 14,'
1867, with the degree of Doctorem in Arte Medica. On
Dec. 24, 1875, he m. Agnes Weber (born Feb. 13, 1853),
and their children were : Gertrude Charlotte, born July
1, 1877, m. Hunter Henninger, and has two children,
Marian and John Hunter; Howard Erasmus, born Jan.
18, 1879, is the subject proper -of this sketch; Ida May,
born April 20, 1881, m. Harry E. German, and has one
son, Robert German (born Dec. 24, 1906) ; John Isaac,
born May 30, 1884; and Sophia Elizabeth and Florence
Grace (twins), born Jan. 19, 1893.

Mrs. Agnes (Weber) Gerhart was born Feb. 13, 1853,
a daughter of John and Sophia (Snyder) Weber. John
Wieber was born in 1833, and died in 1900, son of John
Adam Weber (born July 13, 1788, died March 12, 1849)
and his wife Juliana Bordner (born May 31, 1791, died
Sept. 26, 1869), the latter a daughter of Ensign Jacob
Bordner (born 1754, died 1837, Capt. Lesher's Company,
Col. Patton's Battalion, Berks county militia, 1776) and
his wife Anna Maria Brosz (1761-1839). John Adam
Weber was a son of Henry Weber. (1758-1799) and Mar-
garet (Meyer) Weber, the latter a daughter of Court Mar-
tial Man Valentine Meyer, of the 6th Company, 6th Bat-
talion, 1777. Henry Weber was a son of John Henry
Weber (born May 38, 1737, died April 10, 1815) and his
wife Elizabeth Filbert (1741-1813).

Mrs. Sophia (Snyder) Weber, mother of Mrs. Agn^s
(Weber) Gerhart, was born in 1830, and died in 1896. She
was a daughter of Peter Snyder (1803-1860) and his wife
Eva Rieth (1806-1871). Peter Snyder was a son of George
Snyder, Jr., and his wife Katharine Koebe, and a grand-
son of George Snyder, Sr. (the maiden name of whose
wife was Rehrer). Eva (Rieth) Snyder was a daugh-
ter of J. Adam Rieth (born 1756, died 1815, a fifer in
Capt. Furrer's Company, Col. Patton's Battalion) and
Juliana Braun (1766-1836) and a granddaughter of Leon-
hard Rieth and Elizabeth Lebo, who donated between
seven and eight acres of land for church and burial pur-
poses, upon which Reed's church was built.

(XI) Howard Erasmus Gerhardt attended the district
schools of Bethel township, and later he taught school for
one term in Brecknock to-(vnship. In the fall of 1897 he
enrolled as a student at the Inter-State Commercial- Col-
lege, Reading, graduating the following spring. He se-
cured a position with C. H. Lichty as stenographer, and



536



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



later was given charge of the Musical Merchandise and
Sheet Music department, where he laid the foundation of
his successful career. On May 19, 1903, he opened a musi-
cal merchandise and sheet music store of his own at No.
757 Penn street, and in March, 1904, owing to the devel-
opment of the business he was compelled to procure
larger quarters, moving to No. 809 Penn street. At this
time he formed a partnership with Bertrand H. Farr, un-
der the firm name of Farr & Gerhardt, and they were
the sole representatives for the Aeolian line of instru-
ments, including the Weber, Steck. Wheelock and Stuy-
vesant Pianola pianos, the Metrostyle and Themodist
Pianolas, the Orchestrelle, and the Sohmer, Wegman,
Estey and Becker Bros, pianos. They carried a complete
line of musical merchandise, sheet music, Edison and
Victor machines and records, Regina music boxes, etc.
Mr. Gerhardt retired from the firm on March 10, 1909,
and on Aug. 30, 1909, he opened a complete music store
of his own at No. 843 Penn street. He controls several
well-known piano and player piano agencies, and car-
ries a full line of musical merchandise.

Mr. Gerhardt was received into full communion in the
Salem Reformed Church, Bethel, by the rite of confirma-
tion administered by Rev. Henry Hilbish, and a few yeajrs
later he was transferred by certificate to the Second Re-
formed Church, Reading. In his political faith he is a
stanch Republican. He is a member of the followmg fra-
ternal organizations : Mt. Penn Council, No. 495, Royal
Arcanum; Reading Tent. No. 426, Knights of the Macca-
bees; Penn Primary, No. 2, Prudent Patricians of Pompeii;
and Progressive Americans, No. 1. He is eligible for mem-
bership in the Sons of the American Revolution through
five different lines, as follows : Jacob Gerhard, a private
in Capt. Ferdinand Ritter's Company. 6th Battalion, Berks
county mihtia, in 1780; Capt. Henry Weaver, commissioned
captain of the 6th Company, 6th Battalion, Berks county
militia. May 17, 1777, Henry Spycker, colonel; Court Mar-
tial Man Valentine Meyer, 6th Company, 6th Battalion,
May 17, 1777; Ensign Jacob Bortner (or Bordner), Capt.
Fisher's Company, Col. Patton's Battalion, Berks county
militia, Aug. 27, 1776; and Adam Read (or Rieth), fifer
in Capt. Michael Furrer's Company, Col. John Patton's
Battalion. Berks county militia, stationed at South Amboy,
Sept. 5, 1776.

On Nov. 28. 1901, Mr. Gerhardt was married to Re-
becca Rosella Seyfert, who was born July 5, 1885, daugh-
ter of Charles Robert and Amelia Catharine (Frentzel)
Seyfert. To this union have been born two children :
Thelma Seyfert, born May 26. 1903 ; and Reginald Robert,
born March 7, 1906, who died five days later.

Mrs. Rebecca Rosella (Seyfert) Gerhardt is descended
through her father from Johann Schwank, Mayor of the
City of Fulda, Germany, in 1732, who was born at Neisse,
in Schlesien, Germany, and whose son, George Schwank,
also became mayor of Fulda. John C. Schwank, great-
grandfather of Mrs. Gerhardt, was born in Heinfelt, Ger-
many, in 1796, and died March 14, 1864. Fie m. Elizabeth
Schall (also a native of Heinfelt), and their daughter,
Catharine Schwank, m. Robert Charles Seyfert, Band-
master of the Regimental Band in the German array from
the Dukedom of Waldeck, at the Siege of Paris, and later
Bandmaster at the Castle at Arolson, the capital of the
Dukedom of Waldeck. Charles Robert Seyfert, son of
Bandmaster Robert Charles and father of Mrs. (jerhardt,
was born Oct. 19, 1854, and he m. Amelia Catharine Frent-
zel, born Jan. 4. 1860, daughter of Frederick William and
Margaret (Snyder) Frentzel. Frederick William Frentzel
was born Dec. 24, 1804, at Spielberg, Kreis Hanau, Court
Vagtersbag, in Kurhessen, Germany, and died April 18,
1881. Mrs. Margaret (Snyder) Frentzel was born Feb.
14, 1830, daughter of Philip Snyder (born March, 1802,
and emigrated from the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany),
and his wife Mary Anna Diller, and granddaughter of
Adam Snyder and his wife Anna Kline.

MATTHAN HARBSTER, former president of the
Reading Hardware Company, and a business man who
has been prominently identified with some of Reading's
most successful enterprises, was born May 18, 1831, in



Lehigh county. Pa., son of Henry and Mary (Buchgr)
Harbster.

The Harbster family originated in Germany and was
founded in Pennsylvania by John Harbster, grandfather
of Matthan. At an early age he came to Berks county,
later resided in Montgomery and still later in Lehigh,
where he died.

Henry Harbster, son of John, was born in Berks
county. His trade was that of blacksmith, but he was
also something of a machinist and realized an ample for-
tune from the manufacture and sale of cofifee-mills. He
married Mary Bucher, and they had seven children, Mat-
than being the fourth in the order of birth. The parents
both died in 1860.

Matthan Harbster had what might be termed meager
educational opportunities, as he was but a lad when he
began to contribute to his own support, engaging in boat-
ing on the Schuylkill and Juniata canals. After several
years' experience in this hard life, his brother William
took him into his blacksmith shop, at Hamburg, to learn
the trade, where he also learned coach-making. When
he had completed the necessary apprenticeship, he worked
as a journeyman, as was the custom then, until )851, when
the three brothers, Matthan, William and John, became
associated in business, and in a little shop at the foot of
South Sixth street, under the firm name of Harbster
Brothers, was founded the immense business which is now
known all over the United States as the Reading Hardware
Company. All three brothers were practical business men,
energetic and industrious, and the business was profitable
from the start. Its expansion soon made larger accom-
modations necessary, and in 1858 the concern was re-or-
ganized, William M. Griscom coming into the partnership
and the • firm name becoming then Harbster Brothers &
Co., which continued until 1862, when the present name
was adopted. Of the original partners only Matthan re-
mains, the other two brothers being deceased.

The Reading Hardware Company conducts one of the
largest manufacturing enterprises in the United States
and employs 2,500 men in turning out the various products
and attending to the vigorous pushing of the business at
different points. The works, which cover an area exceed-
ing five acres, comprise substantial brick buildings, three
and four stories in height, all especially constructed for
the operations carried on in them, and all equipped writh
all the modern conveniences known in the business. The
buildings include large storage warehouses for the com-
pleted articles of manufacture, shops where the artistic
finishing is done by expert workmen, a japanning build-
ing, lock and general hardware buildings, shops for drill-
ing, plating, bronzing and finishing, machine shop, butt
and screw factories, and all of these have been completely
furnished with the best mechanical appliances, serving
to reduce expense while turning out better and better
products each year. The Reading Hardware Company has
branch stores in such centers as New York, Philadelphia
and Chicago. Its traveling representatives cover the
whole country and are welcomed wherever the excellence
of the products of this concern has been tested. The
firm makes a specialty of all kinds of builders' hardware,
and special hardware furnishings for the most up-to-
date buildings.

In addition to his important duties in connection with this
immense industry, Mr. Harbster for a time was president
of the Reading Screw Company, whose works were lo-
cated inNorristown; was formerly president of the Mon-
tello Brick and Clay Company, and is also president of
the Reading Land and Improvement Company. He is on
the directing boards of the following institutions: Farm-
ers' National Bank, Reading; Reading City Passenger
Railroad ; and Reading and Columbia Railroad. In former
years he was connected with a number of the city's infant
industries and his sound advice and financial backing have
done much to make many of them the successful enter-
prises they are today. For sixteen years he served as
water commissioner of Reading, and for several years was
a member of the school board.

Mr. Harbster married Aug. 12, 1856, Susan Bingham,
who died in 1900. She was survived by four children,



BIOGRAPHICAL



537



namely: Ida C, JoHn E., Ellen Kate and Nellie G. Mr.
Harbster was married (second) in 1904 to Mrs. Mary
Hetrich. •

In political sentiment Mr. Harbster is a stanch Repub-
lican. He has never accepted office outside of the city,
but as a member of the council at various times has



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 147 of 227)