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 148 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 148 of 227)
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demonstrated his public spirit and shown his interest in
the welfare of his fellow-citizens. He is a Mason of long
standing, and for many years has been a member of
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

L. HOWARD GEHRIS, an enterprising and ener-
getic young business man of Reading, Pa., was born in
1877, in Fleetwood, Berks county, son of Nathan Henry
and Mary A. (Spang) Gehris, a full sketch of whom
will be found elsewhere,

Mr. Gehris attended the common schools of his native
borough, and on coming to Reading, entered the Car-
roll Institute, after leaving which he went to New York
City. Here he entered the law office of Alexander Thain,
with whom he remained three years, later taking a course
at the New York University . Night School. On com-
pleting his studies, Mr. Gehris secured a position as trav-
eling representative for the New York house of The
Purdue, Frederick & Co., having his headquarters at
Boston, and covering the Eastern States. Later, he en-
gaged with another large New York house, traveling
throughout the Middle Atlantic States, after which he en-
gaged with the well-known Mellin's Food Co., being,
for about three years, that company's New York City
representative. At the end of this time Mr. Gehris em-
barked in the stove business on Fulton street, New York,
continuing there until his return to Reading, when he
engaged with A. B. Sausser in the stove and tinning
business, at No. 326 North Sixth street, under the firm
name of A. B. Sausser & Co., which partnership continued
from August 1, 1901, until March 30, 1906. After the lat-
ter date Mr. Gehris was in business on his own account
until April 15, 1907, when the Gehris-Herbine Company at
Nos. 45-47 Reed street was incorporated for the manu-
facture of fancy hosiery, of which company Mr. Gehris is
secretary and treasurer. He resides at No. 216 North
Sixth street, Reading.

Mr. Gehris married Edith V. R. Leinbach, daughter
of the late Joseph A. Leinbach, senior member of the
well-known firm of Leinbach & Bros., clothiers of Read-
ing. Mr. and Mrs. Gehris have two daughters, Made-
line Louise' and Mary Alice. In politics Mr. Gehris is
a member of the Republican party. At the present time,
he is representing his ward in the lower branch of coun-
cils. His religious faith makes him a member of St.
Paul's Memorial Reformed Church. Mr. Gehris' rise in
the business world has been very rapid. He is honest
and reliable and has the gift of business ability that has
made his success assured. He and his wife are greatly es-
teemed in their community.

EDWIN A. BOYER, chorister and organist of Maxa-
tawny Zion's Church, and a popular music teacher as well
as a' composer, was born in Maxatawny township, near
Kutztown, Pa., Aug. 28, 1871, a son of Abraham and
Lucy Ann (Youse) Boyer, grandson of Abraham Boyer
and great-grandson of Philip Boyer.

(I) Philip Boyer was a native of Germany, and came
to America before he was married. Meeting his future
wife dn ship board, a pretty romance followed and the
young couple were married in Philadelphia, but later re-
moved to Rockland, where they settled. He is buried at
Mertz in the same township. The four children born
to himself and wife were : Jacob moved to Union coun-
ty. Pa.; Abraham; William lived in Rockland township;
Lydia m. Jacob Wanner of Richmond.

(II) Abraham Boyer, Sr., was born in Rockland town-
ship, in 1791, and died in 1849. aged fifty-eight years, and
is buried at Mertz church. By trade he was a weaver
and butcher,_ following both callings according to the
season, and in addition he owned a fine farm in Rock-
land township. He married Mary Welder, a daughter
of Philip Welder, and she died at the age of eighty-five —
many years after her husband. Their children were :



Solomon died unmarried ; Hettie, deceased, m. Daniel
Heist of Rockland; Sarah m. Benjamin Ruppert; Cather-
ine m. Daniel Heist; Betsy died young; Benneville; David;
Daniel; and Abraham.

(III) Abraham Boyer, Jr., was born in Maxatawny
township Jan. 15, 1837, and for many years was a farm-
er of Maxatawny township, but during eight years he
lived near Breinigsville ; at Monterey for fourteen years,
and in 1897 he retired to Schofers where he now lives,
acting as janitor for the Maxatawny Zion's Church. On
June 28, 1857, he married Lucy Ann Youse, daughter
of John and Barbara (Noll) Youse, and the following
children were born to them: Charles, of Tatamy, Pa.;
Louisa m. Henry Ebert, of Monterey; Solomon is of
Lehighton, Pa. ; Jeremiah is of Lyons, Pa. ; Prof. Edwin A. ;
Alice m. Jeremiah B. Trexler, of Breinigsville; Amanda
died young.

(IV) Edwin A. Boyer worked upon the farm for about
fifteen years, and attended the local schools, but when
only eighteen he began to cultivate his musical talents,
under the instruction of Prof. C. A. Marks of Allen-
town. He is a musician of marked ability, and plays all
instruments equally well, although he makes a specialty
of the piano, pipe organ and violin. A number of years
ago he began to give instruction in music, and since
1902 he has devoted all of his attention to his beloved
profession, now having a large class, numbering about
forty-five, gathered from Upper Berks and Western Lehigh
counties. He is the organist of the Maxatawny Zion's
church, and the Mertztown Union church, having been
elected to these positions in 1900, and prior to that, from
1894 to 1900, he held a similar position with the Seiber-
lingville Union church. Since 1894 Prof. Boyer has sung
at 294 funerals, his services being in great demand upon
such occasions, as well as those of a less serious char-
acter. He leads the singing at both the churches be-
fore mentioned, alternating Sundays, and the choirs in
both are excellent owing to his skill as an instructor.
Altogether he has played at 1,325 services. He is a com-
poser of both instrumental and vocal music, among his
compositions being the Boyer's Reunion March, in 1908,
which was played by Unger's Band, of Reading, at
Black Bear Park.

Fraternally Mr. Boyer is a member of the Jr. O. U. A.
M., Pioneer Council No. 380, New Smithville. He and
his family are consistent members of the Lutheran con-
gregation of Maxatawny Zion's Church.

On April 25, 1895, Mr. Boyer married Lizzie A. Smith,
daughteir of George L. Smith, a complete sketch of whom
appears elsewhere.

GEORGE SOLOMON SCHLEGEL, D. D.~ S. Among
the prominent young professional men of Reading, Pa.,
may be mentioned George Solomon Schlegel, a success-
ful dental practitioner of that city. Solomon Schlegel,
his paternal grandfather, was a resident of Fleetwood, Pa.,
while his maternal grandfather, Simon Kline, was the
pioneer brick manufacturer of Reading. Edmund Schlegel,
father of George S., was a farmer, now living in Reading.
He married Mary M. Kline, and their only child was
George Solomon.

George S. Schlegel was born in Cumru township, Berks
county, April 9, 1879, and was educated in the public
schools, graduating from high school in 1897. He then at-
tended the dental department of the University of Penn-
sylvania, and in 1900 graduated a doctor of dental sur-
gery. He came at once to Reading, locating at No. 147
North Eighth street, where he has since enjoyed a large
and lucrative practice. Dr. Schlegel belongs to Delta
Sigma Delta fraternity of the United States, and to the
Auxiliary Chapter, Philadelphia; to the Reading Dental
Society and the Lebanon Valley Dental Association and
the Pennsylvania State Dental Sdciety. He is a life mem-
ber of the Alumni Association of the University of Penn-
sylvania. In politics the Doctor is a Democrat. He be-
longs to Trinity Lutheran Church, and is a teacher in its
Sunday-school.

• Dr. Schlegel was married, Oct. 29, 1903, to Miss Emma
Brurabach Strohecker, daughter of Augustus J, Stro-



538



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



hecker, a member of the board of park commissioners of
Reading. Mrs. Schlegel is a graduate of the Reading high
school, graduating therefrom in the same class as did
her husband.

JOHN RICK, one of Reading's enterprising young
business men, who is a member of the firm of C. K.
Whitner & Co., was born in 1880, in the city in which he
now resides, son of John and Emma (Ammon) Rick.

Herman Rick, great-great-grandfather of John, came
to this country with his parents in 1712, being then about
twelve years of age. He received his education in the
pay schools of Bern township, after leaving which he en-
gaged in farming, an occupation which he carried on
throughout life.

John George Rick, son of Herman, was also a farmer,
and he became a large land owner and influential citizen
of Bern township, where all his life was spent. He and
his wife, Catherine Weiser, were members of the Re-
formed Church, and in political matters he was a stanch
Whig.

Charles Rick, the grandfather of John, received his
education in the early schools of his native township, .af-
ter leaving which he engaged in a general store at Cen-
treport and Peacock's Locks, but in 1841 came to Read-
ing where the rest of his life was spent in retirement. He
died in the faith of the German Reformed Church in
1878, as did his wife in 1880. Their children were : Cyrus,
for many years cashier of the Farmers Bank and a mem-
ber of the firm of Rick Brothers, m. Emma Madeira;
John; Charles, a retired citizen of Reading and veteran
of the Civil war, was also a member of the firm, and m.
Emma Pauli ; Mary m. Franklin Dundore, of Philadelphia,
and had three children, — Charles, Frank and Ella; James,
formerly a member of Rick Brothers and now proprietor
of the Rick Knitting Mills, Reading, m. (first) Ellen Trate,
and (second) Julia O'Hara, and had five children, James,
Edward, Albert, Harrison and JuHa, all by the second
marriage ; and Ellen m. William A. Arnold, and had
six children, William, John, Franklin, Anna, Ellen and
Mary.

John Rick, father of John, was for many years a mem-
ber of the well-known firm of Rick Brothers, which was
established in 1867, and discontinued in 1905. He died
in 1900, aged sixty-two years, Mr. Rick married Emma
Ammon, and four children were born to them : George,
John, Paul and Margaret (deceased).

John Rick was educated in the schools of Reading and
later attended a school at Lawrenceville, N. J., after which
he took a course at Stoner's Business College, Reading. He
served his time at the machinist's trade in the Philadel-
phia & Reading railroad shops, and in 1905 entered the
employ of C. K. Whitner & Co., as clerk, teing made a
partner in January, 1907. In March, 1905, Mr. Rick mar-
ried Miss Carrie Whitner, daughter of C. K. Whitner,
and two children have been born to this union : Mary
Elizabeth and Horace Whitner. Mr. Rick is a member
of Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. E., and the Berk-
shire Club. His religious connection is with St. Matthew's
Lutheran Church.

FRANK I. RAUCH, who holds the responsible posi-
tion of assistant superintendent of the Reading Eagle
Publishing Company, was born in Heidelberg township,
Berks county, Sept. 1, 1854, son of William and Matilda
(Ulrich) Rauch. When he was about five years old the
family moved to Stouchsburg, Marion township, this coun-
ty. His earlier education was acquired in the public
schools of that township and later he was sent for some
time to the Stouchsburg Academy. On starting to make
his own way in the world he began with farm work,
spending fotir years in that occupation; he then secured
employment in a store in North Heidelberg, where he
clerked for one year and following that was similarly en-
gaged at Stouchsburg, for a year and a half. In 1874 he re-
moved to Reading and became associated with the Reading
Eagle Publishing Company, 'in the capacity of subscription
clerk. Since then he has steadily risen, becoming, several



years after he entered as clerk, bookkeeper for the concern
and for the last ten years having held the position of assist-
ant superintendent. Mr. Rauch possesses admirable qualifi-
cations for his work and well deserves the confidence
which the company reposes in him.

On Dec. 37, 1881, Mr. Rauch was united in marriage to
Miss Martha Houder, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth
Houder, of Reading, both of whom are deceased. Daniel
Houder was for years in the service of the Philadelphia
& Reading Railroad Company. Mr. Rauch belongs to St.
Paul's Memorial Reformed Church, and was secretary of
the consistory for three years. Fraternally he has been quite
active and belongs to the Masons, the Elks and the Press
Club of Reading. In the former order he is a member
of Reading Lodge, No. 549, is a past master, and for
eleven years served as secretary. He is also a past offi-
cer in the Elks.

GEORGE W. BIEHL, senior partner of Biehl's Carriage
& Wagon Works at Reading, and actively identified with
the business for thirty years, was born in AUentown,
Feb. 5, 1854. He received his education in the common
schools of Reading. At the age of thirteen years he en-
tered the employ of Conrad Krebs as a helper to his
father (who was employed there as a coach trimmer), Mr.
Krebs having been then the leading carriage manufacturer in
Reading. He mastered the trimming trade and started in
business on his own account in 1877, locating his shop on
Cherry street below Sixth, where he remained until 1880.
He then moved his establishment to his present factory on
Pearl street, between Cherry and Franklin, with show room
at No. 31 South Fifth street. Every department is equipped
with modern machinery, and expert mechanics are kept
busy in turning out special products, which comprise light
carriages, transfer and express wagons, ambulances, em-
balmers' wagons, hearses, speed-sleighs, etc. Anything
in the carriage manufacturer's line can be furnished by
this large and well-known establishment; all kinds of har-
ness can also be procured there.

In 1903, Mr. Biehl admitted as a partner, Wilson H.
Eisenbrown, then proprietor of the Eagle Wagon Works,
and the two plants were consolidated ; and in 1904, on
account of the large increase in business, Thomas De-
Moss was admitted as a second partner, the firm name
becoming Biehl's Carriage & Wagon Works ; and since
then this enterprising firm has been very successful. In
1907 they incorporated the Berks Auto Garage Company
for selling, repairing and storing automobiles.

In 1871 Mr. Biehl married Emma Morgan, daughter of
Thomas Morgan of Reading, and they have five children:
George M. (married Julia Pougel), Bessie (widow of
Charles F. Worrell, residing at Wayne, Pa.), Alvin J.
(married Sophia Skinner), Herbert T. and Earl. Mr.
Biehl is a member of St. John's Lodge No. 135, F. & A.
M., of Reading, of the Scottish Rite, 32d degree, and
Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Reading.

George Biehl, the paternal grandfather of Mr. Biehl,
was brought up and educated in the schools of Kutztown,
and while a young man learned the blacksmith's trade,
which he followed for many years. He died at Kutz-
town in 1861, aged forty-eight years. He married J\Iary
Bobst and she survived him two years, dying in 1863,
aged forty-eight years. They had the following children:
William, John A., Henry. Jane (m. Thomas Hemmig)
and Enieline (m. Henry Essen). In religious belief they
were Lutherans.

John A. Biehl. the father of Mr. Biehl, was born in
the vicinity of Kutztown, Nov. 17, 1831, and his educa-
tion was secured in the advanced schools of that town.
His first work was as helper in his father's blacksmith
shop, and after working thus for a short period he appren-
ticed himself to the carriage trimmer's trade at AUen-
town, Pa., which he learned thoroughly in all its branch-
es. He then worked as a journeyman in AUentown,
Hamburg, Reading and other cities, and was con-
sidered a superior workman. He continued working at his
trade until in 1902, when he retired, making his home
with his son until his decease in 1908. In 1853 he mar-



BIOGRAPHICAL



539



ried Matilda Wetherhold, daughter of George Wetherhold,
of AUentown, and they had one son, George W., the
subject of this sketch. Mrs. Biehl died in 1905, when
in her seventy-fifth year.

GEORGE B. ALBRIGHT, proprietor of the Market
House Saloon, and superintendent of the South Read-
ing Market, and who is well known in business circles
of the city, was born in Bern township, Berks county,
son of Amos Albright.

Amos Albright was also a native of Bern township,
and a blacksmith by trade. He married Tamson Smith,
daughter of Thomas P. Smith, and to this union were
born children as follows : Mary m. Isaac S. Leining ;
Alfred S.; Ellen R. m. Monroe Bender; Lucinda m.
Reuben Leinbach; and Helen m. Pierson Hetrick. Amos
Albright died in 1901, aged seventy-five years, in the faith
of the Reformed Church, which his wife, who survives
him, attends. In politics Mr. Albright was a Demo-
crat.

George B. Albright was educated in the common ■
schools of Bern township, and followed farmmg until
the age of nineteen years, when he learned butchering and
engaged in that business on Sixth street, Reading, for
ten years. In 1875, in company with his father-in-law,
Abraham S. 'Kissinger, Mr. Albright started a coal yard
at the corner of Sixth and Bingaman streets, and this
was carried on until 1885, with great success. Mr. Al-
bright came to his present stand in 1895 as superintendent
of the South Reading market house, which had been
built by a company, organized as the South > Reading
Market House Company, in 1870. Since Mr. Albright
has taken charge many substantial improvements have
been made, including a cement floor • throughout the
building, and a stable, containing 282 stalls to accom-
modate an equal number of horses. Mr. Albright became
manager of the saloon in 1895, and this he has conduct-
ed with much success, it being very popular with out-of-
town people.

In 1874 Mr. Albright married Mary A. Kissinger, daugh-
ter of A. S. Kissinger, now deceased, and six children were
born to this union, three of whom survive : William A.,
Howard and L. Annie. The other three children died in in-
fancy. Not only in business circles has Mr. Albright been
prominently connected, but in politics as well, being a
stanch Democrat and at one time school controller of the
First ward. He has attended both county and State con-
ventions, and is regarded as a strong party man in this sec-
tion. Fraternally he is connected with Lodge No. 115, B.
P. O. E., and Teutonia Lodge No. 367, F. & A. M., and the
Liberty Fire Company.

GEORGE M. GRAEFF, general manager of Kline &
Eppihimer's department store of Reading, was born in
this city Jan. 30, 1840, son of John and grandson of Jacob
Graeff.

Jacob Graeff was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks
county. He married a Miss Schaeffer and they had three
sons: William, of Reading; Frederick and John.

John Graeff, son of Jacob, was born at Reading in 1804,'
and died in that city in November, 1876. By trade he was
a wool hat maker, and followed his calling many years.
In religious faith he was a member of the Reformed
church, and he is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery.
His wife was Catherine Stable, daughter of Major Will-
iam Stable, a prominent citizen of Reading, who from
1838 to 1849 served Berks county as coroner. Among
other things he wrote a business history of Berks county
that is regarded as one of the best records of the earlier
records of the county in existence. Mr. and Mrs. John
Graeff had these children: Sarah; Joseph; Mary; Susan;
Marks ; George M. ; Catherine, m. to Henry J. Reiff, of
Reading; Rebecca and Rosa, all deceased except George
M. and Catherine.

George M. Graeff was educated in the public schools of
Reading, and was one, of the first pupils to attend the Read-
ing high school, but'he left before completing his course
to earn his living. He became a bundle boy, now called



cash boy, with Hain & Gernant, who conducted a store in
the Odd Fellows hall on Penn street, now called Library
hall, and was still in the employ of this firm when they
retired from business. He was then employed with Asa
M. Hart, a dry goods merchant on Penn square, but after
several years his employer died. In 1870 he connected
himself with the concern of which he is now general mana-
ger, as bookkeeper, and was gradually promoted until
in 1885 he became general manager which responsible po-
sition he still holds.

Mr. Graeff was a member of the old Salome Lodge
of Odd Fellows until it was suspended. He is a member
of the Order of Red Men ; of Keim Post, No. 76, G. A. R.,
and takes a deep interest in Post work, he having served
as a private in Company H, 11th Pa. V. I. Mr. Graeff
and his family are members of St. James Lutheran church,
and since 1895 Mr. Graeff has been a member of the
vestry. For many years he has sung in the choir, and
he takes a deep and active interest in church affairs.

In 1863 Mr. Graeff was married to Hannah Morris,
daughter of Israel Morris of Reading. They have two
children: Charles C, of Reading, m. Susan Bechtel, and
has two children — George and Leonore ; Edna m. George
A. Snyder, of Pine Grove, now of Reading, and has two
children — Donald and Josephine.

JOHN NEWTON BOWEIR, assistant cashier of the
First National Bank of Birdsboro, was born on the
Bower homestead along the Monocacy creek in Amity
township, Berks county, adjoining the Perkiomen turn-
pike, Feb. 7, 1856. He attended the township schools
and the Oley Academy. In 1875 he passed a creditable
examination given by the county superintendent of
schools, and received from him a certificate authoriz-
ing him to teach, but he did not follow the profession.

Shortly afterward he entered the employ of the E.
& G. Brooke Iron Company, at Birdsboro, Pa., as a
nailer, and he continued there until 1891. The direc-
tors of the First National Bank of Birdsboro then
selected him as their bookkeeper, anu he filled this
position until March, 1905, when he was promoted to
assistant cashier. He is identified with the Birdsboro
Building & Loan Association, and also with the pub-
lic school affairs of the borough as a director.

Daniel Bower, his fatber, was a farmer on the home-
stead in Amity township, for upward of fifty years,
having been previously employed as a forgeman at the
Gibraltar forge. Besides carrying on farming, he was
actively engaged in conducting a sawmill, on the prem-
ises, which was run by water power, supplied by the
Monocacy creek. He died in 1894, aged eighty-seven
years. He married Elizabeth Matilda Lewis (daugh-
ter of Archibald and Catharine (Coulter) Lewis, of
Robeson township), who was of Welsh ancestry and
the descendant of a well known Quaker family. She
died in 1868, aged fifty-seven years. They are both
buried in the St. John's Church Yard, Robeson town-
ship. They had seven children: Catharine (1833-1889)
m. John W. Hartranft; Jacob L. (1834), who lives on
the homestead, m. Sarah Babb; Justina (1837) is
living at Birdsboro; Samuel L. (1842-1908) m. Amanda
Ludwig, and they moved to Wilmington, Del., about
1880, where he died; Susan M. (1845) m. William R.
Potts, a farmer of Amity township, who died in 1888,
and after his decease, she moved to Birdsboro, where
she now resides; Lewis A. (1848) ra. Justina Johnson,
and resides in Wilmington, Del., and John Newton.
The parents were thrifty and industrious, were widely
known and universally esteemed for their sterling
qualities of heart and mind.

Jacob Bower, or Bauer, as the name was then spelled,
the grandfather, was a farmer _ of Amity township,
having inherited his farm of ninety acres from his
grandfather, Moses Bower._ He died in 1867, aged
eighty-six years. He married Susanna Happel, who
died. Dec. 28, 1854. They had ten children: Daniel,
m. to Elizabeth M'atilda Lewis; John, m. to Anna Bush;
Jacob H., m. to Matilda Bush; William, m. to Catharine



540 HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

Boyer; Elizabeth, m. to William Uf'degrove; Hannah, old, operated by water power supplied by the Monocacy

m. to Jacob Moyer; Mary Ann, m. to Benjamin creek and is widely known as Bower's sawmill. The

Rhoads; Catharine, m. to David Scheetz; Susanna; original structure stands today, and the mill is still in

and Samuel, who died young. use. Many Indian relics have been found on the farm,

Moses Bower, the great-grandfather, when a child bearing mute testimony that prior to the coming of the

emigrated from Germany with his parents. He was white pioneer, this must have been a favored locality

twice married, and was the father of nine children, for the Red Man.



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 148 of 227)