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 151 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 151 of 227)
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Abstinence Society, and Knights of St. John. He has ja^gbter of Charles and Sarah (Levan) Brown, and
also taken great interest in Building and Loan Asso- f^^^ children have been born to this union: Mabel, Sar-
ciations, and has acted as secretary of many of them ^^j.^^ p.^^J]^ Charles and Frances. In politics Mr. Ester-
in the past few years. Mr. Morris is at present State j^ ^^ ^ Democrat. He is connected with St. Matthew's
financial secretary of the Retail Merchants' Association Lutheran Church, serving as a deacon and as a teacher
of Pennsylvania; a director of the Retailers Mutual jj.^ ^^^^ Sunday-school, and is a member of the Christian
Fire Insurance Company; secretary and treasurer of Endeavor. Mr. and Mrs. Esterly and their children
the Pasteurized Milk and Cream Company of Reading; „-^^]^^ d^gir home at No. 731 North Fourth street. Mr.
and president of the Reading Wholesale Grocery Com- gsfgrly has made his own way in the world, and his
pany. success is due to his native ability, his determination

In the political field Mr, Morris is a valued worker ^^ succeed and his straightforward manner of doing
in the Democratic organizations. He has been a dele- business. He and his wife are highly esteemed in the
gate to many important conventions of the party, community in which he has proved himself to be such
notably that of the national organization at St. Louis ^ useful and public-spirited citizen. Mr. Esterly is a
in 1904. and is at present the Second ward member of Mason, being connected with the Isaac Hiester Blue
the Deniocratic county central committee. He made a Lodge, No. 660.
losing fight for the Legislature in his district in 1896,

not being able to overcome the large Republican ma- ADDAMS. On Dec. 23. 1681, by deed recorded in
jority normally given. ^ Philadelphia, William Penn granted to Robert Adams,

The church affiliation of Mr. Morns is at St. Peter s ^f Ledwell, in Oxfordshire, England, five hundred
Catholic church, and he is quite active in the different acres of land, to be surveyed and located in the Prov-
charitable institutions connected therewith. He j^ce of Pennsylvania. Immediately thereafter, Robert
has won a very large measure of the esteem of the Adams came to America and settled in Oxford town-
general public. ship, Philadelphia county (now city), where he died

in 1719. From him in direct line Sarah B. (Addams)
ROMANUS ESTERLY, one of Reading's successful Zimmerman, of Perry township, Berks county, was
business men, and one of the proprietors of the Read- descended.

ing Biscuit Company, manufacturers of cakes, crackers Her great-grandfather, William Addams. settled in
and biscuits, located at No. 120 South Third street. Cocalico township, Lancaster county, early in the
was born in Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa., son of eighteenth century, and in 1761 laid out the town
Henry Esterly. and grandson of John and Mary (Clark) which is now the borough of Adamstown. He mar-
Esterly. John Esterly, who was a farmer and black- ried Ann Lane, of Philadelphia, and had five sons,
smith of Exeter township, died when eighty-three Isaac, Abraham, Samuel, Richard and William, and
years of age. and his wife at the age of eighty-two one daughter. Two of these sons: William and Isaac,
years. removed to Berks county and settled in Heidelberg,

Henry Esterly attended the public schools of Ex- now Spring, township. William married Barbara
eter township, receiving a fair education, and early Ruth, and after his death, his brother Isaac married
in life engaged in agricultural pursuits, owning a fine the widow, by whom he had six sons, William, Isaac,
farm of 110 acres. He continued to operate in that Samuel, John, Peter and Abraham.

township until 1903, in which year he removed to Mt. Isaac Addams, the elder, grandfather of Mrs. Zim-
Penn, where he has since resided, retired from active merman, was born at Adamstown in 1747, and died at
business life. For one and one-half years, Mr. Esterly Reading in April, ]S09. He was a farmer, then a lead-
kept the old "Washington House" in Exeter town- ing merchant and citizen of Reading. In 1776 he was
ship, conducting it under the name of the "Gechter's captain of a company of light infantry belonging to
Hotel." He is known as an honest, upright citizen, Colonel Peter Grubb's Battalion of Associators in
and has the respect and esteem of all with whom he Lancaster county. He was a county commissioner
has come into contact. Mr. Esterly married Sarah, and member of the Assembly from Berks county,
daughter of Peter and Mary (Herbein) Snyder, of Oley His eldest son William (1777-1858) and wife Eve
Valley, Berks county. The children born to this union Van Reed, settled on the Cacoosing creek, Berks
were: John, of Mt. Penn.; Harrv S.; Romanus; Alice, county, at the Addams mill. They had these children:
m. to Ploward Body; George, m. to Catherin Keener, Kittle, m. to Rufus Davenport; Richard; Rebecca;
of Reading; and Sallie, m. to Harvey Dunn. Henry Josiah; and Amelia, m. to John H. Van Reed. He
Esterly is a Democrat in politics, and for ten years afterward m. Catherine Huey Van Reed, widow of
was a school director in Exeter township. He is now John Van Reed, and had three children: William;
serving as a member of the board of health of Mt. John; and Valeria, m. to John Knapp. William Ad-
Penn, and as member of town council. dams was a leading citizen of his day, and served

Romanus Esterly received his primary education in as county auditor, county commissioner, member of
the public schools of Exeter township, which he sup- the Assembly, was twice a Presidential elector, a mem-
plemented with a course at Stoner's Business College, ber of Congress two terms, and was associate judge
and subsequently attended Kutztown State Normal of Berks county 1839-1842.

school in 1888 and 1889. The next four years he Isaac Addams, the younger (1779-1844), married
taught schools in his native township, and was then Catherine Eckert, and settled at Leesport, Berks coun-
employed as a salesman with F. S. Wertz & Co.. bak- ty. Their children were: Isaac; Sarah, m. to Michael
ers, with whom he remained until they sold out to Haak; Eliza, m. to Charles Kessler; Catharine, m. to



BIOGRAPHICAL



547



Dr. Charles Zoller; John E.; Reuben E.; and Annie,
m. to John Runkle.

Samuel Addams (1782-1854) married Catharine Huey,
at Sinking Spring, and they had these children:
Charles H.; Rebecca, m. to Richard Adams; Mary,
m. to John Van Reed; Elizabeth; Harriet, m. to Na-
than Young; Jane, m. to Edwin Mull; Isaac; Lydia.
m. to Rev. Daniel B. Albright; James H.; and John
H. The latter settled in Cedarville, 111., and became
one of the founders and leaders of the Republican
party in that State. He was for sixteen years a State
senator and declined the governorship. He was the
father of Jane Addams, the head resident of Hull
House, Chicago, and well-known writer and lecturer.

Abraham Addams (1787-1849) married Lydia Miller,
of Millerstown, Juniata county, where he settled and
died in 1849. He had two daughters: Ann Eliza
m. Jacob Beaver, and their son, Gen. James Addams
Beaver, was a brigadier general of volunteers during
the Civil war, and served as governor of Pennsylvania
from 1887 to 1891, and since 1891 has been a judge
of the Superior court; and Lydia m. Capt. Thomas
McAllister, of Virginia, who in the Civil war was
captain of a company forming part of the "Stonewall
Brigade" under command of Gen. Stonewall Jackson.
The grandson of the latter, J. Gray McAllister, D.D.,
is president of Hampden-Sidney College (Virginia).

General John Addams (1780-1832) was long prom-
inent in politics and for about twenty years held local
office in Reading. In 1814-15 he commanded the Sec-
ond Brigade of Pennsylvania Militia, one of the two
brigades furnished by the State, which' lay at York
during the winter of 1814-15. to check the tht'eatened
British advance from Washington. He died unmar-
ried.

Peter Addams, the father of Sarah B. Zimmerman,
was born at Adamstown, Lancaster county, May 31,
1784, and came with his parents to Heidelberg town-
ship, Berks county, in early life. On Oct. 29, 1811,
he married Susan Eckert, daughter of John and Bar-
bara (Gernant) Eckert. He resided at Morgantown,
Berks county, Lewistown, Mifflin county and for the
greater part of his life in Bern and Centre townships,
Berks county, near Leesport. He was a farmer and
miller. Originally a Jacksonian Democrat, he be-
came an ardent follower of Henry Clay. In 1825 he
was a Presidential elector for Andrew Jackson, and
in 1848 was the Whig candidate for Congress, but
was defeated by William Strong (Democratic), after-
ward justice of the United States Supreme Court.
He had these children: Sarah B.; Annie E., who
died in July, 1891; Adeline, who died in May, 1839;
and the late Rev. George Eckert, who died at Read-
ing in June, 1897. Peter Addams died Jan. 20, 1852,
and his wife Aug. 8, 1842.

Sarah Barbara Zimmerman, eldest daughter of Peter
AddanLS. was born on her father's' farm, one
mile west of Leesport, in Bern town'ship, Berks Co.,
Pa., Oct. 8, 1813. About the year 1836 she came with
the family to the large farm near Dauberville, in
Bern (now Centre) township. After the death of
her parents, she, her sister Annie and brother George,
continued on the farm until March, 1857, when she
became the wife of Seth Zimmerman, and removed
with her husband and sister Annie to her late home
in Mohrsville, Berks county. Mr. Zimmerman was a
native of Columbia county, and for fifty years was
agent at the Reading railroad station. Mohrsville.
He died in September, 1888, and his wife died Feb. 7,
1907, in her ninety-fourth year. They had no chil-
dren.

BERTRAND H. FARR, of Farr's Music House, No.
809 Penn street, Reading, is a member of a very old
family in America, the early New World home being
in Stowe, Mass., where the family was established for
over one hundred years, having come over from Eng-
land in the early part of the Puritan movement. Abra-
ham Farr died at Stowe in 1689.



Abraham Farr, the second of the name of whom' we
have definite record, was a resident of Stowe, Mass.
He married Rachel Fasket, and they became the par-
ents of a son, Abraham.

Abraham Farr, son of Abraham and Raphel, was born
in Stowe, March 22, 1761. He moved to Chesterfield,
N. H., and there died April 29, 1840. He married
Polly Harris, who died in her one hundredth
year while sitting at her spinning wheel. Their chil-
dren were: Rufus. born March 23, 1783, died May 7,
1858; Amy, born June 15, 1785, m. a Mr. Miller, and
died in Vermont; Jerusha, born Dec. 7, 1787, m. a Mr.
Miller of Putney, Vt.; Polly, born July 7, 1790, m. Ezra
Pierce, of South Windham, Vt, and died Oct. 13, 1856;
Clarissa, born Jan. 21. 1793, m. a Mr. Estabrook, settled
in Dummierston, Vt, and died May 11, 1839; Sally, born
Aug. 8,- 1796, m. Eli Hitchcock; Ira, born Dec. 1, 1797,
m. Florinda Stowell, and died March 6, 1870.

Rufus Farr, son of Abraham, was born March 23,
1783, in Chesterfield. N. H., and he died at Windham,
Vt., May 7, 1858. On Oct 21, 1810, he married Susan
Stone, who was born Nov. 21, 1789, in Groton, Mass.,
daughter of Asa and Polly Stone, and died at Rochester,
Wis., Nov. 16, 1872. To Rufus and Susan Farr were
born children as follows: Lurency, born Nov. 11, 1811;
Eli, born July 15. 1814, died Oct 8, 1890; Aurilla, born
April 11, 1817;Philesta, born June 9, 1820, died aged
eighteen years; Rufus, born Aug. 16, 1823; Merrill
H., born April 16. 1827; and Orlando.

Orlando Farr. son of Rufus, was born Dec. 9, 1832.
at Windham, Vt, at the homestead where his father
settled on the Glebe Mountain, succeeding him in the
business of sheep raising, and maple sugaring. In 1868
he went to Illinois, and located at Shannon, where he
was engaged in the grain and lumber business until
1871, when he moved to Kamrar, Iowa, where he is the
owner of a large amount of land and is now living
retired. He married Pauline C. Holton, a native of
North Walcott, Vt., and they had a family of seven
children: Frank died aged four years; Bertrand H.;
Nellie; Stella died in Iowa in 1903; Florence and Leslie
died young; and Edward M. is in Iowa with his father.

Bertrand H. Farr was born Oct. 14, 1863, at Wind-
ham, Vt., and was six years old when he accompanied
his parents to Illinois. He attended the public schools
in that State, and at Webster City, Iowa. At the age
of seventeen he began teaching school, and followed
that calling three years. In the fall of 1883 he went to
Boston, and entered the New England Conservatory of
Music, studying piano and vocal music and also the
tuning of pianos. Returning to Webster City, he spent
three years in the music business, and then sold out
with the intention of finishing his education at Boston,
but upon his arrival at the "Hub," he received a flat-
tering offer to go to Philadelphia, to a Chestnut street
music house. This offer he accepted, and he remained
in Philadelphia five years, at the end of that time com-
ing to Reading (1891) as a piano tuner. He had his
office in the store of C. W. Edwards for fourteen
years. He opened a store in Lancaster, in 1900, in the
new Y. M. C. A. building, but later sold this to the
Weaver Organ Company. In 1904 he formed a partner-
ship with H. E. Gerhardt, in Reading, and under the
firm name of Farr & Gerhardt carried on an ex-
tensive business in pianos, orgafis, talking machines,
musical merchandise, etc. In March, 1909, Mr. Farr pur-
chased Mt. Gerhardt's interest in the firm, and is now
carrying on the business alone.

Mr. Farr is active in the ranks of the Republican
party, and is very public spirited. He was one of those
instrumental in organizing the borough of Wyomissing,
and in September, 1906, he was elected its- first chief
burgess and shortly after his term of office expired he
was appointed a member of Council to fill a vacancy
in that body. He built the first house in the borough.
Besides his music business he has devoted considerable
time to floriculture making a specialty of hardy plants,
such as irises, peonies, phloxes, devoting about fifteen



548



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



acres to his nursery, and he issued his first catalogue
in 1908. It is said to be the most complete catalogue of
peonies and irises ever published in this country. He
was elected president of the American Peony Society,
at the last meeting, at Queens, L. I.

Mr. Farr married Annie Willis, of Farmington, Maine,
a member of a very old New England family.

JEROME LUDWIG BOYER. who has been prom-
inently identified with the great iron interests of Read-
ing and vicinity for many years, and has gained the
reputation of being one of the most prominent direc-
tors of these immense industries, is a descendant of one
of the oldest and most honorable families of Berks
county, Pennsylvania. He was born at Boyertown,
Berks Co., Pa., Jan. 19, 1843, son of Jacob K. Boyer,
a distinguished citizen of the Keystone State.

The Boyer family is of French Huguenot extraction
and was founded in America by Jacob DeBeyer, the
great-grandfather of Jerome Ludwig. He settled in
Berks county and there became a man of substance
and standing and lived to the unusual age of 103
years. His remains lie in the cemetery at Amityville,
one of the oldest graves in that sacred spot.

Henry Boyer, father of Jacob K., was born in
1779. and was a pioneer settler at Boyertown, giving
his name to the hantlet, in which he built the first
I'og house and opened the first blacksmith shop. Here
he followed blacksmithing for some years, and he
took a prominent part in public affairs. In 1824 he
was nominated by the Democratic party as their can-
didate for representative and was elected, being re-
elected in 1827 and 1832. He died at Boyertown at the
age of ninety-eight years, and was buried at that place.
He married Catharine Krebs. of Montgomery county,
who died at the age of eighty-four years, and they
became' the parents of a large family.

Jacob K. Boyer, father of Jerome Ludwig, was born
in 1821, in Boyertown, and in his youth followed farm-
ing and engaged in school teaching. He later engaged
in the mercantile business at Boyertown, following
this for a few years, when he came to Reading and
made that city his home for the remainder of his
life. During his residence there he was employed in
the freight house of the Philadelphia & Reading Rail-
road on Eighth street. Like his esteemed father Mr.
Boyer was a Democrat, and served in the House of
Representatives. Mr. Boyer died in the prime of life,
aged thirty-nine years, and his wife, who was Lucy K.
Ludwig, died in 1867. aged fifty-eight.

Jerome L. Boyer received his literary training in the
common schools of his native locality, and when a boy
was employed as a clerk in a store at Boyertown. He
later went to District township, and after clerking a
few years there, removed to Reading, where he was
first employed by Kline, Eppihimer & Co., for three
years as a clerk, and later was made a member of the
firm. Staying there three and a half years, he left to
accept the position of head bookkeeper of the First Na-
tional Bank, later being made cashier of the institution,
and there he remained three years. Then, with others,
he organized the Reading Fire Brick Company, being
elected president thereof, and this position he con-
tinues to hold. In connection with this industry, Mr.
Boyer has also been identified with many other large inter-
ests, including mining and the manufacture of iron. He
was at one time manager and part owner in the Temple
Iron Company, had charge of the E. & G. Brooke
plant at Birdsboro, and in 1880 acted as general man-
ager of the Chestnut Hill Iron Company, at Columbia,
Lancaster county, a position he held for four years.
At present this firm is gradually disposing of its plant,
although Mr. Boyer still retains his interests therein.
Mr. Boyer was prominently identified with the build-
ing of the Bachman Valley railroad for the carrying of
ore, and was its president for some time. During the
existence of the Citizens Bank of Reading, Mr. Boyer



was largely interested in that institution, and was one
of the board of directors.

Mr. Boyer is serving as adviser of the Home for
Widows and Single Women, and during the years
1891 and 1892 he served as president of the
board of this institution. He is prominently
connected with fraternal organizations, being a mem-
ber of Chandler Lodge, F. & A. M., No. 227; Reading
Chapter, No. 152; Reading Commandery, No. 42; Phil-
adelphia Consistory; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N.
M. S. In religion Mr. Boyer is connected with Trinity
Lutheran Church, and for a period of thirty-seven years
has been an official member thereof.

On Oct. 20, 1868. Mr. Boyer married Miss Susan
E. McHose, daughter of Isaac McHose, of Reading,
and two children have been born to this union: Wil-
liam McHose, chemist for the Reading Iron Com-
pany, is the father of one child: Frederick Jacob
is a machinist and resides at home.

In 1892 Mr. Boyer was president of the Board of
Trade of Reading, and during his incumbency the
membership grew from seventy to three hundred.
We here give his address, delivered at the banquet
held at Neversink Mbuntain Hotel, Sept. 29th, of that
year:

'Gentlemen: Our last banquet, held April 21st at
Mineral Springs was a success. There were present
at that time eighty members; to-night we have one
hundred and thirty. At the April Banquet we had with
us Hon. Erastus Wiman, and I trust none of us has
forgotten his grand speech. To-night we have with us
Gen. Gregg, without whom the State government
could not get along; so we have for the present, loaned
him, as it were, to Harrisburg, but expect him back
to Reading at some future time. We have also present
Col. Brown, the inventor of the Segmental Wire Gun,
and his very able co-laborer, Lieut. Whistler, from
whom we expect to hear.

"This Board of Trade was organized April 21, 1881.
Its first president, J. H. Sternbergh. Esq., is with us;
as are Isaac McHose. Peter D. Wanner and S. E.
Ancona, the succeeding and all the presidents. During
the first year of its organization the Board had 149
members. It subsequently commenced growing back-
wards, and in April, 1891, its membership was seventy.
Jan. 1, 1892, we had 110 members; at this date we have
216; and on Jan. 1. 1893. we will have 300.

"This Board of Trade represents a city of 70,000
people. We have reason to feel a pardonable pride in
our city, its population and its Board of Trade. We
have industries that we can well foster, manufactures
that we sustain and in return are sustained by; and if
we have any individual amongst us who would make in-
vidious and disrespectful comparisons with other cities,
may such an one's flesh be mortified and his vanity
seared, for we are in such a prosperous condition, as
I will endeavor to show you, that none dare to molest
us or make us afraid; and I can conceive only the
perfidy of man to lower the estimate of our city.

"Think of it! We manufacture stockings amounting
to $550,000 per annum. A few years ago some other
cities were making this hosiery, and all we had in the
matter was buying and wearing them, whilst some of
us went about sockless. So with boots and shoes.
Our city produces $150,000 worth. The stove industry
is growing fast — the present capacity is $659,000. Cot-
ton and silk industries, $1,725,000. An industry in our
city, of which many of us know nothing and hear very
little about, I mean cordage, ropes and twine, goes
along begging with an output of $600,000. Fire brick
and terra cotta and glass, $320,000. Fur and wool hats.
$3,000,000. This means a good hat for every tenth
person in the United States, or say forty hats for every
man, woman and child in Reading. Hardware, locks,
butts, etc, $1,650,000. Pig iron, plate iron, wrought-
iron pipe and machinery, $8,400,000, Iron bridge work,
beams and steel. $4,000,000. Bolts, nuts, rivets etc
$1,000,000.



BIOGRAPHICAL



549



"The capacity of our cigar factories is simply amaz-
ing; and had I not made a special effort to get at the
facts I would not believe it. One hundred and five
million cigars is the present capacity, some new shops
now building not being taken into this account. A
number of factories turn out fine goods, $60 to $75 per
thousand. Am told a fair average for Reading's output
would be $30 per thousand. This smoke production
then aggregates $3,150,000.

"Our streets and electric railways carried 3,607,920
passengers in 1891. Gross income, $325,000. For 1892
I could not get, but am told the business on all our
lines aggregates an increase of ten per cent yearly.

■'Our Trust companies show a constant and healthy
growth, and enjoy the well deserved confidence of our
good people. They show loans, $688,000; deposits,
$480,600; Trust funds, $1,248,300.

"Our eight banks will bear comparison with any
other eight banks of a city of our size. Any business
man in Reading can get all the money he wants if he
presents good paper. There is not one bank in our
city but which is first class in every particular. The
capital aggregates $1,425,000. The deposits aggregate
$4,760,000. The loans aggregate $5,150,000.

"I have given only about twenty industries, which
for lack of time to collect does not cover one-third of
all, such as wagon works, red brick, cast iron pipe,
and many others, which would require weeks to get
at. Yet it shows an aggregate of over $30,000,000.

"This certainly requires a strong constitution and
a clear conscience to believe at one sitting. But, gen-
tlemen, this is not a theory, but a condition. I trust
I have given enough to stimulate our Committee on
Statistics, who will, no doubt, give us a full and accur-
ate report early in 1893.

"Gentlemen, we have a grand city — a fire department
which I doubt has its equal in the world. Our business
opportunities are vast. Let every stranger who comes
within our boundaries be made welcome. Let us deal
honorably with one another. Let us hang our banners
on the outer walls and proclaim our strength from the
mountain top."

HENRY R. NICKS, A. M., an educator of note in
this section of Pennsylvania, where he is particularly
well remembered in his association with the early
days of the now famous Keystone State Normal
School, at Kutztown, Berks county, was born Feb.
27, 1833, in the Palatinate on the Rhine.

Melchior Nicks, his father, was born in Germany
in 1795, and came to America in 1842. For a short
time he remained in Baltimore, Md., and then set-



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 151 of 227)