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 161 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 161 of 227)
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bridges at Reading and Harrisburg, enlarging the water- Reading Knitting Mills The business was first con-
works and puttmg m the sewerage pumping stations at ducted under the firm name of Gaenzle & Co., Luther
Reading. From 1896 to 1905 he was associated with his e. Gable being the Company.

bfrW f^T .^ p % R™^i <=°'^'"'=ting, more particu- i„ ^^96, after Mr. Gable's death, Charles E. Leippe
W^l KT 1 ^^^'^.'"S Railroad Company, their father, became a partner and the firm name became as at
rl^ Nolan, being interested with them from 1900 present. This industry carries the name of Reading
to 1902. This enterprising young firm put up all the to as many distant points, perhaps, as any other in
stone bridge work for the Buffalo and Susquehanna Berks County. The company justifiably claims to
Railroad Company from Smnamahomng to Weedville, manufacture the best 84-needle stockings in the Unit-
a distance of thirty-two males. Their grandfather, ed States and ship goods all over this country and to
James Nolan, had been the contractor for the stone work Australia. They are the third largest manufacturers
on this same railroad for thirty miles some sixty years ^f this class of goods in the United States, and give
before and their father for thirty-two miles, some thirty constant employment to 300 people and more than
years hefore. these at times. In addition to the business above
In 1905 Mr. Nolan organized the firm of Nolan Broth- mentioned, our subject is a director of the Reading
ers, with his brother Edward C. as partner, for carrying Pure Milk Company, and has other important inter-
on construction work more extensively, and since then they ests. From 1895 to 1898 he was one of the owners
have successfully executed a large number of contracts, and directors of the Lancaster Cold Storage plant.
One of these contracts, worthy of special mention, was but disposed of that interest.

the extension of the Bethlehem Steel Works, which in- On April 1, 1883,' Mr. Gaenzle was united in mar-
volved the excavation of over a million yards of rock riage with Ellen Esther Gable, daughter of Amos
and earth on an area of forty acres ; and its execution Gable, the retired artist, whose portraits and land-
required an equipment of nine locomotives, five steam scapes enjoy a reputation not only in Pennsylvania,
shovels, three hundred dump-cars, two grading machines, but aU over the United States. To this union was
one hundred horses, twelve steam drills, four miles of born a son Lester E. Gaenzle, Nov. 1, 1885, who is
railroad track, etc., all this affording facilities for re- one of the bright young men of this city, a graduate-
moving 150,000 cubic yards monthly. They also built the of the Reading high school and of the mechanical
new Sacon plant of the Bethlehem Steel Company, the engineering department of the Drexel Institute, class
Philadelphia & Garrettford Railroad, and the Boyertown of 1905.

& Pottstown Railroad. Fraternally Mr. Gaenzle is a 33nd degree Mason.

Mr. Nolan has identified himself with a number of In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of

the financial institutions of Reading by investing in their the Lutheran Church. He is one of the best types

bonds and stocks; but on account of his absence in giving of self-made men that the prosperous city of Reading

contract work his personal supervision he has not become contains and it has numbers of them. He resides in

connected with their management. a handsome home at No. 45 North Fourth street,

In 1896 Mr. Nolan married Margaret Coppinger, daugh- where his friends are always received in the most

ter of Michael and Margaret (Duffy) Coppinger, of Read- hospitable manner. He is in the enjoyment of the

ing, and by her he has two sons, John C. and Richard, fruits of honorable busmess methods and persevering

Mr. Nolan's home was at Reading until 1898, when he industry.

removed to Sinking Spring, having purchased a farm of ^.^,, .-.r-o-o-c-o .i. n i . j • . u

fifty acres adjoining the village on the west, along the PAUL WEBER, the well known taxidermist, whose

main thoroughfare. place of business is located at No. 161 Buttonwood

William' Nolan, Mr. Nolan's father, was a successful street, Reading. Pa., was born in Saxony, Germany,

railroad contractor of Reading. He was born in Ireland April 16, 1861, son of Carl and Anistina (Wolf) Weber,

in 1840, and married Katherine McDonough, a daughter Carl Weber came to America prior to 1880. He had

of Dr Charles McDonough, of Reading. He died in 1903. followed the trade of a weaver in his native country,

but locating in Philadelphia he engaged in butchering,

JOHN GAENZLE. of the firm of Gaenzle & Leippe, continuing in that line until his retirement. He and

proprietors of the Reading Knitting Mills, is one of his wife now live in Philadelphia, where all of their

a large family of children born to George and Mar- twelve children, with the exception of Paul of Reading,

garet (Sweitzer) Gaenzle. also reside. .,,.,.

George Gaenzle came from Omden, Wittenberg, Paul Weber received his literary training in the

Germany, to America in 1864. and settled in Reading schools of Germany, and while yet a boy studied the

where he followed the business of cloth weaving, at art of preserving and mounting birds and animals under

which he was an expert. Since 18-89, however, he has Professor Bessler, graduating in the art of taxidermy,

been engaged in farming in the vicinity of Reading. On coming to America he located for a time in Phila-

He married Margaret Sweitzer, also of Wittenberg, delphia, whence he went a short time later to Black-

and the following children were born to this union: wood, N. J., where he remained about two years, and at

Frederick, who is connected with a cold storage plant the end of that time returned to Philadelphia, establish-

at Lancaster, Pa., as an engineer; John, senior pro- ing himself in business. Here he remained until 1903,

prietor of the Reading Knitting Mlills; Henry, con- when he located in Reading. Mr. Weber is an artist in

nected with the firm of Curtis & Jones; William and his line, and it has been said of him that he can mount

Frank, in Hamburg; Kate, m. to Daniel Rhodes in any animal, "from a mouse to an elephant." Specimens

the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad service; Mary, of his wonderful work may be seen in nearly every State

m. to John Zieber, also in the Philadelphia & Reading in the Union. He mounted a beautiful specimen for

service; Lena; Rosa, m. to Albert Snyder, connected President Roosevelt's library, and -has done work for

•jvith Curtis' & Jones in the shoe trade; and Annie, Senator Penrose, George F. Baer and others.

who is housekeeper in her father's home. It is some- Mr. Weber was married in 1889, to Helen Helt, a

what unusual to find a family as large as this into native of Saxony, Germany, and three children have

which Death has never entered. blessed this union: Charles (deceased), Paul J. and

John Gaenzle was born in Omden. Germany, July Helen. In religious belief Mr. Weber and his wife

37, 1860, and when his parents brought him to Reading are members of the Lutheran Church. In his political

he was yet a child. He went to school until he was views he is independent of party affiliations
37



nrs HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

FRANKLIN BOONE KERN, one of the foremost publican, and he served some time in the council at

citizens of Birdsboro, Berks Co., Pa., where he had Birdsboro. His fraternal connections were with Nev-

been engaged in the general merchandise business for ersink Lodge, L O. O. F., of which he was a charter

many years, as well as taking an active interest in member; Reading Lodge, No. 63, F. & A. M. (which

public affairs, died July 15, 1903. He came of good lodge had charge of his funeral services); the Knights

pioneer stock, and the characteristic traits of the of Pythias; and was at one time a member of the

sturdy independent spirits of his ancestors made him G. A. R.

one of those substantial citizens upon whom people Qn Sept. 34, 1864, Mr. Kern was married to Eliza-

instinctively rely in time of need, and he was never {jg^f, Hahn, born in Robeson township, daughter of

found wanting. Mr. Kern was born in Exeter town- ja^ob and Mary Ann (Ehrgood) Hahn. Three chil-

ship, Berks county, March 34, 1833. son of Samuel ^j^.^^^ ^^^^ ^^^.^ ^f j[^jg ynjon: Mary Elizabeth m.

and Elizabeth (Boone) Kern, his mother a descend- ^j^^ ^^^ j^jj^g^ Bowman May, an Episcopal minister;

ant of the race that gave the immortal Daniel Boone Samuel Jacob died aged two years; and Sallie Hahn

to the civilization across the rnountains. married Charles Marquette Steinrock, of Staten Island,

Michael Kern, grandfather of Franklin Boone, was ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^j,i,j Franklin Kern,
of German blood, and settled in Exeter township.

Berks county, at an early day. His life was devoted jamES L. FREEMAN, who carries on an extensive

to farming. He married Mary Boone daughter of business in lime and fluxing stone, and crushed

Isaac Boone, who was a cousm of Darnel Boone, stone of all sizes, at Sinking Spring, Berks Co., Pa„ was

and they had a large family, which they reared in the j^^^,^ -^ ^^^^ j^^^ p^^ ^_ jg57_ ^^^ ^f ^^^^^ ^nd

faith of the Lutheran church. , , , , Rebecca (Luft) Freeman, and a member of an old and

Samuel Kern, son of Michael, was born and reared honored Pennsylvania family,
in Exeter township, and his first ram.ng was along . (George) Freeman, the American ancestor of
he line of farm wor^ He then learned the tailors ■! ^^J was born in Germany in 1706. and came to
rade and followed it for many years. He died in ^^. J; . ^. thirty-third year, landing at Phila-
1873, aged seventy-five His wife Elizabeth Boone ^^^. ^/ J^^ ^^.^ "Samuel," command-
Kern, died in 1868, aged seventy-s|x years. They had ^ Hugh Percy. It appears that he settled in Cumru
two sons, William (m. Hannah Haws, and had five township some time afte? 1750.

children) and Franklin Boone. Samuel Kern was ^ V great-grandfather of James L., was

a Republican but had never cared for politics. In ^ jf 1783, and died in 1825. He married Eliza-

Vr!n^° \^n K Jn ' == l^,^., H i th. =.hnnU beth Gerhard, boi^n in 1786, and they became the par-

hrankhn Boone Kern was educated in the schools ^ r i -u in r^ u n = i%no.

of his native township, and at the age of fourteen he f'l^ of children as follows: George, born Dec. 5, 1808

began to learn the cooper's trade. Later with his l^^^'^^'^^'^T^^T'' ^Y ',« i«U^T ■ •''" K
father he worked at the tailor's trade, but neither f' ^^13•El'^^^^th, born May 28, 181o; Benjamn, born
proved congenial to his tastes, and he turned his J""^ \ 1^17; Cornelius, born Nov. 29, 1819; Peter; and
attention to commercial pursuits, entering as a clerk '^amuei. , n ^i r
the general merchandise store of Brooke & Evans, at , George Freeman, son of George, and grandfather of
Birdsboro. This he continued until after the outbreak J'"''\" L., was born Dec. 5, 1808, and died July ^1, 1881.
of the Civil war. On Aug. 10, 1863, he enlisted in ^ged seventy-two years, seven months, twenty-six days.
Company A. 128th Pa. V. I., under Col. Samuel Croas- "e married Sarah Breidenstein of Cumru township
dale, and was mustered in as third sergeant under l?''^" ''^'^^ nearby his parents) born March 17, 1807,
Capt. L. H. Smith, and with his regiment moved on ^led March 33 1893, aged eighty-six years, six days,
to Washington, D. C, thence to Fairfax Station, and find they had these children: Moses, Catherine, Jacob,
to Frederick. Md., and South Mountain. They par- Benjamin and Levi. Mr Freeman was a farmer m
ticipated in the battle of Antietam in September. 1863, ^PJl^S township, whither he had removed in early life,
and in the pursuit of Stuart's Cavalry. They went Moses Freeman, father of James L., was born March
into winter quarters the latter part of January, 1863. \^' ^^^^- ^t Freemansville, m Cumru township, and died
but on the opening of the spring campaign under J^n- ■\' 1^59 aged twenty-five years, nine months, six-
Hooker, they set forth, and took part in the battle ts«" ^ays. He was a carpenter by occupation, following
of Chancellorsville May 1-4, 1863. Mr. Kern was cap- that trade at Sinking Spring, where he had erected his
tured by the enemy, but escaped. He had been pro- residence just before his death. Mr. Freeman married
moted to first sergeant Feb. 1, 1863. On May 12th Rebecca Luft, born Nov. 8, 1835, daughter of Adam
the regiment proceeded to Harrisburg. and there was and Elizabeth (Bensing) Luft, and three children were
mustered out of service May 19, 1863, on account of born to this union: Helen C. m. William Schlegel,
the expiration of the term of enlistment, Mr, Kern of Sinking Spring, Pa„ and has two'children, Nora and
re-enlisted July 6, 1863, as captain in Company I, 43d Harry; James L.; and Moses, roadmaster at Sinking
Pennsylvania Militia, and served during the emergency. Spring, has these children, Walter, Bessie, Emma, Mos-
being mustered out Aug. 13, 1863, es, Paul, Catherine and Nora.

After his return from the war, Mr, Kern went to James L, Freeman obtained his education in the
Schuylkill county. Pa., and at New Philadelphia clerked township schools ^ which he left when sixteen years
in a general store until 1866, when he engaged in of age. from which time until 1881 he engaged at
business for himself, continuing for ten years. Com- laboring. In the latter year he engaged in huckster-
ing to Birdsboro he established a general mercantile ing. which he followed successfully for some time
business on Mill street, near First, and here he soon ac- through Lancaster county, subsequently embarking in a
quired a good trade. People came to know and to mercantile business at Sinking Spring, of which he was
respect the enterprising merchant, and to realize that the proprietor until 1904, when he sold out. He was
he was not only always accommodating and courteous, also the owner of a restaurant for some time, but this
but he was absolutely honest and fair in all his deal- b" also sold. About 1882 Mr, Freeman first engaged
ings. His patronage increased with the years, and he in the lime stone business at Wernersville, whe're^he
gained a comfortable fortune for himself, He con- had a lease upon a quarry on Abraham A'liller's farm,
tinued in business until 1898, when he sold out and Here he burned lime and soM furnace stone to Birds-
retired, boro. Keystone furnace of Reading, and Warwick Iron

Mr. Kern was one of Birdsboro's best known cit- Company, This business he continued at Werners-

izens, and in all public aflfairs he took an active and ville for four years, at the same time conducting a

intelligent part. He vs;as^ a staunch Lutheran, and was quarry on the Evans farm at Sinking Spring, which he

- member of the building committee in 1877 when discontinued in 1900 to engage on his own tract at th



a



the present edifice of St, Mark's Evangelical Luth- eastern end of Sinking Spring, consisting of about
eran Church was erected. In politics he was a Re- eight acres. He ships to Berks and surrounding- coun-



BIOGRAPHICAL



579



ties, employs ten men, owns his own crusher, and has
built up a large and profitable business. He is a rnan
of progress and enterprise and has won a reputation
for honesty and integrity in all business dealings. In
political matters Mr. Freeman is a Democrat, and cast
his first vote for his party in 187'8. He was elected
tax collector in 1909. Fraternally he is a member of
Lexington Lodge, Knights of Pythias, No. 155; Jr. O. U.
A. M., No. 77; charter member of the L O. O. F., No.
660, all of Sinking Spring; and order of Red Men, No.
301, Reading. He and his family are memers of St.
John's Reformed Church of Sinking Spring, in which
he has been a trustee, and from 1897 to 1905 deacon.

In the year 1880 Mr. Freeinan was married to Sallie
Schell, born April 18, 1858, daughter of William and
Mary (Smith) Schell, farming people of Heidelberg
township. Two children have been born to Mr. and
Mrs. Freeman: Charles W., a merchant at Sinking
Spring; and Clarence J., a trolley car conductor, at
Sinking Spring, who married' Addie Reinhart, and has
a daughter, Evelyn. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman also reared
a niece of Mrs. Freeman's, Lou Ludwig, taking her at
the age of seven, and giving her the love and care of
parents.

Ch.^rles W. Freeman, son of James L., was born
Feb. 8, 1881, at Sinking Spring, Pa., and was educated in
the borough schools, and the Inter-State Commercial
College, Reading, from which he was graduated in
April, 1899. He then assisted his father in the mercan-
tile business until November, 1905, when he purchased
. his father's interest, and since that time has conducted
the business alone, with much success. Socially he is
prominently identified with the P. O. S. of A., being a
member of Washington Camp No. 282, at Sinking
Spring, of which he is a past president. He served as
district president of district No. 5 from 1904 to 1906.
and on Feb. 22, 1907, was elected to the high office of
county president. He is also a member of Sinking
Spring Lodge No. 660, I. O. O. F., and member of Wil-
liamson Lodge No. 307, F. & A. M., of Wom'lesdorf.
Mr. Freeman and his family are members of St.
John's Reformed Church of Sinking Spring, where for
two years he served as assistant superintendent of the
Sunday-school, where he was a teacher for some time.

On June 7, 1906, Mr. Freeman was married to Miss
Nora C. Lamm, daughter of Charles F. and Sallie
(Gaul) Lamm, of Lower Heidelberg township. Mr.
and Mrs. Freeman have one daughter, Olga Sarah.

Peter B. Freeman, a well-known farmer of Cumru
township, is conducting operations near Freemans-
ville, where he was born Feb. 28, 1844, son of Cornelius
and Mary Ann (Britton) Freeman and grandson of
George and Elizabeth (Gerhard) Freeman (mentioned
above).

Freemansville.' a village in Cumru township, was
named after Cornelius Freeman, the oldest resident of
the place, who was instrumental in establishing the
post-office there. Cornelius Freeman was born
at this place. Nov, 29, 1819, became a well known citi-
zen and land owner, and a deacon of Yocom's Church.
He married Mary Ann Britton, who bore him nine
children, as follows: Peter B.; Cornelius; Ellen, m. to
Christian Breidenstein; Elizabeth, who died single at
the age of nineteen years; John; William; Mary and
George, who died young; and Catherine, who died at
the age of sixteen years. ,

Peter B. Freeman was educated in the public schools,
and was reared upon the farm, which he left at the
age of eight years to go to work in the Mount Penn
furnace, where he continued for about fourteen years,
being an all around mechanic. He began farming in
1866 on his father-in-law's farm, and this property he
purchased in 1871, since which time he has been en-
gaged successfully in agricultural pursuits. He devotes
considerable attention to truck farming, attending the
market at Ninth and Buttonwood streets, Reading,
where he has been a well-known figure since its es-



tablishment. He specializes in strawberries, his high-
est year being the one in which he raised 105 bushels.
In 1890 he erected the present house, replacing an old
log cabin, forty-two feet long, which had been built iti
1783 by one John Weidner. He has in many other
ways improved the property, and uses the best and
latest improved machinery and implements. His chief
enjoyment is hunting, and he is noted as a fpx hunter
in his vicinity, being well acquainted with the sur-
rounding hills of Cumru township. In political mat-
ters Mr. Freeman is ■ a stanch Democrat, and his
first vote was cast in 1865. He and his family are
Lutheran members of Christ's (Yocom's) Church.

On May 14, 1865, Mr. Freeman was married to Dora
Rathje, born June 14, 1845, daughter of Dietrich and
Christiana (Geeseka) Rathje, natives of Hanover, Ger-
many. Thirteen children have been born to Mr. and
Mrs. Freeman, namely; Mary m. Charles Hartz; Eliza-
beth m. Samuel Hafer; William m. Dinah Fleck; Ella
m. William Bower; George m. (first) Catharine
Breidenstein, now deceased, and (second) Mary Zieg-
ler; Annie m. Israel Schmehl; Kate m. Harvey _Nea-
tock; M.arguerite m. Frank Gring; Charles is single,
and resides at home; Emma m. Walter Andrew; Min-
nie m. George Kurtz; Frederick m. Alice Neatock; and
Edith is single and resides at home.

HENRY T. WAGNER, senior member of the well-
known firm of Wagner & Emrich, Womelsdorf, Pa.,
was born April 24, 1859, in Jefferson township. Berks
Co., Pa., son of Levi L. and Mary (Troutman) Wagner.

Levi L. Wagner, who now resides in his own home
at Myerstown, was for more than a quarter of a cen-
tury engaged in shoemaking, which he was compelled
to give up on account of failing health, and subse-
quently in 1888, he commenced farming. For some
years he has been living a retired life. Mr. Wag-
ner is a deacon and elder in the Reformed Church
at Myerstown. He was married to Mary Troutman,
who also survives, and to them were born six chil-
dren, namely: one who died in infancy; Henry T. ;
Samuel T. m. Leah Dockslacker and resides at Day-
ton, Ohio; Ella m. Levi J. Emrich, her brother's busi-
ness partner; Sarah m. Calvin S. Schaeffer, of Greg-
ory, S. Dak.; and James T. m. Maggie Lessley, re-
sides in Reading, and has one daughter, Edna N.

Henry T. Wagner attended the district schools,
and the Palatinate College, Myerstown, for five terms,
and was reared upon the home farm, which he left
at the aee of twenty-six years to become assistant
station agent at Myerstown, a position which he filled
acceptably for eight years. He then became em-
ployed at the Myerstown Planing Mill, where he con-
tinued for two years, and in 1894 formed a partner-
ship with Levi J. Emrich, under the firm name of
Wagner Sz; Emrich, which has continued in the milling
business to the present time, gaining a reputation
for fair dealing and honest representation. The Wom-
elsdorf Rolling Mills cover a floor space of 50x50,
and are three stories high, and have a capacity of
from forty to fifty barrels every twenty-four hours.
The leading brand of the mills, the IXL flour, has a
large sale throughout the Eastern markets. In poli-
tics Mr. Wagner is a Democrat. He and his family
are Reformed members of the Myerstown Church.

In 1892, Mr. Wagner married Lizzie H. Frederick,
daughter of Andrew and Justina (Troutman) Freder-
ick, the former a railroad employe at Lebanon, Pa.
Four children have been born to this union: Lester
H., born imov. 22, 1892; Paul F., Sept. 7. 1894; Edith
C. Aug. 12, 1898 (died Dec. 14. 1904); and Laura M.,
June 3, 1906.

LEVI J. EMRICH. junior partner of the well-known
milling firm of Wagner & Emrich, proprietors of
the Womelsdorf Roller Mills, and an enterprising and
progressive business man, was born Nov. 10, 1857, in
Tulpehocken township, Berks county, son of Daniel
and Catherine (Weber) Emrich.



580



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



The great-great-grandfather of Levi J. Emrich came
from Holland with his two brothers and first settled
in New York State, whence they later came to Schuyl-
kill county. Pa.

John Sebastian Emrich, the son of the emigrant,
was a resident of Schuylkill county, and was the
father of six children, among whom was Jacob, who
was born in Schuylkill county.

Jacob Emrich was a laborer most of his life, but
in his later years purchased a small tract of land near
Mount Aetna, Berks county, where he died in 1882.
He married Susanna Morgan who died in February.
1905, and to them were born two children: Annie,
who died at the age of twenty years; and Daniel the
father of Levi J.

Daniel Emrich, father of Levi J., was born Dec. 4,
1839, in Schuylkill county, Pa., and died July 9, 1904,
being buried at Tulpehocken Reformed Church. He
was a tanner by trade, and moved to Berks county
in 1852, settling at Rehrersburg, where he worked at
his trade. Mr. Emrich enlisted in Company H, 151st
Pa. V. I., and served his country faithfully, although
for six months of his enlistment he was sick in the
hospital. Mr. Emrich married Catherine Weber, born
Nov. 16, 1837, daughter of Samuel and Pauline (Mil-
ler) Weber, and she still survives and lives one mile
west of Stouchsburg. along the Berks and Dauphin
turnpike. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Em-
rich were as follows: Levi J.; Susan E. m. Levi Fair,
of Reading; Miranda A. m. T. W. Kissinger, of No.
Ill Oley street, Reading; Jerome P., a foreman of
Myerstown, Pa., m. Kate Mountz, and has two chil-
dren, Frank and Sallie; Frank L., a painter and paper



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 161 of 227)