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 169 of 227)
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son under sixteen years of age and two daughters.

Jacob Flicker, his son, was the grandfather of Au-
gustus S. Flicker. He was born in Earl township,
but removed to Oley township where he died, and
where his son Jereniiah was born.

Jeremiah Flicker, son of Jacob, owned and operated
a large tract of land in Oley township, where he con-
tinued agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1863.
when in his forty-second year, caused by a fall into
a well some three years previous. He was a prom-
inent Democrat, and for some years served as road
commissioner. He married Mary Swavely, daughter of
Jacob Swavely, and wife (nee Trout). Seven children
were born of this union: Jacob m. Anna Drayer, and has
five children, Laura, Harry, Ellen, Jennie and John;
Augustus S.; Sally; Jeremiah, Jr., m. Mary Carl, and has
one child, Anna; Mary m. Daniel D. Becker, and had five
children: Esther, Wayne, Lucy, M'arcella, and one who
died in infancy; and two others died in infancy. In re-
ligious belief the family were members of the Reformed
Church.

Augustus S. Flicker was educated in the schools
of Oley township, and as a boy of fourteen began work
on a farm, carrying his earnings of four dollars a
rnonth to his mother. He continued at farm work un-
til he was twenty, and from that time until he came
to Reading drove the Almshouse Farm team or was
in charge of Amos Young's trotting horses in Exeter
township. On coming to Reading he was employed on
the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad as a fireman until
1876. He then worked on a farm and the following year



602



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



engaged in huckstering. His next venture was in t^e
grocery business, in which he continued for nine years
and then for, a few years with various partners was in
the flour and' feed business. In 1888 he engaged in the
hotel business at the corner of Third and Penn streets.
The place was owned at that time by John M. Kissinger.
Mr. Flicker purchased this property after conducting
it for five years. This hotel contained sixty-five rooms,
and was one of the best kept hotels in the city.

On Feb. 26, 1878, Mr. Flicker married Emma Snyder,
daughter of Lewis and Kate (Gambler) Snyder, and
four children were born to this union: Florence (m.
Hollingsworth Spoitts, and they reside in Reading and
have a daughter, Martha), Wayne, Edna and Earl. Mr.
Flicker was a member of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M.,
the Royal Arcanum and the Knights of the Golden
Eagle. He was well known as a member of the Nev-
ersink Fire Company and of several clubs. In poli-
tics he was a Democrat and was largely influential
with his party in this section. In religion Mr. Flicker
was connected with the First Reformed Church.

JAMES ONEAILL, a highly esteemed retired citi-
zen of Mohnton, Pa., and an honored survivor of the
great Civil war, was born April 3, 1839, in Robeson
township, Berks county, son of Michael Oneaill.

James Oneaill, grandfather of James, came from Ire-
land when eighteen years of age and settled in Berks
county, where he spent the remainder of his life in
agricultural pursuits. His children were: Harriet (m.
Abner Old, of Philadelphia), Katie (m. Patrick McNul-
ty and lived in Iowa), Mary Cm. Frederick Homan,
died in Iowa), Jane (m. Samuel Bittler, and died in
Robeson township), James (m. Abbie Stafford), An-
nie (m. Benjamin Wamsher), Hugh (m. Fannie Pain-
ter, and died in Robeson township), John (died young),
and Michael.

Michael Oneaill, like his father, was a farmer all of
his life, and followed this occupation in Robeson
township. He married Mary Wolfe, and to them
were born children as follows: Sarah A. (m. John
Piersol), James, Mark M. (m. Jennie Lauderbach),
Jacob (m. (first) Hannah Frey and (second) Sarah
Jacobs, and resides in Robeson township), Ellen (m.
George Geiger, of Geigertown), Hugh (m. Ellen Gor-
man, of Robeson township), and twelve others, the
oldest of whom was two years of age, who died in
infancy.. This was one of the largest families in Robe-
son township.

James Oneaill attended the schools of Robeson town-
ship and worked on his father's farm until twenty-one
years old. He then went to Reading and found em-
ployment at the iron works, where he was employed
at the time of his enlistment, Aug. 8, 1863, in Com-
pany K, 128th Reg., Pa. V. I., being discharged May
29, 1863. He enlisted (second) in Company I, 196th
Pa. V. I., July 1, 1864, and was honorably discharged
Nov. 17th of that year. His third enlistment was
on Sept. 1, 1865, in Company E, 75th Pa. V. I. In
his second enlistment he became seventh corporal of
Job Obock's company, and throughout his entire
service he was a faithful and cheerful soldier, perform-
ing his duties efficiently and well. He participated
in many of the hardest fought battles of the great
struggle, including Antietam and Chancellorsville, and
was always a brave and gallant fighter. After the
war Mr. Oneaill returned to Reading and resumed
work at the, iron works, later learning the hatting
trade, which he followed for three years, also taking
care of his small farm, which he still looks after.
Mr. Oneaill now receives a pension from the Govern-
ment as reward for his faithful services, and he re-
sides on Oneaill street, which was named in his honor.
He bears the reputation of being an honest man of
sterling integrity, and has the respect and esteem of
all who know him. In politics he is independent. He
is a member of Salem Evangelical Association, of
which he is now steward, and is also active in Sunday-
school work.



On May 21, 1866, Mr. Oneaill was married to Aman-
da Reichwine, daughter of Cornelius and Elizabeth
(Holtery) Reichwine, and to this union there were
born: Ellen m. Walter Webber, of Mohnton, and has
two children, Claude and Ralph; Mary J. m. William
Beaver, of Reading, and has two children, Clyde and
James; Sadie m. John Werner, of the firm of E. G.
Werner & Sons, Mohnton, and has two children,
Alethea and Norman; and Gertrude since 1902 has
been a trained nurse in the German Hospital, Phila-
delphia. Mr. Oneaill also has an adopted daughter,
Katie Lausch.

SAMUEL S. WEIS, a farmer on the Weis home-
stead in Earl township, Berks county, near the Cole-
brookdale township line, was> born Sept. 15, 1836, on
the farm on which he now resides.

Killian Weis, Sr., his grandfather, was born Dec. 15,
1751, and died Feb. 16, 1840, and was buried in the
old cemetery at the Hereford Mennonite Church at
Bally of which he and his wife were members. In
the Federal census of 1790 he was recorded as a tax-
able resident of Upper Milford township, Northampton
county (a district now embraced in Lehigh county)
and as the head of a family consisting of himself, his
wife Cathari ne, (n_ee_Xandisj"and six sons, J^cob, John,
Qeorge^ HSEy, Kjilian (father of Samuel S.)an3 Samu e J
(three of whom, were under sixteen years of agej, ana
three daughters, Anna (m. John Ehst), Kate (m. Henry
Shelly) and Harm ah (m. Isaac Longacre).

In Upper Milford township, in what is now Lehigh
county, there also lived Jacob Weis, brother of Kill-
ian, Sr., who was the owner and proprietor of the
old Weis' mill, now known as Kriebel's mill, in Lower
Milford township. In 1790 he had two sons and three
daughters.

Killian Weis. son of Killian. Sr., was born Jan. 31,
1788, and died Dec. 23, 1874. He was a life-long farm-
er, and in 1819 bought the Ehst farm now occupied by
his son Samuel S. This farm consists of 100 acres of
fertile hilly land, on which is found a high grade of
magnetic ore. The Berks Development Company have
sunk a number of shafts and have found a good grade
of ore. Killian Weis also owned the farm now owned
by his grandson, Frank Weis. His name has been
spelled Weis and Wise. He married Barbara Shelly,
born Jan. 31, 1796, and died June 20, 1886. Their
children, seven sons and two daughters, were: Jacob,
born Feb. 9, 1825, died Aug. 10, 1899; Catharine and
Franklin, twins, born March 2, 1826, of whom Cathar-
ine died Oct. 12, 1849, and Franklin Jan. 19, 1888; Hen-
ry, born 1837, died June 24, 1908; Killian. born 1838.
died April 29, 1904; Joel, born 1830, died young; John!
born 1832, died Feb. 38, 1899; Elizabeth, born 1834,
died Sept. 26, 1908; and Samuel S. is the only survivor.

Of these children only two married, Jacob and Kil-
lian. John, Henry, Frank, Elizabeth and Samuel
S. spent their lives on the old homestead. In poli-
tics they were all Democrats. They were steadfast
believers in the Mennonite faith, and belong to the
Mennonite Church at Boyertown, where the parents
are buried. The earlier generations lie in the Here-
ford burial ground at Bally.

Jacob Weis, son of Killian and brother of Samuel
S., born in 1835, died Aug. 10, 1899. He was a far-
mer in Colebrookdale township. He married Eliza-
beth Moyer, daughter of Michael Moyer, and she
died .in 1900, aged eighty-three years. They had two
fhildren: Elizabeth, born April 8, 1857, m. Jan. 38.
1883, Oscar K. Hausman, of Colebrookdale, and has
three sons and one daughter — Morris W. (born
Aug. 13, 1882), Edward (Jan. 3, 1890), Jacob (Aug.
12, 1893) and Lizzie (June 32, 1896); and Kate, born
May 21, 1859, has since 1906 been the home maker
for her uncle Samuel S. (she is an active worker in
the Mennonite Church). Morris W. Hausman mar-
ried Sept. 6, 1902, Catharine Johnson, and has two
sons. Monroe and Elmer.

. I



BIOGRAPHICAL



603



Killian Weis, son of Killian and brother of Sam-
uel S., born 1828, died April 29, 1904, married Sarah
Staufer, daughter of William Staufer, and they have
had two sons and one daughter: Lizzie, born July,
1858, m. Samuel Beer, and died in April, 1892; Frank ,
born December, 1859, m. Mary UpdegrofiE, and had
one son Samuel, Jr. (born Sept. 11, 1886, m., Jan. 19,
1907, Lillie Worstler and has two children, Samuel
and Mary) ; and William, born October, 1874, died
in February, 1887.

Samuel S. Weis has passed all his life on the farm
that is now his home, never having been absent from
it more than one week at a time. In politics he is
a Democrat, and has twice been delegate from Earl
township to the county conventions. He adheres to
the Mennonite faith, belonging to the, church at Boy-
ertown. Mr. Weis though seventy-three years old
is a very active man, and is an excellent farmer.
He has an old grandfather's clock, made by John
Brooker, of Germantown in 1789, which still keeps
good time, and is in fine condition. Mr. We'is has
never married. As stated above his niece, Kate,
daughter of his brother Jacob, has kept house for him
since 1906.

FRANKLIN K. MILLER, who is proprietor of the
well-known Excelsior Soap Works, one of the large
industries of its kind in Reading, Pa., was born March
3, 1840, on the old MHller homestead in Upper Tulpe-
hocken township, at Strausstown, son of Michael and
Catherine (Klahr) Miller.

(I) Jacob Mueller, the immigrant ancestor, according
to his tombstone inscription at Little Tulpehocken
Church, was born Oct. 22, 1697, died Dec. 18, 1772;
married iifty-three years to Catharine '(middle name
badly worn, but probably, according to will, it was
Charlotte, maiden name not shown, born Oct. 11, 1699,
died April 5, 1777); "left a good name, a sorrowing
widow and four children." Jacob Mueller and his
wife had ten children, of whom three sons and one
daughter survived the father. He was the immigrant
Jacob Mueller who, with Charlotta (very likely his
wife), John Jacob (under sixteen) and Barbara (no
doubt another child), all grouped together on the
"original list" of passengers, is shown as having land-
'ed at Philadelphia Sept. 19, 1732, having come over
in the ship "Johnson," of London, David Crocket,
master, from Rotterdam, last from Deal; passengers,
113 males above sixteen, 98 under sixteen; 98 females
above sixteen, 85 under sixteen. He came from Ger-
many. In 1759 Jacob Mueller paid ~ £11 tax. He is
mentioned as a yeoman in his last will and testa-
ment, made Jan. 39, 1766, witnessed by Balser Unbe-
hauer and Henrich Kettner, and recorded in Book
II, page 117. The oldest son was allowed £35 over
and above all others for his birthright. The children
mentioned are John Jacob, born Sept. 34, 1728 (was
single in 1759); Johannes, born Nov. 9, 1733 (was
married in 1759); Elizabeth Barbara Hess: and Math-
ias, born Oct. 18, 1743. In the Little Tulpehocken
Church records of births and baptisms are found the fol-
lowing children of Jacob Mueller: John Jacob, born Sept.
24, 1728, in Europe, baptized Sept. 36, 1728 (sponsors,
Frederic William Beckle, Christopher Haist, Joseph
Rohr and Joh. David Bauer) ; John, born Nov. 9, 1733,
in Pennsylvania, baptized Nov. 16, 1733, by Rev. Philip
Boehm, Reformed minister at White Marsh at the
time (sponsors, Joh. Henry Fegner and Mary Eliza-
beth Barbara Schneider); Mary Elizabeth Barbara,
born Sept.. 9, 1736, baptized Sept. 28, 1736, by Rev.
Bartholomew Rugner, who was Reformed pastor at
Germantown, Pa., at that time (sponsors, same as for
John); Matthias, born Oct. 18, 1743, baptized Nov. 6,
1743, by Rev. Joh. Casper Stoever (sponsors, Matthias
Schmidt and wife); Elizabeth Barbara, born June 7,
1755 (baptism not. given). It seems doubtful that the
last named child belonged to the family of Jacob, the
immierrant.



, Samuel Miller succeeded his father, Jolfennes, m the
tanning business, and carried it on during his whole
life. He married a Miss Moyer, and to them were
born children as follows: Michael, the father of
Franklin K.; Jonathan, m. to Lydia Klahr; Sarah, m.
to Elijah Weaver; Rebecca, m. to Israel Wagner; Cath-
erine, m. to David Koenig; Matthias, m. to Eliza Sny-
der; Jacob, m, to Mary Gerhard; Samuel, who died in
June, 1909,' m, (first) to Hettie Christman and (second)
to Henrietta Scholl; John, who died aged thirty-five
years; Leah, m, (first) to John Miller and (second) to
Joel Kantner; and William, m. to Theresa Wilhelm.

Michael Miller, father of Franklin K., was born
Aug. 3, 1814, and died March 19, 1883, having been a
life-long tanner at Strausstown, and also owning the
old homestead and tannery. He married Catherine
Klahr, and to them were born ten children, as follows:
Franklin K.; Mary, deceased; William; Rebecca;
Charles, of New York, who died in March, 1908;
Edward and Lewis, twins, born in July, 1850; Sabilla;
Levi; and Albert.

Franklin K. Miller received his education in the
schools of his native locality, also attending Whitehall
Academy, three miles west of Harrisburg, during the
winter session of 1855 and 1856. He was reared on the
old homestead, and when sixteen years of age learned
the tanning trade with his father, following this oc-
cupation until his twenty-second year. During 1863,
when the Commonwealth was threatened with invas-
ion, Mr. Miller enlisted in Capt. Augustus G. Greth's
Company I, 48th Pa. y. I., for ninety days, and re-
ceived his honorable discharge Aug. 26th of the
same year. On returning home, Mr. Miller again
took up tanning as an occupation, and on June
8, 1865, removed to Tamaqua, where he followed
the trade two years, then removing to Ringtown.
Forming a partnership with P. M. Barrow, under the
firm name of Miller & Barrow, they continued at this
place for two years, when Mr. Miller went to North
Branch, between Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, and
there formed a partnership with his brother. They con-
tinued in the tanning business at this place until 1875,
in December of which year Franklin K. Miller re-
moved to Hazleton and there remained for a period
of seven years, for a part of which time he was en-
gaged in operating a currier shop. In 1882, Mr. Miller
first engaged in a very small way in the manufacture
of soap in Reading, making samples which he dis-
tributed while doing other work. He also obtained
a position in a tannery, and in the fall of that year
removed with his family to the city. On Christmas,
Mr. Miller was laid off from work, on account of slack
business, but he soon found a position at the Scott
foundry, at the meagre salary of one dollar per day,
on which he paid rent and supported his larg^e family.
Mr. Miller's_ energy and industry were not to be denied,
and on again engaging in the soap business, to which
he gave his entire attention, after another lay-off on
account of slack work, he found success. While going
to and from work in the foundry he distributed sam-
ples, orders began to come in and soon his soap had
gained a wide reputation. He first carried his soap to
market in a basket, next used a wheelbarrow, soon
thereafter getting a push-cart, and finally a horse and
wagon. The Excelsior Soap Works of East Reading,
Pa., is now a three-story, brick building, on a 60x110
feet lot, the building being 40x60 feet in dimensions.
Here a large number of men are employed in the
manufacture of laundry, fulling and scouring soaps, the
latter two being specialties. Mr. Miller has four teams
constantly on the streets, and his soaps find a ready
sale in the markets all over the State. Success in this
case has come where success was due. In all his
early struggles with adversity Mr. Miller never, lost
heart, but at each succeeding reverse started .in all
over again to build up a paying business. He is now
considered one of the substantial men of his com-
munity, and has a large circle of friends who enjoy



604



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



his business prominence. In politics, Mr. Miller is a
Democrat. He is a member of Vigilance Lodge, No.
194, I. O. O. F., of Reading, and Mount Penn Encamp-
ment, No. 15a. He and his family are members of St.
Matthew's Lutheran Church.

On Feb. 14, 1861, Mr. Miller was married to Miss
Caroline Nunnemacher, daughter of William and Esth-
er (Gettle) Nunnemacher, and to this union there have
been born children as follows: Ge&rge W., Mary, Elva,
William, Stella, Henry R. (deceased), Laura, Phoebe
and Beulah.

JOSEPH! H. MOYER, who died in Reading in 1891,
was one of the veterans of the Civil war and had been
a resident of the city for the whole of his active busi-
ness life. He was born in Spring township, .Berks
county, in 1835, son of John and Elizabeth (Hontz)
Moyer.

Educated in the township schools, Mr. Moyer at first
took up the vocation of a teacher, but after several
years' successful experience, he decided to learn a trade,
and at once apprenticed himself to a harness maker.
When he had completed his term, he established him-
self in business in that line in Reading, and thereafter
made that city his home. When the Civil war broke
out he at first continued in his usual routine and did
som'e work on saddles for the government, but on Aug.
16, 1863, he responded to his country's call for m^ore
men, and was mustered in at H.arrisburg in Company
H, 138th Pa. V. I., under Capt. John Kennedy, and
Col. J. A. Matthews. He proceeded with his regiment
to Washington and thence to the front. He partici-
pated in the battles of Antietam and Chancellorsville,
besides a number of minor skirmishes and at the expi-
ration of his term of enlistment was honorably dis-
diarged at Harrisburg in May, 1863.

Returning to Reading, Mr. Moyer once more engaged
in business as a harness maker, and established him-
self on Penn street, between Second and Third. He
was a very good workman and comananded the very
best prices, but despite his success he sold out his
business after some years, moving to No. 8 North Ninth
street, remaining there two years. He then moved to
No. 308 Penn street where he retired and after five
months he died. Invariably honest in all his dealings
he commanded respect from all who had business deal-
ings with him, while his genial jjersonality made him
well liked socially also. On political questions he was
independent, voting always for the man he considered
best fitted for the ofifice regardless of party lines. In
religion he was a devout member of the Universalist
Church, and socially he belonged to the I. O. O. F.
and the American Mechanics, besides being a member
of McClellan Post, No. 16, G. A. R., of Reading.

Mr. Moyer was married in 1863 to Miss Margaret C.
Wright, and six children were born to them as follows:
Lizzie; Annie, deceased; John and Susan, twins, the
latter deceased; and Ella and Amy, both deceased.

Mrs. Margaret C. W. Moyer was a daughter of John
K. and Elizabeth (Sigman) Wright. Her father was
a blacksmith by trade, and a man whose name stood
for thrift and honesty, was prominent in the local ranks
of the Democratic party, and served efficiently as post-
master during President Jackson's administration. He
died in 1848. A son, Charles E. Wright, was one of
those who gave their lives for their country during the
great Civil war. He enlisted June 7, 1861, in Company
D, 3d Pa. V. I., and was killed at the battle of Fred-
ericksburg, Dec. 13, 1863, at the age of twenty-three
years.

F. F. BRESSLER, a well known marble and granite
dealer, of Reading, Pa., and ex-recorder of Berks
county, died_ Oct. 32, 1908. He was born in Spring
township, this county, in 1857, son of Darius Bressler,
a stone mason, who was born near Adamstown, Lan-
caster county, and died in Berks county at the age of
sixty-two years.



Mr. Bressler attended the public schools of Berks
county, after leaving which he spent one year with H.
H. Hettinger at Sinking Spring, at the stone cutter's
trade. In 1876 he located in Reading, being eniployed
with the Eisenbrown Marble Company, of this city,
in whose employ he remained for three years. At the
end of this time Mr. Bressler went to New York, where
he was employed on the State Capitol at Albany, in
1880-81, from there going to Coatesville, Chester
county, where he was engaged in business a short time.
Returning to Reading, in 1883 Mr. Bressler engaged
in business with Amos Esterly, under the firm name
of Bressler & Esterly, they continuing as partners until
1877, when Mr, Bressler engaged in work by himself
on Washington street, opposite the post-office. Here
Mr. Bressler continued until 1904, when he removed to
his late location, at Center avenue and Spring streets,
his place of business being fitted with the latest im-
proved machmery. He employed from ten to fifteen
skilled mechanics. His shop was a frame structure,
60 x 100 feet in dimensions, and in one of the most desir-
able locations that could be found for such a business,

Mr. Bressler was before the public as an official hav-
ing been elected recorder of deeds of Berks county in
1901, on the Democratic ticket, in which office he
served faithfully for three years. He was a resident
of the Seventh ward, and during 1890-91 he served in
the select council. He served as a delegate to various
conventions, among them the convention which nomi-
nated William Jennings Bryan for the Presidency, at
Chicago. Mr. Bressler was a member of the election
board in his ward.

Mr. Bressler was married to Mary Esterly, daughter
of the late Amos S. Esterly, of Reading, who was a
well-known hotel proprietor of the city, and two child-
ren were born to this union, Mabel and Alice, Mr,
Bressler was fraternally connected with the Elks Lodge
of Reading, No. 115.

JAMES M-. YERGER, who was one of the county
commissioners of Berks county from Jan. 1, 1906, to
Jan. 1, 1909, was born in Upper Tulpehocken township,
this county, June 23, 1860, son of William and Diana
(Moll) Yerger.

Samuel Yerger, grandfather of James M., was a native
of Berks county, born in Bern township. He was a
farmer and stock raiser by occupation and was quite
a prominent man of his day. Mr. Yerger married a
Miss Nunemacher, and their children were: Joseph;
John; Betsy, m. to Elias Spies; and William. In re-
ligious belief the family were Lutherans. Mr. Yerger
was a Democrat.

William Yerger was educated in the common schools
of Bern township, Berks county, and in his youth
learned the carpenter's trade, at which, in conjunction
with agricultural pursuits, he continued all of his life.
Mr. Yerger passed away in 1885. aged sixty-three
years, and his wife Diana (Moll) passed away in 1860.
when thirty-three years of age. These children were
born to them: Cyrus; Elizabeth, m. to Henry Heffner,
of Youngstown, Ohio; William; Amos; Amanda, de-
ceased; Clarietta, m. to Franklin Seidel; Annetta, m.
to Alfred Stoyer; and James M. Mr. Yerger's second
marriage was to Theresa Himmelberger Ulrich, and
to this union there were born three children: Wilson;
Morris; and Catherine, deceased, Mr, Yerger was a
Lutheran. He was a Democrat in his political views,
and for some years held the office of school director.
James M, Yerger received his educational advantages



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 169 of 227)