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 172 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 172 of 227)
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George Michael Graff was born in Bayern, Ger-
many, May 23, 1793, and died at his home near Wess-
nersville, Berks county, June 29, 1879. He came to
America in 1839 bringing his family, and first lived for
a few years in Philadelphia, from which city he came
to Berks county, and made his first location in Green-
wich township, on the place where William Emore
now lives about Klinesville. About 1848 he moved to
Albany township, and located where his son Christian
now lives near Wessnersville. He owned this farm,
which first consisted of fifty-six acres, and this he
cultivated until a few years before his death. He was
a Lutheran in religious faith, as was also his wife,
and they are buried at Friedens Church at Wessners-
ville, of which they were members. Mr. Graff had been
a tanner in the Old Country, but never followed that
trade in America. He was a man of medium height
with very black hair. His second wife was Anna
Maria Himmelshear'. who was bom — March I3r~t8137"
and died April 21, 1881. They had four children:
George and Michael, both born in Germany; and
Christian and Catharine (m. Samuel Mohn, of Round
Top, Albany township), both born in America. Of these
children, Michael lived some years in Albany town-
ship, and then moved to West Penn township, Schuyl-
kill county, where some years later he sold out his
farm, and then went to Tamaqua. He married Polly
Kunkel, and their children were: Thomas, George,
Charles, Alvin. Jonathan. Mary Ann, Missouri and Cora.
Christian Graff, son of George Michael, a shoemaker by
trade, also carries on farming on the old homestead in
Albany township. He married Polly Krey (spelled Frai
in German), sister to George Graff's wife, Sarah, both
daughters of Napoleon Frey. To Christian Graff and
wife have been born : Oscar, Mantillis (m. Amanda
Zimmerman, daughter of Noah Zimmerman), Richard
(m. Alice Zimmerman, sister to Amanda), Irwin, Elmer
and Herbert.

George Graff accompanied his parents to America,
and in Greenwich township he learned the shoemaker's
trade under Peter Reinhard, and this he followed four-
teen years. During the Civil war he enlisted in Com-
pany G, 167th Pa. V. I. and served nine months. After
the war he engaged in farming in Albany township,
and has a nice farm of 110 acres located in the potato
belt on the Ontelaunee. IJe built in 1883 the present
barn on his farm, and he retired in 1889, "having the



previous year built at Albany Station the brick resi-
dence near the railroad, where he now lives. The large
lawn is most attractive. Mrs. Graff is a great lover of
flowers and has been very successful in their cultivation,
and the beautiful blossoms attract much attention, not
only of the passers-by but also of the passengers on
the trains of the Schuylkill & Lehigh railroad running
close to the house. Mr. Graff is a man of intelligence
and is well posted on public questions. He takes great
pleasure in reading. He and his wife have erected
their monument at Friedens Church cemetery.

In 1860 Mr. Graff married Sarah Frey, daughter of
Napoleon and Kate (Billman) Frey, the latter a daugh-
ter of Jacob Billman (whose children were — Sallie,
Leah, Betsey, Hettie, Kate, Polly, Jonas and Reuben).
To Mr. and Mrs. Graff have been born no children. Mr.
Giraff is a Democrat in politics, and he and his wife
are Lutheran members of Friedens Church.

WILLIAM BORDER, a retired citizen of Reading,
has been a resident of that city from youth, and was
one of its foremost business men for many years. His
success was not made in any one line alone, but in
different ventures, his chief interest, however, center-
ing in the local financial institutions and in the Acme
Manufacturing Company, of which important concern
he was a member and director for several years. He
is a man of independent spirit and persevering disposi-
tion, and made his own way to a high position in busi-
ness circles.

Mr. Border is^ a native of Berks county, born in Al-
sace township, ^une 6, 1829. He is of German descerit,
his grandfather, Samuel Border, having been born in
Germany, whence he emigrated to America, settling
in Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa. Daniel Border, son
of Samuel, and father of William, was born in
Exeter township and there passed his early life.
In time he settled in Alsace with his family where he
remained until his comparatively early death in 1821.
He was a farmer by occupation. Daniel Border married
Elizabeth Kline, and they had two children, Daniel and
William, the former dying when eleven years old. Mrs.
Border remarried, her second husband TDeing Jacob
Bower, by whom she had one son, Jeremiah, who be-
came a well known physician of Reading.

William Border was only a year and a half old when
his father died, and he remained at home with his moth-
er, and step-father until he reached the age of eleven,
when he began to support himself. For several years
he hired out as a farm hand, but when he was seven-
teen the family removed to Reading, and he accom-
panied them 'to the city, which has since been his home.
During his first summer here he found work in a brick
yard, and then he did day's labor until he commenced
fence-making, in which line he made his first notable
success. He continued in that line for twenty-two
years, taking orders for the particular kind of fence
he sold in every section of Berks county, where he
formed a wide acquaintance while traveling around
in the pursuit of his business. For the first six
months after he quit fence-making he was in partner-
ship with Isaac Roland, whose interest he purchased at
that time. He then formed the firm of William Border
& Co., in which his associates were James T. Reber
and Adarn Bard, and they continued together for eight
years, doing a profitable business as manufacturers of
parts for wagons, buggies, etc., such as felloes, spokes,
shafts, etc.

Mr. Border's next venture was as a money broker, a
business which he began in 1873 at a most favorable
time for that calling,- as the financial panic of that time
had just broken out. He followed that line for three
years, during which he not only exercised his native
shrewdness to the best advantage in various financial
transactions, but also found several openings for profit-
able investment. The accuracy of his judgment, wheth-
er in regard to men or conditions, was the principal
factor in his success at this time. It was about this



612



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



period that he invested largely in timber lands, upon
which he intended to realize by cutting and selling the
■timber, and the outcome of these investments showed
him to be an expert in the valuation of such property.
He continued on a similar line for some time after-
ward, buying land which he laid out into building lots,
and he did considerable trading in real estate through-
out his active career, also retaining a number of lots
for himself — about a hundred near Reading. His sales
amounted to over $30,000 annually.

In 1894 Mr. Border became a member of the Acme
Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of the Stormer
bicycle, whose business offered a most promising in-
vestment as the demand for bicycles was then at i.ts
height. His executive influence soon became apparent,
and he continued to be a factor in the management of
the concern, during which time the large bicycle fac-
tory on Eighth street, at that time the largest in the
city, was erected, in 1896. The product was twenty
thousand bicycles yearly, and employment was given to
a force of four hundred in their manufacture. The
wheels were marketed all over the United States and
also in foreign countries, being of high standard make.
In 1893 Mr. Border opened a toy and variety store, the
conduct of which he turned over to his grandson. Wil-
liam F. Lease, and this was sold in 1903. Mr. Border
has also been identified with some of the most notable
of Reading's financial institutions. He had an interest
in the Penn National Bank, the Schuylkill Valley Bank,
the Reading National Bank and the Reading City Pas-
senger Railway Company, still retaining his stock in
the last named.

Though his phenomenal success followed a youth of
hard toil, with no promise of the affluence which crown-
ed the efforts of his manhood, Mr. Border was never
carried away with his prosperity, and never became a
reckless investor or improvident in any way. His
rise was steady, jind a wise conservatism and excellent
judgment led him to decide deliberately and venture
cautiously. Thus, having- gained ground, he did not
lose it, and his course not only made for his own profit,
but won for him a substantial position and gave the
enterprises with which he was connected high prestige.
He made his way against many obstacles, but he had
the quahties of determination and perseverance, and
his successful struggles against lack of means in his
earlier years gave him courage for large things as time
passed. His integrity in all transactions' gained him
universal respect.

On July 1, 1849, Mr. Border married Emma Harbold,
like himself a native of Berks county, born May 26,
1822, daughter of Adam Harbold and granddaughter of
Frederick Harbold. She died May 7, 1889. the mother
of five children, namely: (1) Ellen Alwidla m. Jeremiah
Lease, of Reading, and they have a family of five: Wil-
liam F., m. to Sallie Hafer, has two children, Ella and
Catherine; Edwin J., m. to Carrie Wiest. has six child-
ren, Lester, Florence, Harold, Grace, Emily and Carrie;
Arthur F.; Clarence, and Raymond. This family, with
the exception of Arthur F., who is Reformed, belongs
to the Lutheran Church. (2) Amanda Otilda. (3)
Anetta m. Frank Reinert, of Reading, and they have
had three sons: One died in infancy; Leroy, m. to Hel-
en Fleckenstein, has one child, William; and Guy is un-
married. (4) Emma and (5) Elizabeth died when young.
Mr. Border and his daughter, Amanda, reside at No.
1238 North 12th street, Reading:

Mr. Border is a Republican in political faith and has
been almost since the formation of the party. He cast
his first vote for Buchanan, supported Abraham Lin-
coln, and has upheld Republican principles staunchly,
though he has never taken an active part in political
affairs. Fraternally he unites with Freedom Circle,
Brotherhood of the Union, and is an Odd Fellow. His
religious connection is with the Lutheran Church, to
which he gives liberal support. Among the character-
istic traits showing Mr. Border's beneficent spirit was
the distribution of all his real estate in 1907 to his



three daughters,, it being his desire to see the enjoyment
of his children in his property while he was yet living.
He is now in his eigbty-first year, and enjoying fair
health.

WANNER. The Wanner family was one of a half
dozen families who came from the southwestern sec-
tion of Germany or Switzerland prior to 1740, and
settled in Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa. Old set-
tlers, tradition, appearance and descendants of these
families who are posted on genealogy, in many cases
confirm the idea that they were Palatinates, who ac-
cepted the Christian religion before they came to the
New World.

(I) Martin Wanner, the emigrant ancestor of this,
old family, came from Germany in the fall of 1733. He
had six children, namely: Christian, of whom we have
no record; Jacob, who married Mary Elizabeth Drei-
belbis, and had issue, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David,
Peter, Magdalena and Mary; Peter; Margaret, who
married a Burghart; Mrs. Muthart; and Mrs. Ango-
stadt.

(II) Peter Wanner, son of Martin the emigrant, was
thrice married. He m. (first) Catharine Rothermel,
and ithey had six children, as follows: (1) Daniel is
mentioned below. (2) Jacob is not mentioned in the
records. (3) Peter m. Catharine Redinger, and had
seven children — Martin, m. to Hannah Christ; Anna
and William, unmarried; Peter, m. to a Brown; Eliza-
beth, m. to Charles Leis, and mother of seven child-
ren; Isaac; and Esther. (4) Thomas m. Rebecca Al-
bright, and had three children — Susanna, m. to John
Adams, and had two children who died in infancy;
and Mary and Peter, who are unmarried. (5) Cabilla
was married, but we have no record of either her or
her family. (6) Esther m. a Heckman, and had three
children — George, Aaron and Esther. Peter Wanner
m. (second) a Miss Schwartz, and by her had three
children, all of whom died in infancy. He m. (third)
Magdalena Dreibelbis, and they were- the parents of
John Wanner, the grandfather of Solon A.. Wanner.

(III) John Wanner m. Elizabeth' Biehl, daughter
of Christian Biehl, and to this union were born the
following children: Maria, born May 6, 1811, m. into
the Sharadin family; Anna, born Feb. 4, 1813. m. into
the Mertz family; Ephraim, born Feb. 4, 1815, died
young; William, born Feb. 22, 1817, is a farmer; John
Daniel is mentioned below; Joel B., born March 5,
1821, a graduate of the Franklin and Marshall College,
a lawyer, and during the Civil war a major in the
Union army, m. into the Zieber family; Peter Chris-
tian, born March 24, 1823, m. a Moyer; John Charles,
born Jan. 22, 1825, is a successful china merchant in
Philadelphia; Charles H., born Sept. 3, 1827. a doctor,
m. into the Hilbert family; Elizabeth, born Oct. 15,
1829, m: a Humbert; Amos, born Dec. 25, 1831, a lawyer
and a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, m.
into the Zieber family; and Henry, born March 28.
1834, is a tanner and currier, and is unmarried. John
Wanner, the father, was a prominent politician, and
served several terms in the Legislature.

(IV) John Daniel Wanner, father of Solon A., was
born near Kutztown, in Maxatawny township, Berks
Co., Pa., Feb. 20, 1819. He m. Elizabeth, daughter of
Jonas and Elizabeth (Sell) Bower, and to them were
born these children: (1) Llewellyn, a graduate of the
Franklin and Marshall College, was a member of the
Reading Bar, and after a successful career in Reading
he went to Goshen, Ind., with his family, where he
practised law until his death. He m. Catharine M
Dech, of Allentown, Lehigh Co., Pa., and to this union
were born four children: Kate Laneta, m. to Joseph
H. Lesh, a lumber merchant of Chicago, 111., has one
daughter, Kathrine; Lulona Elizabeth,- m. to Edward
Herith, a piano dealer in Indianapolis. Ind., has two
daughters; William Ralph married Carrie •

t"^ ^rl\^'rf^ ^T?"^" ,?r-.,*^ ^'■- Haskel, of Goshen,
Ind. (2) Clara E. m. Wilson R. Merkel, of Lenharts-



BIOGRAPHICAL



613



ville, Pa., son of George Merkel, an iron master of
that place. The only child of this union was a daugh-
ter who died at birth, the motheir passing away at the
same time, April 10, 1883. (3) Solon A. is mentioned
below.

John Daniel Wanner received a common school edu-
cation, and began life as a school teacher in Maxa-
tawny township, later taking up civil engineering, which,
he mastered successfully in a short time. He then
began the' study of law, in his spare time, meanwhile
working in the dry goods business with Heidenrich &
Kutz, for meager wages. The firm kindly let him go
surveying several days of the week, and at night when
the rest of the family were in bed, he was preparing
his drafts and making calculations, these being so cor-
rect that his surveyings were never questioned by the
courts. Raising and educating his own family, besides
helping to educate three of his brothers, he was un-
daunted in his efforts, and success attended his every
step. He was a justice of the peace at Kutztown for
many years, served as chief burgess, and was clerk of
the borough council until age incapacitated him for
further work. He also held the offite of registrar of
wills for Berks county with credit to himself and to
the satisfaction of all concerned. The whole life of
J. Daniel Wanner was an excellent example of ambition,
pluck and energy, united with love and kindness to-
ward his neighbors. Honest to himself and everyone
who came in contact with him, sociable with everybody
he met, loving and exceedingly kind to his family and
friends — all of these characteristics, combined with a
God-fearing spirit and a keen desire to do right, made
up Mr. Wanner's life.

(V) Solon A. Wanner was born Nov. 13, 1850,
and spent his boyhood days in Kutztown. There he at-
tended the public schools, and later entered the Key-
stone State Normal School, in 1868 taking the regular
course at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie,
N. Y., graduating therefrom in 1869. After his return
to Kutztown he became a clerk in the Peabody Bank,
under his father, and four years later entered the
employ of the Farmers State Bank, of Goshen, Ind.
He remained there for three years, and then
on account of the age of his parents he re-
turned home, and engaged in business on Main street,
conducting a branch office for the Keystone and Farm-
ers' National Banks of Reading, Pa. He later en-
gaged in the cigar and tobacco business, but is now
yeoman. In 1905 he was called as an expert account-
ant to examine and audit the accounts of the county
alms house, which duty he performed with great credit.
Besides being a good business man Mr. Wanner is a
musician of some note.

On Sept. 10, 1885, Mr. Wanner was married to Mary
A. Leiby, daughter of Alfred and Susan (Wertz) Leiby,
and to this union were born children: Lee, a telegraph
operator; Vernon; Daniel, an expert electrician at the
Locomotive works at Huntington, W. Va., and a clever
musician; and Clara Mary, a bright and accomplished
daughter, who is now teaching school.



(III) Daniel Wanner, son of Peter and great-grand-
father of Charles A. Wanner, married and became the
father of three children, Samuel, Thomas and Jacob.

(IV) Samuel Wanner, son of Daniel, was a farmer
and miller, and erected a number of grist mills, among
which was the Leinbach mill in Fleetwood. He was
very prosperous, owning an excellent farm of 100 acres
in Richmond township. He was a member of the
Reformed ■ Church of St. Paul, of Fleetwood. _ In poli-
tics he was a Democrat. He m. Anna Albright, and
to them were born children as follows: Daniel A., a
farmer in Alsace township; Thomas A., now retired,
who was an iron worker, having a forge in Chester
county; Peter A., retired drover; John A., deceased;
and Lewis A.



(V) Lewis A. Wanner was a well known and pros-
perous business man of Fleetwood, and a member of
the firm of Schaefier, Wanner & Co. He m. Hettie
Kelchner, daughter of Jacob and Ann (Sheirer) Kelch-
ner, and t6 this union were born the following children:
Katie, wife of Marvin Moyer, a dealer in wall papers
at Quakertown, Pa.; Isaac, deceased; Annie, m. to
Henry D. Schaeffer, of Reading; Charles A.; Eliza-
beth, who resides with her mother in Fleetwood;
Lewis A., a student in the Department of Finance and
Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania; and
Oliver B., a student at Albright College.

(VI) Charles Albright Wanner was born Aug.
25, 1876, and received his primary education in
the public schools of the place of his nativity, later
attending the Keystone State Normal School at Kutz-
town. Later he attended Albright College, at Myers-
town, Lebanon county, and graduated from that insti-
tution in 1895. The senior partner in his father's
business retired, and the present firm, that of Schaef-
fer, Wanner & Co., was formed, consisting of Charles
A. Wanner, and. Llewellyn D. and Webster D. Schaef-
fer, the two latter being sons of George B. Schaeffer,
ex-sheriff of Berks county. The new firm has thus
far been very successful.

Charles A. Wanner is a Republican in politics. ' In
religion he is connected with the United Evangelical
Church. Besides other business interests he is a mem-
ber of the hosiery manufacturing firm of Madeira &
Wanner of Fleetwood. He is an honorable and public-
spirited citizen, and a representative man of his com-
munity.

HERMAN. The Herman family of Berks county;
represented in the present generation by that popular
official, George C. Herman, Esq., of Maxatawny town-
ship, had its early home in Holland, and the four
generations in America have given their time, their
talents and their education to the service of the public.

The first of the family to come to the New World
was the Rev. Frederick Herman, a native of Holland,
who in 1786 was sent by the fathers of the Reformed
Church to preach the Gospel in America. He located
in New Jersey, but remained there only a short time,
going then to Germantown, near Philadelphia, and
there he was living in 1793 when President Washington
and the American Congress met there. In fact, his
home was secured for the accommodation of the
President and his private secretary, Mr. B. Dandridge.
Three rooms and two beds were placed at the disposal
of the distinguished guests, "with breakfast, and tea
in the afternoon, at ten dollars each per week." The
dinners were sent in by a neighboring tavern keeper.
From Germantown the Rev. Mr. Herman moved to
near Pottstown, in Montgomery county, where he
served many congregations, besides paying special at-
tention to preparation of young men for the work of
the holy ministry, and died at a ripe old age. after
sixty years, of faithful service as a minister of the
Gospel.

Rev. Charles G. Herman, son of the Rev. Frederick
Herman and Maria, his wife, whose maiden name was
Feit, was born in Germantown. Philadelphia county.
He, too, became a minister of the Reformed Church,
and, locating in Maxatawny township, Berks county,
made that locality the scene of his labors throughout
the remainder of his life. He entered into rest Aug.
4, 1863, at the age of seventy years, nine months and
eleven days. He married Hester Sassaman. who was
born m Maxatawny township, and they became
the parents of five children: Maria, m. to Judge Wil-
loughby Fogle, and now deceased; Hester m to Dr
Henry Helfnch, a resident of Allentown, Pa.; Louisa'
m. to Rev. Daniel Brendel, of Bethlehem, Pa.; Jacob
Sassaman, deceased; and the Rev, Alfred Jasper ,

Rev^^ Alfred Jasper Herman, son of Rev. Charles G
and Hester (Sassaman), was born Nov. 6 1831 in
Maxatawny township, in the house in which he now



614



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



lives. He was reared in the influence of a Christian
home, and was early trained to habits of industry and
self-denial. His education was acquired in the com-
mon schools; in Easton Academy, under the Rev.
Dr. Vandeveer; in the University of New York, where
he pursued a special course for two years; and his
theological studies under his uncle, the late Rev. Dr.
Guldin, of New York City, and his father. The hono-
rary degree of A. M. was conferred upon him by Frank-
lin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. During the
last year of his study in New York City he preached
weekly, on Wednesday nights, in the Howsen street
Reformed Church, of which his uncle wag pastor. In
1851 the Classis of the Reformed Church ordained him,
and he immediately became assistant to his father, a
position he filled for five years. At the end of that
time he took charge of the New Jerusalem Church at
Wessnersville, where he remained for half a century.
He also had charge of a number of other churches in
that locality, at one time being pastor of eight parishes
— an almost superhuman task, yet his industry, his
devotion never flagged, and his superb physical health
sustained him. In forty-seven years he missed but
twenty-five Sundays because of ill health or inclement
weather. To his earnest efforts is due the existence
of St. Paul's Church, at Seiberlingville, and of St.
Peter's at Topton. In 1897 when he celebrated the
forty-sixth anniversary of his ordination, and the forty-
first of his pastorate at the New Jerusalem Church,
people to the number of 2,000 gathered from all over
Berks and Lehigh counties to do him honor, and to
show their affection for their spiritual leader.

The Rev, Mr. Herman was married on June 14, 1853,
to Isabella Grim, daughter of Sem and Anna (Kline)
Grim, of Lehigh county, and their children were:
Ambrose, a practising physician at Lansdale, Pa., m.
Alice Breinig; Annie m. Dr. Richard Beck, of New-
burg, Pa.; and George C, Esq. The Rev. Mr. Her-
man is now living retired on the 150-acre farm in
Maxatawny township that once belonged to his father.
On it is a large pebble-dashed house that has weathered
the storms a full half century.

George" C. Herman, son of Rev. Alfred J. and Isa-
bella (Grim), was born on the old Herman homestead
June 9, 1862, and was educated in the public schools of
his native township, the Keystone State Normal
School, Frankhn and Marshall College and the Uni-



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 172 of 227)