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 174 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 174 of 227)
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then moved to a farm near Van Reed's paper inill
in Spring township, and for five years devoted him-
self to agriculture. In 1887, with his brother Henry,
under the firm name of D. K. High & Bro., he opened
up a coal yard at No. S12 Rose street, Reading, also
handling flour and feed. They met with a good trade,
and the business has been carried on with increased
success by his brother Charles P. High. The firm was
continued as D. K. High & Bro. until 1891, when Mr.
D. K. High retired, and started in the creamery busi-
ness on his farm. This he conducted for two years,
but on account of the scarcity of milk in that locality
he removed to Brownsville, and with M. K. Keith
as a partner under the name of High & Keith carried
on the business for five years. Again the difficulty of
securing milk proved a factor in Mr. High's business
arrangements, and he sold out to his partner, and
bought a half interest of Harry W. Sheeler, of the firm
of Sheeler & Leinbach, who were engaged in the
hosiery business at Robesonia, Pa. Later Mr. High
bought out Mr. Leinbach's interest, and he now con-
ducts the business alone under the name of Robesonia
Knitting Mills. His factory is a two-story frame struc-
ture 40x60 feet. He employs upwards of fifty people,
and the out-put is about 250 dozen pairs per day. This
consists of men's fine seamless hosiery, and a ready
sale is found all over the United States. In 1906 he
started his sons Edwin and Walter in a branch factory
at Bernville, where about thirty people are employed.
The capacity of this factory is also 250 dozen pairs
per day. This business is most successful. Mr. High
still retains his fine farm of 118 acres on the Tul-
pehocken, near the Van Reed mills (now used by the
Acme Paper Company).

In politics Mr. High is a Democrat. He was hon-
ored by election as school director to fill an unexpired
term, and then re-elected, serving as secretary of the
board and rendering valuable service to the cause of
education. Socially he is a member of Castle No. 49,
K. G. E., of Reading. Since 1885 he and his family
have been connected with St. Paul's Reformed Church
at Reading, of which he was a deacon.

On Feb. 26, 1880, Mr. High was married to Clara
Van Reed, daughter of Henry Z. and Mary (Leinbach)
Van Reed, and granddaughter of Charles and Margar-
et (Zacharias) Van Reed. To Mr. and Mrs. High
were born three sons, namely: (1) Edwin V. R., born
July 14, 1881, in Spring township, has a liberal educa-
tion, and is successful in business. He married, June
23, 1907, Rachel M. Taylor. (2) Henry V. R., born
in Spring township, July 27, 1883, is a bookbinder by
trade, and is manager and treasurer of the C. F. Heller
Book Bindery, at Reading, where he learned his trade
(D. K. High is vice president and director of this com-
pany). On Sept. 12, 1906, he married Anna Lengel,
(3) Walter V. R., born Aug. 16, 1885, with his brother
Edwin is engaged in the hosiery business at Bern-
ville, under the firm name of the Durable Hosiery Mill.
Walter V. R. is the superintendent. He married. May
25, 1908, Estella May Gerhart.

GEORGE FIELD, of Reading, who resides at No.
441j South Sixth Street, has made that city his home
since 1865, but claims Philadelphia as his birthplace.
His birth occurred Nov. 5, 1836, in a locality known
as Francisville, but which is now a part of Seven-
teenth street and Ridge avenue.

Mr. Field passed most of his boyhood and youth in
Conshohocken, and when old enough went into the
People's Works in Philadelphia to learn to be a
machinist. When his preparation was over he took a
position for a short time with the Alan Wood Co., in
the Schuylkill Iron Works at Conshohocken, and then
went to Norristown, Pa. This, too, was but a tempor-
ary position, as Mr. Field had an offer from the Ply-
mouth Iron Works, which he accepted. On Feb 9
1863, he left the Plymouth Iron Works having ac-



618



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



cepted a position at tlie Monocacy Furnace, where he
put the furnace in order, and remained for two years.
A place was then offered him in the Philadelphia &
Reading Railway Shops, and Feb. 8, 1865, began his
long connection with that Company, covermg a per-
iod of forty-two years. Mr. Field has long enjoyed
a reputation as a most competent machinist and was
ionsidered one of the Company's most reliable men.

In 1878 the Railway Company sent a party abroad to
assemble a locomotive built at the Reading Shops for
the Paris Exposition, and Mr. Field, who had charge
of erecting the engine at the Reading Shops, was
among those chosen for this work. S. D. Blackmon,
who was general foreman at this time, C. Gilbert
Steffe Frazier W. Wooten and Mr. Field composed the
party.' They left Philadelphia, April C 1878, on the
steam collier "Pottsville, No. 14," Captain Samuel Col-
burn, a vessel owned by the Reading Company, and
arrived at Havre April 21st. After remaining there two
weeks, seven days of which was required to 'assemble
the engine, they left Havre May 5th.

Mr. Field has always been a strong Democrat of the
Jacksonian type, and has been active in party work
in the Second ward. He was made representative from
that ward in Common Council in 1869, and was one
who helped to vote the market houses from Penn
Square. Fraternally he was formerly connected with
the I. O. O. F.. F. & A. M., and the K. of P., and is
now a member of the Philadelphia & Reading Relief
and Reading Railway Veteran Associations.

On December 1st, 1906, he was retired and placed on
the pension list, having attained the age limit of sev-
enty years.

In 1860 occurred the union of George Field and Miss
Amanda Brant, ' also a native of Philadelphia, and a
daughter of Thomas and Catherine (Barndollar) Brant.
The issue of this marriage is an only daughter, Kate
v., at home.

D. FRANK MARKLEY (deceased), who for many
years was engaged in the real estate and insurance
business, was born in Maxatawny township, Berks
county. May 3, 1842, son of Joseph and Esther (Fisher)
Markley, both parents being natives of Berks county,
Pennsylvania.

Joseph Markley was engaged in farming in Maxa-
tawny township for many years, but removed to Minn-
esota in 1876, dying in St. Cloud, that state, in 1889,
his widow, Esther Fisher, surviving him but a few years.
They had been the parents of five children, four of
whom lived to maturity: D. Frank, deceased; T. Well-
ington; Elmira, m. to John May, deceased; and Jos-
eph H., deceased. The family were Lutherans in re-
ligious belief. Politically Mr. Markley was a Demo-
crat, but it is not known whether or not he ever held
office.

D. Frank Markley was educated in the common
schools of Reading, and when a boy engaged in work
at the old Bushong distillery, located at the corner of
Front and Penn streets. Here he remained a number
of years, and later accepted a position with the Nation-
al Union Bank of Reading as clerk, continued in that
capacity for some time, and then engaged with the
Boas Lumber Company, for several years. Mr. Mark-
ley then was employed by the Reading Fire Insurance
Company, which he left in 1898 to engage in the real
estate business, in which he continued until his .death,
July 12, 1900. He was buried in the Charles Evans
cemetery.

Mr. Markley was married in 1864 to Amanda E. Ar-
nold, daughter of William and Catherine (Sauerbier)
Arnold, the former a hat manufacturer and director
of three banks. To Mr. and Mrs. Markley were born
children as follows: Catherine May; Edwin Arnold;
Charles Hunter, deceased; William A., a druggist of
Harrisburg; Frank A., of Reading, who is carrying on
the real estate business at No. 535 Court street; Alice



May; and Emma I., deceased. Mr. Markley was at
one time connected with the I. O. O. F., and was a past
officer of Freedom Circle, No. 7, Brotherhood of the
Union. In politics he waS a Democrat, but never as-
pired to public preferment, although he took a good
citizen's interest in elections. He was a kind husband
and indulgent father, and in his death the city of
Reading lost one of its good, intelligent citizens,

Frank A, Markley, one of the leading young
business men of Reading, Pa., is successfully engaged
in the real estate and insurance business. He was
born May 26, 1874, in Reading, and received his educa-
■tion in the public schools of that city. His first busi-
ness experience was gained as a clerk for the Reading
Hardware Company, with whom he remained eleven
years. He then succeeded his father in the real estate
and insurance business, and in this he has successfully
continued ever since. The business was established
in 1898.

Mr. Markley was married Aug. 11, 1904, to Mamie
May Frederick, daughter of Louis and Emma Freder-
ick, of Reading, and to them were born two children,
Frank Edwin and Mary Elizabeth. Mr. Frederick is
the owner of a meat market. Mr. Markley belongs to
the Fi-aternal Order of Eagles, the Knights of the
Maccabees, the Modern Woodmen of America, Har-
monie Maennerchor, and the Friendship Fire Compaiiy,
having served in all the offices in the latter organiz-
ation, is a Past Worthy President of the Eagles, and
President of Reading Eagles Home Company, Inc..
and has held office in nearly all these societies. He
belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church. Mr. Markley is
one of the foremost young business men of Reading,
is popular in fraternal and social circles, and has a
great number of friends.

JAMES K. MERKEL has been a resident of Read-
ing since 1903, and with but little exception has passed
all his life in Berks county. His ancestors have long
been settled here.

Abraham Merckel (or Merkel) was born in Macungie
township, Northampton (now Lehigh) Co., Pa., about
1767, and is a descendant of an old family of French
origin. He was a farmer, and in 1785 and 1786 was as-
sessed for 100 acres of land, two horses and three
cattle. In 1785 he paid a federal tax of £1 8s 6d, and
in 1786 the amount was £l Is 6d. The tax lists of
his native county bear his name as a taxable until 1805.
In 1806 he is assessed as a resident of Albany town-
ship, Berks county, where he owned a tract on which
he lived. The farm is now owned by Jacob Schroeder;
a big hill on this farm for many years was known as
"Merkel's Hill," now "Donat's Hill." It was at this
place that his father-in-law, Jacob Donat, had previous-
ly settled. Abraham Merckel was an industrious and
honest citizen. He was a tall and well-built man,
standing over six feet, and was possessed of great
strength and endurance. He was a wheelwright by
trade. He met a tragic end. During the summer of
1826 there was a drought in the upper end of Berks
county. Water had become scarce on the southern
side of the Blue mountains, while on the opposite side
there was an abundance of rain and water. Therefore
Abraham Merckel took his grain to a mill on the
opposite side of the mountain, and on the return trip
fell into the hands of a band of roughs, one of whom
cruelly murdered him. On the slope of the mountain
in West Penn township, Schuylkill county (on the road
from Jacksonville to Tamaqua), which he had to pass,
there was an old hostelry around which many stories
of robbery, and even the murder of peddlers and cattle
dealers centered. That the place was notorious was
evidenced by the frequent reference to it in the recol-
lections of the older residents of the section. It was
abandoned over thirty years ago, and only crumbling
walls and an old well half filled with stones and rub-
bish mark the site of the once busy and widely known



BIOGRAPHICAL



619



stopping place. While passing the hotel Mr. Merckel
was requested to stop off, which he did. He found a
number of men playing cards and also, undoubtedly,
drinking. One of the card players, a man named
Jacob Hawkenstein, commenced quarreling with Mr.
Merckel, who told Hawkenstein it would be to his bene-
fit to keep his peace. Hawkenstein, in confab with
other men during that day, had made a threat that he
would kill someone before the day was over. When
Mr. Merckel was loosening his horse, which was tied
to a tree near a fence, he was stabbed with a knife by
Hawkenstein, who had secreted himself behind the
fence, and died of his wounds. Hawkenstein there-
after led a secluded and miserable existence among
the rocks, dens and hollow trees of the Blue mountains,
where he died alone and despised of all men. His
skeleton was found more than a year after his death
by a band of hunters. Mr. Merckel is buried in an
unmarked grave at the New Bethel Church in Albany
township. He died in the late summer of 1836.

Abraham Merckel married Susanna Donat, who was
born Nov. 6, 1779, and died Jan. 25, 1864, aged eighty-
' four years, two months, nineteen days. Her father,
Jacob Donat, was a native of Germany. Four child-
ren were born to Abraham and Susanna (Donat)
Merckel, namely: Abraham was the father of James K.
Merkel and is mentioned farther on; Elizabeth, born
March 34, 1813, died unmarried March 15, 1894, aged
eighty years, eleven months, twenty-one days, and is
buried at New Jerusalem Church; Catharine, born Jan.
3, 1816, died unmarried Nov. 30, 1879, aged sixty-three
years, ten months, seventeen days, and is buried at
New Jerusalem Church; Joseph, who spelled his name
Markley, married Esther Fisher, and lived in Reading
until 1876, when he moved to St. Cloud, Minn. At a
meeting of the Orphans' Court, April 6, 1827, accord-
ing to the records in Vol. IX, page 206, Elizabeth
Merkel, daughter of the late Abraham Merckel. of Al-
bany township, Berks county, petitioned the court as
a minor above fourteen years of age, asking that John
Shollenberger be appointed her guardian. Henry Rup-
pert appeared as a friend of Catharine Merkel and
Joseph Merkel, minor children of Abraham Merckel,
deceased, and William Sweyer was appointed guard-
ian for Catharine, and John Shollenberger for Joseph.
Abraham Merkel, eldest child of Abraham, was born
about 1805-1806, and died in June, 1849, aged about
forty-three years. His death occurred in the
hay field, from the effects of drinking much cold spring
water when overheated, and he is buried at New Beth-
el Church, in Albany township. He was a tall man
over six feet, and was strong and an excellent worker.
Abraham Merkel married Maria (Polly) Kroninger, who
was born Sept. 8, 1808, and died Dec. 23, 1878, aged sev-
enty years, three months, fifteen days. Children as fol-
lows were born to their union: Anna m. John Cameron,
of Sagon, Northumberland Co., Pa.; Catharine m. Jon-
athon Machmer, who was noted as a singer, and they
conducted the Upper Bern Hotel a number of years;
Abraham, born Jan. 13," 18S3, died Feb. 14, 1908, m. in
1859 Leah Follweiler (1835-1901), and they had a fam-
ily of seven children: Sarah Jane (m. Adam Berk, and
died leavin'g a son, Wm. H., who has his home with his
aunts, Louisa and Clara Merkel), Astor (m. Ida Kline),
Rosa Alice (m. Francis Allsbach, deceased), Cordelia
(m. Alfred Allsbach, and died leaving a daughter, Leah
M.), Louisa P. (a popular school teacher of Albany
township), Clara (is unmarried and lives on the home-
stead with her sister Louisa), and John A. (m. Emma
E. Nester, and has two children, Elsie M. and
Leah L.) ; Susanna m. Ferdinand Machmer and later a
Mr. Baum, of Hamburg; Aaron m. Valeria Miller and
they live at Conshohocken, Pa.; Caroline m. William
Machmer, who met a tragic death ,in Michigan; Re-
becca m. Michael Schaeffer, of Tower City, Pa.; Sarah
m. James De Long, of Reading; James K. is mentioned
farther on. Caroline and Susanna both lived and died
in Michigan.



James K. Merkel was born in Albany township Oct.
7, 1847. He has followed the blacksmith's trade almost
from the time he began work, having commenced to
learn it when he was only eighteen years old, under
his brother Abraham, who at that time had a smithy
in the village of Jacksonville, Lehigh Co. Pa. In 1867
Mr. Merkel came to Berne, in Upper Bern township,
now Tilden township, Berks county, where he was
engaged at his trade in the employ of another brother,
Aaron, who had a blacksmith shop in the village' of
Berne. In 1870, after several years' work in Mahanoy
City and other places, he erected a shop of his own in
the "Bockmohl" (a valley in the southern end of what
is now Tilden township, to which he had come about
1867) and there continued to work at his trade until
the year 1900. At that time he moved with his family
to Conshohocken, at which place he remained for three
years in the responsible position of boss blacksmith in
the Alan Wood Iron Works, an indisputable evidence
of his skill as a mechanic. In the spring of 1903 Mr,
Merkel removed with his family to the city of Read-
ing, settling in his own hor^e at No. 757 North Eighth
street. Mr. Merkel also owns a small tract of good
land, comprising twenty-four acres, near Berne station,
upon which he lived for twenty-five years. He is a
man of industrious habits and is a good citizen. His
character is above reproach.

Mr. Merkel has been twice married. In 1869 he was
united to Sarah Schuman, who was born_ Oct. 6, 1847,
daughter of Solomon and Sarah (Zweitzig) Schuman,
and died Nov. 14, 1877, in her thirty-first year, the
mother of four children, namely: (1) J. Franklin taught
school for fifteen years, but has Iseen engaged as a
railway mail clerk since 1904 and is stationed at Pitts-
burg. (3) Anthony O. m. Ada Chamberlain, of Nor-
ristown. (3) Ella V. m. Reuben Blatt, and has had
three children, Reuben, Rachel and Ruth (who died
in childhood). (4) Sallie M. m. William J, Dietrich,
of Reading, and they have three children, Naomi, Ruth,
and William J., Jr.

Mr. Merkel's second marriage, in '1879, was to Emma
L. Keim, who was born June 28, 1858, daughter of
Percival and Susanna (Strasser) Keim, and by whom
he has had ten children, namely; John, who died in
infancy; Cora L. ; Clara A., who is the wife of Samuel
Mengel and has two children, Mabel and James; James
D.; Lizzie A.; Mame F.; Howard J., born Dec. 16.
1888, who died Feb. 19, 1890; Abbie A.; Lillie L.; and
George R., born Jan. 25, 1897, who died Aug. 23, 1897.

Mr. Merkel is a consistent member of the St. Paul
United Evangelical Church of Reading, in the work
of which congregation he has been quite active, having
held various offices.

HARVEY F. HETNLY was born at Hamburg,
Berks county. Pa., July 1, 1873, son of David L. and
the late Maria E. (Heinly) Heinly. When he was six
years old the family moved to Reading, and Mr.
Heinly is therefore indebted to the excellent school
system of his adopted city for his scholastic training.
He graduated from the Boys' High School in June,
1890, with first honors, being the valedictorian of his
class, and leaving behind him a record for most effi-
cient scholarship, winning prizes for spelling and essay,
and the gold medal for oratory — in fact, all the prizes
which were offered during his high school course.

Mr. Heinly at once began reading law, his preceptor
being William J. Rourke, then city solicitor and assist-
ant district attorney. Upon his admission to the Bar,
Nov. 12, 1894, he became associated with his preceptor
in practice, which continued with success until March,
1901, when he established himself at No. 47 North
Sixth street, and has since continued in active practice
there. Mr. Heinly takes a lively and intelligent in-
terest in public and political affairs. His reputation
acquired in school as an orator brought him into im-
mediate notice with the leaders of the Democratic
party, whose principles Mr. Heinly has always es-



630



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



poused, and he has been in demand for "stump" service
in every campaign since his majority. He has fre-
quently been called upon to do like service for the
Democratic State Committee, at Lancaster, Harris-
burg, Lebanon, and other places. He is a member of
the Americus (Democratic) Club-, the Northeastern
Democratic Association and is the President of his
Ward organization. He retains his interest in edu-
cational affairs, having been an organizer of and still
a member of the Alumni Association of the Reading
high schools, and having served two terms as its presi-
dent. He is a member of the Reading Press Club, the
Board of Trade, the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion, and several fraternal organizations. His religious
affiliation is with St. Luke's Lutheran church, and
he is connected with the Sunday-school, being the
teacher of the Young Men's Bible Class for the past
twelve years.

On Nov. 30, 1900, Mr. Heinly was married to Lydia
I. Eckert, daughter of the late Rudolph and Lucetta
Eckert, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

The family of Mr. Heinly is one of the old fam-
ilies of the State. As secretary of the Heinly Family
Association, he has assisted in compiling a resume
of its development in this country. Well authenticated
records show that the original American ancestor,
David Heinly, together with a brother, came from
Germany about the middle of the eighteenth century.
In Rupp's "Thirty Thousand Immigrants," there ap-
pears an entry to the effect that David and Matthias
Heinly landed in Philadelphia Sept. 19, 1749, having
come over in the ship "Patience" from the Kingdom
of Wurtemberg and the Palatinate. One of these
immigrants, David, was the great-great-grandfather
of the subject of this review. He received a patent
for three hundred acres of land in what is now Green-
wich township, the document being signed by the
proprietaries of the State of Pennsylvania, July 21,
1774. In this township he passed the remainder of
his days, and lies buried there in Dunkle's Church
cemetery, the tombstone over his grave bearing these
words, cut in the sandstone, with German words, but
English letters:

"Hir ligd Dafid Heinle,

ist geboren 1728 den 17 Ockober

und gestorben den 3 Ockober 1784."

On the reverse side of the stone is the following from
an old German Hymn, written in 1638, and appearing
in the Leipsiger Gesangbuch:

"Die Kron der gerechdig-keid,

Ist mein schmuck und ehrenkleid:
Damid will ich for Got bestehen.
Wan ich werd in himmel eingehen."

The Heinly Family Association was organized in
August of 1899, the first meeting being held along
Ontelaunee creek, near Virginville, on a part of the
tract on which was located the homestead of the or-
iginal American ancestor. Reunions are held annually,
latterly at Kutztown Park, at which there are from four
to five hundred members of the family present. At the
Fifth Annual Reunion, Aug. 15, 1903, a handsome gran-
ite mernorial in the form of an open book, symbolizing
the family record, was erected adjacent to the old head-
stone _ referred to above, and was dedicated with ap-
propriate exercises.

If to be well born is half the battle, then is victory
certain for Harvey F. Heinly, since the other' half
will be amply cared for by the wealth of energy and
alertness of mind which he has displayed. Of good
lineage, happily married, and with hosts of friends,
what more could any man ask of the Fates?

YODER. The first of the Yoder (sometimes spelled
Yodder a»d Yotter in the German) name in America
were Yost anad Hans (or Hance), brothers, who



sought refuge- in England from the religious persecu-
tions suffered in their native Switzerland. They
brought little with them- to America besides their
Bible. Upon their arrival in the New World they
pushed on into the wilderness beyond Oley hills, and
finally settled on the Manatawny. Yost Yoder was one
of the most active of the early frontiersmen of Penn-
sylvania. _ His chief occupations were hunting and trap-
ping, which he always combined with farming, or rath-
er with the "clearing and cultivation of a plantation."
It is certain that he and his brother were located
in Pennsylvania before 1714. Nine children were born
to Yost Yoder, and of seven of these the record is as
follows: (1) Johannes Yoder, often called Yost, was
born in 1718. After 1752 he removed to Reading,
where he died April 7, 1813, and his remains were in-
terred on his father's land at Yottersville (Yoders-
ville), named after his family, now Pleasantville, in
Oley township. The following inscription marks his
grave: "Hier Rhuet Johann-es Yoder. Erwurde geb-
oren 1718. Verelichte sich mit Catharina Lyster
(Lesher) 1747 und zeughte 4 sqhne und 5 tochtern.
Starb den 7th April, 1812, nach seiner 66 yahr in der
ehe gelebt hatte war alt warden 94 yahr und 14 tag."
In 1747 he married Catharine Lyster (Lesher), and
her tombstone records "b. 1730, d. 1812, having lived
married 66 years and aged 83 years." (2) Jacob Yoder



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 174 of 227)