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 175 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 175 of 227)
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removed to the western side of the Schuyl4cill. On Nov.
6, 1757, at the age of twenty-two years, he enlisted in
the Provincial service of Pennsylvania, and was a
saddler three years in Capt. John Nicholas Weather-
holt's Company. He was stationed in Heidelberg town-
ship, Northampton county, in March and April, 1758
[Pa. Arch., 2d Ser., Vol. II). He served in the American
Revolution as a private in Peter Nagle's Company,
and later in Capt. Charles Gobin's Company, 6th
Battalion, Berks county, Pa. He was in a detachment
of the 6th Battalion to guard prisoners of war from
the Hessian camp, Reading, to Philadelphia. He mar-
ried Maria Keim. (5) Samuel Yoder settled on a
"plantation" near Lobachsville, about one and one-half
miles from Pleasantville. which he received from his
father. He had children: John, Jacob, Samuel and
Catharine. (4) Mary Yoder married Daniel Bertolet.
(5) Catharine Yoder married John Reppert. (6) Eliza-
beth Yoder was the wife of Mathias Rhode and they
had children: Jacob, John, Joseph, Abraham, Catha-
rme, Maria and Esther. (7) Esther Yoder mar-ied a
man named Cunius.

The wolves in Oley were a great injury to the sheep
and hogs of the settlers. It was customary to make
pitfalls and thus trap them. Many stories are told
of Yost Yoder's efforts at their extermination. He
sometimes disposed of five in a single night. He was a
man of remarkable strength and powers of endurance,
and possessed famous courage. He made customary
hunting trips every fall into the Blue Mountains with
his trusty rifle and faithful dog. On his trail at dif-
ferent stages of his journeys he had places of de-
posit for supplies in hollow trees.

The Yoder Bible, dated 1530, was printed during the
lifetime of Martin Luther. It was held continuously
by the family until as late as 1860, and is now the
property of Mary B. Yoder, daughter of David, son
of Daniel It is well preserved, though unfortunately
the hd and date are torn away. This priceless treasure
of their faith from the Fatherland was "as a lamp unto
their feet" in their flight to America. The Yoders of
Berks extended into New York and the West In the
list of representatives in the Fiftieth United States
Congress was S. S. Yoder. of Lima, Ohio

(I) Hans (or Hance) Yoder, the emigrant brother
of Yost, was the builder and owner of what is now
known as Griesemer's Mills (burned in 1847, and re-
built the same year). This property in the early days
was the homestead of the Yoders of Oley The sur-
vey of the plantation under proprietary warrant to



BIOGRAPHICAL



621



Hance Yoder was returned March 25, 1714. At that
time Oley township was the haunt of Indians, wolves,
bear and other wild game. The wives of the German
settlers also bore their part in the subjugation of the
wilderness. One day while at work, extending their
clearing in the forest, they having shut their children
in the cabin as a protection from the beasts which
roamed over their land, they were suddenly aroused
by the report of a rifle in the direction of their cabin.
As it was not unusual for predatory bands of blood-
thirsty Iroquois from the North to roam over the
country they hastened in the direction of the shot
to see their cabin surrounded by a party of drunken
savages, who having been refused admittance by the
terrified children within retaliated by firing through
the closed door. Mr. Yoder at once made an attack
with a singletree, and soon put them to flighf with
threats of revenge. Returning with increased num-
bers they demanded satisfaction, but Mr. Yoder's, cool-
ness won him friends among them who forced the
others to desist. Hans (Hance) Yoder was the father
of four sons: Hans (2); Samuel; Peter; and Daniel,
born in 1718, who died Aug. 21, 1749, aged thirty-one
years, eight months, and was buried in the cemetery
at Pleasantville.

(II) Hans Yoder (2), son of the emigrant, married
in November, 1746, in Oley, Sarah Shingle (or Schen-
kel or Shankle). She died at Reading in 1789. and
was buried during Whitsuntide in Peter de Turck's
plot at Oley. They had sons: (1) Daniel, born 1748,
died 1820, married 1773, Margaret Oyster, born 1753,
died 1833, and both are buried at Pleasantville. (2)
Martin was a lieutenant of the 4th Company, 5th Bat-
talion, Berks county, May 10, 1780. (3) Jacob, born in
Reading Aug. 11, 1758, was a soldier in the Revolution-
ary war in 1777 and 1778. In 1780 he moved to western
Pennsylvania, and in May, 1782, descended the Monon-
gahela, Ohio and Mississippi rivers from Fort Red
Stone, Brownsville, Pa., in the first flat-boat (built
by himself) that ever descended the Mississippi river,
landing at New Orleans with a cargo of flour. He
traded with Havana, Cuba, and also in the sugar mar-
ket in Philadelphia. He was a man of national reputa-
tion at the time when Louisiana still belonged to
France. His grave at his home in Kentucky was
marked 1834, by an iron tablet. He died in Spencer
county, Ky., April 7, 1832 (?). (4) Samuel, a Revolu-
tionary soldier, died from a fall off a horse near Oley
Church.

(III) Daniel Yoder, son of Hans, born in 1748, died
in 1820. In 1773 he married Margaret Oyster, who
was born May 5, 1753, and died Dec. 23, 1833, and both
are buried at Pleasantville. He was a farmer, and
he made frequent trips to Philadelphia, taking down
grain and bringing back merchandise. The early set-
tlers had but few crops at first. Finally they intro-
duced apple trees and Mr. Yoder built a di-stillery and
a flax oil mill, and in time, as the land became more
cultivated, he made weekly trips to Philadelphia to
dispose of his product. He cut down trees, cleared
land, and made many pitfalls for the wolves. Some of
these holes or traps are still visible in the pastures and
woods. Daniel Yoder loved the free life of the woods,
and was on friendly terms with the Indians, often tak-
ing hunting trips with them. He was a very powerful
man physically. Before 1800 he built his home, which
is well preserved and still in use. He had nine child-
ren: Hannah, born April 17. 1775. married Jacob Knabb,
and died Aug. 23, 1835; Daniel, born Dec. 7, 1777, died
Nov. (or Dec.) 27, 1836; Martin, born Oct. 19, 1780,
died Jan. 10, 1837; Catharine, born Oct. 12, 1783, mar-
ried William William, and died Aug. 30, 1882, aged
ninety-eight years, ten months, eight days; Maria,
born in Bern township April 23, 1786, married Philip
De Turck, and died Jan. 19. 1864; John, born April 23
or 23, 1788, died unmarried May 3, 1868, and is buried
at Pleasantville; Margaret, born Aug. 4, 1790, married



Solomon Peter; Samuel, born Nov. 33, 1793; David,
born Feb. 8, 1795, is mentioned below.

(IV) Martin Yoder, son of Daniel, was born in Oley
Oct. 19, 1780, and died upon his own fine farm Jan.
10, 1837, aged fifty-six years, two months, twenty-one
days. He was a tanner at Pleasantville, and also had
a store and hotel on his farm, employing a number
of people. He was one of the prosperous men of
lower Berks county. The merchandise and general
freight in the early history of the country were car-
ried in big Conestoga wagons between Philadelphia
and Pittsburg, and the road between these two points
passed by the homestead of Mr. Yoder, through the
woodland, thus making his hotel a popular stopping
place. This roadway is still plainly to be seen, but
no longer in use. Freque;ntly so many guests appeared
the same night that all the beds were filled, compelling
the later comers to sleep on the floor, rolled up in
blankets. In 1830 he built the barn, and in 1831 the
house that now stands on the farm, the latter now
the property of his grandson, Henry H. He married
Susanna Peter, born Nov. 29, 1783, died March 13, 1844,
aged sixty years, three months, fourteen days, and
they both are buried in the Yoder lot at Friedensburg.
Their children were> (1) David, who died in Union
county. Pa., first married Persoda Yoder, born Dec.
16, 1816, died July 23, 1844, who is buried at Pleasant-
ville. His daughter Priscilla, born May 7, 1838, at
Pleasantville, died there Dec. 17, 1857. (2) Solomon,
who died in 1905, at West Point, Nebr., first married
Mary B. Yoder, born in Oley, June 24, 1818, died
May 10, 1845, who is buried at Pleasantville. They
had two sons and two daughters. Her mother, Char-
lotte (Bertolet) Yoder, was born in Oley, Feb. 10, 1778,
died Sept. 8, 1868, and is buried at Pleasantville (she
may have been the wife of Jacob Yoder, born Jan.
2, 1778, who died Aug. 18, 1836). (S) Maria (Polly)
married George Kemp, of Lyons, Pa. (4) Martin.

(V) Martin Yoder, son of Martin and Susanna, wa's
born at Pleasantville May 34, 1819, and died Feb. 7, 1888,
aged sixty-eight years, eight months, thirteen days.
He was a farmer and implement dealer, and owned the
farm mentioned above as the home of his parents.
In politics he was a Democrat, and for many years
was interested in the schools of his district, serving
efficiently as school director. He was a candidate
for Congress, but _ was defeated by a small majority
by Daniel S. Ermentrout. He was a man of affairs,
and popular and influential in his district. He married
Catharine Hoch, born June 30, 1831, who died June 1,
1879, aged fifty-seven years, eleven months, eleven
days. They had four children: Mary, who married
Joseph De Long, of Topton, Pa. (her children. Rev.
Calvin De Long, his brother and two sisters, are the
only living grandchildren of Martin Yoder; there is
one great-grandchild. Erma De Long Hertzog); £zra,
born Sept. 7, 1848, who died Sept. 16, 1868; Henry
H.; and Susanna, born Oct. 24, 1860, who married
Oliver Landenslayer, born April 13, 1870, of Fleetwood,
Pennsylvania.

(VI) Henry H. Yoder, son of Martin and Catha-
rine, was born on his grandfather's farm Jan. 5. 1850. ,
His early intellectual training was obtained in the
common schools, and later Mr. Yoder attended the
Oley Academy. He was licensed to teach in the public
schools by Prof. D. B. Brunner, but he never cared
for the profession. He was reared upon the home
farm and this vocation he has, off and on, followed
ever since, beginning for himself in 1874. This was
his chief occupation until 1900. In connection with
farming Mr. Yoder and his father were engaged in
the implement business, and this he has continued, mak-
ing a specialty of iron and wire fences. He owns the
old homestead farm of 236 acres of valuable land, well
located and very fertile. It contains valuable magnesia
iron ore, and is considered one of the most desirable



622 HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

pieces of property in Oley Valley. On a board in the he sold throughout Berks county, especially in Bern

front of the barn below the cornice is the following: township, where some of his relatives had settled. He

Martin Vnder owned the farm in conjunction with his brother Johii.

qT,coV^, V^H»r . H^ ^^^ county commissioner in 1846-49. This branch

1 R^n °^ *^^ family are all buried at Yodersville, now Pleas-

antville. David Yoder married Hannah Bitler (daugh-

And on the house is the same, only the year is 1831 ter of Michael Bitler and his wife Hannah Yocum),

instead of 1830. Besides the home farm he owned born July 13, 1797, died Oct. 15, 1852. Their children

eighty acres of good timberland. Mr. Yoder has the were: Margaret, who married George K. Levan, of

old military bugles which belonged to his father. In Maxatawny township; Miss Mary B.; Hannah, born

politics he is a Democrat, and he was school director July 27, 1824, who died Jan. 11, 1896; and was buried

of his township for three years, and since 1892 has been at Pleasantville; Daniel, born in April, 1827, who

auditor, having been re-elected in the spring of 1908 lived at Pleasantville; Catharine, born July 16, 1832,

for the fifth time. In 1907 he became one of the or- who parried Nathan Schaeffer, of Fleetwood; and

ganizers of the First National Bank at Oley, of which Sarah, born Aug. 5, 1840, who married Abraham Gul-

he is now a director. He belongs to Friedens Luth- din.

eran Church, which for four years he served as deac- (V) Mary B. Yoder, daughter of David, was
on, and since 1903 he has been an elder. born Oct. 19, 1821, and now resides on the homestead,
Mr. Yoder resides on Main street, Friedensburg. He which she owns, containing ninety-four acres. She
has been twice married. In 1883 he wedded Andora has rented the land. Miss Yoder is liberal in her
Merkel, born Feb. 15, 1857, daughter of Elias Merkel, support of all the churches, but is, herself, affiliated
of Maxatawny. She died Jan. 15, 1903, and is buried with no particular denomination. She has been edu-
in the Yoder lot at Friedensburg. On May 14, 1906, cated both in English and German. Among her cher-
he married (second) Ella L. Hertzog, daughter of Jacob ished .possessions is her grandfather's clock, made by
E. Bogh, of Frankfort, Clinton Co., Ind., and widow John Keim for Daniel Yoder before the war of the
of Dr. William F. Hertzog, of Oley township, by whom Revolution. Miss Yoder is deeply interested in local
she had two children: Marion S., of Kutztown; and history and the history of her family, and she care-
Solis C, of Oley. fully preserves everything that pertains to the early
From 1833 to 1838 there lived on the Moon farm days. The original house on her farm was the log
in Oley, now owned by Benneville Herbein, Jacob cabin which stood in the corner of the garden in front
Frederic Bogh, or Bock. He was born in Schorndorf, of the present house; this was the cabin through which
Wurtemberg, Germany, March 4, 1791. At the age of the Indians shot at the children. Of two ancient pear
twenty-six, April 17, 1817, he married Barbara Bauer, trees standing on this farm, which Miss Yoder says
then aged twenty. He was a general in the army under must have been nearly two hundred vears old, the
Napoleon, and won seven medals of honor. While taller one died during the winter of 1907-08, but the
shot nine times and badljr scarred he was not crippled, other is still alive and bearing fruit,
yet the open wounds at times caused him trouble. He (V) Daniel B. Yoder, son of David, and late a
claimed he was fireproof. When Napoleon was exiled resident of Oley, was born near Catawissa, along the
he refused to serve the new rulers, was arrested Susquehanna river in Columbia county, in April. 1827.
and thrown into prison, but friends liberated him and He attended a school conducted in a private house be-
'secretly placed him on board an American-bound ship, longing to Jeremiah Lee, a Quaker, and his first teach-
where he found his wife. He landed in Philadelphia er was Sarah Pierson, who like the Lees was a Quaker.
Sept. 11, 1818. He was highly educated, and quite a In his young manhood he learned the millwright's
linguist, speaking and writing seven different languages, trade from Levi J. Smith. He was a soldier in the Civil
For a living he engaged in school teaching, while in war in Company M, 5th U. S. Artillery, under Capt.
Berks county teaching , at the Spies's church, and at James McKnight, for three years and three months,
the same time did what legal work he could get, serving as a sergeant. For some years he followed farm-
writing deeds, mortgages, etc., and settling disputes, ing in Oley. After the war he built a paper-mill in
He also did some surveying. He took but little in- Oley township, on the Manatawny creek, and he manu-
terest in his work in this country, being despondent factured paper for a number of years, selling out finally
over the downfall of his commander. He was the to the Reading Paper Company. He built the house at
father of ten children, six of whom lived to honorable Pleasantville where he lived retired until his death,
old age. He died Nov. 11. 1R44, and is buried at being in very comfortable circumstances. For three
Weissport, Carbon Co., Pa. His only descendants now years he farmed in Pike township, and retained the
living in Berks county are: Mrs. Louisa Hill, wife of ownership of his farm there, which consists of some
Jcnkin Hill, of Reading, and her three sons, Ralph, ninety acres; he erected the present house and barn
Layton and Harold Hill; and Mrs. Ella L. Yoder and thereon. In politics he was a Republican, and served
her_ two sons, Marion S. Hertzog, of Kutztown, and as school director of Oley township. Practically his
Solis C. Hertzog, of Oley, and her granddaughter, entire life was passed in Oley, as he was but a small
Erma De Long Hertzog, of Kutztown. lad when he accompanied his parents from Columbia
Among the Yoder family relics are zinc dishes made county. He married Amelia Yoder (daughter of Jesse
and used before the days of china. Some of the first Yoder, of Oley township), who died in 1895, leaving
chma in this section found its way to the Yoders. An no children, and is buried at Hill Church Mr Yoder
old sword used in the Revolution, and two bugles died Oct. 11, 1908, and is also buried at Hill Church

made in the old country and bought by Martin Yoder

Y'hen a boy, are the property of Henry H. Yoder. John Yoder. great-grandfather of Absalom S Yoder

Martm Yoder was taught to use these bugles by an of Reading, was born in Oley township, Berks county'

escaped slave, and was the first man in Berks county and there became an extensive farmer ' He made his

to attam that accomplishment, and naturally he was last will and testament Aug. 24, 1804, and it was entered

m great demand at the old battalion drills. Old for probate Nov. 7, 1807, being on record in Will Book

spreads and quilts four generations old, are preserved A, page 528. He left a large estate and 'was survived

■" ,?^^., =nf sts^ with^ rare old books. by his wife Anna. Their children were: David "who

' " Pa.,

irho




con-

ried. David Yoder was a millwright by "trade, and Gerbe°r;" M'agdalena, 'who "marr^'eT' Abraham """Gerbe^r"
made many blacksmith s bellows and windmills, which Elizabeth, who married Stephen Kurtz, of Mariori



BIOGRAPHICAL



623



township; Sarah, wife of David KauflEman; Catharine;
and Barbara, who died the wife of Jacob Vinegi.

Jacob Yoder, third son of John, settled early in life
with others of the family in Bern township, and he
is buried on his farm in Centre township, now owned
by Garean Y. Christ, his grandson. He married into
the Rickenbach family, and his children were: Jacob,
Reuben, Elizabeth (who married a, King), Nancy (who
lived with her brother Reuben, and later with her
nephew David, and died unmarried), and Sarah (who
married Daniel Christ).

Reuben Yoder, son of Jacob, was born in Centre
(then Bern) township, and he died at the age of
seventy-eight years. iHe owned four farms, the one
on which he lived consisting of 180 acres, another in
the same township of 190 acres, a third in the same
district of about ninety acres, while the fourth was
located near Schaefferstown. He built the present
set of buildings on the farm now owned by his son
Jacob in Centre township. He was a man of influence,
and was a stanch Republican in politics. For many
years he held the office of school director, and was
treasurer of the board. In those days teachers were
obliged to go to his home to collect their pay. He
donated the land on which the German Baptist Church
and schoolhouse stand, and he is buried in the Ger-
man Baptist graveyard, midway between Centreport
and Shoemakersville. He married Susanna Stepp, and
"their children were: Ellen, who married Thomas
Egolf, of Bernville; David S., of Kutztown; James, of
Lititz, Pa.; Emma, who married Harry F. Long, of
Lititz; Israel, Tamsen, Harrison and Mabry, all de-
ceased; Jacob, of Centre township; and Absalom S.
The wife and mother died in 1867, and Mr. Yoder
married (second) Elenora Hiester, and the only son
of this union is Nathaniel, of Centreport, Pennsylvania.

David S. YodeS, son of Reuben, was born in
Centre township, Oct. 14, 1852. He was reared to
farming and remained at home until he was twenty-
four years of age, when he began work on his own ac-
count on a farm in Centre township, on which he re-
mained twenty-six years. On his last place he lived
eighteen years — this was the homestead of Johannes
Yoder, who had come up from Oley township. Mr.
Yoder was a successful farmer and a man of high
reputation in his district. He sold out in the spring of
1901, and going to Kutztown built a fine brick home
in 1903 on Normal Hill, where he has since resided.
He has been employed at the Keystone State Normal
School since his removal into Kutztown. He is a
consistent member of Grace United Evangelical Church
at Kutztown. Mr. Yoder has been twice married.
In 1874 he was married to Emma Kline, only
daughter of John Kline, of Centreport, where she
died and is buried. To this union was born one son,
Mabry K., who graduated from the Keystone State
Normal School in 1898, and is now teaching at
Northampton, Pennsylvania. Mr. Yoder married
(second) Feb. 3, 1883, Ida Spatz, daughter of Dr. John
Spatz of Centreport, though formerly of Reading.
The only son of this union, Clarence H., is a student
in the Keystone State Normal School.

Mabry K. Yoder, son of David S., was born
Sept. 16, 1874, in Centre township, Berks county. He
received his early education in the public schools of
his native township. Later he attended select school
at Centreport. When seventeen years of age he was
appointed as one of the teachers of his township,
in which he taught eight years. During vacation he
completed a business course in the Reading Business
College. In the spring of 1896 he registered as a
student at the Keystone State Normal School, at
Kutztown, from which institution he graduated in
1898. He taught six years in Lehigh county, after
which he resigned and accepted a position as teacher
of one of the schools in the borough of Northampton,
and to this position he has been elected for the third



time. He is a faithful member of the United Evan-
gelical Church.

On July 23, 1908, Mr. Yoder married Laura L., only
daughter of Phaon S. and Ida (Walbert) Heffner.

Absalom S. Yoder, son of Reuben," was"' born
in Centre township, Berks county, Nov. 5, 1866. His
early education was obtained at home and in the public
schools of his district. Later he attended the select
school at Centreport, the Millersville State Normal
School, at Millersville, and the Keystone State Nor-
mal School, at Kutztown,, graduating from the last
named institution in the class of 1899. Mr. Yoder be-
gan teaching in the fall of 1885, in Centre township,
and there he taught two terms. In the spring of
1887 he went to Lancaster county, and for four terms
was engaged in teaching in Warwick township. He
lived at Lititz, where his wife died, and he returned
to his native township, teaching the following term in
Centre township, where he was located for eight more
terms. Mr. Yoder has been a most successful teacher,
and he has continued to study and advance ever since
his graduation from Normal, by taking a special course
in mathematics and ancient classics in the Reading
Classical School under Rev. Dr. J. V. George. On-
Oct. 6, 1903, under civil service rules, Mr. Yoder was
appointed to a clerkship in the post-office at Reading,
and he has since continued to hold this position.

Mr. Yoder is a member of the United Brethren
denomination. He married Sallie H. Yoder, daugh-
ter of Alfred and Mary (Haag) Yoder, of Centre town-
ship, and granddaughter of Fred Yoder, of near Belle-
man's Church. She died Feb. 12, 1893, the mother of
children as follows: Herma R., a graduate of the Key-
stone State Normal School, class of 1907, and now a
successful teacher at Centreport; J. Russell, a graduate
of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1908;
and Daisy' E., a student in the Keystone State Normal.

DANIEL S. ESTERLY, a well known business man
of Reading, and a member of the Board of Trade, was
born in 1831. in Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa., son
of Joseph Esterly. and grandson of Daniel Esterly, a
blacksmith by trade, who followed that occupation in
Exeter township, near the "Black Bear Hotel," where
he died at an advanced age.

Joseph Esterly was born in Exeter township, and
learned the blacksmith business of his father. He fol-
lowed that trade for some time, later devoting his time
to farming, and he continued at that occupation until
his death, aged sixty-two years, well known and
highly respected in his native community. He married
Lydia Snyder, who died at the age of eighty-three
years, and of their family, two children survive: Au-
gustus, a farmer of Exeter township, and Daniel S.

Daniel S. Esterly attended the schools of the place
of his nativity until fifteen years of age; and then



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 175 of 227)