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 186 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 186 of 227)
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had three children: Joshua S., Polly and Jonathan.

Daniel B. Grim, son of Jonathan and Catharine H.
(Bertolett), born July 17, 1800, owned a farm of 220
acres at Grimville, where he kept a store, hotel and
tannery many years, amassing a comfortable fortune.
He was active in the State militia, and in public affairs
always took an interested and prorninent part. He was
known as "Der Hellwedder Grim." In 1819 he mar-
ried Elizabeth Krouse, and they became the parents
of children as follows: Daniel P., born Aug. 31, 1833,
now a wealthy and influential citizen of Kutztown;
Jonathan K.; Mary; Charlotte; Catharine; Sarah;
Charles A. K. ; Susan (Dietrich); and Amelia.



Joshua S. Grim, son of Jonathan by his marriage
to Miss Snyder, became a tanner in Maxatawny town-
ship, near the Lehigh county line. He owned the
farm of 140 acres now the property of Cyranius R.
Grim. His first wife, whose maiden name was Bieber,
bore him four children: Jonathan; Catharine; Eliza-
beth; and Henry P. He m. (second) Mary Zim-
merman, daughter of Esau Zimmerman, and the five
children of this union were: Charles A., Joshua I.,
Cyranius R., Mary and Susan.

Cyranius R. Grim, son of Joshua S. and Mary (Zim-
merman), was born on his father's farm July 22, 1852.
In his earlier years he engaged in tanning, but in 1884
began farming, .making a specialty of his poultry, of
which he is very proud. For many years he has been
one of the active and energetic workers in the Demo-
cratic party of Maxatawny township, and in 1889 was
elected assessor, an office he has continued to fill to
the satisfaction of all ever since. In 1881_ he rnarried
Amelia L. Raubenhold, and they have six children:,
Mary E., Walter J., Cyranius R., Jr., Martha A., Rose
Ann L. and Solon D.

DAVID C. KLINE, M. D., for many years a prac-
tising physician of Reading, where he is one of the
foremost supporters of the Homeopathic _ school, has
been remarkably successful in his professional career,
and stands deservedly high in the estimation both of
his patients and of his fellow citizens. Dr. Kline comes
of an old Pennsylvania family, originally settled in
Northumberland county.

The grandfather, Isaac Kline, was a native of North-
umberland county, and followed farming near Sunbury,
in the village of Kline's Grove. He married Susan
De Witt, and reared a good sized family.

Harmon G. Kline was born in Northumberland coun-
ty in 1818, and became a lifelong farmer, as was his
father before him. He is now living retired at Sun-
bury. He is an active member of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, and has been liberal with both his



time and means in endeavoring to advance its inter-
ests. His wife was Miss Mary Bassett, who was
born in 1822, daughter of Luther Bassett. Her fath-
er was a native of New Jersiey, but removed to Dan-
ville. Northumberland county, and followed farming
there, living to the advanced age of eighty-seven years.
Mr. and Mrs, Kline have enjoyed more than half a
century of wedded happiness and are still traveling
life's downward slope together. They were the par-
ents of nine children, who all grew to maturity, the
survivors being men and women of real value to their
several communities. (1) Luther B. was educated in
the Sunbury public school, and -professionally in the
Jefferson Medical College. Since his graduation he
has been practising at Catawissa, Columbia county.
(2) Elisha B, attended the Williamsport Seminary,
read law, and was just ready for admission to the Bar
when he died. (3) Lizzie was also sent to Williams-
port Seminary, and after finishing her course mar-
ried H. C. Wallize, and lives at the old Kline home-
stead. (4) George M. was educated at Williamsport,
and is now a merchant in Union county, Pa. (5) Mar-
garet Ellen is the wife of I. L, Bender, of Martins-
burg, W. Va.. where he is clerk to the county courts.
(6) Dr. David C. was the next in order of birth. (7) Is-
aac C. graduated from Lafayette College, and is now a
lawyer at Sunbury. (8) J, Simpson was born in Up-
per Augusta township, Northumberland county, and re-
ceived his early education in part at New Berlin, Un-
ion county. Later he studied at Lafayette College,
read law with Charles G. Barkley, and was admitted
to the Northumjberland County Bar in February, 1891.
He is prominent in his profession, and is splicitor
for his county and for the Pennsylvania railroad.
At the close of 1891 he entered the office of James
C. Packer, with whom he was associated professionally
in the settlement of the Packer estate, (9) Rachel
Bstelle is the wife of Prof. W. S. Hall, who occu-
pies the chair of Mining, Engineering and Higher Math-
ematics in Lafayette College.

Dr. David C. Kline attended the Bloomsburg Nor-
mal School and Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport,
and then, having decided upon medicine as his pro-
fession, entered the Hahnemann Medical College at
Philadelphia, the leading homeopathic institution in
the United States. His degree was conferred in
1883, and, locating at Reading in July of that year,
Dr. Kline has ever since been identified with that
place, and has become a prominent figure at most of
the local affairs at all connected with his profession.
Always an enthusiastic advocate of the principles of
the Hahnemann school, he has done much to spread
the popularity of the homeopathic system. He was
ever active in the establishment of the Homeopathic
Hospital in Reading, and has done everything possi-
ble since to insure its success, having been one of the
hospital staflf from the beginning. Dr. Kline enjoys
a large and lucrative practice, but his' specialties are
the diseases of women and children, and in that field
he has met with remarkable success. In 1895 he took
a post graduate course in orificial surgery at Balti-
more, He believes that great benefit may be derived
from meetings and discussions with other physicians,
and so he has connected himself with various profes-
sional bodies, including the local Medical Society, the
American Institute of Homeopathy and the Homeopa-
thic State Society. He has been president of the lat-
ter organization, and under his direction the meet-
ings _ of the society increased far beyond any point
previously attained.

Mrs. Kline was Miss Laura Smith, daughter of Sam-
uel Smith, M. D., a practising physician of Trevortown,
Pa. She was married to Dr. Kline Sept. 21, 1882,
and their only child. Rada, a daughter, was born
May 15, 1894. Their home is always hospitably open
and m^ny, indeed, are the friends who frequent it.
The early training of Dr. Kline in religious lines was
such as to bring him into sympathy with both the



656



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Presbyterian and Methodist denominations as his fath
er belonged to the latter church, and his mother to
the former. Untiring in his profession, strong in his
friendships and an upright and honorable man, Dr,
Kline's life can well bear inspection, and serves as a
model for any young men around him.

RITTER. The history of the Ritter family has been
very hard to trace, but the yearly reunions which have
been held of late have brought to light many new or little
known accounts of their origin and have awakened inter-
est in their early days in this country, where the Ritters
are now numerously represented.

The name, which signifies "knight," originated during
the Middle Ages. When the Crusades were organized
over central Europe to redeem the Holy Land, a society
having for its object the defense of the faith, the protec-
tion of the weak and the honor of womankind, came into
existence in central Europe; it was known as die Ritter-
schaft, that is, the Knighthood. It flourished for a few
centuries, and many people of rank as well as of the mid-
dle and lower classes belonged to it, but in time it be-
came corrupt and was disbanded. About this time sur-
names were coming into general use, and many if not
all who belonged to this society assumed that of Rit-
ter, so that there were soon a large number of the name
in central Europe. Their principal stronghold seems
to have been in the Palatinate, as nearly all who came
to America emigrated thence. The emigrations began dur-
ing the middle of the eighteenth century, and we give
some of the port entries, most of these sailing from
Rotterdam: Casper Ritter, 1750, ship "Friendship"; Mar-
tin Ritter, 1749, ship "Phoenix"; Christopher Ritter, 1731;
Heins Ritter, 1731; Mary Ritter, 1731; John and George
Ritter, 1736; Aaron Ritter, 1738; Martin Peter Ritter,
1749; Joseph Ritter, 1749; Jacob Ritter, 1750; Hans Rit-
ter, 1751; Jacob Ritter, 1751; Nicholas Ritter, 1752;
William and Polly Ritter, 1753; John Godfrey Ritter,
1755; Michael Ritter, 1765; William Heinrich Ritter,
1772; Anton Henry Ritter, 1773; Carl Ritter, 1775. These
are a few of the names found recorded at different ports,
and no doubt nearly all became heads of families in
this country, but we give only such history as we have
of the two first named, Casper and Martin Ritter, who
are supposed to have been brothers.

Casper Ritter landed at Philadelphia in 1750, and tra-
dition tells us that he and his brother Martin first set-
tled in Delaware, but as the soil and climate did not
suit them they came into Pennsylvania. Casper pro-
ceeded to Easton, then the county-seat of what is now
Lehigh and Northampton counties, and was granted a
patent for a tract of 510 acres located on Pels creek,
a few miles west of its confluence with the Lehigh riv-
er. The present town of Laury's is situated where the
Pels creek joins the Lehigh river. Casper Ritter's ori-
ginal farm included the farms now owned by Reuben
Saeger, Prof. David S. Keck and John and Jeremiah
Schneck, with perhaps a few smaller tracts. No doubt
the tract granted him was forest land and required
clearing, the log house had to be built and the soil brought
to cultivation from its primitive state. The old log house
which sheltered him and his family was razed to the
ground only a few years ago. Whether his wife accom-
panied him across the ocean, or whether he secured her
in this country, is not known, but it is known that six
of his children reached maturity: Jacob, Mrs. Johannes
Frantz, John, Heinrich, Mrs. Nicholas Saeger and Mrs.
Heinrich Frantz. Casper Ritter and his wife were both
buried on their farm, on a small elevation a short dis-
tance from the house, and their graves are still to be
seen. With the exception of a few of the children of
Mrs. Heinrich Frantz who moved to Clinton county their
descendants settled in the same community, and they are
still numerous in that locality. Their annual reunions
are notable events. Most of the Ritters living in Le-
high and_ Northampton counties north of Allentown, and
many living in Allentown, are descended from this Cas-
per Ritter.



From Martin Ritter descend principally those of the
name who live in Allentown and south of that place,
between Macungie and Freemansburg. He came to this
country, as stated, in 1749, and secured a patent for a
tract of land in what is now Salisbury township, a few
miles south of Allentown. He was the father of seven
children : Martin, Henry, John, Daniel, Michael, Jacob
and Gretchen (Mrs. Solomon Kline).

Philip Ritter was the ancestor of the Ritter family in
Schoenersville, Rittersville and the region over toward
Nazareth.



, Francis Ritter seems to have been the ancestor of the
Berks county Ritters. His father, George Ritter, was a
pioneer. Francis, born in 1741 in Exeter township, Berks
county, died in 1825. To him and- his wife Barbara
were born four sons and three daughters : Daniel, John,
Jacob, Samuel, Mrs. Charles Kessler, Mrs. Nicholas
Seidel and Mrs. Samuel Christian.

It is a matter of interest that the only printing-press
ever constructed in Berks county was designed and made
in 1796 in Exeter, near the Oley line, by John and Ja-
cob Snyder and Francis Ritter. The Snyders were des-
cendants of Hans Schneider, who secured a warrant
for 300' acres of land in Oley as early as 1717. The Rit-
ters and Snyders intermarried. On this hand press Der
Readinger Adler was originally printed, the first num-
ber .appearing Nov. 25, 1796. The paper was started
by Jacob Snyder and George Gerrish, and Francis Rit-
ter, who had helped to build the press, bought a half
interest in the establishment in 1797, after the publica-
tion of two numbers, and placed his son John in the
office when the latter was eighteen. John Ritter learn-
ed type-setting and the details of the printing business,
and was one of the publishers of the Adler from 1802
to 1851.

Originally the Ritters lived in Oley and Exeter town-
ships, and the pioneers are buried in the cemetery near
the Schwartzwald Church. According to tradition, the
pioneer settler secured a large tract of land from the
Indians, bargaining for as much land as he could walk
around between sunrise and sunset. Later, when Wil-
liam Penn took possession in Pennsylvania, he claimed
that the Indians had no right to sell land that the king
of England had given to him, and the pioneer of the Rit-
ter family lost his claim.

Daniel Ritter, eldest son of Francis (1741-1825), was
born in Exeter township, Berks county, in 1776. He
engaged in farming on the old homestead quite success-
fully all his life, and he died in 1852. He married Su-
sanna Snyder, daughter of Benjamin Snyder (and sis-
ter of Elizabeth, his brother Jacob's wife), and she
died in 1876, aged eighty-four years. Their children
were: Benjamin, Esther, Daniel, Loui?a, Ferdinand, Wil-
liam Snyder and Franklin.

William Snyder Ritter, son of Daniel and Susanna
(Snyder), was born in Exeter township Sept. 13, 1828.
He remained on the home farm until he was seventeen,
receiving such education as was aflforded by the com-
mon schools, and then was apprenticed to his uncle, John
Ritter, in Der Readinger Adler office, to learn the prin-
ter's trade. He finished his apprenticeship, and continued
to work in the same place, in time becoming foreman.
In 1856 he gave up work at his trade, and spent eight
years in the mercantile business in Reading, the major
portion of that time having for his partner David Keiser.
In 1864, with Jesse G. Hawley, he Durchased the Adler,
and under the name of Ritter & Co. — the same under
which it had been conducted by its former owners —
they carried it on with great 'success for ten years. In
1868 they began the publication of a daily evening paper
in English, fJie Reading Daily Eagle, and in the same
year purchased the Reading Gazette and Democrat, of
J. Lawrence Getz. The partnership was dissolved in
1874, Mr. Ritter becoming sole proprietor of the Adler,
and Mr. Hawley taking the two English papers and Der
Readinger Kalendar. In 1876 Mr. Ritter erected what
was then the largest printing establishment in Reading




.=JZ^^''^^^^f^




BIOGRAPHICAL



657



— a four-story brick building. Some time after this he
founded the English daily paper, The Reading Daily
News, and the English weekly, The Reading Weekly
News. He also got out Der Neue Readinger Alder Kal-
endar, and all these he published successfully until his re-
tirement, in February, 1891. He was a Democrat in pol-
itics, and his publications were intelligent exponents of
that faith. His pen was vigorous in its warfare for the
principles he advocated, and his honesty and fearless-
ness" won the respect of all. In 1875 he was a delegate
to the State convention that nominated the Hon. Cyrus
L. Pershing for governor. In 1861-63, 1864-65, 1874-76
he was a member of the common council, and during his
second term was president of that body. From 1877 to
1882 he was prison inspector. He was public-spirited
and progressive, and was influential in securing the Read-
ing waterworks. Whatever position he held, the duties
pertaining to that position he conscientiously and impar-
tially fulfilled. He gave great encouragement to the Agri-
cultural Society, and was its treasurer for twelve years.
His death. May 2, 1891, was a severe loss to the com-
munity.

In 1853 iMr. Ritter married Julianna Shearer, daugh-
ter of Jonathan Shearer, and they had seven children :
Milford Newton; Jonathan Shearer; William Clinton;
Francis Daniel; Henry Snyder; Laura (m. William T.
Shaneman) ; and Annie (m. William H. Luden, of Read-
ing).

William Clinton Ritter, son of William Snyder and
Julianna (Shearer), was born in Reading Jan. 22, 1860.
He obtained a good education in the public schools of
the city, which he attended until he was sixteen years old.
He then learned the printer's trade, serving an appren-
ticeship of four years in Der Readinger Adler office, and
he has ever since been employed as a journeyman, for
a number of years having had charge of the press-room
of the Reading Telegram. Since he first joined the force
of the Adler that paper has passed through different
hands. Mr. Ritter is a man of sterling worth, and is
held in high esteem. He is a member of the Royal
Arcanum. With his family he attends the Universa-
list Church, to which the Ritters have belonged through
several generations. Mr. William C. Ritter married in 1878
Mary A. Hofmann, and they have two children: (1)
Julia, a musician, who while a student in the Boston Con-
servatory met and married F. P. McCormick, a musician
at Boston ; and (2) Harold H., a graduate of the Naval
Academy at Annapolis, Md., and now an officer in the
United States navy.

Hofmann. The Hofmann family to which Mrs. Wil-
liam C. Ritter belongs is not of long residence in this
country, Mrs. Ritter's father, ReV. Andrew Hofmann,
having been a native of Germany. He was born in Wies-
baden, Germany, attended the German schools, and there
prepared for the ministry. After his ordination he came
to America, and located at the Swamp in Montgomery
county, being pastor of the Swamp charge for twenty-
five years. He died in 1860, aged sixty-five years. His
wife. Lovina Graber, was born at Pennsburg, daughter
of Andrew Graber. a farmer. She died in 1880, aged
fifty-eight , years. They had eight children: Emil; Os-
car ; Doris, of New York ; Amelia, deceased ; Fannie
Cm. Jesse Cressman, of Sumneytown. Pa.) ; Ferdinand
Cof Philadelphia) and Ferdinanda (deceased), twins;
and Mary A. (m. William C. Ritter, of Reading).

Emil Hofmann, son of Rev. Andrew and brother of
Mrs. Ritter, is a retired citizen of Reading. He was
born at the Falkner Swamp in Montgomery county Dec.
7, 1847, and was educated in the public schools there,
working on the farm out of school hours. His father
dying, he was at the age of thirteen obliged to earn his
own living. In 1873 he came to Reading, and for nine
years was successfully engaged in the shoe business at
No. 803 Penn street; before that he had spent twelve
years in the same line on Penn street, above Ninth.
This business he had learned in Sumneytown. In 1898
he retired and visited Europe, traveling through Germany,
42



France and England for three months, accompanied by
his wife. They reside at No. 19 South Eleventh street,
Reading. Mr. Hofmann is a member of Zion's Reform-
ed Church, of which he was deacon and elder for many
years. In 1885 he married Louisa Deurer, daughter of
Frederick Deurer, a native of Germany, who came to
America in 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Hofmann have no chil-
dren.

Hon. John Ritter, son of Francis and Barbara, and
brother of Daniel, was born in Exeter township, ftear
Schwartzwald Church, Feb. 6, 1779. His early education
was limited, and all in German, except for three months
when he studied English. When he was eighteen he left
his father's farm, and entered the office of Der Reading-
er Adler (of which his father was half-owner), and there
learned the printer's trade. His spare time was devoted
to improving his education. In 1802 his father's interest
in the paper was transferred to him, and two years later
his brother-in-law, Charles Kessler, purchased the other
half-interest, and the firm became John Ritter & Co. Mr.
Ritter died Nov. 24, 1851, respected by all. His integ-
rity was well known, and even those of opposing political
parties regarded him and the news he printed as abso-
lutely unimpeachable. Under him the paper was known
as the "Berks County Bible." He was a Democrat, and
for two terms, 1843-48, represented this district in Con-
gress, beirig a member of that body during Polk's ad-
ministration. He was offered the nomination a third term,
but refused. He was one of the five delegates from
Berks county to the Constitutional Convention in 1837.
In 1803 he married Catharine Frailey, daughter of Peter
Frailey (who was sheriff of Berks county when the Adler
was started), and they had three sons: Joel, born Dec.
15,- 1811, long prominent in official position, m. (first)
Angeline Bechtel, and (second) Barbara A. Roland, and
died July 18, 1868; Louis, born April 3, 1813, is mention-
ed in full below ; and Aaron, born April 15, 1816, con-
nected all his life with Der Reading Adler, m. Louisa
Doebler, and died Nov. 11, 1873. The Hon. John Ritter
was a member of the Universalist Church, as have been
all the family for generations, and in 1830 he assisted
liberally in the erection of the church edifice, giving
it his support as long as he lived.'

Louis Ritter, son of Hon. John and Catharine (Frai-
ley), born in the city of Reading April 3, 1813, died there
in the house in which he was born, No. 353 Penn street,
Oct. 16, 1889. He received his preliminary training in the
select schools of Reading, and at an early age entered
the Adler office to learn the printer's trade. Here he
continued in various capacities until the Ritter interests
were purchased by Charles Kessler. Mr. Kessler was, as-
sociate editor and manager of the Adler while the Hon.
John Ritter was in Congress, and Louis represented his
mother's interests in the paper. He was a very con-
scientious, accurate and painstaking news gatherer, ex-
tremely exact in all of his details, and he was a financier
of rare ability. His friendship was sincere and disinter-
ested, and he was courteous and affable, having a kind
word for all. He was interested in politics, but although
often urged to do so would never accept office. Many
years ago he, with Jacob Babb, was in charge of the
State printing at Harrisburg, this being the only official
business with which he ever had any connection. Mr.'
Ritter was also one of the stockholders of the old water
board, but this was before the city purchased the water-
works. His father was also one of the original members
of the board. Fraternally Mr. Ritter belonged to Mont-
gomery Lodge. I. O. O. F.

Mr. Louis Ritter was twice married, his first wife,
Maria B. Haas, dying in 1880. In 1882 he married Miss
Mary E. Werner, daughter of Daniel Jackson and Es-
ther (Briner) Werner, and she survives her husband
and makes her home in Reading. Mrs. Ritter is a
member of the Universalist Church of Our Father. She
is connected with a number of charitable organizations,
among them being the Widows' Home, the- Homeopathic
and Reading Hospitals, the Bureau of Employment and



658



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



the Humane Society. In former years Mrs. Ritter was
prominently identified with musical circles, being or-
ganist for Dr. Bausman for four years, and assisting
in singing in the choirs of Reading's leading churches.
Her father, Daniel Jackson Werner, was born in Cum-
ru township, and for many years was foreman for Sey-
fert & McManus, in their iron foundry. He passed
away after an illness covering eight years, at the age
of sixty-four, in the faith of the Universalist Church.
His wife, Esther Briner, was a daughter of Samuel and
Elizabeth (Koch) Briner.

In the death of Louis Ritter the poor of Reading
lost one of their most generous friends, it being seldom
that any subscription for a worthy object did not con-
tain his name. The Rev. George W. Kent, in his ser-
mon at Mr. Ritter's funeral, said: "Who can think of
Death as anything but a messenger of peace vyhen it
closes such a life? Yet here is one who never professed
religion in the accepted sense. His religion was not
a matter of profession; it was just a matter of devout
and childlike loyalty to his God, and of steadfast good
will and faithfulness to his fellow-creatures. Would
that Man had more of such religion."

Taking up the line of Jacob R. Ritter, of No. 335
Washington street, Reading, the indications are that he
is a descendant in the sixth generation from

(I) Ferdinand Ritter in both the paternal and mater-
nal lines. Tradition says that this pioneer ancestor was



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 186 of 227)