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 195 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 195 of 227)
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he also erected the Friedensburg (Berks county) Acad-
emy, and is now building the Boyertown high school
building, which is to be finished by Dec. 26, 1909.

Though Mr. Schealer's building operations have been
extensive they have not engrossed his attention entirely,
for he has other business interests. He is president
of the Union Manufacturing Company, which was or-
ganized in 1893 for the manufacture of all kinds of
light and heavy castings, one of the specialties of this
concern being the Union Detachable-Handle Sad Iron,
which has the reputation of being superior to any other
article of the kind on the market. Mr. Schealer is
also president of the Boyertown Gas Company, being
one of the large stockholders in that organization,
which has a paid-up capital of $30,000. He is interested
in the Franklin Improvement Company, which owns
considerable real estate, and which erected a three-
story and basement brick building in Boyertown, 175x45
feet in dimensions, to which an "L" has since been
added. Among Mr. Schealer's real estate holdings is
a tract of seventeen acres, on which he raises apples,
pears, peaches, plums and other fruits, and he also owns
a large cider press, and a cold storage plant with a
capacity of 3,000 barrels.

Though a Republican in a town which is Democratic
three to one Mr. Schealer has served as burgess and
chief burgess of Boyertown, having been elected bur-
gess in 1894 and 1897 and chief burgess in 1900, hold-
ing the latter office until 1903.

On Jan. 23, 1863, Mr. Schealer enlisted in Company
E, 75th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, his captain
being Roswell G. Feltus, and with his company took
part in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac until
after Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, when the regi-
ment was transferred to the Army of the Southwest.
Mr. Schealer was discharged at the close of his term,
Oct. 26, 1863. He is a charter member of General
Crooks Post, G. A. R., of Boyertown, and has been
post adjutant ever since the organization. His other
social connections are with Stichter Lodge, No. 254, F.
& A. M., of Pottstown; Reading Chapter, No. 152, R.
A. M.; Nativity Commandery, No. 71, K. T., of Potts-
town; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Oasis of
Reading; Consistory at Bloomsburg; Oley Lodge, No.
218, I. O. O. F., of Reading; and Camp No. 104, P. O.
S. of A., of Boyertown.

On April 3, 1858. Mr. Schealer married Elizabeth
Himmelreich, daughter of John Himmelreich, of Pike
township, and they have had two children: Sarah, now
wife of William Babb, a farmer of Pike township,
Berks county; and Milton, who engaged in teaching for



twelve years while a young man, but is now connected
with the National Bank of Boyertown, as teller.

ALF-RED W. GLASE, a prominent business man
of Reading, was born in Friedensburg, Oley township,
Berks county. Pa., May 27, 1841, son of Peter Glase.

Jacob Glase, grandfather of Alfred W., was a shoe-
maker by trade, and followed that occupation in Read-
ing, Kutztown and Oley township, all his life. He
died while residing in the last named section. Their
children were: Peter; Jacob; John; Betsey, m. to a
Mr. Fisher; and Polly, m. to Jacob Faucht. In re-
ligious belief the family were Lutherans.

Peter Glase at first followed his father's calling, that
of a shoemaker, but later in life was engaged in other
lines, being at one period in the hotel business. For
several years he did freighting between Fredericksburg
and Philadelphia, and afterward owned ond operated
a farm. Twice married, his first wife was a Miss
Adams, and they had eight children: William, Matilda,
Benewell, Amelia, Mary, Rebecca, James and Levi.
He m. (second) Miss Catherine Weisner, like him-
self a native of Berks county. She died aged sev-
enty-three years, and to this union five children were
born, Caroline, Jacob W., Peter, Alfred W. and An-
na. In religious belief the family were Lutherans,
and in politics Peter Glase was a Democrat. His
death occurred in 1868, when he was aged seventy-
four years.

Alfred W. Glase was sent to 'the common schools
of Oley township, but was still too young to have
left school when he was compelled to go to work.
He was first employed on a farm, and remained in
that line of work until he was eighteen. He then
learned the tinsmith's trade from his brother, and
■followed that for fourteen years. Meantime he had
become favorably known among his fellow citizens
and was constable in the Fourth ward, serving in that
capacity very efficiently for fifteen years. Since 1887
he -has conducted a livery stable and has been very
successful, for his establishment is not only large
but of a high class. His location is at Nos. 515-517
Cherry street, Reading.

Mr. Glase is a veteran of the Civil war, having en-
listed in the 3d Regiment of Pennsylvania Artillery,
afterward attached to Battery A, 1st Pennsylvania
Light Artillery, in which he served until the end of
the war.

In 1880 Alfred W. Glase married Miss Mary Har-
rison, daughter of John Harrison. Two children have
been born to them, Maud E. and Floyd H. In re-
ligious faith they are Lutherans. Mr. Glase is a Re-
publican in his political affiliations, and has been ac-
tive in local affairs. He is a member of the G. A. R.,
belonging to Post No. 16.

LEVI WORLEY (deceased), for many years one
of Reading's prominent business men, and a pioneer
in the coal tar pavement b« iness, was born in Saeg-
ersville, a small town near Allentown, Lehigh Co.,
Pa., only child of Jacob Worley, a well known farmer
of Lehigh county, where he died.

Levi Worley learned the trade of shoemaking at
Allentown, but when a young man was employed on
Dunkle's farm in Berks county. He then went to
Pottsville, Columbia and Lancaster, following shoe
making, and later tO' Lewistown, where he married
Elizabeth Heinsling, by whom two sons were born,
of whom the survivor is Oilman, messenger at the First
National Bank, Reading. Mrs. Elizabeth (Heinsling)
Worley died at Lewistown. Mr. Worley then came
to Reading and worked at his trade for a number of
years, finally engaging in the coal tar pavement busi-
ness with David Witman as partner. They were
among the pioneers in this business, and operated
extensively throughout the city. For about twenty-
five years prior to his death, Mir. Worley lived re-
tired, dying in May, 1902, aged eighty-six years, in the



684



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



faith of the Lutheran church of which he had been
a member of the Vestry. In politics a Republican,
Mr. Worley served as school director from the
Eighth ward for a number of years.

Mr. Worley married (second) Mary M. Rush, born
Jan. 6. 1822, a few doors from where she now resides,
No. 739 Washington street, Reading, daughter of Phil-
ip and Barbara (Spohn) Rush, and these children were
born to the union: Barbara; John P. R.; Annie; Elea-
nor; Mary V., and one child which died in infancy.

Mrs. Worley's first husband was Conrad Feger, son
of Jacob and Elizabeth (Mellon) Feger, and three
children were born to them: William; Barbara; and
Sarah Jane (Jennie), widow of George S. Yeager, who
was connected with the Philadelphia and Reading
Railroad, located at Ninth and Green streets, Phila-
delphia. During 1876 Mr. 'Yeager was assistant master
mechanic, and was later transferred to Newton, Bucks
county, where he died in 1887, being buried in the
Charles Evans cemetery. Mrs. Yeager resides with
her mother, in Reading. Mrs. Worley is a member of
Trinity Lutheran Church, where she was christened by
Dr. J. Miller.

ELMER E. WANNER, senior member of the firm
of Wanner & Stief, hatters, at Reading, was born in
1861 in Kutztown, Berks county, son of Peter C. and
Sarah (Moyer) Wanner.

Peter C. Wanner was born in Kutztown, and as a
boy worked on a farm. Later he owned a farm and
tannery one-half mile from Kutztown, which he ope-
rated until his retirement some years before his death,
in 1899, in his seventy-sixth year. His wife died in
1894, aged sixty-one year's. Their four children were:
John; Elmer E.; Ellen, m. to J. C. Ziegler; and Ida,
m. to P. A. Metzgar. In religious belief the farriily were
connected with the Reformed Church. Mr. Wanner
was a Democrat in political faith.

Elmer E. Wanner was educated in the schools of
Maxatawny township and the Keystone State Normal
School at Kutztown, after leaving which he clerked in
W. W. Sheridan's boot and shoe store for two years.
He then went to Goshen, Ind., to accept a position in
his brother John's leather establishment, where he re-
mained four years. He then returned to his native
county, and in 1883 secured a position in J. B. Schaef-
fer's wholesale hat house as traveling representative,
covering the entire State of Pennsylvania, and continued
with that firm for seventeen years. On Dec. 1, 1900,
Mr. Wanner formed a partnership with A. J. Stief,
and since that time they have carried on a prosperous
hat business at No. 605 Penn street. The firm's first
class line of goods finds a ready sale in the retail
houses of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Wanner is considered
one of the good, substantial citizens of Reading. He is
fraternally connected with Lodge No. 63, F. & A. M.;
the B. P. O. E., No. 115, Reading; and the Americus
Club.

In 1897 Mr. Wanner was married to Mary Frey. They
attend the Reformed Church. In political matters he
is a Democrat.

SAMUEL HOLL, who died in Reading, Pa., in 1886,
in his sixty-ninth year, was for many years a well-
known business man and honored resident of the city.
He was born in 1817, in Cumru township, Berks county,
son of Peter and Elizabeth (Setley) HoU, residents of
that section.

Samuel Holl received a common school education,
and for a number of years was engaged in the wheel-
wright business pn Walnut street, Reading, where the
Junior Fire Engine House now stands. He was later
employed by Seyfert, McManus & Co., manufacturers
of Reading, remaining with that firm for several years,
but finally resumed his business in the rear of his
residence, No. 343 North Sixth street. Mr. Holl mar-
ried Miss Louisa Orie, who died in 1883, daughter of



John Orie, a native of France, who was a member of
the army of Napoleon, being one of that great general's
body-guards. Mr. Orie came to America about 1831,
locating at New Holland, Lancaster county, where he
died. Mr. and Mrs. Holl are both buried in the Charles
Evans cemetery. In politics, a Democrat, Mr. Holl
served on the election board of Reading. He was a
member of the First Reformed Church, being an elder
and trustee thereof. The children of Samuel and Louisa
(Orie) Holl were: Julia, the widow of Reuben Sha-
dell, living at No. 531 Buttonwood street, Reading;
Jacob, who was educated in the public schools of
Reading and a private school, and who began business
life clerking in some of the leading houses in Reading,
for several years being head clerk for the Reading
Hardware Company, resigning this position to become
the first cashier of the Keystone National Bank, Jan. 8,
1884, a position which he held until his death in May,
1890; Anna M.; William O., a molder of Reading;
Elizabeth, a teacher in the Reading high school; and
Louisa, who was also engaged in teaching for some
time. Anna M., Louisa, and Elizabeth reside at the
old home of their father. No. 343 North Sixth street,
Reading.

JAMES H. RAMER, senior member of the contract-
ing and building firm of Ramer & George, at Reading,
Pa., was born Dec. 9, 1864, at Richmond township,
Berks Co., Pa., son of John and Sallie S. Ramer, and
grandson of Jacob Ramer, a farmer of Richmond town-
ship.

John Ramer was born in Richmond township, where
his education was secured in the public schools, after
leaving which he engaged in bricklaying and later in
stone mason work. He died in Reading at the age
of sixty-nine years, his wife having passed away in her
thirty-eighth year, and their children were: Catherine,
James H., Samuel, Jacob, Ellen, John, Annie, William
(who died young), Lydia and Sallie.

James H. Ramer attended the schools of Richmond
township, obtaining a good education, and in 1893
came to Reading, where he worked at bricklaying until
1903, in this year entering into a partnership with
Samuel George. They have been very successful in
their building business, and to the present time have
erected forty-three houses in the northeastern section
. of Reading. In political matters Mr. Ramer is inde-
pendent, and he is fraternally connected with Vigil-
ance Lodge, No. 194, I. O. O. F.; Camp No. 278, P. O.
S. of A., Virginville, of which he is a charter member;
and the Maccabees. He is as popular in fraternal cir-
cles as he is well-known in the business field, and is
considered a representative citizen.

Mr. Ramer married Fannie Schucker, daughter of
Adam Schucker, and to this union there were born
two children: Harry Warren, who died at the age
of seven months, eight days; and Eva Elizabeth, who
died when nine years, three months old.

JOHN JACOB SHILLING (deceased) founded a
family in Berks county now well known there. He
was born in Chester county, Pa., and came to Berks
county when a young man, settling at what is now
Shillington. He owned considerable land there, built
numerous dwellings, and for many years owned and
conducted the "Three Mile House," where he lived
with his family. He was a man of prominence in his
day, and was of striking appearance, being erect, tall,
and weighing over two hundred pounds. He was a
member of the Reformed Church. He married Hannah
Straub, whose father was Christian (?) Straub, and
to them were born children as follows: Levi
died unmarried when about seventy years of age;
Hettie also died unmarried; Samuel, who laid out
Shillington, and gave it its name, married Catharine
Whiteman, and they had children— Franklin P. (de-
ceased), Oscar J. (deceased), Mary M. W. and Gebrge
Washmgton (twins). Howard M.. Frederick E. E..



BIOGRAPHICAL



685



Emma L., Ida C. E. and Ella; Ephraim is mentioned
below; Jacob, who was killed in the Civil war, married
Mary Bechtel and had one child, who died young;
Eliza married Isaac Miller, of Illinios, in which State
both died; Isabella died unmarried; Louisa married
a Forbs, of Minnesota.

Ephraim Shilling, son of John Jacob, was born Nov.
16, 1823, in Shillington, and lived to his seventy-seventh
year, dying Jan. 18, 1899. There he spent his entire
life. He not only followed farming, but also his trade
of pattern-making, and turned out many violins of
sweet tone; in later years he also engaged in wheel-
wrighting in connection wtih farming, cultivating a
tract of forty-two acres. In politics he was a Repub-
lican.

In 1848 Ephraim Shilling married Catharine Marks,
daughter of George Marks, and a family of eight child-
ren was born to them, namely: Clara m. Frank Welde;
Catharine m. Julius Wagner; Elizabeth m. John Gauss;
John Jacob m. Sarah Steffey, and (second) Sallie E.
Berstler; Alexander E., unmarried, lives at Shillington;
Hannah m. Jerome Tompkins; Jane m. Horace R. Carl;
Andrew m. Lizzie Kane. The family were Lutherans
in religion.

Julius Wagner, who married Catharine, second
daughter of Ephraim Shillington, was born in Germany
in 1849, and came to America when eighteen years of
age, landing in New York in 1867. After staying for
a while in that city iie moved to York, Pa., and learned
the carpenter's trade, which he followed for some time,
but being dissatisfied with his progress he located at
Lancaster and made himself proficient as a baker. When
ready to begin for himself in that line he went to
Reading, opened a bakery at No. 276 South Ninth
street, and was so successful that by the end of thir-
teen years he had amassed sufficient capital to retire
from that business and enter into building and contract-
ing. While thus engaged he put up sixty-two houses
in Reading, some of them on property owned by his
wife. Mrs. Wagner is quite an extensive property
holder, owning ten lots on Thirteenth street, seven
on Fairview, five on Kenney, and three residences in
the Tenth ward. Mr. Wagner at present gives his
entire attention to managing his wife's interests.

Mr. and Mrs. Wagner were married March 18, 1871,
and they have five children: Julius, Jr., m. Helen
Krum; Lucca K. ; Elsie T. m. Harry Adams; Mabel m.
George Klopp; and Richard m. Anna Snyder. In re-
ligious faith the family are Lutherans. Mr. Wagner
is a Democrat in politics.

GEIGER. The Geiger family is an old one in the
eastern part of Pennsylvania, being located here be-
fore the erection of Berks county, in 1752. Philip
Geiger, the great-grandfather of Wellin-gton D. and
Ezra D. Geiger, of Amity township, was born Nov.
20, 1765, and died Aug. 13, 1831. His wife, Anna
Maria Stichter, was born Jan. 18, 1769, and died Nov.
1, 1791. They are both buried in the east side of the
old cemetery at Amityville church. With them is
buried Maria Geiger (1793-1823), probably a daughter,
and wife of Philip Mathias. Another daughter mar-
ried a Moyer. The number of the children of this
old pioneer couple cannot be definitely stated. There
was a son, Jacob, mentioned below; and tradition tells
of another son. Philip Geiger lived in Amity town-
ship before 1806, as in that year his name appears
on the tax list.

Jacob Geiger, son of Philip, was born August 20,
1795, and died in Amity, Sept. 6, 1868. He was a
farmer and owned a tract of 160 acres about three-
quarters of a mile south of Amityville. He married
Elizabeth Harner, born Aug. 21, 1798, died Sept. 17,
1870, and their children were: Jacob H.; Mary Ann;
John; Mahlon; Elizabeth m. Alfred Fritz; and Leah
Ann.



Jacob H. Geiger. son of Jacob and Elizabeth, was
born Nov. 16, 1825, and died on the farm now the
property of his son, Ezra D., Sept. 15, 1864. He was
a farmer. Although in his youth he learned the tailor s
trade he never followed it. He married Mary Ann
De Turk, daughter of Jacob and Esther (Goodhart)
De Turk, who lived in Exeter township. She was
born April 19, 1828, and died April 25, 1908. Their
children were: Ezra D.; Wellington D.; Jacob, of
Philadelphia, who has children— Lawrence, Mary, Mar-
tha, Amvy, and Jacob; Lizzie, deceased, m. to WiUiam
H. Thorpe, of Clayton, N. Y.; and Miss Hettie.

Wellington D. Geiger, now a farmer in Amity
township, was born one mile east of Yellow House,
October 4, 1856. He attended the township schools
and was reared as a farmer's boy, working -for his
parents until he attained his majority. In 1866_he began
farming as a tenant in Amity and has ever since been
a tenant farmer in that township, with the exception
of three years— 1889, 1890. and 1891— when he hved
in Douglass township. He has been quite successful
and his farm is kept in good condition, and his stock
and farm machinery are of the best.

On Feb. 13, 1885. Mr. Geiger married Amelia Sassa-
man, daughter of' George M. and Mary (Weyant)
Sassaman, now of Pottstown. Their only child, a son,
died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Geiger are Reformed
members of Amityville Church, in which he has served
as deacon. Fraternally he is a member of Wohlink
Tribe, No. 179, I. O. R. M., at Yellow House.

Ezra D. Geiger^ a farmer at Weaverstown, in
Amity township, was born Aug. 6, 1853, in Exeter
township, coming to Amity in the second year of his
earthly career with his parents. He worked for his
mother. until he was of age. He began farming at
the age of twenty on his present place. This was the
Augustus K. Lorah farm before it became the prop-
erty of Jacob H. Geiger. It was originally owned by
the Ludwigs. then by Jacob Schaffer, then by the Lo-
rahs. Jacob H. Geiger bought it in 1864, and in 1878
it was transferred to the present owner. The farm
consists of ninety-five acres, also forty-eight adres of
pasture land. The present large stone house was built
in 1834. There is a smaller house on the premises,
located -about thirty feet from the large one, that must
be a relic of the days long before the Revolution.

In 1876 Mr. Geiger married Delilah Rhoades, daugh-
ter of Jonas and Rachel Rhoads, and their children
are: (1) Chester, graduated from the Keystone State
Normal School in the cla^s of 1902, and is now en-
gaged in teaching in Amity township. He m. Dora
■ Body, and they have two children: Evelyn and Esther.
(2) Wayne, graduated from the Keystone State Normal
School in 1904, and from Lehigh University in 1908,
is an electrician, holding a responsible position at
Hackensack, N. J., with the Telephone Company. He
m. Elsie Brown, and has a daughter, Alice. (3) Vic-
tor is still at home. In politics Mr. Geiger is a Dem-
ocrat, and is at present serving as supervisor of Amity,
townsbip; for three years he was auditor. He is a
member of Wohlink Tribe, I. O. R. M., at Yellow
House. Mr. Geiger and his family are members of
the Reformed Church at Amityville, in which he has
been very active, and has served as deacon. The early
Geigers were Lutherans.

LEWIS NAPOLEON LOWE, assistant city treas-
urer of the city of Reading, Pa., was born in Phila-
delphia, Dec. 9, 1863, one of the eight children born
to Louis and Sarah (Berret) Lowe, the others being:
Anna E., widow of Charles Snyder, of Philadelphia,
(brother of Brigadier-General Snyder, of Reading, and
a grandson of Governor Snyder of Pennsylvania);
Margaret J., of Philadelphia; Frank S., of Philadelphia;
Sallie B., of Atlantic City; and three, Walter, Charles
and Edward, who all died in early childhood.



686



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Lewis N. Lowe graduated from the Reading high
school in the class of 1878, and he started his business
life as a machinist with the Philadelphia & Reading
Railroad, then becoming chief time keeper for that
company, spending twelve or thirteen years in the
railroad service. He was appointed clerk to the city
treasurer in 1902, a position which he efficiently
filled unfil 1908, when he was appointed assistant city
treasurer. Fraternally Mr. Lowe is a member of the
P. O. S. of A. He is a member of the Universalist
Church. In his political affiliations he is a Democrat.

Mr. Lowe is descended from English ancestry on
his father's side, and on his mother's from French, this
accounting for his name. His father's people were na-
tives of North Carolina, our subject's grandfather
owning a large plantation and many slaves. The
Civil war reversed the family fortune, and four of
the sons came North, all of whom are now deceased.

AUGUSTUS BORKERT, who died Dec. 12, 1908,
aged seventy years, was one of Reading's leading
business men, having been engaged in contracting and
building for a number of years. He was a native of
this city, born Feb. 20, 1838, son of Daniel Borkert.

Augustus Borkert's school days were spent at the
Franklin street school, in Third ward, and there he at-
tended until about fourteen years of age, when he
started his business career as an errand boy in a de-
partment store. He remained there for about one and
one-half years, at the end of which time he went to
the hat factory to learn the hat business. His father
desired him to learn the binding business, and when
nineteen years of age he engaged with his father in
business and continued with him until the latter's re-
tirement from active life. At this time the six Borkert
brothers engaged in business together, and remained
connected for some time, but later Augustus Borkert,
under the firm name of Augustus Borkert & Bro., en-
gaged in contracting and building, with his brother,
and they erected a number of large business houses and
residences, among the former being the Scott foundry
and the Deibert building and part of Mohn's Hat fac-
tory. ,They also built the Polish school house, and
others too numerous to mention. They employed from
fifteen to eighteen hands. Mr. Borkert resided at No.
938 A, Penn street, where his death occurred.

Mr. Borkert married Mary Amanda Brown," daugh-
ter of John Brown, a Berks county blacksmith, and the
following children were born to this union: Katy m.
James Bady, and lives at Mt. Penn; George, employed
with his father, m. Mary A. Long; Daniel, also em-
ployed with his father, m. Ida M. Zell; Clara m. Harry
Rapp, of Reading; Howard J., a clerk for the firm of
Gatley & Brenner, m. Katie Hill; Ida m. Marshall Huey,
who engaged in the coal business on South Tenth
street, and they reside on West Oley street; Walter m.
Rosa Houck, and they have two sons, Carol and
Lester; Walter is employed with his father; Edward
was clerking at the tube works, and met his death one
day while going home from work at noon time, falling



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 195 of 227)