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 200 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 200 of 227)
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flour mills m the State for a Mr. Schoefield He was



BIOGRAPHICAL



699



acquainted with President Abraham Lincohi when
the latter was still a law student, and was a witness
to the President's assassination. Mr. Price married
(first) Lydia Wetzel, who died in her twenty-sixth
year. The children of this marriage were: Jonathan,
who died when twenty-one years of age; Emrria, m.
to John Rupp, of Indiana; Henry, our subject; Reuben
A., who is engaged in contracting at' Reading, and
m. to Fannie Kieffer; William, who died when twenty
years of age; and one child which died in infancy.
William Price m. (second) Leah Anthony, who is
still living and makes her home at Myerstown, Leb-
anon county. She is the mother of three children,
namely: Seal, m. to Edward Hecht; of Chicago, 111.;
George, of Myerstown, m. to Annie Holtzman; and
Mary, m: to' Morris Kreider, of Annville, Lebanon
county.

Henry Price attended the schools of Myerstown
until fifteen years of age,- and then was taught the
carpenter's trade by his father. In the early days
the work of a carpenter was anything but easy, and
Mr. Price and his father often had to travel long
distances to reach their work. On one occasion they
walked five miles to work and five miles home at
night every day, and at this time were working fifteen
hours per day. At the time they built the hotel at
Tremont, Pa., they had a distance of twenty-one miles
to walk twice a week, carrying their tools on their
back. Mr. Price secured work at Pottsville, a dis-
tance of thirty-eight miles, and this they also walked.
Henry Price went with his father to Illinois in 1863,
and there remained three years, or until after his
father's death, when his step-mother asked him to
accompany her to Myerstown. This Mr. Price did,
and from Myerstown came direct to Reading, only
expecting, however, to remain a short time. After
being employed here for a time, Mr. Price decided to
make Reading his home, and here he has continued
ever since, engaging in business on his own account
in 1888, his first' job being four fine residences at
Tenth and Franklin streets. Among the many build-
ings erected by Mr. Price may be mentioned the fol-
lowing: the residences of C. D. Moser and S. H.
Fulmer; the Schuylkill 'Valley Bank; Kissinger's Farm-
ers' Market House; Hotel Brighter; the warehouse
for the Penn Hardware Company; A. F. Kramer's
residence; the James Otto store on Penn street, and
the cigar store of Charles Breneiser, at the corner of
Seventh and Penn streets, one of the finest in Reading.

In 1871 Mr. Price married Miss- Amanda Seidel,
daughter of Francis and Catherine (Fisher) Seidel,
they have one daughter, Mary, who married Aaron
Miller, an employe of the Alexander firm, in the hat
business, and has a daughter, Helert, attending school.

Mr. Price is a Republican in politics. He is a
Mason of high standing, being a member of Chandler
Lodge, No. 227, Excelsior Chapter, No. 337, Reading
Cortimandery No. 42, and the Mystic Shrine. He is
also connected with the Knights of Pythias No. 65,
the Elks No. 115, and the Royal Arcanum, and is
exceedingly popular in all of these societies. Mr. and
Mrs. Price are members of the Trinity Lutheran
Church, which they attend consistently and support
liberally. He is well known in Reading as a man
of many sterling qualities, and bears an enviable rep-
utation for honesty, and integrity.

JAMES P. KERSHNER, now living retired at No.
121 North Front street, was for many years a well-
known public official of Reading. He was born Jan.
35, 1845, in Penn township, Berks county, son of
Peter and Catherine (Boaey) Kershner, and grand-
son of Philip Kershner.

The Kershner family was founded in this country
by Martin Kershner, who settUd on a farm in Berks
county in 1732, this farm being later the property
of his son, Peter, who in turn willed it to his son.
Philip. Philip Kershner married a Miss Himmels-



berger, and to them was born one son, Peter, who
became the father of James P. Kershner.

Peter Kershner, who was a prominent man of his
day, engaged in agricultural pursuits all of his life
on the farm above mentioned, and died in Penn town-
ship, Jan. 28, 1868, aged sixty-four years. His wife,
Catherine Bodey, died in 1876, when seventy-five years
old. They had a family of fourteen children, twelve
of whom grew to maturity: Priscilla m. Cyrus Davis;
Mary m. Franklin G. Hain; Eliza died in infancy, as
did also Alfred; Catherine m. Abraham R. Koenig;
Sarah m. Richard Reber; Peter; Rosabella married
Harrison K. Hiester; Sidney m. John R. Koenig; Susan
m. Richard K. Bohn; Henry J.; Louis P.; George
W.; and James P. 'In religious belief the family were
Reformed, and were attendants of Bern Reformed
Church. In politics Mr. Kershner was a Democrat,
and was director of the poor for some years, being
appointed to that position first by thp court to com-
plete an unexpired term, and later was elected to
the office by the people.

James P. Kershner received his education in the
schools of Penn township, and worked on the farm
until twenty-four years of age. At this time he
learned the butcher's trade, which he followed for
twelve years, being then appointed county detective
'by I. H. Rothermel. He served three years in this
office, and was then appointed mercantile appraiser,
in which capacity he continued one year. For two
years he served as law detective, to which office he
had been appointed by the courts of- Berks county,
and a like period was spent in the office of deputy
sheriff. He was for one term of three years keeper
of the Berks county prison, and was again appointed
county detective, under A. H. Rothermel, serving
three years, and at the end of this time retired. He
was always an honest, capable officer, and none has
retired with a cleaner record than he.

Mr. Kershner married, in 1868, Melinda Spangler,
who died in 1869, leaving one child, Mary, who died
in infancy. Mr. Kershner's second marriage was in
1870, to Priscilla H. Wenrich, daughter of Daniel H.
Wenrich, three children being born to this union:
Thomas, who died aged ten years; Sallie, who died
when three years old; and Ellen, m. to Edward W.
O'Regan, by whom she has had two children, Stella
(deceased) and Marion. Mr. Kershner is a member
of Oley Lodge No. 218, I. O. O. F. He has from his
early youth been identified with the Democratic party,
and has ever been active in the ranks of that organ-
ization in this section. Mr. Kershner is a good, useful
citizen, and is highly esteemed throughout the com-
munity.

WILLIAM G. BORKERT (deceased) was born Dec.
29, 1825, on Penn street, Reading. He received a com-
mon school education and then learned the hatter's
trade, which he followed in the winter, while he worked
at the trade of a brick-layer in the summer months. He
spent his time in that manner for a number of years,
and then gave up the hatting business, devoting his en-
tire time and attention to brick laying and contracting,
in which he engaged with five other brothers, the firm
being known as the Borkert Brothers, and he remained
therein until his death, July 29, 1901, when he was
seventy-five years and seven months old. He had been
in the business about thirty-one years, and few business
men were better known.

Mr. Borkert married Catherine M. Miller, born Feb.
8, 1828, daughter of John and Catherine (Kutz) Miller,
the former of Lancaster county and the latter of Read-
ing. Mrs. Borkert had two brothers, John W. and
Jacob, and one sister, Susan. Mrs. Borkert died Jan.
27, 1906. She and her husband were consistent mem-
bers of Grace Lutheran Church, of Reading, and were
much esteemed as good, kindly. Christian people. They
had these children: John J., a brick-layer of Reading,
who married Rosa A. Seiders; Misses Emma A. and



700



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Kate A., who reside at home; William D. A., a brick-
layer at Reading, who married Ellen Stout; Mary E.,
who married (first) Charles Fisher, and (second) John
Pennypacker, of Reading; and Susan and Cora, both
deceased.

The Misses Emma A. and Katie A. Borkert reside
at No. 1024 Penn street, Reading, in the old home in
which their parents lived and died. They are very
estimable ladies, refined and cultured, and are well
known for their hospitality.

ALBERT F. KRAMER, a member of the Bard Hard-
ware Company, of Reading, which is among the largest
jobbers of hardware in Pennsylvania, was born in Berks
county, Sept. 37, 1843. He is a son of Daniel R. Kramer,
who was a prominent contractor in masonry in that
county, and whose other children were: Daniel, John,
George, Henry, Edward, Louisa (m. Daniel Linder-
muth) and Catherine (m. Adam Snyder).

Every advance which Mr. Alfred F. Kramer has made
in life, however slight, has been accomplished solely
through individual exertion, and like others who have
reached a high and substantial foundation, he may
justly count as his inexhaustible fortune, his constant
stock of patience, perseverance, honesty and industry.
He passed his school days in his native county of Berks,
gathering what learning he could, and securing an in-
valuable training in systematic work and economy as a
laborer in the neighboring farms. From the age of
seventeen to twenty he was especially engaged among
agricultural labors. As it proved, this preliminary train-
ing was the requisite preparation for a successful busi-
ness career, and in 1866 Mr. Kramer became a resident
of Reading and a clerk for Bard & Reber, dealers in
hardware. After remaining five years in that capacity,
in 1881, he was admitted as a member of the firm,
under the style of Bard, Reber & Co. The business
was established in 1856. The house now known as the
Bard Hardware Company, a full history of which ap-
pears elsewhere, deals chiefly in building hardware, ma-
chinists' supplies, tin plates and coach goods. Since
Mr. Kramer has been a member of the firm he has
paid special attention to the coach department, being
the sole buyer in that line.

Albert F. Kramer married Anna DeTurk, who died
April 4, 1904. leaving the following children: Harvey
DeTurk, Edith M. and Esther C. Mr. Kramer is a
member of the First Reformed Church, and is not only
highly esteemed as a straightforward, successful busi-
ness man, but for his admirable qualities as evinced
in all the private relations of life.

W. G. HOLLIS. deceased. The W. G. HolUs Choc-
olate Manufactory, Nos. 621-62.'; Franklin street. Read-
ing, Pa., was established by the late W. G. Hollis in
1884, and was first located at No. 58 South Seventh
street.

W. G. Hollis was born at Psara, a small island in
Greece, and secured a good education in his native
country. Seeing better possibilities in America, he
sailed in 1878 from that country, and landed at Charles-
town, S. C, where he embarked in the candy business.
There he remained but a short time, however, removing
to Alabama, and still later to Canada, whence on ac-
count of the climate he came back to the United States,
locating in Baltimore. The same year he removed
to Lancaster, and in 1884 settled in Reading, Pa. His
ability as a candy manufacturer was soon recognized,
and from a humble beginning he arose to be one of
the largest manufacturers of the section. In 189,3 he
removed to the company's present quarters, on Frank-
lin street, the building being three stories and base-
ment, 63i X 60, and equipped with all the modern choc-
olate candy-making machinery, much of which was
made and shipped from Paris. The plant is one of the
most complete of its size in the state of Pennsylvania,
and the reputation of the product is recognized in every



State of the Union. Mr. Hollis established a set price
on his goods, and both price and goods continued
uniform thereafter. He was the first in this section
of the State to manufacture chocolates from the bean,
he importing the bean himself, and roasting and pre-
paring it for the finished product. A force of 110 em-
ployes are given work by the plant in the various
departments, and the firm's policy towards its em-
ployes has always been one of consideration and kind-
ness. Many who have been in the employ of the com-
pany were started up in business on their own account
by Mr. Hollis!

Mr. Hollis died Oct. 12, 1905, but the firm will con-
tinue to do business under the same name, W. G. Hollis,
it being carried on by his mother. Mr. HoHis' brother,
Milton G., having been appointed Attorney in fact.

On Jan. 18, 1909, the plant was totally destroyed
by fire and a fine modern building of four stories and
basement, equipped with the newest machinery was
erected at the old site where the business will b t con-
tinued as heretofore.

MARCUS LONG. At the age of twenty-seven, Jacob
Long, great-grandfather of Marcus Long, with Johan
Nicholas Long, arrived in America, Aug. 30, 1737, in
the ship "Samuel," of London, Hugh Percy, captain,
from Rotterdam, last from Cowes. They were from the
Rhine country, Germany. (I) Jacob Long settled on a
portion of land now owned by Marcus, his great-
grandson. He was one of the founders of the Reformed
church of Longswamp in 1748, and one of the leading
citizens of the community. As late as 1786, Jacob
Long was appointed collector of his district by the
Berks courts and held the office for a number of years.
Jacob Long married a Miss Burger, and they had a
number of children, among them being Daniel Long,
the grandfather of Marcus Long; Frederick; Abraham;
Elizabeth, m. to Jacob Groh; Julia, m. to Jacob Geist,
and buried in that portion of the old homestead now
owned by William Long.

(II) Daniel Long was born in 1780,* on the old home-
stead, where he carried on farming. He married Ra-
chael Snyder, and they had eleven children: Aaron;
Jacob; Fayette m. Sarah Warmkissel; Sarah m. Levi
Fritch; Samuel m. Sallie Zwoyer; Elizabeth m. Thomas
Acker; David m. Florenda Figley; Catherine m. Reuben
Haas; Dr. M. S. m. Mary Schwartz; Dr. Aug. Long
was of St. Joseph, Mo.; and Daniel died young. Daniel
Long died in 1840, a man who was universally respected,
and who had always been prominent as a farmer.

(III) Aaron Long, father of Marcus Long, was
born on the old homestead. Aug. 10, 1815, and by trade
was a tinsmith, but also followed farming, his farm
being a portion of the original Long estate. He died
there Oct. 30, 1883, aged sixty-eight years. He
married Esther Fritch, born Jan. 30. 1816, daughter of
George and Nancy (Schwartz) Fritch. They had three
children: Marcus; Jonas F., born Sept. 38, 1837, m.
Eliza Wagonhorst, and he resides in Napa county Cal.;
Daniel George is a physician at Reading. Jotias F.
Long enlisted and was made captain of the 7th Pa. V. C.
at the beginning of the Civil war. and served all
through that struggle, and was wounded in the left
arm. Mrs. Esther (Fritch) Long died Jan. 30, 1884.

(IV) Marcus Long was born on the old homestead
May 11, 18S6, and was educated in the local schools.
At the age of seventeen he was employed as clerk
m the general store of Col. William Trexler. and later
by Benjamm Helferich, who also conducted a general
store. Havmg accumulated a little money, Mr Long
attended the select school at Reading conducted by
Prof. Lee, and from there he went to Friedensburg
(Oley) and attended the Oley Academy under Prof
Hankey. In addition to assistins his father with the
farm work, he taught school for eight consecutive terms
in the public schools of his native township He sub-
sequently moved to Mertztown, where for five years



BIOGRAPHICAL



- 701



he was in the flour, feed, coal and lumber business
under the style of M. & S. Long, and at the same
time he served as postmaster and ticket agent for the
Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company. Later he
took charge of part of the old homestead, which he
has since purchased'. Upon this property there is a
grist-mill and he now operates it in addition to farming.
In 1863 Mr. Long married Miss Eliza Trexler, a
daughter of Benjamin and Susanna (Leinmerger)
Trexler, both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Long had six
children: Jennie m. Dr. L J. Weida of Emaus, Lehigh
county; Emma H. m. Charles Long, a farmer near the
old home; Lilly E., unmarried, resides at home, and
was educated at the Keystone State Normal School,
and taught' school one term; Carrie S., a graduate
of the Keystone State Normal School, who taught eight
consecutive terms, m. Dr. William L. Long; Sarah E.
m. Charles B. Folk, a farmer of Longswamp; Morris
A. B., a- student at Jeflferson Medical College was there
stricken with typhoid fever and died March 5, 1899.
Mrs. Long died April 25, 1899, a member of the Luth-
eran church, although the rest of the family are mem-
bers of the Reformed faith. Mr. Long has always been
active in church work, having held nearly all of the
offices, and he is one of the founders of the Longswamp
Sunday-school, which was started in 1856. He has re-
tained in it his membership, has been its superintendent
and for thirty-five years has been the teacher of the
Bible class, during which period he has gone through
the entire Bible with his pupils more than five times.
Naturally he has always taken a deep interest in educa-
tional matters, and seryed as school director for eigh-
teen years during which time fifteen new schools were
built. Mr. Long is very proud of this record. In poli-
tics he is a Republican and devoted to .his party al-
though not an office seeker. Fraternally he is a mem-
ber of the Masonic Lodge at Trexlertown; of the K. of
P. No. 358 at Mertztown and Longswamp Grange No.
1069. Al) of his forbears mentioned in this article as
deceased are buried in Longswamp cemetery.

HENLV CROUSE, who was a prominent business
man in Reading for many years, was born April 25,
1823. at York, York Co., Pa., and died Sept. 18, 1902.

At a tender age Mr. Crouse was thrown entirely upon
his own resources, and his success proved his fine char-
acter and many sterling qualities. The greater part
of his schooling was obtained at night schools, his
days being employed with farmers. At the age of nine-
teen years, he learned the combmaking trade of an
uncle, at Sehnsgrove, and worked at this trade as long
as it was profitable, selling his combs to the stores in
dozen lots. Gradually he added other articles and thus
began to handle a few notions. He accepted a position
as traveling salesman with William Sagee, a brush-
maker, with the understanding that he should also sell
combs on his trips. He later traveled independently,
selling notions through Berks and adjoining counties.
He packed his goods in a one-horse wagon and went
all through the" anthracite coal regions. In 1848 he
purchased his first large bill of goods, receiving credit
at Philadelphia. His wife and mother did not feel that
this move was a prudent one, but he had better fore-
sight than they, and by 1853 this and other bills had
all been settled and he was ready to go into business on
Penn street above Seventh, in Reading. Afterward Mr.
Crouse secured quarters on Penn street, then the Key-
stone House, at the corner of Sixth and Penn, for his
notion store and he continued in the business until
1869, when with an ample fortune he retired. In 1870,
during the German war, with his son Harry W., who
had just graduated from, Dickinson College at Carlisle,
he made a trip around the world, consuming one year
and two weeks, and during this time they visited all
the principal cities and' great show places of the world.

After his return Mr. Crouse felt like getting into
business harness again, and soon was interested in a



real estate and building business. Later he embarked
in a lumbering business at Garland, Warren Co., Pa.,
which he continued until 1884, when he definitely re-
tired. He was a lifelong member of the M. E. Church
and was always active in this body, cheerfully filling
many official positions. In 1869 he built the chapel
at Ninth and Elm streets, and when the Covenant Mem-
orial M. E. Church was erected, the property and
church buildings costing $50,000, he paid all- except a
debt of $10,000.

Before making his trip around the world, and about

1863, Mr. Crouse had engaged in business at No. 436
Penn street, where the Bon Ton Store- is now located.
He rented from John S. Pearson and remained there
ten years, when he built the tour-story iron structure
at No. 508 Penn street, the second building of its kind
in the city. This property is now owned by Mr. Heim.
Mr. Crouse afterward sold out his business to Haas,
Loriamy & Dunkle, which firm took possession of his
new building, renting it from him.

In 1848 Mr. Crouse married Mary E. Sanders, daugh-
ter of William and Mary (Rhoads) Sanders, and they
had two children, Clara E. and Henry W. The former
married Samuel W. Loveland, an employe of the Penn-
sylvania Railroad, of forty years' standing, and now
chief accountant at Broad street, Philadelphia, and they
have two children, Marie and Emily. Henry W. was a
graduate of Dickinson College, and at the time of his
death, Jan. 7, 1900, was an CKtensive importer of notions,
at No. 345 Broadway, New York City; he married
(first) Jennie Thornton, had four children — Elizabeth
(an authoress), Clara M. (died aged fourteen months),
Lillian J. and Herbert T. — and m. (second) Anna B. Mc-
Guire, and had one child, Donald.'

The late Henry Crouse was a Republican in politics,
and was a member of the council of Reading although
he never sought political honors. He belonged to
Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M. and to Salome-
Lodge, I. O. O. F. He was a man who loved his own
fireside and took pleasure in providing for the welfare
of his family. He is buried in the Charles Evans cem-
etery, where he had erected a fine monument ten years
before his death.

JOHN H. BICKLEY, JR., chief draughtsman at the
Scott foundry (Reading Iron Company), and one of
the city's substantial citizens, was born in October,

1864, at Pottsville, Pa., son of , John H. and Maria
(Stine) Bickley.

John H. Bickley was born in Boonton, N. J., and"
early in life was a rolling mill engineer. At one time
he was superintendent of the Haywood Rolling mill
at Palo Alto, a suburb of Pottsville, and he built, and
was one of the proprietors of, the Hamburg rolling
mill, and also built a rolling mill at Schuylkill Haven
and constructed the machinery for the Sternbergh Mill,
now a part of the American Steel & Iron Company, at
Reading. He retired in 1905, just prior to this having
been superintendent of the Ulster Iron Works. Mr.
and Mrs. John H. Bickley had three children: Alice
m. A. E. Brown; Minnie m. Conrad Mann; and John
H. Mr. Bickley was formerly connected with the I.
O. O. F. He and his wife are members of the M. E.
Church.

John H. Bickley, Jr., was educated in the schools
of Milldale, after leaving which his father had intended
that he should take a law course. This plan did not
suit the young man, however, who had decided on be-
coming a mechanic, and seeing that he was set in his
intentions, his father gave him a trial in his shops.
He proved to be a good mechanic, and his next em-
ployment was with the Phoenix Iron Company, as
assistant master mechanic, later with Jones & Lauch-
lin, proprietors of the American Iron & Steel Com-
pany, as assistant to the chief draughtsman with the
Pennsylvania Steel Company, at Steelton, Pa., then be-
ing made superintendent of the mechanical department



7.oa



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



at the Sparrow Point Mill. In 1901 he accepted a posi-
tion with the Reading Iron Company, as draughtsman,
and during the same year was made chief of his de-
partment, a position in which he has continued to the
present time, having seven men in his employ. In
1903 he had charge of the designing of the brown seg-
mental wire wound gun, which proved such a success
to its inventors, and he has also had charge of the re-
construction of the Scott Foundry Department, Read-
ing Iron Company. Mr. Bickley is a skilled mechanic,
and a man of much ability. His ancestors were con-
sidered the most prominent rolling mill engineers in
the early nineteenth century, and the first T rail made
was made in 1845 by his uncles in Danville, Pa., at what
is now the Montour Rolling Mill Department of the
Reading Iron Company, but which mill was designed
and then managed by one of Mr. Bickley's uncles.

Mr. Bickley is a member of Acacia Lodge, No. 20,
A. F. & A. M. of Dover. N. J.; Harrisburg Consistory,
and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M.. S. He is inde-
pendent in political matters, and he and Mrs. Bickley



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 200 of 227)