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 201 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 201 of 227)
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attend the Presbyterian Church. .

Mr. Bickley married Ida M. Miller, and to them has
been born one son, John H.

AUGUST GRANZ, superintedent of the Reading
Glove & Mitten Company, has been a resident of this
country since 1888, when he came hither from his
native, Germany.

Born in Kaufungen, Saxony, Jan. 31, 1856, Mr. Granz
was there given the solid education bestowed on all
his countrymen and later served his time in the German
army, holdiiig the rank of corporal at the time of his
release. While still hardly more than a boy he learned
■ the trade of a baker and followed it, except for the
time in the army, until 1878. He then gave it up to
learn glovemaking, served a thorough apprenticeship
and acquired a further knowledge and experience of
every detail of the business by continued work in
that line in Germany, In 1888 he set his face toward
America, landing at Castle Garden, September 1st,
and worked first in New York and New Jersey. In the-
beginning he found it easier to secure employment at
his original trade of baker, but before long he was
able to get work at glove making again, and has ever
since been engaged in that line. His wide experience
of the business and his ability attracted attention, and
he was offered the place of Superintendent of the
Reading Glove & Mitten Company in 1904. He entered
upon his duties Dec. 17th of that year, and has since
that time established himself thoroughly in the com-
pany's confidence. He (foes all the buying for the
firm and in every act has demonstrated his fitness for
the responsibilities of his position.

While still residing in Germany Mr. Granz was
united in marriage in 1877 to Miss Mary Heinig, also
of Kaufungen, Saxony. They have had only one child,
a daughter Hattie, now the wife of Theodore Webber,
of New York City. Some years ago Mr, Granz be-
came interested in the work of the I, O. O. F., and
joined that organization, in which he has made an as-
sured position for himself in the esteem of its mem-
bers. For two years he has been a member of Teutonia
Lodge No. 367, F. & A. M. of Reading; and he also be-
longs to the Workingmen's Sick and Beneficial Asso-
ciation.

ALFRED S. SEIDEL, Among the well-known re-
tired residents of Reading, Pa,, may be mentioned
Alfred S. Seidel, of No. 145 Walnut street, who was
for a number of years extensively engaged in business
in the city. Mr. Seidel was born in Windsor (now
Perry) township, and is a descendant of an old and
honored Pennsylvania family.

His emigrant ancestor was Johann Heinrich Seidel,
who came to the United States from Alsace-Lorraine
in the early part of the seventeenth century and settled



in the vicinity of Shoemakersville, Berks county,
where he became very prosperous, owning much land.
One of his descendants, Jacob Seidel, was born in
Hamburg, receiving his education in the district schools
of Berks county. Upon reaching his majority he vis-
ited Germany, whence he brought a large amount, of
money, and many family heirlooms. Settling in the
northern part 'of Berks county, he engage'd in agricul-
tural pursuits also carrying on a mercantile business,
Jacob Seidel in addition was the proprietor of a hotel
on the old Philadelphia Pike, where many noted per-
sonages partook of good old-fashioned Pennsylvania
Dutch dinners, prepared by Jacob's wife, who was
noted for. her excellent cooking, Jacob and Elizabeth
(Bossier) Seidel were the parents of these children:
Benjamin, Jacob, Solomon,' Henry, David, Daniel,
Sarah, Mary, Eliza and Amelia, In religious belief the
family were Lutherans, The male members of the
family were divided in their political belief, some being
Whigs and others Democrats.

Benjamin Seidel, son of Jacob and father of Alfred
S., was engaged in agricultural pursuits for all of his
active business life. Several years prior to his death,
Feb. 9, 1884, he retired. He married Catherine Seibert,
daughter of Jacob Seibert, of Lebanon county, and
she died in 1906, having been the mother of these chil-
dren: Alfred S.; Jacob, and Monroe (m. Hannah Reber,
and had two children — Ida May and Bertha, the latter
deceased). In religious belief Benjamin Seidel was a
Lutheran and his wife a member of the Reformed Church.

Alfred S. Seidel's early education was secured in the
common schools of his native locality, and be later at-
tended Franklin & Marshall College and the State
Normal School at Millersville, Pa. After teaching
school successfully for three terms, he turned his at-
tention to mercantile pursuits, engaging in business
at Shoemakersville, of which business, however, he
later disposed. He was then appointed justice of the
peace and surveyor, had also engaged in conveyancing,
following this for eleven years, when he accepted the
position of traveling salesman for a large Philadelphia
firm. In 1891 he located in Reading, continuing to rep-
resent the firm until 1901, when he retired. He has en-
gaged in various business enterprises, and has been
successful in both local and foreign deals.

In 1872, Mr. Seidel married Miss Helen Loose,
daughter of William Loose, and to this union there
have been born children as follows: Mahlon m. Susan
Brown, and has two children, William and Stewart;
Claudius m, Emma Ulrich, and has one child, Elsie;
Miss Lillie; Howard m. Fannie Wamsher; William B,;
Robert L,; Titus; Allen; and Ida M, and Lyla, de-
ceased. Mr. Seidel is a member of Kutztown Lodge,
No. 377, F, & A, M.; Reading Chapter, R. A, M,, No.
152; and Reading Commandery No, 42. K, T, He
is independent in politics,

RANCK, Early records show the Ranck family to
be of French Huguenot origin, many of the family living
in Paris in the sixteenth century. The name was then
spelled Ranee and Ranc, The revocation of the Edict
of Nantes, and the attendant persecution, drove the
family to Germany, where they located along the Rhine.
Many of them changed the spelling of the name to
Ranke or Ranck, according to the German historian,
Leopold von Ranke, himself a member of the family.
From Germany some of them moved to Holland, where
their descendants still live.

Three brothers came to America. John Michael
Ranck sailed on the good ship "Mortonhouse," John
Coultas, master, from Rotterdam, last from Deal, June
15, 1724, and arrived in Philadelphia Aug, 34, 1724, and
some of his posterity are n6w living in Lancaster
county. Pa, Jacob Ranck arrived on a later voyage of
the same vessel landing in Philadelphia, Aug, 19, 1729.
Phillip Ranck came over in the ship "Winter Galley"
Edw. Paynter, master, landing at Philadelphia, Sept. 5



BIOGRAPHICAL 703

1738, and he was the ancestor of H. Herbert Ranck, of of Bucks county, but later in Oley' township, Berks

Joanna, Berks county. county. In 1744, he and two other men erected a forge

Naturalization papers were granted to Phillip Ranck which became known as the "Oley Forge," and from
in 1760. His wife's name was Barbara. In 1770 he that time on for fifty years he was prominently iden-
deeded land to his four sons: Jacob, Ludwig, Phillip tified with the iron industry of the county. He rep-
Adam arid John, and he also had a son Valentine. Of resented the county in the Constitutional convention of
these Ludwig married and had twenty-four children, 1776. and served in the General Assembly from 1776
some .of whom located in Ohio. Phillip Adam and until 1782. During the Revolution he acted as one of
John moved to Union county, Pennsylvania. the' commissioners for purchasing army supplies. He

Jacob Ranck, son of Phillip and Barbara, was born addressed an interesting letter to the Supreme Execu-

Oct. 1, 1745, and died. Sept. 13, 1827, aged eighty-two tive Council in 1778, relative to the taking of supplies

years, and was buried in Ranckfs graveyard on the old from him. [See Berks County in the Revolution, p. 181.]

farm. He married Margaretta Worst, who died Jan. John Lesher died in Oley township, April 5, 1794, leav-

28, 1820, aged seventy-four years. They had five inga widow, two sons and five daughters, namely:

sons and two daughters, namely: John and Samuel, John (had a son Isaac), Jacob. Barbara (m. Jacob Mor-

who were the only ones to marry; Abraham, Jacob, g^n), Hannah (m. George Focht), Maria (m. John

^^.'ii^^^^'l^""^ Margaret. |,„j 3) ^„d Catharine (m. John Tysher).

bamuel Ranck. son of Jacob and Margaretta (Worst), t„ iu t ^u _„ jLtu , c 4ii»„ u .,^,1 *v,.. ^^^

had four children: David, who had two sons, Daniel ^^.''°^ ^"^"' g/andfather of Allen R., and the pro-

and Edward, and died in Intercourse, Lancaster county; ^f.'^'to'' °^ many Leshers m this country, was born in

Samuel, who moved to Carroll county, Illinois; and O'^^ township, Berks county. He came to Richmond

two daughters, one of whom married a Kessler, and township before 1790, and died in 1804 in Virginville,

the other a Wagner. being buried in a field above Virginville along the

John Ranck, son of Jacob and Margaretta (Worst), railroad, which was used for a burial ground, but the

was born 'in 1774. and died in 1845. He married Eliz- plow share has turned up the sod and destroyed all

abeth Shively, a sister to his brother Samuel's wife, and vestige of the last resting place of a number of old

they had eight children: Jacob, Barbara. Margaret pioneers. He m. Elizabeth Stenger. who kept a hotel

(born Aug 27 1806, died Oct 23, 1849, married Jos- ;„ Virginville for a livelihood, and they had these

adne Ehzabeth, Samuel, John and Cath- .children: Elizabeth m. John Heater; Jacob m. a Miss

'valentine Ranck, son of Phillip the emigrant and his Bartholomew; Samuel; Jonas; William; and Polly m.

wife Barbara, died in 1813. the father of two sons. Joseph Shomo, of Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Michael; and Jacob, whose children w^re— John. Adam, Samuel S. Lesher, father of Allen R, was born in

Jacob, Samuel, Mrs. Benjamin Herr and Mrs. Peter Virginville at the old hotel stand that was kept by his

Eably. - parents. He learned the trade of a stqne mason in

Michael Ranck, son of Valentine, was a teamster in early youth, and this he followed for many years. He

Washington's army. He had one son, Joseph, and 'married Sallie Reber. daughter of John Reber,

five daughters, and of the latter one' married a Yoder, and they had these children: Gabriel died aged seventy-

°"? a Good, one a Musser, one a Witmer and one a one years; John died aged twelve years; Polly m. (first)

T ,T>i r 1,,- y 1 -J.- .a Mr. Young, and (second) David Fulmer; Jacob died

Joseph Ranck son of Michael, married his cousm ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^f^^^ marriage; Allen R.; William lives

Margaret Ranck. born Aug. 27. 1806, died Oct. 23, . ■■.ri.-i. !-> tt ■ i- % t • i- • td- i

1849 daughter of John and Elizabeth (Shively) Ranck ^* White Deer, Union Co. Pa.; Louis lives in Pickaway

(above mentioned). To this union were born five chil- ^?,V"*y' Y-' . '^^'^ -'^ T °^ °" ^^'=^^"-

dren: Jonathan, who lives in western Iowa and had fif- bill; Joel is of Reading; and Sallie is the widow of

teen children, some of whom live in Chicago; Samuel, of Daniel Gruber.

Naperville, 111., who has several daughters but no son; Allen R. Lesher attended the pay schools of his

Elizabeth who married Lewis Emery, and lives in Illin- time, his first teacher being Joe Pike, and later when

ois; and Joseph, of Naperville, 111., who has a son who is the public schools were established he attended them

a missionary in China and a daughter a missionary in for a time. Mr. Lesher has spent all of his life on the

Japan. ,„ , v farm, on which he now resides, a 100-acre tract. Mr.

Amos Ranck, son of Joseph and Margaret (Ranck), Lesher retired from active labor in 1898. He is con-
married Rebecca White and had four sons and two „„„,.„j „-tu ■d»„i,«,_>„ ct Ta.,*.^ > tt ■ r~u i. ■
daughters, namely: J. Clarence, of Denver, Colo.; Jos- ""^^^^ , ^^^ Beckers St I'eter s Union Church, in
eph A., living in Elsmere. Del.; H. Herbert, on the which he is a trustee, and takes an active interest. It
old homestead at Joanna; Florence M.. living in Phil- was largely through the influence and activity of Mr.
adelphia; and Fannie E.. wife of J. Warren Barkley. Lesher that a new township was not created back
of Wilmington, Delaware. '" the eighties, when a strong effort was made to cut

H. Herbert Ranck married Clara M. Leippe, ofif a part of Richmond township and Greenwich town-

and has three daughters, Esther, Katherine and Mar- ship, and create it into a new district. Mr. Lesher

garet. performs the duties of a good citizen, and is highly

The Rancks were agricultural people, and lived near esteemed in his community. In politics he is a Dem-

New Holland. Pa. The early members of the family ocrat.

adopted the Mennonite faith on locating in Lancaster On July 27, 1861, Mr. Lesher married Sallie Ann

county, but later many joined, the Evangelical denom- Sassaman, daughter of William and Sallie (Delp) Sass-

ination, and many the United Brethren, who have a aman, the former a furniture dealer and undertaker in

church known as Ranck's church. ' "his time, residing near Fleetwood. These children were

born to Mr. and Mrs. Lesher: Louisa S. m. Reuben M.

ALLEN R. LESHER, a retired farmer of Richmond Kline, and their daughter, Mrs. Francis Z. Sieber, has

township, Berks county, who lives about one mile a son, William Allen; Sallie A. m. Wilson M. Kline,

below Virginville, along the Berks & Lehigh railroad, and has children— Virgie (m. Richard Sheradin. and has'

was born at the place where he now resides, Dec. 2, a son, Francis Arlington), Franklin, Harry, Elsie,

1835, son of Samuel S. and Sallie (Reber) Lesher. . Webster and Edison; Lizzie m. Eli Gettis; Katie m. the

John Lesher, great-grandfather of Allen R., was a Hon. Jacob A. Lesher; Samuel S. died in infancy; Wil-

native of Germany, born Jan. 5, 1711_, only son and heir- liam R. of Virginsville engaged in the paper-hanging

at-law of Nicholas Lesher. He emigrated to Pennsyl- and painting business, m. Katie Kline, and has two

vania in 1734, and first settled in the Upper section children, W. Paul and Jennie P.



704



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



JONATHAN MOULD, merchant at Reading since 1871,
was born in Orange county, N. Y., near Newburg, Feb.
20, L847, and educated in the pay schools of the vicinity
and at the Montgomery Academy. He was reared on his
father's farm during the course of his education until he
was eighteen years old, when he went to Newburg and
entered the large dry-goods store of A. K. Chandler as a
salesman, and he continued there seven years. During the
later years he assisted Mr. Chandler in establishing and
operating a chain of dry-goods stores in New York and
Pennsylvania. In this capacity, he was sent to Reading,
Pa., in January, 1871, and- after operating the store for
over a year it was sold to Schofield & Co.

Mr. Mould, during this interval, having come to appre-
ciate Reading as a business center, remained with the new
firm, and assisted in the management of the store until
January, 1875, when he embarked in business for himself.
He established a department store at No. 325 Penn. street,
and in three years moved into larger quarters at No. 645
Penn street, where he continued with increasing success
for twelve years. In 1890, he purchased the two adjoining
premises on the east, Nos. 647-49, and upon erecting a
large four-story brick store building, 30 feet wide by 370
feet deep, moved into the new quarters, where he has
since been conducting a department store with upward
of a hundred employes, and a wholesale and retail trade
which reaches, into the surrounding districts and adjoining
counties.

In 1887, his brother-in-law, George H. Bell (after being
employed in the store for ten years), was admitted as a
partner, and since then the business has been carried on
under the name of J. Mould & Co. Mr. Mould has been
identified for some years with the Farmers' National Bank
of Reading, the Neversink Bank, and a number of indus-
trial" enterprises, serving in each of them as one of the
directors.

In 1871 Mr. Mould married Julia E. Bell, daughter of
Dr. William P. Bell, a prominent physician of Fishkill-on-
the-Hudson, N. Y. They are members of the Trinity
Lutheran Church at Reading, having been identified with
this church since 1871.

Mr. Mould's father was John Mould, of Orange county,
N. Y., where he cultivated a farm for many years until
his decease in 1888, at the age of seventy-five years. He
married Emily Douglas (a daughter of Isaac Douglas, of
Catskill, N. Y., where he taught school in the local Acad-
emy, and died a young man).

His grandfather was Jonathan Mould (after whom Mr.
Mould was named) ; also a farmer of the same place for
many years until his decease in 1855 at the age of seventy-
three years. He was a lineal descendant of Christoffel
Mould, who emigrated from Holland about 1712 and settled
at Kingston, N. Y. Several of Mr. Mould's direct an-
cestors were actively engaged in the Revolution, and they
have been honorably mentioned in Ruttenber's History of
Orange county, N. Y. His mother was a lineal descend-
ant of William Douglas, who -emigrated from Scotland in
1640 and settled at Boston, Massachusetts.

GEORGE H. BELL (son of Dr. William P. Bell),
partner of Jonathan Mould since 1887, was born in 1862
at Fishkill-on-the-Hudson, N. Y., and was educated in the
local schools. He entered the department store of Mr.
Mould, his brother-in-law, at Reading in 1877, as a sales-
man, and in several years showed so much proficiency that
he was placed in charge of one of the departments. In
1887 he became a partner, and since then the business has
been conducted under the name of J. Mould & Co.

In 1894 Mr. Bell married Alice Bryson (daughter of
Allen Bryson, of Orange county, N. Y., and Emma F.
Mould, his wife, a sister of Mr. Mould). They have three
children : Jonathan Mould, Helen, and George Allan. They
are members of Trinity Lutheran Church ; and Mrs. Bell
is a member of the D. A. R. at Reading, Conrad Weiser
Chapter.

HENRY F. TROSTLE. The Trostle family was
founded in America by two brothers, Peter and Hans



Bernhardt Tros'tell, natives of Switzerland, who sailed
for the New World from Rotterdam on the ship "Sam-
uel," Hugh Percy, master. They landed at Phila-
delphia Aug. 17, 1733. In the records the name of
Peter Trostell is variously spelled. The clerk who
kept a list of the passengers aboard the ship spelled
it Troksell, while elsewhere it appears Trossell. In
1733 his age was given as forty-two, and that of his
wife Anna Maria, as thirty-two. In the same year
(1733) Hans Bernhardt Trostell was thirty-eight, and
his wife, Catharine, thirty. Peter Trostell. aged nine
years, and Daniel Trostell, aged seven years, possibly
children of the former Peter, were also registered as
passengers aboard the same ship,

Brecknock township, Berks county, was largely set-
tled by the Swiss and Welsh. On the same ship on
which came the Trostells were many others whose
names are still common (1908) in Brecknock. Appar-
ently a whole colony left their native home and came
to America, settling in one locality. Parts of Breck-
nock township were settled soon after 1733, and these
emigrants evidently worked their way through the for-
ests from Philadelphia. Whether the two brothers,
Peter and Hans Bernhardt, settled in the same district
is conjectural, but it is evident that the Trestles were a
numerous family in Brecknock township in earlier
years, the cemetery at the old Allegheny Church (Un-
ion) containing, many tombs bearing the name. This
church was the place of worship for the settlers for
many miles around. Among the tomb-stones in the
cemetery there that are yet readable are those of
Heinrich and George Trostell. The former was born
June 4, 1724, and died Oct. 9, 1759, aged thirty-five years,
four months, and five days. The latter, George, was
born Feb. 17, 1730, and died Sept. 11, 1804, aged seven-
ty-four yearsj two months and twenty-four days. It
, is undetermined who were the parents of Heinrich and
George, but- there is little doubt that they were the chil-
dren of one or the other of the emigrant ancestors.
The Trostle homestead in Brecknock township is in
the western part near "Knauer's Hotel.'-' Tradition
says that, it has been in the family name for more than
one hundred and fifty years. There is a house upon
this property, built by a Trostle long before the Amer-
ican Revolution. It is of stone, the masonry of su-
perior workmanship and good appearance, and the
walls twenty-two inches thick. This property has
never been out of the Trostle name.

George Trostle was the ancestor of Henry F. Tros-
tle of Spring township. He was born in Brecknock
township. Feb. 17, 1730. as above stated. There is
still in existence an old deed for the Trostle homestead
bearing the date 1749. He married Rosina Seidaben-
ner, and they became the parents of the following
children: Heinrich',' John, George, Jacob, William, Ab-
raham, Margaret (wife of Jacob Merkle) and Eliz-
abeth (wife of David Miller). The signatures of the
children are to be found on an old deed, dated June
29, 1805, when all signed over the homestead to Hein-
rich. George Trostle (Trostell) died Sept. 11, 1804.

Heinrich Trostle, son of George, was a blacksmith
by trade, and did a great deal of work for the Indians,
with whom he was on the friendliest terms, many
stories of his association with the red men being fa-
miliar to the older members of the family. He had two
teams on the road hauling goods from Philadelphia to
Pittsburg. His will was probated in 1824. He married
Elizabeth Sweikhart. and they had children: Hein-
rich (2) ; John, who was survived by his wife Catharine
(who was the executrix of his will made Jan. 18, 1857
and probated Feb. 23, 1857) and children, Levina, Sar-
ah, Caroline and Wallace; Barbara, born Jan 6, 1786,
m. to Benjamin Remp, and died March 15. 1857;
Peggy, m. to George Fritz; and Elizabeth, m. to Isaac
Griffith.

Heinrich Trostle (2), born Jan. 15, 1794, died Aug.
15, 1875, and is buried in the Allegheny Church cera-





S^t^^::^^



BIOGRAPHICAL



705



etery, of which he was a stanch member. He married
Elizabeth Griffith, and their children were: Benjamin,
Isaac, Henry (3), John, Eliza, Katie. Cassia and Susan
(m. Lewis Echenroth, and had four sons and five daugh-
ters), of whom Benjamin, Isaac, Eliza and Katie died
unmarried. In about 1800, when Heinrich Trostle was
six _ years of age, he witnessed the parting of the
Indians and his father, the Indians informing the lat-
ter that they were going on the war path, and prov-
ing their words by beginning to murder when only
a short distance away. At the age of thirteen young
Heinrich (2) made his first trip to Pittsburg with his
father's team. It had not been intended that the lad
should make the entire trip, but to drive only until he
could find some one to do it. This was not to the
young man's liking, however, and he made the long
drive without looking for any one to do the work.
This was the beginning of this work for him, and he
drove his father's teams until he was twenty-one years
of age. He then started out for himself and made
many long and ofttimes dangerous trips. Later he
was engaged in hauling charcoal to Mt. Penn Furnace
for a number of years. When not engaged with his
teams he devoted himself to farming — doing the work
the other boys did while he was absent. His wife
Elizabeth died in 1842, and from that time until 1848
his household was looked after by his daughter Cas-
sia. In the latter year she wedded Reuben Kachel, who
rented the farm until 1852, when he died. Then again
Cassia became her father's housekeeper, continuing un-
til 1875, when he died. Cassia, by her fnarriage to Mr.
Kachel, had two sons, Henry T. and, Reubpn Samuel.

John Trostle, youngest son of Heinrich (2), was a
stone mason by trade, but in 1859 he rented his father's
farm, and carried it on as a tenant until his father's
death in 1875, when he purchased it, continuing to at-
tend to its cultivation until his death. It is now owned
by his widow. John Trostle married Julia Hofifert, and
they became the parents of two children: Henry m.
Mary Huber, and had two children, John (m. to May
Neinzehhelzer) and Sally (died in infancy); and Aman-
da m. Samuel Kissinger, and had sixteen children, six
sons and ten daughters, of whom two .daughters are
deceased.

Henry Trostle (3), son of Heinrich (2), was born
in 1824, on the old homestead in Brecknock township.



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 201 of 227)