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 203 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 203 of 227)
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as a gentleman of refinement and exceptional quali- Ham High, next to Ezra High, and subsequently of

fications. William P. High, the present owner.

Nicholas Yost, the grandfather of Rufus R. and

COSMOS MERKEL SCHWOYER, one of the very James F. R., born April 15, 1787, died June 9, 1867.

prominent citizens of Fleetwood borough, Berks coun- He was an extensive farmer, owning over five hundred

ty, who lived retired after the year 1876, was born Sept. acres of land in Cumru township, along the Morgan-

27, 1825, in Richmond township, on his father's farm town road. He was a great marksman and frequently

situated along Moselem creek, ana died in August, indulged in shooting matches, seldom failing to bear

1906. ' away a prize. Mr. Yost was a short but well-built

Mr. Schwoyer was brought up on the farm and at- man, with dark hair and a ruddy complexion, and

tended the public school near the Moselem Church, was well known and very popular in his day. He fre-'

When he reached the age of seventeen years, besides quently related to his grandchildren how he heard

assisting in the farming operations, he engaged in the few remaining Indians on Mount Penn and the

dealing in cattle and sheep, which he collected in Neversink Mountains signal to each other. On Nov.

Richmond and adjoining townships and disposed of 23, 1817, Nicholas Yost married Susanna Seidel (born

them at Pottsville, in Schuylkill county, driving them Sept. 29, 1798, died June 12, 1851), daughter of Philip

there on foot several times a year. He carried on and Elizabeth Seidel, of Robeson township, and to

this business successfully for upwards of twenty years, this union were born ten children, as follows: Mary

He then engaged in farming for himself in 1852, and married Samuel Hemmig; Elizabeth, twin of Mary,

continued operations as a farmer until 1876, when married Washington Kissinger; Rebecca married Amos

he retired, settling at Fleetwood, the most promi- Hartman; Lydia married Moses Yocom; Susan mar-

nent town in the township, and this was his home ried Jesse Matz; Amos lied at Cacoosing Creek; Ben-

until his death. neville S. is mentioned below; Francis lived at Read-

From his early manhood Mr. Schwoyer took great ing; Sarah Ann married Adam Spohn, of Spring town-
interest in politics and identified himself with the ship; Louisa married Joseph D. Hornberger.
Democratic party, although never desiring to fill any Benneville S. Yost was born on Mifflin Island, at
offices. However, after living at Fleetwood for awhile, the Little Reading Dam, Nov. 15, 1823. and died Sept.
and becoming much interested in local affairs, he 19, 1899. He was in the hotel business at the "Green
was elected chief burgess in 1881, serving the office Tree" for ten years, kept the hotel at Riverside for
one year, and the next year was elected as one of two years, and one at Hamburg for a similar period,
the jury commissioners of the county, serving for For upward of thirty years he was engaged in the
three years, 1883-4-5. coal business, and the freshet of Oct. 4. 1869, caused
Mr. Schwoyer was married three times. In 1862 the loss of nearly one thousand tons of his coal
he m. Christina Neff, born Jan. 15, 1826, daughter which he had stacked along the banks of the Schuyl-
of John Neff of Kutztown. He m. fsecond) Susanna kill river. During the latter years of his life Mr.
Schneider, daughter of Jacob Schneider, of Centre Yost was a farmer, but retired in 1879, at which time
township. In 1876 Mr. Schwoyer m. (third) Maria his son, Rufus R., took charge of the farm of 146
(Hoch) Peter, of Maiden-creek township, acres at Flying Hill. He was a lifelong member of
Mrs. Schwoyer was the daughter of Samuel and Yocom's Reformed Church, where he ' is buried. Mr.
Sally (Herbein) Hoch, of Oley township. Her first Yost was also an old school-master, and taught pay



school at Weitzeltown (Fritztown), in Cumru town-
ship, and also a few terms in Bern township.

The first wife of Benneville S. Yost was Christina
Rapp, to, whom he was married Jan. 22, 1848, at Read-
ing, and they had these children: William H. R.
died in infancy; Nicholas R. also died in infancy;
Susan died unmarried; Rufus R. is mentioned be-
low; Cyrus R, is deceased; Nicholas R. is a resident
of Myerstown, Pa.; James Franklin R. is mentioned
below. Benneville S. Yost married (second) Clem-
entine Henke, of Reading, who was of German descent.
There were no children born to this marriage.

Rufus R. Yost was born on his grandfather Nicho-
las Yost's farm at the "Green Tree" in Cumru town*
ship Jan. 5, 1855, attended the district schools, and
later studied at Palatinate College for two years,
leaving school when twenty years old, with a good
education. He was reared to agricultural pursuits,
and worked for his parents until twenty-five years
old. but in 1880 began working on his own account,
spending four years on his father's farm in Cumru
township, located at the Flying Hill. He then lived
at Myerstown, Lebanon county,- for two years, after
which he spent four more years at the Flying Hill,
in 1890 purchasing the Richard Jr'ennypacker farm,
in Spring township, a tract of 125 acres of some of
the most fertile and productive land in lower Berks
county. This valuable farm is well and conveniently
situated, and on it is found an inexhaustible supply
of some of the best limestone in the State, which
is burned by Mr. Yost. He has disposed of as much
as ten thousand bushels of lime annually in connection
with his farm work. Since the spring of 1907 he
has rented his farm, and with his brother, James
Franklin R. Yost, has engaged in building houses
at Reading, Shillington, Wyomissing and Springmont.
At the time he rented his farm M!r. Yost sold his
live stock at public vendue, and he realized a large
amount therefor, one pair of mules bringing $536, a
cow $70, and his thirty head of cattle averaging $50

In 1879 Mr. Yost married Catherine Kurtz, daugh-
ter of Samuel and Catherine (Haines"* Kurtz, and to
this union have been born three daughters and one
son: Christina married Webster Hartz, of Shilling-
ton, Pa.; Harry, Laura and Bessie are unmarried and
reside at home. Mr. Yost and his family are members
of Yocom's (Christ) Reformed Church, of Cumru

James Franklin R. Yost was born at. the Yost
homestead at the Flying Hill, Cumru township, Berks
county, Sept. 9, 1864, and was educated in the public
schools and at D. B. Brunner's Academy in Reading,
which he left when sixteen years of age. In 1889 he
commenced farming for himself on a fine tract of
152 acres in Wyomissing borough, Spring township,
which he had purchased in 1887 and which he had
rented for two years. From 1885 to 1889 Mr. Yost
was also engaged in the milling business at Myerstown,
Lebanon county, but since the latter year has en-
gaged in farming and building. He purchased the
Reeser farm of 164 acres in Sinking Spring, but this
he later sold to Daniel Wenrich. Mr. Yost conducts
a fine dairy, keeping about thirty Holstein and Jer-
sey cows, and has a select trade in Reading, to which
city he conducts a daily route. In addition he has
good horses and mules, and his farm is operated by
the latest improved machinery. In politics Mr. Yost
is a Republican, and fraternally he is connected with
West Reading Castle. K. G. E. With his family he
attends Yocom's Reformed Church in Cumru town-

On Dec. 19, 1885, Mr. Yost married (first) Annie
Catherine Kachel, daughter of Daniel and Catherine
(Wagner) Kachel, and to this union were born three
children: Stella A., Walter H. and Emma K.. Mrs.
Yost died Sept. 1, 1896, aged thirty-one years, four
months, three days. Qn Nov. 30, 1899, Mr. Yost
married (second) Clara May Dietrich, daughter of

William H. Dietrich, of Reading, and to this union
there have been born two children, George Washing-
ton and Lloyd Allen.

IRVIN K. KELLER, of Reading, proprietor of "Kel-
ler's Cafe" (a designation descending from a prev-
ious owner, was born Aug. 3, 1866, in Rockland town-
ship, Berks county, son of Jeremiah C. and Mary
(Klein) Keller. The Keller family (antecedents of Irv-
in K.) became established in Berks county prior to the
days of the Revolution.

The educational advantages granted our subject were
meager enough, for his people were in modest circum-
stances, and Irvin, being the eldest of ten children,
was early put to work upon the farm, as such a family
meant no little burden and responsibility to his parents.
In 1887 he left his Pennsylvania home for Ohio, accept-
ing a situation with his uncle, J. C. Keller, then fore-
man of the P. P. Mast Foundry Company, situated at
Springfield, Ohio. He was employed as core maker
and molder, and after four years of diligent application
discovered that the exactions were too arduous for a
"light weight." He then turned his face eastward, re-
turning to Berks county, and soon thereafter engaged
with Amos Barto. who was conducting a hotel at Ly-
on Station, remaining there until the spring of 1893,
when he entered the employ of the Reading Hardware
Company at Reading, terminating his engagement in
the fall of that year. His next venture was with his
uncle, Col. D. C. Keller, that proprietor of Keller's Cafe,
situated at No. 537 Penn Square, Reading. This was
was in 1893, and their association covered a period
of more than nine years, being dissolved by the Col-
onel's death, May 22, 1902. After an interim of two
years (in the meantime having formed a partnership
with Charles Buck) he became his uncle's permanent
successor, and whatever credit might have once been
due the "Colonel" for the conduct of his business is
as well deserved by and as reasonably attaches to the
present owner.

On Feb. 25, 1893, Irvin K. Keller was married to Liz-
zie C. Keller, daughter of William and Barbara (Con-
rath) Keller. The following children were born to
William Keller and his wife: Daniel C, a tailor' of
Bechtelsville, married Lizzie Herb; Mary C. first mar-
ried Harry Bauer, and her second marriage was to
William ShoUenberger (she and her husband were both
victims of the Boyertown fire) ; Charles C, a tailor
of Reading, married Annie Eckert; Hannah C. is the.'
widow of George E. Schmick; Lizzie C. married Irvin
K. Keller ; William C, a tailor of Allentown, married
Millie Bauer. William Keller, the father of the fam-
ily, was killed by the train at Lyon Station, Berks
county, Aug. 19, 1890.

To Irvin K. Keller and wife, two children were born:
Clarence, July 17, 1897 (died March 1, 1903); Esther
May, born March 18, 1907. Whatever fortune may
have come to this hovisehold due credit should be giv-
en to Mrs. Keller.

Mr. Keller owns valuable property within the city.
He has been successful, for he has been obliging, cour-
teous, reciprocal and fair.

CHARLES S. PHILLIPS, M. D., physician and
pharmacist, located at No. 1342 North Eleventh street,
Reading, was born July 2, 1849, at Womelsdorf, Pa.,
son of Charles S. and Eliza (Stephen) Phillips.

Solomon Phillips, the ancestor of the Phillips fam-
ily, came to America in the ship "Phoenix." which
arrived at Philadelphia, Aug. 28, 1750. He lived to a
ripe old age and reared a large family, two of his
sons being" Michael and Heinrich (the latter the direct
ancestor of Dr. Phillips).

Heinrich Phillips resided near Belleman's Church,
where he and wife Esther .(Mogel) Phillips, lie buried.
They reared children as follows: Peter. Jacob, John,
Samuel, John Adam and several daughters.



Peter Phillips, grandfather of Dr. Phillips, was a
farmer near Belleman's Church in what is now Centre
township. Berks county, where he was born, and both
he and wife are buried in the old graveyard near
that church. He was accidentally drowned at Len-
hart's Dam. He married Maria Catherina Schwalm,
and their children were: Magdalena. born Dec. 33, 1809;
Anna Maria, Dec. 19, 1812; Charles S., Sept. 19, 1813;
Peter, Aug. 20, 1815; Esther, Aug. 27, 1817 (m. John
Richard); Catherine. Jan. 31. 1820 (m. (first) Wilham
Schwenk, (second) George Eyrick and (third) Daniel
Rhein); John, June 34, 1822; Caroline, Oct. 2, 1824;
Rebecca, April 9, 1827; Reuben, Oct. 18, 1831, and
Franklin, Dec. 5', 1835. Of these Catherine and Frank-
lin still survive.

Charles S. Phillips, father of Dr. Phillips, was born
Sept. 19, 1813, in what is now Centre township, and
died near Reading on his farm, in 1896. He is buried
at the Ontelaunee Church. -He dealt extensively in
horses and the business was very lucrative before
the days of railroads. He was also a veterinary sur-
geon for many years. He married Eliza Stephen,
who was residing with her son, Dr. Phillips, at the
time of her death, and she rests in the Womelsdorf
cemetery. They had the following children: Walker
and Charles S., both professional men at Reading;
Francis, residing at Philadelphia; George, a physician
practising at Womelsdorf ; and John, a prospector and
miner, now residing in Central America, but formerly
for many years of California.

Until he was twelve years of age, Dr. Charles S.
Phillips lived at Womelsdorf, but in 1861 he accompan-
ied his parents to Lebanon, where he attended school.
In 1864 he went to Washington City and was in the
employ of the Government as a hospital steward, re-
maining there until Christmas morning, 1864, when
he returned to Lebanon.

In 1876, Dr. Phillips was married to Kate Fehafer, a
daughter of Michael and Sarah (Geiger) Fehafer, and
to this union has been born sixteen children, ten of
whom are buried in the family lot at Womelsdorf,
namely: Anna, m. to J. W. Gramm; Stella, who died
young; Charles, residing at Port Kennedy. Pa.; Maud
and Walker, twins, the latter of whom died in infancy;
Agnes, who died in infancy; Francis, residing at Read-
ing; John and Louisa, who both died young; Emma;
George and David, twins, who both died young; Cris-
sie, who died young; Edith, residing , at home; and
Grant and Ernest, both of whom died young. Dr.
Phillips and family belong to the Reformed Church.
In politics he is identified with the policies of the
Republican party, but he has never consented to hold
political office. He is a member of Ashland Lodge,
No. 394, F. & A. M., and Griscom Chapter, No. 319,
Royal Arch Masons.

BUTZ. Among relics owned by this old and hon-
ored family of Berks county, is a Bible, in excellent
condition, now in the possession of Mrs. Fianna (Butz)
Bertolet, who has willed it to her son, Dr. M. L. Bert-
olet of MIt. Penn, Pa. This Bible was brought to Amer-
ica by (I) John Butz, who in 1737, landed at Philadelphia
with his two children, Peter and Catharine. John Butz
came to this country from Hertzogberg near Krom-
anenberg in the lower part of Bavaria. John Butz
died Feb. 23. 1750, in Philadelphia.

(II) This same eld Bible shows that Peter Butz (son
of John) was married Oct. 22, 1743, to Anna Bar-
bara Carl, who was born in Hessen-Nassau, Germany,
and they had these children: Mary, born in 1744; Car-
oline, in 1746; John, in 1747; Samuel, in 1750; Peter, in
1754; Elizabeth, in 1758, and Anna, in 1761, Peter
Butz died in 1780, aged sixty-one years, eight months
and twenty-five days. His wife died March 6, 1795,
aged seventy-six and four months,

(III) Samuel Butz, son of Peter, was born in Long-
swamp township, Berks county, Aug. 10, 1750, On

Dec. 13, 1774, he married Anna Mary Romig, born
May 31, 1754, died Feb. 31, 1813, and they had children:
Peter, born Oct. 39, 1775; Catharine, March 25, 1777;.
John, April 37, 1779; Susanna, March 6, 1781; Esther.
Dec. 29, 1783; Elizabeth, Nov, 28. 1788 (died Oct. 31,
1791); Mary, April 5, 1793. Samuel Butz died Aug.
17, 1831, aged seventy-one years, seven days.

(IV) John Butz, son of Samuel, was born April 27,.
1779, and died Aug. 19, 1874, aged ninety-five years,
three months and twenty-two days. The place of his
birth was the same as that of his father, the homestead
in Longswamp township. In 1806 he married Anna

'Yaeger, of Oley township, who died Aug. 24, 1828, aged
forty years, eight months and fourteen days, and they
had eight children, but only three grew to any age;
Nathan, Jacob and Anna Maria. In 1838 the Butz.
family Bible came into the hands of John Butz, who
highly cherished it. This very valuable volume was
printed in 1704, and is in an excellent state of pres-
ervation. It contains the family records, and is of
great value.

(V) Jacob Butz, son of John, was married May 35,
1828, to Elizabeth Christman, born May 28, 1809, died
Nov. 19, 1895, aged eighty-six years, five months and
twenty-one days, daughter of Peter and Margaret
Christman. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Butz
were: Daniel C, born in 1831; John Peter, in 1833 (de-
ceased); Franklin, in 1835; Fianna, in 1837; Henry A.,
in 1839 (deceased); Susanna, in 1841 (deceased); Cath-
arine, in 1848, and Jacob, in 1851 (deceased).

(IV) Daniel C. Butz, an aged resident of Oley
township was born in Longswamp township, Berks
county, Aug. 36, 1831, a son of Jacob Butz. He was
reared to farm work, and has always been a farmer.
He began working for himself upon the homestead!
farm of 134 acres he now occupies in 1860, and farmed
this property until 1897 when he retired, and during his-
active life he was very successful. On the property
is a spring of excellent water. The present barn was built
by John Bertolet, as well as the stone residence, the-
latter being over one hundred years old. The barn is
a very large one, being 103x43, and the spring water
runs through the structure thus simplifying the wat-
ering of the stock. Mr. Butz lives in a house on the-
farm built by his father in 1860. At present Mr. Butz:
rents the farm, but lives upon it and enjoys his de-
clining years, surrounded by the plenty he has himself
accumulated. Mr. Butz is a member of Oley Reformed
church, and was a deacon for five years. Mrs. Butz
belongs to the Lutheran church.

On Oct. 18, 1859, Mr. Butz was married to Susan
D. Hoch, a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (De
Turck) Hoch of Oley township. Mr. and Mrs. Butz;
have a daughter, Mary m, William Marquette, who is
now deceased, Mrs, Marauette resides at Friedens-
burg, and has these children, — Ida, Nora, Sallie, Sam-
uel, George and Mabel.

Mr. Butz and his wife dispense a charming hospital-
ity that makes their home a favorite gathering place
for all their relatives and friends. In addition to other
interests Mr. Butz is a stockholder in the creamery
at Yellow House.

(IV) Peter Butz, grandfather of Lewis B. Butz..
was born in Longswamp township, Oct. 39, 1775, son
of Samuel and Anna Mary (Romig), but when still
young, removed to Whitehall township, Lehigh county.
He was a very efficient blacksmith, and made gun
barrels and all kinds of cutlery, as well as farming a
large farm he owned. He is buried at Unionville
church. He and wife, Susanna Bieber, had child-
ren: Samuel lived in North Whitehall township,
and had children, William (deceased) Peter, Louisa
and Katie; Egedius; Enoch, a farmer, also lived in
North Whitehall township, and had a daughter, Sarah,

(V) Egedius Butz, father of Lewis B, Butz, was born
in North Whitehall township, Sept,. 30, 1805, and died
m Maxatawny township May 38, 1890, aged eighty-



four years, seven months and twenty-eight days.
The following inscription is found on the tombstone
erected to the memory of Egedius Butz and wife:

"Egedius Butz

Sept. 30, 1805

May 28, 1890


Elizabeth born Bieber

July 10, 1810

Oct. 16. 1877


Egedius Butz came to Maxatawny township when
a young man, soon after his marriage, he marrying a
young lady from Maxatawny township which perhaps
had something to do with his selection of this town-
ship as his place of residence. His wife was -Elizabeth
Bieber, and they had these children: Abraham died
young; Mary m. David Kemp; Susanna died young;
Fianna died young; Lovina m. Caston Hoover; Lewis
B.; Sarah m. Henry Kohler; Peter died at the age of
twenty-one years; Louisa m. Jerry Levan; Elizabeth
m. William De Turck; Carolina m. Daniel Sheradin;
Clara is unmarried, and Elmira m. Henry Roth.

(VI) Lewis B. Butz, son of Egedius and Eliz-
abeth, was born in Maxatawny township, Jan. 27, 1837.
He was reared a farmer, and made that his life work
until his retirement in 1900, having commenced farm-
ing for himself when twenty-one. He now owns a
fine farm of 100 acres, which was once the property
of Egedius Butz and earlier belonged to Abraham
Bieber. Mr. Butz made a success of his farming op-
erations, but now rents his property and lives in re-
tirement near the Normal School on the Eastern Road
which has been his home since 1892. Mr. Butz has
taken a deep interest in educational . matters, serving
as school director for many years. At present he
is trustee of the Keystone State Normal School, and
has held that office since the organization of the school.
He represents the stockholders, and has the honor
of being the oldest living member of the board. He
also was much interested in the erection of the pres-
ent church of St. Paul's Reformed congregation, in
1876, serving on the building committee and contrib-
uting generously toward the necessary fund. He and
his family are members of this church, of which he
has been both deacon and elder, and he is regarded
as one of the pillars of the church and among its most
liberal contributors. In jjolitics Mr. Butz is a Dem-
ocrat, and he has held many of the elective offices of
the township.

On Nov. 17, 1857, Mr. Butz married Catherine Kieflfer
daughter of Jonathan and Fannie (Shirey) Kieffer, and
granddaughter of Abraham and Lizzie (Sebert-) Kief-
fer. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B.
Butz were: Amos A., of Kutztown who has a son,
Herbert; John E., born July 7, 1862, and died April 1,
1902, leaving a daughter, Elsie; Ella C, m. to Seldon
Gernert, of AUentown; Alfred, of Philadelphia, m. to
Lillian Garrett, and has a son, John Alfred; Ida, m.
to William R. Smith, of Philadelphia.

Such families as this are a credit to Berks county. Its.
representatives are men of substance, who have borne
their part in the development and advancement of their
several communities.

CHARLES VAN REED EVANS (deceased), who
during the course of a long and useful life was a well-
known and most highly esteemed resident of Berks
county, conducting a farm in Heidelberg township,
was born on the original Evans homestead in Cumru
township, March 4, 1810. The Evans family, one of
the early established families of Berks county, has
contributed its share of prominent citizens in^ this
section in peace, and in war. Church-loving, law'abid-
ing and God-fearing, the family has always been noted

for the honesty and integrity of its memfeers, some of
whom have filled positions of eminence in their day.

Three brothers named Evans emigrated from Wales
about the year 1720, and landed at Philadelphia, whence
all went prospecting through Pennsylvania, with the
result that Daniel settled in Chester county, Phihp
(the ancestor of the family herein described) in
Berks county, and the third in Montgomery county.

Joshua Evans, grandfather of Charles Van Reed
Evans, was born in 1733, and his death occurred in
March, 1778, when he was aged forty-five years. His
wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Thomas,
was born July 1, 1746, and died in 1813, at the age
of sixty-seven, after a widowhood of almost thirty-
six years. They were the parents of the following
children: Thomas, Peninnah, Philip, Thomas, Mor-
decai, Sarah and Joshua. Mrs. Evans' parents, Phil-
ip Thomas and his wife, Esther, lived in East Vin-
cent township, Chester Co., Pa., but they owned out-
lying land near Reading, upon which their daughter
Mary and her husband, Joshua Evans, settled. By
the will proved in Philadelphia Oct. 4, 1774, Philip
Thomas wills this farm to Joshua Evans' s,on, Philip
Thomas Evans. As previously stated, Joshua Evans
and his wife continued to live on the farm, improved
it. and built the stone farm house.

Philip Thomas Evans, father of Charles Van Reed
Evans, was born on the old Evans homestead just
mentioned, July 13, 1770, and he passed all his life
on that place, dying there Sept, 26, 1835. On Feb. 1,
1801, he married Anna Elizabeth Van Reed, who was
born Sept. 29, 1778, daughter of John and Eve (Yost)
Van Reed; she died July 18, 1853, aged seventy-four
years. They became the parents of children as follows:
(1) Thomas Evans, born Jan. 7, 1803, died July 30, 1844,
aged forty-one years, six months and twenty-three

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 203 of 227)