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 205 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 205 of 227)
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trace more clearly an old and honorable ancestry than
that of Moyer, reaching away back to the days of re-
ligious persecution in 1708. The Moyer (Meyer or
Mayer) family was one of the many German Palatinate
families of immigrants who in 1708 and 1709 went to
England, whence 4,000 persons were given transporta-
tion, by Queen Anne, to New York, where they landed
Dec. 25, 1709,. and June 14, 1710. On the passage and
immediately after landing 1.700 of these immigrants
died. The survivors camped iri tents which they had
brought with them, on Governor's Island, and here
they remained until autumn, when about 1,400 removed
to Livingston Manor, 100 miles up the Hiidson river.
Being unjustly oppressed by Governor Hunter, and
seeing famine and starvation staring them in the face,
150 settlers went to the Schoharie valley, some sixty
miles northwest of Livingston Manor, whither they
traveled through three feet of snow, in the unbroken
woods, hauling their baggage on rudely made sleds.
At Schoharie they improved the lands which had been



BIOGRAPHICAL



715



granted them by Queen Anne, but about ten years
later, owing to a defect in their titles, they were de-
prived of the property which they had labored so
hard to acquire.

Having heard of the just and liberal treatment given
to settlers in the Province of Pennsylvania, thirty-
three families removed thereto in the spring of 1723,
and settled iii the "Tulpahaca," which was at that time
the furthest inhabited part of the province, northwest
from Philadelphia. In subsequent years more than 100
other families followed them and settled in the north-
western part of Berks county, and among these were
the Moyers, or Meyers. In 1759, when the first federal
tax was levied in Berks county, the following Meyers
were taxables of Tulpehocken township, and paid their
tax- as follows: Rudolph Meyer, twelve pounds; John
Meyer, eight pounds, and Philip Meyer, three pounds.

In Heidelberg township was_ one John Moyer, who
paid ten pounds tax that year.' It is a family tradition
that the ancestor of this particular branch of the fam-
ily was John or Johannes Meyer, and that he had
seven children. In the courthouse is his will, which
was probated Dec. 38, 1765. the year of his death, he
being then a resident of Tulpehocken township. The
executors of his estate were his two sons, George and
Henry, and in it were the following provisions: George
was to receive the homestead of 120 acres, and the
"still," and was to pay his brothers and sisters 200
pounds; Henry was given the mill and house and 128
acres of land. The other children were: Anna Bar-
bara, m. to George Wolff; Eva Catherine, m. to a Stet-
tler; Gideon; Catherine, m. to a Deissinger; and Valen-
tine. By the testator, his "beloved son-in-law, George
Wolff," was made guardian over the children of Cath-
erine Deissinger and Valentine Moyer.

George Moyer, the great-grandfather of John E.,
and Mahlon A., of Heidelberg township, was born in
Tulpehocken township, Berks county, and was buried
at Host Church. He was a farmer by occupation,
and owned the property now in the possession of Peter
Moyer, Sr., a grandson. His children were: John;
Michael, Peter, Heinrich, Jacob, Daniel, Mrs. John
Holtzman and Mrs. John Bomberger.

Daniel Moyer, son of George, was born Dec. 2,
1782, and died March 18, 1850. He was a farmer
of Heidelberg township, where he had a ninety-five
acre property and he and his wife are buried at the
Corner Church, of which they were members. Mr.
Moyer m. Susan Belleman, born Oct. 5, 1781, who died
Dec. 7, 1853, and to them were born eight children, as
follows: John; Mrs. Daniel Miller; Mrs. George Moy-
er; Daniel; Elizabeth and Catherine, who died unmar-
ried; Isaac; and Susan, m. to George Fornwald.

Daniel Moyer, son of Daniel, was born Nov. 3,
1814, in Heidelberg township, and died Jan. 7, 1881.
He was a lifelong farmer, owning and operating a tract
of eighty-two acres. He was a prominent Democrat,
holding the offices of school director, supervisor and
delegate to many county conventions. ' He and his
wife are buried at Corner Church, of which they were
members. Mr. Moyer married Catherine Ernst, born
Aug. 19, 1815, who died in April, 1891. To. this union
were born thirteen children, namely: Adam, born
March 28; 1838; Emanuel. Jan. 17, 1^40; Sarah, July 21,
1841; Amelia. March 18. 1843; John E.; Jeremiah,
Nov. 3. 1846; Amanda S., Nov. 17, 1848; Daniel J.,
June 22, 1850; Isabella C, Dec. 15, 1851; Aaron W.,
Feb. 18, 1853; Mahlon A.; Albert H., April 16. 1857,
and Julius J., Sept. 26, 1860.

John E. Moyer was born April 19, 1845, in Heid-
elberg township, where he received limited educational
advantages, attending school about two or three months
a year, I the length of the school term at that time.
He was reared to agricultural pursuits and until seven-
teen years of age worked on the home farm. On
Sept. 6, 1862, Mr. Moyer enlisted in Company H, 55th
Pa. V. I., to serve three years; was promoted June
3, 1864, to corporal for gallant conduct at Cold Har-
bor, and to sergeant Aug. 6, 1864, for rolling a shell



out of a trenc"h where his company was lying, thus sav-
ing the lives of many of his comrades. He served m
some of the fiercest engagements of the war, and was
honorably discharged- June 11, 1865, with a gallant rec-
ord.

On his return from his country's service, Mr. Moyer
resumed his labors upon the farm for one year, and
then was employed with a railroad repair crew for a
like period. For another year he worked on a farm
in Wooster, Wayne Co., Ohio, to which he returned
for a short time after a tour of the Western States.
In 1869, Mr. Moyer r turned to the parental roof,
where he continued to work until his marriage, when
he began housekeeping at the Robesonia furnace, where
he remained five years, his time being spent in earnest,
hard labor. For the next nine years he operated his
father's homestead, after which he removed to a 200-
acre farm in Marion township, Berks county, but after
three years removed to the Dr. L. A. Livingood farm
of 165 acres, which he conducted for five years. For
eight years Mr. Moyer successfully farmed the Jacob
Lauck 145-acre farm in Heidelberg township, and in
1901 he purchased the Savage farm in Lower Heidel-
berg township, a tract of 204 acres, which he culti-
vated for two years and subsequently- retired, at which
time he erected a fine frame residence on Main Street,
Robesonia. He was also the owner of a farm of ninety-
nine acres in North Heidelberg township, which he
traded for the property at No. 236 South 'fhird street,
Reading, on which is located a three-story brick house
of fourteen rooms.

In politics Mr. Moyer is a strong Democrat. He
has been a delegate to numerous congressional and
judicial conventions, and has never known defeat. He
has been school director in Marion township for three
years and a like period in Heidelberg township, where
he has also been supervisor. In the spring of 1907 he
was appointed State health officer. No. 226, of Heidel-
berg, North Heidelberg and Marion townships. Mr.
Moyer is a popular comrade of G. A. R. Post No. 471,
Myerstown. He and his family attend St. Daniel's
(Corner) Church, of the Lutheran denomination, of
which he was a deacon, elder and trustee for five years.

In 1871 Mr. Moyer was married. to Amanda Ruth,
daughter of Francis Ruth, and to them twelve children
have been born: Wilson, Maggie, Minnie, John, Allen,
Ezra, Irwin, Harry, Samuel (who lives in Valparaiso,
Ind.), Susan, Mae and Sarah.

Mahlon A. Moyer, junior member of the mer-
cantile firrn of Gerhard & Moyer, of Robesonia. was
born Oct. 3, 1856, in Robesonia, was educated in the
common schools of Heidelberg township, later attend-
ed Womelsdorf Academy with such schoolmates as
M. A. Gruber,H. P. Keiser, Dr. H. F. Livingood, John
Filbert and Morgan B. Klopp, and subsequently at-
tended the Millersville State Normal School for four
terms. For the five succeeding terms, Mr. Moyer
taught school in Heidelberg township, and for two
terms in Lancaster county. He was a transcribing
clerk for three years in the office of the recorder of
deeds, under Isaac M. Bechtel, and in 1886, during
President Cleveland's first administration, he was ap-
pointed a storekeeper and gauger for Berks county,
an office which he held for four years. Mr. Moyer then
removed to Mount Aetna, where he and Mr. Nathaniel
Kalbach purchased, the Hunsinger farm, on which was
an old established distillery, and they conducted both
enterprises for two years together, when Mr. Moyer
sold his interests to his partner and purchased the
stand of H. W. Filbert, of Robesonia, which place he
conducted eight years. Because of deaths in the fam-
ily, Mr. Moyer sold out, and in 1904 purchased the
interest of Henry R. Miller in the firm of Miller &
Gerhard, and has since been associated with this com-
pany, which has become Gerhard & Moyer.

In politics Mr. Moyer is a Democrat, and has been
active in the success of his party in this section. He
is a charter member of Mt. Penn Castle, No. 51, K. G.
E., of Reading, which was organized in 1884. He is a



716



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



meiTiber of St. Daniel's (Corner) Evangelical Lutheran
Church, of near Robesonia, as was also his wife.

In 1888. Mr. Meyer married Ella H. Noecker, born
May 6, 1868, who died June 30, 1899, daughter of Israel
Noecker. a merchant of Millersburg, Pa. The only
child of this union, Edgar M., died m mfancy.

CAPT. JOHN A. HIESTER, of Reading, enjoys
the distinction of being the only boat-builder on the
Schuylkill canal. He has been running excursion boats
since 1869. at present owning the two pleasure steam-
ers "Rosie" and "Carrie." and he has been reguglarly in
the employ of the Schuylkill Navigation Company since
1869. He had previously been engaged on work for
that company from 1864, working with his father until
the latter's death. The business interests of father
and son have been closely associated with the history
of the canal and navigation company.

Captain Hiester was born in Berks county in 1844,
and he has lived in Reading since he was six months
old, his parents, William and Elizabeth (Adams)
Hiester, having moved hither at this time. His moth-
er was. a daughter of Isaac Adams, who owned an oil
mill on the Tulpehocken creek. William Hiester was
engaged as a boat-builder in the early days of the
Schuylkill canal and did work for the Schuylkill Navi-
gation Company for many years, carrying on an in-
dependent business. He built craft for boatmen as
far north as Troy, N. Y., and was considered one of
the most reliable boatbuilders in this part of the coun-
try. One of his masterpieces was the famous "Regu-
lator," which he. built for the Philadelphia & Reading
Company, and he constructed a number of pleasure
boats which gave him a reputation along the Schuyl-
kill. He was the first owner of a steamboat on that
river, the "J. L. Stichter," which plied between Read-
ing and High's Woods. Mr. Hiester was killed in
1878, and was survived by his wife and two children.
Three children were born to them: John A.; Julia, who
died aged thirteen years;' and Sarah, unmarried, who
makes her home with her brother. The father was a
member of the Reformed Church, a Republican in
politics, and a Mason and Odd Fellow in fraternal
connection.

John A. Hiester was educated in the common schools
of Reading, and early began to learn boatbuilding
under his father, who trained him thoroughly in his
life work. In 1864 he began work for the Schuylkill
Navigation Company, and regularly entered the em-
ploy of that Company in 1869, and he has built and
repaired many canal boats during his long career in
this line, often handling as many as five hundred boats
in one season. The first boat owned by the Captain
was the "J. L. Stichter," formerly owned by his father,
which he rebuilt and renamed the "Escort;" her length
was 55 feet, beam 14 feet, 4 inches; his next boat, the
"Gazelle," -also built by his father, was 65 feet long,
14 feet, 4 inches across the beam; later he owned
the "Pearl," 62 feet long, beam 14 feet, 4 inches; all
these boats drew 34 feet of water. Captain Hiester
built the "Valley Forge" (for a Mr. Shaw of Valley
Forge), length 65 feet, beam 13 feet, draw Si feet; the
"Atlantic," length 65 feet, beam 14 feet. 4 inches, draw
3J feet; the "Martha- Washington" (for Caleb, Ruth
and Robert Hanna, of Conshohocken), length 65 feet,
beam 14 feet, 4 inches, draw 3i feet; the "GoMen
Eagle," length 73 feet, beam 16 feet, 10 inches, draw
H feet; the "Mayflower," length 26 feet, beam 7 feet,
draw 24 feet; and the "Iowa," length 47 feet, beam
10 feet, draw 4 feet. Since 1903 the Caotain has
limited his operations to the repairing of canal boats
for the Schuylkill Navigation Company. Captain
Hiester has a reputation on the river and canal which
for many years has insured him steady and remunera-
tive patronage. Having followed his work from boy-
hood he is familiar with all its phases, ready for any
emergency, and always the capable and reliable work-



man, able to do any of the varied tasks which are in
the course of his work. He is well known in Reading,
where he affiliates with the Masons and Odd Fellows,
belonging to Chandler Lodge, No. 227; Excelsior Chap-
ter. R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.;
and Vigilance Lodge, No. 194, I. O. O. F. He is a
Republican in political opinion.

In 1863 Captain Hiester married Elizabeth Wagner,
daughter of Valentine and Rebecca (McKinney) Wag-
ner, and to them have been born ten children, seven
sons and three daughters: William Henry Wagner, who
is a boatbuilder and framer, working with his father;
Charles Franklin, a boatbuilder in the employ of the
Schuylkill Navigation Company; George Washington
and Jonathan G. G., both of whom are boatbuilders;
Julia M., who' married Philip Tumney (both are- de-
ceased); John Harrison, a boatbuilder; Carrie, wife of
Irvin Peacock; James A. Garfield; Albert Arthur; and
Rosa, married to Harry Markley. All of this family
are members of the Reformed Church.

MAHLON KLINE, of Reading, residing in the Roll-
ing Mill mansion on the Kutztown road, has for many
years been prominently identified with the business
and public interests of this city. Mr. Kline was born
June 10, 1836, in Reading, son of John R. and Caroline
(Homan) Kline.

John R. Kline, father of Mahlon, was born Jan.
17, 1809, in Exeter township, Berks county, and died
Dec. 14, 1870. For a number of years he was a boat
builder in Reading, and the foreman of a large num-
ber of men, but in his later years carried on a success-
ful grocery business at Seventh and Bingaman streets.
He also engaged in the manufacture of bricks on North
Ninth street and also where Rick's foundry is now lo-
cated, and furnished the brick for the building of the
Reading Cotton Mills. Mr. Kline was a member of
the First Reformed Church, and is buried in the Charles
Evans cemetery. He was twice married, his first wife
being Caroline Homan, by whom he had two children:
Mahlon and Amos, the latter of whom died when four
months old. His second marriage was to Hester Lutz,
and by this union had one son, William, a cabinet
maker of Reading, who has two sons, William and
Harry, both of whom are successful business men of
Reading.

Mahlon Kline attended the public schools of his
native city, Captain Bacheler's military school and the
city night sqhool, afterward learning draughting under
Lewis' Kirk. He served his apprenticeship under
James Noble & Sons, now of Alabama. During the
'fifties, James Noble & Sons removed to Rome, Ga.,
where they built the first locomotive for the State
Road, south of the Mason and Dixon line. This en-
gine was on exhibition at the Atlanta, Ga., Fair, where J.
Glancy Jones delivered the address for the occasion.
Mr. Kline learned the general machine business from
James Noble & Sons, and was in that firm's employ
for six years, three of which he spent in the South.
During the Civil war_ Mr. Kline was employed at the
Scott works in Reading, working on army and navy
guns, shot and shell, this work all being done for
the Government. He was in the service of the Reading
Iron Company liSrig before the establishment of the
present company, which was sold by the sheriflf many
times. Since the Centennial this company has been
under the direction of F. C. Smink, the present presi-
dent, who has kept the enterprise on a paying basis.
Mr. Kline's principal work all of his life has been
that of a machinist, and for fifteen years he was in
charge of the old forge, a part of the Reading Iron
Company. He has lived retired since 1901, and lives
in the Rolling Mill mansion of the Reading fron Com-
pany, on the Kutztown road, still in the city limits.

Mr. Kline has been a life-long Democrat, and on
October 11, 1870, he was elected a select councilman
from the Ninth ward, an office in which he served for
six years. He has been very influential in public mat-



BIOGRAPHICAL



717



ters, and has held various ward offices. He is a mem-
ber of the First Reforined Church of Reading, and"
has a certificate stating that he was a member of the
First German Reformed Sunday-School of the borough
of Reading, signed by his Sunday-school teacher, J.
Ermentraut and the Sunday-school superintendent, C.
Steiner. This was presented to him when he was but
eight years old, and he prizes it very highly. Mr. Kline
was a deacon of the church.

In 1858, Mahlon Kline married Emma Kunsman, born
Aug. 23, 1841, daughter of Jacob and Rosa (Homan)
Kunsman, and to this union were born nine children,
of whom seven survive, as follows: Carrie, m. to
Frank Mayer, of Temple, Pa.; John, a skilled machin-
ist of Philadelphia; Martha, who is single and lives at
home, making life pleasant for her parents; Annie, m. to
Samuel J. Geissler, of Reading; Emma, m. to Ralph Kat-
erman, a resident of Birdsboro, Pa.; Daniel, who lives
in Reading; and Howard, a machinist, who resides at
Alliance, Ohio.

ZERBE— ZERBY (also Zerve, Zerwe and Zerben).
The Zerbe family of Berks was very early settled in
America. The original home of the family was in
France, but owing to their steadfast loyalty to their
religious' faith they were obliged to find homes else-
where, that they might worship as they thought right.
On their first coming to the New World they settled
in New York State, in the Schoharie Valley and a
little farther south at Livingston Manor, from which
places they -followed the migratory tide into the fer-
tile valley of the Tulpehocken. Rupp in his "30,000
Names of Immigrants," shows a Lorenz Zerbe who
came from Schoharie to Tulpehocken in 1723, and in
addition to Lorenz mentions a John Philip Zerbe and
a Martin Zerbe among those above twenty-one years
of age, who passed the winter of 1710 and summer of
1711 in Livingston Manor, N. Y., and who may have
come to Tulpehocken at a later period. The name of
John or Johan has been a favorite one in the family,
as appears from the tax lists and vital statistics.

John Zerbe, born in North Heidelberg township
June 30, 1799, died in Reading in 1874, and is buried at
Little Tulpehocken church. He was a tailor by trade,
working at that occupation in different parts of the
county, and for some years he also engaged in farming.
In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of
St. Daniel's Church. His wife, whose maiden name
was Martha Keller, died in Penn township in 1871, aged
sixty-three years. She was a daughter of John Keller.
Their children were: Elias, born Aug. 4, 1832, died
March 25, 1906; Rebecca m. John Wagner, and both
are deceased; Catharine m. Jeremiah Oaks, and both
are deceased; Urias is mentioned below; William K.,
born Nov. 13, 1837,, in North Heidelberg, enlisted Sept.
2, 1863, in Company G, 151st Pa. V. I., served ten
months, and now resides in Reading, unmarried;^ Sarah
m. Jonathan Frymoyer, deceased, and she resides in
Reading; Jonathan m. Clara Moll, and died in Reading
leaving no children; and six children died young.

Elias Zerbe, son of John, born Aug 4, 1833, was a
resident of North Heidelberg for a number of years,
and in 1870 came to Reading where he followed the
carpenter's trade until within a few years of his death,
March 25, 1906. Both he and his w<fe are buried in
the Charles Evans cemetery. On Nov. 7, 1846, he
married Mary Anri Moyer, daughter of George Moyer
and his wife Catharine Gerber (1799-1860). To this
union were born children as follows: Emma, born
Sept. 16, 1847, died at the age of eleven years; Anna,
born March 3, 1852, died March 5, 1852; Levi M., born
Dec. 3, 1853; James M., born Sept. 27, 1855, lives in
Reading; Harrison, born Jan. 9, 1859; (jeorge McClel-
lan, born Jan. 25, 1864.

Levi M. Zerbe, son of Elias, was born in Marion
township Dec. 3, 1853. He learned the carpenter's
trade when he was eighteen and this he has followed



ever since. For two years he was engaged as a mill-
wright in Reading, to which city he came m the fall ot
1871. In 1875 he began working for the Readmg Kail-
way Company, and continued there until 1879, when
he was appointed on the police force by Mayor Henry
Tyson, but at the change of administration two years
later he resigned and went back to the car shops,
following his trade there until 1885. The next two
years found his working as a millwright with Elias
Schmehl, of Reading, but in the latter part of 1887 he
again returned to the Railway Company, and has since
continued there. On March 16, 1897, he was made
foreman of the planing mill department, having some
eighty-seven men in his employ. He is a member
of the Relief Association, and also belongs to the
American Mechanics, No. 27, of Reading; the
Royal Arcanum, No. 495; and the Schuylkill Fire Com-
pany. He is a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church,
and is connected with the Trinity Lutheran Brother-
hood of Reading. In political affairs he is a Democrat.
On May 15, 1875. Mr. Zerbe was married to Amelia
A. Werner, daughter of Frederick Werner, of Reading.
Three children have been born to them, namely: Lillie
M., who died in infancy; Anna M., at home; and Emma
N. (1878-1900), deceased wife of Isaac Mengel, of Read-
ing.

Urias Zerby, son of John and brother of Elias, was
born Feb. 16, 1834, and died Jan. 6, 1907, and is
buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. For several
years he followed farming in Exeter township, and
then moved to Muhlenberg township, where he lived-
until his removal to Reading April 1, 1875. He farmed
the John Epler farm now all built up and improved as
a part of the city along Schuylkill avenue. He married
Lovina Snyder, who bore him the following children:
William A., John, James, Missouri, Irwin, Frank,
Mamie and Amanda.

William A. Z'erby, son of Urias, and now a
well known citizen of Reading engaged in the milk
business, was born in Muhlenberg township May 25,
1865. He attended the township schools, and was
ten ' years old when the father removed of Reading.
Here in the city he attended the public schools, in
the meantime assisting his father on the farm. He
was a letter carrier for three years, at the end of that
time engaging in the dairy business at No. 639 Schuyl-
kill avenue, where he has^ built up a large trade. In
his political principle Mr. Zerby is a Democrat, and has
served as a member of the county committee. He was
elected collector for the Fifteenth ward in 1908. In
his religious faith, like all his family, he is a Lutheran
and belongs to Hope Church.

On Oct. 8, 1887, Mr. Zerby was unitfd in marriage
with Miss Missouri De Long, daughter, of Jacob De
Long, of Lehigh county. Their children are: Arthur,
Martha, William, Harry, Lester, Hilda and Esther.
Mr. Zerby is highly respected wherever he is known.

JAMES H. GULDIN. The Guldins were Pietists of
Switzerland. The Hochs were Moravians from the
same place. Rev. Samuel K. Guldin and Rev. Chris-
topher, Lutz were classmates at Old University of
Berne, Switzerland, from 1679 to 1689. In 1693 Gul-
din was appointed pastor at Stettlen, three mile's east
of Berne. Shortly after entering the university, Gul-
din passed through a great spiritual experience and
became a pietist. Prof. Hadorn sayS that Guldin,
Schumacher, Lutz and Dochs were the fathers of Swiss
pietism. These church fathers became so bitterly pros-
ecuted that Guldin emigrated to Philadelphia in 1710,
and all of the Guldins of America are descended from
him. '

The Guldins were originally of St. Gall, Switzerland.
Melchior Guldin was born at St. Gall in 1529; was



Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 205 of 227)