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 209 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 209 of 227)
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trade of machinist, an occupation he followed until
1902. He then went to Pittsburg, and worked there for
fourteen months, at the end of that time returning
to Reading, and with his father and brother, Bernard
L., formed the Kutz Knitting Mills, a firm that has
won a steady success since its foundation. Mr. Kutz
is a member of Camp No. 324, P. O. S. of A., at
Bechtelsville, of which he is president. He drew the
plans for the present large lodge hall which was built
in 1907-08. Mr. Kutz and his family attend the First
Reformed Church at Reading. He married Annie



Smith, daughter of John Smith, of Lyons, Pa., and
they have two children. Grant J. and Pauline M.

Bernard L. Kutz, son of S. Jairus, and mem-
ber of the firm of Kutz Knitting Mills, was born at
Kutztown March 31, 1884. He attended the public
schools at Kutztown, and later at Reading, to which
city his parents had removed, and he graduated from
the high school in the class of 190S'. He then learned
the machinist's trade from his father and brother, and
later entered the hosiery manufacturing business with
them. Mr. Kutz is a member of Chandler Lodge, No.
227, F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 327, R. A. M.;
Reading Commandery; and Camp No. 324, P. O. S. of
A., at Bechtelsville. He is justice of the peace at Becht-
elsville, to which office he was elected by the Demo-
cratic party. Mr. Kutz married Florence Will, daughter
of Alfred and Annie (Sheifley) Will, of Reading, and
they have had three children, namely: Vida E., Finley
J. and Olga V., of whom Finley J. died in childhood.

David F. Kutz, father of S. Jairus Kutz, had children
as follows: Cyrenius, Cosmos, Albert, Moses, S. Jairus,
Alfred (who died young), Elsworth, Valeria (m. Mil-
ton Schollenberger, a farmer of Richmond township),
and Evella (m. Alvin Weiser, a farmer of Bowers
Station).

DAVID CAMPBELL, who at the time of his death
was superintendent of the Henry Clay furnaces of
Reading,' Pa., was a son of James and Sophia Campbell,
the former one of the early ironmasters of the vicinity
of Dauphin -county and a very prominent man of
his day. He died in 1851, and his wife in 1876, both
in the faith of the Church of God. They were the
parents of these children: John, Joseph, David, Jo-
seph (2), Sophia, Porter, Benjamin, Isabel and Simon.

David Campbell was born at Middletown. Dauphin
county, Dec. 30, 1832, and in youth attended the schools
of his native home. When a young man he engaged
in the contracting business, his specialty being the
erection of blast furnaces, and he built many plans
throughout the South and West. His familiarity with
the iron business secured for him recognition among
the prominent iron masters of the country, and in
1878 he was offered, and accepted a lucrative' position
as supermtendent of the Henry Clay furnaces in this
city, a position he held up to the time of his death.

Mr. Campbell was a veteran of the Civil war, having
served in the 127th and 200th Pa. V. I. His first
enlistment was in Company H, 127th Pa. V. I. He
was later promoted to quartermaster-sergeant, and
m this capacity he served with his command until it
W9S mustered out, May 29, 1863. On Dec. 1, 1864,
Mr. Campbell received a lieutenant's commission iii
Company G, 200th Pa. V. I., and served until mus-
tered out. May 30, 1865.

Mr. Campbell was ■ a member of Chandler Lodge
No. 227, F. & A. M., and Simon Cameron Post, G. A. R.,
of Middletown. Besides his wife, Addie J. Zimmer-
man, daughter of Philip and Mary (Vogel) Zimmer-
man, he is survived by a son, Harry E.. and three
daughters, Mrs. Jacob Bauder, of Chicago; Misses
Ehzabeth McVey and Helen Meigs, at home; and
four brothers, Joseph J. and Porter, of Middletown -
Benjamm, of Harrisburg; and John, residing in Illi-
nois. During his residence in Reading Mr. Campbell
was an attendant at the First Baptist Church.

EPHRAIM ARMSTRONG, who for many years
was one of Reading's leading tailors, was born in
Jonestown, Lebanon county, March 12, 1812, and died
m Reading, Aug. 20, 1890. He came to Reading when
ten years of age, and for a number of years clerked
in his uncle's store, later learning the tailoring 'trade
which he subsequently followed for thirty years. '

Mr. Armstrong took an important part in local
affairs, being prominent in the ranks of the Demo-
cratic party, and serving as prothonotary of Berks
county for some years, as school controller of the



728



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Fifth ward, and at the time of his death holding the
position of school treasurer, having served in that
capacity for many years with great credit. He was
a very capable official and was painstaking in his meth-
ods. Mr. Armstrong was a life-long "member of St.
James Lutheran Church, holding the office of treas-
urer therein for a number of years. « ^ j
In 1880 Mr. Armstrong married Mary A. Good,
daughter of Bennewell and Catherine (Haas) Good,
and to this union were born children as follows:
Catherine; Sadie; and Lillie May. Bennewell Good,
Mrs. Armstrong's father, was a native of Lebanon
county, and was extensively engaged in farming in
the vicinity of Jonestown. He died aged sixty-two
years, and she March 9, 1887, when seventy-three
years of age. In religious belief the family were mem-
bers of the Reformed Church. Mr. and Mrs. Good
had children as follows: Sarah, m. to Josiah Loser;
Mary A.. Mrs. Armstrong; Amanda, m. to Henry
Fasnacht-; Amelia, m. to Henry Pelfer; and Dr. Frank,
of Reading, m. to Mary Rocktasel.

MOHN FAMILY. The founder of this early family
in the history of Berks county was Johannes Mohn, the
great-great-grandfather of the present generation. He
was born at Hanover, Germany, in 1700, and _ ernigrated
with his wife and four children to Pennsylvania in 1733.
In the Pennsylvania Archives (second series). Volume
17, page 83, it appears that he took passage on the ship
"Elizabeth" from Rotterdam, and was qualified Aug. 27,
1733. On page 106 of this publication the names of him-
self' and family, and their ages, are given as follows:
Johannes Mohn, 33; Margaret Mohn, 44; Marica (Maria),
10; Matiles (Magdalena), 8; Vernor (Werner), 6; Conon
Ludwig (Ludwig), 3i.

By the patent records of Pennsylvania it appears that
John Moon (Mohn) in 1737 took up a tract of 174 acres
of land in Cumru (now Spring) township, and in 1744
another tract of seventy-one acres; and that, in 1750, he
purchased forty-nine- acres from Dietrich Marshall (which
was a part of 341 acres taken up by Marshall in 1737).
This land was situated along the Cacoosing creek, in the
vicinity of Fritztown. In 1758, he sold the tract of forty-
nine acres to his son Ludwig. He was a farmer by occu-
pation. He died in September, 1764, leaving a last will,
by which it appears that his four children survived him,
and that his two daughters had become married — Magda-
lena to George Hean (Hain), and Maria to Jacob Ledy.

His younger son, Ludwig, carried on farming in the same
vicinity until after the Revolution, and then removed to
Brecknock (now Spring) township, where he continued
farming operations until he died in January, 1796. He
married Anna Odilia Bautz, and by his last will it appears
he had five sons— John, Ludwig, Henry, Daniel and
Peter — and three daughters — Susanna (m. Philip Hatt) ;

Elizabeth (m. Geyer) ; and Margaret (m. Jacob

Albright).

Daniel, the fourth son, was born in the vicinity of
Fritztown, and when a young man accompanied his
father to Brecknock township, where he carried on farm-
ing until his decease in 1846. He was married to Barbara
Albright, and by her had twelve children : Six sons :
Daniel (m. Barbara Fisher), John (m. Elizabeth Kege-
rize), William (described in this sketch), Benjamin (m.
first Harriet Deets, and second Sarah Shultz), Henry
(m. Catharine VonNeida), and Joseph (m. Catharine
Burkhart) ; and six daughters, Elizabeth (died unmarried
in 1876, aged eighty years), Catharine (m. Adam Grill),
Sarah (m. first Philip Grill and second Simpson Ruth),
and Selina, Maria, and Polly (died young).

William Mohn (the third son and seventh child of
Daniel) was born at Mohn's Hill Sept. 6, 1804. He was
a farmer by occupation, having purchased the homestead
from his father and cultivated it for a number of years;
then he removed to Adamstown and engaged in the bus-
iness of manufacturing flour, having purchased a grist-
mill and carried it on successfully for ten years. He
manifested much interest in religious affairs and became



prominent in the Evangelical Church, serving in all
the principal offices. He established a school and church
at Mohn's Hill, and some years after his decease his
son Jeremiah purchased the church property, and in 1895
presented it to the congregation worshiping there as a
memorial to his parents, known since then as Mohn's ,
Memorial Church. He died Jan. 23, 1889. He was mar-
ried three times. His first wife was Polly Gerner, by
whom he had nine children, seven sons (James G., Cyrus,
Henry G., William G., Jeremiah G., Richard and John G.)
and two daughters (Susanna m. Elias Redcay, and Cath-
arine m. George Hendel). The mother having died May
16, 1851, he was subsequently married (second) to Margaret
Adams, and third to Mrs. Katie Palm, by whom he had no
children.

Jeremiah Gerner Mohn, vice-president of the Penn
National Bank and prominently identified with the hat
industry at Reading as the senior partner of J. G. Mohn
& Bros., was born at Mohn's Hill Nov. 1, 1839 (fifth son
of William Mohn). His education was acquired in the
schools of Spring township, and at Adamstown and
Churchtown, in Lancaster county. In 1857, when eighteen
years of age, he began clerking in a general store at
Mohnsville, which was carried on by his cousin, S. K.
Mohn, and after remaining there three years accepted a
similar position in the general store of Mohn & Spatz,
at Gouglersville, where he continued a year. While at
the latter place, he cast his first vote for President of
the United States on Nov. 1, 1860, this having been for
Abraham Lincoln, in which fact he takes a special pride.
For the next ten years he was engaged in stores at Rein-
holds ville, Adamstown and Reamstown, filling for four
years the position of general manager and bookkeeper
in the stote of J. R. Reddig, at Reamstown ; then in 1870,
he became the bookkeeper and shipping clerk in the hat
factory of his brother-in-law, George Hendel, at Reading,
and after filling this position for a year and feeling qual-
ified to embark in the same business he joined his broth-
ers William, Richard and John in the purchase of this
factory, and they organized the firm of Mohn Brothers for
the manufacture of wool hats. [For his connection with
this firm and with J. G. Mohn & Bros., see following
sketch of J. G. Mohn & Bros.]

For many years Mr. Mohn has been closely identified
with other business enterprises at Reading. He is a direc-
tor of the Penn National Bank, serving as vice-president
since its incorporation in 1883; and also a director of the
Reading Trust Company since its incorporation, in 1886;
and also a member of the Board of Trade, having served
as president in 1905 and 1906. In politics he is a Repub-
lican, and as such represented the Third ward in the select
branch of city councils from 1888 to 1893.

Inheriting a strong religious nature, he has taken an
active part in the United Evangelical Church from its in-
ception in 1894, having previously, since his boyhood, been
connected with the Evangelical Church. He was chairman
of the building committee in the erection of the fine
edifice of the First U. E. Church at Eighth and Court
streets, toward which he was a liberal contributor. He
is president of the board of trustees (having been a mem-
ber of the board continuously for thirty-seven years), and
he is the treasurer of the Missionary Society. He was
a delegate to the First General Conference, which w^s
held at Naperville, 111., in November, 1894; and he has
been a delegate to the East Pennsylvania Conference from
its first meeting in 1894 to the present time. He has been
the treasurer of the Albright Collegiate Institute for twen-
ty-nine years, and a member of the board of trustees since
its foundation; and, in appreciation of its educational
efforts, he in 1908 presented to this college the three-story
brick building and six acres of adjoining ground (form-
erly the Behne mansion at Myerstown), which the insti-
tution set apart for the use of the young women students
and dedicated as the Jeremiah Gerner Mohn Hall. He
is also a member of the board of publication at Harris-
burg, and of the board of managers of the Chautauqua










r,-f,3 - rj ,1, C,



BIOGRAPHICAL



739



at Lebanon; also president of the board of trustees of the
Reading Y. M. C. A.

Mr. Mohn married Jan. 28, 1865, Annie Shirk, daughter
of Henry Shirk, of Adamstown, and his wife Hannah
Zell (who was a daughter of John Zell) ; by whom he has
a son, Charles Ellsworth. His wife died June 4, 1867.
He then, on Oct. 7, 1869, married (second) Susanna,
daughter of Daniel and "Mary (Lutz) Royer, of Lancaster
county, and they had the following children : Ada Mary ,
a graduate from the musical department of Albright Col-
lege, who married Herbert Landis (employed since 1898
by the Reading Trust Company) ; Harrv Scn tt born May
17,' 1874, and Howard R. , born May 17, 1879, both dying in
youth; and Eliiher L. His second wife died Aug. 29, 1883,
and on Nov. 10, 1885, he married (third) Emma S., daugh-
ter of John H. ~ 5patz, of Mohnton. H'eTas had two
children by the wifelaSt named : Maud, born Oct. 7, 1886,
who died April 28, 1887; and Luella Faith, now being
educated at Albright College.

Charles E. Mohn (son of Jeremiah G.) was born at
Reamstown, Lancaster Co., Pa., May 21, 1867. After
completing the public school course at Reading he entered
Schuylkill Academy, where he continued until June, 1883,
when he entered his father's hat factory in order to learn
the business. He passed through the minor positions,
then became a presser and afterward a hardener, filling
the latter position at the present time. He has been in
the employ of J. G. Mohn & Bros, continuously until the
present time, except for five years when he was a partner
in the Mohn Hat Company at Mohnsville. He married
Eulalia Blankenbiller, daughter of Joseph and Emma
(Hinnershitz) Blankenbiller. They have one son, Winfield
H., now in school. He is a member of the First United
Evangelical Church at Reading.

Elmer L. Mohn (son of Jeremiah G.) was born Oct.
14, 1881, attended the schools of Reading, graduated from
Albright College in 1903 and from the Eastman Business
College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1903. He then engaged
in the wholesale coal business with offices at Philadelphia
and Reading, in which he has been very successful. He
married Mary Elizabeth Horst, of Myerstown (daughter
of George H. Horst, cashier of the Myerstown National
Bank). She is a graduate of Albright College and of
Swarthmore College.

RicHAiu) Mohn, a member of the firm of J. G. Mohn
& Bros., was born on the old homestead at Mohn's Hill
Jan. 23, 1844. His education was obtained in the public
schools of his native township and later at Adamstown,
Lancaster county. During the progress of the Civil war,
he enlisted on Feb. 23, 1864, in Company B, 55th Regiment,
P. V. I., and participated in the battles of Cold Harbor
and Petersburg, and of the Richmond campaign; and he
was mustered out of service with the regiment at Peters-
burg, Va., Aug. 31, 1865. After his return he worked
in a grist-mill at Adamstown which was owned by his
brother Henry G. (who had been previously employed
there). He worked also in a hat factory at Adamstown,
where he had charge of the shipping and packing depart-
ment. In 1871, he went to Reading and became associated
with his brothers in the manufacture of wool hats, under
the firm name of J. G. Mohn & Bros., and he has continued
with the firm until the present time. He has served as a
director of the National Union Bank of Reading for a
number of years.

On Jan. 6, 1870, Mr. Mohn married Elizabeth Prutzman,
daughter of Samuel Prutzman, of Adamstown, and by her
had four children : Edgar P., who died in 1907 ; William
R., manager of the estate at Pine Grove of the late ex-
Mayor Weimer of Lebanon : Bessie A. ; and Earl S., at
home. In politics Mr. Mohn is a Republican. He served
as a member of the school board from the Tenth ward;
and has been a member of McLean Post, No. 16, G. A. R.,
for many years.

John Gerner Mohn was born at Mohn's Hill, in Berks
county, Nov. 19, 1846, and received his education in the
public schools of that vicinity and at Adamstown, two
miles distant. When seventeen years old, he enlisted in



the Civil war, having been mustered into the service at
Reading on Feb. 23, 1864, with Company B, 55th Regiment,
P. V. I., and he continued in the service with this regi-
ment until it was mustered out at Petersburg on Aug. 31,
1865. He participated in several of the largest battles
of the war, but was never wounded. Upon returning home
he learned the trade of hatting at St. Lawrence, in
Exeter township, in the factory of John and George Hen-
del (the latter having been his brother-in-law), and he
continued with the firm until 1871. Having masterejd the
details of the business, he united with his brothers Wil-
liam, Jeremiah and Richard in carrying on the manufacture
of hats under the firm name of Mohn Brothers. [For
his connection with this firm and with J. G. Mohn & Bros,
from 1871 to the present time, see the following sketch
of J. G. Mohn & Bros.]

Mr. Mohn married Cecelia A. Harbster, daughter of the
late William Harbster (whose sketch and portrait appear
in this publication) and Ellen Matthews, his wife, _ of
Reading; and they have a son, William Harbster (having
also had three daughters, who died young). They are
members of the First Presbyterian Church, in which he
has served as one of the trustees since 1884. His wife
has been active in religious and charitable work in Reading
for upward of twenty years. She has taught a class in
the Sunday-school of the First Presbyterian Church con-
tinuously since 1885, some of the children of the first
pupils being in her class now; and she has had charge of
the mother's meetings of the church for the past sixteen
years. She has been a member of the Widows' Home
since its organization, in 1874, serving as one of its man-
agers for the past ten years. She has been prominently
identified with the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A.
for many years, serving as its treasurer since 1892; and
the charitable work of the Reading Benevolent Society
has received much of her attention since 1890. Her hus-
band has also been prominently identified with the Y. M.
C. A. as one of its managers for twenty-five years, filling
the office of treasurer for fifteen years.

Politically Mr. Mohn has been affiliated with the Re-
publican party from the time he attained his majority.
From 1874 to 1876 he represented the Third ward in the
common council; and from 1876 to 1888 he represented
this ward in the school board. He has identified himself
actively with a number of local financial and business
institutions, as follows : as director of the Keystone Nat-
ional Bank, of the Reading Hardware Company, and of
the Consolidated Hardware Company; president of the
National Brass & Iron Works, and of the Reading Screw
Company. He has been a member of Chandler Lodge, F.
& A. M. No. 227, for forty years; and for many years
a member of Keim Post,' No. 76, G. A. R.

William Harbster Mohn, Mr. Mohn's son, was born
at Reading July 24, 1872, and educated in the public schools
and at Blairstown Hall, New Jersey. For a short time
he was employed in the hat factory of J. G. Mohn & Bros.,
and then entere4 the National Brass & Iron Works in
the mountiiig department. After a thorough course of
five years in this department he was promoted to the posi-
tion of foreman, and in 1902 became superintendent of the
plant. He filled the position of superintendent until 1908,
when he became associated with Edward Kershner under
the name of Mohn & Kershner, for the manufacture of
foundry and art metal goods, in which the firm have since
been successfully engaged, employing eighty hands. He
married Hallie Adams (daughter of Daniel L. Adams,
founder of the Reading Radiator Works at Reading),
and they have two children, Kathryn and John Daniel. He
is connected with the First Presbyterian Church, in which
he has taken a very active part, and for thirteen years
has served as treasurer of the Sunday-school.

_ The firm of J. G. Mohn & Bros, has been a prominent
mdustrial enterprise at Reading in the manufacture of
wool hats for thirty-five years. It is constituted of three
brothers, Jeremiah G. Mohn, Richard Mohn and John G



730



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Mohn, who had acquired practical experience in the busi-
ness before starting for themselves.

In 1871, the brothers named and an elder brother, Wil-
liam, purchased the hat factory of thfeir brother-in-law,
George Hendel, which he had established at .Reading on
Maple street, south of Chestnut, in 1867, and carried on
until that time, and they then organized a partnership under
the name of Mohn Brothers for the manufacture of
wool hats. The firm began operating with iifty hands
and carried on the plant successfully, with an annual pro-
duction exceeding 10,000 dozen, for three years, when the
elder brother, the senior partner, died and the three
surviving brothers purchased his interest and reorganized
the firm on Jan. 1, 1875, under the name of J. G. Mohn
& Bros.; and since then, for upward of thirty years, this
firm has been engaged in the wool haf business at Reading
with great success, increasing their employes from fifty
to three hundred, developing their annual production from
10,000 dozen to 100,000 dozen, and extending their trading
relations to all parts of the United States and Canada and
also South American countries.

The firm's first factory on Maple street was destroyed
by fire on March 17, 1875, but they rebuilt it the same
year, and after operating it until Jan. 1, 1881, sold it to
the Reading Fur Hat Company. In 1878 they purchased
the old and well-established hat factory of Kutz, Arnold
& Co., on Eleventh street, south oi Chestriut, and then
began to operate this plant in conjunction with the Maple
street factory and the Levan factory at the rear of No.
1026 Penn street, which they had leased. The Eleventh
street plant was carried on very successfully with one
hundred and fifty hands until Sept. 6, 1892, when it was
almost totally destroyed by fire. They rebuilt it immed'
iately and operated it with increased energy and success
until Feb. 13, '1899, when (during a violent snowstorm
and blizzard late in the evening, with snow lying on the
sidewalks and roof-tops two feet deep) a third fire visited
their large industrial establishment, verily "like a thief in
the night," and caused a total loss. Undaunted, with
greater resolution than before, they rebuilt their factory,
introducing the latest and best machinery for the manu-
facture of wool hats, and resumed operations with over
two hundred hands ; and in 1905 they erected a large
addition, which made their plant one of the largest hat
factories in Pennsylvania. It is recognized as one of
the important industries at Reading which has afforded
constant employment to a faithful little army of_ people,
male and female, old and young, and thereby contributed a
considerable share in the development of Reading.

Samuel Kegerise Mohn was born Nov. 21, 1824, in
Cumru township, Berks county, near Gouglersville, and
after receiving a common school education, pursued until
he was sixteen years old, learned the trade of miller at
Adamstown, Lancaster county, which he finished at the
age of twenty-one years. In 1846 he accompanied his
uncle, Benjamin Mohn, who then established a grist-mill
along the Wyomissing creek at a point now called Mohn-
ton, and he opened a general store in this mill. He re-
ceived the appointment .as first postmaster of the postoffice
established at that place in 1857, which was then named
Mohn's Store. He was engaged in the store business fof
about fifteen years.

Mr. Mohn was brought up in the faith of the Evangelical
Church, becoming a member when sixteen years old, and
from that time on showed much devotion to its affairs,
becoming in succession class-leader, exhorter and steward.



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 209 of 227)