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 210 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 210 of 227)
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He assisted in establishing Salem EvangeUcal Church at
that place in 1849, and has served as one of the trustees
until the present time — a continuous period of sixty years.
He also took great interest in the Sunday-school work,
officiating for many years as superintendent.

Mr. Mohn was married in 1847 to Susanna Spatz
(daughter of John Spatz, of that vicinity), and they had
ten children, five of whom reached maturity: Charles S.
(m. Mary Redcay), Susanna C. (m. John A. Bohler),



Mary S. (m. John A. Seitzinger), Ella M. (m. George
H. Leininger), and Kate (m. Tyson L. Huyett).

Mr. Mohn is a son of John Mohn, and grandson of
Daniel Mohn. For his antecedent history in the Mohn
line, see preceding sketch of Mohn family.

BENJAMIN CLOUSER, who for many years prior
to his retirement some time before his death was en-
gaged as a blacksmith in Reading, Pa., was born in
Robeson township, Berks county, Nov. 20, 1840, son of
John and Anna (Wesley) Clouser.

John Clouser was for many years a farmer of Robe-
son township. Berks county, where he also engaged
as a forgeman, and where he died, aged seventy-two
years, his wife also attaining that age. They were
the parents of ten children: John, Benjamin, Lucinda,
Sarah. Thomas and Aaron, twins, Samuel, Henry,
Charles and William. In religious belief Mr. Clouser
was a Lutheran, while his wife belonged to the Re-
formed denomination.

Benjamin Clouser received his education in the
schools of his native place, and when a boy learned
the blacksmith's trade, which was his occupation
throughout life. He was a good, practical mechanic,
and a hardworking man, and in his death, which oc-
curred Oct. 4, 1906, the city of Reading lost an honest
Christian gentleman and good citizen. He was a mem-
ber of the P. O. S. of A., in which organization he has
many friends, and was a Republican in politics, although
he never aspired to office.

Mr. Clouser married Margaret C. Corbit, daughter of
John Corbit, and to this union were born four children,
namely: William W.,. a draftsman employed by Cor-
nelius Vanderbilt of New York; Harry C, a machinist
of Reading; Anna, a teacher in the public schools of
that city; and Frances, m. to Edgar L. Fulmer, office
manager for a New York firm. Mrs. Clouser, who
survives her husband, resides in Reading, where she is
well known and very highly esteemed.

RICHARD TRETHEWEY, assistant superintendent
of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company at Read-
ing, Pa., and a man well known in insurance circles
of Pennsylvania, was born Jan. 19, 1855, near Chat-
tanooga, Tenn., son of Samuel and Mary Kent (Burt)
Trethewey.

Samuel Trethewey was born March 7, 1822, at St.
Hilary, Cornwall, England, son of Richard Trethe-
wey, a miner of Cornwall, and came to America in 1849,
locating first in New Jersey and later in Tennessee,
and taking a trip to California during the gold fever,
He was a mining engineer all of his life and from 1877
until his death. May 23, 1905, resided at Friedensville,
Lehigh Co., Pa., having been retired for the last thir-
teen years of his life. He died at his own home in
Friedensville, well known and highly esteemed. Mr.
Trethewey was married in Cornwall, England, to Mary
Kent -Burt, born May 12, 1818, at Lostwithiel, Corn-
wall, who died Feb. 15, 1901, at the old homestead in
Lehigh county. They had the following children:
Samuel, of Boyertown; William, who was buried at
Friedensville; Mary, residing at Pottstown, the widow
of Thomas Brown; Richard; Joseph, who resides at
No. 3130 Carlisle street, Philadelphia; John H., of
No. 121 Oak street. Providence, Scranton, Pa.; and
James, of No. 120 Oak street, Providence.

Richard Trethewey spent his boyhood days in Mary-
land, whence his parents had removed in 1857, and at-
tended the pay schools, which became free schools
after the Civil war. After coming to Friedensville
he following zinc mining for eight years, and then
spent nine years in the Boyertown ore mines. The
following year and one -half he mined for gold, sil-
ber and copper at the Butte and Boston mine, at
Butte City, Mont., a great mining camp, but in 1893
returned to Pennsylvania and began working as an
agent for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company



BIOGRAPHICAL



731



at Bethlehem. The following year he was appointed
to an assistant superintendency, and was sent to Pitts-
burg, where he remained six months, being trans-
ferred at this time to an assistant superintendency at
Reading, where he has since continued with, eminent
success. Mr. Trethewey has developed a number of
successful insurance men who were formerly in his
district, among whom is William H. Spang, superin-
tendent of the Allentown district. Mr. Trethewey is
an able insurance man, and during his incumbency of
his present office has made his name well known in
insurance circles throughout the State.

Mr. Trethewey has been twice married, his first wife
being Jennie Schiflert, who died in 1879, in Friedens-
ville, Lehigh county, aged twenty-six years, leaving
three children: Florence E., who is single; Jennie M.,
m. to Wayne Wilson, of Philadelphia; and William
G., who is married and resides at No. 520 Broad street,
Bethlehem, Pa. He m. (second) Jan. 16, 1892, Addie
B. Conner, daughter of Willoughby B. Conner, of Boy-
ertown, Pa., and to this union one child has been born;
Paul Richard.

In politics Mr. Trethewey is a Republican with in-
dependent inclinations. He is socially 'connected with
Prosperity Chamber, Knights of Friendship, and Wash-
ington Camp, No. 104, P. O. S. of A., of Boyer-
town. He and his family are members of Covenant
Methodist Episcopal Church of Reading, and they
reside in Mr. Trethewey's large brick residence, at
No. 960 North Eleventh street, Reading.

GEORGE J. KAPP, one of Marion township's highly
respected citizens, who lived retired at Stouchsburg from
1902, was for many years engaged in tailoring. He was
born Sept. 22, 1837, in Mill Creek towns'hip, Lebanon Co.,
Pa., son of John and Eliza (Meiser) Kapp, and died
Sept. 26, 1909.

Michael Kapp, the progenitor of this family, was of
German descent, and a pioneer" settler of Heidelberg
township, in the district that is now embraced in
Jackson township, Lebanon county. His name appears
among the list of taxables of Heidelberg one year
after Berks county had been separated from Lancas-
ter. Mr. Kapp had two children: Frederick; and Leon-
ard, who had a son Leonard.

Frederick Kapp (Capp), the great-grandfather of
GecJrge J., was one of the pioneers of the Newmans-
town section of what is now Lebanon county. He
owned in the neighborhood of 400 acres of land, on
which he built log cabins, and dug a well in sandy soil.
He had reached a depth of sixty feet, but while he was
at dinner the sides caved in, burying his tools, which
stood at the bottom of the well', and there they re-
main to this day. He was an excellent blacksmith,
manufacturing all of his own farming implements in
addition to forks and blacksmith nails. He is buried
in the old burial ground at the Tulpehocken Lutheran
Church. His grave has no head-stone, but a relative
has a stone near by. Frederick Kapp had child-
ren: George and Andrew; Molly, m. to Frederick
Moyer; and Meria, m. to Jacob Kehl.

Andrew Kapp, grandfather of George J., was born
Feb. 35, 1782, at Newmanstown, on the Kapp farm,
later owned by his son John. He was a lifelong farm-
er, and died Dec. 31, 1844, being buried at the burial
ground at Newmanstown. He married Elizabeth Mil-
ler, who was was born Jan. 19, 1783, at Millcreek, Le-
banon county, and died Aug. 27, 1867. They had
three children: Sarah died unmarried at an advanced
age; Catherine, m. to Isaac Gerhart; and John.

John Kapp, father of George J., was born at New-
manstown, Pa., Nov. 24, 1809, and died Aug. 7, 1892,
aged eighty-two years, eight months, thirteen days,
being buried at Newmanstown. He was a lifelong
farmer, having an excellent property of 125 acres in
Millcreek township, Lebanon county, and was a man
of wide acquaintance among the agriculturists of his



district. Mr. Kapp was also a well-known sportsman,
being an excellent marksman, and frequently won
prizes. In his religious belief he was a Lutheran, and
he attended St. Elias Church at Newmanstown. Mr.
Kapp married Elizabeth Meiser, born Dec. 4, 1807, and
died Sept. 19, 1875, aged sixty-seven year^, nine months,
fifteen days, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Keller)
Meiser. They had nine children, all but one surviving,
the oldest being seventy-five years of age, and the
youngest past fifty-five; Peter, Levi, Elizabeth, George,
Thomas, James, Emma, Sarah and John.

George J. Kapp spent his youth upon the home
farm, and until he was seventeen years of age remained
with his parents, at this time learning the trade of
tailor from Frederick A. Schultz, who was a member
of the same family from which came Governor Schultz.
Mr. Kapp came to Stouchsburg in 1862, and there
carried on the tailoring business with marked suc-
cess until his retirement in 1902. He had in his em-
ploy five assistants, and enjoyed a large trade, much
of which in the earlier days consisted in making up
home-made woolen material, which was brought to
him by the settlers in the surrounding country. Mr.
Kapp was an agent for the Northern Mutual Fire In-
surance Company of Ephrata, Lancaster county, a po-
sition which he held since 1875, during which time he
wrote up a large number of risks in his' district. Although
he was an invalid from the fall of 1906, and was almost
entirely confined to his house, he was of cheerful dispo-
sition, bearing his suffering patiently. He was a man
of intelligence, and convers-ed fluently in both English
and German. A Republican in his political affiliations,
he always had the welfare of his township at heart, but
would never allow his name to be used in connection
with any office. He was a member of the Order of Good
Fellows at Stouchsburg, being one of the oldest members.
He was connected with Christ (Tulpehocken) Lutheran
Church, of Marion township.

On June 21, 1862, Mr. Kapp married Amanda M.
Donges, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Burkholder)
Donges, and to this union there have been born two
children: Ellen m. Frank Walborn, a cigar-packer
of Stouchsburg, who was born March 17, 1858, and
died April 6, 1905, aged forty-seven years, leaving two
children, Ralph. K. and Mary A.; and Charles F., born
Oct. 30, 1867, met his death in the dynamite explos-
ion which destroyed the Tulpehocken church in Mar-
ion township, Nov. 6, 1884, in his eighteenth year,
and is buried in the ICapp family lot at that church,
his last resting-place being marked by the Kapp mon-
ument.

JACOB OTTO, who died at his residence. No. 833
Washington street, May 23, 1904, at the age of sixty-
seven years, was not an American by birth, but had
lived in this country since his seventeenth year. . He
was born in 1837 in He^se-Darmstadt, and brought to
his adopted country the sterling qualities which char-
acterize the German race, and make them so valuable
a part of our body of citizens.

When he was sixteen years old Mr. Otto landed in
New York City, and proceeded directly to Reading.
Although he had learned the trade of shoemaking, he
never followed it, and instead worked at tinning under
a Mr. Snell. He. remained with him for a number
of years, and became a very skilled workman. In 1877,
he went into partnership in that same line with a
Mr. Harper, under the firm name of Harper & Otto,
and for a long time they were located on Seventh
street near Penn, doing a general tinning business.
When that partnership was dissolved, Christ Geisler
became associated with Mr. Otto and the store was
moved to No. 643 Penn street, its present location. In
1889 Mr. Otto bought out Mr. Geisler and from that time
conducted it by himself. Nine years later his son
John was made manager, but he died while still a



733



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



young man, and his brother Harry W. was then given
the place. Since his father's death, H. W. Otto has
continued to conduct the business in the interest of
the estate.

Jacob Otto was married at the age of twenty-four
years to Miss .Katherine Kiruse, and five children were
born to them: Emma, Mrs. Charles Leymaster, of
Reading; John, who died at the age of thirty-two;
Kate, wife of David E. Gring, of Reading; Minnie,
who was born in 1873, and died in 1890; and Harry W.
Mr. Otto belonged both to the Odd Fellows and the
Masons, being a member, in the latter order, of Teu-
tonia Lodge, No. 367, F. & A. M. A man of many
estimable qualities he was esteemed by everyone that
knew him, and bore a deservedly high reputation
among Reading's business men.

Harry W. Otto was born June 21, 1880, and was
educated in the public schools of Reading. In 1896
he was taken into his father's employ and has been
connected with the business ever since. Since as-
suming the sole responsibility he has proven him-
self to be capable in business, and is very successful in
his management. Socially he is a Mason, a member
of Chandler Lodge, No. 227; and also of the Knights
of the Golden Eagle; the Order of Buzzards; the Ivy
Leaf Association and the Cadet Band.

PETER B. KE'EHN, for fifty-two years a resident
of Mt. Penn, but now |living retired at No. 314 Seven-
teenth and one-half street, Reading, comes of an old
family of this part of Berks county. He was born
Sept. 29, 1838, in Exeter township, near Schwartz-
wald Church, from which neighborhood his parents,
Charles and Maria (Biedeman) Keehn, moved into
Lower Alsace township soon after his birth.

Jacob Keehn, grandfather of Peter B. Keehn; was a
resident of Exeter township and a farmer by occupa-
tion. He died in middle life, but his ■wfife, whose
maiden name was Brahm, attained a good old age.

Charles Keehn was born in Exeter township in the
year 1810, and died iti 1868. Like his father he fol-
lowed farming, and he was a substantial citizen, a
worthy member of the Reformed Church, and a Defno-
crat in political faith. He married Maria Biedeman, a
native of Amity township, this county, daughter of
John and M&rgaret (Hartranft) Biedeman, and nine
children were born to this union, namely: Matilda,
widow of Henry Alleribaugh; Orlando, an engineer, of
Reading; Peter B.; Daniel B., a laboring man, of Mt.
Penn; John, 'a hatter, of Mt. Penn; Almaretta, de-
ceased wife of Peter Helfrich; Elizabeth, widow of
Levi Marks, of Reading; Charles, a conductor, of Read-
ing; and Margaret, deceased. '

Peter B. Keehn grew to manhood in Alsace town-
ship, and there he received his education in the public
schools.' While still a little boy he entered the Brum-
bach's woolen mills, at St. Lawrence, in which he
worked up to the position of weaver and spinner. He
continued in that work until 1897, in May of which year
his right side became paralyzed and he was incapaci-
tated for active, work from that time. Since that
time he has lived retired, making his home at the
corner of Perkiomen avenue and Twenty-third street,
■ Mt. Penn, where he built in 1885, until March, 1909,
when he sold his homp, and purchased his present res-
idence in Reading. During his active years Mr. Keehn
was much interested in local public affairs, and he
gave excellent service as school director in Lower Al-
sace, which office he held for six years, and as bor-
ough inspector. He is a Democrat in political affilia-
tion.

On June 4, 1861, Mr. Keehn enlisted in Company D,
3d Pa. V. C, being one of the first three-years men,
and entered the United States service at Camp McCall,
D. C.i July 28, 1861, serving until June, 1864. He took
part in the following important engagements; Me-
chanicsville, Gaines' Mills, Charles City Cross Roads,



Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fred-
ericksburg. He was promoted to corporal. By virtue
of his army service Mr. Keehn is an honored member
of the G. A. R., belonging to McLean Post, No. 16,
of Reading.

On Sept. 17, 1864, Mr. Keehn married at Reading,
Miss Martha Wesner, who was born March 6, 1845,
daughter of James and Maria (Kemp) Wesner. Four
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Keehn, viz.: Car-
rie Dora, wife of Franklin Hafer, of Madison avenue,
Reading; Katie Octavia, deceased; Harvey Peter, a
weaver at the woolen mill, who married Catharine
Faust and resides at Mt. Penn; and Jennie Estella,
who is at home.

James Wesner, father of Mrs. Keehn, was a char-
coal burner by occupation. He died in Reading about
1877, at the age of seventy-four years, and his wife
died in 1885, reaching the age of seventy-eight years.
She was a member of the Catholic Church. Mr. arid
Mrs. Wesner had a family of ten children, namely:
Matilda, deceased, was the wife of Samuel Hawkins;
Henry, who died in Illinois, married Fannie Diffen-
baugh; Barbara Ann married James Schull, and both
are deceased; Harriet, deceased, was the wife of George
Jones; Lucinda, deceased, was the wife of Ezra Rom-
ich; Nathaniel died in infancy; James lives in Varna,
111.; Ephraim, who married Clara Shupe, lives in Ma-
quoketa, Iowa; Martha is the wife of Peter B. Keehn;
Adaline, deceased, was the wife of Samuel Schealer,
of Reading.

JOSEPH GRATE SCHNABEL, a venerable citi-
zen of Cumru township, and a survivor of the great
Civil war, was born Jan. 22, 1831, in that township,
son of John arid Susanna (Grate) Schnabel, and grand-
son of Jacob Schnabel, and he died Feb. 9, 1908, in
the seventy-eighth year of his age.

Jacob Schnabel came to America from Germany, on
the ship "Priscilla," arriving at Philadelphia, Sept. 11,
1749, and some years after that date became a farmer
in Cumru township, Berks county, where he owned
considerable land, part of which was in later years
owned by his son, John. He was a Catholic in relig-
ious belief, and was buried in consecrated ground in
Reading. Jacob Schnabel was the father of the follow-
ing children:. Jacob; Joseph; Benjamin; William; Kate
m. Lewis Eckenroth; Betzy m. Harry Grate; Polly m.
Patrick Odier; and Sally m. a Mr. Hartman.

John Schnabel, father of Joseph, was born in 1785,
near Yocom's Church in Cumru township, and died
in 1860, being buried at the Catholic cemetery in Read-
ing. He was a life-long farmer, and owned a tract of
eighty-three acres, now the property of Andrew Blank-
enhorn. • Mr. Schnabel married Susanna Grate, who
died in 1856. in her eightieth year, and to them were
born ten children, as follows: Jacob; Barbara m. Sam-
uel Freeman; Andrew; Joseph Grate; John; Catherine
m. Solomon Ash; Susan m. Ezra Bush; Hettie m.
John Buthroyed; Elias m. Elizabeth Ruffner; and Sarah
m. Henry Hill.

Joseph Grate Schnabel was reared in Cumru town-
ship, and there he spent all his life. For many years
he was employed in the iron mines, but in 1896 he
retired from active life, erected a comfortable little
home, where he lived with his daughter, Clara, Mrs.
John S. Sonnon, until death claimed him. On Oct.
27, 1862, Mr. Schnabel enlisted under the name of Jos-
eph Suable, in Company C, 167th Pa. V. I., serving
with the. Army of the Potomac until Aug. 12, 1863,
when he received his honorable discharge at Read-
ing. He was a faithful and efficient soldier^ and dur-
ing his service to his country bore his share of the
hardships of army life bravely and cheerfully. Mr.
Schnabel was a member of Keim Post. No. 76, G. A
R.; and the Jr. O. U. A. M., No. 91, Angelica. In
political matters he was a Republican, and for six
years served as township supervisor, then resigning.



BIOGRAPHICAL



733



With his family he belonged to the Reformed congre-
gation at Yocom's Union Church.

On May 4, 1854, Mr. Schnabel married Catherine
White, daughter of John R. and Elizabeth (Mengel)
White, and to this union were born four children:
James, born Nov. 12, 1855; Clara, May 30, 1858 (m.
Dec. 31, 1887, John S. Sonnon); John W., March 12,
1860 (died March 21, 1860); and a son died in infancy
unnamed.

JAMES SPEARS, an aged citizen of Robesonia,
Berks Co., Pa., was born near Glasgow, Scotland,
Sept. 15, 1833, a son of William and Christie (Kirk-
wood) Spears.

William Spears was born near Glasgow, about 1793,
and died in 1843 surviving his wife by some few years.
He was a weaver by trade. They had seven child-
ren: William, James, Alexander, Christie, Jennie, Mary
and Ellen. With the exception of Alexander all the
children emigrated to America. James came alone,
the five others having preceded him by one year.
They all lived at Moselem, in Berks county. William
was taken prisoner and died in the Civil war. Jennie
married Jacob Warner, of Womelsdorf, and still sur-
vives. Christie' married James McCallen and they
lived at Fritztown, Berks county, where she died.
Mary married Horatio Hillesley and lives at Manay-
unk. Pa. Ellen lives at Philadelphia.

James Spears learned weaving with his father, in
his native land, where he followed the trade for a
short time before coming to America. This was in
1853, during the administration of President Franklin
Pierce. He settled in Berks county and began to
work in the mines at Moselem, where he lived for
four years. In the spring of 1859 he came to Robe-
sonia and began working at the Robesonia Iron Com-
pany's plant, where he continued until his retirement
in 1901, since then he has occupied his pleasant home
on Elm street. During his long connection with the
iron works he was Variously employed in almost
every department, being a good mechanic and a regu-
lar handy man.

Mr. Spears is a veteran of the Civil war. He en-
listed at Reading, in February, 1865, in Company A,
99th Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until the'
close of the war, being honorably discharged after
four months of service.

On Aug. 16, 1863, Mr. Spears was married to Eliza-
beth Yonson, born March 16, 1838, in' Heidelberg
township, Berks county, daughter of Henry and Cath-
erine (Mayer) Yonson. Mr. and Mrs. Spears have
two children, Leah and William. The daughter mar-
ried Joseph Putt and they reside at Robesonia; they
have ohe son, James H. S. The son married Priscilla
Putt, and they have two children, Jennie and James.

GEORGE PUTT, foreman of the ore roasters at
the Robesonia Iron Company's plant, was born near
Robesonia, in Heidelberg township, Berks Co., Pa.,
Aug. 7, 1862, son of Joseph and Catherine (Brigel)
Putt.

Jacob Putt, his grandfather, was a native of Ger-
many, and came to Berks county when he was fifteen
years of age. He worked as a teamster, hauling char-
coal and iron ore for many years, and all of his sons
followed the same business. He lies buried at St.
Daniel's (Corner) Church. His sons were: Joseph,
George, Thomas, Jacob, Henry, Franklin, Levi and
Frederick, His daughters were: Sophia married Adam
Deppen; Susan married (first) Elijah Hassler and
(second) John Leninger; Peggy married a Mr. Heckler;
Sarah died unmarried,

Joseph Putt, father of George, resided in the house in
which the latter was born, in Heidelberg township,
for nearly fifty years. He followed teaming as a busi-
ness. He married Catherine Brigel, daughter of Adam
and Barbara (Weinhold) Brigel, Mr, and Mrs. Putt



have long since passed away and are interred at
Womelsdorf. They had the following children: Frank,
who was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor, while
fighting in defense of his country; Charles, who lives at
Garrett. Ind.; Joseph, who is assistant foreman at the
Robesonia Iron Company; Jacob, a farmer residing near
Garrett, Ind,; William, who is in the employ of the
Robesonia Iron Company; Sarah, who was accidentally
burned to death in childhood; Ellen L, married to
Charles P, Mayer, who is stove tender for the Robeson-
ia Iron Company; and George,

George Putt left school at a very early age in order
to commence work at the furnace, beginning^ to be
self-supporting in 1878, and has continued with the
Robesonia Iron Company, He has proved himself
such a reliable, steady and eificient employe that he
has had substantial recognition of his usefulness at
various times, and in 1887 he was appointed foreman
of the ore roasters, having a gang of twenty-six men
under his charge. In politics he is a RepubHcan, and
although he lives in a strong Democratic district he
was elected school director in the spring of 1903, in
which office he served for three years. He has filled
other positions, having been township committeeman
for two years, and on different occasions has been
chosen a delegate to county conventions. He is a
member of Washington Camp, No, 67, P, O, S, of A.,
of Womelsdorf, and of Lodge No. 119, Knights of



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 210 of 227)