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 211 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 211 of 227)
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Pythias, of Robesonia.

In 1886 Mr. Putt was married to Fianna Achenbach,
born April 6, 1864, a daughter of Levi and Mary (Putt)
Achenbach, the former of whom is a stone-mason in
Mill Creek township. Mr, and Mrs, Putt- have three
children. Jennie. M.; Maggie M,, who married Howard
Flickinger, a clerk at Robesonia; and Irwin. Mr. Putt
and his family reside in their own home on Main street,
Robesonia, which he bought in 1900. With his family
he belongs to St. Paul's Reformed Church, in which
he is a deacon. He was a liberal contributor to the
erection of this handsome church edifice in 1903.

Joseph Putt, foreman of the laborers at the Rob-
esonia Iron Company's plant at Robesonia, was born
Oct. 25, 1852, in his father's house in Heidelberg town-
ship. He is a son of Joseph Putt. He obtained his
education at the Furnace school-house in his native
township, but was only ten years old when he began
work at the Robesonia Furnace, and he has been work-
ing regularly in the same employ ever since, being one
of the company's oldest and most reliable employes. He
has charge of the labor force of fifty men, a position
he has filled since 1904. He is a Republican in politics,
and on different occasions has been a delegate to
county conventions.

On Aug. 13, 1887, he was married to Leah Spears,
a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Yonson) Spears,
and they have one son, James H. S., who is a young
man of fine educational attainments. He was educated
in the township schools, graduated from the Robesonia
high school, later attended two spring sessions at the
West Chester Normal School and still later graduated
from the Inter-State Commercial College, Reading.
Mr, Putt resides in his own home on Elm street, Rob-
esonia, which he purchased in the spring of 1902, Fra-
ternally he belongs to Washington Camp, No, 37, P. O.
S, of A,, of Robesonia, of which he has been a trustee
since 1899; and to the Knights of Pythias Lodge No.
119, of which he is past chancellor commander. He is
a Reformed member of Zion's Church of Womelsdorf.
Mrs. Putt was reared in the Presbyterian faith, her
parents belonging to the First Presbyterian Church.
She is connected with St. Daniel's (Corner) Church.

GEORGE K. HOLLENBACH. Among the success-
fiil business men of Reading, Pa., may be mentioned
George K. Hollenbach, who is engaged in painting and
paper-'hanging, and m the sale of wall paper, paints and
picture and room mouldings at No. 325 Elm street



734



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Mr. Hollenbach was born Oct. 6, 1855, at Centreport,
Berks Co., Pa., son of John G. and Esther (Kline)
Hollenbach.

George Hollenbach, grandfather of George K., was
a descendant, possibly a son, of Johan George Hollen-
bach, who was one of the ancestors of this German
Palatinate family in America. He emigrated to this
country in the ship "Neptune," which arrived at Phila-
delphia Sept. 24, 1754, on the same ship being one
Michael Hollenbach, who, says tradition, was h'is broth-
er and had settled in Albany township, Berks county,
prior to 1759, in which 'year he was a taxable of that
district. Johan George Hollenbach had a son, Hein-
rich, who lived and died in Windsor (now Perry) town-
ship, and who married Elizabeth Meyer, by whom he
had these children: Daniel (1781-1866); John; Hein-
rich (1791-1874); Elizabeth (1798-1883); Jacob (1807-
1871), married Rebecca Kistler, and had children, Hen-
ry, Johannes, Nicholas, Caroline, Rebecca, Lydia,
Amelia, Mesitta and Jacob (ex-poor director of Berks
county) ; Maria; Eva (1811-1871), and Catherine married
Samuel Ruth.

George Hollenbach, the grandfather, was a resident
of Mahantango township, Schuylkill county, where in
1802 he was assessed as the owner of property. The
name of his wife is not known, but it is known that
he had four children, one of his sons being John G.
Hollenbach, the latter of whom was an uncle of Frank
Hollenbach, of Mantz, Schuylkill county, who died in
February, 1907, aged about sixty years. Frank Hollen-
bach married Catherine Kressley, who died in Septem-
ber, 1907, aged fifty-six years, and they had seven chil-
dren, as follows: William, Barney, Ida, Tillie, Katie,
Mame and Minnie.

John G. Hollenbach, father of George K., was born
Sept. 8, 1827, in Schuylkill county, and when three
years of age was brought to Berks county by his par-
ents. He was a carpenter by trade, an occupation
which he followed for many years. In later life he
resided at West Reading with his son-in-law, Charles
Feather, and there he died Jan. 23', 1909, aged eighty-
one years. He was a member of Kissinger's Lutheran
Church, where he and his wife are buried. Mr. Hol-
lenbach married Esther Kline, born in 1830, who died
aged fifty-three years, and to them were born four
children, as follows: Franklin died in infancy; Men-
ton died in 1901, aged forty-seven years ; George K. ;
and Catherine married Charles Feather, of West Read-
ing.

George K. Hollenbach was reared to agricultural
pursuits, and worked with his parents until eighteen
years of age, when he learned the painter's trade from
F. R. Kirst, at Bernville, now at Reading, for whom
he worked for two years, the next twelve years bein^r
spent in the employ of John G. Rhein, of Reading,
In 1888, Mr, Hollenbach formed a partnership with
his employer, a connection that continued successfully
for four years, and in 1892 he engaged in business on
his own account. He carries a full and up-to-date
line of everything pertaining to the painting and wall
papering trades, and employs from ten to fifteen men,

Mr, Hollenbach is a Republican in politics, and takes
a great deal of interest in public affairs. He and his
family were members of St. Thomas Lutheran Evan-
gelical Church, at Bernville, Pa., at which place the
family resided for twenty-seven years. Mr. Hollenbach
was a deacon in this church. He and his family are
now members of St, Matthew's Lutheran Church of
Reading, Mr. Hollenbach belongs to Bernville Camp.
No, 113, P. O, S. of A.; the I, O, O, F., No. 122, of
Bernville; Esther Rebekah Lodge, No. 4, of Reading;
and the Royal and Ridgely Protective Association.

On Feb. 26, 1876, Mr. Hollenbach was married at
Bernville, to Isabella H. Faust, daughter of Jared and
Leah (Stoudt) Faust, and granddaughter of John and
Sarah (Klopp) Faust, of Western Berks county. Eight
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hollenbach,
namely: Mary L. m. Thomas C, Naftzinger, of Bethel
township; Laura A. died in childhood; Sallie m.



Maurice Greenawalt, of Bernville, deceased; John died
at th^ age of eight years; William H.; Charles C; Em-
ma L., and Lizzie M.

FREDERICK ROW, residing at No, 168 Clymer
street, Reading, belongs to a family that has been
settled in Berks county for a century. His grandfather
came to Reading from Germany, and the two succeed-
ing generations have continued to make their home in
that city where the founder of he family settled and
died,

John Row, father of Frederick, was a native of Read- '
ing, born June 4, 1819, He became a shoemaker and
followed that trade during the winter months, while in
the summer he made bricks, working up to the last
twelve years of his life. The house in which his son for-
merly lived is constructed of bricks made by the father,
and was built in 1869, During the Civil war John Row
served from Oct. 23, 1862 to Aug, 12, 1863, in Company
B. 167th Pa. V. I., under Capt. Melcher, but during his
term of service was only in one large engagement, that
at Stillwater, Va., where the colonel of his regiment
was killed, Mr. Row married Miss Sarah Maurer, who
outlived her husband many years, passing away June
5, 1903, while he died in April, 1887, Their children
were as follows: Susan, Mrs. Alexander Printz; William
H,, in the grocery business, and married to Miss Sally
Bradagan; John D., a plumber; Elizabeth, Mrs. N. L,
Ehrgood; Frederick; Mary, widow of T. R. Darlington;
and Sallie, wife of Jacob Rhoad. All are residents of
Reading.

Frederick Row was born in Reading, Oct. 4, 1862. He
attended the public schools of the city, and was graduat-
ed from the high school with the class of 1882. He
learned the trade of a machinist, and worked at that for
over four years, but at the end of that time he turned his
attention to electricity, and has been engaged in that
ever since. He spent a year and a half with W. G. Sands,
and then in 1889, went into business as an electrician
on his own account, having his shop in his residence.
He is a skilled workman and has built up a large pat-
ronage, having up to the present wired 1,000 houses
for the West Reading Building and Loan Association,
alone, besides doing all the work for the well-known
contractor, J. R, Bechtel, He is thoroughly established
in his line of work, and is one of the prosperous bus-
iness men of Reading,

On June 14, 1904, Mr. Row married Miss Sallie M.
Landis, daughter of Joel and Catherine (Willman) Lan-
dis, of Reading, Mr, Row has by no means confined his
attention to business alone, but is a prominent figure in
local politics and in fraternal circles, A strong Re-
publican, he is now serving as judge of elections for
the Sixteenth ward. First precinct, and had been the
regular assessor of the Third precinct, Third ward, for
eight years. Since 1898 he has been a member of the
Board of Trade. A lifelong member and director of
the Alumni Association, he is now president of its
board of directors, and also served one year as president
and two years as treasurer. As a Mason Mr. Row has
attained the 32d degree, and is a member of Reading
Lodge, No. 549; Reading Chapter; DeMolay Com-
mandery, and Rajah Temple, and is engineer and arch-
itect of the Lodge of Perfection, and has taken an active
part in the Sons of Veterans, in which for six years he
was assistant to the State adjutant, for one year assist-
ant State treasurer, and one year State treasurer. A
man of active mind and broad interests, Mr. Row has
been a great traveler and has not only made himself
familiar with the greater part of his own country but
has also seen much of Europe,

ROBERT W. SPANG, a veteran of the Civil war,
who was one of the first to respond to his country's
call in 1861, is a native of Reading, born Sept. 15, 1845,
son of Daniel and Mary (Young) Spang,



BIOGRAPHICAL



735



Daniel Spang was a son of George, who resided in
Amity township, Berks county. There were five chil-
dren, George, William, John, Daniel and Catheriiie.
Daniel in his earlier years was a manufacturer of mill
stones in Reading, later ran a chair factory, and finally
engaged in the china and toy business, being located
at No. 627 Penn street. He was very successful finan-
cially, and was a prominent man in Reading. He
married Mary, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Young.
Her father was a pioneer of > Reading, and was well
known there, a cabinet maker by trade. His father
bought property at No. 627-629 Penn street, where most
of the family reside, from the Penns, and the old house
is one of the landmarks of the city. Daniel Spang died
when only forty-eight years of age, but his wife lived
to be seventy-eight. Their children were as follows:
Elizabeth, widow of H. D. Van Horn, a wholesale shoe
dealer in Philadelphia, who now makes her home in
the old family place on Penn street; Mary, deceased;
H. W., engaged in the electrical business in New York
City; Robert W.; Emma, Mrs. Holtman; Daniel, Jr.,
who died March 18, 1907; Sallie, also at the old home;
and Isaac, formerly cashier of the Reading National
Bank, who married Miss Emma Hendel. Daniel Spang
was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, a Republi-
can in politics, and a man highly esteemed by all who
knew him.

Robert W. Spang was sent to the public schools,
but he was of an active, adventurous temperament, and
when only fourteen years of age ran away from home
and enlisted in Company B, 93d Pa. V. I., being mus-
tered in at Camp Coleman, Lebanon county. When
the war broke out in 1861, he was one of the first to
enlist, and saw much active service as a private in the
Army of the Potomac, participating in the battles of
Yorktown, the Wilderness, Antietam and Spottsylvania.
In time he was given 'a furlough and returned to his
home once more. His mother refused to let him rejoin
the army, as he was still so young, and he never re-
ceived a formal discharge until during Grover Cleve-
land's administration.

On settling down again in Reading' Mr. Spang went
into the Philadelphia and Reading shops, and learned
the trade of a machinist, remaining in the employ of
that road for eighteen years. The next eighteen were
spent in the electrical business, in company with his
brother, and during seven of those years he was in
New York City. The last seven years he has been
employed by the Carpenter Steel Company, at Reading.

Mr. Spang married Miss Cordelia Filbert, whose
great-uncle was the first mayor of Reading. They have
one son, Charles R., a plumber by occupation. Mr.
Spang is a Lutheran in his religious faith, but his wife
and son are of the Reformed faith. He is a man well
known in Reading and has many friends. One of his
greatest pleasures is to recall from his present pleas-
ant vantage ground, stories of the many hardships
which he endured in the days of the war.

EDWARD SCHULZE, present proprietor of the
Elias Schulze & Son, the firm name under which the
immense business of the Liberty Dye Works is carried
on, at the corner of Mifflin and Chestnut streets, Read-
ing, is the junior member of the firm. The business
was established by his late father, at Philadelphia, in
1891, where it was conducted until 1897 when the plant
was removed to Reading and located at No. 133 Pearl
street. Two years later the firm purchased the old
Henry Keeper tanning property, on which they built
an up-to-date plant. The senior member of the firm
died in October, 1903, since when Edward has con-
ducted the business, retaining the old style.

Elias Schulze was born in Saxony, Germany, and
came to America iii 1881. His business had been
learned and pursued in his native land, and he was an
expert in his line.

Edward Schulze, the present proprietor, was fifteen
years of age when he came to America and has been
familiar with the dye business since boyhood. For



four years he was employed in a silk dye house in
Philadelphia, and has had many years of valuable ex-
perience. He does work for the leading firms of Read-
ing and vicinity and also for several large Philadelphia
firms. He employs from thirty-five to forty hands
during the season, and his daily output is from six to"
seven thousand pounds of dyed goods. The plant is
152 X }00 feet in dimensions, and is equipped with the
most modern machinery known in the business. It is
run by steam, and the dye works proper is a one-story
building 40 x 152 feet, while the printing' department is
a two-story and basement, 33 x 153.

Mr. Schulze is very prominent in Masonry, a mem-
ber of Teutonia Lodge, No. 367, F. & A. M.; Reading
Chapter, No. 153, R. A. M.; DeM'olay Commandery, K.
T.; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.

CORNELIUS T. ANDERSON, who was for many
years a prominent manufacturer of jewelry in Reading,
Pa., was born in 1851, in that city, and died June 38,
1901, in Redlands, Cal., son of David B. and Susan T.
(Long) Anderson.

David B. Anderson was born in Chester county, and
came to Berks county when a boy, receiving his educa-
tion in the schools of the latter county. He learned the
shoemaker's trade, which he followed for some time,
later engaging in the retail shoe business. This he
carried on until his death, at the age of forty-four years.
His wife, Susan T. Long, was a native of Lancaster
county. Pa., and was the mother of two children:
Cornelius T.; and Sylvanus, who was in the employ
of the L. D. Anderson Jewelry Company.

Cornelius T. Anderson was educated in the schools
of Reading, Pa., and after completing his literary train-
ing was employed as a clerk in a shoe store for a few
years. He was then employed by his uncle, Fred
Anderson, in the retail and wholesale shoe business as
a traveling salesman, but later engaged in the manu-
facture of jewelry in Reading, becoming quite pros-
perous. Mr. Anderson then disposed of his business
interests in Reading and removed to Redlands, Cal.,
where he had been living about five years at the time
of his death. He was a man who made friends where-
ever he traveled, and had a wide acquaintance in the
business world, where he was highly esteemed for his
honesty and integrity. He was a member of the I. O.
O. F., and the Royal Arcanum, and for seventeen years
was recordine secretary of the Y. M. C. A. In politics
he was independent. He was connected with St. Mat-
thew's Lutheran Church, and was active in the work
of that denomination.

Mr. Anderson married, in 1876, Miss Margaret B.
Wunder, daughter of Louis and Susan (Setley) Wunder,
and three children were born to this union: Louis,
engaged in the manufacture of jewelry in Reading; Ella;
and Robert, at school.

HENRY D. CHRIST, farmer, of Penn township,
was born there Dec. 31, 1845, son of John and Elizabeth
(Dundore) Christ, also natives of Penn township.
. John Christ was born on the old Christ homestead,
where he himself later engaged in farming, and where
he died in 1887, aged seventy-eight years; his wife died
in 1884, when seventy-three years old. They had nine
children, namely: Jonathan, Harrison, Aaron, Henry
D., James D., Levi, Louisa, Catherine and Sarah. Mr.
and Mrs. Christ were members of the German Reform-
ed Church. In politics he was a Democrat.

Henry D. Christ attended pay school in his youth,
and from the time he was able to do any work has been
familiar with farming, which occupation he has always
followed. He remained at home with his father until
eighteen years old, when he went out West, living at
Naperville, 111., thirty miles west of Chicago, where he
was employed at farm work for two years. Returning
home, he was with his father for another year, and
afterhis marriage he engaged in farming on the Peter
Phillips place in Centre township, Berks county, where
he resided for two years. He has since lived on the



736



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



old homestead in Penn township, which he farmed for
eight years before his father's death, buying the place
in 1888. It contains 106 acres of good land, which he
has been improving steadily ever since he took the
management. The dwelling on this property is one of
the landmarks of the vicinity, and is a fine stone house
built over a hundred years ago. The farm has been in
the possession of the family ever since it was owned
by Johannes Christ, the great-grandfather of Henry
D. Christ. It, is located one mile east of the borough
of Bernville, and the land is fertile and valuable, with
an unusually good water supply.

lii 1871, Mr. Christ marri,ed Mary A. Phillips, daugh-
ter of Henry Phillips, of Mohrsville, Pa., and they have
two children, Helen and Rosa Jane, both of whom are
with their parents.

Mr. Christ has long been active in the educational
affairs of the township, having served as school direc-
tor for fifteen years and for ten years as treasurer of
the school board. He is a Democrat in politics, and
has done local work for the party, having been a mem-
ber of the township election board. He is a member
of St. Thomas' Reformed Church and has served as
deacon and elder; when younger he was a regular at-
tendant of the Sunday-school.

CHARLES BRENEISER, Sr., manufacturer of cigars
and tobacco at Reading for sixty years, was born at
Reading March 34, 1828. He attended one of the first pub-
lic schools opened at Reading in 1834, but he was not per-
mitted to obtain more than a limited common education,
because he was obliged to turn his attention, while still
a boy, toward assisting in the support of the family. He
first engaged as a helper in laying bricks and then grad-
ually learned the trade, but after some years in this
laborious employment he changed to cigar-making, and
after serving a regular apprenticeship followed the trade
until he was twenty years of age, when he engaged^ in-
the business of cigar-making for himself. This was in
1847, and he continued at the business with increasing
success in the vicinity of Seventh and Penn streets until
his death, a period covering more than sixty years.
At first he was in partnership with William Harman for
several years. He engaged in the manufacture of cigars
exclusively until 1861, and then became a manufacturer
and dealer in smoking and chewing tobacco, both whole-
sale and retail; and he ever afterward carried on the
two together. As his sons grew to manhood they were
led to learn and follow the same business, each being ad-
mitted to partnership with him. In this way he had
four sons associated in the firm (Thomas, Charles, Jr.,
Edgar and Milton), and trading under the name of Charles
Breneiser & Sons. The two sons last named retired from
the firm in 1898 to engage in the cigar and tobacco busi-
ness, wholesale and retail, for themselves, and since then
they have traded under the name of Breneiser Brothers,
locating on the northeast corner of Eighth and Penn
streets in April, 1907. The father's firm manufactures
many superior and popular brands of cigars which have
a large sale throughout the country. This firm has fitted
up the most costly and attractive cigar stand in Reading.

Mr. Breneiser, in connection with his increasing busi-
ness and property interests, assisted in organizing the
Union Bank in 1857, and the Reading Trust Company in
1886, and he served as a director of these two prom-
inent institutions until his death. He represented
the Southeast ward of Reading in the common branch of
the city councils in 1863 and 1863 ; and the Eighth ward in
the select branch from 1869 to 1873. He also assisted
in organizing the Oley Turnpike Company in 1863, and
the Maxatawny Mutual Fire & Storm Insurance Com-
pany in 1893, serving as a director and also officiating as
the president of each for many years.

As a humanitarian Mr. Breneiser was prominently
before the community for many years. Soon after the
local board of public charities was established in 1874
he was selected by the State authorities as one of the
three commissioners, and he filled the appointment until



he died. His duties required him to visit the public in-
stitutions of the county and to make report of their man-
agement and condition to the State. He was one of tl^e
first subscribers of the stock in the establishment of the
Reading Library Company in 1868, and he always con-
tinued to sh-ow a practical interest in the library.
In 1897 he was one of a party of liberal citizens who
raised a fund to extinguish the debt on the library
building and make the institution free to the public. He
was actively identified with the Reading Benevolent So-
ciety from 1870, and with the Reading Relief Society
and the Reading Hospital from their inception. He
was one of the few public-spirited individuals of the
Third and Eighth wards who took the first steps toward
converting the open commons at the head of Penn street,
arid along Perkiomen avenue to Hill road, from an of-
fensive depository for all kinds of objectionable materials
to an attractive park, by contributing annually toward the
expenses for a number of years before 1887, when it came
to be recognized as a park and a part of the park sys-
tem of Reading. He was selected one of the board of
trustees of the Charles Evans Cemetery Company in 1893,
and served in that capacity until his death.

In 1848 Mr. Breneiser married Mary Ann Neihart, daugh-
ter of Jacob and Catherine (Goodman) Neihart, of Read-
ing, and by her had twelve children : Emma m. George W.
Dauth; Adaline m. Chester Grim; Thomas m. Mary
F. Grotevant; Charles m. Fannie K. Spang; Edgar m.
Sarah Lenhart; Robert Milton m. Eva Umble; Harry
died in 1904, aged thirty-seven years ; five others died
in infancy. The mother died in 1897. Mr. Breneiser died
June 30, 1909.

Emanuel Breneiser, the father of Charles Breneiser, Sr.,
was born in 1784, in Lancaster, Pa., and there learned the
trade of saddler. Locating at Reading about the time he
became of age, he carried on this business for about fifty
years, and then lived in retirement until his death, in
1865r on. the- -day_-iee._surrfitidexed_to. Grant in the Civil
war. He m. Christina Swartz, daughter of George Swartz,
of Oley, who removed to Reading when a young man, and
became the proprietor of a hotel on the northwest corner



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 211 of 227)