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 216 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 216 of 227)
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curred at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Charles V.
Smith, at Bedford, Pa., May 6, 1901. He was also Presi-
dent of the Society for the Relief of Ministers and their
Widows until he was called from the labors of earth. The
Rev. W. M. Deatrick received from his alma mater the
degree of A. M. in course, and in 1887 had conferred upon
him, in recognition of his signal services in behalf of his
church, by Franklin and Marshall- College, at Lancaster,
Pa., the degree of Doctor "of Divinity.

Dr. Deatrick married Nov. 9, 1853, Miss Harriet Peyton
Sohn, born March 3, 1818, in Martinsburg, W. Va., daugh-
ter of Conrad and Ann Ranson Sohn, of Mercersburg.
Her mother's maiden name was Christian and she came
of a prominent Virginian family, intermarried with the
Ransons, Peytons, and Washingtons of that State. She
died Aug. 3, 1884, and is buried by the side of her hus-
band and parents in the beautiful "Fairview Cemetery,"
on the southern outskirts of Mercersburg, the home of
her youth and last years. This union was blessed with
three children: (1) William Wilberforce Deatrick, A. M.,
Sc. D. (3) Rev. Edward Ranson Deatrick, B. D., born in
1856, graduated from Mercersburg College in 1879, and
from the Reformed Theological Seminary at Lancaster in
1884. In the same year he was sent as home missionary to
Baltimore, where he succeeded in founding a number of
churches, becoming settled pastor of one in Woodberry,
one of the suburbs of that city, and remaining in charge
until May of 1906, when he assumed the pastorate at
Mt. Pleasant, Pa. He married in 1890, Miss Mary A. K.
Everhart, and one child, Anna Marguerite, has blessed
this union. (3) Ann Margaret, born in 1864, graduated



from the female department of Mercersburg College in
1884, and in 1896, she married Charles V. Smith, A. _M.,
then professor in Mercersburg Academy, lately principal
of Kittanning Academy, Kittanning, Pa.; they have two
children, Arthur Deatrick and Harriet Peyton.

William Wilberforce Deatrick was born in Huntingdon,
Pa., Aug. 1, 1853. He and his brother, Edward R., attended .
public school in an old stone school-house near their
father's church in Friends Cove. ' For several terms in
summer he attended an academy known as Allegheny
Seminary at Rainsburg, about four miles from his home,
the daily journey being made, for the most part, on foot.
When only sixteen years of age he began teaching, being
employed to teach a short unexpired term of the home
public school. From 1870 to 1872 he taught regularly in
the public schools of the township, having won in examina-
tion under the county superintendent a certificate averaging
only a slight fraction over one. Latin and Greek were
studied under his father and, in the autumn of 1872, he
entered Mercersburg College as a freshman. Here he
came under the influence of the eminent educator and
theologian, Dr, Elnathan E. . Higbee, to whose inspiration
he attributes, in large measure, the success he has himself
attained as a thinker and teacher. In 1876 he graduated
from the college with the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Continuing his studies, he received from the same insti-
tution, three years later, the degree of Master of Arts.
In the autumn of 1876 he took up the study of theology
in the Theological Department of Mercersburg College.
To secure, in part, the funds necessary to the prosecution
of his studies he engaged, during his vacations, in the sale
of books and during the winters served as tutor in the
preparatory school attached to his alma mater. During
the summer of 1878 he was a member of the faculty of
Juniata Collegiate Institute, a secondary school or acad-
emy, located at Martinsburg, Pa. In the autumn of 1878
he entered the senior class of the Theological Seminary
at Lancaster, from which institution he graduated in ,May,
1879. He was licensed to preach a few days later by the
Mercersburg Classis of the Reformed Church, then in
session at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

No call coming to him at that time to a pastoral charge,
he returned to Martinsburg, where he taught again during
the summer. Late in the same year he was elected prin-
cipal of the public schools of Milton, Pa., closing his work
there at the end of the school year, declining a re-election,
on the night preceding the day of the dreadful fire of
1880 which laid the beautiful town in ashes. By this time
he had received three calls to churches, one being in
Washington, D. C. Of these he accepted the call to the
New Centerville charge in Somerset county. Pa., where
he began his labors as pastor on June 1, 1880, receiving
ordination on the 18th of the same month. In this
field of ministerial activity he labored for three and one-
half years. In December, 1883, he removed to Rimersburg,
Clarion Co., Pa., and in January, 1884, re-opened the
Clarion Collegiate Institute in that town. This institution
of the Reformed Church had been closed for some time.
Under his management as principal the building was put
in excellent repair, a considerable debt paid, and a vigor-
ous school built up. For seven and one-half years he
labored here with indefatigable zeal and was instrumental
in preparing a number of young men for college, of whom
a goodly proportion found their way into the ministry
of the denomination under the auspices of which the insti-
tution was conducted.

In 1891 he was elected to the chair of Psychology and
Pedagogy in the Keystone State Normal School at Kutz-
town. Pa., then under the principalship of Rev. Nathan
C. Schaeffer, Ph. D., the present Superintendent of Public
Instruction of the State of Pennsylvania. Later, owing to
enlargement of the faculty and consequent re-arrangement
of the work, his duties were slightly changed, and he is
now, as for some years he has been, Professor of Psy-
chology and Higher English, the Higher English compris-
ing rhetoric, English literature, and the English classics.
Since his connection with the Normal school he has been
active as an institute instructor, and a worker and lecturer



750



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



at Chautauquas and elsewhere. His engagements at county
institutes have taken him not only to many counties in
his native State, but to the States of New Jersey, Maryland,
Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. For a number of
seasons he was on the teaching force of the Pennsylvania
Chautauqua at Mount Gretna, giving, in addition to class-
room work, each year an illustrated lecture.

Although not serving as a pastor in charge since 1883,
he has been active as a clergyman. During the eighties
he "supplied" churches of his denomination at DuBois,
St. Petersburg, Emienton, and Kittanning. In 1903 he
filled the pulpit of the First Reformed Church in Reading,
during the illness of the pastor, Rev. Dr. H. Mosser, for a
period of eight months, preaching regularly each alternate
Sunday. A part of his duties at the Normal school during
the past eighteen years has been to take turns with other
ministerial members of the faculty, in preaching to the
students in the chapel, about once every three weeks. Fre-
quent summons from churches in Reading and elsewhere
have kept him fairly well occupied in sermonizing. In
addition to these labors, he has been, for eighteen years,
chorister of St. Paul's Reformed Church, Kutztown, in the
Sunday-school of which church he was superintendent for
ten years.

Notwithstanding the multiplicity of his duties in school
and church he has yet found time for some literary work.
He has been a contributor to religious and educational
periodicals. For half a year before he left Rimersburg
he edited and published The Rimersburg Courier, a weekly
local newspaper. For about thirteen years past he has been
on the staff of The Kutztown Patriot, writing weekly
editorials, many of which have attracted the attention of,
and been reprinted by, colleagues of the press. From June,
1902, to September, 1905, he was editor, and manager for
most of the time, of The Pennsylvania C hautauquan, the
quarterly and, during the sessions of the Assembly, the
daily organ of the Mount Gretna Chautauqua. He was one
of the joint authors of a voluminous "History of Clarion
County," published in 1887. He is author of a text-book
on physiological psychology, entitled "The Human Mind
and Its Physical Basis," now undergoing revision for a
second edition. He has under way, in addition to this
revised and enlarged edition of the psychology, two smaller
manuals, one on the study of poetry and the other on
letter writing. In recognition of his ability as an educator,
of the thoroughness of his scientific studies and his scholar-
ship, as well as of the excellence of his book, Franklin
and Marshall College, at its Golden Jubilee in 1903, be-
stowed on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.
He is a member of the Pennsylvania Educational Associa-
tion, having organized the Child-Study Section of that
body and been for several years president of the Child-
Study Section. He has been for eighteen years an "active
member" of the National Educational Association, and
for ten years has maintained membership in the Pennsyl-
vania-German Society. He is also a member of the Berks
County Historical Society. In November, 1907, he was
appointed- a member of the Advisory Council of the
Simplified Spelling Board, this council being composed of
about a hundred of the leading educators of America.

On June 15, 1881, Dr. Deatrick married Miss Emma Jane,
daughter of Levi and Matilda (Hackenberg) Balliet, of
Milton, Pa. Mr. Balliet was a son of John and Elizabeth
(Schreiber) Balliet. This John Balliet was a son of John
Balliet and his wife, Catherine M. Mickley (a daughter
of John Jacob Mickley, who hauled the Liberty Bell from
Philadelphia to AUentown during the American Revolu-
tion), both of Whitehall, Lehigh county. The elder John
Balliet (1761-1837) was the fourth son of Paulus Balliet
who, with his wife Maria Magdalena (Wotring) Balliet,
lies buried in the southeast section of the old walled burial
ground of the Union Church in Whitehall. This Paulus
Balliet was the first of the race of Balliets in Whitehall.
He was a French Huguenot, born in the Province of
Alsace on the Rhine, in 1717. "At the age of about twenty-
one years he was compelled, with many other French
Protestants, to seek refuge in a foreign country, on ac-
count of the terrible persecutions of the Huguenots after



the revocatitjn of the famous Edict of Nantes at the close
of the seventeenth century, by the then reigning King
Louis XIV. He embarked for America on board ship
'Robert Oliver,' of the Palatines, Walter Goodman, com-
mander, Sept. 10, 1738." He located at what is known as
the "Old Balliet Stand," in Whitehall township, Lehigh
county, in 1749', on a tract, of land containing a little over
ninety-seven acres, secured by a deed from Thomas Penn
and Richard Penn. From time to time Paulus added to his
lands, until his estate embraced over 700 acres. According
to tradition, he was known as "Bowl" Balliet, a name
given to him by the Indians to whom he was accustomed,
as landlord at Ballietsville, to furnish refreshments from a
wooden bowl. He became a naturalized American citizen
in the year 1759. His wife, Maria Magdalena Wotring,
according to tradition, "was born A. D. 1727, in the pro-
vince of Lothringen (now Lorraine) in France. She died
in 1802, aged seventy-five years. It is presumed that they
married in this country. Paulus died March 19, 1777, aged
sixty years."

Mrs. Matilda (Hackenberg) Balliet, born Aug. 1, 1825,
at Freeburg, Union (now Snyder) county. Pa., died Sept.
26, 1903, at Kutztown, was a daughter — the fourth child
in a family of eleven children — of Johann Peter Hachen-
berg and his wife Anna Mary (born Haines). She was
fifth in direct descent from Peter Hachenberg, prince of
a township and "dorfe" of about 2,000 inhabitants in Ger-
many, which bears the name of "Hachenberg" to this day,
known from his love of the chase as "the Hunting Prince
of Hachenberg." He was the father of Caspar Frederick
Hachenberg, who, going to England, held a Greek pro-
fessorship in one of the universities, where he wrote one
of the most perfect of Greek grammars, the basis of the
one by Goodrich used generally in American colleges
some years ago. He was also author of a law book,
"Hachenberg's Media," still quoted in American courts. His
youngest son, Johann Peter Hachenberg, came to America
in 1764 and settled at Freeburg, where, being a skilled
linguist, he taught Latin, Greek, French and German. He
also had local fame as a mathematician. As ensign of
"the Flying Camp" of Col. Baxter's regiment he served
through the Revolutionary war, was taken prisoner at
Fort Washington (one account says "at Trenton"), and
was sent by the British to Long Island. He died March 4,
1820. His son, Peter Hachenberg (1773-1847), was a sur-
veyor, justice of the peace, register and recorder of Union
county (1821) and county commissioner (1830). He
spent the latter half of his life in New Berlin but, with
his wife, lies buried at Freeburg, the home of his youth.
His fourth son, the father of Mrs. Balliet, Johann Peter
Hachenberg (1800-1870), was in youth a carpenter and
joiner by trade, following also the occupation of surveyor
and conveyancer. In 1823 he, too, was appointed justice
of the peace, holding office till 1836, when he removed
from Freeburg to McEwensvifle, Montour county, where
later he conducted a general store. In 1834 he was Anti-
masonic delegate to the New Berlin Convention. In 1836
he was appointed supervisor of the West Branch of the
Pennsylvania Canal. Two years later he gave up this office
to devote his time to building and contracting. While thus
engaged, in partnership with John P. Schuyler, he erected
the bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna at
Northumberland. In 1854, having sold his store to Levi
Balliet, he moved to White Pigeon, Mich., where he en-
gaged in merchandizing to the day of his death. Levi
Balliet and Matilda Balliet, parents of Mrs. Deatrick, are
buried in the "lower" cemetery at Milton, Pennsylvania.

To William Wilberforce and Emma (Balliet) Deatrick
have been born five children. Of these the two eldest,
boys, died in early childhood. There are living at the
present writing: Ethel Matilda, born 1886, who graduated,
June, 1909, from the classical department of Dickinson
College, Carlisle, Pa. ; Eugene Peyton, born 1889, a member
of the class of 1911, in the classical department of Franklin
and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa.; and Anna Louise,
born 1896, who is a student in the Keystone State Normal
School. The family lives on "Normal Hill," in a substan-



BIOGRAPHICAL



751



tial and comfortable home, a brick building; owned by Dr.
Deatrick and built by him in 1898.

EMIL HOFFMANN (deceased), of Reading, where
for many years he was employed in a woolen mill,
was of German birth and ancestry, but has spent most
of his adult life in this country. Born in Breslau,
Prussia, March 4, 182-8, he remained in his native
land until he reached manhood.

In 1858 Mr. Hoffmann came to America, landing in
New York. He at once went to Reading, and secured
work at Brumbach's Mill, as boss weaver. Later he
was engaged in woolen manufacturing on Fifth street,
and still later went into the carpet business for him-
self, employing from five to eight people. His work
became so favorably known that Mr, Hoflfmann was
called upon to help install the looms in the Berks
County Prison, and to teach, the prisoners to weave
carpets. His business enterprise proved a successful
one, and he continued to conduct it until his death,
which occured from heart disease Nov. 1, 1886, when
he was aged fifty-eight. He was a member for a num-
ber of years of the I. O. O. F. In his political princi-
ples Mr. Hoffmann was a Democrat and had the wel-
fare of the community at heart. The best man for the
place always received his vote, whether he was a Demo-
crat or a Republican. Mr. Hoffmann was a man of
many good traits of character.

On Aug. 29, 1865, Mr. Hoffmann married Miss Augus-
ta Beck, and a family of ten children was born to them,
four of whom are deceased. The others, all of Read-
ing, are as follows: George K. ; William S.; Charles
D., a baker; Annie M., wife of William C. Dersch;
Emil, m. to Emma Smith, and they live in Reading;
and Augusta, m. to Frederick Niethamer, Reading.
John A., who was a printer, died Sept. 13, 1908, aged
forty years.

Mrs. Augusta Hoffmann was the daughter of John
Beck, a machinist and file cutter from Germany. He
came to this country May 1, 1840, and at first settled
in York, Pa,, where he was employed as a machinist
in the shops of Small & Sillinger. He had learned his
trade in his native land, and was an expert in file cut-
ting. In 1850 he removed to Reading, and secured
employment with the. Philadelphia & Reading Railway
Company, continuing with them until ill health com-
pelled him to give up his oosition. In his later years
he worked as a locksmith and the lock for St. John's
Lutheran Church was made by him. He married An-
na Maria Siegner, and both were members of the Lu-
theran Church. The children born to them were:
Augusta, wife of Mr. Hoffmann; and Anna Maria,
widow of Isadore Messenson, and residing in Read-
ing.

Mrs. Hoffmann resides at No. 238 South Third
street, Reading.

HARVEY K. WEASNER, one of the thrifty young
farmers of Douglass township, Berks county, was born
there Aug. 1, 1869.

The name of this family has been variously spelled,
and the first to bring his family into Douglass town-
ship, Berks county, from the earlier Pennsylvania
home in Chester county was John Weisner, who was
born there Sept. 14, 1774, and died in Douglass town-
ship, on a farm (now the property of Charles Brintzen-
"hoff) which he had purchased but four months before,
Aug. 1, 1825. Be is buried in the old cemetery near
the Reformed Church. He was twice married. His
first wife died in Chester county. To that union there
were six children: Polly m. Samuel Acker, of Cedar
Hollow; Catharine (Walter); Betzy (Beidler); John
lived in Chester county, asdid also Lewis; and Jacob.
John Weisner married (second) a woman from Lower
Berks county, Catharine Kuetz, daughter of Conrad
Kuetz. and to this union were born five children: Israel;
Conrad; William, 1825-1848; Susan (Shanely); and
Mrs. Weaver. At the side of John Weisner is buried
one "Ludwig Weisner, born Feb. -29, 1808, died Oct.



25, 1829, in the 22d year of age" — probably another
son.

Jacob Weasner, son of John, lived in Douglass town-
ship, and there owned the farm of seventy-five acres
now owned by a member of the Schmeck family. He
was born in Chester county in June, 1801, and accom-
panied his father to Berks county. By trade he was
a blacksmith and had a smithy above Worman in Earl
township, where he worked for seven years. Some
time before 1839 he located on his farm, and there
he died in April, 1866, and was buried at Boyertown.
He married Mary Romich, daughter of John Romich.
She. was born in 1801, and died in 1868, and is buried
at Boyertown. They had six children: Sarah, m. to
John Davidheiser; Harriet, m. to John Eagle; Jacob,
unmarried; John R.; Mary, m. to Isaac Eagle; and
Eli, m, to Susan Albright, and a resident of Boyer-
town.

John R. Weasner, son of Jacob and Mary, was born
in Douglass township, Sept. 14, 1839, on the old Weas-
ner homestead. He was a farmer from 1867 until his
retirement, when he was succeeded by his son. He
built the present frame dwelling on his farm in 1880.
Since 1904 he has lived in a nice home at Gilberts-
ville, and besides his farm and residence, he owns
property in Boyertown. He has always been indus-
trious and frugal, and owes his present comfortable
circumstances to his good management. He and his
family are Lutheran memb^ers of the Boyertown
Church. In 1866 he married Lovina Kepner, born in
1839, daughter of William Kepner, of Montgomery
county. They have one son, Harvey K-.

Harvey K. Weasner received the educational advan-
tages of the common schools and from his boyhood
assisted on the home farm. In the spring of 1896
he began on his father's farm, where he has since
continued. He has an excellent outfit of farm imple-
ments and up-to-date machinery — all that he could pos-
sibly use in the cultivation of his ninety-five acre tract.
His farm is located in the center part of the township, in
the Mauger school district. Everything about the
place indicates the care and thrift of the owner. Mr.
Weasner has taken a keen interest in public affairs '
as a Democrat, and for three years was supervisor
of Douglass township. He has been greatlv interested
in the development and progress of the public schools.
He and his family are members of the Lutheran con-
gregation of the Boyertown church.

In 1895 Mr. Weasner married Mary Weller, daughter
of William and Hettie (Fraunheiser) Weller, and they
have one son, Lawrence W.

JOHN W. RAPP. who is engaged in the building
and contracting business, resides at No., 170 West Oley
street, Reading, Pa. He was born April 5, 1870, at
West Leesport, Pa., son of Alonzo and Susan (Drayer)
Rapp, and srrandson of John Rapp.

John Rapp, grandfather of John W., was an early
settler and shoemaker, living in the vicinit" of Lees-
port. He had four children: Washington, Thomas,
Elmira (m. the late Dr. Snyder, of Leesport, and is
deceased) and Alonzo.

Alonzo Rapp, son of John, .was a railroader, and
lived in Reading. He was born about 1849. and died
in March, 1877, and is buried at Hinnershitz Church.
He married Susan Drayer, and they had two sons and
two daughters: Harry G., of Reading; John W,; and
Minnie and Mary, who both died in infancy.

John W. Rapp secured his education in the schools
of Reading, whither his parents had moved when he
was a boy. At the age of fifteen years he learned the
paper hanging and painting trade, and after following
that occupation for some time engaged in the grocery
and meat business at No, 704 North Sixth street,
which business he followed there and at other places
in Reading for six years. In 1905 Mr, Rapp engaged
in the building business, and in this he has continued



753



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



to the present time, erecting three modern stone
residences on Weiser street.

Mr. Rapp was married to Miss Jennie Shadle, daugh-
ter of John and Mary Ann (Houpt) Snadle. Mr. and
Mrs. Rapp have two children: Lloyd E. S., at school;
and Marguerite S. Mrs. ' Rapo is a member of the
Windsor Street M. E. Church. Mr. Rapp is connected
with the P. O. S. of A., and the Sons of Veterans,
his father having been a soldier in the Civil war.

JUDGE GEORGE W. BRUCKMAN (deceased), one
of the last two associate judges of Berks county, which
office was abolished during his term of service, in 1873,
was one of the most prominent citizens of Reading in
his day. He was born there, son of Carl A. Bruckraan,
who emigrated from Amsterdam, Holland, and located
in the city in early life, here learning the printer's trade.
For ten years (1816-1826) he published a German news-
paper known as the Readinger Postbote. In 1800 he be-
came a partner of Gottlob Youngman in the' publication
of the Weekly Advertiser.

George W. Bruckman resided in ' Reading throughout
his life. After receiving his education in the public schools
he served an apprenticeship to the plasterer's trade, and
followed that business for ten years, ' until he became
clerk to the county commissioner. He served in that
position for the following ten years, acted as deputy pro-
thonotary for three years (1851-1854) under Dr. Charles
H. Hunter, and served as city treasurer during the years
3857-1858. Later he acted as teller in the Bushong Bank
for a time, in 1867 re-entering official life as jury com-
missioner of Berks county, and continuing as such until
1870. He was one of the first to serve in that office in
the county. In 1871 he was elected associate judge of
Berks county for the full term of five years, but during
1873 this office was done away with. From 1880 until 1883
the Judge was a member of the select council from the
Eighth ward, and this office he filled with the highest
credit. At the time of the failure of the well-known
Bushong Bank he was appointed assignee and that all
who knew him had equal confidence in his high sense
of honor and executive ability is demonstrated by the fact
that he was chosen to settle many estates. In the dis-
charge of such duties he became well known all over
Berks county, of which he was one of the most respected



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 216 of 227)