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

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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 217 of 227)
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citizens. His friends were numerous, and he was a
prominent figure on the streets of Reading for many
years. His death, which was widely mourned, occurred
May 19, 1897, at his residence. No. 925 Penn street, and
was caused by paralysis, from which he had been a suf-
ferer for several years. He came from old Lutheran

Judge Bruckman married May 22, 1896, Miss Caroline
H. Heilman, daughter of John B. Heilman, and she sur-
vives him, residing at the Penn street home.

John B. Heilman, father of Mrs. Bruckman, died in
Reading, May 10, 1903, at the age of eighty-five years.
He was a native of Germany, where he followed the
calling of a shepherd. He remained in that country for
a long time after his marriage, coming to America in
1852. As he was unacquainted here and had no plans
for settling, he went from New York to Reading with
a Mr. Haak, whom he had met on the boat. Soon after
his arrival he found employment in the Philadelphia &
Reading shops. He remained with the company for the
unusually long period of forty years, a fact which speaks
well for the record he made. Before his death he made
a visit to his native land.

Mr. Heilman married C. Frederika Sturgzboch, who
died Feb. 16, 1888, and they are buried in the Charles
Evans cemetery. They had children as follows: William
F., a retired cigar manufacturer, who resides with his
sister, Mrs. Bruckman; Charles F., a resident of Reading;
Mark G., who is engaged in the cigar business in Potts-
town; John B., Jr., late of Hot Springs, Ark., who died
Aug. 3, 1908, leaving two sons, William J. and Harvey
M. ; George ; and Caroline H., who married Judge

GEORGE M. ZELLER, the popular proprietor of
the well-known "American House," at Stouchsburg,
Marion township, is a representative of one of Berks
county's oldest and most honored families. Mr. Zeller.
was born Sept. 30, 1863, in Marion township, son of
Reily W. and Rebecca (Troutman) Zeller.

Between 1733 and 1751 there landed (qualified) at
Philadelphia three emigrants of the name of Zoller, and
between 1740 and 1767 a number of Zellers and Zollers
are there recorded. But the Tulpehocken Zellers have
for fheir ancestor John Henry Zeller (sometimes
Zoell^r), who came from Schoharie, N. Y., as the fol-
lowing account from the Rev. Mr. Stapleton's "Memo-
rials |Of the Huguenots in America" shows:

"Among the Huguenot exiles were several -branches
of thp ancient Sellaire or Cellier family of France. The
name; is met with among the refugees to England and
America prior to the Revocation (1685), and even, in far-
away Cape Colony, where a descendant. General Cellier,
became famous as a Boer leader in the Transvaal war.
One branch retired to the Palatinate about the period
of the Revocation. Of this family was Jean Henri Sel-
laire, who, with his family, followed the great exodus
of Palatinates to London in 1708. In 1709 he came to
New York with the Palatinates, where his name and
that of his son John as 'Zeller' appears among the
settlers of Livingston Manor in 1710. About 1727 he
came overland through the trackless wilderness to Tul-
pehocken, locating near the present town of Sheridan,
wher,e he established a considerable estate and where
he died at a very advanced age in 1756. His house,
a massive stone edifice, erected with a view to protect
the family and neighbors in case of an attack from the
Indians, is still standing." This house, now an his-
torical relic of the section, and known as "Zeller's
Indian Fort," was erected in 1745, on the banks of the
mill I creek, and, as stated, was used for a fort. But
the author of the paragraph quoted was not quite ac-
curate when he called it a "massive stone edifice." The
walls are massive enough, but the building could hardly
be called an edifice. He also erected the first meeting-
place of these early Schoharie settlers for worship, de-
fense and mutual conference. He died in January, i756,
and his will, made Aug. 3, 1754, was probated Jan. 20,
1756. This will shows a wife, Anna Maria, and children:
John George (who obtained the homestead), John
Henry, John David, Hartman (The Rev. Mr. Siapleton
give^ this name as Martin), John, Anna Maria Sa'tz-
geber, Barbara (or Barbaralis) Lerew, Catharine Pon-
tius and Anna Elizabeth Battorf. The executors are
shown as his son John and son-in-law Leonard An-
spach, — accordingly there must have been another

It appears that some of the descendants of John
Henry Zeller removed to Heidelberg in Lancaster (now
Lebanon) county, where the proprietary and State tax
lists I of Lancaster county for 1779 show David Zeller
(110 acres), Henry Zeller (100 acres), Peter Zeller (100
acres) and Michael Zeller (40 acres). The first three
of these are also shown for 1771. In case of the old
townships it must not be forgotten that where men-
tioned by the Rev. Mr. Stoever and other early preach-
ers they did not always have definite boundaries. Heid-
elberg, for instance, extended rather indefinitely west-
ward and perhaps through what is now Lebanon county. -
Tulfiehocken and Heidelberg seem also to have over-
lapped in some places.

The following memoranda undoubtedly refer to some
of the children of John Henry Zeller, the emigrant:

John G. Zoeller and Hartman Zoeller are shown by
Rupp as members between 1735 and 1755, of the Tulpe-
hocl<jen Reformed Church, formerly known locally as
Leinbach's Church, situated in the pike between
Stouchsburg and Myerstown. Hans Heinrich Zeller
and Johannes Zeller are mentioned by Rupp as among
those, above twenty-one years of age, who passed the
winter of 1710 and the summer of 1711 in Livingston

'.VB^f. , _ Ci




Manor, N. Y., and who appear to have settled in Scho-
harie, N. Y., and from that place to have removed to
Tulpehocken in 1723 or later.

From thf Rev. John Casper Stoever's record of Bap-
tisms and Marriages is obtained the following informa-

Marriages: Jan. 14, 1743, John Pontius and Anna Cath-
arine Zoeller, of Tulpehocken; Dec. 28, 1743, John Zoel-
ler and Maria Becker, of Tulpehocken; Oct. 5, 1772,
Michael Zoeller and Cathrine Dillman, of Heidelberg.

With regard to the descendants of 'John Pontius and
wife Anna Catharine Zoeller, Rev. Mr. Stapleton in his
"Memorials of the Huguenots" has the following ac-
count: "In 1738 John Pontius arrived and located in
Tulpehocken. He was born in Alsace (France), in 1718.
In 1743 he married Anna Catharine, a daughter of John
Zeller (should be John Henry Zeller as he correctly
states in an article iil Notes and Queries by Dr. William
H. Egle, Annual Volume, 1898). He had a considerable
family and his sons were great pioneers. They were
John Henry, born in 1744; John Peter, born in 1747;
John, born in 1751; Andrew; Nicholas; George; and
Frederick. Several were among the first settlers "in
Buffalo Valley in (now) Union county, and many of
the next generation were of the first in Ohio and

Baptismal Records: John Henry Zeller, Jr., tailor, of
Tulpehocken — ^John Henry, born March 5, 1745; spon-
sors, John Henry Zeller. Sr. and wife on March 26,
1745; John Zoeller, Jr.. of Tulpehocken, Frantz Paul,
born April 8, 1751.

There are shown as having acted as sponsors: In
1730, Henry Zeller and wife in family of Michael
Schauer (now Shower), of Heidelberg; in 1744, John
Henry Zoeller and wife in family of John Pontius, of
Swatara; in 1745, John Henry Zeller, Sr. and wife in
family of John Henry Zeller, Jr., of Tulpehocken; in
1746, John Nicholas Zeller and wife in family of John
Peter Wissenandt, of "Moden Creek" (supposed to be
Muddy Creek in Lancaster county).

From the Proprietary and State Tax lists of Berks
county for the years 1767, 1768, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1784
and 1785 is obtained Zeller information as follows:
As of Tulpehocken— Hans Zoller for 1767 and 1768, with
100 acres; John Zeller for 1779 and 1780, no land;
George Zeller (also Zoller) for all years, with 100 to
375 acres; Peter Zoller (single) for 1768; Andrew Zeller
for 1779 and subsequent years, with 133 to 140 acres;
Francis (or France) Zeller for 1779 and subsequent
years with 167 acres; Peter Zeller (Albert's estate of
150 acres) for 1784. In 1784 the number of persons
for George Zeller is given as nine, for Francis, ten and
for Andrew, six. None are shown for Peter. As of
Reading, Nich's Zeller, laborer, for 1779. As of Cumru,
Nich's Zeller for 1780 and 1781.

Johannes Zeller, of Tulpehocken township, evidently
son of John Henry, the emigrant settler, rrlade his will
May 13, 1795, and it was probated Dec. 23, 1805, the wit-
nesses being Christian Lower and Johan Dieflfenbach,
and the executors Francis (Frantz) Paul Zeller and Val-
entine Sailes. Johannes Zeller's children were: Francis,
mentioned below; Peter; Elizabeth, who married John
Beitenour; Catharine, who married Philip Zehring;
Margaret, who married Valentine Seller; and Mary,
Mrs. Lefever, who had four children, John, Henry,
George and Catherine. Johannes Zeller, the father of
this family, built the house now on the ^yeaver farm
in Marion township, which is in a substantial condition'
and likely to last many years. On the east gable the
following inscription appears: "Wan Ich einmahl starb-
en Musta," and another inscription reads: "Hannes Zel-
ler, Kattarina Zellerin, 1773."

At Mifflinburg, Union Co., Pa., in the old part of the
cemetery just south of the town, lie buried Peter Zel-
lers, born in 1745, in Tulpehocken township, Berks
county who died in 1817; and Catharine Zellers. (wife
of Peter), born in 1742, who died in 1808, daughter of

Jacob Wilhelm. (This Peter Zellers was probably the
son of John Zeller.)

Frantz Paul (Francis) Zeller, son of Johannes, and
great-great-grandfather of George M., was born April
8, 1751, and died Oct. 5, 1821, aged seventy years, five
months, twenty-seven days, and his wife, Elizabeth,
who was born Dec. 16, 1762, died April 33, 1819 aged
fifty-six years, four months, six days. Both were buried
in the old graveyard at the Reformed Church in Tulpe-
hocken, across the line of Berks in Lebanon county.
Frantz Paul Zeller was a sergeant on the roll of John
Lesher's company during the Revolutionary war, and
in the same company was one Andrew Zeller, a fifer,
who it is believed was Frantz Paul's brother. Michael
Zeller, a private of Capt. Peter Dechert's company in
1776, was also a brother. [N. B. Neither Andrew nor
Michael are mentioned above in list of Frantz Paul
Zellers brothers and sisters.] Frantz Paul Zeller owned
the old house built by his father in 1773; a stone,
pebble-dashed, weatherboarded structure, with a wall
two feet thick and plaster between the stones as hard
as steel. The farm during his generation consisted of
154 acres, and he it was who erected the present barn.
In his will, which he made June 12, 1820, he said that
he was old and weak in body. It is signed "Frantz
Zeller," was witnessed by Adam Sheetz and Jacob
Becker, and was probated Oct. 24, 1831. His children
were: Jacob (was bequested the plantation), Catherine,
John, Benjamin, Peter, Elizabeth (m. Christian Hantz),
Daniel, Valentine, Anna Maria (m. Frederick Kuster),
Jonathan, Henry and David.

Jacob Zeller, grandfather of Reily W., and great-
grandfather of George M., was born June 8, 1790, and
died April 4, 1872, aged eighty-one years, nine months,
twenty-six days, and was buried at the Tulpehocken,
Reformed Church. He owned the original homestead,
and was a farmer all of his life. Mi". Zeller married
Susanna Trautman, who was born March 23, 1791, and
died Dec. 12, 1842, in her fifty-second year. The chil-
dren born to them were: Lydia, m. to Peter Walborn;
Elizabeth, m. to Isaac Weigly; Jonathan; Catherine,
m. to Eli Gehret; Lavina, m. to David Dundore; Jacob,
m. to Caroline Kilmer; and John, born in 1833, who died
in 1888, m. to Beckie Schell.

Jonathan Zeller, grandfather of George M., was born
July 10, 1815, "and died Jan. 12, 1894, in his seventy-
ninth year. He was a farmer by occupation, owned
the homestead in Marion township, which he cultivated
for many years, and was well-known in the community
for his public spirit. He was buried at the Tulpehocken
Reformed Church, of which he was a member. Mr.
Zeller was married to Catherine Wilhelm, born Feb. 27,
1817, died Feb. 12, 1901, aged near eighty-four years.
Their .children were as follows: Reily W.; Elizabeth
m. (first) Henry Kachel, deceased, and (second) George
Foos, deceased, and whose son is Dr. Charles S. Foos,
superintendent of Reading public schools; and Mary
m. Dr. Frank J. Kantner, of Reading.

Reily W. Zeller, father of George M., was born Feb.
17, 1843, in Marion township, and from his youth until
1893 was engaged in agricultural pursuits. In that year
he removed to his dwelling at Stouchsburg, where he
lived retired. In 1897, however, he returned _to the
farm, which he operated for a period of three years.
Again disposing of his farming property, Mr. Zeller
returned to Stouchsburg, and since that tiine has lived
retired from active pursuits. He was the owner of
sixty-five acres of land, a part of the original home-
stead, which he sold to Lewis Webber in 1903'. Mr.
Webber also owning the old Zeller stand. Mr. Zeller
is a Democrat in politics, was school director for six
years, four years of which were spent in the capacity
of treasurer of the board, and has been a delegate to
numerous county conventions. With his family he at-
tends the Tulpehocken Church, of which he is a deacon.

In 1864 Mr. Zeller was married to Rebecca Troutman,
daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Leiss) Troutman)



and three children were born to this marriage: George
M.; Wilson B., of Reading; and Mary, m. to Charles H.

George M. Zeller was reared upon his father's farm,
and worked for his parents until he was twenty years
old, at which time he went to learn cigar making under
James Zerbe, at Stouchsburg, where in 1893 he engaged
in the manufacture of cigars. He continued in this busi-
ness uirtil 1897, also conducting, a cigar store, disposing
of his product to local houses. Mr. Zeller then en-
gaged in packing cigars for George Druber, a cigar man-
ufacturer at Stouchsburg, until the fall of 1900, when
at public sale, he purchased the property of the "Amer-
ican House," at Stouchsburg, from the Isaac L. Moyer
estate, and this he has conducted with much success
to the present time. This famous hostelry which was
established many years ago by Mr. Moyer, has been
greatly remodeled by Mr. Zeller, who now has one of
the finest stands in the county. The hotel contains
twenty rooms, has one of the best tables to be found
in Berks, and has the liberal patronage of the traveling
trade between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Mr. Zeller
is one of the best-known and most popular men in his
township, and also has a large acquaintance in the
southern and western portions of Berks county. In ad-
dition to his hotel and store- building he owned a com-
fortable residence at Stouchsburg, and he has been
prominently identified with the progress and develop-
ment of his section. He keeps a fine span of horses,
is a great fisherman, is one of the crack shots of the
Keystone Gun Club, of Lebanon, Pa., where he won
medals for marksmanship for five consecutive years,
having a record of fifteen straight birds. He has a very
valuable bird dog. Mr. Zeller was the pitcher of the
star Marion base ball club that held the amateur cham-
pionship of the county in the early nineties. In politics
Mr. Zeller is a stanch Democrat, and takes an active in-
terest in his party's success, having never missed an
election since attaining his majority. Fraternally he is
connected with Washington Camp No. 237, P. O. S. of
A., Stouchsburg; Reading Encampment No. 1, and the
Commonwealth Casualty Company of Philadelphia. Mr.
Zeller and his family are members of Tulpehocken Re-
formed Church of Marion township, to which he gives
his liberal support.

On Sept. 36, 1885, Mr. Zeller was married to Lizzie
J. Bright, daughter of Aaron Bright (see sketch else-
where). To this union has been born one son, Harry
Bright Zeller, born on St. Patrick's Day, March 17,
1886, at Stouchsburg. He graduated from the township
schools, and later attended the Lebanon Business Col-
lege and the Elmer_ Deck School of Shorthand and
Typewriting, at Reading.

Wilson B. Zeller, son of Reily W. and brother
of George M., was born in Marion township Oct. 1,
1865. His education was obtained in the public schools,
in Palatinate College, Myerstown, and in the Keystone
State Normal School at Kutztown. He taught three
terms at the Zeller school in Marion, and two terms in
the Moyer school in the same township. He learned
the duties pertaining to a farmer's life at home, and
he gave his assistance to his father until he was twenty-
one years old. He then entered the general store of
his father-in-law, Isaac L. Moyer, a merchant at
Stouchsburg. There he continued for nine years. In
January, 1898, he was appointed a clerk in the Record-
er's office at Reading, and there he gave satisfactory
service under Recorders Reeser and Bressler. In 1904
he became traveling salesman for S. M. Hess & Bros.,
manufacturers of fertilizers at Philadelphia, and he now
represents that firm in twenty-four counties in Penn-
sylvania. He possesses the happy faculty of making

In 1885 Mr. Zeller was married to Ada A. Moyer,
eldest daughter of the late Isaac L. Moyer, of Marion
township. They resided in Stouchsburg until their re-
moval to Reading in April, 1901. Three children have

been born to them: (1) Robert M., born May 37, 1887,
graduated from the Reading high school in 1905, with
highest distinction. He taught the same school in Mar-
ion township in 1905-06 that his father had taught, and
is now on the editorial staff of the Reading Eagle.
(2) Edna lyi. (3) Sarah R., born March 20, 1893, died
July 12, 1903. Mr. Zeller and his family are members
of St. Mark's Reformed Church, Reading. During the
residence in Stouchsburg Mr. Zeller was connected with
the Union Sunday-school for ten years, being super-
intendent for seven. Socially he is a member of Golden
Rule Lodge, No. 159, I. O. O. F., of Womelsdorf ; Wash-
ington Camp, No. 237, P. O. S. of A., Stouchsburg, of
which he is a past officer, and was district president of
District No. 3, for one term. He also belongs to the
T. P. A. In his political faith he is a strong Democrat,
and of great influence in his party. For eleven years
he filled the office of school director in Marion town-
ship, for nine years being secretary of the board. He
was a frequent delegate to county conventions under
the old system. In June, 1909, he received the nomina-
tion for the office of recorder of deeds of Berks county,
after a hard fight.

CHARLES HENRY JONES, son of Hon. J. Glancy
Jones, of Reading, Pa., was born Sept. 13, 1837. He
was educated as a civil engineer in the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, N. Y., and served in
the engineer corps in the location and construction of
the _ East Pennsylvania railroad. In 1859 he accom-
panied his _ father, who had been appointed United
States Minister to Austria, and served as attache to
the legation until November, 1861. Having returned to
America, he studied law under his father's instruc-
tion, and was admitted to the Reading Bar in April,
1863. In the same year he removed to Philadelphia,
where he has siince actively practised his profession.
He was solicitor to the park commissioners during
the laying out of Fairmount Park, from 1869 to 1874;
was the candidate of the Democratic party for city
solicitor of Philadelphia in 1874; counsel for the De-
partment of Protection, Centennial Exposition of 1876;
and special deputy collector of the port of Philadelphia
under President Cleveland from 1885 to 1889. In 1890
he organized The Trust Company of North America,
and served for many years as vice-president of that
corporation. For twenty-one years he has been one
of the managers and for the past ten years chairman
of the board of managers of Christ Church Hospital.
He is an able lawyer and was prominent as counsel
in many of the notable contested election cases in the
Philadelphia courts and made a great reputation for
the thoroughness and ability with which he sifted out
the frauds of a number of municipal elections and
unseated the wrongful holders of many important

Mr. Jones for many years has been identified with
the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revo-
lution, of which he is chairman of the board of man-
agers and treasurer, and the Colonial Society, of which
he is president. Several of the papers he has read
before these societies, _ notably those relating to the
encampment of Washington and his army on the
banks of the Neshaminy and at Whitemarsh during
the year 1777, are replete with the most interesting
information and charming descriptions of the thrill-
ing events of that wonderful year, and have attracted
universal attention as the best history of the immortal
days of the Revolution covered by the period of that
narrative. He is the author of a number of works of
history and fiction, among them the "History of the
Campaign for the Conquest of Canada in 1776," in
which several companies from Berks county figured
conspicuously, under the command of his great-grand-
father, Col. Jonathan Jones, a lieutenant-colonel in
the Continental army; "Genealogy of the Rodman
Family from 1630 to 1886," containing 2,892 names of
the descendants of his maternal ancestors, among them



being William Rodman, who served as an officer on
the staff of General Lacey during the war of Independ-
ence and was a member of Congress in 1813; "Davaults
Mills"; "Recollections of Venice"; "A Pedestrian Tour
Through Switzerland"; and "The Life and Memoirs of
J. Glancy Jones."

JOSEPH W. RICHARDS, cashier of the First Nation-
al Bank, of Reading, Pa., is the oldest son of Rev.
Elias J. Richards, D. D., and his first wife, Emily Theresa
Ward; the latter a daughter of Joseph Ward, a merchant
of Bloomfield, N. J., and a descendant from Puritan stock
wEich settled in Connecticut in 1635. Mr. Richards was
born in Philadelphia, Jan. 21, 1844; was educated in pre-
paratory schools at Reading, Danbury (Conn.), and Potts-
town (Pa.), and was a student of medicine at the out-
break of the Civil war. On Aug. 10, 1862, he was
mustered into service as a private in Company A, 128th
Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, enlisted for nine
months, and served until May 19, 1863, the expiration
of the term. The regiment participated in the severe
battles of Antietam and Chancellorsville. In the summer
of 1863 he served as a corporal in Company C, 42d Regi-
ment, Pennsylvania Militia, a part of the emergency force
raised for State defense during the Confederate invasion,
and enlisted for three months. From 1865 to 1869 he
was engaged in the oil business in Cleveland, Ohio, and
upon returning to Reading was appointed a clerk in the
First National Bank. Of this institution he was in 1899
elected cashier.

Mr. Richards married, in 1872, Annie O. Kerper, a
daughter of William Kerper, merchant, of Reading, and a
member of one of its oldest families. Of their three
children, one, a son, survives. Mr. Richards is a mem-
ber of Keim Post, No. 76, G. A. R., of Reading.

REV. ELIAS J. RICHARDS, D. D., for upwards of
twenty-five years pastor of the First Presbyterian Church
of Reading, Pa., was born Jan. 14, 1813, in the Valley
of the Dee, in the West of England, not many miles
from the town of Llangollen in Wales, and was the
son of Hugh and Jane Ellis (Jones) Richards. His
ancestors were tillers of the soil, following the princi-
pal industry of the surrounding region. His father was
an adherent of the Presbyterian faith, and his mother a
devout member of the Church of England. The latter
died when her son Elias was but four years of age.
.^bout a year afterward Hugh Richards, with four of his
children, including the subject of this sketch, left his
native land for America, whither his elder brother, John,
•a land surveyor, had preceded him. The family resided
for a time in Warren county, N. Y., and subsequently
at Utica, where the father died. Through the friendly
interest of Judge Jonas Piatt, an eminent lawyer of the
latter place, the youth was enabled to secure an educa-
tion After attending preparatory schools in New York
City and Bloomfield, N. J., he entered Princeton College

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 217 of 227)