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 220 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 220 of 227)
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return from Europe, he resumed his active interest in this
company as a director, and in 1898 became its president
and general manager; and he has served the company in
these responsible positions until the present time, having
in the past ten years developed its annual production
from 17,000 barrels to 75,000, remodeled the plant entirelyK,
and made it one of the" finest brewing establishments in
the country in point of equipment and sanitation.

For over forty years Captain Bissinger was prom-
inently identified with the Masonic fraternity. He was
chiefly instrumental in establishing Rajah Temple at Read -
ing iri 1892, and the plans for its unique and attractive
hall, erected in 1904, were designed by him. He has also
been, prominently connected with the Grand Army of
the Republic (Keim Post, No. 76), Loyal Legion, Veteran
Legion, and Army of the Cumberland. In 1891 the
city councils selected him as the park commissioner for
the northeast division of the city and he officiated in
this position until 1897, when he removed his residence
to the southeast division, where he had erected a fine
home on Mineral Spring road.

But it was in the musical culture of Reading that Cap-
tain Bissinger was especially influential and successful
for a period of twenty years, from 1864 to 1883. Imme-
diately after locating at Reading he became a member
of the Reading Maennerchor, and the society, appreciating
his great talent and enthusiasm, selected him to be its
assistant musical director; He filled this position vvith
remarkable success for some years, and then the society
united with the Harmonic Gesangverein, another and older
musical organization at Reading. In . the reorganization
of the two societies, the name Harmonic Maennerchor was
adopted and Captain Bissinger was' selected as the mus-
ical director of the new society. His _ recognized ability
as a leader, together with his popularity and sociability,
soon won increasing support and encouragement, and
the society's concerts at Reading and other cities were
highly appreciated and largely patronized. He continued
to serve as the director until 1879, when he declined a
re-election. During this time he was also interested in
the Germania Orchestra and aided materially in its. suc-
cessful reorganization. In 1876, by special invitation,
the Harmonic Maennerchor and Germania Orchestra at-
tended the United States Centennial at Philadelphia and
rendered a program of classical selections in a superb
manner, for which they were given high praise by leading
musicians of this country and also foreign countries. In
October, 1878, the society held a bazaar for a week in
its commodious hall in the Academy of Music, which
was a great success and evidenced the superior ability
of its members and the efficiency and popularity of its
director. The numerous musical numbers were specially
prepared by Captain Bissinger for the occasion, which



involved extraordinary labors, patience and perseverance.
In 1879 he organized the Philharmonic Society a:nd
directed its admirable concerts until 1883, when he was
/obliged to devote his entire attention to his own business
affairs.

In 1880 Captain Bissinger married Ida Sebald Rosenthal
(daughter of William Rosenthal, proprietor and pub-
lisher of German newspapers at Reading for forty years),
who was graduated from the Reading Girls' High School
in 1865, and in 1871 taught the French and German lan-
guages there.

George. Bissinger, his father, was a native of Germany,
and after his emigration located at Bahimore, Md., about
1855, and there followed the teaching of music until his
decease, in 1866.

LLEWELLYN U. WELLS, who is in the grocery busi-
ness at Reading, was born near West Chester, Pa., Oct.
16, 1848, son of Isaac and Sidney (Hoopes) Wells.

Isaac Wells was born Jan. 9, 1830, in Chester county,
and received his education in the schools of that lo-
cality. When a young man he learned the carpenter's
trade, making a specialty of stair building, becoming
an expert and following this occupation for a number
of years throughout the eastern section of the State.
During his residence in Williamsport, Mr. Wells' health
failed him, and he engaged in farming for a short time,
and in 1858 located in Reading. Two years later he went
to Lebanon county, and subsequently settled for five years
in Elizabethtown, Lancaster county, where he remained
until locating in Northumberland county, and there con-
tinued to reside until 1869. In this year Mr. Wells re-
turned to Reading, where he made his home until his
death in 1894. His wife was a daughter of Sidney Hoopes,
a native of Chester county, and a descendant of an old
and prominent family. She died in 1889, aged sixty-
eight years, the mother of four children: Olivia W. ;
Llewellyn U.; Anna, m. to William Phillips, deceased;
and John Westley, who died in infancy. The family
were members of the M. E. Church. In politics Mr.
Wells was a Republican.

Llewellyn U. Wells was educated in 'the schools of
Berks, Lebanon and Lancaster counties, and when a young
man was taught the trade of carpenter, which was the
trade of his father, and he followed this occupation for
several years. In 1879 he settled permanently in Reading,
and turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, engaging
in business at the corner of Minor and Laurel streets,
where he remained one and a half years. At the end
of that time he located at the corner of Sixth and Laurel
streets, and here he was located until he sold out.

Mr. Wells was married Sept. 9, 1875, to Miss Ella Fich-
thorn, daughter of William Fichthorn, and to this union
three children have been born: Irma, a teacher in the
Reading public schools ; Aletha, who died aged nine years ;
and Clarence, employed at the Dun Mercantile Agency,
Reading. Mr. Wells is a member of Vigilance Lodge
No. 394, I. O. O. F., and of Reading Encampment. In
his political views he is a Republican. Mr. Wells and
his family are connected with the St. Peter's M. E.
Church, of which he is now serving as steward.



AUGUSTUS B. HASSLER, proprietor of the "Ger-
mania Hotel," at Ninth and Penn streets, Reading, is of
German parentage, but is of American birth. His father,
also named Augustus, left Germany for the United States
in 1852, and settled in Reading where he died.

Augustus B. Hassler was born in Reading in 1854, and
received his education in the public schools of that
place. He first went to work as a bar clerk at the corner
of Fifth and Penn streets, and afterward bought out
the Washington Library Cafe, continuing there until 1881,
when he bought out Harry Snyder, who had succeeded
Major Ebner as proprietor of the place he first worked
in, now known as the "Colonial Hotel." He ran that
very successfully for twelve years, and then retired from
business. But he was soon eager for the harness, and
before long was once more in the hotel business, and



763



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



in 1894 was running what was known as the "Klapperthal
Pavilion" at Klapperthal. He remained there from 189^
until 1895, when he became manager of the Penn Hote
Cafe. In 1901 he became proprietor of the "Germanid
Hotel," which occupies a building four 'stories in height,\
26x100 feet in dimensions. A portion of the structure!
is finished off as flats of a high class, while the rest
is devoted to the hotel proper, which is one of the most
up-to-date places in the city, and is very handsome in its
appointments and finishings. The entrance and office are
laid with tile flooring. Mr. Hassler gives his whole at-
tention to the management of the place and being very
popular his hotel ranks high.

Mrs. Hassler was a Miss Annie Kohler, and her mar-
riage to Mr. Hassler occurred in 1878. They have had
a large family of children, of whom four died young.
The others are : Harry, Rosa, Joseph, Cecelia, Bernard
and Anthony. The family are members , of the Catholic
Church. Mr. Hassler is a member of several fraternal
organizations, including the Knights of St. John, Colum-
bus Commandery, Eagles, Reading Turn Verein, Boni-
facius Society, Reading Liederkranz, Bavarian Society,
Quaker Society, Mt. Penn Family Circle, Mountain Spring
Association, Rainbow Fire Company, Veteran Fireman's
Association, and Encampment No. 43, Union Veteran
Legion.

THOMAS C. BAUSHER, a plumber and gas, steam
and hot water fitter of Reading, Pa., whose place of
business is situated at No. 105 North Sixth street, was
born April 13, 1873, in Norristown, Montgomery Co.,
Pennsylvania.

Mr. Bausher received his education in the schools of
Montgomery and Berks counties, and when a boy clerked
in his native city in a cigar store. In 1889 he came to
Reading and apprenticed himself to E. S. Summons, a
plumber, and with him served his time for four years.
He then engaged with Haage & Tomney, with whom he
remained for about seven years, when he returned to
the employ of Mr. Summons, continuing with him about
six years. In October, 1904, Mr. Bausher opened his
present business at No. 105 North Sixth street, with a
complete line of plumbing and steam and hot water heating
supplies. Mr. Bausher is an expert in his business, and
his trade has grown to such proportions that he has been
compelled to hire from three to five men to assist him.
Mr. Bausher is a member of the Master Plumbers As-
sociation" and is secretary of the local at Reading; is
connected with Friendship Fire Company, of which he was
president from 1896 to 1897; is a member of the Knights
of Malta and the P. O. S. of A.; and is also identified
with the Reading Firemen's Relief Association.

In 1898 Mr. Bausher was married to Sarah Spyker, and
to this union there have been born four children: Earl F.,
Helen M., Florence, and Ralph (died in infancy). Mr.
Bausher and his family are members of St. Paul's Re-
formed Church. The success which Mr. Bausher has
gained is but the just due to an ambitious, honest man,
who through his own enterprise and energy has worked
his way to the top. He may be truly called a self-made
man. •

J. G. RHEIN, who is engaged in the paper hanging, .
painting and decorating business at No. ,731 Walnut street,
Reading, was born July 5, 1850, in Bernville, Berks county,
son of Daniel Rhein, the latter a butcher and farmer of
Bernville, who also engaged at the shoemaker's trade.

J. G. Rhein attended the public schools of his native
town, and when a ,young man located in Reading and
learned the paper-hanging trade, shortly afterward en-
gaging in this business, which he has followed to the
present time, having offices at No. 721 Walnut street, and
at No. 101 Walnut street. Mr. Rhein was married (first)
to Katie Foust, daughter of Jesse Foust, of Bernville,
and she died in 1893, the mother of these children : Annie,
m. to Levi Boyer, of Reading; Edward, m. to Jennie
Wiend, of Reading; Lizzie, m. to James Jacobs, of Read-
ing; Florence, m. to Robert Richardson, typewriter at the



Boys' high school, Reading; and Carrie, m. to William
Rhode; and John, at home. Mr. Rhein's second marriage
was to Mrs. Mary E. Heckman, widow of the late Henry
N. Heckman.

Henry N. Heckman was born in Pricetown, Berks Co.,
Pa., Aug 7, 1847, son of Nicholas Heckman. He attended
the public schools and the high school of Reading, and
^■was then employed as a clerk with S. M. Hart, of Penn .
street. He later engaged in the flour and feed business
on Walnut street, continuing therein for several years,
ws^en he engaged as a clerk for A. K. Brown, and con-
tiriued in that gentleman's employ for about four years.
Mil Heckman was then employed by the , Dives, Pomeroy
& Stewart department store, having charge of the up-
holstery departmeht for seventeen years, or until his death,
Feb.\7, 1902. Mr. Heckman was a member of the Lutheran
Churph, and was buried at the Charles Evans cemetery.
In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of
St. John's Lodge of Masons, and the Knights of Pythias.

Mrs. Mary E. Rhein was the' daughter of John G. and
Amelia. (Seider) Kuder, the former of whom was born
in Lehigh county, near AUentown, and came to Reading
when a boy. Learning the cabinet making trade, Mr. Kuder
followed that occupation all of his life, and died in Read-
ing aged fifty years, his wife surviving him and attain-
ing the age of eighty-three years. Mrs. Rhein was the
only child born to this couple.

WILLIAM KATZENMOYER, deceased, was an em-
ploye of the East Penn car shops for many years. He
was born at Reading, March 30, 1844, son of William and
Catherine (Schreffler) Katzenmoyer.

Ludwig Katzenmoyer, grandfather of William, lived in
Heidelberg township, but late in life moved to Read-
ing, where he died advanced in years. He was buried
at Alsace Church, where several generations of the family
are interred. He was a farmer and owned much land
about Hampton, now a part of Reading. He was married
four times, surviving all his wives. Among his children
were : John, Jacob, William, Polly, Fannie (who went
West, was never heard from, and her estate is still un-
claimed), Kate and Magdalene.

William Katzenmoyer, Sr., son of Ludwig and father
of William, was a farmer in Berks county many years,
then moved to Reading, where he died at the age of
sixty-three years. His children were the following: Lud-
wig; Jacob, who died young; Catherine, m. to Henry
Snyder; Susa'n and Rebecca, who both died young; and
William. William, Sr., had one step-brother, Henry Beid-
ler, and one step-sister, Eliza, wife of Peter Leise.

William Katzenmoyer attended the district schools near
his home and then worked for soma years on the farm.
He came to the East Penn shops, and remained in con-
tinuous employ of the company for twenty-three years.
His last work before retiring was the painting of engines.
Judge Ermentrout then appointed him tipstaflf at the
court house, in which position he served several years.
He died April 26, 1899, at the age of fifty-five years,
one month and seven days, and was buried in the Charles
Evans cemetery.

Mr. Katzenmoyer was married, May 30, 1868, to Mary
E. Koch, daughter of John and Catherine (Hoflf) Koch.
They had sons as follows born to them: William H.,
connected with the Scott Works, at Reading; Irvin D.
and George L., both . working in the J. H. Sternbergh
plant; and Lyman H., all industrious young men and all
living at home with their mother at No. 505 North Eighth
street, Reading.

JOHN H. HENNINGER, who conducts a, grocery and
market at No. 122 Hamilton street, Reading, was born in
1862, in Bethel township, Berks county, son of Isaac and
Malinda (Stoop) Henninger, the former of whom followed
agricultural pursuits throughout his life in Bethel town-
ship, where he died in the faith of the Lutheran Church.
The parents of John H. Henninger had three children,
Cyrenus W., John H. and Thomas M.



BIOGRAPHICAL 763

/

_ John H Henninger received his educational 'advan/ages seven children : Reuben ; Jonathan m. Ludema Leiben-

in the schools of his native township, and his boAood sperger; Eli m. Hettie Merkel; Maria m. William Schle-

was spent much the same as other Pennsylvania fllrmer gel; Edwin and Annie died in infancy; and Clara m.

lads. He worked on his father's farm until fifteerif years (first) Peter Berg (who died in 1893) and (second)

of age, when he hired out among the farmers /in his Alfred Bauscher

he"cuftWat"ed fo^r^'^f'ourtfen "°"^^ '° Tlh ^ ^^™/ J*"' ' '^^^ ^""^^^ °^' ^=^^= ^^^'^ ^^= Abraham Mertz, also
butchering, at which business^he con^t"nued 'until^l/os! and °!/"'f '"i'T"7 t°?'"^'^iPt,^>>"« .^e was^born in 1791.
in this year came to Reading, establishing hisLresent if '^^H *°J",f'"^;, .^1 ^'^^ '" k^^®^" ^^'^u^?
business. He carries a full line of meats and fijicy and Mertz, m. Eva Hoch, and to them were born seven child-
staple groceries, and from the start his business Mas been '"^"' ^^ follows: John m. (first) Anna Warener and (see-
steadily growing. He is an honest and upright/business °*"^) Sarah Taylor; Susan m. John Merkel; Daniel m.
man, and deserves the patronage of his comrnunity. Polly Kohler; Amos m. Sallie Yoder; Isaac m. Florenda

Mr. Henninger married, in 1882, Susan llown, of Yoder; Mary m. Jacob Van Buskirk; and Abraham m.
Brownsville, Pa., and to this union were born six child- Susannah Hoch, a daughter of Gen. William Hoch.
ren, four of whom are deceased, two sons and two daugh-
ters. Those surviving are Paul and Robert, the latter DANIEL S. RITTER, who for many years was en-
of whom married Annie Miller, of Fleetwood, Pa. In gaged in various business enterprises in Reading, Pa.,
his_ religious belief Mr. Henninger is a Lutheran. In passed away at his home in that city, Feb. 7, 1897, after
political matters he is a supporter of the principles of the a long and eventful life. He was born in Exeter town-
Democratic party. ship, Berks county, in 1817, son of the late David S.

Ritter, Sr.

ISAAC MAURER, now living retired, was for a num- David S. Ritter, Sr., was born in Alsace township,

ber of years extensively engaged in contracting. Mr. Berks county, Feb. 9, 1776, and died June 15, '1853, hav-

Maurer was born in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks ing spent his entire life in agricultural pursuits. He

Co., Pa., May 31, 1835, son of Daniel and Hannah (Eisen- married Miss Susannah Snyder, born July 28, 1790, who

man) Maurer. died Sept. 3, 1875, and they became the parents of these

John Maurer, grandfather of Isaac, was one*of the early children: Benjamin S., born in 1811, died in April, 1890;

residents of Lower Heidelberg township, and a representa- Esther, born April 13, 1814, died Dec. 9, 1898; an infant,

tive farmer of that section of the county. He and his born June 6, 1816, died June 21, 1816; Daniel S.; Reuben,

wife were the parents of these children: Daniel, Isaac, born Dec. 25, 1819, died in 1826; Louisa, born Feb. 5,

John, Samuel, and three daughters. The family were 1823, died Oct. 3, 1904; Ferdinand S., born Feb. 18, 1826,

members of the Reformed Church. In politics Mr. Maur- died Jan. 30, 1898; William, born Sept. 13, 1828, died

er was a Democrat. May 12, 1862; and Frank, born Aug. 24, 1833, lived at

Daniel Maurer was born in Spring township, and early Stonersville, Exeter township, Berks county, and died

in life engaged in farming, also carrying on freighting Feb. 16, 1907.

between Reading and Philadelphia,, and in driving the Daniel S. Ritter received his education in the public
old stage, this being the only means of transportation schools, and when still a young man came to Reading,
between these two_ points at that time. His last days where he worked at his trade of wheelwright for some
were spent in farrning, and his death occurred in Heidel- time. He then purchased the coal, flour and feed busi-
berg township. His children were : Isaac, Amanda (m. to ness of his brother Ferdinand S., in 1860, continuing that
Adam Becker), Hannah (m. to John Texler, deceased); business for one year at Eighth and Cherry streets. Mr.
and Maria (m. to Michael Kech). Ritter then located on the old homestead in Exeter town-
Isaac Maurer was educated in the common schools of ship, but after six months returned to Reading, locating
his native township, and he was reared to farm labor, on Penn street, above Seventh, where he spent a period
after three years of which he apprenticed himself to the of fifteen years, during this ' time being employed at the
carpenter's trade and this he followed for several years. Philadelphia & Reading shops in building freight and
He next engaged in millwrighting, and he followed this passenger cars. He was also employed on the North
trade for a time, being employed in the old Deisher plan- Eighth street steam forges then owned by Henry Seifert,
ing mill. Later he engaged in contracting and building being there a period of twenty years, and for a time-
to a considerable extent, and many evidences of his skill worked at the Scott foundry as boss repairer. He en-
as a builder may be found in this vicinity, including his gaged in the manufacture of brick for a few years. Mr.
own handsome, modern residence, which is a model of Ritter's last employment was with the Philadelphia &
perfection and will stand as a rhonument to his memory. Reading Company, and he resigned from their employ

Mr. Maurer married Anna Texter, and to this union about six years before his death. In politics he was a

these children were born : Hannah, Abbe, Daniel (de- lifelong Democrat, and in 1870-72 served his ward, , the

ceased), Valeria, Emma, Ella (deceased), Mamie, Gertrude, Ninth, asa member of the council. He was a member of

Alice, Annie (deceased) and Harry. In politics Mr. St. Luke's Lutheran Church. Mr. Ritter was connected

Maurer is independent, voting rather for the man than fraternally with Germania Lodge No. 105, I. O. O. F.

the party. Honorable in all of his dealings Mr. Maurer In his death Reading lost one of its good business men

is considered an ideal citizen, and a worthy representative and representative citizens. He was broad and' liberal-

of the community in which h/s resides. minded in his views, and his kindly, genial manner won

him many friends.

ISAAC MERTZ, who at the time of his death, Sept 18, On Sept. 20, 1846, Mr. Ritter married Rebecca Glase,

1902, was living retired in Fleetwood borough, Berks daughter of Peter and Mary (Weisner) Glase. She was

county, was for a number of years engaged in farming born in Alsace township in 1835 and died Jan. 5, 1907.

in Ruscombmanor township, where he was born Feb. 12, The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ritter were : Rose, born

1826. Mr. Mertz was educated in his native township, Jan. 3, 1850, died Jan! 22, 1855; Lucy A., born April 1,

and was reared to agricultural pursuits on his father's 1852, died June 30, 1853 ; James E., born July 12, 1859,

farm, continuing at this occupation until his retirement, died Nov. 11, 1861; Mary J., born Sept. 14, 1862, is the

when he removed to Fleetwood borough. He was con- only survivor of the family ; and George H , born Sept

nected with the Reformed Church. 24, 1864, died April 13, 1872.

Isaac Mertz was marri'ed Dec. 6, 1853, to Florenda
Yoder, daughter of Reuben Yoder, and granddaughter of JOEL W. D. WHITMAN, one of the old and honored
Jacob Yoder, both farmers of Pike township, who also residents of Reading, Pa., who has been engaged in paint-
engaged in tanning. Mrs. Mertz was born in Pike town- ing in the city for over forty years, was born Dec. 17,
ship, Oct. 20, 1827, but since her husband's decease has 1832; in Montgomery county, son of George and Cath-
resided at Fleetwood. To Mr. and Mrs. Mertz were born erine (Deliger) Whitman.



764



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



George Whitman was a weaver by trade and followed
that occupation in Montgomery county, where he died at
the age of forty-seven years. His first wife died at the
age of thirty-five years, and he married (second) a Miss
Culp, by whom he had these children : Jesse ; Lydia Ann,
and Lucy A. (m. to John Schol). To George Whitman
and his first wife were born these children : Sarah, Maria,
Kittie, Hetty, Fayette, David, Ephraim, Joel W. D., all
being deceased except Ephraim, who resides at Potts-
town, Pa., and Joel W. D.

Joel W. D. Whitman attended the schools of Mont-
gomery county, and when a young man learned the
cabinet-maker's trade, which, however, he followed but
a short time. He next took up painting as an occupa-
tion, and April 3, 1866, came to Reading, where he has
made his home to the present time. He still resides at
his first location. No. 332 North Ninth street, and is one
of the oldest men of the district. In 1860 Mr. Whitman
married Lucy Ann Sassaman, born July 2, 1841, daughter
of Christina C. and Maria B. Sassamai;, and to this union
there were born children as follows : Hemmer died when
nine months old; Luther C. S., who died Jan. 5, 1894,
m. Mary M. Smith, and had one child, Helen M. S., who
lives with her grandfather; Katie m. Edward Moyer of
Reading; Ella S. died Oct. 28, 1873, aged six years, seven
months; Annie E. died in December, 1870, aged six
months; and Lucy M. died in 1873, aged one year, ten
days.

Mrs. Whitman has been a teacher in the Sunday-school
since her sixteenth year, and since 1878 has had charge
of the primary class of St. Luke's Lutheran Church.
Mr. Whitman has also been active in church work, and
has for many years been a teacher in the Sunday-school.
He is fraternally connected with the Knights of Pythias
No. 65, while in political matters he is a Republican.

JOHN S. HARTMAN, a leading business man 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 220 of 227)