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 222 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 222 of 227)
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WILLIAM F. KERPER, a lifelong resident of Read-
ing, now living retired, was born in that city May 24, 1842,
son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Boyer) Kerper. He is
a member of the fifth generation of his family in this
country, and of the fourth generation settled in Berks
county.

Abraham Kerper, the great-great-grandfather of Wil-
liam F. Kerper, came from Germany to America in 1735,
locating in Germantown, Pa., where he spent the balance
of his life. His son, Valentine Kerper, removed from
Germantown to Reading in 1750, while yet a young man,
being one of the earliest settlers of the city, and at the
time of his death was a large property holder there. He
was an active member of the Reformed Church. Daniel
Kerper, his son, and grandfather of William F., was one
of the early hotel-keepers of Berks county, conducting
a hostelry nearly all_ of his life. During his younger
days he iook an active part in politics, and served as
sheriff of the county for two terms. He was united in
marriage with Rosina Stultz; whose father conducted a
blacksmith shop at Eighth and Chestnut streets, Phila-
delphia, during the Revolutionary war, and to them were
born the following children: Abraham, father of William
F. ; Margaret, m. to William Silvis; Catherine, m. to
Joshua Keeley; Charles; Daniel; John; William, and
Caroline.

Abraham Kerper was born in the borough of Reading
Aug. 12, 1796, at the old Kerper homestead at the corner
of 5th and Walnut streets, and at an early age became
an apprentice to the tanner's trade, which he followed
successfully the remainder of his life, becoming very pros-
perous. He was considered wealthy at the time of his
death, in 1872. In political matters he was a Democrat,
and he served two terms as director of the poor. He
was an adherent of the principles of the German Re-
formed Church. Abraham Kerper married Elizabeth
Boyer, who was born in 1804 and died in 1879, and twelve
children were born to this union : Rosa, who died in
infancy; Daniel, deceased; Mary, m. to James H. Parker,
now deceased; Henry, a retired tanner of Reading; Ro-
sanna, who died in infancy; Elizabeth, who died in early
childhood; Ellen B., m. to Sadosa S. Stevens, deceased,
of Readinft. and mother of William Kerper Stevens, a



prominent attorney-at-law of Reading ; James R. ; George
B., of Cincinnati, Ohio; William F. ; Kate, m. to Charles
Ringle, both being deceased; and Abraham Charles,- who
died at the age of twenty-one years.

William F. Kerper was educated in the common schools
of Reading, and when but a boy entered the employ of
his father to learn the tanner's trade, which he followed'
for the long period of forty-five years. In 1899 he was
appointed police sergeant under Mayor Adam Leader's
administration, and he subsequently accepted a position
at the Reading Pipe Mill, where he continued until 1904,
in which year he was appointed to the position of janitor
at the county court house, his term expiring in 1906. Mr.
Kerper is now living retired, his home being at No. 409
South Fourth street.

In 1880 Mr. Kerper married Jeanetta Foreman, daugh-
ter of John Foreman, of Sinking Spring, and four chil-
dren were born to this union : Charles R., who is a hatter ;
John, ' deceased ; Carrie M., and Walter W. Mr. Kerper
is a stanch Republican. Both he and his wife attend the
Reformed Church. For a period of forty-five years Mr.
Kerper was a member of the Junior Fire Company, and
he is now identified with the Reading Veteran Fire Asso-
ciation.

JOHN E. BUB P. In the death of Mr. Bubp not alone
his family but the whole community suffered a distinct
loss, for he was an integral part of the city's life in sev-
eral different fields, while his private benefactions had
endeared him to numbers of his less fortunate fellow-
townsmen. He was born in 1837 in Lower Amity town-
ship, Berks county, son of Jacob Bubp.

Jacob Bubp was a well-known butcher, and farmer
of Brumfieldsville, Lower Amity township. He married
Miss Lydia Engle, and they became the parents of two
sons; William H., a successful horsedealer, who died in
Reading in 1903; and John E. The father and mother
both died at their home in Lower Amity.

John E. Bubp spent his boyhood days upon the farm,
but his natural bent towards business was early apparent,
and he left home when a mere boy to clerk in a country
store. As this did not furnish sufficient scope for his
energies, he soon left and when only about seventeen
years old came to Reading. Although a mere stripling,
his business sagacity was early recognized and he soon
really entered upon his career by forming the firm of
Levan & Bubp, conducting a general merchandise busi-
ness at No. 747 Penn street, where the business is now
located. They were very successful but in 1867 the new
firm of Levan, Bubp & Metzer was formed to do a whole-
sale crockery business at No. 441 Penn street. After
one year however, Mr. Bubp withdrew and formed a
similar connection with W. R. Hinnershitz. This new
firm, Hinnershitz & Bubp, conducted a thriving business
at No. 747 Penn street, until 1891, when the senior partner
retired leaving Mr. Bubp alone in its management. His
foresight and sagacity never failed him, and at the time
of his death, Feb. 23, 1899, he left a large estate,- accu-
mulated by his own efforts. The business has since been
continued by his sons, and the firm is now known as
John E. Bubp's Sons.

Probably no man in the community stood higher in the
honesty and integrity of his dealings than Mr. Bubp and
his sudden demise was universally regretted. Progressive
in his methods he was the first to introduce delivery wag-
ons in the grocery business into Reading. He was vice-
president of the Retail Grocers' Association, and a mem-
ber of the Board of Trade, as well as an honorary mem-
ber of the Friendship Fire Company. During the Re-
bellion he enlisted in Company C. 4th Pa. V. I., under
Capt. D. G. Rhoads and served the term of his enlist-
ment with distinction. In politics he was a Republican,
but never held office. At the time of his death he was
a trustee of the Second Reformed Church and was a
member of the consistory for some thirty years. His
loss was deeply felt in the church as it was also in the
Y. M. C. A., in which he was a member and a generous
contributor.



768



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



In 1868 John E. Bubp married Miss Clara Getz, who
was a member of one of the very early families in Berks
county, and daughter of Aaron and Mary (Hushower)
Getz. Aaron Getz was a blacksmith by trade, and lived in
Muhlenberg township. For a number of years he lived
retired, passing from this world at the age of sixty-seven
years. His wife died aged seventy-three. There were
five children besides Mrs. Bubp, namely: Sarah, Mrs.
Kuterman; Amanda, Mrs. Alvin Boyer; Emma; Aaron,
Jr. ; and Harry, a United States Express agent at Allen-
town, where he died Nov. 35, 1905. Mrs. Bubp sur-
vives her husband and still lives in the family residence
on North Ninth street. To her and Mr. Bubp were born
four children, as follows : Harry G., who for a number of
years was on the reportorial staflf of the Reading Telegram,
but who is now carrying on a drug business ; Bert G.
who is now carrying on his father's business ; Charles
E. ; and Nora May, the wife of Howard C. Phillips, teller
in the Schuylkill Valley Bank at Reading.

The last illness of John E. Bubp which ended in his
death Feb. 23, 1899, was the result of a fall.- Eight days
previously he fell while going into the cellar and struck
with great force. While his injuries compelled him
to keep in the house there were no indications of serious
trouble till the morning of February 21st, when he was
taken violently ill and finally passed to his reward. Thus
at the age of sixty-two years passed from the scene of
his earthly activities a man whose deeds reflected only
credit on his memory, and whose life may well serve
as an example to those following him.

WILLIAM H. LUDEN, prosperous manufacturing con-
fectioner since 1879, with a national reputation in his
branch of business, was born at Reading March 5, 1859,
and received his education in the local schools. In 1879,
before he was of age he began manufacturing candy in
limited quantities and disposed of it successfully, which
encouraged him to continue. This modest start in business
life was made at No. 37 North Fifth street, where he
was brought up and where his father had carried on the
jewelry business. He continued there ten years, gradually
increasing his production of various confections, and then
moved into larger quarters which he had secured at the
northeast corner of Sixth and Washington streets, and
equipped with improvements to meet the demands of his
trade. He occupied the entire building (four stories},
employed nearly one hundred and fifty hands, and worked
up a car-load of sugar weekly, and by this time his trade
had come to reach out into the Eastern, Middle and
Southern States. By the year 1900 his trade was developed
to still greater proportions, so that he was again obliged
to secure larger quarters, and he accordingly purchased
a property on North Eighth street, beyond Walnut, with
a siding extended froml the Philadelphia & Reading rail-
road, where he erected a substantial and commodious
four-story brick structure (165 feet front and 110 feet
deep) and supplied it with all the necessary improvements
and appurtenances for his business and employes. The
building was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies in
June of that year, and the enterprising proprietor was
given many earnest congratulations. And here, too, his
business kept on increasing year after year until 1909,
when he enlarged the building by erecting a four-stor,y
addition at the south end, 60 feet front and 110 feet deep,
making his establishmient altogether 225 feet front and
110 feet deep and one of the prominent industrial en-
terprises of Reading. He now employs between four
hundred and five hundred hands constantly and pro-
duces all kinds of confections, in large quantities,
which are shipped to all parts of the United States.
During the last several years, his establishment has
made a specialty of "Luden's Menthol Cough Drops,"
which have become very popular throughout the
country, the annual sales amounting to five million



five-cent packages. From twenty to twenty-five tons
of sugar are required daily in the manufacture of his,
various confections; and the siding from the Phila-
delphia & Reading railroad to his plant affords the neces-
sary facilities for his enormous shipments, which shows
its importance as a factor in the dispatch of his large
and growing business.

Mr. Luden is recognized as one of the largest and most
successful manufacturers of candy in the United States.
During his career, from the beginning, he always treated
his employes with great consideration and as a natural
consequence they have come to be as much devoted to
his prosperity as he is to their comfort and welfare.
For a number of years past he has given them an annual
"outing," at different places, along some railroad, paying
all the expenses himself, which evidences his generous
spirit. The high degree of mutual respect and confidence
which has been developed between him and his employes
is truly admirable and worthy of imitation by other large
manufacturers.

Mr. Luden has been a devoted and generous member
of the "Church of Our Father" (Universalist) from his
early manhood, and his straight-forward spirit has con-
tributed a great deal toward the welfare of the congrega,-
tion. He served as a trustee of the church for a number
of years. In 1890, Mr. Luden assisted in. organizing and
establishing the Schuylkill Valley Bank of Reading and
since then has ■ served as one of its directors ; and upon
the decease of John Kissinger, the president, in 1906,. he
was selected to officiate in his stead, which important po-
sition he has filled until the present time. In 1904 he
established the "Reading Nlatatorium," on North Fifth
street, which was immediately appreciated, and since then
it has been patronized extensively. The basket-ball ex-
hibitions there during the winter and spring seasons have
been highly appreciated by large and enthusiastic audiences.
Mr. Luden is prominently identified with the National
Confectioners Association, the Wyomissing Club, the Berk-
shire Club, and the Reading Board of Trade.

In 1889 Mr. Luden married Annie Ritter, a daughter
of William Snyder Ritter and Julianna Shearer, his wife,
and they have eight children (four sons and four daugh-
ters) : Harry Ritter, Albert Musser, Dorothy, Marjorie,
Frederick Shearer, Milford Dirk, Jeanette and Wilma.
His wife and children have also taken great interest in
the welfare of the Universalist Church. Mrs. Luden is
a meiniber of Berks Chapter of the Daughters of the
American Revolution, being a lineal descendant of John
Christopher Shearer, who emigrated from Germany in
1769 and then settled at Reading, in Berks county, where
he camie to enlist in the Revolution, and subsequently filled
the office of justice of the peace for nearly twenty years,
dying in 1830, aged seventy-seven. She is also a lineal
descendant of Francis Ritter, the progenitor of the Ritter
family in Exeter township, who died in 1825 and left four
sons — Daniel, John, Jacob and Samuel'^and four daugh-
ters, Daniel having been her grandfather.

Jacob Luden, the father of Mr. Luden, was born at Am-
sterdam, Holland, where he learned the trade of watch-
maker ' and jeweler and followed that business until
about 1850, when he emigrated to Pennsylvania and settled
.at Reading. In 1855 he established a store on North Fifth
street (now Nos. 35-37) and carried on business as a
1 jeweler successfully until his decease in 1864, aged forty-
twQ years. He was married to Sarah A. Musser, of
Rearristown, Lancaster county, a descendant of one of the
early femilies of that vicinity, and they had six children :
Caroline (m. William L. C. Bailey) ; Edward Musser (m.
Lizzie Etzel) ; William H. ; Sallie A. (m. James B.
Marsh) ; Jacob C. (mi Annie Benson) ; and one that died
in infancy.

RICHARD G. BORKERT, of Reading, Pa., one of the
well known contracting Borkert Brothers, and a leading





c




"^



BIOGRAPHICAL



769



business man, was born in that city, Sept. 1, 1840, son
of Daniel Bor'kert, a complete sketch of whom will be
found elsewhere.

Richard G. Borkert attended the Franklin street school,
of the Third ward, until he was eighteen years old, and
then learned the hatter's trade, which he followed for
about five years, after which he engaged with his father
in the brick laying business. When his father died,
Mr. Borkert engaged in the contracting business with
his brothers, and under the firm name of Augustus
Borkert & Bro., was in business with his brother, Augustus,
until the latter's death in December, 1908. Mr. Borkert
resides at JSTo. 926 Penn street. He married (first) Sarah
Birk, who died in 1898. They had two children, both de-
ceased. Mr. Borkert's second marriage was to Elnora,
widow of John Leininger, and one child has been born
to this union : Richard, now attending high school. Mr.
Borkert is a Democrat in politics, but has never taken
an active part in party work. He is a Lutheran in relig-
ious belief. Mr. Borkert served one hundred days in the
Civil war, being a private of Company A. 48th Pa.
V. I., and was assigned to guard duty. He was mustered
into service at Reading, and received his honorable dis-
charge in the same city.

William Young, the father of Mrs. Borkert, was boiin
in Reading, and received a common school education.
He learned the cigar making business, but did not follow
that occupation for any length of time, engaging in the
confectionery business at Seventh and Penn streets, where
he became well known in that line, and also as a fruit
dealer. Mr. Young had a large vineyard at what is now
Twelfth and Walnut streets, and was very prosperous.
He died at the age of seventy-four years. He married
Sarah Bishop, who died at the age of sixty-three years,
and both are buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. Their
children were : Fredericka E. ; Elnora, the wife of our
subject; Wilhelmina, widow of Emil Bishoff; William,
of Lock Haven ; John ; Theophilus ; Annie C, wife of
William M. Bond; Sarah, wife of Ed. H. Scheaflfer, of
Reading; Isaac B., (twin to Sarah), m. to Katie Lease, of
Reading; and Ida Rebecca, of California.

JOSEPH G. KLINE, who died July 28, 1905, at his
home, No. 230 North Ninth street, Reading, was for
twenty years one of the city's prominent business men,
and a veteran of the great Civil war. Mr. Kline was
born May 8, 1844, at Baumstown, Berks county, son of
David and Esther (Gressmer) Kline.

David Kline was for many years engaged in the coal
business on Sixth street, Reading, and later engaged in
the butcher business at Eighth and Walnut streets, con~
tinuing in the latter business for twenty years. He died
in Reading, the father of these children: Amason; Joseph
G;; Jeremiah, of Oklahoma, Kans.; Isaac, of Reading;
Mrs. Charles Wann; and Mrs. John Vogel.

Joseph G. Kline attended the public schools of his native
city. Until seventeen years of age he worked with his
father, but at the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted,
Aug. 23, 1861, in Company A, 88th Pa. V. I. He was
promoted sergeant and given the rank of lieutenant June
14, 1865, serving faithfully for four years, and being dis-
charged July 10, 1865. He served in a number of the
fiercest engagements of the war, and was slightly wounded
in the left ear. After his return to Reading Mr. Kline
engaged with the Philadelphia & Reading Company, con-
tinuing therewith for a period of twenty-one years, first
as brakeman and later as fireman. In 1885 he engaged
in the grocery business at Tenth and Elm streets, and
continued therein very sucessfully until five months pre-
vious to his death, when he retired. Mr. Kline was buried
in the Charles Evans cemetery.

On Dec. 25, 1886, Mr. Kline was married to Catherine
E. Koch, daughter of John and Catherine (Hoff) Koch.
They have had children: David, born Sept. 22, 1868, died
May, 1869 ; Ellen E. m. Frederick Knipe, who is en-
gaged in the manufacture of Saratoga chips, having a large
49



and growing business; Joseph A. is attending business
college. Mr. Kline was a member and trustee of the Otter-
bein United Brethren Church. ' He belonged to the G.
A. R., Brotherhood of the Union, Union Veteran Legion
No. 43, Freedom Circle and Mt. Penn Council No. 495,
Royal Arcanum. He was a well-known and highly res-
pected man, and made many warm friends. His widow,
who survives him, resides at the Ninth street home.

CHARLES LITSCHI, who is now living retired In
Reading, is one of our substantial citizens. Born in a
foreign land, he has proved himself loyal to the country
in which he has earned his competence, by being an up-
right, public-spirited and progressive citizen, interested
in the development and the moral and material welfare
of his adopted land. He is a native of Switzerland, born
at Wollerau, on the banks of Lake Zurich, Nov. 29, 1850.
He received his education in the schools of his native
land, and after leaving school learned the business of print-
ing on cloth. This he followed at different places before
crossing the Atlantic to the New World. On Nov. 21,
1871, he went to Lorrach, and after a time to Koburg,
where he worked from March 9, 1873, until July 8th of
the same year. He then went home by way of Stuttgart,
and after a two weeks visit with his friends and relatives
sailed for America, Aug. 20, 1873, from Havre, France,
then in the grip of a cholera epidemic. The eighteen-day
voyage was by way of Southampton to New York, and
was without incident of note. On September 16th they
landed at Castle Garden, and two days later the Jay Cook
bank failed and threw the whole country into a panic.
Times were very hard, and Mr. Litschi, going at once
to Philadelphia, found himself at the end of fourteen dajs
still without work. Idleness was something of which he
knew nothing, and not finding the kind of work he sought,
he did the next best thing, he took the first work that
presented itself. This was as an apprentice at the baker's
trade, and for his services he received his board and
fifteen dollars a month. At this trade he worked from
Oct. 18, 1873, until Feb. 24, 1879, when he was married to
Katharina Kobel, of Klein ' Zimern, Hessen Darmstadt.
The next day he went to Boyertown, Berks county, and
there purchased the bakery owned by a Mr. Reifsnyder.
On March 24, 1879, he opened up for business, and he
met with success from the start. He had thoroughly
learned the art of baking, and as his wares were first
class, and his business methods above reproach, he soon
won a good patronage and many friends. He continued
at this business at Boyertown until Sept. 10, 1899, when he
sold out, but he worked for his successor until April 1,
1900. When he had sold the bakery the previous Septem-
ber, his family had moved to Reading, and they have
since lived at No. 805 North Tenth street. Since coming
here Mr. Litschi has been enjoying his well-earned rest.
Mr. and Mrs. Litschi have become the parents of the
following children : Joseph, of Reading ; Henry, Charles,
and Frank, all deceased and buried at Pottstown; Lewis,
a professional base ball player; and Andrew. All of the
children were born at Boyertown. The family all be-
long to St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In 1898 Mr. Lit-
schi visited Europe, his trip, which included the principal
cities of the Old World, covering more than 8,000 kilometers.

ALBERT LEINBACH, now living retired from active
work in Reading, is a native of Cumru township, born
June 27, 1835, son of Frederick and Maria (Guldin)
Leinbach.

Frederick Leinbach, the father, was also a native of
Berks county. While he learned thoroughly the black-
smith's trade and followed it more or less all his life,
he also engaged in farming _ near Leesport, giving the
major part of his time to this work. Later in life his
farming interest were all in Exeter township. He died
at Reading at the age of fifty-seven years, and his wife,
whose maiden name was Maria Guldin, lived to the age
of sixty. Only five of their family still survive, namely:



770



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Daniel, Albert, Mahlon, Jonathan G. and Mary, the latter
being now the widow of James Levan, and a resident of
Reading.

Albert Leinbach was reared upon his father's farm,
and worked there until he was nineteen years of age.
He then went to work in Brumbach's wool factory, at St.
Lawrence, where he remained upwards of fifteen years.
He continued at this work until his retirement, being
spinning boss the last forty years. Like many of his
family Mr. Leinbach is thoroughly versed in the wool
business. Since June, 1904, he has not been actively en-
gaged at anything. In politics he is a Republican. Dur-
ing the Civil war he served in the Pennsylvania militia,
and was in a terrible railroad wreck where so many of
the soldiers lost their lives.

On Jan. 9, 1859, Mr. Leinbach married Miss Sarah
Nagel, who was born Jan. 1, 1840, daughter of William
and Henrietta (Ermold) Nagel, of Reading, and grand-
daughter of Peter Nagel. The Nagels are prominently
identified with the early civil and military history of Berks
county. William Nagel died May 1, 1848. Four chil-
dren, two sons and two daughters, have been born to
this union : William H., a resident of Atlantic City, N.
J.; Benjamin F., of North Fourth street, Reading; Sal-
lie E., widow of John F. Morriston; and Hattie, who
married Warren J. Thomas, and they reside with her
parents. The family residence is at No. 415 N. Fifth
street. Mr. Leinbach and his farhily are all members of
the Reformed Church, and are active in its work. They
rank among the substantial and highly esteemed citizens
of Reading.

ALLEN H. DUNKLE, who for many years was one
of the best known hotel men and distillers in Berks coun-
ty, and now is residing retired in his beautiful home at
Temple, Pa., was born Feb. 34, 1837, in Berkley, Berks
Co., Pa.^ son of James and Eliza (Herbine) Dunkle.

William Dunkle, his grandfather, was the owner of
the hotel at Berkley later owned by his grandson, and was
operating it as early as 1812, also conducting a farm of
sixty acres adjoining. He married Anna Grim, a native
of Maxatawny township, and they had but one child,
James. In religious belief they were Lutherans, and in



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 222 of 227)