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 225 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 225 of 227)
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completed will consist of seventeen volumes. The phia and Reading system runs through Pennsburg, Pa.

first volume appeared in 1908. Dr. Kriebel is sec- Since 1893 Rev. Dr. Oscar S. Kriebel has been princi-

retary of the Publication board. pal of the school. The institution is conducted under

As principal of Perkiomen Seminary since 1893 Dr. the auspices of the Schwenkfelder church. It is man-

Kriebel has attained front rank among the educators aged by a board of trustees consisting of thirteen mem-

of the State, and he is a lecturer and public speaker of bars, elected by the Church. In 1908 the trustees were :

note. He is deeply interested in all educational and M. K. Gilbert, president; Rev., N. B. Grubb; Jacob D.

intellectual movements which tend to advance the Heebner; Hon. John G. Hersh, M. D., vice-president;

civil or moral welfare of the country and exerts a con- Adam Krauss, secretary; Hiram K. Kriebel; Jesse S.

siderable influence in such circles. His practical work Kriebel; Rev. E. E. S. Johnson; Rev. O. S. Kriebel;

along his chosen lines has been varied and efficient. Rev. G. K. Meschter, M. D.; B. S. Schultz; E. K.

He is a member of the Civil Service Reform Associa- Schultz, treasurer; and_ Rev. A. S. Shelly,
tion of Pennsylvania, and has taken an active and prom-

iment part in the good roads movement wherever it MAHLON NUNNEMACHER KLINE, president and
lias been propagated in Pennsylvania. In his home general manager of the Smith, Kline & French Company, .
town he is held in profound respect, and those who who conduct the largest wholesale drug establishment in
know him best speak of him as a scholarly, broad-mind- Philadelphia, and one of the largest in the United States,
ed, public-spirited and exemplary citizen, a Christian was born Feb. 6, 1846, near Hamburg, in Windsor town-
gentleman of the highest type. ship, Berks Co., Pa., son of John and Mary (Nunne-

In June, 1907, Rev. Oscar S. Kriebel had the hon- macher) Kline,

orary degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred upon Hans (Johannes) Klein, the great-great-grandfather of

him by Franklin and Marshall College, of Lancaster, Mahlon N., a farmer of near Centreport, died in 1795.

Pa. Prof. Kriebel has also completed most of the re- He was twice married, and by his first union had four

quired work for a Ph. D. degree in the graduate de- sons, John, Werner, Nicholas and Jacob; by his second

partment of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a wife, Catherine, he had eight children: Philip; Conrad;

member of the Montgomery County Historical So- Peter; Catherine, who married Henry Lutz; Barbara,

ciety, of the Pennsylvania German Society, of the who married John Koch; Elizabeth, who married John

National Geographical Society, and has been for years Tobias; Mary, who married Christian Haak or Haag,

president of the Private Secondary School Association brother of Philip's wife; and Margaret Elizabeth, who

of Pennsylvania. married John Losz. These eight children are named in

On June 30, 1891, Dr. Kriebel married Miss Corinne the last will of the second wife, which was probated in

Mailer, of Castalia, Erie Co., Ohio, daughter of Capt. 1801. All twelve children are named in Hans Klein's will,

W. W. and Mary (Caswell) Miller. They have had probated in 1795.

three children, Frieda, Mary and Louisa, the eldest, Of the foregoing family, Philip Klein, who was also
Frieda, born in Berlin, Germany, during the parents' a farmer of the vicinity of Centreport, was the great-
long sojourn abroad. grandfather of Mahlon N. He died in 1837, aged sixty-
Mrs. Kriebel's father, Capt. W. W. Miller, served as five years. By his marriage with Magdalena Haag he had
a captain throughout the Civil war, being popularly five children': John ; Joseph, who married a Stetzler ; Jacob,
called the "Boy Captain'' because of his youth. He who married a Roth; Charles; and Rebecca, who married
was wounded at Gettysburg. For ten years he was Matthias Hettinger. The mother of these children died
State Secretary of Agriculture of Ohio. On the ma- in 1856, at the age of eighty-two years,
ternal side Mrs. Kriebel comes from a line of patriotic The grandfather of Mahlon N. Kline, who like his father
ancestors who were ever ready to risk their lives in the and grandfather was engaged in farming near Centre-
service of their country, her grandfather Caswell and port, died in 1835, aged thirty-eight years. He was married
his brothers having served with distinction in the to Catherine Faust, and by her had six children: John;
Civil war; her great-grandfather in the war of 1813-15; William, who removed to Milton, Pa.; Benjamin, who
and her great-great-grandfather in the Revolutionary removed to near Pottsville, Pa.; Mary, who married Jacob
war. Renninger; Esther, who married John G. HoUenbach; and

Perkiomen Seminary. At Pennsburg, Montgomery Catherine, who married Simon Hoffman.

County, Pa., two and one-fourth miles from the John Kline, father of Mahlon N. Kline, was a farmer

Berks County line, is located the famous Perkiomen of Upper Bern '(now Tilden) township, where he carried



BIOGRAPHICAL



777



on agricultural pursuits until his decease, in 1889, at the
age of sixty-nine years. He took an active interest in
the United Brethren Church situated several miles west
of his residence. John Kline married Mary Nunnemacher,
daughter of John Nunnemacher, of the same township,
and she died in 1897, aged seventy-three years, the
mother of one son, Mahlon N.

Mahlon Nunnemacher Kline removed with his parents,
while still an infant, to Upper Bern (now Tilden) town-
ship, near Berne Station, on the Philadelphia & Reading
railroad. He received his education in the public schools
of that vicinity and for two years attended a private school
at Reading. When fourteen years old he was sent to
Philadelphia to attend public school there for a course of
higher education, but he continued his studies there for
only six months, when he returned home, and though but
fifteen years of age he made application for a position as
teacher. He passed an examination successfully, and was
given a school several miles north of Reading, now Hyde
Park, where he taught for one term. With this prepara-
tion he directed his attention to store-keeping, and, finding
a place in a country store at Hamburg, a few miles from
, home, he applied himself assiduously to. that work for two
years. He then went to the Eastman Business College
at Poughkeepsie, and after graduating from this institution
secured a position as bookkeeper with the wholesale drug
firm of Smith & Shoemaker, at No. 243 North Third street,
Philadelphia. This was in February, 1865, and in three
years, so highly were his integrity and devotion to busi-
ness appreciated, he was admitted a member of the firm.
Mr. Shoemaker retired from the firm in 1869, and the
name was changed to Smith, Kline & Co. The business
stand was at the same place until 1887, when larger and
more convenient quarters became necessary, and it was
removed to Nos. 429-431 Arch street. A year afterward
the firm was incorporated. In 1891, the wholesale business
of French, Richards & Co. being closed out, Harry B.
French joined the corporation, the name of which was
changed to the Smith, Kline & French Company, and as
such it has continued to the present time. The plant has
been much enlarged and the volume of business developed
until it ranks third in its line of trade in the United States.
They now occupy the premises at Nos. 429-435 Arch street,
with laboratory and mill at Canal and Poplar streets. Mr.
Kline has been the general manager of the corporation
since its formation and its president since 1903, which
evidences his prominence in the successful management of
the enterprise.
. Mr. Kline has been publicly identified with the business,
political, social and religious affairs of Philadelphia for
many years. He took an active part in the establishment
of the Bourse and was elected a director in 1900. The
Drug Exchange was organized in 1861, and he became a
director in 1882, vice-president in 1883, and president in
1884. The National Wholesale Druggists' Association was
organized in 1882, and Mr. Kline cooperated with other
wholesale drug merchants in establishing it as a body to
take the place of the Western Wholesale Druggists' As-
sociation; and since that time he has been attending all of
its annual meetings, excepting in 1895, when he was trav-
eling in Europe. Notwithstanding his busy life he took
time to unite with other prominent citizens of Philadelphia
in their efforts to reform local politics and improve the
municipal government, and his activities in' this behalf
naturally led to his selection as a member of the executive
committee of the Lincoln party, and as treasurer of the
State committee in 1905. In the stirring campaign of 1906
he made numerous speeches in different sections of the
State, advocating the election of the candidates on the
Lincoln party ticket, and thereby demonstrating in a public
manner his earnest devotion to the cause of political re-
form. Mr. Kline has been a member of the Union
League since 1896 ; he is also a member of the Manheim
Cricket Club and of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Fol-
lowing the religious inclinations of his parents, he has
been a devoted member of the Church of the Saviour
(Protestant Episcopal, at Thirty-eighth and Chestnut
streets), and has served the Sunday-school as its super-



intendent since 1896. He has also officiated as a director
of the Franklin Reformatory Home at No. 915 Locust
street for upward of ten years. For three months in
1895 he traveled extensively on the continent of Europe,
and in- 1897 he visited all the important places of England,
Scotland and Ireland.

In 1874, Mr. Kline was married to Isadore E. Unger,
of Allentown, daughter of Leopold Paul and Hettie (Hart)
Unger, and by this union he has three children : Isadore C,
who married Harry S. Valentine, treasurer of the drug
corporation named; Leah Elizabeth, who married T. Car-
rick Jordan; and Clarence Mahlon, who is one of the
directors of the Smith, Kline & French Company.

GEORGE ALBRECHT, junior member of the well
known firm of Northeimer & Albrecht, practical plaster-
ers of Reading, Pa., was born in that city, Oct. 10, 1864,
son of the late Isadore and Mary (Reichert) Albrecht.

Isadore Albrecht was a native of Baden, Germany, and
came to America in 1848, landing at New York City,
thence going to Philadelphia. He had learned the trade
of tailor in his native country, and that occupation he fol-
lowed in Philadelphia for about one year, at the end of
which time he located in Reading, in which city he con-
tinued to follow his trade for a period of twenty-four
years. He was also engaged in the hotel business at
Eleventh and Walnut streets, and was well known and
very successful. He died in April, 1904, aged seventy-
nine years. His widow, who survives him, resides at No.
1041 Walnut street. They had these children : Louisa,
of Reading; William, a cigar maker of Reading; John,
a contractor and builder of the city; George; Charles,
proprietor of the "Friendship House," No. 108 Robeson
street, Reading; and Matilda, m. to John Popp, of Reading.

George Albrecht attended the schools of Reading, his
first employment being at Jackson's Rope Walk, whence-
he went to the Reading Hardware Company. He then
became employed at the pipe mill, and for a time served
on the police force of the city under Mayor Jacob Wei-
del. He learned the plastering trade, which he followed
for one year in Philadelphia, then returning to Reading,
where he engaged in business with J. E. Northeimer, the
firm having since been known as Northeimer & Albrecht.

Mr. Albrecht married (first) Miss Annie Boyer, who
died, leaving one child, Annie, who died when thirteen
months old. Mr. Albrecht's second marriage was to
Jennie Williams, born in London, England, who came to
this country when eight years old.. Nine children, eight
of whom are living, were born to this union : Annie, de-
ceased; Catherine; Jennie; Gerald; Maria; Josephine;
Gertrude; George, and John. Mr. Albrecht is a Demo-
crat in politics. He is a member of St. Paul's Church.
He is connected fraternally with the Eagles Aerie No.
66, and the Rainbow Fire Company. Mr. Albrecht makes
his home at No. 215 North Tenth street, Reading, and
is very well known and highly esteemed in his community.

BEN. H. ZERR, a traveling salesman whose home is
in Reading, was born in Lebanon, Pa., Oct. 22, 1860,
and in paternal lines is of Holland ancestry. '

(I) George Zerr, the pioneer ancestor of this family,
was a native of Holland, and emigrated to America in
1750. The exact date of his settling in Hereford town-
ship, Berks county, is unknown, but in 1790 he was a
taxable there, as was also his eldest son Jacob. He was
a farmer by occupation, and owned a tract of 160 acres
of good land. He died "old in years" in 1801, and was
survived by his wife, Sophia. In his will, recorded in
Book 4, page 37, he is called a yeoman. The executors
of his will -were his son Jacob and one Peter Fink. The
children mentioned in the vrill were : Jacob ; George — "my
youngest son shall have the adjoining tract of 150 acres";
Catharine m. Conrad Fink; Magdalena m. John Bickel;
Mary m. Jacob Keifer.

(II) Jacob Zerr, eldest son of George, was born in
Hereford township in 1760. He settled on a large farm
in Amity township at an early date, and died there March
1, 1826, aged sixty-six. His wife Susanna, born in 1766,
died Sept. 19, 1842, and both are buried in the graveyard



778



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



at the Amityville church. His will, dated April 19, 1825,
is on record in Will Book 5, page 487. He and his wife
had the following children: Jacob; Elizabeth (Kerst) ;
George; Peggy (Bickel) ; Henry; Lidda; Samuel and
Sarah. ,

(lU) Jacob Zerr, eldest son of Jacob, , was born in
Amity, but in middle life he settled in Spring township
on a farm located near the Lancaster bridge. His last
will, made on March 35th, and probated Dec. 6, 1865,
soon after his death, is on record in Will' Book 11, page
436. He was survived by his wife Mary, and the fol-
lowing children : William and Elizabeth. He left a large
estate, and his son William was bequeathed the tavern
stand and tract of land in Amity township consisting of
forty-three acres, bounded by the Perkiomen turnpike, and
the house in Spring township in which his father died,
besides other land in Spring township.

(in) George Zerr, third child of Jacob, was a farmer
at Geigertown, in Union township, where he died in 1872.
In his will he valued his 130-acre farm at $6,000, and
this he bequeathed to his son, Jacob G. By occupation
George Zerr was a linen weaver. His will, made July 14,
1869, is recorded in Will Book 12, page 455. His child-
ren were: Jacob G. ; Christina m. Elijah Geiger; Hannah
m. Jacob Kachel; Mary m. Joseph Geiger.

(III) Henry Zerr, son of Jacob, was a farmer in
Union township. He died in 1866, and is buried at Geiger-
town. He provided that his wife Elizabeth should re-
main on the farm as long as she lived. This farm was
cultivated by his son Lafayette. To Henry and Elizabeth
Zerr were born : Harriet ; Elizabeth ; Mary Ann ; George ;
Lafayette (who had sons, Henry H. and George M.) ;
Hannah; and Elizabeth. ,

(IV) Jacob G. Zerr, only son of George, was a pros-
perous farmer at Geigertown. His children were : How-
ard; Henry; Jacob L. ; Elijah M., a prosperous farmer,
prominently identified with the Berks County Agricul-
tural Society and Farmers' Union, whose three daugh-
ters, Sophie E., Eva A., and Sallie E., are all graduates
of the Keystone State Normal School; Eliza; Mary Ann;
Adaline and H. Susanna.

(III) Samuel Zerr, son of Jacob, is buried at Geiger-
town. He married Catharine Neida, born Sept 10, 1805,
daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Neida, and she died
Aug. 31, 1856, and is buried at Amityville. They had
a son Samuel.

(IV) iSamuel Zerr, son of Samuel and Catharine, was
born in Amityville, where he lived until after attaining
his majority, when for a short time he lived in Lebanon,
Pa. He then came to Reading, and was in the sand
business for a ilumber of years along the Schuylkill
river, supplying the Philadelphia & Reading Railway
Company with sand. The sand bank eventually came into
the hands of Augustus Hoff, of Reading. Mr. Zerr spent
his later years at farming in Caernarvon to*nship, and

' there died in the early part of 1860, and is buried afi
Geigertown. He was twice married. To his first mar-
riage were born : Samuel ; Augustus ; Jacob ; Caroline
m. Augustus Mentz; and Catharine m. Jacob Armpries-
ter. His second wife was Catharine Krum, and to this
union was born but one son, Ben. H, Mrs. Catharine
(Krum) Zerr died at the age of seventy-two years.

(V) Ben H. Zerr was less than a year old when
his parents came to Reading, where the family has since
lived. For a time the family home was where the Elks
Home is now located at Fifth and Franklin streets. Mr.
Zerr received his education in the public schools, and in
1879, when the Philomathean Society was organized he
became one of the active members, and so continued as
long as the society was in existence. This organization
was a great factor in the city, and many of its members
became noted in various walks of life. When but twelve
years of age Mr. Zerr became a newsboy for the Read-
ing Eagle, selling the papers both in the city and on
the different railroads through this section of the country.
When he was twenty-one years of age be became a.
.traveling salesman, and in 1882 he was one of the first
to go out from Reading to sell hosiery and pants. His



first experience, however, was in selling safes, afterward
entering the employ of the J. G. Leinbach & Co., Woolen
Mills, North Fourth street. In 1892 he conducted a cigar
store in the "Hotel Penn" known as the "Art," and
noted in particular for its appointments in the selection
of the fine draperies, curtains, pedestals, and engravings.
In 1907, with others, he engaged in the manufacture of
hosiery, and in this he has continued to the present time.
Mr. Zerr is a thorough business man, and has a pleasing
address. For several years he was active in the base
ball world of Reading, and it was his idea to secure
Lauer's Park and transform it into the present ideal ball
park. In spite of his other interests Mr. Zerr returned
to the road in 1895, and has since continued at that
work, as a merchandise broker.

On Feb. 32, 1883, Mr. Zerr married Elenora Muthart,
daughter of John and Leah (Hoyer) Muthart, of Read-
ing, and their children were : Walter B., an electrician
in New York City; Florence, who died in childhood;
Ben. H., Jr., who died. Oct. 27, 1908, aged seventeen
years and seven months ; and Stewart R. The family
have resided at No! 148 North Eleventh street, Reading,
since 1888. Fraternally Mr. Zerr is a member of Chand- !
ler Lodge; No. 237, F. & A. M.; Lodge No. 115, B. P.
O. Elks, and several commercial societies. In his travels
Mr. Zerr has seen many of the points of interest of the
country.

(V) Samuel Zekr, son of Samuel and half-brother of
Ben H., lived in Reading, where he was an upholsterer
employed by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Com-
pany. He died in 1893, aged fifty-two years. By his
wife, Susan Kissinger, he had two children : (1) Sallie
died small. (3) Samuel, born June 27, 1869, was edu-
cated in the schools of Reading, graduated from the
Pharmaceutical College, Philadelphia, in 1891, and -has
been for a number of years manager of the machine
shop of Jacob S. Peipher, his half-brother; he married
(first) Katie Hoffman, who died leaving two children,
Samuel E. and Nora E., and he m. (second) in 1901,
Mary Helfrich, daughter of John Helfrich, a native of
Germany^ and they have three children, Georgine, Mary
and Harold.

JOHN M. GRILL, for a number of years a well known
agriculturist of Cumru township, Berks county, now living
retired at Shillington, Pa., was born Sept. 13, 1837, near
Wernersville, Berks county, son of Joseph and Hannah
(Matz) Grill.

Joseph Grill was born Aug. 7, 1806, in Cumru, now
Spring, township, and was a lifelong farmer. For seven
years he lived on a sixteen-acre tract in Lower Heidel-
berg township, and later he removed to Spring township,
where he owned a good farm on which he died in July,
1891. He also owned the old Grill homestead in Spring
township, and was in comfortable circumstances. Mr. Grill
married Hannah Matz, daughter of John and Elizabeth
(Shoup) Matz, and to this union there were born children
as follows: Joshua, m. to Mary Gring; Mary, living at
Sinking Spring ; John M. ; Joseph, who died in childhood ;
Henry, m. to Sarah Huyett; Catherine, living in Sinking
Spring; and Samuel, who died in childhood.

John M. Grill attended the pay schools and later the
free schools ol his day, and his entire life was spent in
farming. He remained on the farm until 1890, in which
year he removed to Shillington, and he has there resided
retired to the present time. In 1866 he commenced farm-
ing for himself near the Green Tree in Cumru township,
on his father-in-law's farm, which he acquired after the
latter's death July 32, 1891, at the age of eighty-three years,
eleven months, eleven days. In 1890 Mr. Grill built a
large, two-story brick residence at the corner of Phila-
delphia and Lancaster avenues in Shillington, which the
family has occupied since 1893. Mr. Grill and his brother
Henry own the old Grill homestead of 120 acres of land,
which lies adjacent to the old Wheat Field mines in
Spring township, and here blue iron ore is found in great
quantity. At one time Mr. Grill was a prominent figure
in local politics, and for a time was a Democratic auditor



BIOGRAPHICAL



779



of Cumru township. He and his wife are members of
Christ's Union Church, Cumru, of which he is a Re-
formed and she a Lutheran member. He has been a
deacon and elder of the church for many years. In 1893
Mr. and Mrs. Grill attended the World's Fair at Chicago,
and in 1901 the Exposition at Buffalo, and they have also
traveled extensively in other parts of the country. They
are well known in their vicinity, and have a large social
circle.

On Nov. 21, 1867, Mr. Grill married Sarah Fritz, daugh-
ter of Martin, and Margaretta (Gring) Fritz, and grand-
daughter of Martin and Catherine (Rathje) Fritz. Mr.
and Mrs. Grill's adopted daughter, whom they reared from
her third year, Sallie A. Kohl, married Washington Lein-
bach, son of James and Catharine (Ahrens), Reading,
and they have one son, Leroy K. Mr. and Mrs. Lein-
bach reside with Mr. and Mrs. Grill.

HENRY HALLER was a tailor at Reading in 1765, and
in 1775 was engaged as an innkeeper, by which time he
had become a man of considerable social and political
influence. In the formation of a regiment in Berks coun-
ty, as its quota of the 4,500 men for the Flying Camp,
he was chosen Colonel, but he did not accompany the
regiment in its march to Long Island, and did not parti-
cipate in that battle. Shortly afterward, however, he
commanded another battalion which went into service in
New Jersey. In the public actions for encouraging the
Revolution, he took a prominent part, and next to Ed-
ward Biddle, George Nagel, Jacob Morgan, and Bodo
Otto, was as prominent as any man in Reading. He was
a delegate to the Provincial Conference in 1776, and also
a member of the Committee of Safety, the Committee on
Attainder, and the Committee to Collect Arms, etc. lie
served as a member of the Assembly from 1776 to 1781.
During the years 1778, 1779 and 1780, he was wagon-mas-
ter of Berks County, and during 1779 and 1780, wagon-
master-general of the Continental Army. The first public
office he held was that of coroner of the county in 1767.

After the Revolution, he moved up the Schuylkill Val-
ley beyond the Blue Mountains, in Brunswick township,
then still part of Berks county, and there he died in Sep-
tember, 1793, possessed of a very large estate. He had
eight sons; Frederick, . Jacob, Henry, John, William, Isaac,
Benjamin and Lewis; and two daughters, Elizabeth (m.
to William Mears), and Sarah (m. to Samuel Webb).

FRANK L. KREPS is a plumber at Reading, Pa., whose
establishment is situated at No. 40 ' North Sixth street.
He was born April 30, 1865, at Salem, Ohio, son of Henry
and Mary (O'Brien) Kreps.

Henry Kreps, father of Frank L., was also a native of
Salem, Ohio, and there spent his entire life, and died _
in 1876, aged about thirty-eight years. His trade was that '



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 225 of 227)