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 43 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 43 of 227)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

The next down train was stopped in the cut, and
this daring proceeding drew the crowd from the
depot and intensified the excitement at Seventh and
Penn streets. And the people remained at that
point, immovable. Proclamations by the sheriff
and earnest appeals by the policemen did not make
the slightest impression upon them. The vast mul-
titude were in sympathy with the riotous demon-
strations. And so matters remained for nearly two
hours, apparently growing worse as the darkness .
of night fell upon the community. Then, however,
a sudden change arose. -And what agent was this
that could, as it were, in a moment, in the twink-
ling of an eye, separate a maddened, threatening
crowd, when sober, sensible appeals to citizens who
had theretofore been a law-abiding people, were
wholly unavailing? It was the bullet. This acted
upon them' as effectually as the lightning upon rest-
less, thickening clouds in a portentous sky.

About 8 o'clock, seven companies of the 4th
Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, numbering
about two hundred men, under the command of
Gen. Franklin Reeder, arrived at the railroad sta-
tion in the city, viz. :

Company B, Allen Rifles, Allentown; Company
D, Allen Continentals, Allentown; Company E,
Blue Mountain Legion, Hamburg; Company F,
Easton Grays, Eastonj Company H, Slatington
Rifles, Slatington; Company I, Catasauqua; Com-
pany K, Portland, Northampton county.

After some consultation they were marched down
the railroad and through the "cut" toward Penn
street to liberate the train there. On the way, they
were attacked by persons on the elevated pave-
ments who threw stones and bricks upon them.
They did not fire in self-defense, but moved on
bravely. Nearing Penn street, the situation be-
came so dangerous that some of the men, by some
order or mistaken command, shot off their rifles.
Bricks and stones were thrown with increased en-
ergy, and many shots followed. The crowd immed-
iately scattered, and men were seen bearing away
the wounded and killed. With the dispersing
crowd, the soldiers also became disordered, and
the companies disorganized. Their conduct was
disgraceful, and the whole community, and espe-
cially the management of the Philadelphia & Read-
ing Railroad Company, lost confidence in them as
a means of restoring order or preserving peace.
A battery of United States Regular Artillery,
equipped as infantry, then came here shortly after-
ward, under the command of General Hamilton,
and remained until peace, order and safety were
assured. The fidelity of G. A. Nicolls and George
Eltz as officials of the railroad at this point, in the
perilous situation of affairs then existing, was
highly commendable.

This riot resulted in the killing of ten citizens
(Milton Trace, James J. Fisher, Ludwig Hoffman,
John H. Weaver, Lewis A. Eisenhower, John A.
Cassidy, John A. Wunder, Daniel Nachtrieb, Elias



Shafer and Howard Cramp) ; and the wounding of
twenty-seven persons (including four policemen)
and twelve soldiers.

Dr. George S. Goodhart, the coroner of the
county, then held an inquest to inquire into the loss
of life; and after hearing a number of witnesses
reported on Aug. 7, 1877, that the death of the per-
sons named was caused by the military who were
here by direction of the State authorities firing upon
the rioters, and the terrible tragedy was directly
attributed to the lawless assembling, of persons at
Seventh and Penn streets.

Many men were arrested and indicted for alleged
implication in this riot. Two of them pleaded
guilty and were sentenced to imprisonment for five
years. There was a hotly contested trial of an-
other, from Oct. 2d to the 6th, but he was acquitted.
The following week, fourteen were tried and all
were acquitted excepting one, who was convicted
of inciting to riot; and the third week, forty were
called for trial but the prosecution was abandoned.
These trials caused great excitement. F. B. Gowen,
the president of the P. & R. R; Co., conducted the
prosecution of these cases in person.

Sesqui-Centennial. — The town plan of Read-
ing was laid out by the Penns in 1748, and in one
hundred and fifty years the place was developed to
great proportions in every department of life. The
Board of Trade, appreciating the utility and impor-
tance of properly observing the Sesqui-Centennial,
took action at an annual meeting on Feb. 18, 1897,
and on Sept. 2d following, a joint committee was
appointed, comprising a special committee from
city coimcils and the committee on Municipal
Affairs of the Board. This General Committee held
its first meeting on Sept. 9th, and in several months
a program of festivities was adopted and an execu-
tive committee appointed which selected thirty-two
separate committees to make all the necessary ar-
rangements, and authorized the compiler of this
history to publish a concise History of Reading
including the proceedings relating to the Sesqui-
Centennial. Weekly meetings were held until June
3, 1898, and all the committees co-operated heartily
toward making the anniversary a grand success.
The official program was arranged to embrace the
second week of June, from Sunday the 5th to Sat-
urday the 11th, as follows :

Sunday, June 5th, Opening Day, with church services
in the morning, and musical concerts in the afternoon.

Monday, June 6th, Citizens' Day, with public reception
in the court-house in the morning, Civic Parade in the
afternoon, and electric illuminations and fireworks in the

Tuesday, Jime 7th, Women's and Children's Day, with
public receptions at Academy of Music and court-house in
the morning, School Parade in the afternoon, and grand
illumination and choral concert in the evening.

Wednesday, June 8th, public reception at the court-house
in the morning and Firemen's Parade in the afternoon.

Thursday, June gth, public reception at the court-house
in the morning, and Industrial Parade in the afternoon.

Friday, June loth, public reception at the court-house
in the morning. Cavalcade and Corso and Bicycle Races in

the afternoon, and Bicycle Flambeau Parade in the even-

Saturday, June nth. Regatta and Serenata on the Schuyl-
kill river to conclude the festivities.

This program was carried out in an admirable
manner. Most of the stores, business places, fac-
tories and dwellings in all parts of the city were
beautifully decorated with the national flag and
with bunting in national colors, and many places
displayed also the city colors and city flag_ which
had been adopted by the committee. The electric
illumination of Penn street . was superb and its
unique character contributed a great deal toward
the success of the celebration ; and for the first time
in public demonstrations on Penn street the people
remained on the sidewalks. The decorations on both
sides of Penn street, from Third to Eleventh streets,
were particularly attractive. All the receptions,
parades, concerts and exhibitions were successful
beyond the expectations of everybody, and such
orderly and appreciative throngs of people for six
successive days on Penn street had never before
been witnessed.

A fire on Penn Square during the Firemen's
Parade caused extraordinary excitement for sev-
eral hours. Many thousands of persons were in
the midst of admiring the brilliant display about 3
o'clock, but at the first tap of the fire alarm the
general feeling of joy and congratulation was in-
stantly turned to surprise and fear, the entire line
of procession flew into indescribable disorder, and
all the firemen with their apparatus rushed to Penn
Square. The dense mass of humanity presented
a most impressive sight, but notwithstanding the
great congestion and confusion there the Volunteer
Fire Department displayed remarkable efficiency in
mastering the situation. The fire was at No. 518,
where a cheap variety store was carried on, and
the smoke and flames from that store-room were
working their way rapidly into Kefifer's queens-
ware store and Kline, Eppihimer & Co.'s dry-
goods store, with indications of a costly conflagra-
tion. Fortunately the air was calm and the depart-
ment got control of the fire by 6 o'clock. The loss
was about $60,000. The end of the long and im-
posing procession had just reached Penn Square
when the alarm sounded, so the multitudes on the
sidewalks saw the greater part of it before it was

Many visiting friends and strangers were hos-
pitably entertained by numerous families, and by
associations of various kinds. Mr. and Mrs. George
F. Baer displayed a remarkable spirit of liberality
in wtelcoming and entertaining many distinguished
visitors at their superb home "Hawthorne."

The compiler of this history issued a compre-
hensive volume of 300 pages as a suitable memento
of the occasion, embracing a brief history of the
city and its numerous industrial establishments,
and a concise narrative of the Sesqui-Centennial,
which^ was highly complimented by the executive
committee and given a wide circulation.




^lLua*it rw'^SS.??

f ^pt.'iS.*' °]^TH A'^^e.4 ^*tg t,?,;r c»'* iSrfio'-^ e'i!^ f ^A - ^s.«^S. t*'?i'^55wAi
'-.^-^■i^ ■MIT I "^ '.-^'-cf

Iv+'l V^


f^!Lt«H.| ooO.-^i*60H| e*,™^^j;-„V ^ '■'^;,t^:5*»*•T'proH.:ei%,^|'=^^^ut2^UH,,.^






trip one way was made in a day, both by boat and
by stage, that is, from morning till evening. This
was accomphshed by changing the teams at fixed
stations, from six to eight miles apart.

Reading in 1840. — William Stable, a store-
keeper, published a small book of 68 pages in 1841,
relating to the business affairs of Reading as they
'existed in 1840. More than sixty different em-
ployments were carried on at that time, and the
manufacturing establishments numbered sixty-four.
The enumeration, briefly stated, was as follows :


1 Artist



7 Bakers



6 Barbers



16 Blacksmiths



1 Blind-maker


Painters (coach)

3 Boat-builders

• 7

Painters (house)

17 Brick-layers


Painters (sign)

14 Butchers



8 Cabinet-makers



30 Carpenters



4 Cigar-makers



9 Clock-makers



6 Coach-makers


Scissors Grinder

6 Coach-trimmers



1 Coffee-mill maker



2 Coopers



4 Coppersmiths



.3 Curriers



4 Dentists



11 Doctors



3 Drovers



4 Druggists



4 Dyers



2 Gunsmiths



1 Horse Farrier



3 lewelers


White Sweep

25 Lawyers


1 Auger Factory


Gun Barrel Factory

1 Blacking Varnish Factory


Iron and Nail Works

1 Brass Foundry


Iron Foundry

3 Breweries


Lime Kiln

9 Brick Kilns


Machine Shops

1 Brush Factory


Piano Factory

1 Coffee-Mill Factory


Rope Factory

1 Comb Factory


Saw Mill

1 Distillery


Stove Foundry

3 Farming Implement Shops


White and Morocco

8 Fur Hat Factories


2 Glue Factories


Windsor Chair Factories

2 Grist-mills


Wool Hat Factories



3 Banks



2 Bridges


Private Schools

2 Canals


Public Schools

12 Churches


Public Libraries

5 Coal Yards



6 Fire Companies



1 Greenhouse



4 Livery Stables



3 Lumber Yards



2 Market-houses



3 Military Companies


Wood and Coal Yards

The foregoing list is not complete, for it is
known that many men were engaged in other oc-
cupations which contributed their share toward the
enrichment and development of Reading, such as

wool-hat-makers, boot and shoe makers, molders,
machinists, chain-makers, nail-makers, potters,
wheelwrights, distillers, brewers, rope-makers, and

Development of Reading, 1/83-184/. — Be-
tween 1783 and 1847 the energy of the people was
constantly shown in various directions. In the
course of local events, it appears prominent in
patriotism, in religious zeal, and in business inter-
course. The erection of churches by different de-
nominations would seem to have been accompHshed
mostly by first efforts; but the erection of bridges,
turnpikes and canals required much perseverance
under adverse circumstances, extending through
many years.

The growth of the population of Reading was sur-
prising, especially considering it as an inland bor-
ough. The stage-coach and turnpike contributed the
greater proportion of this growth until 1835, and the
canal and railroad from that time until 1847. Coal
became the principal factor in this development
after 1825. It was discovered about 1770, but it
was not appreciated for heating purposes until after
1810, and for creating steam until after 1825. The
first practical use of it in a stove at Reading
is said to have been made in the Branch Bank
about 1810. When the canal was opened for trans-
portation from the coal regions in 1824, it began
to be introduced in large quantities. Then factories
were erected and they were operated by steam
power. When the railroad was extended to Potts-
ville in 1842, the influence of coal in accelerating
the development of Reading was felt in a marked
degree. Iron must also be mentioned in this con-
nection. It was the great constituent in machinery
for factories, shops and furnaces, and in a substan-
tial track for the railroad. Coal, steam and iron
were each necessary to complete the great combina-
tion for power, despatch and economy, and they
contributed largely to the rapid development of
Reading from 1825 to 1850. This appears from the
census enumeration, as follows : from 1820 to 1830,
35 per cent. ; from 1830 to 1840, 46.6 per cent, and
from 1840 to 1850, 87.2 per cent.

In 184/. — As near as it can be ascertained,
Reading in 1847 contained 37 different kinds of
industrial establishments ; also 130 mercantile houses
for which county licenses were issued. The fol-
lowing statement includes the names of the more
prominent persons who carried on business here
at that time:

Bakeries : Henry Drum, John G. Eben, David Mitchell,
Daniel Moyer.

Blacksmith shops: John Drenkel, Aaron Getz, Peter D.
Getz, Jacob Jones, Daniel Miller, Thomas Rambo, William

Boat-yards: William Krick, Samuel & Adam Krauser.
William Hiester, Savage & Call, Corbett & Stratton.

Brczveries: Frederick Lauer, Nicholas Felix, John

Brick-yards : John Darrah, Adam Diehm, Thomas
Diehm, John Hoff, Benjamin Fink, Jacob Geiger, Henry
Graul, George S. Levan, William Yeager, Jacob Young.



Brush Factories: Benjamin Witman, Helms & German,
William Sage.

Cabinet Factories: John Bertolet, Henry Haberacker,
Josiah Hearing, Henry Rhein. Daniel Spang.

Candy Factories: P. K. & H. L. Miller, G. W. & A. M.
Souders, Amos B. Yeager

Carriage Factories: Ephraim Booth, Samuel Filbert,
Jacob Hessler, Godfrey Simon, Isaiah Thomas.

Chain Factory : Nicholas Rapp.

Chair Factories: Owen Bitting, John Brown, Frederick
Fox, James M. Lewis, Gustavus Leslie.

Cigar Factories: John Beadencup, Charles Breneiser,
J. & E. Eyrich, Franklin Frantz, J. M. & G. W. Hantsch,
John Maltzberger.

Clothing Shops: James Jameson, William McFarlan,
George Newkirk.

Comb Factory : Viven & Behm.

Cooper Shops : Peter Barbey, Daniel Engel, Morton
Righter, William Sands, Henry B. Shearer, Thomas

Distilleries: Philip Bushong, Riah Gillson.

Farming Implement Works: Adam Waid, Montgom-
ery & Armstrong.

Fire-Brick Works: William Wells.

Glue Factories: Daniel Levan, Samuel Levan.

Greenhouse : Michael Hauser.

Grist-Mills: Frees & Kissinger (steam), George Smith

Hat Factories : Henry Brown, George Drenkel, Levi
Hildebrand, Henry Henritze, John Kutz, John Lotz, Isaac
W. Levan, Jacob Maurer, Adam' Rightmeier, Charles W.
Ringgold, Jacob Sauerbier, M. & J. Siegel, John Yerger,
William Yerger.

Iron Works: Bertolette's Rolling Mill [Enterprise],
Darling, Dotterer & Co.'s Machine Shop, Eckert's Fur-
nace [Henry. Clay], Johnston's Foundry [Franklin], Phila-
delphia & Reading R. R. Co. Shops, Sabbatin's Forge, Sey-
fert, McManus & Co.'s Rolling Mill.

Locksmith Shops: John Mellert, John Miller, George

Marble Works : John F. Moers, John T. Craig, Ferui-
nand H. Strecker.

Nail-makers: George Heilman, Frederick Heilman,

Organ Factories: Daniel Bohler, John Schoener.

Potteries: Asaph Shenf elder, William Wells.

Rope Walks: Thomas Jackson, Stephen Orth.

Saddleries: George Frees, Jacob H. Hain, Andrew
Fichthorn, Henry Hahs, Gideon Weiser.

Sawmills: Boas & Spangler, J. V. Craig, Foos &

Shoe Factories: H. F. Felix & Co., Henry Fry, Jacob
Goodhart, O'Brien & Foster.

Silversmith Shops: Frederick Grotevent, Charles L.
Heizmann, George Heller, Levan Mannerback, Otto Ralle.

Soap and Candle Factories : John R. Klein, Albert

Tanneries: Henry Connard, Andrew, Charles & Wil-
liam Fichthorn, Abraham Kerper, George Winters. .

Tin- and Copper-smith Shops: F. & W. Bright, Jacob
Long, Morris Pauli, Charles K. Snell, Daniel Smith.

Turner Shops: Joseph Bitting, Charles Young.

Wheelwright Shops : Jacob Goodman, Henry Goodman,
Reuben Goodman.

Weaving Shops: George Goodman, George Price,
Philip Rush.

The following must also be mentioned, because
they contributed a great deal toward the prosper-
ity of Reading:

Banks: Farmers' Bank; Branch Bank of Pennsylvania.

Builders: William Call, N. M. Eisenhower, George
Foos, Benjamin Fink, John Fink, Jacob Fritz, William
and Joseph Henry, William B. Hertzel, John and Frede-
rick Printz, Solomon Spohn.

Hotels : Herman Beard, Wm. Behm, John W. Burk-
hart, John Darrah, Andrew Davis, Wm. L. deBourbon,

Isaac Enis, Jacob Frill, George Gernant, Samuel Graul,
Daniel Herr, John Mellon, John Messersmith, John
Moyer, Michael Nunnemacher, Philip Orth, Peter Phil-
lippi, Wm. Rapp, Solomon Spohn, Harry Weldy.

Merchants: Philip Albright, John Allgaier, Marks John
Biddle, Boas, Lott & Co., D. R. Clymer, William and Peter
Coleman, Lewis Briner, Baum & Sands, Samuel Ermen-
trout, Wm. Ermentrout, Fasig & Henry, Wm. S. Fisher,
Fricker & Stout, John Green, Hoff & Bro., George Feather,
Hart & Mayer, Johnson & Tejnplin, Keely & Kerper, Wm.
& John Keim, Michael Kefler, Frank Miller, J. & C. M.
Pearson, Alexander Peacock, Wm. Rhoads & Son, Francis
Roland, Stichter & McKnight, John Ritter & Co., Seyfert &
Miner, Frank B. Shalters, David R. Schultz, E. D. Smith,
Weitzel & Bro., Philip Zieber.

The following women were in business then, all con-
ducting millinery establishments, and several includmg
trimmings and notions : Mrs. Catharine Andrews, (Bar-
bara) Babb & (Catharine) Wanner, Mrs. Rachel Boyer,
Helen Dwight, Mrs. Amanda Heller, Mrs. Mary Marsh,
Mrs. Hannah Phillippi, Catharine Price, Deborah Potts,
Mrs. Elizabeth Reamer (Norton), Ellen Richards, Mrs.
Red, Mrs. Runyeon, (Mrs. Susan) Rapp & (Mrs. Catha-
rine) Harvey, Mrs. Harriet Smith (Kutz).

Development since 1847. — By the foregoing de-
tails it is apparent that the community then pos-
sessed a remarkable spirit of enterprise, and that
this spirit caused the development of Reading in
its industrial, financial and social affairs. The es-
tablishments were mostly small, and employed only
several mechanics. The iron works, however, were
large and afforded employment to a considerable
number of hands, especially the Philadelphia &
Reading Railroad Company shops, and the Seyfert,
McManus & Company rolling-mill. The major part
of their production was shipped away by railroad,
canal, stage and private conveyances, more par-
ticularly cigars, iron articles and wool hats.

It would be very interesting to describe in detail
the development of the industrial life at .Reading
in its various channels until the present time, but
the subject cannot be exhaustively treated here.
The status at the beginning of 1909, sixty
years after the incorporation of the city, is
far beyond that of 1847. This will be made ap-
parent by comparing the foregoing statement with
the following. The improvement is truly wonder-
ful, and the people of Reading can show a pardon-
able pride in its manufacturing concerns, to which
it is chiefly indebted for the great increase of its
wealth and population.

It must be stated in this connection that a sim-
ilar improvement was made in the dry-goods estab-
lishments. Some of them have grown into large
department stores, notably Dives, Pomeroy & Stew-
art, C. K. Whitner & Co., Kline, Eppihimer Sz: Co.,
J. Mould & Co., and Lord & Gage. The stores
at Reading from 1760 to 1847 were practically
what the department stores are today, the differ-
ence being in the amount of stock carried. Then
the value was from $5,000 to $50,000; now it is
from $50,000 to $1,000,000. After 1847, as pop-
ulation increased, many of them began to carry
distinct lines of goods, and this has been continued
until now. The department stores began here
in 1876.




The following concise description of the numer-
ous industrial enterprises at Reading, showing
name and nature of business, date of founding,
etc., will give the reader an idea of the great
variety of articles manufactured. The compiler
had hoped to supply particulars showing the ex-
tent of the Jjusiness, persons employed, investments,
etc., of the various establishments in existence at
this time, whether large or small, but he found
that the information could not be made complete,
or reliable, and that changes in the firms and the
business were constantly going on; therefore he
confined his efforts to the prepairation of a simple
statement. The list indicates truly that Reading
has been and is a great industrial center. Its trad-
ing relations extend to all parts of the world.
Many of the important facts will be found in the
sketches of the manufacturers which are includ-
ed in the biographical part of this pubhcation.
The iron industries have been described in a class
by themselves, at the end of the alphabetical list.
Abattoirs :

Reading Abattoir Company, 1898, 60 to 75 men.

Simon & Sherman, 1906, 3 to 4 men.
Badges :

Reading Ribbon Badge Company, 1896 ; 20 to 30

Keystone Ribbon Badge Company, 1893 ; 8 to 10
Bakeries, Bread, Pies, etc. (the more important,

which employ several or more teams for deliver-
ing their products).

Joel A. Arnold
William H. Behrle
Alfred E. Brossman
Mrs. Minnie Brusch
Mrs. Lena C. Dallwig
Charles H. DeHart
Charles G. Fender
Daniel H. Folmer
Conrad Gantert
Samuel A. J. Green

Jacob B. Mertz
William Moyer
Andrew J. Muntz
Harry Pappa
John W. Pfautz
John F. Rauch
Conrad Schamburg
Henry Schofer's Sons
James A. Schofer
Samuel Spadofora

A. J. Howard & Andrew Daniel B. Spatz

Christian Edwin C. Stahl

Frederick K. Humrichouse John S. Stegmann

Robert W. Kingkinger Edward F. Stoeber

Frank C. Kclb Mrs. Kate R. Warfel

John P. Luft Michael Wolicki
Gottlieb Mayer

Bakeries, Bretzels:

Pennsylvania Brctzcl Company, 1900 (succeeded
Lichtenthaeler Bretzel Company, which was started
in 1860).

/. T. Adams & Co., 1907 (succeeded Hendricks
& Adams, which was started in 1893).

Francis J. Baclnnan, 1884.

Addison Geyer, 1885.

Frank F Nistle, 1903.

American Pretzel Company (William L. Schul-
er), 1906.

Bakeries, Crackers:

A. Mitchell Est. (succeeded David Mitchell, who
started in 1853).

Reading Biscuit Company, 1903.

Baskets :

George S. Cook, 1905 (having succeeded his
father, John Cook, 1852-1905).

William L. Wunder, 1883.

Bending Works :

Anchor Bending Works, J. Harry and Charles
E. Leippe, 1889 (succeeded father, 1880-89).

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 43 of 227)