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 61 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 61 of 227)
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brick, and presents a fine appearance. It is sit- ^j^ig j^ was called the Citizens' Cornet Band, and

uated on Third street, north of State. A collec- afterward it took the name of Burkey's Cornet

tion of miscellaneous books was then made by pur- g^^^ ^j^^ directors and instructors of the band

chase and donation. In April, 1909, it embraced ^^^^ ^^^^ ^ Shollenberger, Dr. William Har-

over twenty-five hundred vo unies. J Edward [ ^^^ Wellington J. Confer,

Miller, Esq., has been president of he Library ^^ j^^^ ^^^ f^^^,^^ ^-^^^ ^^^^^ j^ j^^^

Commission since 190o, and he has taken much ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^- members,
interest m its success. ^^ -' „ ™, ^^^ ^■-

Secret SociETiES.-The secret societies which Destructive FLOOD.-There was a severe ram-
have carried on an active organization at Ham- storm of short duration at Hamburg and vicinity
burg for a number of years are the following: «" Friday afternoon Aug. 3 1906, which shock-
* ■' ed the community and caused losses which amount-
Odd Fellows gjj jQ ^^^^^^ $30,000, one-third to the borough,
Kn?ghfs°offhe SolTen Eagle and two-thirds to property holders. The down-
Knights of Friendship pour of ram to the north and east of the borough
Red Men collected in a depression of the Surface of the
American Mechanics g^^^h, which extends from the eastern portion of
Maccabe^^'' ' the borough in a northeasterly direction for sev-
Royal Arcantim eral miles, forming the bed of a creek, but the
Military Company.-A military company was ^^^""^1 *™"gl^ the borough, by way of the Sho-
organized at Hamburg in 1875 with 100 men and ^° mill-dam, was too narrow to allow the unus-
E F. Smith as captain, and it became a part of "al quantity of water to flow away and as a nat-
the National Guard of Pennsylvania as Company ^''^1 ,'?T'!'^"f"'^i^ ^^'^^'^ away the dam. and
E, 4th Regiment. In 1877, the company was demolished altogether a dozen dwellings, and in-
called out to render service in assisting to quell J">'ed fifty others The most serious damage was
the riot at Reading in the month of jSly, occas- "^ the vicinity of the Savings Bank, where the
ioned by the strike of the locomotive engineers, street was flooded to the depth of three feet. One
While there it led the march through the cut "^^n- ,^11"^ j- ^°'^'^^'' '" attempting to escape,
along Seventh street, from Walnut to Penn; and 7"^] drowned The, water and gas mams were
in its movement down Penn street, the captain broken, which deprived the inhabitants _ of the
was knocked down three times, and one of the "^e of drinking water, and gas lor lighting pur-
privates was seriously injured. It was engaged PO^es- Many persons had narrow escapes, the
in the Spanish war of 1898; and responded to most prominent being the bank directors who were
the several calls of the Governor of Pennsylvania ^^oMmg their regular meeting at the tmie of the
in assisting to quell the riots in the coal regions, -'"^den visitation. A change m the drinking wat-
rSee Chapter VIII 1 " ^^ caused a typhoid epidemic and ten persons

The company was a continuation of a distin- died from the affliction,
guished company called the "Blue Mountain Le-

gion," which had kept up its organization in a BOYERTOWN
successful manner for upward of fifty years. It The first settlement atBoyertown was one of the
was originally an artillery company and then oldest in the countv. David Powell secured two
changed to infantry. Whilst the former, it parti- hundred acres bv patent in 1718, and this land
cipated m a parade at Pottsville and won the ig now embraced' in the northern and western sec-
first prize for its perfect maneuvers. tions of the borough. About that time, iron ore
Armory Hall was erected on Third street, north was discovered on this land and shortly after-
of State, in 1889, by the military company called ward, about 1720, a furnace was erected near by.
the Blue Mountain Legion, and the title to the As a consequence, this land came to be known as
premises was taken in the name of the Hamburg the furnace tract. The furnace was called Cole-
Athletic and Military Association, which became brookdale, named after a town in England, and
an incorporated body in 1903. The members were it was the first iron furnace erected in Pennsyl-
connected with the military company (Company vania. Upon the creation of the township, in



1741, it was named after the furnace. This in-
dustry was carried on for about fifty years.

Incorpoeation. — Boyertown is situated along the
Colebrookdale railroad, eight miles northwest from
Pottstown. By public road it is about seventeen
miles east of Reading, not far from the Mont-
gomery county line. Henry Boyer was among
the early settlers, he having secured a tract of
land from Henry Stauffer, who in 1769 had pur-
chased a large farm which embraced this section
of country. Boyer established a tavern and gen-
eral store and in time a settlement was formed,
which took the name of Boyertown. His descend-
ants have occupied great prominence in the business,
financial and social affairs of the place to the pres-
ent time. In 1835 the place was regularly laid
out in town lots; and in 1866 it became an incor-
porated borough.

In 1851, an effort had been made to establish
a borough, but it was unsuccessful. A second at-
tempt was made in April, 1866. which received
the favorable consideration of the ^rand jury
and the court, and in October of that year the
decree of incorporation, was made. The first town
council was composed of William Fegley, Sam-
uel Shaner, Dr. John Todd, Samuel Lefevre, and
William Binder.

In 1869 the Colebrookdale railroad was con-
structed from Pottstown through the borough to
Barto and this stimulated enterprises of various
kinds, the increase of buildings and population.

In 1895 the limits of the borough were ex-
tended by the addition of forty-three acres, forty

In 1909 the borough contained:
Dry goods stores 3 Fire companies 3

Large general store 1

Grocery stores 10

Clothing store 1

5 and 10 cent store .... 1

Hotels 4

Liquor store 1

Drug stores 2

Printing offices 2

Livery stables 2

Millinery stores 2

First Taxables. — The names of the first tax-
ables of the borough were as follows:

. William Fegely

Halls 3

Newspaper office 1

Photographer ^. 1

Local Insurance Co 1

Tinsmith shops 3

Carpet weaver 1

Barbers 5 6

Banks 2

John Addams
Mrs. Bechtel
Sophia Lafayette Bleyler
Henry H. Borneman
Daniel B. Boyer
Daniel Boyer, Sr.
George Bliem
John H. Borneman
William Bender
Daniel Borneman
Joseph H. Borneman
Franklin Buchert
David K. East
William Fegley

Jacob Freed
David H. Fox
William Grim
Philip Gable
Frederick W. Graff
Daniel Heller
I. B. Hankey
Harrison Houck
Jonathan Kepler
Mrs. Koch
William A. Kehl
Samuel Leaver
David H. Leaser
George Mull
Anna Neidig

Catharine Rhoads Guard Shaner

Peter Reidenauer Jacob K. Stauffer

Henry B. Rhoads Frank Stauffer

Sarah Reidenauer Henry Stauffer

Elam C. Rhoads Jeremiah Staffer

Jeremiah Schweinhart Henry Schwartz

William K. Stauffer John Todd, M. D.

Guard Stauffer Zepheniah Undercefler

Levi B. Stauffer Stover Worman

Christian Stauffer Lewis Worman

Frederick Stauffer Jacob L. Weidner

-Frederick Schweinhart George Yahn

Samuel Shaner Conrad Yerger

John K. Stauffer Joseph Yo.ung
Thomas Shaner


Maybury Brumbach Henry Nice

Josiah Bear Benneville Prutzman

Samuel Connard Albert Pennypacker

George Endy , Franklin Pennypacker

Henry H. Eshbach Samuel Pennypacker

Jonathan Engel Richard Richards

Alfred Fritz J. T. Rhoads

Aaron Fisher Jonas Reifsnyder

George Fegely Jonas Reitenauer

John H. Funic Benjamin Riegner

John Fegely James Sands

Charles Grant Frederick Steltz

Joel Grim Ephraim Sands

Isaac Gehris Edwin Schuler

Gabriel Ganser John Steinneck

Mahlon Grant Jacob R. Shaner

Henry Hoffman William Shaner

Frederick M. Heller Jacob Shaeffer

Henry M. Heller Henry Siesholtz

Abner M. Heller Henry Shaner

Mrs. HoUenbach Jonathan Siesholtz

Charles Kline Joseph Turner

Daniel Moyer Joseph Terrill

Moses Moses Augustus Wentzel

Joseph Moses Samuel Wentzel

Aaron Mory William Weller

Susan Neidig • Ephraim Yorgey

Single Men

Joel B. Bauer Ephraim Ganser

Franklin Brendlinger Adam R. Gilbert

Joseph Case Thomas Henrich

Henry Eshbach I. C. Hankey

Jonathan East Andrew Krobgewicht

David Erb Samuel Moses

Charles Frey John Sassaman

Orlando Fegely Jacob B. Stauffer

Alfred Ludy Leonard Shilling

Urias Ludy John Siesholtz

Jeremiah Gehris Frederick Weaver

List of Officials. — The following list embrac-
es the names of the chief burgesses and the jus-
tices of the peace who have served the borough:


Jonathan Kepler 1866-68

Samuel Shaner 1869

Dr. Thomas J. B. Rhoads 1870-75

William K. Grim 1876-81 ; 1884-85

John Stauffer 1883

John Deysher 1883 ; 1890-94

Franklin Hartman 1886

Richard Richards 1887

John Schaeffer 1888-89

John G. Schealer 1894-97; 1900-03

George G. Hartman 1897-1900

Dr. Reuben B. Rhoads 1903-06

Dr. D. R. Kohler 1906-09

Levi E. Lef eaver 1909-12




William K. Stauffer 1857-72

Jeremiah K. Grant 1870-75

Isaac B. Hankey 1873-81

Levi M. Koons 1875-83

Henry B. Rhoads 1881-86

William H. Fox 1886-1911

Calvin F. Eames 1883-92

V. B. Emery 1892-93

Irvin T. Ehst 1893-98

Charles R. Buck 1898-1903

Lewis M. Wartman 1903-08

Oswin A. H. Jacobs 1908-13


Chief Burgess, Levi E. Lefeaver

Town Council, George K. Moore, President

John G. Schwenk

Jacob H. Sassaman

Conrad Lochman

B. F. Nyce

Raymond Schaeffer

Dr. Charles B. Dotterrer
School Board, Henry H. Reinert

Effinger W. Leaver

Wallace Y. Reigner

William W. Wren

William L. Rhoads

John L. Bauer*
Justices of the Peace, William H. Fox
O. A, H. Jacobs
Constable, Charles E. Kline <

Auditors, George P. Rahn
Thomas R. Houck
William D. Schoeney
Assessor, Lewis M. Wartman
Collector, Richard B. Rhoads

Post Office.— The post-office at Boyertown was
established in 1828. It has daily twenty mails.
There are two -rural free delivery routes from
this office— one to Englesville, and the other to
Greshville and Gablesville ; and three "Star" routes
by stage— to Reading, to Limerick Square, and
to New Hanover. Postmasters since 1885: Wil-
liam K. Grim, 1885 to 1889; William W. Wren,
1889 to 1893; Benjamin J. Rhoads, 1893 to 1897;
and William W. Wren, since 1897.

Iron Ore Mines. — Iron ore has been mined in
the Boyertown mines for upward of 150 years.
The deposit is a high-grade Bessemer magnetic
ore, pronounced by experts as superior in quality
and yielding 55 per cent of metalHc iron. Four
shafts have been sunk in the operations and their
depth is respectively 500, 515, 615 and 720 feet.
Large engines were used to raise the ore and pump
out the water. H:orse-power applied to large
drums was used until 1855. The mines were op-
erated extensively by different parties ; ajnong them
Gabel, Jones & Gabel, and the Phoenix Iron Com-
pany. In 1901 the Boyertown Ore Company was
organized to carry on the mines, with a capital
of $300,000, and it was in active operation until
Januar_\', 1902, when Wm. G. Rowe, a practical mine

* Dr. Charles A. Smith resigned as a school director in Feb-
ruary, and John L. Bauer was elected to fill the vacancy.

operator, and identified with this plant for many
years, became the purchaser for a syndicate of
capitalists. The property was then put in condition
for operating the works and since then over 17,000
tons have been taken out. It is estimated that over
eight hundred thousand tons of ore have been re-
moved from this deposit. Next to Cornwall, it
is the largest mine opened in Pennsylvania.

Cigar Factories. — D. S. Erb started the manu-
facture of cigars in 1864 and he has continued
with increasing success until the present time. For
some years past he has traded under the name of
D. S. Erb & Co. with his sons as partners. He
erected a fine three-story brick building for his
business in 1882. He employs about one hundred
hands and produces 400,000 cigars monthly.

Otto Eisenlohr & Bros., of Philadelphia, located
at Boyertown in 1902, erecting a large three-story
brick factory, 40 by 175 feet. In 1906 they erect-
ed an addition 40 by 80 feet. They employ from
425 to 450 hands and produce annually over 20,-
000,000 cigars. Alfred P. Graver is their manager.
They started at Philadelphia in 1850. This firm
also operates a large factory at Reading.

Cigar-box Factory.— hi 1876, William W. Wren
started the manufacture of cigar boxes at Boyer-
town and carried on the business until 1897, when
F. S. Koons became associated with him under
the firm name of Wren & Koons. They operated
the factory in a 'Successful manner, employing
from twenty-five to thirty hands and producing
weekly from 12,000 to 15,000 boxes, until Feb-
ruary,' 1909, when Mr. Wren was obliged to re-
tire on account of the condition of his health and
of his position as postmaster, and he sold his in-
terest in the business to his partner.

Machine Sliops. — Daniel Schlegel has operated
a machine shop since 1875, and also dealt in en-
gines, pumps and machinery supplies.

Charles O. Megerly, after learning the trade of
machinist under Mr. Schlegel and remaining with
him several years, started a shop for himself in

Bakeries. — Albert S. Leidy embarked in the bak-
ing business at Boyertown about twenty-five years
ago and carried on the bakery until 1906, when
he was succeeded by his son Albert. Six hands
are employed and two delivery teams.

George W.^ Carver started a bakery in 1898, and
has carried it on since. He employs ten hands
and four delivery teams.

Besides supplying the borough with bread, pies
and cakes, a large quantity is distributed daily in
the surrounding country districts.

Furniture.— Tht D. C. Brumbach Furniture
Company was organized in 1880 for the purpose
of dealing in _ furniture, carpets, rugs, oil-cloth,
etc., and has since carried on a large and success-
ful business with J. J. Brown as its efficient man-


ager. It carries a large and valuable stock on establishment in December, 1908, to the Boyer-

hand. An undertaking department has been con- town Paper Box Company, which was then ,or-

nected with the enterprise. ganized by a number of business men from Potts-

Nyce Planing-Mill was established by Benjamin town. J. A. Parker became the general man-

F. Nyce in 1886 and he has carried it on since, ager and Mr. Hartman the foreman. The plant

He employs from ten to fifteen hands. was much enlarged. Twenty hands are employed.

Hartman Carriage Factory.— Frank Hartman Marble Fard.— William Shollenberger carried

and M. R. Strunk started the manufacture of car- ^^ ^ rmLvhle yard for some years until he was

riages and business wagons m 1887 but after op- i^jued in the Boyertown &re; then he was succeed-

eratmg the works for a year, Mr. Sbrunk retired, ^^ ^ ^-^ ^^^^^'^^ Franklin.

to become manager of the Boyertown Burial Cas- „, ^, vt ,,.,., i j ^
ket Company. Mr. Hartman has been carrying ^M^c/^^r Shop.-ilzm Y. Lechner has conduct-
on the plant in a successful manner until the pres- ed a butchering establishment and general meat
ent time. He employs from twenty to thirty hands shop since 1890.

and disposes of his product in Berks and the sur- Horse Market. — Boyertown has been a prom-
rounding counties, inent horse market for fifty years. William Bind-

Burial Casket Works.— The largest industrial er was the first dealer to develop an extensive

plant at Boyertown is that of the Burial Casket trade and he was succeeded by his sons Henry M.

Company. This was organized and incorporated and Franklin, who followed the business for

in 1893 with a capital of $20,000. Since then the twenty years.

management of this great enterprise has been a Jacob Wallach started as a dealer in horses at

continuous and increasing success. The capital Eshbach in 1866. He located at Boyertown in

wa's increased to $100,000 and four large four- 1870 and since then has been very active and suc-

story brick structures have been put up tp answer cessful in the business, more especially in supply-

the demands of its trade. Now it is next to the ing heavy draught horses, weighing upward of

largest concern of the kind in the United States, 1,800 and 2,000 pounds, to New York parties,

with a complete equipment in every department. In 1904 he and his sons-in-law, Mark Rosenberg

The company employs over three hundred hands, and Moses Deegan, established a large stock stable

ships daily about one hundred caskets and con- several miles from Boyertown near Grim's Mill,

sumes annually over three million feet of lumber, where they have on hand from fifty to two hun-

It has always on hand a large stock of caskets, dred heavy horses, which command large prices

lumber, and furnishing materials. A large branch on account of their exceptional size, weight and

establishment is maintained at Philadelphia. The strength.

manager of the plant is M. R. Strunk, and he has Orchards. — Dr. John H. Funk started the cul-

filled the position most satisfactorily since its in- tivation of fruit at Boyertown about 1881 and

corporation. continued until 1892, when John G. Schealer be-

Union Foundry. — The Union Manufacturing came his successor and he has operated the or-
Company was organized in 1894 with a capital of chard, containing about eighteen acres, until the
$50,000 for manufacturing all kinds of castings, present time. His crops are almost entirely apples
but more especially sad-irons. It has been op- and pears, though he cultivates large quantities of
erated since in a successful manner, employing strawberries. He also manufactures annually in
from fifty to sixty hands. John G. Schealer (ex- the fall of the year about twenty-five hundred bar-
burgess, an enterprising builder of the place), has rels of cider.

teen its president since 1897. Sixty .hands are In 1894, Dr. Funk started a large peach and

employed. apple orchard on the Jacob K. Stauffer farm, con-

Knitting Mills. — In 1895 George W. Unger re- taining sixty acres, and since then has produced

moved from Shoemakersville to Boyertown and great quantities of peaches and apples. His son

erected a knitting-mill for manufacturing ladies' is engaged in the truck business; also in the cul-

tmderwear. He has carried it on since, ■ and em- tivation of flowers.

ploys from fifty to sixty hands. In 1900 Dr. L. Hotels. — The first pubHc house was opened here

K. Francis & Son erected a similar plant and they in 1805 by Michael Boyer and it occupied the site

employ, from forty to fifty hands. of the Union House. The present large brick

Paper Box Factory. — Mahlon J. DeUicker start- building (three stories) was erected in its stead

ed making paper boxes in 1896 in the Rhoads by William Binder. Daniel B. Boyer purchased it

building. After operating the enterprise in a lim- in 1861, and owned it until he died in 1890, when

ited way for several years he sold out to Amos it became the property of his two sons, James

Hartman and the industry was removed to the and Horace. The Keystone House was erected

old school building opposite the railroad station, by Henry Boyer in 1850; and the William Penn

which was leased for that purpose. In 1904, Mr. (afterward called the Mansion House) by Charles

Hartman's son Augustus became the owner. The Fegley in 1870. Subsequently other places were

factory was finely equipped and provided em- licensed and for a time the borough had six; but

ployment for ten to fifteen hands. He sold the for several years it has had only four. ,


National Banks. — The National Bank of Boy- reached in efforts to extend the line to Potts-

ertown was chartered in 1874 with a capital of town, through the borough by way of Ringing:

$100,000. In November, 1908, the resources of Rocks Park and Gilbertsville, this line being:

the bank were $1,118,378. The individual depos- opened for travel Oct. 1, 1906; and the line from

its then were $255,525, and the time deposits $434,- Reading to the borough boundary was extended'

403, with undivided profits of $21,713. The par to the railroad crossing on Philadelphia street in,

value of the stock is $100, but the market value 1908 while the vitrified brick pavement was be-

was then over $300, evidencing the superior man- ing laid, and the transfer of passengers was start-

agement of this banking institution. E. _K. ed June 1, 1908, affording through travel froni'i

Schultz is president, and M. H. Schealer cashier. Reading to Pottstown.

Daniel L. Rhoads was the first president, until his p-^^ Companies.— In 1865, a volunteer fire com-

death in 1896 ; the second was Jacob Wallach, who ^^^^^ ^^^ organized for protection from fire, and:

served until 1904. ^ small hand-engine was secured by a popular

The Farmers' National Bank of Boyertown was g^ibscription, but in a few years the borough pur-
chartered m 1883 with a capital of $o0,000. In chased the apparatus. In 1873, a second company
November, 1908, the resources were $267,005 ; in- ^^^ formed by the name of Keystone Fire Corn-
dividual deposits, $113,742; and certificates of de- ^^^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^^ supplied with a Silsby steam fire-
posits, $49,013. Dr. Thomas J. B. Rhoads has j^g^ h^se carriage and truck, with 600 feet of
been the pTCSident since 1883; and Dr. Edwin le^^her hose. A leased propertv was used un-
M. Herbst the cashier sin^ 1907. .jj ;^8^8, when the borough purchased a lot and'

Insurance Company.— The Boyertown Mutual ejected thereon a two-story frame building for

Fire Insurance Company was incorporated Jan ^j^^ apparatus, and this has been occupied until

2, 1886, and has been successfully maintained ^,^g present time. The upper story was set apart

until now, levying only twenty assessments m ^^ ^ town-hall, and it has been used since by the

twenty-four years. The total insurance in force (-q^^^^-ji

amounts to four millions of dollars. L P. G. Feg- j^ jggg^ ^ ^^^^ ^,^j j^jj^j. company was or-

ley was the orgamzer and has been the secretary ^j^ed, which was named "Friendship" ; and this-

from the beginning; and Dr._ T. J. B. Rhoads ^^^ ^^^^ maintained since. In 1902 this com-

the treasurer. William K. Grim officiated as the ^^^^^^j ^ ^^^^ two-story brick building for

president until he died in August, 190o and he j^^ apparatus. The second story has been used as

was succeeded by William D. Kehl, who has serv- ^^^ amusement hall, and for fairs, lectures, etc.

ed since. Newspapers.— In 1858, O. P. Wink started the-

Public Improvements publication of a German newspaper called the

Water Company.— A water company was or- Boyertown Bauer {Farmer.). It was continued

ganized and incorporated in 1856 to supply Boy- until 1868, when George Sassaman purchased the

ertown with water, and it established a res- publication and changed the name to Bovertown

ervoir on the hill west of the town. The plant Democrat. In 1860, Charles Spatz became the

was carried on by the company until 1902, when proprietor. Some years afterward, he added an

it was transferred to the borough, and enlarged. English department. He continued the publica-

Light. — The streets were lighted for many tion in a successful manner until his decease in
years by oil lamps on posts along the sidewalks, 1884, when his son Charles became the proprie-
until Dr. Reuben B. Rhoads became the burgess tor, and the son has issued it with increasing sue-
in 1903, and in his term gasoline lamps were sub- cess until the present time. The use of the Ger-
stituted, which made a great improvement. In man language was discontinued in 1889. It has
1906 a gas company was organized to introduce been a consistent advocate of Democratic princi-
illuminating gas for lighting the streets and build- pies from the beginning. In 1906 a linotype ma-
ings, and the pipe-mains were put down just be- chine was introduced to facihtate the printing of
fore the streets were paved with vitrified brick. the newspaper. A job printing office is connect-
In 1908 an electric company was incorporated ed with the establishment. He also published the
and the streets began to be lighted by electricity Boyertown Bauer in the German language from^
on April 1, 1909, under contract with the borough. 1889 until 1907, when it was discontinued.

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 61 of 227)