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

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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 7 of 227)
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Wartzenluft Family 836

Weand, Harry B 1403

Weand, O. M 1677

Weasner, Harvey K 751

Weaver Families 817, 965, 1335

Weaver, Henry G 9'55

Weaver. William 1335

Weaver, William B 817

Webber, William W 1137

Weber, Fidel 462

Weber FamiHes 463, 966, 1556

Weber, Albert S 1557

Weber, Harry C 1635

Weber, Herman G 1673

Weber. Paul 577

Weber, Rudolph S 1556

Weber, William F 462

Weber, W. Wayne 462'

Weida, George W 1472

Weidenhammer Family 1648

Weidenhammer, George S 1648

Weidraan Families 960, 1571

Weidman, Joel K 960

Weidman, Marion D 1573

Weidman, William M.. M. D.. .1571

Weidner, Caleb 394

Weidner, Daniel H 10:33

Weidner Families 395, 565,

903, 1211, 1348, 1414, 1437, 1649

Weidner, George A 1414

Weidner, George L 1211



Weidner, Harry J 1348

Weidner, John 1437

Weidner, John Y 1649

Weidner, Mahlon E 5.65

Weidner, Milton N 903

Weidner, William R 1062

Weigley Family 813

Weigley, Miss Lizzie R 813

Vv eigley, Jonathan W 813

Weil, Morris 1654

Weiler, John 519 /

Weis- Family 603 l^

Weis, Samuel S 60S

Weiser. Alvin 911

Weiser, Conrad 330

Weisner Family 1691

Weisner, Jonathan A 1691

Weller. Emanuel M 1403

Weiler Families 509, 1403, 1421

Weller, Harvey H 1431

Weiler, Joel H 509

Weller, Nathan N 1403

Wells, Mrs. Anna S. . . .' 834

Wells, Llewellyn U 761

Wells, Wesley H 834

Wendler. Harry J 1041

Wendling. Frank R 1147

Wenger, Leroy J., M. D 800

Wenrich, Albert D 901

Wenrich, Ezra S 1049

Wenrich Families 400, 508, 981, 1074

Wenrich, Mart H 981

Wenrich. Nathan M 1074

Wenrich; Paul A 1163

Wenrich, Dr. Reuben D 508

Wentzel, Augustus L 855

Wentzel, David S 1459

Wentzel Families 855, 1459

Werley, Dr. Charles D 1179

Werley, Cyrus E 938

Werley, Thomas G 852

Werner, Ephraim G 647

Werner Family 963

Werner, John G 989

Werner, William G 963

Werner, William W 747

Wert, Mrs. Amelia 743

Wert, Daniel R 1632

Wert Family 1632

Wert, George 742'

Wertz, Edward S 378

Wertz Family. . . .' 839

Wertz, George W 839

Wertz, Samuel 378

Wesley, John H 740

Wessner, Jerry M 1418

Westley Family 1009

Westley, John L 1009

Weyman, William A 1135

Wharton, Hon. Thomas 325

Wharton. Susan F 325

White, John R 1694

White, Josep'h A 706

Whitman, Abraham S 607

Whitman, Joel W. D 763

Whitman, Richard M 607

Whitner, Calvin K 408

Whitner Family 408

Wieand, Rev. Daniel 1663

Wieand, Mrs. Matilda 166&'

Wilder, O. B. S 670

Wilgeroth, John 1406

Wilhelm, Mrs. Catherine 1490

Wilhelm, Henry A 1457

Wilhelm, William H 1490

Williams, Jacob N 1319

Wilsion, Gile J 680

Willson, M. Elizabeth 680

Wilson, Chalkley 1203



xxxii



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX



Wilson, John B 807

Windbigler, Charles 1468

Winings, Howard K 1073

Winter, Ferdinand 1513

Winter, Mahlon D 1099

Winters. John M. S 927

Wise (Weiss) Family 1101

Wise, Harvey L 1101

Wise, Warren L 1534

Wise, Wellington L 1101

Wisser, Stephen S 1458

Withers, Eh M 864

Withers, Mts. Emeline 723

Withers Family 864

Withers, Martin- M 723

Witman, Ephraim 841

Witman Family 841

Witman, John F 1115

Witman, William A 1699

Witmoyer, Mrs. Elizabeth 1220

Witmoyer, John 1S'20

Wittich, Arthur 531

Wittich, John D 531

Woerner, Oscar L 1433

Wolf, James G 980

Wolfe, David S 1683

Wolfers.berger, Richard A 1109

Wolff Family 536

Wolff, Oliver M 526

Woodward, Warren J 348

Wootten, John 1443

Wootten, Mrs. Margaret A 1443

Worley, Ellis M 1343

Worley Family 1474

Worley, Henry H 1475

Worley, Levi 683

Worley, Mrs. Mary M 684

Worley, W. M 1343

Wrede, Mrs. Barbara 1523

Wrede, Christian 1523

Wren, William W 1325

Wunder, William L 1198

Wunder, W. W 1320

Xander, John G 438

Y'arnelli Family 1366

Yarnell, Jared G 1366

Yarrington Family 356

Yeager, Edward 1493



Yeag'er Families 606, 1263, 1493

Yeager, Hiram P ises

Yeager, William B 606

Yeagley, George W 1037

Yeakel, Dr. Isaac B 1639

Yeakel, Joseph B 1642

Yerger Families 604, 1465

Yerger, James M 604

Yerger, John 1465

Yetter, Charles M IS'44

Yetzer, Joseph 1160

Yocom, Albert S 935

Yocom, Charles S 1351

Yocom Famihes . . .' 935, 1350

Yocom, Harry Y 1350

Yocomi, William S 1717

Yocum, Mrs. Agnes G 342

Yocurti, James W 342

Yocum, Valeria 1634

Yocumv William 1633

Yoder, Absalom S 623

Yoder, Adam 1088

Yoder, Amos 1088

Yoder, Amos S 1433

Yoder, Augustus K 1325

Yoder, Daniel B 62S

Yoder, David S 623

Yoder Families

620, 995, 1325, 1395, 1404, 1433, 1485

Yoder, Frank D 1395

Yoder, Frederick F 1485

Yoder, Frederick S 995

Yoder, Henry H 621

Yoder, John S 1423

Yoder, Kensie N 995

Yoder, Mabry K 623

Yoder, Mary B 623

Yoder, Nathan R , 1404

Yoder, Samuel D 1395

Yoder, S. Herbert 1063

Yoder, Solomon R 1439

Yorgey, Alfred B 1339

Yorgey Family 1339

Yost, Albert R ii03

Yost Families 708, 1102, 1494

Yost, Heber Y 1494

Yost, Henry H 909

Yost, James F. R 709



Yost, Rufus R 709

Young Families 641, 1315

Young, Henry G '641

Young, Mrs. Hettie A 643

Young, Walter S 1315

Young, William J 811

Young, William S 642

\ ouse, Abraham H 1381

Youse, Charles H 840

Youse, Edwin S 1173

Youse Families : 841, 1382'

Yundt Family 837

Yundt, Horace A 827

Zable, Harry 1524

Zacharias, Daniel K 1483-

Zacharias, iarah 1483

Zeller. George M 752

Zeller, Wilson B 754

Zellers, John 116S

Zellers, William F 1168

Zerbe (Zerby) Families 717, 866, 988;

Zerbe, Levi M 717

Zerbe, Reily 98S

Zerby. Thomas J 866-

Zerby, William A '. . . 717

Zerr Family 77T

Zerr. John H 783

Zerr, Ben H 777

Zerr, Samuel 778

Zieber, Philip S 544

Zieber, William E 921

Ziegler, Capt. Aaron 417

Ziegler, Jarius W 765

Ziegler, J. F 1361

Ziegler, Mrs. Sarah A 551

Ziegler, Dr. Philip M 550

Zimmerman, Eldridge 438

Zimmerman Families 438, 668

Zimmerman, Mrs. Sarah B 547

Zimmerman, Thomas C 363

Zion's Church, Perry Township

1379

Zion's (Spiess) Ref. and Luth.

Church 984

Zook, Christian 1071

Zook Family 1071

Zook, Mrs. Susan 1071



HISTORY

OF

BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



CHAPTER I- ERECTION OF COUNTY



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

Mountains. — The Appalachian chain of moun-
tains extends through the eastern territory of the
United States from the St. Lawrence river on the
north to the State of Georgia on thfe south. The
greatest heights are in North Carolina. There they
are between 6,000 and 6,800 feet above the sea. This
conspicuous chain includes all the ridges ; and two
ridges extend through Berks county. They are the
Blue Mountain and the South Mountain.

The Blue Mountain, in its course south twenty-
five degrees west from the Delaware at Easton to
flie Susquehanna at Harrisburg, forms the present
northern boundary line of Berks county. It was
a barrier to migration in the earliest settlements
of this section of the State, and it was the limit of
the earliest surveys which were made northwest-
wardly from the Delaware river. The earliest map
of surveys, which was prepared by Lewis Evans,
and published by him in 1749, is in the possession
of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania at Phila-
delphia. Several drafts of earlier dates appear in
the first two volumes of the Pennsylvania Archives,
and relate to purchases of land from the Indians.

The apex of this mountain undulates. Its aver-
age height above the sea is about 1,200 feet. The
distinguishing peculiarities in the formation of the
mountain in Berks county are the "Pinnacle," the
"Schuylkill Gap," the "Round Head," and numerous
ravines which were washed out in the mountain-
side by rolling waters in the course of time, and
came to be useful to man in having marked out for
him easy passes over the mountain.

From a distance, the mountain has a bluish ap-
pearance. Hence it was and is called Blue Ridge.
On one of the early maps it is called the "Kittatinny
Mountain," corrupted from the Indian word Kau-
ta-tin-chunk, meaning endless. It is also sometimes
called North Mountain.

The South Mountain extends through the county
southeastwardly. It enters about the middle of the
western boundary, near the corner-stone of the
dividing line between Lancaster and Lebanon coun-



ties. At this point it is distant from the Bliie
Mountain about fifteen miles. It is called South
Mountain because it lies south of the Blue Moun-
tain. The distance between them increases as they
diverge eastwardly. At Reading it is about twenty-
three miles. The highest point in this mountain
is near the county line in Lebanon county, on a
spur extending several miles southwestwardly. Its
height is about twelve hundred feet.

In the southern section of the county, this moun-
tain has a greater width. It includes a succession
of rolling hills, almost entirely covered with grow-
ing trees. Some portions have been cleared and
converted into farming lands. This district, being
thus covered and having the appearance of a forest,
is called "The Forest." The "Welsh Mountain"
and the "Flying Hills" are included in this range.

The "Flying Hills" extend along the southerly
side of the Schuylkill river for several miles. They
comprise a small ridge broken by gorges, and were
given this name by the early settlers because num-
erous grouse were seen flying there. They aj^ in-
dicated on an early map of 1743, and from that
time till now they have been so known and called.
They can be seen and identified for forty miles
down the Schuylkill Valley. From afar they re-
semble great monuments, and they were famous
for game until about 1860. Of the gorges men-
tioned, the "Gibraltar" is the most remarkable and
picturesque.

Numerous hills are scattered throughout the
cotinty, which subserve the agricultural districts
admirably in respect to wood and water. Their
natural arrangement and distribution are wonderful.
The cupidity of man is, however, gradually break-
ing up this harmony of nature by cutting down
the trees and tilling the land.

In the western section, the most conspicuous hills
are "Stoudt's Hill," located at the great bend of
the Schuylkill, about six miles north of Reading
(named after the owner of the land), and "Scull's
Hill," distant about five miles farther to the north
(named after Nicholas Scull, the surveyor-general
of the province from 1748 till 1761).



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



In the eastern section, the county is consider-
ably broken by intersecting hills which extend in
different directions, mostly, however, to the north
and south. The "Oley Hills" are most conspicuous
in a historic aspect. They are mentioned in patents
and deeds of lands before 1720. Since 1783 the
most prominent hill in that vicinity has been called
"Earl Mountain," because it was cut from Oley
and included in a new township of that name then
erected. The "Monocacy Hill," cone-shaped, is
situated several miles southwardly, near the river.

The "Reading Hills" are the most conspicuous
in the central section in a natural aspect. They
were included in the "Manor of Penn's Mount,"
a large tract which was set apart for the use of
the Penns before the erection of the county, and
included about twelve thousand acres. The hill
known by the citizens of Reading as "Penn's
Mount" adjoins the city on the east. To the north
and west its elevated top commands a magnificent
view of the Schuylkill and Lebanon Valleys, which
are especially rich in agriculture, manufactures and
internal improvements ; and it overlooks an area of
territory including about five hundred square miles.
It has two conspicuous spots at the apex, facing
the west, which are called "White Spot" and "Black
Spot." They are visible to the naked eye for a
distance of thirty miles, and were so called by the
first inhabitants of Reading. Their general appear-
ance does not seem to change ; they are bare spots
on the hillside, composed of stones and rocks. The
"White Spot" is the nearer and more accessible.
It has been for many years, and is still, resorted
to for stones for building purposes ; and it is fre-
quently visited also by resident and stranger for
the view it commands. The removal of the stones
gives the spot a white appearance. Time and the
weather are not given an opportunity to darken
the surface of the stones. The "Black Spot" was
not disturbed till 1889, when the Mt. Penn Gravity
Railroad was constructed, and the "Tower" erected
on the top; hence its black appearance. Their ele-
vation above the Schuylkill river at the foot of
Penn street is as follows: White Spot, 7fi7.64
feet: Black Spot, 879.78 feet. The elevation of
the higher point above the sea is about 1,100 feet.

The hill known as the "Neversink" adjoins the
city on the south. Its highest point is somewhat
lower than Mt. Penn. It commands a magnificent
view of the Schuylkill Valley to the southeast for
forty miles, and of "The Forest" to the south and
southwest for upward of ten miles. It overlooks
the double bend in the river, which forms a large
S, both projections being mostly farming land: the
one extending northwardly being known as "Lewis's
Neck" (from the first settler there), and the other
southwardly as "Poplar Neck" (from the great
poplar trees) for more than one hundred and fifty
years. This hill lies east and west and forms, with
Mt. Penn, a large T. Its northern declivity is
rather gentle, but the southern steep and rugged.
It has been known bv the name of "Neversink"



for many years. It is mentioned in surveys of ad-
joining land which were made as early as 1714.

An interesting, though ridiculous, tradition is
connected with its origin. It was said by early
settlers that an Indian had devised a flying ma-
chine, by which he proposed to fly from the one
hill (Flying Hill at Poplar Neck) to the other and
"never sink." His efforts proved a failure. In-
stead of flying into fame he sank into shame. The
word is of Indian origin, "Navesink," and means
fishing-ground. The Schuylkill river in this vicin-
ity was formerly a famous fishing-ground for shad.
Fisheries were carried on successfully until the con-
struction of the canal about 1820.

"Schwartzwald" is situated several miles to the
east. It was included in the "Manor lands." The
woods are dark and like a forest. This name was
given by the early settlers in commemoration of
their native place.

"Irish Mountain" is near the center of the
county. It is prominent and overlooks the Schuyl-
kill Valley from the Blue Mountain to the South
Mountain, especially the fertile lands which adjoin
the Maiden creek and its tributaries. The early
settlers round about were mostly Germans. They
named the hill after English settlers who had lo-
cated or rather "squatted" there. The language
and manners of the latter were more or less objec-
tionable to them, and they among themselves en-
tertained contempt for the intruders, and in con-
versation called them the "Irish."

"Spitzenberg" is a cone-shaped hill near by the
Pinnacle. Its peculiar shape makes it conspicuous.
It is not as elevated as the mountain to the north.

Valleys. — Nature has arranged the earth's sur-
face within the borders of Berks county in a super-
ior manner. Its rolling character, interspersed
with hills and mountains, and intersected by num-
erous irrigating rivulets and streams, renders it
most admirable for successful cultivation with or-
dinary labor. The well-directed energy and enter-
prise of the farmers have enriched and improved
it to a wonderful degree.

A depression in the central portion of the county
extends from the Blue Mountain on the north to
the boundary line on the southeast, a distance of
thirty-two miles. It resembles an L irregularly
drawn. It is called "Schuylkill A'alley," and take's
its name from the meandering river that flows
through its bosom. It is not distinguished for
width. Above Reading it is rather open, below
rather confined. Valleys enter it on the east and
on the west. The most conspicuous of the eastern
valleys are the Maiden-creek, the Antietam, the
Monocacy and the Manatawny : and of the western,
the Tulpehocken, the Wyomissing, the Allegheny,
and the Hay-creek. All take their names from the
streams which flow through them. On both sides
they begin at the extreme limits of the county, ex-
cepting the Antietam and the Monocacy, which be-
gin in the central portion.




NOTE. — Gan'-sho-han'-ne, meaning "the mother of waters," is the Indian name for the
Schuylkill river. The Dutch name, Schuylkill, means hidden stream, the outlet of the
Schuylkill flowing into the Delaware river being so wide as not to be observable.

The Schuylkill is the principal stream of Berks county, with important branches — Onte-
launee and Manatawny, flowing into it from the east, and Tulpehocken and Allegheny from the
west. They together flow into the Delaware river below Philadelphia, and thence into the
Atlantic ocean.



ERECTION OF COUNTY



Together these valleys present a remarkable con-
formation. They distribute the water supply equal-
ly. Their depression is from the limits of the county
toward the center, with a southerly inclination.
The principal valley has the lowest points of the
county from the northern limit to the southern.
The limits on the east, west and south are water-
sheds to a great degree; inside the waters flow
inwardly, but at the lines and outside they flow
outwardly — on the east into the Lehigh river and
Perkiomen creek, and on the west and south into
the Swatara creek and Conestoga creek, which
empty into the Susquehanna river. These valleys,
therefore, gather all the waters within the county
and direct them into and through its territory for
the great benefit of its industrious inhabitants be-
fore they allow them to depart.

Berks county occupies the central portion of the
large district, in area forty-six hundred square
miles, which lies between the Delaware and Sus-
quehanna rivers. The plan of distribution of val-
leys and waters between these rivers is marvelous,
and the leaders in the mdvement for the erection
of the county in this large body of land displayed
remarkable foresight and knowledge in obtainirig
such boundary lines.

The Tulpehocken Valley forms the eastern sec-
tion of the Lebanon Valley, the Swatara Valley
(which extends westwardly through Lebanon and
Dauphin counties) the western section. These two
valleys together are about fifty-four miles long, and
they take the name of Lebanon Valley from the
town which occupies the highest point midway.

There are other valleys, but they have only a
local character and take their names from the re-
spective streams which flow through them. There
are several gaps in the county, but the Schuylkill
Gap in the Blue Mountain, where the Schuylkill
river enters, possesses the most marked features.

Streams. — Springs are the great sources of all
streams. They arise mostly in the mountains and
elevated portions of country, and supply all the
streams in Berks county, almost the entire quan-
tity flowing from numerous springs which are sit-
uated within its borders. This is exceptional; for
comparatively little water is drained from the ad-
joining counties into Berks county, but a great
quantity is drained from Berks county into all .he
adjoining counties, excepting Schuylkill countv on
the north. This indicates that the borders of Berks
county are higher than the surrounding territory.

Bethel township, in the northwest, is e;itirely
drained by the Little Swatara creek into the Swa-
tara, and the waters pass through Lebanon and
Dauphin counties into the Susquehanna river.
Caernarvon township, on the south, is entirely
drained by the Little Conestoga and Muddy creeks,
into the Conestoga, and the waters pass through
Lancaster county into the Susquehanna nyer. A
part of Union township, on the southeast, is drained
by French creek, and the waters pass through
Chester county into the Schuylkill river. Consid-



erable parts of the eastern townships (Colebrook-
dale, Washington and Hereford) are drained by
Perkiomen creek, and the waters pass through
Montgomery county into the Schuylkill. And the
greater part of Longswamp township on the north-
east, and the remaining part of Hereford, are
drained by the Little Lehigh into Lehigh river, and
the waters pass through Lehigh county into the
Delaware river.

The streams of the county are numerous. They
irrigate every section and contribute much to the
natural fertility of the soil. The most conspicuous
feature of the water system is the Schuylkill river.
Streams flow into it from the east and from the
west, and the territory on each side, thus supplied,
is about equal in area. On the eastern side, begin-
ning in the upper section, they are 1, Windsor;
2, Perry; 3, Maiden creek (which has two principal
tributaries flowing into it, both on the east — Mose-
lem and Sacony) ; 4, Laurel Run ; 5, Bernhart Run ;
6, Rose 'Valley run; 7, Antietam; 8, Monocacy;
and 9, Manatawny (which has two principal tribu-
taries flowing into it — the Ironstone from the east,
and the Little Manatawny from the west). Of
these, the Maiden creek and Manatawny are espe-
cially large. The Bernhart, run and the Antietam
(formerly, for a time, known as Ohlinger creek)
have been.entirely appropriated by the city of Read-
ing for a municipal water supply.

On the western side they are 1, Mill creek; 2,
Irish creek; 3, Tulpehocken; 4, Wyomissing; 5,
AngeHca; 6, Allegheny; 7, Hay creek; 8, Sixpenny;
and 9, Mill creek. Of these, the Tulpehocken, Wy-
omissing and Hay creek are especially large.

All the streams mentioned afford valuable water-
power. They attracted the attention of the early
settlers of the county and their inexhaustible sup-
ply was fully appreciated, having been appropriated
immediately by the settlers, and turned to account
in running gristmills and iron forges. Many of
the early deeds on record relate to this.

Schuylkill.— The word Schuylkill is of Dutch or-
igin and means Hidden creek, or Skulk creek. The
Dutch named the river when they took possession
of the land about its mouth. The outlet is very
wide and deceiving, and appears to be a part of the
Delaware river instead of being a tributary. By
some persons it is said to be of Indian origin, but
this is not correct. The name given to it by the
Indians was "Ganshowehanne," which means a
roaring or falling stream. Rupp says they called
it "Manajung," which means mother. The river
rises in Schuylkill county. It flows generally in a
southeasterly direction and traverses the State for
a distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles,
until it empties into the Delaware river at Phila-
delphia. It has many important branches which
flow into it on the east and on the west, from its
source to its. mouth. These contribute much to the
physical and productive welfare of the southeastern
section of the State. Together they drain a very-
large area of territory.



4



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



The important branches are the following: On
the east, beginning in the north: 1, Main Branch;

2, Little Schuylkill (formerly called Tamaqua) ;

3, Maiden creek; 4, Manatawny; 5, Perkiomen;
and 6, Wissahickon; and on the west: 1, West
Branch ; 2, Bear creek ; 3, Tulpehocken ; 4, Wyo-
missing; 5, French creek; and 6, Pickering. Each
is conspicuous for length and large flow of water;
and in a general way they are about equal in these
respects. This harmony in their proportions is
wonderful. The earliest drafts show the Maiden
creek, Manatawny and Tulpehocken, which indi-
cates that the surveyors regarded them of more
than ordinary importance. The Schuylkill is not
only the grand trunk of this system of water, but
it occupies the central line of the territory in which
this system is arranged.

Latitude and Longitude. — The county of Berks
lies in the lower central portion of the North Tem-
perate Zone, between 40° and 41° North Latitude,
and between ^° and 1|° East Longitude, reck-
oning from Washington.

Relative Elevations. — The following state-
ment exhibits the elevation, above mean ocean tide,
at Philadelphia, of the several places in Berks coun-
ty, and other places out of the county, as compared
with Reading, in different directions. The figures
to the left of the places indicate the distance in
miles from Reading, and those to the right, the
elevation in feet.

Reading

Seventh .and Penn Streets 265 feet

Foot of Penn Street 198 feet

I.riles NoRl H Feet

17 Hamburg 372

35 Pottsvillc 611

Tamaqua 800

Northeast
18,.-, Topton 482

36 Allentown 254

East

M'anatawny 189

Boyertown 386

Barto 466



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 7 of 227)