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 71 of 227)
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Waremme, a province in Belgium, and some of
the early settlers may have emigrated from that

Ruscombmanor, from the name of a district, Rus-
comb, in Wales. The Penns, in 1739, had directed
10,000 acres in this vicinity to be set apart for
their use, and this having been done, the land was
called "Manor of Ruscomb."


Douglass, from a distinguished name in the an-
nals of Scotland, and supposed to have been sug-
gested to the court at Philadelphia by the petition-

Exeter, from the name of a district in Englajid,
whence the first settlers emigrated. They were in-
fluential Friends, named Boone, Ellis, Hughes,
Lincoln and Webb;

Hereford, from the name of a district also in
England. The first settlers were almost entirely

■i^piy fTome ?■?

Rockland, from the character of the land, many
large rocks having been found here; which are
still standing like great monuments, undisturbed.
They are very hard granite, and therefore capable
of resisting the "tooth of time."

District, from the locality of the land as lying
between Oley and Colebrookdale, by way of de-

Earl, from a title of nobility. For a number of
years before 1781, District was called "East Dis-
trict," and Earl "West District," designated by the
county commissioners to facilitate the assessment
of real property.

Pike, from the name of a species of fish which
abounded in the local streams before 1813.

Washington, from the name of General George
Washington, out of respect to the memory of the
first President of the United Staies.

Muhlenberg, from the name of the family which
owned a large area of land in the proposed town-
ship at the time of its erection.

Alsace, Lower, from the locality, as distinguish-
able from the remaining or upper portion of the
original township.

Boroughs. — The following boroughs have been
established in this section:
Boyertown,- in 1851.
Bechtelsville, in 1890.
Mt. Penn, in 1902.



Waterworks and electric lighting have been sup-
plied at the first and last; but pumps and springs
and oil lamps are still used at the second.

Towns. — The following towns are situated in
this section :

Name Houses

Amityvillel (17S2) 16

Bally2 (1800) .So

Barto (1869) 19

Baumstown (1796) 60

Black Bear (ISIO) iO

Douglassville (1829) '-9

Dryville (1853) 13

Engelsville (1360) 45

Eshbach (1858) 15

Friedensburg (1831) 145

Frush Valley (1858) 52

Gablesville (1850) 12

Glendale (1871) 30

Greshville (1853) 6

Herefordville (1830) 15

Huff's Church (1874) 15

Hyde Park (1870) 1.90

Tacksonwald (1870) 8

Junctions (1870) 15

Little Oley (1871) .10

LobachsviUe (1835) 7

Name Houses

Lorane* (1838) 30

Monocacy Station (1870) . . 12

Morysville (1850) 55

New Berlinville (1835) 87

New Jerusalem (1828) 30

Oley "Line (1870) 7

Pikeville (1834) 20

Pleasantville (1850) 14

Pricetown (1780) 63

Schultzville (1833) 7

Shanesville (1867) 16

Siesholtzville (1849) 5

St). Lawrence (1856) 80

Stonetown 10

Stonersville (1847) 14

Stony Creek Mills (1804).. 45

Temple (1857) 126

Treichlersville (1830) 10

Tuckerton (1843) 47

Weavertown (1775) 33

Yellow House (ISOO) 10


First Settlers. — The first settlement in this sec-
tion was made b}' a small colony of Swedes in
1701 along the Schuylkill river, four miles above
the outlet of the Manatawny creek, in the vicinity
of where Douglassville is now situated. They took
up large tracts of land, which extended from the
river northward for five miles. Some of their
descendants are still there, notably the Joneses, Lud-
wigs, and Yocoms.

The second settlement was made in the central
portion by Huguenots, English, and Germans, from
1712 to 1730, who also took up large tracts and then
extended their movements to the north, even to
the Blue Mountain, and to the west toward Read-
ing. Many of their descendants are still in the
vicinity; and in several instances (Bertolets, Boones,
Deturcks and Lees) the land has been transmitted
in a direct line of descendants of the first settlers,
from generation to generation, from the beginning
until now, a period covering one hundred and eighty

And the third settlement was made in the portion
along what is now the eastern line of the county
and within several miles of it, by English and Ger-
mans, for a distance of fifteen miles ; and here, too.

^Formerly New Storeville. -Churchville. ^Towerville.


there are many of the first settlers, notably the
Bauers, Bechtels, Livingoods, Rhoadses, Stauflers
and Schultzes.

The hilly country of Earl township is the habita-
tion of more old residents than any other district
in the county. To the pure fresh air and most
excellent water the old residents attribute their
longevity. This township was the birthplace and
home of Betzy Trout, who lived to be 101 years
old. In the spring of 1909 the following were
among the oldest residents in the township : Matil-
da (Weller) Motz, aged 87; Aaron Weller, 86;
Henry Clauser, 86 ; Philip Haring, 85 ; Joseph
Heckman, 85 ; Ezra HartHne, 84 ; Isaac Heydt, 84 ,
Charles Clauser, 83 ; Mary Mathias, 83 ; Jonathan
Swavely, 82, and wife, Emmeline (Shollenberger)
Swavely, 77 ; William Dilliplane, 80, and wife, Sarah
(Clauser) Dilliplane, 79; Catharine (Swavely)
Mathias, 80; Mary (Focht) Clauser, 78; Samuel
Rhoads, 78 ; Jacob Rhoads, 76, and wife, 73 ; David
M. Mathias, 76; Simon Clauser, 73; WiHiam Rei-
chart, 73; Hannah (Mathias) Clauser, 73; Ephraim
Weidner, 73.

Among the old residents immediately outside of
Earl township in the county are : Adam Levengood,
95 ; Abraham Ehst, 93 ; Jacob Bechtel,88 ; Levi Hess,
86 ; Godlieb Falkenstein, 82.

Industrial Prominence. — This section was par-
ticularly active for over an hundred years in the
successful operation of numerous large industries
for the manufacture of iron, every township hav-
ing had one or more furnaces or forges ; but shortly
after the close of the Civil war, and more especially
before 1880, they passed away like the dying twi-
light of evening. It may well be asked, "What was
the cause, or what were the causes, of this great
change?" Iron industries at comparatively few pop-
ulous centers have, since 1880, developed extraordi-
nary capacities whose annual production runs into
thousands of tons, whereas the earliest industries
together produced only limited quantities; and the
general prosperity of the State and nation (1909),
as evidenced by congested railroads and overflow-
ing banks, surpasses everything heretofore known
or experienced in industrial affairs. And yet these
great centers, with all their success, wealth and
power, are apparently as helpless in directing and
controlling political policies and municipal matters
as the depopulating centers in the townships, with
exterminated plants of various kinds (furnaces,
forges and grist-mills), are in improving their en-
vironment, social as well as financial !

Various and opposing causes .are assigned for the
peculiar and inexplicable, if not inextricable, condi-
tion ; but the one great overshadowing cause is the
manipulation of the ramifying railway systems in
the interest of stock speculation for the enrichment
of managing financiers.

The three other sections were similarly situated
as to iron industries and grist-mills, though the num-
bers were not so large ; and they, too, became sim-
ilarly affected.



Iron Ore Mines. — In Colebrookdale township
(now within the limit of Boyertown), the mining of
iron ore was started at the very beginning of the
settlements in connection with the manufacture of
iron, and operations have been carried on there until
now. The main shaft of the mine has been sunk
to a depth of seven hundred feet. The deposit is
inexhaustible notwithstanding the removal of many
hundred thousand tons.

Operations were carried on also at Barto for fifty
years, and for half of this period quite extensively.
The shaft was sunk to a depth of five hundred feet.
The mine was abandoned about 1900. The ore was
rich in character and many thousands of tons were

Highways. — Numerous roads have been laid out
in this section and consequently each township is
well supplied. The most prominent are the follow-
ing: Four from Reading, to Boyertown, seventeen
miles; to Friedensburg, nine miles; to Pricetown,
nine miles ; and to Kutztown via Temple, seventeen
miles. jOne from Douglassville, via Amityville and
Pleasantville, to Kutztown, with a branch at Yellow
House, via Friedensburg to Pricetown and Blandon.
And one from Boyertown via Barto to Alburtis in
Lehigh county.

Four turnpikes were constructed in the section:
the Perkiomen, from the southern county line, via
Douglassville and Baumstown, to Reading; the
Douglassville, from Douglassville, via Amityville, to
Yellow House ; the Oley, from Pikeville, via Pleas-
antville and Oley Line, to Black Bear ; and the Cen-
tre, from Reading to Tuckerton, which extended
northwardly through Ontelaunee Section, via Lees-
port and Hamburg; beyond the county line to Potts-
ville and Sunbury. The Centre turnpike was aban-
doned as a toll-road in 1885 ; the Douglassville in
1898 ; and the Perkiomen in 1902.

Additional Taxables. — The names of the first
taxables of the several townships at the erection of
the county are given in Chapter I ; but the names of
those in Douglass, Rockland and District are given
in this connection because the townships were sub-
sequently established. Previously, the taxables
within their limits had been included with Amity
and Oley. They are given to show the place in the
section where the earliest settlers were located.


First list of taxables,

Christian Bender
James Burns
Samuel Buzzard
Derick Clever
John Clous
Michael Cougler
Christian Conrad
Jacob Davidheiser
Valentine Foght
George Fritz
George Gearinger
George Hanselman
Philip Hapelbaker
Leonard Hersger
Michael Hoffman

prepared in 1756
Andrew Huling
Christian Kasebeer,
Michael Kaspotz
Valentine Keely
William Keepers
John Keffer ^
Peter Leyengood
Adam Miller
Andrew Miller
Jacob Nagle
Yoakam Nagle
Martin Nahr
Philip Parthner
John Potts, Jr.
Nicholas Reem


Andrew Ringberry
Simon Ringberry
George Shadier
Christian Sheeler
Peter Sheener
Henry Shomberger
John Slice

First list of
John Albrecht
George Angstadt
John Angstadt
Peter Anstat
Conrad Bair
Mathias Beck
Nicholas Benninger
Lorentz Berig
Philip Berminger
Charles Bernhard
Gasper Bicking
Peter Breifogel
Ludwig Bitting
Nicholas Blatner
Jacob Boger
Jacob Boral
John Bot
William Bot
Ludwig Brem
Nicholas Clementz
William Dabitsch
Nicholas Debb
Henry DeLong
Melchoir Donner
Michael Dressier
Jacob Drog
Deobald Drumheller
John Eck
Jacob EUinger
Herman Emrich
Peter Ernst
George Fleck
Peter Folck
William Folck
George Hefner
Jacob Hefner
Christian Henry
Frederick Hersch
George Hoffman
Jacob Hoffman
Michael Jacobi
Nicholas Jacobi

Hieronimus Spies
Philip Walter, Sr.
Frederick Wambach
Christian Wigle
Daniel Wills, Sr.
Peter Yoakam


taxables, prepared in 1758
Jacob Keim
Michael Keim
Michael Kerber
Simon Kerber
Peter Kieflfer
Peter Klassmoyer
Michael Klein
Christian Kobb
Jacob Krebs
Andreas Krett
Peter Lobach
Henry Long
Ludwig Long
Michael Long
Nicholas Long
Peter Luder
Henry Mertz
Henry Mertz
John Moll
Nicholas Moyer
George Oberdorfl
Casper Rap
George Reif
Frederick Reish
Peter Remer
Conrad Roth
Ludwig Rouzanner
Peter Rufif, Jr.
Peter Ruff, Sr.
Casper Rubbert
Frederick Schackler
George Scheffer
Michael Scheflfer
John Scheuerer
Christian Schumacher
George Schumacher
George Seibert (Seuwert)
Henry Showash
Frederich Ubrick
Adam Wagner
Adam Wecht
Jacob Ziegemfuss


First list of taxables

Conrad Arnold
Jeremiah Bacon
Thomas Banfield
John Barns
Jacob Bernhard
Chrisiian Brensinger
George Brown
Israel Burget
Jacob Bush
John Colron
Joshua De La Plain
Henry Dener
George Dotterer
Nicholas East
Daniel Eyst
John Fare
Jacob Frey

Jacob Fridpre (Fretts)
Bernhard Gembling
Jacob Gross
Andreas Hacker
George Haltzshoe

prepared in 1756

Jacob Hard
Peter Hardman
George Hartlein
Michael Hartman
Paul Hartman
Lorentz Hauck
Stephen Hauck
Jacob Herb
Jacob Hill
Michael Hoffman
John Kabron'
Conrad Keim
Adam Kildan
George Klauser
George Koutz
Michael Klein
Nicholas Koutz
George Lantz
Henry Machanet
William Mackey
Tobias Mauck
Frederick Martin



Dietrich Mathias
Jacob Mathias
S. Mayberry
Frederick Mayer
John Miller
Peter Miller
William ]\Iiller
John Moatzer
Frantz Moser
Andreas Norgang
George Oyster
Samuel Oyster
Frederick Potts
Michael Radecher
John Reidenauer
Jacob Roth
Valentine Schaeffer
George Schall

Nicholas Schlister
Christopher Schock
Henry Schoerham
Michael Schnhmacher
Jacob Schweitzer
Laurence Sheeler, Jr.
Laurence Sheeler, Sr.
Jacob Steinbrenner
George Stevenson
William Stork
George Trust
Adam Ulrich
Jacob Walter
George Adam Weidner
Charles Weis
Philip Weismiller
Casper Weisner
Peter Weller


Friedensburg Bank. — The First National Bank
of Oley was chartered April 27, 1907, with a capi-
tal of $25,000, and located at Friedensburg. Israel
M. Bertolet was selected as president and Sydney
J. Flartman as cashier. In November, 1908, the
total resources were $141,277.

Reading A^'ater Supplies. — The Egelman sup-
ply, appropriated in 1838, and the Antietam supply,
in 1874, both from Lower Alsace ; and the Bernhart
supply, in 18.58, from Muhlenberg. The first filtra-
tion plant was established at the Egelman reservoir
in 1904, with a capacity of 500,000 gallons daily;
the second plant in East Reading, in 1905, with a
capacity of 3,500,000 gallons daily ; and the third
plant at the Bernhart reservoir in 1009, with a ca-
pacity of 3,000,000 gallons daily.

MouNT.viN Railro,\ds. — j\It. Penn Gravity rail-
road was constructed on Penn Mountain in 1890,
length eight miles ; and the Neversink, in 1890,
length eight miles ; both in Lower Alsace. They
have had increasing success for the past ten years,
thereby popularizing Reading very much.

Carsoni.v Park, established by the United Trac-
tion Company in Lower Alsace in 1896, embracing
150 acres. It has become a popular resort, there
having been 250,000 visitors during the season of

Brumbacii AIills, established in 1853 in Exeter
bv William Brumbach for manufacture of woolen
goods, and operated, since 1862, by his son Albert
J., who rebuilt and enlarged the plant.

Stony Creek Mills, established in 18G4 in
Lower Alsace by Louis Kraemer & Co., for manu-
facture of woolen goods, and operated successfully
since then.

Temple Furnace, established in Muhlenberg in
1867 by Clymer & Co. In 1873, the company se-
cured a special charter. In 1900 it was re-organized
with a capital of $30,000,000 ior the purpose of op-
erating anthracite coal mines. On account of its
extraordinary powers it occupies great prominence
in financial and industrial circles. The furnace pro-
duces 40,000 tons of pig metal annually.

Seidel Forge, established in Exeter in 1870 by
John Hennon. In 1872, Harry Seidel purchased the

plant and has carried on operations since then. It
produces forged iron for locomotive engines.

Brooke Furnace, No. 3, established in Exeter
along the P. & R. R. by the E. & G. Brooke Iron
Company in 1872. Annual product, 21,000 tons.
Carried on with the Birdsboro works.

Neversink Distillery, estabhshed by John H.
Close and A. H. Kretz at Exeter Station (Lorane)
in 1892. Plant was enlarged in 1899 by Neversink
DistilHng Company. Jilashing capacity, 434 bushels.

The Muhlenberg Brewing Company was or-
ganized in 1895 and a large plant was erected along
the Kutztown road in the southern end of Hyde
Park, with annual production exceeding 10,000 bar-
rels. Simson Becker served as president of the
company for fourteen years.

Colebrookdale Iron Works, established in
Douglass by Brendlinger & Co., in 1867. Thirty
years before, W. W. Weaver had started a foundry
and tilt-hammer for the manufacture of wood-burn-
ing stoves. The works were enlarged several times.
They produced sad-irons, kettles, fixtures, etc.

Railroads. — The Reading Raikvay was con-
structed in this section in 1837-38 from Reading to
the Montgomery county line along the Schuylkill
river, a distance of fourteen miles ; and the Cole-
brookdale Railroad in 1869 from the county line via
Boyertown northwardly to Barto, a distance of
eleven miles.

Street Railway. — The trolley line to Stony Creek
was constructed in 1890, and extended to Boyer-
town, via Oley Line, Friedensburg and Shanesville,
in 1902.

State Roads. — ^A section of State Road was put
down from Barto to Bally, two miles, and thence
to Schultz's Mill, two miles, in 1907 and 1908, being
the second in Berks county and the first in this sec-
tion. And another section was put down from
a point near the Exeter meeting-house to Amity-
ville, four miles in length, in 1908, which was the
third in the county.

Colebrookdale Mines. — Iron ore was discov-
ered in Colebrookdale, now within the southern
portion of Boyertown, as early as 1720, but it was
not worked extensively until about 1845. In 1854
the first engine was put there by the Phoenix Iron
Company to lift the ore, and from that time until
now the mines have been in almost continuous oper-
ation. During this period of fifty years, it is believed
that fully 800,000 tons were removed. It is one of
the best ec|uipped underground plants in the coun-
try; and next to the great "Cornwall," near Leban-
on, it is the largest mine opened in Pennsylvania.
There are four fire-proof shafts in operation: Phoe-
nix slope, 500 feet deep ; AVarwick four-compart-
ment shaft, 720 feet ; Gable No. 2, four-compart-
ment shaft, 665 feet; and Gable No. 1, three-com-
partment shaft, 515 feet. The character of the ore
is "Bessemer Magnetic," yielding 55 to 56 per cent
of metallic iron. On account of the great depth of
the shafts, enormous quantities of water must be



pumped out ; for which purpose four , large pumps
were put there at great expense.

Prospecting for Ore. — In 1907 certain persons
from Philadelphia organized the Berks Develop-
ment Company for prospecting for iron ore in the
eastern j>ortion of the county. They secured min-
eral rights on different tracts of land in Earl town-
ship in the vicinity of Shanesville, aggregating fif-
teen hundred acres, and have discovered consider-
able quantities of ore. They sank a number of
shafts and found the best grade of magnetic ore.
The general superintendent of the company is Jacob
Schupp, of Reading. They employ twenty-four
men. Aside from agriculture this is the only indus-
try in the township. The company has its office
in Philadelphia. Similar companies are being or-
ganized to secure such rights in District, Hereford
and Longswamp townships, where large quantities
of iron ore are also sujjposed to exist.

Oil Pumping Station, established at Barto in
October, 1908, on tract of land covering twenty
acres, for propelling oil along pipe-line..

Manatawny Iron Works, established along
the Colebrookdale railroad in 1883 to take the place
of the Pine Iron Works on the Manatawny creek,
where the Bailey family had been prominently iden-
tified with the iron business for nearly forty years.
The site of the "Pool Forges," started about 1730,
was near the latter.

St. Michael's Seminary was founded by direc-
tion of the last will of Henry F. Felix at Hyde
Park, in Muhlenberg township, in 1894, for the
education of young ladies by the Sisters of the
Immaculate Heart of West Chester, Pa., they hav-
ing secured fifty acres of ground and erected a
superior building for that purpose.

Telephone Exchange. — The long distance tel-
ephone exchange of the Pennsylvania Telephone
Company, is situated at the cross-roads on the Kutz-
town road, at the upper end of Hyde Park in Muh-
lenberg township, about three miles north of Read-
ing. It was established in the "Centre Hotel" in
December, 1889; the first building was erected Aug-
ust, 1896 ; and a brick fire-proof two-story building-
was substituted Jan. 1, 1905, with latest switch-
board improvements. Annual messages outward
from Reading, about 30,000; inward to Reading,

Fair Ground, established in Muhlenberg town-
ship along northern city line in 1888, with area of
twenty-four acres, at an expense of $40,000 ; for
annual exhibitions of the Agricultural Society, in
place cf the Fair Ground at the head of Penn
street, Reading, where they had been held for thirty

Suburban Towns. — Edward A. Larter and Sig-
mund Morris purchased 120 acres of land in Muh-
lenberg township, along the Kutztown road, beyond
Hyde Park, and laid off eighty acres 'in 1903, and
forty acres in 1907, comprising altoarether 1,200
lots, which they named Rose Dale. The plan ex-

tends from the road eastward beyond the East
Penn railroad. Up to June, 1909, 1,100 lots were
sold, forty dwellings erected, and also a public
school-house and Union Chapel.

They also laid off forty-two acres of land in Low-
er Alsace, east of Carsonia Park, into lots (400),
which they named Melrose. They had sold oy
June, 1909, upward of 300 of them. Several dwell-
ings have been erected there.

Chapel Rock, a remarkable collection of rocks,
in Alsace township, two miles north of Antietam
Reservoir, exceeding any other natural wonder in
the county ; visited by many pedestrians from Read-
ing in all seasons of the year.

Oldest Buildings. — The oldest buildings in the
county are in this section. The Mounce Jones build-
ing was erected in 1716, in Amity, near Douglass-
ville, along the Schuylkill, and it is still standing,
though somewhat altered.

A Moravian church was erected in Oley in 1743
and this also is still standing. The walls and win-
dows are as they were then ; but the roof has been
removed and the interior altered.

Dwelling-house on the eastern half of the Ber-
tolet farm in Oley, erected in 1754.

The Ontelaunee Section comprises nine town-
ships, and the time of their settlement and erection
is set forth in the following table :


Settled Erected

Albany 1740 1752

Longswamp 1734 1761

Maiden-creek . .' 1732 1746

Maxatawny 1732 1742

Richmond 1732 1752

Windsor 1740 1752


Taken from Erected

Greenwich Albany 1755

Perry Windsor 1821

Ontelaunee Maiden-creek 1849

Derivation of Names. — The derivation of the
names was as follows:

Albany, from -the name of a place in England.

Longsmamp, from the peculiar condition of the
soil of a large portion of the township.

Maiden-Creek, from the stream which flows
through the township.

Maxatawiiy, from an Indian word, Machksi-
thanne, which means a bear's-path creek.

Richmond, from the name of a ^lace in England.

Windsor, from the name of a place in England.

Greenwich, from the name of a place in England.
These English names were suggested by the Friends,
who exerted a controlling influence in the local

Perry, from the name of a distinguished naval
officer in the United States Navy, Commodore Oli-
ver Perry, who said, after the successful battle on
■Lake Erie, Sept. 10, 1813, "We have met the enemy
and they are ours." One of the companies in the
English war of 1813-15 was commanded by Capt.



John May from Windsor township, which included
thirty-five men also from this township: and the
political influence of these men led to the selection
of the name for the new township.

Ontelaunee, from an Indian word, Ontelaunee,
which means a little maiden; and from this transla-
tion Maiden creek was derived.

Boroughs. — The following boroughs have been
established in this section :

Kutztown, in 1815.

Hamburg, in 1837.

Fleetwood, in 1873.

Topton, in 1875.

Lenhartsville, in 1887.

Waterworks have been supplied at the first four,
and electric hghting at the first three.

Towns, — The following towns are in this section :

Name 'Houses Name Houses

Blandon (1869) 135 Mertztown (1857) 54

Bolwers (1860) 20 Mohrsville (1836) 20

Buena Vista 8 Molltown (1S39) 16

Eagle Point 10 Monterey (1830) 13

East Bankley (1820) 7 Moselem (1856) 10

Farmington 15 Rothrocksville (1830) .... 23

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 71 of 227)