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 82 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 82 of 227)
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to the Bar Feb. 14, 1788, and began practising at Reading,
where he attained great prominence. He was appointed
judge of the courts of Berks county in 1806, and officiated
three years. Between the years 1795 and 1810 he was a
member of the General Assembly. The remainder of his
life was devoted to the practice of law at Reading. In
1832 he went to Philadelphia for surgical relief, undergoing
an operation, but his case was beyond human skill, and
he died there October 13th, in the fifty-ninth year of
his age. His remains were interred in the Lutheran
graveyard, and subsequently transferred to the Charles
Evans Cemetery. The judges of the court, members of
the Bar, and the borough council each passed appropriate
resolutions commendatory of his life and' character as a
lawyer, as a judge, and as a public-spirited citizen. Mem-
bers of the Philadelphia Bar held a meeting in the Dis-
trict Court-room and also adopted appropriate resolu-
tions.

Judge Spayd married Catharine Hiester, eldest daughter
of Governor Joseph Hiester. Their children were : Eliza-
beth (m. Edward B, Hubley, member of Congress from
Schuylkill county) ; John (graduated from the Medical
Department of the University of Pennsylvania) ; Catha-
rine B. (m. John B. Brooke, merchant of Reading, and
father of Dr. John B. Brooke) ; Joseph H. (member of
the Berks County Bar) ; George W. (burgess of Read-
ing) ; Henry (graduated from the Medical Department of
the University of Pennsylvania and died soon after
graduation); Amelia (m. Dr. Diller Luther, of Reading).
At the time of his death. Judge Spayd resided in Penn
Square, next house west of the Farmers' Bank.

PENROSE F. EISENBROWN, who died suddenly at
his home in Allentown, July 4, 1898, was one of the oldest
business men of Berks county, and a man whose life had
been so ordered as to merit the high esteem and affection
of all who knew him. He was born near Allentown April
3, 1831, son of John Daniel and Charlotte Barbara
(Wolf) Eisenbrown.

John Daniel Eisenbrown was born in Adelberg, Ger-
many. He came to this country when sixteen years of
age, landing at Philadelphia. He was an organist and also
followed tombstone cutting, and taught in a parochial
school. He moved to Allentown in the fifties and lived
there until March, 1874, when he died suddenly of apo-
plexy, just as he was preparing to move to Greenbrier,
Northumberland county. His remains rest in Union ceme-



tery, Allentown. Mr. Eisenbrown was twice married.
His first wife was Charlotte Barbara Wolf, daughter ot
John George and Anna Maria (Bauer) Wolf. She died in
1833, the mother of eight children, and is buried in a
graveyard at Egypt Church in Northampton county. The
children born to John Daniel and Charlotte Barbara
(Wolf) Eisenbrown were: (1) Frances m. (first) a Mr.
Kuhl, a lithographer in Philadelphia, and had two chil-
dren, George and Mary. She m. (second) Peter Hauck,
of Philadelphia, who owned a large confectionery estab-
lishment and considerable property in Allentown. There
were no children born to the second marriage. (2)
Edward Constantine m. the only daughter of a well-
to-do farmer named Keiffer, near Milton, and they had
one child who died just ten days before his father. The
latter's death was the result of an accident. He had sold
some cattle and was on his way home when he was
caught by a train on a bridge and was killed. (3) Mary
Ann m., lived and died in Whitehall, Pa. (4) Charlotte,
deceased, m. Joseph Beitel, who lives in Allentown. (5)
Wilhelmina m. Charles H. Eggert, and lived in Bethlehem.
She died and is buried in the Moravian cemetery there.
Her husband died in 1907. Two children survive. (6)
Matilda, Mrs. Steinbach, lived at Limestoneville, Mon-
tour county, where she is buried. Her husband was a
shoemaker by trade. He enlisted in the Civil war. They
were the parents of six children. (7) Penrose Frederick
was born April 3, 1831. (8) William, born in 1833, was
but two weeks old when his mother died and he was
adopted at Egypt by a family named Troxel, who after-
ward moved to Carroll county, Md. He became a painter
by trade. He m. Mary Fuhrman and they now live on
her father's homestead, which they own. They have no
children. John George Wolf, father of Mrs. John Daniel
Eisenbrown, was bom in January, 1774, and died June 27,
1842; his wife, Anna Maria Bauer, was born July 17,
1775, and died in 1843. Their family consisted of two
sons — Fred and George — and four daughters — Mrs.
Christiana Grossholz, Mrs. Souders, Mrs. Hofifman and
Mrs. Eisenbrown. John George Wolf was a wood turner,
making a specialty of spinning wheels.

John Daniel Eisenbrown, for his second wife, m. Mary
Troxel. They were members of St. Paul's New School
Lutheran Church, at Allentown, and both are buried in
the cemetery there. Of the children of this marriage,
Emma m. James Myers, a shoemaker, and they live at
the corner of Jordan and Liberty streets, opposite the
thread mill in Allentown ; Pauline m. a Mr. Knaus, a
cabinet-maker of Philadelphia; Theresa died when eighteen
years old; Christine became Mrs. Scheffer, and died a
year after her marriage; Alfred was a drummer boy in
the Union army, and died in the service; Otto m. Amanda
Scheffer, and is deceased.

Penrose F. Eisenbrown was but a year and a half old
when his mother died, and he was taken to the home of
his grandfather Wolf. Mr. Wolf was a wood carver by
trade, and he early trained his grandson in that line, at
the^ same time cultivating in him habits of industry and
thrift. Mr. Eisenbrown was ambitious, and determined
to enter business for himself. He began at Minersville,
with a small establishment and a few hands, and there he
was very successful. Thence he went to Pottsville, where he
met with equal success, but his health failed, artd he
sold out m 1870, to engage in farming. About three
years later he came to Reading, and he entered the marble
business, building up a trade and reputation second to
none. Monuments public and private, the work of his
establishment, have been distributed all over the State
His taste was excellent and his workmanship the best.
About 1896 he gave up active workmanship in the firm,
which of late years was known as P. F. Eisenbrown Sons
& Co., and moved to Allentown, where his death occurred.

Mr. Eisenbrown was a great lover of literature, and his
library was large and well chosen. He possessed no little
poetical talent, and produced many German and English
poems, some of which were published in the Allentown
and other papers, while many remained unprinted, only



BIOGRAPHICAL



341



to be found among his papers at his death. He was an
earnest Christian. In 1848 he organized a Sunday-school
at Lehigh Church and superintended it many years. This
school was very successful, and only a very short time
before his death Mr. Eisenbrown participated in the ex-
ercises celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. He was _ a
kind and symipathetic man, and as an instance of this,
while he was teaching in the Lehigh Church and still a
young man, an epidemic broke out, and the people were
being swept before it in great numbers. He saw the
need of assistance, and at once entered upon the task of
nursing and tending those afflicted, and remained steadfast
at this until the scourge abated. For his fidelity and kind-
ness he was ever after held in grateful remembrance by
those people. When he was a little boy some five
years of age, and living with his grandfather, an uncle
Frederick Wolf donated the land for the church and
cemetery since known as Zion's Hill, Bucks Co., Pa., and
Mr. Eisenbrown had the great pleasure of lifting the first
shovelful of earth at the excavating for the erection of
the first church there. It was his delight all through life
to labor for and assist any and all matters for the
Church arid Sunday-school.

On July 3, 1859, at Greenbrier, Northumberland coun-
ty, by the Rev. Jared Fritzinger, Mr. Eisenbrown was
married to Sarah S. Smith, born Oct. 25, 1839, only
daughter of Jonathan and Sally (Snyder) Smith. The
folio-wing children were born of this union: Harvey
Jonathan, born Sept. 22, 1860, at Greenbrier, baptized
Nov. 22, 1860, died July 22, 1861, aged ten months;,
Alice Charlotte, born Aug. 26, 1862, at Minersville, m,
Edward Christian, who is connected with the marble busi-
ness; Harry Wolf, born in Minersville, Sept. 16, 1864, bap-
tized Nov. 14, 1864, is deceased; Charles Smith, born
in Pottsville, Oct. 19, 1866, baptized June 28, 1867, m.
Alice Kauffman, and is the senior member of the firm ;
Annie, born in Pottsville, Sept. 18, 1868, died Dec. 29,
1870; George Franklin, born in Pottsville, Oct. 31, 1870,
baptized Feb. 27, 1871, m. Rosa Fix, and is a member of
the firm; Wilson Henry, born Aug. 24, 1872, baptized
April 29, 1873, m. Annie Faust, daughter of J. B. Faust
(superintendent of the lettering department in the plant)
and is in the Biehl Carriage and Wagon Works; Edward
Penrose, born in Reading, April 15, 1875, baptized July
4, 1875, m. Sarah Reeser, and is superintendent of the
Granite Department at the North Reading Granite Works;
Mary Henrietta, born May 8, 1877, in Reading, baptized
Oct. 1, 1877, died Dec. 4, 1879; Samuel Frederic, born in
Reading, Sept. 16, 1879, baptized Jan. 4, 1880, m. Rosa
Wentzel, widow of Harry Eisenbrown, and is a sales-
man for the firm; Martha Sarah, born in Reading, March
4, 1882, baptized July 2, 1882, m. Dr. Samuel B. Geise,
of Jersey Shore, Lycoming Co., Pa.; and John Daniel,
born June 12, 1886, baptized Oct. 3, 1886, is unmarried
and is engaged in the firm as bookkeeper.

Mrs. Eisenbrown resides at No. 522 Elm street, Read-
ing. She owns the old homestead of 125 acres in Green-
brier — a farm once the property of her grandfather. Her
sons have continued the marble and granite business
so substantially successful under the father's manage-
ment, and they are meeting with that prosperity that
attends well-directed effort and honorable dealings.

JAMES HERVEY STERNBERGH, of Reading, Pa.,
former president of the American Steel & Iron Manufac-
turing Company, of Lebanon and Reading, pioneer in the
manufacture of nuts and bolts in America, is one of
the most notable figures in the steel and iron trade in
Pennsylvania, if not, indeed, in the United States. Mr.
Sternbergh was born in Henrietta, Monroe Co., N. Y.,
May 20, 1834. His father, a Genesee Valley farmer,
was descended from German ancestry, who settled in
America in 1703 ; in that year four unmarried brothers
came over, David, Adam, Nicholas and Lambert, who
were driven out of the. Rhine Valley at the time of the
religious troubles in the Palatinate. They were the first
to raise wheat in Schoharie county, in the Mohawk



Valley, where they became large agriculturists. William
Sternbergh, father of James Hervey, died at the age of
eighty-six years; the forefathers for several generations
had reached advanced age.

The Sternbergh family removed to Saratoga Springs
and lived there until James H. was thirty-one years
ol'd. He spent a number of these years as general pas-
senger agent of the railroad running through Saratoga.
His choice . had been to become a professional man, but
study affected his sight, and in 1865, he removed to Read-
ing, Pa., where he became interested in the manufacture
of bolts, nuts, .rivets, etc. In 1867 Mr. Sternbergh in-
vented and patented a machine for making hot-pressed
nuts, and this machine has been in use ever since, its
inventor and maker even having demands for it from
competitors in business at home and abroad. This is only,
one of many important and useful inventions of Mr.
Sternbergh. He invented a superior grinding machine
for grinding hard metals, doing the work much miore
effectively than before, and at much less cost. There
were only two or three other establishments of the kind
in the United States, and Mr. Sternbergh may be justly
called the pioneer in the business of nvit manufacturing.

In 1886, when his son Philip attained his majority,
Mr. Sternbergh took him into partnership, and the latter
subsequently became the manager of the branch works
in Kansas City, Mo. There he died April 2, 1903, in the
thirty-eighth year of his age, just in the prime of man-
hood, with every promise bright for a great future.

On Feb. 6, 1891, during Mr. Sternbergh's absence in
New York, his works caught fire and were totally de-
stroyed, save the rolling mill buildings and part of the
large machinery. It was a heavy financial blow, but with
characteristic energy he went about immediately getting
things in shape, and within ten days after the fire the
works were again in operation, and in the May following
were turning out more goods than ever before. The
Reading Bolt and Nut Works is a plant extending over
some eight acres of land, lying between Third and
Fourth streets, and between the Lebanon Valley Railroad
and Buttonwood street. This large and important in-
dustry had its inception in 1865, when Mr. Sternbergh
established it. From modest beginnings, in temporary
buildings at the foot of Pine street and the leasing of
necessary power from an adjoining concern, and the
employment of from eight to ten men, to the present
day, when a large tract of land is covered with the com-
modious buildings and a force of 1,500 men find em-
ployment, is a story of commercial success and indus-
trial progress which holds much matter of interest.

The present substantial buildings are located on North
Third street, above Buttonwood, and were first occu-
pied in January, 1869. Since the fire above mentioned
every new building has been made larger and more
convenient than the old ones and the machinery and
equipments are those of a first-class, modern plant. One
building, 456 x 110 feet in dimensions, supplied with all
kinds of improved machinery, is used for the manufacture
of nuts, bolts, washers, rivets and rods for bridges, build-
ings, etc. Another. 325 x 90 feet in dimensions, is used
as a rolling mill building and contains three trains of
rolls, four heating furnaces, three upright steam engines,
in addition to steam shears, lathes, pumps', etc. Another,
the new rolling mill building, 200 x 80 feet, contains two
trains of rolls, two heating furnaces and other machinery.
The capacity of these mills is about 40,000 tons of rolled
iron annually, embracing all sizes of merchant bar iron
in common use.

Mr. Sternbergh's own articles of manufacture are dis-
posed of to merchants and consumers of refined bar and
band iron. At all times it is necessary to carry a large
stock in order to meet the demands, and this need was
recognized by the erection in 1880 of a large warehouse
150 X 40 feet, four stories high. The railroad facilities
are of the best, three tracks running into the works,
the first for the delivery of coal, the second for the
delivery of crude iron, and the third for shipments. Mr.
Sternbergh's goods were awarded medals at the Centen-



342



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



nial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876 ; at the Chicago suing county election. He was re-elected in 1895, and in
Exposition in 1883; at the New Orleans Exposition, in """" ■"" •• • ■ - ...

1885; at the Paris Exposition in 1889; and at the Colurn-
bian Exposition in 1893, where they had three exhibits.

On Sept. 1, 1899, J. H. Sternbergh & Son consolidated
their works with the Pennsylvania Nut & Bolt _Company,
of Lebanon, the Lebanon Iron Company, the East Let



1905. He died Aug. 19, 1908, after having served as a
judge of the courts of the county twenty-two years.

JAMES W. YOCUM, late of Reading, was one of the
most successful business men of that city for a number
of years before his death. He was a member of the firm



anon Iron Company, of Lebanon, and the National Nut, of Yocum Brothers, the largest manufacturers of cigars

Bolt & Rivet Works, of Reading, thus forming what m Berks county, and the busmess is still conducted under

is known as the American Iron & Steel Manufacturing that name and ranks among the leading mdustries of this

Company, of which Mr. Sternbergh was president during prosperous section of Pennsylvania.

the six years ending February, 1907, when he retired. Mr. Yocum was born May 24, 1854, m Spring town-
It is capitalized at $5,550,000, $3,000,000 being full ship, Berks county, and was descended on both paternal



paid preferred stock, and $2,550,000 full paid common
stock. The works now give employment to 4,000 men.

J. H. Sternbergh, in addition to being the head of this
vast concern, in a director in the Second National Bank
of Reading; a director in the Reading Trust Company;
and ^president of the Kansas City Bolt & Nut Company,
which was founded by him in 1887. He was one of the
founders of the Reading Board of Trade, and its presi-
dent for the first three years, and he was also one of
the founders of the Young Men's Christian Association,
and served as its president many years.

Mr. Sternbergh has been twice married. In 1863 he was
married (first) to Harriet M. May, of Southbridge, Mass.,
who bore hinij five children, two of whom survive, Her-
bert M. and Hattie May. He married (second) Mary
Candace Dodds, of North Hero, Vt., and they had six
children born to them, namely : James Hervey, born
May 26, 1890; Helen, Aug. 18, 1891 (who died Nov. 11,
1894) ; David, Dec. 29, 1892 ; Lambert, March 29, 1895 ;
Margaret, May 30, 1897; and Gertrude, May 8, 1899.



and maternal sides from old Berks county stock, being a
son of William and Mary (Potteiger) Yocum. George
Yocum, his grandfather, was born at Yocum's Forge, this
county, and there passed all his life, dying at the age of
seventy-eight. . He was an iron manufacturer, and a man
of substance and standing, highly respected in his com-
munity. His family consisted of six children, four sons
and two daughters.

William Yocum, son of George, was also born at
Yocum's Forge, and was reared at his native place. He
received his education in the local public schools, and
learned the milling business, but he soon went to farming,
in which he found a congenial and profitable field for his
energies throughout his active career. He died in 1905 at
Stouchsburg, this county. Mr. Yocum was a prominent
member of the Lutheran Church, in which he had held
all the official positions. In political matters, he was, like
his father, a strong Republican. He married Mary Pot-
teiger, and to them were born five children: Clara; James
W. ; William H., who was in partnership with his brother



Mr. Sternbergh is an honorary member of the Academy James for many years; Velaria; and George J,



of Inventors and Manufacturers of Paris, and the Euro-
pean Society of Brussels, Belgium. He is a ruling elder
in the First Presbyterian Church of Reading, and for
eighteen years with all his many and onerous duties found
time to serve as Sunday-school superintendent. A re-
markable fact about Mr. Sternbergh is that his years of
strenuous work have been endured without a day's illness,
and he stands today as an example of manly strength and
mental superiority.



James W. Yocum was reared in the locality of his birth
and received his education in the common schools of that
section. He was an ambitious student, and succeeded
so v/ell that he was able to teach, being thus engaged for
six terms during his young manhood. His first business
venture was as a general merchant, in partnership with S.
F. Fisher, with whom he did business at Stouchsburg
under the firm name of Fisher & Yocum, for two and a
half years. On Jan. 1, 1885, he entered into partnership
with his brother, William H. Yocum under the name of
JAMES NEVIN ERMENTROUT, fourth elected Yocum Brothers,' and they continueTtogether L the manu-
President Judge of Berks county, from 1889 to 1908, facture of cigars until the death of Mr James W Yocum
youngest son of William and Justina (Silvis) Ermentrout, building up their business until it became the most ex-
was born at Reading, Oct. 25, 1846. After a preparatory tensive of the kind in Berks county Five hundred skilled
education in the common schools he was graduated from workers found employment in the immense factory at the
the high school in 1862, first m his class. He then taught corner of Walnut and Seventh streets, the vearly product
school for several terms, and assisted his brother (Prof, amounting to as much as 20,000,000 cigars disposed of in
J. S. Ermentrout, County Superintendent of public schools) various markets throughout the United States
until 1868. While deputy superintendent, he conducted a At the time of his death no business



course of reading and study, under his brother, Daniel
Ermentrout, Esq., a practicing attorney at Reading till
Nov. 27, 1867, when he was admitted to the Bar. He
then directed his earnest attention to the legal profession
and soon became actively engaged in practice. In 1869 he
formed a law partnership with his brother, under the



J , man in Reading

enjoyed better standing than James W. Yocum. His
integrity had stood the test of many years of business
success, and his ability was unquestioned. He had the true
business instinct, understanding the art of making business,
and he had the basic honesty which always proved sufficient
to hold trade after it had been won, his product being



firm name of Daniel & James N. Ermentrout. Their law exactly as represented. He was ^Ihble, conserva ive con^

business increased rapidly and embraced a general prac- siderate of all his associates, and a man of earnest Dublir

tice, including important litigation and the settlement of spirit, and he won the unfailing respect of all who knew

numerous valuable estates. In 1874 his brother was elected him, whether in business or personal rela ioi s His ris^

State Senator from this district, and re-elected for three in the manufacturing world was due solely to merit ind he

successive terms till 1880; and then he was chosen a mem- enjoyed universal |ood-will. Hi^ deatirXh occurred



firm was conducted almost entirely by the junior partner ,
and this constant engagement in legal business gave him a
large^ and valuable experience. When the term of the
additional law judge of the county was about to expire,
the members of the Bar directed their attention toward
Mr. Ermentrout, and in April, 1885, a letter was addressed



On Oct 14 1875, Mr. Yocum married Agnes G. Schaffer,
and SIX children were born to them: Charles; John, who
married Alice N. Weand ; Frank, who married Nettie
Newmark and has a daughter Frances E. ; Paul; Ralph-
and Sadie. The family reside at No. 619 North Fifth



to hmi subscribed by eighty attorneys, without regard to street. Mrs. Yocum is a daughter of John and Gust-ina

political party, requesting him to permit the use of his (Schlaseman) Schaffer, the former a native nf Pp.ncY

name as a proper person to fill this office. This proceed- vania where he carried Z\lr?rluJJ ■? \^""^yl-

ing created_a strong public sentiment in his_ behalf, and life, hoy^^ZXT^ZtZ^^^^ '^^^



when the Democratic convention assembled he was nom- was twice married first t^ r„cf.,i^7"''c; i.V"'' "'' 't'"'^' , ''''^
inated by acclamation, and afterward elected at the en- he had 't^o'chiidra'^jVmes'^Tf' B^o't'Tnd'rand' Agne"



BIOGRAPHICAL



343



C, who became Mrs. Yocum. His second marriage was
to Sarah Schlaseman, sister of his first wife, and there
were two children born to this union also, Melinda and
Wilson, both residents of Indiana. Mr. Schaffer was an
industrious, hard-working man all of his life, and died in
1891, aged about seventy years.

Mr. Yocum was a 3ad-degree Mason, belonging to Wil-
liamson Lodge, No. 307, F. &; A. M., and he was also a
member of Camp No. 237, P. O. S. of A. His religious
membership was in the Lutheran Church, and in political
faith he was a Republican.

WILLIAM H. LIVINGOOD, long an eminent member
of the Bar in Berks county, where he practised for a
period of forty years, passed away Oct. 22, 1906, in his
seventieth year. From 1860 until his death he maintained
a high standing in the legal fraternity and had a reputation
not only in his own county but also in Philadelphia, where
he was located for six years.

Mr. Livingood was born April 5, 1837, at Womelsdorf,
this county, son of Dr. John B. Livingood, a distinguished
physician of that place, and grandson of John Livingood.
He received his early education in his native place, at-
tending the Union Academy at Womelsdorf, from which
he graduated in 1851. He continued his literary studies at
the Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., where he completed



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 82 of 227)