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 91 of 227)
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Knight and Elizabeth Hiester, his wife, was born in Read-
ing, Sept. 30, 1855.

Paul McKnight, his great-grandfather, of Scottish an-
cestry, came to America in 1752, from the North of Ireland,
and settled in Chester county.

Paul's son, John McKnight (born May 31, 1774— died
March 9, 1855), came to Reading in 1808, and conducted a
Branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania of Philadelphia, which
Branch Bank was afterward incorporated as the National
Union Bank of Reading.

David McKnight (born May 2, 1814— died Aug. 29,
1873), a son of John McKnight, assisted and succeeded
his father in conducting' the Reading Branch of the
Bank of Pennsylvania, and upon the incorporation of the
Union Bank of Reading (afterward the National Union
Bank) became its first president, and held this oifice
until his death.

On his mother's side, Elizabeth Beck Hiester (born May
5, 1817— died Oct. 11, 1897) was a daughter of Joseph
Hiester of Reading (born Aug. 4, 1768— died April 16,
1830), and a granddaughter of Joseph Hiester, (1710-1772),
who came to America from Westphalia, Germany, in 1737.

M. Brayton McKnight attended the local public schools,
graduating from the Reading high school in 1873, and
entered Amherst College the same year, from which
college he was graduated in 1876. He then read law in
the office of his brother-in-law, Charles H. Schaeffer, Esq.,
of Reading, and was admitted to the Bar of Berks county
in 1878. Going to Colorado in the fall of 1879, he was
admitted to the Bar of that State and took a clerical
position in the office of Hon. Robert S. Morrison, a prom-
inent attorney of Georgetown, Colo. Returning to Reading
the following year, he resumed the practice of law. In
1881 he assisted in the incorporation of the Mt. Penn Stove
Works, a company just forming for the manufacture of
cooking and heating appliances, and being elected secretary
and treasurer of the new corporation, he relinquished his
law practice and devoted his whole time to manufacturing.
He retained the office of secretary and treasurer of the Mt.
Penn Stove Works for twenty-five years, and in 1907 he
was elected president of the company, which office he now
holds. During this time this conijpany has grown to be
one of the prominent manufacturing and business enter-
prises of Reading.



368



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



I\Ir. AIcKnight was married in 1880 to Ida May Geise,
who died in 1882, without any children. On March 31,
1898, he married Wilhelmina Hamilton Holmes (daughter
of Robert Holmes, of Reading), who died on Nov. 3,
1901. leaving two daughters, Helen, born June 16, 1899,
and Katharine, born May 23, 1901.

Mr. A'IcKnight is identified with various business enter-
prises of Reading, is oil the board of directors of the Mt.
Penn Gravity Railroad, the Reading & Temple Railway,
the Reading Hospital, the Charles Evans Cemetery Com-
pany and the Reading Sanitarium for the Treatment of
Tuberculosis, and is a member of the Berks County His-
torical Society, the Pennsylvania-German Society and the
Pennsylvania Forestry Association.

CHARLES H. SCHAEFFER, one oif the most prominent
and influential citizens of Reading, is well known in the
financial circles of that city as president of the National
Union Bank. Mr. Schaeffer was born in Columbus, Ohio,
in the year 1840. His father and grandfather were
clergymen, distinguished in the Lutheran Church, his
father having been for many years professor in the Luth-
eran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and later hav-
ing been the founder, first professor and president of the
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Mt. Airy, Philadelphia,
where he remained until his death in 1879.

Charles H. Schaeffer received his collegiate education
at Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, from which he grad-
uated with honor in 1860, and thereafter he conducted
a classical academy at Reading for several years. During
this period he also read law in the office of the late Con-
gressman Daniel Ermentrout. In 1863 he enlisted in the
service of the United States and was at the front until
his regiment disbanded in the fall of that year. On Aug.
9, 1864, he was admitted to the Bar and since that time
has been in continuous practice, being concerned in much
of the most important litigation that has been before the
courts of Berks county, the Supreme court of Pennsyl-
vania and the United States courts, and during his pro-
fessional career has been attorney for many of the most
important corporate interests of the comimunity.

Mr. Schaeffer has been prominently identified with the
Democratic party from the first, and in his earlier years
was a prominent speaker and worker in his party, repre-
senting it in county. State and national conventions. In
1873 he served a term as a member of the city council,
but was never a candidate for any other office. He long
served the public as a member of the board of health
until his resignation in 1902, nineteen years, during which
timie the most valuable improvements and reforms in the
work of the board were inaugurated and established.

Mr. Schaeffer has always been prominently identified
with the public interests and institutions of the city and
county. In 1873 he drew the charter of the first passenger
railway built in the city of Reading, organized the com-
pany, and has been connected with the city railway in-
terests as attorney and director during all the subsequent
developments of the system. Since 1869 he has been the
counsel for the National Union Bank of Reading, one
of the leading financial institutions of the city, became
a director in 1874, and vice-president in 1898. Since
March, 1900, Mr. Schaeffer has been president of this
institution.

During all his legal and business career Mr. Schaeffer
has at various times contributed articles to the educational
and legal magazines, and other publications of the city,
county and State, which gave him reputation as a writer,
and in the years when the Reading Eagle was laying
the foundations of its future prosperity his contributions
to its columns were highly appreciated. In connection
with his banking interests, Mr. Schaeffer is also a director
of the Reading Trust Comipany, the Reading Gas Com-
pany, the Reading City Passenger Railway Company, and
also of manv other corporations. He is also president of
the West Reading Water Company. He is an active
rnember of the well-known Berks County Historical So-
ciety, while his war record entitles him to his connection
with Keim Post, No. 76, G. A. R. Since 1860 Mr. Schaef-



fer has been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, in
the vestry of which he served a number of years as
elder, and to which his family also adhere.

In 1867 Charles H. Schaeffer and Amelia M. McKnight
were united in marriage. Mrs. Schaeffer is a member of
one of the old and prominent families of the county.
Four sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Schaeffer, all of
whom are engaged in business in Reading and Philadel-
phia, the youngest, E. Carroll, being a member of the
Berks county Bar.

In every walk of life, indeed, Mr. Schaeffer has made
an impress for good. Of profound legal mind, scholarly
and liberal-minded, his influence has been felt not only
in the material upbuilding: of Reading, but in the develop-
ment of the moral, religious and educational movements
in the community in which he has for so long been so
prominent a figure.

JACOB B. FRICKER. It is most consonant that in this
work be incorporated a sketch of the career of this well-
known and honored citizen and prominent business man of
Reading, for not only is he a native of the city which is
now his home, but he is also a representative of one of
the sterling pioneer families of the county in which his
entire life has been passed. Mr. Fricker was born in the
old family homestead at No. 807 Penn street, Dec. 19, 1839,
son of Jacob and Catherine (Allgaier) Fricker, both like-
wise natives of the old Keystone State.

Jacob Fricker was born in Huntingdon county, where he
was reared and educated, and where he remained .until he
was about twenty-two years of age, when he came to Read-
ing and secured a position as foreman and manager in the
hat factory of Jacob Sauerbier. He retained this incum-
bency about twelve years, and then engaged in the same
branch of enterprise on his own responsibility, forming
a partnership with Harry Brown and establishing their
factory at No. 807 Penn street, in 1833. On that site,
30 X 270 feet in dimensions, Mr. Fricker erected his dwell-
ing, which is still standing, and in an excellent state of
preservation. In the rear of this building the firm estab-
lished their fur-hat manufactory, utilizing a log house. At
the same time they established a wholesale and retail store
at the corner of Fifth and Court streets, where Tragle
Bros.' large cordage building now stands. Mr. Fricker
continued to be activel3r identified with this business until
his death. The business demanded considerable traveling
on his part, as the custom in those days was for the man-
ufacturers to go about from one locality to another, selling
their products or exchanging them for new fur-pelts. On
one of these trips he contracted a severe cold, the ultimate
result of which was his death, in March. 1847. In 1828
Jacob Fricker married Catherine Allgaier, who survived
him many years, continuing to reside in the old Penn street
homestead for sixty years. She died in 1888. Five children
were born to Jacob Fricker and wife : Peter H., who was
engaged in the manufacture of fur hats in Reading, and
who was a prominent member of the old Ringgold Band,
died in 1860; Andrew J., a printer and box manufacturer,
also identified with the Reading Lumber Company, and
the representative of the Tenth ward in the city coun-
cil, died in 1895; Sarah E. died in 1886; Jacob B.;' George
W., who was engaged in printing and manufacturing, died
in 1902. As per family arrangement the estate was not
settled until 1905, a period of fifty-eight years, when Jacob
B., the sole survivor, became the owner of the old home-
stead.

Jacob B. Fricker was reared to manhood in his native
town, and after completing the course of the Reading
schools, he found employment as a clerk in a local mercan-
tile establishment. He followed this vocation for a num-
ber of years, with different firms, and during the Civil
war was employed as a clerk in the post-office, and later
was clerk and teller in the First National and the Read-
ing Savings Banks. In 1871 he became associated with
the De Long Brothers, tanners and curriers, who for many
years occupied the southeast corner of Ninth and Muhlen-
berg streets, and with them in 1875 he established a whole-
sale leather house in Philadelphia, and at this writing



BIOGRAPHICAL



369



still remains a partner of this firm. In 1884 he formed
a partnership with Lambert A. Rehr, and under the firm
name of Rehr & Fricker, they engaged as contractors and
builders. The firm is still in existence, with offices at No.
134 Cedar street, and they control a large and important
business, having erected more than 1,000 houses in Reading.
This fact in itself offers the most effective voucher for the
correct business methods and technical ability of the firm,
whose reputation has ever been of the highest, and whose
splendid success has been richly deserved.

Mr. Fricker is a man of progressive spirit and has iden-
tified himself with various other enterprises which have
contributed to the material advancement and prestige of
his home city. He is one of the organizers, and remains
an interested principal in the Reading Lumber Company.
Mr. Fricker was a director in the Reading Hardware Com-
pany many years, but recently severed his connection with
the company. For the past ten years he has been the man-
ager and treasurer of the Reading Abattoir Company,
which he organized and now has incorporated by the State
of Pennsylvania. He is not only treasurer but also one
of the largest stockholders. He is president and stock-
holder of the Crescent Brass Foundry Company, and takes
a lively interest in the management of the same. In poli-
tics Mr. Fricker is a stanch supporter of the principles
and policies of the Republican party, 'and his religious
faith is that of the Reformed Chuixh. He, and his wife
are prominent members of St. Paul's Reformed Church,
with which he has been identified since its organization,
and of whose choir he has been a member for thirty years,
also taking an active part in the work of the Sunday-
school. He has served on the building committee of six
different churches of the Reformed denomination, those
of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Andrew and Zion, on the first
church buildings of St. Stephen and St. Mark, on the Sun-
day-school building of St. Paul's, and on the Seminary
building of the Reformed Church of Lancaster, Pa., and in
each instance he gave most valuable assistance by reason
of his fine technical knowledge as a contractor and
builder.

In 1868 Mr. Fricker married Miss Annie E. Getz, daugh-
ter of the late Peter D. Getz, an honored pioneer of Read-
ing, and to this union have been born three daughters :
Mary F. m. Thomas G. Mull, and has one daughter, Helen;
Martha A.; and Annie F., the two last named remaining
under the parental roof. Mr. and Mrs. Fricker were
members of the Mozart Musical Union, being original mem-
bers, and they continued interested in same as long as it was
in existence. Mr. Fricker is a loyal and public-spirited citi-
zen and has an abiding . interest in all that concerns his
native city, which is endeared to him by the gracious mem-
ories and associations of the past as well as of the present.

L S. AND D. H. HUYETT, proprietors of the Standard
Paper Box Manufacturing Company, which is located at
Nos. 441 to 445 Pearl street, Reading, are well known iri
their community as honest, straight-forward business men.
Their success is due to their push and energy, and to their
native business ability, and they are considered representa-
tive citizens of their native city. They are sons of Amos
and Henrietta (Smith) Huyett, the former of whom
was for many years a prominent contractor and builder,
and also operated a planing mill, doing much to advance
the material growth of Reading. During the Civil war
he was one of the first to enlist and he served throughout
that struggle. He died in 1891, aged fifty-four years.

Amos Huyett was twice married. He married (first)
Henrietta Smith, who died in 1870 at the age of thirty-
three years. They were the parents of five children as fol-
lows: I. S. and D. H., who are mentioned below; Ella R.,
Lucy A. and Henrietta. Mr. Huyett married (second)
Lydia Rick, who passed away in 1908, at the age of seventy.
In religion the family were Lutherans. Fraternally the
father was a member of the I. O. O. F. and in politics
was a Republican.

I. S. Huyett, senior member of the firm of the Standard

Paper Box Manufacturing Company, was born in 1861.

On May 12, 1887, he married Jennie L. Heller, daughter of

24 ■, i..;ii-a;-li



Anthony W. Heller, and one child was born to this union,
Amos W., who is now attending school. Mr. Huyett is a
member of Vigilance Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., and the B. P.
O. Elks, Lodge No. 115. Like the rest of the family he
is a nuember of the Lutheran Church.

D. H. Huyett, junior member of the firm, was born in
1862, and on March 4, 1898, he married Catharine Hull,
daughter of Henry Hull. Tliey are the parents of Daniel,
Dorothy and Catharine. Mr. Huyett is prominent in frater-
nal circles, being connected with St. John's Lodge, F. &
A. M., No. 435; Reading Chapter, R. A. M., No. 152; De
Molay Commandery, No. 9, K. T. ; Reading Lodge of Per-
fection; Rajah Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S.; Williamsport
Consistory; and Lodge No. 115, B. P. O. Elks, of Reading.

The Standard Paper Box Manufacturing Company was
organized in 1895. They manufacture a high grade of
paper boxes, cartons and candy boxes and supply shoe,
millinery, candy and hardware concerns with their product.
The plant, three stories in height and 60 x 100 feet in
dimensions, is equipped with a one hundred horse-power
boiler, and gives employment to an average of seventy
hands. From a small beginning the business has grown rap-
idly and now controls a well defined trade throughout this
section of the State.

ALPHEUS S. BEHNEY, a director of the Penn Na-
tional Bank, of Reading, and one of the most substantial
citizens of Womelsdorf, Berks county, was born Nov. 17,
1843, at Fredericksburg, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of Samuel
and Sarah Jane (Bashore) Behney.

This family is one of the oldest in Pennyslvania, and
the name has been variously spelled Beni, Baney, Behne
and Behney. The founder of the family in the Lebanon
Valley was Peter Beany, of Heidelberg township, who
died in January, 1784, leaving a wife, Catherine, and chil-
dren: George Peter, Jr., Jacob, Melchoir, Eva, Elizabeth,
Christina, Barbara, Magdalena, John and Anna Elizabeth.
It is also shown in the Pennsylvania Archives that in 1723
a family of Beni emigrated to this country and located in
Lebanon county. Prior to 1750 the ancestor of this num-
erous family located near Fredericksburg, Lebanon county,
where he took up about 1,000 acres of land, and there
spent the rest of his life, dying at an advanced age. Up
to the time of his death, Peter Beany (or Behney) wore
no garb other than in Continental style. Several of his
sons, including Melchoir, served in the Revolutionary war.

Melchoir Behney, son of the ancestor, and great-grand-
father of Alpheus S., was born in Lebanon county, and
spent his life there, being buried at Fredericksburg. He
was a farmer by occupation, and one of the early horse
dealers of this part of Pennsylvania, the first of the family
to follow that line, in which so many of the name have
become famous, in fact, one Jacob Behne, of Myerstown,
was the largest horse dealer of the United States in his
day. He always had on hand from 200 to 500 head, sold
horses to Barnum & Bailey, the showmen, to the Brewers,
and to horse dealers all over the country.

Melchoir Behney was twice married, his first wife bear-
ing him two children, sons, and his secondl wife, a Miss
Fisher, bearing him one son and two daughters. Mr. Beh-
ney's second wife was the sister of the wives of his sons
by his first marriage. He was a leading citizen of his
day, and did much toward promoting movements for the
public good.

Martin Behney, grandfather of Alpheus S., was a farmer,
and spent his life in the vicinity of his birthplace, was a
public-spirited and influential citizen, and died at an ad-
vanced age. He married a Miss Fisher, a sister of his
step-mother, and she bore him seven children : John; Jacob;
David lost his life in the Civil war; Samuel (father of
Alpheus S.) ; Kate m. a Suavely; Sallie m. William Bohr;
and Rebekah died unmarried.

Samuel Behney, father of Alpheus S., was born on the
old homestead in 1806, and died at Myerstown, in 1885,
at the age of seventy-nine years. He learned distilling in
his youth with his father-in-law, an occupation which he
followed for several years, and then engaged in the man-
ufacture of brick, at Fredericksburg and later in Myers-



370



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



town, continuing in this line of business for some iifty
years, and furnishing the material for hundreds of houses
and buildings in the vicinity of these places. He was a
captain of the militia at Jonestown in the days of the old
battalions, and upon his removal to Myerstown was_ suc-
ceeded by a Mr. Long. He was one of the public-spirited
and progressive men of his day and locality, and was a
pillar of the Reformed Church. Samuel Behney was mar-
ried to Sarah Jane Bashore, daughter of John and Catha-
rine (Fauber) Bashore, and to this union there were born
nine children: (1) Edward, who died in Denver, Colo., in
the fall of 1905, aged seventy-two years, was a veteran of
the Civil war, serving three years, during part of which
time he was a prisoner at Andersonville. He was a brick-
maker and builder by trade. (2) William, of Pittsburg,
was also in the three-years' service during the Civil war,
and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. (3) Milton,
deceased, one of the firs^ cigar makers, and later a brick
manufacturer at Wom'elsdorf. (4) Melchoir, an extensive
contractor and builder and one of the most prominent citi-
zens of Kansas City, was in the three-years' service, and
was wounded in battle. (5) Alpheus S. (6) Sarah J.
married Harry Wise, formerly of Harrisburg, but now of
Philadelphia. (7) Samuel is engaged in real estate deal-
ings in Womelsdorf, where he is treasurer of the Y. M. C.
A., and is a man of importance. (8) Levi is deceased.
(9) One died in infancy.

Alpheus S. Behney was educated in the Myerstown
public schools, obtaining a fair education, which was supple-
mented by years of practical business experience. He be-
gan working as a youth in the brick factory of his father,
where he continued until sixteen years old, and when but
seventeen enlisted in Company I, 7th P. V. L, being sworn
in the U. S. army July 21, 1861, and was in service in
that regiment for upward of a year. He then enlisted
for a year on the transports, assisting the sick and wounded
until the transports went out of commission, when he en-
listed a third time, becoming a private in Company H,
186th P. V. I., in which he served until the close of the
war. He was in the great Army of the Potomac, participat-
ing in some of its fiercest engagements, and was mustered
out of service at Philadelphia, in 1865. After' his discharge
Mr. Behney came to Womelsdorf, where he was engaged
in the brick business until 1895, supplying all the brick
for houses built in Womelsdorf during that thirty years.
His brick was considered the best in the market, and
he shipped to Robesonia, and into Lebanon and the sur-
rounding counties. Since 1895 Mr. Behney has lived a
semi-retired life. In 1907 he erected two large double
brick dwelling houses on Second street, Womelsdorf, al-
though his own home is located on High street, and was
erected in 1867. In politics Mr. Behney is a Democrat, and
was a councilman for nine consecutive years, rendering
valuable service to his fellow citizens and receiving a re-
nomination which he refused. He has various large business
^interests, owning eight other residences and a large build-
'ing in which a hosiery factory is conducted; is a director
of the Penn National Bank, of Reading, being also on the
auditing committee ; and he helped to organize the Union
Bank of Womelsdorf in 1903, being one of its first direc-
tors. iFraternally he is connected with Williamson Lodge,
No. 307, F. & A. M., of Womelsdorf; Excelsior Chapter
No. 237, R. A. M., of Reading; Reading Commandery,
No. 42, K. T., and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.,
being formerly a child of the Lu Lu, of Philadelphia, the
mother of Rajah. He made a tour with the Knights Tem-
plars to California in 1883. Mr. Behney is also a member
of the P. O. S. of A., No. 679, Womelsdorf, having been
treasurer of this camp ever since holding membership,
more than twenty years. He is a Lutheran member of
Zion's Union Church of Womelsdorf, Pa., while his wife
adheres to the Reformed belief.

Mr. Behney was married (first) in 1865, to Lizzie .Wen-
rich, born in 1841, who died in 1879, aged thirty-eight
years, daughter of Isaac Wenrich. His second marriage
was to Permelia Dondor, widow of Horace Hillegass.

The seven Behney brothers closely resembled each other
in size, weight and height, could wear the same size of



coat and shoes, and have often been mistaken for one
another. They are all reliable business men, and worthy
representatives of one of Berks county's oldest and most
honored families.

GEORGE W. HAWK, a well-known business man of
Reading, Pa., engaged in the manufacture of hosiery, was
born Jan. 16, 1866, in that city, son of Nathan and Lydia
(Seidel) Hawk, natives of this State.

Nathan Hawk was a prominent manufacturer of wool
hats for many years in Reading, on South Eleventh street,
under the style of DeHart, Hawk & Co., and was one of
the best known business men of his day, retiring iii 1880
to enjoy the fruits of a Ion? and active business life. He
passed away in 1905, aged seventy-six years, while his
wife still survives him. The children born to this worthy
couple were: George W. ; Ida m. Sylvester Fritz, a dairy-
man ; Anna m. John Bauer, a barber of Reading, Pa. ; and
Miss Laura. In politics Nathan Hawk was a stanch Re-



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 91 of 227)