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 96 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 96 of 227)
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and this is still in operation. Two years before this Mr.
Grim had moved to Boyertown, and in the business life
of that town he at once entered, taking an active part
therein until his death. He built the large Grim block,
was instrumental in organizing the National Bank of Boy-
ertown, of which he was a director for some years, and
later he was one of the organizers of the Farmers' Na-
tional Bank, in which he was a director and later vice
president. He was a heavy stockholder in the Colebrook-
dale Iron Company, established in 1835, and incorporated in
1886, and located at Pottstown, and after he became its
president its scope was largely increased, their goods being
shipped to all parts of the world. In politics Mr. Grim was
a Democrat, and for thirteen years was burgess of Boyer-
town, and during the administration of President Cleve-
land was its postmaster. He was a member of the Luth-
eran Church, and in that faith died Aug. 14, 1905.

On June 11. 1853, William K, Grim married Loretta B.
Rhoads, daughter of John and Catharine Rhoads. She
was born Aug. 21, 1825, and died Aug. 4, 1906. Her
maternal grandparents were Henry and Sarah Boyer.



Henry Boyer and his brother Daniel were the first settlers
of Boyertown, and from them the town derived its name.
To William K. and Loretta B. Grim were born four
children : Mahella, Sarah (m. Frank W. Sabold, manager
of the New York Telephone Company, at Yonkers, N. Y.,
who in 1903 became associated, in an official capacity, with
The Hudson River Telephone Company, at Albany, N. Y.,
at which place he died April 16, 1904), William R., and
Kate.

(VI) William R. Grim, son of William K. and Loretta
B. Grim, was born April 24, 1860, and was given the bene-
fit of a good education. After studying in the public
schools, he went to Mt. Pleasant Seminary and then to
Muhlenberg College, graduating from the latter in 1882.
He read law at Salina, Kans., and was there admitted to
the Bar. He later went to Texas, and located at Texar-
kana, where he became cashier of the Texarkana National
Bank, and in 1903 was elected its president. This bank
is a strong financial institution, and is a power in its lo-
cality. Mr. Grim is also interested in railroads. He mar-
ried Sarah Hauberger, of Philadelphia, and they have two
children, Emeline and Loretta.

MARTIN S. CROLL, President of the National^nk
at Topton, Berks Co., Pa., and senior member of the firm
of CroU & Smith, manufacturers and jobbers in hats, caps
and straw goods, is one of the leading business men of
this part of the county and comes from an old and hon-
orable family. Alartin S. Croll was born Aug. 19, 1844,
in Maxatawny township, Berks Co., Pa., son of John and
Catherine (DeLong) Croll. The family is of German
extraction and its founder in Perinsylvania was one
Philip Croll, who settled in Montgomery county. His four
children bore the names of: Christian, Henry, Michael
and Polly.

Henry Croll, son of Philip, and great-grandfather of
Martin S., married a member of the Gilbert family, and
then removed to a farm in the vicinity of Pittsburg, where
the rest of his life was spent. Among his numerous child-
ren, Joseph was the immediate ancestor of the subject of
this sketch.

Joseph Croll was born in Allegheny county, learned
the tanning business and worked at that until 1813, when
he married and removed to Greenwich townhsip, Berks
Co., Pa. He married Elizabeth Schlenker, daughter of
John and Barbara (Tressler) Schlenker, and they reared
a large family. Later he settled at Krumsville, where he
died in 1847. survived by his wife until 1872.

John Croll, son of Joesph and father of IMartin S., was
born May 19, 1814. near Grimville, Berks Co., Pa. He
learned the trade of tailor. In 1838 he removed to a place
near Wessnersville, where he lived for one year and then
settled at Kutztown. where he followed his trade for alDout
fourteen years, and then, in 1853, removed to North White-
hall township, Lehigh county. He bought a small farm
near Schnecksville, and at his home conducted a large
tailoring business, giving employment to a dozen workmen.
He was a good business man and in addition to conducting
this large and profitable business, from 1865 to 1875, he
was interested in dealing in timber lands. During the last
years of his life he engaged successfully in trucking and
huckstering. John Croll was an influential member of the
Democratic party, and wherever he lived was solicited to
hold office on account of the integrity of his character
and his excellent judgment on all matters pertaining to the
common good. As early as 1830 he was confirmed in the
Lutheran Church, and until his death he remained a con-
sistent member of that religious bodv. In 1837 he married
Catherine DeLong, daughter of David and Catherine De-
Long, of Maxatawny township, who was of French Hugue-
not extraction. They had eight children, six sons and
two daughters, namely: Alfred, Hiram, Martin S.. Silas,
Cyremus Charles, Elmira, Philip Columbus and Priscilla
Susanna.

Martin S. Croll was educated in the local schools and at
the Quakertown Academy, following which he taught
school for two seasons, but on April 1, 1863, turned his
attention to a business career, becoming a clerk for Joseph



BIOGRAPHICAL



383



Miller, a merchant at Foglesville. Some months later he
accepted a similar position at Rothrocksville, and remained
there over three years. On March 1, 1867, he entered into
partnership with his brother-in-law, Stephen Smith, and
they leased a store and hotel at Monterey, where they
conducted a successful business for five years. The busi-
ness was then removed to Rothrocksville, where they con-
tinued until 1889.

In the meantime, Mr. Croll had become interested in ad-
ditional enterprises. In 1884, the firm became associated
with Silas Croll, in a coal and lumber business at Farming-
ton. One year later, Silas Croll withdrew, but the enter-
prise was continued by the other partners until 1893. In
1893 a farm was purchased at Topton, on which Mr. Croll
erected a fine residence. The firm of Croll & Smith, which
is located at No. 119 North Sixth street, Reading, is known
all over the State as prominent manufacturers and jobbers
and also as honorable dealers. It has been before the
public for the past twenty-two years. The business is
largely wholesale, employment is given to a large force,
and traveling men of experience represent it in this and
other States.

As the head and front of the large financial institution
known as the National Bank at Topton, Mr. Croll's
prominence and integrity have been recognized. This
bank was opened for business July 2, 1906, with the fol-
lowing officers: Martin S. Croll, president; John Hartley,
vice president; and A. H. Smith, cashier. The following
capitalists make up the board of directors : M. S. Croll,
John Hartley, George Schwartz, Rev. J. H. Raker, Edward
DeLong, B. Frank Baer, A. P. Smith, Samuel Heacock,
Irwin Geary, Dr. J. H. Worley and W. H. Clymer. The
bank has met with success from the beginning. It is capi-
talized at $25,000, and has large fortunes and reliable
men behind it. It probably has the most modern bank
building of any in this section of the State, its equipment
including burglar proof vaults.

On June 10, 1865, Martin S. Croll married Elizabeth A.
Grim, daughter of Jonas Grim, a well-known farmer of
Lehigh county. They have two sons, William Martin and
Charles Alfred, both of whom have proved themselves
good business men and enterprising citizens. In his pO-
"litical affiliation, Mr. Croll has always been a Democrat
and, at various times, has served in most of the local
offices, has been township auditor and deputy collector of
internal revenue. For three years he served effectively
as a member of the borough council of Topton and has
also been town treasurer. Many and increasing business
cares have prevented his acceptance of numerous honor-
able offices and positions of trust at the head of various
organizations to which his admiring fellow citizens would
have gladly elevated him. He has always taken a lively
interest in charitable and philanthropic enterprises, and it
was largely due to his earnest efforts that the Lutheran
Orphan Home was located at Topton, in 1896. For many
years he has been an active worker in the Lutheran Church,
in which he has been both elder and deacon. He is a man
who, in every respect, is entitled to the good will, respect
and thorough esteem of his fellow citizens.

REV. WARREN F. TEEL, Ph. M., principal of the
Schuylkill Seminary, Reading, has acquired a high reputa-
tion by his efficient services at the head of that institution.
His executive ability has been called into constant use as
well as his qualities as an educator, for he has developed
the Seminary up to its present condition from a most un-
promising state, a work requiring a combination of busi-
ness faculty and educative talents somewhat rare among
professional men.

Mr. Teel was born April 11, 1868, at Martin's
Creek, in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, and
comes of German and Scotch-Irish ancestry, being a
son of Amos and Anna (McFall) Teel, the latter now de-
ceased. The father was formerly a farmer, and is now
living at Easton, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Teel had the follow-
ing family: Warren F. ; Forrest, who is a produce mer-
chant of Easton, Pa. ; Harry C, who is with the Midvale
Steel Company, of Philadelphia; Frank, a machinist, en-



gaged in the Bethlehem Steel Works; and Marion, likewise
a machinist at the same works.

Warren F. Teel is practically a self-made and self-edu-
cated man. He learned the miller's trade with Enos
Wetzel and then formed a partnership with his maternal
uncle, Thomas J. McFall, at Flicksville, Pa., and milled
successfully for nine years. But he was ambitious to enter
the ministry, and with that end in view lost no opportunity
for improving his literary acquirements. He pursued his
collegiate course at the North Western College, Naper-
ville, 111., and also took a course at the Columbia School
of Oratory, Chicago. Subsequently he did special work at
Cornell and Harvard. Meantime he had done considerable
practical work, especially in the temperance cause, in which
he has been interested from early manhood. While a stu-
dent at North Western he gave notable service on the
lecture platform in the interest of the Young People's
Christian Temperance Union, meeting with unusual suc-
cess, and receiving favorable comments from' the public and
the press as a forceful and pleasing speaker. He has never
lost his interest in this line of Christian work and for
four years was president of the Young People's Alliance
of the East Pennsylvania Conference Branch. After com-
pleting his college course Mr. Teel was located at Pen
Argyl, Pa'., where he had charge of the Bethany Evanr
gelical Church for eight months, until called to his present
work. At the annual meeting of the East Pennsylvania
Conference of the Evangelical Association, held at Nor-
ristown. Pa., in February, 1901, he was elected by the board
of trustees of Schuylkill Seminary, which is under the
patronage of the Conference, to the principalship of the
institution, then located at Fredericksburg, Pa. He ac-
cepted with the courage of a devoted Christian worker
having faith in his ability to cope successfully with de-
cidedly unfavorable prospects. The Seminary had been
founded in Reading in 1881, and in the year 1886, under
the influence of Col. John H. Lick, was removed to Fred-
ericksburg. When Mr. Teel took charge the attendance
had fallen to seven students. Its growth since then has
been due directly to his efforts, and the skilful manner,
in which he has handled its affairs has won him com-
mendation from all quarters. Within a year and a half the
attendance had increased to sixty, and the year after he
became the head of the Seminary it was deemed advisable
to seek new accommodations, to meet the demands of in-
creased patronage and steady development. In the spring
of 1902 Mr. Teel and Prof. Bowman came to Reading,
and with two others made a visit to Selwyn Hall, to ascer-
tain its desirability as a new location for the Seminary. A
favorable report was made, and consequently a meeting of
ministers of the East Pennsylvania Conference was called
by Bishop S. C. Breyfogel, to convene at the Hall grounds,
for action upon the removal of the Seminary to Reading.
It was decided to acquire the property for the permanent
quarters of the school, and the purchase was made in
July, 1902. Work was at once begun, repairing and re-
modeling, and Mr. Teel succeeded in securing $10,000
from the business men of Reading to encourage the work.
The Seminary was opened in Reading Sept. 15, 1902, and
has been in a prosperous condition ever since. During
1906-07 the students numbered 120, the class of 1907 con-
sisting of twenty graduates. The equipment and accom-
modations have been added to until they compare favora-
bly with those of any similar institution in Pennsylvania.
The location, at the corner of Thirteenth and Exeter
streets, in the' northeastern part of Reading, is particularly
beautiful, the grounds lying on the western slope of Mount
Penn, commanding a fine view of the city and surrounding
landscape. In the original building, formerly known as
Selwyn Hall, a spacious structure of massive Colonial
architecture, surrounded by stately trees, are the office,
library, class-rooms, dining-hall and dormitory for ladies. ,
The other two buildings are an imposine chapel, with
dormitories for the men, and a fine modern gymnasium,
which was enlarged in 1907, an additional story having
been erected. The dormitories are spacious and comfor-
table, well ventilated, lighted with electricity and heated with
steam, and all the buildings have been made attractive



384 HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

within and without, repairs and additions being attended the capitulation of Lopez, which crowned the success of

to promptly under the efficient system which now prevails, the expedition. After a sojourn of several years in

An endowment of $50,000, gathered during the years 1906 Europe, he returned to America and entered the law

and 1907, has been convincing proof of the confidence office of his father as a student, and having been thor-

placed in Mr. Teel by the friends of the Seminary, and oughly qualified was admitted to the bar of Berks coun-

has enabled him to carry out some of his most cherished ty, April 14, 1863. He was subsequently admitted to the

plans for the continued welfare of the school. Its affairs Supreme court of the Commonvirealth and to the Bar of

at present are established upon a liberal and substantial Philadelphia and other counties of the State,
basis. In his profession he has attained marked distinction,

The special advantages afforded by the Schuylkill Semi- having tried and won many cases involving important
nary as a college preparatory school are worthy of note, principles of law which are now widely quoted as prece-
The courses in Latin and Greek, as well as in other dents, and having recently been appointed, by the Bar
branches, nt students for not only the freshman but also Association of Pennsylvania, chairman of a committee to
the advanced classes of the best colleges in the country, revise the corporation laws of the State. The Reading
The courses m history and literature are comprehensive street railway system, with its suburban adjuncts, and
and thorough, the laboratory is we 1 equipped, and all the the electric light and gas companies, and many other
work done is of the most practical character, either as a industrial corporations which he represents, owe their
preparation for higher stiidies or as an accession to general marked success largely to the genius and ability displayed
knowledge. The faculty is composed of eleven instructors, by Mr. Jones in their organization and development. He
men and women of character and purpose, who are not js general counsel also for the United Power and Trans-
only titted to teach the branches of which they have made portation Company and the Interstate Railways Company,
special study but also to direct the work and ambitions corporations controlling over five hundred miles of street
of their pupils into the most useful channels. The vice- railways in Pennsylvania and the adjoining States. His
president. Rev. Edwin D McHose, Ph. M., is mstructor services to the public, aside from business, have been
m science and the higher mathematics; he makes a equally notable, and the prosperous community in which
specialty of botany, and has written articles on this sub- he lives cheerfully acknowledges many substantial benefits
ject. Rev. Charles B. Bowman, A. M., B. D previously largely due to his well-directed energy and the wisdom
mentioned has been associated with Mr. Teel from the be- of his counsel. It was mainly through his efforts that
ginmng of his labors in the Seminary; he is a graduate the city of Reading recovered the tract of land, lost
of Drew Seminary and is serving as principal of the theo- for nearly a hundred years, at the foot of Penn's Mount,
logica department and professor of Greek and theology, now beautifully improved as the City Park and known
The department of English is m charge of Ida L. Hatz, as Penn Common; and that the free public library of
Ph. M-. and the department of tnusic is presided over by the city, of which he is president, was rescued from ob-
f M ^ ""^' ^ """^""^'^ °^ *"^ Philadelphia Academy scurity and sacrifice, placed upon an enduring foundation
ot Music. , . , , . . ^ , ^ by liberal private contributions headed with his name,

Mr Teel was ordained a regular minister of the Evan- and then adopted by the public as worthy of maintenance

gelical Church in 1902, and he is as successful in religious out of the common purse

work as in educational circles. He has frequent pulpit in 1862, on the invasion of Maryland by the Confed-
calls, from his own and other denominations, and is also erate army, Ut. Jones enlisted, serving as a private
in deniand as a speaker at Y. M. C A. gatherings. His soldier, and was present at the battle of Antietam, and in
constant association and contact with young people gives i863 he was made captain of a company of Pennsylvania
him steady inspiration for such work, in which he is volunteers. In 1866 he was elected a member of the
particularly strong, and in which his personal character Legislature from the county of Berks, and was twice re-
has proved to be a factor of inestimable value for good, elected, and in 1868, his second term, he received his




I „ -'1 T -C- 1 1 1 ' (■ ,1 T, • -/.",." i-wN-i. u-^iii^ v-viioi-j-^j, >-vj, wci c widely ICclU, ililU 1 cllIK-CU WiLII

has widened his knowledge of the conditions affecting his the best arguments upon that subject He had little
work, acquiring material for new thought as well as broad- taste for politics, however, and a preference for the work
ening the early foundations of his labors During the six of his profession induced him to retire from public life,
years of his connection with the Schuylkill Seminary he He has since held no public office excepting that of Corn-
has won notable honors in every department of his work missioner at Valley Forge, to which he was appointed by
as an able manager an efficient instructor and a devoted Governor Pennypacker and has been reappointed bv
Lhnstian laborer. His practical ideas have won the con- Governor Stuart
fidence and support of the best element in the community. He is a vestryman of Christ Church, Reading and a

r^i J"\'''i"'f '"'°" ^°, ^™^ '^ S^'™"'''-'^- "P.'° ."^^ '^''"^^tor in many local organizations. He is also a member

highest standards as an educational and Christian institu- of the Colonial Society of Pennsvlvania, Societv of Col-

t on have met with the universal approval of patrons and onial Wars, Sons of the Revolution, Society of" the War

the denomination under whose aiispices it is conducted, of 1812, and Grand Army of the Republic.
Mr Teel is an ac ive force m the Evangelical Association, On Nov. 26, 1870, he married Margaret Ellen McCarty

fl^ v^,r'n'nfr\''' '''■'''■''' '° *''' ^'""'''' ^°"^'''"" ''^^'^'^'" °^ James 'McCarty. a promfnent ironmaste? of

On \L 1? iqnfi V.., l\r. T» 1 • w Ar ^/'IS','"^' ^"'^ Rebecca MacVeagh, his wife, and a niece

On Aug^ lo, 1906 Rev Mr. Teel was married to Miss of Wayne and Franklin MacVeagh. He had one daughter

Bessie J. Dubs of Rebersburg. Pa., a former instructor of now deceased, who was the wife of NathMi^l FeSn

music in the Schuylkill Sc.m.nary, located at Fredericks- of Reading. His country residence ''MeHoneth '^°o^r-'

^rEk^rtes^a^nTH^eTeLTMairyfl^;^^"""'-'^^"^-^'^^ '""l^ X^^ ^ !^^T ''' T^^-^^ ff^

^' M"^- Jones is descended from a long line of distm-

RICHMOND LEGH JONES, Esq., the subject of this fide'sof hi°s°house'"Hif7n'?W°"T"ci ^""\*°'"^ °" ''°*^

biography, was born Feb. 17, 1840, ?.nd after \ thorough Tblf lawye" a'n7'd\tiS .is d^n^e^i^b^ "^7 JoTr^sr^/rom

training in the best schools of this country competed hs Berks cnnntv frn,-,-, ise;n t^ io-o i • S°."°'^^^= ^/""^

education at the University of Heidelberg,; Germ'any. Be- having "^haTrma^^'of ^the^'comS;" on" Wavs Td

fore entering that world-renowned institution, however, he Means He resicrnpH his =Paf ;i; r!, io-VTco f ^^ajs anu

TgTilt^^ lr^u4":Ci^nrfhe*i:.a^r 'f ^f - -P-"* - ^PPolmme"? orro?;:ctrrdina?;"f;:rm^isTe7'' le'n'i!

against Paraguay, visiting tne islands ot at. Ihomas and nntpnrtinrv tr. Anctri^ ,.,k;,.v, „o; t.„ i u i • ii

Barbadoes, in the West Indies., and the principal cities of l^rS^' H^me^ o'^"thT'co"n™enc m nt ' f 't t t^ ^

the east coast of South America and, sailing a thousand when our relations with foreign countries were ex remelv

miles up the Parana river to Asuncion, was present at delicate. Mr, Jones's great-|randfather, Col Tonath-'n



BIOGRAPHICAL



385



Jones, was senior captain of the first regiment raised in
Pennsylvania for the Continental army, October, 1775.
He participated in the winter campaign for the relief of
the army of Quebec, after the death of Montgomery,
and also in many important engagements. For distin-
guished services he was promoted to the rank of major,
and later to that of lieutenant-colonel in the Pennsyl-
vania Line.

Mr. Jones's great-great-grandfather, David Jones, came

. from Merioneth, Wales, to Pennsylvania in 1721 and

bought a large tract of land in Caernarvon township,

where he opened and developed iron ore mines, which

still bear his name.

Mr. Jones's mother was the daughter of William Rod-
man, of Bucks county, who was a brigade quartermaster
in the army of the Revolution, and afterward a member
of the Senate of Pennsylvania and of the Twelfth Con-
gress of the United States. The Rodman family is one
of the oldest in the New World, having settled in America
in the early part of the seventeenth century and contrib-
uted to the Colonies many of their most distinguished
citizens.

JOSEPH P. O'REILLY, contractor at Reading for up-
ward of twenty-five years, was born at that place Aug.
27, 1862. He received his education in the city schools
and at .Villanova College, in Delaware county, Pa., and
upon quitting school learned the trade of stone-cutter under
Christian Eben, who had been engaged in the business for
many years at Reading. He continued with Mr. Eben for
four years, and then engaged in the business for himself
for about a year, when he started contracting in the con-
struction of public works n f vario us Winds This was

in 1882, and since then he has been prominently and suc-
cessfully engaged in taking city and county contracts for
roads, culverts, sewers and bridges. Among the large iron
bridges spanning the Schuylkill river which are of his
construction may be mentioned the "Exeter Bridge," the
"Reading and South Western Street Railway Bridge," the
"Schuylkill Avenue Bridge," the "Cross Keys Bridge"
(above Tuckerton), and the "Berne Bridge" (above Shoe-
makersville).

Mr. O'Reilly married Clara A. Tea (daughter of Samuel
H. Tea and Emily E. Hyneman, his wife, of Reading), and
they have three children : James, Gerald and Claire.

Mr. O'Reilly's father was Owen O'Reilly, also a large
contractor in the construction of public works at Reading
for thirty years. In 1856 he put up the "Askew Bridge"
for the Lebanon Valley Railroad (crossing Sixth at Wood-
ward), which was then regarded as a remarkable piece
of work, and is still adtnired by engineers and contractors.
He was born in 1815 at Patrickstown, County Meath, Ire-



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 96 of 227)