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 97 of 227)
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land, and emigrated to America in 1838, locating at Read-
ing. He died in 1902. He married Elizabeth B. Felix,
daughter of Anthony Felix, of Reading, and they had nine
children : Agnes C, a sister of charity for forty years, now
at Emmitsburg, Md.; Sallie B., k sister of charity for
thirty years, now at Washington, D. C. ; Eugene P., m.
to Helena Rauen; Simon P., m. to Sallie G. Reber; Mary
B., who died in 1902, aged forty-one years; Joseph P.,
above; and three — ^James,. Ann and William — who died
in infancy.

His grandfather was James O'Reilly, of County Meath,
Ireland, born in 1771, died in 1851. He ra. Bridget Con-
athy, of the same county, born in 1773, died in 1848. They
had fourteen sons, among them Owen. And his great-
grandfather, also named James, had seven sons, among
them the said James. His mother's father was Anthony
Felix, born in 1781, died in 1863; m. to Catherine Martin,
born in 1783, died in 1861. Her grandfather was Nicholas
Felix, born in 1731, died in 1813. He was enlisted in the
Revolution, with the cornpany of Capt. Charles Gobin,
in Hiester's Battalion, which was engaged in the battle of
Camden on Aug. 16, 1780. He emigrated from Germany
in 1754.

Mr. O'Reilly's wife's father, Samuel Hains Tea, was a
lineal descendant of Richard Tea, a surveyor of Hereford
township before the Revolution, and an ironmaster during
25



the Revolution. In 1776 he was elected to officiate as one
of the Supreme Executive Councilors of the State, but he
declined to serve, doubtless because he was identified with
the Friends, who opposed the war.

OSCAR B. HERBEIN, M. D., physician at Strausstown,
has taken his father's place in that community, where the
name has been identified with the practice of medicine for
over forty years. The family is one of long standing in
Bern township, this county, where it is still well repre-
sented.

One Peter Herbein in 1734 became the owner of 235
acres of fine land located along the Schuylkill, adjoining
the lands of Henry Reeser, another early settler. He had
two sons, Abraham and John, whose grandsons,. John,
Thomas and William Herbein, have represented the family
there in recent years. Along the Schuylkill also are the
old Herbein quarries, first opened by one William Herbein
in 1855, at what is now Rickenbach Station. Near that
station were also located the ^Herbein mill and distillery,
where Abraham Herbein erected a small distillery about
eighty years ago. Later the property passed into the hands
of Reuben Herbein, who built the mill and distillery which
he operated successfully for some years. The Herbeins
were among the first families associated with the Eplers
in the organization of what has since been known as the
Epler Church (Lutheran and Reformed) in Bern town-
ship, one William Herbein being a member of the building
committee.

John Herbein, grandfather of Dr. Oscar B. Herbein,
lived in Bern township, where he followed farming, own-
ing land there. He is buried at Epler Church. He was
twice married, first to Mary Shearer, by whom he had
four sons, Gideon, Jonathan, Isaac S. and David (twins),
all now deceased. By his second wife he had three sons,
William, Adam (now living at East Greenville, Pa.) ^nd
Daniel, of Allentown.

Isaac S. Herbein, M. D., father of Dr. Oscar B. Herbein,
was born in 1835, and received his early education in the
public schools of Bern township. He began to read medi-
cine with Dr. James Y. Shearer,' of Sinking Spring, Berks
county, after which he was in the grocery business at
Philadelphia with George A. Leinbach for two years, mean-
time continuing his professional studies at the Jefferson
Medical College. He graduated from that institution in
1865, and in 1866 located in practice at Strausstown, where
he remained to the close of his life. He built up a large
practice, and was actively engaged in the duties of his pro-
fession until he died, Nov. 11, 1905, at the age of seventy
years. Dr. Herbein is buried at the Zion's (Blue_ Moun-
tain) Church. The Doctor was a man of active mind and
progressive ideas, and took considerable interest in the life
of the community in which he was an important figure for
so many years. He served eight years as justice of the
peace, and for twelve years was a school director. In
political faith he. was a Democrat.

Dr. Herbein married Catharine G. Batteiger, born Jan. 12.
1834, daughter of Jacob and Charlotte (Goodman) Bat-
teiger, of Upper Tulpehocken township. Mrs. Herbein
now makes her home with her son. She had two children :
Deborah, who married George J. Kurr and died May 8,
1890; and Oscar B.

Oscar "B. Herbein was born Feb. 7, 1869, received his
early education in the township schools, and later attended
the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown and the
Brunner Business Academy. He taught school in 1886-
87-88-89, one term in Upper Tulpehocken township and
two terms in Spring township, before entering the Jeffer-
son Medical College, Philadelphia, where he took his medi-
cal course. Graduating in 1896, he at once commenced prac-
tice with his father at Strausstown, where he has remained
to the present. He enjoys high standing among his brother
practitioners as well as with the people of his community,
and attends faithfully to a large practice. Dr. Herbein is
a member of the Berks County Medical Society.

On May 24, 1890, Dr. Herbein was married to Miss Lizzie
S. Keim, daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Mengel) Keim.
They have no children. The Doctor is particularly active



386



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



in local fraternal societies, belonging to Williamson Lodge,
No. 307, F. & A. M.; to Lodge No. 77, L O. O. F., at
Strausstown, of which he has been secretary for six years ;
to Camp No. 664, P. O. S. of A., which he organized in
1893 and of which he is a past president; and to Charlotte
Lodge, Daughters of Rebekah. He was one of the organ-
izers and early directors of the Blue Mountain Electrical
Company, 'of which he is now serving as vice-president.
He is a IDemocrat in politics, and an active worker in the
local ranks of the party. In religious matters he is iden-
tified with the Reformed members of the Zion's (Blue
Mountain) Church.

LEVI B. PAXSON, one of the most widely known me-
chanical engineers and long in the service of the Philadel-
phia & Reading Railway Company, died at his home, No.
218 North Sixth street,' Reading, April 12, 1909. He was
born in Chester county. Pa., March 22, 1827, of mixed
English and German descent. His father's ancestors were
English Quakers, while his mother was of German origin.
He was married in 1851 to Miss Mary A. F. Kraft, of
Reading, Pa., and there were six children born to them,
four of whom, three daughters and one son, lived to
reach adult age.

Mr. Paxson entered the service of the Philadelphia &
Reading Railroad Company as a brakeman on a coal train
in October, 1847. In February, 1848, he vi'as promoted to
be fireman on a coal train engine, and after firing about
two years was given an engine to run, and continued to
serve as a locomotive engineer until the summer of 1852,
when he arranged with the Company to go into the Read-
ing Machine Shops as an apprentice to the machinist's
trade for a term of four years. A short time before the
expiration of this term he was taken from the shops and
given the position of wreck master, and later was assigned
the additional duty of foreman of the Reading Round
House. In February, 1864, he was appointed master ma-
chinist at Port Richmond, Philadelphia, and in December,
1866, was made superintendent of the Mahanoy and Broad
Mountain Railroad with office at Mahanoy Plane. In Feb-
ruary, 1871, he was transferred to Reading, with title of
master machinist in charge of the shops of the system.
In January, 1873, he was appointed engineer of machinery,
and retained the position until February 29, 1886, at which
date he left the services of the Company for a time. On
July 1, 1888, he was appointed acting superintendent of
motive power and rolling stock equipment, and the fol-
lowing year was given the full title, and he retained that
position until Aug. 1, 1899, when he assumed the position
of consulting mechanical engineer, a place specially created
for him.

B, MORRIS STRAUSS. Strauss is the name of one
of the old and honored families in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, whose members in their different generations
have been prominent in the public life of their local com-
munities, and several of wider fame throughout the State
and nation. Thrift seems to have followed the history
of the family since its first coming to America from the
Fatherland, back in the eighteenth century, and many of
its members have been men of wealth and influence in the
financial world. This review has chiefly to do with the
gentleman whose name is mentioned above, but it is en-
.tirely proper to mention first some of the more salient
points in the family history.

On Sept. 26, 1732, there landed in the city of Philadel-
phia from Wurtemberg, Germany, two brothers of the
name of Strauss, Albrecht and John Philip. They were
mere boys, the elder, (I) Albrecht, swearing in his oath
of allegiance, then necessary to take on landing, that he
was but twenty, while (la) John Philip left a record in
his family Bible that he was born on Sept. 13, 1713. They
soon appeared in Berks county. Pa., where in the vicinity
of what is now Bernville they each took up large tracts
of land, a part of the original acres still being held by
members of the present generation. They were both Luth-
erans, so that their later marriages, the births of their
children, and indeed the whole Strauss family history, be-
came a part of the records of that church.



Albrecht Strauss, the elder of the brothers, was the
great-great-grandfather of B. Morris Strauss. He took
up a tract of 350 acres, upon which he settled and reared
a large family, eleven children in all, their mother, whom
he married in 1734, being Anna Margaret Zerbe, who came
with her father, Martin Zerbe, from Schoharie, New York,
in 1723. The children were as follows: (1) Maria Barbara,
born Nov. 16, 1735, m. June 2, 1754, John Kloss (now
Klohs), born in Brechkebel, Hanau, Germany, Dec. 6,
17'23, son of Thomas and Margaret Kloss, with whom he
came to America in 1738. They resided a little north of
Reading and were the parents of ten children, six of
whom survived and left issue, viz. : Maria Elizabeth, m. to
Abraham Schneider ; Maria Barbara, m. to John Adam
Spengler; Maria Christina, m. to Conrad Scheop (Shepp) ;
Maria Magdalena, m. to Philip Huyett; Maria Catharine,
m. to William Diehm ; and Jacob — all leaving numerous
descendants. (2) John Jacob Strauss, born May 5, 1737,
m. Elizabeth Brecht, Aug. 21, 1759. They lived on a
part of the homestead acres north of Bernville and be-
came the parents of nine children, viz. : Albrecht, who re-
mained on the homestead; John, who settled near Orwigs-
burg, Schuylkill county; David: Elizabeth; Philip; Jacob;
Samuel ; Michael ; and Catharine. This branch also be-
came very numerous. (3) ]\Iaria Elizabeth (twin to John
Jacob), born May 5, 1737, m. John Daniel Madery, May

4, 1760. So far as known, three children were born to
them, viz. . Maria Eva Rosina, John Thomas and Michael.
(4) Anna Elizabeth was born March 25, 1739. (5) John
Casper, born Aug. 5, 1741, died in infancy. (6) Maria
Eva Rosina, born Nov. 6, 1742, m. Christopher Schaber,
Nov. 9, 1762. The records of the Old Red Church, near
Orwigsburg, Pa., show the baptism of five of their chil-
dren, viz. : Maria Elizabeth, March 29, 1771 ; John, Oct. 4,
1772; John Philip, Feb. 9, 1775; Eva Rosina, April 4, 1779,
and Daniel, March 4, 1781. (7) Maria Catharine, born
March 6, 1745, m. John Long, Nov. 9, 1762, and their son,
John Jacob, was born Aug. 7, 1763. (8) John Philip, born
Jan. 4, 1748, m. Sevilla, daughter of Benedict and Maria
Salone Kepner, April 21, 1771. They moved to Cumber-
land (now Juniata) county. Pa., before the Revolution, pur-
chasing 400 acres of land along the Juniata river, the
homestead residence being at JNIexico Station on the Penn-
sylvania Railroad. They had eight children, viz.. John:
Jacob, born Oct. 5, 1775, who walked out to Ohio in 1779
and settled in Pickaway county, and left numerous and
influential descendants; Polly; Betsey; Catharine; David,
one of, whose descendants, Philip, still owns the ancestral
homestead; Susannah, and Sidney. (9) Maria Christina
was born July 26, 1751. (10) Maria Susanna, born Oct.

5, 1753, m. Benjamin Kebner, Mav 24, 1774, and they also
resided in the Juniata Valley, near Mexico. (11) John
Samuel.

Albrecht Strauss was a prominent man of the locality
during his time; and his penmanship denoted that he was
an educated man. He was naturalized by the "Supream
Court" of the Province on Sept. 24, 175.5, the certificate
thereof now being in the possession of our subject. He
died a short time previous to Mav 7, 1787, that being the
date of the filing of his administration papers. His wife
died about the same time.

(la) John Philip Strauss, the younger of the emiorant
brothers, took up about 250 acres of land, including (1908)
Rev Air. Trexler's farm and the tract of Adam W. Strauss.
On Feb. 28, 1744, he married Anna Margaret Reimer He
died shortly before May 28, 1792 (the date of the probate
ot Ins will). His wife is mentioned in his will and must
then have been still living. Their nine children were :
(1) Anna Magdalena, born Dec. 21. 1744, m. John George
Thomas born July 1, 1746. son of John and Barbara Long.
Iheir cnldren were: John, Anna .Margaret, Maria Catha-
rine, Christian, Maria Elizabeth, John Philip, Jacob,
Ihomas and Daniel. She died .-\pril 5, 1823: and he Mav
20, 182.3^ (2) Anna Elizabeth, born Sept. 18 me m
George Dame Gicker, Nov. 26. 1776. They had children.
(3; .VI ana Christina, born Feb. 20, 1749, m on June 3
177.1 Christian Zerbe, born Dec. 25, 1750, son" of John and
Catharine Zerbe. They moved to White Deer township



BIOGRAPHICAL



"6811



Northumberland (now Union) county, Pa. They had a
family of eleven children : John George, John, Maria Cath-
arine,' Susanna, Jacob, Maria Christina, Henry, Mary Sa-
lome, Elizabeth, Anna Maria and Samuel. (4) Casper,
born Jan. 27, 1751, married Elizabeth Schreck. They left
issue, viz.: John (Dec. 2, 1780-April 7, 1876), Ludwig, Ben-
jamin, Matilda, Susanna, and Anna Maria. (5) Maria
Catharine was born Dec. 22, 1752. (6) John Philip, born
Nov. 9, 1754, m. Susanna Wenrich, Sept. 23, 1783. He ob-
tained the homestead and died there July 20, 1816. Their
children so far as known were : John, Susanna, Joseph,
Philip (Feb. 1, 1790-May 12, 1885), Daniel, Elizabeth, Sy-
billa, Anna Margaret and Mary Magdalena. (7) John
Jacob, born May 5, 1757, m. Barbara Zerbe, June 14, 1785.
He died Oct. 22, 1822, his wife probably preceding him in
death as she is not mentioned in his will. They had the
following children so far as known : Catharine, Bar-
bara, Daniel, Magdalena, Peter, Sarah, Adam and Su-
sanna. (8) Christian, born June 16, 1760, m. Aug. 4, 1794,
Catharine, daughter of Joseph Schneider. They had as
far as known two children, Elizabeth and Catharine. (9)
John Matthias, born April 16, 1763, m. (first) Magdalena
Schneider, on May 25, 1790. After the death of his wife
he m. (second), Sept. 10, 1797, Frederica Goftel. He died
March 4. 1819, and his wife survived him.

(H) John Samuel Strauss, youngest child of Albrecht
and great-grandfather of B. Morris, was born May 13, 1756.
On Nov. 10, 1784, he married Catharine Elizabeth (born May
10, 1758), daughter of Balthaser and Maria Appalonia Um-
benhauer, the owner of a large tract of land including the
site of Bernville, Pa. He became the owner of the home-
stead by purchase on Aug. 5, 1784, whereon they resided
all their life. He, as also did his cousin, John Philip, son
of Philip, served actively in the Revolutionary struggle,
and was an influential and useful citizen of his locality.
He died March 25, 1835, his wife having preceded him,
Dec. 16, 1821. They had a family of thirteen children, viz. :
John, the founder of Strausstown; Maria Magdalena, m.
to Tobias Henne; John Philip (Sept. 26, 178- Feb. 12,
1865) ; Samuel; Johanna, m. to Samuel Greim; John Jacob
(Nov. 23, 1788-Nov. 9, 1877) ; Elizabeth Strauss (Feb. 12,
1790- Aug. 19, 1875), m. to Elias Redcay; Susanna; Joseph;
John William (Oct. 26, 1795-Oct. 13, 1885); Catharine;
Benjamin (April 30, 1800-Dec. 14, 1886); and 'Jonathan.
This family was noted for their longevity.

(III) Benjamin Strauss, son of John Samuel, was born
on the old homestead April 30, 1800, and at its division by
John Samuel, his father, before his death, he was allotted
a share thereof. He married on Dec. 12, 1829, Rebecca,
daughter of Jacob and Juliana (Shellharnmer) Long, born
April 30, 1811. In his youth he lived in Virginia for
some time. He returned to his native place and followed
the trade of a tailor. He afterward purchased a large farm
(the dwelling-house on which place, a large,' commodious
and substantial one and one-half story log building, \yas
known in Colonial times as "Casper Snavely's Indian
Fort," where a posse of soldiers were regularly stationed
to protect the settlers during that perilous period) adjoin-
ing now Meckville, Bethel township, Pa., on which he re-
sided the rest of his lifetime. His wife died Dec. 3, 1861.
They had two sons, Percival Long and Joel.

(IV) Percival Long Strauss was the eldest son of Ben-
jamin, and is now living retired in Reading after an active
life in the mercantile, building and lumber business. . His
wife, Malinda, who died on April 16, 1896, was the daugh-
ter of Jacob and Mary Ann (Batdorf) Smith, farmers of
Bethel township. They were both descendants of the ear-
liest settlers, his ancestors Smith, Eisenhauer, Fetterhofif
and Heberling having been prominent at and during the
making of the first white settlements in Bethel, while her
ancestors Batdorf and Zeller came from Schoharie, New
York, in 1723, and were of the leaders in the making of
the first settlement at Tulpehocken. To Percival L. and
Malinda (Smith) Strauss were born twelve children:
Harry, who died aged ten years ; Sophia, who died at thirty-
five ; J. Franklin, a Lebanon county builder and contractor ;
Mary Ann and Emma Rebecca, at home; John, of Kansas
City, Mo. ; James, a hotel-keeper, Reading; Lavina, wife



of Dr. Frank W. Bucks, Reading; William, a merchant at
Rehrersburg,'' Berks county; EHzabeth, wife of George
Schreiner, at the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadel-
phia; Percival S., a graduate of the West Chester
State Normal School and the University of Pennsylvania,
and now a teacher in the Philadelphia high school; and B.
Morris. These children are all occupying responsible posi-
tions in life and are all living up to the record made by
former generations.

(V) B. Morris Strauss was born on the family home-
stead in Bethel township, Sept. 20, 1855. ' He passed the
early part of his boyhood on the home farm, securing the
rudiments of his education in the common schools. Later
he attended the Swatara Institute at Jonestown, and after-
ward the Millersville State Normal School. He finished
his literary education at Palatinate College, Myerstown;
apd taught school for a while afterward. Having
decided on the law as a profession, he now took up its
study with John Benson as his preceptor and on May 26,
1880, was admitted to the Lebanon County Bar. His ad-
mission to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania followed
in 1885, and to the Supreme Court of the United States,
Oct. 11, 1897. He became a member of the Berks County
Bar in 1898. He is also admitted to practice in the Super-
ior Court of the State. Mr. Strauss lived and practised
his profession with success at Lebanon, where he was
prominent in local affairs, having served a term as clerk
of the water board of that city, and then located at
Reading, where he has since maintained offices at No. 30
North Sixth street.

Mr. Strauss has been a lifelong Democrat, and takes an
active interest in the political life of the city, county and
State. He is a member of the Hope Lutheran Church,
and is interested in several societies which have for their
object tfie preservation of family, county and national his-
tory. He is thus a member of the Historical Society of
Pennsylvania, the Berks County and the Lebanon County
Historical Societies and the Pennsylvania German Society.
In April, 1903, he with several^, others started a move-
rnent among the descendants of the two original emigrants,
Albrecht and John Philip Strauss, to interest all the mem-
bers of the family in a yearly reunion. All the meetings
have proved a source of great pleasure to all and are always
largely attended, the latest one having been held at Strauss-
town, founded by John Strauss, a grand-uncle of our sub-
ject. From the number of the members that have been
gathered it is safe to estimate that the descendants of these
two early emigrants number from 8,000 to 10,000, most
numerously found in Berks and Schuylkill counties, yet
settled in almost every State of the Union.

Mr. Strauss married (second) Miss Hannah S., daughter
of Elwood S. and Sarah R. Layton, and they are the
parents of one daughter, Anna Margaret.

ISAAC G. TREAT, one of the well-known citizens of
Reading, Pa., who is filling the responsible position of
superintendent of the Reading Hardware Company, was
born in Lycoming county. Pa., Sept. 22, 1841, son of
Henry and Elizabeth (Ludwig) Treat.

Christian Treat, grandfather of Isaac G., was a well-
known man of Berks county. Pa. He was of English des-
cent, his father coming from England at an early date. He
m.arried Catharine Glass (or Glase), and they had children
as follows : John, who lived and died at Milton, Pa., m.
Rebecca Slough ; Christian, who lived and died in Robeson
township, m. Jestina Slough, a sister of Rebecca; Betsy
m. John Homan ; Polly m. John Moore; Catharine ra. Fred
Foreman, the grandfather of Harry Foreman, who was
burned in the Boyertown fire in 1908 with his wife, two
daughters and his sister, Sophia Foreman; Susanna m.
Henry Hahn, and died in Robeson township, the mother
of John, Mary, Catharine, David, Hannah, Henry, Isaac,
Elhanan, Susanna, Isaiah and Samuel; Henry was father
of Isaac G. ; Isaac died at Selinsgrove; Abraham m.
Lovina Trostel, and died in Reading; Joseph died in Phila-
delphia ; Peter died in Reading. Christian Treat, the
father, died at York, Pa., and after his death his wife
married (second) Philip Hartz. She died in Reading.



388



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Henry Treat was born in Robeson township, Berks
county, and received his education in the public schools.
Early in life he was employed about the iron furnaces
and learned the iron-making business, which he followed
for the balance of his life, dying in 1851. He is interred
in the old Lutheran cemetery at the corner of Sixth and
Washington streets. Henry Treat married in 1833, Eliza-
beth Ludwig, daughter of Henry Ludwig, and to this union
were born ten children, seven of whom grew to maturity,
as follows; Mary m. Jacob Shadle, deceased; John L.,
deceased, was a prominent lumberman of Williamsport,
Pa. ; Sarah m. Samuel Broscius, deceased ; Jsaac G. ;
Henry is a farmer of New York; Elizabeth m. James K. P.
Robbins, of Williamsport; and Annie m. an Allen, of
Holcomb, X. Y. In 1854 Mrs. Treat married (second)
Peter Ranch, of Clinton county. Pa. She was a member
of the M. E. Church, and died March 10, 1906, aged ninety
years.

Isaac G. Treat received his education in the schools of
Union county, the University at Lewisburg ( now Buck-
nell), and the Union Seminary at New Berlin. He en-
gaged in farm work until the outbreak of the Civil war,
when he enlisted in Company A, 131st Pa. V. I., Capt.
Jacob M. Moyer, Colonel Allabach, and served nine months,
being honorably discharged in 1863. He re-enlisted in
Company E, 51st Regiment, Col. John F. Hartranft, and
served gallantly until August, 1865, when he was honor-
ably discharged on General Orders from the War depart-
ment. Mr. Treat, after one month's rest, took a course at
Clark & Nelson's Commercial College, and then located
in Reading permanently, accepting a position with Philip
Albright, proprietor of a local express business, and he
remained with this firm until October, 1866, when he
engaged with the Reading Hardware Company. Being
industrious and ambitious, Mr. Treat soon became familiar
with the work of every department of the concern, and his



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 97 of 227)