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Montgomery County, Pennsylvania ; a history (Volume v.3) online

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Member of the Montgomery County Historical Society; Journalist
and Author of Letters of Travel; Ex-President and Chairman
of the Executive Committee of the Press League of Bucks
and Montgomery Counties; Chief of Newspaper Divi-
sion of the United States Food Administration in
Montgomery County during the World War.






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PHILIP J. GALLAGHER, the present rector of St. Matthew's
Roman Catholic Church in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, came to his
charge here in February, 1921. His parish is a large one and the fund
which was recently raised to erect the handsome new church, gives evi-
dence of the number and enthusiasm of his parishioners.

Philip J. Gallagher was born at Coledale, Pennsylvania, in June, 1870,
his early education being acquired in the public schools of his native
town. He afterward went to St. Vincent's College at Beatty, Pennsyl-
vania, and from there he entered Mount St. Mary's College, Emmits-
burg, Maryland, where he studied for the priesthood, graduating with
the degree A. B. in the class of 1893, receiving his A. M. degree in 1895,
from Mount St. Mary's Seminary. Father Gallagher was ordanied a
priest on June 13, 1897.

The first church to which Father Gallagher was sent was that of St.
Kyrans at Heckscherville, Pennsylvania, and from there he went as an
assistant priest to St. Patrick's Church at Norristown, Pennsylvania. He
next was sent to Philadelphia, serving in the Church of Our Lady of the
Rosary and later to the Church of the Visitation, also in Philadelphia.
In 1907 Father Gallagher was appointed professor of canon law at Mount
St. Mary's Seminary at Emmitsburg, Maryland, and continued as such
for seven years, remaining there for seven years longer as vice-president
and director of the seminary. Then he came to preside over St. Mat-
thew's Church in Conshohocken, in 1921.

Interested in various organizations connected with his church work.
Father Gallagher is a member of the Knights of Columbus, of which
body he is the chaplain. He is also connected with the Catholic Women's
Alliance of Conshohocken, as well as presiding ofificer of the various
organizations connected with his church.

JOHN LEITENBERGER has been engaged in business for himself
in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, for more than thirty years, first
as a blacksmith and wheelwright, specializing in carriage building, and
later, since 1917, as proprietor of the Penn Garage, located at the corner
of Marshall and Church streets, in Norristown. He deals in commercial
truck bodies, and handles "Perfection Springs," and also makes and
repairs springs of all kinds to be used for any purpose. In his painting
department he does expert work in the painting of automobiles and
wagons. He does all kinds of repair work on cars, trucks and wagons,
and is agent and service man for U. S. L. Batteries. His plant is the
largest of its kind in Montgomery county, requiring the services of six
employees in its various departments.

Mr. Leitenberger is of German parentage, his father. Christian F.,
being a native of Stuttgart, Wiirttemberg, Germany, and his mother,
Lavinia (Wocker) Leitenberger, a native of Ulm, Wittenberg, Germany.
The parents were married in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in the fall of
1850, soon after their arrival in this country, spent the remainder of their
lives in that borough, and were buried in Riverside Cemetery. The father


was a teamster, honest and industrious, and both were highly esteemed
among their associates in Norristown. They were the parents of eight
children : Louis, who is a resident of Philadelphia ; Annie, who married
John Parker of Norristown; Charles, a resident of Philadelphia; Eliza-
beth, who married John H. Long, of Philadelphia (the latter now
deceased) ; John, of further mention ; Mary, who is a graduate nurse,
practicing her profession in Norristown ; George F., a sketch of whom
follows; and Amelia (deceased), who married Howard M. Bate, of
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

John Leitenberger was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, July 6,
iS66, and received his education in the public schools of Norristown,
attending the Cherry street and the Chain street schools. When he was
fifteen years of age he learned the blacksmith's trade with John K.
Thomas, whose forge and shop were located at the corner of Main and
Barbadoes streets in Norristown. For a few years he worked at his
trade in the employ of others in Conshohocken and in Philadelphia, but
in 1895 he engaged in business for himself, locating in what is known
as the Woodstock Mill property on DeKalb street, near the bridge, and,
there for twenty-two years, he was engaged in blacksmithing, horse-
shoeing and wagon building, specializing in the latter for commercial
purposes. He made wagons to order for the large business concerns
of Norristown and vicinity, and was known for the excellence of his
workmanship. As the years passed the business outgrew its old quarters,
and on May i, 1917, he removed to his present location at the corner of
Marshall and Church streets, where he occupies nearly all of a three-
story brick building, 60 x 60 feet. In connection with this business he
also deals in trucks and has a service station for same.

In addition to his business responsibilities, Mr. Leitenberger has
taken an active part in local public affairs. He has given efficient service
as a member of the council for nine years, and has served for one year
as assessor in the Second Ward. He is a member of Charity Lodge, No.
190, Free and Accepted Masons; of Montgomery Lodge, No. 57, Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Norristown Encampment No. 37;
of Tecumseh Tribe, No. i, Improved Order of Red Men; Montgomery
County Fish and Game Club; Audubon Society; Valley Forge Meiporial
Association of Montgomery County ; Norristown Camp, No. 125, Wood-
men of the World; and of Norristown Forest, No. 31, Tall Cedars of
Lebanon. His religious affiliation is with Trinity Lutheran Church.

John Leitenberger married, on November 11, 1904, Etta L. Fowler,
widow of John Fowler, of Burlington, North Carolina, daughter of Leon-
ard and Mary Fox. The family residence is at No. 622 DeKalb street,
Norristown, Pennsylvania.

GEORGE F. LEITENBERGER— Among the citizens of Norris-
town, Pennsylvania, who enjoy a wide acquaintanceship should be men-
tioned Mr. Leitenberger, a successful paperhanging contractor, a mem-
ber of numerous fraternal and social organizations, and connected by


marriage with an old historic family — the Pipers, of whom mention is
later made.

George F. Leitenberger, son of Christian F. and Lavinia (Wocker)
Leitenberger (q. v.), was born September i, 1870, in a dwelling on West
Penn street, Norristown, Pennsylvania. He attended the public schools
in his native town until fifteen years of age, when he began the trade of
paperhanger and painter. In 1898 the business which he now conducts
at No. 244 West Main street, Norristown, was established in the line of
general contracting work for painting and papering, employing several

Mr. Leitenberger has always been active in the interests of the
Republican party, serving as assessor of the Second Ward at one time and
committeeman, and at present is a member of the Borough Council.
Fraternally he is affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks ; the Improved Order of Red
Men ; and the Loyal Order of Moose. He is also a member of the
Patriotic Order Sons of America ; of the Norristown Maennerchor ; the
Boat and Canoe clubs of Norristown ; the Fairmount Fire Company and
the State Firemen's Association, and was a member of the executive
committee of the latter; and is a member of the Montgomery County
Historical Society. He attends the Lutheran church.

Mr. Leitenberger married Bertha E. Piper, and they reside at No.
244 West Main street, Norristown. Henry A. Piper, great-grandfather
of Mrs. Leitenberger, was a native of Germany, who emigrated to this
country and settled in this section of Pennsylvania. His son, Henry A.
Piper, 2nd, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, taking part in the
battle of Germantown, and with General Washington during the siege
at Valley Forge. He was a gentleman farmer, and erected, at the
Broomfield Farm, the first mill in this section of the country. As a
local preacher in the Methodist church, he supplied many churches in
this part of the State. Henry A. Piper, 3rd, the father of Mrs. Leiten-
berger, was a lifelong resident on the old homestead farm in Spring-
field township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and was a man of
leisure. He enlisted in New York and served with the Union Army in
Tennessee during the Civil War. He married Maggie Tarrence, and to
them were born three children, as follows : Martha, wife of William
Tomlinson, of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania; Bertha A., wife of George
F, Leitenberger, above mentioned ; and Margaret, who never married.

Mrs. Leitenberger is prominent as a member of the Historical Society
of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania ; the Civic Club ; Garden Club ;
Ladies' Auxiliary of the Montgomery Hospital ; and the Young Women's
Christian Association, of which she has been a member of the finance
committee since its organization. She is active in all of the religious
affairs in the Trinity Lutheran Church. The unique distinction is hers
of having been the first of her sex to be elected to the Republican com-
mitteemen from the First Ward in Norristown. She is also a member
of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and is chairman of the
Sabbath Observants.


H. STANLEY DRAKE— A native son of Norristown, a city of which
he is now postmaster, an office he holds through the grace of President
Harding, who, on June 30, 1922, confirmed the temporary appointment
made the preceding February, Mr. Drake is not a tyro in public life, but
for several years has held positions under the State government of Penn-
sylvania in the department of internal affairs. He is a son of that
eminent Norristown physician, Dr. Howard H. Drake, whose medical
skill was so long at the disposal of his fellow-men.

H. Stanley Drake, son of Dr. Howard H. and Mary Louise Drake,
was born in Norristown, November 17, 1885, and there completed grade
and high school study. He attended Swarthmore Preparatory School,
then began business life as a draftsman with the American Bridge Com-
pany of Pencoyd, Pennsylvania. He continued in his original position
three years, then was for some years general inspector of structural
steel, continuing until 1916, when he became a clerk in the office of the
commissioners of Montgomery county, remaining four years, going
thence to the office of the secretary of internal affairs for the State of
Pennsylvania, acting as deputy in the weights and measures department
of the Bureau of Standards. Mr. Drake was appointed acting postmaster
of Norristown in February, 1922, resigning his position with the State to
accept the honor. On June 30, 1922, he received the permanent appoint-
ment for a term of four years, which he is now filling.

He is a Republican in politics ; is a member of Charity Lodge, No.
190, Free and Accepted Masons ; Norristown Chapter, No. 190, Royal
Arch Masons; Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar; Lu
Lu Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Phila-
delphia) ; Patriotic Order Sons of America ; and the Hancock and Mont-
gomery fire companies. In his religious faith he is an Episcopalian.

H. Stanley Drake married, November 12, 1913, M. Elizabeth Johnson,
daughter of Charles and Ida Johnson. The family home is at German-
town pike and Broad Ax road, Norristown.

CHARLES W. HUNSBERGER— A varied and active career has
been that of Charles W. Hunsberger, who at present is engaged in the
real estate business at Green Lane, Pennsylvania, and is also a member
of the board of directors of the Mutual Auto Insurance Companies and
proprietor of a sales agency. As proprietor of a general store and public
official, as well as in the abovementioned activities, Mr. Hunsberger has
demonstrated his ability to succeed in several diverse lines of business.

Mr. Hunsberger was born in Milford township, Bucks county, Penn-
sylvania, April 30, 1884, son of John M. Hunsberger, a miller of Bucks
county, and of Mary (Steckel) Hunsberger, and received his education
in the schools of Quakertown and in Perkiomen Seminary. When his
school training was completed he began his active career in a general
store in Perkiomenville, where for nine years he was also postmaster.
In 1913 he came to Green Lane, and having accumulated some capital
while proprietor of the general store in Perkiomenville, engaged in the
real estate business, adding to that line insurance. He is a member of


the board of directors of the Mutual Auto Insurance Companies of Har-
leysville, Pennsylvania, a concern which includes three companies, the
Mutual Auto Theft Insurance Company, the Mutual Auto Fire Insur-
ance Company, and the Harleysville Mutual Casualty Company, each of
which carries about $3,000,000 of insurance. He is also proprietor of a
sales agency for the Chevrolet automobile, and in all these business
interests is successfully handling his part of the work, as well as over-
seeing that of others.

All these varied business interests, however, do not represent the
full range of Mr. Hunsberger's activities. He has always taken an active
interest in the public welfare of the communities in which he has lived
and has rendered service as a public official. As justice of the peace he
has given satisfaction to those who elected him to the office, and he is
also a notary public of the Valley National Bank. He is a member of
the board of school directors, and since 1913 has been secretary of the
Green Lane Light, Heat and Power Company.

Politically he gives his support to the principles and the candidates of
the Republican party, and he is well known in fraternal circles, being a
member of Perkiomen Lodge, No. 595, Free and Accepted Masons; of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows ; of the Improved Order of Red
Men, having passed through all chairs of the last two orders; of the
Patriotic Order Sons of America ; the Mystic Circle ; and the Fraternal
Home Insurance Society. Among all these various interests and activi-
ties Mr. Hunsberger's chief interest is the Mutual Auto Insurance Com-
panies, of which he is one of the founders, as well as being a member
of the board of directors. His religious affiliation is with the Lutheran

At Sumneytown, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1907, Mr. Hunsberger mar-
ried Florence Kline, daughter of Charles F. and Anvilla (Fenstermacher)
Kline, and they are the parents of eight children : Marie, John, Paul,
Percival, Harry, Florence, Lillian, Robert.

CHARLES S. SANDS, the popular Royersford photographer, has had
a very wide and interesting experience in his chosen field of endeavor,
and this community is fortunate in having the advantage of his skill in
this modern art.

Mr. Sands was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, March 30, 1866. and
is a son of Michael and Savilla (Grant) Sands. Educated in the public
schools of his native city he learned hat finishing as a youth, and followed
this trade for three years. But he became greatly interested in photog-
raphy, which was then still somewhat of a novelty. Feeling the utmost
confidence in the future of the art as, at once, true art and a profitable
commercial field, he learned the mechanics of photography in Reading.
He then travelled in all parts of the United States, working in various
galleries, and gaining a wonderfully wide and comprehensive experience.
Eventually, in 1904, Mr. Sands located in Royersford, opening a studio
on Third avenue, and he has since taken rank with the best photographers
of the East, making a specialty of portraiture, in which he shows the


true artistic sense, as well as the skill of the highly trained artisan. Mr.
Sands keeps his Royersford studio open only during the spring and
autumn months, spending the summer at Old Orchard, Maine, where he
has a second studio, and spending the winter in St. Petersburg, Florida,
where he has a third studio. All these places are fully equipped with
the finest and most modern apparatus, and Mr. Sands is held in the
highest esteem in each community. He commands the most exclusive
patronage, has had sittings from the most prominent men of this country,
including vice-presidents, congressmen, and many of the leading capi-
talists and their families, also noted artists. Mr. Sands is prominent in
the public life of Royersford, which he makes his home, and is broadly
interested in the political afifairs of his native State. Always a thorough
going Republican in political affiliation, he has for twenty-five years been
more or less active in the interests of the party. For the past four
sessions he has served as past assistant sergeant-at-arms of the Pennsyl-
vania House of Representatives. Fraternally Mr. Sands holds member-
ship in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is well known
in social circles, both at home and in his summer and winter localities.

Mr. Sands married, November 17, 1887, Annie E. Reller, of Reading,
Pennsylvania, and they have one daughter, Edith, wife of H. P. Cun-
ningham, of Philadelphia.

H. E. ANDERSON, widely prominent in the insurance world of
Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, is a leader in the borough of Royers-
ford as an operator and broker in real estate. He is also interested and
active in various branches of financial and fraternal circles and is counted
among the really progressive men of the community.

Mr. Anderson was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county,
Pennsylvania, November 9, 1883, and is a son of Jacob E. and Sallie D,
(Morton) Anderson. His early education was received in the public
schools of Royersford, and he was graduated from the Royersford High
School in the class of 1899. He further prepared for his career by taking
a course at Shissler's Business College, in Norristown. After completing
his studies Mr. Andersan became identified with the Consolidated
Schuylkill Gas Company, in the capacity of bookkeeper, then later entered
the employ of the National Bank of Royersford, as individual ledger
bookkeeper, continuing in the latter connection until 1904. At that time
Mr. Anderson entered the office of S. B. Latshaw, then a leading figure
in insurance and realty in Royersford, and long a highly esteemed citizen
of this community. Following the death of Mr. Latshaw, which occurred
January 26, 1909, Mr. Anderson took over the business according to the
terms of his will, and has since carried it forward to ever increasing
success. He has broadened his interests materially and specializes in
fire insurance, confining his activities in realty principally to town prop-
erties in Chester and Montgomery counties. This business is one of
long standing; having been founded by Mr. Latshaw in the year 1881.
Mr. Anderson is widely associated with those organizations which follow
lines of endeavor parallel with his business activities. He is an officer


and director of the Royersford Trust Company, and of the Fernwood
Cemetery Company; is treasurer of the Keystone Building and Loan
Association, and broadly interested in all civic and industrial progress.
He is also a director in the Sanitary Company of America, which concern
owns and operates large plants at Linfield and East Greenville, Pennsyl-
vania, and is a manager of the Perkiomen Valley Mutual Fire Insurance
Company, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Fraternally Mr. Anderson is very
prominent, holding membership in Royersford Lodge, No. 585, Free and
Accepted Masons; Pottstown Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Palestine
Council, Royal and Select Masters, of Phoenixville ; Nativity Com-
mandery. Knights Templar, of Pottstown ; Reading Consistory, Ancient
Accepted Scottish Rite ; and Rajah Temple, of Reading, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, Order of Independent Americans, and
the Knights of the Golden Eagle. He is president of Hinman Fire Com-
pany, No. I, of Royersford. During the World War Mr. Anderson took
an active part in the many home activities, especially in the Liberty Loan
drives, and served as chairman of the last two bond drives. He is a
member of the First Reformed Church.

Mr. Anderson married, on March 19, 1913, Mary K. Smith, daughter
of George and Elizabeth Smith, of New London, Pennsylvania. Mr.
and Mrs. Anderson have three children: Sarah and Elizabeth (twins),
and Edward Mackey. The family home is at No. 327 Chestnut street,

WILLIAM H. MOLL, standing back of the construction work of
Norristown, in the manufacture of brick, is one of the progressive and
enterprising business men of this section of Pennsylvania. He also has
other business interests in this borough, and through his various activi-
ties contributes to the general welfare of the people. Mr. Moll comes of
a family long prominent in Berks county, this State, and is a son of Wil-
liam and Emmalina (Gery) Moll, both natives of Berks county, and both
now deceased. The elder Mr. Moll was for many years a merchant of
Seisholtzville, in Berks county, also postmaster of that village. He was
active in public affairs, for a number of years served on the Democratic
County Committee, and also filled various minor offices. He was a
member of the Reformed church. The family consisted of four children :
Catharine, Minnie, Sally, and William H.

William H. Moll was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, October
19, 1881. He received his early education in the public schools, from
which he was graduated, then later attended Perkiomen Seminary and
Schissler's Business College, of Norristown. In 1902 Mr. Moll entered
the business world of Norristown, with which he has now been connected
for two decades, first associating himself with the Norristown Brick
Company, in the capacity of secretary and manager, which positions he
has since filled. Holding a considerable amount of stock in this concern,
he gives his time and attention to its management, and has been largely
influential in placing it upon its present sound and permanent founda-


tion. He is also interested in a prosperous trucking business, of which
he keeps general oversight, delegating the management largely to other
hands. He is counted among the broadly successful men of the day in
Norristown. Mr. Moll is a supporter of the Republican party, although
interested only as a progressive citizen in public affairs. Fraternally
he is connected with the Loyal Order of Moose, the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, and the Modern Woodmen of the World. He
is a member of the Reformed church.

Mr. Moll married, on February i6, 1903, Mary Landis, daughter of
Isaac and Matilda Landis, of Norristown, and they have three children
living: William I., Dorothy, and John H. Two children died in infancy.
The family home is at No. 629 Noble street, Norristown.

HERBERT SHAMER BUCHER— The entire business career of
Herbert Shamer Bucher has been passed in the Harleysville National
Bank, with which he became identified immediately after the completion
of his education, the connection having remained unbroken to the present
time, a period of more than thirteen years.

Born at Salford Station, Pennsylvania, November 6, 1890, son of
Jacob and Esther (Shamer) Bucher, Mr. Bucher was the youngest of
eight children, the seven older than he being: Isaac, Oliver, Harry,
Zephaniah, Charles, Adam, Ruth.

Herbert Shamer Bucher received his education in the public schools

Online LibraryClifton Swenk HunsickerMontgomery County, Pennsylvania ; a history (Volume v.3) → online text (page 1 of 48)