John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

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establishment and maintenance of institu-
tions, charitable, philanthropic and humani-
tarian. He enjoys the society of his fellow-
men and belongs to social organizations in
different cities вАФ the Lehigh Country Club,
the Northampton, Bethlehem, Livingston
and Catasauqua clubs in Pennsylvania ; the
Hamilton of Paterson, New Jersey; the
Manufacturers' of Philadelphia, and the
Manhattan and Republican clubs of New
York City. He is a well known and influ-
ential member of the National Association
of Manufacturers of the United States,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zoological
Society of New York, Society for Advance-
ment of Science, and of other societies,
scientific and educational. He is also a
director of the National Bank of Allentown
and the National Bank of Catasauqua. In
political faith Mr. Dery is a Republican and
in religious connection a member of the
English Lutheran church.

He married at an early age, and with his
wife Helen and family has since 1898 main-
tained his residence in Catasauqua, Penn-
sylvania. Children: George M., a graduate
of Lafayette College, now a student at Har-
vard Law School ; Charles F. ; Helen.

A remarkable man from whatever angle
reviewed Air. Dery from the top-most round
of commercial success can review his career
with the greatest satisfaction. As the larg-
est individual silk manufacturer in the
world he occupies that position through his
own eflforts, has wronged no man and can
claim it as fairly earned. Neither has he
wronged himself by pursuing the golden
goddess at the expense of those qualities of

mind and heart that constitute man's finer
nature. His fortune fairly earned is used
not ostentatiously but in the enrichment of
his mind, the adornment of his home with
all that is best and most elevating, and in
the advancement of those who rely upon
him for employment and in charity. He is,
in addition to all, a good citizen, a kind
friend and loyal to every obligation.

RIEGEL, Henry H., M. D.,

Eminent Physician, Man of Affairs.

For one hundred and fifty years the
Riegel family has been prominently identi-
fied with Northampton county, Pennsyl-
vania, although the founder of the family
in America first settled in Bucks county.
Dr. Henry H. Riegel, the leading repre-
sentative of the family in Catasauqua, Penn-
sylvania, is the oldest living practitioner in
that city and although now aged seventy-
eight years the good doctor and his buggy
are familiar sights upon the streets and
country roads. Since i86g he has been con-
stantly in practice in Catasauqua, having
previously spent eleven years in practice in
other Lehigh county towns. Thus for con-
siderably over half a century his life has
been spent in alleviating pain and suffering,
and to-day he is yet the trusted physician in
families in which as a young doctor he first
ministered. He is a fine type of the "old
country doctor," who not only was the family
physician but the trusted friend, adviser and
confident, close to the hearts of his people,
rejoicing in their prosperity and sympathiz-
ing with them in their sorrows. Although
he has surrendered most of his professional
business to his son, who is associated with
him, there are many families where the "old
doctor" cannot be supplanted in their prac-
tice nor in their affections. Children whom
he has assisted into the world, whose child-
ish ills he treated, and whose offspring he
also succored are his firmest friends and to
these he still ministers. In his long career
he has accumulated large business interests



and in each of these he yet retains his con-
trol. In the financial institutions in which
he holds directorships he is faithful in his
service and each week his seat at the direc-
tors' table is always filled. Success, pro-
fessional and financial, has crowned his
efforts, but above these he places the posi-
tion he holds in his community as an honor-
able man and trusted friend.

Dr. Henry H. Riegel was born in Allen-
town, Pennsylvania, November 12, 1836,
son of Daniel Riegel, and grandson of Mat-
thias Riegel, both of Hellertown, Northamp-
ton county, Pennsylvania, and great-grand-
son of Benjamin Riegel, a soldier of the
War of 1812, a resident of Lower Saucon
township, who on his return from the war
was killed near Hellertown, only half a mile
from his home. Matthias Riegel, born in
Lower Saucon township, passed all his years
on his farm in that township, was a Whig
in politics and a member of the German
Reformed church until his death at the age
of sixty-nine years. He married Mary
Kram, who bore him eleven children, Daniel
being the fifth son.

Daniel Riegel, son of Matthias and Mary
(Kram) Riegel, was born in Lower Saucon
township, Northampton county, Pennsyl-
vania, died at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, aged
sixty-eight years. He located when a young
man in Allentown, where he worked at his
trade of tanner, and later conducted a meat
market. In 1S37 he began a long career as
an innkeeper, first conducting a hotel at
Bath, Northampton county. Three years
later he removed to Nazareth, where for
fourteen years he conducted the well known
Nazareth Hotel. He then retired from the
hotel business, living in Bath until 1855,
when he was elected sheriff of Northamp-
ton county. He served with efficiency one
term, living in Nazareth, where he con-
tinued his residence until death. He was a
very popular man, a Democrat in politics,
and a devoted member of the Moravian
church. He married Hannah Weaver, born
in Weaversville, Pennsylvania, daughter of

Michael Weaver, and granddaughter of
John Weaver, of German parentage, and a
soldier of the Revolution. Michael Weaver
was a soldier of the War of 1812, a farmer,
tanner and merchant, born in Weaversville,
where he died at the age of sixty-four years.
Dr. Henry H. Riegel, the seventh child
of a family of twelve children of Daniel
and Hannah (Weaver) Riegel, passed most
of his early years in Nazareth, and until six-
teen years of age was a student at Nazareth
Hall, a Moravian academy of learning. At
the age of eighteen years he began the study
of medicine at Bath, Pennsylvania, under
the preceptorship of Dr. W. E. Barnes. In
the fall of 1855 he entered the medical de-
partment of the University of Pennsylvania,
continuing one year. He again studied
under Dr. Barnes during the summer of
1856, entering Jefferson Medical College in
the fall of that year. He was graduated
M. D. in 1857, and on May 5 of that year
began practice at Cherryville, Northampton
county, continuing until January, 1861. He
then spent one year in practice at Saegers-
town, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, when
at the solicitation of his father he located
in Weaversville, the home of his mother's
people. He remained in practice there from
March, 1862, until the fall of 1868, growing
in medical strength and acquiring a good
practice. In 1869 he located in Catasauqua,
Pennsylvania, opening an office on Front
street, later moving to No. 27 on the same
street. Since his coming in 1869 Dr. Riegel
has been continuously in practice in Cata-
sauqua, having a large practice in the sur-
rounding country as well as in the borough.
He is a skillful physician, has ever pos-
sessed the confidence of the people and has
ever conducted an honorable and success-
ful practice. He admitted his son to prac-
tice with him, an association that yet con-
tinues. As years overtook him he did not
confine himself to the old ways but kept
pace with the medical discovery and is fully
abreast of the times in treatment and pre-
vention of disease. He was for years presi-



dent of the Lehigh County Medical Society,
member of the Lehigh Valley Medical Asso-
ciation, the American Medical Associa-
tion, and the Pennsylvania State Medical
Association, taking active interest in all.
He is highly regarded by his professional
brethren, while in public esteem no man
ever stood higher. Noted and successful
as a physician Dr. Riegel has also achieved
prominence in the business world.

In 1875 he became one of the organizers
of the Slatington National Bank, was elected
a director and still serves as such with great-
est fidelity. Since 1879 he has been a direc-
tor of the Catasauqua National Bank, of
which his father was one of the organizers.
He was an active worker in the Catasauqua
Improvement Company, and first conceived
the idea of inducing silk manufacturers to
locate there. He also became the owner of
the old Weaver homestead near Weavers-
ville, an estate of one hundred and five
acres of good land, and has since added
other acreage, this being in the Weaver
family for a century and a half. As land-
owners in the valley either became prosper-
ous or impoverished and wished to sell their
lands. Dr. Riegel was often a willing pur-
chaser and thus acquired many farms in
the cement rock region and is to-day the
owner of many acres of valuable land under-
laid with cement rock.

In political faith a Republican, Dr. Riegel
has ever been prominent in municipal
affairs. He served many years as member
of the school board, was president of the
board and an ardent advocate of advanced
educational advantages for the youth of
Catasauqua. He was appointed a member
of the board of pension examiners, May 17,
1889, served as president of the board four
years, resigning during President Cleve-
land's second administration. In 1909 he
was elected chief burgess of Catasauqua for
a term of three years, and only surrendered
that high office, January 5, 1914, at the ex-
piration of his term. His connection with
the public service has been honorable and

he gave to the duties of each office the best
of his ability, regarding naught but the pub-
lic good. He gave fully of his energy and
enthusiasm in youth, of his experience and
wisdom in his latter years and is yet the
loyal and public-spirited citizen of the bor-
ough where forty-six years of his useful
life have been spent.

Dr. Riegel is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, has served many years as
trustee and is devoted to the interests of
his church. He is a valued member of the
Masonic order, is a past master of Porter
Lodge, No. 284, Free and Accepted Masons;
a companion of Catasauqua Chapter, No.
278, Royal Arch Masons ; a cryptic Mason
of Allen Council, No. 23, Royal and Select
Masters; a sir knight of the Knights Temp-
lar, and belongs to the Shrine, Rajah
Temple, of Reading. He is one of the oldest
members of the fraternity in Catasauqua,
is highly esteemed by his brethren, who
have honored him with many official posi-
tions in the bodies named. He has attended
two complimentary dinners to the sir knights,
Allen Commandery, in 1912, and January
30, 1914.

Dr. Riegel married, in Cherryville, Penn-
sylvania, July 3, 1858, Ellen J. Gish, born in
Berlinsville, Northampton county, Pennsyl-
vania, daughter of Abraham Gish, a farmer
and merchant. Children: i. Clifford H.,
now paying teller of the Catasauqua Na-
tional Bank. 2. Emma L., married S. B.
Harte. 3. William, graduate of Pennsyl-
vania College at Gettysburg, Bachelor of
Arts, and of the medical department of the
University of Pennsylvania, Doctor of
Medicine, a practicing physician of Cata-
sauqua, associated with his father for many
years. 4. Mattie G., now Mrs. Kean, and
mother of four sons; resides with Dr.

In this necessarily brief review of the life
of Dr. Riegel it is to be especially remarked
that after an unusually active, busy, useful
life he is still "in the harness," carrying his
nearly eighty years with a strength and vigor


surprising. At an age when men regard
themselves entitled to all the rest, comfort
and luxury obtainable he meets all the de-
mands his official position imposes, has just
laid down the chief burgesship of Cata-
sauqua, and each week sees him boarding the
train to attend the bank directors' meeting
at Slatington, and each day sees the familiar
horse and buggy bearing the "good doctor"
and his still more familiar medicine case
away on his errands of mercy to the sick
and afflicted. Surely this "grand old man"
has sown well and will reap abundantly.

SMITH, William D.,

Man of Affairs, Philanthropist.

In the zeal and energy with which he sup-
ported and promoted organized charity and
practical benevolence William D. Smith had
no superior in his community. As one of
Pennsylvania's ironmasters he acquired
large business interests, and in municipal
affairs advocated a high standard of city
government, and warmly supported every
movement for civil, moral or social better-

William D. Smith was born at Joanna
Furnace, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1835,
died in Reading, Pennsylvania, son of Levi
B. and Emily H. Smith. He was educated
at New London Academy, Chester county,
Pennsylvania, and Williston Seminary,
Easthampton, Massachusetts, and after
completing his studies became associated
with his father and brothers in the opera-
tion of the iron furnaces which gave name
to the village of Joanna Furnace. He con-
tinued in the iron business there until 1865,
then until 1881, most of this period in part-
nership with his brother, Horace V. Smith,
owned and operated Isabella Furnace, in
Chester county. In 1885 the works there
were sold to Colonel Joseph D. Potts, and
in 1887, after returning from a tour of
Europe, Mr. Smith located in Reading, that
city being his home until his death. He was
a successful business man and was always

prominent in the public service. In 1861
he was appointed adjuster in the office of
Dr. Edward Wallace, naval officer in the
United States customs house in Philadel-
phia, serving until 1865. In June, 1863, he
raised and commanded Company D, Forty-
second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer
Militia, a part of the force called out to
resist Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania. The
regiment was on duty six weeks and during
the latter part of that period Company D
did provost duty at Hagerstown, Maryland.
From 1876 to 1888 he was deputy collector
and auditor of the Philadelphia customs
house, serving during the terms of Alex-
ander P. Tutton and General John P. Plart-
ranft, collectors of the port. This position,
involving much labor and responsibility, he
filled most creditably, as he did all positions
he was called upon to occupy. After locat-
ing in Reading he became interested in sev-
eral important enterprises and at his death
was a director of the Reading and Temple
Railroad Company, the Reading Trust
Company, the Reading Gas Company, and
from 1890 was a trustee of the Charles
Evans Cemetery Company.

In addition to the care of the private busi-
ness interests of himself and members of
his family he engaged for more than twenty
years in a career of great usefulness along
philanthropic lines, being prominently con-
nected with the administration of various
humane and charitable public institutions,
to all of which he gave liberally of his
means, his time and his personal service.
From 1889 until his death he served as
president of the board of trustees of Read-
ing Hospital. The Home for Friendless
Children was founded in 18S6 by a number
of charitably disposed citizens of Reading,
and in 1888 its main building on Centre
avenue, north of Spring street, was erected.
As chairman of the building committee Mr.
Smith supervised its construction, and later
erected at his own expense two wings that
more than doubled its capacity. To this
charity he devoted a great deal of his time,



and was ever careful that the comfort of the
little inmates was properly safeguarded.
He served on the board of trustees of the
home, which by its charter was under the
administration of a board of woman man-
agers. He was also connected, either as a
member or official, with the Reading Benev-
olent Society, Hope Rescue Mission, the
Humane Society, the Associated Charities,
and the Society for the Prevention of
Tuberculosis. He was for many years a
trustee of the Young Men's Christian Asso-
ciation, a vestryman of Christ's Protestant
Episcopal Church of Reading, one of the
founders and a leading benefactor of the
newly organized St. Mary's Protestant
Episcopal Church, located in the north-
western section of Reading. He was a Re-
publican in politics, but took no part in
Reading local party affairs. He was one
of the highly esteemed men of his day, and
an honor to the State that gave him birth.

SINNOTT, Joseph Francis,

Man of Affairs, Philanthropist.

For more than forty years closely identi-
fied with financial affairs in Philadelphia,
Mr. Sinnott occupied a prominent position
in the business world. As a churchman and
as a patron of charitable and philanthropic
institutions of Philadelphia he devoted his
time, talents, and substance to good works,
and by bequests provided means for the
continuation of benevolences in which he
had been interested during his life.

Joseph Francis Sinnott was a son of John
and Mary (Armstrong) Sinnott, of Killy-
begs, county Donegal, Ireland, and grand-
son of Captain John Sinnott, of Wexford,
who fought in the rebellion of 1798 and was
later a sea captain, and Elizabeth (Murphy)
Sinnott, a first cousin of Rev. John Murphy,
the Irish patriot, and great-grandson of
James Sinnott, of Castleton, whose family
settled in Wexford at the time of the Nor-
man Conquest, having accompanied Robert
Fitz-Stephen to Ireland in 1169.

Joseph Francis Sinnott was born at Kil-
lybegs, county Donegal, Ireland, February
14, 1837, died at his residence, No. 1816
South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, June 20, 1906. He was well
educated, taking a special course in Lord
Hill's school and continuing his studies until
1854, in August of that year, coming to the
United States to join relatives in Charles-
ton, South Carolina. On arriving at Phil-
adelphia, however, he learned of the preva-
lence of yellow fever in that city and of the
deaths of his grandmother and aunts, who
had fallen victims to that then scourge of
Southern States. He changed his plans,
and first, in the custom brokerage house of
Watkins & Weaver, then in the counting
house of John Gibson's Sons & Company,
distillers, he commenced his long, honorable
and successful career. He began as assist-
ant bookkeeper with the latter firm, contin-
uing until President Lincoln's first call for
volunteers to defend the flag aroused the
patriotic blood in his veins, inherited from a
long line of ancestors who on sea and land
had fought and died for principle's sake.
He inlisted April 25, 1861, as a private in
the later famous "Washington Grays," of
Philadelphia, and with that company was
the first to pass through Baltimore after the
attack made upon the Sixth ^Massachusetts
Regiment. From Washington he was
assigned to duty in West Virginia under
Major General Robert Patterson, serving
until the expiration of his term, being mus-
tered out at Philadelphia, August 3, 1861.

After this military experience he returned
to his position with John Gibson's Sons &
Company and soon afterward was selected
to manage a new agency that company had
decided to establish in Boston, and there-
fore was obliged to decline a captaincy in
the "Rush Lancers" and to obey the call
of his house. His management of the Bos-
ton house was marked by the display of
such ability, wisdom, tact and integrity that
he won the confidence of his employers and
the reward of an interest in the Boston



branch. In 1866 he returned to Philadel-
phia and was admitted a member of John
Gibson's Sons & Company, one of the larg-
est firms in their line in the United States.
In 1884 Henry C. Gibson retired from the
firm and was succeeded by Andrew M.
Moore and Joseph Francis Sinnott, under
the firm name of Moore & Sinnott. In
1898 Mr. Moore died, his interest being pur-
chased by Mr. Sinnott, who continued sole
owner until his death. Thoroughly estab-
lished in profitable private business he also
became interested in other Philadelphia
enterprises, became a large stockholder of
the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, serv-
ing that corporation for a great many years
as director, was also many years a director
of the First National Bank and manager of
the Commercial Exchange.

He was a devoted member of the Roman
Catholic church, the church of his fathers,
and liberally strove to further its work in
Philadelphia, serving on the board of man-
agers of St. Charles Borromeo Theological
Seminary, St. John's Orphan Asylum, St.
Francis Industrial Home and the Catholic
Protectory, and was a member of the Amer-
ican Catholic Historical Society. Nor did
his interest end with the support of insti-
tutions connected with his own church, but
he was associated with many of Philadel-
phia's public institutions and in the general
welfare of the city he had made his home
for over half a century. He was a member
of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania,
the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania,
the Archaeological Society of Pennsylva-
nia, the Pennsylvania Society of New York,
the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,
the Academy of Natural Science of Phila-
delphia, the Archaeological Institute of
America, the Fairmount Park Art Associa-
tion, and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
In some of these his interest did not fail
with his death, since his will provided a
large sum to be apportioned among the in-
stitutions with which he had been allied.
In the hospital of the University of Penn-

sylvania there is a room especially endowed
by him for the free use of sufferers who
have followed the profession of journalism,
in memory of his son, Joseph E. Sinnott.
The social side of his nature was strongly
developed and he took a great deal of pleas-
ure in associations with his fellow men. His
clubs were the Penn, Art, Merion Cricket
and Radnor Hunt. For two years after his
marriage he resided on Warren street, Rox-
bury, Massachusetts, and shortly after his
return to Philadelphia he purchased from
his partner, Henry C. Gibson, the latter's
home and property in West Philadelphia,
extending from Walnut to Locust and
from Forty-second to Forty-third streets.
There he lived until 1891, when he built
a country seat at Rosemont, Montgomery
county, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Sinnott married, at Philadelphia,
April 8. 1863, Annie Eliza Rogers, daugh-
ter of Clayton Brown and Eliza (Coffin)
Rogers, of Mount Holly, New Jersey. Mrs.
Sinnott survives her husband, a resident of
Philadelphia, No. 18 16 Rittenhouse Square,
and "Rathalla," Rosemont, Pennsylvania.
She is a member of the Pennsylvania Soci-
ety of Colonial Dames of America, Phila-
delphia Chapter Daughters of the American
Revolution, the Acorn Club, and of various
civic and charitable organizations. Through
her maternal ancestry she traces to colonial
families of Massachusetts and New Jersey
and through paternal lines to the earliest
days in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She
is sixth in descent from Lieutenant William
Rogers, the founder of one branch of the
Rogers family in Burlington county. New
Jersey, a lieutenant of militia commissioned
February 17, 1705, by Governor Cornbury,
of New Jersey, and a descendant of Tris-
tram Coffin, Thomas Mayhew, and other
noted men of New England. Clayton
Brown Rogers, father of Mrs. Sinnott, was
a graduate of the College of Pharmacy of
Philadelphia, a merchant, ironmaster and
inventor. He was a birth-right member of
the Society of Friends, a director of the



Corn Exchange, and one of the foremost
men of his day.

Children of Joseph Francis and Ann
Eliza (Rogers) Sinnott: i. Joseph Edward,
deceased ; a graduate of Harvard Univer-
sity, 1886, studied law, entered journahsm,
becoming connected with the editorial staff
of the "Philadelphia Times," and assistant
city editor; ill health compelled his retire-
ment and until his death, July 21, 1892, he
was assistant to the general agent of the
Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. 2. Mary
Elizabeth, a member of the Pennsylvania
Society Colonial Dames of America, Phila-
delphia Chapter, Daughters of the Ameri-
can Revolution, the Historical and Genea-
logical Societies of Pennsylvania, and con-
nected with many social and charitable
organizations. 3. Henry Gibson, died Feb-
ruary 14, 1899. 4. Annie Leonora, married
Dr. John Ryan Devereux, a graduate of the
medical department of the University of
Pennsylvania, lecturer, professor of medi-

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 34 of 58)