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cine at Georgetown College, assistant sur-
geon during the Spanish-American war and
commissioned first lieutenant in the United
States Army, June 29, 1901, now at Chevy
Chase, Maryland ; children : Joseph Francis
Sinnott, Margaret Mary, John Ryan Jr.,
James Patrick Sinnott, Annie Leonora Sin-
nott, Julian Ashton, Edward Winslow Cof-
fin, Mary Frederica, Agnes Sinnott and
Anthony Tristram Coffin. 5. Clinton Rog-
ers, married Grace Hamilton. 6. James
Frederick, deceased ; married Edith Hynson
Howell, and had children : James Frederick
Jr., Annie Eliza, Mary Howell. 7. John,
matriculated at the Universities of Cornell
and Pennsylvania, now president of the Gib-
son Distilling Company, a member of the
Art, Racquet, Country, and Merion Cricket
clubs, and the Colonial Society of Pennsyl-
vania; married Mary Henrietta, daughter
of Judge Luce, of San Diego, California,
and resides at Villanova, Pennsylvania ;
children : Joseph Francis and Edgar Luce.
8. Clarence Coffin, married Mary Lanihan,
and resides in Jefferson City, Montana ;
children: James Coffin and Katherine.



LAUBACH, Edward H.,

Snccessfal Business Man, Legislator.

A successful business man, a loyal citizen,
a good friend and neighbor, the career of
Hon. Edward H. Laubach, of Northamp-
ton, Pennsylvania, is one that is peculiarly
pleasant to trace. Although deprived of the
care of a father at the age of eleven years,
he grew to manhood under good influence
and after completing his college years
assumed his father's place as the head of the
family and manager of the estate, advanc-
ing in the regard of his fellowmen until
elevated to the highest political gift in the
county. State Senator. This endorsement
from the people among whom his life had
been spent correctly gauges the estimate
they placed upon his character and is evi-
dence of the high esteem in which he is held
by those who know him best.

The Laubach family was founded in
Pennsylvania in 1738, Christian Reinhardt
and Marguerite Laubach arriving at Phil-
adelphia on September 16 of that year.
They were natives of the Palatine, Ger-
many, and sailed from Rotterdam for Amer-
ica on the ship "Queen Elizabeth," Alexan-
der Hope, master. Christian Reinhardt
Laubach settled in Lower Saucon township,
now Northampton county, and from him
spring all of the name tracing to the emi-
grant.

Peter Laubach, born in January, 1734,
eldest son of Christian Reinhardt Laubach,
accompanied his father to Lower Saucon
township and there remained until about
1755, when he moved to near Kreidersville,
Pennsylvania, and there died in 1818, aged
eighty-four years. His grave is in Zion's
Union Churchyard near Kreidersville.

Adam Laubach, second son of Peter Lau-
bach, bought the old homestead at Kreid-
ersville and in addition to a fine farm owned
and operated a blacksmith shop. He mar-
ried, in 1788, Margaret New land, of Lehigh
county, Pennsylvania, who bore him eleven
children, five of them sons. From Adam
Laubach sprang the father of Samuel and



924




(Lclyt^y^- ^ ■ ■-<- ZX^^^^^■t-■r^^<=■^^^



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



grandfather of Edward H. Laubach, of
Catasauqua.

Samuel Laubach succeeded his father in
the milling business in Northampton county,
and in addition was engaged in a large and
profitable mercantile business. He married
Lucy Hess, of Northampton county, who
survived him, from his death in 1863 until
her own demise in Catasauqua, she at the
time making her home with her son, Edward
H. Laubach. Children : Samuel Laubach ;
Edward H., of whom further; Allen D. ;
Peter J. ; Samuel ; Amanda, married J. F.
DeLong, of Bethlehem.

Edward H. Laubach, son of Samuel and
Lucy (Hess) Laubach, was born in North-
ampton county, Pennsylvania, in Septem-
ber, 1852. His father died when he was
eleven years of age, but his mother, a wise,
prudent and Christian woman, carefully
reared and educated her son. He attended
public school until twelve years of age, then
entered the institution that later became
Muhlenberg College, Allentown. He con-
tinued his studies there for two years, then
spent two years at Franklin and R'larshall
College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Although
his tastes and inclinations were professional,
duty called him to the management of his
father's estate. He at once assumed control
on leaving college, engaged in the mercantile
and milling business and has since been
actively engaged in business in Northamp-
ton. His activities are large and varied, one
of his large interests being the Northampton
Brewing Company, of which he is presi-
dent.

Mr. Laubach is a lifelong Democrat and
has always been a worker for party suc-
cess. When but little past legal age, he was
elected a member of the County Committee
and for many years continuously held that
position, often being chairman of the com-
mittee. He served for several years as
member of the State Democratic Commit-
tee, was a frequent delegate to state con-
ventions and served as chairman of import-
ant committees. While never an office



seeker, he often served as school director
of the township, but never held public office
until November, 1890, when he was elected
State Senator from Northampton county.
His long experience in political life as mem-
ber and chairman of the county committee
was of value to him as a legislator and
enabled him to be of great value to his dis-
trict. In 1894 he was renominated and on
November 6 following was again elected,
this being the first instance of a senator
succeeding himself in Northampton county.
To the duties of his office he devoted him-
self, exercising painstaking diligence and
diplomacy, obtaining recognition as a man
of ability, occupying prominent position in
the Senate and in public regard.

In 1876 Mr. Laubach married Elizabeth,
daughter of James Stewart, of Catasauqua.
Children : Mabel S., Samuel T., James H.



KUNKEL, Paul Augustine,

Latiryer, Pnblio Official.

The bar of Dauphin county has always
been distinguished for its diligent and pains-
taking members. Since his admission to the
bar in 1888, Paul Augustine Kunkel has
steadily applied himself and assiduously
practiced his profession, and accordingly
holds a responsible place at the forefront.

He is a descendant of an old German
family, founded in Pennsylvania by John
Christian Kunkel, who came from the Fath-
erland (Palatinate) September 23. 1766,
and engaged as a private in the Revolution-
ary struggle for independence. He had
located at York, Pennsylvania.

The descent is through his son, Christian
Kunkel, who became a merchant in York,
and in 1786 removed to Harrisburg, where
he engaged in the same business until his
death in 1823. He was one of the organ-
izers of the First German church. In 1796
he was burgess of the borough, and fre-
quently a member of the council. In 1809
he was appointed by Governor Snyder a
commissioner for the erection of a bridge



925



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



over the Susquehanna river, and in the
same year he was elected one of the direc-
tors of the Harrisburg Branch of the Phil-
adelphia Bank. He was twice married;
first to Catharine Hoyer, and upon her
death to Anna Maria Elizabeth Welshofer.

George Kunkel was the eldest son by the
first wife, and he became a prosperous mer-
chant of Harrisburg, married Catharine
Ziegler, and among their children was
George Ziegler Kunkel, the father of Paul
Augustine Kunkel ; and John C. Kunkel,
lawyer and congressman.

George Ziegler Kunkel, the second son of
George and Catharine (Ziegler) Kunkel,
was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Feb-
ruary 7, 1820, and died October 24, 1905.
He enjoyed the usual school education of
his day, and entered his father's store,
located on Front street, which was the busi-
ness thoroughfare. He was subsequently
engaged for a short time in the hardware
business, and then became a clerk in the
Harrisburg Bank, which he resigned to
accept a position in the Dougherty Bank,
and then in its passing became an owner
with J. C. Bomberger, in 1850, in what was
known as the Mechanics Bank, in which
he remained actively engaged in work to
within a month of his death. He was a
superintendent of the Salem Reformed Sun-
day school for many years, and for more
than fifty years an elder in the congrega-
tion. He had been a member of the board
of trustees of the Theological Seminary
of the Reformed Church in the United
States at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for many
years. On December 28, 1852, he married
Sarah Isabella Herr, daughter of Daniel
Herr, and sister of the late Senator A. J.
Herr, deceased. She died January 17, 1905.
Their children were: i. Mary, born No-
vember I, 1853, died September 15, 1863. 2.
George, born March 11, 1855 ; Judge of the
Courts of Dauphin county ; married Mae
Minster, of Philadelphia, and has children :
George Jr., William Minster, Daniel Herr
and Cecilia. 3. Daniel Herr, born January



15, 1857, died April 21, 1880. 4. WilHam
Henry, born November 23, 1858, died No-
vember 21, 1862. 5. Sarah Isabella, born
October 5, i860, died November 21, 1861.
6. Anna Catharine, born October 22, 1862;
married Edwin C. Thompson, president of
the Citizens' Bank of Harrisburg, Pennsyl-
vania, and secretary of the J. Horace Mc-
Farland Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylva-
nia, son of James B. and Martha (Reily)
Thompson. 7. Paul Augustine, of whom
further. 8. Caroline Beecher, born Novem-
ber 13, 1866, died November 26, 1899; mar-
ried Christian G. Nissley, editor of the Har-
risburg "West End Reporter," and has chil-
dren: Isabel, Anna Ober and Catharine
Kunkel.

Paul Augustine Kunkel was born in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, September 13,
1864. He was educated at the Harrisburg
Academy, graduating in 1882, was further
educated at Yale College and Franklin and
Marshall College, at which latter he gradu-
ated as valedictorian in 1886. In 1887 he
made a tour of Europe. After reading law
the required period he was admitted to the
Dauphin county bar, October 8, 1888. Dur-
ing the legislative sessions of 1888-89-91 he
was a newspaper correspondent for a large
number of newspapers throughout the State.
He was a charter member of the "Gov-
ernor's Troop," organized in 1888, National
Guard of Pennsylvania, and served a com-
plete enlistment, holding the rank of ser-
geant. He was a charter member of the
Pennsylvania German Society. He has been
reporter for the Pennsylvania County Court
Reports since 1888, and is the author of a
law book published in 1902 on the law of
nominations in Pennsylvania. When the
State Board of Law Examiners was insti-
tuted in 1903 he was appointed by the Su-
preme Court of Pennsylvania a member,
which position he still holds. For fifteen
years he served as solicitor for the active
borough of Middletown, and his services
have been engaged at times by other bor-
oughs. In 1901 he was a candidate in his



926



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



ward, which was then the Sixth Ward, con-
taining one-fourth of the population of the
city, for the office of school director on the
Republican ticket, but although he had been
warned that he would be defeated because
the Republicans had made an alliance with
the Democratic candidate he stood for the
office notwithstanding, and was defeated by
his own party by one hundred and twenty-
five votes. In 191 1 he became an independ-
ent candidate for the office of district attor-
ney at the solicitation of a great number of
electors and the public demand. The inde-
pendent movement found concrete ex-
pression under the names of Keystone and
Democratic parties, by which he was nomi-
nated and his name placed upon the official
ballot. Technically under the law no elector
could make but one cross on the ballot, but
a number of very earnest electors, empha-
sizing their intention to vote for Mr. Kun-
kel, placed two crosses opposite his name
on the ballot, which ballots certain election
boards failed to count, and at the official
computation Mr. Kunkel lacked one hun-
dred and thirty-six votes of a majority.
Thereupon a contest was instituted and the
ballot boxes brought into court were found
to have been opened and badly damaged,
and the search of said ballot boxes failed to
find more than sixty or more uncounted
votes. Mr. Kunkel is a member of the
Salem Reformed Church, superintendent of
the Sunday school, and has been prominent
in the laymen's missionary movement. He
also served a term as president of the Dau-
phin County Sunday School Association.
He is alio a member of the Harrisburg
Rotary Club, a civic and business organiza-
tion.

He married, November 23, 1893, Belle
King, a daughter of Arthur King, of
Middletown, Pennsylvania. They are the
parents of Arthur King, a student in Frank-
lin and Marshall College ; Mary and Lydia,
attending Seller's School for Girls in Harris-
burg; Paul Augustine Jr., attending the
public school.



WENRICH, Reuben D., M. D.,

Proprietor Grand View Sanatorium.

Reuben D. Wenrich, M. D., a graduate of
the medical department of the University
of Pennsylvania, and a lifelong medical
practitioner, adds to the skill of the medical
man the acute sagacity of the trained man
of business. He is best known in Werners-
ville, but all over the United States is known
as the proprietor and manager of the Grand
View Sanatorium, situated at South Moun-
tain, two miles south of Wernersville, one
of the leading resorts of the United States.
For thirty-five years Dr. Wenrich has been
connected with this institution, which for
thirty years prior to 1879 had been con-
ducted by other parties under the name
of Mountain Home. As the demands of
his own institution made increased demands
upon his time he gradually withdrew from
other activity, and for many years he has
given the Grand View Sanatorium the full
benefit of his skill, knowledge and experi-
ence.

Dr. Wenrich is a descendant of an old
Berks county, Pennsylvania, family, long
settled in Heidelberg township, three gen-
erations of his ancestors, Matthias (i),
Matthias (2) and Matthias (3), the latter
his grandfather, having owned and culti-
vated the farm in Heidelberg that from
1739 until 1889 was continuously in the
family name. Adam Wenrich, father of
Dr. Wenrich, was a farmer of Heidelberg
township. He married Eliza Klopp. He
died in 1851, aged forty-seven years; his
wife in 1877, aged sixty-eight years.

Dr. Reuben D. Wenrich, the youngest
son and fourth of the children of Adam and
Eliza (Klopp) Wenrich, was born in Lower
Heidelberg township, Berks county, Penn-
sylvania, May 15, 1842. He attended public
schools until fourteen years of age, then
continued his studies in advanced institu-
tions of learning located in Womelsdorf,
Stouchsburg, Pughtown, Trappe and
Millersville. In 1861 he completed a full
927



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



course in Duff's Commercial College at
Philadelphia. During the winter months
from 1858 to 1862 he taught in the public
schools, but he had resolved upon the pro-
fession of medicine as his life work. In the
spring of 1862 he became a medical student
under the direction of Dr. D. D. Detweiler,
of Trappe, spent the summer in the latter's
office, and the following summer studied
under Dr. William J. Shoener, at Strauss-
town, Berks county, Pennsylvania. During
the winter months he attended lectures at
the medical department of the University
of Pennsylvania, and in 1864 was graduated
from that time honored institution with the
degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Dr. Wenrich established in practice in
Wernersville, Pennsylvania, the year of his
graduation, and for ten successive year;
carried on his large practice alone. He
then entered into partnership with Dr. James
W. Deppen, of Wernersville, a physician of
experience and skill. The partners, in addi-
tion to their medical practice, conducted a
general store and dealt in lumber, coal and
lime, continuing until 1879 in their dual
capacity as physicians and merchants.

In 1879 they purchased the Mountain
Home, a well-known health institution
located two miles from Wernersville on
South mountain. They at once assumed
charge of the home and as its popularity
increased they gradually withdrew from
business in Wernersville. They jointly
managed the home until Dr. Deppen's death
in 1895, that event terminating a pleasant
association of over twenty years. On the
settlement of Dr. Deppen's estate Dr. Wen-
rich became sole owner of the institution,
now known as Grand View Sanatorium,
having been changed on Dr. Deppen's death.
He has added largely to the grounds by
purchase until the estate now comprises six
hundred acres of farm and wood lands.
Costly and permanent improvements have
been made to the Sanatorium, which with
its commodious appointments, electric light
and steam heating plant, is recognized as



one of the most desirable of health resorts.
The natural advantages of the site are many;
pure air and water, with the magnificent
view of the Lebanon and Lancaster valleys,
form a chain of advantages unsurpassed
anywhere. The excellent management of
the Sanatorium and its high reputation as a
health resort attracts from all over the
United States a large patronage of people
of the better class. While for many years
Dr. Wenrich has given the Sanatorium his
undivided attention he encouraged the estab-
lishment of the Wernersville National Bank,
and since its foundation in April, 1906, has
served as one of the directors.

Dr. Wenrich married, in 1865. Sarah,
daughter of Moses Gockley, of Werners-
ville. Children: i. Dr. George G., a gradu-
ate of the University of Pennsylvania, med-
ical department, now a member of the med-
ical staff of Grand View Sanatorium; mar-
ried Anna May Coar. 2. Dr. John A., a
graduate of the State University, medical
department, now associated with his father
and brother on the staff of the Grand View
Sanatorium ; married Grace Alvana Gaddes.
3. Eva A., married Alvin J. Gibbs, of Can-
ton, Ohio. Mrs. Sarah (Gockley) Wen-
rich, died in 1896, aged forty-eight years.
She was a great-granddaughter of John
Gockley, who settled in Cocalico township,
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, prior to
1790.



ROTHERMEL, Amor Cornelius,

Prominent Educator.

Professor A. C. Rothermel, principal of
the Keystone State Normal School, having
served in that capacity since 1899, a period
of fifteen years, is a native of the Keystone
State, born at Moselem, Berks county, Jan-
uary 6, 1864, son of Lewis W. and Lydia
R. Rothermel, natives of Berks county,
Pennsylvania.

His preliminary educational training was
obtained in a private school, which he at-
tended for eight years. He then entered
28



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



the Keystone State Normal School at Kutz-
town, pursued a four years' course and
graduated from that institution in 1886. He
then accepted the principalship of the Pleas-
ant Valley Academy in Monroe county,
Pennsylvania, remaining for a term of one
year, after which he became a student in
Franklin and Marshall College, from which
he graduated in the class of 1891. In the
same year he became a teacher of Natural
Science in the Keystone State Normal
School at Kutztown, and two years later
was elected vice-principal, serving in that
capacity until 1899, when he was appointed
principal of the State Normal School, a
brief history of which follow. Professor
Rothermel keeps abreast of the times in all
matters pertaining to his calling, and while
devoting his best energies to his work he
is still a student and is well versed in topics
of general interest, but especially in the line
which will aid him most in his chosen field
of labor. He is progressive without being
radical, and is not dependent on old
methods of instruction nor too forward in
the adoption of new ones. Yet his keen
judgment, fine sense of practicability and
skill in adaptation have made his school
noted, the imprint of his personality being
keenly felt. Few have the faculty to secure
and maintain to a greater degree that har-
mony between principal, teachers, pupils
and patrons which is such a potent factor
in the success of any school. In 1906 he
received the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy
from Dickson College, and in 19 10 the de-
gree of Doctor of Literature from Frank-
lin and Marshall College. He affiliates with
the German Reformed Church, and is
vitally interested in the work of the Young
Men's Christian Association. He is a mem-
ber of Lodge No. 377, Free and Accepted
Masons.

Professor Rothermel married, June 30,
1894, Ada L. Spatz, of Reading, Pennsyl-
vania, daughter of John and Kathcrine
(Moyer) Spatz. They have an adopted



child, Ruth Mary, born at Reading, Penn-
sylvania, May 9, 1896.

The following is a report of the super-
intendent of public instruction, 1900:

The Keystone State Normal School build-
ings are beautifully located on high ground
in Ma.xatawny township, in the suburbs of
the thriving borough of Kutztown, Berks
county, Pennsylvania, midway between the
cities of Allentown and Reading. This nor-
mal school is the outgrowth of Fairview
Seminary and of a still earlier school known
as FrankHn Academy, which was founded
at Kutztown in 1836. The number of stu-
dents was limited to thirty-three, and no
pupils were received for a less time than
six months, for which period the tuition fee
was ten dollars. To bring the academy
under the provisions of a State law then
existing, giving an annual appropriation to
an academy enrolling twenty-five pupils, the
institution was incorporated in 1838, with
Daniel B. Kutz, Daniel Bieber, Colonel John
Wanner, David Kutz, Dr. C. L. Schleman,
David Deisher and Henry Heffner, as its
first board of trustees. Hon. Alexander
Ramsey, later of Minneapolis, Minnesota,
was one of its earliest instructors.

In i860 Fairview Seminary was estab-
lisheil mainly through the efforts of Rev. J.
Sassaman Herman, a clergyman of the Re-
formed church. The Franklin .Academy
had been closed for some years. The first
and principal teacher of the Fairview Semi-
nary was Professor H. R. Nicks. The
seminary opened with five pupils, Miss
Clara Wanner, Mr. O. C. Herman, Mr.
Erastus Bast. Mr. Jefferson C. Hoch and
Mr. N. C. Schaeffer, the latter named the
honored and eminent superintendent of pub-
lic instruction of the State of Pennsylvania.
In 1 86 1 forty-five students were enrolled.
In 1863 there were at one time eighty-five
pupils in attendance, a fair proportion of
them being boarding students. The home of
the school at this time was the building
occupied in 1900 by Colonel T. F. Fister,
and known familiarly as Fairview Mansion.
The school continued to grow until 1866,
when it was merged into the Keystone State
Normal School.

Professor Nicks was one of the main
workers in the establishment of the normal,
doing much of the rough pioneer work
which led to the establishment of what was
destined to become one of the leading



929



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



schools of the State. In 1863 five acres of
land were purchased and on this plot of
ground a building was erected at a cost of
?6,500. For several years this school was
known as Maxatawny Seminary. Professor
Nicks was principal, Professor Samuel
Transcau, now of Williamsport, acted as
assistant principal, and in 1S65 Professor
J. S. Ermentrout became associated with
the school. In March, 1865,, the Philo-
mathean Literary Society was organized,
and in September of the same year its rival,
the Keystone Literary Society, then known
as the Kalliothymean, sprang into existence.

The cornerstone of the Keystone State
Normal School was laid, with appropriate
exercises, on September 17, 1865. Not
quite a year later, September 13, 1866, the
complete buildmg was dedicated. As Pro-
fessor Ermentrout said : "With the cele-
bration of appropriate religious and literary
exercises, to the honor of Almighty God, to
the service of a sound Christian morality,
and to the educational interests of the State
of Pennsylvania." Besides Professors
Ermentrout and Nicks the good people of
this section of the country, especially the
Hottensteins, the Biebers, Dr. Gerasch,
Solomon Christ, David Schaeffer, and
others, were greatly interested in the estab-
lishment of the normal.

For some years before the school became
a normal school leading men of the district,
notably Rev. B. E. Kramlich, afterwards
for many years the efficient president of the
board of trustees of the normal school, Hon.
H. H. Swartz, then county superintendent
of schools of Lehigh county, and later also
trustee of the normal, and others, advocated



Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 35 of 58)