John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

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named order, which he helped to organize,
he has taken particular interest, and for
four years served as its first supreme treas-

Mr. Helb married, January 21, 1873,
Emma Louise, daughter of John Rausch, a
shoe merchant of Baltimore, and they are
the parents of two sons: Louis, a graduate
of Nazareth Hall and of the Baltimore
Polytechnic Institute, class of 1894; Her-
bert, a graduate of the Maryland Institute
of Art and Design, Baltimore, class of 1903.
Both sons are associated with their father
in business. Mrs. Helb, a thoughtful, clever
woman of culture and character, possesses
the rare combination of perfect womanli-
ness and domesticity with an unerring judg-
ment, traits which fit her to be to her hus-
band an ideal helpmate, not alone a charm-
ing companion, but also a confidante and
adviser. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Helb.
one of the noted residences of the county,
is a spacious mansion of beautiful archi-
tectural design, adorned with numerous
works of art gathered in their many jour-

neys, Mr. Helb, having relinquished much
of the active work of his enterprises, his
health not being so sturdy as formerly, has
been able to indulge his fondness for travel,
which is, perhaps, his favorite form of recre-
ation. He has made many transatlantic
voyages, having visited every European
country with the exception of Servia and
P.ulgaria, and having e.xtendcd his wander-
ings to Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Asia
Minor and Greece. On one of the latter
trips he was accompanied by his son Her-
bert, in company with whom he also visited
Alaska and British Columbia. On another
occasion he made an extended trip to Mex-
ico and he has been twice to California.
Notwithstanding his many foreign voyages
Mr. Helb has not neglected his native land.
having visited every State in the Union with
the exception of .Arkansas and South Da-
kota. Fond as he is of travel, Mr. Helb
spends his happiest hours at his own fire-
side and his home is the seat of a gracious

Mr. Helb's career has worthily supple-
mented that of his noble father. As an able
business man and public-spirited citizen he
has greatly promoted the material pros-
perity and moral welfare of his native city
and county. He is, however, of a nature so
broad and complex that its influence has
been felt in every portion of the community,
vitalizing all its best interests and impart-
ing an impetus to every worthy movement.
Perhaps the best description that could be
given of him might be condensed into the
brief sentence: "He is an ail-round man."


Lawyer, Pnbllc-spirited Citlxen.

For three generations the Livingowls
have been eminent physicians and lawyers
of Berks county, Pennsylvania. John
Bricker Livingood, who was a practicing
physician of Womelsdorf, was the father
of six sons, four of whom adopted their
father's profession, the other two choosing



the law. All were professional men of dis-
tinction, and in turn left sons who fully
maintained the high professional standing
of their forebears and were men of high
standing in both law and medicine in Berks
county and elsewhere. Among the grand-
sons of the good doctor who have continued
in the county is Frank S. Livingood, emi-
nent at the bar, prominent in business, and
for a quarter of a century president of the
Young Men's Christian Association of Read-

The Livingoods of Berks county are of
ancient Swiss ancestors, later settled in
Alsace, Germany, near Strasburg, where
they were known as Leibenguth and
Loewenguth. They settled in Alsace prior to
1660, and fifty years later the American an-
cestor, John Jacob Loewenguth came, land-
ing in New York, in 1708. Like so many
other foreign family names, the original
form was lost in anglicizing, Loewenguth
in time becoming Levengood, and then Liv-
ingood, both forms being used by descend-
ants of the Swiss-German John Jacob

The founder of the family settled in
Schoharie county. New York, but in 1727
came to Berks county, settling in Tulpe-
hocken township. There he farmed and
prospered until April, 1758, when in an
Indian raid he and his wife were killed and
two daughters carried into captivity. A son
Jacob escaped the fate that destroyed his
family, and from him descended the Liv-
ingoods of Berks county.

One of these descendants. Dr. John
Bricker Livingood, the physician of
Womelsdorf from 1812 to 1872, had, as
stated, six sons, all of whom were well
known and able members of the medical
and legal professions: James C, John T.,
Michael T. and Louis H., physicians ; and
Jacob S. and William H., lawyers. One of
these sons, Jacob Seltzer Livingood, was a
lawyer, practicing at the Berks county bar
from 1845 to 1906, sixty-one years. He

married Lucy Jane, daughter of Francis B.
Shalters, of Reading.

Frank S. Livingood, son of Jacob Seltzer
and Lucy Jane (Shalters) Livingood, was
born in Reading, Pennsylvania, February
24, 1855. He secured his early education
in Reading schools, public and private,
entered Phillips Andover Academy in 1869,
was graduated in 1872, and that year enter-
ed Harvard University. He spent four
years in Harvard and in 1876 was gradu-
ated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Returning to Reading, he prepared for the
practice of law under the preceptorship of
his honored father, and in August, 1879,
was admitted to the Berks county bar.
From that date until the present he has been
in continuous practice in Reading, admitted
to all State and Federal courts of the dis-
trict. He is a learned and honored mem-
ber of the legal fraternity, but his profes-
sional work represents only a part of the
usefulness of his life. He has taken active
part in the business development of his
city, and in its philanthropic, educational,
religious club and social life. He is presi-
dent of the Reading Hospital, and a trustee
of the Charles Evans Cemetery Company,
having held the latter position since 1892;
president of the Young Men's Christian
Association since 1888 ; trustee of the Read-
ing Public Library; vice-president of the
Berks County Bar Association ; member of
the American and Pennsylvania State Bar
associations ; member of the Historical So-
ciety of Pennsylvania, the Historical Soci-
ety of Berks County, the Pennsylvania Ger-
man Society, and taking a deep interest in
the work of all. His clubs are the Wyomis-
sing and Berkshire of Reading ; the Univer-
sity of Philadelphia, and the Harvard of
New York. In religious faith he is Evan-
gelical Lutheran, belonging to St. Matthew's
Church of Reading.

Originally a Republican in politics, the
chairman of the county committee from
1881 to 1886, a delegate to the National


^. /y^.


Convention held in Chicago in 1884 that
nominated James G. Blaine for President;
he now belongs to the Washington party,
and while ever striving for the supremacy
of the party of his choice, has never sought
office for himself.

BORNEMANN, Right Rev. Monseignor

Clergyman, Leader in Charitable Work.

For half a century an honored priest of
the Roman Catholic church, and for nearly
this entire period the beloved pastor of St.
Paul's Parish, Reading, "Father Borne-
mann," as he is affectionately known, holds
an enviable position in the hearts of his
people. Although now a dignitary of the
church, "Monseignor Bornemann" is still
"Father Bornemann" to his people — the lov-
ing priest who has been their comforter,
friend and spiritual guide from childhood
to mature years, and in many cases has bap-
tized, confirmed, married, and then laid
away in consecrated ground, members of
the parish. The work done by the good
"Father" in the nearly half century he has
spent in Reading has not been wholly spirit-
ual, great as is the good accomplished for
men's souls, but the temporal prosperity of
his parish has been a marked feature of his
stewardship. Hospitals, schools, asylums
and churches have been built for the differ-
ent nationalities that comprise the three
thousand communicants of the parish, and
every department of church, educational
and charitable work has been capably and
faithfully administered. Beloved by his
own people. Father Bornemann is held in no
less respect by those of other denominations
acquainted with him and his unselfish life
of devotion.

George Bornemann was born in Lingen,
Hanover, Germany, October 5, 1838, son of
William Bornemann, a ropemaker, who died
in Reading in 1884, aged eighty-two years.
His mother, Louisa Rolfs, died when he
was a young boy, and, had she lived, per-
haps Reading would never have known


I-'ather Bornemann. Bereft when so young
of a mother's care, he formed his own plans,
and at fifteen years of age alone came to
the United States. To the education he had
received up to that time in excellent Ger-
man schools, he added training for the
priesthood at the great educational insti-
tution of his church in Westmoreland
county, Pennsylvania, near Latrobe, and
was graduated from St. X'incent's College
in 1862. He continued theological study
at St. Charles Seminary at Philadelphia.
and was regularly ordained to the priest-
hood of the Roman Catholic church in
Philadelphia in 1865, Bishop (afterward
Archbishop) Wood officiating. He served
as assistant in Philadelphia one year, an-
other year at Newcastle, Delaware, in
charge of a parish, then, in 1867, was made
pastor of St. Paul's, at Reading. From
that date his service to that parish as pastor
was continuous until his elevation to his
present title. From a comparatively small
parish, St. Paul's has become one of three
thousand communicants, the church at Ninth
and Walnut streets, with the educational and
charitable institutions connected therewith,
being the largest in Reading. Besides ad-
ministering the multitudinous affairs of his
[jarish. Father Bornemann has been the lead-
ing spirit in the founding and management
of splendid institutions of his church in
Reading — St. Joseph's Hospital, House of
the Good Shepherd, St. Catherine's Orphan
Asylum for Girls, St. Paul's Orphan Asylum
for Boj'S, Gethsemane Cemetery — all being
institutions fostered under his care. With
its mixed population, churches were a neces-
sity for the different races, and there has
grown up in the original parish Polish,
Italian and Slavic churches, with priests of
such linguistic attainments that it is now
possible for every Catholic in Reading to
confess to a priest in his own tongue, or
listen to a sermon delivered in his own lan-
guage. Another institution of note is St.
Bernardino's Convent and Asylum at Oak
Brook. I-'ather Bornemann has been raised
to the rank of Monseignor.


WINTER, Ferdinand.

Leading Manufacturer, Retired.

Probably in no State in the Union have
foreign born residents exercised greater in-
fluence in public and business life than in
the State of Pennsylvania. To enumerate
the deeds would be to write a history of the
State, and while this is true of other States,
nowhere has their influence been greater or
more beneficial than in Pennsylvania.
Among this class of men who, overcoming
the handicap of language and strange en-
vironment, have established great industries,
brought them to the highest point of suc-
cess, and there been able to retire with abun-
dant means to ease, is Ferdinand Winter,
an honored citizen and present resident of
Reading. There is much to admire in the
life of Mr. Winter, but nothing shows the
beauty of his charater, more than his loyal
undying affection for the home of his youth
and the people of his native land. Thirteen
times has he crossed the Atlantic, and each
time some portion of the period devoted to
foreign travel was spent at the old home in
Austria, renewing his acquaintance with the
scenes of his childhood and youth. Nor is
he lacking in love and devotion for his
adopted country — that to him has been in-
deed the "Land of Opportunity" — nor for
Pennsylvania and Reading, the State of his
entire American residence, and the city of
his almost entire American business life.
A little less than half a century ago Mr.
Winter cnme to Pennsylvania from his Aus-
trian home, and two and a half years later
began his long and successful career as a
leather manufacturer, retiring in 1904, leav-
ing an honored name in the trade and a busi-
ness founded on excellence of product
equalled by a record of integrity without a

Ferdinand Winter was born in Austria,
in 1838, a son of Anton and Marie (An-
sorge) Winter. He obtained a good edu-
cation and begnn his business life in a tan-
nery, learning expert methods of tanning
chamois skins and other fine leather used in

glove and shoemaking. After mastering his
trade he worked as a journeyman until
1867, attaining a thorough knowledge of
the methods employed in various sections
of Germany in preparing skins for com-
mercial uses. At the age of twenty-nine
years, on August 28, 1867, he sailed for the
United States on the steamship "Northern
Light." landing at Castle Garden, New
York, proceeding thence to Philadelphia,
where for two and a half years he pursued
the trade he had mastered in his native land.
In 1869 Mr. Winter settled in Reading,
where he began his long connection with the
business life of that city by securing an
interest in a small tannery, established by
Anton Blatz, a short time previously. Trad-
ing as Blatz & Winter, the firm continued
for six years, when Mr. Winter purchased
the interest of Mr. Blatz, and shortly after-
ward, in 1875, admitted Ferdinand Getz as
a partner. The new firm. Winter & Getz,
conducted business on the Canal street site
of the Pennsylvania railroad until the site
being needed for railroad purposes was
sold to the Pennsjdvania company, a new
location bought, and a plant erected on the
property now owned by the Ferdinand Getz
Sons Company. The product of the plant
was of superior quality, surpassing in ex-
cellence foreign leather in many instances,
often being passed by inspectors as im-
ported goods. Their large output found a
ready market in the competitive markets of
Philadelphia, New York and Boston, and
was exported in large quantities to England,
Germany, France, and other foreign coun-
tries, where the superior quality and fine-
ness of the product was quickly recognized.
After a successful business career extend-
ing from 1875 until 1904 the firm was dis-
solved in the latter year by the death of Mr.
Getz. Mr. Winter having reached the age
of sixty-six years and in possession of a
fortune, then retired from business, and
has since devoted himself to the enjoyment
due him after a long and successful career
in the business world. He retains his inter-
est in affairs, however, as a member of the


Xems ffistcrici Puh. Co


Chamber of Commerce, and as a director
of the Keystone National Bank of Reading.
He served in the Common Council for two
terms— 1880- 1 884.

During his American life, Mr. Winter
has traveled extensively in this country and
abroad, making thirteen voyages across the
Atlantic, and on each trip visiting his Aus-
trian home. He is fond of the finer pleas-
ures of life and is rounding out an honor-
able, successful life in his adopted city,
where he is held in respect by all who know

He is an honored member of the Masonic
order, belonging to Teutonia Lodge, Free
and Accepted Masons ; Excelsior Chapter,
Royal Arch Masons; Reading Command-
ery. Knights Templar; and Rajah Temple,
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He also holds
membership in other societies and organiza-

Mr. Winter married, in 1874, Clara Kuch-
ler, who bore him sons and daughters : Ed-
ward; Martha, deceased; Louis, Rose,
Maria, Louisa, and two who died in in-

Time has dealt lightly with Mr. Winter,
and not denied him at the age of seventy-
six years the power and ability to thoroughly
enjoy the fruits of his years of successful
effort. Like most self-made men, he is
modest and unassuming, yet proud of the
fact that in a city of strong, successful men,
he has not been found wanting in the essen-
tial qualities that make for true manhood.


Physician, Snrgeon.

J. E. Auchmuty, M. D., is one of the
younger physicians of Tamaqua, Pennsyl-
vania, who has already achieved marked
success in his chosen profession, and who
is recognized as an able, progressive and
enthusiastic practitioner. He is the son of
B. F. and Mary E. (Latsha) Auchmuty,
both born in the State of Pennsylvania, and
both of Scottish ancestry.

Dr. J. E. Auchmuty was born at South
Williamsport, Lycoming county, Pennsyl-
vania, March 10, 1884, and was educated
in the public grammar and high schools of
his native town, being graduated from the
last named institution in the class of 1897.
He then attended the Susquehanna Univer-
sity School, from which he was graduated
in 1902 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts,
and received the degree of Master of Arts
from the same institution in 1905. Enter-
ing the medical department of the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania, he was graduated with
the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1906.
His year of interncship was served in the
Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Philadel-
phia, after which he acted as assistant to
Dr. H. M. Neale, of Freeland, Pennsyl-
vania, for the period of one year. He re-
ceived the appointment of physician and
surgeon to the Maryd Coal Company,
and retained this office until June 10, 191 1,
when he established himself in private prac-
tice in Tamaqua, and has already acquired
an extensive and lucrative practice. He is a
member of the County, State and .American
Medical associations; the University Club
of Philadelphia; Tamaqua Lodge, No. 238,
Free and .\ccepted Masons ; Chapter No.
137, Royal Arch Masons; Scottish Rite
Temple ; Rajah Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine ; Benev-
olent and Protective Order of Elks, No.


Dr. .Auchmuty married, in 1903, Clco, a
daughter of Alfred and Mary (Miller)
Kline, and they have children : Mary Helen,
born October 8, 1908; John Howard, born
March 4, 1909. The family residence is at
No. 237 West Broad street. Dr. Auchmuty
is a man of most benevolent impulses and
kindly nature, and his professional skill as
well as his sympathetic nature have gained
for him the affection of the patients whom
he has treated with exceptional ability. He
keeps well in touch with all progress in his
chosen profession, devoting all of his spare
time to the perusal of medical literature.




Theatrical Manager, Leader in Commnnlty

Where the title of "grand old man" origi-
nated or who first bore it matters little, but
never was it more worthily bestowed than
upon John D. Mishler, Reading's "Grand
Old Man," or, perhaps Pennsylvania's
"Grand Old Man" would be more appro-
priate, as he is just as popular and beloved
in other cities of the State as in Reading.
Here is his philosophy of life: "Just to be
kindly and good natured, just to do the little
good one can, just to sympathize with one's
friends when they are down, just to leave
the world a little bit better than he found it,
that's all I think a man need aim at." Fur-
ther, "If only half the nice things said of
people after they are dead were only told
while they are alive, how much more hap-
piness there would be in the world." So
here is recorded some of the "nice things"
that can said of this kindly hearted man
whose whole life has been devoted to mak-
ing people "just a little bit happier," who
clean handed, public spirited and loyal to
every duty has made the world a great deal
"better for his having lived in it."

John D. Mishler was born in Newmans -
town, Lebanon county, April 28, 1847, son
of Joseph and Rebecca (Zimmerman) Mish-
ler, who came to Reading in 1848. He at-
tended the pay schools of Reading until
seventeen years of age, then entered the em-
ploy of the then leading dry goods store of
the city, John S. Pearson & Company, as
delivery boy, receiving as salary seventy-
five dollars yearly. His duties were to keep
the store clean and to deliver packages to
customers, sometimes using a wheelbarrow,
sometimes by basket. Besides this he found
time to act as clerk, selling during his first
year $15,000 of goods, for which he re-
ceived from the firm the handsome bonus
of twenty-five dollars. From an early age
he contributed to the columns of the news-
papers, with a weekly article in "The Times"

called "The Man About Town." He pros-
pered, and on May 2, 1867, at the age of
twenty years, sailed for Europe and the
Paris Exposition, making a four months
tour. His death while at sea was announced
in the "Berks County Democrat," and he
was thus accorded the privilege of reading
his own obituary. This report probably
arose from the fact that fogs and break-
downs caused the vessel to consume twenty-
one days on the voyage across. On his re-
turn he visited friends and relatives in
Berks, Lebanon and Lancaster counties,
people coming from great distances to hear
his stories of his travels, a visit to Europe
then being uncommon, he being the fifth
person from Reading to make a European
trip. On his return to Reading he was met
at the station by a brass band and many
citizens who escorted him to the Keystone
(now Penn) Hotel, where a banquet awaited

A few days after attaining the age of
twenty-one years, he began business for him-
self, starting a retail dry goods store at 533
Penn street (the Globe Store, later pur-
chased by Dives Pomeroy & Stewart),
which he conducted until 1874, introducing
many new ideas in storekeeping and in ad-
vertising to give the store publicity. He
was the first man in Reading to insert a
column advertisement (1868), later using
four columns, and at one time had an entire
page of the "Times," with an extra edition
of two thousand copies. On one occasion
he secured the consent of the owners of the
"Times," the only morning newspaper in
Reading, made up and printed at 9 p. m.,
to print an account of the Maenerchor Ball,
and have it appear the following morning.
He accomplished the feat by plying the
printers with their favorite beer, pretzels
and cigars, and working all night. This
occasioned great comment, as an account
of the ball would not ordinarily appear until
the second morning. He also conducted the
"Globe Condenser" in the "Berks and
Schuylkill Journal," making it a feature of



the paper, and also advertising his Globe
Dry Goods Store. In 1871 he erected a
marble public drinking fountain in front of
his store, paying the city ten dollars yearly
for the water consumed. This fountain
now stands at Penn Common, Eleventh
street, above Washington. He was a "mas-
ter of publicity," another of his "first fea-
tures" being the "John D. Alishler," in
which Prof. Donaldson, the aeronaut, made
the only store packing balloon ascension
ever attempted in this country, on May 17,
1873, Mr. Mishler furnishing everything
for the experiment. In 1873 he was a mem-
ber of the City Board of Health, and after
selling out his business in 1874 devoted
himself to the management of the theatre
built by his father, and opened to the public
October i, 1872, at 533-535 Penn street, the
first modern theatre in Pennsylvania outside
of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He man-
aged this until 1886, when he had it re-
moved and the present academy erected by
a stock company, of which he was a mem-
ber. He managed the academy until 1907,
excepting only the years 1899- 1900, when it
was leased to H. R. Jacobs. The Penn
Street was not the first of his theatrical ven-
tures, as in 1873, while still in business, he
estabhshed the Mishler Theatrical Circuit,
which he controlled for years. In 1877-78
he toured the country as manager of the
Swedish Ladies' Vocal Quartette. From
1882 to 1886 he was manager and traveled
with Bartholomew's Famous Equine Para-
dox, and again in 1889-90, while the acad-
emy was leased to Mr. Jacobs. He became
very popular with the actors, visiting the
academy, and has many mementoes of their
regard. In 1882 Gus Williams named one
of his successful plays "John Mishler." He
made the academy a popular place of enter-
tainment, and in many respects was a re-
markable exception to the general rule. He
was the greatest of publicity men, but in

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 51 of 58)