John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

. (page 53 of 58)
Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 53 of 58)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Wyomissing, Reading's beautiful and im-
portant suburb, too much credit cannot be
given to two young Germans, Ferdinand
Thun and Henry Karl Janssen, manufac-
turers of textile machinery, founders of the
business later incorporated as the Textile
Machinery Company. There is a tinge of
romance in the lives of these two men, that
impresses one with the idea that chance
may be governed by laws that are not even
suspected, much less understood. Both were
born in Barmen, Germany, in February,
1866, one on the 8th, the other on tiie 14th
day of the month. Coming to the United
States on different dates, they met in Read-
ing вАФ one an expert machinist and thorough-
ly familiar with textile machinery, the other
a textile manufacturer of experience. Their
friendship, strongly renewed in a strange
land far from the scenes of their youth, re-
sulted in the formation of a business bond
that yet exists, mutually profitable and pleas-
ant. In the development of Wyomissing as
a municipality, they have worked in har-
mony, both occupying prominent positions
in council and aiding in the establishment
of industries, bringing prosperity to the

Ferdinand Thun was born in Barmen,
Germany. February 14, 1866, son of Ferdi-
nand and Julia (Westkott) Thun, of Bar-
men. The father was a foundryman. and
in 1890 retired from business which he had
followed for forty years of iiis then sixty
years. Of his four children the only one to
leave their native land was Ferdinand : the
second son, Emil, succeeded his father in
business ; and Mary and Emilie, the daugh-
ters, yet reside in Barmen.


Ferdinand Thun (2nd) was educated in
the excellent schools of Barmen, graduating
from the Technical High School in 1883.
Barmen, for many years a manufacturing
center, numbered among its important in-
dustries large plants devoted to the manu-
facture of braids, laces and dress trimmings.
After leaving high school, Ferdinand Thun
spent three years in the offices of one of
these plants, and then decided to visit the
United States. He finally located in Sep-
tember, 1886, in Berks county, Pennsyl-
vania, at Stony Creek Mills, obtaining em-
ployment as bookkeeper with Louis Kraemer
& Company, Mr. Kraemer, senior proprie-
tor of the mills, being an old friend of Ferdi-
nand Thun, senior. Two years were spent
at Stony Creek Mills, the young man ac-
quiring the English tongue and useful busi-
ness experience. In the spring of 1888 he
returned to his home in Germany. He had
decided to permanently locate in the United
States and engage in manufacturing, his
visit to Germany being to further familiar-
ize himself with German methods of manu-
facturing braids, ribbons, etc., and to make
the necessary financial arrangements. He
improved his time in acquiring needed
knowledge of the practical side of his pro-
posed business in the Barmen mills, and in
February, 1889, he again sailed for the
United States.

He entered the employ of a large braid
manufacturing mill in New York City, con-
tinuing there three years, becoming super-
intendent of the plant, and acquiring expert
knowledge of every detail of braid manu-
facture. While superintendent of the braid
mill he made the acquaintance of Henry K.
Janssen, also a native of Barmen, who was
an expert machinist, and especially familiar
with the manufacture of textile machinery.
The young men were mutually attracted,
and thus began a friendship and business
association that has never terminated. They
decided upon a partnership for the manu-
facture of textile machinery, and agreed
upon Reading, Pennsylvania, as a location.

Their plans materialized in 1892, and busi-
ness was begun in a modest way at 220-222
Cedar street, with but a few hands. In four
years, so well had the young firm succeeded,
greater facilities were needed to handle their
increasing business. Wyomissing was the
location selected, that town then being but
a proposed residential community without
any industrial plants. A tract containing
several acres was selected, lying along the
Lebanon Valley railroad, that road offering
abundant shipping facilities. A mill or
factory was erected, capable of allowing for
the employment of one hundred hands, and
when equipped was placed in operation.
Prosperity attended the intelligent efforts
of the partners, and business increased to
such an extent, that a corporate form be-
came desirable. In 1900 this change was
effected by the organization and incorpora-
tion of the Textile Machine Works, Henry
Karl Janssen, president; Ferdinand Thun,
secretary and treasurer. The advance made
in the first ten years in Wyomissing was as
remarkable as that of the four years in
Reading. The works employing one hun-
dred hands in 1896, in 1906 employed three
hundred hands, and in 1913 employed over
five hundred, buildings and equipment keep-
ing pace. Nor do these figures fully indi-
cate the full expansion. New industries
using textile machinery have been promoted
and established by Messrs. Thun and Jans-
sen in Wyomissing, notably the Berkshire
Knitting Mills and the Narrow Fabric Com-
pany, employing five hundred hands, the
partners holding official position in both. In
1902 Mr. Thun organized the Wyomissing
Suburban Building and Loan Association,
followed in 1906 by the Wyomissing Build-
ing and Savings Association, holding in both
associations the office of treasurer from
their incorporation until the present time.
The result of the enterprise of Mr. Thun
and his partner has been the wonderful de-'
velopment of Wyomissing as a residential
and manufacturing community, that in 1906
was incorporated a borough, Mr. Thun, a


prime mover in the change, being elected a
member of the first council, as was Mr.
Janssen. When the council met to organize,
Mr. Thun was elected president, an office
he yet holds.

Mr. Thun is a man of untiring energy
and qualities of leadership. He is full of
spirit of progress, is far-sighted, his initia-
tive spirit leading him to advocate and press
to successful fruition projects that to others
border on recklessness. But it is so tem-
pered with cool calculating wisdom that he
makes no serious mistakes, as the past has
proved. A tree is judged by the fruit it
bears, and the fruit of Mr. Thun's leader-
ship has been nothing but prosperity for all
who have trusted his judgment and follow-
ed his lead.

In political faith he is a Republican, and
in religious preference is connected with
the Lutheran church. He is a member of
many associations and societies, business,
social and fraternal ; has a wide circle of
friends, and is highly estemed for his manly
attributes. Mr. Thun married, in 1896,
Anna M., daughter of Louis Grebe, of
Stony Creek Mills. Children: Anna, Mar-
garet, Wilma, Hildegarde. Ferdinand (3rd),
and Louis.

JANSSEN, Henry Karl,

Iiarge Mannfactnrer.

In close association with Ferdinand Thun,
the subject of the preceding narrative, Mr.
Janssen developed the important industry.
the Textile Machine Company, and other
industries, forming the foundation of the
prosperity of the borough of Wyomissing,
and taking an active part in the upbuilding
and development of that beautiful com-
munity. His was one of the first homes
erected in the borough.

Henry Karl Janssen was born in Barmen,
Germany, February 8, 1866, his partner,
Ferdinand Thun, being born in the same
town, the same month and year. Twenty-
five years later the two men met in New

York City, and there began a friendship and
business association that yet exists.

Henry K. is a son of Albert Janssen,
born near the border of Holland, in the
lower Rhine region, in 1S34. He located in
Barmen in i860, and there was engaged in
business as a book publisher until his death
in 1878. He married Helen, daughter of
Jacob Benner, of Hesse Nassau, who bore
him six children, Henry K. being the only
member of his immediate family to come to
the United States. His brother Ernest was
a dyer in Barmen ; Johannes was a whole-
sale merchant in the same city and a mem-
ber of the city council ; Paul was a mer-
chant and hotel proprietor of Offenbach in
Hesse; and another brother, Albert (2nd)
and a sister Helen are deceased.

Henry Karl Janssen attended the Bar-
men public schools until fifteen years of age,
and then began an apprenticeship to the ma-
chinist's trade. He spent four years in this
manner, and at the age of twenty-two years
was a finished workman and entitled to all
the pay and privileges of an expert machin-
ist. To his German training and experience
he decided to add such knowledge as could
be gained in the L^nited States, and in 1888
he arrived in New York City. He obtained
employment with the Castle Braid Com-
pany, a large manufacturing concern of
Brooklyn, rising through proficiency to the
position of foreman of the machine shop.
He thoroughly understood the manufacture
of textile machinery, and when he met his
old townsman, Ferdinand Thun, superin-
tendent of another plant in the same line of
business, the two capable young men natur-
ally discussed plans for their future. To
the office and manufacturing knowledge of
his friend, Mr. Janssen could add his own
skill and practical knowledge of machine
building. The young men deciding that
combination to be desirable, formed a part-
nership, resigned their positions, and in 1892
began business very modestly at Nos. 220-
222 Cedar street, Reading. Pennsylvania.
Four years later the partners purchased



land in Wyomissing and erected a plant,
employing one hundred hands. In 1900
they incorporated as the Textile Machine
Company, with Mr. Janssen as president,
and Mr. Thun as secretary and treasurer,
positions they now occupy, their plant em-
ploying three hundred hands. Mr. Janssen
also served as vice-president of the Berk-
shire Knitting Mills and of the Narrow
Fabric Company, two prosperous industries
of Wyomissing, founded through the enter-
prise and assistance of Messrs. Janssen and

With the establishment of these large in-
dustries came increase in population, and in
1906 Wyomissing took on the dignity of an
incorporated borough, Mr. Janssen being
elected a member of the first council. His
home near the plant of the Textile Machine
Company was built in 1897, and was one
of the first dwellings to be erected in the
borough, Mr. Janssen causing it to be
erected, and ever since making it his home.
He is a member of several societies and
organizations, is a thorough man of busi-
ness, possessing all the attributes of the
level-headed, intelligent, progressive man of
affairs. He is a Republican in politics, and
in religious faith a Lutheran.

In 1890 Mr. Janssen married Minnie,
daughter of Henry Raeker, of Lippspringe,
Westphalia, Germany. Children: Harry,
Minnie, Helen and Elsie ; the latter died in

HERBST, Dr. Henry H.,

Physician, Professional Instructor and

Dr. Henry H. Herbst, late of Allentown,
for many years one of the best physicians
of the city and one of the very foremost
citizens of the community, was a worthy
descendant of a long line of distinguished
ancestors. The family for centuries past
had been seated in Altenberg, Musselwitz,
Saxony, Germany, where they were active
and prominent, the principal factors in the

growth and improvement of the sections
wherein they resided.

Dr. Frederick William Herbst, grand-
father of Dr. Henry H. Herbst and of Sen-
ator E. M. Herbst, M. D., of Oley, Berks
county, Pennsylvania, was born in Alten-
berg, Germany, February 3, 1804; died in
the year 1880. He emigrated to the United
States in 1826, after obtaining an excellent
literary education, and located in Philadel-
phia, Pennsylvania, and there under the
guidance of a prominent physician he be-
gan the study of medicine, continuing with
him until his graduation from Jefferson
Medical College. He located in the Oley
\'alley in the section now embraced in Pike
township, Berks county, and there for forty
years devoted himself to his profession.
Not only did he become a leading physician,
but he became a prominent public-spirited
citizen and one of the intellectual leaders of
his community. The last two years of his
life were spent in retirement. He was a
Democrat in politics, and in 1861 was elected
county treasurer. He married Catharine
Schall, born in Berks county, Pennsylvania,
April 20, 1799, died in 1882, daughter of
David Schall. Children: i. Captain George
S., born in 1830; became manager of the
Rockland Iron Forge, and when the Civil
War broke out was one of the first to
answer President Lincoln's call for men ;
he was mustered into service April 23, 1861,
becoming captain of Company D, Seventh
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry ; he con-
tracted sickness while in service, and after
a lingering illness passed away December
26, 1865 ; in 1854 he married Violetta
Maurer and they had one son. Dr. Edwin
M., who is now serving his third term in the
State Senate from Berks county. 2. Wil-
liam, of whom further.

Dr. William Herbst, son of Dr. Frederick
William Herbst, was born in 1833, and died
in 1880. He was reared in Berks county,
Pennsylvania, attended the schools in the
neighborhood of his home, and later attend-
ed Williston Seminary in East Hampton,



Massachusetts, remaining two years. At
the age of eighteen years he began reading
medicine with his father in Berks county,
and later took a course at the Jefferson
Medical College, Philadelphia, graduating
in 1855. He located at Trexlertown in the
spring of 1855, and there built up a large
and lucrative practice, being a foremost phy-
sician of the county until his death. He
served for thirteen years as physician at the
almshouse, filled the chair of botany at
Muhlenberg College for upwards of seven
years, and was connected with the various
local medical societies, serving as secretary
of the Lehigh County Medical Society for a
number of years. He was a Lutheran in
religion, a Democrat in politics, and a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity. He married
Elenora Schall, daughter of David and
Mary (Rupp) Schall, representatives of
families the members of which were promi-
nent in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars
of this country. Children: Henry Herbert,
of whom further ; Caroline E.

Dr. Henry Herbert Herbst, son of Dr.
William Herbst, was born in Trexlertown,
Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, May 22, 1858,
died September 23, 191 1. He pursued his
collegiate preparations at Williston Semi-
nary, and was a student at Muhlenberg Col-
lege, graduating with the degree of Bachelor
of Arts in the class of 1878, receiving the
degree of Master of Arts in due course. He
then entered the medical department of the
University of Pennsylvania, was president
of his class during the first year and class
secretary the last year, and at his graduation
in 1881 received honorable mention for a
thesis upon the subject of "Alimentation."
He was also one of the founders and first
president of the H. C. Wood Medical Soci-
ety of the University. For a year after his
graduation he was examining .surgeon for
the Pennsylvania railroad at Wilmington,
then returned to Allentown, where he was
engaged in active practice until his death.
In addition to his practice, which was both
extensive and remunerative, he served as

physician to the coroner ; was city physician
for the Poor Directors; president of the
Board of Health from 1890 to 1895. and
served on the United States Board of Pen-
sion Examiners from 1888 to 1897. He
took an active interest in the Tuberculosis
Convention held in Allentown, and was
largely responsible for the success of the
project. He served at the Allentown Hos-
pital, and was Professor of Physical Edu-
cation at Muhlenberg College for fourteen
years. He was the author of "Etiology of
Diphtheria," "Physical Education," and
"School Hygiene." He was a member of
the American Academy of Medicine, presi-
dent of the medical section of the Pennsyl-
vania State Medical Society, and a first vice-
president of the society when they met at
Allentown, president of the Muhlenberg
College Alumni Association.

Dr. Herbst was a member of the Board
of Control from the Xinth Ward for twenty
years, and served as its president for nine
years, and when he was elected first the
board was Republican by two majority. He
devoted considerable time to the interests of
the public scl-.ools, and it can be truthfully
said that he took a great pride in the up-
building of the public schools in the city of
Allentown. He was the father of medical
inspection in schools, having worked for it
for five years before it was instituted. He
was twice a Democratic candidate for the
office of mayor of .\lIentown. In 1893 he
was defeated by Hon. H. W. Allison, and
in the primary election for the same office,
June 23, 1908, he won out over Colonel S.

D. Lehr, receiving 2,402 votes and his op-
ponent 1,498. In the general election fol-
lowing he was unfortunate again, going
down to defeat, Mayor Hunsickcr winning
by 4,863 votes to 4,578. Wiien Mayor Harry
G. Stiles died in office, November 8. 1908,
the Democrats in city councils turned to
Dr. Herbst as their man for mayor and he
was named at a caucus on the fourth ballot
by twelve votes to ten for Colonel Lehr, N.

E. Worman, Hon. H. E. Crilly and H. B.



Schall had received one, two and one vote
respectively on earlier ballots. At a meet-
ing of city councils, November 17, 1908, Dr.
Herbst was elected mayor over E. M.
Young, the Republican nominee, by a vote
of twenty-two to fourteen. He adminis-
tered the affairs of office with signal ability
and credit, winning the approbation of his
colleagues and constituents. He resigned
from the Board of Control, of which he
was president, to assume the duties of this
office, and was later returned to that body.
Dr. Herbst stood high in Masonic circles,
having attained the thirty-third degree. He
was also a charter member and one of the
first board of governors of the Livingston
Club, and a member of the Clover Club.

Dr. Herbst married, in 1881, Annie A.
Frill, of Reading, Pennsylvania, who sur-
vives him. Children: i. Dr. William Fred-
erick, graduated from Allentown high
school, 1903, then entered Williston Semi-
nary, from which he graduated in 1905, then
entered the University of Pennsylvania,
graduating from the medical department in
1910, now a successful practitioner, assum-
ing charge of his father's practice. 2. Henry,
who was killed in 1908 by an automobile at
Jefferson and Hamilton streets, Allentown.

Dr. Herbst died September 23, 191 1, and
his funeral was attended by many of the
noted citizens of Allentown, also by noted
physicians from Philadelphia and other
cities of the eastern part of Pennsylvania.
The school board met in special session on
Friday evening, September 23, 191 1, and
adopted the following resolutions :

Whereas, Death has removed from our midst
Dr. H. H. Herbst, who was a member of this
board since 1S91, with a slight interim, and
served as president of the body for a number oi
years, and was intimately known by this body as
a progressive school man, ever ready to give his
time and attention to the interests of the schools.
He was a man of conviction and principle, but
ready to concede, when led to see that some
other course was preferable. Before medical
inspection of pupils was made compulsory, he
was instrumental in having it introduced in the

schools of this city, and gave his time and
attention together with statistics showing the
necessity of such a step.

To his friends he was known as eminently
loyal, ever ready to espouse their cause, if just,
and they only can appreciate the loss sustained
in the death of Dr. H. H. Herbst. Therefore, as
a mark of respect, be it

Resolved, That the members of the Board of
Control attend the funeral in a body, and that
the teachers of the city and friends of education
be requested to meet at the Administration
building and accompany them.

Resolved, That these resolutions be entered
upon the minutes of the board and published in
our city papers and an engrossed copy of the
same be presented to the family of the de-

TOWNSEND, David Cooper Ogden,

liCading Dealer in Frecioas Stones.

David Cooper Ogden Townsend, who was
for many years a leading dealer in precious
stones in the City of New York, traces his
descent to the eleventh century, in England,
and to the early part of the seventeenth cen-
tury in this country. The first ancestor of
v;hom we have record is Sir Lodovic de
Townshend, a Norman nobleman who came
to England soon after the Conquest, and
married Elizabeth de Hauteville, heiress of
Raynham, a portion of the de Hauteville
property coming to the Townsend family.
The arms are : A chevron between three
escallop shells.

Roger Townsend, of the fifth generation,
in a direct line, was a prominent lawyer, and
held many public offices. Sir Roger Town-
send, son of the preceding, also a noted
lawyer and public official, was knighted in
1545. Sir Robert Townsend, his son, had
an equally honorable career, was also a
lawyer of note, knighted by Henry VIII.,
and made lord chief justice of Chester.

Thomas Townsend, of the tenth English
generation, was the founder of the family
in this country, to which he came in 1637
with his three sons, and took the freeman's
oath at Lynn, Massachusetts, Alarch 14,
1639. His first wife had died in England,


and he married (second) Mary, a sister of
Ann, wife of John Neazati, a merchant and
selectman of Boston.

Richard Townsend, third son of Thomas
Townsend by his first marriage, resided in
Warwick, Rhode Island, 1655-58; was in
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1658, and
Oyster Bay records show that he purchased
lands at Lusum in the same year. He died
in Jericho, Long Island, about 1671. He
married (first) Deliverance, daughter of
Robert and Alary Coles, (second) Elizabeth,
daughter of John Wicks, one of the original
settlers of Warwick, Rhode Island. With
his own family and the brothers and sisters
of both his wives, he settled at Rusdorp,
Queens county, New York, subsequently
known as Jamaica.

John Townsend, eldest son of Richard
and Elizabeth (Wicks) Townsend, was
born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and re-
moved with his parents to Queens county.
Long Island, New York, his father becom-
ing an original patentee of Rusdorp, now
Jamaica. They were members of the So-
ciety of Friends, and greatly persecuted by
both the English and Dutch in New York
and notably on Long Island, and John
Townsend migrated further south and stop-
ped for a time at Leeds Point, on Great Egg
Harbor, New Jersey. He next located at
Somer's Point, temporarily leaving his fam-
ily there, and after cruising the Great Egg
Harbor river, he followed down the sea
coast about ten miles, where he found a
stream of water suitable to use as water
power for a mill, and he concluded to locate
his future residence there. He purchased
the land about three miles each way above
and below the grist mill, a sea front of six
miles. He returned to Somer's Point, where
he purchased a team of oxen and a yoke, and
he swam the oxen across the river, carrying
the yoke on his own back and driving the
oxen ahead of him. Once across he yoked
the oxen and followed an old Indian trail
to the place of his intended new home. This
was the extreme upper part of Cape May,

and there were no other white settlers
there. He built a rude house or "cabbin,"
cleared the best land of timber, and built a
grist mill upon the stream. In 1841 this
mill was still standing and in use. This mill
was built between 1660 and 1680, and was
therefore more than one hundred and sixty
years in use as a grist mill. His death oc-
curred at Cape May, New Jersey, March 5,
1721, "of quinsy while sitting in a chair."

He married (first) Phoebe .who died

at Cape May in 1705, daughter of Robert

Williams, (second) Mercy , who

probably survived him.

Richard Townsend, eldest child of John
and Phoebe (Williams) Townsend, was
born in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, in 1681,
and died at Cape May, New Jersey. May
30. ^737- Married, in 1704, Milliccnt

Isaac Townsend, youngest child of Rich-
ard and Millicent (Somers) Townsend, was
born in Cape May, July 10, 1715, died at the
same place, February 25, 1788. Married
Sarah, daughter of John Willits, in 1737.

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 53 of 58)