Morton L. (Morton Luther) Montgomery.

Historical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. online

. (page 156 of 227)
Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 156 of 227)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

these localities a good many are brought to Kempton,
Berks county, for shipment. Hence not all the po-
tatoes shipped from that station are raised in Berks
county. A good many were raised before the building
of the Berks County railroad, which was first operated
in 1874. The nearest markets then were Allentown,
Reading, Pottsville and Tamaqua. To each place the
distance is about twenty-five miles from this section,
the trip taking two nights and one day or two days and
one night. Since the railroad was built more have been
raised from year to year. The old varieties have been
supplanted by new favorites, and many have held their
reputation as good yielders. At present the Dewly, Vul-
can, State of Maine, Prince Henry, Twenty Century,
World's Wonder, National and Banner are principally
raised, and all are a round white potato, good yielders,
and also best adapted for the market.

The planting season begins about April 10th. Many
turn the sod in the fall, some in the. early spring, and
make ready to plant with the Aspinwall and other plant-
ers; the slanting tooth harrow is used, then the weeder
and cultivator. The Colorado potato bug or beetle is
very injurious to the plants and the growers must spray
them in time with Paris green or arsenic; and some
also spray for the prevention of the blight, which is
a much dreaded disease, as potatoes commence to rot
about the time when the first shipments are made in
car-load lots, which is about Sept. 1st. York State
stock is always about two weeks later, and Michigan
and other northwestern States still a few weeks later.
The shipping of potatoes is a most hazardous under-
taking. All kinds of risks are connected with it. The
rot,' the cold weather and the overstocked markets have
to be contended with. Most of the farmers have not
yet provided a good protected storage place, and have
to sell about half the stock raised before the cold weath-
er sets in, being therefore obliged to sell those out-
side the cellars and other protected places. Some three
hundred full car-loads and a number of bushels in bag
lots are shipped from the different stations in Albany
township; six hundred bushels is about the average for
a car, or about two hundred thousand bushels at an
average price of fifty cents ; the shipments amounting to

(ill) Nathan Dietrich, son of Christian, was born
in Greenwich township, July 30, 1827, and died Jan.
24, 1880. He was reared to farm life and when about
twenty-five years old began work for himself. He
lived in Montour county, Pa., for a time, working on
a farm for a man by the name of McCormick. When
he returned to Greenwich township, Berks county,
he began farming at Stein's mill, and then lived on
different farms in that locality until the spring of
1860, when he went to Albany township, and purchased
a farm, now the property of Henry Heffner, which
he sold six years later and bought the 162-acre farm
from Daniel Kunkel, that is now owned by his son.


Henry S. The barn on this farm is 114 feet long — in Virginia, from which State one Casper Dietrich,

the largest in the township, and the farm and sur- Jr.. had enlisted in the war of 1812.

roundings are kept in first-class condition. Nathan (II) John Adam Dietrich, son of Johannes the emi^
Dietrich was a Lutheran member of New Bethel grant, was born Nov. 23, 1784. in Greenwich town-
Church in which he was an official. He married ship, and died on' his farm July 23. 18R4. He was bap-
Elizabeth Stump, daughter of Samuel Stump, who now tized Dec. 12, 1784, by Rev. Heinrich Hartzel in Green-
,. ^ T^ /' c- „i,:,j,.»„ ,11 ctiii i;,,;„o- wprp wch township, and the certificate states that his spon-
hves at Kempton. Six children, all still living were ^^^^ ^^^^^^ his uncle Adam and his wife. Maria Bar-
born of this union: (1) William S now living re- ^^^^ Dietrich. This is proof conclusive that Johannes,
tired at Weatherly, Pa., owns two farms and a mil . ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^p^^ Dietrich were brothers. The line
He is married and has children— Wilson, James, Maud, ^^ Adam is fully treated of elsewhere.
Annie and Francis. (2) Catharine, widow of Moses ■[„ ^gos John Adam Dietrich married Susanna Ar-
Hein, lives at Kempton. (3) Henry S. (4) Rosetta nold, born Feb. 5, 1783. died Oct. 6, 1869, and both
m. Francis Lenhart, a farmer in Albany township, are buried immediately back of the Lenhartsville
(5) Annie m. Owen Snyder, a farmer at Steins Corner, Church, of which they were prominent members.
Lehigh county. (6) Lenius S.. a farmer in Albany They were pious people, good though strict parents,
township, m. Ellen Miller, and has three children — and "Mother" Dietrich was an excellent housekeeper,
Verna Alma and Anson. noted especially for her old-fashioned bread. She had

(IV) Henry S. Dietrich was born in Greenwich town- ffw equals as a breadmaker and her rye bread was

ship, Aug. 17, 1859. was educated in the public schools, the best that could be made. Visitors were always

f 1 I i 1 i-i u c T? f„.,_ treated to butter-bread and honey. Most farmers in

and worked at home untd he was of age. For four ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^ twenty-five beehives, and

years after he attained his majority he had charge ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ pl^^^jy ^f j^^^^y "Father" Dietrich

of the home farm, and in the spring of 1886 he began ^^^ equally noted in his way. He began farming

for himself on the homestead, near Albany postoffice. near Dreibelbis Station, and owned the tract now

This farm consists of 163 acres of excellent potato owned by a Stettler, from there moving to the farm

land, and he plants from twenty-five to thirty acres which his youngest son. Reuben A., came to own

every year. He has excellent crops, and besides this after his death. It is now the property of Reuben's

farm he owns sixty-four acres of woodland at the son, Thomas K., who is the fourth generation to own

Blue Mountains. He has his farm well stocked, and and live upon this land. This Dietrich homestead

is verj' justly proud of his horses, their equal being originally belonged to the Brobst family,

hard to find in the township. He has from fifteen to John Adam Dietrich was a carpenter by trade, and

twenty-five head of cattle all the time. did such excellent work that he was known as one

In politics Mr. Dietrich is a Democrat, and he and of the best wood-workers of his day. He built the

his family are Lutheran members of the New Bethel present barn on the place in 1836, and the house in

(Corner) Church, in Albany township. 1844. The house is of stone, and as only the best

Mr. Dietrich married Caroline Sechler, daughter of stones were used, and the masons of that day knew

Joel Sechler. late of Albany township. Five sons their work well, the walls are very substantially made,

and five daughters have blessed this union: Addie as well as workmanlike. The woodwork in the house

m. Fred Fetherolf: George; Joel; Albert, a graduate shows the same care and skill, and was done for

of the township schools, is now attending the Nor- the most part by "Father" Dietrich himself. The

mal at Kutztown; May is a graduate of the township last will and testament of this worthy man is a model

schools;, William: Maud; Ina; Frank and Helen. Mr. of its kind and shows that the spirit of a pure heart

Dietrich is a believer in the cause of education, and actuated all his deeds. It was made a few years be-

is giving his children good school advantages. fore his death, and is on record in Will Book II,

page 333. The old family Bible is well preserved,

ALFRED K. DIETRICH, late of Albany township, and is now owned by his grandson, Henry K. Dietrich,

was born Feb 7, 1854, and died Aug. 5. 1907, aged To John Adam Dietrich and his wife were born

fifty-three years, five months, twenty-eight days. He fourteen children, of whom we have the following

was a son of Reuben A. and Catharine (Kunkel) Diet- record: Maria, Dec. 29, 1803; Rebecca, Oct. 11. 1805;

rich, and a direct descendant of Johannes Dietrich. Jacob, June 27. 1807; Isaac, March 30, 1809 (died July

the first of this numerous Berks county family to 22, 1822); Elizabeth. Oct. 25, 1810; Annie. Oct. 25.

come to America. 1812; Gideon, March 30, 1814; Adam, Oct. 17. 1815

(I) Johannes Dietrich was a native of the German (died April 16. 1826); Moses. Oct. 23. 1817; Rufena,

Palatinate, and emigrated to the New World on the Nov. '20, 1819 (died Nov. 28, 1848); Catharine, Dec.

good ship "Phoenix," landing (qualifying) at Phila- 15, 1821; Reuben. Oct. 20. 1823. It will be noticed

delphia Sept 25, 1751. It appears that soon after his that six members of this family were born in the

arrival in this country he settled in Berks county, month of October. Isaac, Adam and Rufena are

Pa., where he married Barbara Braucher, of Albany buried at Dunkel's Church.

township. Johannes Dietrich died in 1785, and his (III) Reuben A. Dietrich, youngest son of John

widow. Barbara, was adminis'tratrix of the estate; she Adam and Susanna (Arnold) Dietrich, was born in

had as her sureties Christ. Braucher ana Jacob Mer- Greenwich township Oct. 20. 1823, on the John Adam

kel. Johannes and Barbara Dietrich had three children, Dietrich homestead near Klinesville, and died July

all sons, as follows: Johannes. Jacob (who is said to 31. 1889. He was a lifelong farmer, succeeding his

have settled in Schuylkill county) and John Adam, father on the home niace, which now consists of 155

One Johannes Dietrich, probably son of Johannes, acres of valuable land. He Avas prosperous, and added

born Nov. 7, 1760. in Maiden-creek township. Berks seventy acres to this tract, but this extra land was

county, located in East Buffalo township. Union Co., sold off again after his death. Mr. Dietrich was

Pa. From there he enlisted in Colonel Servant's reg- originally a Lutheran member of the Dunkel Church,

iment, Wayne's brigade, Pennsylvania Line, when but in 1S54. when the Lenhartsville Church was or-

eighteen years old. and returned at the expiration of ganized, he became one of its members, and he was

his service, in 1781. One of the sons of Reuben Diet- an official of that church until his death. He married

rich, now living in Greenwich township, recalls that Catharine Kunkel. born in 18:;4. daughter of Daniel

his father visited his uncle (Johannes) in Union coun- and Maria Magdalena (Zimmerman) Kunkel, and eight

ty, making the journey on horseback, and that tlie children were born to them: Alfred K. is mentioned

visits were returned. below; Lewis K. is a prosperous farmer in Kistler's

Johannes Dietrich, the emigrant, had brothers .'N.dam Valley, Lehigh county (he married .'Mice Howerter,

(1740-1817) and Casper, both of whom came to Ameri- and they have had five children, Valorius, William,

ca, the latter, with a man named Bollinger, settling Lizzie, Ed^ar and Norman); Ellen (deceased) was the



■wife of Alfred Greenwalt, of Bernville; Henry K., born
in 1860, a farmer near Lenhartsville, is the vice-president
of the Dietrich Family Association (he married in 1883,
Mary Seidel, and they have children, Robert, Lizzie^
Edgar, Flora, Nora, Harvey and Annie, of whom
Lizzie, a graduate of the Keystone State Normal
School, is engaged in teaching) ; Florenda married
George Kutz; Thomas K. owns and farms the home-
stead (he married Ida Komp, who died June 17, 1907,
and has a son, Ira); Charles and James both died in
childhood. The burial ground of this family is at
Lenhartsville. Mrs. Catharine (Kunkel) Dietrich now
makes her home with her son Thomas, on the old

Alfred K. Dietrich was reared to farming, and when*
twenty-one years old went to learn milling from Sol-
omon P. Dietrich, who then operated what has been
known for many years as the Dietrich mill. The
spring after his marriage Mr. Dietrich engaged in
the business for himself at Dietrich's Mill, which he
bought about 1889. and which he conducted in all
.for almost thirty years — from 1877 until -two years
before his death. This mill is located in the Stony
Run Valley in Albany township. The first mill at this
site was built by a Grim, in 1750, and the present
stone mill is at least the second, probably the third,
mill at this place. On a stone in the wall of the
south gable are the dates 1750 and 1795, the latter
being probably the date of the building of the second
mill or the repairing of the iirst one. To the mill
property belongs a fine farm of ninety-five acres,
lying in the potato belt of this section. Mr. Dietrich
raised many potatoes, planting twenty acres every
year. This property is a valuable one. the buildings
being very substantial. The larsre Swiss barn was
erected by Alfred K. Dietrich in 1891. He owned
also the old Wiesner homestead in Stony Run Valley,
a farm of 122 acres, which he bought in 1898, and
which is now tenanted by his son Irwin C, who is
an enterprising young farmer, and extensively en-
gaged in potato planting. On this farm stands a stone
house which was built in 1796, and which originally
belonged to one Samuel Miller. On a stone in the
west gable of this house is the following:

S B & H M

P E & H M


On Jan. 21, 1877, Mr. Dietrich married Louisa Mer-
kel, daughter of William D. Merkel, of Windsor, and
to them were born five children, as follows: Irwin
C, Anson W., Mary V. (married Elton J. Trexler,
of Albany, Pa., and has a son, Clinton M.), Howard
W. and Agnes C.

With his family Mr. Dietrich belonged to the Wess-
nersville Friedens Church, all being members of the
Lutheran congregation there, of which Mr. Dietrich
served as deacon. He was the third person buried in
the new cemetery of that church. In politics Mr.
Dietrich was a Democrat. He was a man much
esteemed for his devotion to his family and his duty.

DIETRICH (Line of Conrad). This branch of the
Dietrichs, so far as is known in no way related to Adam
Dietrich and his descendants, has its origin in Conrad
Dietrich, who was born in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 11, 1763.
In his young manhood he came to Berks county. Pa.,
and located in Hereford township. He was married
there, and in 1790 the Federal Census Report records
him the head of a family consisting of four persons,
himself and wife and two daughters. Their seven other
children were born after 1790. About 1795 he and his fam-
ily came to Reading, and there he passed the remainder
of his life. He owned considerable property, and was
regarded as a fairly well-to-do man. His wife was
Elizabeth Seisholtz of Longswamp township, Berks
county, born March 3, 1769, died Sept. 22, 1837, aged
sixty-eight years, six months and nineteen days. Con-

rad Dietrich died Dec. 18, 1841, aged seventy-eight years,
eleven months, seven days. They are both buried in the
western part of the Aulenbach cemetery. The tomb-
stone inscription states that they were the parents of
nine children — four sons arid five daughters. The names
of four children only could be ascertained as follows:
(1) George settled in the vicinity of Scranton, Catawis-
sa or Tamaqua, Pa., where he manufactured bricks. He
was born Aug. 4, 1813, was married, and had a number
of children. '(2) Jacob is mentioned below. _ (3) Susan
married Henry Fry of Reading. (4) Conrad is mention-
ed below.

(II) Jacob Dietrich, son of Conrad, was born in
Reading, and he made his home on Tenth street, south
of Cherry. He was a laborer, and fot many years was
the grave digger for Trinity Lutheran Church,, at Sixth
and Washington streets, and there he, too, was laid to
rest, but later his body with others was removed to the
Lutheran cemetery. He married Abbey Dieter, and to
this union were born three sons and five daughters,
namely: (1) Savannah m. Amos Giley, of Reading. (2)
Conrad m. Hannah Geeze of Allentown. (3) Jacob m.
in Schuylkill county, where he had settled and reared
a family. He had a son, Al. Dietrich. (4) Catharine m.
Fred Ulrich Hains. (5) Susan (born in Reading Dec.
5, 1835) resides in Reading. She m. Charles Houck, a
native of Germany, who was a saddler in Reading.
They had children: Hattie, Mary (deceased), Rosa and
Katie (who are both deaf mutes), and Elizabeth. (6)
Isaac (born at Reading in 1837) settled when about
twenty-five years old in Drehersville, Schuylkill county,
where he married Deborah Hollenbach. Their son,
William H.. born Sept. 18, 1853. at Temple, Berks
county, died March 9, 1909, at Reading, and is buried
at Alsace Lutheran Church. He was a laborer. He was
twice married, first, April 27, 1875, to Emma Kissinger,
who bore him four children — Irwin W.. George A.,
Katie D. and Sallie M.; and (second) to Hannah D.
Sell, by whom he had children — Bertha E., Edward H..
Carrie L., Gertie E., Deborah A., William H. and Christ-
ian R._ (7) Mary died young. (8) Abbey m. in Phil-
adelphia where she lived and died.

(II) Conrad Dietrich, son of Conrad, was born at
the big dam at Reading, July 36, 1798, and was confirmed
in the Lutheran faith. He was a paper manufacturer
in Snyder county for many years, but his plant was
destroyed by fire in 1840. In later life he moved back
to Reading, where he died Feb. 12, 1861, aged sixty-
two years, six months, sixteen days, and was buried in
Aulenbach cemetery, by the side of his father. He
was twice married, and by his first marriage had three
children: (1) Henry left the parental home when twen-
ty-two years of age, while the father lived in Snyder
county, and his whereabouts were unknown for twenty
years, when one afternoon, to the surprise of all, he
came home only to remain one night and to leave with-
out telling any one where he had lived or where he was
going. _ It was afterward learned that he was comfort-
ably situated in, Wilmington, Del., and in later years
he paid annual visits to his brother, William H., in
Reading. By his first wife he had a son. Reuben, who
lived at Mechanicsburg, in Cumberland county. Pa. (2)
Mary m. Hon. Reuben Keller, a State senator from 1S59
to 1862. (3) Adam.

Conrad Dietrich was married (second) Oct. 9, 1836
to Martha (Moyer) Spohn, widow of . Jacob Spohn, of
Sprmg township. She was born Jan. 13. 1805. and died
in 1889, aged eighty-four years, daughter of Jonathan
Moyer. In the old Spohn Bible the following children
are credited to the marriage of Conrad and Martha
Dietrich: Amelia, born Dec. 17, 1837; Conrad, born Feb
9, 1839; William H.. born Oct. 29. 1840; Rebecca born

^?^TT^ ^Ml' '^'^'^ ^T?""-^*' ^^^^ ('"■ J°l^" L. Horaan).

(III) William H. Dietrich, Sr., son of Conrad,
was born in Snyder county. Pa.. Oct. 29, 1S40 When
a young man he came to Reading with his parents and
here he learned the art of photography with S. B. How-
ard, who after the business had been thoroughly mas-



tered, admitted him as a partner, under tJie firm name
of Howard & Dietrich. Some years afterward Mr.
Howard retired from business, and Mr. Dietrich formed
a partnership with Mr. Patton, under the firm name of
Dietrich & Patton, and for twenty years they conducted
a successful business at the corner of Seventh and
Penn. streets, where Rosenbaum's hall now stands.
Later Mr. Dietrich conducted a grocery store at the
corner of Ninth and Robeson streets. Since 1895 he has
been the proprietor of the "Veteran Hotel" of Reading,
located at the northeast corner of Seventh and Chestnut
streets. In 1860 he married Hannah Brobst, of Read-
ing, who died Oct. 17, 1900, after a married life ofmore
than forty years. She' is buried in the Dietrich family lot
in Aulenbach's cemetery. Seven children were born to
this union: (1) Martha m. George Snyder, of Reading,
and has children — Howard, Chester, George, Bert. Mar-
tha, Clara and Hannah. (2) Emma died in infancy. (3)
Emma (2) m. Elmer Stott, of Reading, and their child-
ren are Eugene, Bessie, Harry, Frank and Wallace, (4)
William H., Jr., is mentioned below. (5) Annie died
unmarried aged twenty-one years. (6) George P.
(born at Reading, Dec. 6, 1869) is associated with his
father in the management of the "Veteran Hotel." In
1907 he was the Republican nominee for the office of
high sheriff, and received the highest vote ever given
a Republican candidate for that office. He m. Annie
Jenkins of Pottsville. (7) Clara married James Yost, a
farmer of Spring township, whose record appears in
these volumes.

(IV) William H. Dietrich. Jr., son of William H. Sr.,
and proprietor of the "Muhlenberg Mansion" at No.
1057 North Ninth street. Reading, was born at No. 145
Mulberry street, Reading. His early education was ob-
tained in the public schools of the city, and after leav-
ing school he was employed at Mohn's hat factory for
two years. He then worked for Augustus Hassler in
the restaurant at No. 503 Penn street, where he re-
mained a number of years. He was next manager for
William H. Reist's cafe, Mr. Reist being proprietor of
the "Hotel Penn." There he continued until 1893,
when he assumed the proprietorship of the "Hyde
Park" Hotel, in Muhlenberg township, which he con-
ducted with great success for two and one-half years.
In October. 1895, he took charge of the Reading "Fair
Ground Hotel," which he carried on until April 1, 1899,
%vhen he assumed control of his present stand, where
he enjoys a large patronage. He is a successful hotel
man, genial and popular with his guests, and has many
warm friends in Reading.

Mr. Dietrich is connected with a number of social and
fraternal organizations, among them being: B. P. O. E.
Lodge No. 115. Reading; Reading Aerie, No. 66, F. O.
E.; K. G. E. Castle No, 391, of Hyde Park; Neversink
Fishing Club; Junior Fire Company; Juniata County
Fishing Club; Old Bachelors' Club; Marion Fire Com-
pany. In his religious faith he is a believer in the
doctrines of the Reformed Church.'

On March 12, 1891. Mr, Dietrich married Miss Annie
Leitheiser (born Feb. 5. 1869. died April 11, 1906, aged
thirty-seven years, two months, six days), and they
had one son Wilson F. (born Sept. 8, 1893).

REV. GEORGE BORNEMANN, the only priest of St.
Paul's Roman Catholic Church for a continuous period pi
forty-two years, and most affectionately recognized and
spoken of in the community as "Father Bornemann," was
born at Lingen, in the province of Hanover, Germany, Oct.
5, 1838, He is the son of William Bornemann, a rope-
maker, who died at Reading in 1884, aged eighty-two years,
and Louisa Rolfs, his wife, who died while he was still a
young boy. He emigrated to the United States when fifteen
years of age, his father following some years afterward.
He was specially educated for the priesthood in Germany
and the United States, g:raduating from St. Vincent's Col-
lege at Latrobe, Pa., in 1862. and then extended his

ecclesiastical studies at St. Charles Seminary, in Phila-
delphia. He was regularly ordained as a priest in 1865 by
Bishop (afterward Archbishop) Wood. After serving as
assistant priest at Philadelphia for a year, and as priest
at Newcastle, Del., for the same period, he became pastor
at St. Paul's Church in Reading in 1867, and this large and
growing parish he has served most devotedly and success-
fully for forty-two continuous years, a truly remarkable
period. His communicant members have come to number
three thousand. During bis ministrations the church
property at Ninth and Walnut streets, for religious, edu-
cational and charitable purposes, has become the largest at
Readings evidencing in a high degree his superior judg-
ment and executive ability.

Besides being directly interested in the success of his
own parish. Father Bornemann has been very active in the
establishment of other institutions immediately connected
with the Roman Catholic denomination: St. Joseph's
Hospital; House of the Good Shepherd; St. Catharme's
Orphan Asylum for Girls; St. Paul's Orphan Asylum
for Boys; the Polish, Italian and Slavic Roman Catholic
Churches; St. Bernardino's Convent and Asylum, Oak
Brook; and Gethsemane Roman Catholic Cemetery; all
of which are successfully administered.

GEORGE HENDEL, hat manufacturer at Reading
for over thirty-five years, was born in 1835, at Adams-
town, Lancaster Co., Pa., where he received his educa-
tion in the local public schools and then learned the
hatter's trade in his father's factory. He continued
in his father's employ until 1860, when the latter
formed a co-partnership with him and his brother
John, and they traded together under the name of
Levi Hendel & Sons for four years. The partnership
was then dissolved, and he and his brother John located
at St. Lawrence, in Berks county, and there they car-

Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 156 of 227)