Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 2: pp. 19-38.

Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Joe Patterson and Susan Walters.

USGENWEB ARCHIVES NOTICE: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal representative of the submitter, and contact the listed USGenWeb archivist with proof of this consent. The submitter has given permission to the USGenWeb Archives to store the file permanently for free access.



(page 19 cont.)

SAMUEL K. ANDERS, President of the People's National Bank of Norristown, is a descendant of Balthasar Anders and his wife, Anna Hoffrichter, who came in 1734 to Pennsylvania with one child, George, born in 1733, in Germany. The couple had two more children born in this country; Anna, born April 8, 1736; Abraham, born April 1739. Balthasar Anders (great-great-grandfather) was by trade a shoemaker, and lived in Towamencin township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, upon the property now owned by George Anders, and there followed his trade until his death, which occurred May 25, 1754, aged fifty-six years. His wife died March 29, 1784, aged eighty-three years and nine months. His mother, who came with him to this country, was buried September 30, 1734, in Philadelphia, eight days after their arrival.

Abraham Anders (great-grandfather), son of Balthasar Anders, married Susanna, daughter of Melchior Kriebel, November 25, 1765. Their children were: Benjamin, born November 30, 1766; Rosanna, born July 1, 1769, died December 24, 1853; Abraham, born June 2, 1774; Anna, born April 13, 1780. Susanna, wife of Abraham Anders, died March 28, 1813, aged seventy-three years, five months. Abraham Anders died April 19, 1819, aged eighty years, six days.

Abraham Anders (grandfather), son of Abraham Anders, married Susanna, daughter of Abraham Dresher, November 25, 1802. Their children were: George, born November 19, 1803; Lydia, born July 6, 1805; Abraham, born September 2, 1807; Anna, born October 24, 1809; Samuel, born March 28, 1812; Susanna, born October 2, 1815; and Sarah, born August 8, 1820. Susanna, wife of Abraham Anders, died October 26, 1831, aged fifty years, three months.

Abraham Anders died August 2, 1852, aged seventy-eight years, two months. He lived in Worcester township on a farm which he owned. George Anders (father), son of Abraham Anders, married Susanna, daughter of Samuel Kriebel, October 27, 1825. Their children were: Sarah, born June 3, 1828, died September 3, 1828; Elizabeth, born May 15, 1830; Abraham K., born October 1833; Rosanna, born October 16, 1836, died same day; Samuel K., born October 10, 1838; William K., born June 12, 1841; Daniel K., born September 19, 1846. Susanna, wife of George Anders, died May 21, 1857. George Anders died January 23, 1876.

Balthasar Anders and his wife and the successive generations of the family which have been mentioned were members of the religious body known as Schwenkfelders, who were so called from Caspar Schwenkfelder, a Silesian nobleman, born in 1490, who, having become imbued with the principles and doctrines proclaimed by John Huss, renounced the Catholic church to become an evangelist, and for thirty-six years, with voice and pen, exhorted men to repentance and godliness. He denied that the external word that is, the scriptures, is endowed with the power of healing, renewing and illuminating the mind, but ascribed this power to the internal or eternal word, that is Christ himself. He differed with Luther and, cut off from fellowship with the Lutherans, he and his followers were persecuted by the Catholics. He died at Ulm, December 10, 1562. The Schwenkfelders after his death increased and maintained their faith and worship in the Fatherland for nearly two hundred years.

(page 20)

About 1725 persecution which had almost ceased for a time, was renewed with great fury, and this unhappy people were given the choice of apostasy, continued endurance or flight from the country. The exodus commenced in February, 1726. One hundred and seventy families fled to Saxony, where they were hospitably received and treated with much consideration by Count Zinzendorf and others. They remained eight years, but in 1733 they were informed that they would be tolerated no longer in Lusatia, where they had settled, an application having been made for their return to Silesia. Two families emigrated to Pennsylvania, arriving at Philadelphia September 18, 1733, and sent such a good report of the country that the whole band determined to follow them. They set out for Altona in Denmark in April, 1734, where they arrived May 17, and on the 28th embarked on three small vessels for Harlem, arriving there June 6, thence proceeded June 19 to Rotterdam, embarking for Pennsylvania on an English ship, the "St. Andrew," touching at Plymouth, England, and arriving at Philadelphia on September 22, 1734. The' spent the 24th in thanksgiving to God for delivering them out of the hands of their persecutors, for raising up friends in the time of greatest need, and for leading them into a land of freedom where they might worship without being molested by civil or ecclesiastical power. That day, September 24, has been so observed ever since. They settled in the neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, and in Burks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties, the greater number in what is now Montgomery.

Samuel K. Anders was educated in the public schools of Norriton, and on reaching manhood engaged in agricultural pursuits on his own account, following that occupation for twenty years. In 1888 he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners on the Republican ticket, having previously served as school director and in other minor positions. As a county commissioner, he was faithful, vigilant, and earnestly devoted to the public interests; many improvements in the court house, rebuilding the county prison and other public institutions having been brought about largely through his instrumentality. He is the only person who ever served in that position in Montgomery county for so long a period. In the discharge of his official duties he displayed the same integrity, ability and good judgment that that have characterized him in all business, public and private. On the death of Abraham A. Yeakle, president of the People's National Bank of Norristown, in 1888, he became his successor, and has held the position by successive re-election ever since, the success of the institution having been largely due to his careful and conservative management.

In 1866 Mr. Anders married Mary A. Heebner, the daughter of the late David S. Heebner, of Lansdale. They had four children, two of whom died in infancy; another, A. Laura, died at the age of sixteen years; the only one now living being George H. Anders, who served for a number of years as deputy in the county treasurer's office. Mrs. Mary A. Anders died September 16, 1881. Samuel K. Anders is a man of pleasing personality, his manners being affable, his natural kindness of heart being tempered by a practical good sense and keen insight of human nature. As a politician, a financier, a business man and a citizen, he has been eminently successful and is universally esteemed.

George H. Anders, son of Samuel K. Anders, attended the neighboring school in Norriton township, and, for a time, the Norristown high school. He was engaged in farming in Norriton until his removal to Norristown. In politics he is, like his father, an active Republican, and served for some years in Norriton township as a school director, besides occasionally filling minor township offices. He was frequently a delegate to county conventions. He married Eveline, daughter of Nathan and Martha J. Schultz, of Norristown. The father, for many years proprietor of a hotel at Marshall and DeKalb streets, Norristown, has been deceased some years. Mrs. Eveline Anders was born July 19, 1862. She was married January 16, 1883. Their children, all born in Norriton township: Laura S., born October 23, 1884; Stanley S., born October 12, 1886; Rebecca, born February 8, 1889, died April 25, 1890; Samuel K., Jr., born September 25, 1891.

(page 21)

George H. Anders served six years as deputy County treasurer during the terms of Abraham C. Godshall, of Lansdale, and Henry W. Hallowell, of Bethayres. On the death of ex-Judge Charles H. Stinson, Samuel K. Anders became a member of the board of trustees of the Norristown Hospital for the Insane, a position which he still holds. On the death of David Schall, he was appointed a member of the board of directors of the Montgomery county prison, which also he still holds.


(Picture of A. H. Baker)


ANDREW H. BAKER, son of Benjamin and Mary A. Baker, was born March 21, 1836, at Eagleville, Lower Providence township, Montgomery county. His father lived most of his later years on the Germantown Pike, near its intersection with the present Stony Creek Railroad, where he died in 1885 at the age of seventy-seven years. His wife survived him some years. The children of Benjamin and Mary A. Baker were: Arnold, married Lucy Von Nieda, and lives in Norristown; Andrew H. Baker; Martha H., married William S. Finney, and removed to Kansas, where they have children; Elizabeth, married Samuel Rittenhouse, of Norriton, who also has several children; Cornelia G., wife of John C., son of Andrew Morgan, of Worcester, who died two weeks after her father; Hannah M., married Mark R., son of Alexander Supplee, first lieutenant of Captain Pechin's company during the war of the rebellion. Andrew H. Baker, was educated in the district schools and at Treemont and Freeland seminaries, and in his eighteenth year took charge of the public school at Washington Square, where he taught for some time. He afterwards taught the school at Centre Square until 1861, for a period of six years, when he removed to Norristown, and was appointed clerk to the county commissioners. He held the clerkship for twelve years, evincing not only ability in clerical duties, but also public spirit, and in the absence of the county treasurer he frequently filled the latter's place as assistant deputy treasurer. He was also clerk of the military relief board during the war, and clerk of the board of jury commissioners during the first five years of the establishment of said board. He studied surveying for a time with Elijah W. Beans, and practised some. Mr. Baker was a member of the Norristown school board for about ten years and was secretary thereof until he left Norristown. On the organization of the First National Bank of Conshohocken, in 1873, Mr. Baker was elected teller, which place he filled two years, until the founding of Jenkintown National Bank, 1875, when he was chosen cashier, which position he has now filled twenty-seven years. He was president of the Jenkintown school board for three terms. He has also been treasurer of the Jenkintown Building Association since its organization, member of the board of trustees for the state in behalf of Montgomery county of the State Normal School at West Chester; a member of the board of directors of the Cheltenham and Willow Grove turnpike company, and of the Abington Library for several years; is one of the managers of the Jenkintown Reading Room, and was for many years a choir leader and superintendent at St. John's church and Burr's Meeting house, and president of the board of health since its organization in 1893.

In December 1857, Mr. Baker married Matilda L., daughter of William Barton, of Norriton. They had one son, Frank H. Baker, born September 10, 1858, who studied law in the office of B. E. Chain, and was admitted to the bar. He has filled many clerical and other positions, including executorships and other offices of trust and responsibility. He was for some time United States mail agent between New York City and Pittsburg. Mrs. Matilda Baker died in 1860 of typhoid fever. October 6, 1864 Andrew H. Baker married Emily J. McGonigle, principal of one of the Philadelphia public schools. They had two children, Walter C. and May A., both of whom died in childhood. An adopted daughter, Alice G., died several years ago at the age of twenty-three years. Emily J. (McGonigle) Baker died January 13, 1904.

(page 22)

Frank H. Baker is now employed at Broad Street station of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Sarah T. Yost, of Norrisonville, who died about 1895, leaving one child, Andrew A. Baker. He married (second wife) Mrs. Anna L. Leipheimer, widow of Richard Leipheimer, who died October 27, 1901. They are living on Noble street, Norristown. Arnold Baker (grandfather) kept the Barley Sheaf hotel on Germantown Pike, where is now Hartranft Station. In a barn which once stood on this property, the first court in Montgomery county was held in 1784. It has not been occupied for thirty years or more as a hotel.

In early life while teaching at Centre Square, Andrew H. Baker became a member of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church, near Belfry. On removing to Norristown he transferred his membership to the Lutheran Church of the Trinity on DeKalb street. After removing to Jenkintown he became a member of Abington Presbyterian church, the oldest organization of that denomination in that section of Pennsylvania. When Grace Memorial Presbyterian church at Jenkintown was founded, he became a member there, and has long been an elder and trustee. Mr. Baker is a man who stands very high in the community in which he lives, his long and honorable career inspiring the highest confidence in all with whom he comes in contact. In every relation of life he is an example to those around him, his sound judgment and keen sense of justice causing his opinions to have much weight with those who know him.



J. ELLWOOD LEE. One of the most important industrial enterprises of Montgomery county and at the same time one of the youngest is the plant of the J. Ellwood Lee Company at Conshohocken. This business was established by J. Ellwood Lee, who was born in Conshohocken in 1860. He is the oldest son of Bradford Adams Lee, who has been a resident of Conshohocken for more than a half century, and Sarah A. (Raysor) Lee, also a resident of the same town. Through his paternal grandmother, Mr. Lee is connected with the family of Presidents John Adams and John Quiney Adams, and through his paternal grandfather with the New Jersey and Virginia branches of the Lee family. E. Bradford Adams Lee, father of J. Ellwood Lee, was born in New Castle county, in the state of Delaware, October 29, 1838. He is a son of Thomas and Ann N. (Adams) Lee. Ann Nottingham (Adams) Lee, grandmother, was a daughter of Edmund and Jane Adams. Her father, Edmund Adams, was born May 20, 1769. His wife Jane, whom he married June 14, 1792, was born September 2, 1772. Their children were: James, born December I, 1793; Elizabeth, born October 21, 1794; Mary, born March 24, 1797; Rebecca, born December 23, 1800; Jonathan, born July 26, 1803; Elisha, born November 26, 1805; Ann Nottingham Adams, who was the mother of Elisha Bradford Adams Lee, born February 16, 1808. Jane Adams died February 16, 1845. Her husband died January 28, 1817. Elisha Bradford Adams Lee, father of Mr. Lee, came to Pennsylvania at the age of four years, his parents removing from Delaware in 1842 and establishing a home in Conshohocken. There he had but limited educational advantages, being employed from the age of eleven years in earning his own livelihood. For more than thirty-five years he was engaged in the rolling mills of J. Wood and Brother. For a time he entered into mercantile business. Later he became interested in business with his son, and he has been employed with the J. Ellwood Lee Company in various responsible positions. Mr. Lee married July 3, 1859, at Conshohocken, Miss Sarah A. Raysor. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Culp) Raysor, and was born March 8, 1841. Their children: John Ellwood, subject of this sketch; Conard Berk, born April 23, 1862, who married, October 12, 1887, Anna May Hendren, and died May 8, 1897, leaving no children; Mary Elizabeth, born January 20, 1865, married June 14, 1899, William Cleaver; Maria B., born August 1, 1870; Harry Adams, born November 3, 1879. Mrs. Bradford Lee died July 8, 1886. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a woman whose consistent life and many Christian qualities endeared her to her family and friends.

(page 23)

Thomas Lee, grandfather, was born in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, in 1799. He married, June 11, 1829, Ann Nottingham Adams. Their children were as follows: Edmund Adams, born April 23, 1830; William, born October 21, 1831; Daniel W. Coxe, born February 12, 1834; Mary Jane, born July 5, 1836; Elisha B. Adams, father of J. Ellwood Lee. Mrs. Thomas Lee died October 24, 1844. Thomas Lee married a second wife, who was Rebecca N. Adams, a sister of his first wife. There were no children by the second marriage. Mrs. Rebecca Lee died July 18, 1848, and Mr. Lee married a third time, September 8, 1849, Sarah Logue. By this marriage there was one daughter, Elizabeth Lee. The mother died July 29, 1854, her husband having died eight days previously, both being victims of cholera, which was then raging at Conshohocken. J. Ellwood Lee was born November 15, 1860. He received his education at the Conshohocken High School, being a graduate of the class of 1879. Immediately after his graduation he entered the surgical instrument business in Philadelphia, with William Snowden, remaining with him for nearly five years. On April 12, 1882, he married Miss Jennie W. Cleaver, youngest daughter of Mrs. A. J. Cleaver. In November, 1883, Mr. Lee broke off his connections with Mr. Snowden in the Philadelphia business, and branched out for himself, starting in the attic of his home in Conshohocken, to make bandages, ligatures, and a few like surgical necessities. From this small beginning sprang the present great industrial enterprise of which Mr. Lee is now general manager and treasurer. The goods which are manufactured by this company are known throughout the entire civilized world. The capital originally invested by Mr. Lee in starting the enterprise was $29.85 (the company still owns the book in which this original entry was made), and the capital now employed to carry on the business is nearly a million of dollars. The annual sales now amount to more than the sum named, showing what can be done from a small beginning. The superior quality of the products of the J. Ellwood Lee Company has created a wide demand for them. Soon after beginning the work in which it is now so extensively engaged, Mr. Lee erected a two-story shop, and fitted it with the appliances needed for the business.

In 1887 a three-story mill of stone was erected, much larger than the older structure. In 1888 the rapidly expanding business requiring still more complete arrangements for its operations, Mr. Lee formed the J. Ellwood Lee Company, with a capital of $75,000, which has been increased from time to time as necessity required, until it has reached the figures already mentioned. The company owns many valuable patents, a large number of them the product of Mr. Lee's inventive genius, he being one who can very readily adapt the means at hand to the end required. He has been uniformly successful in meeting the needs of surgeons in any particular direction required, constructing the article desired in such a manner that it is the best possible for the purpose for which it is to be employed. The perforated metallic splint is an illustration of this adaptation of means to ends. It has superseded almost emirely the old, ill-contrived wooden splint, being light, flexible and easily kept in place. One secret of the remarkable success which Mr. Lee has achieved is his ability to meet any and all emergencies that are likely to arise in connection with the science of modern surgery. Besides surgical instruments, the establishment manufactures also antiseptic preparations of all kinds and many appliances coming more properly under the head of surgical supplies for the use of hospitals, surgeons and the medical profession generally. The establishment has agencies in all the large cities of this country, in fact in all large cities throughout the world. Mr. Lee owes his success in life to his inventive genius, his persistency in his undertakings, and his capacity for business. The management of an establishment like the J. Ellwood Lee Company is a task that demands executive ability of a high order. He directs the operations that are in progress with consummate skill, and is thoroughly at home in all the details of a business which he has built up from the small beginning already mentioned, until now it is one of the largest and most flourishing of its kind in the world.

(page 24)

Mrs. J. Ellwood Lee is the daughter of Jonathan and Anna J. (Wood) Cleaver. She was born October 8, 1860. Their children: Mary Cleaver, born July 29, 1884, died February 7, 1893; Elsie, born January 19, 1888; J. Ellwood, Jr., born August 13, 1891; Herbert B., born June 11, 1900, and died February II, 1902. Mr. and Mrs. Lee, with their two surviving children, reside in Conshohocken. Mr. Lee has been a member of the town council since 1898. He was chosen by acclamation a delegate to the national Republican convention for the renomination of President Roosevelt. Mr. Lee is a member of Calvary Protestant Episcopal church, Conshohocken, having been a vestryman since 1888. He is also a member of the Penn Club, and of the Pencoyd Club, of Wissahickon. He is of a very social temperament and fond of athletic sports. As a Republican Mr. Lee has a deep interest in the success of the candidates and principles of the party. He has not sought or held office, aside from what has been mentioned, his business absorbing his attention to the exclusion of such matters. He is always alert to the interests of Conshohocken, and ever ready to do what he can to promote the welfare of the community of which he is an honored member.


(Picture of H. M. Brownback)


HENRY MARCH BROWNBACK, postmaster of Norristown and ex-district attorney of Montgomery county, is one of the best known of the younger members of the Norristown bar. He is the youngest son of James and Ellen (March) Brownback, and was born in West Vincent township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, December 17, 1860. The Brownback family, German in origin, has many branches in eastern Pennsylvania, and its members are influential in their different communities.

The immigrant was Gerhard Brumback (anglicized into Garrett Brownback), who sailed from Amsterdam in the ship Concord in 1683, landing at Philadelphia. Garrett Brownback settled first at Germantown, and removed later to Chester county, where he became a large landholder and the first hotel-keeper in his section. He was the founder of the Brownback Reformed church, still in existence. He lived to the age of ninety-six years, dying about 1757. He married Mary Pepen, youngest daughter of Howard Pepen, whose wife was Mary Rittenhouse. The couple had two sons: Benjamin and Henry, and four daughters. Benjamin Brownback married Mary Paul and had three sons: Henry, John and Edward. Henry married Magdalena Paul, and had five children: John, Peter, Benjamin, Annie and Susan. Many of the descendants of Garrett Brownback are useful citizens, filling positions of honor and trust in different sections of the state.

One of the great-grandsons of Garrett Brownback was William Brownback (grandfather), a native of Chester county, who became a successful farmer. His wife was Eliza Wilson. She died in 1840 aged thirty-two years, leaving a family of four children; her husband survived her for half a century, dying July 29, 1890, at the age of eighty-four years. He was an exemplary citizen, and a life-long member of the Reformed church, participating actively in its affairs. One of his sons was James Brownback (father), who was born March 4, 1833, in Chester county. After obtaining his education, he began life as a farmer, pursuing that occupation successfully. He sold out his other interests in 1865, and engaged in business as an iron founder, at Linfield, this county, where he still resides, although his firm, the March-Brownback Company, removed to Pottstown in 1891, he being its president and its business being prosperous. Mr. Brownback is also interested in other enterprises in that vicinity. In 1857 he married Ellen March, at Lawrenceville, Chester county. The couple had three children, Ada F., died November 13, 1899, wife of Henry G. Kulp, Pottstown; William M., married Annie Yocum, of Bryn Mawr, where the family reside; and Henry M. Brownback, of Norristown. Henry M. Brownback became a resident of Montgomery county when his parents removed from Chester county to Linfield.

(Page 25)

He was then but seven years of age. He attended private schools, and Ursinus College. Subsequently, he studied law in the office of his uncle, Franklin March, then in active practice at Norristown as a member of the Montgomery county bar. Having passed a most creditable examination, he was admitted to the bar December 4, 1882, beginning immediately the practice of his profession, in partnership with Mr. March, the firm being March and Brownback. This arrangement continued in force successfully until January 1, 1903, when it was dissolved, Mr. Brownback continuing, however, to devote himself to the practice of law. He became the nominee of the Republican party for the position of district attorney in 1889, and was elected to the position in November of that year, serving the term of three years with credit to himself, and with fidelity to the interests of the public. He has filled the position of solictor for several county officials, from time to time, and has achieved exceptional success as a lawyer. July 2, 1890, Mr. Brownback married Miss Augustine Marguerite Lowe, a daughter of Prof. T.S. C. Lowe, then a resident of Norristown but more recently of Pasadena, California, who has been largely interested in railway construction and other important business enterprises, and is the owner of many valuable inventions. Mr. and Mrs.

Brownback have two sons, Henry Lowe and Russell James. Early in July 1899, Mr. Brownback was appointed postmaster at Norristown by President McKinley. In January 1903, his term of four years having expired, he was re-appointed by President Roosevelt to the position. As postmaster Mr. Brownback has been faithful, energetic and progressive, always desiring to promote in every possible way the convenience and accommodation of the public. Under his supervision free rural delivery has been instituted, the routes which branch out from Norristown extending to various sections of the county. During his administration, also, the movement for a public building in Norristown was carried to a successful conclusion. Courteous, obliging and faithful in the discharge of his duties, Mr. Brownback is a model official.


GENERAL WILLIAM M. MINTZER, the son of Henry and Rebecca (Bechtel) Mintzer, was born in Chester county, June 7, 1837. He was one of nine children, five of whom are now living, as follows: General William M.; Elizabeth, wife of John F. Reeser, of New Ringgold, Pennsylvania; Rebecca, wife of Chaney Townsend, of Philadelphia; Warren, of Pottstown, and Sallie, wife of Clayton Gulp, of Philadelphia; Joseph died in Philadelphia.

Henry Mintzer (father) lived all of his life on a farm which was a part of the present site of the borough of Pottstown. He was postmaster in Pottstown during Lincoln's administration and was a school director. His wife was Rebecca Bechtel, who died in 1896, aged eighty-six years. He died in 1883, aged seventy years. His wife was a member of the Lutheran church.

William Mintzer (grandfather) was of German descent, hut was born in Pennsylvania. He operated a line of stages between Pottstown and Philadelphia and also conducted a general store in Pottstown. He was a member of the school board and borough council and took an active interest in the affairs of the borough. His wife was Sarah Missimer, and they had a family of nine children. He died at the age of fifty-six years. Peter Bechtel (maternal grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania of German descent. He owned a large farm and was the proprietor of a prominent hotel in Pottstown for a number of years. His wife was Catharine. He died at an advanced age. General William M. Mintzer has lived in Pottstown nearly all his life. He attended the district schools and was a student for one term in the Hill school. He began learning the machinist trade at the age of nineteen and spent four years in this way. During the last six months of that time he was a member of the Madison Guards, a militia company of Pottstown, and when Fort Sumter was fired on by the Confederate forces, he dropped the hammer and chisel and immediately left the machine shop.

(page 26)

Upon receipt of telegraphic orders sent by Colonel John Frederic Hartranft to Captain Strough, the commander of the company, to prepare for going to the front, Mr. Mintzer immediately went to the armory and arranged to recruit a company. He headed that enlistment roll, being the first man to enlist in the borough of Pottstown after the firing upon Fort Sumter. Captain Strough, by the advice of his family physician, tendered his resignation on Wednesday night and D. Webster Davis was elected captain, but owing to the severe illness of his wife, was obliged to resign. On Thursday morning, immediately after the resignation of Captain Davis, Mr. Mintzer suggested the name .f John R. Brooke, formerly major-general in the regular army and now retired, as the proper person to command the company, and he was elected captain that same evening. At that same meeting, owing to the activity and interest of Mr. Mintzer n recruiting the company, he was elected by the company to the office of third lieutenant, an office not recognized in military affairs at that time, and was presented with a sword and sash by the citizens of Pottstown, as were also the other officers of the company. After the sword presentation that morning the company took the train and went to Harrisburg. Arriving at Harrisburg, the office of third lieutenant was not recognized and Mr. Mintzer shouldered a musket and vent into the ranks as a private soldier. Soon afterwards he was appointed quartermaster sergeant on Colonel Hartranft's noncommissioned staff and served in that capacity until the expiration of the three month's service. The company was then reorganized under President Lincoln's call for three hundred thousand men, of which Quartermaster Mintzer was made first lieutenant. He served as first lieutenant from September 18, 1861, until June 2, 1862, when he was promoted to Captain of Company A, and promoted to lieutenant-colonel September 29, 1864: to colonel, October 30, 1864; and to brevet brigadier-general, March 13, 1865.

After the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, General Mintzer was detailed as provost marshal of the First Division, Second Army Corps, then commanded by General Winfield Scott Hancock, and had three companies of the regiment, A. B. and K., with him on duty and at headquarters. When General Hancock took the command of the corps, Captain Mintzer vent with him and served with him until April 1864, when he returned to his regiment and was in all the movements of Grant's first campaign through the Wilderness, and was in every other engagement from that time to the close of the war. He was in command of the picket line of his regiment when Lee surrendered at Appomattox, on the morning of April 9, 1865. General Mintzer was a brave soldier and few men among the thousands who enlisted from Pennsylvania saw as much active service as he.

On February 5, 1863, General Mintzer married Amelia Weand, daughter of David and Matilda (Shuler) Weand. The couple had four children: George, Helen, John and Charles. Helen died at the age of twenty-five years; John married Bessie Smith. They now live at Homestead, where he is connected with the Carnegie Steel Company. Charles married Ida Weiler. They live in Pottstown.

General Mintzer is a Lutheran in religious faith and his wife belongs to the Trinity Reformed church. He is a member of Richards Post, No. 95, Grand Army of the Republic. He is also a member of the Union Veteran Legion and is present Commander of Camp 22, of Pottstown, and is a member of the Loyal Legion of the United States. General Mintzer has been in the coal business for the past twenty-five years, representing the Berwind White Coal Mining Company. He has lived at his present home about twenty years. He was postmaster two terms under General Grant and was appointed the third time, but declined to hold the position longer. He was also a member of the school board some years. Politically he is a Republican. Mrs. Mintzer's parents, David and Matilda (Shuler) Weand, were natives of New Hanover township, Montgomery county. They were the parents of seven children, three sons and four daughters, of whom five are now living: Amelia, wife of General Mintzer; Milton, of Pottstown; John, of San Antonio, Texas; Mary, widow of Levi Prizer, of Norristown; and Emma, wife of William Shuler, of the Shuler House, Pottstown. David Weand was raised on a farm and in young manhood was a cigar manufacturer. Later he went into the grocery business in Pottstown for about twenty-five years. His death occurred May 12, 1885, at the age of seventy-two years. His wife died February 3, 1874, aged fifty-five years. She was a Lutheran in her young days, but after her marriage went with her husband to the German Reformed church. He was a member of the borough council a number of years when a young man. His father was Wendel Weand, a native of Pennsylvania, who owned a farm in New Hanover township, Montgomery county, where he resided all his life. He died before reaching an advanced age. His wife was Catharine Dotterer, who lived to be eighty years of age. They had seven sons and two daughters. He belonged to the branch of the Weand family from which Judge Weand of Norristown has descended.

The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Mintzer was Samuel Shuler, a native of Pennsylvania and of German descent. He was a farmer near Sunneytown, Montgomery county, where he died in middle life. His wife was Elizabeth Zepp, who lived to be ninety-three years of age. She and her husband had five children.



HENRY A. GROFF, elected register of wills of Montgomery county in 1902, was born in Lower Salford township, December 16, 1860. He is the son of Jacob S. and Anna (Alderfer) Groff, of Lower Salford.

Jacob S. Groff (father) was born November 5, 1836. He was reared on a farm until he was sixteen years of age. His father was Abraham Groff. Jacob attended the schools of the vicinity and learned the trade of a miller with William Godshalk, of New Britain, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, who afterwards represented the district in Congress for two terms. Having completed his apprenticeship, he accepted a position in the mill of Benjamin S. Alderfer, in Lower Salford, and married his oldest daughter, purchasing the mill in 1878. He married Anna Alderfer, daughter of Benjamin S. and Lena (Nyce) Alderfer, October 4, 1856. She was born October 6, 1834. The children of Jacob S. and Anna Groff: Abraham A., born March 4, 1858; Henry A., subject of this sketch; Benjamin A., born April 30, 1866; Ellwood A., born October 30, 1870, Abraham A. Goff, the eldest child of Jacob Groff, married Kate K., daughter of Abraham Moyer, of Franconia. Benjamin A. Groff married Annie M., daughter of Rev. Jacob B.Booz, of Upper Salford township; Ellwood A. Groff married Minerva R., daughter of Jacob Ruckstool, also of Upper Salford. The children of Abraham A. and Kate K. Groff, who were married December 8, 1883: Anna M., born June 6, 1885; Alice, born September 2, 1887; Lizzie, born June 27, 1891; Jacob, born September 15, 1893; Clayton, born June 26, 1899. Abraham A. resides in Lower Salford, near Lederachsville.

The children of Benjamin A. and Annie M. Groff, who were married October 2, 1886: Vincent; Eva, born June 27, 1891; Ellwood, born November 28, 1892; Martha, born May 17, 1894; Lydia, born October 2, 1896; William Irvin, born April 29, 1902. Benjamin A. Groff is the engineer at the Montgomery County Home. He resides in a tenement house belonging to the Home.

The children of Ellwood A. and Minerva R. Groff, who were married July 29, 1893: Jacob R., born November 27, 1894; Reinhart R., born September 16, 1897; Benjamin, born December 17, 1901. Ellwood A. Groff resides on the homestead in Lower Salford. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob S. Groff are both living. They are Mennonites in religious faith. Mr. Groff takes an active interest in politics, being an earnest Republican. He never missed an election since his maturity.

Abraham Groff (grandfather) had six children, as follows: David, married Maria Fluck and resides in Sellersville, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. They have the following children: Henry F., married Kate Wagner; Abraham F., married Emma Deatz; Anna, married Harry Schlosser; Hetty (deceased); Hannah, married Irvin F. Baringer, Hetty, married Levi Bleam, of Milford Square, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, who is deceased. He left a son Henry, who married Tilly, daughter of Daniel Reiff.

(page 28)

Kate Wagner; Abraham F., married Emma Deatz; Anna, married Harry Schlosser; Hetty (deceased); Hannah, married Irvin F. Baringer. Hetty, married Levi Bleam, of Milford Square, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, who is deceased. He left a son Henry, who married Tilly, daughter of Daniel Reiff.

Mary, married Jacob Rosenberger, of Bridgetown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, who is now deceased, leaving two daughters; Amanda, married Ephraim Leister; and Mary. Betsy, married Ezra Moore, of Bridgetown, now South Perkasie, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. She is deceased, leaving two daughters, Harriet, married John A. Freed, of Perkasie, and Hetty, married Milton Shelley, of Quakertown. Jacob S. (father).

Isaac S., married Sarah Eisenberg, who died several years ago leaving one son, Harvey, who resides in Philadelphia.

The Groffs are descended from Jacob Groff, who emigrated from Holland about 1758 and came to Pennsylvania, settling in Bucks county, near where is now Sellersville. He brought with him four children: John, Peter, Mary, Henry, born on the ship coming to this country.

Henry Groff, last mentioned, is the ancestor of Register of Wills Henry A. Groff. His children: Jacob, Abraham (grandfather), Elizabeth, Polly, Susan, Hester. All of these lived in Bucks county.

Henry A. Groff, subject of this sketch, attended the public schools of the vicinity of his home in Lower Salford, being occupied at intervals on the farm and in the mill of his father. Later he became the proprietor of the coal, lumber and feed business of Salford Station, in which he is still engaged. He was postmaster for a number of years, beginning with Cleveland's first term, in 1885. In politics he is an active Republican, always laboring actively for the success of the, principles and candidates of the party. His popularity was attested by the large vote he received on the Republican ticket in 1902. He has performed the duties of the office very successfully. He married, in 1881, Emma K., daughter of Henry B. and Hannah (Kooker) Allebach, of an old family in Hilltown, Bucks county. Their children: Jacob A., born December 29, 1881; Ella A., born July 10, 1883; Allen A., born January 21, 1885; Hannah A., born January 6, 1887; Harvey A., born June 17, 1891; Anna A., born April 8, 1899; Lillie A., born November 12, 1901.

Mr. Groff is a typical representative of the Pennsylvania German race who form so large an element in the population of Montgomery county. In religious faith he is a Mennonite, as are all his family, attending the Lower Salford Mennonite meeting house. He is courteous and affable, giving strict attention to business and performing every duty with fidelity and care.


(Family of I. P. Wanger, 1903)


HON. IRVING PRICE WANGER has been a prominent figure in Montgomery county politics from the time he attained his majority, and has the distinction of being it first Republican district attorney, the first person to be elected to that office more than once and of serving much longer in congress than any other representative of any district of which either of the counties forming the present district has been a part, except that lately represented by Hon. A. C. Harmer. He is descended from early settlers of Montgomery county, of the religious sect known as Mennonites and Brethren (Dunkards). He was born March 1852, in North Coventry township, Chester county, and is the oldest son of George and Rebecca (Price) Wanger. His father, the late George Wanger, was a prominent citizen of northern Chester county, well known as a man of force of character, a strong advocate of the public-school system and the abolition of slavery, and active in the formation of the Republican party in Pennsylvania, in 1850 he married Rebecca, a daughter of Rev. John Price, and reared a family of four sons, all of whom survive. A daughter died when three years of age. His death occurred December 30, 1876, in the fifty-seventh year of his age.

Irving P. Wanger was reared on the old homestead in Chester county, and educated in the public schools of the district and at the Pottstown High and Hill schools. He taught school one year, and in 1870, became a clerk in the prothonotary's office at West Chester.

(page 29)

In 1871 he was appointed deputy prothonotary and resigned the position at the end of the year to engage in the study of law at Norristown. In January 1872, he began his legal studies with Franklin March, Esq., and on December 1, of that year was appointed deputy under William F. Reed, the first Republican prothonotary elected in Montgomery county. He continued the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in December 1875. Beginning the practice of law early in 1876 Mr. Wanger soon won the reputation of being an eloquent and forcible advocate and acquired a practice from all sections of Montgomery county. In 1889 he formed a partnership with Irvin P. Knipe, (who concluded his legal studies with Mr. Wanger as his preceptor), under the firm name of Wanger & Knipe, which became one of the most prosperous legal firms in the country.

Mr. Wanger's talent for public speaking caused his services to be in demand at meetings in behalf of candidates of the Republican party, to which he was attached by inheritance as well as conviction, being an earnest advocate of its principles. In 1878 he was elected burgess of Norristown. He was also solicitor for the school board of Norristown for a number of years. He was elected district attorney of Montgomery county, in 1880. In this position he instituted several reforms, among them the practice of dividing the list for criminal court among several days, so that all the witnesses and others interested need not undergo the inconvenience of attending court the first day of the term and possibly the entire week, and thereby effecting a considerable saving to the county treasury. This practice has been uniformly followed since.

In 1880 Mr. Wanger was a delegate to the national convention and voted continuously therein against the unit rule, and for the nomination of Mr. Blame until the final ballot when requested by friends of the latter to vote for General Garfield. In 1886 Mr. Wanger was again nominated for district attorney and was elected by a majority of one thousand one hundred and eighty-seven votes, running several hundred ahead of his ticket, notwithstanding the fact that his opponent was one of the most capable candidates the Democracy ever nominated.

In 1889 Mr. Wanger was chairman of the Republican county committee, and in 1890 he was unanimously nominated for congress by the Republicans of the seventh district and made a vigorous canvass, being defeated by only one hundred and eighty-seven votes. This was the year of the Delamater campaign, when the Republican ticket in Montgomery county was defeated as a rule by much larger majorities. Two years later Mr. Wanger was again the nominee of his party for congress, and he won by a majority nearly the same as that against him in 1890, although there was a majority in the district for Cleveland. He was re-nominated in 1894 and re-elected by a majority of four thousand eight hundred and twenty-six. In 1896, 1898, 1900 and 1902, he was elected by large majorities, showing that his course at Washington has been such as to commend him very strongly to the people of his district. His support has not been confined to Republicans alone, many Democrats and persons of other party affiliation at each election testifying their appreciation of his worth as representative by voting for him. As a congressman Mr. Wanger has taken an active part in debates on the tariff, the silver bill, Philippine legislation and other questions of national interest. He is very attentative to all matters affecting his constituents, doing everything possible to promote the prosperity and welfare of the people of his district and of the country at large.

He has always voted with his party upon questions involving its principles in every division that has taken place in the House of Representatives, ably and earnestly seconding the administration of McKinley and Roosevelt, and upholding their policy whenever it has been a matter for action in congress or elsewhere. It was upon the motion that the special committee was appointed which investigated the hazing of cadets at the United States Military Academy and suggested important legislation upon the subject, which was adopted. His principal committee service has been as a member of the committee on interstate and foreign commerce and as chairman of the committee on expenditures in the post-office department. In every respect he has been a faithful and devoted exponent of the public wishes at Washington as his repeated re-elections show.

(page 30)

On June 25, 1884, Mr. Wanger married Emma C. Titlow, daughter of the late John Titlow, of North Coventry. She had been a playmate and schoolmate of his youth. They have had five children, three of whom survive: George, Ruth and Marion. The other two, Lincoln and Rebecca, died in infancy. Mr. Wanger lives at the old Chain homestead, No. 827 West Main street, Norristown, which he has modernized, making it a very pleasing type of architecture. His mother, from whom he inherits many of his characteristics, also makes her home with him. She is the sister of the late Rev. Isaac Price, a noted and eloquent preacher of the Brethren, and the descendant of a long line of preachers of that church. Mr. Wanger himself is a member of St. John's Episcopal church of Norristown. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Improved Order of Red Men, and of nearly all of the Masonic bodies of this state, having been grand commander of Knights Templar in Pennsylvania in 1894-5.

As a public speaker, Mr. Wanger is argumentative, logical, clear and deliberate- appealing to the reason and judgment of his hearers, rather than to their prejudices or personal feelings. He is a ready debater and parlimentarian- quick to perceive, the weak point in his opponents argument and always ready to take advantage of such weakness. During his service in congress he has made many friends among the representation from other states, frequently securing their services when occasion requires it in his own district.



HON. HIRAM CONRAD HOOVER, ex-member of the Pennsylvania legislature, the last associate judge of the courts of Montgomery county, and for many years president of the Montgomery County Historical Society, is a son of Hon. Philip and May Mary (Conrad) Hoover, and was born in Gwynedd township, Montgomery county, October 23, 1822.

Between 1727 and 1776, several immigrants by the name of Huber came from the Palatinate, and landed at Philadelphia. Of this number were four brothers, Christian, John, Martin and Jacob, who came in the ship Pink Plesance, commanded by Captain John Paret. These brothers landed on September 21, 1732, at which time Jacob was under sixteen years of age. Of all the immigrant Hubers, these four brothers were among those that changed their name from Huber, the German form, to Hoover, the English spelling. One brother went to western Pennsylvania, another to Lancaster county, the third to Georgia, and Jacob, the youngest, seems to have been the Jacob Hoover who bought a farm in Plumstead township, Bucks county, in 1748. It has been established that Jacob Hoover was the father of Henry Hoover, who was born in 1751, in Bucks county. He married Margaret Kern, and in 1797 moved from Hilltown township, Bucks county, to Gwynedd township, Montgomery county, where he purchased a farm of two hundred acres. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religion a member of the Reformed church, in which he served as elder. When troops were ordered out to suppress the Fries Rebellion in eastern Pennsylvania, one regiment of infantry sought to take his buildings as temporary quarters, but he refused with such determination that they went to an adjoining farm of William Foulk. Henry Hoover died April 9, 1809, aged fifty-seven years, and his widow survived him until November 27, 1813, dying at the age of sixty-two years. They had five children: Christian; Jacob; Philip; Elizabeth, who married John Rile; and Mary, wife of William Kneedler. Hon. Philip Hoover, the father of Judge Hiram C. Hoover, was educated in his youth in the German language, but after his marriage he was taught to read and write English by his wife, who had received a good education in both languages. He became a member of a volunteer organization when but eighteen years of age and rose from the ranks to the captaincy. He filled many offices in the township, such as assessor and collector of taxes, and in 1831-32-33 was elected a member of the state legislature, where he served with credit and satisfaction to his constituents- all positions having sought him, as he did not aspire to them. He was the executor, administrator and guardian of many estates, in all of which he rendered satisfactory accounts.

(page 31)

Philip Hoover was regularly catechised and received as a member of Boehm's Reformed church, at Blue Bell, by Rev. George Wack, its pastor. In 1810 he was elected a deacon, and served as such until 1823, when he was elected an elder, holding that position, with the exception of three years, until his death- a period of more than forty years. He held the office of president and treasurer of the consistory for some time. He was also frequently a delegate to classis and synod.

In the War of 1812 he served as lieutenant of another company (the organization to which he previously belonged having been disbanded), for three months, being practically its captain, as that officer had returned home soon after being mustered into service. He also provided a team to convey military stores from Philadelphia to Marcus Hook. Afterwards he was elected colonel of a regiment of militia.

Philip Hoover was born July 20, 1782, and was married to Mary Conrad, November 13, 1804. They were the parents of thirteen children but only six reached the age of maturity. Mary Conrad Hoover, daughter of Hon. Frederick Conrad (who was a member of congress for four years) was born August 23, 1785, and died October 17, 1868, aged eighty-three years, one month and twenty-four days. Their children were: Frederick W., Julian, Susanna, Maria, Henry C., Ann Catharine, Judge Hiram C., Albert C., Ann Elizabeth, Andrew J., and two Sons and one daughter that died in infancy.

Judge Hiram C. Hoover received his literary education in common and select schools and studied surveying. Possessing fine musical talent, he began to teach music and to organize church choirs at an early age. While teaching music he engaged in farming, which he followed until 1872.

In 1849 he bought a part of the St. Clair estate in Norriton township, and when, in 1872, the Stony Creek Railroad was built through part of his land, his neighbors suggested his building grain and mercantile stores where the railroad crossed Germantown turnpike. He thus founded Hooverton, which has absorbed Penn Square and gives promise of future importance. He soon retired from business, and the feed, coal and lumber business is now in the hands of his son William A., while the general mercantile establishment is conducted by his son-in-law, Albertus Hallman. Judge Hoover lives a retired life except what time he gives to his interests as a stockholder in several industrial enterprises. He has served as guardian for the heirs of eighteen estates and not a single exception has ever been filed to any of his estate accounts. He has served many years as treasurer of Philadelphia classis, whose financial matters include seven different accounts, which have been found correct by the finance committee each year.

In early life Judge Hoover took much interest in military affairs. He was a member of the First Troop of Montgomery Cavalry sixteen years, and in 1862 sought to reorganize the troop for active service in the war, but circumstances prevented. He has been active and useful in civil, educational and religious affairs, and has done much toward the development of his section. He is a Democrat in politics and has filled some of the most important political offices of his county. He was a member of the Pennsylvania house of representatives in 1862, 1863 and 1864, and during his three consecutive terms served on many leading committees, having been chairman of the committee on agriculture in 1863. In 1865 he was elected associate judge of Montgomery county, and in 1870 was elected for a second term which would have ended in 1875, but the office was abolished by the state constitution of 1874. He served as justice of the peace for four terms, nearly twenty years, and as school director for seventeen years, while in his party he was made chairman of the county committee for three successive years. Judge Hoover has served as trustee of Ursinus College for twenty-five years, and of Franklin and Marshall College five years. He was president of the Norristown and Centre Square Turnpike Company from its organization in 1868 until its dissolution a few years ago. In 1844, when the Philadelphia riots occurred, he served as an officer in the First Troop of Montgomery county, one of the companies that suppressed the riots. He is an old and prominent Mason, being a member of Charity Lodge, No. 190, Free and Accepted Masons; a life member of Chapter No. 10, Royal Arch Masons; also a charter member of Commandery No. 32, Knights Templar. Judge Hoover has been an elder in Boehm's Reformed church since 1856, has been president of the consistory during all the time except two years, and has frequently served as a delegate to various church bodies. Among his most important labors has been the instruction of different Bible classes and the efficient supervision of Sunday-schools, in which work he has spent many happy hours, during a period of over fifty years of continuous service.

(page 32)

On March 4, 1847, Judge Hoover married Margaret Dull, youngest daughter of Frederick and Sarah Dull, of Whitemarsh township. Judge and Mrs. Hoover had four children: William A.; Irvin W., now dead; Sarah D., who married James W. Hercus, of Washington city, and died March 18, 1894; and Mary M., who married Albertus Hallman, a business man of Hooverton.

Judge Hoover was very active in the old Montgomery County Agricultural Society. At its organization at Springtown he was made a member of the executive committee and later its chairman. Subsequently the society divided and Judge Hoover became president of the Norristown branch, and served as such for three years. At the one hundredth anniversary of Washington's evacuation of Valley Forge in 1778, the Judge presided and again in 1903 he attended the meeting, it being the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary. He is a member of the Patriotic Order of Sons of America and was a charter member of Camp No. 322, at Penn Square, and also a charter member of an auxiliary camp, No. 38, of Patriotic Order of True Americans, which later was united with the Patriotic Daughters of America, and he was elected the first national assistant president of the united organization. He has for more than twenty years of its existence taken an active interest in the work of the Montgomery County Historical Society, presiding at its meetings, reading an occasional paper, and participating in its reunions and annual outings. In every relation of life he has performed his duty and won the esteem and respect of his fellow citizens because he has fairly earned such distinction. Courteous in his manners, unostentatious in his bearing, he is in every situation the same dignified, pleasant and earnest man. It is largely through his instrumentality that the Hoover Family Association has been organized, its annual reunions being a delightful feature in its history.



T. ELLWOOD LIVEZEY. The Livezeys are an old family in Plymouth township, although their first ancestor in this country settled at Abington, in which neighborhood many of the name are still found. The name is often pronounced Leusley at the present day, and there would seem to be some reason for such pronunciation as William Penn conveyed to Thomas Leuisley or Leusley of Norton, in the county of Chester, England, March 2-3, 1681, two hundred and fifty acres of land in Pennsylvania. At Chester Monthly Meeting in Pennsylvania, Eleventh mo. 3, 1686, Jonathan Livesey and Rachel Taylor proposed marriage with each other, he residing in Dublin township, Philadelphia county. A month later they were given the liberty to proceed and accomplish their intentions of marriage. The will of Thomas Livezey, of Dublin township, dated Sixth-mo. 12, 1691, was proved Fourth-mo. 22, 1692, showing that he died between these dates. In the will are mentioned his son. Jonathan; daughter, Ann Littlemore and her three children; daughter-in-law, Rachel Livezey; daughter, Margaret Lorenson and her three children; grandson, Thomas Livezey; and granddaughter, Mary Livezey. The records of Abington Monthly Meeting show that he died Eighth-mo. 19, 1691, and was buried in Oxford township, near Tacony bridge. Jonathan Livezey died Ninth-mo. 23, 1698 in Dublin township.

(page 33)

He was the son of Thomas, and left a widow, Rachel (Taylor) Livezey, who later married Joseph Gilbert of Byberry. Jonathan Livezey was the ancestor of the Livezeys of Montgomery and adjoining counties. His wife, according to a tradition in the Gilbert family, had been brought by her father to America to prevent her from marrying a person of whom he disapproved. The children of Jonathan and Rachel (Taylor) Livezey: Mary, born Twelfth mo. 9, 1687; Thomas, born Tenth mo. 17, 1689, died Third mo. 5, 1759, married, in 1710, Elizabeth Heath; Jonathan, born Third mo. 1, 1692, died Third mo. 24, 1764, married, in 1717, Esther Eastburn; Martha, born Third mo. 1, 1694, married, Seventh mo. 25, 1721, Robert Thomas; Rachel, born Second mo. 15, 1696, married, in 1717, Evan Thomas; David, born Twelfth mo. 20, 1697, died Seventh mo. 1750, married, in 1721, Rebecca Hinkson. It may be added that Mary Livezey married John Patil, and that Rachel, the mother of the children named above, had five children by the second marriage with Joseph Gilbert, one of whom, Benjamin, was the Indian captive whose story of many years spent with the savages is so interesting. He was twice married, his first wife being Sarah Mason and his second, Elizabeth Peart.

Thomas Livezey (great-great-grandfather) who married Elizabeth Heath, was a member of Abington Monthly Meeting. His son, Thomas (great-grandfather) was born First mo. 25, 1723, and died of palsy, Ninth mo. 11, 1790. He married, at Abington, Fourth mo. 2, 1748, Martha Knowles, who was born Fourth mo. 24, 1723, and died Eleventh mo. 2, 1797.

Martha, the wife of Thomas, was the daughter of Francis Knowles, whose parents were John and Elizabeth. Francis was born Twelfth mo. 2, 1685 at West Chester, in Berkshire, Great Britain.

Samuel Livezey, (grandfather) son of Thomas and Martha, was born First mo. 26, 1760. He was considered unfit for manual labor in his youth on account of a delicate constitution, and therefore engaged in mercantile business. When he was about fifty years of age he became a minister of the Society of Friends, and so continued until his death. He established the store at Plymouth Meeting, on the property which has continued in the family ever since. His wife was Mary Wood. He located at Livezey's store near Plymouth Meeting in 1788. His children were: Thomas; Martha, who married Jacob Albertson; Rachel, who married Jonathan Maulsby; Samuel; Mary, who married Lewis Jones; Joseph; and Ann, who married William Ely. Samuel Livezey died Ninth mo. 3, 1840, in his eighty-first year.

Thomas Livezey (father), born Fourth mo. 27, 1803, died Tenth mo. 2, 1879. His brothers selecting other business, he became a farmer and storekeeper. He was an influential man in Friends' meeting and in the community, although not a minister, as was his father. His wife was Rachel, daughter of Joseph and Mary Richardson, of Attleboro (now Langhorne), Bucks county, Pennsylvania. She was born Eighth mo. 27, 1808 and married Tenth mo. 18, 1832. She died Sixth mo. 1890, in her eighty-second year.

The Richards came from England in early colonial times, and have become connected with many Friends' families in eastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Thomas and Rachel R. Livezey had seven sons, as follows: Dr. Edward Livezey, born Eighth mo. 28, 1833, and died Fourth mo. 15. 1876; Samuel, born Third mo. 9, 1835; Joseph R., born Ninth mo. 20, 1838; John R., born Sixth mo. 21, 1842, and died Second mo. 13, 1867 Henry, born Twelfth mo. 24, 1843, and died Ninth mo. 24, 1846; Henry 2d., born Sixth mo. 25, 1847, died Twelfth mo. 4, 1873; and Thomas Ellwood, born Eighth mo. 11, 1849.

Dr. Edward Livezey studied medicine with Dr. Hiram Corson, graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1859, served a year and a half in the Wills' Eye Hospital and a year in the Pennsylvania Hospital, also subsequently in the Government Hospital at Broad and Cherry streets during the Rebellion, and located at No. 507 North Sixth street, Philadelphia, where he had a large practice at the time of his death, which occurred suddenly. His wife was Mary Balderston. He left several children.

(page 34)

Samuel, second son of Thomas and Rachel Livezey, was engaged for many years in the meat packing business in Chicago, but of late years has resided in Norristown. He married, Eleventh mo. 20, 1877, Mary Roberts, daughter of Hugh and Alice A. Roberts. A sketch of his wife appears elsewhere in this work. Samuel and Mary R. Livezey have one son, Thomas H., born Tenth mo. 18, 1879. He married, Tenth mo. 1, 1902, Joanna M., daughter of William (deceased) and Caroline R. Miller. They reside on Marshall street, Norristown. Joseph R. Livezey, third son of Thomas and Rachel, has long been engaged in the real-estate business in Philadelphia. He married Deborah, daughter of Joseph Morgan. They have two children, Sarah and Morgan. John R., fourth son, studied conveyancing and was engaged in that business at the time of his death. He died unmarried.

Henry, 1st, died in infancy. Henry, 2d, read law with Judge F. C. Brewster, of Philadelphia, and Daniel H. Mulvany, of Norristown. He was admitted to the Norristown bar, November 10, 1869, and when his promising career was cut short by death he was associated with the late Judge Boyer.

Thomas Ellwood Livezey, the subject of this sketch, was a farmer on the homestead, which has been for three generations in the family. The house in which he resided was built prior to the Revolutionary war. The farm is one of the finest in Plymouth valley, being underlaid with limestone and having extensive quarries which are no longer worked. It has been brought to a high state of cultivation and is very productive. T. Ellwood Livezey married, Eleventh mo. 16, 1871, Mary E., daughter of James and Mary (Holt) Childs. Their children: Rachel R., married Samuel Ifill of Germantown, born Eighth mo. 19, 1872; Anna C., born Tenth mo. 23, 1874, married Dr. William G. Miller, of Norristown; Mary J., born Twelfth mo. 21, 1877, died Eighth mo. 17, 1878; Emma, born Ninth mo. 30, 1879, died Fifth mo. 13, 1891; Thomas J., born Sixth mo. 24, 1881; Walter C, born Ninth mo. 14, 1884; Tacy B., born Fourth mo. 30, 1887, died Fifth mo., 13, 1891; Emily R., born Seventh mo. 16, 1894.

The Childs family have long been domiciled in Montgomery county and are of English descent. Henry Childs of Colds Hill, Hertfordshire, England, was eminent as a writer and speaker among Friends and was an intimate terms with William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. He bought from Penn five hundred acres of land on January 20, 1687. Accompanied by his son Cephas, he came to America in 1693 and located in Plumstead, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Henry settled finally in Ann Arundel county, Maryland, and in 1715 gave the Bucks county land to his son Cephas, who settled on it, having married in 1716, Mary Atkinson, of Philadelphia. They had nine children, of whom Henry, born January 1, 1725, married Mary Shoemaker of Gwynedd, August 3, 1750. Their children were: Sarah, John, Isaac, George and Thomas. Of these John (great-grandfather of Mary Childs Livezey) was born April 3, 1755, in Plumstead, from which place his father removed with his family in 1776 to Cheltenham, Montgomery county. John married, June 5, 1777, Mary, daughter of Peter Phipps of Abington. They had twelve children, eight of whom grew to maturity, namely: Mary, Peter, Sarah, James, Tacy, Elizabeth, John and Margaret. Peter (grandfather) was born in 1780, in Cheltenham. He married Sarah Rogers and had children, two of whom, James (father) and Sarah, survived to advanced years. Peter married (second wife) Rosanna Lee, of Lower Merion, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Crickbaum) Lee. Their only child was S. Powell Childs, a prominent farmer and leading Republican of Plymouth township, now deceased. James Childs was a farmer residing for many years near Montgomery Square, but the latter part of his life he spent with his daughter's family on the Livezey farm at Plymouth Meeting. He survived his wife several years, and died at the age of eighty-seven years.

(page 35)

T. Ellwood Livezey was educated in the Friends' School at Plymouth Meeting and attended Friends' Central School in Philadelphia one year but was compelled to withdraw at the end of that time on account of ill health and because his services were needed at home in assisting his father on the farm, in which he always took much interest, preferring agricultural pursuits to any other employment. He made farming his lifework and was very successful in it. He was in every respect a first class farmer, his stock being of the finest and best breeds, his crops among the largest in the county, and everything about the farm well cared for. Genial in disposition and always ready to accommodate a friend or neighbor, few men were so popular in the community as he. In politics he was a Republican but he never sought or held office, preferring to attend strictly to business connected with his occupation of farming. He succeeded his father as director in the First National Bank of Norristown, which position he held until his death. He was an active member of the Society of Friends, anti for a number of years held the position of overseer in Plymouth Preparative Meeting. For twelve years prior to his death he held the office of treasurer of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, filling the position with great acceptability. He not only manifested much interest in the meeting but also in the school attached to it, being for twenty-five years a member of the school committee, and for twenty years its treasurer. His hospital home, being convenient to the meeting house at Plymouth, has for several generations been a resort for Friends in attendance at meetings, and the rites of hospitality were well maintained by T. Ellwood Livezey until his death, which occurred on Tenth month 8, 1903, as the result of an accident, and by his widow and sons since his death.



JOHN T. DYER, one of the most prominent business men of Norristown, is a native of Lehigh county, where he was born April 19, 1848. His ancestors were English Friends or Quakers. They were among the early settlers of Pennsylvania. He is the son of Richard H. and Caroline (Hoffman) Dyer. The Dyers settled in the vicinity of Dyerstown, Bucks county, the family giving name to the place.

Jesse Dyer (grandfather) was a farmer by occupation. He was born at Dyerstown and died near Doylestown, Bucks county, in 1855, at the age of eighty-two years. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Orthodox). He married Lucinda Hough. The couple had three sons, Thomas P., Richard H. and John S. The father was a successful business man and accumulated a competence.

Richard H. Dyer (father) was born in Warrington, Bucks county, in 1817. He was educated in time schools of the vicinity, obtaining a good education.

On reaching manhood, he engaged in teaching in the public schools of Lehigh county. After being occupied in this vocation for several years, he became interested in building and contracting, combining these occupations with the lumber business. He was also engaged in general merchandising, shipping produce to Philadelphia and New York. His strict integrity and careful attention to business brought him success in all the enterprises with which he was connected. He was an earliest, enterprising and public-spirited citizen, doing all that he could to promote the welfare of his community, contributing liberally of his means to every worthy object. He married Caroline Hoffman. The couple had six children as follows: William G., John T., Eugene, Elizabeth, Emily and Laura. In 1854 Mr. Dyer removed to Slatington, residing there until his death in 1876.

John T. Dyer was educated in the public schools of the vicinity, and after heaving school was employed as a clerk in one of the quarries at Slatington. He soon became interested in railroad construction, superintending the building of new lines. In 1880 he engaged extensively in railroad contracting on his own account, his first large contract being on the New York, Ontario & Western. He did much of the construction work on the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley line, which led to still more important contracts. He soon afterwards located permanently in Norristown. He also was extensively engaged in executing other railroad contracts, including the following: Bay Ridge and Annapolis Railroad; fourteen miles of the Ohio River Railroad, from Parkersburg, West Virginia, south, and a similar stretch on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Mr. Dyer has also done much work on trolley line construction in Norristown and elsewhere, employing large numbers of men, and pushing his contracts with great energy and success. He built the terminal at Waterbury, Connecticut, and several sections of the Trenton Cutoff Branch of the Pennsylvania railroad.

(page 36)

Mr. Dyer married, December 11, 1879, Mary F., daughter of the late Dr. Cornelius S. Baker, a prominent physician and druggist of Norristown. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Dyer are: Elsie, Caroline, Frederick, John L., William Gordon and Marion.

Mr. Dyer is a Democrat in politics and was for several years a member of the board of trustees of the Norristown Hospital for the Insane, by appointment of Governor Pattison. In these as in all other positions in which he has been placed, Mr. Dyer has performed his duties faithfully and conscientiously, endeavoring to promote the public interests by every means in his power. He is also connected with several Norristown corporations, including the Merchants Ice Company, with extensive plant at Markley and Marshall streets. Mr. Dyer has for a number of years been very extensively engaged in stone-crushing at Howellville and near Norristown, also at Trap Rock quarries at Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, carrying on the business on a very large scale. He is interested in many local enterprises, and is generally recognized as a liberal and public-spirited citizen. By his industry, energy and business ability, he has achieved a position and a reputation among the business men of eastern Pennsylvania such as few have attained.

The Bakers (Mrs. Dyer's family), are of New England origin, although long domiciled in eastern Pennsylvania. David Baker (grandfather) was a native of Connecticut. He came to New Jersey settling near New Brunswick. His son, Cornelius Baker, studied at Yale College, entering the medical department, where he studied under Professor Tully, then at the head of that department. He graduated from the institution most creditably. Dr. Baker married a daughter of Professor Tully, who did not, however, live very long. He practiced medicine at Churchville, Bucks county, for a time, and married (second wife) Miss Elizabeth Feaster, of a prominent family, long settled in that section of the state. Dr. Baker also practiced medicine at Carlisle two years, and then removed to Norristown where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1886, in his seventy-second year. The family resided on DeKalb street, and he conducted for many years the drug store at the west corner of Main and DeKalb streets, which, since his death, has been conducted by his son, Theodore W. Baker, and George W. Grady, the firm being Baker & Grady.



BENJAMIN THOMAS. The Thomas family are of Welsh origin but they are among the earliest settlers in this section of Pennsylvania. The progenitor of the American branch of the family was William Thomas, who came from Wales about two hundred years ago, locating in Philadelphia. His descendants are widely dispersed throughout the country, while many members of later generations are yet located in Chester county.

Thomas Thomas, father of Benjamin Thomas, was a teacher, surveyor and conveyancer. He was a son of Benjamin and Abigail (Powell) Thomas, and was born in Charlestown township, Chester county, December 24, 1805. He made the best possible use of such educational facilities as were available in country districts at that time and succeeded in acquiring sufficient knowledge to enable him to enter upon life as a teacher, an occupation in which he acquitted himself most creditably for many years. While teaching in the old subscription and common schools of that day, he combined with the task of instruction the business of a surveyor and conveyancer for many years. He removed to Norristown in 1830 and taught in the schools of that borough and vicinity for a number of years. He subsequently located in Upper Merion, and later in Bridgeport, where he followed teaching and conveyancing, and then engaged in a wholesale coal business which he successfully conducted during the remainder of his life, his son Benjamin being associated with him in his later years. He was a man of high character and an exemplary member of the Protestant Episcopal church.


He was a Whig until the dissolution of that party, when his abhorrence of human slavery led him to become a Republican and he voted for its first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, and affiliated with it during the remainder of his life. He commanded the entire respect of his fellows and was called to fill various local offices in the various villages in which he made his home. In his early manhood he was a member of a local military company. In 1836 he married Susanna Fryer, born July 15, 1813, a daughter of William and Catherine Fryer. To them were born five sons and one daughter: Benjamin, William F., Charles S., George W. H., John W. and Mary E. A., all of whom are living except George, who died November 21, 1891. He was engaged very extensively in the real estate, insurance and conveyancing business at Bridgeport. John W. is the foreman of the Herald job office in Norristown, having occupied that position many years. The father of this family died in 1886, aged eighty-one years. His widow survived him about ten years dying about 1896, at the advanced age of eighty-three years

Benjamin Thomas, eldest son of Thomas and Susanna (Fryer) Thomas, was born in the township of Upper Merion, February 25, 1838. Attending the district schools whenever he could, he acquired a practical education which well fitted him for the busy useful life which was before him. At fourteen years of age he left school and entered upon the active duties of life, taking the position of clerk in the book and stationery store of the late Franklin D. Sower, on Main street, Norristown. Later he learned the trade of a machinist with Ezekiel Potts & Company, Bridgeport, and followed that occupation for a number of years in different establishments. He then associated himself with his father in the coal business, as already stated, continuing in this partnership until the death of his father, March 30, 1886, when he became sole proprietor, and remained in the business until 1902, carrying on an extensive and profitable trade in a territory having a radius of forty miles. On the death of his brother George, in 1891, Benjamin Thomas succeeded also to his insurance and conveyancing business, proving as successful in it as in his original avocation. Careful and painstaking in the investigation of titles and in the preparation of wills, deeds and other legal documents, Mr. Thomas is possessed of all needful qualifications for his business, and commands the confidence and patronage of the best classes in the community. He has been prominently connected with various enterprises in Bridgeport, having been one of the organizers of the Fame Building & Loan Association, of that place, and has served as its secretary since its formation, in 1871. He has also been a director of the Montgomery National Bank of Norristown since 1890, and when its president, John Slingluff, was removed by death in 1899, he became his successor at the head of the board of directors, and was elected president of the bank, in which position he has acquitted himself to the entire satisfaction of both owners and patrons of the institution. Mr. Thomas is a member of Charity Lodge, No. 190, F. & A. M.; Norristown Chapter, No. 190, R. A. M. and Hutchinson Commandery Knights Templar; of Norris Lodge, I. O. O. F.; and several other benevolent and fraternal organizations. He is one of the most interested members of Christ (Swedes) church Upper Merion, having served as a vestryman for more than a quarter of a century and being also its treasurer and one of its wardens. In politics Mr. Thomas is a Republican by inheritance and conviction as well, and he is an earnest worker for party success at elections involving local, state or national issues. He has served as councilman, clerk, school director and treasurer of the borough of Bridgeport. In 1887 he was elected recorder of deeds of Montgomery county, on the Republican ticket, serving the term of three years.

(page 38)

In all these various positions, as well as in his ordinary pursuits, Mr. Thomas has acquitted himself with such ability and integrity as to earn the genuine regard and confidence of the community, who number him among their most useful and honored members.

October 18, 1871, Mr. Thomas married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Catherine Van Horm [sic] [Van Horn?], of an old and well-known Bucks county family.

** * * * **

Return to Roberts' Biographies: Vol I - Part 1

Go to Roberts' Biographies: Vol I - Part 3