Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 5: pp. 80 - 102.

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(Picture of J. Horace Landis)

PROF. J. HORACE LANDIS, A. M., County Superintendent of Public Schools in Montgomery county, is a native of Grater's Ford, where he was born October 20, 1854. He is the son of John and Anna (Hunsicker) Landis.

John B. Landis (father) was a native of Upper Providence township. He was born in 1814. After receiving an ordinary education in neighborhood schools he learned the trade of a plasterer, which he followed for many years at Trappe, Norristown, and elsewhere in the county. Later he engaged in farming at Grater's Ford, where he owned a fine farm of 140 acres. During the latter years of his life his tithe was employed principally in the management of his farm. He was an active Republican in politics, earnestly working to promote the success of its principles and candidates. He was a member of Trinity Reformed church, Collegeville, although the family were originally Mennonites. He married Anna, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Hunsicker. She was born in 1817. Her mother, Elizabeth Hunsicker, died a few years ago at the age of ninety-nine years. Mr. and Mrs. John B. Landis had the following children: Elizabeth B. (deceased); Mary M., Anna (deceased); Hattie, Hannah H. (deceased); Abraham, Katie H., Benjamin, J. Horace, subject of this sketch; Henry, Josephine, Frits, A. Lincoln, Elias (died in infancy). John B. Landis died in 1896, and his wife in 1897. The Hunsickers are an old family in Montgomery county, the progenitor in America being Valentine Hunsicker, a native of Switzerland, who came to this country in 1717, and about 1720 settled in Perkiomen township. His descendants are now to be found in a majority of the townships of the county.

John Landis (grandfather) was born in Montgomery county, near Branchville, in 1775, and died in 1831. Early in life he removed to Upper Providence township, and purchased a large farm on which he spent the remainder of his life. In politics he was a Whig. He married Mary Beitler, of an old Chester county family. The couple had four children: Abraham, John, (father), Jacob, and Hannah, who married Daniel Longacre. The Landis family trace their ancestry back to Holland, whence their progenitor emigrated to this country at an early date. Some branches of the family spell the name Landes.

J. Horace Landis was reared on the homestead farm, alternating school study with work in the fields during the summer season. The foundation of his education was laid in the schools of Perkiomen township. He followed farming for a time, and then entered Ursinus College, where he perfected himself in several branches. Having a desire to become a teacher, he became a student at the Millersville State Normal School in Lancaster county, graduating therefrom in the elementary course in 1877. Soon afterwards he took a post-graduate course at that institution, subsequently entering the University of Pennsylvania. In 1895 the degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by Ursinus College. While attending the various institutions of learning which have been named, Professor Landis taught school at intervals, and during vacations.

He served for several years as principal of the public schools of Mauch Chunk, the county seat of Carbon. He was also principal of the Schwenksville and Lansdale schools, both in Montgomery county, filling all these positions very successfully, and being generally recognized as one of the leading educators of the county, and taking a very active part in the annual institutes.

In 1892 he was elected principal of the Conshohocken public schools, filling the position in the most satisfactory manner, and being chosen by successive re-elections until his appointment to the office of county superintendent, made vacant by the death of Professor Reuben h. Hoffecker, in December, 1903. He had under his charge as principal of the borough schools of Conshohocken about twenty-five teachers, and under his management the various departments attained a high standard of efficiency. On Christmas day, 1879, Professor Landis married Lizzie K. Kratz, a daughter of Michael Kratz, a well-known business man of Greenlane, Montgomery county. The couple have one child, Vesta K., who has for some time been engaged in teaching in the public schools of Conshohocken.

In politics Prof. Landis is an earnest Republican. He is a member of the Schwenksville Mennonite church, Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. His selection as county superintendent at a time when a number of competitors were seeking the honor, was a high tribute to the esteem in which he was held not only in Conshohocken but throughout the county. He had shown himself in his management of the Conshohocken schools to be an able, progressive and popular teacher, and it was generally felt that the educational interests of the county would be safe in his hands. It was his aim in the position to secure for the borough schools what was attainable in the way of buildings, books, furniture and other educational equipment.

During his principalship, Latin, German, typewriting, sewing, vocal music and manual training were introduced into the Conshohocken schools, and the buildings devoted to school purposes were very much improved. As a teacher, Professor Landis enjoyed the confidence of his pupils and of the entire community. He greatly extended the course of study, and elevated the educational standard of the borough. He had no difficulty in interesting the pupils in school work, and in securing the full cooperation of parents and directors in school progress. In the position of county superintendent Professor Landis has very thoroughly fulfilled the expectations that were entertained at the time of his appointment. He has pursued a wise, liberal and progressive policy, laying

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more stress upon originality in research on the part of the pupils of the schools under his supervision than upon mere memory work. He has sought to increase the usefulness of the schools in every possible way, favoring a generous policy as regards school buildings and equipment, and encouraging teachers and pupils to cherish the highest and best aims. He has been in the position of county superintendent what he was as a teacher-alert, progressive, and ever ready to do his utmost to promote the interests of education.

Professor Landis is a member of the Masonic order. Mrs. Landis belongs to a family long resident in Montgomery county. Their first ancestor in America was Valentine Kratz, who came to Pennsylvania early in the eighteenth century, settling in what is now Skippack township. The family are of German origin.



ROWLEY K. ORTT, who is one of Norristown's widely-known manufacturers, has risen by his own exertion to the position which he now occupies, inventive genius and mechanical skill enabling him to perfect a lawn mower on entirely new principles, making it a novelty in its line, a steady demand existing for it in all parts of the world.

Mr. Ortt was born October 25, 1855, at North Ridge, Niagara county, New York. His father was a contractor and builder who enlisted at the beginning of the Rebellion in the Eighth New York Volunteers. He was discharged in October, 1863, at Baltimore, after serving three years. He was, a helpless invalid and was brought home by two comrades in an invalid's chair and placed in bed. His wife undertook to lift him and strained herself, causing a rupture, from which she died one week later. The husband's ailment was due to the fact that he was placed in the cookhouse, the steam from cooking pork being the cause of his sickness. After his wife's death a nurse was secured to take care of him. There were four children: Hannah M., John H., Rowley K., and Cyrus N. Ortt. Hannah died in 1894; John in 1874, his death being caused by a kick from a horse; Cyrus lives in Pekin, New York, where he owns a small farm, and his father, who is now seventy-eight years old and seems to grow stronger with age, lives with him. The father was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, but when he was a mere lad the family. removed to New York state.

The Ortts came originally from Germany, but have long been naturalized in this country. Arthusia (Peterson) Ortt (mother) was a daughter of John Peterson, a farmer living at North Ridge. John Peterson had seven children: John, Nathan, Cyrus, Arthusia, Melinda, Oranda, and Jane. Arthusia married Elias Ortt (father), as has been said. Elias Ortt built many of the prominent buildings in that section of the country prior to the war. He built a church, parsonage and a school house at Beemsville in Canada, removing his family to that place while engaged in the work. Having learned that Elias's wife's mother was dying, the family started to return, and when they reached the Suspension bridge which was just being built at that time, there being only a walk for the carpenter to cross it consisting of three six inch boards, and the boat known as the "Maid of the Mist" being on the opposite side of the river and not likely to return for some time, and Mrs. Elias Ortt (mother) being very anxious to reach her mother's bedside before she passed away, and there being apparently no other way, she said she could walk over on those three narrow boards, and she did so, one of the carpenters going ahead, holding her hand and her husband following. Mrs. Ortt was thus the first woman who ever crossed the Suspension bridge. There were three children at that time, Anna, John and Rowley, who were strapped in the basket running on a cable rope used to draw the workmen across, and thus all reached the New York side of the river safely.

The inventive genius of Rowley K. Ortt was manifested at a very early age. When only nine years old he went to live with a cousin and later with Thomas Parker. While at Mr. Parker's he was replanting twenty acres of corn which had been partly ruined by the grub worms. While engaged in this laborious task he conceived the idea of the jabber planter, using it next clay with fairly good results. The next night he improved on his first idea and made a new planter which worked still better, and was loaned to a neighbor named Fuller. Fuller secured a patent for the machine and started to manufacture it, which he did successfully. Rowley K. Ortt at this time was only seventeen years of age and of course received nothing for his invention.

While hauling logs from the woods the young inventor had another opportunity to display his genius. The bob-sled upset and broke the short reach on the hind bob. Ortt went to work and bored a hole through the back bolster, and coupled it by a swivel to the front bolster and to this day all bob-sleds are made in that way.

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In 1878 Thomas Parker took the agency for the Norristown gleaner and binder, manufactured by William A. Singerly in what was then known as the agricultural works and is now the Keystone Hosiery Company's building, at Astor and Oak streets, Norristown. Mr. Parker could not succeed with them and Mr. Ortt took hold and succeeded in making them operate very well. The result was that the company induced him to come to Norristown in 1879. He made a number of improvements, including a chain tightener, a friction tension, etc. He left the company in 1883, going into the shoe business at 125 East Main street. In 1892 he sold out the shoe store and has since been working on patents.

Among those he has secured are devices for curtain fixtures for inside shutters for lace curtains; also a double nut tack, a bonnet for vestibule cars, and the Clipper lawn mower. The last he is now manufacturing, being unable to supply the extensive demand for the machine, which is steadily growing in popular favor. Mr. Ortt is now manager of a large establishment in the lower part of Norristown, owned and operated by the Clipper Lawn Mower Company, Incorporated.

Mr. Ortt has been twice married. His first wife was Jane Greavy of Norristown. The couple were married in 1882, she dying in 1889, and leaving two children, Hannah L. Ortt and Ellwood K. Ortt. He married, in 1893, Rachel P. Flint of Germantown. They have one child, Horace F. Ortt.

The relationship of the Ortts and Petersons has been mentioned. The Petersons were connected also with the Tanners and the Brownells, both old families, the Brownells being of Rhode Island. Phoebe Tanner, daughter of Josias Tanner, by his second wife, Phoebe Brownell, was born May 11, 1775. Phoebe married John Peterson in November 1793, both being of South Kingston, Rhode Island. The couple removed to Bristol, Vermont, and later to Ridgway, in what is now Orleans county, New York. They endured the privations of early frontier life, going to western New York when it was still a wilderness.

Josias Tanner was the son of Francis Tanner and his wife Elizabeth (Sheldon) Tanner. Elizabeth was a daughter of Isaac Sheldon, a respected citizen and freeman in South Kingston. She was born in 1713. Josias was a Revolutionary soldier.

Francis Tanner was the son of William and Elizabeth Tanner of South Kingston. He was born July 3, 1708. After his marriage he removed to the neighboring town of Hopkinton, where he bought twelve hundred acres of land. He was admitted a "freeman" in South Kingston in 1753, and in 1762-5 held the honorable position in that day of justice of the peace, holding his commission (still in existence) from the governor of the province.

He died January 3, 1777, and his widow in 1801. William Tanner, father of Francis, and founder of that branch of the Rhode Island Tanners in America, first appears in the state in 1682, as witness to a deed of Frances Houlding, wife of Randall Houlding, the leading spirit in the colony that she had lately represented in England. In 1687 William Tanner paid a tax on one poll. In 1693 he bought land in South Kingston, having somewhat earlier married a daughter of Henry Tibbitts, an influential landholder who in his will provided an estate for each of his children and for each grandchild whose parent on the Tibbitt side was dead. William Tanner was prominent in founding the old Seventh-Day Baptist church in Westerly, now Hopkinton, and held an influential position therein. He was living as late as 1735, and his third wife, Elizabeth, as late as 1752. The date of his birth is unknown, but was probably about 1660-3.

It is not known from what part of England he came, nor to what branch of the Tanners he belonged. The family has been traced to the time of Edward III, if not to the Norman conquest. It is probable that William Tanner and a brother or two brothers crossed the ocean to escape the rigorous measures enforced against the Baptists in the time of Charles II.

William Tanner was the father of fifteen children. Francis had seven children. At his death he gave his slave, Quom, his freedom. The boy, Quom, was a Revolutionary soldier.

Josias Tanner was the father of thirteen children. He was admitted a "freeman" in 1757. He was ensign of the Second Continental Company, 1762, and a private of the First Battalion, Rhode Island troops, Colonel Green commanding, from June 1 to July 1, 1778, Colonel Arnold's detachment. He died March 14, 1810, and his remains rest on the old homestead in Rhode Island.

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CHARLES TEMPLETON, a leading manufacturer and organizer of industries, was born in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1859, and resided there until 1865, when his parents removed to Norristown. His opportunities for education were confined to the public schools of Bridgeport and Norristown. In 1876 he started out on his own account, going to Philadelphia and obtaining employment on the Centennial Exposition grounds as a clerk. He remained there until December of that year, and in March following entered the Wanamaker store in the invoice department. He was thus engaged for a year, and during that time, and the two years he was, with Benjamin Israel, he attended night school at the Spring Garden Institute.

In 1879 Mr. Templeton became connected with the Thomas Potter Sons & Co.'s oil cloth works as a general utility man. He remained with this firm until 1891 and by strict attention to his duties was in 1883 made superintendent of the light weight oil cloth department. By strict economy, during the years he was with the Potter firm, he managed to save the means which enabled him to join with other capitalists in organizing the Western Linoleum Company, whose works are located at Akron, Ohio. Mr. Templeton was general superintendent of the company, and the inventor of the new methods which the company introduced in the manufacture of light weight oil cloths of all kinds. Patents were applied for, but all were not granted, and the failure to secure them proved a benefit to manufacturers of other kinds of articles. Mr. Templeton remained in the company until 1896, in full charge of the works which, under his supervision, have become the most extensive and successful of the kind in the United States, or in the world.

In 1896 Mr. Templeton severed his connection with the business, and came to Norristown and opened the Keystone Oil Cloth Works, the business being incorporated in 1898, with Mr. Templeton as president. The establishment did a large and very successful business until July 15, 1901, when the plant was turned over to the Standard Table Oil Cloth Company of New Jersey, which had absorbed ninety per cent of the production of light weight oil cloth made in America.

In March, 1901, Mr. Templeton was called upon by a majority of the manufacturers in the United States to labor to bring about harmony of interests among the producers of that line of goods. The result of this was the organization of the Standard Table Oil Cloth Company of New Jersey, and the consolidation as above mentioned. At the formation of this company Mr. Templeton was elected one of the general superintendents. He at once made a personal inspection of the different plants which had been consolidated. This was a work not at all to his liking but was completed satisfactorily.

The company's interests in Pennsylvania are looked after by Mr. Templeton, who is now one of the board of directors. The company is doing a successful and remunerative business and ships goods not only to all parts of the United States but to all foreign countries where such goods are used.

In politics Mr. Templeton is a Republican. While in Philadelphia he took an active interest in politics, and was a worker but not an office seeker. He is a member of Shekinah Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, No. 246, of Philadelphia, and also of Oriental Chapter, No. 183, R. A. M.; Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar, of Norristown. He is a member of the Odd Fellows, Red Men and the Elks.

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Mr. Templeton married Miss Mary Hodgkinson, daughter of John S. and Elizabeth (Hooley) Hodgkinson, of Philadelphia. She was born November 19, 1864. Their children are Elizabeth, Sara C., Harry, Marie, Nelson G. and John S.

Mrs. Templeton is of English extraction, all her people having emigrated from Manchester, England, to this country. Her grandfather, A. Hooley, started in the silk manufacturing business, and was very successful. The firm he established is still in business, being carried on by his grandchildren. Their father was also a manufacturer and was very successful, but died in the prime of life.

Mr. Templeton's father was John H. Templeton, who was a Chester county man and learned the carpenter trade in Norristown, becoming a large contractor, the firm being Raysor & Templeton. He built the DeKalb street bridge and did the wood work on the courthouse, when it was erected more than a half century ago.

Mr. Templeton is a striking example of what energy and perseverance will accomplish when rightly directed. Mr. Templeton's whole life has been a magnificent success. He enjoys the confidence and respect of the business community, illustrating as he does the truth of the maxim, "that every man is the architect of his own fortune."



(Picture of Samuel N. Kulp)

SAMUEL N. KULP, a retired farmer of Abington township, is of German descent, although his ancestors came to this country. more than two centuries ago. His grandfather, Isaac Kulp, was a weaver at Milestown, in what is now the Twenty-second ward of Philadelphia. He married Elizabeth Moore.

Isaac Kulp, (grandfather) and his wife Elizabeth had the following children: Joseph, Philip (father), Jacob, Mary Ann (Mrs. George Wentz), Hannah (Mrs. Jacob Wentz), and Eliza (Mrs. John Pierson). Philip (father) was born at Milestown, and also followed the occupation of a weaver until he purchased a farm on which he afterwards resided, operating it very successfully. He married Ann, daughter of John and Sallie Nice, of the vicinity of Milestown, also of an old family in that section, the former of German descent, and highly esteemed for their plain and substantial virtues. The children of Philip and Ann Kulp: Isaac and John (both deceased); Samuel N., subject of this sketch; Sarah N. (Mrs. Reuben Harper); Margaret H. (Mrs. Alfred Buckman); Maria L. (Mrs. John Hawkins); Eliza A. (Mrs. F. B. Thompson).

Samuel N. Kulp was born November 29, 1826, and was reared to farm life, attending a neighboring school. At the age of seventeen years he learned the trade of millwright in Abington township, and was employed in that occupation until he was twenty-six years of age. He married, December 16, 1852, Mary Ann, born June 12, 1828, daughter of John and Kittie Ann (Miles) Blake, of Abington township, in Montgomery county. Their children: Margaret B., born October 5, 1853, married, November 2, 1876, Samuel R. Livezey; Joseph K., born October 27, 1855, married, November 26, 1884, Voila S. Tomlinson; Ida Ann, born August 7, 1857, married October 30, 1877, John R. Reading; John B., born January 30, 1860, married, September 20, 1885, Mary E. Wiggins; Emma L., born August 6, 1863, married, March 22, 1892, Thomas McNair; William, born January 21, 1866, married, January 25, 1893, Nellie J. Gentry. Mr. Kulp, three years after his marriage, purchased a farm within the limits of the city of Philadelphia, on which he resided for a period of eighteen years. He then removed to his present home in the township of Abington, not far from the city line, on which he has lived since 1873.

For the past ten years he has relinquished the cares of farming, leaving them to others. He was also at one time engaged in real estate operations. He is one of the oldest citizens of that section of Montgomery county, and is highly esteemed by all who know him, for his integrity and other sterling qualities. His political associations were with the Whig party, and with the Republican party since its formation in 1856.

(page 87)

He has, however, never held public office, although he might have done so, had he not been too busy with his own affairs to participate in movements of a public character. In recent years he has allied himself to the Democratic party. In religious faith he affiliates with the Baptist denomination, worshipping at the Lower Dublin church. Mr. Kulp's career is another exemplification of the power of honest industry to aid in the realization of prosperity and win the respect and esteem of the whole community. He is emphatically a self-made man, having begun life without aid from any source except his own industry and ambition, and the faithful assistance of his dutiful wife.



CHARLES H. STINSON. The Stinsons are an old family in Montgomery county, being of Scotch-Irish descent. Hon. Robert Stinson was prominent in politics in the early part of the last century, being for many years a justice of the peace, and serving as an anti-masonic member of the legislature in 1836. He married Elizabeth Porter, daughter of Stephen Porter and niece of General Andrew Porter. The Porters were a prominent family of Norriton township, and while none of the name remain in this vicinity, many of the old families are connected with them by descent or intermarriage. Hon. Robert Stinson (grandfather) had several children, as follows: Margaret, Stephen Porter, Mary H., George W., Charles H., John E., Elizabeth, Francis G., Robert Burns and Jane. All these children are now deceased except Francis G. Mary H. Stinson left a considerable sum of money to found a home for aged women which is located on Swede street, Norristown.

Charles H. Stinson (father) was born in Norriton township, June 28, 1825. After some time spent in the select schools and academies of that day he became a student at Dickinson College, Carlisle; graduating in the class of 1845. In 1846 he entered as a law student with his brother, George W. Stinson, and remained with him until the death of the latter in 1848. He completed his studies under Addison May, then of Norristown, but later of West Chester, and was admitted to the bar, May 22, 1849. He entered at once upon the practice of law, taking very soon a leading rank in his profession and becoming very successful therein. During the later years of his life he was counsel for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in Montgomery county, during which period the Schuylkill Valley and Trenton Cut-off branches of that line were constructed, each extending through the county and each giving rise to many damage suits which were defended by Mr. Stinson with great ability and shrewdness, his son, C. Henry Stinson, and William F. Solly, then engaged in the active practice of law but now the judge of the orphans' court at Norristown, being associated with him in the conduct of many of these cases.

Charles H. Stinson was a prominent Republican from the formation of the party in 1856. Having refused the nomination for state senator in 1864, he accepted it in 1867, and with Dr. Worthington of West Chester as his colleague, he was elected to represent the counties of Montgomery, Chester and Delaware, then forming the district. He took an active part in the work of that body in 1868, was elected speaker in 1869 and re-elected in 1870 to that position, in which he presided with that dignity and fairness which always characterized his bearing toward those with whom he came in contact. Having declined the appointment of additional law judge of Montgomery and Bucks counties, tendered him by Governor Geary, on the death of judge Henry C. Ross in 1882, he accepted the appointment of president judge from Governor Hoyt. In the fall of that year he was named by acclamation by his party for the position but the district being Democratic at that time, his opponent, Hon. B. Markley Boyer was elected, although Mr. Stinson ran considerably ahead of his ticket. Judge Stinson was given an opportunity to exercise that philanthropic spirit which characterizes the family, in the capacity of member of the board of trustees of the Norristown Hospital for the Insane, a position which he held from the organization of the institution until his death, being its honored president from the time of the death of ex-Governor John F. Hartranft. In this position Judge Stinson was influential in the adoption of many improvements on the old hospital system, among them the placing of a woman at the head of the department for females in that institution, which innovation has resulted in great benefit and is being extensively imitated throughout the country. In every relation of life judge Stinson was faithful in the discharge of duty. He died rather suddenly, March 10, 1899.

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HUGH ROBERTS, a rising member of the Philadelphia bar who practiced law a dozen years or more in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, was born in the twenty-third ward of Philadelphia, January 8, 1868. He is of Welsh Quaker stock on his father's side, their ancestor, Edward Roberts, having come to America in 1699, when he was twelve years old. He settled first in Abington, where in 1714 he married Mary Bolton, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Bolton. In 1816 he removed to Great Swamp in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and afterward successively to Richland and Quakertown. Edward Roberts was a minister of the Friends' Society for forty years. He died in 1768, aged eighty-one years, and his wife in 1784, aged ninety-seven years, six months. He had a large family of children who married into prominent families of eastern Pennsylvania, thus establishing an extensive connection so that Edward Roberts became the founder of a very numerous and influential line of descendants.

His son, David, who was born in 1722, and died in 1804, married in 1754, Phoebe Lancaster, daughter of Thomas and Phoebe (Wardell) Lancaster, an eminent minister among Friends who died in 1750, while on a religious visit to the island of Barbadoes. Thomas Lancaster had eleven children, John, Phebe, Job, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Aaron, Moses, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Thomas, and his descendants are very numerous especially in the west, including, as a matter of course, all the descendants of David and Phebe Roberts.

David and Phebe Roberts' children were Amos, born Fourth-mo., 19, 1758, married Margaret Thomas, daughter of Edward and Alice, Eleventh-mo., 30, 1775; Mary, Elizabeth, Nathan, Jane, Abigail, Nathan, David and Ivan.

Amos Roberts (great-great-grandfather), and Margaret, his wife, had the following children, Mordecai, Mary, Alice Matilda, Hugh, Andrew, George, Phebe, Margaret and Deborah, all natives of Richland except Deborah, who was born in Philadelphia county.

Hugh Roberts (great-grandfather), married Sarah Spencer, eldest daughter of Nathan and Rachel Pim Spencer, in 1806. He was a miller and lived near Branchtown, Philadelphia. Their children were as follows: Lydia died in infancy; Caroline, born in 18o9 and died in 1872, married Charles S. Rorer; Spencer Roberts, born in 1811, died in 1885; Margaret, 1813-1891, married Gideon Lloyd; Edmund, born in 1815, died 1866; Alfred, born in 1817, and Maria, in 1819, died in infancy; Hugh, born Eighth-mo., 5, 1821, died Eighth-mo., 23, 1894.

Hugh Roberts (grandfather), married Alice Anna Gallagher, born Eighth-mo. 5, 1819, and died Fourth-mo. 10, 1902, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Their children: Charles H., born Sixth-mo. 18, 1843; Ellwood, born First-mo. 22, 1846, and married Mary L. Carter; Mary, born Tenth-mo. 25, 1847, and married Samuel Livezey. All of them are residents of Norristown.

Charles Henry Roberts (father), was educated in common schools in the vicinity of Wilmington, Delaware, where he was born, and in 1862 he began teaching. After following that profession for a number of years in Pennsylvania and Dakota, where he removed in 1877, he studied law, and has practiced that profession continuously since, in Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and other states, residing successively in Yankton, Sioux City and Kansas City, and removing in 1903 to Norristown. He married Third-mo. 20, 1865, Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Louisa (Blakey) Stradling, both of old Bucks county families.

Their children: Alice Anna, born Fourth-mo. 16, 1866, followed the profession of teaching for fifteen years and accepted a position in the United States census bureau at Washington in 1900; Hugh; Samuel, born Eighth-mo. 5, 1871, has followed the occupation of a druggist and traveling salesman for a number of years; he resides in Chicago, married Third-mo., 1902, Edith Lillian Storey; and Louisa Elizabeth, born September 23, 1886, graduated at the Kansas City high school, Fifth-mo. 27, 1902, with high honors.

(Page 89)

Hugh Roberts was educated in the Friends' Schools taught by his father at Salem, New Jersey, and elsewhere, and followed the profession of teaching in Iowa for several years. he entered his father's office as a student-at-lacy and was admitted to the bar in 1889, passing the best examination ever recorded up to that time in the state of Iowa. He has since practiced law continuously in the civil and criminal courts of Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, including the supreme courts of each state. In the fall of 1901, he left Kansas City and came to Norristown, was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in February 1902, and has practiced law in the courts of that city ever since, his office being at No. 17 North Juniper street, opposite the City Hall. He has received many encomiums from members of the bench and bar and from others for the ability he has displayed in trying cases, winning them in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles in many instances. He has also been interested in building operations and real-estate enterprises in Norristown. During his practice in Kansas City, he achieved many successes and was recognized as a leading member of the Kansas City bar.



B. PERCY CHAIN. The Chain family was established in America by John Chain, who settled on the west bank of Stony Creek in what is now Norristown. On September 5, 1770, he purchased of Mary Norris, for fifty pounds sterling, a farm of one hundred and seventy-six acres, on which a large part of West Norristown is now situated.

A portion of the property, at Main and George streets, was in the possession of his descendant, James M. Chain (uncle) and his widow until her death a few years ago.

The mansion, built in 1859 by Mr. Chain, and the grounds are now owned and occupied by Ellwood Roberts. The residence of Congressman Wanger at Main and Stanbridge streets, was the original Chain homestead. John Chain married Ann, a daughter of Edward Lane and Ann Richardson, the latter a daughter of judge Samuel Richardson, of Philadelphia. He died September 9, 1800, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and lies buried at Norriton and Lower Providence Presbyterian church cemetery.

Matthew Chain (great-grandfather) succeeded his father by will to the ownership of the farm. He died August 23, 1827, in his eightieth year. He married twice, and reared two children, one of whom, John Chain (grandfather), born December 16, 1781, lived on the homestead all his life. John Chain devoted his life to agricultural pursuits, and died April 9, 1829. He married October 24, 1808, Ann Evans, a sister of Benjamin Evans, one of the early eminent lawyers of the county, and a descendant. of the founder of Evansburg in Lower Providence. They had a family of five children : Eleanor, who died unmarried: Hannah, who married John S. McFarland, of the Montgomery county bar: James, Mark, and Benjamin E., all now deceased.

Benjamin E. Chain (father) was born at Norristown, Pennsylvania, October 15, 1823, and was educated at Norristown Academy, Lawrenceville (New Jersey) Seminary, and Washington and Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, from which institution he graduated in 1842. He read law one year with the late Gilbert Rodman Fox, of Norristown, and completed his preparation for the bar under Hon. James M. Porter, of Easton. He was admitted in November, 1844, and began practice at Norristown.

In 1850 he was elected district attorney, being the first to fill that office by the vote of the people under the constitution adopted in that year. He was connected with many noted cases, as counselor on one side or the other, and had a large practice in the orphan's court. He died March 28, 1893, in the seventieth year of his age. In politics he was a Democrat, and took an active part in political affairs, though in later life his time was monopolized by business. He was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Norristown, and was a director in it. He was vice-president and solicitor of the Montgomery Insurance Trust & Safe Deposit Company, was the first president of the Norristown Gas Company, and was interested in other Norristown enterprises. During Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania he served in the emergency corps.

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He was a lifelong friend and the legal adviser of General Winfield Scott Hancock, who was frequently a guest at his home. Mr. Chain was devoted to Hancock's interests, and did considerable campaign work for the Democratic ticket during the General's candidacy for president of the United States in 1880. At General Hancock's death in 1886, Mr. Chain attended to the details of his burial at Norristown.

Mr. Chain was a member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and for a period of twenty-fire years occupied the position of vestryman and senior warden in St. John's at Norristown. In 1845 he married Louisa Bean, of Norristown. The couple had four children. Two died in infancy and two survive: a daughter, Mary Hamilton, widow of Francis D. Farnum, who was a prominent cotton manufacturer of Norristown and a son, Benjamin Percy Chain, the last of the surname Chain of this branch of the family.

B. Percy Chain of the Norristown bar is the only son of Benjamin E. and Louisa B. Chain. He was born at Norristown, December 22, 1858. B. Percy Chain grew to manhood in Norristown. He graduated at Treemount Seminary and Lafayette College. He studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar of the county in 1884. He has successfully practiced his profession ever since. Mr. Chain, like his father, is interested in business enterprises in and about Norristown. He is a director in the Montgomery Insurance Trust & Safe Deposit Company.

On August 30, 1893, Mr. Chain married Miss Bessie Brooke, youngest daughter of Lewis T. Brooke, of the firm of Lewis T. Brooke & Son, real estate dealers of Philadelphia. Mr. Chain IS a Democrat, although taking little part in politics. He is a vestryman and the treasurer of St. John's Episcopal church, Norristown. He is also a member of the Ersine Tennis Club, of which he was an incorporator in 1892, and is the president. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Chain is at the south corner of Jacoby and Arch streets. They have these children: Adelaide I., Harriet B. and John Chain.

On Benjamin E. Chain, during the latter part of his life time, and on B. Percy Chain, since the death of his father, has devolved the custody of the torch of General Hancock in Montgomery county, it having been erected originally under General Hancock's own supervision. On several occasions efforts have been made to have the remains of General Hancock removed to Arlington cemetery near Washington, but in deference to the wishes of the people of Norristown, and in accordance with the advice of Messrs. Chain, father and son, there has been no change in that respect.



GENERAL JOHN W. SCHALL, commander of the First Brigade, National Guard of Pennsylvania, is one of the best-known military men of the state. He made a distinguished record in the war for the Union forty years ago, and has also participated actively in later movements, including the Spanish-American war.

General John W. Schall, who served with distinction in the Civil war, and now holds the rank of brigadier general in the National Guard of Pennsylvania, is a son of Hon. David and Catherine (Andy) Schall. He was born June 22, 1834, in Berks county, Pennsylvania. The Schalls are descended from a prominent French Huguenot family, who were driven from France by the religious persecution; following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Members of the family made their way to the new world about 1748, and settled in Pennsylvania, where their descendants. have become numerous. Hon. George Schall, paternal grandfather of General Schall, was a resident of Berks county during the greater part of his life, and was there largely, engaged in the manufacture of iron.

He was a Democrat, became prominent in politics, served in various official positions, and was a member of the state senate at the time of his death in 1831. He married Miss Catherine Ouster and reared a fancily of eight children, one of whom was Hon. David Schall (father), who was born at Oley, May 25, 1801.

David Schall received a superior education, and succeeding to his father's interests, became a wealthy iron manufacturer, and maintained his connection with that important industry all his

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life. He was honored by his party with election to the office of associate judge of Berks county, which position he held for two terms. He was connected with the local militia, serving as major of his battalion. In religion he was a member of the Reformed church, with which he was officially connected for many years. He died at Dale, Berks county, January 22, 1877, at the age of seventy-six years, and his remains rest in the cemetery adjoining his church at that place. He married Catherine Andy, a native of Berks county, and a daughter of Jacob Andy. They had a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to maturity and became active and useful citizens.

General John W. Schall was reared in Berks county and educated in private schools at Trappe and Norristown, after which he pursued an extended course of advanced study in the military academy at Norwich, Vermont. After graduating he was connected for several years with an engineering corps under John C. Trautwine, and later engaged in the dry goods business at York, Pennsylvania, where he subsequently became a member and first lieutenant of the York Rifles, a military organization. Immediately upon the call of President Lincoln for volunteers in 1861, the York Rifles proffered their services in a body, and were one of the first companies to enter the service fully armed and equipped. For this promptness in time of danger they were afterwards awarded medals by the state. They were commanded by Captain George Hay and were mustered into service April 19, 1861, as Company K, Second Pennsylvania Infantry, only four days after the President's proclamation had been signed, and just one week after the first gun was fired on Fort Sumter.

At the expiration of their term of enlistment, three months, Lieutenant Schall returned and organized a company for three years' service, but received authority from the secretary of war, Simon Cameron, to organize a regiment at York, Pennsylvania. Upon the formation of this regiment, the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, he was appointed colonel but declining to accept that rank he was made lieutenant colonel and served as such until May 9, 1862, when, a vacancy occurring, he was promoted to the colonelcy of his regiment. The early service of Colonel Schall was mostly in the mountains of West Virginia, and during Lee's advance on Gettysburg he was engaged in a hotly contested fight at Winchester, under General Milroy, where he lost nearly his entire command in killed, wounded and prisoners, and reached Harper's Ferry, after four days of fighting, with only sixty men and riding another colonel's horse, his own having been shot from under him. Colonel Schall was subsequently transferred to the Army of the Potomac, Third Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, and served in that command until the expiration of his term of enlistment. At the battle of Cold Harbor, he was shot through the right arm, while commanding the brigade, but remained on the field until the fight terminated, and only then sought medical attention for his injuries. Colonel Schall was honorably discharged from military service, October 14, 1864, and upon that occasion was the recipient of a letter from his superior officer, General James B. Ricketts, commandant of his division, in which he said "Your time of service having expired with that of your gallant regiment, I can not part with you without some expression of my high appreciation of your faithful service.

"Always zealous and reliable, you have shown the best quality of a soldier, which would bring certain promotion, had you decided to remain in the corps, which you have ornamented by your distinguished conduct throughout the arduous summer campaign, since crossing the Rapidan, in May last.

"I particularly recall your gallantry at Cold Harbor, where commanding a brigade, and wounded, you nobly refused to leave the field, and in the Valley where you shared in our glorious victories-Opequon and Fisher's Hill.

"I part with regret from so good a soldier, and wish you every success in your future life." Soon after the close of the war Colonel Schall located at Norristown and engaged in the iron business. In April 1875, he was appointed recorder of deeds for Montgomery county to fill a vacancy and was subsequently elected twice to that position, serving in all for a period of seven years. In 189o he was appointed postmaster at Norristown by President Harrison and served as such until 1894.

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General Schall's connection with the National Guard of Pennsylvania began shortly after the war. He served as inspector of the National Guard under General John F. Hartranft, and after the latter's election to the governorship was appointed an aide on the General's staff, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. While General Hartranft was still in command of the division, in September 1879, General Schall was elected colonel of the Sixth Regiment, and was re-elected several times. In July 1894, he was appointed a command the First Brigade by Governor Pattison.

On September 3, 1873, General Schall was united in marriage with Mary A. Hooven, a daughter of James Hooven (now deceased), of Norristown. Politically the General is an ardent Republican, and has always taken an active and intelligent interest in civic and governmental affairs, at the same time keeping himself thoroughly posted on everything pertaining to military matters. His life has been active and many-sided, its history comprising high records as a soldier, official, businessman and citizen. General Schall is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic and was its adjutant general for 1902; and is also a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Loyal Legion.



(Picture of Mr. and Mrs. Irving P. Knipe)

IRVIN POLEY KNIPE, eldest of the six sons of Dr. Jacob O. and Clara Poley Knipe, was born at Norristown, Pennsylvania, February 27, 1866, educated at the Norristown public schools and at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from the academic department of the latter institution in 1886, and from the law department in 1889. From April 1886, to August 1889, he was a reporter on the Norristown Herald, and since 1889 has been practicing law in Norristown, in association with his preceptor, Hon. Irving P. Wanger, member of congress from the eighth Pennsylvania district, under the firm name of Wanger & Knipe. He has been borough solicitor of Norristown for a number of years, and in a similar capacity represents a number of other boroughs in Montgomery county. In 1897 he compiled and published a comprehensive digest of the laws and ordinances of and relating to Norristown. On December 1, 1902, Mr. Knipe was elected chairman of the Republican county committee of Montgomery county.

On February 23, 1899, he married Margaret Richardson, also a member of the Montgomery county bar, daughter of John C. and Ellen (Rittenhouse) Richardson. They reside in Norristown. They are especially interested in local historical and genealogical matters and have probably the largest private library thereof in the county.

The Knipe family settled in what is now Upper Gwynedd township, Montgomery county, in 1763, when the great-great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch purchased for three hundred and eighty-seven pounds sterling, a farm of one hundred and fifty acres on which he and his descendants lived for nearly a century and a half.

The immigrant records of Philadelphia show that Johannes Kneip (or Knip), aged thirty-eight, landed September 25, 1748, and Johannes Knipe September 30, 1754. The ancestor, whichever of these two he was, on May 24, 1789, wrote in German his signature "Johannes Kneip" to his will, and died in November, 1792, leaving among his large family a son David, who in turn was the father of Jacob, himself the father of Jacob Oliver, whose son is Irvin P. Knipe. Jacob Knipe, a widely known physician, settled at Falkner Swamp, New Hanover township, and there died August 28, 1883. His wife was Rachel Evans, descended from two different Welsh families of the same name, one of her ancestors being John Evans who came from Radnorshire, Wales, before the time of Penn, and settled at London Britain, Chester county; while the other, David Evans, was born in Wales, 1690, and about 1719 settled in Montgomery county on a plantation comprising the north corner of Montgomery township and the east corner of Hatfield which he entailed to his grandchildren by his daughter Rachel, and which (prior to its division in 1823) was the largest tract of land in Montgomery county in the hands of one person.

On his mother's side, Mr. Knipe's genealogy includes the families of Poley, Boyer, Heebner, Warley, Rhoads and Bigony. Francois Pechenet (Bigonet, Bigony), believed to be of Huguenot origin and a native of Nismes, in the province of Languedoc, France, emigrated from Lisbon, "qualified" at Philadelphia, December 7, 1773, and settled at Falkner Swamp, where he married Mary Brandt, probably an emigrant from Germany.

In three generations of Mr. Knipe's family, including paternal and maternal ancestry, there were thirteen practitioners of medicine.

Miss Margaret Richardson, who subsequently married Mr. Knipe was admitted to the bar of Montgomery county, September 5, 1898. By a strange coincidence she, the first woman lawyer in the county, bore precisely the same name as Dr. Margaret Richardson, the first woman physician in the same county, although in no wise related. Mrs. Knipe's father was a member of the state legislature, and through her mother she is connected with the families of Royer, Shupe and Rittenhouse, being in direct descent from William Rittenhouse, the first papermaker in America, ancestor of David Rittenhouse, the eminent astronomer and scientist.



CAPTAIN JESSE B. DAVIS. For many years one of the best-known and most popular men of Montgomery county was Captain Jesse B. Davis of Norristown. His ancestors were Welsh and they were early settlers in America. The family is a large one and widely scattered over the counties of Chester, Montgomery and Bucks.

Hon. Roger Davis, the first of the family of whom anything definite is known, was a noted physician. He practiced in Charlestown township, Chester county. He was a Democrat in politics and represented his district in congress for two terms, from 1812 to 1816. That he was popular and filled the position acceptably to his constituents is shown by the fact that he was given two terms, as was also his immediate successor, Dr. William Darlington, another Democrat, who sustained, as his predecessor had done, the administration of President Madison and the war for free commerce and sailors' rights, Dr. Davis having taken his seat just prior to the declaration of war against England, in the session of congress of 1812.

Dr. Roger Davis married Sarah Jones. Their eldest son, after the Welsh custom, was named Jones Davis. He was born in Charlestown township, March 7, 1788. After receiving a good education he studied medicine, graduating at an early age. His younger brothers, Roger and Thomas, also studied medicine, the latter afterwards becoming eminent as a practitioner at Trappe, and still later at Evansburg, where he died. He married Sarah Reiff. Their only child was a daughter, Mary Davis, who is still living, and resides in the Dr. Davis mansion.

Dr. Roger Davis, the youngest of the sons, also practiced medicine, but died of Asiatic cholera in 1832.

As soon as he had graduated, and immediately after the declaration of war with Great Britain, Dr. Jones Davis offered his services and was appointed surgeon's mate by President Madison. His commission, still in existence, signed by the president, bears date July 6, 1812, showing that he entered the service within a month after the declaration of war. He was attached to the Sixteenth Regiment of regular infantry, and at once marched by land to the Canada border. He was with his regiment at Lundy's Lane and at the sortie at Fort Erie, under Colonel (afterwards General) Winfield Scott. He aided in dressing the wounds of Colonel Scott received in the action at the fort. With his brigade he marched to Lake Champlain and he was for a short time stationed at the famous Fort Ticonderoga. After two years' service he left the army and began the practice of his profession at Pughtown, Chester county. On March 14, 1814, he married Charlotte, daughter of Jesse Bean, of Norriton township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Their children were seven in number.

Jesse B., the subject of this sketch was born June 9, 1815. Samuel, born April 25, 1817, married Mrs. Margaret Emery. They had one son, Jones, now deceased. Samuel J. Davis died of pneumonia. He was buried in Pikeland cemetery in Chester county. Hannah Matilda, born January 23, 1819, married William B. Shupe, and both are now deceased.

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William B., born March 9, 1821, died February 8, 1832. John R., born March 27, 1822, died August 9, 1900. He was a coal operator at Scranton, where he acquired a large fortune. He married Miss Jessie Corson. They had two children, one of whom died in infancy and the other is Mrs. Mathews, of Scranton. Mrs. Davis having died, John R. Davis married his first wife's sister Augusta, and they had two children, Annie and Walter E. Charles Thomas, born December 14, 1830, married Hannah Slingluff. Their children are John R., Elizabeth A., Charlotte R., Hannah Matilda, and Sarah Ellen. Charles T. Davis is a farmer and resides on the Davis homestead, near Shannonville, now Audubon, in a house built by a French refugee more than a century ago.

Sarah Ann, married Jackson Miller, and resides at Jeffersonville. Their children: Emeline, Mrs. Elizabeth Ambo, Eleanor, Eliza K., and two sons, who died in infancy.

After practicing medicine and following other employment for several years in Chester county, Dr. Jones Davis removed with his family in 1824 to Norriton township, near Jeffersonville, where he resided until 1828, when he, being an active Democratic politician, was nominated in the party convention for the office of sheriff of Montgomery county, to which he was elected. His commission was issued by Governor Schultze, and he served the full term of three years. During a part of this time, in addition to his official duties, he ran the Pawling grist mill at the foot of Swede street, Norristown. In 1832 he removed to Lower Providence township, where, in connection with his brother, Dr. Thomas Davis, he was extensively engaged in the practice of medicine, having his residence on a farm north of Jeffersonville which he eventually bought. In 1842 Dr. Jones Davis was elected prothonotary of Montgomery county on the Democratic ticket, succeeding Josiah W. Evans. He served three years, having James B. Evans as his deputy.

He died September 18, 1860, his remains being interred in the burying-ground at St. James church, Evansburg, of which his wife had been a member for some years. His wife died October 26, 1845, resting in the same cemetery.

Captain Jesse Bean Davis was born at Pughtown, Chester county, where his father was then practicing his profession. He was educated in the public schools of the vicinity and in the Mantua Military School, Philadelphia, graduating from the latter in 1842, with the rank of second lieutenant. He secured the position of bookkeeper in the wholesale grocery of Marshall & Kellogg, Philadelphia, remaining two years. He then took charge of his father's farm and managed it for several years. Having a military education, he joined Captain Mathey's Democratic troop and trained with it for seven years. He then organized a company of artillery called the "Washington Grays," being elected its captain. During twelve years that he held this command he served in the Native American riots in Philadelphia in 1844. Soon after the company disbanded, in 1855, he was elected clerk of the courts, on the Democratic ticket, serving three years. In the legislative session of 1858-9 he was appointed transcribing clerk of the state senate. Previously Captain Davis had been elected colonel of the One Hundred and Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania State Militia. He also served for a time as major of its First Battalion.

Captain Davis was several times a candidate for the legislature, but was unsuccessful. In 1878 he was nominated and elected to the responsible office of county commissioner, serving three years. In 1868 he was named for prison inspector by judge Chapman, being reappointed by Judge Ross in 1871. Part of the time of his six years' service he was president of the board. He was an earnest and efficient advocate of retrenchment and economy. Having begun dealing in live stock in 1860, in 1868 he bought a lot and erected buildings at Jeffersonville. He soon became the leading drover of the vicinity.

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Jesse B. Davis married Eleanor A., daughter of John and Hannah Shannon, of Norriton township. His wife was a member of an old and highly respected family in that section of the county. The couple had two children, John S. and Charlotte E., the latter now owning the old homestead of Captain Davis, No. 534 Swede street, and residing in it. Miss Davis has in her possession her grandfather's sword and his commission as surgeon's mate, as well as other cherished family relics, many of which have been handed down in the family by inheritance for more than a century.

Captain Jesse B. Davis died November 18, 1896, and his wife passed away November 19, 1881. Both were interred in Montgomery cemetery.



CHARLES B. ASHTON is of English descent, his grandfather, Benjamin Ashton, having been born and reared in England, and his father having lived in that country until after his marriage. He was born in Phoenixville, Chester county, Pennsylvania, December 22, 1858.

Benjamin Ashton (grandfather) was born in Hull, England. He was a manufacturer of cloths and broadcloths, and also was engaged in contracting and building. He built the famous docks and wharfs in his native city, and was a man of means. He married Miss Ann Stewart, a descendant of the famous Scottish Stewarts. Benjamin Ashton died in Sheffield, England, and was buried in that city. His wife married (second husband) John Cliffe, of Wortley, England, and after her death was buried in the same cemetery as her first husband.

Charles Ashton (father) was born in Sheffield, England, May 19, 1815, and grew to manhood in that city. He married Caroline Butterworth, daughter of John and Mary Butterworth, residents of Balby, near Dorchester, England. The Butterworths had lived in that section of England for generations. Charles Ashton was married October 28, 1843. His wife was born February 28, 1823.

Charles Ashton (father) was a student in the parish school during the early part of his life. Here the textbook was the Bible. His education was completed in the Sheffield Academy and he afterwards was employed for several years by an iron manufacturing company at Sheffield. He was apprenticed to learn chemistry and the apothecary business, and after finishing his apprenticeship he sailed for America, bringing with him his wife and two sons, George and Benjamin, and leaving his eldest daughter, Catharine, with her grandmother Cliffe. He arrived in America in 1848 and settled in Philadelphia. His first position was with the Sauerman firm, who put fire plugs in Norristown. About 1852 he removed to Phoenixville, Chester county, and was employed by the Phoenixville Iron Company until 1865.

In 1867 he went to Bridgeport, having secured employment with the Newbold Iron Company as a blacksmith and there remained a number of years. He afterwards became a traveling salesman for Levi Oberholtzer & Company, which position he was filling at the time of his death. In 1882 he and his family removed to Norristown. He was a member of the First Baptist church in Bridgeport for many years. Although an Englishman by birth, reared under the free trade government, he was a firm believer in the Republican policy of protection, and advocated it in an able manner on all occasions. He was an active member of the Republican party.

Charles and Caroline (Butterworth) Ashton had the following children: Catharine, born December 9, 1844, in Sheffield, married Joseph F. Atkinson on April 2, 1874. Their children are Theodora, Grace and Eveline. George B., born February 4, 1846, died November 12, 1850, in Sheffield, England. Benjamin, born March 29, 1848, died March 10, 1853, in Sheffield, England. Ann, born January 20, 1850, died September 25, 1853, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Esther, born March 12, 1851, died January 11, 1852, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Caroline, born February 6, 1853, died August 5, 1898, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mary Jane, born April 1, 1855, died September 28, 1881, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Isabella Angeline, born May 20, 1857, died February 25, 1859, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Charles B., born December 22, 1858, is in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Justitia Matilda, born May 1, 1861, died August 10, 1889, in Phoenixville. Sarah Elizabeth, born May 24, 1863, is unmarried.

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Charles B. Ashton removed with his father's family from Chester county to Port Providence, Montgomery county, when he was five years old. Two years later the family removed to the Corner Store, near Montclare, Montgomery county. About 1867, they settled in Bridgeport, where Charles B. Ashton attended the public schools. His school days ended, he entered the employ of J. D. Sisler of Bridgeport, and remained with him one year. Not being satisfied with the opportunities afforded in that business, he secured a position with William Stahler, druggist of Norris town, with the intention of learning the profession. In 1883 he matriculated at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and in 1887 received his diploma for proficiency in his craft, which established him as a Doctor of Pharmacy, Ph. G., and qualified him a fully registered pharmacist tinder the laws of Pennsylvania.

He was appointed druggist for the State Hospital for the Insane for the southeastern district of Pennsylvania, at Norristown, and served very acceptably for a term of four years, when he resigned that he might enjoy a visit of six months with his sister's family in England.

After returning to America he held several positions, the most prominent being with Hazzard & Hazzard Company, of New York city, at their Newport branch. He left this firm in 1893 and opened his drug store at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, Norristown, where he has since been engaged in business, besides operating a branch store at the intersection of Fourth Ford and Holstein streets, Bridgeport, since February, 1904.

Mr. Ashton is a staunch and active Republican and has been honored by his party with the office of coroner, being appointed by Governor Stone on January 2, 1901. He has been a member of the Republican county committee for six years and has represented his party in senatorial conventions for a number of years. He has been a member of the Baptist denomination for twenty years, and has been prominent as a teacher in the Sunday-schools, and in the church choir. He was baptized in the Bridgeport Baptist church and transferred his membership by letter to the Norristown Baptist church. Later, with sixty-seven others, he withdrew from this church, the object being to organize the Olivet Baptist church, the third Baptist church in Norristown, which was organized in 1903. He was elected trustee and chorister of the new organization.

On June 22, 1896, Charles B. Ashton married Mary, only daughter of Joseph and Melissa (Lang) Ruch. Mr. and Mrs. Ashton have one son, John F. Lang Ashton, born August 22, 1898. Mr. Ashton is active among the druggists of Pennsylvania and is an energetic worker in the Montgomery County Druggists' Association, of which he is secretary. He represented the organization in the National Association of Retail Druggists, which met at Cleveland, Ohio, in September, 1902. Mr. Ashton is a member of Charity Lodge, No. 190, F. and A. M., of Norristown; Norristown Chapter, R. A. I., of Norristown; Hutchison Commandery, No. 32, K. T.; Norristown Lodge of Elks, NO. 714; and Linnwood Lodge, A. O. U. W., of Norristown.



(Picture of Holcomb family)

MRS. CHARLES HOLCOMB. Charles Holcomb (deceased), a prominent farmer and blacksmith of Abington and Cheltenham townships, was born in Cheltenham, near Ogontz, November 5, 1825. He was the son of Edward and Charlotte (Marple) Holcomb, his mother being the daughter of Joseph and Hannah Marple.

When Charles Holcomb was between six and seven years of age, his parents removed to Abington village. There he spent his boyhood days, and later learned the blacksmith trade with Isaac Rittenhouse, of Willow Grove. He established himself in business at the locality known as Abington Corner, remaining there until 1863, when he purchased twenty-seven acres of land in Moreland township, adding to it by further purchases until he had increased it to eighty-seven acres. For ten years he also engaged in blacksmithing at that place, but then relinquished that branch of his occupation, and thereafter devoted himself solely to farming. He died August 7, 1903. He married, at Hatboro, April 7, 1870, Maria L., born October 1, 1836, daughter of Zachary and Priscilla (Barnes) Francis. The couple had two children: John Edward, born May 1, 1872, and Mary Elizabeth, born March 13, 1875. The Holcombs are members of the Society of Friends.

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Zachary Francis, father of Mrs. Holcomb, was born in Abington township in 1800. He was a farmer, and spent his entire life in that vicinity. He died September 10, 1868. Priscilla Barnes Francis, mother of Mrs. Holcomb, was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania. She was married in 1835. Their children: Maria L., Mrs. Holcomb; William; Mary Jane, wife of Jesse Webster.

Edward Holcomb, father of Charles Holcomb, was a native of New Jersey, where he was born in September, 1791, coming with his parents to Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, when he was but four years of age. He married Charlotte Marple in 1823. She had been previously married to a man named Hawkins. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Holcomb: Charles, subject of this sketch; Elizabeth Jenkin, born in Abington, February 5, 1828, died July 2, 1869; John J. born September 2, 1830, married first, Emma Cowell, there being by this marriage two living children, viz. : Charles E. and Sarah, wife of James Rollinson. His second wife was Harriet Charloteen, by whom he had one child, Elizabeth C., they having also an adopted son, James Henry, who married Hannah Trank, deceased, they having two children, Charlotte, deceased, and Helen, wife of Howard Gilbert.



WILMER M. BEAN, instructor in music in the public schools of Norristown and prominent in church choir work, is the son of Edwin A., and Elizabeth (Hood) Bean. He was born in Norristown, April 23, 1859. He received his early education in Mrs. Jane Craig's private school, in the old Central Presbyterian church on Main street. Later he entered Oak Street public school, from which he graduated in June, 1874, at the age of fifteen years. In September of that year he entered the office of the Norristown Herald, and learned the trade of a printer, working at that place about six years when he went to Philadelphia, where he found employment for some time in the job printing department of Lehman & Bolton's lithographing establishment, on Library street. He left there to become a partner in a job printing enterprise with Theodore Knabb, also of Norristown. After several years in business, he withdrew from the firm and in a clerical capacity entered the printing house of George S. Harris & Sons, at Fourth and Vine streets, afterwards at 816 Arch street, Philadelphia. A change in the management of the house caused a change in his position, which he shortly afterwards resigned. For some time thereafter Mr. Bean filled various positions as printer, proofreader and foreman in several Philadelphia printing houses. He finally settled in the work of a compositor, and for ten years held that position on the old North American, located at Seventh and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia. He takes ,pride in referring to this, as it was the best position he ever held in the printing business.

From boyhood Mr. Bean had always manifested a decided aptitude for music. When an apprentice at the Herald office he studied music with Professor Thomas H. Ervin, the blind organist of Olivet Presbyterian church, Philadelphia. Afterwards he displayed remarkable skill on the cornet, on which he learned to play without a teacher, performing on that instrument for several years in the Norristown Band and Philharmonic Orchestra. He is one of three surviving members of the last named organization, the others being W. S. Gourley and Charles Kirk, Jr., now residents of Philadelphia. It has often been remarked that few could produce better tones from the cornet than he, and he still delights to play on the favorite instrument of his boyhood days.

It was while he was engaged as a printer on the North American that a vacancy occurred in the leadership of the choir of the First Baptist church of Norristown. Some of his friends in the church suggested him for the position. He was elected in 1889, and this was the beginning of his musical career in church work. By thorough study in the new field, he made a reputation for excellent music for the church, and gathered about him one of the best volunteer choir organizations that Norristown has ever had. His care and precision and the keen judgment he displayed in the selection of anthems placed him in the front rank of choir leaders. While holding this position he was selected from a number of applicants for the percentorship at the Tabernacle Presbyterian Sunday-school, at Thirty-seventh and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia, which he still holds.

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After directing the music in the Baptist church for nearly eight years Mr. Bean was unanimously chosen choir master by the vestry of St. John's Episcopal church, Norristown, which position he has filled most acceptably to vestry and congregation ever since. In 1892 he withdrew from the printing business to take charge of the music in the public schools of Norristown, and from that time has devoted himself entirely to his adopted profession, proving a most faithful and efficient teacher. From the beginning Mr. Bean has had a successful musical career, as may be attested by his many private pupils and public positions. For three years he was the principal instructor of the Philadelphia Choral Union's sight-reading classes, but the press of other duties and the severe strain obliged him to discontinue that work. In 1903 he was elected supervisor of music in the public schools of Bridgeport.

Mr. Bean has spent fifteen years of active effort in church choir work and has seldom or never been absent from rehearsals or service. He has written some very good music, principally hymn times, which have attained prominence and popularity. On the training of the boy voice and indeed on all matters pertaining to voice culture, Mr. Bean is an authority, as his vested choir of men and boys at St. John's church fully attests. As a vocalist Mr. Bean has a fine resonant baritone voice.

In religious faith Mr. Bean is an Episcopalian, being a member of St. John's church. He married Miss Kate Jamison, daughter of Robert Jamison, of Norristown. They have two daughters, Edith Marion and Bessie Lane Bean, the latter a gifted musician and organist of the First Presbyterian church of Conshohocken. Hiss Bean also attained distinction for her literary work as a member of the graduating class of 1903 of the Norristown high school, she having been awarded the alumni prize of ten dollars in gold for the best essay in the use of standard English. Her subject was the Power of Shakespeare in the Development of Character. In the same year she was also awarded the prize of ten dollars offered by the Historical Society of Montgomery County for the best essay on the subject of Valley Forge.

In politics Mr. Bean is an active Republican but he has never sought or held office except that of assessor in the first ward of Norristown. He is a member of Norris Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Charity Lodge, No. 190, F. & A. M.; of Norristown Chapter, R. A. M., and of Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar.

Edwin A. Bean (father) was born February 6, 1831, in Norriton township. In 1818, at the age of seventeen years, he entered the Clayton flour, grist and saw mill, on the township line between Lower Providence and Norriton, as an apprentice, and at the end of two years, left the establishment capable of doing full duty as a finished journeyman. In 1850 Mr. Bean came to Norristown and entered the employ of Bean & Morgan, in their sawmill and lumber yard, being engaged there one year, and then entering the planing mill of Bolton & Christman, where he remained until August 1, 1862. He then enrolled himself in the Company of Captain David B. Hartranft, Seventeenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry. On September 19, 1862, he was mustered into the United States service for three years, at Harrisburg.

On November 1, 1862, Mr. Bean was made quartermaster's sergeant of the regiment and served in this capacity until May 1, 1864, when he was promoted to be quartermaster of the regiment, with the rank of first lieutenant, serving as such until the end of the war. He was mustered out of service on June 16, 1865, at Cloud's Mills,

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Virginia. From the day of his enlistment until the expiration of his term of service at the close of the war, Quartermaster Bean was with his regiment in all its battles, raids and skirmishes, among them being the following: Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford, Aldis, Upperville, Goose Creek, Gettysburg, Williamsport, Funktown, Beaver Creek, Boonsboro, Falling Waters, Brandy Station, Racoon Ford, Barnett's Ford, Martin's Ford, Stevensburg, Brandy Station (second), Rappahannock Station, Oak Hill, Thoroughfare Gap, Liberty, Bealton Station, Rickeysville, Mine Run, Barnett's Ford, Kilpatrick's Raid to Richmond, Todd's Tavern, Yellow Tavern, Meadow Bridge, Hanovertown, Hawes' Shop, Old Church, Cold Harbor, Trevillian Station, White House, Jones' Bridge, Darbytown, White Post, Cedarville, Berryville, Kearnsville, Leetown, Smithfield, Winchester, Luray, Tom's Brook, Cedar Creek, Gordonsville, Sheridan's raid to the James river canal and White House, Dinwiddie Courthouse, Five Forks, Scott's Crossroads, Drummond's Mills, Saylor's Creek, Appomattox Station and Appomattox Courthouse.

The war ended, Mr. Bean returned home, and accepted a position in a planing mill in Philadelphia, owned by Rimby & Maderia, and also in the new mill built by the firm after being burned out. He became superintendent, having the planing and flooring work under his charge. About 1878 a new company was formed on the ruins of Rimby & Maderia, of which Mr. Bean became a member. After a short career, misfortune overtook the combination and the mill was sold to Mahlon Fulton, Mr. Bean remaining as manager until Mr. Fulton's death, when the son of Mr. Fulton assumed the management and with him Mr. Bean continued until the year ago, since which time he has lived retired in Norristown. On January 27, 1856, Edwin A. Bean married Elizabeth, daughter of Simon and Magdalena (Gotwals) Hood. They have but one child, Wilmer M.

Edwin A. Bean is a member of Norris Lodge, No. 430, I. O. O. F.; also a member of the Masonic Fraternity; formerly of Hiram Lodge, No. 21, of Virginia, now of Charity Lodge, No. 190, of Norristown, also a life member of H. R. A. Chapter, No. 190, also of Norristown, Pennsylvania.



JOHN H. TYSON, a prominent businessman in Norristown, is a member of an old Montgomery county family of Dutch origin. He is a son of the late ex-sheriff Jacob Tyson and Sarah Y. (Linderman) Tyson. He was born January 17, 1857, in the township of Upper Providence, near what was then the village, now the borough of Trappe, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

Jacob Tyson (father of the subject of this sketch) was born near Trappe, January 10, 1818, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Bergey) Tyson. His ancestors were residents of the county for several generations. On his mother's side, Sheriff Tyson's ancestors (Bergeys) were an old Revolutionary family. John Tyson, his grandfather, was a weaver by trade and a well educated man for those days. Jacob Tyson, grandfather of John H. Tyson, was born near Skippackville, January 6, 1786. He was a farmer by occupation, a good businessman, and a citizen of the strictest integrity. In religious faith he was a member of the German Reformed church. He had nine children, one of whom is still living- Harriet Saylor, a widow. Those deceased are: Susan, Charles, Mary, Abraham, John, Margaret, Elizabeth and Jacob. Abraham and John emigrated to Canada in 1845, were married there and reared large families. Abraham located permanently in Berlin, Waterloo county, and John in the city of Guelph, both places being in Canada West. Jacob Tyson during his boyhood days, alternated his time working on his father's farm and attending school, as was the custom with boys reared on farms. He continued to live on the same homestead for a period of sixty years. During this time, in addition to conducting large farming interests, he was for twenty years engaged in the butchering business, a part of which time he drove a wagon over a portion of Montgomery county. He continued the quiet routine of a farmer's life until 1877, when he was prevailed upon to offer himself as a candidate for the office of high sheriff of Montgomery county. He was elected to the position and during his incumbency made a very efficient official. For a number of years subsequently, he was actively identified with both political and public interests in the county, but during the last dozen years of his life he was engaged in the coal business, although he had lived semi-retired until the time of his death which occurred November 9, 1899.

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Sheriff Tyson was a Democrat and a staunch supporter of the policy of that party. He was president of the live stock company of his township for many years. He had filled various local and political places of trust. He was a member of the German Reformed church. He married, March 12, 1846, Sarah Y. Linderman, daughter of Isaac Y. Linderman, Esq., of Limerick township, in Montgomery county. This marriage resulted in the birth of seven children, all of whom are living, as follows: Wilhelmina L., wife of Joseph R. Hunsicker, of Norristown; Joanna L., wife of H. H. Hunsicker, deceased, also of Norristown; Sallie L., widow of Amos Forker; Harriet L., wife of Allen G. Reiff; Elizabeth L., wife of Clarence R. Free; Mary L.; and John H.

John H. Tyson was reared on the farm near Trappe; where he grew to manhood. His education was obtained at the ordinary neighborhood schools, and he was for some time a student at Washington Hall Collegiate Institute, at Trappe, conducted by County Superintendent Abel Rambo, long since deceased, where boys were fitted for a college career or for a business life. Like other boys of that day, who were sons of farmers, he worked on the farm during the summer months. In November, 1877, Mr. Tyson's father being elected sheriff of Montgomery county, he removed to Norristown with the family, and served during his father's term as sheriff in the position of outside deputy, doing nearly all the laborious work connected with the office. He is well acquainted throughout the county. At the expiration of the term in the sheriff's office, he engaged in the coal business with his father at Marshall street and Stony Creek, where they did a very successful business. About a year prior to his father's death, which occurred in 1899, he purchased his father's interest in the business and has since managed it, giving it careful attention and adding largely to the amount of business done. Mr. Tyson is a Democrat in politics but not an office seeker in any sense of the word. He has been a Member of county and borough committees of the party, and on several occasions a delegate to county and state conventions. He is and has been from boyhood a member of the Reformed Church of the Ascension of Norristown. He is a stockholder of the Peoples National Bank of Norristown. He owns and takes care of considerable real estate in Norristown and vicinity, and is administrator or executor of several estates, to which he gives his personal attention, managing them very successfully. He also finds time to pursue his avocation of auctioneer, conducting many sales of personal property in Norristown and its vicinity.

Mr. Tyson married, November 21, 1901, Miss Iola E. Kehl, daughter of Augustus and Elizabeth (Walt) Kehl, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Their union has been blessed with one child, Elizabeth K. Mrs. Tyson was born March 29, 1860, in Bechtelsville, Berks county, where her parents were then living, her father being extensively engaged in the commission business. Her parents removed from Bechtelsville to Limerick township, in Montgomery county, where her father bought a large farm which he owned and cultivated for forty years, he being one of the most successful men of his day and locality. He had a good education for that day, was a clerk in mercantile business, and afterward did a wholesale and retail commission business in Philadelphia. In politics he was a Democrat, and held various township offices but never sought anything higher in that line.

He was one of the organizers of the National Bank of Royersford and a director in the institution to the time of his death. In religious faith he was a Lutheran, being a member of St. James church, Limerick, in which he was for many years an elder and at the time of his death a trustee. He married Elizabeth Walt, January 13, 1859. The couple had three children, as follows: Iola E. (Mrs. Tyson); George H., who was born March 17, 1862, and died February 17, 1899; and Laura A., who was born November 19, 1864, and married, June 9, 1903, Samuel H. Porter, a prominent druggist of Pottstown. Augustus Kehl, father of Mrs. Tyson, was the son of George and Sarah (Dotterer) Kehl. Their children were: Augustus, Jonathan, William D., Margreta and Sarah Ann. A few years before his death, Augustus Kehl purchased a fine home in Pottstown, and retired from active business, dying there.

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The Walts are of an old family in Montgomery county, of German descent, Henry Walt having emigrated with his wife Catharine from the fatherland. Among their children was Andrew, who resided in Upper Salford township, Montgomery county, where he spent the greater portion of his life as a farmer. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Abraham Schwenk. They had eight children. Henry S. Walt, grandfather of Mrs. Tyson, was born December 6, 1806, in Upper Salford, where he remained until his removal to Limerick at the age of fourteen years. His father's death, when Henry was a mere schoolboy, cut short his educational opportunities as his services upon the farm were invaluable, he being the chief dependence of his widowed mother. After renting the homestead farm for two years, he removed to another farm, belonging to his grandfather Schwenk, in Skippack, which he cultivated in ten years.

In 1842 he purchased his home in Limerick, devoting thirty years to the employment of farming thereon. In 1872 he sold this farm to one of his sons. Mr. Walt married, March 26, 1829, Elizabeth, daughter of Abraham Stauffer, of Limerick. They had nine children. Mr. Walt was a Republican in politics, and served as school director. He was identified with St. James Lutheran church, Limerick, as elder, deacon and treasurer.



HENRY A. KEELER. There were seven brothers named Keeler came from Germany to America, two of whom settled in Pennsylvania and the remaining five went to different sections of the country, their place of settlement being unknown except that it was in the west. The two who settled in Pennsylvania were James and Joseph. James went to Phoenixville where some of his descendants still reside. Joseph (great-grandfather) located in Frederick township, Montgomery county. He owned a large farm on which stood the Green Tree Hotel, which he conducted in connection with his farming. For forty years or more he was the host of the hotel and was known far and near as a genial and an upright man. He was a member of the Reformed church and donated the ground on which the Keeler church now stands, which he and his children helped to build. It is occupied on one Sunday by the Lutherans and on the next by the Reformed church. Several years before his death he rented the hotel to his son Eli, and building a fine residence on one corner of his farm he lived in retirement until his death in the early part of the '60s. He married Mrs. Boyer and they had the following children: James, Eli, Benjamin, Franklin, Lebina and Delina (twins), and Sarah.

Benjamin (grandfather) was born in the hotel, as were all the other children, and received his education in the district schools during the winter months. During the summer he worked on his father's farm. He married Miss Esther Stitler, daughter of Adam Stitler. After his marriage he rented his father's farm, on which he worked until 1856, when he came to Norristown and entered the employment of Bean & Wentz, lumber dealers, and remained there until two years before his death, which occurred in 1875.

Benjamin, like his father, was a Democrat, but never held office. He was a member of the Washington Troop of Cavalry, commanded by Captain John Smith, of Pottstown. He and his wife are both buried in the Keeler cemetery. Their children were: Franklin, Amanda, Adam Wilson, William, who died in infancy, Henry S. and Mary Jane, deceased. Franklin married and Amanda became the wife of John Auckie. Adam Wilson enlisted in Company E, Ninety-fifth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers and served in the Sixth Corps, which belonged to the Army of the Potomac and was in the battles and skirmishes incident to four years service. He never married as he was a sea-faring man and saw but little of shore life.

Henry S. married Miss Ida McCauley, but had no children. He enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Regiment, attached to the Western Army, and did duty chiefly at Rock Island, Illinois. Mary Jane married Walter Rodenbaugh and had two children, Walter and Norman.

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Franklin S. Keeler was born in Frederick township, where he grew to manhood and then came to Norristown to engage in canal boat transportation on the Schuylkill canal, in which he continued for twenty years or until about 1875, when he engaged in the barge transportation business as captain, operating in New Jersey bay and Long Island sound, and is still thus engaged.

His home is in Norristown, although he is away a good deal of the time. His opportunity for an education was afforded by the common schools of the day and since attaining manhood he has had the everyday schooling of a practical life. In politics he is a Republican but was never in one place long enough to aspire to public office.

He married Emma Heckman, daughter of John Heckman, who was killed in the Civil war. Their children were: Elmer A., Henry A., Katie A. and William S. Elmer A. married Ida Heckman, now deceased, and has two daughters, Laura and Cora, who reside in White Stone, Long Island, New York, and are attending college at Dean Academy, Franklin, Massachusetts. Elmer A. commenced driving mules on the canal for his father when he was ten years of age, attending school in the winter. After six years spent in this way he grew tired of the business and went to New York city. With the money he had saved he acquired a part interest in a barge, and managing his affairs with skill and industry he acquired more barges from time to time and eventually became a stockholder and manager of a Canal Company. He is also president of the Excelsior Company of New York. He is a Republican. Katie A. is unmarried and resides with her parents in Norristown. William S. is a graduate of the Norristown high school and is a draughtsman and assistant superintendent with R. S. Newbold & Son.

Henry A. Keeler was born in Hamburg, Berks county, August 21, 1867. He attended the common schools of Hamburg until he was thirteen years of age when his parents removed to Norristown. For a year he clerked in a grocery store owned by Mr. Davis. He then went to New York and was engaged by his brother Elmer on a barge. At the age of eighteen he returned to Norristown and served an apprenticeship of three years with James A. Hurst in the carpenter trade, and was Mr. Hurst's foreman for three years and a partner in the business for four years. Mr. Hurst went out of business and Mr. Keeler continued by himself as a contractor. He is a Republican and a member of Cavalry Baptist church.

He is a member of Norristown Lodge, No. 620, Free & Accepted Masons; Norristown Chapter, No. 190, Royal Arch Masons; Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar; Norristown Lodge, No. 714, B. P. O. E.

He married Maud I. Matthias, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Dalby) Matthias. She was born in Radnor, Delaware county, December 14, 1872. Their children are: Earl A., Claud H., Ronald G., Ralph L., Marion E. and Henry.

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