Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 6: pp. 102 - 127.

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(page 103)

which a marble mantle was broken. He returned to his home, and the next spring, April 1, 1849, he went to Norristown, where he indentured himself to Franklin Derr, the well-known dealer in marble, who had a vacancy caused by an apprentice quitting his employ. Mr. Derr was loth to take another apprentice on account of the trouble he had had with the one whose place was vacant, but he finally concluded to do so and the papers of indenture were made out July 4, 1849. They were to hold him until he became of age. He was to receive as compensation for his services thirty dollars a year and board, but no schooling. The only holidays were to be Fourth of July and Christmas. At the end of his term of service as apprentice, he had thoroughly learned his trade and had also gained the confidence of Mr. Derr to such a degree that he retained him in his employment until his death. Mr. Cressman became in time Mr. Derr's right-hand man, and was the one looked to for advice and counsel. He was expected to oversee all kinds of work in that line of business.

Mr. Cressman helped to build many of the finest edifices in Norristown, including Odd Fellows hall, the Montgomery county prison, the court house, the First Presbyterian church, the Lutheran Church of the Trinity, the Central Presbyterian church, the Albertson Trust Building, the First National bank and Montgomery National bank, the Music Hall, Mr. Hooven's large mansion, adjoining the Montgomery bank, now the Masonic Temple, and many other of the finest residences in Norristown. After Mr. Derr's death, Mr. Cressman was employed by his son, Henry A. Derr, remaining with him until just before his death. About 1880 he built, on West Airy street, the house in which he now resides and the store property now owned by George W. Pifer, and conducted a grocery business therein, his wife and a hired boy managing it. This he kept up until about 1890, when he sold it to Mr. Pifer. On leaving Mr. Derr, he established a marble yard in the rear of his home and makes the business the means of keeping himself contented, working only when it suits him to do so, and doing only ordered work. He sends it wherever it is ordered, some going as far west as Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Cressman's wages after completing his apprenticeship were one dollar and fifty cents per day, and that was the rate until the beginning of the Rebellion, after which wages advanced until Mr. Cressman earned three dollars per day.

Mr. Cressman has seen Norristown grow from a small village to a place of twenty-seven thousand inhabitants and has aided in building it up as well as adding to its prosperity. He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1863, and is now a member of Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar. He is treasurer of Charity Lodge, No. 190, and a member of the Temple committee. He is also a member of Montgomery Lodge, No. 57, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has never sought or held office in either lodge. He is a member of the First: Methodist Episcopal Church at Norristown.

Politically Mr. Cressman was reared an oldline Whig, and is now a Democrat. He was elected on the Democratic ticket a member of the town council of Norristown, serving three years, but would never again accept the office. November 16, 1853, Mr. Cressman married Miss Susan S., daughter of George and Christiana (Lowther) Gibbs. Mrs. Cressman was born March 17, 1831, in Norristown, within two blocks of where she now resides and she has never lived at a greater distance than that from her birthplace.

George Gibbs, her father, was born in New York city and went from there to Jersey City as a boy of sixteen years of age. On the breaking out of the war of 1812 he enlisted in the United States army and served tinder General Zebulon M. Pike. At the close of the war it is supposed he went to Delaware as he married there, his wife being of an old Delaware family, descending from early Swedish settlers. From Christiana Hundred, in the state of Delaware, he went to Norristown with his family. He had learned the trade of a mule spinner and went to Norristown to find work at his trade. He secured employment in McCredy's Mill and worked there until his death, which occurred March 17, 1835.

(page 104)

The couple had seven children: Lewis married Ophelia Fields; Mary married John Fry and had four children, Maria, Sarah, Margaret and John; Margaret married Ahlum Cope and had five children, George, Howard, Warren, Levi and Ellen (both parents and daughter Ellen were drowned in the Johnstown flood and Mr. Cope's body was never found); George married Emma Winters, their children being George and Clara; Christiana married George Master and had one child, Charles; Susan S. Is the wife of Henry C. Cressman; Maria died unmarried. Mrs. Fields, the eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs, had the following children: John, William Elihu, Catharine and Mary, Mrs. Gibbs died in Norristown in 1843 and with her husband lies buried in the Episcopal cemetery connected with St. John's church.

Mr. and Mrs. Cressman have had but two children: Franklin D., who was born September 4, 1854, and died in childhood; and Annie L., who was born June 3, 1862, and now resides with her parents. She has musical talent of a high order and has taught music since she was eleven years of age. She gives instruction in piano and organ music and has the remarkable record of having given musical instruction in her own home for thirty years without a break. She was organist thirteen years in the First Presbyterian Church and three years at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Trinity. Her first teacher was Professor Blaufuff from Saxony in Germany, and under the tuition of Constantine Von Sternberg of Philadelphia she completed her musical education, except that she afterwards attended the Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia for a single term.

 


(Picture of Adam Scheidt)

ADAM SCHEIDT, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, president and general manager of the Adam Scheidt Brewing Company, and one of the most enterprising and widely known of American brewers, comes from a family which dates back to the year 1700. His early paternal ancestor was Heinrich Scheidt, who was born at Schweissbacher Muhle (Landgericht Wolfstein Bezirk Kusel), Bavaria, Germany, and there died, in 1792. His son, Nockolaus, who died April 15, 1831, was married to Katharina Ihrig, and their son, Johann Adam Scheidt, was father of Adam Scheidt, the immediate subject of this memoir.

Johann Adam Scheidt was born in the ancestral village before named, September 23, 1809. He was educated in Bavaria and learned the trade of a miller, which he followed until he was twenty-two years of age. After his marriage, in 1831, he settled in Oberweiler in Thal; where he carried on a grain business, Nine-burning and farming until about 1808, when he retired from active business life. He was a man of intelligence and strength of character, as is attested by the fact that he held a number of government appointments, and was elected for several terms to the office of adjunct, a position corresponding to that of burgess of a borough in this country. He was a Lutheran in religion, and was elder in his church. In politics he was allied with the Conservative party. He died April 29, 1894, at the advanced age of eighty-four years, seven months and six days.

Johann Adam Scheidt was married, December 1, 1831, in Oberweiler in Thal, to Maria Katharina Pfleger, daughter of Philip and Maria Katharina (Rheinheimer) Pfleger. Her father was born in 1779, in Jettenbach, and died in Oberweiler, in 1836; his wife was born in 1782, and long survived her husband, dying in 1865, also at Oberweiler. They were the parents of eleven children, seven of whom were sons: 1. Katharina, born December 6, 1832, died November 27, 1847; 2. Karolina, born November 14, 1834; 3. Jacob, born September 26, 1836; 4. Peter, born December 21, 1838; 5. Karl (Charles) born July 12, 1840; 6. Friedrich, born December 13, 1842; 7. Adolph, born June 23, 1844; 8. Ludwig, born May 28, 1840, died July 3, 1901; 9. Philippine, born June 15, 1849, now deceased; 10. Katharina, born July 11, 1851; 11. Adam, mentioned below.

Adam Scheidt, youngest child of the family last named, was born at the paternal home in Bavaria, February 14, 1854. He received his education in his native village and learned the trade of cooper and brewer, which he diligently followed until about the time of attaining his majority. He then entered the German army (December 12, 1874), in the Eighth Regiment, Third Company, which was then stationed at the historic fortified city of Metz. In March following he entered the Officers' School for five months and then returned to his company, after which he was promoted and did active duty in his new grade. In September, 1876, he was assigned to a recruiting station at Zwybruken, and promoted to a higher grade of non-commissioned office, where he performed various duties until the expiration of his term of service, when (in September, 1877) he was honorably discharged with an unblemished soldierly record.

(page 105)

In March 1878, Mr. Scheidt, then twenty-four years of age, came to the United States to join his brother Charles, who had preceded him and was located at Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he was conducting a small brewery, and a saloon in connection, at 18 West Main street, which is now conducted as the Hotel Finley. Adam Scheidt reached that place in the evening of Monday, April 1, and at once accepted a position with his brother. He gave his evenings to study of the English language, under the tutorship of Mr. Bloomaker, under whom he soon attained a degree of proficiency which fitted him for a participation in the business.

He then became a partner with his brother, and half-owner of the brewing plant, the business being conducted under the firm name of C. & A. Scheidt, and this association was pleasantly and profitably maintained until October 9, 1884, when Charles Scheidt died, after a short illness, following in operation for the removal of a cancer back of the left eye, performed at the Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia. The deceased was in the prime of life, aged only forty-four years, two months and twenty-seven days, and was unmarried.

Adam Scheidt was not now left with the entire responsibility of the business, nor could one have been better equipped for the task. As a practical brewer he had no superior and few equals in America, having thoroughly learned his art in his native Bavaria, the model brewing region of the earth and he was now entirely familiar with American business methods and had made an extensive acquaintance in business circles over a large territory. He purchased his deceased partner's half-interest in the real estate at public sale, and the half-interest of the personal property at private sale, under the appraisement, from the father, who inherited from the son Charles, the latter named having died without issue. Mr. Scheidt retained the sole ownership until October 7, 1890, when he effected the incorporation of the Adam Scheidt Brewing Company, of which he at once became president and general manager, and in which two-fold capacity he has continued to the present time.

Under Mr. Scheidt's masterly management the business has been extended and the plant correspondingly enlarged. Through purchase from time to time, the ground occupied has been increased to about seven and one-half acres, the brewing plant occupying the east side of Stony creek, between Marshall and Elm streets, and the bottling plant the northwest side of the creek:, and both provided with railroad sidings.

To the brewing plant new buildings have been added at frequent intervals and the old ones have been remodeled and modernized. Obsolete wooden construction has been replaced by steel and iron, until every building is fireproof; the latest and most improved machinery has been installed, much of it having been specially constructed for this establishment; and an efficient electric plant upon the premises is utilized not only for lighting, but also for driving the major part of the machinery, the pumping apparatus included, to the displacement of steam. The equipment also includes three ice machines, with a daily refrigerating capacity of two hundred and thirty tons; a carbonic acid gas collecting plant; and all other scientific appliances now applicable to the art of brewing.

In every stage of manufacture, all malt liquors here made, of whatever description, are safeguarded through a strict regard to chemical laws effecting their fermenting, aging and keeping properties. Only filtered air is allowed to come into contact with the liquors, which are also cooled in closed rooms impervious to unfiltered and bacteria laden air.

(Page 106)

The bottling plant now in use is entirely new and contains every device which long experience has demanded, either of necessity or for convenience. All the machinery is driven by electricity. The electric wires, steam pipes, water pipes, refrigerating pipes, carbonic acid gas pipes and air pipes are carried to the bottling house from the brewing plant by a trunk line which crosses the mill race and Stony creek and is supported by the railroad trestle bridge crossing the creek. Malt and other supplies, and also coal, are brought to the plant in cars and put in proper places by means of elevators and conveyers.

The product of the Scheidt Brewing Company comprises various kinds of ale, porter, brown stout and lager beer, and includes the famous Lotos Export peer and Twentieth Century Ale, of which the Scheidt Brewing Company is the sole manufacturer. The annual capacity of the plant is more than one hundred thousand barrels, and the output for the year ending January 1904, was sixty-seven thousand seven hundred and fifty barrels.

Shipment is made in refrigerating cars, built for and owned by the Scheidt Brewing Company, and which are cooled by ice manufactured on the grounds of the Company. The company maintains branch houses in Philadelphia, at 963-971 North Ninth street, and in Baltimore, at 312 South Eutaw street, and distributing depots in Lansdale, at the Broadway House, and in Conshohocken, adjoining the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad freight station, besides many agencies both within and outside the state.

In 1891 the ale and porter brewing and bottling establishment of A. R. Cox, now deceased, at the corner of Main and Markley streets, adjoining the Hartranft Hotel, in Norristown, was bought by the Adam Scheidt Brewing Company and the business removed from the Cox property to the Scheidt plant, with which it was consolidated.

While giving constant and careful personal attention to the conduct of the extensive business of which he is the head, Mr. Scheidt is also connected with various other important corporations, being president of the Penn Trust Company, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and a stockholder in the Norristown Trust Company, the First National Bank of Norristown, the Central Trust Company of Philadelphia, and other manufacturing corporations in Pennsylvania and other states.

In religion he is a Lutheran, having been baptized in the church and confirmed in the place of his nativity, and received by certificate into Trinity Lutheran church of Norristown. He has always been a liberal supporter of the church and of its various benevolences, as well as of other descrying charities.

In politics he is a Republican. Being too much occupied with the cares of business to engage: in party affairs he has never sought or held public office. He holds membership in a number of fraternal and social clubs and societies. His personal characteristics are those becoming to the well equipped man of affairs, who has through his own industry and intelligent efforts acquired means and an honorable position in life and stands secure in the respect and confidence of the community in which he lives and the various circles, business and social, in which he moves. As a citizen he bears a full share in promoting the interests of his city and in enhancing its importance and prestige. Habits of close observation and wide travel have afforded him a broad knowledge of men and affairs and aided in making him a congenial companion to those who are brought into association with him. While a thorough American in his tastes an habits, he at the same time cherishes a laudable affection for his native land and his kindred there.

Before his father's death, the son Adam paid a visit to his father and relatives in 1891, and on that occasion made numerous off-trips to different parts of Germany to renew old acquaintances. In his youth, before coming to America, in following his occupation, he had been located in various parts of Germany and France.

Mr. Scheidt was married, January 30, 1883, at No. 144 West Marshall street, Norristown, to Miss Rosa Isabella Hindennach, who was educated in the public schools of that city and is a member of Trinity Lutheran church. Her parents are Jacob Friedrich and Christina (Koelblin) Hindennach,

(Page 107)

both natives of Germany. Mr. Hindennach is a cooper and brewer and yet follows that occupation. He has been active in promoting the usefulness of St. Paul's German Lutheran church in Norristown, and has served as superintendent of its Sunday-school for many years.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Scheidt, all of whom are affiliated with Trinity Lutheran church, are: 1. Adam Jacob, born April 11, 1884; 2. Harry Adolph, born March 25, 1886, died July 19, 1886; 3. Anna Amelia, born April 4, 1888, died December 4, same year; 4. Nina Rosa, born April 27, 1891; 5. Helen Christina, born September 22, 1892; 6. Katharina Augusta, born July 25, 1894; 7. Karl Friedrich, born April 5, 1896; 8. Louis Paul, born February 4, 1898.

Adam Jacob, eldest son of Mr. Scheidt, has attended the Norristown high school, and is now in his third year at the Pennsylvania Military Academy, Chester, Pennsylvania.

 

 


(Picture of Rev. Joseph A. Strahan)

REV. J. A. STRAHAN is the Rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Jenkintown, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

This now flourishing parish was at its inception but an out-mission. It was ministered to by the Rev. John McGovern, at that time rector of St. Joachim Church, Frankford, Philadelphia. The first baptism recorded by him was in May, 1864. The first regular pastor appointed for the parish was the Rev. Thomas Toner and the date of his appointment was January, 1866. Under his pastorate the present church property was purchased, and the present church erected. The corner-stone was laid in July, 1866, and the house now occupied by the Sisters, then used as a rectory, was built about the same time. Father Toner labored zealously and faithfully for the interests of the Catholic church and for the spiritual needs of the parish until 1871. In September of that year he was succeeded by Rev. William J. McKean, another efficient worker in the parish, who died ten years later from the effects of a fall. The next pastor was the Rev. John Mellon, who died in 1885, and was succeeded in March, 1886, by the Rev. Thomas W. Power, who died in 1892, For a few months the spiritual needs of the parish were given attention by Father Garvey.

On September 8, 1892, the Rev. Joseph A. Strahan was appointed rector. Since taking charge of the parish lather Strahan has entirely renewed the whole interior of the church, built a new stone school house, and greatly improved the property. The church has now a seating capacity of nine hundred. There is an attendance of 225 at the school, which is in charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Rev. Joseph A. Strahan is a native of Philadelphia. He acquired his early education in he schools of St. Philip and St. Michael. He neat took a classical course in St. Charles Preparatory College. He studied philosophy and theology, in St. Charles Seminary, at Eighteenth and Race streets, in Philadelphia. He was ordained to the priesthood October 18, 1872, in the Seminary Chapel, by the Rt. Rev. James F. Wood, D. D. His first appointment was that of assistant at St. James' church, Philadelphia, where he remained upwards of a year, and was then transferred to the Church of the Holy Innocents, at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Two years later he was transferred to the Church of St. Cecelia, at Philadelphia, now called the Church of the Visitation. There he labored faithfully as assistant for a period of nine years. His next appointment was to found a parish at Tacony, in the upper part of Philadelphia, made by Rev. Maurice Walsh, administrator. He purchased land and built a rectory, and also the basement of a church. Eight years later he was appointed to his present position. Under the administrations of Father Strahan the parish has grown and prospered. He is ever to be found at his post of duty, laboring faithfully for the good of the flock. He is held in high esteem, not only by his own parishioners but also by members of all denominations. His present assistant is the Rev. J. A. Walsh, a graduate of St. Charles Seminary, formerly assistant at St. Clement's Church, near Darby, Pennsylvania.

 

 

CYRUS HICKMAN CALEY, secretary of the Upper Merion school board, is a native of Delaware county, Pennsylvania. He was born February 11, 1842, near Radnor Friends' Meeting. He is the son of Samuel and Lucy C. (Hickman) Caley. His mother was a daughter of Cyrus and Phebe (Matlack) Hickman.

(Page 108)

Samuel Caley (father) was born near Newtown Square, Delaware county, and lived there most of his life. He married Lucy C. Hickman, born in Westtown township near the noted Friends' School. Samuel died in December, 1886, and his wife April 13, 1900. Of their children Cyrus H. is the eldest; Samuel, born in June, 1844, died August 20, 1901, married Mary Yarnall, having one child, Mary Frances; Annie died in childhood; William, born December 6, 1850, married (first wife) Miriam Bowker, they having one child, Howard B. Caley (deceased) and married (second wife) Anna Mulford; he is living now in Delaware county; Elizabeth, born in 1853, resides in Media; Hannah married Empson Garwood; and Margaret resides at Media. Samuel Caley was born March 14, 1815, and at the time of his death was seventy-one years of age.

The grandparents of Cyrus Caley were Samuel and Ann (Phillips) Caley. The great-grandfather, Samuel Caley, married a Miss Reese. His father was also named Samuel Caley. The family is of English origin and settled at Newtown Square nearly two hundred years ago.

Cyrus H. Caley was reared on the farm, attended the Friends and public schools of the neighborhood, also Gwynedd Friends' boarding-school, at that time under the charge of Hugh Foulke. He studied two terms at Millersville State Normal School. He farmed with his father until his marriage.

March 16, 1865, he married Annie L. Beidler and bought a farm near White Horse, Chester county, Pennsylvania, where he remained three years. He then purchased a farm near Newtown Square, remaining there eight years. He sold that farm and made several changes in the nest five years, finally settling in Upper Merion about a mile and a half from Port Kennedy, where he has lived ever since. He is a prosperous farmer and attends Norristown market.

In February, 1891, he was elected to the school board of Upper Merion township and has been its secretary almost from the beginning of his term of service. In politics he is a Republican and takes an active interest in the success of his party.

July 3, 1863, he enlisted in Company E, Forty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia. He remained at Harrisburg for three months, was sent to Hagerstown, Maryland, and after remaining there one month, the troops went to Minersville, Pennsylvania, to quell a riot. He was mustered out of service at Reading, September 10, 1863.

Annie L. (Beidler) Caley is a daughter of Abraham and Sarah W. (Stephen) Beidler, both deceased, of Upper Merion, near Valley Meeting. Abraham Beidler, son of Jacob Beidler, was born in 1810 at Diamond Rock, Chester county, and died in 1872, in his sixty-second year. His wife died in 1864, in her forty-second year. They were married in 1841 and lived on a farm which was part of the tract of land taken in by Stephen Stephens, the ancestor of Sarah W. Stephens. They are buried in Valley graveyard. Their children are: Hannah Mary, born April 30, 1842; Annie Landes, born March 5, 1844, wife of Cyrus Caley; Margaret Currie, born January 4, 1846; Stephen Leslie, born December 2, 1848; William, born June 5, 1851, who died young; Ellen Priscilla, born May 5, 1853; Fannie Elizabeth, born in 1854; Harry P., born in 1856, and died in infancy; Sarah Louisa, born June 25, 1857; Jacob Howard, born March 20, 1859; Abraham Lincoln, born in 1861, and died in infancy; Laura May, born in 1863, and died in infancy.

Hannah Mary Beidler married in 1871 Mordecai Davis, son of Joseph and Eleanor (Stephens) Davis. Mordecai Davis is now deceased. They had one child, Ellen Stephen, Davis, born August 28, 1872.

Margaret Currie Beidler married Abraham Metz and had three children: Sarah Eliza Metz, born May 13, 1870; Thomas Overton Metz, born August 10, 1874; and Frank Beidler Metz, born October 23, 1876, and died in 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Metz reside at Atlantic City.

(Page 109)

Stephen Leslie Beidler married Emma Yarnall and they reside at Willistown. They had three children, as follows: Elizabeth Yarnall, married Charles Worrilow and is living near Newtown Square; Stephen Leslie, born April 12, 1882; and William M.

Ellen Priscilla Beidler married Jonathan D. Elliott of Chester county and they reside in West Philadelphia. Their children are: Alva Wayne, born October 23, 1879; Roland Arthur, born October 23, 1882; Fannie Louisa, born November 20, 1884; Edna Bell, born December 29, 1886, and died in infancy; Norman Walker, born July 9, 1888; Mary Ella, born January 8, 1890; Paul Duer, born December 8, 1892, and died in 1893.

Fannie Elizabeth Beidler married Marine Thomas of Wilmington, formerly of Norristown. They have one son, Joseph Davis Thomas, who was born October 27, 1877, and married Mabel Boddy.

Sarah Louisa Beidler married Jonathan Roberts, son of William B. and grandson of Jonathan and Eliza Roberts, of Red Hill, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. They had five children Mary Davis, born February 12, 1883; Edith May, born January 28, 1886; Walter Jonathan, born January 24, 1890; William B., born September 24, 1893; Edward Holstein, born November 24, 1894; and Louisa S. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts reside in Atlantic City.

Jacob Howard Beidler married Rebecca Jane Shainline. They reside in Upper Merion and have five children: Helen Anderson, born April 2, 1888; Jonathan Warren, born May 20, 1890; Ethel Jean, born January 22, 1893; Anna Landes, born December 12, 1894; and J. Howard.

The children of Cyrus and Annie L. Caley were: Harry Thomas, born Twelfth-mo., 1865, died Fourth-mo. 13, 1867; Sarah Lucy, born Fifth-mo. 11, 1868; Ella Beidler, born Twelfth-mo. 14, 1869; Laura Massey, born Twelfth-mo. 6, 1873; J. Oswald, born Fourth-mo. 4, 1876; Jonathan Richards, born Third-mo. 8, 1878; David Ashmore, born Eighth-mo. 21, 1880; Hannah Mary.

Ella Beidler Caley married William Frederick, engineer at Watts Mills, Norristown. They have two children: Anna and Frances.

Laura Massey Caley married William C. Moore. They reside at Blue Bell and have one child, Cyrus Norman.

J. Oswald married Lydia Foulke Moore. David Ashmore is clerk at Hotel Bolton, Harrisburg. He married Catharine Moyer of Harrisburg.

Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Caley are not members of the Society of Friends but they and several of their family attend Valley Meeting.

 

 

GEORGE C. MORGAN, though comparatively a young man, being less than fifty years of age, has made a record as one of the most energetic and enterprising business men of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He is the proprietor of the grain elevator and the flour, feed and coal depot at Elm street and the Stony Creek Railroad. He is descended from Welsh-Quaker stock, although he is himself a member of the Oak Street Methodist church, Norristown.

George C. Morgan was born at Chester Springs, Chester county, Pennsylvania, June 10, 1856. He is the son of Antrim F. and Martha (Harris) Morgan. His father and mother had. five children as follows: Thomas H., who resides at the old family homestead in Quakertown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania; Hannah, widow of Stephen F. Penrose; Kate, deceased, who married Charles E. Smulling, of Quakertown; George C., subject of this sketch; and Joseph A., of Norristown.

Antrim Foulke Morgan, father, was born at Montgomeryville, in Montgomery county, March 8, 1818. On reaching manhood he removed to, Chester Springs, in Chester county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in the milling business with his brother Joseph for a number of years. The remainder of his life was spent at Quakertown, Bucks county, where he became a farmer and continued in that occupation until his death. He also engaged in the wood business there for a number of years. In politics he was a Whig, and a Republican after the formation of that party in 1856, but in the latter years of his life he affiliated with the Prohibition party, believing that the importance of legislation against the liquor traffic- overbalanced every other issue. He was a lifelong member of the Society of Friends.

(Page 110)

On the 31st of December, 1846, he married Martha Harris, who was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, and who died at Quakertown, in Bucks county, three months after the decease of her husband, in 1898, at the age of seventy-four years. Antrim Foulke died in 1897 at the age of seventy-nine years. He was for many years a trustee of the Friends' School at Quakertown, and also one of the elders of the Society at that place. In 1894 he was the candidate of the Prohibition party for congress in the district composed of Bucks and Montgomery counties, and in 1895 the candidate of the same party for the legislature. He was a member of Horsham Friends' Meeting in his younger days.

Morgan Morgan, the grandfather, born 5th-mo. 16, 1782, was a justice of the peace at Montgomeryville for twenty-five years. He was a blacksmith and gunsmith by trade, and was one of the workmen in that occupation who could make a double barreled gun in the early days. He was a native of Horsham township, of Welsh parentage, his father having emigrated from Wales and settled there, where he died. He was a member of Horsham Friends' Meeting, and one of the building committee appointed to erect the present meeting house. Morgan Morgan married, 11th-mo. 15, 1810, Ann Custard, born 8th-mo. 14, 1787. Their children: Amelia, born 8th-mo. 5, 1811, died at the age of four months; Joseph C., born l0th-mo. 10, 1812, died 2d-mo. 27, 1888; Amelia Ann, born 5th-mo. 10, 1815, died in 1855; Antrim F., born 8th-mo. 31, 1818, died 12th-mo. 24, 1897; George, born 2d-mo. 7, 1821, died 3d-mo. 2, 1839; Elizabeth, born 6th-mo. 20, 1823; Hannah, born 12th-mo. 28, 1828.

Thomas Harris, maternal grandfather, was the son of Colonel John Harris, of Revolutionary fame. Col. John Harris was a native of England. He was born April 1, 1753, and died December 25, 1838, at the age of eighty-three years, three months and six days. He came to America when a boy, and settled in Chester county, Pennsylvania. He was an officer in General Anthony Wayne's Division. He was a farmer by occupation and also operated a mill. Thomas Harris, grandfather, was a native of Chester county, and married Catharine Smith, who was of German descent. He was born in 1780, and died in 1842. His wife was born May 5, 1783, and died August 2, 1856. Their children: Thomas, born May 3, 1814, died September 22, 1825; Jackson, born 10th-mo. 8, 1819, died 7th-mo. 3, 1822; Mary, born 11th-mo. 29, 1823, died 6th-mo. 14, 1852; Martha, mother of George C. Morgan, born 10th-mo. 24, 1825, died 3d-mo., 10, 1898.

George C. Morgan was reared in Quakertown, and attended the Friends' school there in his boyhood days. On leaving school he went to Conshohocken, where he spent two years learning the trade of miller with his future father-in-law, John J. Brooke, now a resident of Norristown. At the close of his apprenticeship he went to Greenlane, on the Perkiomen, where he followed the occupation of milling for two years.

In 1878 he removed to Norristown, and purchased the old mill at the corner of Main and Markley streets which he soon afterwards demolished and re-established it near the corner of Marshall and Barbadoes streets. It was a large and well equipped structure in every respect. He operated it by steam and water for nearly twenty years, from 1879 to 1898. In the last named year he sold it to the Stony Creek Milling Company, who in turn disposed of it to the Eastern Milling and Export Company.

In 1895 Mr. Morgan bought the Shaffer brick manufacturing plant, located on Forest avenue, Norristown, but just beyond the borough limits, and operated it very successfully for a number of years, the establishment being finally merged into the Morgan Brick Company, which, on Mr. Morgan's withdrawal, became the Norristown Brick Company.

In 1902 Mr. Morgan formed a partnership with his son, Warren B. Morgan, and built a grain elevator and feed house on the Stony Creek Railroad at Elm street. He has combined this business with the retail coal trade and it has since been successfully conducted under the firm name of George C. Morgan & Son.

Mr. Morgan married, on March 25, 1880, Miss Inez, eldest daughter of John Jacob and Catharine (Hunsberger) Brooke.

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They have had nine children, as follows: Warren B., associated with his father in business Lottie; Elsie; George R.; John J. B.; Inez; Blanche; Janet; and Catharine. Elsie and Janet died at the age of eighteen and eleven months, respectively. Mr. Morgan is class leader and president of the board of trustees of Oak Street Methodist Episcopal church, of Norristown, of which he and his family are members. In politics he is an active and prominent Prohibitionists, being earnestly devoted to antagonism to the liquor interests. He has frequently been a candidate for public office on the ticket of that party. He has been treasurer of the Prohibition county committee since 1880. He was for two years postmaster at Hillegass. Mr. Morgan is actively connected with several Norristown enterprises. He is a director in the West Norristown Building & Loan Association. In addition to his other occupations, Mr. Morgan, some years ago, engaged very extensively in building operations in the vicinity of Green and Brown streets, in the borough of Norristown, erecting many dwellings. He has also been largely identified with the ownership of real estate in other sections of Norristown. Mr. Morgan has done much to assist in the progress of the community in which he lives, exerting himself vigorously in whatever occupations he has been engaged, and being in every respect a useful and valuable citizen.

The Brooke family, to which Mrs. Morgan belongs, is among the oldest in Montgomery county. John is a prominent name in the family, there having been a John Brooke in nearly every generation to the present. John Brooke, with Frances, his wife, and two sons, James and Matthew, arrived in Pennsylvania from Yorkshire, England, in 1699. John had purchased from William Penn a tract of seven hundred and fifty acres of land, and on his death his sons took up the land in the township of Limerick, settling upon it. It occupied the central portion of the township. The house which they built in 1714 has been partly incorporated into the modern dwelling which is still standing on the premises originally owned by them, and the house built by Matthew Brooke's widow in 1721 was torn down in 1835 by one of the Bornemans who owned the property at that time.

John Brooke, the father of James and Matthew, and the progenitor of the family in America, was detained, according to a family tradition, in quarantine at Gloucester, below Philadelphia, with a contagious disease, and died there. His will corroborates the tradition, as it bears date 8th-mo. 25, 1699, directing that his property be divided among his three sons, one Jonathan, having been left in England. The Brookes were among the earliest settlers above the Perkiomen, although there was a Swedish settlement at Douglassville, and a few Germans had even then located themselves in New Hanover township. James and Matthew Brooke set apart a burial place containing two acres and four perches of land, and a deed was made for it to trustees by their sons, William and George Brooke.

John J. Brooke, father of Mrs. George C. Morgan, was born August 21, 1840, on the homestead of later generations of the family in Lower Pottsgrove township. He was educated in the schools of the neighborhood, working at intervals on the farm as was then customary in the rural districts of the county. He learned the milling trade at what was then known as Brower's Mill, in Plymouth township.

In 1867 Mr. Brooke purchased the mill and operated it himself with the exception of one year, 1882, when he rented it to Jonathan Nyce, until 1899, when he sold it to A. T. Cross, who has since sold it to the Alan Wood Steel Company, at Ivy Rock, and the mill site is now a part of their extensive grounds. Since selling his mill in Plymouth township, Mr. Brooke has been employed a part of the time at the old Morgan Mill, on Marshall street, Norristown. He lives retired at No. 1020 Main street, in that borough.

John J. Brooke married Catharine, daughter of Samuel H. and Catharine (Haldeman) Hunsberger, of East Coventry township, Chester county, Pennsylvania. Her parents lived about four miles from Pottstown, her father being a miller and farmer. Mrs. Brooke's mother was the daughter of Abraham Haldeman, who was a Mennonite preacher for many years. The Hunsbergers were also an old Mennonite family, long domiciled in the vicinity of Sumneytown, in Montgomery county. Samuel H. Hunsberger was a Republican in politics, and served for a number of years as a supervisor in East Coventry township.

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Mr. and Mrs. John J. Brooke have the following children: Inez, wife of George C. Morgan; Mary, wife of Allen Hallman; Charlotte, wife of William H. Moser, of Upper Merion township, Montgomery county; and Miss Daisy, residing with her parents. In addition to the children mentioned, Mr. and Mrs. Brooke had a son John and a daughter Lillian, who are deceased.

John Brooke, grandfather of Mrs. Morgan, married Maria Christman, of an old Lower Pottsgrove family. They resided at Crooked Hill, in that township. He was a farmer, and died January 27, 1861, at the age of sixty-two years. He had nine children, all of whom are now deceased except John J., father of Mrs. Morgan; Firman, a druggist in Chicago, and Josiah, who lives, retired in Philadelphia.

Mrs. Morgan's great-grandfather was twice married and died in 1812. He was the son of Matthew Brooke, one of the immigrant's three sons. The surviving brothers and sisters of Mrs. John J. Brooke are Abraham, residing in Virginia; Elizabeth (Mrs. John Detwiler), of Clifton, Virginia; Annie (Mrs. Thomas Whiteman), of Parkesburg, Pennsylvania; and Emma (Mrs. Penrose Thomas), of Norristown, Pennsylvania.

 

 


(Picture of Thomas Buckman)

THOMAS BUCKMAN, deceased, for many years a highly respected and influential citizen of Jenkintown, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, where he was actively and extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits, was born December 11, 1802, a son of Thomas and Mary (Harding) Buckman.

The educational advantages enjoyed by Thomas Buckman during his boyhood days, and which thoroughly qualified him for a life of usefulness and activity, were obtained at the Friends' School, situated in Abington township, Montgomery county. After completing his studies he rented a farm which was located in the vicinity of Jenkintown, and after operating this successfully for a short period he purchased a seventy acre farm in Cheltenham township, which he cultivated and tilled for a number of years thereafter, finally disposing of it to John Fork. He then purchased another farm of one hundred and eleven acres from Mr. Troutwine, this land being located near Rydal Station, Montgomery county, and resided there up to the time of his demise, September 20, 1892, in the ninetieth year of his age. He was practical and progressive in his methods, painstaking and careful in the performance of his labor, and his broad acres yielded him a goodly return and large financial gain. He was just and conscientious in all his affairs of life, and bore the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He was a good citizen, a loving husband, and an indulgent father.

Mr. Buckman was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Ann Comly, a daughter of Clement and Rebecca (Jones) Comly, bore him seven children, namely: Amos, deceased; Alfred C., deceased; Mary, deceased; Jacob T., deceased; William, deceased; Thomas and Joseph Buckman. The mother of these children died about 1861. Mr. Buckman then married, secondly, Mary Ann Brooke, born August 1, 1830, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Reyner) Brooke, who bore him two children: Linford, who died in infancy; and Jessie T., who died at the age of nearly nine years. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Brooke was general William, Brooke, whose history is narrated as follows:

General Brooke was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, May 12, 1746, and was the oldest son of Matthew Brooke and Sarah Reese, and the third in descent from the emigrant John Brooke, who with, his wife came from England to take up a grant of land of seven hundred and fifty acres purchased from William Penn in England. The vessel arrived at Philadelphia in the year 1698, though both John Brooke and his wife died on board as she was coming up the Delaware, and were buried at or near what is now Cooper's Point, Camden, New Jersey. His will was probated at Trenton and is a very interesting document, and photographs have been made and are in the possession of a number of his descendants.

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At the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, General Brooke, who was then not quite thirty years of age, volunteered his services, and was commissioned a captain in the Fourth Company, Chester County Volunteers, on May 14, 1777, as a major in the Fourth Battalion in 1779, and as a major in the Sixth Battalion, May 10, 1780. He also served as a major in the Fourth Regiment of Foot, containing six hundred and seventy men, of which Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Willing was the commanding officer. It was while serving as a captain that General Brooke had the following experience, as related by George Smith, M. D., in his "History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania:"

"It sometimes happened that some of our military scouts were captured by the enemy, when not sufficiently on their guard. About this period, such a party under the command of the late General William Brooke, of Haverford, who was then a captain, were one night taking their ease at a house, late the property of George Swain, when the house was suddenly surrounded by a larger party of the enemy. Brooke determined not to be taken, leaped from a window and ran, but in getting over the fence into the road found that a partial dislocation of his knee had happened. Putting his foot through the fence, and giving his leg a quick extension, the joint was brought into a proper condition, when he hastily made his escape."

During his absence with the army on one of the forages made into the territory surrounding Philadelphia, while the British army were in possession of the city, his dwelling was plundered of nearly every article of food and furniture, so that his wife, with two young children, was obliged to turn out in the snow and seek shelter elsewhere. This outrage afterwards formed the basis of a claim against the government, the original papers of this claim being on file at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in a volume of manuscript entitled "Depredations by British Army, Chester Cotu1ty, 1777," as follows: "An estimate of Goods and Chattels taken and destroyed from William Brooke by the British Armies under the command of Lord Cornwallis on the 11th of December, 1777.

   s. d.
Six sheep, six cows and two calves.  45 15  ..
Beds, bedding and wearing apparel. 100  ..  ..
Household and kitchen furniture.  20  ..  ..
Provision and poultry. . . . . . .  12 10  ..
Fat and store hogs. . . . . . . .  21 17  6
Two tons of hay and grain in the sheaf.  10  ..  ..
___ __ __
210  2  6

Chester S. S.: Personally appeared before me, one of the justices, etc. for the County of Chester, William Brooke, and on his solemn oath doth declare and say that the above amount is just and trite as it stands stated and that he hath received no part thereof.

Given under my (obliterated) the

27th August, 1783.              JNO. BARTHOLOMEW.

Endorsed on back "Haverford."

Wm. Brooke's account.

Among said papers is the claim of John Lindsay, a son-in-law of General Brooke, who resided near him in Haverford, for goods and chattels destroyed by the British Army on the following day 12th of December, amounting to 134 3s. 6d.

General Brooke performed further special military service, as will be seen from the minutes of the. Supreme Executive Council, then sitting at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, under date of

October 2, 1777, as follows:

Ordered:

"That Col. Evans, Col. William Evans, Col. Gibbons, Col. Thomas, Capt. Thomas Kevis, Capt. William Brooke, Capt. Jacob Rudolph be authorized and required to collect without delay, from such of the inhabitants of the County of Chester, as have not taken the oath of allegiance and abjuration or who have aided or assisted the enemy. Arms and accoutrements, blankets, shoes and stockings, for the use of the army; that they appraised the same when taken, according to their quality, allowing at the rate of three pounds for a new single blankets, and give certificate for the same to the owner; that they called to their aid the militia of the commonwealth, who are hereby ordered to obey and assist them in the execution of this order, and that they deliver the same, so taken, to the order of the Clothier General, or his Agent, with whom they are to correspond in the discharge of this business." Official record of this is found in volume 5, page 69, Pennsylvania Archives.

(Page 114)

For General Brooke's Revolutionary services, he was granted by congress several grants of land in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, as follows: 400 acres, surveyed Feb. 4th, 1785, 100 acres, surveyed Jan. 24, 1783 and 200 acres, surveyed June 11, of the same year.

At his home in Haverford, General Brooke possessed as an heirloom a splendid mahogany chest of drawers, known as a high boy, and it was during one of the raids, when his house was plundered, that the top drawer was forced open with a bayonet in the hands of a Hessian soldier, in the belief that said chest contained treasure. This chest of drawers remained in his possession until his death in 1829, when it passed into the possession of his son Thomas Brooke, who was the father of Mrs. Buckman, and then in turn it passed to his son, George Brooke, Esq., of Delaware county, Pennsylvania, and at his death some few years ago it was bought at public sale. The purchaser in turn delivered it to Benjamin Brooke, from whom it went to Mr. Francis M. Brooke, who represented another branch of the family, and is still in the possession of his heirs. An old "grandfather's clock" from which the leads have been taken to make into bullets, was also sold at the same time as the chest of drawers, and is now in the possession of Mr. George Brooke Lindsay, of Chester, Pennsylvania, a lineal descendant of General William Brooke.

After the Revolution was over, General Brooke returned quietly to his plantation in Haverford to pursue the more peaceful avocation of farming, surrounded by his numerous family, until the depredations of the British navy on our merchant ships on the high seas made it necessary that we should once more lay aside the ploughshare for the sword, as the country was once more destined to go to war with England. Among the first to offer their services was General Brooke, who was promptly commissioned a brigadier-general of the Third Division of Militia, with headquarters at Chester, where the troops soon assembled, and made every preparation to defend the shores of the Delaware against an anticipated invasion by the British.

General Brooke's remaining years were spent at the old homestead in Haverford, which he had built and lived in for many years prior to the Revolution, and was located at the junction of Darby and Ithan creeks, in Chester county, and the old house is still standing, though it has long since passed out of the family and is fast going to ruin. His death occurred in 1829, at a ripe old age, and he was buried beside his wife, who had preceded him a number of years before, at Old St. David's church at Radnor, one of the most historic and interesting Episcopal churches in this country, and where he had been married on June 5, 1770, to Margaret Moore, who came of a family long settled in that neighborhood. Here also are buried besides General Brooke and his wife, among other children, his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband George Weed, and with this old church General Brooke had been identified nearly all his life, having served as a vestryman for many years.

The Brooke family history has been written up by Mr. Frank Brooke Evans, of Philadelphia, and shows a connected history from the coming of the emigrant in 1698 from Huddersfield, England, where the family had been settled since 1534, several of the children of the emigrant having remained in the old country and leaving numerous descendants.

 

 

MILTON T. KEYSER, the well known clerk of the Farmers' Hotel, at Main and Barbadoes streets, Norristown, is a native of Skippack township, where he was born July 26, 1869. He remained on the home farm until 1886, when he engaged in work on his own account. He commenced by working for Daniel Detwiler on his farm near what is known as Linfield, Montgomery county. He continued with Mr. Detwiler a short time and then went to Parkerford, in Chester county, to learn the baking trade, with John Rochester, but before completing his apprenticeship

(page 115)

went to Pottstown and worked for more than a year for Eli Reigner, in a bakershop, where he finished his trade. Returning to Skippack, he worked ten months for John Alderfer on a farm. He then became employed as a butcher with Philip Davis, of Skippack, and remained with him for three years and ten months, and was then home with his father for a year. This was in 1892, and at the end of that year he went to Roxboro, where he took charge of the bar for Emanuel Brendlinger, a hotel proprietor, and has been in the hotel business ever since, including nine years at the Farmers' Hotel in Norristown, the last three with his brother, John T. Keyser, the present owner of the establishment.

Mr. Keyser has been for fourteen years a member of Ironbridge Lodge, No. 104, Knights of the Golden Eagle. He is a member also of Curtis Lodge, No. 239, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Norristown; and of Beaver Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, No. 62, of Norristown; and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Politically he is a Republican.

Isaac C. Keyser (father) was born in Skippack township, October 21, 1837, and died September 8, 1902. He married Elizabeth Tyson, born in the same township, November 22, 1839. They were married September 26, 1863. Their children were: Benjamin T., born August 4, 1865; John T., born January 14, 1867; Milton T., born July 26, 1869; Isaac T., born April 22, 1873; Ambrose T., born April 4, 1876, and died January 30, 1904; Franklin T., born in October 1878; and Elizabeth T., born February 10, 1881.

John H. Keyser (grandfather) married Elizabeth Cassel. Their children are: Mary married Charles Baringer, they having twins who died in infancy; Sarah married Abraham Culp, their children being Isaiah and Elizabeth; Magdelana married another Abraham Culp, but no relation of her sister's husband, their children being Amanda, Mary, Sally and John; Eliza (deceased) married Frank Leidy, and had two children, Jacob and Anna; Catharine died unmarried; Isaac C. was the father of Milton T. Keyser. Mrs. Isaac C. Keyser was the daughter of Benjamin and Mary K. (Markley) Tyson. Mr. Tyson was born in Skippack, as was his wife. They were of an old Skippack family, having lived there for generations. The Tysons came originally from Germany. They were farmers and owned a homestead. Mrs. Mary K. Tyson died in February 1904, aged eighty years, two months and fourteen days. Mr. Tyson and his father (who was Benjamin Tyson) were members of the Reformed church, and Mrs. Mary Tyson was a Lutheran. He served one term as county commissioner. Isaac C. Keyser was a Mennonite in religious faith, and his wife a member of Trinity Reformed church at Collegeville.

Benjamin and Mary K. Tyson's children were: Cornelius, who married Emma Rechner end had one child, May; Benjamin, who married Miss Wolford, their children being Harvey and Benjamin; Markley, who married Elizabeth Burget, their children being May, Benjamin, Mary, Susie, Nevin and Alvin; Mary, who married Joseph Ruff, their children being Amanda, Ella and Ambrose; Mary K., mother of Mrs. Isaac C. Keyser (Elizabeth Tyson); Deborah, who married William Y. Garges, their children being Minerva, Tyson and Mary; and Philip Tyson (deceased).

Benjamin T. (brother of the subject of this sketch) married Amanda Bean, and she dying December 21, 1890, he married (second wife) Miss Kate Dreibelbis, they having no children; John T., married Sarah Burgett, their children being Howard, John, Helen, Benjamin and Verda.

Milton T. Keyser married May 3, 1898, Miss Barbara Feather, daughter of William and Lucy A. (Brey) Feather. Mrs. Keyser was born December 27, 1876, in Topton, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. William Feather was born at Swamp, March 29, 1836, and was all his life a brickmaker. He was a Lutheran in religion and a Democrat in politics, but never sought office. He married, in July 1863, Miss Lucy A. Brey. Their children are: Clinton, who died in infancy; Andorra (deceased); Sarah, who married Howard Fisher, their children being Hattie, Samuel, John, William Lord and an infant; Milton, who married Miss Null, and they have two children, Gertie and Wayne, one being deceased; Annie, deceased; William, who married Cenia Miller, their children being Russell and Willy; Albert, who married Sallie, and has one child, Lillie; Barbara, who married Milton T. Keyser; John, deceased; Jacob, unmarried and resides with his parents in Allentown; Lizzie, who married Clement Hillegass and has one child, Sorden; Mary, unmarried, residing with her parents; Adam, who died in infancy; Frank, who resides with his parents; Josiah, who died in infancy; Tillie and Millie, residing with their parents. Mrs. Feather, nee Miss Brey, had the following brothers and sisters: Emma, Angeline, Edward, Mary, Hannah (deceased), Isaac, Henry (deceased), Albert (deceased), Tillie, Ella and John.

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Isaac T. Keyser is unmarried. Ambrose T. Keyser married Miss Rachel McKoons of Norristown, there being no children; Franklin T. Keyser married Miss Mabel L. Trainor, of Philadelphia; and Elizabeth T. Keyser married George A. Brooks, of Philadelphia, June 26, 1901.

 

 

WILLIAM H. RODENBAUGH, for many years chief-of-police in Norristown, has had a varied experience in investigation of a criminal character. He has made several journeys half way across the continent or more to bring back self-confessed murderers and other offenders.

The Rodenbaughs are an old family in Montgomery county. Michael Rodenbaugh was born in 1780 in the vicinity of Plymouth Meeting. On reaching manhood he became a farmer and teamster between Pittsburg and Philadelphia in 1824, hauling produce from one of these cities to the other. He followed this occupation all his life. He was a Friend, as were his wife and family. In politics he was a Whig until the organization of the Republican party when he became a member thereof.

He married and had the following children: Nathan (father); Benjamin, who in 1849 went to the gold regions of California, which was the last heard of him; Susan, who married Thomas B. Evans (first husband) and David Bowers (second husband), dying in 1900; William; Mrs. Mary Ambler; Michael, who married Mary Jane Doan, and died at Germantown in 1899, while his widow formerly residing at Chestnut Hill, died in October, 1903; Elizabeth, who married Maland Zearfass, and died in 1863; and Ezra, who died in 1895.

Nathan Rodenbaugh (father) was born in Whitemarsh township, October 29, 1813, in the old Rodenbaugh homestead. He grew to manhood on the farm, receiving a common school education, and following in the footsteps of his father, driving team most of his life. About 1870 he joined the First Baptist church in Norristown and died in that faith. He was a Whig. and a Republican in politics though never an office-seeker. He did not miss voting during his long life and always took a deep interest in the primary meetings of the party.

He married in 1834, Margaret, daughter of Nathan and Margaret (Wolf) Macolly, her family being of Dutch descent. They had the following children: Elizabeth, who died April 7, 1863; Benjamin, who died April 9, 1863; Charles, who was born March 29, 1841, married Elizabeth Keyser, and his second wife was Eleanor Price, of Philadelphia; Catharine; William H.; Margaret, who was born in 1848, and died in 1850; Sylvester, who married Jennie Hauk, of Phoenixville, who is deceased; Arrabell, who married Nathan Haines Jones, of New Jersey, and now resides in Philadelphia; and Howard, born March 29, 1856, who married Jane Keeler, of Norristown, and lives in Skippack.

Nathan married (second wife) Tamson Macolly in March 1865, they having one child, Sarah, born in 1866, married Elroy Williams. They have one child, J. Merrill Williams. Nathan Rodenbaugh died June 29, 1899. His first wife died in August 1864; and his second wife died August 11, 1890.

William H. Rodenbaugh is the oldest chief-of-police in length of service in the state of Pennsylvania, and the second oldest in the United States. He was born December 19, 1847, on the old homestead in Plymouth township. His father removed to Norristown in 1851, where the son has since resided. His education was obtained at the public schools of Norristown, he being one of the first pupils at Sandy street building. When but ten years of age he worked in a brickyard in the summer, going to school in the winter. He continued in this laborious occupation until 1862, when he ran away and went to a recruiting station and tried to enlist but could not get himself accepted. After the severe whipping he received on account of his unappreciated patriotism, he commenced work in the Hooven Rolling Mill.

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Although the balls weighed more than he did, he earned a dollar and twenty-six cents per day, which was then considered good wages for a boy. He worked at this for two years, when he commenced driving team for his father, who was a teamster at the Hooven Mills. He continued as a teamster for two years and then became an apprentice with Lewis H. Davis at the trade of bricklaying, serving in this capacity for three years, during which time Mr. Davis constructed many of the prominent buildings in Norristown, among them being the Albertson Trust Building, the Acker Building and others. He worked at his trade until 1876, when he entered the Norristown police department as patrolman, serving as such for eighteen months, when, on April 1, 1878, he was appointed chief-of-police and has filled the position from that time to the present without a break.

His first case of importance was in connection with the detectives Henry Weil and George Jackson, who arrested Tom Taylor, leader of the famous Masked Burglars' gang. Taylor had been a fugitive from justice for some time. He was in hiding at Port Indian and living with a Mrs. Klinetop as her husband. She was the mother of the famous Klinetop Sisters, variety actresses. Mrs. Klinetop was known to be the owner of a handsome little dog, and as she came to Norristown for her mail, her dog attracted the chief's attention, he having been notified that the owner of the dog was involved with Tom Taylor. The chief took the steamer with her one day and located her at Port Indian, then in company with the detectives named, all in disguise of other men, they watched in that vicinity ten days and were rewarded on Sunday evening by accomplishing his capture. He was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years.

Chief Rodenbaugh's next important case was the arrest and conviction, at different times, of the Geiyer gang, who had for some time been operating in and around Norristown. At one time the gang robbed a Norristown summer home of enough furniture to furnish two houses. They were arrested in the courthouse in the act of taking out a marriage license. B. F. Geiyer has at various times been sentenced to terms of imprisonment equaling in the aggregate twenty-three years, all during Chief Rodenbaugh's term of service, he being his captor on all these occasions. Irwin, who assisted in robbing the country seat, served three years in the penitentiary and is now leading an honest life.

Another of Chief Rodenbaugh's experiences was the arrest and conviction of the Boemke gang of German burglars, who robbed Landis & Souder's store, at Souderton, of two thousand five hundred dollars worth of silk and other valuable goods. A week later they held up the Heckler family at the point of a pistol and robbed them. The Chief located them at a tramp boarding-house, kept by a giant German, and arrested them all. Ten burglars were given seven years each in the penitentiary and the lodging-house keeper received one year for harboring thieves and receiving stolen goods. The stock of goods was mostly recovered in Philadelphia and Baltimore and in different places where they had been sent. Many of the valuable silks had been sold and were partly made up into dresses when recovered.

Chief Rodenbaugh has been in every state in the Union on official business connected with the pursuit of criminals, bringing persons accused of crime to Norristown, or obtaining extradition papers for their surrender. He has been in the far west among the mines and arrested criminals there, and has traveled thousands of miles hand-cuffed to a prisoner, the days and nights being passed in this way. In the Kaiser murder case a few years ago, Chief Rodenbaugh took an active part, the mystery being completely unraveled, and Clemmer, who fired the shot which killed Mrs. Kaiser on a lonely road in Upper Merion township, two miles from Norristown, being hanged, while the wretched husband, who assisted in the murder, committed suicide in jail to escape the gallows.

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On several occasions Chief Rodenbaugh has exchanged shots with burglars and other criminals, but was never seriously hurt except once, when he was stabbed in the face by a person whom he was trying to arrest. In nearly thirty years of service, Chief Rodenbaugh has been absent from the station house only eight days on account of sickness. Under Democratic and Republican administrations he has continued in office. He has, however, always been a staunch Republican and has never missed election, invariably voting the Republican ticket. He has cast but one vote outside of Norristown.

In February, 1864, he became a member of the Humane Fire Company, and still belongs to it. He is also an Odd Fellow, being a member of Curtis Lodge; a Red Man, being a member of Beaver Tribe, and a Mason, belonging to Charity Lodge, No. 190, of that order. He is a member of Norristown Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and of Hutchinson Commandery, Knights Templar.

On June 6, 1876, Chief Rodenbaugh married Theresa J. Shanks, daughter of William M. and May (Crawford) Shanks. She was born in Columbus, Georgia, where her parents were engaged in manufacturing, and where they resided during the Rebellion. Mrs. Rodenbaugh was born February 26, 1854. Her father was conscripted into the Southern army, but was not allowed to serve as his services as a manufacturer in making cloth for the Confederacy were too valuable. As soon as the war ended the family came north and located in Norristown, where they engaged in manufacturing. The oldest son, ex-Councilman John C. Shanks, is now with Dobsons at Falls of Schuylkill. The youngest brother fills a like position in a Rahway, New Jersey manufacturing establishment.

Mr. and Mrs. Rodenbaugh have had three children: Sylvester, born June 21, 1878, died October 3, same year; Henry Nathan, born November 20, 1879, graduated from the Norristown high school, and graduated also in the class of 1901, from the University of Pennsylvania, as a Mechanical Engineer, being now located at Roanoke, Virginia, with the Norfolk & Western Railway Company in that capacity; Mary Crawford, born March 1, 1883, graduated from the Norristown high school in the class of 1902, and graduated from Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, in the class of 1903, and is now employed by the Norristown Trust Company.

 

 

ALBERT HELFFENSTEIN, one of the best-known residents of Norristown, who held the office of register of wills for three years, is the son of Jonathan and Emeline (Bush) Helffenstein. He was born near North Wales, February 10, 1840.

The Helffenstein family is very prominent in the history of the German Reformed church, of Pennsylvania, as its members for many generations have been ministers in this church.

Rev. John Conrad Helffenstein (great-grand-father) was born February 16, 1748, in the Palatinate, Germany, and emigrated to America in 1772. During the remainder of his life he was pastor of the German Reformed church at Germantown, Pennsylvania, except for a short time spent as a minister at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He died May 17, 1790. Three of his sons, Samuel, Charles and Jonathan, were ministers of the Reformed church. Rev. Samuel Helffenstein (grandfather) was the son of Rev. John C. and Mrs. (Kircher) Helffenstein, his mother having been a resident of Philadelphia. His health was very poor, especially during the early part of his life, and he was not sent to school. He was educated in the synod and was ordained a minister in 1797. He first served as pastor of Boehm's and Wentz's congregations in Montgomery county, and afterwards preached at the Race Street church in Philadelphia for thirty-four years, until 1832. He then removed to a country home in Gwynedd township, near North Wales, where he died October 17, 1866, aged ninety-one years. He was one of the most eminent ministers of the Reformed church that has ever lived in America. He was the author of "The Doctrines of Divine Revelation

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as Taught in the Holy Scripture," which he wrote at the age of seventy-one years.

Rev. Samuel Helffenstein married Christina Steitle when he was a young man, and they had twelve children. Of these Samuel, Albert and Jacob became ministers. Another son was Dr. B. W. Helffenstein, long a resident of Norristown, and a practicing physician. He was also an accomplished musician.

Jonathan Helffenstein (father) was born in Philadelphia in 1814, was a farmer by occupation and died in March 1847. His another survived him until 1860, being eighty-one years of age at the time of her death. He married Ameline Rush, daughter of Henry Bush, and she is enjoying good health at the age of ninety-two years. They had five children, as follows: Samuel B., Albert. Annie, Emanuel and Emily. Samuel B., born November 24, 1838, married, in 1873, Hannah R., daughter of Peter Streeper, of Whitemarsh. Samuel H. Helffenstein was the editor of the Norristown Defender until his death. Annie married Thomas B. Evans, of Norristown. They have two daughters, Addle and Winnie.

Albert Helffenstein lived at North Wales until he was fourteen years of age, when he removed to Norristown, and was employed as a clerk until his eighteenth year. He learned the trade of printing in the office of the Norristown Defender, their under the control of Colonel William P. Seymore, and in 1864, he and his brother, Samuel B. Helffenstein, purchased the paper from its owner, General Schall, and managed it successfully for a number of years.

In 1872, after selling out his interest in the paper to his brother, he became foreman on the Norristown Times, where he remained until 1890. He served as register of wills of Montgomery county, and has since been engaged in the printing business. After the death of Samuel B. Helffenstein, Thomas B. Evans bought the Norristown Defender for the widow of Samuel and it afterwards came under the management of I. R. Cassel. At the sheriff's sale after Mr. Cassel's ownership, Mr. Albert Helffenstein purchased the paper, with its stocks and good will.

In 1861 Albert Helffenstein married Matdila Earl, daughter of Dawson Earl, of Norristown. They Have three children: Emily, who married Charles Howe, of Norristown; Mary, who married Thomas T. Stiles, of Norristown: and Katie, wife of Thomas M. Williams, of Philadelphia.

Mr. Helffenstein has always been an active member of the Democratic party, working earnestly for the success of its principles and candidates. He is a member of the Humane Fire Company. he served for two months is all emergency soldier in Company H, Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Militia, being stationed successively at Harrisburg, Reading and Philadelphia. As an official Mr. Helffenstein was courteous and obliging to all with whom he came in contact, performing faithfully all the duties entrusted to him.

As a citizen he fulfills every requirement, taking an active interest in elections and endeavoring to secure what he believes to be best calculated to promote the progress and prosperity of the community. Few men are more worthy of respect or are so highly esteemed by their fellow-citizens generally.

 

 

DAVID ROBINSON KENNEDY was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, March 24, 1802, and died at Port Kennedy, Upper Merion township Montgomery county, February 11, 1882. He was the son of Alexander and Margaret (Robinson) Kennedy.

The Kennedy family originated in Scotland, near Ayr, in Dunure, or at any rate settled there after one of the early struggles. They were Highlanders. The first in history was Archibald Kennedy, the leader of a noble clan, who was made baron, also Marquis of Ailsa, and Earl of Cassillio in 1150, and was called Lord Kennedy.

The family have been in possession of the estate in a continued line from the time of this Archibald Kennedy, who lived in 1550, until the present day.

The home in Ireland is a very beautiful estate, and in the time of William Kennedy included eight hundred acres of land. The Kennedy family are highly connected and well spoken of in Ireland. Two of their number have been kings in that country, namely Brian and Mahon. They were praised by all and considered as honest and good monarchs who reigned for the good of the country.

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The Kennedy coat of arms has the Arms Argent, Chevrons Gules, between three cross craslets fitchie and sable, the whole within a double treasure flory, a counter flory of the second crest, etc. The Kennedy Clan has a good plaid, the motto being, "Fight to the finish."

William Kennedy (grandfather) lived at Bally, Clouch county. Derby, Ireland. His wife was Tamahil Kennedy, and their children were Margaret, who married James Mairs; Mary, who married Mr. Johnson and removed to England; William, who came to America with his brother Alexander; Robert, who remained on the homestead in Ireland, where the widow of one of his sons, now a very old woman, lives with her three sons; and Alexander.

As has been said, Alexander and William Kennedy emigrated to America. Alexander settled at Port Kennedy, after a short time spent in Chester county, and William made his home in Exton, Chester county, Pennsylvania.

At the time of his arrival at Port Kennedy. Alexander Kennedy was poor, and he entered into the employ of a wealthy man of the neighborhood. Through his industry and thrift he accumulated in the course of time a handsome fortune. At the death of its owner, Mordecai Moore, Mr. Kennedy purchased, in 1803, the farm now known as the Zook homestead. He moved to this farm in 1805 and continued to reside there until 1824, when he died, at the age of sixty-three years.

Alexander Kennedy was a member of the Great Valley Presbyterian church, and both he and his wife are buried in the cemetery of this church. Like his sons he was a Democrat and was a man of wealth and influence, owning a great deal of property in Chester and Montgomery counties. He was the founder of Port Kennedy, as it is now called, or Kennedy's Hollow, its original name.

Alexander Kennedy married Margaret Robinson. All his children, except the two eldest, who were natives of Chester county, were born at Port Kennedy, on the Zook farm. Their children were: William, deceased, who for a time was a merchant at Kennedy's Hollow, but later removed to Kent county, Maryland; David Robinson; Margaret; Jane; Elizabeth; Alexander, who removed to East Pikeland, Chester county; John, born October 14, 1815, who married, in 1841, Margaret S. Connell, of Lancaster county, and had eight children. He died September 4, 1877.

David Robinson Kennedy grew to manhood at Port Kennedy, attending the public schools. He owned and operated a limestone farm, and he and his brother John were the principal property holders in Port Kennedy. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, the ground for which was donated by William Kennedy. The Kennedy brothers also were the principal contributors in erecting the church edifice. David Robinson Kennedy and his brothers built up a great part of Port Kennedy and furnished employment for a great number of people in their lime-manufacturing establishment.

During the early part of his life Mr. Kennedy was a Democrat in politics but he became a Republican about 1857. He was not a politician but always supported his party financially and otherwise.

David Robinson Kennedy married Miss Violetta M., daughter of Colonel Abel and Mary (Moore) Reese. Colonel Reese was a member of an old Chester county family, and Reeseville, near Berwyn, was named for him. The family is of Welsh descent. The father of Colonel Abel Reese, was also named Abel Reese and was an extensive landholder in the neighborhood of Berwyn, being a very wealthy man. Colonel Abel Reese commanded the Forty-fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, in the war of 1812. He and his wife were Presbyterians, and are buried in the same churchyard, in Great Valley, as Mr. Kennedy. The children of Colonel Abel and Mary (Moore) Reese were: Violetta M., born June 22, 1817, and Mary Ann, who married Squire James Sloan, of Philadelphia, afterwards of Port Kennedy.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. David Robinson Kennedy were as follows: Anna Mary died in childhood. John R. grew up in Port Kennedy and was educated in the public schools there and in Philadelphia. He now resides in Seattle, Washington, where he is engaged in business. Margaret K. married William Morrison, an attorney-at-law in York, Pennsylvania. Their children are Violetta J., Mary Kennedy, John K., and W. Earl. Elizabeth died in childhood. Violetta R. resides at home. Mary married George Gunkle, of Chester county, who is now deceased. They had one child, Robinson K.

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Mrs. Violetta M. Kennedy, widow of David Robinson Kennedy, died October 23, 1903, at her residence at Port Kennedy in her eighty-seventh year. She had been an invalid for some time. She suffered a stroke of paralysis from which she failed to rally, being only partly conscious from that time until her death. A sister of Mrs. Kennedy married Squire James Sloan.

Mrs. Kennedy was possessed of rare business ability, being endowed also with many of the virtues which adorn woman. At her husband's death she continued the business of burning lime and furnishing fluxing stone for several years, giving employment to many persons, and only retiring when advanced age required her to relinquish it. She was charitable to the poor, and the later years of her life, when she was more at leisure, were spent largely in work of this kind. She was a valued member of the community in which she lived.

 

 


(Picture of Edward Biddle Latch)

EDWARD BIDDLE LATCH, the son of Gardiner and Henrietta (Wakeling) Latch, the grandson of Jacob and Jane (Jeanette Rose) Latch, the great-grandson of Rudolph and Mary (Bealert-Baler) Latch (Lutz-Latch), the great-great-grandson of Jacob and Dorothy Bealert (Baler), was born November 15, 1833, at Merion, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

Jacob Bealert (Baler) (great-great-grandfather) at and prior to 1755, was owner of a tract of land lying to the northward of City Line, and between lying Old Lancaster Road and what is now called Lancaster Avenue or Turnpike. Rudolph Latch (Lutz-Latch) (great-grandfather), of German extraction, was married March 5, 1755, to Mary, the daughter of Jacob and Dorothea Bealert (now written Beater); she died September 1, 1813. The children by this marriage were: Nancy, Mary, Jacob, John, David, Elizabeth, Susanna, Joseph, Samuel, Hannah, and George. The latter named was born March 16, 1776, and thus through this branch an American ancestry of about one hundred and fifty years is attained. Mrs. Latch inherited about one hundred acres of her father's estate.

 


(Picture of Jacob Latch, Sr.)

Jacob Latch (grandfather) was born October 31, 1758, and died June 29, 1845. He was a son of Rudolph and Mary (Bealer) Latch. He married Jane (Jeanette), the daughter of Peter and (Gardiner-Gardner) Rose, December 24, 1782. The children by this marriage were: Sarah, Mary, Jane, Gardiner (Gardner), Francis H., Jacob, Peter R., and Hannah H. The latter was born January 30, 1803, and was married to Jacob Stadelman, Sr. The average age of the parents and children thus specified was eighty-four years, their ages, not counting the odd months and days, being, respectively, 87, 93, 92, 90, 90, 43, 90, 90, 78, and 83. At some time during the American revolution, Jacob Latch enlisted in the Continental army, serving for a time under Captain Young and Colonel Parschall (Paschall ?).

He volunteered to cut the rope at the west end of the Middle Ferry over the Schuylkill, at what is now called Market street, accomplishing the feat under fire from the British soldiers who were then occupying Philadelphia. At this time, also, the party of which Jacob Latch was a member were listening for and soon heard the roar of the guns that told of the battle of Germantown.

Later Jacob Latch was called "Washington's Runner," but what special duty was involved has not been fully determined, Jane, his wife, also being very reticent concerning Revolutionary history, some of which she would not tell even as late as 1852. Subsequent to the war of the Revolution, Mr. Latch was elected and commissioned captain in the Fifth Company of the Thirty-sixth Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia, under date of 1807, but his old friends used to address him as Major Latch.

Jane Latch, as already stated, was the daughter of Peter Rose. In the Revolutionary days, and, prior thereto, Peter Rose owned a tract of land extending from low water mark on the Schuylkill for a distance of about a mile up Market street, the private burial ground of the Rose family, although unused, still remaining at Fortieth and Ludlow streets. Peter Rose married Miss Gardiner (Gardner), the daughter of a neighbor whose farm adjoined his own. The ancestors of Jane Latch came over in the ship with William Penn at his second coming in 1699, whereby, through this branch, a claim for an American ancestry goes back for two hundred and five years.

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Gardiner Latch (father) was born January 22, 1792. During the war of 1812, although not a participant therein, he was under orders to hold himself at a minute's notice for active service. Later he was duly elected, commissioned, and served as colonel of the Pennsylvania militia. Immediately prior to his marriage his parents, in order to keep their eldest boy near them, deeded to him six acres of ground from the old farm whereon to build himself a house. This plan was so successfully carried out that he brought his bride directly to the present homestead, and here all his children were born.

He married Henrietta, the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (de Monseau) Wakeling, on April 4, 1822. The children by this marriage were 1. Elizabeth D., born January 24, 1823, died April 21, 1896; she became the wife of Thomas J. Knapp, and their children were: Edmund W., Henrietta W., and De Monseau, who died at the age of five years. 2. Jeannette Rose, born June 21, 1824, remained single, and died March 10, 1902, at the age of seventy-seven years. 3. Samuel W., born October 29, 1825, died September 24, 1832. 4. Isabella A., born December 3, 1826, died in July, 1871; she was the wife of William Ashworth, and their children were : James, Isabella Caroline, and William D. 5. Jacob, born March 5, 1828, married Emeline Cooper, and their children were: William, who died at the age of seven years; Edward, who died at the age of fourteen years, and Gardiner C. 6. Mary Ann, born August 4, 1829, died July 17, 1891. 7. Gardiner Latch, Jr., died in infancy. 8, Joseph (afterward known as Gardiner J.), born May 9, 1832, was married to Ellen Fitzgerald, no issue, and died October 14, 1899. 9. Edward Biddle, mentioned hereinafter. 10. Caroline Biddle, born January 8, 1835, became the wife of Anthony K. Royce, and their children were: Lucy A., who died at the age of eighteen years; and Edward L. Royce.

 


(Picture of Jacob Latch)

Jacob Latch, second son of Gardiner and Henriette Latch, made a splendid soldierly record during the Civil war. He enlisted in 1862 in Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-first Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Chapman Biddle commanding, and served until the close of the war, participating in the most important campaigns and sanguinary engagements of the great struggle. His service was in Virginia under Generals McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, Meade, Warren, Grant, Sheridan, Reynolds, and others of the great captains who commanded the Army of the Potomac, or such of its corps as his regiment was identified with.

He fought in the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, and in the following year took part in the notable "mud march" under Burnside, January 20-25, and in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 3-5, 1863. He was also engaged with his regiment in the famous battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Serving with the rank of first sergeant, the dreadful mortality among the commissioned officers of his company left him as the ranking officer after the last named battle, and he held the command with honor to himself and to the admiring satisfaction of the regimental commander. Sergeant Leach was a participant in all of the famous battles and minor engagements which took place under General Grant- the Wilderness, May 5-7, Spottsylvania, May 8 and 20, the North Anna, May 23-27, the Topotomy, May 20-31, Bethesda Church, June 1-5, Cold Harbor, June 5-12, Petersburg, June 17 to August 15, the Weldon railroad, August 16, Poplar Grove Church and Preble Farm, October 1, and the Applejack raid, December 6-12, all in 1864. He was also present in all the operations of the closing days in 1865, and took part in the engagements at Dabney's Mill and Hatcher's Run, February 6-12, the Boydton Plankroad and

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Gravley Run, March 31, Five Forks, April 1, and the capture of General Lee's army at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1965. He was with his regiment when it marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington City, in triumphal procession shortly after the cessation of hostilities, and was honorably mustered out with the colors.

Samuel Wakeling, the father of Henrietta (Wakeling) Latch, was born in England, November 9, 1768. He learned the bookbinding business with Edmund de Monseau, in Pater Noster Row, London, England, and with such further success that he carried off in marriage his employer's daughter, the above mentioned Elizabeth de Monseau. The fruits of this marriage were nine children, namely: Samuel, who died quite young and was buried in St. Paul's England; Mary Ann; William, who died in infancy and was buried in Christ Church burying ground in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Isabella, Elizabeth, William Henry, buried at Old Oxford, Philadelphia; Henrietta, Samuel, and Edmund D. Wakeling.

On July 14, 1793, Samuel Wakeling left England and arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 26, 1793, with a view of settling in the United States. He returned to England for his family, set sail from thence on July 14, 1794, and arrived in Philadelphia on October 1, 1794. He located in Frankford, Philadelphia, and established a prosperous business. Consequently, through this branch, an American ancestry of one hundred and ten years is attained.

Edmund de Monseau, the father of Elizabeth (de Monseau) Wakeling, married Elizabeth Loaste, they being refugees from France owing to some religious or political disturbance. As already intimated, the de Monseaus established themselves in the bookbinding business in Pater Noster Row, and the Loaste family took up the manufacture of silk goods, a sample of which is available at the present time.

Edward Biddle Latch acquired his education in the public schools. He learned mechanical engineering at the Norris' Locomotive Works, remaining for six years, 1851-1857. He was appointed a third assistant engineer in the United States Navy, September 20, 1858, attached to the United States steamship "Atlanta," Paraguay Expedition, 1858-59; United States steamship "Sumpter," on the west coast of Africa in the suppression of the slave trade, 1860-61; promoted to second assistant engineer, 1861; attached to the United States steamship "Hartford" (Admiral Farragut's flagship) West Gulf Squadron, 1862-64.

While on the "Hartford" as second assistant, upon the detachment of Chief Engineer Kimball (who was ordered on special duty at the Neptune Iron Works, New York City) he was placed in charge of her machinery by the commanding officer (Captain, late Rear-Admiral, Palmer), before Port Hudson fell, retaining charge of the same until the "Hartford" steamed into New York harbor on August 10, 1863, bearing the pennant of, at the time, Rear-Admiral Farragut. During his attachment to the "Hartford" Mr. Latch participated in the following engagements: Forts Jackson, St. Philip, and the Confederate fleet in the Mississippi river, April 24, 1862: the Chalmette Battery, New Orleans, April 25, 1862; first passage of the Vicksburg batteries, June 28, 1862; second passage of the Vicksburg batteries, July 15, 1862; passage of the Port Hudson terrible batteries, March 15, 1863; Grand Gulf, March 19, 1863; Warrenton, March 28, 1863; Grand Gulf, March 31, 1863; Forts Morgan, Gaines, and Powell, also the Confederate fleet, including the ram "Tennessee," "Selma," "Gaines," torpedoes, etc., Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864. He was promoted to first assistant engineer, 1863, attached to the United States steamship " Wachusett," East India Squadron, 1865-68; Naval Academy as instructor in the engineering department, 1869-70. He was promoted to chief engineer, 1870; United States steamship "Congress," special service, 1870-72; member of board inspection, 1873-75; receiving ship "Colorado," 1876: sick leave, 1876-77; retired, November 22, 1878.

Since his retirement Mr. Latch originated and developed the Mosaic system of Chronology. He wrote numerous elucidation's of the scriptures, and of ancient relics in their relationship to universal history by the Mosaic System of Chronology. He developed the Mosaic laws for determining the distances of the planets from the sun. He is the editor of The Greater Light, a Philadelphia monthly, and the author of "A Review of the Holy Bible," 1884; Indications of the Book of Job," 1889; "Indications of the Book of Genesis," 1890; "Indications of the Book of Exodus," 1892; "Indications of Romans" (in The Greater Light, 1900-1); "Indications of the Revelations" (in The Greater Light, 1901-3); "Indications of Leviticus" (now running in The Greater Light, 1904). His present address is Merion, (Academy Post Office), Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. His early political affiliations were with the Whig party, but later he took an active interest in the affairs of the Republican party. He is a member of the Baptist church, and his fraternal relations are with the Order of Free and Accepted Masons.

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JOHN F. ANDERSON was born August 23, 1836, in Ardmore, Montgomery county, and grew to manhood in that vicinity. He is the son of James and Mary (Wilson) Anderson. He acquired his education at the public schools of the neighborhood. When the Rebellion broke out, he enlisted in Company B, First Pennsylvania Reserve Cavalry, under the command of Captain Owen Jones, of Lower Merion. The date of Mr. Anderson's enlistment was August 8, 1861. He served two months, being mustered out of the United States service October 9, with a surgeon's certificate. At the time of the Gettysburg campaign, Mr. Anderson again went to the front, reenlisting in Colonel Moser's Regiment, and serving three months.

On his return from the scene of war, and until two years before his marriage, Mr. Anderson was associated with his brother in mining iron ore in Upper Merion township. He bought his farm in Upper Merion in the year 1869.

On June 15, 1876, John F. Anderson married Miss Catharine C., daughter of Josiah B. and Catharine (Christman) Missimer. Mrs. Anderson is a native of the upper section of the county, having been born near Pottstown on February 18, 1849.

Mrs. Anderson's father, Josiah B. Missimer was born April 4, 1808, and lived in the vicinity of Pottstown nearly all his life. He was the owner of a farm in Pottsgrove township, to which he lived thirty-three years. He died there in September 1870. His wife survived him eighteen years, dying in July 1888. Husband and wife were buried in Limerick churchyard. Both were members of the Lutheran church. Mr. Missimer was a Republican in politics, but never sought or held public office. Mr. and Mrs. Missimer had eight children: (1) Elizabeth married John G. Powell. (2) Rebecca married R. Brooke Evans. (3) John (deceased) married Miss Maltby. He served three years in Company H, Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Colonel A. H. Tippin's command. He was promoted to quartermaster's sergeant, August 1, 1863, having enlisted nearly a year previous as a corporal. He was discharged June 9, 1865. (4) Warren (deceased) married Amanda Sharer. He enlisted in Company A, Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by Colonel John R. Brooke, now General Brooke. He enlisted September 18, 1861, and was discharged November 7, 1864, his term of enlistment having expired some time previously. He was wounded at the second battle of Fredericksburg. (5) Catharine C. is the next of the family. (6) Henry Clay, married Miss Mahaffy, and resides in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Yale College, and is superintendent of the city schools of Erie, Pennsylvania. (7) Montgomery married Elizabeth Yost. (8) Mary died in childhood.

After Mr. Anderson's marriage he engaged in the occupation of farming at his present location in Upper Merion. He is a Democrat in politics. In religious faith he is an Episcopalian, being a member of All Saint's church, Norristown, as is his wife and family.

John F. and Catharine Anderson have three children. Joseph Wilson, born November 2, 1877, was graduated at the Norristown high school, and then entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated in the class of 1899. He is practicing medicine at Fifteenth and Ontario streets, Philadelphia. He enjoys a large and successful practice. Dr. Anderson married Elizabeth Jarrett, ho is a graduate of the Woman's Medical College, of Philadelphia, and they have one child, Elizabeth, born July 15, 1902.

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John Aubrey, born September 14, 1882, was graduated from the Norristown high school in the class of 1900, and then became a student in the University of Pennsylvania, and is taking the law course.

Mary C., born January 29, 1886, attended the Norristown high school, graduating with the class of June 1903, and is now attending Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Isaac Anderson (grandfather) was born at the Anderson homestead in Schuylkill township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1760. He married Mary Lane, and their children are James, Sarah, Edward, Samuel, Elizabeth, Wesley, Simon M., Isaac, Mary, Joseph E., and Mary.

In politics Isaac Anderson was a Jeffersonian Democrat. He was long a justice of he peace by appointment of the governor. He vas elected to a seat in the assembly of Pennsylvania to fill a vacancy occurring in 1802. His term expiring, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives at Washington and supported President Jefferson in all his measures.

He was opposed to the system of slavery and voted to free all slaves born in the District of Columbia after a certain date. He also supported he proposition to impose a penalty of ten dollars a head on all slaves imported into the country and to prohibit all importations of this kind after a specified time. He was a presidential elector in the Monroe campaign in 1816. He was prominently suggested as a candidate for governor, and stood high in popular esteem. He and his wife were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and services were frequently held at his house, he occasionally preaching and exhorting. He was a man of fine presence, being six feet, four inches in height and well proportioned. He was first lieutenant of the Sixth Company, Fifth Battalion, Chester county militia. His commission was dated May 24, 1779. He died October 27, 1838. His widow, who was born May 22, 1762, died August 27, 1847. Both were buried in the Anderson family burying-ground near Valley Forge. She was a Methodist for sixty years.

James Anderson (father) was born on the Anderson homestead where he was reared. He studied medicine and located in Ardmore, where he acquired a large and lucrative practice and became a very wealthy man. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

James Anderson married (first wife) Sarah Thomas. Their children were: Mary, Dr. Isaac, Naomi, Sarah, Dr. James R., Kueiah, Patrick, and Drusilla.

James Anderson married (second wife) Mary Wilson. Their children were: Dr. Joseph, John, Cerona, Matthias, Jackson and Ultimus Adjutor. Dr. Joseph resides at the homestead, Ardmond. Matthias died in infancy. Andrew Jackson, deceased, was an attorney of Norristown. Ultimus Adjutor is deceased. Cerona is unmarried.

 

 

JOSEPH Y. NASH was born near Fort Washington, in Upper Dublin township, Montgomery county, March 4, 1864. He lived at his birthplace until he was ten years old, when his_ father sold the farm and purchased another farm on Church road in Springfield township. He owned this place for twenty-two years and then sold it at a large profit. In 1894 Mr. Nash, the father, bought the farm in Norriton township where his son now lives.

Joseph Nash (father) was born near Fort Washington, Upper Dublin township, Montgomery county, September 21, 1833, was reared on the farm where his birth occurred, and which he inherited eventually. After buying his farm in Springfield township and selling it to the railroad, he purchased a house and lot at Flourtown, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying May 29, 1894. He is buried in the Lutheran and Reformed cemetery, of Whitemarsh. He was a Democrat, but took no active part in politics. He was a member of the Episcopalian church. His wife spends most of her time with her son in Flourtown. They were married April 4, 1861, and they had five children: Elsie M., born April 4, 1862, married Stoughton R. Clark, and lives in Philadelphia. They had three children: Walter, Emily and Susan, the last two being deceased. Joseph Y. Nash is the second. Harry L., born October 30, 1866, married Miss Barbara Blair, and they have two children, Ruth and Dorothy. Anna, born December 27, 1870, married Harry H. Tippin. Daniel I., born March 1, 1875, married Sarah Matz, and has one child, John Earle.

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Daniel Nash (grandfather) was born near Edge Hill, in Upper Dublin township, and grew up there. He was a farmer, being the owner of several farms, each containing two hundred acres or more. He was a man of wealth and influence in his day. In religious faith he was an Episcopalian and is buried in the cemetery of St. Thomas' Episcopal church of Whitemarsh, as is his wife. He married Maria Shaffer, also of Fort Washington, and their children were Mary, who married Robert Yamel; Joseph, father of Joseph Y. Nash; Daniel and Sarah, who died young; Rebecca, who married William Shafer and lives at Fort Washington; and Amanda, who married Hugh Richmond and they live near Fort Washington.

Joseph Y. Nash was educated in the public schools, and remained with his father until 1889, when he rented the Yeakle farm and managed it for five years, thus making his start in life. In 1895 he bought his present home from his father and has been engaged in general farming ever since. He has eighty acres of land with fine buildings. In politics Mr. Nash is a Democrat, and although he is on the wrong side to seek office in his county, which has a Republican majority, he takes an active interest in politics. He has served on the election board several times and has been chairman of the Democratic committee of the east district of Norriton township several years. He is a member of the Reformed church at Blue Bell, and his wife is a member of the same church.

On May 4, 1888, Joseph Y. Nash married Mary E. Johnson, who was born April 19, 1865, in Whitpain township, a daughter of Henry and Margaret (Hoffman) Johnson. He was a lime burner for many years. Henry and Margaret (Hoffman) Johnson had a large family. Samuel married Elizabeth Smith and has thirteen children. Annie married Daniel Hallman and has two children, Emaline and Mary. Rachel married George Hamilton and has the following children Mary, George and Walter. Harry married Katie Brewer and has three children: Harry, Robert and Edna. Mary Emma married Joseph Nash. Margaret married William Hussler.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Y. Nash have the following children: Eveline M., who was born December 30, 1888, and died November 27, 1894; Emily M., born February 27, 1891; and Mable E., born September 13, 1892.

Joseph Y. Nash's mother was Emily (Yeakle) Nash, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Huston) Yeakle.

Joseph Yeakle (maternal grandfather) was the son of Jacob Yeakle, and was born April 11, 1811. He married (first wife) Elizabeth, daughter of John Huston, who was born April 11, 1813. She died on June 18, 1852, and Joseph Yeakle married (second wife), Mary Huston, who was born February 19, 1817, and died February 14, 1877. The children of Joseph and Elizabeth (Huston) Yeakle were: Huston, born December 13, 1835, and died November 12, 1840; James, born December 8, 1837, and died April 7, 1843; Emily, born October 15, 1839; Eleanor, born April 29, 1842, and died May 15, 1843; Daniel W., born November 24, 1844; Jacob, born January 25, 1847; Levi, born September 5, 1850; John H., born August 12, 1853, and died March 7, 1854; and Thomas C., born January 19, 1855.

Jacob Yeakle (great-grandfather) was the son of Abraham Yeakle, and was born September 29, 1780. He married Gertrude, daughter of George Surfer, November 1, 1808. Their children were Susan, born September 4, 1809; Joseph; Leah, born June 4, 1814; Charles, born July 7, 1817; George, born February 27, 1820; and William, born November 7, 1821. Jacob Yeakle was a farmer and resided in Springfield township, Montgomery county, where he died May 29, 1863. His widow, Gertrude, died February 9, 1868.

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Abraham Yeakle (great-great-grandfather) was the son of Christopher Yeakle and was born March 14, 1752. He married Sarah, daughter of Christopher Wagner, October 10, 1776, and their children were: Isaac, born November 9, 1777; Samuel, born February 26, 1779, and died March 5, 1779; Jacob, born September 29, 1780; Susannah, born November 11, 1782; Maria, born September 4, 1784; and Christopher, born May 21, 1787, and died July 10, 1813. Sarah, wife of Abraham Yeakle, died May 28, 1833. He died June 17, 1841. He lived in Springfield township, Montgomery county, where he owned a farm. Christopher Yeakle (great-great-great-grandfather) was the son of Regina and Christopher Yeakle. He married Maria, daughter of Susanna and Balthasar Schultz, on August 9, 1743. Their children were: Susanna, born October 8, 1744; Maria, born September 21, 1747; Regina, born October 1, 1749; Abraham, born March 14, 1752; Anna, born July 16, 1755 ; and Christopher, born October 7, 1757.

Christopher Yeakle (great-great-great-grandfather) died January 3, 1810, aged ninety-one years and nine months. His wife died March 4, 1807, aged eighty-nine years. Christopher Yeakle was about eighteen years of age when he came to Pennsylvania with his mother in 1734. His father died in Germany. He learned the trade of a cooper and in 1743 built the log house, at Cresheim, Germantown township, Philadelphia, which was his dwelling until about the time of the Revolution when he purchased the property on the summit of Chestnut Hill, and died there at a very advanced age. He was a man of considerable wealth. His mother, a sister of David and Christopher Heebner, came to Pennsylvania with her only son. She died April 4, 1753, aged sixty-five years and five months, her husband having died in Germany several months previous to her emigration. The Yeakle family have always been Schwenkfelders, having settled in Pennsylvania with that colony.

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