Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 10: pp. 198 - 222.

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ALBERT G. SAYLOR, of 214 High street, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, about two miles from Trappe, November 16, 1826. He is the eldest son of Henry and Mary (Groves) Saylor, both natives of Montgomery county. They had five children, as follows Susanna (deceased); Albert G.; Azariah, of Collegeville; Dr. Henry A. (deceased); and Ada Eliza Saylor, of Pottstown.

Henry Saylor (father) was born July 20, 1800, and lived on the farm near Limerick Square all his life. During the early part of his life he combined huckstering with farming but afterwards devoted himself entirely to his farm. He died April 21, 1877, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife survived him until 1880, being at the age of eighty years, four months and eighteen days, at the time of her death. Henry Saylor was a Democrat in politics and served as assessor of his township. Both he and his wife were members of the Lutheran church. Henry Saylor married Mary A. Groves, daughter of John Groves, in 1821. She was born in Montgomery county.

Henry Saylor (grandfather) purchased a farm in Limerick township in 1708, and it is still in the possession of the family. He lived nearly all of his life in Montgomery county and died in middle age. He was buried at Trappe. His wife was

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Susanna Schrauder, and they had two children Henry and Susanna. The family is of German extraction. John Groves (maternal grandfather) spent most of his life in Montgomery county.

Albert G. Saylor has lived all of his life in Montgomery county. He was reared on his father's farm in Limerick township, attending the old-fashioned schools. He afterwards taught school for a short time. He entered the general store of Mr. Henry McKinty, at Douglassville, Berks county, as a clerk, and three months later took a position as clerk for Daniel H. Beecher of Pottstown, remaining with him for four years. His next position was with Frederick Bickel for whom he worked until Mr. Bickel sold out his business to Mr. Umstead Wells, Mr. Saylor remaining with him until after his marriage. In 1850 he opened a notion and millinery store in Pottstown, and in 1860 he added dry goods. Until 1884 he was actively engaged in his business and then, after carrying on the store for thirty-four years, he sold it to Landis & Snell. Since 1884 Mr. Saylor has lived retired.

In December 1848, Albert G. Saylor married Miss Mary Ann Oberholtzer, daughter of Henry and Mary (Bechtel) Oberholtzer, of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. They had two children Henry D. and Mary A. Henry D. Saylor is an attorney and is at present consul general at Coburg, Germany, transferred from Dawson, Yukon territory. He was state senator from Montgomery county. He married Dora Gerhart and they have three children: Albert G., Harold D. and Dorothy. Mary A. Saylor died April 11, 1883, at the age of twenty-one years, six months. Mrs. Mary Ann (Oberholtzer) Saylor died in May 1869, in her forty-fourth year. She was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration.

November 6, 1888, Albert G. Saylor married (second wife) Miss Mary Ann Sassaman, daughter of Jacob and Salome (Stauffer) Sassaman of Berks county, Pennsylvania. Both are members of the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration.

Mr. Saylor belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been a member of this fraternity for more than fifty years. Politically he has always been a free and independent voter. Mr. Saylor is a stockholder in the National Bank of Pottstown; in the Iron National Bank and the Security Company of Pottstown; and has been interested in the Pottstown Cold Storage Company and a director in the same since its organization.

He is secretary and treasurer of the Pottstown Fire Insurance Company. He has also been secretary of the Pottstown Cemetery Association for thirty years. He is a stockholder in the March-Brownback Stove Company. He owns a number of properties in Pottstown and has been a useful and helpful citizen to the borough. Since his retirement from business he has devoted a great part of his time to securing manufacturing establishments and other industries for his city. Mr. Saylor started with practically nothing, for when a lad of seventeen he came to Pottstown with but fifty cents as his capital. He has builded his own fortune and is a self-made man whose success is creditable and enviable. He has been treasurer of his church council for more than thirty years and for many years he was superintendent of the Sabbath-school. He has often represented his church at the synod and he is a member of the church council.



HARVEY BARLOW, wholesale grain dealer of Pottstown, was born in Linfield, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1857. He is the son of Joel and Mary (Christman) Barlow.

Joel Barlow (father) was also born in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. In early life he was a carpenter but spent his later years on his farm, where he died. He married Mary Christmas, also a native of Montgomery county, and they had one child, Harvey.

The paternal grandfather of Harvey Barlow was a farmer in Limerick township, Montgomery county. He died at a very early age. He married Susanna Hollowbush and they had three children. After his death, his wife married (second husband) David Evans, and they had three children.

George Christman (maternal grandfather) was born in Montgomery county and lived at Limerick Station, where he died at the age of eighty years. By his first wife he had eight children. He married (second wife) Margaret Hulby. They had no children. In addition to farming he also engaged in the boating business on the canal.

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Harvey Barlow was reared on a farm in Lower Pottsgrove township and received his education in the district schools and in the seminary at Boyerstown. He lived at home until he was twenty-six years of age, learning carpentering and mill-wrighting. After leaving home he followed these trades for one year and then engaged in the grain, feed and coal business at Sanatoga for three years. From 1889 to 1894 he was in the grain business at Linfield, being associated with Jared Evans. In the latter year the firm removed to Pottstown where they still continue the business. They buy grain, shipped from the west, while it is on the tracks.

March 21, 1883, Harvey Barlow married Miss Lizzie A. Schaeffer, daughter of Zephaniah Schaeffer, and they have one daughter, Evalin. Mr. and Mrs. Barlow are members of the Presbyterian church in which he was a trustee for many years. They reside at No. 79 North Franklin street, where he owns a beautiful home. Politically Mr. Barlow is a Democrat.

Mr. Zephaniah Schaeffer and wife, parents of Mrs. Barlow were both born in Montgomery county, where he was a farmer. Mr. Schaeffer resides at the home of Mr. Barlow in Pottstown. His wife died about 1878. They had ten children, four of whom are now living: Ida; Lizzie A., Mrs. Barlow; Ella, wife of Aaron B. Scheffey, of Phoenixville; and Martha, wife of J. W. Binder of Pittsburg.


(Picture of John H. Twaddell)

JOHN H. TWADDELL, the popular hotelkeeper of Royersford, claims descent from some of the royal families of Europe. He was born in West Philadelphia, December 19, 1858, and was reared in the fashion of city boys at that time, attending the public schools and a business college. He is the son of Charles and Mary (Hassom) Twaddell, both of Philadelphia, the father the son of James S. and Mary (Steel) Twaddell.


Three Twaddell brothers came to America during colonial times, landing at Marcus Hook, in Delaware county, and all three settling in Pennsylvania. The family was granted a coat-of-arms, of which John H. Twaddell has a facsimile. In Europe the family were prominently identified with the ruling class in church and state.

James S. Twaddell (grandfather) established a powder mill in Philadelphia and became an extensive manufacturer of that material, being a competitor with the Duponts, for more than a century located on the Brandywine, at Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Twaddell accumulated a large estate, owning several blocks of houses in that city. In politics he was a Whig, but never aspired to political honors. His children: James, a merchant-miller; Sallie (Mrs. Crabb), whose husband was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature; Abigail (Mrs. Banks); Deborah (Mrs. Dr. William Crabb); Charles (father); John P., died unmarried: Susan, died unmarried. The family were Presbyterians.

Charles (father) grew to manhood in Philadelphia, where he married and lived all his life. He was in the powder mill with his father, continuing in that business for some time after his parent's death, but later selling the mill. He was a Democrat in polities but never held office. He died July 3, 1873. His wife survived him, dying September 12, 1898. She was the daughter of John and Mary Hasson, both of Philadelphia, the father being a prominent contractor and builder of that city. Their children: John, Benjamin, Mary (mother); Peter, George, Alfred, James and Margaret, unmarried.

The children of Charles and Mary (Hassom) Twaddell: James, died at the age of fifteen years; Sarah (Mrs. L. G. Dutton), who died leaving no children; John H., subject of this sketch; Mary E., (Mrs. J. A. Passmore); Charles P., of West Philadelphia; Esther (Mrs. A. P. Hill); William H., unmarried; Emily (Mrs. R. C. Schaeffer).

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John H. Twaddell remained under the parental roof until he was married, being previously engaged for some time in the flour, feed and coal business in Philadelphia. After his marriage he bought a farm which he managed for two years, and then took a position as clerk in the Philadelphia post-office. Later he went to Chadd's Ford, in Chester county, and engaged in the hotel business, later purchasing the hotel and remaining there seven years, then going to Kennett Square, where he bought another hotel. He was there three years, when he bought the Mansion House at West Chester, and was there fourteen months, and selling the establishment, as well as one at Kennett Square, and all his other hotel properties. From West Chester he went to Atlantic City, and rented a hotel one year, and then returned to Chadd's Ford, where he remained a year.

In April 1901, he bought the American House at Royersford, where he yet remains. He has wonderfully improved his place of business, remodeling, refitting and refurnishing it. He now has a commodious hotel opposite the railroad station, four stories high, of stone, containing in all twenty-seven rooms, with hot and cold water, gas, electric lights and all modern appointments. Mr. Twaddell has been successful financially and otherwise, being a courteous and accommodating landlord, whose patrons never find anything lacking that he can supply.

On May 27, 1879, he married Mary P. Osterholdt, a native of Philadelphia, where she was born Sept. 1, 1860. She is the daughter of William and Catharine (Plunkett) Osterholdt, both of Philadelphia, he the son of Frederick and Matilda (Barr) Osterholdt.

Frederick Osterholdt was the son of Frederick, Sr., of Heidelberg, Germany, who came to America with John Jacob Astor. He was a butcher by trade, and his descendants carried on the business which he established. He left Germany in order to avoid enforced military service and to escape from under the domination of monarchical tyranny. He left home without the consent of his family or their knowledge, selling his time to the captain of the vessel to pay his passage. He landed in New York, but soon came to Philadelphia, where he amassed an immense fortune. His children: Frederick, Jr., Peter, Catharine (Mrs. William Myers), Dorothy (Mrs. Diehl), Henry, George, Eliza (Mrs. J. Haines), who is now above ninety years of age. The family are Lutherans.

Frederick Osterholdt, Jr., grandfather of Mrs. Twaddell, was born in Philadelphia and reared in the butchering business which he conducted on an extensive scale and which his sons carried on after his retirement. He built a homestead in which he lived over fifty years. He died at the age of seventy-nine years. His children: Frederick, yet living at the age of seventy; William, now of Royersford; Mary (Mrs. Keithline); Edward, at the old homestead; Elizabeth (Mrs. William Cook); Henry, residing in Philadelphia; Matilda (Mrs. C. Wolf).

The children of William and Catharine Osterholdt: Mary, wife of Mr. Twaddell; George B. McClellan, of Philadelphia; Matilda G. (Mrs. Joseph R. Wilson); William, of Cleveland, Ohio; Joseph, died at the age of thirty-four years, leaving no children; Catharine H. (Mrs. Henry C. Bonsall); John T., at Royersford; Charles J., of Philadelphia, unmarried; Walter, also of Philadelphia.

Mr. and Mrs. Twaddell have five children, as follows: Gertrude, born February 27, 1881, wife of M. C. Eppihimer, of Royersford; Charles W., born December 16, 1883; J. Logan, born December 30, 1886; William B., born February 2, 1891; Irma, born April 28, 1894. Mr. Twaddell and his wife are Presbyterians in religious faith. He is a Knight Templar, of Masonic Lodge, No. 475, of Kennett Square. He is also a member of Chapter 275, Royal Arch Masons, of Kennett Square, and a member of Upper Birmingham Lodge, No. 940, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is also connected with the lodge of Heptasophs at Kennett Square, with the Knights of the Royal Arch, and with the Improved Order of Red Men, Winona Tribe. In politics he is a Republican.

Frederick Osterholdt, born at Heidelberg, Germany, who came to America young, died in 1844 at the age of fifty-three years, and was buried in an old Philadelphia cemetery. Twelve years later the bodies had to be removed, and his was found to be petrified and very heavy. He was identified in his lifetime with the militia of his state. His son Frederick married Matilda Barr, daughter of William Barr, who served through the Revolutionary war with distinction, being killed in battle. A son, William Barr, served in the war of 1812.

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William Osterholdt, father of Mrs. Twaddell, was reared in Philadelphia, being also engaged in the butchering business from which he retired in 1895. He is still living in Philadelphia. He was a leading Republican, and an active party worker when younger. He was born October 24, 1837. Catharine (Plunkett) Osterholdt was born in Philadelphia, December 15, 1837. Her parents were John and Mary (McKay) Plunkett, both natives of Ireland. They were married in America, and settled in Philadelphia, where he was a maker of fine boots and shoes. Later he went to New Orleans, where he died of yellow fever, his wife dying some years afterwards in 1855, at the age of fifty-three years. They were both members of the Catholic church. After her husband's death, Mrs. Plunkett reared her sons with great care. She was a strong advocate of temperance, and reared her sons with her convictions, from which they never departed.

The children were: John, murdered during the rebellion; Thomas, followed canal boating on the Reading canal; Maria, married H. G. Watson, a merchant at Chambersburg; Elizabeth, married J. Kernan; Margaret (Mrs. I. N. Sage); Catharine (Mrs. William Osterholdt).

The maternal grandparents of John H. Twaddell were John and Sarah (Woodman) Hassom, he is a native of Delaware, and she of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was the son of John and Mary Hassom, of Delaware, whose family for generations had been members of the Society of Friends. The children of John and Mary Hassom were: Peter, William, Mary (Mrs. John Snell), Betsey (Mrs. N. Cornish), and John, Jr.

John Hassom, Jr., the maternal grandfather of Mr. Twaddell, was married in Philadelphia, and settled in that city as a contractor and builder, remaining there during his lifetime. He was always a member of the Society of Friends, and died 9 mo. 5, 1880. His mother was Rachel Springer, daughter of Peter and Mary Springer.

Peter Springer was the son of Carl Christopher Springer, a minister in the Old Swedes' church, at Wilmington, who was a native of Sweden. He owned large tracts of land which he leased for ninety-nine years and his descendants have not yet acquired their title.

The children of John Hassom, Jr.: Margaret, died in infancy; William, died unmarried at the age of seventy years; John, died in 1903 leaving four children; George, died leaving four children; Peter, of Passellville, Pennsylvania; Mary E., mother of Mr. Twaddell; Benjamin, of Huntingdon; Alfred D., of Philadelphia; Tames H., of Philadelphia, and Margaret, also of Philadelphia, still unmarried.



JOHN S. FRITZ, the son of John and Catharine (Sassaman) Fritz, was born in Douglas township, Berks county, Pennsylvania, July 23, 1837.

John Fritz (father) was born on the homestead in Douglas township, Berks county, in 1802. In young manhood he was a tailor but soon devoted himself to farming, an occupation which he followed all his life, dying at the age of thirty-seven years. He was a Democrat, and both he and his wife were members of the Lutheran church of Pottstown. He married Catharine Sassaman of Douglas township, on September 4, 1820, and they had six children, three sons and three daughters, two now living. Mrs. Catharine Fritz died in 1895, at the age of seventy-two. They had six children: Ephraim Fritz, born January 15, 1828, married September 1, 1857, Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Egolf. They had one son, John (deceased). Ephraim Fritz died several years ago. The other members of the family are: John S.; Nathaniel, deceased; Almira, widow of Daniel B. Levengood, of Pottstown; Amelia, and Sarah, deceased.

John Fritz (grandfather) was also born in Douglas township, Berks county, Pennsylvania, where he lived all his life, and owned a farm of one hundred acres. He was a Democrat in politics and an active member of the Lutheran church. He married Sarah Sands and they had six children: Samuel, Joseph, David, Catharine Hollman,

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Sarah Keiser and John. He died at the age of eighty years.

The Fritz family is of German origin and emigrated to this country in the early part of the eighteenth century, settling in Douglas township, Berks county.

John S. Fritz was reared on the farm in Berks county and attended the district schools. His father died when the son was six years of age. Until he was grown he worked on his mother's farm and then worked out by the month until 1872 when he bought sixteen acres of land in Berks county. He sold this land in 1883 and removed to Pottstown, entering the employ of his brother Ephraim in his coal-yard. In 1895 he left the coal-yard and ever since has been helping his son, Daniel L., who is a grocer in Pottstown. He lives retired.

December 10, 1859, John S. Fritz married Miss Mary Levengood, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Bechtel) Levengood. They had four children: Mary Emma died at the age of thirteen months. Anna Miranda died at the age of seven Years. Daniel L., a grocer in Pottstown, married Jennie Engel and has three children: John E., Ralph E. and Bessie E. Ephraim L. married Lulu Schick and has three children: Elmira, Daniel and Allen. Ephraim L. is engaged in the livery business in Pottstown.

Mrs. John S. Fritz died in 1875, at the age of thirty-six years. She was a member of the Reformed church. John S. Fritz belongs to the Emmanuel Lutheran church, where he was a deacon about twenty years. Politically he is a Democrat. He lives at 110 King street, where he owns a fine brick home. He built another house by the side of his own for his son Daniel L.



JAMES W. GILBERT, who is now living retired in Pottstown, was born in Phoenixville, Chester county, Pennsylvania, January 8. 1864. He is the son of Washington and Catharine (Rover) Gilbert, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania.

Washington Gilbert (father) was by trade a tinker and a tinner. He removed from Chester county to Montgomery county many years ago, residing in Upper Pottsgrove township. He lived there on a farm until he went to Pottstown, where he died February 20, 1892. His wife is still living in Pottstown. Both were Lutherans. Washington and Catharine (Rover) Gilbert had two children: James W. and George, of Lehighton, Pennsylvania.

James Gilbert (grandfather) was a tinker and a farmer in Upper Pottsgrove township, Montgomery county. He was born in Falkner's Swamp, New Hanover township, Montgomery county, and was of German descent. His wife was Sarah Bickel and they had one son, Washington Gilbert.

Samuel Royer (maternal grandfather) was a printer by trade but later became a farmer. He resided north of the borough of Pottstown. He married Miss Van Buskirk, and they both lived to be advanced in years and had a large family. Samuel Royer belonged to the State Militia.

James W. Gilbert removed from Chester county with his parents when he was eight years of age and spent the remainder of his boyhood days on the farm in Upper Pottsgrove township, attending the schools of the vicinity. He was elected constable in his township, and after removing to Pottstown was elected and served two terms in the same office, also being a member of the police force of the borough of Pottstown for several years.

James W. Gilbert married Miss Ida Dierolf, daughter of Mabray and Hannah (Weiler) Dierolf. They have two children: May and Charles. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert reside at No. 509 North Charlotte street.

Mrs. Gilbert's parents were natives of Berks county, where they still reside, being engaged in the occupation of farming. Mr. Gilbert is living retired.



JOSEPH HENRY CAREY, of Pottstown, was born in that borough, July 7, 1858. He is the son of Manning Force and Mary (Missimer) Carey.

Manning Force Carey (father) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, and was a butcher by trade. He removed to Montgomery county when a young man and settled in Lower Pottsgrove township, where he lived until he married. He then removed to Pottstown, and attended market there for a number of years. He died in 1879, at the age of forty-seven years. His wife died in Philadelphia, in 1900, at the age of sixty-five years. Both were Lutherans. Mrs. Mary (Missimer) Carey was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Carey and four children: George W., of Philadelphia; Joseph Henry, of Pottstown; M. Force Carey, of Philadelphia; and Fred M., of New York city.

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Joseph Carey (grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania and was a stone quarryman. He was killed by a blast when he was fifty-five years of age. He was a local Methodist preacher, and after his day's work was finished he would walk seven or eight miles to Pottstown and conduct revivals, preaching and exhorting. His wife was Lydia Gruver, who lived to be about seventy-nine years of age. They had four children. After the death of Mr. Carey, Lydia (Gruver) Carey, his wife, married David Ganger (second husband) and they had two children.

George Missimer (maternal grandfather) was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and farmed there for many years. During the last years of his life he lived retired in Pottstown, where he died when he was ninety-four years old. His wife was Susanna Christman and they had a large family. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. The father of George Missimer was Frederick Missimer, the son of Cassimer Missimer, who was the immigrant. He came from Alsace, France. Cassimer Missimer was the founder of the family in Montgomery county and in America.

Joseph H. Carey was reared in Pottstown and attended the public schools. At the age of fourteen years he began to learn the printing trade, at the Pottstown Ledger office, and for many years has been foreman of the job printing department. He is connected with the newspaper and printing department of the Pottstown Ledger, and for twenty years has been correspondent for various Philadelphia newspapers. He worked for J. B. Lippincott & Company, book publishers, in Philadelphia at one time, and was also reporter for the Norristown Register.

March 31, 1887, Joseph H. Carey married Miss Agnes A. Reinert, daughter of Benneville and Cecelia Reinert. They had two children, Mary and Pauline. Mr. and Mrs. Carey are members of the First Methodist Episcopal church. He is a steward in the church, and also Sunday-school librarian.

Politically Mr. Carey is a Democrat. He was a member of the school. board for ten years, having been elected three times in a strong Republican ward, and was treasurer of the board. In 1901 Mr. Carey was appointed borough and school tax collector by Judge Weand, a vacancy having occurred. He resides at 326 Cherry street.



JOSEPH SPANG, the well-known Pottstown brick manufacturer, residing at 104 South Charlotte street, in that borough, was born in York, Pennsylvania, August 6, 1839. He is the son of Jeremiah and Catharine (Fricker) Spang, both of whom were born in Pottstown. They had a family of five children- three sons and two daughters of whom three are now living: John, of Philadelphia; Joseph, of Pottstown; and Mary, widow of Mahlon Coller, also of Pottstown.

Jeremiah Spang (father) was a millstone-maker. He removed to York, Pennsylvania, living there a number of years, and then returned to Pottstown, where he resided until his death in 1876, in his sixty-fourth year. His wife died in 1887, aged nearly seventy-six years. He was a Lutheran in religious faith, and she was reared a Catholic.

Adam Spang (grandfather) was a native of Montgomery county and also a burr-maker. He was married three times and had seventeen children in all. He died at the age of upwards of seventy years.

Anthony Fricker (maternal grandfather) was born in New Hanover township, Montgomery county.

Joseph Spang lived in York until he had reached the age of eighteen years. He attended the public schools there, being reared partly upon the farm and partly in the town. He pursued the even tenor of ordinary life until the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861, when he enlisted for the defense of the government in Company C, Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, for three months, and at the expiration of his term, re-enlisted in Company A, Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers. He enlisted a third time in the field and served to the end of the war. At first a private, he became successively corporal and sergeant. He was slightly wounded in the battle of Petersburg.

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Mr. Spang participated in the following engagements with the commands to which he belonged: in the seven days fighting before Richmond; in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Petersburg. He was in the hospital at York, Pennsylvania, and returned to his regiment when convalescent, and was afterwards engaged in the action of Hatcher's Run, South-Side Railroad, Farmsville, and Appomattox Court House.

After the war Sergeant Spang returned to Pottstown and engaged in the brick manufacturing business which he has conducted successfully ever since.

On December 26, 1865, he married Miss Emma H. Craver, daughter of William M. and Priscilla A. (Clayton) Craver. They have had four children: Anna Priscilla married Harry G. Rinehart, of Pottstown, and they have four children: Claude, Carl, Evalyn and Mildred. Ella May died in infancy. William H., a typewriter and stenographer, married Ella May Burk. Joseph died at the age of six months.

Mr. and Mrs. Spang are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and he is a church trustee. He is also a member of Richards Post, No. 595, Grand Army of the Republic, and of Encampment No. 22, Union Veteran Legion.

Politically Mr. Spang is a Republican, being an active worker in behalf of the interests of that party. He cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He served in the town council for a term of three years.

In 1891 he built an elegant home for himself, in which he now resides, and owns several other properties in Pottstown.

William M. Craver (Mrs. Spang's father) was born in Pennsylvania and her mother in Maryland. They had a family, of eight children, of whom seven are still living. Her father was a hatter in York. He died in 1876 at the age of fifty-nine years. His wife survived until 1887, when she died at the age of sixty-seven years. In religious faith both were members of the Lutheran denomination.

Daniel Craver (Mrs. Spang's grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania and a hatter by trade. He was of German descent. His wife was Rebecca Neff. Both lived to be upwards of seventy years of age. They, had a family of six children. Mr. Craver's father was George Craver. Mrs. Spang's maternal grandfather was John Clayton. He was a native of Maryland, but his parents came from England. His wife was Harriet Houchman. He lost his life by accident in middle age, but his wife lived to be upwards of eighty. They had a family of three daughters. Mr. Spang's family are descendants of Michael Spang, who emigrated from Germany to this country about one hundred and fifty years ago.



WILLIAM BROOKE, a retired farmer, residing at NO. 259 Chestnut street, Pottstown, was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1841. He is the son of Robert and Catharine (Yost) Brooke, both of whom were born in Montgomery county.

Robert Brooke (father) was a teamster for twelve years, driving a six-horse team to Pittsburg. He later bought a farm in Limerick township, where he lived for forty-five years, and where he died, June 11, 1880, at the age of eighty years. His wife died in 1878, at the age of seventy years. She belonged to the German Reformed church. Mr. Brooke was a member of the school board for a number of years. They had twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, seven of whom are now living: Michael; Mary Elizabeth, widow of John A. Loughridge; Martha, wife of Andrew Fenstermacher; William; Charles; Kate, wife of William H. Jones; and Isaac.

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Matthew Brooke (grandfather) lived in Montgomery county during the greater part of his life. He was a farmer by occupation. He married Mary Stetler and they had a large family. The Brooke family is of English descent, Matthew Brooke having come to America from England, accompanied by his brother, early in the eighteenth century.

Peter Yost (maternal grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania and lived in Montgomery county most of his life. He owned the mill now known as the Kepler Mill, and carried on the milling business in connection with farming. He married Elizabeth Ziegler and they had a large family. The Yost family is of German origin.

William Brooke has lived in Montgomery county all his life. He was reared on the farm and attended the district schools in his youth and he lived at home until the time of his father's death. He then abandoned farming and removed to Pottstown in 1882. He built his present home in 1888.

December 31, 1880, William Brooke married Miss Effietta Scholl, daughter of Conrad and Elizabeth (Scholl) Scholl. They had no children. Mrs. Brooke died June 23, 1891, at the age of fifty-eight years. She was a member of the Lutheran church. Her parents lived in Montgomery county all their lives.

August 13, 1862, William Brooke enlisted in Company H, Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, commanded by Colonel Lipton. He served one year as a corporal. He was in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, in the latter of which he was badly wounded in the right arm, May 3, 1863. He was confined in Carver Hospital at Washington for three months, and was mustered out of service on August 13, 1863, and returned to his farm.



HORATIO SANDS, a civil engineer of Pottstown, residing at 245 Beech street, was born at the home where he now lives, on July 27, 1850. He is the son of William L. and Caroline (Missimer) Sands.

William L. Sands (father) was born in Long Swamp, Berks county, Pennsylvania. He was a general contractor and was for many years superintendent of the roadway department of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. Late he was a car-builder in Pottstown.

Among the large buildings that he constructed were: the Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia; the Insane Asylum at Norristown, and the first cable power stations in Philadelphia. He removed to Pottstown about 1844.

On July 13, 1845, William L. Sands married Caroline Missimer. Rev. L. L. Herman officiated at the ceremony. They were active members of the Trinity Reformed church, whose building at Pottstown Mr. Sands designed. In politics he was a Republican. He died at his home in Pottstown, on February 22, 1892, at the age of seventy-five years, three months and two days. His wife died November 19, 1899, at the age of seventy-seven years, eleven mouths, and twenty-one days. She was born in Montgomery county. Mr. and Mrs. William L. Sands had three children, all sons: Winfield Scott, Horatio and Joseph Bailey.

Samuel Sands (grandfather) was born in Berks county and was buried at Long Swamp. Like his son William, He was a carpenter and builder. He married Miss Lesher. The Sands family is of German descent. Samuel Sands was driven out of Germany on account of his religion and came to Berks county, settling at Long Swamp.

Joseph Missimer (maternal grandfather) was a native of Montgomery county. He married Mary Geist, February 17, 1811. His second marriage was with Catharine Geist, a sister of his first wife, August 11, 1816. Joshua was his oldest son, being the child of his first wife. Delilah, Mary, Cassimer, Caroline, Susan, Washington, Rebecca, Kate and Isabella were children of the second marriage. Joseph Missimer died on August 3, 1847, at the age of sixty-one years. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. His father was Henry Missimer, who was the son of Cassimer Missimer, the founder of the Missimer family in America.

Horatio Sands was reared in Pottstown and

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has spent all of his life, except eighteen months, in that borough. During this eighteen months he was a resident of Royersford. He was educated in the public schools of Pottstown, and in the Hill school at the same place. He studied civil and mechanical engineering and learned to build locomotives at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, and for the last twelve years has practiced civil engineering.

His first employment was at Lititz, Lancaster county, in the Lititz Water Works, and later he was employed in the following water works: the borough of East Greenville, Montgomery county; the borough of Honeybrook, Chester county; and Malvern, Chester county: Aberdeen, Maryland; and he was superintendent of the Home Water Works at Royersford.

On May 29, 1881, Horatio Sands married Miss Priscilla N., daughter of Henry Koch, of Pottstown. They were married by Rev. A. W. Kreamer, [Arch. note: A. H. Kremer, per church history] of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, pastor of the First Reformed church. They have four children, namely: William Lesher, born September 29, 1886; Bell Bisbing, born March 12, 1888; Margaret Dull, born September 3, 1889; and Matthew Stanley Quay, born August 6, 1895.

Mrs. Sands and the children are members of the Trinity Reformed church, and Mr. Sands was reared in that faith. Politically Mr. Sands is a Republican. He was borough engineer of the borough of Honeybrook for one year, of the borough of East Greenville for two years, of Aberdeen, Maryland, one year. Mr. Sands occupies the home where his father and mother lived. Mrs. Sands was born at Gilbertsville, Montgomery county, and her parents were natives of Berks county.



PROFESSOR WILLIAM W. RUPERT, superintendent of schools in the borough of Pottstown, is a native of Chester county. He was born near Oxford October 29, 1852, being the son of George and Anna (Durnall) Rupert, both natives of Pennsylvania. The couple had three children Professor William W., of Pottstown; Elizabeth, wife of Rev. Edwin Macminn, D. D., of Burlington, Iowa; and Edgar W. Rupert, of Oxford.

George Rupert (father) was a farmer in Chester county, near Oxford, where he died in 1891, aged eighty-two years. His wife died earlier, aged about sixty-five years. Both were Baptists in religious faith, the husband being a deacon in the church for many years.

William Rupert (grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania and the early part of his life was spent in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, though he afterwards lived for many years in Chester county, where he died at an advanced age. His wife was Elizabeth Achuff. They had a large family. He was a teacher and followed that occupation for forty years at one place, Fox Chase, near Philadelphia, and now within the limits of that city. The family are of Welsh descent.

Mr. Durnall (maternal grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania. His wife was Elizabeth Durnall. He was a farmer and both he and his wife lived to an advanced age. They had a large family.

Professor William W. Rupert lived on the farm until he was twenty years of age and attended the district schools of that vicinity. Later he spent three years in the Union high school in Lancaster county, a private institution conducted by James W. Andrews, A. M. Subsequently he took a course in civil engineering, graduating from the Polytechnic College of Pennsylvania, and located at Philadelphia, in 1877. He then taught school near Oxford for one year, having also taught in the same school before entering college. While he was employed there a second time he accepted a position as professor of mathematics in the Parkesburg Classical Institute, of Chester county, remaining in that position one year. From Parkesburg he went to Pottstown in 1879 as principal of the high school, continuing that situation for nine years. He was then elected the first borough superintendent of Pottstown, which position he has held ever since.

On July 27, 1882, he married Mrs. Clara S. Davis, widow of Dr. Brooke Davis, and daughter of John and Margaret (Sommers) Miller. The couple have two children: William Earle and Marion E., both of whom were educated in the schools of Pottstown. Mrs. Rupert is a member of the Baptist church, which Professor Rupert also attends. Politically he is a Republican.

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Mrs. Rupert's parents were natives of Chester county. They had three children: Franklin, of Chester county, who resides on the farm; Lewis Miller, of Chester county; and Mrs. Clara S. Rupert. Mrs. Rupert had two children by her former marriage: Brooke Davis and Edgar Davis. Her father was a farmer and one of the directors of the First National Bank of Pottstown.

Professor Rupert is the author of the following works: "Guide to the Study of History and the Constitution of the United States," published by Ginn & Company, of Boston; "Rupert's Geographical Reader," published by Leach, Shewell ,& Sanborn, of Boston; "Famous Geometrical Theorems and Problems with their History," published by D. C. Heath & Company, Boston; and "Geography of Pennsylvania," published by McMillan & Company, New York.

Professor Rupert is one of the most successful teachers in the country, and it is due largely to his energy and ability that the schools of Pottstown enjoy so excellent a reputation.



JOHN M. SHADE, for more than a dozen years superintendent of the Royersford Water Works, is descended from an old family in Montgomery county. He is a native of Limerick township, where he was born October 31, 1851. He was reared on a farm, varying such duties with work in a blacksmith shop, and attendance at a neighborhood school. He is the son of Jacob and Mary (Major) Shade, both of Montgomery county.

Jacob Shade (father) was the son of Jacob and Mary (Shank) Shade. Moth members of old families in that section of the county, of German descent. Jacob was a favorite name in the Shade family, soiree one of their number having borne it in each generation. Jacob Shade, great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, married a Miss Buck, of another old upper end family, the couple having the following children Henry, Daniel, Jacob (grandfather); Elizabeth, Christina and Catharine, all died unmarried; Margaret (Mrs. B. Place).

Jacob (grandfather) was born in Upper Providence township. After several removals he finally located on a farm near where Royersford has since been built. He died in 1829. He was a member of the Reformed church, and stood well in the community. His widow married again, her second husband being Benedict Garber, a blacksmith located at first in Upper Providence township. He removed in 1834 to the vicinity of Limerick church, where he worked at his trade many years. He retired from business in 1848, and after a few changes of residence located in Royersford, built a residence, and lived there until his death. His wife died there also in 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Benedict Garber had two children- Francis, also a blacksmith by occupation, and Martha (Mrs. Evan Lewis).

Jacob Shade's children were: Abel, died at the age of thirty-two years; Jeriah, a Reformed minister; Henrietta (Mrs. F. Isett); Charlotte (Mrs. Peter Cramer); Daniel, who learned the trade of a wheelwright and later became a practicing physician; Jacob, father of John Shade, subject of this sketch, who was an infant at the time of his father's death, and was reared by his step-father, Benedict Garber, with whom he learned the blacksmith trade, and later succeeded Mr. Garber, remaining at the original stand near Limerick church from 1848 to 1860, and then removing to a location near Linfield, where he continued until 1901. He then retired from active labor, and settled at Royersford, where he still resides, enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life. He still owns the country home of six acre in that vicinity. Mr. Shade was for many years a leading Democrat of Limerick, being prominent in party councils. He was nominated for recorder of deeds of Montgomery county by his party convention, and made a close race with his Republican opponent, but was defeated along with the rest of the Democratic ticket. He was a man of the highest integrity and honor, who, performed every duty in the most satisfactory manner.

In 1851 he married Miss Mary A. Major, an intelligent and cultured woman, who made him an excellent wife. She was born in Limerick township, August 10, 1827, being, the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Schenck) Major. Jacob Major was a son of John Major, and the father of the last named came from Wales at the same time as the ancestors of the Evans family, also prominent residents of Limerick. John Major was a leading farmer of the township, and a strong Democrat. He filled a number of township offices, but never aspired to higher honors. His children were: Jacob, William, John, George, and Hannah (Mrs. Daniel Miller).

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Jacob Major was reared in farm pursuits, alternating this employment with work at the shoemaker's bench. He followed that trade for some time afterwards. He died in Limerick in 1851. His widow survived him seventeen years, making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Jacob Shade. Mrs. Major died in 1868. She was a daughter of Matthias Schenck, a tailor by trade, and a native of Montgomery county, of German descent. He had but one child Mary Magdalene, grandmother of John M. Shade.

The children of Jacob and Mary M. Major: Matthias, died in 1863, leaving ten children, all of whom are living; John, a railway engineer, who died in 1899, leaving three children; Louisa, died young; Mary A., mother of John M. Shade; Elizabeth (Mrs. Jacob Pout); David died young; Enos, of Spring City; Catharine (Mrs. N. Brant). They are all members either of the Lutheran or Reformed churches.

Jacob and Mary A. Shade lead ten children as follows: John M., subject of this sketch; Zephaniah, foreman in the pattern-fitting department of the stove works; Charlotte (Mrs. William Saylor); Samuel, a stove mounter; Jacob A., died at the age of twenty-two years; Catharine Mrs. Charles Hetrick); Mary E. (Mrs. Daniel Shelcap); Harriet, unmarried; Frederick, who has been employed by the Home Water Company of Royersford for seven years; Charles M., by occupation a blacksmith, but at present employed in the life insurance business at Spring City. The mother is a member of the Reformed Church.

John M. Shade is naturally ingenious, and soon acquired a knowledge of the use of tools which has been of great value to him in his subsequent life. He remained at home until he was fourteen years of age; he then worked as a farm hand, and when he was seventeen years of age he found employment at the stove works of March, Brownback & Co., at Linfield, being thus engaged for three years. He then spent a year in work on the construction of the Colebrookdale Railroad. He was then for a time at New Bedford, Massachusetts, engaged in the construction of a coal pocket for the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company.

After recovering from an attack of typhoid fever he returned to March, Brownback, & Co., remaining there two years, during which time he married and located at Linfield in June, 1876. He then removed to Royersford (in 1878) and became employed with Schantz & Keely, stove manufacturers, being thus employed until 1880, when he took a position with the American Wood Paper Company of Spring City, being engaged eleven years with this firm, where he was engineer in charge of repairs, superintending the mill for two years. He was then one year with the Keystone Meter Company, of Royersford.

In 1893 he took the management of the Royersford Water Company, in which he has continued ever since, being most emphatically the right man for the place. In 1878 Mr. Shade built a commodious residence in Royersford, which he occupies. He is a practical man, giving the closest attention to business, and doing all that is possible to promote the prosperity of the community in which he lives. Politically he is a Democrat, but has never been an office-seeker. He has filled several important positions, including nine years consecutively in town council, and director in the Water Company for a dozen or more years. He has also field several minor offices. Mr. Shade is a member of the Reformed church, where he is a deacon. He is also a member of the Masonic order, and of the Knights of the Golden Eagle.

Mr. Shade married Miss Annie C. Rau, a native of Chester county. She was born in November, 1852, being a daughter of John and Frederika (Bausman) Rail. The parents of Mrs. Shade are deceased. Both her parents were born in Germany. Their children: David, John, Harry, Mary (Mrs. John Grander); Lydia (Mrs. D. Hillborn); Annie C. (Mrs. John M. Shade). Mr. and Mrs. Shade have the following children: Bessie and Mary E.

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HORACE A. CUSTER, the leading bookseller and stationer of Pottstown, is a native of that borough. He was born January 12, 1845, being the son of Aaron L. and Elizabeth (Kinzer) Custer, who lived in Berks county about five miles from Pottstown. When a young man Aaron Ludwig Custer removed to New Holland, Lancaster county, where he engaged in mercantile life in a general country store and married there. Mrs. Custer was born in Lancaster county. The couple had seven children, three of whom are now living, as follows: Rose A., wife of Samuel R. Ellis; Carrie K., widow of Jacob Hartranft; and Horace A. Custer, all residents of Pottstown.

Aaron L. Custer (father) went to Pottstown many years ago and was postmaster of that place in the '40s. Later he engaged in the bookselling business with Abner Evans, under the firm name of Evans & Custer. Both are now deceased and have been succeeded in the business by their sons. This was the first bookstore of the place. Mr. Custer also served as notary public for the Pottstown Bank. He was one of the public-spirited citizens of Pottstown and took a deep and helpful interest in all matters pertaining to the general welfare. Aaron Custer died in 1881, aged seventy-seven years. His wife survived him until 1892 and was eighty-four years of age at the time of her death. Both she and her husband were buried in Pottstown cemetery. Both of them were Lutherans in religious faith. He was secretary of the school board for a number of years and also secretary of the board of vestrymen of the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration.

Jonathan Custer (grandfather) lived in Berks county and died there in middle life, leaving a family of seven sons and three daughters. He was a farmer by occupation. Mr. Custer was of Swedish descent and belonged to the same family as General Custer, who perished in a fight with Indians in the west. The name was originally spelled Koster.

The maternal grandfather, Kinzer, was a native of Lancaster county and was of German descent. He owned a large farm and was a man of considerable prominence, holding several public offices. He and his wife died advanced in years, leaving a large family.

Horace A. Custer has lived in Pottstown all his life. he attended the public schools and the Hill school at Pottstown, took a position in the store with his father, and succeeded him in the business after his death. He has been at his present location No. 231 High street, for thirty-five years. He was one of the original members of the Goodwill Fire Company and its first secretary, and he served as one of the building committee for the erection of the fine new building of the Goodwill Company on Hanover and Queen streets.

In 1863 he enlisted in Company F, Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment, and served during the Gettysburg campaign. He afterwards enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Regiment, serving five months. He was discharged at the expiration of his term of service. Mr. Custer was in the ranks. After the war he returned to the book business in which he is still engaged.

On September 24, 1874, he married Miss Elizabeth Shaffer of Reading, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Baum) Shaffer. They had one son, Clarence, who died at the age of twenty years. They reside at No. 350 Walnut street.

Mr. Custer is a member of the Lutheran church, and his wife of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is also a member of the vestry. Mr. Custer is also a member of Stichter Lodge, No. 254, Free and Accepted Masons, of Pottstown Chapter, and of Nativity Commandery. He has been a Mason since 1867. Mr. Custer was one of the charter members of Graham Post, Grand Army of the Republic. He is a member of the Benevolent Order of Elks.

Politically he is a Republican and was burgess of Pottstown one term, from March 4, 1900, to March 4, 1903. In view of the large Democratic majority in that borough, this is a strong proof of his popularity. He was also a member of the

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board of school directors for eleven years. His father also served as burgess of Pottstown many years ago and theirs is the only case on record where father and son have filled the same office.



MAJOR THOMAS CAPNER STEELE was born in Flemington, New Jersey, January 5, 1841. He is the son of John Dutton and Elizabeth (Capner) Steele. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of New Jersey. They had seven children, three sons and four daughters, four now living, as follows: Major Thomas Capner Steele; Elizabeth Capner, wife of Frank E. Brakett, of Cumberland, Maryland; Edith Dutton Steele, of Philadelphia; and John Hall Steele, of Philadelphia.

John Dutton Steele (father) was born in West Bradford township, Chester county, March 18, 1810, and died June 13, 1886, aged seventy-six years. He was a civil engineer all his business life; but was reared on a farm. He removed from Chester county to Pottstown in 1846 and lived there until his death. His wife was born April 2, 1809, and died April 24, 1882, at the age of seventy-three years. She was a Unitarian, as was also her husband. He was not a soldier but was very active in the war of the Rebellion as a consulting engineer for the government in keeping the railroads in repair.

John Dutton Steele (grandfather) was born in Cheshire, England, and came to America in 1795, locating at Whitemarsh, Montgomery county, but removing in 1805 to West Bradford, Chester county, where he died September 16, 1866, aged ninety-three years. His wife was Ann Exton, who was born in 1785 and died in 1859. They had nine children. He was one of the board of directors in the Germantown Turnpike Company as well as the founder of the Perkiomen Turnpike Company. He represented Chester county in the state legislature. His father was George Steele, born at Cheshire, England, in 1737.

Thomas Capner (maternal grandfather) was born at Temple Mills, Lancashire, England, and came to America about the time of the Revolution. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and died soon after at Flemington, New Jersey. He was a farmer. The name was originally Capnerhurst, but on coming of age he dropped the last syllable. His wife was Mary Choyce, of Leicestershire, England. He died at the age of forty-five years and his wife survived him, living to be sixty years of age. They had six children. Major Thomas C. Steele was reared in Chester county and in Pottstown, having spent most of his life in Pottstown since he was five years old. He attended the Pottstown Schools and Haverford College in Delaware county, graduating in 1859. He entered the engineer corps of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, remaining in this position until 1862. He enlisted in the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment, Twentieth Corps, and served principally, in North Carolina. He afterwards commanded Company H and was in the battle of Newbern.

After the war he again entered the service of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad and served with that company until 1876 when he went to Sterling, New York, and took charge of developing some iron-ore mines there. On his return he was chief assistant engineer in charge of the construction of Nesquehoning Valley Railroad and Nesquehoning tunnel in Carbon county and later was chief assistant engineer on the construction of the Berks County Railroad. After the completion of this road he entered the service of the United States government in exploring the extreme northwest, in light house and buoy duty on the northwest coast, where he lived three years. He returned to Pottstown and was engaged with the Pottstown Iron Company until 1893, since which time he has lived retired.

January 18, 1866, he married Lydia Manchester Hart, of Reading, daughter of Asa and Susan H. (Mayer) Hart. They had three children: John Dutton Steele, Asa Manchester Steele and Esther Clarkson Mayer Steele. John Dutton Steele married Edith Caldwell Williamson, on April 15, 1903. The other two children reside in Philadelphia. Mrs. Lydia M. Steele died February 14, 1887, at the age of forty-one years. She was a member of the Episcopal church.

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October 21, 1891, Major Steele married (second wife) Ann Hunter Neide, daughter of Joseph Neide and Rebecca Shafer Neide. They have one daughter, Rebecca Neide Steele. Major Steele and his wife are members of the Episcopal church.

Major Steele was quartermaster of the Sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia during the whole of the Spanish-American war. Politically he is a Republican and is a member of the town council of Pottstown, representing the fourth ward.



REV. O. P. SMITH, D. D., pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration, Pottstown, was born in New Tripoli township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1848. He is the son of Frederick and Mary Margaret (Schwab) Smith, natives of Bavaria, Germany.

They had six children, four sons and two daughters, four now living, as follows: Louisa, widow of Robert L. Roberts, of Bangor, Pennsylvania; Henry S., of Bethlehem; Theodore S., of Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Rev. O. P Smith. The first named is a mechanical engineer connected with the Bethlehem Steel Company, and Theodore S. is a music dealer and a musician of considerable note.

He is an organist and chorister of Tripoli and is prominently connected with music circles in his part of the state. His daughter, Ida Minerva Smith, has attained considerable faire as a violinist. She was educated in the Conservatory of Music at Boston and at her graduation the faculty presented her with a special seal in addition to her diploma, in recognition of her superior merit and skill as a violinist.

Frederick Smith (father) was a parochial school teacher and organist in New Tripoli township for forty-five years. He came to America in 1830 when a young man, living in Philadelphia one year. He was a teacher and organist there. He then removed to New Tripoli where he engaged in teaching music for forty-five years. He also served as church organist, was a parochial school teacher and was a scrivener, who executed many deeds, wrote wills and prepared other papers of like character for the people of his community. He was recognized in his locality as a man of strong character and sterling worth.

He died in Tripoli in 1875, at the age of seventy-three years. His wife died two weeks before his death, at the age of seventy-two years.

Frederick Smith (grandfather) was a teacher and an organist in Germany and died in that country.

The maternal grandfather of Rev. O. P. Smith was born in Bavaria, Germany. He conducted a distillery in that country and died of apoplexy at the age of forty-five years.

Dr. O. P. Smith was reared at New Tripoli and received his elementary education in the district schools of the neighborhood. He then attended Muhlenberg College at Allentown, graduating in June 1871. He spent three years at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and was ordained a minister in the city of Lancaster, June 3, 1874.

His first pastorate was at Trappe in Montgomery county, and while living at Trappe he also served the St. James congregation at Limerick and the Jerusalem congregation at Schwenksville. He continued with these three congregations for fifteen years. In May, 1889, he removed to Pottstown and took charge of the Church of the Transfiguration there, of which he is at present the pastor. The membership of his congregation is about four hundred and fifty.

June 24, 1874, he married Laura A. Barnes, daughter of Ezra and Caroline (Starr) Barnes. Mrs. Laura Smith died in 1884, aged thirty-six years.

October 21, 1887, Dr. Smith married Mary M. Hobson, daughter of Frank M. and Elizabeth (Gotwals) Hobson. They had two sons, Francis. H. and Oliver H.

Politically Rev. Smith is a Democrat. He is connected with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Mount Airy, Philadelphia, and has been secretary of the board for fourteen years. He is a member of the English home mission board of North America and has been for eighteen years. He has served as president of the Philadelphia and Norristown conferences and on a number of important committees in church work.

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When a young man he taught three terms in the public schools and during his college course gave instruction in the German language in connection with the public schools of the city oŁ Allentown. He also taught in the Washington Hall gave instruction in the German language in connection with the public schools of the city of Allentown. He also taught in the Washington Hall Institute at Trappe. For a number of years he preached in both the German and English languages but of late confines himself entirely to the English language. He has done much effective work in behalf of the church and has promoted its material as well as spiritual growth. Through his instrumentality the church at Trappe was remodeled at a cost of seven thousand dollars; the St. James church was erected, costing nine thousand; a new church was built at Schwenksville, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars; the parsonage at Pottstown was built for ten thousand dollars; and the Pottstown Church of the Transfiguration was remodeled at a cost of thirteen thousand dollars. During the summer of 1903 Dr. Smith made an extended tour through England, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and Holland, and was greatly benefited by the trip, gaining in health as well as in knowledge of the old world and its peoples.

Mrs. Mary M. Smith's parents were natives of Montgomery county, her father of Limerick and her mother of Lower Providence township. They had two children: Freeland G. Hobson and Mary M. Frank M. Hobson was a general merchant at Collegeville for twenty-six years. The history of the Hobson family may be found in connection with the sketch of Freeland G. Hobson in this book.



REV. L. KRYDER EVANS, D. D., pastor of Trinity Reformed church, Pottstown, and the oldest continuous pastor in Pottstown, was born near Spring Mills, Gregg township, Centre county, Pennsylvania, December 20, 1839. He is the son of James G. and Rebecca (Kryder) Evans, natives of Centre county. They had three children: Rev. L. Kryder Evans; Wells Evans, of Spring Mills; and Rev. John M. Evans, of Oak Ridge, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania.

James G. Evans (father) was reared on his father's farm. He learned the trade of a plasterer, which he followed until the year 1852, when he ])ought his father's farm. He died in 1899, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife still survives. Both were members of the Reformed church. He was township assessor and school director for several years.

Lott Evans (grandfather) was born August 2, 1782, near Joanna Station in Berks county, Pennsylvania. He removed to Centre county when a young man. For a period he was a clerk in the store of John Irvin. Later he engaged in farming, finally purchasing and settling on a farm near Spring Mills, where he spent the remainder of his days. For a number of years he was a justice, of the peace. His wife was Jane Usher. He died at the age of sixty-eight years and seven months. He had twelve children. His father was John Evans, a Revolutionary soldier. The family are of Welsh descent.

Mary Evans (sister of paternal great-grandfather) was married to James Watson. They had four children, one of whom, Ann, was married to John Irvin, Sr. These were the parents of General James Irvin. From their descendants, through intermarriage, came some of the most distinguished citizens of Centre county, soldiers, jurists and statesmen: The Watsons, the Penningtons, the Irvins, the Greggs and the Curtins; names that not only adorn the history of their native county, but shed a lustre on the history of our republic.

HON. JACOB KRYDER (maternal grandfather) was born near Mifflinburg, Union county, Pennsylvania. He married Margaret Elizabeth Neidig and spent his life in farming. He died at the age of seventy-eight years. The couple had thirteen children. He resided near Wilheim, Centre county, on a farm, and reared a family of ten children.

Jacob Kryder was a member of the second constitutional convention of Pennsylvania. He also represented Centre county in the legislature and served ten years as associate judge of courts at Bellefonte. He was a Democrat of the "Jackson" type, a most worthy, influential and highly esteemed citizen.

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MARGARET ELIZABETH NEIDIG, wife of Jacob Kryder (maternal grandfather) was a daughter of Solomon Neidig and Catharine (Clay) Neidig, Solomon came from the Palatinate, Germany. He first settled in Exeter township, Berks county, but later removed to the lower end of Penns Valley, Centre county, near Woodward, where he purchased a large tract of land, which he cleared and settled there.

JOHN KRYDER (maternal great-grandfather) was born in 1739, and died March 10, 1813. His wife was Angelia Fox, who was a redemptioner and came from Germany. She was born in 1743 and died January 18, 1821. John Kryder came from Germany and served in the French and Indian war.

Rev. L. Kryder Evans, D. D., spent his boyhood days on the farm at Spring Hills, attended the district schools and later the Aaronsburg Academy, under Professor J. I. Burrell. He taught in the public school in Brush Valley one winter and in Zion two winters. The latter village is about five miles east of Bellefonte. He taught school during the winter and was employed on the farm during the summer.

During the summer of 1860 he attended Fairview Seminary, Nittany Valley, and in the fall of that year entered the freshman class of Franklin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, graduating in 1864, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was the valedictorian of the class. In the summer of 1863 he taught one session at the Boalsburg Academy, Centre county. In the fall of 1864 he entered the Theological Seminary of the Reformed church then located at Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, remaining there until the end of the session of 1865. He taught the Oley Academy at Friedensburg, Berks county, during the spring and summer of 1865.

In September he went to Germany and spent two years at the universities there: six months in the University of Berlin, six months at the University at Bonn and one year at the University of Tuebingen. He returned home in September, 1867, was examined by West Susquehanna Classis at Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, October 29, 1867, and licensed to preach. He accepted a call to the Reformed church of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in December, 1867, and served a pastorate of four years.

During his pastorate at Williamsport he also supplied at stated times three other congregations, one in Nippenose valley, one in White Deer valley, and the third in Black Hole valley, all in Lycoming county. In the spring of 1871 he received and accepted a call from Trinity Reformed church, Pottstown, and entered upon his pastorate there December 10, 1871, where he still continues in that position. The membership of his church is about nine hundred.

His degree of Doctor of Divinity was given him by Franklin and Marshall College, in June, 1899. Dr. Evans served three years as school director, has contributed some articles for the press, and for a year was associated with the faculty of the Hill school at Pottstown, teaching a class in German. He also prepared a number of young persons for college.

On October 28, 1875, he married Miss Ella V. Longaker, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Boyer) Longaker, at Norristown. They have two children: Anna R. and Daniel Longaker Evans.

Daniel L. Evans is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, and at present a student in the law department of the University of Pennsylvania. Miss Anna R. Evans is a graduate of Pottstown high school, and also completed a course at Wilson College, Chambersburg. She was organist at Trinity Reformed church, Pottstown, for a number of years.

On the 18th day of June, 1903, she was married to Dr. Frederick W. VanBuskirk, a young physician of Pottstown, where she now resides.



DR. HOWARD Y. NEIMAN, of 310 Evans street, Pottstown, was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, June 3, 1859. He is the son of Frederick W. and Charlotte R. (Yorgey) Neiman, both natives of Berks county. They had seven children, four now living: Sarah Ann, wife of Esquire H. S. Sassaman, of Pottstown; Leah Y., widow of William K. Ludy, of Pottstown; Dr. Howard Y. Neiman; and Cordelia, wife of James M. Mohl, of Pottstown.

Frederick W. Neiman (father) was a miller in Montgomery county and later in Berks county, following his occupation at Colebrookdale Station until his death, May 21, 1883, aged seventy years.

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He was a member of the state militia, belonging to Captain Bradford's Rifle Company. He was school director and held various local offices in his township. His wife still survives at the age of eighty-three years. He and his wife were both members of the English Reformed church.

Peter Neiman (grandfather) was born in Montgomery county. He was a farmer and a hatter and served in the war of 1812. His wife died at the age of forty-five years but he lived to be seventy. They had eleven children.

Carl Neiman (great-grandfather) was the first of this branch of the family in America. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, coming to this country, and settling in New Hanover township about 1756. He engaged in farming until the Revolutionary war. He served under Washington for seven years and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at New York. His wife was Sophia Neiman and they had seven children.

Jacob R. Yorgey (maternal grandfather) was born on a farm in Berks county, where he lived all of his life and died at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife was Sarah Reifsnyder, who died when she was seventy-two years of age. They had seven children, three sons and four daughters.

Dr. Howard Y. Neiman lived in Berks county during the early part of his life, attending the public schools, Mount Pleasant Seminary, at Boyertown, and Oley Academy, at Greensburg, before entering Kutztown State Normal School where he studied two years. Before and during the time he spent in that institution, he taught three terms of school. In 1876 he began the study of medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he was graduated after a three years' course, receiving the degree of M. D. He began the practice of his profession in Norristown, but eighteen months later he removed to the west end of Montgomery county, where he remained until 1886. Since that time he has practiced very successfully in Pottstown.

In addition to his large general practice he is on the staff of physicians and surgeons of the Pottstown Hospital, and is highly regarded by all who know him. Dr. Neiman belongs to the Montgomery County Medical Society and to the Pennsylvania State Medical Society. He is an earnest student of his profession and stands high among the physicians of the county. He is a member and medical examiner of the Ancient Order of Foresters, of the Improved Order of Heptasophs, also medical examiner of the New York Life Insurance Company and the Mutual Continental Life Insurance Company, and is physician by appointment to the poor of the city. In the fall of 189.1 he was appointed on the board of the officers of the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia.

He belongs to the order of Forestry, Court Sylvan, No. 68; to Mount Vernon Conclave, No. 153, Improved Order of Heptasophs; to the Patriotic Order Sons of America; and the Junior Order of Hibernians, of which he has been secretary for several years. In politics he is a Republican and was school director while living in Upper Pottsgrove township.

On September 7, 1878, he married Miss Mary Ada Bickel, daughter of Samuel B. and Sophia (Emery) Bickel, of Norristown. They had one son, Frederick B., now living at Phoenixville.

He married Maud, daughter of Harry Brownback. On May 18, 1899, Dr. Neiman married Miss Lizzie R. Bhaer, of Leesport, daughter of Henry G. and Elizabeth (Lenhart) Bhaer. Dr. Neiman and his wife are members of the English Trinity Reformed church of Pottstown.



WILLIAM P. BACH, postmaster of Pottstown, was born in Germantown, Philadelphia, September 20, 1845. He is the son of Francis S. and Mary P. (Price) Bach, the former a native of Bucks county and the latter of Chester county, Pennsylvania. They had five children, two sons and three daughters, as follows: Elizabeth P., wife of Aaron S. Burns, of Frick's Lock, Pennsylvania; William P., of Pottstown; Irvin P., of Peoria, Illinois, manager of the Central telephone; Emma P., wife of Aaron Hartenstine, of Pottstown: and Rebecca P., wife of Allen Davis, of Norristown.

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Francis S. Bach (father) was a carpenter by trade, spending most of his life in Germantown where he died in 1883, at the age of sixty-two years. His wife is now living in Norristown, at the age of eighty-four years. They were both members of the German Baptist Brethren church. In politics he was an ardent Republican. During the Civil war he served twice in the emergency call.

The paternal grandfather was also a carpenter and worked at his trade until his death at the age of eighty-six years. He was a native of Bucks county, but was of German descent. He had six children.

John Price (maternal grandfather) was a native of Chester county. He was a prominent minister of the Brethren church. His wife was Mary Rinehart and he was the father of twelve children.

The great-grandfather was George Price. The founder of the Price family in America was John Price, who spelled his name Priez. He came to this country from Germany and located in Bucks county.

William P. Bach was reared on a farm in Chester county, south of Pottstown. He attended the district schools and later what is now known as the Hill school, Pottstown, which at that time was a boarding school, conducted by Professor Matthew Meigs.

In 1862 he enlisted in Company H, Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He served as a private twenty-one months, when he was discharged on account of wounds. At the battle of Fredericksburg he was wounded in the right hand, and at the battle of Gettysburg in the left leg and right foot, these being the only two engagements in which he took part.

After the war he carried on the harness business in Pottstown for thirty-seven years and still has an interest in that business, which is now managed by his son William P.

On June 30, 1866, he married Miss Elizabeth May, daughter of Thomas May. They had seven children, four sons and three daughters, as follows: George, Percy, William, Harry, Evelyn, Blanche and one who died in infancy. George is a conductor on a street railway in Camden. He married Orpha Rhoads. Percy died aged seven years. William is in the harness business in Pottstown. He married Mary Yorgey. They have two children, Leon and Edith. Harry is a salesman in the harness department of Strawbridge & Clothier's store in Philadelphia. The other children are at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Bach are members of the Baptist church of which he has been a trustee for twenty-four years. He was made postmaster under Harrison for one term and again appointed by McKinley, in September, 1898, and re-appointed by Roosevelt, February 19, 1903. He was chief burgess of Pottstown for three terms, and president of the school board two years, holding both offices at the same time. He has been actively identified with the affairs of a public character, especially in politics, in Pottstown for the past twenty-five years. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum and the Loyal Association, also M. Edgar Richards Post, No. 595, G. A. R., and of Union Veteran Legion Encampment, No. 22.



(Picture of S. L. Messinger)

REV. S. L. MESSINGER, S. T. D., the well-known pastor of the Reformed church at Trappe, is a native of Iowa. He was born at Cedar Rapids, in that state, February 21, 1858. He is the son of Elias and Euphemia (Lockard) Messinger, both of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, at the time of their marriage, they removing afterwards to the west.

Elias Messinger (father) was the son of Isaac and Susan (Keiffer) Messinger. Isaac Messinger was a native of Northampton county, Pennsylvania. His father, Jacob Messinger, came from Germany, and settled in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, where he owned a large tract of land.

He donated the ground on which Salem Reformed church in Forks township was erected. Isaac was a hotelkeeper, and, as was usually the case with the innkeeper of the olden times, he was widely known and respected. It is remembered of his good wife that she started a Sunday school in the barroom, instead of permitting it to be used as a lounging place on that day.

In politics Mr. Messinger was a Democrat but he never sought or held office. His children were: Maria (Mrs. P. Miller); Kate (Mrs. Fritz Miller); Samuel, a prominent farmer and member of the Reformed Church; Aaron, Elias (father); Sallie (Mrs. J. Fenner) and another son.

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Elias Messinger was reared in Northampton county, where he taught neighboring schools for a time, and was also employed as a daguerreotype artist. About 1857 he removed to Iowa, engaging in the merchandise business at Cedar Rapids, which he continued for about four years, and then sold out his business at a heavy loss and returned to his native county in 1861. Soon afterwards he enlisted in the Union army and did his duty at the battle of Gettysburg and elsewhere in defense of the national government. In that battle he was wounded by a minie ball from which he never fully recovered. He remained on duty for a time at the hospital.

At the close of the war he was assigned to duty in the guard at Washington, where he remained about one year. He was honorably discharged, and later received a pension. Being a natural artist, during his stay at Washington he painted a picture of the White House which has been much admired. On his return to his home he engaged in painting, doing fine work on organs, chairs, etc., afterwards becoming a traveling salesman for Smith, Mine & Co., wholesale druggists of Philadelphia. This calling Mr. Messinger pursued during active life. He retired from business, and died at Allentown, September 7, 1902, at the age of eighty years, and eleven months. He was a member of the Reformed church, and a Democrat in politics, although not particularly active. His wife survived him, and is still living at the age of nearly seventy-four years, in Allentown. She is a daughter of Ephraim and Jane (Drake) Lockard, he of Northampton county, and she of Monroe county, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer. The Lockard family are of Scotch-Irish descent. The wife's family, the Drakes, are of Holland Dutch origin. Mr. Lockard was a Democrat in politics. He died at the age of eighty-four years, but his wife at the age of fifty years. They were strict Presbyterians. Their children: Euphemia (mother of Rev. Dr. S. L. Messinger); Jefferson, a shoe-maker by trade, who took an active interest in politics, and filled the position of assessor as well as other township offices; Silas, a farmer; John, also a shoemaker, who died in young manhood; Ellen (Mrs. H. Kuntzman); Morris, a farmer and quarryman.

The children of Elias and Eupheinia Messinger: Elias L. (subject of this sketch); William E., a teacher, and a painter for the past dozen years or more; Alice, wife of James Henbest, of Providence, New Jersey; Susan A. (Mrs. Jacob Dolan, of New York city); John C., principal of the Bethlehem high school for six years, and later a prominent manufacturer and inventor of Bethlehem.

Rev. Silas L. Messinger, S. T. D., was reared at the homestead of his mother's family in Northampton county. His youth was spent as a hired farm-laborer, and attending school a few months in winter. Accustomed to farm pursuits, he labored earnestly also to acquire an education. He became able to teach in 1876 and secured a school, continuing in that employment for five winter terms, and still perfecting his education as far as he could with his somewhat limited opportunities. While preparing for college he received instruction from a Presbyterian minister, and entered the freshman class at Ursinus College in the year 1881, graduating in 1885 with the second honor of his class, thus realizing the benefits of his earlier efforts to acquire an education that would fit him for some suitable position in life. He took the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Mr. Messinger entered the School of Theology connected with Ursinus, and graduated therefrom in 1887.

He was then licensed to preach by Philadelphia Classis, on May 21, 1887, at the same time receiving a call to preach at Blaine, Perry county, Pennsylvania. At that place he had four congregations. He remained there five years and three months, and then went to Pleasantville Reformed church, in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. He was there four years and four months, and on January 1, 1897, took charge of St. Luke's Reformed church, at Trappe, where he still continues. There was a large number of applicants for the pastorate of the Trappe church, of whom Rev. Dr. Messinger was not one, but when the ballots were counted at the congregational meeting he had a large majority of the votes, and he accepted the call. He succeeded Rev. E. C. Hibshman, who had resigned to go to Stroudsburg.

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St. Luke's church has a long and interesting history. It was founded October 18, 1742, by Rev. John Philip Boehm. For twelve years the congregation worshipped in the historical Old Trappe (Lutheran) church. In 1755 the congregation built a log church on a site in its present cemetery. In this it worshipped until 1835, when a new church edifice was built on the site where the first stood. The present large building was erected in 1874. In 1887 extensive repairs and improvements were made, with the addition of two Sunday school rooms.

From its beginning this church has had the services of seventeen pastors, as follows: Rev. John Philip Boehm, 1742-1748; Rev. John Philip Leydich, 1748-1784; Rev. John Herman Wynckhams, 1784-1787; Rev. Frederick Wm. Vandersloot, Sr., 1787-1813; Rev. Fred. Wm. Vandersloot, Jr., 1813-1818; Rev. Lebrecht Frederick Herman, 1818; Rev. John C. Guldin, D. D., 1819-1840; Rev. Jacob Wm. Hangen, 1841-1843; Rev. Andrew S. Young, 1843; Rev. John R. Kooken, 1844-1846; Rev. Alfred B. Shenkle, 1847-1867; Rev. H. H. W. Hibshman, D. D., 1867-1869; Rev. J. H. A. Bomberger, D. D., LL. D., 1870-1883; Rev. H. T. Spangler, D. D., 1884-1886, and 1889-1890; Rev. J. B. Shmuker, D. D., 1886-1889; Rev. Edwin C. Hibshman, 1891-1896. In November, 1896, Rev. S. L. Messinger, S. T. D., was given a call, and he began his present pastorate on January 1, 1897. The work of the church is in a prosperous condition.

In 1904 the church was beautifully renovated in every part, and a new pipe organ was installed, at a cost of $1,800. At the solicitation of the pastor, Rev. Dr. Messinger, this sum was donated by Andrew Carnegie and Mrs. Henrietta Patterson, of Philadelphia, each contributing $900. The present parsonage was built in 1869. It has been repaired at different times, and in 1904 it was thoroughly renovated and slightly enlarged. Rev. Dr. Messinger is a most popular and satisfactory pastor. He is an eloquent speaker, and the church has greatly prospered under his ministrations. The Sunday school connected with the church is very successful, Rev. A. B. Stoner being the capable superintendent. There are also a Young People's Christian Endeavor Society, a Junior Endeavor Society, and a large Woman's Missionary Society. Much work is done for the orphans and the poor. The relations between the pastor and his people are exceedingly pleasant and kindly. The congregation numbers over 300 members.

In 1894 Rev. Mr. Messinger received the degree of Master of Arts (in course) from Ursinus College; and in 1902 and 1903 he completed a post-graduate course as a non-resident student of the American University at Harriman, Tennessee, receiving the degree S. T. D. The course consisted of seventeen branches, arranged under the heads of Philosophy, Theology, and English Literature. The average of his examination marks for the course was above ninety-six per cent. He was required to write a thesis of five thousand words on an accepted theme. On a card which Mr. Messinger received from the president of the institution was the statement, "Your thesis is excellent, and I mark it 100." Genial and pleasant in his manners, an earnest worker, and a thorough believer in the doctrines he teaches, Rev. Dr. Messinger is a model of what a clergyman should be in every respect.

When Rev. Dr. Messinger was located at Ursinus College in the capacity of a student, he often engaged in teaching, chiefly in the Ursinus Academy; and since he has been pastor of the Trappe church, he taught for a time at Ursinus. He is an everyday student and educational worker, and is constantly pressing forward and upward in attainment of this kind.

On October 27, 1887, Mr. Messinger married at Schwenkville, Montgomery county, Miss Laura K. Bechtel, who was born at Limerick Square, February 28, 1860. She is the daughter of Dr. J. Y. and Margaret (Koons) Bechtel, both of Montgomery county, he is a son of John and Mary Bechtel. John Bechtel was at one time a hotel keeper at Crooked Hill, and later a farmer.

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His children: Mary (Mrs. Mock, and, second marriage, Mrs. Loomis); John, a hotelkeeper; Jacob, Washington, Lavina, Jeremiah, an attorney-at-law; J. Y., father of Mrs. Messinger.

Dr. J. Y. Bechtel is a well-known physician and druggist of Schwenkville. He is a man of high educational attainments. After graduating at a medical college he began practicing when he was twenty-one years of age, and is yet engaged in practice, at the age of seventy-four years. His first location was at Limerick Square, from which place he removed to Schwenkville about 1862. In politics he is a Democrat. He and his family are members of the Reformed church. His wife is the daughter of James and Anna Koons. James was an elder in Trappe Reformed church for forty years. The children of James and Anna Koons: Elizabeth (Mrs. A. Thomas); John, a farmer; Margaret, mother of Mrs. Messinger; Abram, who .was killed in the rebellion; Ann (Mrs. Shupe); J. Evans, a farmer.

The children of Dr. and Mrs. Bechtel: Laura, wife of Rev. Dr. S. L. Messinger; James A., a druggist (deceased); John, a druggist; M. Evelyn.

The children of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Messinger Carl J., born October 8, 1889 (deceased); Evelyn H., born December 16, 1890; Nellie A., born November 5, 1892; Mark G., born March 9, 1896; Cynthia G., born January 3, 1898.



CHRISTIAN BEENER, a retired businessman, who resides at No. 557 Kohn street, was very successful in the accumulation of property. He is emphatically a self-made man. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, March 29, 1843. He is the son of Henry and Christian (Schiefer) Beener, both natives of that section of Germany, from which he came. The couple had five children, all sons, of whom four are now living, as follows: Jacob, of Norristown; Christopher, in the west; Christian; and William.

Henry Beener (father) was a farmer and came to America, March 29, 1856, locating in the vicinity of Montgomery Square and coming into the possession of a hundred acres at that place.

He died there in 1873, aged seventy years. His wife died two years later, aged seventy years. Both were members of the Lutheran church. He was forced into the regular army in Germany, according to the practice in that country, and served six years as a soldier.

The paternal grandfather of Mr. Beener was a farmer and the proprietor of a large vineyard on the Rhine in Germany. He died there well advanced in years, leaving a number of children.

The in maternal grandfather also died in Germany. He was a shoemaker by trade and had several sons and daughters. Christian Beener was thirteen years old when he came to America, and well remembers the trip, which was made in a sailing vessel, the voyage across the Atlantic requiring three weeks. He lived with his father at Montgomery Square until he was sixteen years old. He then came to Norristown to learn the trade of butchering, serving five years, and starting for himself in 1863. He followed that occupation in Norristown until 1897, and then sold out. Since them he has lived retired and now looks after his property interests, which are very extensive in Norristown and its vicinity.

In 1865 he married Miss Mary Hoffman, daughter of Jacob and Louisa Hoffman. They had nine children, seven sons and two daughters, as follows: Emma, Mary, David, Christopher, Christian, John, Harry, Frank and William. Emma married Martin Ruth, of Norristown. They have two children, Arthur and Mary. Mary married Martin Eskroff. They live in Philadelphia. David died at the age of twelve years. Christian married Miss Reed. They live in Norristown, he being a plumber by trade. John is a machinist in Atlantic City. He is also married. Harry is a machinist and resides with his parents as do also those not otherwise mentioned, except Christopher, who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Beener are members of the Lutheran church.

Politically he is a Democrat but he has never taken a very active interest in politics. Mrs. Beener's parents were also born in Wurtemberg, Germany. They had nine children. Her parents, after coming to America, lived first at New Orleans a short time, then moved to Ohio, and from Ohio came to Pennsylvania by wagons in 1854, before the railroads were built. They settled in Gwynedd, Montgomery county, where they became owners of a large farm. Both are now deceased.

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ELIAS H. GILBERT, the genial proprietor of the Merchants' Hotel at Pottstown, is one of the best-known citizens of that borough. He was born in Berks county, February 10, 1861, being the son of Elias and Rebecca (Wartman) Gilbert, both natives of Montgomery county. The couple had four sons and four daughters; six of whom are now living, as follows: Sarah, wife of C. W. B. Todd, and John W., both of Reading; Ellen, wife of N. K. Gery, of Tioga, Philadelphia [sic]; Elias H., of Pottstown; Emma, wife of W. M. Stauffer, of New Holland, Lancaster county; and Howard, of Pottstown.

Elias Gilbert (father) was a blacksmith in early life, and later became a hotel proprietor in Berks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties. He was landlord of the Merchants' Hotel, Pottstown, for ten years, and died there four years later, in 1899, aged seventy-four years. His wife died in March, 1901, aged sixty-eight years. Both were Lutherans in religious faith.

John Gilbert (grandfather) was a native of Montgomery county. He was also a blacksmith most of his life. His first wife was Miss Yerger and his second wife Miss Bickel. He had two sets of children, his son Elias being his only child by the first marriage.

The origin of the Gilbert family has been traced. Their ancestor was one of the five brothers who came to this country from Germany and located in Falkner's Swamp in Montgomery county, being among the early settlers.

Elias H. Gilbert was reared in Montgomery county, his boyhood days being spent partly in Berks and Lehigh counties, and since 1881 he has lived in Pottstown. His early schooling was obtained in Berks and Lehigh counties, and he later attended the Perkiomen Seminary at Pennsburg. He taught three terms in the district schools. He engaged in mercantile business four years before entering the employ of his father, whose successor he became as proprietor of the Merchants' Hotel, the largest in Pottstown, and on of the oldest established inns in that section of the county.

For three years Mr. Gilbert was deputy during the term of county treasurer Isaac Fegely, before taking the hotel. During this time he retained his residence in Pottstown, making daily trips to Norristown.

Mr. Gilbert married Miss Ida Moll, daughter of Benjamin and Anna Maria (Keiser) Moll. They have had four children: Charles S., Anna, John and Sarah, all living except John, who died at the age of twenty months. Mr. Gilbert is a Lutheran. His wife is a member of the German Reformed church.

Mr. Gilbert is a member of Stitchter Lodge, No. 254, Free and Accepted Masons; of Washington Camp No. 92, Patriotic Order Sons of America; of the Protective Order of Elks, No. 814, and of the Heptasophs. Politically he is a Democrat.

In addition to his hotel interests in Pottstown, he owns a one half interest in the Merchants' Hotel at Reading, in partnership with his sister, Mrs. Todd. Mr. Gilbert is an ideal hotel-keeper, attentive to the comfort of his guests and watchful of every detail of his business. Few men in his community are so well-known or so popular as he.



ZIEBER HART, in his clay one of the best-known contractors of Norristown, was also very prosperous, owning a large number of dwellings, in different sections of the borough.

He belonged to an old Montgomery county family, of German origin, but long settled in the county seat and its vicinity. Mr. Hart was born on what is now known as the Scott Farm, within the present limits of Norristown, February 8, 1825. He was the son of Jacob and Hannah (Zieber) Hart, both natives of the vicinity. The couple had twelve children, of whom but two are now living: George, of Norristown, and Jacob, of Plymouth, near Cold Point.

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Jacob Hart (father) was a farmer all his life, residing in Plymouth township, near Norristown, where he owned a farm of two hundred acres, on which he died at the age of sixty-four years. His wife died some years previously, at the age of forty-seven, years. Mr. Hart afterward married Mrs. Anderson, whose maiden name was Highley. There was one son by the second marriage- Lane S. Hart, long a resident of Harrisburg.

John Hart (grandfather) was born in Germany, and came to Montgomery county in youth. He was a farmer by occupation, and lived to be eighty-five years of age. His wife was Catharine Wolf, and the couple had two sons, Jacob and John.

John Zieber (maternal grandfather) was a farmer and miller, and lived in Norriton township. He lived to an advanced age, and left a large family of children.

Zieber Hart was reared on his father's farm in Plymouth township, until he was eighteen years of age. He then went to Norristown where he resided the remainder of his life, a period of more than sixty years. Most of that time he lived on Swede street. He received his education at the country schools of the neighborhood, and afterwards learned the trade of a bricklayer, at which he worked as a journeyman for ten years then becoming a contractor on his own account. He did the brickwork on a great number of houses, among them the first brick on the west side of Stony creek, which now divides the borough of Norristown into two nearly equal portions. He built the house for Barney Beaver, on West Main street, and it is now owned and occupied by Walter S. Hutchison.

In 1852 Mr. Hart married Miss Mary Streeper, of Plymouth township, daughter of John and Ann (Deal) Streeper. The couple had three children, one of whom is now living, Harry, also a bricklayer, and residing in Norristown. He married Miss Annie Humphrey, who is now deceased. They had one daughter, Mary. Mrs. Mary Hart, wife of Zieber Hart, died about 1857. She was a Lutheran in religious faith, as were the family generally.

In 1862 Mr. Hart married Miss Mary Hallman, of Whitpain township, daughter of Henry and Mary (Weber) Hallman. They had two daughters, Katie and Mazie. Mrs. Mary Hart (second wife) died in 1881, aged fifty-three years. Tile parents of Mr. Hart's second wife removed to Norristown and spent their declining years. He died thirty years or more years ago, aged seventy years, his wife surviving him some years, and dying at the age of eighty-seven. They had ten children, most of them now deceased.

Politically Mr. Hart was a Democrat although he never sought or held office.

Mr. Hart's death was due to an accident, which occurred in Plymouth township, near Black Horse Hotel, where he was superintending the work on a blacksmith shop which he was erecting. While standing on the edge of the roof he lost his balance and fell to the ground, a distance of ten or twelve feet. It was found that he was seriously injured and an ambulance was summoned, which conveyed him to his home. He lingered a few days, and died on October 30, 1903.

Mr. Hart was an energetic, enterprising builder, who achieved success in life entirely through his own exertions. He was genial and affable, very kind-hearted, and as a very natural consequence highly esteemed wherever he was known. Few men have done more to benefit the community.



JOHN T. WAGNER, of the firm of Wagner & Nyce, attorneys-at-law at Norristown, was born in Hamburg, Berks county, Pennsylvania, January 26. 1866. He is the son of Jacob H. and Sarah A. (Wanner) Wagner, both natives of Berks county, Pennsylvania. They had twelve children, six sons and six daughters: Lucy; Barbara, wife of Milton N. Brandt, of Collegeville; Isabella, wife of Joseph Cook, of Norristown; Charles A., superintendent of the schools of Cheltenham township; John T.; Elmira. wife of Samuel K. Bookheimer, of Centre Point; Alvin E., of West Point, principal of the Upper Gwynedd high school: Katie; Hannah; J. Fred; and two others who died in infancy. The father was a millwright, miller and carpenter for many years, and later a farmer in Montgomery county, locating at first at Grater's Ford, in 1879, and later at Iron Bridge on the Perkiomen. He is a Lutheran in religious faith. His wife is a member of the German Reformed church.

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Solomon Wagner (grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania. He lived in Berks county and died there at an advanced age. His wife was Barbara (Hassler) Wagner. He also was a farmer and they had eight children.

Martin Wanner (maternal grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania. He also resided in Berks county and died there at the age of nearly seventy years, death resulting from a fall from a bridge. His wife was Hannah (Christ) Wanner. He was a broommaker by occupation. The couple had six children. She was a widow many years and died on Christmas clay, 1901, at the age of ninety-four.

John T. Wagner was twelve years of age when he came with his parents to Montgomery county. He was reared on the farm and during his early youth attended the country schools of the neighborhood. Later he became a student at Ursinus College, Collegeville, graduating from that institution in 1892, working his own way through, school. While he was attending college, he taught school in the winter for four years, being thus preeminently a self-made scholar. Being animated by a desire to enter the legal profession, for which his qualities of mind well fitted him, he began the study of law in the autumn of 1892 at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After studying two years at the university he came to Norristown and studied in the office of Edward E. Long another year, and was admitted to the bar December 5, 1895. He has practiced here ever since, for five years in partnership with Mr. Williams, a schoolmate of his, and for about a year with Edwin S. Nyce.

On December 25, 1899, he married Miss Mary C. Bean, daughter of James U. and Sarah (Beyer) Bean. They have a little daughter, Grace Dorothy. Mrs. Wagner belongs to the Lutheran church.

Politically Mr. Wagner is a Democrat of the old Berks county school but he is liberal in his views as is indicated from the fact that he was associated in the practice of law with Mr. Williams, who is prominently active in the councils of the Republican party.

Mr. Wagner is also identified with several industrial enterprises, including the Kitchen Specialty Company at Reading, manufacturers of tin specialties, and the Household Manufacturing Company of Royersford.

Mr. Wagner's success in life is largely the result of his own untiring efforts. He remained at home with his father until twenty-one years of age, giving his parents the benefit of his assistance and good management. Starting out on his own account in the world to make his way through life in a creditable manner, he earned with his own hands the money to pay his way through college and to enable him to pass a successful examination for admission to the bar. He enjoys a good degree of patronage and is generally recognized as one of the rising young members of the Montgomery county bar. He is not now and never has been an office-seeker, preferring rather to devote himself assiduously to the study and practice of law. He does not court notoriety, but rather shuns it, being modest and retiring, although of a very genial disposition.

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