Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 12: pp. 246 - 270.

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(Page 246 cont.)


A large proportion of the early settlers of that part of Montgomery county were Mennonites, and hence it is only natural that members of the denomination should form a considerable portion of the population of its growing towns. Souderton is in the center of the Mennonite community, and has two churches of that faith, one belonging to the old, or Franconia, conference and one, of which Rev. Allen Myers Fretz is the pastor, adhering to the General Conference of Mennonites of America. The membership of these as well as of the other churches in Souderton, is drawn largely from the rural community. The Zion church belongs to the eastern district of the General Conference. For several years prior to the organization of the congregation, services were held for the benefit of the members residing at Souderton, under the auspices of the Home Mission and Church Extension Board of the District Conference, in a hall, and subsequently in the newly erected Reformed church.

In the autumn of 1892 a lot was purchased on East Broad street, when the erection of a church building was begun and continued through the winter. It was completed in May, and on the 21st and 22d of that month the edifice was formally dedicated. During the time the small congregation were so zealously pushing the erection of the church, a charter was procured.

On February 8, 1893, the congregation was organized with the following charter members, twenty-six in all: John D. Detweiler. Catherine Detweiler, Abraham D. Detweiler, Mary Detweiler, David B. Detweiler, Annie B. Harr, Henry D. Detweiler, William D. Detweiler, John D. Moyer,

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Olivia Moyer, William G. Moyer, Hannah Moyer, Levi S. Moyer, Annie Moyer, Abraham S. Moyer, William S. Moyer, Menno S. Moyer, Joseph P. Moyer, Mary Clymer, Adolph Leber, Amanda Leber, Hannah Taylor, Eli M. Fretz, Catherine Fretz, Isaac S. Borneman, Leah Hunsberger. Rev. Allen M. Fretz, pastor of the Deep Run church, in Bucks county, was chosen pastor. The call was accepted by him, as an enlargement of his field of labor. He took charge of the church on April 1, of the same year, and still holds the position. Mr. Fretz's ministrations have been very acceptable, and many new members have been added to the congregation. On June 3, 1893, the pastor baptized five young converts. The aggregate of members from the beginning is 185, and the present membership, 154. The congregation, while it discourages all modern innovations such as are so common in church work for raising funds, was able, in May, 1898, to extinguish a building debt of about eight hundred dollars, besides giving substantial aid to various departments of church work.

The church has the following auxiliaries in the carrying on of its work: Sunday school, Christian Endeavor Society, Junior Endeavor Society, Ladies' Mission Society, Weekly Bible Study, prayer meetings, etc. Feeling that the common lodge system is in principle out of harmony with Scripture teaching, many young men being induced to join them because of their boasted pecuniary advantages, the congregation in its constitution instituted and provided for a charity fund to which regular annual contributions are made, for the assistance of the poor and sick where such assistance is needed. Regular support is also given to the Mennonite Home for the Aged at Frederick this county; to the Home Mission and Church Extension work and the Foreign Mission cause of the Mennonite church, in India and among the Indians of America.

The preaching services as is common in nearly all Mennonite churches of eastern Pennsylvania, are conducted in both German and English, with a growing inclination to more English and less German.



REV. JOSIAH CLEMMER, a bishop in the Mennonite church, was born May 1, 1827. He was ordained to the ministry in 1860, and became bishop in 1867.

The family are of German origin. In 1717, the ancestor of the family (great-grandfather of Bishop Clemmer) came to America with four sons: John, Valentine, Henry, and Abraham (grandfather).

Abraham Clemmer lived in Montgomery county. He had three sons, Henry, Abraham and John (father).

John Clemmer was a farmer. He had four sons and four daughters, as follows: Abraham, married Sarah Swartley, and had one son, Josiah, and two daughters (Sarah and Mary Ann) dying in 1852.

Abraham married (second wife) Sophia Bechtel, and had a son Henry; she dying, he married his third wife, who still survives, having one son, Abraham, and one daughter. His third wife, Anna, was previously married to Jacob Nice.

John Clemmer, born in 1825, married Eliza Moyer; the couple had two daughters who died in infancy. Mrs. Clemmer died in 1863, and he then married (second wife) Margaret Boorse, having one son, John Henry Clemmer.

Henry Clemmer, born in 1837, married Mary Ruth. Their children: Joseph, Tobias, Henry, Abraham and Michael. Henry also had one daughter, Annie, who died at the age of seventeen years.

Elizabeth Clemmer, born in 1820, married Henry Bergey, and had two sons and three daughters. Henry Bergey died in Canada, and she married (second husband) Joseph Hallman.

Susanna Clemmer, born in 1830, married George Rosenberger and had one daughter. Mary Ann Clemmer, born in 1830 (twin-sister of Susanna) married David Hagey, and had one son, Oliver, and one daughter, who died in infancy. Oliver Hagey married Sarah Benner and has two sons, David and Willie.

Anna Clemmer, born in 1840, married John Rosenberger. The couple have had three sons and six daughters, as follows: Harry, Levi, John, Mary Ann, Lizzie, Susanna, Katie (deceased), Ella and Annie. Harry married Miss Lapp; John married Miss Moyer; Levi also married; Mary Ann married William Godshall; Lizzie married Henry Hendricks; Ella married Henry Heckler; Anna married T. R. Haldeman.

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Rev. Josiah Clemmer married Sarah Kulp, November 9, 1851. They had eight children, five sons and three daughters: Jacob, John, Josiah, Jonas, Hiram (died at the age of twenty years), Susanna, Mary and Sarah (died at the age of seventeen years). Mr. Clemmer married (second wife) Lydia Derstine, on December 24, 1884. Mrs. Clemmer is the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Gemman) Derstine. Her brothers were: John, George, Jacob, Jesse, Abraham, Samuel, Noah, Isaac, and her sisters, Sarah, Kate, Elizabeth, Anna, Mary and Hetty.

Mrs. Sarah Clemmer, daughter of Jacob Kulp, a minister of the Mennonite church, died on November 8, 1883, aged fifty years. One of her children, Jacob, married Catharine Benner, and had three children as follows: John, unmarried; Sarah, married John Hensel; Lizzie, unmarried. Jacob died at the age of thirty-six years.

John Clemmer, born September 1, 1861, married Lizzie Free, and had two sons, Jacob, died at the age of two years; and Eliner, married Miss Greeser, they having two daughters, Beth and Mary. John Clemmer is a miller.

Josiah Clemmer, born June 1, 1867, married Ella Hunsberger, in 1885. Their children: Harvey, Clayton, Willis, Norman and Josiah. Josiah Clemmer is a farmer.

Jonas Clemmer born August 9, 1870, married Laura Loudenslager. He died April 6, 1901. His wife died in 1898. Their children: Katie, Ellwood and Wallace. Jonas Clemmer married (second wife) Barbara Freed in 1899, and had one son, Raymond.

Hiram Clemmer, born January 28, 1874, died May 10, 1894. Susanna Clemmer, born October 29. 1855, married Samuel Derstine and had nine children, of whom Irvin, Josiah, Lizzie, Erma and Edna survive.

Mary Clemmer, born December 27, 1857, married Charles Brunner. Their children: Hiram, Harvey, Katie, Sarah, Mary, Ella, Barbara (deceased). Mary died and Mr. Brunner married (second wife) Mary Oberholtzer and had five children, Hanna, Lizzie, Elverdy, Charles and Edwin. Of the children by the first wife, Hiram married Lizzie Belger, and had a son, Morgan; Harvey married a Miss Hendricks, and had one son; Kate harried Henry Mininger, and had three children; Sarah married Ulysses Alderfer.

Family of Henry Kulp: Catharine, born February 3, 1798, married to John Freed, whose occupation was farming, and who was a Mennonite in faith. Jacob B., born in November, 1799, died in 1875, aged sixty-eight years. Jacob was married to Anna Alderfer, who was a minister.

Polly Kulb married to Peter Hendricks. They had the following children: Henry Kulb was born January 24, 1804, and died August 8, 1869. He married Elizabeth Shoemaker. They had the following children: Jacob, Henry, Samuel, Michael, Susan, Eliza and Sarah. Abraham Kulb was born January 11, 1806, and married Elizabeth Landes. Mr. Kulb was a weaver and farmer by occupation and was a member of the Mennonite church. Sallie Kulb married Joseph Swartz. William Kulb married Mary Frederick, and had the following children: Abraham and Sallie.

Bishop Clemmer says of his mother: Her maiden name was Swartley. She was a granddaughter of Henry Rosenberger, who came to America from Germany between 1720 and 1730. He was a Mennonite deacon. He settled in Franconia, at Indian Creek. He gave the ground for a graveyard where there have been buried about a thousand persons. He was married to Barbara Oberholtzer in the year 1745. They lived together twenty years, having nine children, seven daughters, and two sons who died young. The daughters were: Anna, Lizzie, Barbara, Mary, Maudalin, Sarah, Susan. Sarah married John Swartley, she being my grandmother. They had six sons and two daughters: John, Henry Samuel, Joseph. Abraham and Philip, Elizabeth and Mary (my mother), who married John Clemmer (my father).

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Rev. Henry Funk was the first minister of Franconia congregation. The first meetinghouse was built of stone in the year 1730. It had a seating capacity of over seven hundred, with a membership of about four hundred and fifty. The third house was built of stone. The church has a membership of six hundred with seats for eight hundred or nine hundred.

Josiah Clemmer was chosen to the ministry in 1860. His co-workers in the ministry are Jacob Landes and Michael Moyer. Henry Nice was chosen to the ministry in 1839 and died in 1883, aged seventy-nine years. Jacob Godshall was chosen to the ministry in 1804, and was elected bishop in 1813. He died in 1845, aged seventy-five years. Abraham Clemmer, Sr., was elected deacon in Franconia congregation in 1839, and died in 1879, aged eighty-five years, in 1884. Abraham Clemmer, Jr., was elected deacon in 1879. Jacob Freed was ordained to a deacon in 1884. Abraham Clemmer was ordained, as a minister in 1904.



(Picture of Joel Supplee)

JOEL SUPPLEE, son of Charles and Elizabeth Supplee, was born on a farm operated by his father, on April 6, 1848. He attended the "Eight Square" school which stood on the Allentown Road, and later the school on the Morris Road near the Heebner farm, finishing his early education at Gwynedd school. He was then about sixteen years of age. He then attended the Frederick Institute in Frederick township, which was in charge of A. P. Supplee and brother, for two terms, after which he was actively engaged in farming until he reached manhood.

In 1853 his father bought the farm of Jacob Ruth, containing seventy-five acres, on which Mr. Supplee now lives. He married, June 15, 1872, and his daughter, Laura May, born May 1, 1874, graduated at the Norristown high school and later at the Pierce Business College, Philadelphia, after which she worked nine years as stenographer for the Keasby, Mattison Company, Ambler, and died July 2, 1903. Mr. Supplee's wife was Harriet, daughter of Edward and Catharine Ann (Layman) Preston, of Gwynedd township; her father was a well-known blacksmith of the neighborhood whose shop was located near where is now a corn station on the Stony Creek Railroad. In 1880 Mr. Supplee succeeded to the management of the farm and purchased it when his father's estate was settled.

Charles Supplee (father), born February 8, 1813, was the son of Jesse and Mary (Hoffman) Supplee, of Norriton township. [Ed. Note: Charles' parents named here appear to be in conflict with information below that Charles {father} was son of Joel Supplee who married Phoebe Supplee. Jesse and Mary are listed below as parents of Joel's wife, Phoebe.] He married, November 18, 1841, Elizabeth Boisbon Printz; daughter of Abraham Printz, of Plymouth township. Mrs. Supplee was born February 19, 1814. Their children: Jesse, born October 28, 1842, married April 7, 1869, Rebecca Jane, daughter of John Blakeley, and has children: Antoinette; Margaret, married and has three children, William, Elizabeth, and Mary; Abraham Printz, born October 23, 1845, married Mattie Sedgwick, of Painted Post, Steuben county, New York, and (second wife) Laura V. Williams, of Pittsburg, where he died; Joel, subject of this sketch; John died at the age of three years, twin brother of Joel.

Jesse Supplee (grandfather), son of David Supplee, was born December 20, 1784, and married Mary Hoffman, born October 27, 1791. Their children: Phoebe, born October 7, 1811, married Joel Supplee, son of Nathan Supplee, and had children: Charles Supplee (father); Catharine Supplee, born March 22, 1813, died unmarried April 20, 1874; Susanna Supplee, born February 10, 1817, died July 20, 1866, married Isaac Zimmerman and had five living children; Margaret Supplee, born February 13, 1820, married William Rickards, Philadelphia, and had one child, Josephine, who married Captain Hunt, died in 1903; Jane, born December 20, 1821, married Lorenzo Dow Smith, who had one child, Josephine, married Jacob R. Yost, real estate agent of Norristown; Elizabeth, born August 1, 1824, died July 24, 1878, unmarried; Mary, born March 20, 1828, died December, 9, 1901, unmarried; Job Supplee, born April 10, 1831, died March 30, 1901.

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David Supplee (great-grandfather), born May 31, 1753, and his wife, Susanna, born April 3, 1751, had the following children: Rachel, born March 29, 1775; Jane, born September 7, 1776; Asahel, born October 23, 1777; Tacy, born January 4, 1779; Andrew, born January 16, 1780; Hannah, born April 5, 1781; Enoch, born June 12, 1783; Jesse, born December 20, 1784 (grandfather); Lydia, born January 9, 1787; Phebe, born March 18, 1788; Jonas, born April 8, 1789; John, twin brother of the last; David, born October 22, 1797.

Edward Preston, father of Mrs. Supplee, born October 27, 1818, in Gwynedd township, was the son of Jacob Preston. He married Catharine Layman. Their children: Mary Ann, born October 17, 1847; Harriet (Mrs. Joel Supplee); Emma, born 1856, wife of David Mumbower; Elizabeth, born in 1858, unmarried.



MAURICE E. GILBERT, proprietor of the Mansion House, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was born in Pottstown, September 22, 1861. He is the son of Eli and Elizabeth (Renninger) Gilbert. Eli Gilbert (father) was born in Montgomery county, and he and his wife had the following children: Maurice E., William and Lillian (twins), Lillian having married Harlan Reifsnyder, of Brooklyn, New York, formerly of Pottstown. Mrs. Eli Gilbert was also born in Montgomery county. Mr. Gilbert was a carpenter and lived in Montgomery county all his life, dying June 25, 1897, at the age of sixty-five years, one month and four days. After leaving the business of carpenter he engaged in the bakery business for twelve years and then lived retired until his death. He served in the office of borough tax collector for one term. In politics he was a staunch Democrat.

Jacob Gilbert (grandfather) was born in Montgomery county and lived there all his life. He was a farmer and later lived retired in Pottstown, where he died. He was of German descent.

George Renninger (maternal grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania and followed the trade of carpet-weaver most of his life. He died in Pottstown at the age of nearly ninety years. They had two children: a son and a daughter, the son, John H., being a resident of Pottstown.

Maurice E. Gilbert has lived in Pottstown all his life and attended the public schools in that borough. At the age of sixteen years he began to learn telegraphy with the Western Union Telegraph Company and was with them about four years. He was then employed in the nail factory and later in the Colfrode & Saylor Bridge Works until he took charge of his father's bread business. He next engaged in the hotel business, which he has followed since 1891.

On June 15, 1892, Mr. Gilbert married Miss Sarah Todd, daughter of Dr. John and Sarah (Heller) Todd. They have had two children, John and Marion. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert are Lutherans in religious faith. Mr. Gilbert belongs to the Patriotic Order Sons of America; to the Foresters of America; to the Knights of the Golden Eagle; to the Improved Order of Red Men and to the Heptasophs. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of the town council of Pottstown, having been elected in 1895, and reelected successively, although residing in a strong Republican ward.

Dr. John Todd, father of Mrs. Gilbert, is one of the most successful physicians of the county. He is a son of John and Christiana (Boughman) Todd, and was born at Freeland, now Collegeville, April 25, 1830. Dr. Todd's grandfather, Andrew Todd, bought from the Penns a large tract of land in Upper Providence, which remained in the family until 1884. Andrew Todd was a man of great ability. He was one of the founders of Lower Providence Presbyterian church, and was the first justice of the peace appointed by Governor McKean. He held the office until his death, which occurred in 1834. Andrew Todd married Hannah Boyer and their children were John; W. T., who went west; Isabella, who married Samuel Hamil, a Norristown merchant, who died in 1850; and Hannah, wife of Samuel McClintock, of Northumberland county.

John Todd, grandfather of Mrs. Gilbert, was born in 1776 and died in 1863. He was sheriff one term and two terms county treasurer. He

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was twice married-first to Miss Campbell, and after her death to Christiana Boughman. By the second marriage he had six children: Dr. John (father), William T., Samuel M., Charles, Christiana and Emily.

Dr. John Todd practiced in early life at Boyertown, after having studied medicine with Drs. Keeler and Groff, of Harleysville, and graduating from a medical college in 1857. Dr. Todd married, in 1857, Ida Amanda Smith, who died leaving one child, and he married (second wife), in 1864, Sarah M. Heller, daughter of Daniel Heller, of Boyertown. They have five children Blanche, wife of J. G. Kulp, a Philadelphia merchant; Bertha C. married Lyman Byers, a Pottstown electrician; Sarah, wife of Mr. Gilbert; Mary and John. Dr. Todd was the candidate of his party for Congress in 1894 and is a director of the Bringhurst Fund, Pottstown.



JOHN CASSEL BOORSE, surveyor, conveyancer and justice of the peace of Towamensing township, was born June 27, 1831, in the township of which he is still a resident. He is the son of Henry C. and Susanna (Cassel) Boorse.

Harman Boors (great-great-grandfather) emigrated from Holland and settled in what is now Towamensing township, Montgomery county, about 1750. He lived near the present village of Kulpsville, and was a man of wealth and a leader in the community. He returned to his native land on business several times, and while returning to America for the last time, he died. His children: John and Henry, died unmarried; Peter, married, and died May 1, 1797; Arnold, and Harman (great-grandfather).

Harman Boors (great-grandfather) was also a farmer. He married and his children were John (grandfather); Margaret, born September 8, 1765, left no children; Peter, born August 28, 1767, married and left four children; Henry, born December 25, 1769, died November 27, 1777; Anna, born September 22, 1772, married, October 22, 1793, Abraham Hendricks; Catharine, born March 28, 1775, married, November 10, 1796, Samuel Metz; Sybilla, born April 2, 1777, married Jacob Hendricks; Susanna, born February 25, 1779, married, February 19, 1799, Jesse Lewis; Elizabeth, born February 17, 1782, married Samuel Kriebel.

John Boorse (grandfather) was born October 17, 1763, and died January 26, 1847. He married, June 8, 1797, Elizabeth Cassel, who died July 26, 1830. Their children: Abraham; Henry C.; Magdalena, married Jacob Boyer; Peter, Daniel, Joseph, Harman, Jacob; Catharine, married James Lloyd; Mary, married Elias Cassel; and Hubert.

Henry C. Boorse (father) was born October 14, 1799, in Towanmensing township. He married, March 5, 1822, Susanna Cassel. He died April 26, 1869, and his wife, April 6, 1856. He was a farmer and held several township offices. Their children: Barbara, born December 8, 1822, married Henry K. Zeigler, of Skippack, and died in March, 1866; Ephraim, born January 24, 1825, married, March 16, 1845, Elizabeth K. Ziegler, daughter of Abraham K. and Rachel (Krause) Ziegler, and they have six children; he is a retired coal and lumber dealer of Norristown; John C., the subject of this sketch; Catharine, born December 6, 1836, married William Bechtel, of Collegeville, Montgomery county, and died May 7, 1877; Susan, born September 9, 1839, died December 18, 1856.

John C. Boorse was educated in the public schools in the neighborhood of his home, and in the Washington Hall School, at Trappe. After leaving school he worked on the farm until his marriage.

On January 21, 1855, John C. Boorse married Mary, daughter of Samuel and Mary Rittenhouse, of Towamensing, and a descendant of the celebrated David Rittenhouse, the astronomer. Their children: Alinda, born May 29, 1856, died January 31, 1857; Mary Ann, born December 18, 1857, married Humphrey W. Edwards, of Kulpsville; Malinda, born January 3, 1860, died August 31, 1860; Ella, born March 21, 1862, married Dr. D. K. Bechtel, of Kulpsville; Lizzie, born March 25, 1864, married Allen H. Tyson, of Lansdale; Henry R., born September 21, 1866, editor and publisher of the Towamensing Rein, which was established in 1885; Alma, born December 9, 1868, married Henry C. Hunsicker, of Norristown; Nora, born June 7, 1871; Edith, born October 21, 1879.

In 1855 Mr. Boorse bought the old homestead of the Boorse family from his father and lived there until 1868, when he removed to his present home. In 1855 he was elected township assessor, a position which he held for eight years. He has also filled the office of school director for six years, that of judge of election for two terms, has been a member of the election board since 1869, and was a leading member of the Republican county committee for many years.

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In 1862 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace and has served ever since. He has always endeavored to settle cases so that they should not be referred to the court, and has received the highest praise both from the judges and from the people in general.

In 1870 he received the appointment to take the census of Towamensing and Lower Salford townships and acquitted himself with credit. In 1865 he was nominated for county commissioner, but failed of election by a small majority.

He was a delegate to the state convention at Lancaster in 1875 and voted for John F. Hartranft for governor. He is a member of the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Mr. Boorse made the original survey for the borough of Lansdale, and was official surveyor of that borough from 1872 to 1881. He was one of the original directors of the Lansdale Water Works Company, a director and secretary of the Lansdale Cemetery Association; one. of the original members and secretary of the Towamensing Creamery Association: a director in the Perkiomen Fire and Storm Insurance Company of Montgomery county, and one of the originators of the Kulpsville Literary and Library Association. He was one of the leaders in the movement which established a telephone line from Norristown to Kulpsville, by way of North Wales and Lansdale. Mr. Boorse has, in fact, been prominent in every progressive movement of his community.

He belongs to the I. O. O. F., Providence Lodge No. 345, having become a member in 1867. He has been its trustee, treasurer, and the representative to the grand lodge, and a director in the Odd Fellows Endowment Association, of Pennsylvania. He became a member of Charity Lodge No. 190, Free and Accepted Masons, Norristown, on October 10, 1872.

On January 25, 1875, he was knighted in the Knights Templar, Hutchinson Commandery No. 32, Norristown, and also belongs to Norristown Chapter No. 190, Royal Arch Masons.



(Picture of Samuel Ross Gordon)

SAMUEL ROSS GORDON, son of Ross Gordon, was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, January 4, 1834. His father married Miss Fannie Nutt, and emigrated from Ireland to America, settling in Bucks county about 1825.

Samuel R. Gordon was taught early, in life that work was not only conducive to health on account of its exercising the body, but was the means of gaining a livelihood and acquiring a fortune. He obtained his education in the common schools of the neighborhood. Having acquired habits of industry and thrift by force of the example of his elders and by the lack of money to spend, he became a rising young farmer, and his services were much sought after by all the farmers in the neighborhood. He also made many friends in the vicinity of his home, and on October 12, 1861, married Margaret, daughter of Frederick and Matilda (Neavil) Knipe, of an old and prominent family of Upper Gwynedd township.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon are Amanda, born January 1, 1864, married December, 1886, Henry Englehart, of Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, they residing on the Helfenstein homestead, near North Wales; Samuel Bird, born July 30, 1865, died March, 1866; Mary Ann, born February 9, 1867, died in infancy; George Washington, born February 17, 1869, married September 30, 1903, Elizabeth Fisener, of Colmar, they residing at "Gordon Place," where he is engaged as a farmer and butcher; Walter Scott, born March 10, 1871, married October. 3, 1903, Fanny Y. Yocum, of Hatfield, and lives at "Gordon Place"; Simon Gordon, born October 16, 1873, is deceased; Viola, born July 2, 1875, died May 23, 1894; Ross B., born November 13, 1879, died December 17, 1883. Amanda, the oldest child, wife of Mr. Englehart, has had the following children: Helen Evelyn, born March 6, 1888; Gordon born February 7, 1899.

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Soon after his marriage, in 1861, Samuel R. Gordon and his wife removed to the farm of Daniel Foulke, in Montgomery township, Montgomery county, where they lived two years. They next rented the farm of Richard Dobbins, of Montgomery Square, and managed it for three years, Mrs. Gordon always ably assisting her husband in his undertakings.

In 1867 they purchased the farm of George and Samuel Woolf, on Bethlehem Pike, just beyond the limits of North Wales, and established a dairy there. It included 119 acres of improved land and was well watered and drained. It is now known as the "Gordon Place." Mr. Gordon always took a deep interest in his herd of cows, usually keeping about thirty, mostly Alderney. He lived on this place the rest of his life, dying May 27, 1895.

Mr. Gordon always took an active part in the affairs of the community in which he lived, and served as director of the North Wales Building and Loan Association, and also in the local bank. In politics he was a Democrat, and, although he was active in working for his party, never sought personal preferment. He and his family belonged to St. Peter's Lutheran church at North Wales, and took an active interest in religious and educational matters. In the division of his estate he gave to his two sons jointly the farm "Gordon Place," and to his daughter, Mrs. Englehart, the property which was formerly the homestead of the Helfenstein family. His widow, Mrs. Margaret Gordon, resides with her daughter, Amanda.



JAMES M. HALLMAN, of Pottstown, is a member of an old Montgomery county family, which has resided therein for more than a century and a half.

James M. Hallman, a well-known citizen of Pottstown, was born February 4, 1845. He is the son of Isaiah and Susanna (Hartel) Hallman. Isaiah (father) was a shoemaker by occupation and a life-long resident of Montgomery county. Susanna Hallman died in 1852 at the age of thirty-two years. Her husband survived for many years, dying in December, 1899, at the age of eighty-four years. Both were buried at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church, near Center Square, in Whitpain township. He was a Democrat in politics and was for many years road supervisor of the township and a prominent man in the district. They had four children, all living as follows: Henry H., who was for some time deputy county treasurer, and is now engaged in the office of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, residing at 658 George street, Norristown; Anna; Sophia, married William Lynch, both sisters also residing in Norristown; James M., subject of this sketch.

The paternal grandparents were John and Margaret (Gouldy) Hallman, also residents of Montgomery county. He died young. She survived to the age of more than eighty years. Both were buried at St. John's, Center Square. They had three children, Isaiah, Charles and Charlotte, who married Mr. Cassel.

Henry Hartel (maternal grandfather) was married twice and had the following children: Mary, Hannah, Jacob, Susanna and Sophia. He was a Democrat in politics. They were both members of the Presbyterian church and were buried at the Lower Providence cemetery. They resided in Norriton township, where he was a farmer.

James M. Hallman attended school until he was eighteen years of age and then learned the trade of shoemaking, which he followed for several years. He then went to Chicago and spent several months in the west. Returning to the east he located in Pottstown, where he engaged in the feed business and has followed that ever since. He married, April 27, 1876, Mary Magdalena, daughter of Thomas and Harriet (Mohr) Francis. Mrs. Hallman's father was a carpenter and lived in Birdsboro, being a carpenter and contractor.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Hallman: Charles L., born April 23, 1877, in Pottstown. He is a clerk employed by the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company at the Reading terminal, Philadelphia, having previously graduated from the Pottstown high school and the Pottstown Business College. Harry F., born September 10, 1879, unmarried, residing with his parents, and is engaged at the Warwick Iron Company's furnace as a clerk.

(Page 254)

The children of Thomas and Harriet Francis (Mrs. Hallman's parents): Levi, Mary M. (Mrs. Hallman), Elias, John, George; Elizabeth, married twice, her present husband being William J. Agnew, residing in Philadelphia; Ella, married Mr. Shuler and residing in Pottstown.

Mrs. Hallman's grandparents were John and Susanna (Murray) Francis, who resided in Chester county, where he was a dealer in charcoal. They were Episcopalians or Methodists in religious faith.

Mr. Hallman is a Democrat in politics but takes no active part in public affairs. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church.



JOHN LOOMIS was born in Montgomery county, March 27, 1858, and has been a farmer all his life. He was elected justice of the peace in 1897, re-elected in 1902, and still holds the office. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Methodist church.

On September 1, 1881, John Loomis married Theressa, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Ewing. They have had three children: Walter, born in 1883; Myrtle Emma and Violet Edith (twins), of whom Violet Edith is deceased.

John Loomis (father) was born in 1812. He married Sarah Knauer, daughter of Tobias and Elizabeth Knauer. She was born in 1823 and is still living. Their children: John, William, Jacob (deceased), Nimrod, and Elizabeth. John Loomis (father) had the following brothers and sisters: Joseph, James, William, Esaw, who is still living; Elizabeth, who married John Strickland (deceased).

Mrs. Theressa Loomis, wife of John Loomis, is the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Ewing. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Ewing: John Calvin, Luther Lewis, Samuel, Howard, William, Allison, and Charles Simeon, all residents of San Francisco, California; Theressa (Mrs. Loomis); Margaret Ann, widow of Thomas Care; Barbara Ann, widow of David Rancel; Clara S., wife of Howard Wynn; Mary Ellen, wife of Philip Richard.



EUGENE L. TAFT, of Norriton township, was born March 10, 1853, in Easton, Pennsylvania, where his father was stationed at the time. He is the son of Rev. John L. and Isabella (Houpt) Taft.

Rev. John L. Taft (father) was born in Paris, France, December 25, 1812. He was educated at St. Mary's College, Baltimore, and joined the Methodist Episcopal church while a resident of that city.

In 1833 he was received on trial in the Philadelphia conference, and during a ministry of fifty years served the church as follows: Snow Hill, Maryland; Salem, New Jersey; March Chunk, Norristown, Bustleton, Germantown, Frankford, New Castle, Delaware; Port Deposit, Easton, Pottsville and Manayunk, Pennsylvania.

In 1865 he was appointed presiding elder by Bishop Scott and he entered on missionary work in the south, forming a mission which extended from Richmond, Virginia, to Norfolk, and included Petersburg and Old Point Comfort. In 1866 he had charge of the work on the eastern coast of Virginia and the following year was appointed to the counties of Northampton and Accomac, Virginia, where he did good work for the church. In 1868 he was appointed to Seaford Station, Delaware, and in 1871, became presiding elder of the old Snow Hill district, serving the full term of four years.

His health having become impaired, he received, by his own request, a supernumerary relation, and this continued until his death. In 1875 he visited Europe in the hope of improving his health and for nearly a year traveled over England and the continent. Soon after his return to his home his eyesight failed him and an operation was necessary, which, however, resulted in total blindness. November 20, 1883, he was stricken with paralysis and deprived of the use of one side. He lingered for six months, and on Decoration Day, May 29, 1884, quietly passed away, after a life spent for the good of others. The funeral services were held in the Oak Street

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church, Norristown, and were conducted by G. W. F. Graff, pastor of the church, who was assisted by Rev. M. D. Kurtz. The remains were interred in Norris City cemetery.

Rev. John L. Taft married Isabella Houpt, who was born at Broad Axe, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, where her father, Samuel Houpt, was born and spent his entire life. Samuel Houpt was a contractor and builder and most of the bridges built in the county during his time have his name attached as builder. He was very successful, and at the age of forty-eight years retired with what was then considered a large fortune. He was a Democrat in politics and held many county offices, among others recorder of deeds. The children of Samuel Houpt were Anna, Isabella and Samuel.

Rev. John and Isabella Taft had these children: Louis M., born in 1840, married Susan Barr, and has children: John, Mary, Fanny. He is a physician in Everett, Massachusetts, and also has a practice in Philadelphia. Laura J., born in 1838, married Amos E. Willis, of Richmond, Virginia.

Eugene L. Taft was the youngest child and traveled from place to place with his father. He received such an education as a father like his would give a favorite son but learned no trade or profession. He lives the life of a retired gentleman.

In politics he is a Democrat. He is not a church member but naturally inclines to the faith of his revered father.

Eugene L. Taft married Mary Willis, who was born May 13, 1859, in Richmond, Virginia. She is the daughter of Amos E. and Nancy (Wills) Willis. Mr. Willis was born near Elkton, Maryland, and removed to Philadelphia, where he was in business for many years. He afterwards removed to Norristown and now lives retired. Mary Willis was his only child.

Eugene L. and Mary (Willis) Taft have four children: Laura E., born August 8, 1878, resides with her parents. She was graduated at the Penn Square schools and attended the Norristown high school for two years but was compelled to leave on account of poor health. Charles I., born July 12, 1881, resides with his parents. Susie Viola, born April 18, 1888, attends the schools of Penn Square. Edwin W., born June 6, 1895, is in school at Penn Square.



ELMER ALLEBAUGH, one of the best-known contractors of Norristown, is a member of a family long resident in that part of Montgomery county. He was born in Towamensing township, December 30, 1868. The family removing to the county-seat when he was a child, he grew to manhood in Norristown, attending the public schools until he was fourteen years of age. He then became an apprentice with James M. Famous, at that time a bricklayer and contractor. Having learned the trade of bricklaying in three years, he remained with Mr. Famous four years longer as a journeyman. After leaving Mr. Famous he worked for different contractors until 1898, when he started business on his own account.

Mr. Allebaugh's first work as a contractor was the building of six handsome residences in pairs on Haws avenue, Norristown, for Mr. McGrath. Among other operations are the following; twelve houses for Harry A. Keeler, on Haws avenue, and about forty for Ellwood Roberts, partly on Haws avenue and partly on Elm and other streets. In 1902 Mr. Allebaugh built the Kauffman Stoker Factory in Bridgeport; for J. Frank Boyer twenty houses; for the Hamilton Terrace Company forty houses; and a woolen mill for George Watt at Buttonwood street and the Schuylkill river.

In addition he erected one of the Gresh Cigar Factory buildings at Marshall and Corson streets; another for the Diamond State Fibre Company in Bridgeport, and many others in Norristown and vicinity. He started out with his own earnings as his capital and owes his success to close attention to his business and to the fact that he believes in doing well whatever he undertakes to do.

In politics Mr. Allebaugh is a Republican and has been a member of the borough executive committee. He is also a member of the following orders: Norristown Lodge, No. 620, Free & Accepted Masons; Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, No. 714; and Minnie Kaunee Lodge of Red Men. In religious belief Mr. Allebaugh is attached to the Reformed church.

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Benjamin V. Allebaugh (father) was born in Lower Salford township, Montgomery county, on March 15, 1837, and grew to manhood in that locality, working on his father's farm until he reached the age of twenty-one years, when he entered the grist and saw mill, owned by his father, Jacob G. Allebaugh, which he managed until 1867.

Having married, he then bought a part of his father's farm, on which he built a house and outbuildings, and followed the occupation of farming until he removed to Norristown in 1876. He has worked at the carpenter trade although he never served an apprenticeship, but he is to a certain extent a born mechanic, displaying much originality in that direction. He was two years in the furniture business and spent a year in serving a milk route in Norristown. Mr. Allebaugh was in the grocery business for five years. After the grocery was sold he erected a stocking factory on Blackberry Alley, in West Norristown, which he operated successfully for eight years.

Benjamin V. Allebaugh is a member of the Reformed Church of the Ascension, on Airy street, Norristown. His wife, one son and two daughters are also members of that church. He is a member of the Brotherhood of the Union, and of Sincerity Home, No. 16.

He married, September 25, 1862, Miss Catharine Ann, daughter of Joseph and Catharine (Reiff) Swartley. She was born in Skippackville, January 23, 1842. Their children are as follows: Ella K., born August 13, 1863, married George Lee, of Norristown, they having four children, Norman, Anna, Florence and George; Clayton S., born March 30, 1865, married Florinda Wagner, who is now deceased, leaving two children, Hannah and Clayton; Jacob S., born October 8, 1866, and residing in Atlantic City, married Anna Hepting; Elmer S. is the subject of this sketch; Norwood Penrose, born May 16, 1870, unmarried, is a resident of New York city, and a traveling salesman; Florence S., born July 20, 1880, was graduated from the Norristown high school in 1899 and resides with her parents. Jacob G. Allebaugh (grandfather) was a lifelong resident of Lower Salford, where he was a farmer and miller.

David Allebaugh (great-grandfather) was a farmer in Skippackville.

The Reiffs were an old Montgomery family for generations and were influential in that section of the country. Jacob, maternal great-grandfather of Elmer S. Allebaugh, was for many years a merchant at Skippackville. He reared a family of five children, two sons and three daughters. The sons were both farmers.

Joseph, son of Jacob Reiff, had two children, Elias and Catharine Ann, the latter the wife of Benjamin V. Allebaugh. Elias removed to Florida in 1890, where he engaged in orange growing. In 1895 he came to Norristown on a visit, and had a stroke of paralysis from which he died, leaving a widow and five daughters. The wife died in 1900. The daughters are all married and have families.

Elmer S. Allebaugh is a prominent member of the Hancock Fire Company. He is alert and progressive in his business. Several years ago he introduced the method of raising bricks and mortar to the tipper stories of buildings which he was engaged in erecting by means of a portable engine, thus dispensing with the labor of several hod carriers, and enabling the work to proceed much more rapidly than it could under the old system. There is no doubt that some such plan will ultimately come into general use, so as to prevent the necessity for such exhausting labor on the part of workmen employed on the upper stories of buildings.

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(Picture of George Berkhimer)

GEORGE BERKHIMER, son of Jacob and Mary (Rubicam) Berkhimer, was a native of Whitemarsh township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, where he was born May 21, 1815. He was born on a farm rented by his father. He was one of a family of six children, and attended the schools of the day which were very inferior to those of the present time. George Berkhimer was trained to habits of honest industry in accordance with the custom of that day in Montgomery, but school learning was a comparatively small part of the education of the boy. He conducted a store with a relative for a time, finding that employment more congenial than farming.

He married, February 27, 1851, Phebe Ann, daughter of Levi and Hettie (Wilkinson) Shepherd, of Horsham township. After his marriage George and Phebe Berkhimer located at Springhouse, in Lower Gwynedd township, where he remained for a year, and then removed to the locality known as Franklinville, in Whitpain township, on the State road, (DeKalb street) about six miles from Norristown, and two miles from Gwynedd Friends' meeting-house. There Mr. Berkhimer occupied the hotel, a portrait of Benjamin Franklin on whose swinging sign, yet remembered by some of the older residents of the neighborhood, gave name to the place. He purchased the farm and hotel, and operated both for many years. The farm contained eighty-seven acres of land, and Mr. Berkhimer brought it into a high state of cultivation. He did not keep the bar of the hotel, that being in the hands of another person, but attended to the comfort of all guests.

George Berkhimer sold his farm, the hotel having been abandoned because of the diversion of travel in other directions through the building of railroads and otherwise, the purchaser being John Robinson, about 1866. He held it a few years, Mr. Berkhimer in the meantime erecting a house on the opposite side of the State road, where he spent his remaining days, and where his widow now resides. John Robinson, after a few years occupancy, sold the property to William M. Singerly, of the Philadelphia Record, who spent much money upon the buildings and surroundings, and transformed it into the "Home Farm," purchasing also in the neighborhood several hundred acres of land, and operating then for twenty years or more until his death. The property is now owned and occupied as a summer residence by General William P. Wilson, of the Commercial Museum of Philadelphia, all the farms of Mr. Singerly having been sold.

Mr. Berkhimer continued to farm in a small way the acres on which his widow resides, until his death, which occurred July 16, 1898. He was buried at St. Thomas' Episcopal cemetery, in Whitmarsh township. In politics he was a Democrat, but not by any means a bitter partisan. He never sought or held office, deeming it sufficient to go to the polls on election day and deposit his ballot.

The Berkhimers are an old family of German origin, long resident in Whitpain and adjoining townships. They were all farmers, and as a family were noted for thrift and frugality, being industrious and energetic in attention to business, George Berkhimer was an exceedingly kindhearted man, a good husband and a kind neighbor. He died at an advanced age, thoroughly respected by the entire community in which he had lived so long, and to whose members he was so well known. (For further particulars of the Berkhimer family see the biographical sketches of Allen Berkhimer, John Berkhimer and Charles Berkhimer, elsewhere in this work.)

Mrs. Berkhimer's family are old residents of Pennsylvania, but they have been domiciled in Montgomery county only for two generations. Her father, Levi Shepherd, was a miller, and resided at Tacony, in Philadelphia county, whence he removed about 1834 to Moreland, in Montgomery county, and in 1843 to Montgomery township. Mrs. Berkhimer was born at Tacony, but has resided the greater part of her life in the locality where she now lives, she and her husband having removed to Franklinville in 1852, more than a half century ago. Having no children of her own, Mrs. Berkhimer has usually been surrounded by nephews or nieces of herself or her husband, with whom she shares the comforts of her home. She is a benevolent, kindly woman, who is widely known and highly esteemed by all who know her.

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ALLAN CORSON EGBERT, one of the most successful farmers in Norriton township, was born in Whitemarsh township, Montgomery county, July 3, 1826. He received his education in the pay schools of his day, attending them three months in winter. Like the sons of farmers of that time in general, he was early taught that man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. His father having died when the son was fifteen years of age, when he had reached the age of seventeen years, he was apprenticed by his guardian, Dr. Hiram Corson, to Joseph D. Wood, at Blue Bell, that he might learn the blacksmith trade. After remaining there four years and three months, he found himself competent to secure work as a journeyman in any shop, in any city. He went to Philadelphia and obtained employment in the carriage-building shop of Ogle & Watson Thirteenth and Parish, where he worked as a blacksmith for seven months. Through the influence of his cousin, Richard Corson, he secured a position with Moore & Hooven, of Norristown. He spent three and one half years with this firm and then feeling that he had a chance to better his condition he entered the employ of General William Schall.

He did not expect to stay long in this place as he had, to some degree, the western fever. However, his relations with his employer had been so pleasant that at the close of a year he concluded to remain, and he did not leave for twenty-seven years. During all this time there was no agreement, bond or contract between him and Mr. Schall and they never had an unpleasant word or a disagreement. In 1878 the mill passed into the hands of Byrne, Burtlett & Heller, and Mr. Egbert remained with the new firm until it went out of existence five years later, when he abandoned his trade and has since devoted himself exclusively to his farm.

Mr. Egbert bought the land where he now lives in 1850, and made it his home during the time that he worked in Norristown. For seventeen years he walked to and from his work every day. The farm contains twenty acres and at the time he purchased it the land was destitute of trees or buildings and Mr. Egbert had built the house, barn and all the smaller buildings, besides planting trees and adding all the touches that make a home pleasant. He can sit under his own vine and fig tree in the literal sense of the saving, and expects to pass the remainder of his life in this home.

In politics he was a Whig, of the Henry Clay type, and on the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks and has ever since given its interests his support. He cast his first presidential vote for General John C. Freemont and has supported every Republican candidate since that time. His ancestors were members of the Society of Friends and he affiliates with that body, though not a member.

George Egbert (father) was born in Whitemarsh township, passed all his life there and died in 1841. He owned a small farm and also burned lime, leading an humble and upright life. He was a Whig in politics and active in the support of his party. He was a Friend in spirit though not a member of the Society. He married Hanna Kerkner, a descendant of an old Montgomery county family. They had the following children: Sarah, unmarried, who lives in Norristown; Mary, who married Austin Miller and also resides in Norristown; Allan Corson; David, deceased; Laurence, who died in Philadelphia; and Susan, who married Norman Egbert and lives in Norristown.

Allan Corson Egbert married Miss Rachel Fisher, whose grandfather was a resident of Horsham township and whose ancestor came from Germany.

She was a daughter of Jacob and Rachel (Barns) Fisher and is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Egbert had the following children Horace, who died when twenty-nine years of age; Flora, who married Dr. Weaver, of Philadelphia, where she lives, her husband being deceased; Walter R., unmarried, a college graduate, who is principal of the State Normal School in Clarion county, Pennsylvania; Radie, who married Patrick Callahan, a grocer in Philadelphia; and Lillie, wife of Thomas Jackson, who assists Mr. Egbert on the farm.



THOMAS V. SMITH, one of the most active business men of Norristown, is a native of Lower Merion township, where he was born September 12, 1861. His father, William G. Smith, was at that time the proprietor of the Flat Rock Hotel. In 1867 the family removed to a small property, "Willow Lawn Mill," where Thomas grew to manhood and enjoyed the benefit of the Penn Square and Norristown public schools until he started in life on his own account

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in 1883. He learned the stone cutters' trade, to which he was apprenticed when he was seventeen years of age. He soon earned by his skill a man's wages. His first venture was in the produce business, which he commenced in 1883 on DeKalb street in the old Norris engine house, where he remained two years. About 1891 his father's failing health compelled him to retire from business as a contractor, and his son Thomas V. continued it under the name of William G. Smith & Son, although the father had little or nothing to do with the management. Since his father's death, in 1899, the business has been conducted in his own name, his line being general concrete work, confined principally to Norristown, although Mr. Smith does work in the surrounding country in Pottstown, Conshohocken and elsewhere. Mr. Smith employs twenty men on an average.

Thomas V. Smith is a Democrat in politics, as was his father, and has been active in the interests of his party. He was chairman of the Democratic committee of his ward for twelve years. He was in the town council three years, being the first Democrat elected to that body from the eighth ward, and serving from 1887 to 1890. He was on the finance committee and several of the others at some period during his term. He has been delegate to county and state conventions several times.

He was appointed night inspector in the United States custom house in Philadelphia in 1893, during President Cleveland's administration, and held the position for four years. He has been asked several times by his party friends to become a candidate for burgess of Norristown, but declined the honor. In 1896 he was nominated for the lower house of the state legislature and although his party is in a hopeless minority, he came within six votes of being elected. He was treasurer of the Democratic county committee for two years.

Mr. Smith is a member of the Norristown Lodge, No. 620, Free and Accepted Masons. He is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 714, of Norristown.

Mr. Smith married Miss Anna M. Wilson, who was born in Norristown, October 28, 1863, daughter of Richard and Anna S. Wilson. Her father came from the south and located in Norristown where he dealt extensively in real estate. In the south he was engaged in manufacturing. He was of Scotch and French ancestry, his father being a Scotchman and his mother a French woman, and he spoke both French and English fluently.

His wife was born in Scotland and came to America when young to join relatives after the death of her father and mother. Their children: Mary married James Hennings, of Penn Square, and their children are Elizabeth (deceased), Virginia, Harry, Anna, Richard, Elizabeth (second), Mattie (deceased), George, Clara and May. Richard married Clara Rocky, and their children are: Louis (deceased), Walter, Katie, Andrew (dead) married Catharine Dalton (children Bessie and Josephine). Anna, our subject's wife.

William G. Smith (father) one of the most prominent business men of Montgomery county, died February 19, 1899, at his residence No. 1039 Willow street, Norristown. He was born in Lower Merion township, on December 18, 1823, and was the only child of Henry and Catherine Smith. His father died when the son was fourteen years old and he supported his mother. He started out in life as a poor boy and worked himself up to his high standing in later years by hard work and business qualifications. He was a lifelong Democrat and filled various political positions from time to time. He served twenty-one years as a school director, twelve years in Lower Merion and nine years in Norriton. He also served as road supervisor in each township and as auditor. He also served one term as county commissioner, having been elected in 1866. He married Catharine A., daughter of Thomas Vaughan, of Lower Merion, on July 22, 1847, and celebrated with his wife their golden wedding in July, 1897, in the midst of their family, numbering eight children, with a dozen or more grandchildren. Their children are Henry C. Smith, of Norristown; Mary, wife of Henry L. Fretz, Norristown; Clare, wife of Roy Hagaman; Anna, wife of Jesse Shoemaker, Whitpain; Emma, wife of Daniel Yost, Worcester; Sarah Elizabeth, wife of Charles Carn, Philadelphia; ex-councilman Thos. V. Smith and Miss Josephine Smith, Norristown. He was for many years one of the most prominent contractors in the county, and a number of county bridges were built by him. During the last ten years of his life, in partnership with his son Thomas V., he made a specialty of laying concrete pavements and similar work.

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The Smiths were among the earliest settlers of Lower Merion. Frederick Smith, great-grandfather of William, bought a tract of land, many years ago, at the mouth of Mill Creek for a price per acre equivalent to a dollar and a half of our money. Frederick Smith's son, Leo Smith, occupied the farm during the Revolutionary period and became an object of animosity, according to tradition, to the Doans, a lawless family of Bucks county freebooters, one of his sons, it is said, having whipped one of the Doans. The gang determined upon revenge, so the story goes, and set out one night to execute their purpose, proposing to kill the Smiths and plunder and then burn the ancestral homestead. The scheme came to naught, however. There were no Schuylkill bridges at that time, as a matter of course, and the party approached the ferry where is now Manayunk to make arrangements for crossing later. The ferryman was a blind man but he had his wits about him and their inquiries for the exact location of the Smith home aroused his suspicions. He sent a special messenger to warn the family of their danger. They summoned their friends and neighbors and the whole vicinity resounded with the preparations for defense. Word of this reached the attacking party and they precipitately retired, abandoning their design as they did not care to cope with men who were ready for them and fully equal to the occasion.



PETER Y. LEVENGOOD, deceased, formerly a leading merchant of Pottstown, was a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, born July 15, 1848. He was a son of John and Susan (Yohn) Levengood. His mother, born in 1816, is still living. His father died in 1879, at the age of sixty-two years, and was buried at Old Pottstown cemetery. By occupation he was a stone mason and farmer. He always resided upon the homestead in Berks county, where he died. His widow lives in Berks county on the same farm. John Levengood was a Democrat in politics and held the offices of supervisor and school director for several years. He and his wife were members of the Reformed church. They had nine children, as follows: Rachel, Samuel, Caroline, Elizabeth, Peter Y., John, Mary, Jacob and James. John and Mary were twins. Rachel and Mary are deceased.

John Levengood (grandfather) married Christine Baker and lived in Berks county, near Glendale, where he was a farmer of considerable prominence. Both died many years ago and were buried at Old Pottstown cemetery.

John Yohn (maternal grandfather) married Elizabeth Reifsnyder. They lived at the Swamp, Montgomery county, he being a farmer by occupation. For several years he survived his wife, who is buried at Swamp churchyard and he at the old Pottstown cemetery.

Peter Y. Levengood attended school in the neighborhood of his home until he was eighteen years of age. He then worked upon adjoining farms until he had reached the age of twenty-one years. He learned the painting trade and worked four years at that occupation for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company. He next turned his attention to quarrying, in which he was engaged for three years, and was next employed at the baking business for six years. He sold the bakery and built his last place of business, establishing a flour and feed store in 1885. This he conducted for twelve years and then entered the grocery and provision business, in which he was interested until his death. He also built several properties adjoining the one in which he carried on his store.

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Mr. Levengood was married, October 17, 1874, to Ella, daughter of Christian and Matilda (Fritz) Yergey. They resided in that section of Montgomery county, where they were prosperous farmers. They had nine children, as follows Jacob, Mahlon, Luther, Harry, Ella, Agnes, Sally, Ambrose and Candace. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Levengood had seven children, of whom six are living, as follows: Nellie, born April 23, 1881, died August 4, 1881; Newton L., a mechanic of Pottstown, born in 1875, married Miss Ada Ratz, and they have one child, deceased; Clarence, born January 16, 1877, a mechanic of Pottstown, married Miss Naomi Prisn and they have one child; Jennie, born January 26, 1882, married Frederick Roland, and their son, Leonard, born October 6, 1900 is deceased; Brooklyn, born April 16, 1884, Minnie, born September 24, 1892, and Robert, born December 23, 1894, are all living with their mother.

Mr. Levengood was a Democrat in politics and a member of the Order of United American Mechanics of Pottstown. He was a successful merchant and a prominent citizen, enjoying the esteem of the entire community. He died March 17, 1904, in the faith of St. Paul's Reformed church, of Pottstown, to which he belonged and of which Mrs. Levengood is a member.



WILLIAM SHEPPARD, one of the most successful farmers of Plymouth township, resides on the Ridge Road near the Trenton Cut- or crossing. He was born First-month 12, 1842. The Sheppards are descended from Irish ancestry but the family had been originally of English stock, being among the colonists transplanted from England to Ireland by Cromwell, two hundred and fifty years ago.

Charles Sheppard (father), born Eleventh-month 4, 1810; and died Tenth-month 8, 1873, was the son of William and Mary (Thompson) Sheppard. He was a native of Cumberland county, New Jersey, and came to Pennsylvania in 1838, living in Conshohocken until 1850, and then in the vicinity of the farm now owned by William Sheppard, his son locating on it in 1861. He was a prominent member of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting of Friends and a successful farmer.

He married Third-month 15, 1838, Elizabeth Jones, of Conshohocken, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Yerkes) Jones. Elizabeth (Jones) Sheppard was born Fourth-month 15, 1809, and died Third-month 8, 1891, in Norristown. Charles and Elizabeth Sheppard had the following children: Susan J., born Ninth-month 14, 1839; William; Mary T., who was born Fifth-month 23, 1844, and died Ninth-month 24, 1891; Emma M., born Twelfth-month 21, 1846, and married Ezra H. Brown; Isaac J., born Twelfth month 3, 1849, who married Clara T. Shannon. Ezra H. and Emma M. Brown had the following children: Elizabeth S., born First-month 24, 1874, married George Lane, belonging to an old Poughkeepsie, New York, family. They have two children, Eleanor Brown Lane, born Eighth-month 11, 1896, and George Lane, Jr., born Second-month 26, 1900. Clayton Lippincott Brown (second child of Ezra H. and Emma M. Brown), born Twelfth-month 26, 1877, is a member of the Philadelphia bar. The children of Isaac J. and Clara Shannon Sheppard: Elizabeth Shannon, born Seventh-month 11, 1875, married Charles H. Rile, Third-month 2, 1898, their children being, J. Clarence, born Twelfth-month 17, 1898, Josephine Craft born Fourth-month 6, 1901, William Sheppard, born Sixth-month 1, 1902. Susan Jones Sheppard (second child of Isaac and Clara Sheppard) was born Tenth-month 25, 1880. Charles H. Rile, husband of Elizabeth Rile, is the son of Albert G. and Mary (Craft) Rile, his mother being deceased. Some account of the Rile family is given in the biographical sketch of Lewis J. Stannard elsewhere in this work.

William Sheppard (grandfather) was the son of Mark and Mary (Craven) Sheppard. He married Mary (Thompson) Hall, widow of Ebenezer Hall and daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Thompson. He was not a member of the Society of Friends. He was a native of New Jersey, as well as his wife. The couple had five children as follows: William L. married Abigail A. Davis; Mary married Zebedee Clement; Charles married Elizabeth Jones; Richard married (first wife) Ann Stewart, (second wife) Martha Holmes; Casper married (first wife) Emma Mulford, (second wife) Emily Smith.

Mark Sheppard (great-grandfather) was the first of the family who was a Friend. He became a member of the Society when he was a young man. He married Mary Craven. The couple resided at Bacon's Neck, New Jersey. He died Fifth-month 16, 1780, aged fifty-two years. Mark Sheppard was the son of John Sheppard. He was born in 1728 and married Mary Craven in 1760.

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The couple had four children, as follows: Thomas, born Eleventh-month 12, 1764; Sarah, born Fifth-month 2, 1769; William (grandfather), born Second-month 7, 1772; Josiah, born Fourth-month 5, 1774.

John Sheppard (great-great-grandfather) was the son of Dickinson and Eve Sheppard. Dickinson Sheppard (great-great-great-grandfather) was born in 1685. He and his wife, Eve, had seven children: Patience, Stephen, Dickinson, John, Jonadab, Ann and Eve. In 1722 Dickinson Sheppard purchased fourteen hundred acres of land on the south side of Antuxet creek, and in 1723 he purchased sixteen hundred acres more, adjoining the other tract, all the land being located in the township of Down, Cumberland county, New Jersey.

John Sheppard (great-great-great-great-grandfather) was the immigrant. He and David Thomas, members of Cleagh Keating Baptist church, in Tipperary, Ireland, came to America in William Penn's time and settled for a short period at Shrewsbury in East Jersey. In 1683 they removed to what is now Cumberland county on the lands lying between Cohansey river and Back creek, naming it Shrewsbury creek. They were among those who organized the first Cohansey Baptist church, in 1690, at Shrewsbury Neck. John Sheppard married and had several children, of whom the eldest was Dickinson. It is probable that his wife's surname was Dickinson.

William Sheppard, the subject of this sketch, was educated at the public school in the neighborhood in which he now lives and learned thoroughly the business of farming, which he has followed ever since. He is a Republican in politics, with Prohibition leanings, but has never sought or held office. He was for a number of years a director in the Peoples' National Bank of Norristown. He, like all others of his family, is a member of the Society of Friends, and attends Plymouth Meeting. He is a progressive and intelligent agriculturist and is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry, of which he was secretary of the Cold Point Grange for ten years. He belongs to the reading and thinking class of farmers.

He married, Second-month 22, 1881, Sallie R. Butcher, of Burlington county, New Jersey, at the home of Chalkley Styer, of whom she is a niece, by marriage. Sallie R. Sheppard was born August 3, 1854. She is the daughter of William (deceased) and Franklinia Butcher.

The last named married, second husband, William Fridley, who is also deceased, his widow residing in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a son, Lewis Butcher, and another daughter, Caroline, residing with her. Sallie R. Sheppard's grandparents were Benajah and Abigail (Roberts) Butcher, who lived at Marlton, New Jersey. The children of William and Sallie R. Sheppard are: Emma B., born Fourth-month 21, 1882; Harriet W., born Third-month 4, 1885; Charles W., born Tenth-month 12, 1886; Lewis B., born Ninth-month 17, 1888; Isaac J., born Twelfth-month 21, 1895.

Charles Sheppard (father) was a bricklayer by trade but never followed that occupation. He became a teacher and taught school in the neighborhood of Plymouth Meeting, boarding with Alan W. Corson, and meeting there his future wife, Elizabeth Jones. When they married in 1838, they engaged in farming on the Isaac Jones homestead in Conshohocken. In 1851 they bought the Ramey place and lived there for ten years, purchasing the Streeper farm, where William now resides, in 1861.

The Jones family, for a century or more prominent among the membership of Plymouth Friends' Meeting, are the descendants of David Jones, who came from Wales, settling on a large tract of land which he purchased in the vicinity of Plymouth Meeting, a considerable part of what is now the borough of Conshohocken having been owned by the Jones family for several generations. David Jones, the immigrant, came to Pennsylvania with his family in the year 1700, about which time there appears to have been a very large accession of Welsh Friends to this section of Pennsylvania. He brought with him

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the following certificate from the Men's Meeting in Haverford West, Pembrokeshire, Wales, to which he belonged, dated the Fourth day of the First-month, 1699-1700:

"Whereas, our tender and well beloved friend, David Jones, and his wife and children intend to remove themselves to the province of Pennsylvania, these are to certify to whom it may concern we have a dear and tender love for them, and truly desire their welfare. We certify that we believe them to be clear of debts or encumbrances, the want of which has made truth suffer in many places in this nation."

This document was signed by James Lewis, Thomas Merchant, Pergryn Musgrave, Andrew Llewellyn, Henry Smith, Arthur Reaves and Pierce Worte. It was recorded at Radnor, Sixth-month 8, 1700.

Isaac Jones (maternal grandfather of William Sheppard) was born in what is now Conshohocken, Fifth-month 20, 1772. He was the oldest child of Jonathan and Susanna (Ashton) Jones. He married Elizabeth Yerkes, daughter of John and Ann (Coffin) Yerkes, in Fourth-month, 1793. Elizabeth Yerkes Jones was born Second-month 16, 1772, and died in Eight-month, 1819. The children of Isaac and Elizabeth Jones were: Polly, born First-month 20, 1794, died at the age of three years; John, born Twelfth-month 18, 1795; William, born Eighth-month 17, 1798, died in 1836; Jonathan, born Third-month 24, 1800; Isaac, born Fifth-month 6, 1802; Ann, born Sixth-month, 18 1804, died Seventh-month 3, 1886; Susan, born First-month 10, 1806, died Eighth-month 2, 1890; Elizabeth, born Fourth-month 15, 1809, died Third-month 8, 1891 (mother of William Sheppard); Charles, born Second-month 2, 1813, died Second-month 14, 1864.

Isaac Jones lived to a great age, dying Sixth-month 12, 1868, being twenty-three days more than ninety-six years of age. He had three wives in all, although all his children were by the first wife. His second wife was Rachel Foster, they being married Sixth-month 28, 1825. She died Fourth-month 12, 1843. His third wife was Martha Lukens, born Eighth-month 18, 1793, married Sixth-month 4, 1845, died Second-month 14, 1883. Isaac Jones sold off a great part of his farm in building lots to meet the demand for the growing borough of Conshohocken. He was president of the Matson Ford Bridge Company for a number of years, and was actively interested in the affairs of the community in which he lived. He was a member of the Society of Friends, as were all his family, from the time of David, the immigrant.

Jonathan Jones (maternal great-grandfather) was the son of John and Catharine Jones, who were married in Plymouth Meeting-house, Fourth-month 8, 1738. John Jones' wife was Catharine Williams, a widow. Jonathan Jones married Susanna Ashton. Their children were Isaac Jones, born Fifth-month 20, 1772 (grandfather of William Shepard); Mary, born Ninth-month 3, 1774, married Abraham Yerkes; Jonathan married Mary Streeper; Susanna married David Brooke; John married Elizabeth DeHaven; Ann married Charles Jones.

John Jones (maternal great-great-grandfather) and Catharine, his wife, had five children as follows: Jonathan, who married Susanna Ashton; David; John; Abigail, who married Joseph Shoemaker; and Sarah, who married Joseph Ambler. John was the son of David, the immigrant. He was born in Wales, Ninth-month 31, 1697.

Elizabeth (Yerkes) Jones, wife of Isaac Jones, was the daughter of John and Ann (Coffin) Yerkes, whose children were: Abraham Yerkes, who married Mary Jones; Elizabeth; Harman, who married Elizabeth Hagy and lived for many years at what is now known as Harmanville, where he kept a general store.; Jonathan, who married Elizabeth Speece; William, who married Deborah Streeper; John, who married Elizabeth Stump; Sarah, who married George Webster; and Ann, who married Maurice Righter. The Yerkes is of German origin. John Yerkes, who married Ann Coffin, they being the parents of Elizabeth Yerkes Jones, was the son of John and Alice (McVaigh) Yerkes. This John was the son of Hermanus and Elizabeth (Watts) Yerkes. Hermanus was the son of Anthony Yerkes, the immigrant, whose wife was Margaret.

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By a deed made April 15, 1794, John Jones, of Whitemarsh township, conveyed to his son, Jonathan Jones, for the sum of eighteen hundred pounds, good gold and silver money current in the state of Pennsylvania, a tract of land containing one hundred and ninety-two and three-fourth acres, being part of a tract of two hundred and fifty acres, bought at sheriff's sale from David Barry's estate, Twelfth-month 4, 1753, this being the land which formed the homestead in what is now the borough of Conshohocken.

William and Sallie R. Sheppard have five children as mentioned above. Of these Emma B. married, 8th-mo. 12, 1903, J. Russell Hibbs, of Germantown, Pennsylvania. He is a traveling salesman for the Harrison Safety Boiler Works, of Philadelphia. Mrs. Hibbs is a graduate of the George School, at Newtown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Harriet W., the second daughter, is a teacher in a Friends' school at Sandy Spring, Maryland. She is also a graduate of the George School. Her sister Emma, prior to her marriage, was employed in teaching at the Friends' School at Plymouth Meeting. Charles W., the third child of the couple, is a graduate of the Friends' School at Plymouth Meeting and a student of the George School. Lewis B., fourth child, is a graduate of the Friends' School at Plymouth Meeting. It will be seen that the parents are earnestly devoted to securing a proper education for their children.

Mr. Sheppard was nominated for the office of county treasurer, in 1886, on the Prohibition ticket. As a rule, however, he has preferred to support the nominees of the Republican party.



(Picture of S. Wilson Fisher)

S. WILSON FISHER, son of Coleman and Mary (Wilson) Fisher, is a native of Philadelphia, where he was born September 21, 1853. In 1855 Coleman Fisher (father) purchased the Wertsner homestead of George Wertsner, containing twenty-eight acres of highly improved land, facing the Morris road, and known as Briar Hill. It adjoins the estates of Saunders Lewis, Edward Drayton and the Mercer Home for Superannuated Clergymen of the Presbyterian Church, in the eastern end of Whitpain township. Since the original purchase, there has been added thirty-eight acres of the Albert Wertsner farm, the land being rolling and consisting of field and forest. The house has also been greatly enlarged and improved. The lawn has also been greatly extended, and all the surroundings improved until Briar Hill is one of the most beautiful and desirable estates of Whitpain, a township noted for its lovely and substantial homes.

S. Wilson Fisher attended the preparatory school of Chase & Buckingham, at 1318 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, an institution well known and highly valued in its day. He also studied for a time at the Episcopal Academy, after which he entered the Department of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, at the fall term, in 1870. He graduated from that institution in the class of 1874, and began the study of law with Henry Wharton, a leading attorney of Philadelphia. He was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar, but inclining to the natural sciences, and especially to astronomy, Mr. Fisher never entered actively upon the practice of law.

In 1888 Mr. Fisher married Clara Frances, daughter of James P. and Margaret (Wanamaker) Jones, of Newark, New Jersey. After his marriage he settled in the city of Philadelphia for a time, but soon made his home at Briar Hill. Their children: Clarence Wilson, born July 18, 1889; Gertrude Rosamonde, born February 12, 1896; Clarence W. Fisher is a student at the DeLancy School in Philadelphia. The Fisher family are members of St. Thomas' Episcopal church, in Whitemarsh township, in which Mr. Fisher had served for several years as a vestryman.

In politics Mr. Fisher is a Republican, and, although he has never taken an active interest in party affairs beyond depositing his ballot, he is an earnest advocate of what Republicanism stands for in the policy of the national administration. Mr. Fisher's principal occupation, aside from the supervision of his estate, is the pleasure and profit he derives from the study of the sciences, particularly that of astronomy. He has no inclination to enter public life, preferring the leisure and quiet enjoyment of his home.

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Coleman Fisher, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born February 21, 1824, and died July 21, 1876. He was the son of William Wharton Fisher and Mary Fox. He attended private schools in Philadelphia, and also the University of Pennsylvania. He married, October 7, 1851, Mary, daughter of Samuel Wilson, M. D., and Elizabeth Paul, of Philadelphia. Their children S. Wilson Fisher; Coleman Sidney, born October 22, 1855, died in 1887; Elizabeth Wilson, who resides at Briar Hill, and is unmarried.



HARRY F. HALLMAN, one of the successful farmers of Plymouth township, resides near the borough of Conshohocken, in which he was born May 1, 1858. At the age of seven years he went with his parents, William A. and Margaret A. (Freas) Hallman, to reside on the homestead on which he now lives and which has been in the possession of the family for several generations.

William A. Hallman (father) was a farmer, residing on the homestead already mentioned the greater part of his life. He was a Democrat in politics and served as school director and assessor for a number of years. He married Margaret A. Freas who is now also deceased. William A. Hallman died August 27, 1890, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. Their children are: Harry F., Joseph (deceased), Ruth Anna (deceased), and Allen.

John Hallman (grandfather) resided on the same property, was a farmer and married Annie Lenabough. They had several children.

John Hallman (great-grandfather) resided on a property in the same vicinity now owned and occupied by William Sheppard. His wife was Elizabeth. The family is of German origin, the Hallmans having settled in the vicinity before the middle of the eighteenth century.

Harry F. Hallman attended the Eight-Square School in Plymouth township, not far from where he resides and also Treemount Seminary in Norristown. The farm, which contains thirty-nine acres, is rich in mineral products. When Mr. Hallman was about twenty-one years of age he went into the iron ore business, digging ore from the farm a short distance below the surface, and hauling it to nearby furnaces at Conshohocken. He continued that business for about twenty years in connection with farming, when, owing to the furnaces being abandoned, the demand for ore no longer existed. About fifteen years ago Mr. Hallman opened a vein of valuable fire clay close to the Conshohocken road from which he has taken great quantities of clay of a very superior quality, for which he has found a ready demand in Norristown and Conshohocken, for the purposes to which it is usually applied.

Mr. Hallman married, June 30, 1888, Miss Ella N. Young, born May 26, 1867. She was a daughter of William J. (deceased) and Anna (Thomas) Young. The children of Harry F. and Ella N. Hallman are: Anna Margaret, born July 22, 1889; Ruth E., born March 16, 1891; Myrtle M., born April 20, 1893; William H., born June 13, 1897, and died June 30, same year; and Martin Luther, born June 17, 1899.

William J. Young (father of Mrs. Hallman) was born in 1826 and died in 1897 in his seventy-first year. He married Anna Thomas, daughter of Jacob and Esther (Snyder) Thomas. William J. Young's father was Samuel Young, who was born in Lower Merion township, lived for a number of years at Centre Square in Whitpain township, removed to Norristown soon after the close of the Rebellion and died there twenty-five years later at a very advanced age, beyond ninety years. The Youngs were an old family in Lower Merion, having settled there at an early date, and were quite prominent in colonial and Revolutionary times.

Jacob Thomas (maternal grandfather of Mrs. H. F. Hallman), had eleven children as follows Anna, born October 17, 1834, and residing with her daughter, Mrs. H. F. Hallman; Rev. Joseph Thomas (deceased), a Baptist minister; Catharine (deceased); Jacob, residing at Kohn and Marshall streets, Norristown; John R., a drover at Jeffersonville; Hannah, who married James Trego and resides in Conshohocken; Clarion (deceased); Samuel, who lived in the western part of Pennsylvania and died there; Mary, who died young; Alice, who married George Hallman of Plymouth township; Valeria, who married John Clark and resides in Lower Providence township, Montgomery county. Jacob Thomas' father, Richard Thomas, came from England and settled in Worcester. He married Kate Johnson.

Esther (Snyder) Thomas' mother was a Shultz, a member of the Schwenkfelder denomination.

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Mr. H. F. Hallman was elected a justice of the peace at the February election in 1897 on the Republican ticket, polling a majority of seventy votes in a township usually Democratic. He held the position five years and declined a re-election. He was again, however, nominated on the Republican ticket for justice of the peace, without his consent, and was the only one elected on the ticket even defeating his opponent, a Republican, by a few votes at the February election of 1904. He takes an active interest in public affairs and is well informed on all topics of current interest. He and his family are members of St. Mark's Lutheran church, Conshohocken.



MRS. CAROLINE K. HARTRANFT, widow of Jacob Hartranft, was born March 25, 1840. Her husband was born March 9, 1824, and died April 3, 1885. The Custer family, to which Mrs. Hartranft belongs, she being a daughter of Aaron L. Custer, is one of the oldest in Montgomery county. Jacob Custer (Kishter) having emigrated from Holland at an early date and purchased a large tract of land in Worcester township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He had four sons and four daughters, from whom have descended a very numerous progeny.

Jacob Hartranft, was the son of John and Sarah (Antrim) Hartranft. John Hartranft (father) was a second cousin of Governor John Frederic Hartranft, and was born July 4, 1800. John and Sarah Hartranft resided for twenty-five years of their life in Pottstown, where he died. He was a hotel man, but had retired many years before his death. He removed from New Hanover township, the home of the Hartranfts, to Pottstown, where he was the proprietor of the hotel bearing his name for a time, now the Shuler House. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hartranft were buried in Pottstown Cemetery, his being the first interment in that beautiful burial ground. He died November 13, 1854, in his fifty-fifth year. She died December 11, 1870, in her seventy-fifth year. Their children were: Valeria, wife of William Jacoby; Margaret, wife of William D. Rudy; Ephraim; Jacob (husband); and Hiram A.

The following letter from Governor Hartranft to Ephraim Hartranft explains itself.

Harrisburg, Sept. 7, 1874.

Dear Ephraim

There are several of Leonard Hartranft's children, whose dates of birth are not in his Bible record. Among them is Jacob, your grandfather, also Leonard, my greadfather. Can you not find it out for me?

The Schwenkfelders are about to print a record of the families and intend to have Leonard's family in it. I am sorry I did not have time to call on you yesterday, for I could tell you some matters of interest in relation to our family. The name, for instance comes from Hart Ragenfrid. The first was the given name, and the latter the family name, and becoming too cumbersome when set together, the name was abbreviated to Ranft, Ranf, and Ranfd, and Ranph.

          Yours Truly,

            J. F. Hartranft.


John Hartranft (father) was sponser to Governor Hartranft when he was christened. The name and family descend from Tobias Hartranft, who emigrated from Germany with the Schwenfelders in 1734, being a refugee from intolerance in the fatherland.

Jacob Hartranft (grandfather), born in May, 1780, married Maria Geiger. He died in Ohio, in 1862, at the age of eighty-two years.

Leonard Hartranft (great-grandfather) married Christiana Moyer, and had a large family of children, of whom Jacob was the oldest. Another of his sons was Leonard, born about 1782, who was the grandfather of General Hartranft. Abraham Hartranft (great-great-grandfather), son of Tobias, the immigrant, married November 3, 1747, Susanna, daughter of Christopher Shuler. Their children: Christopher, born in 1748; Abraham, 1750; Barbara, 1751; John, 1753; William, 1754; Leonard, born in 1757, and

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died in 1758; Leonard (great-grandfather), born November 6, 1759; Maria, born December 23, 1761; Susanna, wife of Abraham Hartranft, and died April 12, 1762. Abraham Hartranft died December 12, 1766.

Jacob Hartranft attended school until the age of fourteen years. He then entered a country store where he remained for several years. His native place was Exeter township, Bucks county. From the store he went to Pottstown, in 1841, and entered as a salesman in the establishment of A. Smith & Sons, remaining there four years. He left that position to assist in opening a store for the late Tobias G. Haenge, in Hatfield township, and was there six months. Returning to Pottstown, he took a position in the store of J. & W. H. Smith, in 1847. He purchased a one-third interest in the business, the firm name being changed to Smiths & Hartranft. In 1855 his brother Ephraim purchased the Smiths' interest. In 1860 William Smith withdrew from the company, which was conducted by the brothers from that time. Jacob Hartranft was a Democrat in politics. He was a director of the Pottstown Gas Company, and a trustee and treasurer of the Pottstown Cemetery Company.

Mr. Hartranft was twice married. His first wife was Esther, daughter of Jonas Smith. She died in 1864 or 1865, leaving four children, as follows: Sarah A., wife of William Wissimer Jonas S.; Mary S., deceased; and John W.

His second wife, Caroline, daughter of Aaron Custer, is the subject of this sketch. They were married June 14, 1870. They had but one child. William C., born December 21, 1871. He is at present district manager of the Delaware & Atlantic Telephone and Telegraph Company, with offices at Norristown. He is a Democrat in politics.

Mrs. Hartranft is a member of Trinity Reformed church, at Pottstown. She is an active member of several of the ladies' societies of that borough.



MRS. ANNA JULIA KRAUSE, widow of Richard H. Krause, was born April 4, 1839, the only child of Albert and Sarah Harberger Lesher.

There is a family tradition that John Harberger, ancestor of Mrs. Krause, came to America in the Mayflower, in 1620. Her father was a farmer near Pottstown. Both parents are buried in the old Pottstown cemetery. He died first, at the age of thirty-two years, and she survived many years, dying August 3, 1893, at the age of seventy-four years.

Jacob Lesher (grandfather) married Catharine Miller and they lived in Philadelphia, where he was engaged in business. Both were members of the Reformed church. They have been dead many years and were buried in Philadelphia.

The maternal grandparents were John and Elizabeth (Root) Harberger. They resided in Pottstown, where he was a dealer in marble and stone. Both died many years ago, and were buried in Pottstown cemetery. They had two children.

Richard H. Krause, (deceased) husband of Mrs. Krause, was born December 25, 1835. He died March 12, 1891, and was buried in Pottstown cemetery. In youth he attended school for a number of years, and then learned the carpenter trade which he followed through life, being a contractor the latter part of his time. Pottstown was the scene of his entire business career and he erected many of the substantial buildings which are seen there to-day. In 1883 he purchased the homestead now occupied by his widow. He was regarded as a reliable business man and a valued citizen of his community. He was a Democrat in politics, and served as a school director for several years, filling also a number of minor positions.

Mr. Krause married Anna Julia Lesher. They had two children, of whom one, William, born December 7, 1861, died in 1862. The other child is George Albert, born September 24, 1863. He resides in Pottstown. On reaching manhood, he married Emma, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Bechtel) Miller, the latter deceased, and the former a resident of Pottstown.

George, son of Mrs. Krause, is a contractor, engaged in business in Pottstown. He has three children, as follows: Annie Catharine, born in August, 1882; Cora Emily, born in 1890; and Mary Elizabeth, born in 1892. All reside with their father.

(Page 268)

The parents of Richard H. Krause were George and Elizabeth (Christman) Krause, who resided in Pottsgrove township, where the father was a farmer. He died there, and the widow removed to Pottstown where she resided until her death, which occurred many years ago. Both were buried in the Pottstown cemetery. George Krause was a Democrat in politics, and both he and his wife were members of Trinity Reformed church.

Mrs. Anna J. Krause is a useful woman in the community. She is active in the work of Trinity church, of which she is a member.



(Picture of Ralph K. Kibblehouse)

RALPH KNAPP KIBBLEHOUSE, son of George B. and Hannah (Shrawder) Kibblehouse, is one of the most enterprising farmers and business men of his section of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was born August 28, 1871, on the homestead farm in Lower Gwynedd township, located on the Swedes' Ford Road, and now owned by Henry G. Keasbey, of the Ambler Keasbey-Mattison Company.

Ralph K. Kibblehouse attended the public school at Gwynedd until he was seventeen years of age, when he became an apprentice to Jacob C. Rile, to learn the carpenter trade, Mr. Rile being a contractor and builder of the vicinity, residing near Gwynedd station. He was thus employed for two years, when he went to Yardleyville, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, to work in a creamery, remaining at that place one year. He then became an employee of George Amberg, a carpenter and builder of Blue Bell, in Whitpain township, with whom he was employed for two years.

Mr. Kibblehouse married, July 19, 1894, Sarah, daughter of Henry Baker and Mary Ann (Fry) Reyner, farmers, of Penllyn. Their children: Mary Henrietta, born February 28, 1895; Henry Baker, born March 1, 1896; Helen Melcina, born March 29, 1897; Hannah Valeria, born April 16, 1898; Ralph Knapp, born July 4, 1900; Levi, born April 12, 1901, died August 29, 1903; Agnes Dorothy, born April 13, 1903.

After his marriage Mr. Kibblehouse spent the first year in Gwynedd, working at his trade of carpenter, and performing the duties of one of the road supervisors of the township, to which position he had been elected in February, 1895. He has continued to hold the position ever since, with the exception of one year, 1902. In 1892 he removed to a farm of Henry G. Keasbey, located near Penllyn, on the North Pennsylvania Railroad, containing thirty acres of land, operating it as a dairy. He remained there for seven years.

In 1902 he removed to a farm of thirty-two acres, on which he now resides, having purchased it from the estate of Mordecai Jones, where he operates a stone crusher and grist mill, employing twelve or fifteen men, and supplying the local demand for crushed stone, and furnishing the township with the material needed for macadamizing the highways.

Politically Mr. Kibblehouse is a Republican, having always been actively interested in supporting the principles and candidates of the party ever since attaining the rights of a voter. He has been county committeeman for his district, and a member of the election board, several times a delegate to county conventions, and on one occasion a delegate to the state convention of the party, a very unusual honor for so young a man.

George B. Kibblehouse (father) is a son of John and Ann (Fetzer) Kibblehouse. He was born in February, 1837, in Whitpain township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, attended the schools at Shandy Grove and Sandy Hill in that township, in the meantime assisting in farm duties as opportunity offered, and on leaving school was employed with his brother-in-law, Joseph Stackhouse, for seven years. In 1866, he married Hannah Custer Shrawder, daughter of Joseph Shrawder, of Lower Providence township. Their children: Joseph, born April 1, 1867, married, April 3, 189o, Mary Emma, daughter of Isaac and Catharine (Booz) Custer, of Upper Gwynedd township; Ralph Knapp, subject of this sketch; John Raymond, born November 15, 1873, married October 31, 1896, Margaret, daughter of Alvin Williamson and Mary Catharine (Harp) White; George B., born February 28, 1876, married, April 3, 1901, Martha Brendlinger, daughter of Nathan Fox, of Pennsburg, Pennsylvania; Mary Henrietta, born May 20, 1878, married, in 1897, Reuben Michael, son of Reuben and Mary (Zearfoss) Rodenbaugh, of Whitpain township; Levi Shrawder, born August 7, 1880, is unmarried, and resides with his brother Ralph.

(Page 269)

John Kibblehouse, grandfather, born in 1800, married Ann Fetzer, his children being Evan, born in 1825; William, 1826; Lavina, 1828; John Antrim, 1830; Ann Catherine, 1831; Eliza Jane, 1833; George W., 1834, died in infancy; Clement Jones, 1835; George B., father, 1837; Albert Werstner, 1840; Susanna Amanda, 1846. (For further particulars of the Kibblehouse family; see sketch of George B. Kibblehouse, elsewhere in this work.)



HENRY W. SCHNEIDER, bookkeeper for the Pottstown Cold Storage & Warehouse Company, of Pottstown, was born in New Hanover township, June 8, 1852. He is the son of William H. and Mary Ann (Knabb) Schneider.

William H. Schneider (father) was a native of Montgomery county. He was a tanner and farmer, and for many years was extensively engaged in that business. He followed that occupation to within a few years of his death. He was a justice of the peace for twenty-five consecutive years. He was also a school director and held other township offices, being much esteemed in the community in which he lived. His age at the time of his death was eighty-six years. His wife survives at a similarly advanced age. Both were members of the German Reformed church. He had a son and seven daughters, five of whom are now living: Louisa, widow of Dr. F. M. Knipe; Henry W.; Rosa A., wife of A. F. Saylor of Pottsgrove township; Ellen, wife of Henry L. Ritter, residing on the old homestead in New Hanover; and Susan, wife of Jacob Stauffer also of New Hanover.

Henry Schneider (grandfather) was born in New Hanover township, in the same house in which his children were born. He was also a tanner by trade, but retired from that pursuit in early life. He was a colonel in the war of 1812. He was a member of the legislature, and was appointed county treasurer in 1831, serving one year. His wife was Mary Ann Nyce. He died at the age of ninety-one years. His wife died a little past middle life. They had six children, Benjamin, William, Alfred, Eli, Simon and Maria, all deceased except Alfred Schneider who is living at Loyal Oak, Ohio, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. Benjamin Schneider, eldest son of Henry Schneider, was the first foreign missionary sent by the Reformed church from this country. His field of work was in Turkey. Rev. Dr. Schneider had three sons and two daughters, who all came to this country from Turkey to be educated. Two sons were drafted during the Rebellion and died during their term of service.

Jacob Schneider (great-grandfather) and also, the great-grandfather of judge Aaron S. Swartz, was born in New Hanover township and was also a tanner. His wife was a Miss Reifsnyder. His father was the founder of the family in Montgomery county, he coming from Germany at an early date.

Samuel B. Knabb (maternal grandfather) was born in Oley township, Berks county. He was a farmer by occupation. His wife was Mary Adams, and died at the age of seventy-five years. Mr. Knabb died in his eightieth year. They had two children, both daughters.

Henry W. Schneider, the subject of this sketch, spent his early boyhood days in New Hanover township, attending the neighborhood schools, acquiring the rudiments of an education in this way. Later he attended Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College, Collegeville, and Mt. Pleasant Seminary at Boyertown. He engaged in teaching school, but only for a short time. He attended a preparatory school at Easthampton, Massachusetts, and then entered a commercial college in Philadelphia. He was engaged in the tanning business with his father, and operating the establishment himself for a time, having previously learned the trade.

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There have been five generations of tanners in the Schneider family. Mr. Schneider helped to organize the Colebrookdale Iron Company, and was with that organization seven years, being secretary for a time. He removed to No. 217 Chestnut street, Pottstown, in the fall of 1892, and located there permanently.

On December 28, 1876, Mr. Schneider married Miss Mary J. Sabold, daughter of John and Hannah (Weidner) Sabold. They had two children both of whom died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Schneider are members of the German Reformed church. Mr. Schneider has served several times as a school director. He is one of the directors of the Security Company, of Pottstown; is also a director of the Pottstown Cold Storage & Warehouse Company; and is also connected in a similar capacity with the Colebrookdale Iron Company. He was one of the organizers of the Citizens' Bank of Pottstown, one of its leading moneyed institutions.

Mrs. Schneider's father was born in Montgomery county and her mother in Chester county. They had two sons and two daughters. Her father died in 1900, aged sixty-nine years. Her mother still survives.

** * * * **

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