Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 14: pp. 294 - 318.

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

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JOHN C. SNYDER, justice of the peace and dealer in groceries, glassware, chinaware, etc., at No. 404 East Main street, Norristown, is a native of Bucks county, where he was born May 17, 1834. He is the son of Michael and Anna (High) Snyder, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and lifelong residents of the state. They had four children, three sons and one daughter, all of whom are deceased, however, except John C. Snyder.

His father was a farmer and lived in Bucks life. He died about 1843, aged forty-six years. His wife lived much longer, dying at the age of seventy-three years. Both attended the Lutheran church.

The maternal grandfather came from Germany and settled in Bucks county, dying there in middle age. He was a farmer and had a family of three sons and four daughters. The paternal grandfather was also a native of Germany, and died in Bucks county in middle age. He had a family of four sons and two daughters.

John C. Snyder was reared on a farm in Bucks county until he was seventeen years of age and attended the district schools in the winter season. He learned the trade of blacksmithing, which he followed eight years. He then met with a misfortune,


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having lost a part of his right hand by a premature discharge of a cannon while he with others was engaged in celebrating Washington's birthday. This interfering with his usefulness in an occupation involving manual labor, he engaged in the grocery business, which he has followed ever since, being located for many years on Main street opposite Walnut. About 1851 he came to Norristown, where he learned his trade, and where he has lived ever since.

He married Miss Mary Rittenhouse, daughter of Christopher Rittenhouse and Catharine (Markle) Rittenhouse. They had four children Winfield W., Anna Kate, Mary Helen and John Harry. Winfield W. died at the age of twenty-four years. Anna Kate married Robert Edmunds. They live in Norristown and have one child, Mabel Christine Edmunds. Mary Helen keeps house for her father. John Harry is in the store with his father.

Mrs. Snyder died in March, 1898. She was a member of the Lutheran church of the Trinity. Notwithstanding the loss of his hand, Mr. Snyder felt the fires of patriotism burning within him so strongly that he volunteered in the defense of the Union in the Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, as lieutenant. It was an emergency organization at the time of the first Confederate raid in Pennsylvania. Lieutenant Snyder's second enlistment was in the Forty-third Regiment in the three months' service. He enlisted for the third time in the One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Regiment in the hundred-day service, and was captain of Company G. He left the service of his state and country with three honorable discharges, and since then he has confined his attention strictly to the grocery store, and has made an excellent reputation as a reliable and successful business man.

Mr. Snyder is a Democrat in politics. He served as assessor in the fifth ward three terms. He was appointed under Andrew Johnson's administration, government cigar inspector, which office he filled until it was abolished. He was elected coroner of Montgomery county on the Democratic ticket in 1858, serving three years in the position. He was elected justice of the peace in the fifth ward in 1869 and consecutively, every five years since that time, so that he has filled the position for thirty-five years and was elected February 16, 1904, for five more years. He has performed his duties with rare fidelity, his decisions being generally accepted as just and fair.

In 1894 he was a candidate for councilman from the fifth ward. Ire has now served nine years in the council and in February, 1904, was elected for his fourth term. He has belonged to the Independent Order Odd Fellows of Norristown many years, is a member of the encampment and is a past grand.

By strict integrity, fairness and honorable dealing, justice Snyder has won the esteem and respect of all with whom he has come in contact in a business, social or judicial capacity, and there are none who stand higher in the good will or kindly regard of the community.



REV. LEVI WESLEY HAINER, of Calvary Baptist church, who belongs to a family of ministers and is one of the best known and most popular pastors of Norristown, was born in Brant county, Ontario, Canada, July 1, 1863. He was the son of the Rev. Charles Hairier and Jane (MacCormick) Hainer, both natives of Canada. They had seven children, six sons and one Daughter, as follows: Charles D., Edwin A., Levi W., John A., William H., Mary E. and Whitfield. All the sons are ministers and the daughter is the wife of Gilford Mann, of New Market, Ontario.

Rev. Charles Hainer (father) went from the farm into the ministry and is now one of the leading clergymen of the Baptist faith in Canada, where he is still preaching and where he has spent his life in that calling. His wife died in 1873, aged thirty-eight years. He married (second wife) Miss Grace Terry and they had two children, Frederick, who is a Baptist minister, a graduate from Kingston University, Ontario; and Herbert, who is now studying for the ministry.

Rev. L. W. Hainer's paternal grandfather was a farmer. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, on the British side, under the lamented General Brock, and was in the charge at Queenston Heights, in which the commander was killed. He died at an advanced age. He was of German descent and had a large family.

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John MacCormick (maternal grandfather) was a native of Canada and of Scotch descent. He was a farmer and lived to a very advanced age, leaving a large family.

Rev. Levi W. Hainer left Canada when twelve years old and came to this country, locating in Michigan and later in other western states. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating in 1883, and entered the Christian Biblical Institute at Stanfordville, New York, graduating in 1886. His first pastorate was at Irvington, New Jersey, a suburb of Newark.

Thence he went into the city and became pastor of the First Congregational church, which pastorate he held for nine years. Resigning he spent six months in England, where he attended lectures at the University of Oxford, and then traveled over the continent, and through Egypt and the Holy Land, his wife and son accompanying him, visiting the principal cities. Returning to the United States, he accepted a call from the Calvary Baptist church, Norristown, in April, 1898, which charge he still retains. The membership of Calvary Baptist church is four hundred and eighty, and he has taken into it over two hundred persons in that time. The congregation has recently erected one of the finest church buildings in the city, at a cost of something over forty thousand dollars.

On the 22d day of March, 1884, Mr. Hairier married Miss Celia Mann, daughter of Silas and Zilpah Mann. They had one son, Levi Merrill Hairier. Mrs. Celia Hairier died in 1894, aged thirty-two years. On September 1, 1896, Mr. Hainer married Miss Margaret Matlack, daughter of David J. and Margaret Matlack, of Philadelphia. Mr. Hairier belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Knights of Pythias. Politically he is independent.

His son is now in his junior year in Bucknell University at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, studying for the ministry. Rev. Mr. Hainer has devoted himself with particular interest to Sunday-school work, in which he has been eminently successful, having received considerable mention from the press in various parts of the country, showing his marked ability as a Sunday-school worker. He has delivered numerous lectures upon the Sunday-school work, and in these lectures uses the stereoptican with good effect, by way of illustration and entertainment as well as edification. His work in Norristown, which has been of steady growth, attests his qualification as a preacher and pastor. He is an eloquent and pleasing speaker, active in pastoral work and very successful as a minister.



(Picture of George W. and Sara A. Castner)

GEORGE WASHINGTON CASTNER, one of the ablest and most enterprising farmers of Gwynedd is the son of Jesse and Parthena (Sheive) Castner, both deceased many years ago. He is descended from an old family of German origin the name having been at one time spelled Kastner.

He was born December 20, 1840, on the farm in Lower Gwynedd, near Gwynedd station, owned by his grandfather and occupied by his father. He attended the public school at Gwynedd until his eighteenth year, giving some attention also to assisting in the work of the farm. One of his teachers was Squire Andrew Jackson Lewis, who lived on an adjoining farm, and was an instructor of the old school, specimens of whom are now comparatively rare in the profession in Montgomery county. On leaving school at Gwynedd, Mr. Castner entered Washington Hall Collegiate Institute at Trappe, conducted for many years by Professor Abel Rambo, who was for a long period county superintendent of schools in Montgomery. After a time spent in that institution Mr. Castner returned to the homestead farm to enter upon the more active duties of life, remaining there until his marriage which occurred October 27, 1868.

He married Sarah, daughter of Jacob B. and Ann (Jenkins) Rhoads, both long since deceased. Jacob B. Rhoads was a widely known farmer of Gwynedd township, near North Wales, who attended the Philadelphia market for many years, handling meat as well as farm produce. Mrs. Castner was born and reared at the Rhoads homestead, on which she now resides. She attended the Friends' School at Gwynedd as well as the public school at that place, and also the Academy at North Wales. Still later she was a resident student at Lewisburg Institute, now combined with Bucknell University, then a flourishing school for girls and young women, and graduated with the class of 1866.

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After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Castner located on a farm in Lower Gwynedd (then Gwynedd) township, adjacent to the farm of her father, where they remained for more than twenty years. In 1888 Mr. Castner purchased the Rhoads homestead, containing 137 acres, in Upper Gwynedd township, which they operated as a dairy farm, maintaining a herd of twenty-five cows thereon, the milk being shipped from Gwynedd station to Philadelphia by way of the North Pennsylvania Railroad. During 1863 Mr. Castner served in the Wishahickon Cavalry in the state service, and was stationed at Harrisburg for a short time, but owing to their services not being required the regiment returned home.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Castner: J. Arthur, born October 27, 1870, attended Friends' School at Gwynedd, and also the Brunner Academy and School of Business at North Wales, after which he entered as a student at the Pierce College of Business in Philadelphia, resides with his parents on the home farm, and assists in its management: Mary Parthenia, born July 27, 1872, educated at the Friends' School at Gwynedd, and also Sunnyside Academy, at Ambler, married Linford, son of James and Mary (Johnson) Christian, and has one child, Arthur Castner, and resides at North Wales; Ann Jenkins, born September 12, 1877, attended the Gwynedd public schools and also the Brunner Academy at North Wales, graduating from the Gwynedd schools, from the North Wales institution in the class of 1891, and from the Friends' Central School, Philadelphia, in the class of 1894, married, September 24, 1901, Andrew Heckler, son of William and Sarah (Heckler) Tyson, of Lansdale, residing there with her parents; Elizabeth Grace, born 1884, died 1889.

Jesse Castner (father) was the son of Jesse and Elizabeth Castner, of Gwynedd. He was born on the Castner homestead, where he spent his life, May 5, 1812. He attended such schools as were available in his childhood and youth, and married Parthena Sheive. Their children Parthena Louisa, born September 29, 1836, married, April 30, 1868, Abram Wentz, son of Abram and Charlotte (Tyson) Wentz, of an old Whitpain family, long resident in the vicinity of Centre Square where they kept a hotel in Revolutionary times and subsequently, until 1867, a member of the family, Col. John Wentz, having been a justice of the peace in Whitpain township for many years; and now resides on Swede street, Norristown; Elizabeth, born December 7, 1837, unmarried; Conard, born August 12, 1839; George W., subject of this sketch.

Jesse Castner (grandfather) was the son of Samuel and Mary (Linderman) Castner. He was born July 16, 1770, and married Margaret Rhoads, their children being: Malinda, born May 8, 1796, married William Coulston, of Gwynedd Charles, born October 25, 1798, died May 12, 1862, married Martha Christy; Mary, born December 5, 1800, died in 1852, and was married; Rachel, born November 7, 1803, married; Margaret, born November 19, 1805; Anna, born October 19, 1806. Jesse Castner, who died September 15, 1883, was a son by a second wife, Elizabeth Smick.



BENJAMIN EVANS, senior partner in the firm of B. Evans & Brother, coal dealers at Norristown, located at George street and Stony Creek Railroad and at plain Street Station, was born in Lykens, Pennsylvania, October 3, 1866. He is the son of Benjamin (deceased), and Mary Ann (Thomas) Evans, both of whom were born in southern Wales, he at Blanavon and she at Tredeger. The couple had seven children, four sons and three daughters, four of whom are now living, as follows: Margaret, wife of Isaac Jervis, Miss Catharine Evans, Benjamin and William, all of Norristown.

Benjamin Evans (father) was a coal miner in Wales, who came to America in 1855, and located in Virginia, near the Maryland line, engaging in the occupation of coal-mining there for about two years. He then came to Conshohocken where resided his uncle, William Davis, who operated the blast furnace there.

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Benjamin Evans married at Conshohocken, a few months after his arrival, he having known Miss Thomas, who became his wife, in the old country. He afterwards worked in Harrisburg and various places, and the last twenty-five years of his life were spent in Norristown, where he established a coal-yard, and in conjunction with his two sons, built a number of houses.

He died in Norristown, April 25, 1899, aged sixty-six years. His wife survives him and is now seventy-five years of age. She is an Episcopalian and he was a Baptist. He was a lifelong Republican and was an active worker in its behalf.

Evan Evans (grandfather) was a native of Wales. He was a coal miner and came to America in 1857, living in Lykens, Pennsylvania, where he died in his seventy-seventh year. His wife was Kitty Davis. They had a large family of children.

William Thomas (maternal grandfather), was a native of Wales. He came to the United States in 1853, and instructed his son-in-law, William Davis, in the blast-furnace business at Conshohocken. He first settled at Farnsville when the country was very wild and was infested with wolves and bears. He died at Conshohocken, aged ninety-one years, and was buried of Merion Square. He was a large man, six feet, two inches in height. His wife was Katie Powell, daughter of Thomas Powell, a tanner in Breckon, South Wales.

William Thomas and wife had ten or eleven children. The oldest son's name was John. He went to London and died there of cholera. William Powell's wife was buried at Trededwyn churchyard. She died at the age of fifty-two years.

Benjamin Evans, born at Lykens, was six years old when his parents left that place. He came from Lykens, to Matsunk, now Swedeland, and lived there from 1871 to 1873, his parents removing from Swedeland to Mahanoy City in Schuylkill county. Benjamin Evans attended the public schools there until ten years of age and then went to work, picking slate from the coal in the breaker.

On February 22, 1879, he came with his father's family to Norristown, where he worked in a cotton factory until 1882. On reaching early manhood, he began work as a contractor, digging cellars, quarrying stone, and doing other work of that kind. His father's health failed and Mr. Evans and his father engaged in the coal business at the corner of Marshall and Kohn streets, and for the past eight years he and his brother William have been together in business as partners. The firm are builders as well as coal dealers and own several valuable properties in Norristown. They have erected many handsome residences in West Norristown, and are among the most prosperous business men of the county.

He is not identified with any church but is a Baptist in religious faith. Politically he is a Republican and occupied the position of councilman from the seventh ward. Mr. Evans resides in a substantial brick residence, No. 719 George street, built in 1866.



WILLIAM EVANS, junior partner in the firm of B. Evans & Brother, who are engaged in business as coal dealers and dealers in builders' supplies, Norristown, Pennsylvania, was born in Wisconisco township, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1867. He is the son of Benjamin and Mary Lynn (Thomas) Evans, already mentioned in the sketch of Benjamin Evans, immediately preceding this.

William Evans has lived since the age of ten years in Norristown, attending the public schools of the borough, and after completing the course in them, entering as a student at Schissler's Business College. When he reached the age of eighteen years, he became an apprentice to the trade of a bricklayer, and after completing his apprenticeship at that occupation, worked as a journeyman for five years. After the death of his father he and his brother, Benjamin, entered into partnership as dealers in coal and in builders' supplies.

The firm of Benjamin Evans & Brother has been in existence since 1895 the senior partner

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confining his attention more especially to the yard at George street and Stony Creek Railroad, and the junior partner to that opposite Main Street Station. In addition to achieving success in this line, Evans & Brother have been engaged in the business of builders for a number of years. They have erected many dwelling houses in that part of Norristown west of Stone creek, they own considerable property, and are generally recognized as being among the most progressive and public-spirited citizens of Norristown.

On February 6, 1902, Mr. Evans married Miss Annie M. Keene, daughter of John and Mary (Mace) Keene. Mrs. Evans is a member of Haws Avenue Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Evans is a member of Norristown Lodge, No. 620, Free and Accepted Masons. He also belongs to the John F. Hartranft Conclave of Heptasophs. His residence is at 704 Stanbridge street, a substantial home which he owns.

Politically he is a Republican, taking an active interest in everything relating to the management of local affairs.

Mrs. Evans' father is a native of Elizabethville, Dauphin county, he having been born within a dozen miles of where he now resides. He was married at the age of seventeen years. Mrs. Keene is also a native of Dauphin county, she and her husband having been born on adjoining farms. Mr. and Mrs. Keene had five sons and one daughter. Mrs. Evans is a graduate of Shippensburg State Normal School. Previous to her marriage, she was engaged in the occupation of teaching. Her father has been employed with the Lykens Valley Coal Company ever since it came into existence, a period of forty-nine years. Mr. Keene and his wife are members of the Methodist church, and have been from their tenderest years. Their son, H. Clay Keene, has been superintendent of the Sunday school at Wiconisco for twenty-four years. He was a member of the Pennsylvania, legislature for two years. The family are all members of the Methodist church.

The Evans brothers are the type of men, endowed with energy and good business ability, who have been largely instrumental in building up Norristown, making it a center of industrial and mechanical development, and contributing to that prosperity which it has enjoyed in recent years to a greater extent, perhaps, than any other city of its size in Pennsylvania. Mr. Evans has one daughter, Mary Catherine, born February 26, 1903.



GEORGE W. WATT. The Watt family are of Scotch-Irish origin, William Watt (father) having come to this country with his parents when he was but tell years of age. He was born in County Derry, Ireland, May 12, 1808, and reached Philadelphia in 1818. On leaving school he entered the establishment of his uncles, David and William Watt, who were extensive woolen manufacturers in that city. On completing his apprenticeship with them he worked at his trade for several years, eventually engaging in the manufacture of cotton and woolen fabrics in Philadelphia. In 1867 he removed to Norristown, and a year or two later purchased the site yet occupied by Watt's Mills at the foot of Buttonwood street, and continued the same business in which he had been engaged in Philadelphia, making woolen goods principally. The establishment has grown steadily from the beginning made by William Watt in 1869, many improvements having been added from time to time. In 1876 a large addition was built to the mill, increasing its productive capacity nearly one-half in comparison with what is was when erected in 1849 by William Hamill & Son. That firm retired in 1851, and S. Porter Hamill and Joshua Batty became the proprietors, but at the end of two years, Mr. Batty drew out of the firm and Mr. Hamill operated the mill until 1856, when he took in J. Lee as a partner.

In 1857 Hunter & DeHaven bought the establishment, operating it some time and selling it to Mr. DeHaven, who in turn sold it to Mr. Watt in 1869, as has been stated. William Watt was a man of excellent business qualifications, as was manifested in his successful operation of his Norristown manufactory, which was run almost steadily, even in so-called "hard times, when other establishments of the kind were idle or running on half time.

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During the latter years of his life, Mr. Watt, yielding to the infirmities of age, allowed its management to devolve largely upon his son, George W. Watt, the subject of this sketch. William Watt was married January 9, 1834, to Miss Catherine, daughter of William McKay, of Scotch descent, and one of the oldest residents of Philadelphia. Their children were George W. Watt; David Watt; Amelia D., widow, of Henry S. Hughes; Emily Watt; Mrs. Kate W., widow of Cyrus S. Poley, M. D.; and Dr. J. Bond Watt, long a resident of Allentown.

William Watt was a lifelong Whig and Republican. He always felt much interest in politics generally and in public affairs, seldom missing an opportunity of casting his ballot, even at municipal elections which are so apt to be neglected by the average voter. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. He had long been connected with the Central Presbyterian church, and for many years held the position of trustee. Mr. and Mrs. Watt celebrated their golden wedding on January 9, 1884. A large assemblage of descendants, relatives and friends were present on that occasion. He died December 2, 1893, after an illness of about ten days.

John Watt (great-grandfather) emigrated to this country prior to the war of 1812, bringing his family with him, except Robert (grandfather) who was engaged in the English naval service and came to Philadelphia, as has been stated, a few years later.

George W. Watt was born in Philadelphia, August 10, 1860. He was eight years old when he came with his parents to Norristown and this has been his home ever since. He attended the public schools and Treemount Seminary, and when seventeen years old entered his father's mill as an apprentice, and later became a partner in the business. At his father's death in 1893 he became his successor and the sole owner of the business and property.

He married Miss Sarah A. Kneedler, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Kneedler. They have three children: William, Mary Elizabeth and Howard R. Watt. Mr. and Mrs. Watt are Presbyterians in religious faith, being members of the Central church.

Mr. Watt belongs to Charity Lodge, No. 190, Free and Accepted Masons, Norristown Chapter, No. 190, Royal Arch Masons; Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar, of which he is past commander; and the Philadelphia Consistory. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason.

Politically he is, like his father, a Republican. He has served as a member of town council one term, representing the seventh ward. He is now a member of the school board from the tenth ward.

Mr. and Mrs. Watt reside at 919 West Main street, where he built an elegant and modern home of dressed gravestone. Watt's mill, under the management of its present owner, is one of the most prosperous manufactories of the Schuylkill valley. It is adjacent to the Pennsylvania Railroad, which furnishes excellent shipping facilities. Its product has a wide reputation which has been fully maintained under the management of the present proprietor. A ready market awaits all the goods that Mr. Watt can make. That part of Norristown in which the mill is located was very sparsely settled until within a few years, and it has been a prominent factor in the very rapid development and growth of that portion of the borough, because of the many persons who find steady and profitable employment there. He has commenced the erection of a large addition thirty-two by eighty feet, four stories high, increasing the works some twenty-five per cent.



(Picture of Henrie Arnoldy)

HENRIE ARNOLDY, the well known East Main street hotel proprietor, is the son of Henrie Arnoldy, a farmer in France. He was born in that country, July 7, 1846. He was educated there in the excellent schools that have been established in the course of a century past. On reaching the age of twenty years, he was mustered into the French army, the Emperor Napoleon Third being then the dictator of France. He served in the Franco-Prussian war, was twice wounded, and conducted himself in all the engagements in which he participated with the greatest courage and daring.

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In the fall of 1871 he decided that he would leave his native land and emigrate to the United States, as he had been informed of the probability that he could do well in the great Western Republic, and succeed in life. He left France and landed at Liverpool, with four other young men, bound like himself for America. They sailed from Liverpool in the ship "Algeria," and landed in New York. He then traveled to Philadelphia, and later to Norristown. He secured employment in Whitman's butcher shop, in Bridgeport. He remained in that position until Mr. Whitman's death, when he assumed the management of the business, carrying it on very successfully.

He next went to the Exchange Hotel, Norristown, one of the leading taverns of Norristown, in those days, drove a team and later took charge of the yard. He saved his earnings, with the expectation that he would be able at some time to engage in business on his own account.

He next went to Conshohocken where he secured employment in the Albion Print Works, remaining there until 1876, when he removed to Philadelphia and was employed by Mr. Philip Loubee, the leading caterer of Philadelphia at that time. He remained in that city during the Centennial Exposition, which was then in progress. Returning to Norristown he took charge of a hotel on the Bridgeport side of the river. Later he went into the livery business, carrying it on very successfully.

In 1886 he sold his livery stable and bought the hotel Schuylkill Valley on Main street, below Walnut, Norristown. He is a self-made man, who owes his success in business entirely to his own exertions.

Mr. Arnoldy married, in 1873, Lena Diller, who came from Bavaria, Germany, the couple having the following children: Lillian, who married Joseph Schuler, a jeweler of Norristown, and they are the parents of one child- Ralph Schuler, Minnie. Henry, a member of the Invincibles of Norristown. William, who is employed as clerk in the Atlantic Refining Company at Norristown. Bertie, Helen, and Elsie, all living.

In politics Mr. Arnoldy is an active Republican, and an earnest supporter of the principles and candidates of the party. He is an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Improved Order of Red Men, Foresters of America, the Elks, the Shouck Post, No. 91, Grand Army of the Republic, of Norristown, with which he has been affiliated for fifteen years, and the Royal Art Association. He and his family attend the Presbyterian church.



REV. THOMAS R. BEEBER, for over eighteen years pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Norristown, is a son of Teter D. and Mary J. (Artley) Beeber. He was born at Muncy, this state, June 18, 1848. The name is of German origin and was originally written Leeber. The Beeber family trace their ancestry to the Palatinate, from which so large a number of immigrants came into Pennsylvania, on account of the religious persecution endured in their native land.

The ancestor of Dr. Beeber came from Germany in the ship "Jeneffer," commanded by Captain George Kerr, and landed at Philadelphia, November 6, 1764. His son, John, born near Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1762, was reared in Berks county, this state, and served as a noncommissioned officer in the Revolutionary war. He enlisted in the third battalion of the Pennsylvania line, commanded by Colonel John Shee, and was captured by the British at Harlem Heights, November 16, 1776, but escaped six days later. He served under Colonel Daniel Undree in the second battalion of the Berks county militia at the battle of Brandywine, and served actively in the American army until the close of the war and the acknowledgement of our independence by Great Britain.


John Beeber was a farmer. He married Julia Dimner of Lycoming county, to which place he removed after the Revolutionary war. She was the daughter of George and Julia Dimner. John Beeber's son, Colonel Jacob Beeber, was born in Muncy valley, September 10, 1786, and became a man of considerable prominence, serving in the militia and commanding a regiment. He was a devoted member of the Evangelical Lutheran church. He was also a farmer, and a Democrat in politics. He married Mary Elizabeth Dimner and had several children. His eldest son, Teter D. Beeber, was the father of Rev. Dr. Beeber.

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Teter D. Beeber at first engaged in farming and afterwards became a mechanic and a coal dealer. He was intensely opposed to the system of southern slavery. He became a Republican, in spite of the opposition of his family, at a time when it required some courage to take this step. His three brothers went with him into the Republican party. In 1861 he was elected county commissioner in Lycoming, being the only Republican who was successful that year.

Teter D. Beeber was one of the founders of the Muncy Lutheran church, organized November 7, 1852, was for many years one of its principal financial supporters, and filled every office in the church open to a layman. He. also took interest in municipal affairs, serving for many years as a councilman and school director. A man of integrity, affability, and of great kindness of heart, he was beloved by all who knew him. He died May 6, 1876, in his sixty-first year. He was married on March 25, 1841, to Mary J. Artley, they having three sons: J. A., a lawyer of Williamsport; Dimner, an attorney-at-law, and a prominent citizen of Philadelphia: and Rev. Thomas R. Beeber.

Mrs. Beeber died December 2, 1869, aged fifty-two years. She was of Holland descent and a daughter of John and Christina (Duck) Artley. The Artley family was resident of Berks county until 1785 and Solomon Artley enlisted during the war of 1812 but was never called into active service.

Thomas R. Beeber prepared for college at Selinsgrove. He entered Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, in 1865, winning second graduation honors of his class in 1869. In the autumn of that year he entered Andover Theological Seminary, becoming valedictorian of the class of 1872, after which he took a post-graduate course. In January, 1873, he became associate pastor of Rev. Charles Beecher, of the First Congregational church, of Georgetown, Massachusetts. Remaining there two years, he resigned to accept a call, extended June 8, 1875, from the Mahoning Presbyterian church, Danville, Pennsylvania, serving in the capacity, of pastor until March 8, 1880, when he accepted a call from the Second Presbyterian church, at Scranton.

This pastorate extended over seven years, a handsome stone church being erected by the congregation during that time at the cost of eighty thousand dollars. The call from the First Presbyterian church of Norristown, which he has served ever since, was extended March 21, 1887.

On August 17, 1874, he was united in marriage by the Rev. Charles Beecher to Mary F. Haley, of Georgetown, Massachusetts, daughter of J. K. Harriman. The couple have had two children, both now deceased: John Artley, born August 22, 1875, died January 11, 1889; Whitman Boynton, born May 26, 1877, died June 27, 1885. Dr. Beeber has one adopted son, Kimball H. Beeber, who is a child of Mrs. Beeber's first marriage.

Dr. Beeber spent three months, in 1878, in a European tour, visiting many noted places. His health having somewhat declined, he, with Mrs. Beeber, spent some months on another European tour in the summer of 1902. His degree, Doctor of Divinity, was conferred by Lafayette College in 1891.

As a speaker Dr. Beeber is eloquent, logical and pleasing. He is the author of several historical works of value, including the histories of the First Congregational church of Georgetown, Massachusetts, and the Second Presbyterian church, of Scranton, Pennsylvania. His pamphlet "History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States" is comprehensive and interesting. He is a member of the Montgomery Historical Society and takes active interest in its proceedings. He is a member of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, and also a member of the Board of Ministerial Relief of the Presbyterian church. While at Scranton he was elected director of the School for the Deaf and did much valuable work in its behalf.

Dr. Beeber belongs to the progressive element of Presbyterianism, but is thoroughly conservative in his views. He is deeply interested in home and foreign missions and is indefatigable in his

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pastoral work, leaving nothing undone to promote the interests of a large and cultured congregation, who thoroughly appreciate his ministerial work.



EPHRAIM F. SLOUGH, a successful member of the Norristown bar, and a business man of recognized ability, owes his position in life almost entirely to his own efforts. A self-made man and largely self educated, he has by industry and perseverance overcome obstacles that would have been deemed insurmountable by many and achieved an honorable and independent position among his fellow men. He was born in Heebnerville, in Worcester township, January 15, 1852. He is the son of Jesse W. and Mary A. (Fry) Slough.

The couple had twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, of whom six are now living as follows: Ephraim F., of Norristown, Miss Clara, Jacob, Cornelius, Margaret Jane, and Emma Elizabeth, all of whom reside at Daytona, Florida, except Ephraim F., the parents also having resided there for some years. Jesse W. Slough, the father, was a farmer, residing in Montgomery county until the spring of 1877, living successively in Worcester township, where he was born; Towamencin, seven years; and upper Providence, near Trappe, for sixteen years.

In 1877 he removed with his family to Florida and engaged in farming, gardening and poultry-raising. He died at Daytona, November 18, 1900, aged seventy-eight years. He and his wife were members of the Reformed church of the United States. In his younger days he was a Sunday-school superintendent, a choir leader, and also an elder of the church. In his earlier years he taught a public school in Towamencin township. A Democrat in politics, he never sought or held office, preferring to live a quiet and retired life.

The grandfather of Ephraim F. Slough was Nicholas Slough, descended from a German ancestor who came with the tide of emigration of that nationality about the middle of the eighteenth century. His wife, Elizabeth Wanner, was also of German descent. They were engaged in the occupation of farming in Worcester township, and had two daughters and four sons. Nicholas was religiously inclined and devoted much of his time in the latter part of his life to church work. He owned a large farm in Worcester. His father was also named Nicholas Slough. Like the names of other old German families, the patronymic "Slough" has undergone many changes. It is said to have been originally spelled Schlouch, but for nearly a century it has retained its present orthography.

The maternal grandfather of Ephraim F. Slough was Daniel S. Fry, also of German lineage, although a native of Towamencin township and a resident therein nearly to the time of his death. He was a great Bible student in his last years. He died in Lower Salford, aged nearly ninety-four years. He was an able farmer, owning several properties, and when too far advanced in years to carry on such work actively, for the sake of having something to do he learned the art of basket-making and followed it as a pastime for the rest of his life. He shared his property with his children, reserving a considerable portion for himself, and died well-to-do.

His first wife was Mary Allabaugh, by whom he had six children. By his second wife, Sarah Ottinger, he had one son, Daniel O. Fry. Daniel Fry (grandfather of our subject) donated ground now the site of the Fry school house in Towamencin, where he taught school for several years. He was a member of the denomination known as Dunkards.

His early ancestors in this country settled at Germantown, Philadelphia county, in December, 1724, a deed to Henry Fry in that year for a tract of land in that vicinity being still in the possession of his descendant, Ephraim F. Slough. Jacob Fry settled in this county prior to 1782. His will was probated at Norristown in 1786. The name was originally spelled Fret and sometimes Free.

Ephraim F. Slough grew to manhood in Upper Providence township being reared on a and early accustomed to habits of thrift and industry, learning in the school of labor lessons which were to be of great value to him in after life. When not employed in the work of the farm, he attended the public schools of the district and later the Washington Hall Institute at Trappe. He also studied at Ursinus College, completing the course and being graduated in 1877. He taught public school three winter terms, 1869-70-71. He was looking forward, however, to entering the legal profession and accordingly, early in the summer of 1877, he registered as a law student in the office of Joseph L. Allabaugh, of Norristown, and was admitted to the Montgomery county bar in 1881, practicing law continuously in Norristown since.

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December 18, 1900, Mr. Slough married Annie, daughter of Augustus and Elizabeth (Koons) Thomas. They have a son, Frank August Slough, born August 29, 1902. Mrs. Slough was born in Upper Salford township, Montgomery county.

Mr. and Mrs. Slough are members of the Trinity Reformed church. He belongs to Montgomery Lodge, No. 57, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and to Beaver Tribe, No. 62, Improved Order of Red Men. In politics Mr. Slough is a Democrat. In 1901 he was his party's candidate for district attorney, failing of election by only three hundred and twenty-seven votes although the county gives a large Republican majority. Mr. Slough is in no sense an office-seeker, his nomination for the position which he so nearly won being the work of his friends. He has for some years been actively interested in various manufacturing enterprises in Norristown which contribute to the growth and prosperity of the city. He is a considerable property owner in Norristown; is president of the Western Market Company and its solicitor; and is also one of the managers and solicitor of the Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He has a lucrative law practice to which he devotes himself with assiduous attention. He planned his own education and in its acquisition was dependent on no one, paying his own way. He was a member of the State Militia from 1880 to 1885.



(Picture of J. Frank Boyer)

J. FRANK BOYER, head of the J. Frank Boyer Plumbing and Heating Company and the leading spirit in several other Norristown enterprises, is one of the youngest of Norristown's business men. He was born March 2, 1867. He is the son of Michael C. and Mary A. (Ziegler) Boyer, the former deceased, both of them belonging to old Montgomery county families of German origin.

Mr. Boyer attended the public schools of Norristown, but did not continue longer at school after having reached the age of sixteen years, preferring to engage in active business. Immediately on leaving school he took a position with Frank W. Wilson, long since deceased, but then located on West Main street, Norristown, to learn the tin, stove and hardware business. Mr. Boyer began business on his own account at the age of eighteen years. He made a success of his venture from the start.

In 1889 he located at the corner of Main and Green streets, Norristown, where he remained until his business had increased so much that it had entirely outgrown the accommodations, when he purchased a suitable site for an establishment of the kind he had projected for his growing needs, erected a substantial and well appointed building, and now occupies it fully in connection with the operations of the J. Frank Boyer Plumbing and Heating Company, the patrons of which are not confined to Norristown or even to Montgomery county.

The new building is located on the west side of Main street, about midway between Green and DeKalb, and it contains samples of everything in the line of the company, which can be furnished at the shortest possible notice and at figures which will compare favorably with those of any Philadelphia establishment, however extensive. It is a favorite theory of Mr. Boyer that the customers of the firm should not be allowed to go to Philadelphia for any article in his line, and they very seldom do so. In every enterprise with which Mr. Boyer has been connected in his comparatively short but very successful career he has been an earnest and indefatigable worker. Among these may be included the Plumbing and Heating Company, the Hamilton Terrace Company, the Norristown Brick Company, and the Hamilton Apartment Company, in all of which he has filled the position of president. He is also a director of the Peoples National Bank of Norristown, of the Norristown Trust Company, and of the Norristown Steam Heating Company.

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The Hamilton Terrace Company, which has recently gone out of business as a corporation, the assets in land and money having been divided among the individual members, was formed to develop the tract known as Hamilton Terrace, on which it laid out streets, graded by them at enormous expense, erected fifty or more elegant and desirable residences, and made the entire transaction a paying investment, selling the houses to the best class of buyers- those who occupy them with their families. It requires genius to formulate and execute practical plans for enterprises of so extensive a character, and to carry them to a successful conclusion as in this instance, and the results attained may be regarded as highly creditable to the president of the company and to his coadjutors. Another instance of Mr. Boyer's ability for organization was displayed in the formation of the Hamilton Apartment Company, which was planned, erected, and filled with the families who are among the best in Norristown, and all in the short space of six months. The mere task of equipping the establishment, after it had been erected, was no light matter, and most of it, as well as the arrangements to secure the occupants of the Apartment House, devolved upon Mr. Boyer. Without the highest kind of executive ability exercised in its management, the idea might have been a comparative failure, but, on the contrary, it became from the start a complete and overwhelming success.

In politics Mr. Boyer is a Democrat, but he is not a partison. During his term as councilman, he being the youngest member of that body ever elected to the position, his action on matters coming before council for action was dictated solely by a desire to promote the public welfare, and not by mere partisan reasons. He is interested in all that relates to the well being of the Norristown public, with whose progress he has from his earliest youth been so closely identified.

Mr. Boyer married, November 14, 1888, Miss Annie G., daughter of Patrick Curran, a well known and prominent citizen of Norristown.

Michael Boyer (father) was a native of Upper Salford township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, being the son of Philip Boyer, also of that township. He attended Washington Hall Collegiate Institute, at Trappe, and engaged for a time in the occupation of teaching.

He was a Democrat in politics, and having secured his party's nomination for sheriff of Montgomery county in 1852, he was elected to that office, and served very acceptably for three years. After the expiration of his term as sheriff, Mr. Boyer remained in Norristown, and was for many years one of its most active business men and manufacturers. He formed a partnership with William Schall for making nails, and afterwards became interested in the Norris Iron Works, a flourishing. establishment that employed more than a hundred. and fifty hands.

Mr. Boyer was the inventor of many patentable articles, for more than fifty of which he secured patents, among them being Boyer's Hoof Liniment, a company being organized to make and sell it. Mr. Boyer was born May 28, 1821, and died October 10, 1891, in his seventy-second year. Mr. Boyer gave considerable attention to building. For some years he resided with his family in a mansion on West Main street, which was afterwards occupied and owned by President John Slingluff, of the Montgomery National Bank, and after his death by his widow and daughter, and was recently purchased by Mr. Hervey C. Gresh.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Boyer; Jesse, Katie, Wallace, Horace G., Wilson, Michael A., Howard C., Harry Z. Mary L., T. Frank, subject of this sketch, and Charles, several of whom are now deceased. Mr. Boyer's mother, Mrs. Mary Boyer, is a resident of Norristown, and is highly respected by all who know her.

J. Frank Boyer is the president and organizer of the Norristown Brick Company, which is the successor of the Morgan Brick Company, as that was of the establishment of Shaffer Brothers. It may be said of this company that it very much improved the equipment of the plant at Forest and Sterigere streets, and produced a fine product which is rapidly replacing all other bricks heretofore used in Norristown and vicinity. The company are doing business strictly on business principles, and are operating very successfully. This enterprise may be said to be the first really successful brickmaking establishment in Norristown, and the most unbounded success may be predicted for it in the future, in view of what it has already accomplished.

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Mr. Boyer is a member of the leading Norristown social club, the lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a contributing member of the Hancock Fire Company of the West End, and is always ready to extend substantial aid to all deserving organizations that have been established in the community. He has traveled extensively from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is well informed as to the business situation throughout the country at all times. He is always interested in whatever promises to benefit Norristown from a business or other standpoint, and is generally recognized as one of the most enterprising as well as progressive citizens of the county-seat of Montgomery. His genius for organization has been well displayed in the different corporations of which he is or has been the effective head, and their uniform success is the best possible testimony to the good sense and practical business views which guide him in every undertaking in life.



DR. GEORGE K. MESCHTER, one of the best known and most successful physicians of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, has been a resident of Centre Point, Worcester township, for more than thirty-five years. During all this time he has been engaged in active practice, except for a few years latterly when it has been interrupted by ill health. His professional ability and his sympathetic personal interest in all his patients brought him a large following even at the beginning of his career and as his skill became publicly recognized he was called frequently in consultation into the adjoining counties and even to Philadelphia.

His ancestors were among the brave followers of Casper Schwenkfeld, one of the leaders of the Protestant reformation in Germany in the sixteenth century. He differed from Luther on some points of doctrine that now seem immaterial, but which aroused the bitterest feeling at the time and subjected him and his adherents to persecution. The Schwenkfelders were stanch in their faith, and being unable to uphold it in Silesia, a band of about forty families under the leadership of the Rev. George Weiss, sought homes in America, settling in the southeastern counties of Pennsylvania. Weiss was the first Schwenkfelder pastor in America, and among his flock were three brothers by the name of Meschter.

Melchior Meschter was the name of the immigrant from whom the line here traced is descended. He lived for many years in Towamensing township on a little brookside farm. He died October 5, 1776, and is probably buried in the Towamensing Schwenkfelder cemetery half a mile away, as it was the only burying-ground in that section at the time.

A number of the graves there are unmarked and others are marked only by a common field stone with no inscription, so it is impossible to identify his burial place. This is a matter of regret to his descendants, who cherish the memory of these early fathers and who know where the succeeding generations lie. Melchior Meschter had a son Christopher, who was a farmer of the township and who died at the age of fifty years and ten months. His son Christopher died on the same farm, March 7, 1853, aged seventy-three years, six months, and twenty-four days. These two are buried in the Schwenkfelder cemetery, close by the church of that denomination in Lower Salford. Here, too, he the remains of the Rev. George Weiss. A small, plain, marble headstone marks his grave, bearing the inscription in German: "Zum Andenken an George Weiss, var geboren in Schlesien, und erster Lehrer du Schwenkfelder Gemeinde in Pennsylvania. Storb 11ten Marz 1740. Alt 53 Jahr"

The second Christopher Meschter had one child, George, who succeeded him on the homestead. George Meschter was a Schwenkfelder pastor as well as a farmer, and he possessed the earnestness and zeal that characterized the early ministers of the church. He died June 29, 1887, aged seventy-nine years, three months, and one

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day. He is buried in the Schwenkfelder cemetery in Lower Salford, where his father and grandfather lie.

George K. Meschter, son of the Rev. George Meschter, was born on the ancestral farm in Towamensing township, May 2, 1840. The farm was a large one and the son grew up in its activities, taking his part in such work as would fall to a boy and youth. His early education was gained mostly through home study, though he was sometimes a pupil in the public schools. He attended the Kulpsville Academy in Towamensing township and later was a student in the Quakertown Normal School, and in the Treemount Seminary at Norristown. In the Treemount Seminary he acquired a good knowledge of Greek, Latin and chemistry, thoroughly preparing himself for the study of medicine, which was the aim he had long had in view. In the course of his preparatory work he taught school for two terms in Montgomery county. The medical course as then laid down, required only two years, but the young student gave four years to the work, one year before he regularly matriculated and one year of post-graduate study, in addition to the usual two years. He found, moreover, that it was time well spent, for when he took up active practice after he was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, March 14, 1867, the experience that he had gained brought him immediate success. He has remained all his life in the place where he opened his first office and he is highly regarded as a man and valued as a citizen, for he has ever realized that life is broader than any profession, Soon after he began practice he became a member of the Montgomery County Medical Society and for one year was its president.

In 1875 he was the delegate from that organization to the meeting of the State Medical Society. He is now an honorary member of the County Medical Society and a member of the board of trustees as well as vice-president of Perkiomen Seminary. In politics he is a Republican.

In the fall of 1867 Dr. Meschter married Mary, daughter of Charles Y. Kriebel of Franklinville, Pennsylvania. They, have three children living: Cyrus K., who is married to Ella B. Cassel and has two children, Ada and George; Charles K., who is a teacher in the Perkiomen Seminary at Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and married Laura Isenbery; Nora, wife of Dr. E, G. Kriebel, they have one daughter, Mildred. Dr. Kriebel was born in Bucks county, Hereford township, is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia and has succeeded Dr. Meschter in practice in this field.



MILTON BERGEY BENNER, farmer and dealer in live stock, is a native of Lower Salford township, Montgomery county, where he was born, March 20, 1862. He was educated in the public schools of the vicinity, leaving school at the age of eighteen years. He engaged in the occupation of farming in Lower Salford, remaining there until he was about twenty-five years of age, when he married. He removed to Worcester township in 1890, and purchased the Rev. David Krieble farm, upon which still stands the dwelling house erected in 1827. Mr. Benner owns about sixty-five acres on this farm, and it is very fertile and productive. Besides farming, he deals quite extensively in live stock, as has been stated. He is a Republican in his political views and is a member of the Schwenkfelder church.

Mr. Benner married December 24, 1887, Minnie, daughter of Milhom H. Cassel. They have five children as follows: Essie, fourteen years of age; Robert, twelve years of age; Carrie, ten years old; Mamie, eight years old; and Henry, three years old.

Abraham Benner (father) was born March 28, 1827, and died October 25, 1889, and is buried in Lower Salford township. He was a tailor by trade, and worked for many years in Limerick township.

Caroline (Bergey) Benner, was born 'March 19, 1831, and is still living in Limerick township. Their children were, seven in all: the eldest died in infancy; Mary Amanda, died when about six years old; Sarah Ann, wife of Abraham Slemmer, lives in Lower Salford, Caroline, died when nine years of age; Katie is the wife of John Peterman; Addie is the wife of George Sever, of Limerick township.

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Abraham Benner (grandfather) married Sarah Markley. Both lived to an advanced age and are long since deceased.

The grandfather on the mother's side was Christian Bergey, of a well known Montgomery county family. He married Mary Souder and both are long since deceased. The brothers and sisters of Mr. Benner's mother were Henry; Bergey; Mahlon; Aaron; Maggie; Mary, who lives in Michigan; and Kate, who died unmarried.

The brothers and sisters of Mr. Benner's father were: Charles, deceased; Elias, deceased; Maria, deceased; Sarah, living, at nearly ninety years of age, married to Jacob Markley; and Deborah, deceased.



MRS. ESTHER WILE (ZEPP) KEYSER, widow of Ephraim B. Keyser, is a native of Lower Salford township, Montgomery county, where she was born September 8, 1852. Her father was Jacob B. Zepp, who was born in 1826, and died August 11, 1891. He was a mason by trade and also followed farming. The mother of Mrs. Keyser was Elizabeth Wile, who was born in 1827 and died April 25, 1893.

Mrs. Esther W. Z. Keyser married Ephraim B. Keyser, March 13, 1875. They had three children: Lizzie, born in 1875, died at the age of seven months; Emma Jane, born February 26, 1881, is the wife of William Smith; Elmer Z., born February 7, 1890, resides with his mother. Ephraim B. Keyser, Mrs. Keyser's husband, was killed by an accident on the railroad, December 24, 1899.

The sisters of Mrs. Keyser are: Sarah, wife of Benjamin Nyce, born June 12, 1854; Mary, born in 1856, died in infancy; Matilda, wife of William Kinsey, born July 29, 1858; Anna, born in September. 1859; Sophia, born in October, 1864; Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Nyce, born in May, 1871. Mr. and Mrs. Nyce have had the following children: Katie, thirteen years of age; Minerva, eleven years old; Jacob, nine years old; Idella, eight years of age; Clara, five years old;. and Clement, who died in infancy.

The parents of Ephraim B. Keyser were John Keyser, who was born December 31, 1816, and died July 27, 1883, and Sophia Bechtel, daughter of Isaac and Mary Bechtel. She was born October 6, 1818, and died May 28, 1881. Their children (the brothers and sisters of Ephraim B. Keyser) were: Susanna, born October 12, 1844; David B., born February 28, 1848; and one sister who died in infancy.

The grandparents of Ephraim B. Keyser were: Paul Keyser, born in September, 1773, and died March 30, 1826, and Elizabeth Keyser, who was born in 1776 and lived to be ninety-four years old.

The father of Esther W. Z. Keyser was Jacob Zepp. His wife was Elizabeth Wile. Jacob was born August 12, 1826. His wife was born January 29, 1827. They were married in August, 1851. Their children are: Esther W. (subject of this sketch), born September 8, 1852; Sarah, born June 12, 1854; Maria, born February 7, 1856, and died May 3, 1856; Matilda, born June 29, 1858; Anna, born September 24, 1859; Sophia, born October 18, 1864, and died August 10, 1902; and Elizabeth, born May 24, 1871. The last named was the wife of Jacob P. Nyce.



WARREN SHULTZ HILLEGASS, a farmer by occupation, was born in Worcester township, June 22, 1873. He received his education in the public schools of the vicinity. After leaving school he worked as a farm laborer and lived on what is known as the Anthony Shultz farm for six or seven years. He was employed on several farms from the time he left school, at about the age of fifteen years, until he purchased the farm known as the Jacob Vanfossen place, where he and his family now reside. The farm contains sixty-seven acres of productive land. There arc substantial out-buildings and a neat and comfortable dwelling house on the place that denote thrift and prosperity.

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In 1899 Warren S. Hillegass, married Ella Schlossen, daughter of Valentine Schlossen. They have two children: Florence, now five years of age, and Blanche about three years old.

Oswin S. Hillegass (father) was born in Bucks county, June 5, 1849, and attended the public schools in that county until he was about eighteen years of age, when he left school and engaged in farming. He remained there until he was about twenty-one years of age, afterwards continuing at farm labor and carpenter work elsewhere, until he was about twenty-six years of age, when he located at Centre Point, in Worcester township, devoting his time and attention almost exclusively to his trade as a carpenter and general contractor, residing there for about a dozen years. Mr. Hillegass then went to Norristown, where he has resided ever since, engaged in carpenter work, making his home for about fourteen years at No. 535 Astor street.

He is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, and also a member in good standing of the Carpenter's Union, with both of which organizations he actively affiliates. He is a Democrat in politics, and belongs to the German Reformed church.

The first wife of Oswin S. Hillegass was Sarah Schultz (deceased). They had only one child, Warren S. Hillegass. Mrs. Hillegass was a member of a family of seven children, only two of whom are living. Her brothers and sisters were: James, Isaac, Anthony, Emaline, Hannah and Mary. Hannah is the wife of Allan Heist, Anthony Schultz lives at Belfry, on the Stony Creek Railroad.

The second wife of Oswin S. Hillegass, Lydia Kratz, daughter of William Kratz, is still living. She was born February 25, 1852. She and Mr. Hillegass were married in June, 1879, at the Methodist Episcopal parsonage in Worcester township. They have had no children.

William Hillegass (grandfather) was born in Bucks county, in 1821. He was a tailor by trade and died in Maryland, September 7, 1903. His wife was Louisa Shantz, born in Bucks county, about 1821, and died there about 1862.

Michael Hillegass (great-grandfather) married Rebecca Schlichter. Henry Shantz (maternal grandfather) married Elizabeth Stahl.

The brothers and sisters of Oswin S. Hillegass (father) were: Ambrose, Sarah and Elmira, are deceased; Calvin, a carpenter, now living in Nebraska; and Reading, a farmer, residing in Maryland.

The brothers and sisters of William Hillegass (grandfather) were: Joel and Reuben, both deceased; Sophia, wife of David Levy; and Amelia, deceased, wife of Reuben Shantz.

The brothers and sister of Louisa (Shantz) Hillegass (grandmother), were Charles Shantz, Reuben Shantz, Jesse Shantz and Amanda Shantz, all now deceased.



JOHN K. METZ is a native of Worcester township, where he was born August 26, 1857. After leaving the township schools he engaged in farming near Wentz's church, on the homestead. He left there when nineteen years old and worked at ordinary labor for four years. At the end of this time he married Mary A. Reiff, daughter of George O. Reiff, of near Skippackville. They have had the following children: Mattie, born August 11, 1885; Laura Agnes, born September 7, 1887; Howard, born November 12, 1888, and died February 28, 1889; Linwood, born February 20, 1892; and Ella May, born May 1, 1893. (For ancestral history of this subject, see sketch of his brother, William, K. Metz.)

George O. Reiff, the father of Mrs. J. K. Metz, was born December 25, 1825, and died in 1888. He was a farmer by occupation. Mr. Reiff was buried in Wentz's churchyard. He married Sophia, the daughter of Peter S. Renninger. She was born November 19, 1833, and is still living.

The sisters and brothers of Mrs. Metz are Jacob; Irvin, who was born January 14, 1858, and died September 17, 1861; Benjamin Franklin, born May 9, 1859; Peter Ellwood, born November 25, 1860, and died December 6, 1861; Martha Ann, born March 24, 1862, wife of E. M. Geyer; Samuel, born October 27, 1863; Susanna, born January 30, 1866, wife of John F. M. Yerger; Elizabeth, born August 24, 1868, and died December 2, 1891; Milton R., born February 14, 1870; Howard, born August 31, 1873, residing at Collegeville; and John Addison, born October 30, 1875.

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Jacob Reiff (grandfather of Mrs. Metz) married Elizabeth Overholtzer.

Mrs. Metz's maternal grandparents were Peter Renninger, who was born about 1798 and died at the age of ninety-two, and Anna Mary Stauffer, born about 1815 and died at seventy-two years of age.

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Metz's father were: Jacob, and Benjamin, both deceased; John O., who lives in Norristown; James and Abraham, deceased. One sister is Elizabeth, widow of Abraham Detwiler, and another, Susan, died in infancy.

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Metz's mother were: Augustus Peter William, Samuel, Jonah, all now deceased; Lucy Ann, wife of John O. Reiff; and Susan, who died at eleven years of age.

John K. Metz is a Republican in politics. He was for seven years tax collector for Worcester township, was out of office for two years, was then elected again and still holds the position. He is one of the best known citizens of that section of the county.



JOSEPH H. TYSON, one of the progressive farmers of Worcester township, was born July 8, 1837, in Skippack township. He attended the public schools of the neighborhood, after leaving which, he learned the trade of a shoemaker, as was the custom at that time, which he followed for about two years. He then engaged in work as a farmer, which he continued to follow until he located on the farm where he resided until April 5, 1904, when he sold out. On this property all his children were born and reared.

November 12, 1864, he married Christianna Snyder, daughter of Isaac Snyder. They were married by the Rev. William G. Hockman, pastor at Kulpsville. Mrs. Tyson died July 11, 1903, of cancer of the stomach, and was buried at the Schwenkfelder graveyard in that vicinity.

The children of this marriage were: Elizabeth S., born October 26, 1866, is unmarried; Susan S., born April 21, 1872, married Milton Bean, Hannah S., born August 31, 1877, died May 10, 1882; Christianna, born November 20, 1881, is unmarried. Two other children were born dead.

John Tyson (father) was born in Worcester township, August 27, 1787, and died February 28, 1883. He was buried in Fairview churchyard. He was a farmer by occupation. Elizabeth (Henning) Tyson (mother) was born April 28, 1797, and died February 6, 1870, and was also buried in Fairview cemetery.

The children of this marriage, besides Joseph H. Tyson, were: Mary, born January 29, 1817 (deceased); William, born October 20, 1818 (deceased); Margaret, born February 20, 1820 (deceased); Matthias, born December 25, 1823 (deceased); Susan, born August 31, 1825 (deceased); Henry, born April 7, 1828 (deceased); John, born April 28, 1830, engaged in farming in Skippack township: David, born January 30, 1833, a farmer in Salford township; Jesse, born January 23, 1835, residing in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

The father of Joseph H. Tyson had two brothers, Josiah and Joseph. A large branch of the family is now found in Chester county.

Joseph H. Tyson is a member of the Schwenkfelder church. He is a Republican in politics and is a highly respected citizen of the community.



JACOB KULP RUTH, a well known farmer of Worcester township, was born at Elroy, Montgomery county, November 22, 1871. He attended the public schools of Skippack township until nearly twenty-one years of age, and then worked on the farm until 1895. At that time he married Mary Ann, daughter of David Kriebel. The couple have four children: Ella May, who is about eight years old; Melinda, six years of age; Melvin, two years of age; and Walter, an infant.

Mr. Ruth is now engaged in farming on a tract of land adjoining the home of his wife's

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father. He is a Republican in politics. He attends the Schwenkfelder church, but his parents were Mennonites.

The parents of Mr. Ruth are datives of Montgomery county, are about fifty years of age, are farmers and live near Kulpsville. Mr. Ruth's mother, Mary Ann Ruth, is the daughter of David Kulp. The couple had four children, of whom Jacob K. Kulp is the eldest; the next in order is David, who died at about twenty-two years of age; Harriett is the wife of Irvin Clemmer, they living near Kulpsville, and having no children; William Franklin Ruth, the youngest of the family, resides with his parents. lee is now about twenty-one years of age and is engaged in teaching school.

The paternal grandfather, Jacob Ruth, is now over eighty years of age and resides with his son near Kulpsville. The paternal grandmother Mary Boorse, died at an advanced age. Mr. Ruth's father had two brothers and sister; Daniel Ruth, a farmer, and Mary, who married Frank Hakel. Mr. Hakel is living near Skippackville; his wife is deceased. They have no children. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Ruth was David Glick, deceased.

The brother and sister of Jacob K. Ruth are: Oliver Kulp, deceased; and Eliza Kulp, who died unmarried almost four years ago, at the age of thirty years.

David D. Kriebel, born November 30, 1844, father of Mrs. Jacob I. Ruth, is the son of Jacob Kriebel. He married Susanna, daughter of Samuel Schultz, January 23, 1869.

Their eldest child, a son, born April 2,, 1870, died the same day; Mary Ann (Mrs. Ruth), the second child, was born April 28, 1871; Harrison, born July 4, 1872, died July 18, 1872; Laura, born April 11, 1874, died August 18, 1871; Wilson born September 6 1875, died October 15, 1875; Ellena born March 13, 1877, died August 8, 1877; Jane Kreibel, born January, married George S. Kratz and had one child, Vidia; Susanna is deceased; Salina married Clinton Felty and has one child, Arthur; Ida Kriebel was born December 1882; Lydia K. died when eight years of age.

Jacob Kriebel (grandfather of Mrs. Ruth) was we son of Rev. David Kriebel, who married Susanna, daughter of Jacob Dresher.

The Kriebels belong to the Schwenkfelder church and several of the ancestors were preachers of that faith.

The founders of the family on the paternal side were Susannah Schultz, maiden name Deuterich, and her husband, Balthasar Schultz, who carne to Pennsylvania in 1734. Their children were: George, born 1710; Susanna; Maria; and Barbara.

Susanna Schultz, widow, died February 23, 1865. Balthasar died in Saxony, Germany, in 1727, at the age of forty-seven years. He was a son of Mathias Schultz.



GEORGE ANDERS SEIPT, of Worcester township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, is the third George Seipt born on the farm he now occupies, and identified with the agricultural interests and public life of the township. George Seipt, grandfather, was a well-to-do and respected farther, and a lifelong resident of Montgomery county, as well as a lifelong occupant of the farm which was his birthplace. He was the father of nine children, as follows: 1. Anthony born October 2, 1825, who became healthy as a hotel proprietor and who was president of the Perkiomen railroad, died September 1902. 2. Susanna, born November 20, 1826, now deceased, was the wife of Samuel Drescher of Norriton township. 3. Mary, born March 29, 1828, died in Kankakee county, Illinois, the wife; of Jonas Kribel. 4. Abraham H., born September 4, 1829, married Elizabeth Anders, daughter of George Anders, and is now living at Wayne, Junction, Philadelphia. 5. Anna, barn April 14,1832, is the wife of Charles Boyer and lives in Reddick, Kankakee county, Illinois. 6. The sixth child is deceased. 7. George H. is the father of Anders. 8. William, born February 6, 1843; married Amanda, daughter of Samuel Schultz. 9. The youngest is also deceased. George H. Seipt, father, was born April 3, 1857. He spent his life on the homestead, where his father had lived before him, and was one of the substantial men of the township.

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He brought the farm, enriched by the labor of his forefathers, to a high state of cultivation. He married Sarah Anders, and six children were born of the union, as follows: 1. Mary A., born July 10, 1867, lives with her mother. 2. Samuel A., born September 19, 1869, who is employed by the City Trust Company, 927 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, married May M., daughter of Hiram A. Krieble and has one child, Wilbur. 3. George Anders is mentioned at more length elsewhere. 4. Allen A., born October 23, 1874, is now taking a post-graduate course in the University of Pennsylvania. 5. Howard A., born April 29, 1878, now at Lafayette College at Easton, is a graduate of the State Normal School at West Chester, where he also took a post graduate course, a part of his preparatory work having been done at Perkiomen Seminary. 6. Emma, born August 10, 1880, was educated in the public schools of the township, and in the Normal School at West Chester, and has been a teacher for three years.

George Anders Seipt, third child and second son of George H. and Sarah (Anders) Seipt, was born on the family homestead, July 6, 1871. He attended Cassel's school in the township during his boyhood, and in September, 1890, he entered Pierce's Business College in Philadelphia. He was graduated from there in May, 1891, and accepted a position as bookkeeper with Lippincott, Johnson & Company, 1021 Walnut street. He held this position for about three years, when he was called home by the death of his father, which occurred January 1, 1894. The care of the homestead fell upon him and since that time he has been carrying on the farm.

The place comprises sixty-two acres of land, which is made to support a dairy herd that averages sixteen head. He is one of the most progressive of the younger farmers of the section and makes a careful study of the nature of the soil on his farm and its adaptability. He is a member of the Schwenkfelder church and a Republican in politics.

August 22, 1895, Mr. Seipt married Joanna M. Hoffman, born May 6, 1874, a daughter of James Hoffman of Montgomery county. One child, Sarah Frances, was born September 16, 1896.

Through his mother, Sarah (Anders) Seipt, Mr. Seipt is descended from members of the early colony of Schwenkfelders who came to Philadelphia in 1734. They were a persecuted sect of Silesia, followers of Caspar Schwenkfelder, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation who differed from Luther in some minor points of doctrine. In common with the persecuted of all lands and all religions, they sought freedom in America. Balthasar Anders, great-grandfather of Mrs. Seipt, was one of this band of colonists. He brought with him one son, George, born in Germany in 1733, and a daughter Anna, born April 8, 1736. His son Abraham, born in Pennsylvania, April 1, 1739, was the father of Samuel Anders. Samuel Anders was born March 8, 1812, in Lower Providence township, and lived for forty-two years near the place of his birth. He died in 1888. He married Christina Meschter, who was herself a direct descendant of one of the early Schwenkfelder families. Melchior Meschter and his wife, Regina, were of the colony already mentioned which came to Philadelphia in 1734. They had a son Christopher, born December 17, 1746, who was the father of Jeremiah. Jeremiah Meschter, who was born August 27, 1777, and died at the age of seventy, married Susanna Dresher, who was born July 29, 1781, and died October 26, 1831, a descendant of George and Maria Dresher, members of the Schwenkfelder colony. Christina, daughter of Jeremiah and Susanna (Dresher) Meschter, who was born August 11, 1821, and died April 22, 1887, became the wife of Samuel Anders, Sarah M. Anders, a daughter of this marriage, was the wife of George H. Seipt and the mother of George Anders Seipt.

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(Picture of Joseph K. Gotwals)

PROF. JOSEPH K. GOTWALS, A. M. The public schools of Norristown have long had a reputation second to none in the country. They have stood so high in the estimation of the people of the county-seat and its vicinity that there has for a long time been apparently little or no room for private institutions, and these, accordingly have not flourished to any great extent for many years. There has been a steady growth in the thoroughness and usefulness of these schools for a quarter of a century and longer. It is natural, under such circumstances, to seek to ascertain the causes of this growth and success, as manifested in the educational system of Norristown, and in so doing it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the excellent results that have been attained are due very largely to the wise direction which has been given the schools by the man who has been a teacher in the borough for over forty years, and who has filled the position of superintendent for more than thirty-one years.

Joseph Kulp Gotwals was born in Lower Providence township, this county, October 15, 1832. He is the son of Joseph and Ann (Kulp) Gotwals, both natives of Montgomery county. Twelve children in all were born to their, five sons and seven daughters. Of these, four are now living: Joseph K.; Isaac, of Bridgeport; Roger D., of Eagleville; and Jane, wife of Isaac Z. Reiner.

The father of Borough Superintendent Gotwals was born near Trappe, where he grew to manhood and engaged in farming. He lived to a good old age, dying at Eagleville in 1871, in his eighty-second year. His wife survived him eight years, dying also in her eighty-second year. The couple were Mennonites in their religious faith. The paternal grandfather of Joseph K. Gotwals was Henry Gotwals, also a farmer by occupation. His wife was a daughter of Abraham Funk, a well-known Mennonite preacher. The family were of German descent, like most of the residents of that section of the county, they being an honest, industrious race who cultivated the simple virtues that adorn and dignify humanity. Henry Gotwals and his wife had a large family and both died at an advanced age. Mr. Gotwals' maternal grandfather was Henry Kulp, whose wife was Esther Metz, who was born August 11, 1769. The couple were married April 8, 1788, and both died at an advanced age. They had a family of nine children.

Professor Gotwals was reared in Lower Providence township and attended the common schools of that vicinity until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he entered a private school taught by Rev. Harry S. Rodenbough, a Presbyterian, who was for many years the pastor of the Lower Providence church, a few miles above Norristown and was a very competent instructor, having formerly been a teacher in the Washington Hall Boarding School at Trappe, which had at one time an excellent reputation as an educational institution. Mr. Rodenbough took a special interest in Mr. Gotwals.

Under Mr. Rodenbough's care, he studied four consecutive winter terms. He was a diligent student and an apt pupil, and at the early age of twenty years, he had made such rapid progress that he passed a very creditable teacher's examination, and was appointed to the position of teacher in the public schools of Silver Creek, Schuylkill county. He taught there very successfully a term, and then entered the Millersville State Normal School. He remained there but a short time, again engaging in teaching. He taught five years in Lower Providence township, and in 1859 went to Orwigsburg, Schuylkill county, where he reviewed the higher branches under the direction of Professor Schneider, who was conducting a private school, and at the same time rendered assistance in the school, by instructing pupils in the intermediate grades. There he remained about a year and a half. In 1860 he came to Norristown and was elected principal of the Cherry street school. In 1865 he was elected principal of the boys' high school. He held this position until 1872, when he was made superintendent of the borough schools, which responsible position he has since ably and efficiently filled.

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Under the wise supervision of Professor Gotwals the schools have been thoroughly organized, employing a corps of about eighty teachers. The most modern methods of instruction have been introduced and the work done in these schools compares favorably with that of any borough or city in the country. In recognition of Prof. Gotwals' long service as a teacher and his superior educational attainments, Franklin and Marshall College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts in 1872. He has long been an elder in the First Presbyterian church of Norristown.

On December 25, 1860, Professor Gotwals married Miss Jennie H. Galbraith, daughter of Dr. James and Jane (Coulter) Galbraith, of Perry county. They had one daughter, Anna Gotwals, who was born June 7, 1863. She became the wife of Rev. Robert H. Taylor, a Presbyterian. They resided at Westtown, New York, where he was pastor for thirteen years.

On the 9th of May, 1889, her husband was installed pastor of the Westtown church, and during the same month their marriage was celebrated at the home of her parents, and immediately thereafter they commenced their joint labors with the people of that church. Mrs. Taylor proved herself an efficient and acceptable helpmate to her husband in his work and was recognized as an ideal pastor's wife. She was highly educated and an accomplished musician. Her gifts for organizing and carrying out plans for charitable work, and her quiet helpfulness to her family, were wonderful. Ever a welcome guest in social gatherings, she was also a tender, loving friend in time of bereavement. She died December 25, 1901, in Norristown, leaving her sorrowing husband and parents and three children- Robert G., Jennie and Helen.

Professor Gotwals is a member of Lynwood Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a Democrat in politics, as were his progenitors generally, but he is not in any sense a partisan politician, preferring to devote all his time and attention to educational matters or church work. He was president of the Norristown Young Men's Christian Association for four years. He is a member of the State Superintendent's Association, and of the State Educational Association. He has also been a member of the National Educational Association for a number of years. Professor Gotwals takes great pleasure in attending the annual sessions of these bodies, and participates actively in their discussions and deliberations.

Mrs. Gotwals, in her young womanhood, was a teacher in the Arcadian Institute, at Orwigsburg, where she and Mr. Gotwals became acquainted with each other. Her parents were natives of Juniata county, but passed most of their lives in Perry county. Of their children, three grew to maturity. The family were of that sturdy Scotch-Irish stock whose virtues have been impressed upon the people of that section of Pennsylvania to the present day. Professor Gotwals has been a patient and persistent worker in the educational field. The success that has crowned his labors is the best possible testimonial to his ability as an instructor and school superintendent. He is a practical, earnest man, affable and courteous to all, unassuming in his manners, and highly esteemed by old and young in the community that he has served so well.



JOHN KRAUSE WEIGNER, a prominent farmer of Worcester, was born in that township, September 25, 1866. He attended the public schools of that vicinity, after leaving which he turned his attention to farming and continued at that occupation near Lansdale for about a year. He moved to the place which he now occupies about eleven years ago.

Mr. Weigner married Araminta, daughter of Joseph Anders, who was born in Worcester on June 31, 1871. They were married in the year 1890. They have had eight children, as follows Edna Laurena, born September 18, 1890; Jacob, born July 8, 1892; Joseph, born November 21, 1893; Elva May, born October 12, 1895; Alverta, born April 21, 1897; Viola, born May 9, 1898; Marion, born November 5, 1899; and Lester, born March 22, 1903.

Jacob Weigner (father) was born in that vicinity, November 15, 1838, and is still living. He has been a farmer all his life. He is the son of John Weigner, and married Sophia, daughter of Henry Krauss, on February 2, 1864. Their children (brothers and sisters of John K. Weigner) are: Priscilla, born December 21, 1864 (deceased); John K., born September 25, 1866; Christiana, born December 31, 1867; Marion, born April 25, 1870 (deceased); Ida, born October

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October 1, 1871; Laura, born August 8, 1873; Carolina, born March 18, 1875; and Sophia, born June 23, 1877.

John Weigner (grandfather) married Maud, daughter of John Anders, April 11, 1837. Abraham Weigner (great-grandfather) married Rosina, daughter of David Kriebel on September 10, 1795. Susana Weigner, widow, maiden name Seipt, came in 1834 to Pennsylvania with her children, Abraham, George and Rosanna. Susanna died September 18, 1855.

Joseph Anders (father of Mrs. Weigner) was born April 27, 1846. He is a farmer and resides in Worcester township. Her mother was Hannah Kriebel, daughter of Abraham Kriebel. She was born September 3, 1846.

The sisters and brothers of Mrs. J. K. Weigner are: Anna, born July 8, 1870; Hannah, born October 1, 1873, and died February 2, 1874; Margaret, born June 9, 1875, and died November 28, 1875; and George, born March 10, 1878. Both Mr. Weigner anal his wife are members of the Society of Schwenkfelders and have a long line of ancestors of that faith.



JACOB PRICE NYCE, a well-known citizen of Worcester, is a native of Lower Salford township, where he was born October 11, 1867. He attended the public schools of the neighborhood. He learned the trade of a carpenter, beginning under his father's supervision, and working with him until he was about seventeen years of age, and meanwhile attended school a portion of the year, as is usual in country districts. By the time he was twenty years of age 11e had sufficient practical knowledge of the trade to engage in it for a livelihood, and he has made it his occupation during life. After his marriage Mr. Nyce bought a small farm in Worcester township, on which he now resides and which he manages in connection with carpenter work. He is a Republican in politics.

In 1890, Mr. Nyce married Elizabeth W. Zepp, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Wile) Zepp, of Lower Salford. They lived in that township about six years, and then removed to Towamencin township, living there about four years, and then removing to Worcester, to what was then known as the Fry place. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Price Nyce have had six children, five of whom are living, as follows: Katie, born in 1891; Minerva, in 1893; Jacob, in 1895; Idella, in 1897; Clara, in 1899, and Clement, who died in infancy. (See sketch of Mrs. Esther W. Z. Keyser, sister of Mrs. Nyce, for further particulars of her family.)

Benjamin Nyce (father) was born in Lower Salford township, about 1836. He is a farmer and carpenter and resides at present near Lederachsville. Mrs. Kate Nyce (mother) is a daughter of George Price. She was born in Lower Salford township and is now about seventy years of age. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Nyce were twelve in all. Three are deceased and the others are: Benjamin, Jr., about forty-six years of age, is a carpenter and lives near Kulpsville; Horace, about forty years of age, is farming in Towamencin, and is also a carpenter by trade; Jacob P., subject of this sketch; Henry, about thirty-five years of age, lives in Franconia, and is a blacksmith by trade; Clayton is a carpenter in Philadelphia; Jonathan, about thirty-three years of age, is a carpenter and builder and resides in Philadelphia: Wambart, about twenty-nine years old, is a blacksmith and lives in Franconia; Maggie, wife of Jacob Bechtel, a farmer, resides in Lower Salford; Emma, wife of Montgomery, a farmer, lives also in Lower Salford. Jacob P. Nyce is the sixth of the living children; the three who died were Annie, Mary and Katie, all dying in infancy. The brothers of Benjamin Nyce were Abraham and Jacob Nyce. The brothers and sisters of Mr. Nyce's mother are Henry Price (deceased); Daniel, who is living in Philadelphia; Abraham and Elizabeth, the wife of John Devere, who is living in Norristown.



GEORGE D. GODSHALK was born in Towamencin township, on May 24, 1855, and was educated in the public schools of Montgomery county. After leaving school he learned the trade of shoemaking and followed that calling for about fifteen years. He then became a farmer and butcher and now devotes himself exclusively to the last named occupation. He married Tillie Ellis, daughter of Sabine Ellis, of Philadelphia. They were married in Philadelphia.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Godshalk are: Clara, born in 1877; Ellis, born in 1881; Henry, born in 1886; and two who died in infancy. Mr. Godshalk is a Republican in his political affiliation.

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Jonas F. Godshalk (father) was a farmer in Montgomery county, but is now deceased. He married Susan Delp, also of Montgomery county, who is deceased. They had nine children; Charles D., a contractor of Lansdale; Harry D., a farmer of Lansdale; George D.; Jones D., deceased; Anna D., who married John Troxel; Emma, who married D. M. Stover, of Lansdale; and Susan, unmarried. Two children died in infancy.



(Picture of John Leitenberger)

JOHN LEITENBERGER, a well-known business man and Republican politician who has served several terms in the Norristown town council, is the son of Christian F. and Jacobena (Wacker) Leitenberger.

Christian Felix Leitenberger (father) was born in Konniggratz, Wurtemberg, Germany, November 20, 1825. He grew to manhood in his native place and was employed in a large hotel from the age of eighteen to twenty-five years. He attended the public schools at intervals. When twenty-five years of age he shipped at Havre, France, on a sailing vessel, for America. The voyage lasted twenty-six days and ended in New York harbor. Mr. Leitenberger went at once to Philadelphia and, after tarrying three weeks there, came to Norristown and secured employment on the farm of Mr. Reidenbaugh, also a native of Germany. After a year on the farm Mr. Leitenberger entered the employment of Abraham R. Cox, the brewer, with whom he remained thirty-eight years. He became a Democrat in politics and adhered to that party until Cleveland's second administration when he joined the Republicans. Mr. Leitenberger married T. Jacobena Wacker, who was born in Upper Heilbron, Germany, and at the age of eighteen, with her sister Magdalena, came to America. She was born November 29, 1833.

They had the following children: Louis, born September 1, 1855, married Julia Newhoffer, of Philadelphia, where they now reside, their children being Louis J. (deceased), Annie, Amelia, and Emma (deceased); Annie, born January 11, 1858, married John Parker and lives in Norristown; Charles, born July 9, 1860, married Elizabeth Dolan and lives in Philadelphia; Elizabeth, born December 22, 1862, married John Long, their children being Carl Donald and Beta; John, was born July 6, 1866; Mary M., born October 18, 1868, has attended the training school for nurses at the Charity Hospital at Norristown and will make nursing her life work; George F., born September 1, 1870, married Miss Bertha Pifer and lives in Norristown; Amelia H., who was born August 4, 1875, and taught school seven years in Norristown, married Howard M. Bate, of Conshohocken.

John Leitenberger was born in Norristown and grew to manhood there, attending the public schools until he was thirteen years of age. He then entered the Good Intent Worsted Mill of Thomas Liversidge. After a few months in the mill he went to the Pennsylvania Tack Works and remained one year. He then went to James Hooven & Sons' Tube Works, afterwards entering John K. Thomas' blacksmith shop as an apprentice, and remained with him for five years. Mr. Leitenberger worked with Joseph Chislett in his blacksmith shop in Conshohocken for eight. years, and with his widow and stepson two years, making ten years in that shop. On March 10, 1897, he rented a shop on the ground where his present extensive shop stands, and worked in it until the year 1900, when he leased the land for a term of ten years and erected his present place of business, which is a machine and blacksmith shop, with all modern appliances. He has three forges and employs five men. He builds carts and wagons and does machine work as well as horse-shoeing. Wagon-making is his specialty.

In politics Mr. Leitenberger is a Republican. He was elected to the council at twenty-five years of age and served nine years continuously. He was chairman of the fire and water committee four years and was active in creating the office of chief of the fire department, of which the late John Slingluff was the head. He was chairman of the accounts committee one year, of highways two years, and borough regulator for two years. He was a member of every committee of the council during his term and on the finance committee six years. He has been a delegate to county conventions many times.

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Mr. Leitenberger is a member of Charity Lodge, No. 190 of the Masonic order; has belonged to the Montgomery Lodge of Odd Fellows fifteen years and is a member of the Norristown Encampment of Odd Fellows. He is an active member of the Fairmount Fire Company and was its vice president for five years. Other organizations to which Mr. Leitenberger belongs are the Royal Arcanum, being a past regent Tecumseh Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men and Norristown Maennerchor. The parents and sisters of Mr. Leitenberger are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church of the Trinity, Norristown.



GEORGE W. LUKENS, son of Abel and Naomi (Jenkins) Lukens, was born in Philadelphia, February 24, 1844. He attended the public schools of Montgomery county until he was fourteen years of age and two years in Norristown, and was then employed as a clerk in the mercantile establishment of Robert E. Taylor, at Norristown, remaining there for three years. At the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted as a member of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, tinder Colonel William J. Palmer, and in 1863 re-enlisted and remained until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Stone River, Murphreesboro, Lookout Mountain, and was with Sherman at Atlanta. He served under General George H. Thomas. He enlisted as a private and was discharged as a sergeant.

In December, 1869, George W. Lukens married Catharine Harley, daughter of Samuel and Anna Harley, of Lower Salford township. They have three children: Laura H., born December 20, 1870, married Joseph McElroy, and they reside in Philadelphia; Jennie H., born in June, 1872, married Adis Munyan, of Philadelphia; Ann H., born in September, 1877, is unmarried and resides with her parents. Joseph and Laura McElroy have three children: Elizabeth, George and Caroll. George Lukens is a Republican.

The great-great-great-grandfather of George Lukens was Jan Luken, who emigrated from Holland and landed at Chester, Pennsylvania, October 3, 1688, afterwards settling at Germantown. He brought with him an old Dutch Bible, printed by Peter Sebastian in 1598, which is still in the possession of the Lukens family. The children of Jan Luken were: Elizabeth, born July 28, 1684; Elias, born in 1685; William, in 1687; Sarah, in 1689; John, in 1691; Mary, in 1693; Peter, in 1696; Hannah, in 1698; Matthias, in 1700; Abraham (great-great-grandfather), in 1703; and Joseph, in 1705.

Abraham Lucken (great-great-grandfather) purchased, in 1729, one thousand acres of land in what is now Towamencin township and lived there until his death in June, 1776. It was during his lifetime that the name was given the modern spelling, Lukens. Of his children, John, the second child, was the ancestor of George Lukens.

John Lukens (great-grandfather) was born Tenth-month 17, 1729. He purchased one hundred of his father's one thousand acres and lived on this until 1814. In 1805, however, he had sold it to his son, George, who occupied it until 1849.

George Lukens (grandfather) married Esther Jenes, of Whitemarsh township, Twelfth-month 12, 1805. Their children were: Abel (father); Edith, born in 1809; William Lukens; Mary, born in 1811, and married Samuel Rhoads; Seth, born Third-month 20, 1814; Sarah, who married C. Todd Jenkins; Hannah, who married Aram Drake; Elias, who lived in Iowa: Comly, who lived in Illinois. Seth Lukens married Mary, daughter of James Hamer, M. D., of Skippackville, and their children are: Fannie, who married Edmund P. Zimmerman; Esther, who married George W. Bockius; Anna M.; David H.; and Carrie A.

Abel Lukens (father) was born in what is now Kulpsville, Montgomery county, August 9, 1807. He attended school and worked on his father's farm until he was about twenty-three years of age. For the next ten years he was engaged as a drover and butcher.

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In 1840 he rented the old Golden Lamb Hotel, on Second, above Callowhill street, Philadelphia, and remained as its proprietor for fifteen years. For one year he was janitor of the National Clubhouse, Philadelphia, and then rented the North Pennsylvania Hotel, at Third and Willow streets, Philadelphia, where he was engaged in business for eight years. He removed to his farm in Kulpsville but at the end of one year and a half took charge of the North Wales Hotel, which he conducted for eight years. At the expiration of that time he retired from active life. He resided on his farm, where he was born, during the summer seasons for the remainder of his life and lived with his son in North Wales during the winters. He died in 1887 and was buried at Montgomery cemetery, near Norristown.

In October, 1830, Abel Lukens married Naomi, daughter of John and Ann Jenkins. Mrs. Abel Lukens died October 7, 1877, at the age of sixty-eight years. Her father owned most of the land upon which the borough of Lansdale was afterwards built.

The children of Abel and Naomi Lukens were as follows: Jane T., born September 29, 1831, married, July 17, 1856, Robert E. Taylor, who died May 8, 1871, his widow still residing in North Wales; one, born November 18, 1832; died in infancy; Sarah J., born March 28, 1834, married, October 31, 1854, David Jones, they being both deceased; Rachel, born July 12, 1835, married in April, 1857, H. C. Stout; Charles J., born July 8, 1837, died young; Esther Ann, born October 5, 1839, died young; William Henry, born January 18, 1841, married, in January, 1862, Anna Little, of Philadelphia; George W. is the next of the family; Edward, born November 27, 1846, married, June 10, 1874, Lucy A., daughter of Alexander and Josephine Riddle, who died August 16, 1881. Jane T. and Robert E. Taylor had two sons, Robert deceased and William. David and Sarah J. Jones had one daughter, Mary A., born September 9, 1864. H. C. and Rachel Stout had one son, Abel L., born in October, 1859. William Henry and Anna Lukens had two children: Elizabeth L., born May 22, 1863 ; and Robert B., born July 8, 1870. Edward and Lucy A. Lukens had one son, Carroll T., born May 21, 1880.

The Lukens family have always stood high in Montgomery county. John, of Horsham, was a government surveyor in colonial times, and was chosen by the Philosophical Society to assist David Rittenhouse. The family have generally either belonged to or been in sympathy with the Society of Friends.

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