Ellwood Roberts' Biographical Annals, 1904: Montgomery Co, PA
Vol I - Part 18: pp. 388 - 412.

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

USGENWEB ARCHIVES NOTICE: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal representative of the submitter, and contact the listed USGenWeb archivist with proof of this consent. The submitter has given permission to the USGenWeb Archives to store the file permanently for free access.



(Page 388 cont.)



(Picture of Edward F. Kane)

EDWARD F. KANE, deceased, was, during a brief but exceedingly active career, one of the most useful citizens of Norristown- a leader at its bar, a man of affairs, whose service and influence were exercised with intelligence and ability in behalf of the community, and a prominent but unselfish factor in politics.

He was a native of the city which was the scene of his diversified labors, and was born September 17, 1864. His parents were Daniel and Alice (Conway) Kane, both natives of Ireland. The father has been many years deceased, and the mother is yet living, at the venerable age of nearly ninety years. Besides Edward, their children were Bridget, who is the wife of Patrick Marr, and Alice, unmarried, who lives with her mother at No. 345 East Airy street, Norristown.

From his early youth Edward F. Kane gave evidence of those qualities which he displayed at their best in his mature life. He was an eager seeker after knowledge, and, rightly measuring his capabilities, devoted himself industriously to the carving out of an honorable and useful career. Educated at St. Patrick's parochial school, he was one of its brightest pupils, thoroughly learning the various branches of a liberal curriculum, to Latin and the higher mathematics and subsequently took a course in a Philadelphia business college. He was an adept in figures, and early in life was known as an accomplished bookkeeper and accountant. After his graduation he entered the drug store of John Wyeth & Company, in Philadelphia, where he rendered highly satisfactory service for several years. He left this employment to accept the position of commissioners' transcriber, and this marked his entrance to the field of politics. While engaged in the duties of his office, he also read law under the preceptorship of the late Charles Hunsicker, Esq., a leading member of the Norristown bar, who took a deep interest in him and gave him most careful

(Page 389)

instruction. He passed the examination most creditably and on March 3, 1890, was admitted to practice. Almost on the instant his position in the profession was assured, and in a short time he was in the enjoyment of an extensive and remunerative business. In the preparation and conduct of his cases he was the peer of the most capable lawyers to whom he was opposed, and confessedly the superior of the most of their number. He was a persuasive speaker and an eloquent advocate before a jury, earnest and impetuous in his oratory, yet ever entirely self-possessed, never permitting his fervor to detract from his logic in argument or lower his dignity of manner. He won many memorable triumphs not only in civil practice, but also in the criminal courts. Among the former was his successful litigation in behalf of the Valley Forge Park commission in the condemnation of land for a public park at that place.

In the field of criminal law, he was counsel for the defendant in a cause celebre, the trial of James A. Clemmer, brought to trial for the alleged murder of Mrs. Charles Kaiser. He conducted this case with masterly skill, devoting himself to it with such industry and intense interest that he never completely recovered from the severe nervous strain which it imposed. At the outset he secured the discharge of the panel of jurors on the ground of informality in their drawing, thus gaining a continuance to the ensuing term of court. He exhausted every legal resource, and pleaded for his client with matchless eloquence, running the entire gamut of oratory from pathos to persuasive appeal and fiery invective, in the effort to save the life of his client, who was, however, despite all his labors, convicted upon the testimony of an accessory to the crime, Lizzie DeKalb.

During the last few years of his life Mr. Kane was deeply interested in various business enterprises which, to some extent, engaged his attention to the exclusion of his law practice. He became, through a series of transactions, a part owner in the McCoy lime business in upper Merion, and after the death of Robert McCoy he was owner of a one-third interest. This he subsequently relinquished, and became a half-owner in the fine Cedar Hollow lime quarries in Chester county.

A Democrat in politics, Mr. Kane advocated the principles of his party with all the fervor of his nature, and almost from his first public appearance he was recognized as one of the most influential and resourceful in leadership. He was possessed of great executive and organizing abilities, and these gifts enabled him to achieve brilliant results in various important campaigns and political movements. As an orator he was at his best before the people, or in conventions, and he swayed such bodies almost at his will. He became chairman of the Democratic county committee in 1891, and served in that capacity until 1895, when his absorption in his business concerns made it necessary for him to retire from the position.

In 1892, as the Democratic candidate for district attorney, he made a brilliant contest against James B. Holland, one of the strongest men in the Republican party, and, despite the popularity of his opponent, and the large adverse majority, he was defeated by only a little more than two hundred votes. Mr. Kane was for six years a member of the Norristown town council, and was one of the most industrious and sagacious who ever, sat in that body. He was chairman of the committee on law, and a member of other leading committees, and took a leading part in formulating and securing the enactment of much salutary borough legislation. During the three years that his party had control of the poor board, he was its solicitor and clerk. He was a delegate to various state and congressional district conventions of his party, and in all was recognized as a potent factor in political affairs. He arranged the joint debate between Hastings and Singerly, the gubernatorial candidates in the campaign of 1894 -an event of remarkable local interest as well as throughout the state, Singerly's model farms being situated in Montgomery county.

True to the religion of his forebears, Mr. Kane was a devout Catholic, as was his wife, and their children were reared in the same faith. He was perhaps the most active and munificent in the building up of the local church, and was exceedingly liberal in sustaining its various charities and benevolences. The parochial school had in him one of its staunchest friends, and he afforded his aid and encouragement to many a youth struggling for an education, or whose inexperience placed him in need of a friend at a time when he could not discern the road to honor and success in life.

(Page 390)

Mr. Kane married, in 1896, Miss Alice McDermott, and to them were born four children Mary, Edward F., Alice (deceased), and Francis B. Kane. Mrs. Kane was a daughter of John and Mary (Clayton) McDermott. Mr. McDermott emigrated from Ireland in 1841, and established a grocery store on West Main street, which he conducted successfully until his death in 1900. His widow, who was Miss Mary Clayton, of Norristown, survives him.

Mr. Kane died December 14, 1903, from pneumonia. Notwithstanding he had been in declining health for a year or two previous, his death was unlooked for and created a profound sensation throughout the community. Among the expressions of regret and esteem, those expressed at a called meeting of the Montgomery county bar were as touching as they were sincere. Many of his fellow lawyers bore testimony to his high professional attainments and his excellence of personal character. Dwelt upon with peculiar appreciation was the fact that he was indeed the architect of his own fortunes; that he had made his own preparation for the duties of life; that he had ever borne himself with courage and dignity; and that the success which he achieved was due to his own unaided effort. While thus recognizing his sterling qualities of mind and personal worth, the conviction was also expressed by his eulogists, in public utterance and through the press, that had his life been prolonged high and well merited honors would undoubtedly have come to him. To his family he left a rich competence, and the more precious legacy of an unblemished and honored name.



JOSIAH FRYER, a leading blacksmith of Pottstown, who resides at No. 534 Chestnut street, Pottstown, was born in Washington township, near Bechtelsville, Berks county, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1843. He is the son of Reuben B. and Maria (Fegeley) Fryer.

Reuben B. Fryer (father) was born in Berks county, but lived nearly all his life in Montgomery county. By trade he was a cooper. He kept a store on Charlotte street, Pottstown, for many years, living in Pottstown from 1846 until his death in 1899. He was past eighty years of age when he died. His wife died in 1866, aged more than fifty-one years. She was also born in Berks county. He was a member of the German Reformed church, while she was a Lutheran. He was a staunch Democrat. Reuben L. Fryer married (second wife) Mary Beidiuan. They had one daughter Catharine, married Ernest Orr, who came from Canada. Reuben L. and Maria (Fegeley) Fryer had nine children, all of whom died in early childhood except two, Josiah, and Jacob, died in 1896, aged fifty-one years.

Jacob Fryer (grandfather) was born in Montgomery county. He was a farmer, and was a constable for many years. The Fryers are of German descent. He died at the age of sixty-nine years, and his wife, Catherine (Bowman) Fryer, died aged eighty-two years. They had nine children, five sons and four daughters. Jacob Fegeley (maternal grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania, and married Susanna Miller. They lived to an advanced age, and both died in Pottstown. They had four sons and four daughters.

Mr. Josiah Freer removed to Pottstown with his father when he was three years old. He attended the public schools, and when nineteen years of age, began to learn the blacksmith trade, which he has followed ever since. He has been in the employ of the Ellis & Lessig Nail Works for the past eighteen years, and is foreman of the blacksmith department.

December 24, 1864, Josiah Fryer married Miss Mary C. Lessig, daughter of Josiah B. and Tena (Bechtel) Lessig. They had four children, as follows: 1. Einina Melissa, married Frank Ewing, who died eleven months after their marriage. She then married Mark Jacoby, and they have two children, Walter and Edith. 2. Annie Gertrude, died at the age of five years, six months, and twenty-one days. 3. Brity, married Samuel Trout. They have two children: Odetta and Alice Mildred. 4. Etta, unmarried, is a bookkeeper and stenographer at the Pottstown Gas Works.

(Page 391)

Mr. Fryer is a member of the German Reformed congregation, while his wife is a Lutheran in religious faith. He is a member of the following societies: Madison Lodge, No. 466, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Improved Order of Red Men, Sanatoga Tribe, No. 213, of Pottstown. Politically he is a Democrat, and was a member of the borough council for six years. He is a member of the Hook and Ladder Company of the Pottstown Fire Department, and is trustee of the Odd Fellows and Red Men.

Mr. Fryer built his handsome residence on King street in 1884, and owns two other properties on Charlotte street. He learned the blacksmith trade with Mr. Israel Easner, of Apple street, Pottstown. During his apprenticeship of two years he received his board and washing, and was allowed two weeks in haymaking and harvest time to earn some spending money, and at the end of two years he received twenty-four dollars.

After completing his apprenticeship he entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway, and worked in their blacksmith shop until it was removed to Reading, being with them for about fourteen years. He next worked for Cofrode & Saylor, in their bridge works, and was the first blacksmith they employed. He remained with them for three years. He then worked six months for the Hope Milling Company, when it was sold to the Pottstown Iron Company, with whom he remained until the plant of Ellis & Lessig was built.



ELIZABETH A. BOORSE. The ancestor of the Boorse family in Pennsylvania was Harman Boors, who came from Holland and settled in what is now Towamencin township, Montgomery county. Having been a man of wealth and influence in his own land, the settlement of his affairs in Holland required him to revisit that country several times, and on a voyage he died at sea and was buried in mid-ocean.

He left property in Towamencin, near Kulpsville, on which he resided. He had five children, of whom Peter, Arnold and Harman married. John and Henry died unmarried.

Harman Boorse, Jr., great-great-grandfather, reared a large family. His children were John, Margaret, Peter, Henry, Anna Catharine, Sybilla, Susanna and Elizabeth. John Boorse, great-grandfather, the eldest of the children of Harman Boorse, Jr., born October 17, 1763, married, June 8, 1797, Elizabeth Cassel. He received the ordinary education attainable at that time in Towamencin township, and engaged in farming on the Boorse homestead, which occupation he followed through life. His wife died in 1830, but he lived to his eighty-fourth year, dying in 1847, on January 26th.

Their children Abraham, Henry C., Magdalena, Peter, Daniel, Joseph, Harman, Jacob, Catherine, Mary and Hubert.

Henry C. Boorse (grandfather) was born on the Boorse homestead, October 14, 1799. This farm, still in the possession of a member of the Boorse family has not been out of the name in the course of more than a century and a half.

Henry C. Boorse was a farmer, like his ancestors, but he was an influential man in the community and field several township offices, although not an office seeker. He married, in 1822, Susanna Cassel, who died in 1836, he surviving his wife thirteen years, and dying April 26, 1869.

The children of Henry C. and Susanna (Cassel) Boorse: Barbara, born in December, 1822, married Henry Ziegler, and died in 1866: John C., born June 27, 1831, of whom see sketch elsewhere: Ephraim C., (father), born January 24, 1825; Catherine, born in 1836, married William Bechtel, died in 1877; Susan, born in 1830, died in 1856.

Ephraim Cassel Boorse, father, was born on the homestead in Towamencin township. He was reared as a farmer, obtained his education in the common schools of his day and neighborhood, and on reaching manhood engaged in farthing, which he relinquished after the lapse of four years to establish himself-in the member and coal business at Port Indian, about three miles above Norristown, on the Schuylkill river, in the township of Norriton.

(Page 392)

He carried on business quite extensively, and accumulated considerable money, handling large quantities of coal and lumber. He sold this business at the end of fourteen years. He also at one time owned a number of canal boats, but sold them out also when the extension of railroads practically ruined the canal boating business. He then purchased a fine farm above Jeffersonville, which he cultivated for sixteen years, when he retired from active pursuits and removed to Norristown, buying a home on DeKalb street, where he and his family resided the remainder of his life, and where his widow and children lived for a number of years. Mr. Boorse retired from farming in 1874, removed to No. 1340 DeKalb street, Norristown, in 1878, and died November 27, 1895. As a business man he was careful, conservative and uniformly successful in his undertakings, qualities which he inherited from a long line of thrifty and prosperous ancestors. His integrity and strict attention to business established a reputation for him as a useful member of the community, and he was widely known and respected.

He was a Republican, but took little interest in politics, beyond casting his ballot. He married, March 16, 1845, Elizabeth K., daughter oŁ Abraham and Rachel (Krause) Ziegler, her father being a farmer of Skippack township, in Montgomery county Pennsylvania.

Abraham Ziegler was a son of Garret Ziegler, of the same place. Their children Isaiah Z. Doorse, married Mary Reiner, and resides on his farm above Jeffersonville, having three children, and is one of the best farmers in that section of the county; Susan; Clara C., married James Hoffman, they having six children; Henry A., married Martha Gottshall, and has two children, being engaged in business in Norristown; Elizabeth A., and Mary Katherine.

Elizabeth A. Boorse, the subject of this sketch, is a graduate of the State Normal School of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and also of a business course in the Commercial School of Rochester, New York. She taught in the public schools for several years, in which work she was very successful.. She has traveled extensively, partially induced for the benefit of her impaired health, which was fully restored to her early in her travels when sojourning in southern California. She is a woman of excellent business capacity, and is the executrix of her father's estate. She is since engaged in attending to the property interests of the family, and is very successful in business of this kind.

She, as well as her sisters, Susan and M. Katherine, are members of the Montgomery County Historical Society, and take an active interest in pursuits of this kind. They are also eligible to membership in the Society of The Daughters of the American Revolution. Through their mother's side they are the great-granddaughters of Captain Carl Krause, who willingly gave his fortune and bravely enlisted his life in his endeavors for the achievement of freedom and National Independence.



WILLIAM CONARD SNELL, son of Conard and Elizabeth (Erb) Shell, was born in Lower Pottsgrove township, on the homestead which has belonged to the family for four generations. He was born on May 23, 1871.

Conard Snell (father) is still living and a sketch of him appears elsewhere in this book. The grandfather of William Conard Snell was Samuel Shell, who married Margaret Haas, and the great-grandfather of William C. Snell was George Snell, who emigrated from Germany and settled in Montgomery county.

William Conard Snell attended school during his earlier years, and immediately after leaving it, started to help his father on the farm, and now manages the farm himself, which he purchased about four years ago, containing one hundred and eleven acres. Politically Mr. Shell is a Republican, and has been superintendent of Sunday school for many years. He is a very prominent citizen of his township, being one of the most progressive class of farmers. Mr. Shell is a member of the junior Order of Mechanics; the Knights of the Mystic Chain; the Patrons of Husbandry; and the True Blue Society.

William Collard Snell married Sallie Shellenberger, daughter of Aaron Shellenberger of Limerick township, Montgomery county.

(Page 393)

They have had three children, one of whom is deceased. They are: Harry H., deceased; Elmer A.; George W.



ALBANUS C. ARTHUR, one of the best known farmers of Montgomery township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, was born in Philadelphia, July 13, 1859. He is the son of Albert and Eliza Jane (Redifer) Arthur.

The Arthur family are of Scotch origin. According to family tradition the great-grandfather of Albanus C. Arthur emigrated from Scotland and settled in the state of New Jersey prior to the Revolutionary war. The ancestor of this branch of the family removed at an early date to Pennsylvania.

Albert Arthur (father) was born at Chestnut Hill, in Philadelphia county, and spent his entire life in that vicinity. He was a blacksmith by occupation and labored at his trade throughout life. He served for a time in the Mexican war.

In 1849 he crossed the plains to California, where he prospected and operated gold mines. He subsequently worked in silver mines in Mexico, and in 1879 returned to Pennsylvania. In the fall of that year he purchased the farm of 125 acres now occupied by Albanus C. Arthur, situated on the state road, in Montgomery township, where he spent the remainder of his life, engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was an honorable and highly esteemed citizen, and in religious faith affiliated with the Society of Friends.

Albanus C. Arthur acquired his early education at Mount Airy public school. After leaving school he became an apprentice to the carpenter trade, at which he remained three years. He worked for a time at his trade, and, removing with his father to the farm, has spent the remainder of his life there. He is unmarried. In his political views he is a Democrat, and has never sought or held office.



JOHN D. ROYER, bookkeeper for the Warwick Iron and Steel Company, of Pottstown, was born at Colebrookdale township, Berks county, Pennsylvania, August 29, 1835. He is the son of George and Rebecca (Dotterer) Royer.

George Royer (father) was born in Montgomery county, and was reared in Pottsgrove township. He was by trade a stonemason and a bricklayer. In his younger days he taught school during the winters. He removed to Berks county, where he died in 1879, in his seventy-ninth year. His wife died in 1873, aged sixty-six years. She was a member of the Reformed church, and he of the Lutheran.

In politics he was a Democrat. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters, two of whom are now living, John D. and Franklin D., of Pottstown. Mrs. Royer was also born in Montgomery county.

John Royer (grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania. His ancestors were from Alsace Lorraine. He married Elizabeth Longabach and they had eight children. Abraham Dotterer (maternal grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania. He was a blacksmith, and died well advanced in years. Abraham Dotterer was twice married, his first wife being Miss Reifsnyder, and his second wife, the grandmother of John D. Royer, Christina Hahn, daughter of Doctor Hahn of Reading, Pennsylvania.

John D. Royer was reared in Berks county, on a farm. He learned the brick and stone mason trade, and at the age of thirty years began to work as clerk at the furnaces, spending three years at the charcoal furnace at Rockland, and six years at the Carrick & Franklin furnaces. He then moved to Cornwall, and spent one year at the anthracite furnaces. He has been with the Warwick Iron Company since April 1, 1875, and has been their bookkeeper since his connection with the firm. He helped to build the first furnace of the company.

On October 5, 1862, John D. Rover married Miss Sarah M. Ritter, daughter of Isaac and Anna (Moser) Ritter. They had three children: 1. Adaline, married Thomas R. Shaner. They have three children living: Sarah, Laura and Luther. 2. George R., married Mary Laveille. They have two daughters, Carrie Theressa, and Ethel May. He is a clerk in Philadelphia. 3. Laura, married Edward B. Trout. They have two children: Sarah Rebecca and John Aaron.

(page 394)

Mrs. Sarah M. Royer died September 24, 1901, in her sixty-second year. She was a member of the Lutheran church, as is her husband also. He is assistant superintendent of the Sunday school, and has only been absent from church four Sundays in twenty-two years. Politically he is a Republican.



ISAAC R. CASSEL was born November 14, 1848, in Towamencin township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He attended the common schools in the neighborhood of his home until he was fifteen years of age, and then worked on the farm for three years. He became a butcher, drover and cattle dealer, and continued in that business until 1902. In that year he leased the Montgomery House, at Kulpsville, Towamencin township, which he has conducted very successfully ever since.

Isaac Cassel (father) has eight children, four living: Isaac; Elizabeth, married Abraham Kulp (deceased), who was a farmer of Towamencin township, they having eleven children; Salome, married Mr. Ludwick, and lives in Towamencin township, they having eight children: Lavinia, married Christian Cassel (deceased), a butcher and cattle dealer in Worcester township, they having five children.

Isaac Ruth Cassel married (first wife) Annie P. Moyer (deceased), and they had one child, Emma L. Emma L. Cassel married Abraham Benner, of Gwynedd township, where he is a farmer. They have no children.

Isaac R. Cassel married (second wife) Anna Ensley, daughter of William Ensley. They had four children: Alma, Olive (deceased), Calvin and Martha. Calvin married Saide, daughter of Benjamin Frederick, and they have no children. Calvin Cassel is a cutter in a Philadelphia tailor shop.



FRANK M. CLYMER. John Clymer (grandfather) was one of the earlier residents of Hatfield township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was educated there, having come to the vicinity with his parents when he was quite young. He followed farming all his life, and was a useful and valuable citizen. Among his children was John K. Clymer.

John K. Clymer (father) was born on the family homestead, and educated in the common schools of Hatfield, and also followed the occupation of farming throughout his life. He had several children, one of them being Frank M.

Frank M. Clymer, subject of this sketch, was born on the Clymer homestead, January 10, 1864. He was educated in the public schools of the township. and later engaged in the business of butchering, which he still conducts very successfully, in addition to his occupation of farming. He buys cattle, and butchers them on his farm. He has been successful in all his undertakings, and enjoys the confidence and respect of the community in which he lives.

He married, in 1883. Sarah K. Swartley, daughter of Philip R. Swartley, a farmer of Hatfield township. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Frank M. Clymer: Wellington S., Howard S., and Mabel S., all unmarried, and residing with their parents.

Mr. Clymer is a staunch Republican in politics, and is at present a member of the board of school directors of Hatfield township. He is an active member of the True Blues, a secret society, and is a charter member of the Beneficial Society of Souderton. He and his family attend the Mennonite church at Souderton.



JOEL BARLOW, a prominent farmer in Lower Pottsgrove township, was born in Montgomery county on October 9, 1833. He is the son of Joel and Susan (Holabush) Barlow.

Joel Barlow (father) had been a resident of Schuylkill county for a number of Years at the time of his death. He was a farmer and a coal miner. He married Susan Holabush, daughter of Henry Holabush, of Montgomery county. She died in 1884, some years after her husband.

The father of Joel Barlow is buried in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania. Joel and Susan Barlow had five children, two of whom are now deceased. They are: Washington(deceased); Sarah, married Daniel Marsh, a farmer in Montgomery county; Phoebe, married, and teaches school near Philadelphia; Joel, Jr.; John (deceased).

(Page 395)

Joel Barlow went to school until he was eighteen years of age, when he began to learn the carpenter trade, and followed that occupation for six years. After his marriage he and his wife removed to the farm which he owns to-day, and where they have lived ever since. The farm has within its limits six excellent springs, and many other points of interest. There is a vein of copper crossing the land which is at present being worked by a Philadelphia company.

He is a Democrat in politics. Mr. Barlow has attended the Philadelphia market for thirty-one years. He married Miss Mary Christman, daughter of George Christman and Sarah (Doris) Christman, of Linfield, Montgomery county. George Christman was a boatman and a farmer for many years. He was a Democrat, and a member of the Reformed church. Mrs. George Christman died fifty-four years ago, and her husband ten years ago, of old age.

Mr. and Mrs. Joel Barlow had one son, Harvey Barlow, who married Elizabeth Shaffer, of Lower Pottsgrove township.

Harvey Barlow is engaged in the feed business at 79 Franklin street, Pottstown, where he has been established for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Barlow have one daughter, Evelyn.



AUGUSTUS W. DOTTERRER, of 170 North Hanover street, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was born in Pikeville, Berks county, Pennsylvania, December 28, 1867. He is the son of John and Esther (Weller) Dotterrer.

John S. Dotterrer (father) was also born in Berks county December 7, 1822. After completing his education he taught school for some years, and afterward became a farmer in his native county where he died December 12, 1881. His wife survived him six months. She was born in Berks county, July 29, 1828, and died July 28, 1882. They were both members of the German Reformed church.

They had nine children, four sons and five daughters, one deceased: Kate (deceased), November 9, 1892; Jacob, of Pikeville; John, of Hill Church; Daniel, of Hill Church; Sarah, wife of Irvin K. Buchert, of Gilbertsville; Elizabeth, wife of William Hilbert, of Pikeville; Hettie, wife of Daniel H. Peter, of Felton, Delaware; Amanda, wife of John L. Ritter, of Boyertown; Augustus W.

Jacob Dotterrer (grandfather), the son of Daniel and Barbara Dotterrer, was born in Pennsylvania, April 4, 1794. He devoted his life to farming and died August 23, 1885. He was married to Sarah Sassaman, who was born December 21, 1797 and died June 8, 1880. The Dotterrer family is of German descent. Jacob Weller (maternal grandfather), the son of Philip and Gertrude Weller, was born in Pennsylvania, April 28, 1798, and died May 8, 1872. He was married to Elizabeth Nest, who was born July 31, 1800, and died June 14, 1881. The Weller family was of German descent.

Mr. Augustus W. Dotterrer spent his boyhood days at home until after the death of his parents. He received his early education in the public schools, and afterward attended the Keystone State Normal School, Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from that institution in 1886, receiving a diploma which allowed him to teach in the public schools of the state of Pennsylvania without submitting to further examination. Before graduating he taught several years, and afterward taught four years. When not in school, he was working on the farm.

In the autumn of 1888 Mr. Dotterrer removed to Pottstown, and taught several years in the public schools of that borough. During his last year as a teacher, he was assistant in the Pottstown high school. For eight years he was book-keeper of the Buckwalter Stove Company, and is still connected with this company, being its secretary. The company's factory is at Royersford.

On April 21, 1892, Augustus W. Dotterrer married Miss Lizzie Y. Reigner, daughter of Peter and Mary (Yerger) Reigner. They have one daughter, Helen May, born June 14, 1894, and one son, Paul Reigner, born February 14, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Dotterrer are members of Trinity Reformed church, Pottstown, and he is secretary of the church consistory, and has been for many years. He also served as a deacon in said church for a number of years. He belongs to Stichter Lodge, No. 254, Free and Accepted Masons; and Pottstown Chapter, No. 271, Royal Arch Masons. Politically he is a Democrat.

(Page 396)

Mrs. Dotterrer's parents were born in Montgomery county, and her father was a farmer. They had three children, Wallace, Samuel and Mrs. Dotterrer. Mr. Reigner died in 1904, aged seventy-seven years. Mrs. Reigner died in 1891, aged fifty-nine years. She was a member of the Lutheran church, while he belonged to the Reformed church.

Daniel Reigner, grandfather of Mrs. Dotterrer, was also born in Montgomery county, and was a farmer. He married Catharine Koch and they had four children. His father was Herman Reigner. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Dotterrer was Conrad Yerger, a native of Montgomery county. He was a shoemaker and a farmer, and lived to be more than eighty years of age. He married Elizabeth Brendlinger, and they had two children.



(Picture of George Egolf)

GEORGE LYNDELL EGOLF, a young but active attorney-at-law, belongs to a family long prominent in Pottstown and vicinity. He was born in that borough, November 5, 1875. He is the son of Peter and Melinda (Geiger) Egolf, both natives of that section of Montgomery county. The couple had three sons, Ephraim H. M. D., deceased; and Harry C. and George Lyndell Egolf of Pottstown.

Peter Egolf (father) was a carpenter in early manhood but for many years afterwards was engaged in the lumber business in Pottstown, from which he has now retired. He was born in that borough and it has always been his home. His wife died in May, 1887, aged forty-three years. She was a Lutheran as is also Mr. Egolf. He was for some time a Democratic member of the town council, and takes an active interest in everything relating to local progress.

Peter Egolf (grandfather) was also a native of Pottstown. He followed the occupation of a farmer. His family was German on his father's and Scotch on his mother's side. His wife was Catharine (Levengood) Egolf. He died at the age of ninety-four years. They had two sons and four daughters.

John Egolf (great-grandfather) was also a native of Pennsylvania. He was a wheelwright and died at the age of ninety-six years. The founder of the Egolf family in this country settled in Montgomery county.

Mr. Geiger (maternal grandfather) was a native of Montgomery county, of German descent. He was a farmer and a soldier in the war of 1812. He was married three times and had children by each wife.

George Lyndell Egolf has lived in Pottstown all his life, attending the public schools, the Hill Preparatory School, and Ursinus College, being graduated from the law department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, before he was of age, the youngest member of his class. He entered the law office of Roger Foster, Esq., of New York city, and was there eighteen months. He then returned to Pottstown and opened on office. He has practiced his profession there since. He was admitted to the Montgomery county bar in May, 1898.

September 11, 1901, Mr. Egolf married Miss Pearl Taylor, daughter of Thomas and Lillian (Kerper) Taylor. Mr. Egolf is a Lutheran and his wife is an Episcopalian. He belongs to Pottstown Lodge, No. 814, B. P. O. E., and is exalted ruler. He was the organizer of the lodge. He also belongs to the Royal Arcanum and to the Colonial Club.

Politically he is a Democrat and is active in the support of the principles of his party. He lives at No. 330 King street. He is president of the Pottstown News Publishing Company, a director of the Pottstown Manufacturing Company, and treasurer of the Beshore Drug Company. He is a member of the Montgomery Bar Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Carroll Brewster Law Club.



J. FRANK VOORHEES, steward of the Montgomery County Home, descended from an old family Who were among the earliest settlers in this county, and were pioneers of America. He was born in Whitemarsh township, July 6,

(Page 397)

1859, and reared on the farm. He received his education in the common schools of the vicinity. Mr. Voorhees is the son of Jacob S. and Sarah E. (Jones) Voorhees, both of whom were residents of this county.

Jacob S. Voorhees (father) was born in Philadelphia, November 6, 1832, and was the son of Elias F. and Elizabeth (Swallow) Voorhees, both of New Jersey, and he was the son of Roelof Voorhees, also of New Jersey. His father, Hendrick G. Van Voorhees, was born in Long Island, and he was a son of Garret Cortiss Van Voorhees, also of Long Island, and he was a son of Cortiss Stevens Van Voorhees, who was born in Holland in 1637, and who was a son of Cortiss Albert Van Voorhees, who, before 1600, resided in front of the village of Hess, Province of Deiught, Holland.

In 1660 he landed on Long Island and settled near New Amsterdam, which is now known as New York City. He bought a large tract of land, and was a farmer by occupation. He was magistrate from 1675 to 1683.

J. Frank Voorhees is great-grandson of Roelof Voorhees, who was reared on Long Island, and afterwards moved to New Jersey, at which place he dropped the "Van" from his name.

Elias F. Voorhees (grandfather) married Miss Elizabeth Swallow, of New Jersey. Mrs. Voorhees was the daughter of Jacob Swallow, who was a farmer by occupation, and of Welsh descent. Their children were: Jacob (father); Martha (Mrs. J. Wolf); Mary (Mrs. J. Clark); Rebecca, died single; Elwood B.

Jacob S. Voorhees (father) was born in Philadelphia; and when but six years of age was taken by his grandfather, Jacob Swallow, who lived in Montgomery county. He remained with his grandfather working on the farm, until the war of the rebellion, at which time he was thirty years of age. In 1858 he was married and settled in this county.

In September, 1861, he enlisted in a Bucks county regiment in Company K, One Hundred and Fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel W. W. H. Davis, a part of the Army of the Potomac. He served with the regiment for three years and two months, and was never wounded in an encounter nor captured by the enemy. He helped raise the regiment, and himself recruited ten men and was a non-commissioned officer. Jacob S. Voorhees married Sarah E. Jones, daughter of William Jones, who was a resident of Bucks county, and was a farmer by occupation. Mrs. Voorhees was born in Montgomery county, and is of Welsh descent. Their children were: Sylvester; Wilhelmina; Rebecca; William; Sarah E. (mother). Mrs. Voorhees was a member of the Friends' Society, and Mr. Voorhees a member of the Baptist church.

In 1861 Jacob S. Voorhees enlisted with Colonel Davis, of Doylestown, and served his country long and faithfully until the end of the war was near at hand. In consequence of all the hardships and the exposure he was forced to go through he received injuries from which he has never recovered. At the present time he is living retired at Audubon. After the war he returned home and engaged in farming.

Politically he is a Republican, and has held quite a number of township offices, among them being auditor. At present he holds the position of postmaster at Audubon. He formerly affiliated himself with the Presbyterian church, and takes an active interest in the Mite Society connected therewith.

Their children: J. Frank (subject of this sketch); Martha (Mrs. J. Jones Phillips, of Kennett Square. Mr. Phillips is secretary and treasurer of the Good Roads Company); Elizabeth (Mrs. E. Sweeny, her husband is deceased, he was formerly editor of the "West Chester Republican"); William E.,(connected with the American Road Machine Company, Kennett Square); Jennie (Mrs. Razor, of Norristown); John H., merchant of Kennett Square, and a prominent man; Bertha, single, a stenographer employed by Mr. Linch, the florist; Walter S., who is acting in the capacity of clerk.

J. Frank Voorhees was reared on a farm, and attended the Philadelphia Market for fifteen years very successfully. When about twelve years old he was employed as a farm- hand, and attended the public schools of the vicinity during the winter months. Mr. Voorhees is, one might say, a self-made man, for by his own efforts and honorable inclinations he has built for himself an enviable reputation.

(Page 398)

He married at the age of twenty-five years, and worked the Wetherill farm on shares, where he remained for eighteen years, doing the work successfully and satisfactorily. In 1900 he was appointed superintendent of the Montgomery County Home, at which place he has given entire satisfaction. He has increased the revenue of the home above any superintendent that preceded him. There are three hundred acres of land adjoining the Home, and there are about two hundred and ten inmates; about sixty females and the remainder hale. He carefully looks after each little detail himself, and has a thorough knowledge of all the stock and everything connected with the Home.

In politics Mr. Voorhees is a Republican, and has used his influence and worked for his party interests. He held offices both in the township and county for seven years, and was elected a state delegate to Harrisburg in 1896, and shortly afterward received his present appointment. He has filled each and every one of these positions with great credit to himself, and with entire satisfaction to all.

In 1882 he was married to Miss Elizabeth H. Boyer, who was born in Frederick township, this county, January 29, 1861. She is the daughter of Daniel S. and Anna M. (Davidheiser) Boyer, Mr. Boyer is a son of George Boyer, who was of Pennsylvania German descent, and by trade a weaver, and was one of the earliest settlers of this county.

Their children: Levi; Lewis Benjamin; Peter; Isaac; Daniel S. (father of Mrs. Voorhees); Catherine (Mrs. Jacob Renninger). Mr. and Mrs. Boyer and their entire family were members of the Lutheran church.

Daniel S. Boyer was reared on the farm, and after his marriage settled on a farm and followed that pursuit, to which he has given all his attention, and yet occupies the large farm in Upper Pottsgrove township. In addition to his farming he raises quite a good deal of stock. He is very prominent in his neighborhood, being widely known and respected by all. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boyer are members of the Lutheran church.

In politics, Mr. Boyer favors the Democratic party, but he has never aspired to office.

Mrs. Boyer is the daughter of George Davidheiser, and was born in this county. Mr. Davidheiser was a farmer by occupation and handled flax extensively. He was a member of the Lutheran church. Their children were: Catherine (Mrs.) resides in the West; Ellen (Mrs. I. Rhodes); Anna (mother of Mrs. Voorhees).

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel S. Lover Irvin I)., a farmer; Sarah (Mrs. Hartshaw); Elizabeth (Mrs. J. Frank Voorhees); Horace, a farmer; Anna (Mrs. F. Wagner), Ella (Mrs. Wm. Booth); Lewis, a carpenter; Catherine, yet single.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. J. Frank Voorhees: Daniel J., born December 5, 1882, is a civil engineer; Gertrude D., born August 17, 1884, died October 28, 1892; J. Ralph, born October 17, 1887, died December 9, 1899; Blanche B., born March 13, 1894, residing at home.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Frank Voorhees are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Voorhees is also a member of the Royal Arcanum, Knights Templar, Masons, Knights of Pythias, I. O. O. F., Knights of the Golden Eagle, and the Beneficial Society, of Eagleville.



JOHN SCHRACK, grandson of John and Mary N. Schrack, and son of Charles Norris and Harriet Schrack, was born at Norris Hall, in Norriton township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, January 4, 1847, the, estate of his father, descending from the Norris family, their ancestor having purchased from the son of William Penn, the founder of the colony.

On the old estate is a family burial-ground, established by Charles Norris in 1812, in which the remains of fifteen members of the family have been interred from time to time.

Mr. Schrack spent his youth on the family homestead, attending the public school at Port Indian until he had reached the age of seventeen years. His conscientious devotion to duty and his standing in the school may be gathered from the fact that he often took entire charge of it in the absence of the teacher. He subsequently attended Ireland Seminary, at Collegeville, where he received a substantial education, studying foreign languages under Professor J. Shelly Weinberger, mathematics under Dr. A. H. Fetterolf, now president of Girard College, and other branches of learning under equally able preceptors of the institution, now Ursinus College. He also took a partial course in the study of medicine under his brother, David Schrack, M. D., long since deceased.

When Mr. Schrack arrived at manhood, his father gave him an interest in the management of the farm, which they conducted successfully until the spring of 1881, when the farm was placed in the care of a tenant, and they retired from active agricultural pursuits.

Mr. Schrack married Eleanor McMinn, only daughter of the late Rev. Charles Collins, D. D., of Philadelphia. Their children are: Eleanor Collies, wife of Mr. H. N. Arkless, of Norristown: and Harriet E., residing with her parents.

Mr. Schrack has long been identified with the Presbyterian denomination, and has been an elder in the Port Kennedy Presbyterian church, where he and his family worship, since 1887. For nearly twenty-five years his residence has been at 615 West Marshall street, Norristown. He is also the owner of a fine country-seat at the junction of White Hall Road and Germantown Pike, in Norriton township, where with his family he usually spends the summer months.

Mr. Schrack is a man of superior culture and literary tastes, devoting much time to reading and Study. Various articles from his pen have appeared front time to time in the columns of the "Norristown Herald", and elsewhere.

In politics he is and always has been a staunch Republican, never holding office, notwithstanding the fact that numerous flattering proffers of political preferment have been tendered hint from time to time. These have invariably been declined, his ambition and tastes centering in other channels of usefulness.

The first Schrack in America arrived from Germany- in 1717, and settled on 250 acres of land near Trappe, Upper Providence township, Montgomery county. He died February 22, 1742, aged sixty-three years. John Schrack (grandfather) was born in 1780.

He married Mary Elizabeth Norris. Their children were: David, a farmer in Norriton township, who married Elmina, daughter of Christian Weber, and had two daughters, Kate and Elmina, the latter marrying William Porter, and having two children, David and Elmina; Norris (2), a farmer in Norriton, and father of John Schrack; John (3), who studied medicine with Dr. Benjamin Johnson, of Norristown, graduated at Jefferson College, and practiced in Norriton, Providence and Worcester townships; Eunice (4), married Colonel Augustus W. Shearer, and had the following children: Mary, married E. B. Moore, who had one son, Augustus; Kate, married William Owen; John Schrack, married Martha Ambler; Naomi, married George Longaker; Eliza, married Dr. Daniel Brower; Lydia, married I. Roberts Rambo.

Mary Elizabeth Norris Schrack (grandmother) was a member of the Quaker family of Norris for whom Norristown and Norriton townships were named.

Charles Norris Schrack (father) married in 1841, Harriet, youngest daughter of Rev. Sylvanus Haight, pastor of Providence Presbyterian church, and Charles N. and Harriet Schrack had three children: David, a prominent physician during his life time; John, subject of this sketch, and Charles Norris.



SAMUEL Z. SCHWENK, superintendent of the Ellis-Keystone Agricultural Works, of Pottstown, was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, near Sanatoga, on October 19, 1852, He is the son of David and Elizabeth (Zern) Schwenk.

David Schwenk (father) was reared in Limerick township, where he died in 1872, at the age of fifty-four years. His wife lived until 1897, and died at the age of seventy-three years. They were farmers. In religious faith they belonged to the German Reformed church. David and Elizabeth (Zern) Schwenk had five children, three sons and two daughters, four now living: Mary, widow of Jacob Gilbert, of Philadelphia; Abraham, of Gratersford, Emma, wife of Leonard Schurg, of Ringing Rocks; and Samuel Z.

(Page 400)

Samuel Schwenk (grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania, and was of a German family. He was a farmer in Skippack township, Montgomery county, and lived to be nearly seventy-five years of age. He married Rachel Smoyer, of Lehigh county, and they had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Abraham Zern (maternal grandfather) was born in the state of Pennsylvania, and was a shoemaker by trade. As is indicated by the name, the Zern family are of German descent. Abraham Zern lived to an advanced age, and left a large family.

Samuel Z. Schwenk was reared in Limerick township on the farm, and received his education in the schools in the vicinity of his home, where he lived until he had reached the age of maturity. When nineteen years of age he began to devote his attention to the carpenter trade, which he followed for a number of years.

In 1873 he removed to Pottstown with his mother, and worked in the planing mill for some years. In March, 1879, he became connected with the Ellis-Keystone Agricultural Works, and has been superintendent of the company for twenty-three years.

On September 25, 1875, Samuel Z. Schwenk married Miss Clara Hillegass, daughter of William and Susan (Reigner) Hillegass. They had three children: Alice, died in infancy; J. William, a telegraph operator on the Pennsylvania Railroad; George A., a student in the Pottstown High School. In religious faith Mr. Schwenk is a member of the Reformed church, and his wife belongs to the Lutheran denomination. Politically Mr. Schwenk is a Republican.

The family reside in a substantial home at No. 926 High street, which Mr. Schwenk built in 1872-3. Mr. Schwenk is a stockholder in the Iron National Bank, the Pottstown National Bank, the Citizens' National Bank, the Security Company, of Pottstown, and the Pottstown Gas and Water Company.



(Picture of Elmer Porter)

DR. ELMER PORTER, one of Pottstown's leading physicians and also its burgess, is a native of Chester county. He was born in South Coventry township, August 12, 1865. He is the son of Samuel H. and Martha (Greenoff) Porter, lifelong residents of that vicinity.

They have four children, three sons and one daughter, as follows: John W., of Staten Island, New York; Samuel H., Jr., of Pottstown; and Dr. J. Elmer Porter, and Adella.

Samuel H. Porter (father) is a farmer of South Coventry. He and his wife belong to the Reformed church. He has always been a Democrat in politics.

John Porter (grandfather) was a native of Philadelphia. The Porters are of Irish descent but have been long residents in Pennsylvania. The grandfather was a blacksmith by occupation. His wife was Elizabeth Hook. He died in 1875, at the age of seventy-five years. His brother Robert was superintendent of the United States mint at Philadelphia, and his uncle, David Rittenhouse Porter, was governor of Pennsylvania. A sketch of the family appears elsewhere in this volume. John Porter had five children. His father was John Porter, who came directly from Ireland.

Thomas Greenoff (maternal grandfather) came to this country from England and located in Chester county. He was proprietor of a large woolen mill. His wife was Elizabeth Van Fossen, of Norristown, and they had five children. He died at the age of ninety-five years.

Dr. J. Elmer Porter lived in Chester county until he was twelve years of age. He went to Pottstown to school and on completing his education was graduated from the Pottstown high school in 1882. Returning to Chester county he taught a country school one term. He then entered the drug store of John M. Cunningham, and acquired a knowledge of the drug business. He took up the study of medicine and was graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, on April 2, 1886. He was a resident physician in a Philadelphia Hospital one year, until April, 1887, and then went to Pottstown, where he has practiced medicine very successfully since. In 1890 he went to London and spent six months in a hospitable there, gaining much valuable knowledge in surgery and therapeutics. He is at present surgeon


(Page 401)

of the Pottstown Hospital. He belongs to the Philadelphia Medical Society and to the Jefferson College Alumni.

On June 13, 1894, he married Miss Alda E. Kehl, daughter of William D. Kehl, a prominent business man and banker of Boyertown, Berks county. Her mother was Deborah Hartman. The couple had one daughter, Martha Deborah Porter. Mrs. Porte died January 14, 1902, aged thirty-five years. She was a Lutheran. Dr. Porter is a Presbyterian in religious faith.

Politically Dr. Porter is a Democrat. His popularity is attested by the large majority given him for burgess. Dr. Porter was president of the Pottstown Gas Company for three or four years, and is director in the March-Brownback Stove Company. He has been prominently identified with other institutions in Pottstown.



JOHN S. SHELMIRE is descended on the paternal and maternal sides from old and prominent families who have been for several generations residents of eastern Pennsylvania. He was born in Moreland township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, February 2, 1865, and is the eldest child of William and Sarah R. (Wynkoop) Shelmire, who were the parents of six other children, as follows: Eliza S., Curwen S., James W., Harry L., George M., and Jane L. Shelmire.

John S. Shelmire remained with his parents until he was twelve years of age, when he went to live with his aunt, Mary A. Shelmire, with whom he resided during the greater part of the next seven years, and assisted in a general way in the work of the store which she conducted. During this time he attended the Huntingdon Valley School, and during the winter of 1882-83 attended one term at Pierces Business College, a leading commercial school of Philadelphia. In 1884, after the demise of his father, he assumed the management of the homestead farm and continued thus employed for four years. In 1889 he engaged in farming on his own account in Moreland township, and in 1897 removed to the premises he now occupies at Bethayres. Mr. Shelmire has always taken an active interest in township and county affairs, and every enterprise that tended toward the development and Growth of the section in which he resided, and the welfare of the public received from him an earnest support.

In 1895 he was elected on the Democratic ticket for township register and assessor, held the office for four consecutive terms, during: which time he discharged the duties to the satisfaction of the public. In 1901 he was elected by his party to the office of real estate assessor in Moreland township, and the following year became the candidate for the office of county commissioner. Upon his election he resigned the office of assessor to enter upon the duties of his new position, and during his term of county commissioner he and his fellow commissioners rendered important services in the erection and completion of the new County Court House at Norristown, which in architectural design and finish is one of the finest edifices in the state,. and reflects great credit upon Montgomery county. Mr. Shelmire is a thoroughly conscientious man in all the affairs of life, and commands the respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends. His political affiliations are with the Democratic party, to which he has given his support since attaining his majority.

John S. Shelmire was married January 2, 1889, to Elizabeth R. Bavington, who was born August 4, 1865, a daughter of Watson W. and Hannah (Snyder) Bavington, of Moreland township. The issue of this union was one son, Stanley R. Shelmire, born February 13, 1897.



CHRISTIAN STOVER, a retired business man of Kulpsville, was born in Montgomery county, March 4, 1847, his parents being Jacob K. and Ann Stover. His grandparents were also residents of Montgomery county, the family thus being established here at an early day.

Christian S. Stover was a student in the public schools until twelve years of age, pursuing his studies in the fall and winter months, and in the summer seasons working on his father's farm. At sixteen years of age he was apprenticed to learn harness-making. He then opened a shop in Kulpsville, which he conducted for thirty-eight years, retiring in 1898. Mr. Stover merely looks after his property in Kulpsville, where he owns eight houses and his store, which he rents. He served nine months in the One Hundred and Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, as a private in Company C, in Civil war times. In politics he is a Republican.

(page 402)

He married Sarah Rosenbury, of Kulpsville, in 1869. They had four children, of whom two are living- Alvirda R., single, and at home; and Cordelia, married Walter Kindig, and they have two boys, Jerrold D. and Walter Curtis, The two children deceased were Jennie, who died when eight years of age, and Linford, who died when eighteen years of age. He was a painter of some notability.



PROF. J. SHELLY WEINBERGER. A few miles north of Quakertown, in Milford township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, are three Mennonite meeting-houses within a radius of less than a mile, there being no others of that denomination within several miles. The country is fine open land and is still known as the "Swamp." Sixty years ago most of the people of the vicinity held to the faith of the Mennonites, and at a presidential election those who voted usually cast their ballots for the Whig candidate. Each meeting-house had its school-house attached, and the most advanced in knowledge was called upon to act as schoolmaster. The truest type of the Pennsylvania German was found here. The inhabitants were farmers with the exception of a few mechanics and store-keepers, and were noted for sobriety, industry, non-resistance and the avoidance of debt. Their over-cautious habits, however, prevented their taking the initiative in any new enterprise, and the fact that a thing was new was sufficient cause for its rejection hence their slow progress in earlier times. Amidst surrounding and associations of this character dwelt the Weinbergers in humble style, their library consisting of a Bible, a hymn-book, a prayer-hook, and a few printed sermons.

Joseph Weinberger's grandparents emigrated from the. borders of the Rhine, in Germany, to this country. He married Mary Shelly. They had four daughters and a son John Shelly Weinberger. named after his maternal grandfather, was the son.

Joseph Weinberger (father) could read and write German, and was highly esteemed because of his correct habits and resolute disposition. He died in the eighty-first year of his age. His grandmother became almost a centenarian.

Young Weinberger, born in 1832, was educated in the common schools of the vicinity, and when seventeen years of age he joined the West Swamp congregation, at the Mennonite church, where his parents had worshipped. In addition to subscribing to the creed, he promised to obey the regulations of the church, and to preach if the lot should fall upon him. Bishop John H. Oberholtzer was the district school teacher. Increasing parish labors absorbed his time, and when Weinberger was nineteen years of age, the Bishop asked him to take his place as teacher. Being favored by the local director, who promised to make the examination light, and to give him an opportunity to attend a boarding school a term before the district school commenced, and urged to accept by the Rev. Henry A. Hunsicker, principal of Freeland Seminary, the predecessor of Ursinus College, young Weinberger accepted and succeeded far above his expectations. When he was of age he resolved to take a collegiate course, and make teaching his life work. Funds were wanting, but his father finally decided to furnish the money, or rather half of it, taking a note for the remainder. He chose Yale College, where his classical teachers, Wayne MacVeagh and William L. Williamson, had just graduated.

Two more years were spent at Freeland Seminary, in study, teaching and acting as prefect. In September, 1855, John Hunter Worrall, a senior, Joseph Alonzo Christman, a junior, Henry Rover, a sophomore, and Mr. Weinberger started for Yale.

Mr. Weinberger, who was the protege of Mr. Worrall, entered the freshman class of 1859. It numbered one hundred and fifty-three members. At the age of twenty-seven, he graduated with honors. The Monday following he took his place as teacher in Freeland Seminary, his department being ancient and modern languages.

(Page 403)

In two years he saved enough of his salary to pay his notes, and felt himself free.

Prof. Weinberger married Miss Emma Kratz, daughter of Jacob S. Kratz, of Plumstead, Bucks county. In 1863 he purchased a small farm, stocked, and moved on it, managing it successfully without interfering with his profession for a period of twenty-six years. A daughter, Minerva, was born October 1, 1863.

After Professor Weinberger had taught six years, the school was leased for five years to Adam H. Fetterolf, now Dr. Fetterolf, president of Girard College, Philadelphia. Mr. Weinberger became Mr. Fetterolf's right-hand man. Before the lease had expired, the Seminary was sold to the board of directors of Ursinus College. Mr. Weinberger became a member of the faculty, saved for the college half the seminary students, and has rendered valuable aid to the Reformed brethren in their efforts to place the college on a firm basis. In addition to the degree of A. B. in 1859, and A. M. in 1867, both from Yale, he received the honorary degree of LL. D. from Ursinus in 1895.

He was professor of Latin and Greek from 1870 to 1887, and professor of the Greek Language and Literature from 1887 to 1903. He was dean from 1892 to 1903. He began teaching in 1851, and taught consecutively forty-five years in the same locality.

Professor Weinberger has filled the following public positions: Judge of elections in Upper Providence by appointment of the court, when the new constitution of 1873 took effect, and reelected the following year; committeeman from his district at the Montgomery County Centennial in 1884; first burgess of the borough of Collegeville; trustee in Trinity Reformed church, Collegeville, from 1861 to 1869; elder from 1870 to 1901, thirty-one years; teacher in the Sunday school at Collegeville for forty-five years. It was largely through his efforts that the doors of Ursinus were opened to women in 1881. He was a member of the committee that erected Bomberger Memorial Hall. He is the only one of the original faculty now connected with the institution. He retired from the professorship of the Greek Language and Literature and the deanship at Ursinus, September 1, 1903, still retaining the professorship of Greek Emeritus.

As township committeeman for the County Centennial, in two days he sold a hundred memorial certificates, and sent that money, the first for the enterprise, to J. A. Strassburger, treasurer. When the Centennial accounts were closed, there remained a balance on hand of $1,203.40, which, on motion of Professor Weinberger, was paid to the Montgomery County Historical Society in trust, to be invested in real estate security, which money became the nucleus of the fund with which the Society purchased its fine Hall on Penn street, opposite. the Court House, in Norristown.

Professor Weinberger has manifested his patriotism by teaching good citizenship, correct morals and fair dealing- in business to all with whom he has come in contact, by precept as well as example. He has taken a deep interest in the forestry movement, aiding in the organization of the county association, and delivering addresses on the subject. Later he became president of the county branch, and continued in the position until it was merged in the state association, of which Professor Weinberger is a member.

He has read many papers and delivered addresses at public meetings, including the following: Address at intercounty historical meeting of Bucks and Montgomery, at Ambler, June 10, 1886, on "Objective History address of welcome before the Farmers' Institute at Collegeville, January 16, 1867: history of Freeland Seminary at its semicentennial celebration in Bomberger Memorial Hall, in June 1898; history of Trinity Church, Collegeville, and life work of its pastor, the Rev. Joseph H. Hendricks, D. D., read at the fortieth anniversary of his pastorate, April 6, 1902; addresses before the students and faculty of Ursinus College, on the following subjects; "Conscience," "Success," and "Grateful Remembrances," all of which have been printed.

Professor Weinberger, although he is no longer young, maintains the vigor and energy of youth to a much greater extent than is usual in persons of his years. In his views he is pronounced.

(Page 404)

In politics he votes the Republican ticket, but his independence of character would always prevent him from bowing slavishly at the footstool of party allegiance. He aided in 1882 in breaking up the unit rule. He is a believer in civil service reform, as a matter of course. His teaching has always, as might be expected, carried with it a strong personal influence for good.

In 1889 Dr. Weinberger sold his farm on the Perkiomen to Francis J. Clamor, a distinguished metallurgic chemist and inventor. The day after making that sale he purchased a modest but handsome home on Main street, Collegeville, where he resides with his family.



WILLIAM GILBERT, a retired farmer residing at No. 467 North Charlotte street, Pottstown, was born in Douglass township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1822. He is the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Bickel) Gilbert.

Jacob Gilbert (father) was born in Douglass township, Montgomery county. He was a hand weaver, and later a farmer. Some time before his death he removed to Pottstown, where he died at the age of seventy years. His wife died three years afterwards, at the age of seventy-three years. He held various township offices. In religious faith they were Lutherans. Jacob and Elizabeth (Bickel) Gilbert had ten children. Mrs. Gilbert was born in Douglass township, Montgomery county. Their children who are now living are: William, Frederick, Henry, Jacob, and Elizabeth, married Edward Frederick. Two sons and three daughters are deceased- Esther, Harriett, Lydia, Jesse and Eli.

Jacob Gilbert (grandfather) was a native of Montgomery county, and died in Berks county, at a good old age. His wife was Miss Shaneley, and they had a large family- Jacob, John, Henry, Andrew, and three daughters. Daniel Bickel (maternal grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania, and was an early settler in New Hanover township, where he was a farmer. He died at an advanced age. His wife was Miss Gilbert, and they had a large family.

William Gilbert was reared in Montgomery county, and has lived there all his life. He attended the old-fashioned subscription schools, and then taught for twelve years before and after his marriage. After abandoning teaching he undertook farming, which occupied him until his retirement from active business. His farm of ninety-seven acres was located about a mile and a half from Pottstown, and he lived there from 1853 to 1896.

On October 17, 1847, William Gilbert married Miss Esther Bickel, daughter of Lewis Bickel and Susanna (Reigner) Bickel. Lewis Bickel was a farmer in Montgomery county all his life, and he and his wife died at an advanced age.

They had nine children, and Rev. L. J. Bickel, pastor of St. James' and St. Peter's Lutheran church of Pottstown, was their grandson.

William and Esther (Bickel) Gilbert had seven children, as follows: Susanna (deceased), married Louis Hoffman, and had three children, one now living, William; Milton, died aged six years and four months; Elizabeth, married Jeremiah Rhoads, and has one son, Harry; Irvin, a physician in Philadelphia, married Laura Laird, and has four children- Irvin (deceased), Grace, William and Paul; Hetty, died in infancy; Harriet, married Matthias Wisner; Sarah, died in infancy. Mrs. Esther Gilbert died March 19, 1862, aged thirty-eight years and nineteen days.

William Gilbert married (second wife), in 1861, Miss Sarah Koch, born June 21, 1821, died August 8, 1896. She was the daughter of Henry and Sarah (Moyer) Koch. There were no children by the second marriage.

Mr. Gilbert is a member of Emmanuel Lutheran church, and his wives belonged to the same church. In politics he is a Democrat, and served as county auditor for nine years, and justice of the peace for fifteen years.



EDWIN S. NYCE, Esq., one of the most prominent of the younger members of the Norristown bar, is the son of Samuel Edwin Nyce, of Norristown, who was for many years employed in the prothonotary's office, either as principal or deputy prothonotary. His mother is Theresa, daughter of Jonathan Roeller. Edwin S. Nyce was born on the homestead in Frederick township,

(Page 405)

January 10, 1875. His parents removing soon afterwards to Norristown, he was educated in the public schools, graduating from the Norristown high school in the class of 1893. He then entered the Law Department of the University of Pennsylvania, taking a four years' course. He read law with the late Edward E. Long, Esq., and was admitted to the bar of Montgomery county in 1900, and has been ever since engaged in the active practice of his profession. In 1903 he formed a partnership with John T. Wagner, the firm being Wagner & Nyce, with rooms on the second floor of the Shoemaker building, at Swede and Airy streets.

Mr. Nyce married, in October, 1903, Miss Minnie, daughter of Professor William N. Lehman, principal of the Bridgeport high school and superintendent of the schools of that borough. Mr. Nyce has a good knowledge of legal practice, and is gifted with a pleasing address, and is rapidly making his way as a lawyer. In politics he is an active Republican, and has served as assistant prothonotary of the common pleas court. He is solicitor for several townships of the county, and for a number of corporations.

He is a director in the West Norristown Building and Loan Association. He is a member of Charity Lodge No. 19o, Free and Accepted Masons; of Norristown Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and of Hutchinson Commandery, No. 32, Knights Templar, all of Norristown. He and his family attend the Lutheran Church of the Trinity.

Samuel E. Nyce (father) is the son of Jonathan and Rachel (Kepler) Nyce, of Frederick township. He was educated in the schools of Frederick township, and at Washington Hall Collegiate Institute, Trappe. He left school and in 1861 enlisted in the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment, one of the most gallant commands of the Civil war period. In this Mr. Nyce served as a private with fidelity and courage during a full three years' terns of service, participating in every battle and skirmish in which the regiment was engaged. After his honorable discharge from the army in 1864, Mr. Nyce entered into mercantile business, having large interests in tobacco. He was the proprietor of a grocery store at Marshall and Arch streets, Norristown, for several years. He was very active in Montgomery county Republican politics for many years, and represented the county in the lower house of the state legislature at the session of 1873.

He was elected prothonotary in 1893 for three years and served one year more, his successor not qualifying, and then for years as deputy, his term of service in the prothonotary's office, either as deputy or as principal, thus covering a period of twelve years. Although a Republican, he served under Democratic prothonotaries because of his acknowledged efficiency in the position. He served for several years after leaving the prothonotary's office as vice-president and trust officer of the Albertson Trust and Safe Deposit Company, now the Penn Trust Company.

Since resigning that position he has lived retired on West plain street, where he owns a handsome residence. Mr. Nyce married, in 1865, Miss Theresa Roeller, daughter of Jonathan Roeller. The couple have two children, Olivia and Edwin S., above mentioned.

Jonathan Nyce (grandfather) was born October 30, 1795; married, January 7, 1821, Rachel Kepler, daughter of Samuel and Maria Magdalena (Grunley) Kepler. Jonathan Nyce died March 4, 1864, and was buried at Bertolet's cemetery. The widow of Jonathan Nyce lived to an advanced age. She was born in 1803.

The couple had ten children. Jonathan Nyce was a tanner and farmer, inheriting these occupations from his forefathers for several generations. He was postmaster of Frederick from 1838 to 1857, his first commission being dated April 10, 1838. In politics he was a Whig, and later in life a Republican.

George Nyce (great-grandfather) was the son of George and Elizabeth (Fuhrman) Nyce. He was born February 15, 1760, and married, May 10, 1785, Elizabeth (Shunk) Christman; second wife, Magdalena Hollowbush; and, third wife, Mrs. Catharine Geiger. Elizabeth (Christman) Nyce who was the Christman, the immigrant, who settled in the valley of Society Run. She was born February 4, 1765, and died November 20, 1803. George Nyce was buried at Bertolet's burying ground. He died December 4, 1838.

(Page 406)

George Nyce (great-great-grandfather) was the son of John and Mary Nyce. He was born in 1725. He succeeded his father on the homestead, but sold a portion of the land to his brother Zacharias. He was a tanner and farmer. He married (first wife) Anna Dotterer, daughter of Bernhard and Gertrude Dotterer, of New Hanover township. He married (second wife) Elizabeth Fuhrman, of Franconia. George Nyce was a man of influence in the community.

In September, 1758, he was appointed commissioner of highways of Frederick township. He was also constable. He died December 5, 1789, and was buried at Bertolet's burying ground.

John Nyce (great-great-great-grandfather) who usually wrote his name "Nice," settled upon the 200-acre tract which lay on the western bank of Society Run, and on the southeastern side of the Frankfort Company's land. He was one of the principal citizens of Frederick township. He made his will on February 5, 1738-9, which was proved June 22, 1743. He named as executors his wife, Mary Nyce, and Henry Antes.

Hans Nyce, spelled variously as follows: Neues, DeNyce, Newes, Nice, Neiss, etc., was a resident of the Northern Liberties, in Philadelphia. October 20, 1720, he purchased of John Budd and Humphrey Morrey 725 acres of land to be taken up in Pennsylvania. Five hundred acres of this was in the territory afterwards erected into Frederick township.

The children of Hans Nyce and his wife Jennekin were Cornelius, John, Anthony, Eleanor. He died July 19, 1736; his wife died September 11, 1762.



SAMUEL HARTENSTINE, one of the prominent citizens of Lower Pottsgrove township, has lived more than three-quarters of a century. He was born August 1, 1825, being the son of John and Sallie (Gilbert) Hartenstine. He has all his life been a resident of the vicinity in which he now lives. He has been engaged in the occupation of a farmer since coming of age, and is a stone mason as well.

John Hartenstine (father) died many years ago, having been a widower for a long time. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, being very young, at the time of his enlistment. At the time of his death he was sixty-three years of age. The mother was a member of the well-known Gilbert family who have long been among the most prominent residents of that section of Montgomery county.

Samuel Hartenstine spent his younger days in attending school in the vicinity of his home, and acquired a knowledge of the ordinary branches. of learning, although the educational facilities in his younger days were much less complete than they are at present. Mr. Hartenstine has had a varied experience in the course of his life, having learned the trade of a shoemaker according to the custom of that day in that section of Montgomery county. playing followed this occupation for four years, and developing considerable business talent, he took up the business of merchandising on his own account and achieved considerable success therein. He also did a commission business, buying up articles of produce and disposing of them in Philadelphia or on the road between Pottstown and that city.

Having assured himself a comfortable maintenance and a respectable position in society by his untiring energy and industry, he looked about for a companion in life, ands in 1850 married Miss Charlotte Seabolt, who died in May, 1904, daughter of John and Mary (Shick) Seabolt, also of Lower Pottsgrove township. John Seabolt was a farmer all his life, and died a number of years ago, being afflicted with blindness during his later years. His wife survived him only a few years.

After his marriage Mr. Hartenstine devoted himself to farming, in which business he is still engaged at the wine location. His greatest delight is in improving his farm, he having remodeled and practically rebuilt the farm house, and erected four wagon houses. Having commenced farming in 1851, he has followed that occupation very successfully, and is now one of the most prosperous agriculturists of his section of the county. He is a Democrat in politics, but has never sought or held office, with the exception of the position of school director, which he has held for a number of years, being earnestly devoted to fostering educational interest as a member of the Lutheran church.

(page 407)

Mr. and Mrs. Hartenstine have had twelve children, of whom Henry, the oldest, died young. The others are: John S., resides in Philadelphia where he is the proprietor of a hotel; Ephraim S., a resident of Sanatoga, is engaged in business as a carpenter; Milton S., who is engaged in the express business in California; Mary, married Jacob Bliem, and lives in Pottstown, where he is a prominent brick manufacturer; Wilson S., resides with his parents ; Sallie, married Harry Walt, who is a molder in Lower Pottsgrove township; Aaron S., is married, and is employed by the Sanatoga Park Company; Nathan, resides in Pottstown, where be is actively engaged in business; Elmer, who is one of the leading grocers of Pottstown, married Emma Wien; Eli, also a merchant in Pottstown; Harvey, lives in Lower Pottsgrove township, and carries on the butchering business in connection with his farm.



JACOB M. EHST, a prominent farmer of Douglass township, is a native of Washington township, Berks county, where he was born March 21, 1861. He is the son of Abraham and Susanna (Moyer) Ehst, of Berks county, where the father was a farmer all his life. In politics he was a Republican, although not particularly active in public affairs, being devoted to his occupation of farming and very successful in it.

The couple had seven children. Susanna Ehst (mother) was born June 15, 1821, and died December 8, 1869, being a little more than forty-eight years of age at the time of her death. She was buried at the Mennonite meeting-house at Bally, Berks county. Mr. Ehst (father) survives, residing at Barto, where he lives retired.

Their children: Elizabeth (deceased), born July 17, 1812, died October 14, 1865. She married Levi B. Moyer, they residing in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was a carpenter and farmer. Her husband and one child survive. Rev. John M., born March 14, 1844. He is at present in charge of a pastorate at Barto, Berks county. He married Susan Gehman. They have four children. Henry M., born 1816, married Elmira Mest, and they reside in New York state, where he is engaged on a stock farm. They have one child living. Abraham, who died at the age of one year. Susan, died at the age of sixteen years. She was born in 1854, and died March 19, 1870. David M., born in Berks county, July 13, 1858. He married Alice Meas. They reside in South Bethlehem, where he is engaged as a merchant. They have no children. Jacob M., of this sketch.

John Ehst (grandfather) married a Miss Swartley. Both died many years ago, and were buried in a private cemetery a mile above Boyertown, on the estate of the family, as was customary in past generations. She died at middle age. He survived many years, dying in 1867, at the age of eighty-six years and eleven months. He was a very prosperous farmer, and had many friends. In politics he was a Whig. The estate has been in the family name for five or six generations.

The first ancestor in America was Nicholas Ehst, who landed in 1735 and settled in Berks county, Pennsylvania, upon the tract still owned by Jacob B. Bechtel. He was the great-great-grandfather of Jacob M. Ehst. Abraham Ehst (great-grandfather) lived on the homestead in Berks county, and married Miss Freed, of Montgomery county. The Ehst family were one of the first to settle, in that locality. Michael Moyer (maternal grandfather) was a prominent and prosperous farmer, who always made his home in Berks county. He was born December 28, 1779, and died January 9, 1859. He married Elizabeth S. Oberholtzer who was born September 4, 1781, and died July 1874. Their children: Henry O., Joseph O., Susanna (mother), Catharine, Elizabeth.

Christian Moyer (great-grandfather) married Fannie Bauer and they were leading farmers in their day. Rev. Peter Moyer (great-great-grandfather) was born in Switzerland about 1723, and emigrated with three brothers and one sister to America about 1741. They left Switzerland during the persecution of the Mennonites, and settled in Springfield township, Bucks county. They were all farmers, and members of the Mennonite church. The name of the Ehst family was written Eis by Nicholas (great-great-grandfather); Eisz by Abraham (great-grandfather); Ihst by John (grandfather), and finally became Ehst.

(Page 408)

Jacob M. Ehst attended school until he was seventeen years of age, and their learned the trade of miller, which he followed for seven years in Berks and Chester counties, Then, in 1886, he abandoned his trade and removed to his present home, where he has been engaged in farming ever since. He has put a great many improvements on the place since his residence there.

On October 25, 1884, Jacob M. Ehst married Lydia, daughter of Henry and Rachel (Albright) Harpel. Her parents resided in Douglass township, where he was a farmer, carpenter and builder for many years. They died at the age of more than eighty years, and are buried at Sassamansville.

They were prominent citizens of the county. Their children: Mary, Henry, Jeremiah, Catharine, Sarah, and Lydia (Mrs. Ehst). The children of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob M. Ehst: Mary A., born September 28, 1885; Henry H., born May 17, 1887; Lawrence H., born August 10, 1889; Laura H., born August 10, 1889; Kate H., born December 17, 1891.

Mr. Ehst is a Republican, and held the office of township auditor for three years. He was township assessor for six years. He belongs to the Knights of Friendship, and Sons of America, Camp 474, Sassamansville. The family attend the Lutheran church, of which they are members.


(Picture of Charles Samuel Wieand)

REV. CHARLES SAMUEL WIEAND, pastor of Zion's Reformed church, Pottstown, resides at 209 Chestnut street in that borough. He was born in Zionsville, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, February 28, 1848. He is the son of Charles W. and Susan (Krauss) Wieand, natives of Lehigh county. Charles W. and Susan Wieand had six children, of whom four are now living: Maria, wife of Dr. I. B. Yeakel, of Bally, Berks county, Pennsylvania; Sarah, wife of L. F. Shetler, of Pottstown ; Rev. Charles S. Wieand, of Pottstown; Susan, wife of Wilson S. Krauss, of East Greenville, Pennsylvania.

Charles W. Wieand (father) was originally a school teacher and later justice of the peace for many years, conveyancer and general merchant at Zionsville, and was well known throughout Lehigh county. He was an adjutant in the state militia but lost an eye, which incapacitated him for service in the Civil war, but not taking this into consideration he was too old for service at the breaking out of the war. He removed to East Greenville, Montgomery county, about 1872, and spent the remainder of his life in this county. His first wife died in 1877, aged sixty-four years. Both he and his wife were members of the German Reformed church. He married (second Wife) Mrs. Catharine (Wieand) Erb, who died a year before he died. They had no children. Charles W. Wieand died in Pottstown at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Shetler, in 1890, at the age of eighty-one years.

David Wieand (paternal grandfather) was a native of Pennsylvania and lived most of his life in Lehigh county, where he was engaged in the occupation of farming. His wife was Susan Walter, daughter of Lieutenant Philip Walter of the Revolutionary army. They had a family of three children.

Wendel Wieand (great-grandfather) lived at Flourtown, Pennsylvania, and afterward in Lehigh county, where he was a linen weaver in early manhood but later a farmer. He was a Revolutionary soldier, enlisting at the age of nineteen years. His wife was Christina Herzog.

Johann Jost Wiegandt (great-great-grandfather) was a native of Freinsheim, in the Palatinate, Germany. He was born along the banks of the River Rhine and was the founder of the family in America.

On arriving in America he changed the spelling of his name from Wiegandt to Wieand. Johann Jost Wiegandt landed in Philadelphia in 1750 and took the oath of allegiance November 3, 1730. His wife's given name was Barbara Johann Jost Wieand had an older brother Johann Wendel Wieand,

(Page 409)

who came to America August 19, 1729, twenty-one years prior to Johann Jost Wieand's arrival. Johann Wendel Wieand was the ancestor of Judge Henry K. Wand of Norristown, who drops the letter 'T' in the spelling of the name. The Wiegandt family dates back in Germany to Jacob Wiegandt.

Andrew Krauss (maternal grandfather) was a native of Lower Milford, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. He was the first pipe-organ builder in the state of Pennsylvania. He and his brother John manufactured pipe organs for many years and one of their organs is still in use in the Roman Catholic church in Bally, Pennsylvania. The wife of Andrew Krauss was Susan Schultz, daughter of Andrew Schultz and granddaughter of Rev. Christopher Schultz, Sr., of the Schwenkfelder faith. Andrew Krauss was born June 21, 1771, and died May 11, 1841, aged nearly seventy years. His wife lived to be eighty-three years old. The couple had thirteen children and owned their own farm.

Andrew Krauss' father was Balthasar Krauss, a native of Germany, who came to America with his mother in 1733 with the colony of Schwenkfelder immigrants, locating in what was then an almost unbroken wilderness within the limits of what is now Lehigh county. Balthasar Krauss was born in the dukedom of Liegnitz, Silesia, Germany. He died February 25, 1774, aged sixty-eight years. He was the founder of the family in this country.

Rev. Charles S. Wieand grew to manhood in Lehigh county, attending the district schools and the old Allentown Academy. He worked on a farm and also in a mill, learning the trade of a miller and operating his father's mill for about three years. He prepared for college at Freeland Seminary and later entered Franklin and Marshall College at Lancaster, graduating in 1874.

He then founded Perkiomen Seminary at Pennsburg, Montgomery county, and was principal of that school for nine years. During that time he studied theology under Rev. Dr. C. Z. Weiser and was licensed by the classis of Goshenhoppenn, of the Reformed church, to preach in 1880.

He served the Chestnut Hill congregation in Lehigh county one year and then became pastor of Zion's Reformed church, Pottstown, in the spring of 1884, and has been continuously since the pastor of this congregation, whose membership now exceeds four hundred and fifty.

On July 1, 1875, he married Leonore M. Sell, daughter of Charles B. M. and Clarissa W. Sell, of Allentown. His wife's maiden 'name was heck. They had seven children: Irma Clarissa, Charles Samuel, Mary M., Leonora S., Edward Wendel, Helen Emma and Alma Margaret. Irma C. is now in Europe taking a post-graduate course in the University of Leipzig. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, of the class of 1901. Charles Samuel died at the age of five years, four months and twenty-two days. Mary M. died at the age of nearly four years. Leonora died in infancy. Edward Wendel died at the age of eleven months and twenty days. Alma died at the age of five years. Helen E. is now pursuing a course at Mount Holyoke College.

Rev. C. S. Wieand is and has been for many years stated clerk of the Goshenhoppen classis of the Reformed church, and is also its treasurer.



OLIVER G. MORRIS, of Line Lexington, Hatfield township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, is one of the best known business men in that section. He has been for many years justice of the peace and general agent in the settlement of estates and all neighborhood business of the kind. He is of Welsh descent, his ancestor, Cadwallader Morris, having emigrated from Wales, and located in Pennsylvania, intermarrying with the Thomas family, also from Wales, who came to this country soon after 1700.

Morris Morris, son of the immigrant, inherited 267 acres of land lying in Hilltown township, Bucks county Pennsylvania, which he held all his life, and bequeathed it in his turn to his son Cadwallader, he paying out certain sums to the other heirs of his father. Morris Morris married Gwently Thomas, and had seven children: Cadwallader, Abraham William, Benjamin, Enoch, Joseph, and Morris Jr.

(Page 410)

Cadwallader Morris, son of Morris and Gwently Morris, born in 1737, became a teacher and surveyor, having an excellent education for those days, when the means of enlightenment were much less available than they have been to recent generations. He acquired a great reputation as a competent business man, and his advice was sought by many people who stood in need of it. He married Elizabeth Kastner, of Hilltown, their children being Alice, Abel, William, Rebecca and Hannah. He died August 23, 1812, aged seventy-five years, and his widow survived him a few years.


William Morris, third child of Morris and Gwently Morris, was the great-grandfather of Oliver G. Morris. He was born March 5, 1739. He married, in 1763, Ann, daughter of Nathaniel Griffith, belonging to another old Welsh family of that section. He lived where now stands the Leidytown hotel, which property William Morris subsequently purchased. Both died at the residence of their son Isaac, in Line Lexington, in the year 1821, he on April 22, aged eighty--two years, and she on July 17, at the age of seventy-seven years. Their children: Isaac, Benjamin, Morris, Eliam, William, Griffith, Ann, Elizabeth and Huldah.

Isaac Morris, grandfather of Oliver G. Morris, born May 5, 1764, was twice married. He purchased in 1789 the ancestral homestead of the Thomas family, where his grandmother, Gwently Thomas Morris, lived, adjoining the Lower Hilltown Baptist church, of which the Thomases were members. He held that property until 1805, when he removed to Line Lexington, where he resided the remainder of his life.

His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Mathias. They were married October 12, 1786. Mrs. Morris was born September 12, 1765, and died August 28, 1803. His second wife, whom he married April 6, 1806, was Rachel, daughter of Benjamin Mathews. She was born February 21, 1771, and died August 1, 1856, aged eighty-five years. Isaac died September 13, 1843.

By his first wife Isaac Morris had, three children, Mathias, Justus, and William. Mathias became a lawyer, and achieved quite a reputation as a politician. His brothers died young. He was born September 12, 1787, acquired a good education, and was admitted to the bar at Newtown, then the county-seat of Bucks, in 1809. He married Wilhelmina, sister of Judge Henry Chapman.

In he was elected to the state senate, and was also re-elected for a second term. he served two terms in congress, from 1834 to 1838. He died November 9, 1839, leaving a widow who is long since deceased, and one daughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Lyman.

The children of Isaac Morris by his second wife were Oliver G. and Burgess Allison (twins) and John D. Oliver G. died in 1826, at the age of nineteen years. Burgess A. Morris was the father of Oliver Goldsmith Morris, the subject of this sketch. John D. Morris, his brother, born April 9, 1811, became a lawyer, and practiced his profession at Stroudsburg for many years, representing Monroe county in the legislature in 1851 and 1852. He subsequently held positions in the Philadelphia mint and custom house under the administrations of Presidents Pierce and Buchanan.

He married Sallie, daughter of Stroud and Jeannette Hollinshead, of Stroudsburg. John D. Morris died at the residence of his nephew, Oliver G. Morris, in Line Lexington, January 5, 1868. In party predilections the Morris family were Democrats for many generations, and they were as a rule active in politics.

Burgess A. Morris (father), born December 23, 1806, married, January 28, 1836, Mary G., daughter of John Riale. She died June 27, 1837, he died in 1847. They had but one child, Oliver G. Morris. Burgess A. Morris was a farmer all his life. He was educated in the schools of the vicinity, and took an active interest in all that concerned his community. The Riales, maternal ancestors of Oliver G. Morris, were prominent citizens of New Britain township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. John Riale, his grandfather, was a justice of the peace of that township and stood high among his fellow citizens. He was the son of Richard Riale, and a grandson of John Riale, who emigrated from England about 1725. He was twice married, Elizabeth Griffith, the mother of Mary G. Morris, being his second wife. The second wife of Burgess A. Morris was Matilda Hoxworth.

(Page 411)

Oliver Goldsmith Morris, the subject of this sketch, is thus descended from a long line of honored ancestors on both sides. His qualities of mind can be traced to progenitors near and remote. When his line of descent is considered, it would appear remarkable were he very different from what he is. He was born March 26, 1837, on the homestead at Line Lexington. He was reared to farm life, attending the neighborhood schools until the death of his father. He then became a student at the boarding school of Rev. John C. Hyde, New Britain, remaining there for three years. He then attended Treemount Seminary, Norristown, taught by Rev. Samuel Aaron, for two years. He then returned to the homestead, on which he still resides.

He was elected a school director on reaching the age of twenty-one years, and has held the position the greater part of the time since. He has also been secretary of the board, and district superintendent for many years.

Among other positions which he has held are the following: Member of the board of managers of the Springhouse and Hilltown Turnpike Company; manager of the Line Lexington Fire Insurance Company; director of the Stony Creel: Railroad Company, and secretary of the Line Lexington Horse Company for many years. He was a trustee of the Hilltown Baptist church for many years.

In politics, Mr. Morris is a Democrat. He was a member of the state legislature for the sessions of 1871, 1872 and 1873. He was assistant assessor of internal revenue under President Andrew Johnson. In every position which he has been called upon to fill he has made himself a reputation for the most reliable business qualities, and has won the respect and esteem of the whole community without reference to party affiliations, because he has deserved them. He has not been an office seeker, preferring to keep close to business interests of himself and those who depend upon him.

Mr. Morris married, October 11, 1858, Miss Susanna, daughter of Michael and Mary Snyder, farmers, of Hatfield township. She was born January 12, 1810. Their children: John D., born April 17, 1861, died June 23, 1864; Charles E., born September 14, 1863; Allison M., born March 29, 1866, died July 28, 1866; W. Norman, born September 28, 1867 Mary, born May 17, 1870, Arthur S., born January 4, 1877. Charles E. married Clara D. Ebo; W. Norman married Rebecca McDowell; Mary married Richard Hamilton. Arthur is deceased. Mrs. Morris' father was a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Snyder, natives of Bucks county, Pennsylvania.

The mother of Mrs. Morris, Mary Snyder, was a daughter of Isaac and Susanna Rosenberger, of Hatfield township. Mr. Morris is treasurer of the Line Lexington Fire Insurance Company, one of the oldest and most reliable of the mutual companies of the state of Pennsylvania.

The Morrises are descended from Evan Morris, a Welsh Friend who came to America in the time of William Penn and settled at Abington after a temporary sojourn elsewhere. The Morrises went early into Bucks county, Thomas Morris being in Hilltown prior to 1722, and some of the family being in New Britain as early as 1735, and probably before that time. Morris Morris, son of Cadwallader, and grandson of the immigrant, has been mentioned as having married Gwently, daughter of Rev. William Thomas, the founder of the Hilltown Baptist church.

Benjamin, their third son, became quite famous as a maker of clocks of that day, and they are occasionally met with at the present day, having been handed down from father to son four nearly a century and a half. One of them, inherited from his great-grandfather, Amos Roberts, married also to a Thomas at Richland in 1775, is owned by Ellwood Roberts, the editor of this work, residing at Main and George streets, in Norristown. It is a high clock, with the letters "B. M." engraved on a brass plate, on its face. These clocks are highly prized by all who possess them. Benjamin Morris was the father of Enos Morris, who learned his father's trade of clockmaker, but afterwards studied law with Judge Ross at Easton, Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the bar about the year 1800. He was a leading member of the Baptist church, and a man of great integrity.

(Page 412)

Benjamin Morris, who was sheriff of Bucks county, was a son of Benjamin the clockmaker. Enoch Morris, brother of the sheriff, had a son James, who fell into the hands of the Algerines, and was one of those liberated by Commodore Decatur. He married a Miss Hobson, of Philadelphia, and settled at Cincinnati. One of their sons became a West Point graduate.

** * * * **

Return to Roberts' Biographies: Vol I - Index

Return to Roberts' Biographies: Vol I - Part 17

Go to Roberts' Biographies: Vol I - Part 19