Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 546


On Dec. 22, 1681, by deed recorded in Philadelphia, William Penn granted to Robert Adams of Ledwell, in Oxfordshire, England, five hundred acres of land, to be surveyed and located in the Province of Pennsylvania. Immediately thereafter, Robert Adams came to America and settled in Oxford township, Philadelphia county (now city), where he died in 1719. From him in direct line Sarah B. (Addams) Zimmerman, of Perry township, was descended.

Her great-grandfather, William Addams, settled in Cocalico township, Lancaster county, early in the eighteenth century, and in 1761 laid out the town which is now the borough of Adamstown. He married Ann Lane, of Philadelphia, and had five sons, Isaac, Abraham, Samuel, Richard and William, and one daughter. Two of these sons, William and Isaac, removed to Berks county and settled in Heidelberg, now Spring township. William married Barbara Ruth, and after his death, his brother Isaac married the widow, by whom he had six sons, William, Isaac, Samuel, John, Peter, and Abraham.

Isaac Addams, the elder, grandfather of Mrs. Zimmerman, was born at Adamstown in 1747, and died at Reading in April, 1809. He was a farmer, then a leading merchant and citizen of Reading. In 1776 he was captain of a company of light infantry belonging to Colonel Peter Grubb's Battalion of Associators in Lancaster County. He was a county commissioner and member of the Assembly from Berks county.

His eldest son William (1777 - 1858) and wife Eve Van Reed, settled on the Cacoosing creek, Berks county, at the Addams mill. They had these children: Kittie, m. to Rufus Davenport; Richard; Rebecca; Josiah; and Amelia m. to John H. Van Reed. He afterward m. Catherine Huey Van Reed, widow of John Van Reed, and had three children: William; John; and Valeria, m. to John Knapp. William Addams was a leading citizen of his day, and served as county auditor, county commissioner, member of the Assembly, was twice a Presidential elector, a member of Congress two terms, and was associate judge of Berks county 1839 - 1842.

Isaac Adams, the younger (1779 - 1884), married Catherine Eckert, and settled at Leesport, Berks county. Their children were: Isaac; Sarah m. to Michael Haak; Eliza, m. to Charles Kessler; Catherine, m. to Dr. Charles Zoller; John E.; Reuben E.; and Annie, m. to John Runkel.

Samuel Addams (1782-1854) married Catherine Huey, at Sinking Spring, and they had these children: Charles H.; Rebecca, m. to Richard Adams; Mary, m. to John Van Reed; Elizabeth; Harriet, m. to Nathan Young; Jane, m. to Edwin Mull; Isaac; Lydia, m. to Rev. Daniel Albright; James H.; and John H. The latter settled in Cedarville. Ill., and became one of the founders and leaders of the Republican party in that state. He was for sixteen years a State senator and declined the governorship. He was the father of Jane Addams, the head resident of Hull House, Chicago, and well known writer and lecturer.

Abraham Addams (1787 - 1849) married Lydia Miller of Millerstown, Juniata county, where he settled and died in 1849. He had two daughters: Ann Eliza m. Jacob Beaver, and their son, Gen. James Addams Beaver, was a brigadier general of volunteers during the Civil war, and served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1887 - 1891, and since 1891 has been a judge of the Superior court; and Lydia, m. Capt. Thomas McAllister of Virginia, who in the Civil war was captain of a company forming part of the "Stonewall Brigade" under command of Gen. Stonewall Jackson. The grandson of the latter, J. Gray McAllister, D. D., is president of Hampden-Sidney College (Virginia).

General John Addams (1780-1832) was long prominent in politics and for about twenty years held local office in Reading. In 1814-15 he commanded the Second Brigade of Pennsylvania Militia, one of the two brigades furnished by the State, which lay at York during the winter of 1814-15, to check the threatened British advance form Washington. He died unmarried.

Peter Addams, the father of Sarah B. Zimmerman, was born at Adamstown, Lancaster county, May 31, 1784, and came with his parents to Heidelberg township, Berks county, in early life. On Oct. 29, 1811, he married Susan Eckert, daughter of John and Barbara (Gernant) Eckert. He resided at Morgantown, Berks county, Lewistown, Mifflin county and for the greater part of his life in Bern and Centre townships, Berks county, near Leesport. He was a farmer and miller. Originally a Jacksonian Democrat, he became an ardent follower of Henry Clay. In 1825 he was a Presidential elector for Andrew Jackson, and in 1848 was the Whig candidate for Congress, but was defeated by William Strong (Democratic), afterward justice of the United States Supreme Court. He had these children: Sarah B.; Annie E., who died in July 1891; Adeline, who died in May, 1839; and the late Rev. George Eckert, who died at Reading in June, 1897. Peter Addams died Jan. 20, 1852, and his wife Aug. 8, 1842.

Sarah Barbara Zimmerman, eldest daughter of Peter Addams, was born on her father's farm one mile west of Leesport, in Bern township, Berks county, Pa., Oct. 8, 1813. About the year 1836 she came with the family to the large farm near Dauberville, in Bern (now Centre) township. After the death of her parents, she, her sister Annie and her brother George continued on the farm until March, 1857, when she became the wife of Seth Zimmerman, and removed with her husband and sister Annie to her late home in Mohrsville, Berks county. Mr. Zimmerman was a native of Columbia county, and for fifty years was agent at the Reading railroad station, Mohrsville. He died in September, 1888, and his wife died Feb. 7, 1907, in her ninety-fourth year. They had no children.


p. 632


The Adams family are of English ancestry and tradition says they came from Leeds. In their earliest religious belief they were members of the Church of England, but later in life they became identified with the Reformed Church. They were prominent in the war of the Revolution. Many of their descendants have continued to be residents of Pennsylvania. During the life of the Whig party they took an active interest in its support and success. The progenitor of those descendants who have been in Berks county was the father of Robert Addams of Ledwell, in Oxfordshire, England. Robert is supposed to have emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1681, and then purchased from William Penn 500 acres in Philadelphia county. He was not married, and had a number of nephews and nieces, including William.

(I) William Addams settled in Cocalico township, Lancaster Co., Pa., early in the eighteenth century. In 1761 he laid out the town which is now the borough of Adamstown. He married Ann Lane, of Philadelphia, and they had five sons: Isaac, Abraham, Samuel, Richard, and William, and one daughter. Two of these sons, William and Isaac, removed to Berks county, and settled in Heidelberg (now Spring) township. William married Barbara Ruth, and after his death his brother Isaac married the widow.

Picture of Isaac Addams

(II) Isaac Addams, was a prominent man of his day. He was born where Adamstown is now sitting, in 1747, and died at Reading in April, 1809. He was a farmer for some years and then a leading merchant of Reading. In 1776 he was captain of a company of Light Infantry attached to Maj. Peter Grubb's Battalion of Associators in Lancaster County. He was a commissioner of Berks county in 1804 and 1805. He had six sons: William, Samuel, Isaac, Peter, Abraham, and John.

(III) William Addams, son of Isaac, was born in Lancaster county March 9, 1777. Early in life he went to Berks county, settling on Cacoosing creek, at the Addams Mill, where his exemplary habits, "his sterling integrity, good sense and unostentatious sincerity of purpose" won for him a high place in the esteem of the people, and he was frequently called upon to fill positions of honor and trust. In 1813 and 1814 he was county auditor; 1814 and 1817, county commissioner; 1822 and 1824, member of the State Legislature; 1839-42, associate judge of the county; and twice a Presidential elector. He served as captain of the Reading Troop for many years. He died at his home in Spring township March 31, 1858, aged eighty-one years. He married (first) Eva Van Reed, and they had five children: Kittie, wife of Rufus Davenport; Richard; Rebecca; Josiah; and Amelia, wife of John H. Van Reed. He married (second) Catherine Huey Van Reed, widow of John Van Reed, and by her had three children: William, John, and Valeria (m. John Knapp).

(III) Isaac Addams (2), son of Isaac and brother of William, was born in Adamstown in 1779, and died there in 1844. His earlier years were devoted to farming, but in later life he was a hotel-keeper in Leesport. He married Catherine Eckert, and by her had seven children, among them being: Sarah (married to Dr. Charles Zoller), Reuben, Anna (married to John Runkel), John E. and Isaac. In politics, he was a Whig.

Picture of Isaac and Rebecca Addams

(IV) Isaac Addams, son if Isaac (2), was born Jan. 3, 1801, at Adamstown, but his parents left that place and settled on a farm along the Cacoosing creek in Berks county when he was but three years old. He was educated in the old pay schools of the county, and remained at home helping his father on the farm until he attained his majority. He then followed farming on his own account, until his forty-ninth year, when he retired from active labor. In 1859 he moved to Reading, residing on Penn street until 1865, when he took up his residence at No. 52 North Fifth street, where he died in 1876. He, too, was a Whig. In his early life, he took much interest in the State militia. He married Rebecca Haak (daughter of John and Elizabeth (Krause) Haak), born in 1789, died in 1866. The remains of both were buried in the family lot in the Charles Evans cemetery. They had four children: Henrietta C. died unmarried Oct. 15, 1908; Rufus who died in 1894, married Rebecca Van Reed, and they had four children, John V. R. (unmarried), Annie V. R. (who died unmarried in 1909), Mary (who died unmarried) and Charles; Rebecca J. died unmarried in 1899; Wellington I. is mentioned above.

ADDAMS, RUFUS (deceased)

p. 633


Picture of Rufus Addams

Rufus Addams (deceased), a well known farmer along the Cacoosing creek in Spring township, Berks county, was born in that township Sept. 30, 1825, son of Isaac and Rebecca (Haak) Addams. His early training was all along agricultural lines, and he devoted himself all his life to the cultivation of farms in lower Berks county. His comfortable brick residence was erected by Jacob Haak in 1734, but was remodeled by Mr. Addams in 1892. He also built an addition which made it a very comfortable house, and as well the Swiss barn, 85 x 35 feet. Mr. Addams also owned a farm of 116 acres in Heidelberg township, and this is now the property of his daughter. He retired from active work about ten years before his death, Aug. 12, 1894. He and his family were members of St. John's Reformed Church at Sinking Spring, and there in the cemetery connected with that church is the family burial lot.

Mr. Addams married Rebecca Van Reed, who was born May 30, 1830, daughter of Charles and Margaret (Zacharias) Van Reed. She passed away May 2, 1900. Four children came to bless this union, namely: John V. R.; Annie V. R., who died in 1909, aged 55 years, seven months, twenty-three days (she was a member of the Reformed Church at Sinking Spring); Mary V. R., who died Jan . 13, 1873, aged twenty-one years; and Charles, born in 1860, who married Annie Gruber, and died aged thirty-one years, the father of two sons, Clinton G., and Charles D.

John V. R. Addams and his sister Annie V. R. Addams resided together on the old homestead farm, and there Miss Addams died. This place has been given the best of care, and kept with the same care which their parents before them exercised. Mr. Addams received his early education in the public schools, after attending Dickinson Seminary, at Williamsport, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania.


p. 632


Picture of Wellington Addams

Wellington I. Addams, the youngest son of Isaac Addams, was born on the old farm about two miles from the Sinking Springs, in Berks County, Pa., and received his early education at the Van Reed private school near his home. After that, he attended the Freeland Seminary in Chester County, Pa., and finished at Bellefonte College, in Centre County, Pa. He then went to Philadelphia and took a course at Crittenden's Commercial College, and at once entered the foreign and domestic woolen commission business with the firm of E. Kirberg & Co., and continued this for several years. He then took a four months' trip to Europe, visiting England, France Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and on his return went into business for himself as "W. I. Addams & Co., foreign and domestic woolens on commission," at No. 611 Chestnut street, Philadelphia.

Mr. Addams now married the youngest daughter, Sarah N., of Mr. Robert K. Neff, in 1873, and built a home in Germantown, where they lived for more than twenty-five years. His son, Robert N. Addams, better known as "Bob Addams," the caricature artist for "Life,"" Judge," and "Puck," made his home in New York and is well known both here and abroad. His son Clifford I. Addams, won the first scholarship prize, $800, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1899, and then started for Paris, entered the art school of Mr. James McNeill Whistler, and continued his studies there until the death of the famous painter, after which he went to London, and married Miss Inez Bate, an English lady, who had also studied art under Mr. Whistler, at the same time; Mr. Clifford I. Addams is now living in London, and has painted many important people during the last eight years. Miss Florence Biddle Addams, the only daughter of Mr. Wellington I. Addams, a few years ago married Mr. Robert G. Fell, and lives at their place, "Roslyn," Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Addams retired from business during the fall of 1902 and with his family traveled extensively abroad, He is fond of traveling and now contemplates a tour of the world for 1910. The family spent several winters in the south of France, sojourning at Menton, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Nice, etc., and made many delightful acquaintances with fellow travelers from London, Paris, Berlin, etc.


p. 1246


Cyrus K. Ahrens, a substantial business man of Exeter township, Berks county, who is proprietor of the Esterly P.O. Fertilizing Company, was born May 2, 1844, in Ontelaunee township, son of Henry and Nancy (Xoennig) Ahrens.

Henry Ahrens was born in Ruscombmanor township, where he was reared and early in life learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for some years, building many barns in Oley township. The last forty years if his life, however, were spent on his 100 acre farm in Ontelaunee township where he died at the age of seventy-four years, and his wife when eighty-eight years old. He was a Republican in politics. Mr. and Mrs. Ahrens had a family of eight children: Sarah m. Henry Saylor, of Tuckerton; Catherine m. James Leinbach, of Reading; Annetta, deceased, m. (first) Lewis Hoffman and (second) Daniel Stitzer, of Spangsville; Eliza m. Daniel Rosenberger, of Muhlenberg township; Frank, deceased, who was a farmer on the homestead; James, deceased, who was a carpenter, and later a merchant at Blandon; Henry, an ice dealer of Reading; and Cyrus K.

Cyrus K. Ahrens was educated in the public schools and in 1862 he left home to learn the harness-maker's trade in Friedensburg, with Jonathan Cleaver. This business he followed on and off until 1874, working in Allentown, Easton and Philadelphia, and finally in Washington D. C., where he was employed as U. S. hostler. He had, however, enlisted in July, 1863, for three months service in the State militia, and after his services returned to Reading, where he again engaged at his trade. He bought the business of Amos Seidel, which he sold in 1867 and entered the Philadelphia and Reading rail mill, where he worked until 1874. In 1876 he embarked in the fertilizer business at his recent location, and this enterprise he has enlarged and improved until his plant is one of the leaders in its line in Berks county. He has given his entire attention to this business, and has made a decided success. In 1896 he erected his present residence, one of the finest homes in St. Lawrence, which he has fitted with all modern improvements. In politics he is a Republican.

In 1866 Mr. Ahrens was married to Hannah Haas, daughter of John Haas, of Freystown, and to this union there have been born six children: Charles, a machinist of Coatsville; Harry, a steam fitter with the Monitor Boiler Company, of Lancaster; Clara, who married James Esterly, of Reading; Kate, who married Bert Bupp, a grocer of Reading; Lillie, who married John Spotts, of Fleetwood; and Nettie, at home.


p. 962


Edmund H. Ahrens, excellent citizen and general farmer, residing in Ontelaunee township, Berks county, was born on the old family homestead, Sept. 19, 1861, son of Franklin and Sarah (Hughes) Ahrens.

The Ahrens family can trace its ancestry to the great grandfather, Henry Ahrens, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 15, 1754. Family history tells that he left home while still a youth, after having some differences with his father, went to England, where he joined a party of emigrants who started to America in 1770, landing in Massachusetts. There he served an apprenticeship to the millwright trade. About 1790 he went from New England to Pennsylvania and settled in Lippert's Valley, Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, where he married Catherine Lippert. born Feb. 9, 1772. They had children born to them as follows: John; Henry; Jacob; and Hannah, who married Jacob Miller. Henry Ahrens died Jan. 2, 1836, and his wife, Sept. 14, 1830.

Henry Ahrens (2), the grandfather, was born March 17, 1799. He was a carpenter by trade, and lived in Ontelaunee township, Berks county, where he died May 2, 1873. He married Anna King, born Oct. 15, 1806, daughter of Abraham and Catherine (Zieber) King, and they had eight children namely: Franklin, James, Henry, Cyrus, Sarah (m. Henry Sailer), Annetta (m. Daniel Stitzer), Catherine (m. James Leinbach), and Eliza (m. Daniel Rothenberger).

Franklin Ahrens, father of Edmund H., was born Feb. 7, 1827, and died July 30, 1904. He was a carpenter and builder. On Oct. 2, 1855 he married Sarah Hughes and they had three sons: Harry; William (died in 1882) and Edmund H.

Edmund H. Ahrens attended the local schools and has done a large amount of home study and reading. Farming has been his life work and he now owns the old homestead on which he resides. On Dec. 24, 1887, he married Kate Unger, daughter of Reuben and Rebecca Unger, and they have six children, namely; Sallie married Frederick Kraemer, and has two children, Nellie (deceased) and Erma; Edith died age eleven years; and Bertha, Marion, Ruth, and Nellie are all at home. This pleasant old homestead farm lies on the Kutztown road between Temple and the Half-way House.


p. 1407


Among the native sons of Berks county, who have risen to prominence in connection with industrial affairs, and who stand exemplar of the best order of citizenship, is numbered Mr. Howard E. Ahrens, who is president of the Allentown & Reading Electric Railway Company, and who is also one of the representative contractors of this section of the State. Mr. Ahrens was born in Muhlenberg township, this county, May 13, 1853, son of Bennewell K. and Susanna (Gearhard) Ahrens, and grandson of Jacob Ahrens.

Heinrich Ahrens, the ancestor in America of the Ahrens family in question had a very interesting career. He was born about 1759, in Bremerhaven, Germany, of parents of good social standing in that city. When but twelve years of age he played truant from school for a week. A neighbor, seeing him about the streets of the town asked his father the next Sunday in Church, why the boy had not been attending school instead of roaming the streets. The father shaking his finger at Heinrich frightened him so, that, securing money from his mother, he left home, intending to return home in a few days when his father's anger would have subsided. He wandered down to the wharf, where he was noticed by the captain of a Dutch vessel, who was much impressed by his appearance. The Captain talked with Heinrich, and, taking a fancy to the boy, asked him to go with him to Holland, promising to return him to his parents in a short time. Heinrich sailed with him, but the good Captain died off the shores of Holland, and Heinrich was left alone in a strange land. As the lad was wondering about the shore another captain bound for America kidnapped him and forced him to go with him. Landing on the New England coast, probably at Boston, the boy was turned over to a rich man, who manifested a liking for him, but before letting him go, the captain cut all the bright buttons from his coat saying he wished to have them as a memento. He had been sold as a redemptioner to the rich man, who became so found of the boy he decided to educate him. At the time he was building a mill at his place, and noting the boys liking for his tools of the wheelwrights and his keen interest in everything the men did, he offered to let young Heinrich learn the trade. This he did and followed it for nine years in New England. At the end of that time he started for Pennsylvania on foot and walked all the way to Berks county. He was then twenty-two years. He followed his trade in Bern township for a time and there met Catherine Leppert, who afterward became his wife. He was considered an excellent mechanic. He erected many of the mills along the Tulpehocken and at Wernersville, as well as in different districts in the lower end of Berks county. He and his wife moved to Friedensburg, in Oley township, where she had relatives living, and there he build a home and passed away the rest of his life, dying at the age of eighty-one years. He was buried at the graveyard at Spies's Church. He and his wife had four children as follows: Henry, who was a millwright and carpenter by trade, owned and conducted a farm at the "Half Way House" in Maiden-creek township; Jacob is mentioned below; Hannah married Jacob Miller; John learned the carpenter and wheelwright's trade, commencing when but twelve years of age, and this he followed all his life. He served in the War of 1812 in the Berks county militia and in 1814 went with it to Baltimore. He married Christina Reber, and they had the following children: Louisa; Anna; Catherine; Maria and Henry. All were members of the Bern church.

Jacob Ahrens, son of Heinrich, was a successful carpenter and builder of Berks county, and devoted special attention to the building of bridges. After the memorable flood of 1850 he erected some of the best bridges in this section, including those at Kissingers, Leesport, Shoemakersville, Mohnsville and Hamburg. The maiden name of his wife was Barbara Koenig, and concerning his children we have the following data: William married Miss Kate Potteiger; Jacob died when a young man; Henry married Rebecca Gring and they reside at No. 913 Franklin street, Reading; Rebecca became the wife of George F. Wummer, and both are deceased; Sarah, deceased, was the wife of Jacob Potteiger; Johanna, the wife of Reuben Wanner, is deceased; Adeline is the wife of Tiras Gerhard; Caroline is the wife of Levi Rickenbach; Bennewell K. was the father of Howard E. Bennewell K. Ahrens was reared to maturity in Berks county, and learned the blacksmith's and carpenter's trades, to which he devoted his attention throughout his active business career. He manufactured farming implements, and for some time was identified with agricultural pursuits. He died in 1870, at the age of forty-four years, and his wife is still living. She is a zealous member of the Lutheran Church, to which Mr. Ahrens also belonged. Of their five children the subject of this sketch is the eldest: James S. married Rosa Leinbach and is a resident of Reading; John married Mary Reis, and they reside in Reading; Clara was the wife of Solomon A. Althouse, of Reading, now deceased; Annie is the wife of William Gearhard, of Reading.

Howard E Ahrens is indebted to the public schools of Muhlenberg township and the city of Reading for his early educational training, but he soon assumed practical responsibilities in connection with his school work. At the age of thirteen years he secured employment as tool and water boy for Harry Hawman, contractor and builder at the Reading round house, and later he became clerk in a hotel which his father was conducting in Reading. Finally he initiated his independent business career by engaging in the coal and feed business in Reading, later becoming operator of a stone quarry. In 1884 he engaged in general contracting and building putting up nineteen buildings, and thereafter giving his attention more largely to other lines of contract work. His initial contract in the installation of water works was in Kutztown, Pa., and afterward he had similar contracts at Hamburg, Mifflin, Bridgeport, Patterson, Steelton, Newville, Newport, West Conshohocken, Northumberland, Reedsville, Pa., Delaware City and Harrington, Del., Pleasantville, N. J., as well as the electric light and water plants at Newcastle Del. The firm of H. E. Ahrnes & Brother, in which he associated with himself and his brother, James S. Ahrens, has constructed a number of trolley lines in eastern Pennsylvania -- notably the lines from Reading to Allentown -- and also the interurban line in Texas. They have had contracts with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for grading masonry and stations and passenger tunnels all over the state of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ahrens still maintains his contracting business which has become one of wide scope. The firm name is now H. E. Ahrens Company, and his partner is a son instead of his brother, as formerly. He has been identified with the Allentown & Reading Traction Company almost from the time of its organization, and was formerly its treasurer, having retained this office until March 1, 1903, when he was elected president of the company, which position he has since continually been incumbent.

Mr. Ahrens is distinctively the artificer of his own fortune, having worked forward from small beginnings and having turned the tide of success through his own well directed efforts. His reputation as a business man and as a citizen is unassailable, and his standing in the community is indicated by the unqualified esteem and confidence accorded him by the people of his native county. He is essentially public spirited in his attitude and all that touches the well being of his home city is a matter of definite interest to him. In politics he pays attention to the Republican party, and he has attained to the thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry. He is pastmaster of Chandler lodge, Free & Accepted Masons of Reading; a past high priest, Excelsior Chapter, Royal Knights Templar; and the Harrisburg Consistory of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masons at Harrisburg. He is also identified with Rajah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Reading and takes a deep interest in all departments of the time honored fraternity, in which he has gained such exalted rank. He has been a member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America since 1870. He and his wife hold memberships in the Lutheran and Reformed Churches respectively.

In 1878, Mr. Ahrens was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Snyder, daughter of the late William H. Snyder, of Reading, who served for many years as justice of the peace and who was an honored and influential citizen. Mr. and Mrs. Ahrens have six children, namely: Gertrude, William, Elizabeth, Hannah, Helen, and Eva.


p. 1510


Charles Albrecht, proprietor of "Friendship Hotel," in Reading, was born in that city, Nov. 24, 1873, son of Isadore and Mary Albrecht. He spent all his boyhood days in the city, and was educated in the parochial school in St. Paul's Catholic School. He commenced working with White & Albrecht, plasterers, remaining about one year, then entering Hendel's hat factory, and before he was twenty he learned the painter's trade. This he followed for five years, and the year following was employed as a core maker in the Reading Iron Company (Scott Foundry). In 1894, he started in the hotel business at Ninth and Oley streets, being one of the youngest men in Berks county to take out a license. For two years he conducted the "Imperial Hotel," and in June, 1906, Mr. Albrecht assumed charge of the "Friendship Hotel" at No., 1100 North Tenth street, an this he has since conducted with great success. He has fifteen pleasant rooms, and the guests are uniform in their praise of the courteous treatment given them.

Mr. Albrecht is a member of the Knights of St. John; Foresters of America; Aerie No. 66. Fraternal Order of Eagles; Mountain Home Association; Mt. Penn Family Circle; Marion Fire Company; and the Commercial Club. He an his family are active in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church. In politics he is a democrat.

In 1893 Mr. Albrecht was married to Mary Kulp, daughter of George and Sarah Kulp, of Reading. Mr. and Mrs.. Albrecht have had five children, namely; Charles, Lillie, John, Philip and Paul, of who Lillie and Philip died young. Mr. Albrecht is a self made man, and has met with great success in his undertakings, being now the owner of considerable real estate. He stands well in his community, and is very popular with those who know him best.


p. 777


George Albrecht, junior member of the well known firm of Northeimer & Albrecht, practical plasterers of Reading, Pa., was born in that city, Oct. 10, 1864, son of the late Isadore and Mary (Reichert) Albrecht.

Isadore Albrecht was a native of Baden, Germany, and came to America in 1848, landing at New York City, thence going to Philadelphia. He had learned the trade of tailor in his native country, and that occupation he followed in Philadelphia for about one year, at the end of which time he located in Reading, in which city he continued to follow his trade for a period of twenty-four years. he was also engaged in the hotel business at Eleventh an Walnut streets and was well known and very successful. He died in April, 1904, aged seventy-nine years. His widow, who survives hi, resides at No. 1041 Walnut street. They had these children: Louisa, of Reading; William, a cigar maker of reading; John, a contractor and builder of the city; George; Charles, proprietor of the "Friendship House," No. 108 Robeson street, Reading; and Matilda, m. to John Popp, of Reading.

George Albrecht attended the schools of Reading, his first employment being at Jacoson's Rope Walk, whence he went to the Reading Hardware Company. He then became employed at the pipe mill, and for a time served on the police force of the city under Mayor Jacob Weidel. He learned the plastering trade, which he followed for one year in Philadelphia, then returning to Reading, where he engaged in business with J. E. Northeimer, the firm having since been known as Northeimer and Albrecht.

Mr. Albrecht married (first) Miss Annie Boyer, who died, leaving one child, Annie, who died when thirteen months old. Mr. Albrecht's second marriage was to Jennie Williams, born in London, England, who came to this country when eight years old. Nine children, eight of whom are living, were born to this union; Annie, deceased; Catherine; Jennie; Gerald; Maria; Josephine; Gertrude; George, and John. Mr. Albrecht is a Democrat in politics. He is a member of St. Paul's Church. He is connected fraternally with the Eagles Aerie No. 66, and the Rainbow Fire Company. Mr. Albrecht makes his home at No. 215 North Tenth street, Reading, and is very well known and highly esteemed in his community.


p. 539


George B. Albright, proprietor of the Market House Saloon, and superintendent of the South Reading Market, and who is well known in business circles of the city, was born in Bern township, Berks county, son of Amos Albright.

Amos Albright was also a native of Bern township, and a blacksmith by trade. He married Tamson Smith, daughter of Thomas P. Smith, and to this union were born children as follows: Mary m. Isaac S. Leining; Alfred S.; Ellen R. m. Monroe Bender; Lucinda m. Reuben Leinbach; and Helen m. Pierson Hetrick. Amos Albright died in 1901, aged seventy-five years, in the faith of the Reformed Church, which his wife, who survives him, attends. In politics Mr. Albright was a Democrat.

George B. Albright was educated in the common schools of Bern township, and followed farming until the age of nineteen years, when he learned butchering and engaged in that business on Sixth street, Reading, for ten years. In 1875, in company with his father-in-law Abraham S. Kissinger, Mr. Albright started a coal yard at the corner of Sixth and Bingaman streets, and this was carried on until 1885, with great success. Mr. Albright came to his present stand in 1895 as superintendent of the South Reading market house, which had been built by a company, organized as the South Reading Market House Company, in 1870. Since Mr. Albright has taken charge many substantial improvements have been made, including a cement floor throughout the building, and a stable, containing 282 stalls to accommodate an equal number of horses. Mr. Albright became manager of the saloon in 1895, and this he has conducted with much success, it being very popular with out-of-town people.

In 1874 Mr. Albright married Mary A. Kissinger, daughter of A. S. Kissinger, now deceased, and six children were born to this union, three of whom survive: William A., Howard and L. Annie. The other three children died in infancy. Not only in business circles has Mr. Albright been prominently connected, but in politics as well, being a staunch Democrat and at one time school controller of the First ward. He has attended both county and State conventions, and is regarded as a strong party man in this section. Fraternally he is connected with Lodge No. 115, B. P. O. E., and Teutonia Lodge No. 367, F. & A. M., and the Liberty Fire Company.


p. 955


Jacob W. Albright, of Sharlesville, Berks county, is one of the most prominent citizens of the Tulpehocken District, where he has maintained the high reputation enjoyed by his family during the several generations the Albrights have been settled here. The name has many creditable association with the history of the Dutch in Pennsylvania.

(I) Christian Albright, the ancestor who emigrated from Germany and settled in what is now the upper part of Berks county, Pa., married Elizabeth Rick, and they had children: Peter R. (who died in Schuylkill county), Solomon R., John Christian, Henry R., Jacob R., Daniel R., John R., John George, and Justus Yost R.

(II) John Christian Albright, son of Christian, was born Feb. 26, 1748, and died Feb. 28, 1820. He was twice married, first to Maria Elizabeth Althouse, born May 27, 1776, died May, 1799, and second to Maria Kauffman. His children, all by the first marriage, were: Maria Catharine, Anna Maria, Annie Magdalena, George, John Jacob, John, Solomon, Gabriel and Elizabeth. Of these, Maria Catherine m. George Wagner, and had children; Daniel, Benjamin, Kate, Elias, George, Elizabeth, Samuel, Solomon, William and Lucy. Anna Maria m. Jacob Shartle, and had children; George, William, Sallie, Eliza, Maria and Julian. Annie Magdalena m. George Kauffman, and had two children, Hettie and Samuel. John Albright m. Elizabeth Ruby and they had two children, Samuel and Leah. Solomon Albright m. (first) Maria Miller and (second) Elizabeth Shoemaker and his children were: John, Henry, Gen. Charles, Mary, Eliza, Kate and Harriet. Elizabeth m. Joseph Kauffman and had three children, William, Harrison, and Kate (Mrs. John Grime).

(III) John Jacob Albright, son of John Christian, was a farmer in Upper Bern township and one of the prominent men of that section in his day. He m. Maria Shartle, and to this union were born seven children: Sarah m. William Shearer, and had two children, William A. and Frederick A. William m. Hettie Fenstermacher, and they had five children, Willoughby, Mary, Emma, Lafayette, and Henry. John m. Sarah Huey, and had three children, Jacob, John and Sophia. Jacob S. is mentioned below. Daniel was the next in the family. Moses and Elizabeth were twins.

(IV) Jacob S. Albright, son of John Jacob, born Jan. 7, 1816, died April 4, 1905, aged eighty-nine years, two months, and twenty seven days. He was an intelligent, progressive man, an in his death the community lost a valuable citizen. He was a wheelwright by trade, which vocation he followed and also conducted his farm, during his active years, but he lived retired for many years before his death. In religious belief he clung to the tenets of the Reformed Church, and was a Reformed member of the Frieden's Church at Shartlesville, in whose work he took an active part, at the time of the erection of the present edifice serving on the building committee and himself giving liberally of his means as well as his time. He an his wife are both buried in the cemetery of the church. Mr. Albright married Matilda Wagner, born Sept. 1, 1934, died March 24, 1892. They had the following children: Howard and Sallie Ann, who both died young; Jacob W.; and twins who were still-born.

(V) Jacob W. Albright was born Nov. 6, 1865, at the home in Upper Bern township were he still resides. He began his education in the public schools of his native township, and later attended the Palatinate College at Myerstown, Pa. His schooling over, he returned home to assist his father with the farm work and remained with him until his death, since which time he has been the owner of the homestead. It is a fine tract of 115 acres, located at Sharlesville, and has become valuable through years of methodical cultivation. Mr. Albright has other interests outside of farming, his principal business connection being with the Windsor Mutual Assistance and Fire Insurance Company, of Berks county, of which he is treasurer. He has also taken part in the local civil government, having served as township auditor, and, since 1897, as justice of the peace of Upper Bern township; he was elected to that office. Ma3rd3d of that year, as a candidate of the Democratic party, which he staunchly supports by his vote and influence. His high personal standing has made his work in this office particularly effective for good which is appreciated and felt by his fellow-citizens of all classes, and he is accordingly respected wherever he goes. Mr. Albright is a member of Friden's Church (Reformed), in which he holds the office of trustee, having succeeded his father in that position upon the latter's death.

In fraternal life Mr. Albright is well known all over his section of Berks county. He is a member of Camp No. 133, P. O. S. of A., serving that body as recording secretary for many years, and is also past officer an ex-district president of same; he is a member of Camp No. 97, P. O. S. of A.; of Lexington Commandery, Sons of America, No. 2. of Reading, Pa.; of Lodge No. 77, I. O. O. F., of Strausstown, Pa.; and of Sharlesville Tent, No. 351, K. O. T. M.

Mr. Albright married Miss Anna Kate Berger, daughter of John Adams Berger, and they have four children born as follows: Clara, March 24, 1893 (died June 25, 1894); John Jacob, March 26, 1896; Howard, Jan. 6, 1902; Paul, March 1, 1906.


p. 1545-1546


William H. Albright, one of the most popular business men of Mount Penn, Pa., were he is engaged in carriage building, was born Feb. 13, 1865, in Pottsville, Schuylkill county, son of Joseph and Margaret (Herman) Albright.

Joseph Albright was born in 1830 in Wrtemberg, Germany, and there grew to manhood, learning the trade of Wheelwright. When nineteen years of age he emigrated to America, and first located in New York City, whence he came to Reading, then to Kutztown, and after a short time to Pottsville, where he operated a shop for a while. Mr. Albright then returned to Berks county, locating at Black Bear, and in about 1868 located in Dengler's, now Mount Penn, where he opened the first business of the place, a carriage building shop. This became one of the most successful enterprises of his section of Berks county, as Mr. Albright built up a large and lucrative trade and employed a number of skilled mechanics. He retired a short time prior to his death, which occurred in 1892. In political matters he was a Democrat, and h and his wife were connected with St. Paul's Catholic Church, of Reading.

Mr. Albright was married in Reading to Margaret Herman, daughter of a well-known butcher of that name, in Reading, who died in his ninety-third year. Mrs. Albright still survives and makes her home with her son, being upwards of seventy years of age. She and her husband had these children: Josephine, m. to Charles Tyson, of Mount Penn; Daniel M., of Mount Penn; Carrie, deceased, William H.; Mary, m. to Thomas Lantz, of Manayunk; J. J., a carriage builder of Conshohocken, Montgomery county; Francis, a carriage builder of Norristown; Catherine, m. to Edward Jones, a butcher of Flourtown, Pa.; Annie, unmarried, of Chicago; Henry, a painting contractor of Norristown; Charles, deceased; and Margaret, unmarried, of Norristown.

William H. Albright was reared at Mount Penn, and was educated in the public and St. Paul's Parochial schools of Reading. He then began learning the trade with his father, with whom he worked until sixteen years of age,after which he went to Philadelphia, where, seven years were spent in carriage painting. He then returned to Mount Penn and formed a partnership with his brother, Daniel M., under the firm name of Albright and Brother, which partnership continued about two years, at the end of which time William H. resigned from the firm and spent four years at different points as a journeyman painter. In 1892, he returned to Dengler's and succeeded his father in business, in which he has continued to the present time with much success, making a specialty of light work, as buggies, milk wagons, bread wagons, etc. Mr. Albright built the present plant of the company, one of the best in this section of the county, and he also owns a comfortable residence in the borough of Mount Penn. In political matters, Mr. Albright is a Democrat. He and his wife are members of St. Paul's Catholic Church.

Mr. Albright was married in 1889 to Miss Martha Elmira Schaeffer, daughter of Emanuel and Maria Trumbo Schaeffer, an to them there were born one son, William H., who died in infancy.

Mr. Albright is a great lover of good horse flesh, and has owned a large number of fast racing horses, among them: "Patsie," 2:09 1-4; "Diamond A.," 2:16 1-4, which he kept in stud three years: "Black Jim," with a record pace of a half mile in 1. flat; "Rixie," 2:13 1-2; an a bay pacer with a record of 2:18. He is now the owner of a four year old, "Kid," a sorrel trotter, with a three year old trial of one-quarter mile in .33 for which animal he has a standing offer of $1,000. Mr Albright is a great lover of all kinds of sport, and is ready to engage in a friendly bout at any time. He is a genial, whole-souled gentleman and his friends are legion.


p. 1665


Grant E. Alleman, one of the successful businessmen of Shoemakersville, Perry township, Berks county, Pa., who is carrying on an extensive coal business, was born May 13, 1866, at Akron, O., son of Peter and Magdalena (Yiengst) Alleman.

The founder of the family in America, Heinrich Ahleman, emigrated from Hamburg in 1795, landing at Philadelphia from the brig "Minerva," Dec. 15th of that year. His son, Henry, had ten children as follows: Henry; Leonard; Banjamin; Peter; John; Elizabeth; Catherine; Rosa; Maria and Susanna. Of these children Peter Alleman became the father of Grant E. He was reared to the occupation of a miller near Beele Grove, in Dauphin county, but resided for a number of years in Ohio, Illinois and Kansas, in which state he carried on his trade, later returning to Pennsylvania, continuing there until his death in 1899, in his fifty-eighth year. He married Magdalena Yiengst, daughter of Henry Yiengst, a blacksmith of Black Oak Hill, Lebanon county, four children being born to this union: Catherine, who married Joshua Haldeman, Grant E., and two boys who died in infancy. Mr. Alleman married (second) Sarah Long, daughter of George Long of Dauphin County, and nine children were born to this union, four of whom died young.

Grant E. Alleman was still an infant when his father removed to Illinois, and after remaining there for eight years located at Union Deposit, Pa., where young Alleman was educated until thirteen years of age. He then lived in the West for three years and on his return was engaged at store-keeping in Union Deposit, and also butchering until twenty-four years of age. He then removed to Lebanon and there continued in butchering for nearly three years, the next three years being spent in Reading in the butchering and restaurant business.

In 1897 Mr. Alleman established himself in the coal washery enterprise at Palmyra, taking drift coal out of the bed of the Swatara river, washing it, and marketing it in three sizes. He remained at Palmyra three years, then locating at Shoemakersville, Berks county, to engage in the same business, and in this he has continued successfully to the present time. He established washeries also at Stoudt's Ferry and Port Clinton dam in the Schuylkill, and in 1904 produced 9,000 tons of coal and in 1905 12,000 tons, showing the result of his enterprise. Mr. Alleman also erected a machine-shop at Shoemakersville for preparing his boats and making repairs.

In 1886 Mr. Alleman was married to Lizzie Shakespeare, daughter of George W. Shakespeare of Dauphin county, and to them four children have been born; three sons who died in boyhood, and a daughter, Catherine.


p. 651


The first of the Althouse family to come to America was George Althouse, born May 5, 1744, in Wittenstein (Grafschadt) Germany, and died Feb. 7, 1811. He married Maria Barbara Herbein (born March 21, 1741, died March 23, 1822), and among their children was a son, Peter.

[NOTE: there is a discrepancy in the information below. All Althouse genealogies that I have seen state that there were three brothers or cousins [no one seems to have concrete evidence of which] who came to America in 1738. Therefore, the George Althouse highlighted below was the son of Johan Georg Althaus who was born in Elsoff, Westphalia Province, Wittgenstein, Germany. I have not yet found a verified birth date. He died in 1754. To the best of my knowledge, he had only one son, John Georg Althaus. The information given below is correct for John except his birth place and statement that he emigrated from Germany. John was born in Bern Township. For more information contact: George Althouse.]

Peter Althouse, born Feb. 3, 1775, died March 5, 1839. He married Catherine Schaeffer, born Oct. 2, 1773, who died Aug. 26, 1826. Their children were: George, born in 1803, died Jan. 6, 1866; Susan m. Christian Leinbach; and Samuel.

Samuel Althouse m. Mary Ann Zacharias, and they had three sons and one daughter: George, born Jan. 15, 1841, died May 29, 1861; John Z., born May 28, 1843, died June 27, 1879; Catherine, born in August, 1844, died Jan. 4, 1865; and Samuel, born Oct. 14, 1847, died Nov. 23, 1848. The father of these children died in January, 1849, and the mother Oct. 4, 1865.

John Z. Althouse was born on the property now owned by his widow, near Epler's Church, in Bern Twonship, which was settled by the pioneer of the family in this section. After his marriage Mr. Althouse located in Reading in the home now occupied by his widow, and here he resided until his death. He also owned much property in Riverside, a portion of which was donated by his widow to the Olivet Reformed Church, and was a stockholder and one of the organizers of the Berks & Lehigh Railroad.

On March 5, 1868, Mr. Althouse was married to Deborah R. Eppler, daughter of Jared and Deborah (Rothermel) Eppler, and to this union were born six children: Jennie; Mary; Emily, deceased; Samuel, m. to Caroline Shomo, and father of two children ? Dorothy and Josephine; George, who died young; and an infant.


p. 1119


Cyrus Dechert Althouse, retired farmer living at Shillington, was born in Bern township, Sept. 21, 1866. He was educated in the township schools and brought up to farming until he became of age, when he began to conduct farming operations for himself and has continued to do so until the present time. In 1897, he moved to Shillington, and has since resided there. In 1887, he was married to Sarah H. Fritz, daughter of Henry Fritz, retired farmer, and Susan Hinnershitz his wife, of Shillington. The latter died Feb. 14, 1909, aged sixty-six years.

His father was Adam Althouse, who cultivated a large farm in Bern township for thirty years until his decease in 1877, aged sixty-three years. He was married twice. His first wife was Susan Shepp, daughter of Daniel, of Alsace township (now Muhlenberg), by whom he had four children: Milton, Nathan S., Ellen (m. Augustus G. Christman), and Emma (m. Isaac W. Steininger). After his wife's decease in 1855, Mr. Althouse in 1859 m. (second) Angeline Dechert, daughter of Daniel, of Spring, by whom he had three sons: Monroe B. (m. Mary Tobias), Cyrus D. (above), and one died young. In the settlement of his estate, his farm of two hundred acres was divided into two equal parts, the part adjoining the Schuylkill having been adjudged to his son Monroe, and the other part adjoining the Tulpehocken to his son Cyrus, which parts they still own and cultivate.

His grandfather was John Althouse, farmer of Bern, who died March 24, 1847, aged seventy-six years. He was married to Catharine Knabb, of Oley, who died in 1858, aged seventy-eight years. They had eight children: John (m. Sarah Seidel); Daniel (m. Catharine Dunkel); Henry (m. Mary Kissinger); Adam (above); William (m. Elizabeth Guldin); Mary (m. Isaac Graeff); Catharine (m. Adam Kalbach); and Elizabeth (m. Solomon Dunkel). John Althouse devised to his son Adam a large farm in said township, about three miles from Reading, which extended from the Schuylkill River to the Tulpehocken creek and contained over two hundred acres.

His great-grandfather was John George Althouse, farmer of Bern, where he carried on farming for many years until his decease in 1811, aged sixty-six years. He was married to Maria Barbara Herbine, of Oley, by whom he had four children: Peter (m. Catharine Schaeffer); John (above); Maria (m. a Kershner); and Catharine (m. a Rieser). His wife died in 1822, aged eighty-one years.

As to antecedents of Mr. Althouse's mother, see biographical sketches of her brother Adam Dechert, and of her cousin Henry M. Dechert, which appear in this publication.

Mr. Althouse's wife's parents had four children: Cyrus (m. Ida Trexler); Martin (m. Ada Eberle); Rebecca (m. Daniel Krick); and Sarah (Mrs. Althouse). Her father Henry Fritz is a retired farmer at Shillington and has served as the tax collector of Cumru township for many years. His father Martin Fritz carried on farming for many years along the Schuylkill in Cumru township, at the "Little Dam," and died at Shillington July 22, 1891, aged eighty-three years. He was married to Margaret Gring, who died Oct. 12, 1880, aged seventy-five years. They had six children: Lewis (m. Sarah Focht); John (m. Catharine Epler); Henry (above); Susan (m. Jeremiah Garet); Sarah (m. John Grill); and one died young.


p. 1078


Henry Althouse, retired farmer at Reading from 1867 to 1882, was born in Bern township near Epler's Church Sept. 11, 1811. He was educated in the school connected with Epler's Church and brought up on his father's farm, working for his father at farming until he was thirty years of age. He then purchased a large farm in the township named near Bern Church, and cultivated this farm for himself in a successful manner until 1867, when he removed to Reading and lived in retirement until his decease, Sept. 27, 1882. He was recognized for his quiet, straightforward and unostentatious character.

Mr. Althouse was married to Mary Kissinger, daughter of Abraham Kissinger, of Bern township, and sister of John M. Kissinger (mentioned elsewhere), and they had ten children: Catharine A. (m. Daniel F. Dietrich); Henry F.; Morgan J. (m. Mary Moyer); Mary C. (m. Peter M. Hoffman); Emma S. (m. George Loose); John W. (m. Carrie Reeser); Rebecca S. (Dr. William F. Marks); and three, Wellington, Ella S. and Clara L., died young.

His father was John Althouse, a farmer of Bern township (born 1771, died 1847), who married Catharine Knabb, of Oley. His grandfather was John George Althouse, also a farmer of the same township, born 1745, and died 1811. He married Maria Barbara Herbine, of Oley township.


p. 1175


Hiester Althouse, a business man and substantial citizen of the city Reading, who is the proprietor of a restaurant and fruit and cigar store at No. 125 Penn street, is a native of Berks county, born at Mohrsville, Aug. 7, 1867, son of Emanuel and Sarah (Smith) Althouse.

John Althouse, grandfather of Hiester, lived in Centre township, Berks county, where he was engaged in farming. He is buried at Belleman's Church, of which he was an official member. His children were: Emanuel, Isaac, Jacob, Kate (m. James Kercher) and Sarah (m. Cyrus Roth and is deceased).

Emanuel Althouse, son of John, was a farmer and veterinary surgeon at Mohrsville. With the Kauffmans and Fishers of Leesport, he was prospecting in the coal lands of Snyder county, Pa., and lost considerable money. He came to Reading in 1872. He died in 1899 or 1900, and his wife, Sarah Smith, passed away in 1902, aged seventy-four years.

Hiester Althouse was the only child born to his father's last marriage and received his education in the schools of Reading. As a boy he was engaged with his father in a green grocery and dairy business, which after the father's death was carried on by his widow. The business was first located on North Ninth street, but was later removed to North Sixth street, where it was successfully carried on until shortly before her death in 1902, when Mr. Hiester Althouse established himself at No. 125 Penn street. Here he has continued to the present time with increasing success. He carries a fine line of fruits, both domestic and imported, and the most popular tobaccos and cigars.

Mr. Althouse is unmarried. He is a member of several fraternal organizations, and in politicalical belief is a Democrat.


p. 1166


John Wellington Althouse, one of the enterprising young business men of Philadelphia, Pa., who as Director of Foreign Tours is well known to the traveling public, is a lineal descendant of one of the first families of Bern township, Berks county, and was born June 6, 1874, at Ashland, Pa., son of John Wellington, Sr., and Carrie Miriam (Reeser) Althouse.

Henry Althouse, grandfather of John Wellington, Jr., was born in Bern township, and died in 1882 in Reading. He married Mary Kissinger, daughter of John Kissinger, of Reading. John Wellington Althouse, Sr., son of Henry and Mary (Kissinger), was born at Reading in 1844, and met an accidental death in a runaway at Allentown, Pa., in 1875. He married Carrie Miriam Reeser, daughter of Reuben and Henrietta (Ryland) Reeser, and to them were born two children: Lulu B. (m. Edward Collins); and John Wellington.

John Wellington Althouse was brought to Philadelphia by his parents when he was two years old, and there he attended the public schools until reaching his seventeenth year, at which time he became a clerk in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, in their office on South Fourth street. After continuing thus for several years, Mr. Althouse engaged in the coal business in the Pocahontas District of West Virginia, but one year later returned to Philadelphia to embark in the business of arranging and conducting foreign tours through Europe, Asia and Africa. Since 1895 he has been engaged in this enterprise with increasing success, his tours having won the patronage of many distinguished people in all parts of the United States.

In 1900 Mr. Althouse was married to Ada P. Koch, daughter of Charles and Caroline (Teeter) Koch, of Orwigsburg, Pa., and granddaughter of Henry and Susanna (Bock) Koch.


p. 968


Picture of Wilson D. Althouse

Wilson D. Althouse, of Philadelphia, a very successful miner and shipper of coal, was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks Co., Pa., March 4, 1865, son of Nathan and Ellen Knabb (Zacharias) Althouse.

It is possible to trace the Althouse family to a remote period, the old records having been preserved. The great-great-grandfather of Wilson D. Althouse was John George Althouse, a farmer of Bern, Berks county, who married Maria Barbara Herbein, of Oley, by whom he had four children: Peter, John George, Maria and Catherine. He died in 1811, aged sixty-six years, and his widow in 1822, aged eighty-one years.

Peter Althouse, the great-grandfather, was also a farmer in Bern, born in 1775 and died in 1839. He married Catherine Schaeffer, and they had the following children: Samuel, who married Mary Zacharias; Benjamin, who married Mary Herbein; Peter, who married Matilda Lorah; George; Daniel; and Susan, who married Christian Leinbach.

Daniel Althouse, the grandfather, was a farmer in Bern township. When twenty-seven years of age he purchased a farm in Maiden-creek township, which he carried on until his death, in 1872, at the age of sixty-four years. He married Anna Weidenhammer, daughter of John Weidenhammer, of Richmond township, who lived to be ninety years of age, dying in 1898. They had five children, namely: Franklin W.; Nathan; Ellen, who married Joseph Schaeffer; Catherine, who married Abraham Bieber; and Sarah, who married Daniel Guldin.

Nathan Althouse, father of Wilson D., was born in 1841, in Maiden-creek township, and when twenty-four years of age began farming for himself, continuing at that occupation for twenty years. He then turned his attention to butchering, which he followed for six years, or until 1891, when he moved to Reading, where he has since lived retired. He married Ellen Knabb Zacharias, daughter of Daniel and Sarah Zacharias, the latter a daughter of Peter Knabb, of Oley. Nathan Althouse and his wife had eight children, namely: Wilson Daniel; Zacharias married Lizzie Oberlander; Sallie K. married N. J. Poindexter; Gertrude married Walter Frees; Catherine married Frank Kitzmiller; Winifred married Charles Esterly; Bessie; Raymond died young.

Wilson D. Althouse was reared on his father's farm, which was situated along the Kutztown road, near the "Half-way House." He attended the township schools, and by the time he was sixteen years of age completed a course at Brunner's Business College, at Reading. He then entered the Mellert foundry, at Reading, as shipping clerk, remaining one year, and then became clerk at the Lenhartsville Iron Furnace, operated by Spang and Erb, where he remained less than a year, having become interested in railroading. Returning to the home farm, while remaining there he began the study of telegraphy, putting his knowledge into practice at Blandon, on the East Pennsylvania railroad, a few miles distant, walking the distance daily. He learned the tedious details quickly and in a short time received the appointment of station agent at Belfry, on the Stony Creek railroad. After working there less than two years, he was transferred to the Norristown Station, on the Philadelphia & Reading railroad, and after filling this position for two years he was promoted to the station at Ogontz; he was there only a year when he was again promoted, this time to the station at Manayunk, where he remained until 1893, a period of six years.

With this ten years' experience Mr. Althouse gave up telegraphing as a business and engaged in the commission line, selling coal for the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company, and had offices in the Reading Terminal at Philadelphia. In two years he became thoroughly acquainted with this line of trade and began to turn his attention to other promising industries. About this time he embarked for himself in the business of mining and shipping bituminous coal in Somerset county and in three years he had developed a large patronage. These mines he sold to the Somerset Coal Company, and then engaged still more extensively in mining operations, opening coal mines at George's Creek, in Maryland, which he has carried on successfully until the present. During this time he developed large coal properties in Somerset county, Pa., and in Preston county, W. Va., which he has also operated in a successful manner. His offices continued to be at the Reading Terminal until 1905, when he removed to commodious quarters in the Stephen Girard building on South Twelfth street, Philadelphia, from which he directs a constantly increasing business, which reaches into all parts of the United States. His whole business career has been marked by good judgment and conservative methods.

In 1888 Mr. Althouse was married to Carrie E. Kutz, a daughter of Benneville and Sarah (Fisher) Kutz. They had three children: Frederick, George Nathan and Alfred Kutz, the eldest of whom died in infancy.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:26 EDT

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