Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 649


David D. Babb, a highly esteemed citizen of Lower Alsace township, Berks Co., Pa., who is engaged in blacksmithing and operating a well-cultivated truck farm, was born June 25, 1837, in Alsace (now Lower Alsace) township, son of John and Mary (De Hart) Babb.

John Babb, son of John Sr., and grandfather of David D., married and had the following children: Jesse, who in early life was a farmer, removed to Reading where he died aged seventy-eight years; Benjamin, a tailor of Reading, where he died when eighty years of age, married and left a family of children: John, father of David D.; Sarah married Peter Fies, a wheelwright by trade, who kept the "Black Horse Hotel" for many years, and they had five children -- Rachel, Sarah, Benjamin, Mahlon, and Jerre; and Rachel married Augustus Eidel, a farmer of Oley, where she died aged seventy-five years.

John Babb, father of David D., who was a blacksmith by trade, conducted the "Centre Hotel" for many years, and there his death occurred. He married Mary De Hart, daughter of John De Hart, and to this union there were born sixteen children, as follows: David D.; Sarah, m. to Jacob Bauer, a farmer of near Baumstown; Emma, m. to Henry Christian, a farmer of Alsace township, whose death occurred in Reading; Mary, m. to Richard Long, a cooper who died in Reading; Elizabeth, who died in Reading, m. to Dallas Leinbach; Savilla, who died unmarried in Reading; Rose m. to Daniel Rider, a brick layer who now lives in Nebraska; Caroline, m. to Fred Heine, who resides at Omaha, Nebr., Daniel farmer of near Green Tree, Cumru township, m. to Amanda, daughter of Daniel Zieber; George, m. to Isabella Foulk, deceased; James, a farmer who resides near the old homestead, m. to Hettie, daughter of Jerre Fick; John, who was killed at the second battle of Bull Run, during the Civil war; William, who died young; Martha, m. to Thomas Keller, who works in a woolen mill and resides near the Stony Creek Mills; Minerva, who married John Fisher, deceased, and resides near Reading; Ida, m. to Louis Kern, and residing near Reading.

David D. Babb was reared and educated in Alsace (now Lower Alsace) township, and from the age of sixteen years assisted his father in the blacksmith shop. There he learned the trade, which he was followed to the present time, also carrying on truck farming. Mr. Babb was married to Miss Rebecca Marberger, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Hafer) Marberger and she died Aug. 3, 1907, being interred at Spies's Church cemetery. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Babb: Sarah Alice, born Feb. 3, 1862, m. William Ibach, and resides near Mt. Penn in Lower Alsace township; John M., born June 12, 1863, m. Sarah Keller; David M., born Aug. 5, 1867, is single; Annie Rebecca, born June 15, 1869, m. John Klemmer, and they reside with her father; Mary Ida, born June 22, 1875, died Aug. 1, 1877; and Elmenda M., born June 1, 1878, m. Samuel Long, and they reside at St. Lawrence, Exeter township, where he is a weaver in Brumbach's woolen mills. Mr. Babb and his family are members of the Lutheran congregation at Spies's Church.


p. 1511


John Babst, a well-to-do citizen of Reading, Pa., who has been living retired at his home since 1896, is a native of this city born April 8, 1842, son of Adam and Margaret (Exmoyer) Babst.

Adam Babst was born in Bavaria, Germany, and while in his native country followed gardening. He came to America in the fall of 1841, and remained at Philadelphia few weeks before going to Reading. He started the vineyard of Mr. John Fair, who kept a wine house on Penn street, below Seventh, and then bought six acres of land at the foot of Mt. Penn, where he started a vineyard. Mr. Babst died at this place in 1847, when about fifty years of age, while his wife passed away in her sixty-eighth year , both being buried at the Alsace Church, they being Lutherans in their religious belief.

John Babst, the only child of his parents, attended the school situated at the corner of Tenth and Washington streets, and early in life learned the hatter's trade, following this occupation for twenty-five years. He then went to Philadelphia & Reading shops, where he was employed in different departments for a period of fourteen years, retiring in 1896. He now spends his time on his fine property left him by his mother, most of which he has since sold for building lots, although he still possesses a desirable tract. The view from these grounds is very beautiful and it is a charming place for a home. Mr. Babst erected his present residence in 1863, at No. 331 Lombard street, and an interesting incident concerning the tearing down of the old home was the finding, by Mr. Babst, of a string of unique brass beads. These beads must have been wrought by an Indian, skilled in such workmanship. Mr. Babst is a member of the Odd Fellows, No. 158, and a charter member of the Veteran Firemen's Association, joining the Rainbow Fire Co. in 1860. In politics, Mr. Babst is a Democrat, and he has served his ward, the Ninth, as a member of the Council. He is religiously connected with the Alsace Church.

Mr. Babst married Lovina, daughter of Jacob Meitzer, a farmer in Lehigh county, and to this union there were born: Catherine, deceased, who was the wife of John Frederick, had two children, Charles and John; Margaret, the wife of Lewis C. Hohl, a policeman of the Ninth ward, has one daughter, Emma; Emma, the wife of William R. Harbster, has one daughter, Helen Irene; Elisabeth, the wife of William A. Winter, has two children, Nora and Howard; and John J., a cigar maker, is single.


p. 1117


Joseph S. Bachman, proprietor of Bachman's Steam Pretzel Bakery, No. 836 North Eighth street, Reading, was born in Austria in 1863, and came to America with his parents, Francis and Margaret (Settler) Bachman, in 1868.

In his native country Francis Bachman had learned carpentering and cabinet-making, and these occupations he followed on settling in Reading. He is now living retired at No. 351 North Eleventh street, at the age of sixty-eight years, his wife also surviving at the same age. They have had a family of five children: Joseph S., the only child born in Europe; John, a stone cutter of Reading; Annie m. to Adam Heister; Margaret m. to John High; and Charles, who is employed by his brother in the Bachman Steam Pretzel Bakery plant. In religious belief, the family are Catholics.

Joseph S. Bachman was educated in the public and parochial schools of Reading, and his first work was at Koenig's Marble Yard, which position he left to engage in carrying the Daily Post for Wilhelm Rosenthal. His next employment was with the Penn Hardware Company, where he remained about one year, and he then apprenticed himself with Anthony Vogelman. After several years spent as a journeyman, Mr. Bachman in 1886 engaged in business at No. 450 North Eleventh street, where he spent three years, was for one year at No. 232 Mifflin street, and then engaged in model baking on Fifth street. Later he removed to No. 609 Moss street, but in 1897 he engaged in the pretzel baking business, at his present place, selling out his general baking establishment. Mr. Bachman had three years experience as a journeyman pretzel baker, which gave him a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the business, and from a humble beginning he has established the largest enterprise in this line in the State of Pennsylvania. He employs a force of thirty people, having a night shift, has two wagons on the streets of Reading constantly, and his trade reaches all over the United States.

Mr. Bachman m. Mary Mercer, and they have two children: Francis, m. to Florence Folk; and Margaret. Mr. and Mrs. Bachman are Catholics in religious belief. He is a Democrat in politics, is captain of the Marion Fire Company, a member of the Knights of St. John, and major of the Second District of Pennsylvania. He also served as captain for five years of this order, and was chairman of the convention committee for June, 1908.


p. 1459


Levi Bachman, farmer and dairyman of Spring township, residing near Shillington, Berks county, is a son of Joseph Bachman and a member of an old pioneer family. Frederick Bachman , the ancestor of the family, was a pioneer of Ruscombmanor township, Berks county. He settled there sometimes prior to 1759, and reared a large family. One of his sons, Henry, located in Rockland township, another settled in Lynn township. Lehigh county.

Nicholas (Nicholaus) Bachman, probably a grandson of Frederick, is said to have come to Lenhartsville from Lynn township, Lehigh county. He died a few years after his marriage to Elizabeth Benner, sister of Gideon and George Benner, and they had one son, Joseph (or Jost). The widow Bachman married for her second husband, Heinrich Reitz, and they lived on the first farm below Lenhartsville, on the Ontelaunee, having a farm of more than 100 acres. The only son of this union was Lewis. Mrs. Elizabeth Reitz in about 1883, was burned to death when past seventy years of age, her clothing having caught fire from her pipe. Her remains rest in the cemetery at Dunkle's Church in Greenwich township.

Joseph (or Jost) Bachman, son of Nicholas, was born Jan. 1, 1826, in Lehigh county, Pa. He lived in Berks county, owning a small farm along the Ontelaunee, where he carried on agricultural pursuits. He married Lovina Fenstermacher, who died in middle life, and they are buried side by side at Dunkel's Church, of which Mr. Bachman was at one time a member. He died March 4, 1892. Mr. and Mr. Bachman had a family of six children, namely: James died young; Lovina married Eli Henry; Levi is mentioned below; Lizzie married James Jacoby, of Reading, and both are deceased; and Medina died young.

Levi Bachman was born August 15, 1855, at Lenhartsville, Berks county, and he attended the common schools in that section for a few years. He was brought up on the farm, and during his young manhood hired out to various farmers, being thus engaged until he was nearly twenty years old. After the Civil much ore was mined in this section, and for nine years Mr. Bachman drove an ore team in Oley township, where he was similarly engaged in the employ of John K. and James Rothermel, continuing with them for five years. In 1892 he commenced farming on his own account in Richmond township, on Widow Debbie Rothermel's farm, where he remained for two years. Then for four years he farmed a piece of property near "Six Mile House," in Maidencreek township, in 1900, moving to Cumru township, where he was a tenant on Benneville Yost's farm for two years. The following three years he was the tenant on the Bittner farm, in Spring township. It was formerly the Catharine Huyette farm, and consists of ninety-two acres of the best land in Lower Berks county, supplied with the best water in this section. Mr. Bachman purchased the farm in the fall of 1904. He is a thrifty farmer, and indications of his industry and good management are seen everywhere on his land and about his home. He has substantial buildings, all the most improved implements for carrying on his work, and keeps excellent live stock, including good horses and mules and from fourteen to twenty cows. He has made somewhat of a specialty of the dairy business, running a daily wagon to Reading, where he markets all his milk. His prosperity is well deserved, and he is highly respected in his community as a worthy man. Considerable iron ore has been found on his farm, adding to his revenue.

Mr. Bachman was married Feb. 13, 1873, to Miss Kate Schitz, daughter of John and Susanna (Welder) Schitz, of Rockland township, and six children have blessed this union: Lillie, wife of Mahlon Weider, of Spring township; William, who married and lives in Shillington; Glenson, married and lives at Oakbrook; Annie who is married to Frank White, of No. 232 West Elm street, Reading; John, of Shillington; and Clarence, at home. Mr. Bachman and his family are Lutheran members of St. John's Church at Sinking Spring. He is a Democrat in political sentiment.


p. 892


William Bachman, a well known citizen of Centre township, who is engaged in blacksmithing and carriage making, was born in 1852 in Ruscombmanor township, this county, son of Joseph and Barbara (Miller) Bachman.

Joseph Bachman was also a native of Ruscombmanor township, where he received his education. Most of his life was spent, however, in Chester county, and there he died at the age of seventy-four years, his widow surviving until December, 1906, when she passed away in her eighty-second year. Both were buried at Saint Peter's Church in Chester county. Their children were: David, of Oakbrook. Berks county; Joseph, of Lebanon; Noah of Chester county; Emma, the wife of John Dries; Sallie, of Norristown; Emma, wife of Augustus Bloch, of Tuckerton, Pa.; Lizzie, the wife of Samuel Fritz, of Cumru township; and William.

William Bachman attended the schools of Leesport and Ruscombmanor township, and when a boy worked at farm labor. At the age of nineteen years he began to learn the trade of blacksmith with John Bussler, of Leesport, with whom he remained a few years, then engaging in journeyman work for seven years. Mr. Bachman next embarked in business for himself at the "Kurtz House," in Cumru township, but since 1878 he has been located at his present stand. He has a large and growing business and employs a number of skilled workmen throughout the year.

Mr. Bachman was married to Miss Elizabeth Clara Fritz, daughter of Jeremiah Fritz and granddaughter of Elias Fritz, and to this union have been born five children: Robert, who married Eva Schmehl; Alvin; Harry; and Alice and Luke, at school. Mr. Bachman is a Democrat in politics and has served his township as tax collector; He and Mrs. Bachman attend Yokum's Lutheran Church.

Jeremiah Fritz, father of Mrs. Bachman, was born March 6, 1840, and now resides at Centre, Cumru township, where he is engaged at blacksmithing. He married Annie Wagner, daughter of Daniel Wagner, and to them were born children as follows, besides Mrs. Bachman: Elias, of Reading; Alice, who married Hiram Heckman, of Reading; William of West Reading, married to Estella Rick; and Sallie, who married Alvin Kohl, of Centre, Berks county.


p. 1717


Bachofer, a good name of German origin, is now worthily borne in Reading, Pa., by two brothers, John L. and J. George Bachofer, both prominent and both highly esteemed. They are the sons of John and Josephine (Mann) Bachofer.

John Bachofer was a native of Stuttgart, Germany, as was also his wife, and they came to America in the spring of 1874, landing at Castle Garden. They came immediately to Reading, here Mr. Bachofer secured work with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company. He remained there until he entered the employ of the large brewer, Frederick Lauer, with whom he remained for twenty-two years. In 1890 he built the stand now occupied by his son. He died in 1896, at the age of fifty-six years, his widow surviving until 1903. They had a family of nine children, of whom six lived to maturity, namely: John L.; Fredericka, wife of Frank Seiders; Christian, of Reading; Miss Mary; Jacobina, wife of Ira Hinnershitz of Shillington, Pa.; and J. George, of the Reading Loan Guaranty Company. In politics, John Bachofer was a Democrat. The religious faith of the family is that of the Lutheran Church.

J. George Bachofer, son of John, is the present efficient manager of the Reading Loan Guaranty Company. He is a native of Reading, and he received in the public schools here his education, continuing until he was in the grammar grade. He then commenced work in the Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart department store as cash boy. Later for a period of three years he was employed in a broker's office. He then entered the service of the Reading Loan Guaranty Company, whose offices are on the fourth floor of the Colonial Trust Company building, and we worked as a clerk for three years. His capable and efficient services were appreciated, and at the end of three years he was made manager (1905), and he still fills that position to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.

Mr. Bachofer is a member of Lodge No. 549, F. & A. M., Reading; Reading Chapter No. 152, R. A. M.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree; and Friendship Lodge No. 247, Knights of Malta.

On Oct 6, 1904, Mr. Bachofer was married to Miss Mary E. Miller, a successful pubic school teacher in Berks County for the preceding five years. She had also taught near Leesport. Her father, Wesley A. Miller, is a retired farmer, formerly of Leesport, now of Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Bachofer have one daughter, Elizabeth J. They are members of St. John's Lutheran Church. Though young in years success has attended Mr. Bachofer's efforts and he is the owner of his fine home at No. 126 Oley street. He is an able business man and his integrity and industry are above reproach.


p. 1067


J. L. Bachofer, proprietor of a hotel and cafe, at the corner of Elm and Third streets, Reading, is one of the city's deserved and prosperous men. He was born in Germany, Dec. 21, 1870, son of John and Josephine (Mann) Bachofer.

John Bachofer brought his family to America in the spring of 1874, landing at Castle Garden, and he came immediately to Reading where he secured work with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company; there he remained until he entered the employ of the brewer, Frederick Lauer, with whom he remained for twenty-two years. In 1890 he built the stand now occupied by his son. He died in 1896, at the age of fifty-six years, his widow surviving until 1903. They had a family of nine children, six of whom lived to maturity, namely: John L.; Frederika, wife of Frank Seiders; Christian, of Reading; Maria, single, Jacobina, wife of Ira Hinnershitz, of Shillington, Pa.; and J. George, of the Reading Real Estate, Loan & Investment Company. In politics, John Bachofer was identified with he Democratic party. In religious belief the family is Lutheran.

John L. Bachofer was educated in the parochial and the public schools of Reading. His first work after leaving school was clerking in his uncle's grocery store in Philadelphia, where he remained for two years, and upon his return to Reading he worked for several years for Henry B. Hintz, and then became associated with G. H. Delp & Co., wholesale grocers, continuing there until 1890, when he changed to his father's establishment, assisting him until the father died. When the property was sold to the Deppen Brewing Company, in 1903, he engaged in his present business.

Mr. Bachofer was married (first) in 1895, to Lillian May Harner. After her death he m. (second) in 1903, Isabella Schucker, who was born in Berks county. In politics Mr. Bachofer is an independent, being one of the prime movers in independent politics in the Sixth ward. He belongs to the Eagles and the Knights of Malta. For some years he has also been a member of the Neversink Fire Company. He is one of the enterprising and progressive as well as popular business men of this city.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:31 EDT

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