Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery

BAGENSTOSE, JACOB

p. 854 Surnames: BAGENSTOSE, BACKENSTOSS, SNYDER, MOYER, RUNKEL, HIMMELBERGER, SHARFF, KAUFFMAN, DUNDORE, LENGEL, REEDY, GEISS, GAUL, ECKEL, KLOPP, SPADE, LOOSE, SPEICHER, DAVIS, DIETRICH, KALLBACH, BOHN

JACOB BAGENSTOSE, a highly esteemed retired agriculturist of Bern township, Berks county, who is acting in the capacity of school director of West Leesport borough, was born in Centre township, May 22, 1849, son of William and Margaret (Snyder) Bagenstose.

Ulrich Bagenstose, ancestor of the Bagenstose family of Berks county, was probably a passenger on one of the ships that brought Swiss emigrants to Philadelphia in 1743. These emigrants followed the waters of the Schuylkill river until they came to what is now Centre township, Berks county. This district was formerly a part of old Bern township, and among the list of taxables in 1752, we find the name of this pioneer settler. His long will is on record in Will Book B. p. 347, in which he disposes of a very large estate. It is written in English, the signature alone being in German "Ulrich Backenstoss." The document was made Nov. 20, 1793, and was entered for probate Jan. 20, 1794, therefore it is evident that his death occurred between those two dates. In item No. 1 in the will he makes abundant provision for his wife Catherine, among the things mentioned being: "Plenty of grapes from the one acre vineyard; flax; one gallon apple-jack; one gallon rum; plenty of potatoes; plenty of cider and everything she needs." This she was to receive annually, in addition to money and a home. Other items were: son John to receive the plantation; son Henry to receive the plantation in Bethel township, Dauphin (now Lebanon) county; and Jacob to receive the other plantation of 100 acres situated in Bethel township. The will, which also mentioned children Elizabeth, Susanna, Catherine Eckel, and Christina Moyer, was witnessed by Jacob Runkel and Jacob Himmelberger, and the executors were John Bagenstose and George Sharff.

John Bagenstose, the grandfather of Jacob, was born on the homestead farm in Centre township, and lived near Garfield P. O. all of his life, engaged in blacksmithing and farming. He was the owner of two properties, consisting of 150 and 160 acres respectively, and was a substantial and influential citizen. Mr. Bagenstose and his family were members of Belleman's Union Church, belonging to the Lutheran congregation. He was married to Elizabeth Himmelberger, and they had these children; John, who died young; Jacob; Samuel; Jonah (Jonathan); Rebecca; Kate; John (2); Sallie; William and Benneville.

William (better known as Willhelm) Bagenstose, father of Jacob, was born in what is now Centre township, Berks county, July 3, 1814, and died Jan. 25, 1899. He was a farmer, and owned four tracts of land: one of 155 acres in Centre township; one in Bern township of 135 acres; another of 125 acres in Centre township; and 16 acres of woodland at the Blue Mountains in Tilden township. He was an able business man and highly esteemed citizen, and one of the leading workers in the Democratic party in his section. With his family he attended Belleman's Union Church, belonging to the Lutheran denomination. Mr. Bagenstose was married to Margaret Snyder, who was born Nov. 4, 1814, and died Dec. 27, 1899, daughter of Abraham and Catherine (Klopp) Snyder, and they had these ten children: Sarah m. Jonah Spade; Keziah; Samuel S., born April 3, 1841, and now a retired farmer residing at West Leesport, m. May 3, 1862, Dianna Loose, and has children, Clara, Ida, Saloma, Morris and Samuel; Catherine m. a Speicher; Isaac; Jacob; Ellen m. Cyrus Davis; Emma m. Cyrus Kauffman; Mary m. Howard Dietrich; and William.

Jacob Bagenstose was reared to agricultural pursuits, and until thirty-five years old worked for his parents, at which time he took to farming the old homestead, where he continued until 1899. He then erected a handsome brick residence on Main street, West Leesport borough, where he has since lived retired. Mr. Bagenstose is the owner of the old homestead in Centre township, which consists of 176 acres and the present barn thereon was built by his grandfather, John, in 179-, the house being erected by his father in 1830. Mr. Bagenstose is a Democrat, and since 1901 he has served as a member of the board of school directors of West Leesport, having served as president thereof for some time. He is in comfortable circumstances and is the guardian of the late Isaac Bagenstose's children, his nephews and nieces. Mr. Bagenstose and his family are Lutheran members of Belleman's Union Church, in which he was a deacon in 1892, and at present is an elder.

On Dec. 25, 1885, Mr. Bagenstose married Katie Lengel, daughter of Levi and Catherine (Dundore) Lengel, whose children are: Nathaniel, of North Heidelberg; Emma m. William Kallbach; Tillie m. Adam Bohn, and Katie m. Mr. Bagenstose.

The grandparents of Mrs. Bagenstose were Jacob and Elizabeth (Reedy) Lengel, and their children were: Elias, a resident of Iowa; Benneville, of North Heidelberg; Joshua, of Millbach, Lebanon county; Jared, of Millersberg; Levi; Percival, of Spring township; Rebecca m. George Snyder; Amelia m. Harrison Geiss; and Isabella m. John Gaul.


BAGENSTOSE, JEROME, B.

p. 1495

Surnames: BAGENSTOSE, ZERBE, LEINBACH, BENDER, EPTING, NAFTZINGER

JEROME B. BAGENSTOSE, of Penn township, proprietor of the "Penn Valley Hotel," was born in the place where he now resides, Jan. 30, 1879, son of Daniel and Emma (Bender) Bagenstose.

Jonathan Bagenstose, grandfather of Jerome B., followed farming in Centre township, where he died, being buried at Belleman's Church. On March 21, 1833 (according to the old family Bible now in the possession of Jerome B. Bagenstose). Jonathan Bagenstose married Maria, daughter of John Zerbe, and the same authority gives the births of their children as follows: Israel, Nov. 25, 1833, and William, Sept. 20, 1835, who are both living in Centre township; Catherine, March 22, 1837, and Johannes, Feb. 9, 1839, both of whom died in Centre township; Elias, April 14, 1841, who died in Penn Valley, May 17, 1904; Sarah, March 13, 1843 married to Mayberry Leinbach, and living in Centre; Daniel, Feb. 25, 1845; Isaac, Nov. 26, 1847, living in Mahonoy City, Schuykill county; Henrich, Sept. 23, 1849, living in Centre; and Levi, Sept. 9, 1851, living in Downingtown, Chester county.     Daniel Bagenstose was born in Centre township and when a young man engaged in work upon the home farm, but later learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for several years. He came to Penn Valley, in 1875, where he engaged in the hotel business, in which he continued for a period of thirty years, his death occurring Aug. 7, 1903. He was a director in he Bernville Live Stock Insurance Company, and the Bernville Horse Protection Association, positions which are now held by his son Jerome B., and he was also delegate to numerous county conventions. He is buried at Belleman's Church. Mr. Bagenstose married Emma Bender, daughter of John Bender, and they had the following children: James, who died in Penn Valley; Francis, who died in Penn Valley; Jerome B.; and two who died in infancy.

Jerome B. Bagenstose attended the public schools of Penn Valley and assisted his father in the hotel business, taking charge thereof in 1894 and in 1905 he purchased the hotel property, eighty-two acres of land fifteen miles from Reading on the Bernville road. This is one of the oldest established stands in the county, and Mr. Bagenstose enjoys a fine traveling trade. He is a Democrat in politics, and in addition to serving on election boards in his township, was made a member of the school board in 1902 and reelected in 1907, and he is now serving as postmaster at Scull Hill. He is a member of Belleman's Lutheran Church. Fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 399, P. O. S. of A., of Scull Hill; Commandery No. 15, of Bernville; and Lodge No. 122, I. O. O. F., of Bernville.

Mr. Bagenstose married Polly Naftzinger, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Epting) Naftzinger, and they have three children: Francis, Clarence, and Florence, and the two later being twins.


BAHR FAMILY

p. 1351

Surnames: BAHR, BAR, IHST (EHST), STAUFFER, KEIM, EDINGER, BECHTEL, MAURER, BLIEM, NOLL, KEPNER, JOHNSON, DAVIDHEISER, SHULTZ, HARTMAN, CLOUSER, GABEL, HOCH, NESTER, SCHEETZ

Among the early Mennonites who settled in Pennsylvania and particularly in Berks county, was a family by the name of Bahr. Tradition says the emigrant ancestor of this family was Leonard Bar, who is buried in the cemetery at Hill Church. He was born in 1734, and he died March 9, 1813, and his wife, Maria (also called Magdalena) was buried at his side. She was born August 28, 1738, daughter of Nicholas Ihst (Ehst), a native of Switzerland and a pioneer of Colebrookdale township, Berks county. She died July 2, 1820, aged eighty-two years, two months, four days. On her tombstone the name is spelled Bahr: and on that of her husband Bar, the latter also stating that there were two sons and two daughters.

Jacob Bahr was born Dec. 25, 1759, and his death occurred Dec. 11, 1825, when he was aged sixty-five years, eleven months, sixteen days. His wife, Esther Stauffer, born June 23, 1749, died Feb. 10, 1836, aged seventy-six years, seven months, seventeen days. They were Mennonites in religious faith, and were buried in the Mennonites cemetery at Boyertown.

Johannes Bahr, son of Jacob and Esther, was born Dec. 26, 1780. He owned the farm of over seventy acres now owned by William Keim, and also the tract belonging to William C. Edinger, and the farm of his grandson John B. Bahr. He died Jan. 20, 1864, aged eighty-three years, twenty-four days. On July 5, 1807, he married Catherine Bechtel, born Oct. 15, 1784, daughter of Isaac Bechtel. She died Oct, 10, 1850, aged sixty-six years, one day. Both she and here husband are buried in the Mennonite cemetery at Boyertown. Their children were: Elizabeth, born Aug. 18, 1808, died Jan. 15, 1815; Jacob B., born July 18, 1814; Ester, born Dec. 19, 1816; Catherine, born Feb. 5, 1818, married John Maurer, and lived on the homestead; Susanna, born Sept. 3, 1820, died unmarried; Isaac, born June 21, 1826.

Jacob B. Bahr, son of Johannes, was born in Colebrookdale township, July 18, 1814, and he died July 19, 1882, and is buried in Fairview cemetery. He was a life long farmer and prospered in his undertaking. He owned a farm of 125 acres near Boyertown, the farm now the property of his son, John B., and he built all the buildings there, the barn in 1864, and the house in 1869. In politics he was a Democrat, and served as school director of the township. His wife, Catharine Bliem, was born April 27, 1823, and died March 16, 1890, daughter of John Bliem, of Pottsgrove township, Montgomery county. They were the parents of children as follows: Elam, who died young; Sarah, who married Samuel Noll of Reading; Lucy, wife of Chester Kepner, of Pottstown; Lizzie, who married M. Y. Johnson, of New Berlinville; Matilda, who became the wife of William Davidheiser, of Pottstown; Mary, who died unmarried; Kate, wife of Samuel Bechtel, of Congo; John B.; and Annie, who married John Y. Shultz, of Trexlertown.

John B. Bahr, son of Jacob B., is a prosperous farmer living at Gabelsville, in Colebrookdale township, Berks county. He was born Jan. 26, 1861, and was educated in the common schools of his district for a short time. He worked for his parents until he was twenty-five years old, and then bean farming for himself on the homestead, which he continues to operate. This is a tract of one hundred acres, Mr. Bahr having added twenty acres to it. He has a fine dairy, keeping twelve to fifteen cows, and ships his milk to Boyertown. His land is kept in fine condition, and the home is comfortable and attractive with its well kept lawn. There is an excellent spring on the place. Mr. Bahr has some of the finest horses in Lower Berks county. In politics Mr. Bahr is a Democrat. He and his family attend St. John's Church at Boyertown, in which he served four years as deacon. He has the old family Bible, once the property of his grandfather, bearing the date 1765. Mr. Bahr was married in October, 1888, to Annie Hartman, of Spangsville. They had children: Luella, Arthur, Nora, William, Edna, and Warren, the last named dying in infancy.

Jacob B. Bahr, son of Jacob B., and now a leading merchant, miller and sawmill proprietor, was born in Colebrookdale township, near where he now lives, April 11, 1863. He attended the schools of his district and was reared to farming pursuits, working for his parents until twenty-five years old. He then married and located in Gabelsville, in 1888, at once engaging in the lumber and sawmill business, and in a small way operated a gristmill. In 1900 he engaged in the mercantile business, where he has two persons employed. He runs a huckster team, and does a profitable business. There are fifty-seven acres of land in his farm, three houses (two of which he rents) a mill and a sawmill, barn and necessary out buildings. He is the leading spirit in the town, and altogether employs three men besides his three sons. The place on which he lives is the old Gabel homestead. His wife was Mary Gabel, daughter of John L. and Leah (Hoch) Gabel. She is buried in Fairview cemetery. To this union were born four children: William who died in infancy; Elmer, assisting his father; and Raymond and Lawrence also working on the home place. Mr. Bahr married (second) in November 1905, Mrs. Alice Nester, nee Scheetz, widow of William Nester; Mr. Bahr and his family belong to St. John's Church at Boyertown, where he was deacon for two terms of two years each.


BALTHASER, HOWARD F.

p. 1438

Surnames: BALTHASER, GRETH, BOYER, RENNO, SUNDAY, BAER, KAUFFMAN, HECK, FAUST, BECKER, NOECKER, HOOVER, RAMBO, YOUNG

Howard F. Balthaser, a butcher at Reading, was born in Upper Bern township, Aug. 3, 1860, son of Jacob Balthaser (3), grandson of Jacob (2), and great-grandson of Jacob Balthaser (1). Jacob Balthaser (1) was an extensive farmer in Upper Bern township, owning some four hundred acres of fine land, and he was very well known throughout that section both for his handsome appearance and for his habit of driving in a very high wheeled, high-seated buggy, often taking his wife to church in that vehicle. He is buried at St. Michael's Church in Tilden township. He married Molly Greth, daughter of Nicholas Greth, of Windsor, and they had children as follows; Sarah, who married Jacob Boyer; Hannah, who married Jacob Renno; Jacob; John, born in 1814, who died in Windsor township; Mary, who married Benjamin Sunday; George, born in 1824, who died in 1899; William, who settled in Ontelaunee township; Isaac, who was drowned in boyhood; Elizabeth, who married John Baer; Susanna, who married Edwin Kauffman; Jeremiah, who remained in Upper Bern township; Samuel; and Benjamin, who lived on the homestead.

Jacob Balthaser (2), son of Jacob, was born in Upper Bern township, and died in Lower Heidelberg, being buried at Bern church, of which he was a member (Lutheran). He removed from Upper Bern to Penn, thence to Lower Heidelberg in 1858, and there at the time of his death he owned a farm of 112 acres. He married Sarah Kauffman, who bore him thirteen children, as follows: Cornelius, of Bern township; Caroline, who died aged fifty-six years; Jacob, of Bern township; Sarah, who died unmarried aged twenty-one years; Henry, a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township; Charles, who carries on agricultural pursuits in Bern township; Lovina, who died aged fourteen years; George, a farmer of Lower Heidelberg; Emanuel, who resides in Reading; Moses K., now living retired in Reading; Louisa, who married Adam Heck; and Elizabeth and Rosabella, twins, the latter of whom died in infancy.

Jacob Balthaser (3), son of Jacob (2), and father of Howard F., was born in Upper Tulpehocken in 1843, and he died Nov. 4, 1905, at the age of sixty-two years. His interment took place in Bern township cemetery. He owned a farm of sixty-eight acres in Bern township, to which he devoted his active years, until his removal to Reading to engage in the butchering business; this latter he carried on some fifteen years. He returned to his farm in Bern township before his death. He married Lena Faust, who now resides in West Reading. Their children were; Howard F.; John; Thomas; Sallie, who married Alvin Becker; Jacob; Emma, who married Howard Noecker; Franklin, deceased; William; and one that died in infancy.

Howard F. Balthaser was educated in the public schools of Reading. At the age of nine he began driving for the United Traction Company, remaining with them two years. He then when twelve years old began to learn the butcher business with Henry Hoover (now deceased), and is still in the employ of Hoover & Son, a brother-in-law of the original head of the firm conducting the business. Mr. Balthaser resides at No. 1150 Chestnut Street, in his own home. He married Miss. Norma Rambo, daughter of Joseph and Mary A. (Young) Rambo. They have no children. Both Mr. and Mrs. Balthaser and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. He is connected, fraternally, with the P. O. S. of A., No. 89, and K. G. E., No. 89, and K. G. E., No. 51, both of Reading.


BALTHASER, JEROME S.

p. 910

Surnames: BALTHASER, KISSLING, DE TURK, FOLK, KAUFFMAN, WAGNER, STOUDT, GRIFFI, NIES, NEFF, RENTSCHLER, LOOSE, SCHOCK, BUCKS
Jerome S. Balthaser, dealer in farm implements at Centreport, Berks county, has been engaged in that line since 1894. He was born March 15, 1864, in Upper Bern township, this county, and is a great-grandson of Jacob Balthaser.

Samuel Balthaser, his grandfather, lived in Penn township, Berks county, and followed farming, owning 110 acres of land. He died there at the age of fifty-six years, and is buried at St. Michael's Church, in what is now Tilden township. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Kissling, is buried beside him. They had children as follows: Jared K.; Levi; Aaron; William; John; Monroe; Mary m. Abraham De Turk; Lydia m. William Folk; Amelia m. Levi Kauffman; Isabella m. John L. Wagner, of Bernville.

Jacob K. Balthaser was born Sept. 12, 1843, and died Jan. 31, 1903. He is buried at St. Michael's Church. He was engaged as a farmer and implement dealer in Upper Bern township and also in Upper Tulpehocken township, being in business for about thirty years. He owned two tracts of land, one of 103 acres and one of forty-eight acres, and he was well known throughout his section. He married Harriet Stoudt, daughter of David Stoudt, of Upper Bern township, and ten children were born to them: Jerome S.; Hon. Francis W., of Fleetwood, served in the State House of Representatives in 1906; Milton resides in Kutztown; Kate m. John Griffi, of Seipstown, Lehigh county, Pa.; Annie m. William Nies, of Tilden township; Rosa m. Ambrose Neff, of Seipstown, Lehigh county, Pa.; Daniel C., is a baker, of Shoemakersville, Pa.; Wilson lives on the old homestead in Upper Tulpehocken township; Ida is unmarried; and Anson is a member of the class off 1909 at the Keystone State Normal School.

Jerome S. Balthaser attended the public schools in Upper Bern township and in assisting his father learned the details of farming and the implement business both of which lines he has continued to follow. In 1888 he began farming on his own account at the old homestead in the corner of Upper Bern township, and after remaining there four years came to Centreport in 1892. In 1894 he bought the old Michael Rentschler farm, the farm of his father -in-law, formerly the Benneville Loose place, which comprises thirty acres of good land, most of it lying outside of the borough, in Centre township. His fine residence, which he built in 1894, is just about ten feet outside of the borough line, and there he and his family have since resided. Mr. Balthaser started the implement business in 1894 and has built up a large trade, handling all kinds of farm machinery and devoting his time principally to this line, in which he has made such a decided success. He owns the hotel property at Centreport, one of the best of its kind in the county. Outside of his business and personal affairs he has various interests which keep him busy and in touch with the life of the community, at present serving as health officer of Centre township, to which office he was appointed. He was elected school director and held that position for three years. Socially he holds membership in Camp No. 446, P. O. S. of A. at Centreport, of which he has been treasurer since 1896; in Castle No. 53, K. G. E. of Leesport; and in Lodge No. 60 Shepherds of Bethlehem, of Centreport. He plays bass in the central band of Centreport, which was organized in 1894; is a member of St. Michael's Church, and a Democrat in politics.

Mr. Balthaser was married to Emma Rentschler, daughter of Michael G. and Caroline (Schock) Rentschler, of Upper Bern township, and they have become the parents of four children: Emerson; Oliver, who married Herma Bucks, daughter of Levi Bucks; Walter and Rufus.


BALTHASER, JOEL B.

p. 1679

Surnames: BALTHASER, BEAHR, GRETH, BOYER, RENNO, SUNDAY, BAER, BECK, SMITH, YEAGER, DUNKEL, KEIM, SMITH, ADAM, BECK, KERSCHNER, LEIBY, SEIDEL, DREIBELBIS, FINK, KAUFFMAN

Joel B. Balthaser, who died April 4, 1909, was a well known agriculturist of Berks County, Pa., residing in Perry township. He was born May 31, 1847, in Balthaser's Valley in Windsor's township, son of John and Catherine (Beahr) Balthaser.

Jacob Balthaser, grandfather of Joel B., who was an extensive farmer of Upper Bern (now Tilden) township, possessed over 400 acres of land. He married Maria (Molly) Greth, who was a member of the Catholic faith and contributed fifty dollars towards the erection of the Hamburg Catholic Church, and to them were born these children: Sarah m. Jacob Boyer; Hannah m. Jacob Renno; Jacob, who was a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township, m. a lady whose first name was Sallie and had these children: Cornelius, Caroline, Henry, Charles, George, Emanuel, Moses and Lizzie; John; Mary (m. Benjamin Sunday); George (who was a farmer of Windsor township); William (who settled in Ontelaunee, owned land in Upper Bern and Hamburg, was a merchant and very well-to-do); Isaac (who was drowned when a boy); Elizabeth (m. John Baer); Susannah (m. Edwin Kauffman); Jeremiah (who remained in his native township, had these children, -- Helena, Annie, John, Elias and William); Samuel; and Benjamin (who obtained the homestead, had a son, David, who now occupies the old home, and the latter's children are, -- Minnie; Jacob; Frank; Mollie; Milan; Benjamin; Maurice; Nathan; James; Polly; George, and Ruth).

John Balthaser, father of Joel B. was born in Upper Bern township, Berks County, Feb. 21, 1814, and was a well known farmer of Windsor township, where he owned three valuable farms in what is now known as Balthaser's Valley, the three tracts aggregating 385 acres. He was an influential man in his community and was greatly interested in educational movements, and was greatly interested in educational movements, being one of the first school directors of the township, a position held by him for many years. He assisted in building up the public school system, and one of the schoolhouses is situated on his property, being known as "Balthaser's Schoolhouse No. 1." He was a Democrat in political faith. He and his family were members of Zion's Union Church, he being Lutheran, while his wife belonged to the Reformed denomination.

On May 21, 1842, Mr. Balthaser was married to Catherine Beahr, daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Fink) Beahr, farming people of Perry township, and their children are: Isabella (m. Solomon Dreibelbis, of Hamburg, Pa.); Emeline (m. Henry G. Seidel, the owner of one of the old Balthaser homesteads, whose record appears elsewhere in this volume); Joel B.; Sarah (unmarried and residing with her sister, Mrs. Seidel); Alfred, who resides at Lenhartsville, m. Hannah Leiby; Catherine (deceased, m. Orlando Kerschner); and Brigitta (who was Mr. Kerschner's second wife).

The boyhood days of Joel B. Balthaser were spent upon the farm, and his early education was obtained in the public schools of his district. At the age of fourteen years he attended Lititz Academy, Lancaster county, which was under the supervision of Prof. John S. Beck. After leaving school he returned to the farm, and when eighteen years of age taught at Balthaser's Schoolhouse No 1, continuing there two terms. Several years later he engaged in farming, in which he was most successfully engaged up to the time of his death. Mr. Balthaser was a progressive and enterprising citizen, and his 147 acre farm, supplied as it with the latest machinery, including a gasoline engine, with a capacity of 2,500 gallons, is in the best of condition. The farm contains a high grade of iron ore, and in the eighties Wise & Company mined some of these ores which were shipped to the surrounding plants then in operation. Mr. Balthaser was a practical farmer, and the buildings on his properties, which were erected by him are well situated and of a substantial character. Mr. Balthaser also owned the old homestead in Windsor township, tenanted by his son, Llewellyn J., who is a prosperous young farmer.

Mr. Balthaser was a Democrat. He was the committeeman of his party for two years, was delegate to many county conventions, was for six years school director in Windsor township, and for twenty-three years justice of the peace in the same district, resigning the office when he removed from that district to his late residence. He was a Lutheran member of Zion's Union Church of Perry township, in which he was for many years as elder. His family are also members of that church.

On May 15, 1869, Mr. Balthaser was married to Esther A. Sunday, daughter of Jacob and Leah (Dunkel) Sunday, of Greenwich township, and to this union were born children as follows: Llewellyn J., a farmer of Windsor township, m. Lizzie Adam; Ida C. (m. Milton W. Smith, the well known merchant of Virginville, Pa., whose record appears elsewhere in this volume); Clara S, (m. William S. Yeager of Reading); Hettie Ann (m. John D. Keim, who resides on his father-in-laws farm); Missouri S., Oscar J. and Zenus I. J., single at home; and Mary A., Emma S. and Dinah M., all deceased.


BALTHASER, JOHN C. K.

p. 1040

Surnames: BALTHASER, KISSLING, DE TURK, FOLK, KAUFFMAN, WAGNER, MENGEL, REINSEL, FEIK

John C. K. Balthasar, the present auditor of Centre township and a farmer in that region, was born near Scull Hill, in Penn township, Nov. 15, 1875, son of John K. Balthaser and grandson of Samuel Balthaser.

Samuel Balthaser lived in Penn township, Berks county, and followed farming, owning 123 acres of land. He died there at the age of fifty-six years, and is buried at St. Michael's Church, in what is now Tilden township. His wife, whose maiden name was Maria Kissling, is buried beside him. He was born March 6, 1810, and died Oct. 9, 1866. She was born March 28, 1809, and died Jan. 19, 1884. They had children as follows: Jared K. is deceased; Levi; Aaron; William; John K.; Monroe; Mary m. Abraham De Turk; Lydia m. William Folk; Amelia m. Levi Kauffman; Isabella m. John L. Wagner, of Bernville.

John K. Balthaser, father of John C. K. Balthaser, was born in 1850, and died in 1898. He is buried at St. Michael's Church, in what is now Tilden township. He owned and farmed the old homestead in Penn township, where he lived until his death, and was much respected and beloved for his industry and kind-heartedness. He married Leanda Kauffman, and she now lives with her eldest son, William, on the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Balthaser had six children: William; John C. K,; Edwin; Lizzie, who married Joseph Mengel; and Ammon and Sallie, both deceased.

John C. K. Balthaser attended the public schools of Penn township and continued to remain at home, working for his father, until he was twenty-two years old. He then commenced farming in Penn township on his own responsibility, and in 1904 came to his present place in Centre township, which he bought from the Kauffman estate. It was the old Kauffman homestead and is considered on of the best farms in the township. The buildings are all substantial and in good order and the 138 acres included in the property are all under an excellent state of cultivation. Mr. Balthaser is particularly noted for his success in raising potatoes, and in his banner season had a crop of 3,700 bushels from eighteen acres. He has all up-to-date machinery and improved farm appliances, taking great interest in the progress of his industry and having as intelligent conception of its requirements.

Mr. Balthaser married Emma Reinsel, daughter of William and Fiaetta (Feik) Reinsel, and they have had four children: Tama, Ada, Sallie (deceased), and Lila (deceased). At present Mr. Balthaser is serving as auditor of his township, to which office he was elected as the choice of the Democratic party. He is a member of St. Michael's Church, belonging to the Lutheran congregation.


BALTHASER, MAHLON A.

p. 1477

Surnames: BALTHASER, MILLER, GRETH, BOYER, RENNO, SUNDAY, BAER, KAUFFMAN, DEGLER, HOTTENSTEIN, STUMP

Mahlon A. Balthaser, of Perry township, who is conducting agricultural operations along the Center turnpike, south of Hamburg, Berks county, was born June 30, 1865, on his father's farm, that adjoining the one he now owns, son of George and Mary (Miller) Balthaser.

Jacob Balthaser, grandfather of Mahlon A., was an extensive farmer in Upper Bern township, Berks county, possessing over 400 acres of land, and was well and favorably known. He was over six feet tall and well built. He married Maria (Molly) Greth, and she was a Catholic and member of the Church at Hamburg, toward the support and erection of which Church she contributed fifty dollars. She was a daughter of Nicholas Greth, and to her and her husband were born these children: Sarah,, who married Jacob Boyer; Hannah who married Jacob Renno; Jacob; John, the father of Joel Balthaser of Perry township, who was born Feb. 21, 1814, and who married in 1842 (he located to Windsor township, where he owned considerable land); Mary, who married Benjamin Sunday; George, father of Mahlon A.; William, who settled in Ontelaunee, and was engaged in business there, becoming very wealthy; Isaac, who was drowned when a boy; Elizabeth, who married John Baer; Susannah, who married Edwin Kauffman; Jeremiah, who remained in his native township; Samuel; and Benjamin, father of David, living in Tilden township. David owns the old place and has a large family.

George Balthaser, was born in Upper Bern township, April 4, 1824. He was an extensive farmer, owning three farms, a total of 261 acres of land lying along the pike south of Hamburg. He was well-to-do and a prominent Democrat of his day, serving as school director and assessor of his township for a number of years. He and his family were connected with Zion's Church of Perry township, as Lutheran members. On Nov. 27, 1852, Mr. Balthaser was united in marriage with Mary Miller, daughter of Philip and Elizabeth (Degler) Miller, and to them were born children as follows: Albert, who married Mary Hottenstein; Emanuel M., who married Sallie Hottenstein; Valeira, lost her life through burning when three years of age, her clothing catching fire while her parents were at work in the barn; and Mahlon A. George Balthaser died April 22, 1899, of paralysis, aged seventy-five years, eighteen days.

Mahlon A. Balthaser obtained his education in the local schools of his native district, and in a select school at Shoemakersville. He has spent his entire life in agricultural pursuits, and is considered one of the good practical farmers of the township, his land being well cultivated and improved with good substantial buildings and modern machinery. He is honored and esteemed in the community which has known him all his life. In political matters Mr. Balthaser is a Democrat, serving as school director of six years, four years of which time he was treasurer and one year secretary. He and his family are members of Zion Union Church of Perry township, being Lutherans and for some years he served as deacon therein.

On Nov, 30, 1889, Mahlon A. Balthaser was united in marriage with Lillie I. Miller, daughter of Alfred S. and Sarah (Stump) Miller, and they have five children born to this union, namely: Milton, Mabel, Jennie, Edna and May.


BALTHASER, MOSES K.

p. 1452

Surnames: BALTHASER, GRETH, BOYER, RENNO, SUNDAY, BAER, KAUFFMAN, BROSSMAN, STRICKER, BENDER, KNORR, BICKEL, LEISS, RICHARD, HECK, ERNEST

Moses K. Balthaser, who is now living retired at his home on Maple avenue, Wernersville, was for over twenty-one years engaged in the hotel business at Brownsville, Lower Heidelberg township. He was born Jan. 19, 1852, in Ontelaunee township, Berks Co., PA., son of Jacob and Sarah (Kauffman) Balthaser.

Jacob Balthaser, grandfather of Moses K., is buried at St. Michael's Church in Tilden township. He was an extensive farmer in Upper Bern township, where he was the owner of over 400 acres of land, and was very well known throughout that section, both for his fine personal appearance, and for his habit of driving a very high wheeled, high-seated buggy, in which vehicle he often drove his wife, who was an ardent Catholic, to church. He married Maria (Molly) Greth, who was a member of the Catholic faith and contributed fifty dollars towards the erection of the Hamburg Catholic Church and to them were born these children: Sarah m. Jacob Boyer; Hannah m. Jacob Renno; Jacob, who was a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township, m. a lady whose first name was Sallie and had these children: Cornelius, Caroline, Henry, Charles, George, Emanuel, Moses and Lizzie; John; Mary (m. Benjamin Sunday); George (who was a farmer of Windsor township); William (who settled in Ontelaunee, owned land in Upper Bern and Hamburg, was a merchant and very well-to-do); Isaac (who was drowned when a boy); Elizabeth (m. John Baer); Susannah (m. Edwin Kauffman); Jeremiah (who remained in his native township, had these children-Helena, Annie, John, Elias and William); Samuel; and Benjamin (who obtained the homestead, had a son, David, who now occupies the old homestead and has a large family.

Jacob Balthaser, father of Moses K., was born in Upper Bern township in 1812, and died in Lower Heidelberg township, Dec. 6, 1879, and was buried at Bern Church, of which he was a Lutheran member. He removed from Upper Bern township to Penn township, and thence in 1858, to Lower Heidelberg township, where he owned a farm of 112 acres at the time of his death. Mr. Balthaser married Sarah Kauffman, born in 1814 in Upper Bern township. She died Nov. 2, 1887, the mother of thirteen children, as follows: Cornelius, of Bern township; Caroline, who died aged fifty-six years; Jacob, of Bern township; Sarah, who died unmarried aged twenty-one years; Henry, who died April 9, 1909, a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township; Emanuel, who resides in Reading; Moses K.; Louisa, m. to Adam Heck; and Elizabeth and Rosabella, twins, the latter of whom died in infancy, while Elizabeth m. Richard Wellington.

Moses K. Balthaser was reared on the home farm and worked for his parents until nineteen years of age, when he hired out on the farm for three years. In 1874 he commenced operating his father's homestead in Lower Heidelberg township, where he tenanted for four years, and then spent seven months on another farm. In 1885 he engaged in the hotel business at Brownsville, where he conducted a successful hostelry for twenty-one years, putting up the present hotel, a two story frame building 28x30 feet, containing twelve rooms. With this property there are seven acres of land. In addition Mr. Balthaser owns a farm of 107 acres of good land in Bern township, near "Leinbach's Hotel," which is tenanted. For some time Mr. Balthaser has been living a retired life in Wernersville, where he is a substantial citizen. He is a large stockholder in the Wernersville Bank. In politics he is a Democrat, but he has never cared for office. He and his wife are members of St. Daniel's (Corner) Church, of which he was a deacon for three years.

On Oct. 19, 1873, Mr. Balthaser married Elmira B. Brossman, born in 1850, in Heidelberg township, daughter of Adam L. and Elizabeth (Bender) Brossman, granddaughter of John Adam and Catherine (Leiss) Brossman, and great-granddaughter of Francis Brossman. (For full history of the Brossmans see sketch of Brossman family elsewhere in this work.) Francis Brossman located in Berks county between 1723 and 1729, and was an inhabitant of Heidelberg township at the time of the erection of the county in 1752. Adam L. Brossman was born in 1804, and was a farmer all his life in his native county, where he died in 1883, and was buried at St. Daniel's Church. He was twice married. By his first wife, Elizabeth Bickel, he had two children: William, who is buried at Hain's Church; and Priscilla, late wife of Caton Knorr, buried at St. Daniel's Church in Heidelberg township. His second wife was Elizabeth Bender. To this union there were born four sons and two daughters, as follows; Sarah B., m. Joseph W. Ernest, who died June 6, 1900, and is buried at St. Daniel's Church; Thomas is a farmer in Lower Heidelberg township; James is a contractor at Reading; and Elmira B. m. Moses K. Balthaser. Like all his family Adam L. Brossman was a Lutheran.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:30 EDT

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