Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 354


John Banks, the fifth President Judge of Berks county, serving from 1836 to 1847, was born near Lewisburgh, Juniata county, in the year 1793. His paternal grandfather emigrated from Scotland. His father being a farmer, his youth was spent mostly on a farm, but the advantages of a liberal education were not denied him. He entered upon the study of law, was admitted to the Bar in 1819, and soon after removed to the western part of the State. He located in Mercer county, and there attained eminence at the Bar. Without any solicitation on his part he was nominated and elected a representative in Congress, and twice re-elected, serving from 1831 to 1836. He won distinction in Congress by his treatment of contested election cases. In the spring of 1836, he vacated his seat in Congress to accept the appointment of president judge of the Third Judicial District of the State, composed of the counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton. His superior qualitites soon won for him the full confidence of the people. No man was ever more obliging and condescending to his juniors than he, and no man ever lived in Reading whose companionship was more highly prized by so varied a circle of friends. Having spent eleven years as president judge of the court, he resigned the position in 1847 and accepted the office of State treasurer of Pennsylvania, in which he served one term. In 1841, while judge of the courts, he was nominated by the Whig party for the office of governor of Pennsylvania, but was defeated by David R. Porter, the Democratic nominee. He was subsequently nominated by the Whig members of the State Legislature, when in the minority, as their candidate for United States senator. Upon his retirement from the Bench, Judge Banks resumed the practice of the law, and soon became the acknowledged leader of the Berks county Bar. He continued in his profession until his death, April 3, 1864, enjoying a very extensive and lucrative practice.


p. 1109

Surname List: BARBEY, FASIG

Jacob Barbey, proprietor of the "Barbey Hotel and Caf?at 435 Penn Square, Reading, is of German parentage and ancestry, although he himself was born in Buffalo, N. Y., Aug. 9, 1837, son of Jacob Frederick Barbey. He is one of three brothers, the others being John of Portland, Ore.; and Daniel, of Saratoga Springs, New York.

Mr. Barbey married Catherine C. Fasig, daughter of the late James A. Fasig. Their children were: Paul F. died in infancy; George D., a graduate of the Reading high school, class of 1904, is now engaged as an electrical engineer; Grace Catharine was valedictorian of the class of 1906, Reading high school; Jacob W., valedictorian of the class of 1906, Reading high school, is now a member of the mining Engineering Department of Pennsylvania State College, class of 1910. The family are connected with Grace Lutheran Church. Mr. Barbey is a member of Teutonia Lodge, No. 367, F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Germania Lodge, No. 158, I. O. O. F.; Camp No. 89, P. O. S. of A.; and Reading Castle, No. 49, K. G. E.


p. 585


Picture of John BarbeyJohn Barbey, son of Peter and Rosina (Kuntz) Barbey, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 19, 1850. When he was four years old his parents moved to Reading, where his father became engaged in the manufacture of malt liquors. He was educated in the local schools, taking an extra course in a business college, and was then placed in his father's brewery for the purpose of learning all the details of the brewing business. In this he was very successful, and in 1880 the father admitted him into partnership, and they traded under the firm name of P. Barbey & Son. The father died in 1897, but the son has continued the business under the same name with increasing success up to the present. In 1906 the capacity of his large plant was the greatest of any at Reading, a fact which evinces the superior judgment of the son in conducting the complicated affairs of the brewery for the years it has been under his management.

Mr. Barbey has become largely interested in a number of the financial institutions of Reading, particularly the Keystone Bank, Farmers Bank, Colonial Trust Company, and several industrial institutions, in a number of which he is a director. He has been prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity at Reading since 1876, becoming a Mason in Chandler Lodge, No. 227, and a Knight Templar in the Reading Commandery, No. 42, of which be was Eminent Commander in 1886. He has reached the thirty-second degree.

Mr. Barbey married Mary Ellen Garst, daughter of George W. Garst, of Reading, a prominent building contractor for many years. They have seven children, six daughters and one son, John.


p. 584


Picture of Peter BarbeyPeter Barbey, the founder of Barbey's Brewery at Reading, Pa., was born Nov. 9, 1825, in Dierbach, Canton of Bergzabern, Rhinepfalz, Bavaria, son of Christopher Barbey. He attended the schools of his native place until he was fourteen years of age, when he entered the brewing establishment of his uncle, Peter Barbey, for the purpose of learning the business. After remaining there three years, he found employment in France and Switzerland in different brewing establishments during the next four years, in observance of a German custom to increase his knowledge of the business in this way by practical experience. He then returned home, and being twenty-one years of age, entered the army in a cavalry regiment where be served as a soldier for four years. At the expiration of his term of service, be emigrated to America, proceeding immediately to Philadelphia, and for several years he was engaged there in different breweries; he then located at Reading, and entered the employ of Frederick Lauer, also a German, who had by this time established himself in the brewing business at Third and Chestnut streets. In 1860 Mr. Barbey embarked in business for himself as a brewer, and carried his affairs on with increasing success until his decease in 1897.

Mr. Barbey was a Democrat in politics, but never inclined to fill any public offices. He assisted in organizing the Keystone National Bank in 1883 and served as a director until his decease in 1897. He was prominently identified with Teutonia Lodge, No. 368, F. & A. M., in which he was a past master, and with Germania Lodge, I. O. O. F.

Mr. Barbey married Rosina Kuntz, daughter of Philip Kuntz, of Rhenish Bavaria, and they had two children: Katrina, who died in infancy; and John, who, after arriving of age, engaged with his father in the brewing business under the name of P. Barbey & Son. Notwithstanding the decease of his father in 1897, the firm name has been continued until the present time.


p. 410


A. Raymond Bard, a member of the firm which makes up the well known business house of Reading, the Bard Hardware Company, was born at Tremont, Pa., in 1873, son of George W. and grandson of Adam Bard.

Adam Bard was the founder of this large and important business of the city of Reading. Originally the firm was made up of Adam Bard and James T. Reber, and the location was at No. 741 Penn street. The business was organized in 1856, and was continued at the original location until 1878, at which time the firm bought property at the corner of Penn and Eighth streets. Adam Bard remained a member of the firm until 1878, after which the members of the firm were George W. Bard, D. P. Schlott, A. F. Kramer and James T. Reber. The latter retired in 1893, and at the same time James M. Bard was admitted to the firm, and in 1897 A. Raymond Bard became a partner.

George W. Bard was born near Ephrata in 1841, but moved to Reading in early childhood. He was still a student when he enlisted for service in the Civil war, entering the 93rd Pa. V. I., and for three years he honorably wore the Union blue and took his chances as a soldier. He then entered into the hardware business at Tremont, in Schuylkill county, and when his father retired he took his place in the firm of Bard, Reber & Co. The company owns a four-story building which extends from Penn to Cherry streets. Their business is both wholesale and retail, and the house is known for its reliability all over the State. George W. Bard married Irene Barbour Wummer, a resident of Reading, who graduated from the Reading high school in 1868. They have these children: Alma, wife of Dr. C. H. Shearer; A. Raymond; Charles W.; Claude M.; George P.; Mary E.; R. Lynn; Warren; Margaret A. and W. Hugh. Mr. Bard is a director in the Penn National Bank (chartered March 12, 1883) of which his father was one of the founders. He is also a director in the Reading Trust Company and of the East Reading Electric Railway Company. Mr. Bard and family reside at No. 27 South Ninth street.

A. Raymond Bard attended the public schools of Reading and was graduated from the Boys' high school in 1889. He then entered a business house in the capacity of cashier, and spent one year in Philadelphia, connected with the Phoenix Bridge Company. Since he entered the firm of Bard Hardware Company he has been in charge of the office, as well as purchasing agent for cutlery, paints, bolts, etc., and is a competent and shrewd man of business. He is a very popular citizen. During the Spanish-American War he was in the service for nine months, a member of Company A, 4th Pennsylvania Volunteers, and spent five months in Puerto Rico, being acting Hospital Steward in the Reserve Medical Corps. He has numerous business connections, one of these being treasurer of the East Reading Electric Railway Company of Reading. He is superintendent of the Sunday school of Trinity Lutheran Church, and treasurer of the Humane Society of Berks County. For five years he was president of the Luther League of Pennsylvania, and for two years was president of the Reading High School Alumni Association, during which time he founded a Free Scholarship Fund, of which he is treasurer.


p. 1601


The branch of the Bare family now well represented in Berks county has been for the most part a Lancaster county family since its foundation in this country almost two centuries ago. Like many of the old Lancaster families the Bares are of Swiss Mennonite origin, and some members of the family were ministers of the Mennonite Church. John Bare (or Bear), a native of Switzerland, came to America prior to 1730 and had sons who settled in York, Adams, Cumberland and Perry counties, Pa., where their descendants are still to be found.

Stephen Bare, son of the emigrant John Bare, was a farmer of Lancaster county, where he died.

Abraham Bare, son of Stephen, was born in Lancaster county about 1780, and died there in 1857. He spent his life in agricultural pursuits, and owned several farms of more than 150 acres each. Abraham Bare married Nancy Erb, and among their children were: Abraham lived and died on the homestead; Samuel is mentioned below; Sally m. Samuel Gougly; Anna m. Samuel Bollinger; Maria m. John Brubaker; Elizabeth m. Daniel Kline; and Polly m. Joseph Bowman.

Samuel Bare was born in 1807, on the homestead in Lancaster county, and his death occurred in August, 1865. He served during the Civil war for three years as a private of Company E, 79th Pa. V. I., and his war record was that of a faithful, brave and efficient soldier. He married Susanna Garnand, born May 11, 1811, who died April 14, 1900, in her eighty-ninth year, and they had the following children: Henry G., born Oct. 20, 1836; John G., born April 13, 1839; and Abraham G., born July 26, 1841, who resides in his own home in Reading (he and his wife had six children, Ellen, Nora, Kate, Willis, Luke and Chester, of whom Luke is deceased).

Henry G. Bare is now retired from farming, and since 1899 has lived on a neat little place located along the trolley line, near Wyomissing, in Spring township. He was born Oct. 20, 1836, near Stevens, in East Cocalico township, Lancaster county, and from his youth was engaged in agricultural pursuits. Coming to Berks county with his parents in 1843, he spent his boyhood days in Cumru township, and continued to live there until he bought the tract on which he now resides. He obtained a fair education in the pay schools in Cumru, leaving school for good when about twenty years of age. During his youth the school terms were very short, lasting only two months, Mr. Bare began farming for himself in 1862, while the Civil war was in progress, and followed that occupation with good average results until he retired, in 1899. He makes his home at present upon a small tract of six and a quarter acres, where he has a substantial dwelling and is very comfortably established. However, he still retains ownership of the ninety-acre farm in Cumru where the greater part of his life was spent, and which is now being cultivated by his son Harry F. It is located along the Wyomissing creek. By steady industry Mr. Bare managed to accumulate a competency, which he is well able to enjoy, for he is a man who takes an interest in life and in books, and has made a success of his own career in more ways than in a worldly sense.

In 1860, Mr. Bare married Elizabeth F. Hunter, who was born in 1839, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Faber) Hunter, of Yellow House, Berks county. Six children have been born to this union, as follows: John M., a dairyman of Cumru township, is mentioned below; Howard H., mar. Dora Peterson, and died in 1906, at Ottawa, Kans., in his forty-third year; Addie L., is the wife of Wilson Kintzer; Harry F., who conducts his father's old farm in Cumru, mar. Annie Mays; Irwin D. mar. Hettie Potteiger; Calvin H. died young. Mr. Bare and his family are members of St. John's Reformed Church at Sinking Spring. He is a Republican in political sentiment.

John M. Bare, son of Henry G., was born Feb. 14, 1862, in Cumru township, and was there reared on the home farm. He received his education in the public schools of the township, which he attended until seventeen years of age. Farming has been his life work, and he began for himself in the spring of 1887, in Alsace township, where he remained one year. Returning to Cumru township, he settled on the well-known Seitzinger farm, which he cultivated for the next sixteen years, in 1904 locating on his present property near the "Five Mile House," a fertile tract of seventy-five acres which is considered one of the finest places in Cumru. He purchased this land in 1898, and it has been brought to a high degree of cultivation under his care. Mr. Bare has good, substantial buildings and the latest improved machinery, and he is a man of enterprise and progressive ideas, being regarded as one of the intelligent farmers and successful dairymen of his township. He keeps fine live stock and runs a daily milk team to Reading. In politics Mr. Bare is a Republican, and he and his family are Reformed members of Sinking Spring Church.

Mr. Bare married Agnes H. Hain, born June 5, 1864, daughter of Adam and Mary Ann (Hill) Hain, and two children have come to this union: Gertrude May, born May 14, 1886, who died Oct. 12, 1901; and John Adam, born July 22, 1904.

John G. Bare, son of Samuel, was born April 13, 1839, in Lancaster county, near Stevens, but since his marriage has lived in Berks county, owning a farm of 139 acres in Upper Tulpehocken township. Since 1902 he has lived retired, his son Milton now operating the home farm. Mr. Bare married Harriet Ruth, born April 4, 1844, who died March 11, 1903; she was a daughter of Francis Ruth. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bare, namely: Edwin, a section foreman living in Iowa, m. Jennie Moyer; Susan and Peter died in childhood: Allen died in infancy; John H.; Milton m. Sallie Fink; Irwin m. Sallie Goodman; Paul m. Sallie Miller; and Lydia Ann m. Samuel Hause.

John H. Bare, son of John G., a successful agriculturist and dairyman of Cumru township, was born Feb. 28, 1869, in Lower Heidelberg township. He received his education in the district schools, which he left at the age of seventeen years, at which time he started to work on his father's farm in Berks county. In 1889 he went to Frontier county, Nebr., where he worked on a farm for one year, and then engaged in bridge carpentering for the Burlington Railway Company for two years. After one year spent in farm work in Illinois Mr. Bare returned to Berks county, in 1894, and for about a year carried on huckstering in Upper Tulpehocken township. After his marriage he began farming in Lower Heidelberg township, on the property of his grandfather, Francis Ruth, a property of nearly two hundred acres, and in 1899 he came to Cumru township, where for the past three years he has been operating the old Kurtz farm. In the fall of 1906 Mr. Bare purchased the old Franklin Bender estate in Lower Heidelberg township, which consists of 106 acres of good, fertile land, furnished with running water and including a productive orchard, and this property he has rented to his brother, Paul Bare.

Mr. Bare's farms are supplied with the latest and most highly improved farming machinery, and under skillful management yield large crops. He operates a milk route to Reading, having over 120 customers on the south side of Penn street, has a fine, modern dairy, and keeps an average of twenty milk cows the year around.

On April 6, 1865, John H. Bare married Miss Rebecca Feick, born May 26, 1874, daughter of Gabriel and Mary (Reichard) Feick, farming people of Upper Tulpehocken township. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bare. They are consistent members of Sinking Spring Lutheran Church, and in political matters Mr. Bare is a Republican.

Gabriel Feick, father of Mrs. Rebecca (Feick) Bare, died June 27, 1885, aged seventy-two years, and is buried on the old Feick homestead. His children were: Daniel R., Joseph R. and Matilda R. all deceased; Rebecca; Mrs. Bare; Franklin R., deceased; and Annie R., who married Samuel Ebling, and died in 1908, leaving two children, Lizzie F. and Mary F. After the death of Gabriel Feick, his widow married Benjamin F. Drey.


p. 1325


George Barlow, one of the leading citizens of Reading, who has been engaged in the manufacture of hats in this city for some years, was born March 5, 1840, in County Roscommon, Ireland, son of George and Bedelia (Lilly) Barlow. and grandson of Robert S. Barlow.

George Barlow, father of George of Reading, was a native of Ireland, where he spent his life in agricultural pursuits and died about 1862, aged seventy-five years. He married Bedelia Lilly, and to them were born these children: Mary, who remained in the old country; James, who came to America about 1845; William, who came several years later; Jane, who came still later; Ann, who remained in the old country; a George; and Ella, who came to America with Jane.

George Barlow was reared in a country town in his native country, where he attended the local schools, and in 1852 came to America, settling thirty miles up the Hudson river, in New York. In 1853 he learned the hatting trade in Greene county, N. Y., which he followed there until 1856 when he came to Reading, in which city he has since made his home. He came here to superintend the William H. Rheinold & Company hat factory, and in this capacity he was employed for eighteen years, when the company suspended business, and Mr. Barlow became superintendent of John R. Hendel's hat factory at Montello. The following year the factory was brought to Reading, where it has since been located. Mr. Barlow is well known to the people of his community as a kind, and obliging neighbor and a good citizen, while in business circles he is recognized as a man of much ability. In political matters he is a Democrat. He and his family attend St. Peter's Catholic Church of Reading, and Mr. Barlow was one of the liberal contributors towards the erection of the beautiful new edifice in 1905.

On Dec. 31, 1862, Mr. Barlow was married to Ellen McDonnell, daughter of James and Mary (Murphy) McDonnell, the former a native of Ireland, who followed carpentering in New York and there died. Mr. and Mrs. Barlow have these children: James F., a skilled mechanic who has charge of one of the departments of Mohn Bros. establishment, Reading; Mary J., single, at home; George F., clerk for the Reading Iron Co.; Lillian F., single, at home; and William L., an employee of the Reading Iron Company.


p. 1581


Isaac Barr, late of Bern township, Berks county, was born there Jan. 19, 1819, and died Nov. 10, 1886. In his early manhood Mr. Barr followed fence making, and he did so well at that occupation that at the time he was married, when he was twenty-eight years old, he had eight hundred dollars saved. After his marriage he followed farming until his death, living in Bern township. He owned what was known as the Conrad Reber farm, which comprised nearly two hundred acres, which he sold off until only about 160 acres remained. He is buried at the Bern Church, of which he was a member.

Mr. Barr married Miss Annie Gicker, daughter of Daniel Gicker and wife (whose maiden name was Himmelberger), farming people of Bern township, and eleven children were born to this union: Joseph, of Slate Hill, Pa.; Jared, who died at the age of thirty years; Mary Ann, born Oct. 21, 1851, wife of Jeremiah B. Bohn; Thomas, of Sinking Spring; Matilda, m. to George Noecker; Emma, who died unmarried at the age of twenty-four years; Isaac, who lives near Mt. Pleasant, Berks county; Amanda, m. to John Hettinger; Lydia m. to Horace Hartman; Adam, of Mt. Pleasant; and Kate, m. to Pharis Babb.

Abraham Barr, father of Isaac Barr, was a lifelong farmer in Bern township, where he owned land. He died in 1848, and is buried at Epler's Church, in that township. His family consisted of seven children as follows: John, a resident of Bern township; Isaac, previously mentioned; Joseph, of Lower Heidelberg; Catharine, who m. a Mr. Peffley, a wealthy man, and lived a long distance from her early home; Molly, m. to Jacob Albright; Sarah, m. to Jared Snyder; and Abraham, who lived in Bern township.


p. 1251


Isaac Barr, junior member of the firm of Klinger & Barr, proprietors of the Bethel Shirt Co., and the Bethel Creamery, north of Millersburg, Bethel township, is a representative citizen of Berks county, and has been prominent in business, public and fraternal circles. He was born Dec. 23, 1857, in Bethel township, son of Adam and Rebecca (Henninger) Barr.

John Barr, grandfather of Isaac, emigrated from Germany to America and settled in Northern Berks, where be followed the trade of charcoal burner for many years. He was a man of a very high order of intelligence, and possessed an education far beyond the average, having command of five languages. He and his wife had eight children, Jacob, a shoemaker by trade, died in Pinegrove township, Schuylkill county, aged ninety-three years; George, who owned a small tract of land which he cultivated in addition to working for his neighbors, died on his farm in Pinegrove township, aged seventy-five years. His wife was a Miss Schnoke, from the same neighborhood; Christian also lived and died in Schuylkill county; Adam was the father of Isaac; David died young; Rebecca married (first) Henry Metz, and (second) Harry Leis, and died childless, aged about seventy-five years; Maria died single, aged about eighty-two years; Kate married Mr. Kramlich, and died many years ago.

Adam Barr, the father of Isaac, was born on the old homestead in Bethel township, in 1813, and assisted in preparing wood and burning charcoal with his father for many years, continuing that occupation after his father's death. He married Miss Rebecca Henninger in 1846, and to this union there were born four children, as follows: John, who died single; Priscilla, who married Israel Zerbe, of near Host Church, Jefferson township, and has two children; Mary, who married John White, of Bernville, and died aged thirty-nine years, leaving two children, Frank and George; and Isaac.

Isaac Barr was reared in Bethel township, and received his education in the common schools, and although the school terms were very short and the distance to the school great in his time, he inherited his grandfather's love of study and obtained an excellent education. His father dying when Isaac was quite young he was placed in charge of his uncle Henninger, with whom he remained until about eighteen years of age, being engaged in farm work. At this time he learned the trade of blacksmith, an occupation which he followed for about ten years, and then evinced a strong tendency towards machinery. He followed threshing and the operation of engines until 1897, in which year he and Mr. Klinger formed a partnership under the firm name of Klinger & Barr, a connection which has continued to the present time, and which has been very successful. The firm are the proprietors of the Bethel Shirt Works and the Bethel Creamery, north of Millersburg. Mr. Barr is a very able business man, and has been a promoter of various enterprises, being a stockholder and director in the Blue Mountain Electric Company, and other large concerns.

In 1885 Mr. Barr was married to Miss Laura J. Price, and to them there have been born three children, as follows: Sadie, who died, aged twelve years.; Minnie, who married Charles C. Clemence, and resides at home, having one child, Gerney; and Emma, who died at the age of four years.

Mr. Barr is an active Democrat in politics, and has been on a number of occasions honored by his party. He held the office of town clerk for seventeen years, has been delegate to numerous county conventions, was county committeeman for four years, and in 1906 was elected to the responsible position of County Jury Commissioner, which office he now fills with credit. He takes an active interest in secret and benevolent organizations, and is an active member of Lodge No. 820, I. O. O. F., in which he has passed all of the chairs, and in 1905 was representative of the lodge at Scranton. He has also been through all the chairs in Washington Camp No. 214, P. O. S. of A., of which he is a member. He is also connected with the Ridgely Protective Association, of Massachusetts. Mr. Barr and his wife have always been active in church and charitable work, he being connected with the "Old Lutheran Church," of Rehrersburg, Pa., while she is a member and regular attendant of the Salem Reformed Church at Bethel (Millersburg). Both have a wide social acquaintance, and are well known and highly esteemed in this community.


p. 339


Robert M. Barr was born at Lancaster, Pa., and was admitted to the Bar of Berks county on Jan. 3, 1831, about which time he moved to Reading. He acquired an extensive practice and was recognized as a superior lawyer. A man of fine appearance, he was possessed of a high order of eloquence. He represented Berks county in the Assembly for the year 1841, and in 1845 received the appointment of State reporter from Governor Shunk, the office having been created in the year named. The prescribed term of office was five years. He died whilst filling his appointment, having compiled and published the first ten State reports commonly known as "Barr's Reports." His friend, J. Pringle Jones, Esq. (who subsequently filled the office of president judge of Berks county), completed the compilation of the cases adjudicated during his term and published them in two volumes, commonly known as "Jones' Reports." He died at Reading, Dec. 25, 1849, aged forty-seven years.

Mr. Barr married a daughter of Dr. Holmes, of Lancaster, Pa., and left a daughter.

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

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