Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1567


The Bergers of Berks county, a family which has numerous representatives among the most creditable citizens of this section, have been located here since the arrival of the emigrant ancestor, several generations back.

(I) Herber Berger came to this country from Germany in company with his brother, and settled in the upper end of Berks county, among the Blue Mountains. The brother died unmarried, and both are buried at the Blue Mountain Church.

(II) Jonathan Berger, son of Herber, was born June 24, 1769. He lived in Bern township, now Upper Bern, where he owned about two hundred acres of land, part of this farm being now in the possession of Orlando F. Berger, his great-grandson. He married Catharine Kauffman, and both are buried at St. Michael's Church, in Tilden township. They had children: Solomon, John, William, Benneville, George, Mrs. Marberger and Mrs. William Wagner.

(III) John Berger, son of Jonathan, was born April 16, 1798. He married Magdalina Rentschler. He was a farmer in Bern township, now Upper Bern, owning the old Berger homestead, of about two hundred acres of land, after the death of his father. For a number of years, in addition to agriculture, he owned and conducted a large clover hulling mill, located in the German valley, in Upper Bern township. This is now owned by his grandson, Orlando F. Berger. John Berger, who died April 17, 1878, and his wife are buried at St. Michael's Church. They had children as follows: Samuel, George, Daniel, Benjamin, Jacob, and Sallie (m. Peter Roth).

(IV) Samuel Berger, son of John, born Jan. 17, 1825, died Oct. 1, 1895, and is buried at St. Michael's Church. He was a farmer, having land in Upper Bern township. He married Elizabeth Folk, daughter of John Folk.

(V) Orlando F. Berger, only child of Samuel, is one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of his section of Berks county. As a public school teacher for many terms he became well known and influential among the residents of Upper Bern generally, and in his present position of county surveyor, which he has held since 1903, he has widened his circle of friends and acquaintances until they can be found in all portions of the county. Mr. Berger was born Dec. 7, 1853, in Upper Tulpehocken township. He received his early education in the township schools, and later attended the Keystone State Normal, at Kutztown, after which preparation he engaged in teaching, following that profession for twenty terms in all, one in Richmond township, one in West Leesport, and eighteen in Upper Bern township. His influence as a man of high intelligence and fine moral standards upon his young charges will be felt for many years to come.

When he abandoned teaching Mr. Berger bought the old historic Shartle farm, owned and worked for over a century by the Shartle family (the first being Captain Jacob Shartle, who served as captain during the Revolutionary war), and engaged in farming, and he has shown himself as enterprising and capable in this vocation as in his other undertakings. He has never lost his interest in his old profession or in anything of interest to the general welfare of a community. In 1883 Mr. Berger began surveying, at which he has engaged ever since, and in the year 1903 he was elected county surveyor, being honored with re-election to that office in 1906. He has also served five years as justice of the peace of his township. In politics he is a Democrat.

Mr. Berger is active in fraternal work and identified with several local lodges, being a member of Vaux Lodge, No. 406, F. & A., M.; of the P. O. S. of A., the K. O. T. M. and the I. O. O. F. He is a member of and prominent worker in St. Michael's Lutheran Church, which he served many years as deacon, and is still superintendent of the Sunday-school, an office he has filled for twenty-five years.

On May 3, 1873, Mr. Berger married Mary Ann Clauser, daughter of Harrison and Rebecca (Snyder) Clauser, and they are the parents of seven children: Austin L. is in the Philippine Islands, where he is superintendent of fourteen schools in the Province of Leyte; Samuel A., born in 1876, who farms the old Shartle homestead owned by his father, married Sallie Stoudt, daughter of Reiley Stoudt, and they have had seven children, Floyd C., Helen L., William H., Herma L., John A., Ralph A., and Orlando, the two last named deceased; Elizabeth M. is a graduate of the Normal School at Kutztown and at present a teacher in New Jersey; John S. lives at home; Robert is a veterinarian; Herbert Cleveland and Mary A. R. are at home.

(III) William Berger, son of Jonathan, was born July 30, 1811, in Bern (now Upper Bern) township, Berks county, and was a farmer by occupation. He died June 13, 1888, aged seventy-six years, ten months, thirteen days. He married Annie Dundore, and their children were: Aaron H., J. Reiley, William, Adam, Ellenora, Emma, Lydia and Annie.

(IV) J. Reiley Berger, son of William, born May 13, 1847, died Dec. 9, 1889, aged forty-two years, eight months, twenty-seven days, and is buried at the Zion's (or Blue Mountain) Church in Upper Tulpehocken township. He was a farmer by vocation, and became one of the well known residents of his district. Mr. Berger married Mrs. Rebecca S. (Wilhelm) Berger, and to this union were born four children, namely: Edward P., now deceased; James C.; George I., a resident of Philadelphia; and Albert F., of Detroit, Mich. By her first union, with Adam Berger, who died two years after their marriage, Mrs. Berger had a daughter, A. Kate, who is now the wife of Jacob W. Albright, of Upper Bern township. After the death of J. Reiley Berger his widow married Jacob H. Weibel, and they reside in Philadelphia.

(V) James C. Berger, son of J. Reiley, a young man of good standing in Upper Bern township, was born May 20, 1873, in Upper Tulpehocken township near Strausstown, Pa. He attended the public schools of Upper Tulpehocken township, and after leaving school was engaged at farm work assisting his parents until he reached the age of twenty-one years, after which he moved to where he now resides and has since been engaged in selling commercial fertilizers and in fruit growing and trucking. He has also taken part in the local civil government, having served three years as township auditor and three years as township assessor, of Upper Bern township. He is intelligent and industrious, and has the respect of all who know him. He is quite prominent in social organizations, particularly in the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Vaux Lodge. No. 406, F. & A. M., of Hamburg, Pa.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, fourteenth degree, and Philadelphia Consistory, thirty-second degree, and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Reading, Pa. He is also a member of Shartlesville Camp, No. 133, P. O. S. of A., and was district president of that order for two years; and is a prominent member of Tent No. 351, K. O. T. M., which was instituted Sept. 2, 1902, and whose interests he has promoted in every way (he has been record keeper since its organization). In religion he holds to the faith of the Reformed Church, holding membership in the Friedens Church, and he is active in Sunday-school work.

May 20, 1893, Mr. Berger married Miss Annie F. Wagner, only child of Moses H. Wagner, and their family consists of three children, Mary R., born Sept. 30, 1894; Clara M., b. March 10, 1899; and Helen A., b. Nov. 8, 1902. Mr. and Mrs. Berger make their home with Mrs. Berger's parents in Upper Bern township, near Shartlesville.

Moses H. Wagner, now living retired in Upper Bern township, was born in that township July 30, 1853, son of Elias Wagner and grandson of George Wagner. The latter lived in Upper Bern (now Tilden) township, and was a well-known farmer of his day. He is buried at St. Michael's Church. He and his wife had seven sons and two daughters, the sons being: Elias, George, William, Daniel, Samuel, Benjamin and Solomon.

Elias Wagner was a farmer in what is now Tilden township, and died June 19, 1903, aged eighty-three years, four months, twenty-four days, and is buried at St. Michael's Church. He married Fayetta Renno, and they became the parents of four children, of whom but one survives, Moses H. For his second wife Mr. Wagner married Mary Hagner, who died in 1906. No children were born to this union.

Moses R. Wagner engaged in farming until 1888, since when he has been retired. He still makes his home on his old place near Shartlesville, in Upper Bern township, and is one of the most respected citizens of that neighborhood. He married Mary A. Rentschler, daughter of John and Polly (Klopp) Rentschler, and a granddaughter of John Rentschler. Mr. and Mrs. Wagner had one daughter, Annie F., born Feb. 4, 1873, now the wife of James C. Berger.

(V) Edward P. Berger (deceased), son of J. Reiley Berger, was born Oct. 14, 1871, at Strausstown, Berks county, and died Nov. 4, 1900, aged twenty-nine years. He is buried at the Blue Mountain Church. Mr. Berger was a barber by trade, and followed that vocation at Strausstown, where he was a well known and respected young citizen. He was a member of the Reformed Church, taking an active part in its work, and socially held membership in the I. O. O. F. and P. O. S. of A. Mr. Berger married Sallie J. Spengler, who still lives at Strausstown, and they had one child, Clarence G., born Aug. 11, 1893, who died Nov. 10, 1901, aged seven years, two months, twenty-nine days.

Jacob E. Spengler, father of Mrs. Sallie J. Berger, was a son of George Spengler, who lived near Schaefferstown, Pa. Mr. Spengler followed farming in Upper Tulpehocken township, where he died Dec. 18, 1906, at the age of seventy years, six months, nineteen days. He is buried at the Blue Mountain Church. He married Lucetta Kantner, and to them were born two children, Annie Matilda and Sallie J., the former now deceased.

Mrs. Berger is a member of the Reformed Church and very active in both church and Sunday-school, at present teaching a class of thirteen girls from twelve to fifteen years old. She is also interested in lodge work being a member of the Daughters of Rebekah and of the P. O. of A.


p. 480


Morris C. Berger, farmer of Penn township, the present tax collector of that township, and a director of the First National Bank of the borough of Bernville, is one of the most respected citizens of his section of Berks county. The name he bears is an old and honorable one here, several generations of Bergers having lived in this region.

Mr. Berger's great-great-grandfather had the following named children: Elizabeth, born Feb. 8, 1760; George W., Sept. 20, 1761; Tobias, Jan. 21, 1765; Catharine, July 9, 1766; Maria B., April 8, 1768; Johannes, June 24, 1769; Maria M., June 9, 1771; Diana Maria, April 27, 1773; Maria Magdalena, Sept. 18, 1774; John Christian, Nov. 5, 1777; Johan Ludwig, Jan. 28, 1779; Johan Philip, born June 3, 1782.

The great-grandfather of Morris C. Berger lived and died near the Blue Mountains. His children were born as follows: Sarah, Feb. 12, 1797; John, April 16, 1798, Solomon, May 5, 1801; Catharine, Dec. 2, 1803; Elizabeth, Sept. 14, 1805; Daniel, Sept. 16, 1807, George, Sept. 7, 1809; William, July 30, 1811; Susanna, May 18, 1814; Joseph, Feb. 26, 1818, Benneville, Sept. 21, 1820.

Solomon Berger, born May 5, 1801, owned a farm in Bern township, which he cultivated. Later he removed to Bernville, where he died. He married Elizabeth Potteiger, and to them were born six children: Adam; Levi, of Bernville; John, who died young; Rebecca, m. to Daniel Strause (their daughter, Miss Strause, of Bernville, has the record of the great-great-grandfather's children previously given); Esther, who died unmarried; and Eliza, m. (first) to Benneville Bethram and (second) to William Schlappich.

Adam Berger, son of Solomon and father of Morris C. Berger, born in 1830 in Bern (now Penn) township, died in 1882. After his father's death he took the homestead, where he passed most of his life, and besides managing the place he was for many years engaged in the contracting business with his brother Levi under the name of Berger Brothers. They built many churches, among them being St. Michael's, Leesport Union, which they rebuilt after its destruction by fire. St. John's Reformed at Schuylkill Haven, Mohrsville Union and three Baptist churches. Adam Berger was a well known man in his day in public affairs as well as in business life, served his township as school director, and was also active in religious matters, being a prominent member of the Bernville Reformed Church, in the work of which he was deeply interested. He married Elizabeth Hafe, daughter of Samuel Hafe, and to them were born four children: James and John, who both died at the old homestead; Morris C.; and Mary, who died at the old homestead. The mother now lives with her only surviving child, Morris C. Berger, in Penn township.

Morris C. Berger was born in Penn township April 11, 1863, and there attended the public schools. He was eighteen when his father died, and though rather young took charge of the homestead at that time, making a success of his work. His land comprises eighty-five acres, three miles northeast of Bernville, and is in very good condition, giving evidence of his care and intelligent management. He has prospered well as the result of industry, and when the First National Bank of Bernville was organized he became a member of the first board of directors, and is still serving in that capacity. He is progressive and energetic, and has done his share toward the advancement of the township, having given six years of service as school director, for five years of that time acting as treasurer of the school board. For three years he has been tax collector of the township. He is a Democrat in political belief and a worker in the local ranks of the party, having been a member of the election board of the township. Like his forefathers he clings to the Reformed denomination, being a member and deacon of St. Thomas Church, Bernville.

Mr. Berger married Rebecca Seaman, daughter of William and Rebecca (Wertz) Seaman, and eight children have blessed their union: Alice, who taught three terms in Penn township before her marriage to Milton Potteiger (they have a daughter Pearle); Kate, wife of Elwood Kramer (they have one daughter, Ruth); Alvin, a teacher, who taught four terms in Penn township; Mary M.; Allison; Edwin; Stephen, and Earle.


p. 1682


Henry Berk is a farmer in Albany township, Berks county, where he was born June 8, 1847, son of Johan and Lydia (Wessner) Berk.

The Berk, Berck, or Berg family settled in Berks county in the very beginning of its history. The pioneer members of the family were Henry and Ludwig Berck, probably brother, who located in Greenwich township. In 1759 the former paid four pounds tax, and the latter three pounds. In 1774 the taxable list of Greenwich township records the names of Henry Berck and Peter Berck. It appears that Ludwig had already died or removed from that township. The Federal census of 1790 records the following Berks for Greenwich township, as heads of families: Peter Berck, who had a son under sixteen years, a wife and three daughters; George Berck, who was married but had no children. In 1811 John Berk was a taxable of Greenwich township, and paid a tax of 1 5s. 4d. The Berks were among the Huguenot families who came to this country for religious freedom, and with the family bearing the name of Beli (now Bailey) settled in the same (Greenwich) township. Both families later moved to Albany township in the same county. One branch of the Berk family went to Ontelaunee, and of that line one member went to Cumru township, where today Charles Berg is well known.

David Berk, who died in Greenwich township in 1871, was survived by his wife Hannah and sons David and Nathan. His will is on record in Book 12, page 354.

Daniel Berck (as his name is spelled on his tombstone), grandfather of Henry, was born July 27, 1796, and died March 6, 1871, and is buried at New Jerusalem Church in Albany township. He owned the farm now the property of Charles Schollenberger. This was a large farm, and when Mr. Berck died it first became the property of his son, Reuben. His wife was Sarah Billman, born Oct. 12, 1793, died May 28, 1869, they had seven children, and at their deaths twenty-nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Among their children were: Johan; Reuben, born 1821, died past sixty years of age, m. Lovina Knepper (who died in 1875; aged fifty-four years), and they lived in Albany township; Daniel B., born 1825, died 1884, lived in Albany township; Salome m. Jacob Reinhart.

Johan Berk, father of Henry, was born in Albany township June 5, 1818, and died March 30, 1883, and is buried at New Bethel Church. He was a farmer and owned the farm now owned by his son Henry, consisting of 153 acres. He built the present barn. He was a man well known in public affairs, and served as supervisor and school director, and he was an official of the New Bethel Church. He married Lydia Wessner, born May 27, 1817, daughter of Johannes Wessner; she died May 18, 1882. Eight children were born to this union as follows: Elias is married and lives with his brother Henry; Daniel lived in West Penn township, Schuylkill county; Jacob lives in Albany township; Henry; Fianna m. David Komp; John lives in West Penn township, Schuylkill county; Adam, a farmer at Eckville, in Albany township, married Sarah J. Merkel, daughter of Abraham and Leah (Follweiler) Merkel, and she died in 1898, the mother of eight children -- Katie V. (deceased), J. Oscar (deceased), M. Vara, Clara I., William H., Ralph A., Frances A. and Robert J. (deceased); and Joel lives in West Penn township, Schuylkill county.

Henry Berk obtained but a limited education as his winters were spent in chopping cord wood for his father, for whom he worked until he was twenty-five years of age. He was then married and began farming in Albany Corner, on land which he still owns though it is tenanted by his son-in-law, George Schroeder. Here he lived many years and at present is making his home on a tract of thirty acres adjoining, where he erected all the buildings except the house, which was built in the early fifties by Michael Hendricks. Mr. Berk also owns a farm of 180 acres in Albany township, known as the George Schwenk homestead. This came into his possession about 1898, and is now cultivated by his son J. Francis. He is one of the substantial men of the township. In politics he is a Democrat, and he has served as delegate to county conventions. He and his family are Reformed members of New Bethel Church, of which he was deacon and elder for many years.

Mr. Berk married Mary S. Lutz, daughter of Abraham and Catharine (Bailey) Lutz, and six children were born to them: J. Francis, a farmer in Albany, m. Jane Nester, and has five children -- Maud, Katie, Edna, Charles and Lillian; William died in infancy; James, employed by M. C. Dietrich, at Kempton, m. Annie Schroeder (no children); Sarah was buried on her second birthday; Walter J. of Albany township, m. Rosa Maury, and has three children -- Carrie, George and Clarence; and Nevada M. m. George Schroeder, and the live on Mr. Berk's farm in Albany township (no children).


p. 1703


George Berkhold, who is one of the many sons of Germany who have been successful in establishing substantial home in this country, is a native of Oberamt Heidenheim, Wurtemberg, Germany, where he was born Nov. 8, 1832, son of Georg and Catharine (Weisender) Berkhold.

Georg Berkhold, Sr., was a farmer in Wurtemberg, Germany, where he owned several small tracts of land. He m. Catharine Weisender, and to them were born two sons, viz: George; and Michael, who was a weaver in the Fatherland.

George Berkhold attended the schools of his native land from the age of six to about the age of fourteen years, after which he learned the blacksmith's trade. He served an apprenticeship of three years at this trade in Stammheim, from which place he came to America in 1853, landing at New York in the latter part of May of that year. He came directly to Reading, Pa., and has since made this city his home, with the exception of a few years spent in Milwaukee, whence he moved in 1883. He was a good mechanic and was employed for many years at Sternbergh's, his work being well appreciated by his employers.

By industry and economy, Mr. Berkhold gradually became possessed of some means, and since 1901, he has lived retired enjoying the comforts earned by a useful and well-spent life. He owns a valuable business house at No. 1055 North Ninth street, Reading.

Mr. Berkhold was married in 1857 to Magdalena Henkel, born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, Aug. 20, 1828, daughter of Jost Henkel, of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Berkhold had four children, viz: (1) Henry, a cigar-maker, lives in Warsaw, Wis. (2) George is also a cigar-maker and lives at Warsaw. (3) Annie m. Charles Bossler, or Reading. (4) Henrietta m. (first) Daniel Schroeder, of Reading and they had a daughter Gertrude, who m. Frank Dersh, of Canton, Ohio, and they now reside in Columbus, Ohio. Henrietta m. (second) in Milwaukee, Wis., Mr. Haas, of Cleveland, Ohio. She died at Toledo, Ohio, in February, 1907. The Berkhold family are members of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Reading, of which Rev. Frank Huntzinger is the pastor. Mrs. Berkhold is a sincere and kindly woman, and has been an able aid to her husband in the management of his business affairs.


p. 450


The earliest American ancestor of the Bernd family came from the Palatinate, Germany, and settled in Bucks county, Pa. He landed at Philadelphia, Sept. 7, 1748, in the ship "Mary Galley", George Lawson, captain, and his name stands upon the records as Peter Barnd.

This progenitor had a son, George, who was married twice, but the names of his wives are missing. By his first marriage he had two sons, namely George and Peter, and by his second marriage also had two sons, John and Philip. These four sons settled in Bucks county, and as far as is known spent the remainder of their lives there.

George Bernd, the elder of the two sons of the first marriage of George Bernd, was a tailor by occupation, and worked at that trade not only in his own home, but at certain seasons of the year at the homes of his patrons, going from one to the other and making clothes for their families, as was the custom in those early days. He was organist for the Indian Field Lutheran congregation in Bucks county, and afterward for many years for the congregation at the "Six Cornered," or St. Paul's, Lutheran Church in Montgomery county. He died at the age of seventy-eight years, and was buried in the old graveyard at Pennsburg, Montgomery county.

He married Miss Magdalena Gable, a member of an old and representative family of the vicinity of Pennsburg, and to them there was born in August, 1818, a son, Francis Gable.

Francis Gable Bernd grew to manhood in Rich Valley near the boundary line of Bucks and Montgomery counties, and obtained the full advantage of the schools of that locality. He inherited his father's taste for music, and, practicing the art from his earliest youth, became an accomplished musician, excelling as a performer on the organ. He was not merely an efficient performer, however, but thoroughly understood the mechanism of the organ which under his skillful manipulation produced the music, and frequently persons who desired to purchase instruments consulted him as to the merits of the different makes. He was also a successful school teacher, was able, ambitious and progressive, and the first teacher in Lehigh county to whom was awarded a professional certificate. The various employments afforded by music and teaching were his life-work, he confining himself to them exclusively, and achieving in them a distinction which but few men attain. When in his prime he was without doubt among the most thorough and progressive musicians and educators in the State of Pennsylvania, outside of the cities. In 1845 he married and settled in the town of Egypt, Lehigh county, where he continued to reside the rest of his life, being organist to one congregation for forty-one consecutive years. He died in February, 1892, and his wife in 1886, both being buried in the cemetery at Egypt. He married Christina Kline, daughter of Michael Kline, and granddaughter of Michael, Sr., both leading farmers and influential citizens of Klinesville, Montgomery county, who are buried in the graveyard of the Six Cornered Church in that county. According to tradition the father of Michael Kline the elder came from the palatinate, and is also buried in the same graveyard. To Francis G. Bernd and wife were born children as follows: Maria m. Hiran Ruch; Ketura m. Sylvester J. Rensheimer; Franklin K.; Victor K.; Lydia F. m. Peter Laubach; and George T.

Franklin K. Bernd, the third child of the above family, was born March 16, 1850, in the town of Egypt, Lehigh county, and there grew to manhood. As soon as he reached eligible age he entered the public schools of his native place, from which he entered the high school of North Whitehall township, then taught by Eli G. Schwartz, Esq. In April, 1867, having completed the high school course, Mr. Bernd entered the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, remaining there the following summer session. By this time he had decided to become a teacher, and on application was elected as an assistant instructor for the following winter in a school in North Whitehall township, of which his father was principal. In the spring of 1868 he returned to the Keystone State Normal School, where he continued his studies until the summer of 1869, when he graduated in the elementary course. He then returned to North Whitehall township and resumed teaching, but in the following spring re-entered the Normal school and in 1871 graduated in the scientific course. During the winter of 1871-72 he taught a graded school in Bath, Northampton county, and then in the following spring was called to the Keystone State Normal School and given the principalship of the Model school, which position he filled for five years. At the end of that time he went to Carbon county, where from 1877 to 1880 he was principal of the public schools of Packerton and Lehighton, and then relinquished teaching for the purpose of preparing for the ministry.

In the fall of 1880 he entered the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in 1883. Soon thereafter he was elected pastor of the Jordan Lutheran congregation at Guthsville, Lehigh county, which he served very acceptably until in 1889, when he was again called to the Keystone State Normal School, this time to fill the chair of Latin and Greek. His ability and zeal as a minister of the Gospel and as a scholar and educator by this time being generally recognized, Muhlenberg College in 1898 conferred upon him the honorary title of A. M. But with reputation and honors came more exacting labors, and in 1900 he was elected superintendent of the Topton Orphans' Home. This offer he declined, but about the same time came a call to the eastern portion of the parish of the late Rev. B. E. Kramlich, consisting of a congregation at Maxatawny and another at Mertztown, which a sense of duty impelled him to accept. Circumstances not favoring an immediate separation from the position he had filled satisfactorily for so long, he for upwards of a year served as pastor of this charge and also as a professor on the Normal school faculty. In 1901 he resigned his position at the Normal school and since then has been devoting himself exclusively to his pastoral duties in this charge, which, since his election, has been enlarged by the addition of the St. Peter's (or Becker's) congregation in Richmond township. He preaches in both English and German and is a faithful and assiduous worker in the Lord's vineyard. In 1905 he was elected by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania a delegate to the General Council of the Lutheran Church of America, which was held in Milwaukee in October of that year; and in 1907 he was elected president of the Reading Conference, which office he held two years. He is a member of the Pennsylvania German Society, and also of the Berks County Historical Society, occasionally contributing articles of a biographical character to the press.

In 1875 Rev. Franklin Bernd married Miss Hattie M. Heilman, a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1871, and a daughter of Moses and Levina (Lauchnor) Heilman. Moses Heilman was a son of George Heilman, a farmer, and was born in Heidelberg township, Lehigh county. He was a merchant miller and enterprising and intelligent citizen. His wife, Levina Lauchnor, was of American birth, but of German-French descent. To the marriage of Rev. Franklin K. Bernd and Hattie Heilman were born the following children: Margaret, who became the wife of Elmer A. Krauss; Florence; Katie; Alice, and Mary. Like their parents all of these daughters are graduates of the Keystone State Normal School of Kutztown, and at the present writing four of them have already been teachers.


p. 1127


Calvin Oscar Berndt, a substantial citizen of Maidencreek township, Berks county, who is carrying on operations on the old Berndt homestead, near Calcium P. O., was born on his present property, son of Herman and Lydia (Gruber) Berndt.

Samuel Berndt, grandfather of Calvin O., was the owner and operator of the Berndt home, where his life was spent in agricultural pursuits, as have been those of his son and grandson. He was married to a Miss Dunkel, and they had the following children: Anna and Joel died single; Kate, deceased, m. Abraham Heckman; Elizabeth, deceased, m. Daniel Reiff; Herman; and Stephen m. (first) Hannah Kohler, (second) Mary Kohler (sister to his first wife), and (third) a Miss Bush.

Herman Berndt was born and reared on the old home place, and after many years spent in farming, now resides near the home property which his son is engaged in operating. He married Lydia Gruber, daughter of William Gruber, and they had two children: Miss Katie; and Calvin Oscar.

Calvin Oscar Berndt was married Sept. 28, 1895, to Sarah Wanner, daughter of John and Hannah (Dreibelbis) Wanner, and a descendant of some of the oldest families of Berks county. Eight children have been born to this union: Herbert, born Sept. 14, 1897; Hettie Victoria; Samuel; Sarah Anna; Ellen Lydia; Calvin Herman; William John; and _______. The family are members of Blandon Reformed Church. Mr. Berndt is a Democrat in politics, but has never aspired to office.


p. 1148


John L. Bernet, an enterprising young business man of Ontelaunee township, Berks Co., Pa., who is engaged in a successful butchering business at Leesport, was born Nov. 27, 1875, at Kutztown, this county, son of Lewellyn and Salome (Rickenbach) Bernet.

Moses and Mary (Reeser) Bernet, grandparents of John L., were highly esteemed residents of Berks county, where they carried on agricultural operations. Their children were: Llewellyn; Magdalena, m. to Daniel Bernet; William, who died single; Eber, who went West and there married; and Louis, who is still unmarried.

Llewellyn Bernet, father of John L., was born in Berks county, and engaged in an extensive lime and iron ore business. He married Salome Rickenbach, and to them were born children as follows: Cyrus, who died young; John L., Mary, who died in about 1880; and Howard, who married Maggie Hunsberger. The mother of this family is now conducting a general store at Leesport, near the depot of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

John L. Bernet was brought up partly in Kutztown, but after his father died, in 1880, he was brought by his mother to Ontelaunee township, where he completed his education and learned the trade of butcher. This occupation he has engaged in to the present time, in all eighteen years. In politics he is a strong Democrat, and has held various township offices, including those of school director and supervisor. He has the respect and esteem of his fellow townsmen to a high degree. He is a member of Camp No. 165, P. O. S. of A.; Lodge No. 503, K. G. E; Independent Americans, No 985; and Modern Woodmen, No. 9284, in all of which he is very active. He and his wife are active members of the Reformed Society at Gernand's Church and he holds the position of deacon.

On Dec. 18m 1897, Mr. Bernet was married to Minnie E. Schappell, daughter of P. Sassaman and Sarah (Dreibelbis) Schappell, and they have children, as follows: Florence; Lewis Howard and Dorothy Mabel.


p. 1541


William Bernhart, Esq., a Justice of the Peace for upwards of twenty-five years, was born in Richmond township, Berks county, in 1830, son of Jacob and Sarah (Rothermel) Bernhart.

Jacob Bernhart emigrated from Germany while still under age and settled in Ruscombmanor township, where he carried on farming. He married Sarah Rothermel, born March 27, 1805, daughter of Peter Rothermel, who was born Sept. 1, 1773, and died Feb. 1, 1856. He was a son of Peter Rothermel, who was born in Wachbach, Germany, in about 1718, and who came to America with his father, Johannes, born about 1688, and mother Sybilla (Zimmerman) who was born about 1690.

William Bernhart was reared to farming, was educated in the local schools, and while a young man served as a teacher in the township for several terms. When he was twenty-nine years old he was elected as on of the Justices of the Peace of the township, and he continued to fill this office by re-election until his death in 1886. When the borough of Fleetwood was established in 1873 he had been a citizen of the place for some time previously. He also carried on huckstering for a number of years. He was an active Democrat from the time he became a voter; he was affiliated with the Evangelical Church of Fleetwood.

Squire Bernhart was married in 1860 to Mary Margaret Martin, daughter of James Martin, who emigrated from England when a young man eighteen years old, and settled in Windsor township, where he carried on farming until his death in 1838. He married Magdalena Shirey, daughter of Henry Shirey of Richmond township, who died in 1887 at the age of ninety-two years. Mrs. Bernhart was the only child of her parents, and since her husband's death has been living retired in Fleetwood. Four children were born to Justice Bernhart and his wife; Henry and Alice, who died young; Ada, who married Henry Boyer; and Elizabeth, who was thoroughly educated for a teacher, and who now makes her home with her mother, caring for her in her declining years.


p. 1262


The Bertolet family of Berks county, Pa., has an ancient and honorable lineage, and for centuries before its planting in the New World played an important part in the history of the Old. The "Dictionaire de la Noblesse de France (1771)" says "The family Bertholet was originally from Brittany, where it comprised several branches, one of which settled in Picardie." From this Picardie family come the American line. "Picardie was an old Province adjoining the north of France, having on the north and west the English Channel."

Gabriel O'Gilvy, London, 1864, in his work on the Nobility of Normandy, etc., Vol. I., p. 157, says: "Bertholet (Germanized and Americanized Bertolet) 1470, ennobled by warrant of the francs-fief (francesfee) and new acquisitions: The widow Blesot Bertolot, of the vic. of Conches and Breteuil, was taxed fives livres.

"Bertolet, 1470, ennobled by warrant of the frances-fief and new acquisitions: Jean Bertolet of the vic. de Conches and Breteuil was taxed fifteen livres.

"Bertolet de Mezernay vic. de Caen: arms of blue, helmet with front of silver, lowered under two cuirasses of the same."

Part of the family in Picardie became Protestant, and the persistent persecution of the Huguenots after the Revolution of the Edict of Nantes, 1685, drove them to Bern, in Switzerland, whence they went to the Lutheran Palatinate.

In the article that follows the Roman numerals indicate the number of generations, beginning with the first known ancestor in direct line.

(I) "Jean Bertolet, St., was born in Picardie, France, where the family held large estates. During the religious wars he retired into Switzerland, and established himself on a farm near Gottenberg, which belonged to the 'Pfaltz-grafflische gemsin-schaft,' held by the Protestant congregation, and which had been confiscated from the Catholics and rented."

(II) Jean Bertolet (or Berthelot) was born in Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland, son of Jean, Sr., during the sojourn of the family in the haven of refuge. He became one of the leaders of the Huguenot faction, and with others moved to the Bavarian Palatinate. There prior to (one authority says 1711) 1712, he married Susanna, daughter of Jean Hericourt, in Muhlhaften, bie Landau, a short distance southwest of Speier. The family of Hericourt also belonged to the ancient nobility of France, and it took its name from the estate (terre) de Hericourt in la Comte de Saint Pol. The town of Saint Pol is in the Province of Pas de Calais, Picardie, the ancient home of the Bertolets. In 1712 Jean Bertolet and wife moved (again because of persecution) to and tenanted a farm belonging to the Chapter of Selz, a town in Alsace on the Rhine, near Minnefeldten, where they remained fourteen years, and where five children were born. During all these years they had been subject to more or less persecution, and in 1726 they determined to come to America to find home and peace in Quaker Pennsylvania. The authorities of the district in which he lived gave to Jean Bertolet the following testimonial.

"Attestation for John Bertolet (Jean Berthelot).

"We, the undersigned, President Judge of the Principality of Pfalz for the District of the Community of Guttenberg, do hereby testify by virtue of this letter, that the bearer of this, the well reputed and discreet John (Jean) Bertolet (Berthelot), born in Chasteaudeux (Chateau-d'Oex) in Switzerland, under the jurisdiction of Bern, with his wife, have for fourteen years, as occupants of the adjoining farm, belonging to August Chapter of Seltz, conducted themselves piously, honorably, uprightly and justly, and in such manner as is appropriate for virtuous persons praiseworthily conducting themselves, that we of him, as well as of his wife, cannot otherwise speak than to their honor and praise.

"Inasmuch as this married couple with their five children under the hope of improving their best interests and opportunities desired to remove themselves to the new country of Pennsylvania, there to settle themselves in a domestic manner and are wholly resolved and determined upon the same. We respectfully, obedient to our numerous duties of station and service would in a friendly way solicit and entreat for the aforesaid John (Jean) Bertolet (Berthelot) and his wife Susanna and five children not only that they may pass all places free and without hindrance, but besides, on account of their respectable conduct, to extend to them ever desired aid and assistance.

"To such are we on similar occasions in the most friendly manner ready and willing to reciprocate the kindness.

"To this as a truthful record we, besides our subscribed names, append our usual seal.

"So given and done in the Upper Official District of Minnfeldten the twenty-ninth day of the month of April as men enumerate one thousand seven hundred and twenty-six.

"J. G. Wimpffen,
"Nicolaus Schoenlaub,
"Anwald (Council)
"Hans Ehrhart Beyer,
"des Gerichts Secretary."
[Siegel 16 der 28 Ober Amtz Minnfeldten.]

The story of Pennsylvania as a refuge of those persecuted for religions's sake, was carried through Holland and Germany in 1677 by William Penn himself. In Germany the opposition of the Roman, Lutheran, and Reformed churches had repressed the awakening minds of the people, and the Imperial Edict of the Chancery Court of Speier, capital of Bavaria in 1671, was intended to recall the people to a stricter ritualistic worship, but all failed. William Penn, on his continental trips proselyting on behalf of the doctrine of the "Inner Light," impressed the people with his zeal and his character and in a short time was formed the company that founded Germantown, the birthplace of the German-American race. From that time on the tide of emigration was steady, and Pennsylvania became the home of a sturdy, independent Christian people.

Jean Bertolet and his wife and five children landed at New York in 1726, preceded in 1720 by his brother Pierre (Peter) Bertolet, who located in Oley, Berks county, Pa., March 25, 1720, and that year was a signer of a petition to have Oley organized into a township. Jean Bertolet also settled in Oley, and some years later a third brother, Samuel, joined the other two. The first generation of the Bertolets in America married into the Frey, De Benneville and De Turk families.

Pierre Bertolet died prior to 1737, as his widow sold their farm May 7, 1737. Elizabeth Bertolet's will is on record in Philadelphia. Daniel H. Bertolet, of Philadelphia, an authority on early family records, says: "This may be only letters of administration signed by John Bertolet, of Germantown (sadler), Aug. 5, 1747." And again "This may be only letters of administration on the estate of Dr. Jonathan Bertolet, who married Charlotte, daughter of Dr. George and Susanna (Bertolet) De Benneville (second cousins)."

Jean Bertolet purchased land in Oley, Pa., near the present Yellow House, and in 1731 he erected a substantial stone dwelling. The Indians were his neighbors, and he taught them how to farm. His death occurred in 1754. At the third reunion of his descendants, the Bertolet Family Association, held at Oley in 1900, a committee was appointed to try to discover beyond all doubt the exact spot of his grave; while the Finance committee of this Association took subscriptions for a fund for the purchase of a headstone for the grave, and the renovation of the burial lot. When Jean Bertolet came to America he brought with him his Bible, which had proved a source of great comfort to him in all the years of his sojourn in strange lands for conscience's sake. Its title page reads: "La Bible qui est Tovte La Saincta Ecritures x x Par Francois Perrin Pour Antoine Vincent MDLXVII." Its fly leaf bears the inscription: "Le Presante Bible apartien a Jean Bertolet." This Bible was sold in 1907 for $183, but still remains in the family, and is in an excellent state of preservation. To Jean and Susanna (Hericourt) Bertolet were born children (the first five before the emigration to America), as follows: Abraham, born Dec. 11, 1712, died in 1766; Maria, born July 12, 1715, m. H. Bernet; John, born Sept. 28, 1717, m. a daughter of Peter Pallio, an early settler of the Manatawny region, and died at Pottstown, Pa., in 1789; Esther, born Aug. 12, 1720, m. Dec. 24, 1745, Dr. George de Benneville (who died in 1793), and died in March, 1795, the mother of two sons and five daughters, of whom Daniel was a surgeon in the Revolutionary war, and George also followed the medical profession; Susanna, born Nov. 17, 1724, m. Jacob Frey, and died Feb. 2, 1805; and Frederick Americus, born in America in 1726.

(III) Abraham Bertolet, son of Jean and Susanna, born Dec. 11, 1712, married Esther de Turk, daughter of Isaac de Turk and his wife, Maria Gerber. Isaac de Turk, born in 1686, landed at New York, with his sister Esther in 1707, and settled at Esopus, then became one of the first settlers at Quassick Creek, Dutchess county, N. Y., and on June 11, 1712, was granted 300 acres at "Oley," Pa. (the first mention of this locality on record), by the Commissioners of Pennsylvania, who described him "late of Franklin-thal, in Germany." Isaac de Turk had three children - Catherine (m. Abraham Levan), John (m. Deborah High) and Esther (m. Abraham Bertolet)-but bequeathed all his landed estate to his son, who paid his sisters their proportionate shares according to the appraisement. To Abraham and Esther (de Turk) Bertolet were born the following children: Maria, born Sept. 18, 1736, m. a Hoch, and died July 17, 1802; Daniel, born May 9, 1741, m. Maria (Mary) Yoder, born Feb. 13, 1749, and he died Nov. 19, 1799; Samuel, born 1744, m. a Frey, served in the Revolutionary war, and died Jan. 1, 1805; Elizabeth, born in 1745, m. a de Turk; Esther, born in 1746, m. a Yoder; and John, born 1748, m. a Shenkel, and they died leaving a son, John Shenkel. Abraham Bertolet, the father, died in 1766.

(IV) Daniel Bertolet, son of Abraham and Esther, was born May 9, 1741. He married Maria (Mary) Yoder, who was born Feb. 13, 1749, and his death occurred Nov. 19, 1799. Eight children were born of this union: Esther, born Oct. 21, 1769; Abraham, born Feb. 28, 1772; Catherine, born July 23, 1775, m. Daniel Grim, who died in 1802, and is buried in the Grim lot in Maxatawny township, and their only son, Daniel Grim, was living in 1861; Charlotte, born Feb. 10, 1778; Daniel (2), born June 11, 1781; John, born Feb. 21, 1784; Maria, born Jan. 9, 1788; and Samuel, born May 4, 1791.

(V) Daniel Bertolet (2), son of Daniel and Maria, born June 11, 1781, was married Oct. 3, 1802, to Maria (Mary) Griesemer, and they became the parents of nine children: Abraham, born Nov. 4, 1803 (died Oct. 1, 1835); Samuel, Nov. 15, 1804; Maria, Dec. 3, 1807; Daniel, Jan. 17, 1809; Isaac, April 14, 1810; Esther, May 15, 1811; Jacob, Nov. 3, 1815; Hannah, Nov. 21, 1817; and Peter, June 11, 1822.

(VI) Isaac Bertolet, son of Daniel (2) and Maria (Greisemer) Bertolet, was born April 14, 1810, and died June 7, 1882. He m. (first) Eliza Cleaver (born July 2, 1812, died June 2, 1849), and their children were: Rebecca, born Jan. 18, 1836, died April 20, 1856; Dr. Jonathan, born Nov. 19, 1837, was an eminent surgeon in the army during the Civil war, and died in Europe May 1, 1868, and is buried at Berlin, Germany; Maria, born March 8, 1840, died July 21, 1856; and Keturah, born July 15, 1844, m., Sept. 15, 1863, Hiram W. Keehn, and has two children-Clarence H. (born 1872, m. Elizabeth Davy, and has two children Hiram, born April 12, 1898, and Helen, born March 10, 1900) and Maria C. (born 1875, m. John M. Chestnut). Isaac Bertolet m. (second) Christiana Griesemer (born March 9, 1820, died Nov. 25, 1905) and they had three children: Daniel N., born Jan. 22, 1851, unmarried; Anne, born Nov. 1, 1854, deceased; and Charles, born Jan. 22, 1859, deceased.

(VII) Dr. Daniel N. Bertolette, son of Isaac and Christiana (Griesemer) Bertolet, was born in Oley Jan. 22, 1851. He graduated from the Reading high school in 1866, and was valedictorian. In 1872 he received the degree of M. D. from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; and in 1873 was appointed assistant surgeon in the U. S. Navy, and in 1877 lieutenant, passed assistant surgeon U. S. N. In 1888 he was made lieutenant commander, surgeon, U. S. N. On Jan 17, 1891, he was made special commissioner of the United States to Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentine Republic for the World's Columbian Exposition. He was present at the special audience given by the Dowager Empress of China, and accompanied the United States commission, attending the coronation of Czar Alexander II at Moscow in 1896. He was also captain medical director, U. S. N., naval laboratory, Brooklyn, N. Y., and in March, 1909, was assigned to the command of the Naval Hospital, Washington, D. C., having just completed a term of duty at Philadelphia. His entire career has been marked with signal honors and unusual distinction. His home is at No. 127 South Sixth street, Reading.

(VI) Jacob Bertolet, born Nov. 3, 1815, son of Daniel (2) and Maria (Griesemer), was twice married. On Oct. 24, 1841, he m. (first) Hannah Mattis, who was born Oct. 29, 1818, and who died March 15, 1853. He m. (second) Sept. 11, 1860, Lucetta Shearer. Seven children were born of the first marriage: Israel M., born Sept. 2, 1842; Mary Ann, born May 29, 1844, m. William Y. Antrim (now deceased), and died June 9, 1876, leaving a daughter, Hannah Antrim Jordan, of Colebrook, N. H.; Elizabeth, born June 7, 1846, m. F. M. Heilig, of Pine Iron Works, Pa.; Sarah, born March 21, 1848, died unmarried; Catherine, born April 20, 1849, m. A. K. de Turk; Hannah, born Jan. 24, 1851, died unmarried ; and Jacob, born March 4, 1853, died June 15, 1855.

Jacob Bertolet, the father, died June 19, 1878. He was a life long resident of Oley township, where he was engaged as a farmer and lumber dealer. In his lumber business he employed many men and teams. He was a man of large business capacity, and was held in the highest repute in his district. He was a man of piety and religious zeal.

(VII) Israel M. Bertolet, son of Jacob and Hannah (Mattis), was born Sept. 2, 1842, on his grandfathers's homestead in Oley, near Friedensburg. He was educated in the public schools and the famous Oley Academy, and in 1860 he was licensed to teach by Prof. John S. Ermentrout, the county superintendent of Berks county. He taught first at the Wiest school in Oley township, remaining there two terms. In all he was employed at teaching five terms-one term in Heidelberg township, and the rest in Oley. He also taught a subscription school at Oley Academy during the Civil war, for one term. His early training had been along agricultural lines, and the summer months were devoted to that work. In 1867 he went to Reading, Pa., and was employed by the East Penn Railroad Company. He lived at Reading for twelve years. In the spring of 1876 he was elected first alderman of the Eleventh ward, Reading, and he served in that office continuously until one year after the death of his father, when he resigned and in May, 1879, he moved to the homestead farm in Oley. For a few years he carried on the farm himself, and then rented it to give his entire attention to the manufacture of lumber. He retired from this business in 1906, and now resides in Friedensburg, Oley. Pennsylvania.

Mr. Bertolet owns the family homestead, which has descended through five generations; it contains 140 acres. Mr. Bertolet was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Oley, and is its president. He is a director of the Second National Bank of Reading, and has been since its organization in 1882; and is director in the Colonial Trust Company in Reading. He is also interested in the Oley Knitting Mills. He is a member of Zion's United Evangelical Church of Friedensburg, to which his family also belong.

Mr. Bertolet has been twice married. In 1868 he m. Annie V. R. High, daughter of Henry and Rebecca (Van Reed) High, and the two children of this marriage were: Henry, born 1870, died 1891; and Frederick, born 1872, died 1873. Mrs. Bertolet died Aug. 12, 1872, aged thirty-one years. He m. (second) in 1874, Annie E. Driebelbis, widow of Dr. D. L. Driebelbis, and daughter of Solomon Ely, late of Allentown, Pa. This union has been blessed with seven children, namely: Heyman E., born 1875, a civil engineer, Philadelphia; Samuel E., born 1877, an attorney at Reading; Irene, born 1881, m. Rev. Thomas S. Knecht; Mabel, born 1883, m. to Prof. Irwin Ziegler, a teacher at Clearfield, Pa.; Helen, born 1888; and Annie and Marie, twins, born 1891.

(VIII) Samuel E. Bertolet, a member of the Berks county Bar, with residence at Reading, was born in that city Feb. 17, 1877, son of Israel M. He attended the public schools, Oley Academy, Schuylkill Seminary and Lafayette College, graduating from the latter in 1897. He at once entered upon the study of law in the office of Frank S. Livingood, and in 1899 was admitted to practise. He is Referee in Bankruptcy for Berks county. He is a Republican in politics, and takes an active part in the affairs of that party. In 1904 he made the race for the State Senate and polled a full party vote.

Mr. Bertolet is a Mason and member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, and in matters religious holds membership with the Presbyterian Church. On June 29, 1905, he married Alexandrine, daughter of Alexander M. Wilson, of the Reading Railroad, residing in Reading.

(IV) John Bertolet, born 1748, son of Abraham and Esther (de Turk) Bertolet, married a Miss Shenkel, and they both died young. Their only child was John Shenkel.

(V) John Shenkel Bertolette (as this branch of the family spell the name), was born on the homestead now owned by Ephraim Kauffman in Oley township, in 1775. He was a large land owner, and was one of the first iron makers of this section to use the charcoal furnace, being engaged in the manufacture of iron at Spring Forge. He also did much teaming, carrying on a stage line between Philadelphia anPittsburghrg. He was known as one of the most prominent mill men and influential citizens of his day, and was always spoken of as a man of great wealth. He died in 1833. In 1808 he married Mary Boyer, and their children were: Dr. David, born in 1809, lived at Washingtonville, Ohio, and died in 1880; Lydia, born in 1811, m. Filbert Nagle, and died in 1885; Levi John, born March 29, 1813, died April 10, 1883; Zechariah, born in 1815, died in 1890; and Mahlon, born in 1817, died in 1852. John S. Bertolette m. (second) Mrs. Peter (Reiff) Guldin. No children were born of this union.

(VI) Levi John Bertolette, son of John Shenkel, was born at Yellow House, at the Old Spring Forge, in Earl township, Berks county, March 29, 1813, and he died April 10, 1883. He was a prominent man of his day in this section of the State, being an early director of the Union National Bank of Reading, and was also a great traveler, and a man of wide and varied experience. He was a great lover of horse flesh, and also engaged in farming to some extent. In political matters he was a radical Democrat, and was very positive in his opinions. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. At the age of eighteen he married Maria Henrietta Guldin, daughter of Peter Guldin, and to them were born these children: John C., born in 1831, has a ranch near Denver, Colo.; Levi A., lives in Wilmington, Del; Emma Josephine m. (first) Dr. J. A. Jack, and (second) Samuel Heckman; Jeremiah Guldin; and several died young.

(VII) Jeremiah Guldin Bertolette, son of Levi John, was born March 17, 1833, and he died of typhoid fever Jan. 4, 1876. His life was spent in Oley township in agricultural pursuits, and he owned the old original Bertolette homestead of upwards of 200 acres. He was prominent in the movements of the State Grange, and was considered one of the good practical agriculturists of his day. In politics he was a Democrat, and held a number of the offices of his township, including that of school director. He had a good mind, and possessed great reasoning powers, and was able to solve any problem in trigonometry. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, and was buried at the Oley church. On Oct. 9, 1855, he married Fianna Christman Butz, a descendant of one of the early German settlers of Longswamp township; she survives and lives on North Tenth street, Reading. The four children of this union were: Martin Luther; Mary Alice, born Jan 2, 1859, m. David G. Gross, and is now deceased; Charles Albert, died in childhood; and Annie Virginia, born March 6, 1874, died Feb. 11, 1898.

(VIII) Dr. Martin Luther Bertolette, son of Jeremiah Guldin, was born Oct. 5, 1858, in Oley township, and was educated in the common schools of his native township, Oley Academy, and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. He entered Lafayette College in 1875, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in the class of 1878, giving much study while at school to the Eye as a special line. His medical preceptor was Dr. J. A. Jack, of Oley. After his graduation he located at Jacksonwald, and in March, 1882, accompanied an invalid cousin to Colorado, and in the summer of that year settled at Dubuque, Iowa, where he spent seven years. In 1888 he went to Philadelphia, and took a post graduate course at the Polyclinic and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1889 he returned to Berks county, locating at Mt. Penn, which has since been his field of practice. He has been a member of the staff of St. Joseph's Hospital since 1890, being chief for diseases of the chest. He is a member of the County, State and National Medical Societies, the P. O. S. A. and the K. G. E. In political principle he is a Democrat, and he has been president of the Mt. Penn council and president of the water board.

On Nov. 27, 1879, Dr. Bertolette was married to Hannah Elizabeth High, daughter of Jacob Van Reed High. On March 27, 1902, he was married to Catherine Breiner, of Mt. Penn, daughter of William and Annie (Dengler) Breiner. The Doctor and his wife attend the Lutheran Church.

[For much information concerning the early generations of this family we acknowledge our indebtedness to "Keim and Allied Families," by deB. Randolph Keim.]


p. 1657


Daniel Nicholas Bertolette, M. D., of Reading, Pa., a medical officer in the naval service of the United States since 1873, was born near Friedensburg, in Oley township, Berks county, Jan. 22, 1851. When he was three years of age his parents moved to Reading, where he attended the public schools, graduating from the high school in the class of 1866, and delivering the valedictory address upon that occasion. After graduating he was employed by Douglas & Connard, brass-founders of Reading, and he remained with them over three years, when he commenced the active study of medicine with Dr. Charles H. Hunter, of Reading, as his preceptor. Dr. Hunter dying in June, 1870, this course of medical studies was continued under Dr. Samuel L. Kurtz, also of Reading. After attending the usual course of lectures at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the institution in March, 1872.

Immediately after graduating Dr. Bertolette took a competitive examination, and obtained an appointment as resident physician at the Philadelphia (Blockley) Hospital, where he served with distinction the full term of fifteen months; and then, after passing successfully the required examinations, he was appointed, June 23, 1873, an assistant surgeon in the United States Navy, and he has continued in that service until the present time, passing through its various grades as assistant surgeon from 1873 to 1876; passed assistant surgeon from 1876 to 1888; surgeon from 1888 to 1900; medical inspector from 1890 to April 5, 1905, when he was commissioned a medical director, the highest grade of his corps.

Since entering the navy, Dr. Bertolette has been stationed as follows: The U. S. Naval Hospital at Norfolk, Va.; the U. S. Ship "Worcester," flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron; the U. S. S. "Constellation," practice cruise of naval cadets; the U. S. S. "Minnesota," Port-Admiral's flagship in New York Harbor; the U. S. Naval Hospital at Brooklyn, N. Y.; officiating as lecturer on surgery at the advanced school for naval medical officers; the U. S. S. "Wyoming." in European Station; the U. S. S. "Trenton," flagship in European Station; the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.; the U. S. S. "Dale." practice cruise of cadets; the U. S. S. "Dolphin;" the U. S. S.

"Tennessee," flagship in North Atlantic Station; the U. S. S. "Thetis," on special duty in Behring Sea and the Arctic Ocean; the U. S. Receiving Ship "Franklin," at Norfolk, Va.; Naval Hospital at Philadelphia; special commissioner by appointment of President Harrison, under Department of State, to carry to the Presidents of Uruguay, Paraguay, and the Argentine Republic, the official invitation to take part in the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893, and later detailed to assist in the entertainment of foreigners of distinction at that Exposition; Delegate to the meeting of Association of Military Surgeons at Chicago in 1893; the U. S. S. "Atlanta"; the U. S. S. "Minneapolis," in European Station and incidentally a member of the commission to attend the Coronation of the Czar, Nicholas II., of Russia, at Moscow in 1896; member of board for examination of officers for promotion, at Washington, D. C.; member of board for examination of candidates for admission to Naval Medical Corps; member of retiring board; medical officer of barracks at Marine Headquarters at Washington, D. C.; delegate to represent the medical department of the U. S. Navy at the Thirteenth International Medical Congress at Paris, and the Tenth International Congress of Hygiene and Demography at the same place, in 1900; U. S. S. "New York," flagship of Asiatic Squadron, as surgeon of the Fleet; member of various boards at Washington, D. C.; medical director in command of the U. S. Naval Medical Supply Depot at Brooklyn, N. Y.; and now in command of the U. S. Naval Hospital at Washington, D. C.

During the extended services mentioned, Dr. Bertolette has visited nearly every quarter of the globe. The U. S. S. "Thetis," to which he was attached, made an extended excursion into the great ice fields of Alaska, north of Point Barrow, during which the abandoned whaling ship "Jane Gray" was found in the ice floe, and recovered and returned to its owners. While fulfilling his mission to the Republics of Uruguay, Paraguay and the Argentine Republic, he traveled extensively in those countries, visiting the governors of all the various provinces. He also visited the Falls of the Iguassu in Brazil, larger than Niagara but so difficult of access that very few persons have ever seen them. While attached to the Asiatic Squadron, he visited Peking, China, and was received in audience by the Dowager Empress of China, Tsi-An, at the palace within the forbidden city; and then he also visited the famous Summer palace. In Japan, he was present at the unveiling of the memorial which commemorates the landing of Commodore Perry and the opening of the country to the world; and he attended the Emperor's chrysanthemum party at the palace in Tokio and traveled extensively through that country. These several positions, promotions and services evidence the distinction of Dr. Bertolette's successful and honorable career in connection with the national government, covering a period of thirty-six years.

Besides being identified with numerous social and scientific societies in different parts of the country, he is an active member of the world-renowned National Geographic Society at Washington, D. C.; and he was one of the founders of the Reading Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Historic Society of Berks County.

Dr. Bertolette's father was Isaac Bertolette. He was born in Oley in 1810, moved to Reading in 1854, where he was engaged in manufacturing until his decease in 1882. He married (first) Elizabeth Cleaver, a daughter of Jonathan Cleaver of Oley, by whom he had four children: Rebecca, Jonathan (who was a surgeon in the Naval service of the United States), Maria and Keturah; and upon his wife's decease in 1849, he married (second) Christiana Griesemer, a daughter of Jacob Griesemer and Mary Hunter his wife, of Oley, by whom he had two children: Dr. Daniel, and Anna (who died in 1880). The Doctor's mother died in 1905, at the advanced age of eighty-five years.

His grandfather was Daniel Bertolet, of Oley, a prominent and very successful farmer born in 1781, and died in 1868. He married Maria Griesemer, daughter of Stephen, of Oley, by whom he had nine children: Abraham, Samuel, Maria (m. Moses Miller), Daniel, Isaac, Esther (m. Joel Levan), Jacob, Hannah (m. John Guldin) and Dr. Peter G. (prominent in the Civil war).

His great-grandfather was also named Daniel. He was born in 1741, and died in 1797. He married Maria Yoder, daughter of John, of Oley, and they had eight children, four growing to maturity: Daniel, Catherine (m. Jonathan Grim), Charlotte (m. Jacob Yoder) and Esther (m. Jacob Kerst).

His great-great-grandfather was Abraham Bertolet, born in 1712 and died in 1766. He married Esther DeTurk, who was born in 1710, and died in 1798. They had six children: Daniel, Samuel, John, Maria, (m. Daniel Hoch), Elizabeth (m. John DeTurk) and Esther (m. George Yoder).

And his great-great-great-grandfather was Jean Bertolet, the immigrant who settled in Oley in 1726, and died in 1754. He was married to Susanna de Harcourt (Hericourt) in 1711, and by her had six children: Abraham, Maria (m. Stephen Barnett), John, Esther (m. Dr. George de Benneville), Susanna (m. Jacob Fry), and Frederick. He was a native of Bern, in Switzerland. On account of religious persecution, he removed to Selz, in Alsace, about twenty-seven miles northeast of Strassburg, where he was engaged in farming for about fourteen years. He then emigrated with his wife and five children to Pennsylvania. His wife was the daughter of Jean de Harcourt (or Hericourt), a prominent citizen of Muhlhausen, in Lower Alsace, of the French nobility.


p. 1624


Franklin A. Bhaer, a retired farmer of Shoemakersville, Berks county, was born on the old Jacob Bhaer homestead, one mile north of Shoemakersville, Jan. 2, 1865, son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Lesher) Baer.

The immigrant of the Baer family in this country was Hans (Johannes) Baer, of Weisenburg township, Lehigh county, who emigrated from Zweibrucken, Germany, arriving at Philadelphia, Sept. 30, 1743. His son John, who had settled on the old Bhaer home soon after the Revolutionary war, died there about 1825. He married Catherine Reiser, and they had these children: John; John Jacob; Elizabeth, who married a Mr. Schneck, lived in Weisenburg township, Lehigh county; Maria, who married Henry Becker; Bevy, who married John Seltzer; Katherine, who married Jacob Phillips; Susan, who married Jacob Startzel; Magdalena, who married John Reber; Margaret, who married Jacob Reber; and Lizzie, who married John Breininger.

John Jacob Baer (Hons Jocob), who lived on the old David Bhaer farm, the original Baer homestead of Windsor township consisting of over 300 acres of fine land, was married to Kate Fink, daughter of John Fink, and had these children: Jacob; Kate, who married John Balthaser; John, who married (first) Betsy Balthaser, and (second) Betsy Zettelmoyer; Susannah, who married Henry Engel, was born in 1821 and lives with her daughters on the old homestead, and at her advanced age is possessed of excellent health and a splendid memory; Mollie, who married Jacob Boyer; and David, who married Sarah Miller.

Jacob Baer, father of Franklin A., lived on the old Bhaer homestead in Perry township, his farm consisting of 380 acres of land. He built the house and barn on the premises and otherwise in many ways improved the property. He was a Democrat and a straight voter. He was connected with the Reformed Church, holding membership in the Union Church not far from his home. He married Elizabeth Lesher, and to them there were born children as follows: Elias, born in 1846, married Minna Strasser; Katie, born in 1848, married Daniel Lenhart; Henry, born in 1851, married Lizzie Lenhart; William, born in 1854 married Nora Tobias; Hettie married Seth Kline; Solomon married Lizzie Krick; Jacob married Amanda Jacoby; Daniel died single; and Franklin A. Franklin A. Bhaer obtained his education in the Heckman's school in his native township, and at the age of fourteen years lost his father, thereafter assisting his mother in the management of the farm until twenty-five years of age. In 1890 he began farming for himself, first on the old homestead, but two years later removed to his own farm, situated on the Pottsville turnpike, immediately west of his father's property. Here he remained for two years, when he removed to Shoemakersville, where he now resides, being employed by the Schuylkill Valley Clay Manufacturing Company.

On Jan. 5, 1889, Mr. Bhaer was married to Lillie E. Heckman, daughter of Ephraim and Catherine (Braucher) Heckman, and they have a son Van Buren E. J., who has shown remarkable mechanical talent.


p. 583


The Boyers, as the original spelling of the name Beyer or Bayer indicates, are Rhine Bavarians. The records show that this family dates back into the earliest tribal history of Germany and France, in both of which countries they hold an honorable place today. Many of them became Protestants both in Germany and France; persecution drove them to America. About thirty-five Boyers, as the ships' lists show, came to Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary war. From the well-known fact that the earlier settlers "sent for their relatives and kin", we gather that the Boyer settlers of Pennsylvania were blood relatives in Europe. There are thousands of them now in Philadelphia, Reading, and in the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, etc.

Philip Beyer, who came over in the ship "Winter Galley" in 1738, was the European ancestor of Dr. Charles Clinton Boyer, of Kutztown. Philip Beyer, as the connection of events proves, found his way into Bern township, Berks county, where as the list of Berks county taxables shows, he owned property in the vicinity of what is now known as St. Michael's Church, before 1755. This church was founded a few years before Philip died and it is likely that he is buried in the cemetery of St. Michael's, but the brown headstones found over the earliest graves of the church reveal nothing concerning him. The early church records, together with the list of Bern taxables, seem to prove that there were at least four sons, namely: Michael, Henry, John and Christopher. The mother's name, at this writing, has not been ascertained. Philip disappears from the tax list in 1780.

Christopher Beyer, in all probability the youngest son of Philip Beyer, was born in Bern township, Berks country, about 1740 or 1745. He became a member of the Lutheran Church. To his marriage with Katherine Reifschneider were born children as follows: Christopher, born in 1765; Jacob, 1767; Henry; Christian, 1781; Daniel, and two daughters. In 1785, or soon afterwards, the family removed to what is now Brunswick township, Schuylkill county. The elder Christopher's name appears for the first time on the tax list of Brunswick township in 1791. He lived in a log hut, probably constructed by himself, against a hill side in the rear of what is now known as Friedens Church, about a mile north of McKeansburg. Whether or not he was the schoolmaster of the congregation is a little uncertain. Missionaries stopped at his house and preached in his barn, as Rev. H. A. Weller records in his history of Friedens Church. He was certainly closely identified with this congregation, as we infer from a fragment of church records to which his name is signed. His name disappears from the tax list in 1811, or soon afterward. He and his wife lie buried in Boyer's Row, Friedens cemetery, but the brown headstones that marked the graves were rudely removed when the present church building was erected.

Jacob Boyer, second son of Christopher and Katherine (Reifshneider) Beyer, was born in Bern township, Berks county, Jan. 14, 1767, and became a member of Frieden's Church (Lutheran). In 1802 he owned a large farm in Lewistown Valley, about four miles north of Friedens Church. He died April 1, 1829, and lies buried in Frieden's cemetery. His wife, Susanna Schaeffer, born Jan. 14, 1775, died Nov. 4, 1849, in the home of a daughter, and is buried in the cemetery of the Lutheran Church, East Germantown, Ind. Their children were: Jacob, Samuel, Joseph, Daniel, Mary, Elizabeth, Susan, Kate and Hettie.

Samuel Boyer, second son of Jacob and Susanna (Schaeffer) Boyer, was born in Lewistown, Schuylkill county, Feb. 12, 1801. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church and on Nov. 9, 1823, was married by Pastor Schofer to Lydia Bensinger, daughter of Michael Bensinger. When his father died six years later, Samuel, who was a blacksmith by trade, took the father's farm, which, as the deeds show, comprised about 300 acres. On the Yost farm, which he owned soon afterward, he carried on milling. He was prominently identified with the founding and maintenance of the Lutheran Church at Lewistown. In 1873, when he was serving as township supervisor, he died in the Bauscher home, where he had called to warm himself on a bitterly cold morning. His wife, Lydia, born Feb. 29, 1808, survived him until 1894. They are buried at Lewistown. The sons and daughters of this marriage were: Israel, Samuel, Emanuel, Joseph, Benjamin, William, Jacob, Daniel, John, Catherine, Elizabeth and Caroline.

Joseph Boyer, fourth son of Samuel and Lydia (Bensinger) Boyer, was born Jan. 27, 1831. When he began to go to school the free school bill of 1834 and 1835, framed by Lawyer Breck and saved by Thaddeus Stevens in Governor Wolf's administration, had just been put into operation by Secretary of State Thomas Burrowes. The Lewistown school fell in line in 1837. The teachers, however, were poorly qualified. Joseph's best teacher was a Mr. Huey. The school terms were short, about three months, and the branches about the same as those of subscription schools. The rod was freely used, and the pupils were hardly able to understand the importance of an education. The English language was not in high repute in the valley as yet, and German spelling, together with the trapping system in the "paragraph reading" of the German Psalter, was about all that counted for much in serious study. There were no blackboards and few books. The long plank benches were arranged a round the walls of the room, with benches for the smaller boys and girls in the middle of the room. The old frame schoolhouse, however, in which Joseph Boyer received his education, has long since been replaced. Joseph was a miller by trade, but lived on a Lewistown farm the greater part of his life. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church of Lewistown. In 1856 he married Magdalena Gunsette, daughter of Christian Gunsette (who came from Alsace with his father Philip Henry and his mother Margaret (Houser) Gunsette in 1828) and Mary (Lintz) Gunsette(a Lehigh county girl). To this marriage were born: Charles Clinton, Alice Minerva, George Harris and Frank Samuel. Joseph Boyer served his township eight terms as supervisor of roads, took an active interest in the political affairs of his times, and lived to enjoy a ripe old age. At this writing he is seventy-nine years old and his faithful helpmate seventy-five.

Dr. Charles Clinton Boyer, eldest son of Joseph and Magdalena (Gunsette) Boyer, was born at Lewistown, Schuylkill county, Aug. 6, 1860. His first school teacher was Mr. Benjamin Scheirer, a man of learning, of charming personality and remarkable teaching powers. His last teacher in the public schools was that excellent master of boys, Mr. David Bauscher. He was confirmed in the Lutheran faith by Rev. I. N. S. Erb, and it was partly through his influence, and that of Mr. Bauscher, that in 1877 Mr. Boyer first came to the Kutztown Normal school, to which he continued to return every spring as a student until 1883. For one term he was a pupil of the now illustrious Dr. Thomas Balliet in his Center Square Academy. He prepared for college under Rev. Mr. Erb, while teaching at Landingville and Orwigsburg. In 1885 he was graduated from Muhlenberg College with second honor. He studied Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, but, called to the chair of Latin and Greek at Kutztown through Dr. Schaeffer, he completed his theological course under Dr. Hancher, and was ordained with his class in 1888. Then, while teaching, writing and preaching, he completed six years of post-graduate work, graduating from Wooster University in 1894, and receiving the title Doctor of Philosophy cum laude. His thesis on "Psychic Initiative in Education" attracted considerable attention. After that he studied psychology, experimental and theoretical, under Dr. Hugo Munsterberg, of Harvard University. In 1901 he traveled in Europe, accompanied by Professor George E. Kramlich, the main object of interest being history, education and art.

Dr. Boyer began his teaching career at Patterson, Schuylkill Co., Pa., when he was seventeen years of age. Then he taught an ungraded school in Lewistown for two years. He gave up this school for the Landingville grammar school, in order that he might take up college preparatory work under the Rev. Mr. Erb, of Orwigsburg. This proved to be his stepping-stone to the principalship of the Orwigsburg high school, where he remained until in 1883, when he entered college. In the fall of 1887, after conducting a very successful summer school for teaching at Lynnville, Pa., he was called to the chair of Latin and Greek in the State Normal School, at Kutztown, Pa. Two years later when he had entered upon his duties as professor of Greek in the Pennsylvania Military Academy, at Chester, Pa., he was recalled to Kutztown to teach psychology and English classics. Two years later, after supplying the pulpit at St. John's Lutheran Church at Boyertown, Pa., for six months or more, and confirming a large class of catechumens, he went to Boyertown as pastor of this congregation, remaining there until 1893. Then Dr. Schaeffer, the principal of the Normal School, became Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Professor Boyer was called back to the Normal again, this time to the chair of Pedagogy, under the principalship of Dr. Hancher. In 1900, when Vice Principal Rothermel became Principal, Dr. Boyer became Vice Principal of the Normal School, a position which he fills with much ability at this writing.

Dr. Boyer has few superiors as a teacher. His rapid promotions were due not simply to his acknowledged scholarship, but to his marked teaching powers. Progressive and modern in spirit and method, he is also well proportioned and conservative. He has served the cause of the Normal school and education about twenty-two years at this writing. As an institute instructor and lecturer he is as well received in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey as in Pennsylvania. Among the subjects on which he has lectured most frequently, are "Mental Moods and Tenses," "On the Up-Grade," "Lawlessness in Pupils," "Serpent and Dove in Discipline," "As You Would Like It in Schooldays," "The Roman Child and Ours," "Spencer's Theory of Consequence," "In Touch with the Infinite in Teaching," "Vulcan and Venus," and "An Hour in Europe." He is considered an eloquent and forceful talker, and a master in the art of thinking, and this is as true of his sermons as of his lectures. The most tempting propositions have at this writing not persuaded him to leave Kutztown.

As an author Dr. Boyer has won signal success. He published his "Concrete Psychology" in 1891, for the use of his own classes. "Principles and Methods of Teaching," a work that has now gone through many editions, and that is deservedly popular, followed in 1899. A book entitled "Waymarks of General History" was published in 1902. This work, like that on methods of teaching, is highly praised by the reviewers. His book on "Modern Methods for Modern Teachers" was published in 1909. He is a member of the National Education Association, the Pennsylvania German Society, and the Historical Society of Berks county, etc.

In 1889 Dr. Charles Clinton Boyer was united in marriage with Margie Wright, daughter of Calvin D. Wright, a cavalry officer of the Third Pennsylvania Regiment during the Civil war, and his wife, Katherine (Gartley) Wright. She was born Oct. 11, 1869, in Pottsville, Pa. The Wrights were originally English Quakers and the Gartleys Scotch Presbyterians. Through her Gartley ancestry Mrs. Boyer is related to the Potts family, founders of Pottstown, Pa., and through her father's more distant Lafferty ancestry she is also of Irish descent. She is a cultured artist and musician, and devotes much of her energies to church work. There is one son, Karl Wright Boyer, born at Mt. Carmel, Pa., Nov. 26, 1897.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:37 EDT

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