Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1651


Abraham Boyer, proprietor of the Green Terrace Hotel, situated in Lower Heidelberg township, one mile south of Wernersville, was born Nov. 22, 1859, in Lower Heidelberg township, son of Moses and Elizabeth (Wineholt) Boyer.

Abraham Boyer, the grandfather of Abraham, who established the famous hotel now conducted by his grandson, was well-known by the traveling public of this section, and made a reputation for his house that has been kept to the present time. He was married to Katie Strunk, and to them the following children were born: Matilda, Elizabeth, Annie and Moses. Moses Boyer became proprietor of the hotel after his father's death, and conducted it until within several years of his own demise, when he retired from active pursuits. His death occurred in 1899, in his seventy-second year. Moses Boyer was married to Elizabeth Wineholt, who still survives and makes her home in Lower Heidelberg township, near the Green Terrace Hotel. Five children were born to her and her husband: Jerome, Wellington, Violet, Lemon and Abraham. Moses Boyer served in the Civil war and while fighting for his country, contracted an illness from which he never fully recovered.

Abraham Boyer attended the schools of his native township, after leaving which he learned the painting and paper hanging trade, which he followed for a period of twenty-two years. Subsequently, however, at the time of his father's retirement in 1897 be took charge of the hotel, but soon thereafter removed to Reinhold's Station, where he remained two years, at the end of which time he located in his present place of business. He has twenty large, well-lighted and well-heated rooms, and his cuisine is of the best. In connection with his hotel he has a large livery, and in every respect conducts a modern, up-to-date establishment.

In 1880 Mr. Boyer was married to Amanda Stief, daughter of Henry and Sarah (Reid) Stief, of Lower Heidelberg township, and they have had these children: Katie; Henry, who resides at Wernersville and is an operator at Myerstown, he married Alice Abling; and Jerome, a cigar maker of Lancaster county, married Lillie Kocherias.

Mr. Boyer is an independent voter, and his religious belief is that of the Reformed Church. Fraternally he is connected with Reading Lodge No. 66, F. 0. E., and Sons of Veterans also of Reading. For thirty-two years he has been prominent in musical circles of his community and is now leader of the Sinking Spring Band, and assistant leader of the band at Fritztown.


p. 9 0 0


Amos Boyer, a representative agriculturist of Robeson township, Berks county, who is carrying on operations on the old Jacobs farm, was born May 14, 1842, in Robeson township, son of William and Susanna (Beard) Boyer. John R. Boyer, great-grandfather of Amos, was a native of Berks county, whence he went to Tennessee in 1835 and there acquired a large tract of land, which is today very valuable. There he died. He and his wife were members of the M. E. Church, and in political belief Mr. Boyer was a Whig. They had two children: Thomas and John.

Thomas Boyer, grandfather of Amos, was born near Boyertown, Berks county, where he was educated in the common schools, and early in life removed to Robeson township, where he spent the remainder of his days as a collier, burning much charcoal for the furnaces. He also for some time worked at the furnaces at Warwick. In 1862 while on a visit to his son Thomas, Mr. Boyer died, aged eighty-one years. His wife, Elizabeth McGowan, preceded him to the grave by several years. They were Methodists in religious belief. Their children were: William, John, Thomas, Isaac, Mary A., Elizabeth, and Susanna.

William Boyer, father of Amos, was born in Union township, on the line of Robeson. Early in life he engaged in farming by the day among the neighbors, and later purchased a farm, which he operated in connection with hauling iron for the Joanna furnace. He died March 7, 1892, aged seventy-seven years, his wife surviving until 1904, when she died, aged eighty-two years. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Boyer, as follows: Levi; Amos; John; Henry; William; Leah (m. Levi Fox); Mary A. and Susanna (unmarried) ; Emily Ida (in. Jacob Peterman); and Ellen C. (deceased). In religious belief the family were Methodists. Mr. Boyer was first a Whig, and later a Republican in politics, and held the office of 'assessor and supervisor'.

Amos Boyer was educated in the schools of Robeson township, and his first teacher, at the old Hay Creek school was Levi Scarlet. After leaving school he engaged in driving his father's team, but in 1862 he went to Robesonia to engage in charcoal burning for the old Penn furnace for three or four weeks. At this time, fired by the news of his brother's death, who had enlisted in the 3rd Pennsylvania Reserves, Mr. Boyer enlisted, Aug. 5, 1862, at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, under Capt. Heber Smith, in Company A, 12sth Pa. V. I., 12th Army Corps. At this time he found that the news of his brother's death was false. He left Harrisburg Aug. 17,1862, and on Sept. 14th following participated in the battle of South Mountain; Sept. 17th at Antietam; May 1, 2, 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville. He was honorably discharged May 19, 1863, and reenlisted in July in Company C, 194th Pa. V. I., serving until Nov. 18, 1863, when he was again discharged. In February, 1864, Mr. Boyer again enlisted, this time in Company D, 213th Pa. V. I., serving until the close of the war, when he returned to the peaceful occupations of farming and teaming. Later he engaged as a clerk in the store of G. H. Zerr, with whom he remained about six months, and then rented the Pierce stand at Scarlet's Mill, which he operated until 1871, when he erected the store now occupied by J. H. Eschelman. He was appointed the first postmaster at Scarlet's Mill, where he remained until about 1880, then purchasing the Thomas Lewis property, formerly owned by the Scarlets. Here he remained until 1890, when he sold out to John A. McLannigan and purchased the old Jacobs farm, better known as the Miller farm, a tract of fertile, well-cultivated land comprising 145 acres. Mr. Boyer is a good, practical agriculturist.


p. 678

Andrew S. Boyer, a retired box manufacturer of Reading, Pa., and an honored veteran of the great Civil War, was born in Upper Bern township, Berks county, April 3, 1833, son of Andrew Boyer.

Andrew Boyer, the father, was a farmer in Upper Bern township, owning two farms, of two hundred and thirty acres, respectively, situated about one mile above Bern station. He was also a carpenter by trade, and followed that occupation in conjunction with his agricultural pursuits. He died at the age of seventy-five years, and his wife, who had been Catherine Schlappich, at the age of seventy-eight. Mr. Boyer was a Lutheran in his religious belief, and a Democrat in political matters. His children were: Rebecca, m. to George A. Wagner; Susan, m. to Josiah Lindemuth; Lovinia, m. to Reuben Reiss; and Andrew S.

Andrew S. Boyer attended the district schools of Bern township and an academy at Morgantown, Pa., and in 1851 began business as a clerk at Centreport, Berks county, remaining there for a period of three years. He then held a like position at Shartlesville and after a period of seven years here enlisted in Company I, 179th Pa. V. I., his term of enlistment expiring Aug. 1, 1863. Returning to Centreport, he was engaged for two and one-half years as a clerk, and he then went to Bernville, where he engaged in business with Frank Rick, under the firm name of Boyer & Rick for two years, at the end of which time Mr. Boyer purchased his partner's interest and continued the business eight years. In 1876 Mr. Boyer came to Reading, and began making cigar boxes by hand, in this way building up a good local trade. For about two years he had his place of business at his home, and he then purchased a three horse-power engine. He took into partnership Mr. George W. Heilig, and in 1886 they built a factory at Cedar and Walnut Streets, at first employing only eight men. The business grew rapidly and at the time of his retirement in April, 1906, the firm was employing from twenty-five to thirty hands. The factory was 70x20 feet, three stories and cellar. In his line of work Mr. Boyer was very well known throughout the city. Since his retirement he has resided at his home No. 819 Elm Street.

Mr. Boyer married Matilda Ludwig, daughter of John and Sarah (Blatt) Ludwig, and to this union were born ten children, of whom these survive: Frank J., in the publishing business in Reading, m. Priscilla Heilig, and had children: Ella, Howard, James, Irwin, Lawrence, Harry, William, Edward and Charles (who died in infancy); Sallie A. m. Howard J. Ritler, a draughtsman at the Philadelphia & Reading shops, and had three children: Tillie E., Lillian (deceased) and Helen B.; Katie A. m. Henry Rauenzahn, a foreman painter at the Philadelphia & Reading shops, and has two children: Ella A. and Jennie E.; and Thomas W., junior member of the firm of Speer & Boyer, dealers in general merchandise at Bangor, Northampton County, m. Jennie Speer.

Mr. Boyer is a Republican in politics, and while in Bernville served on the school board and as inspector. He belongs to St. Paul's United Evangelical Church, serving on the building committee, as a member of the board of trustees since the erection of the church, as class leader for four years, and as assistant class leader for two years. Among Mr. Boyer's most highly- prized possessions is a cane, made and decorated by himself while in camp during the war. The carving on this cane, which is very elaborate, was done by Mr. Boyer principally with a pen-knife and a piece of glass.


p. 939


Charles A. Boyer, owner of the celebrated "Center Square Hotel" in Muhlenberg township, Berks county and of an excellent farm of twenty-five acres which he devotes to poultry raising, was born Feb. 5, 1866, at Ninth and Spring streets, Reading, Pa., son of Gotleib and Rosina (Lineamoyer) Boyer, a full sketch of whom will be found on another page of this publication.

Mr. Boyer was educated in the schools of Reading, and when a boy was employed in his father's hothouse, also engaging in truck farming for some years. At the age of twenty-five years he purchased the old Leinbach stand in Muhlenberg township, known for miles around as the "Center Square Hotel," on which he spent several thousand dollars in improvements and repairs, and which he converted into one of the best stands in the rural districts of Berks county. Mr. Boyer conducted this well known hostelry until June 10, 1907, when he leased and erected a fine residence on his property adjoining the hotel, which he will devote to poultry raising.

Mr. Boyer married Naomi Susan Schlottman, daughter of Mark and Naomi (Hoyer) Schlottman, They have no children of their own, but ten years ago adopted a daughter Mabel Ray. Mr. Boyer is a member of the I. O. O. F. at Leesport, and the Rebekah Lodge (of which Mrs. Boyer is also a member); of the I. 0. R. M. (his wife being a member of the Pocahontas Auxiliary of that order); of the P. 0. S. of A., and the F. 0. E. He is a Democrat in politics.


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 around 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.


p. 1132


Charles G. Boyer, one of Reading's representative young business men, and the popular proprietor of the "Madison Hotel," corner of Third and Franklin streets, is a native of Reading, born June 29, 1869, son of Alvin N. and Mary Ann (Getz) Boyer, grandson of Jacob and Susan (Nagle) Boyer, and great-grandson of Henry and Rebecca (Rudy) Boyer.

Henry Boyer was a butcher by trade, and he followed this occupation for many years in Reading, on South Sixth street, just beyond Franklin. He accumulated considerable property for his children, who were: Henry; John; Betsy, m. to Abraham Kesper; Jacob, grandfather of Charles G.; George; Rachel, m. to a Rightmyer; and Charles. In religious belief the family were Lutherans. Politically he was a Democrat.

Jacob Boyer, son of Henry, was also a butcher by trade, and followed this practically all of his life, retiring in 1862. He was a man well known for his sterling traits of character, honest and upright in all of his dealings. He and his wife, Susan Nagle, were the parents of: Harriet, m. to John Shanneman; Peter; Mary, m. to Joseph O'Brien; Alvin N., father of Charles G.; Sarah Louisa, m. to John Strohacker; Henry; Esther, single; and Jacob. The father was a member of the Lutheran Church, and the mother of the Reformed. He died in November, 1871, aged seventy years, two months, and his wife at the age of ninety years, in 1890. Mr. Boyer was formerly a Democrat, but before his death joined the ranks of the Republican party.

Alvin N. Boyer was born in Reading, Pa., July 23, 1843, and was educated in a school conducted by Joshua Davis, an old Quaker. The school was located on Washington Street, and was known as the Quaker school house. Later he attended a school at the corner of Sixth and Walnut streets, under Jesse Steiner, and still later a school under the tutorship of Benjamin Hoge. After completing his education he went into the butchering business, in which he continued until 1903, in which year he retired. He conducted a meat market on Penn street, between Second and Third streets; having located there in 1868. Mr. Boyer was married in 1861 to Mary Ann Getz, daughter of Aaron Getz, and a second cousin to Ex-Mayor Getz's father. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Boyer were: Clara, m. to George Henchen; Emma, m. to Edward Pengerly; Charles. G., and Miss Martha. Politically Alvin N. Boyer is a Republican, and was a member of the board of school directors for several years.

Charles G. Boyer was educated in the public schools of Reading, and the Chester Farr Business College. After completing his schooling he engaged at the butchering business until 1901, when he embarked in the hotel business, at the corner of Franklin and Third streets. Mr. Boyer is well adapted to the work of a hotel manager and proprietor, and his hotel-the "Madison" -is one of the nicest little family hotels in Reading. Its rooms are well furnished with modern conveniences. Mr. Boyer is well and favorably known in Reading and commands the public respect.

Mr. Boyer. was married Oct. 5, 1895, to Catherine Lauther, daughter of Gerhardt Lauther, a prominent hotel man of Reading, who formerly owned and conducted the "Madison Hotel." Mr. Boyer is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Foresters of America, and he belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church. He is a Republican in politics but has never been an office seeker, taking only a good citizen's interest therein.


p. 829


Cyranus F. Boyer, former burgess of the thriving borough of Fleetwood, is extensively engaged in the manufacture of ice-cream, and is also conducting a first-class restaurant on Main street. He was born Oct. 24, 1862, in Rockland township, son of James Boyer.

Reuben Boyer, grandfather of Cyranus F., was a miner and woodchopper of Ruscombmanor township. He married Esther Miller, and they became the parents of: William, Emeline, James, Levi, Henry, Sarah, Hannah and Isaac.

James Boyer, son of Reuben, like his father, was a miner of Ruscombmanor township, and was killed Oct. 10, 1881, in the caving in of an embankment while at work at the Kutz, Schwoyer & DeLong ore mines of the township in which he resided. He married Mary Frey, daughter of George and Susannah (Reinheimer) Frey, of Ruscombmanor, and they had children: Hettie; Cyranus F.; William 0.; Lizzie, who died aged four years; Charles H.; Emma F.; Howard F.; Peter F.; Clara F. and James F.

Soon after his birth Cyranus F. Boyer was taken to Ruscombmanor township by his parents, where he spent his boyhood and, school days. When thirteen years old he was hired out on the farm of George S. Schaeffer, in Richmond township, for three succeeding years, and then he worked in the ore mines for two years. At the age of nineteen years he learned the trade of coach making with his uncle, Henry M. Boyer, and later worked at that trade for one year with Thomas Schuler at Alburtis, Lehigh county. On Feb. 10, 1884, Mr. Boyer connected himself with the well known firm of Schaeffer, Merkel & Co., implement dealers of Fleetwood, and in their employ he remained for eight years as a millwright under the supervision of his good friend A. W. Haag of Reading, his term of service with the firm covering a period of fifteen years. At the expiration of that time he established himself in the ice-cream and restaurant business, in which he has since been very successfully engaged, his celebrated ice cream, which is served at all social festivities of the town, being considered of the finest on the market. Mr. Boyer's success in life has been due to his honesty and integrity and his native business ability.

In 1896 Mr. Boyer was first elected to the borough council on the Democratic ticket. and at the expiration of his first term his services merited a re-election. In the spring election of 1906 he was elected chief burgess of the borough of Fleetwood after a most spirited campaign, by the margin of one vote. He was nominated for re-election in the spring of 1909, but under the Act of 1893 was not eligible to succeed himself. He takes a great interest in the welfare of the town, and holds the confidence and esteem of the entire community. Mr. Boyer is a member of St. Paul Union Church of Fleetwood, belonging to the Lutheran denomination. He was a teacher in the Sunday-school, and prior to locating in the his own residence on Main Street, was for two years assistant superintendent of the Ruscombmanor Sunday school. He is past chief of Fleetwood Lodge, K. of P.; noble chief of Fleetwood Castle, K. G. E.; and a member of Camp No. 103, P. 0. S. of A. On Aug. 21, 1886, Mr. Boyer was married at Allentown, Lehigh Co.. Pa., by the Rev. George F. Spieker, to Miss Bessie W. Boyer, daughter of Levi Boyer, a farmer of near Fleetwood, Richmond township, and to this union were born: Helen E., Grace M., Herbert C. and Frank F.


p. 537


Edwin A. Boyer, chorister and organist of Maxatawny Zion's Church, and a popular music teacher as well as a composer, was born in Maxatawny township, near Kutztown, Pa., Aug. 28, 1871, a son of Abraham and Lucy Ann (Youse) Boyer, grandson of Abraham Boyer and great-grandson of Philip Boyer.

(I) Philip Boyer was a native of Germany, and came to America before he was married. Meeting his future wife on ship board, a pretty romance followed and the young couple were married in Philadelphia, but later removed to Rockland, where they settled. He is buried at Mertz in the same township. The four children born to himself and wife were: Jacob moved to Union county, Pa; Abraham; William lived in Rockland township Lydia m. Jacob Wanner of Richmond.

(II) Abraham Boyer, Sr., was born in Rockland township, in 1791, and died in 1849, aged fifty-eight years, and is buried at Mertz church. By trade he was a weaver and butcher, following both callings according to the season, and in addition he owned a fine farm in Rockland township. He married Mary Welder, a daughter of Philip Welder, and she died at the age of eighty-five - many years after her husband. Their children were: Solomon died unmarried; Hettie, deceased, m. Daniel Heist of Rockland; Sarah m. Benjamin Ruppert; Catherine m. Daniel Heist; Betsy died young; Benneville; David; Daniel; and Abraham.

(III) Abraham Boyer, Jr., was born in Maxatawny township Jan. 15, 1837, and for many years was a farmer of Maxatawny township, but during eight years he lived near Breinigsville; at Monterey for fourteen years, and in 1897 he retired to Schofers where he now lives, acting as janitor for the Maxatawny Zion's Church. On June 28, 1857, he married Lucy Ann Youse, daughter of John and Barbara (Noll) Youse, and the following children were born to them: Charles, of Tatamy, Pa.; Louisa m. Henry Ebert, of Monterey; Solomon is of Lehighton, Pa.; Jeremiah is of Lyons, Pa.; Prof. Edwin A.; Alice m. Jeremiah B. Trexler, of Breinigsville; Amanda died young.

(IV) Edwin A. Boyer worked upon the farm for about fifteen years, and attended the local schools, but when only eighteen he began to cultivate his musical talents, under the instruction of Prof. C. A. Marks of Allentown. He is a musician of marked ability, and plays all instruments equally well, although he makes a specialty of the piano, pipe organ and violin. A number of years ago he began to give instruction in music, and since 1902 he has devoted all of his attention to his beloved profession, now having a large class, numbering about forty-five, gathered from Upper Berks and Western Lehigh counties. He is the organist of the Maxatawny Zion's church, and the Mertztown Union church, having been elected to these positions in 1900, and prior to that, from 1894 to 1900, he held a similar position with the Seiberlingville Union church. Since 1894 Prof. Boyer has sung at 294 funerals, his services being in great demand upon such occasions, as well as those of a less serious character. He leads the singing at both the churches before mentioned, alternating Sundays, and the choirs in both are excellent owing to his skill as an instructor. Altogether he has played at 1,325 services. He is a composer of both instrumental and vocal music, among his compositions being the Boyer's Reunion March, in 1908, which was played by Unger's Band, of Reading, at Black Bear Park.

Fraternally Mr. Boyer is a member of the Jr. 0. U. A. M., Pioneer Council No. 380, New Smithville. He and his family are consistent members of the Lutheran congregation of Maxatawny Zion's Church.

On April 25, 1895, Mr. Boyer married Lizzie A. Smith, daughter of George L Smith, a complete sketch of whom appears elsewhere.


p. 786


"The Boyers have direct connection in name and history with the Gallic Boii, widely distributed over Rhine regions in the time of the wandering of races, and particularly active between the fourth and second century before Christ. Julius Caesar conquered them in part about 58 B. C. Both the Bavarians and the Bohemians get their names from the Boii, though the Bohemians are not Boii by descent.

"Like other families, many of the Boyers, both in France and Germany, accepted the doctrines and consequences of the sixteenth century Reformation. In the complications that resulted from the revocation of the edict of Nantes by Louis XIV, king of France, in 1685, the Palatinate was terribly devastated. Those who could escape Louis' fury found at last temporary refuge in parts of Germany, Holland and England. In the meantime Penn, the proprietary governor of Pennsylvania, sympathizing with the refugees in Europe, helped to produce a veritable exodus from Europe. Through his agents he made it known among refugees in Europe that he was ready to grant land possessions on easy terms in Pennsylvania, and that liberty of conscience was to be allowed there. Among these refugees were the Boyers. About forty of them settled in Pennsylvania before 1775-some of them in Philadelphia and others at various points in the eastern counties of Pennsylvania Wherever they settled they became identified with the Colonial efforts to sustain ministers and schoolmasters, and to build the log church, the latter also serving as schoolhouse in many instances. There are now. about 100,000 Boyers in America." [Extract from an address of the Rev. Dr. Charles C. Boyer, at Boyer Reunion, Kutztown, Pennsylvania.]

Henry Boyer, the founder of Boyertown, was an early settler in Colebrookdale township, Berks Co., Pa. He settled on the Latshaw place, securing a central location, and opened a public house. He had a number of sons who engaged in other lines of business in the same locality, which through them received the name of Boyertown, long before it was laid out in town lots, in 1835. In 1851 the first attempt was made to have the town incorporated as a borough, thirty-three persons signing the petition, but this was not granted, and in 1866 a second and successful attempt was made, the grand jury reporting favorably, Oct. 20, 1866. Among the Sons of Henry Boyer was Daniel who opened the first store in the town.

Daniel Boyer, son of Henry, and grandfather of George F. Boyer of Cumru township, was a foremost merchant in the lower end of Berks county. He started his first store in a corner closet, on a very small scale, but he prospered from the beginning, and at his death was in very comfortable circumstances. He passed his entire life in Boyertown, and died there. He married Salome Burkert, and became the father of the following children: Samuel, who became a merchant but died when comparatively young; Henry B.; Daniel, who died quite wealthy, having acquired his fortune as a. merchant; Sallie, who married William Schuler; Elizabeth, who married John Steinruck; Lavina, who married Richard Richards; and Willoughby, a merchant at Norristown, who married Harriet Dengler.

Henry B. Boyer, son of Daniel, was born at Boyertown, July 25, 1805, and died July 19, 1895, aged nearly ninety years. For many years he was a. merchant in Boyertown, being associated with his brother Daniel, and they met with great success. In 1848 Henry B. Boyer came to Reading and opened a general store in the old Keystone building, near the corner of Sixth and Penn streets. For a number of years before his death he had lived retired. His home was at No. 630 Walnut street, Reading. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He and his wife Susanna Fritz had nine children, of whom two died young, the others being: Frank, a merchant in Reading, where he died; Henry, a merchant at Bowers Station, who died there and is buried on the Boyer lot in the Charles Evans cemetery, Reading; Mary, who married Theodore Douglass, of Philadelphia, later of Reading; John, who kept a livery in Reading known as the "Old Reliable," now conducted by his son Morris; George F.; Howard F., who conducted the livery on South Sixth street, Reading, now carried on by his son Harry; and Lucretia, who married Dr. Hiester M. Nagle; of Reading.

George F. Boyer, son of Henry B., now a retired citizen of Cumru township, was born in Reading, June 29, 1837, was educated in the district schools, a school in Exeter township, and at Boyertown Academy. In his young manhood he learned tanning in Reading, and for a time clerked in his father's store. For a number of years he was employed as a clerk by the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, and when he left the employ of this company he moved to the farm whereon he now resides. This consists of 100 acres of good and well cultivated land, and its care received his attention until his retirement. In politics he is a Republican. He and his family are members of Trinity Lutheran Church, of Reading. Mr. Boyer married Mary Ann High, daughter of an influential citizen of Berks county, and they have had six children, three Sons and three daughters: Emma, who married Henry Garber, of Philadelphia; Katie, who died in, infancy; Harry, who resides at Boyer Heights, in Cumru township; George A., unmarried and at home; Mary G., who married George Miller, of Reading; and Walter, unmarried and at home.

George A. Boyer, son of George F., was born in Reading in 1864, and was educated in the public schools of the city and at Prof. D. B. Brunner's business college. He learned the tool-maker's trade with the Reading Hardware Company, and has been employed by that firm since 1882. He is also engaged in the real estate business at Boyer Heights, and is one of the successful and industrious men of the place.

Howard F. Boyer, son of Henry B. and Susanna, was born in Boyertown, Nov. 19, 1839, and received his education in his native place. On beginning work he was first employed as chain bearer for a surveying party, making surveys for the Philadelphia & Reading railroad from Reading to Pottstown. After that he became a clerk in his father's retail grocery store, located on the present site of the "Hotel Penn." When the elder Mr. Boyer sold his store, in 1855, and went into the livery business, the son accompanied him, and they opened the old Coleman stable, on Pearl street. Later they moved to Sixth and Cherry streets and did a thriving business there until 1876, in which year the father retired from the concern and Howard F. and his brother John operated it together until 1885, when the partnership was dissolved, Howard F. opening a new stable on South Sixth Street, where he remained until his death. He married Mary J. Coller, daughter of Solomon and Sophia L. (Amweg) Coller, and they had but one child, Harry C. They were members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Boyer's fraternal connections were with Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M.; the I. 0. 0. F.; and the K. P. In politics he was a strong Republican, and so widely known and esteemed that his election to several offices would have been assured if he could have been induced to become a candidate. Mr. Boyer was one of those who volunteered for service during the Civil war, enlisting for six months in Company C, 25th regiment. His company was one that accompanied the 6th. Massachusetts through Baltimore at the time of the riots there caused by the marching of the Northern troops through that city on their way to the front. He died Dec. 6, 1904, when he was aged sixty-five years, and was widely regretted. He was a man of large heart and generous impulses, and his life was filled with good deeds, the half of which were never known.

Harry C. Boyer, son of Howard F., was born in 1865, and was given a good education, it being his father's ambition to prepare him for a professional life. Accordingly, after completing the school course in Reading, he went to Dean Academy, Franklin, Mass., but the confinement indoors and the close application to books proved uncongenial to the youth and he was wisely allowed to choose a path in life more adapted to his tastes. Returning to Reading, he decided upon the tailor's trade, and he served his apprenticeship in Wilmington. He then formed a partnership with a Mr. Peterson, and opened a tailoring establishment in the Wilson building, on Penn street, Reading, where they continued for two years. The partnership was then dissolved, and Mr. Boyer went into his father's livery stable, where he was employed until the latter's death. After that event he assumed the entire management of the business, though retaining the old name. He attends strictly to business, and by his improved ideas and methods has increased the patronage forty per cent. He has now one of the best equipped liveries in the State and stands well in the business community.

Mr. Boyer is popular with the younger element in Reading, and he belongs to the B. P. 0. E., the Order of Eagles, and the S. M. A., which latter is a dramatic organization. In religion he belongs to the Universalist Church.


p. 1278


The Boyers have long been a prominent Berks county family, and the name has been perpetuated in the borough of Boyertown, so called in their honor. The family history in this country begins with

(I) John Philip Beyer (as the name was then spelled), from whom the brothers James K., and Horace K. Boyer, general merchants of Boyertown, trace their line through (II) Jacob, (III) Daniel and (IV) Daniel B. Boyer. Henry and Daniel Boyer, sons of (II) Jacob Boyer and his wife Catharine, were really the founders of the present beautiful borough, now a prosperous community of 2,500 souls, which was known as Boyertown long before it was laid out in 1835. It was not incorporated until 1851. We give a brief record of both these men, first mentioning their forefathers in America.

John Philip Beyer came to these shores from Rhenish Bavaria, better known as the Palatinate, in 1731, and settled in Pennsylvania, dying in Frederick township, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania.

(II)Jacob Beyer, son of John Philip, born in August, 1754, died Feb. 11, 1796. He lived on the old homestead at Perkiomenville, in Frederick township, Montgomery Co., Pa., where all his children lived, he and his wife Catherine Schantz who was born in 1759) having a family of eleven, viz.: Henry, Daniel, Jacob (born Jan. 9, 1777, died March 13, 1853; married Elizabeth Heebner, born May 4, 1777, died July 30, 1838; had ten children, all daughters), Philip, John, Samuel, and five daughters, Susanna (born Aug. 2, 1787, died May 10, 1863, married Jacob Houck), one who married a Setzler, one who married a Campbell, one who married a Sassaman and one who married a Hendrix. One of the daughters, Mary, born Feb. 18, 1784, died Aug. 30, 1857, and she and her sister Susanna are buried in Keelor's churchyard. Jacob Beyer is said to be buried in the family plot near his homestead. After his death his widow married Daniel Schwenck, and she survived until Feb. 1, 1837; she is buried at Keelor Church, in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

(III) Henry Boyer, son of Jacob, was among the early comers to the vicinity of what is now Boyertown, and he settled on what was then the Latshaw place, securing a central location on the farm and opening the public house, then known as the Boyertown Inn; it is now the "Union House." He became a large land holder, he and his brother. Daniel owning the land upon which Boyertown is now built. Henry Boyer owned the land upon which the ore mines have since been opened. He was an exception to most of the name in that he was active in public affairs as well as in business, serving as representative in the State Legislature from 1824 to 1827, and again in 1832. He died in Boyertown March 18, 1857, age seventy-eight years, four months, twenty-nine days, an is buried in Fairview cemetery, at Boyertown. Henry Boyer married Sarah Krebs, who died at Boyertown July 7,1858, aged seventy-four years, four months, nine days, their married life covering a period of fifty-seven years, fifteen days. She, too, is buried in the Fairview cemetery. They had children as follows: (1) Catharine K. married John Rhoads. (2) Caroline married George Huff, of Huff's Church, Berks county, and they had six children. Harry, Sallie Ann (of Altoona, Pa.), Hon. George (Congressman-at-large for Pennsylvania). Caroline (married William Tyson), Elizabeth (married John Craig) and William A. (banker at Greensburg, Pa.). (3) Michael lived and died at Reading. (4) Jacob K., born Dec. 21, 1811, died March 10, 1850, and is buried at Boyertown. In 1835 he married Lucy Ludwig, who was born July 3, 1813, daughter of David and Sarah Ludwig, and died Feb. 7, 1868. They had five children. (5) Henry. (6) Hannah married Dr. Sellers, and they had a son Colvin, who was a prominent man in his day, being superintendent of the Reading division of the telephone service . (7) Maria married Marshall Campbell, and they lived in Michigan. (8) Angeline married Rev. F. W. Dechant. (9) Sarah married a Griesemer. (10)______ married an Allebach. The sons of this family were also engaged in business at Boyertown.

(III) Daniel Boyer, brother of Henry, was born Sept. 12, 1782, and died at Boyertown April 23, 1869, at the advanced age of eighty-six years. He passed his entire life at Boyertown, and is buried there. Commencing in the mercantile business in a very small way, he prospered from the start by careful management and attention to detail. He married Salome Hill, born Nov. 16, 1785, who died June 14, 1861, and they had the following children: Samuel; Henry B., of Reading; Daniel B.; Sally Ann, who married William Schuler; Betsey, who married John Steinruck; Lavina, who married Richard Richards; and Willoughby, who lived and died at Norristown, Pa., where he was engaged as a merchant (he married Harriet Dengler).

(IV) Daniel B. Boyer, son of Daniel, born at Boyertown Jan. 12, 1814, died April 5, 1892, and is buried in the Boyer plot in Fairview cemetery, where the Boyer monument marks his last resting-place. He passed all his life at Boyertown, becoming a clerk in his father's store when quite young, and as early as 1830 embarked in the mercantile business on his own account, following that line throughout his active life, though he had numerous other interests. He and his brother Samuel were partners in the mercantile business, which they conducted under the firm name of Boyer Brothers. They were eminently successful, drawing their patronage from a radius of twenty miles about Boyertown, for there were few stores in those days, and not all the merchants replenished their stock with the enterprise shown by the Boyer Brothers, who hauled all their freight from Philadelphia, making weekly trips to that city, a distance of forty miles. In time he took his sons into the business with him, and they have carried it on since 1872 under the present name, J. & H. K. Boyer. Daniel B. Boyer served many years as postmaster, in 1836 succeeding his father in that office, which the older man held from 1828. He served until 1841, after which he and his cousin Jacob K. Boyer filled the office until 1865. Daniel B. Boyer held it again from 1869 to 1885. In addition to his mercantile business he dealt in lumber, his yards being in the center of the borough, where D. S. Erb's large cigar factory now stands, and in this connection may also be mentioned his building operations, which at one time were quite extensive. He built up three of the corners at the junction of Philadelphia and Reading avenues, and about thirty dwelling-houses in the town were of his construction. Mr. Boyer was the first man to organize a bank in Boyertown, the institution being known as the Mory, Boyer & Co. Bank, which later became the National Bank of Boyertown, and Mr. Boyer was vice-president at the time of his death. The bank was originally located in a corner of the "Union Hotel." Altogether his activities made him a very well known and useful man. He was active both as a member and official of the Lutheran Church at Boyertown, to which he gave a liberal support.

Daniel B. Boyer married Mary Ann Keely, born Feb. 14, 1815, who died May 6. 1890. Eight children were born of this union, viz.: William, 'born in 1837, who died in 1838 Samuel K., born in 1838 who died in 1866; Cornelia. born in 1842. who died in 1843: Catharine. born in 1846, who died in 1847: Emeline, who is unmarried; Malinda. now the wife of David S. Erb; James K.; and Horace K.

(V) James K Boyer, eldest surviving son of Daniel B. Boyer, and senior member of the well known mercantile house of J. & H. K. Boyer, was born in Boyertown Oct. 31, 1848. He has passed all his life in his native place, and received his education in the public schools. When only a boy of thirteen he began clerking in the large general store his father then conducted, and he has continued to make merchandising his principal interest. After he became associated as a partner in the business the firm was known for some years as D. B. Boyer & Sons, and in 1872 the name was changed to its present form. J. & H. K. Boyer are the most prominent general merchants in the lower end of Berks county, carrying a heavy stock of dry goods, groceries, hardware, pumps, and other things in constant demand in their community, where no firm is rated higher or enjoys more universal popularity. They occupy an immense three-story brick building, and employ six clerks regularly, the bulk of trade in the vicinity coming to them. Their location in the Boyer building, which is 50 x 80 feet in dimensions and stands at the southwest corner of Philadelphia and Reading avenues, is very advantageous. Both the brothers are interested in the general progress of the community and in other important business affairs aside from their large mercantile business. They own the"Union Hotel," the post office building, and six dwellings in town. Mr. James K Boyer succeeded his father as vice-president of the Boyertown National Bank in 1893 and has served in that capacity ever since. He is a director of the famous Boyertown Casket Company, which is one of the most important industrial concerns in the town, giving employment to three hundred and fifty people and he is also a director in the Union Manufacturing Company of Boyertown.

In 1878 Mr. Boyer was married to Annie Stetler, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Schwenk) Stetler, her father a merchant of Earlville, Berks county. Five children, two sons and three daughters, have been born to this union, as follows: Florence, who graduated from Washington College, Washington, D. C., resides at home with her parents. Edna, who perished in the Opera House fire of Jan. 13, 1908, was also educated at Washington College, was a talented musician and often called upon to sing on public occasions, and was a young woman greatly admired in her town. Edith is a graduate of Lutherville College, of Baltimore, Md. Daniel B. graduated from the Meigs Hill School, of Pottstown, Pa., and is now a student at Yale. J. Keely, who also perished in the Opera House disaster, was a student at Boyertown high school and a young man of promising character. Mr. Boyer and his family are active members of St. John's Lutheran Church and also of the Sunday-school, in which he was a teacher for many years, until 1906. He has also served as deacon of the church, and he is generally regarded as one of the pillars of the congregation.

(V) Horace K. Boyer, junior member of the mercantile firm of J. & H. K. Boyer, was born Feb. 18, 1851, at Boyertown, and received his education there in the public schools. When fourteen years old he became a clerk in his father's store, with which he has ever since been connected. As in the case of his brother, the mercantile business has been his principal interest. Horace K. Boyer is treasurer of the Union Manufacturing Company of Boyertown, and he is interested as a stockholder in a number of local industries, he and his brother supporting some of the most important enterprises in the borough, where the members of the Boyer family have always sustained the name of being substantial citizens.

Mr. Boyer was married in June, 1871, to Sallie K. Grant, daughter of Charles and Catharine Knauss Grant, who for many years conducted the "Union House" at Boyertown. Mr. and Mrs. Boyer have had three children, as follows: (1) Warren, who died May 5, 1892, aged twenty years, five months, had just graduated from the Pierce Business College, Philadelphia, and was an ambitious young man, just ready to enter upon the earnest work of life. He came home from school sick, and died four days later. (2) Anna G., who died Nov. 25, 1900, at the age of twenty-six years, was the wife of Joshua B. Lessig, of Pottstown, Pa., who was connected with his father in the iron business, eventually succeeding him. Mrs. Lessig left no children. (3) Edgar G., who graduated from the Schissler Business College, of Norristown, Pa., is engaged as assistant to his father in the mercantile business at Boyertown.

Mr. Boyer and his family are members of St. John's Lutheran Church at Boyertown, in the work of which they are active.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:44 EDT

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