Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 431


George Brubaker, one of Reading's substantial business men, who conducts a lumber yard on South Third street, is a native of Reading, born Jan. 20, 1854, son of Solomon and Anna Mary (Reiff) Brubaker.

George Brubaker, grandfather of George, married Barbara Hoover, and they settled at New Holland, Lancaster county where Mr. Brubaker was a leading farmer and influential man. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, while his wife was a Mennonite, and they were the parents of these children: Sally m. Samuel Baer, a farmer of Lancaster county, and had children, Anna and David; Isaac m. and had one child, Isaac; John died young; and Solomon.

Solomon Brubaker was born in Lancaster county in 1814, and remained at home until his eighteenth year, when he engaged at clerking in stores at Hinkletown, Reamstown and Ephrata, and it was while working at the latter place that he was induced by Philip Bushong to locate in Reading. After clerking for several years, Mr. Brubaker turned his attention to the milling business in company with Joseph Raudenbush and a Mr. Frill, and during the war purchased Mr. Frill's interest, carrying on the business alone until 1869, when he sold out to Barnhart & Koch, who in turn sold out to the Bushongs, now the site and property of the Reading Paper Mills. In 1874 Mr. Brubaker organized the lumber business now operated by his son on South Third street. Here he successfully continued to operate until 1880, when his death occurred, in his sixty-sixth year. Mr. Brubaker was prominent both in a business and social way, and on the Republican ticket was elected a councilman in the old Spruce ward. Mr. Brubaker was an attendant of the Universalist Church. His widow survived him until 1899, and died when sixty-nine years of age. They were the parents of four children: George; John, who died aged two years; Isaac, died in infancy; and Sally L., who married John E. Harbster, and had children, John M., George B., Robert M., Anna M., Matthew (deceased), Carl and Marion.

George Brubaker was educated in the common schools of Reading, in the old Spruce ward, later attending the high school and subsequently took a course in Chester N. Farr's Business College. Upon completing the prescribed course he entered the employ of his father, with whom he continued until the latter's death, when he continued the business for his mother, and after her death purchased it, since which time he has been conducting it for himself. Mr. Brubaker is a reliable business man, of honesty and integrity, and he controls some of Reading's best trade, handling a complete stock of builders' lumber, and being the only one in the city to handle Washington cedar.

Mr. Brubaker was married in 1885, to Miss E. Amanda Schwartz, born in Berks county, daughter of James Schwartz, and two children were born to this union: Anna Mary, a graduate of the Girls high school of Reading, and L. Elizabeth, attending high school. Mr. Brubaker is a member of Neversink Fire Company. He is highly esteemed in his community as a good neighbor and a useful and public spirited citizen.


p. 752


Judge George W. Bruckman (deceased), one of the last two associate judges of Berks county, which office was abolished during his term of service, in 1873, was one of the most prominent citizens of Reading in his day. He was born there, son of Carl A. Bruckman, who emigrated from Amsterdam, Holland, and located in the city in early life, here learning the printer's trade. For ten years (1816-1826) he published a German newspaper known as the Readinger Postbote. In 1800 he became a partner of Gottlob Youngman in the publication of the Weekly Advertiser.
Picture of George BrookmanGeorge W. Bruckman resided in Reading throughout his life. After receiving his education in the public schools he served an apprenticeship to the plasterer's trade, and followed that business for ten years, until he became clerk to the county commissioner. He served in that position for the following ten years, acted as a deputy prothonotary for three years (1851-1854) under Dr. Charles H. Hunter, and served as city treasurer during the years 1857-1858. Later he acted as teller in the Bushong Bank for a time, in 1867 re-entering official life as jury commissioner of Berks county, and continuing as such until 1870. He was one of the first to serve in that office in the county. In 1871 he was elected associate judge of Berks county for the full term of five years, but during 1873 this office was done away with. From 1880 until 1883 the Judge was a member of the select council from the Eighth ward, and this office he filled with the highest credit. At the time of the failure of the well-known Bushong Bank he was appointed assignee and that all who knew him had equal confidence in his high sense of honor and executive ability is demonstrated by the fact that he was chosen to settle many estates. In the discharge of such duties he became well known all over Berks county, of which he was one of the most respected citizens. His friends were numerous, and he was a prominent figure on the streets of Reading for many years. His death, which was widely mourned, occurred May 19, 1897, at his residence, No. 925 Penn street, and was caused by paralysis, from which he had been a sufferer for several years. He came from old Lutheran stock.

Judge Bruckman married May 22, 1896, Miss Caroline H. Heilman, daughter of John B. Heilman, and she survives him, residing at the Penn street home.

John B. Heilman, father of Mrs. Bruckman, died in Reading, May 10, 1903, at the age of eighty-five years. He was a native of Germany, where he followed the calling of a shepherd. He remained in that country for a long time after his marriage, coming to America in 1852. As he was unacquainted here and had no plans for settling, he went from New York to Reading with a Mr. Haak, whom he had met on the boat. Soon after his arrival he found employment in the Philadelphia & Reading shops. He remained with the company for the unusually long period of forty years, a fact which speaks well for the record he made. Before his death he made a visit to his native land.

Mr. Heilman married C. Frederika Sturgzboch, who died Feb. 16, 1888, and they are buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. They had children as follows: William F., a retired cigar manufacturer, who resides with his sister, Mrs. Bruckman; Charles F., a resident of Reading; Mark G., who is engaged in the cigar business in Pottstown; John B., Jr., late of Hot Springs, Ark., who died Aug. 3, 1908, leaving two sons, William J. and Harvey M.; George; and Caroline H., who married Judge Bruckman.


p. 357


Albert J. Brumbach, manufacturer and banker at Reading, was born at Brumbach's Woolen Mills in Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa., Oct. 11, 1840. He was educated in the township schools and at Lee's Academy in Reading until he was fourteen years old, when his father placed him in the woolen mills which he was operating, to learn the manufacturing business, and after learning the business thoroughly in all its departments, he, upon arriving of age, purchased the premises. Shortly afterward the building was burned down, but he immediately rebuilt the mill, introducing the latest improved machinery. This was in 1864, and the plant was named the St. Lawrence Mills, after a certain grade of woolen cloth which his father had begun to manufacture there in 1856, and sell through a commission house at Philadelphia. The building is built of stone, two stories high, and has at present three sets of machines which are run by steam, as well as water-power supplied by the Antietam creek flowing near by. Various improved machines have been substituted for old machines to meet the demands of the business. Seventy hands are generally employed, and the product consists chiefly of mixed cassimeres. The goods were sold through commission houses and merchants at Philadelphia until 1870; then until 1895 by traveling salesmen who developed in this way a large and profitable trade throughout the greater part of the United States. In 1895 Mr. Brumbach established a fine three-story brick factory at Reading (14th and Muhlenberg streets) for the manufacture of pants and vests, and since then he has been converting the cloths produced at the St. Lawrence Mills into all sizes and styles of the articles mentioned. He employs there 120 hands, and has a large and constant demand for his goods.

Besides carrying on his two plants very successfully, Mr. Brumbach has shown an enterprising spirit in other affairs, relating to internal improvements for the public welfare, as well as to manufacturers. He took an active part in establishing the Oley Turnpike from Black Bear to Pleasantville, acting as a director of the corporation since 1878, and as secretary since 1888; he was prominent in building the East Reading Electric Railway from Ninth and Penn streets, in Reading, to Black Bear in 1888 (which was the first street railway operated by electricity at Reading), and he has officiated as president of the company from the beginning until the present time. He assisted in establishing the Penn National Bank of Reading in 1883, serving as director since then, and as president since 1897; the Reading Cold Storage & Ice Company in 1900; the Reading Glove & Mitten Company; the Penn Shoe Company in 1902, and the Printz Furniture and Carpet Company in 1907 (embracing large stores at Hazleton, Rochester and Newark); all of which he has served as director, and of the glove works as president since 1905. He was prominently identified with the rebuilding of the Schwartzwald Church in Exeter township by acting as chairman of the meeting, in 1870, which took earnest steps in behalf of the new church; also with the extension and improvement of the fine cemetery there, serving as secretary of the company for about twenty years until 1901; and for many years he was connected with the choir as one of the singers. He has been affiliated with the Freemasons at Reading (Chandler Lodge) since 1861.

In 1862 Mr. Brumbach married Sarah Ann Dunkel (daughter of Solomon Dunkel, of Exeter); by whom he had six children: Solomon, superintendent of the St. Lawrence Mills, m. Margaret Ermentrout; William, bookkeeper at mills, m. Edwina Jack; Albert, superintendent of pants factory, m. Carrie Esterly; Ida m. Stockton Snyder, and both were killed in the Honda wreck, California, May 11, 1907; Kate m. William J. Ermentrout; and Emma m. Custer Ammon.

Mr. Brumbach's father, William Brumbach, was born in 1814 in Exeter township, where his father became the owner of a woolen mill in 1830, and while still a boy was put in the mill to learn the business. In 1842, he and his brother Jacob became the owners of the plant, and they carried on the business as partners for three years when Jacob withdrew. William then operated the plant himself in a successful manner until 1853, when he purchased the Housum grist mill (which was situated along the Antietam creek near by), and from that time he carried on the two mills until they were destroyed by fire in 1863. He then went to Union county, Pa., and became a partner of Marr, Griffey & Co., who owned and operated the White Deer Woolen Mills. A few years afterward the senior partner died, and the firm name became Griffey & Brumbach, and this firm carried on the plant until Mr. Brumbach's decease in 1868. He was married twice. His first wife was Sarah Spats, daughter of Jacob Spats, who carried on farming and butchering in Exeter, in the vicinity of the woolen mills. To this union were born four children: Emma m. Jacob Strohecker; Albert J.; Sarah m. William K. Leithiser; and Elizabeth m. J. B. Stauffer. His second wife was Rachel Schneider, daughter of David, of Oley, and by her he had four sons, David, George W., Aaron and Thomas, who learned the business of manufacturing woolen cloth with Albert J., and they have been operating a plant of their own at St. Lawrence under the name of Brumbach Brothers; and one daughter, Mary, m. C. O. Snyder. He died in 1868; his first wife died in 1847, aged twenty-eight years; his second wife Rachel Schneider is still living at age of eighty-two years.

Mr. Brumbach's grandfather was Jacob Brumbach, who had learned the fulling business at the De Turck mill in Exeter, near Monocacy, and in 1830 purchased a small plant established along the Antietam creek near where the St. Lawrence Mills are located, which he operated until 1842 when he sold the property and business to his oldest sons, William and Jacob. He died in 1873, aged ninety-four years. He was married twice: first to Dorothy Bar (born 1788, died 1822), and second to Susanna Gumbert (born 1795, died 1836), and had eight children, viz.: Lydia m. John Wagner; William; Jacob m. Sarah Kline; Lewis m. Elizabeth Ann Tea; Catharine m. William Levan; Louisa m. Moore John*; Rebecca m. William Levan; and Daniel m. Lydia DeGour, living at Covington, Kentucky.

Mr. Brumbach's wife's father, Solomon Dunkel, was a farmer of Exeter. He married Elizabeth Althouse, of Bern township, and they had children: Sarah Ann; Amelia m. Amos Dick; Mary m. John Hoyer; Caroline m. Henry Egolf; Miss Elizabeth; Morgan died 1858; Kilian m. Mary Messinger; David, and James.

Transcriber's Note:

* It is likely that Louisa (said to have married Moore John) probably married John Moore.


p. 1286


The early home of this old and honored family of Pennsylvania was in Switzerland. This family has been identified with the interests of Berks county, particularly in the manufacturing line, since prior to the Revolutionary war. Among its prominent members are Daniel C. Brumbach, one of the leading and substantial citizens at Boyertown; and Edwin H. Brumbach, postmaster and merchant at Manatawny.

(I) Hermanus Brumbach, born 1751, died in 1803, and was buried at Amityville, Berks county. He was a farmer and weaver in Oley township. His will was probated in 1803, was written in German and signed in a good firm hand. His sons, Samuel and Jacob, were the executors. His wife, Maria Catherine Pott, born in 1749, died in 1832, and was buried at Amityville. Their children were: a daughter died young; John, born Dec. 5, 1774, died young; Mathias, born Oct. 9, 1776, m. Mary Custer, died Feb. 5, 1852, and is buried at Norristown; Samuel, born 1780, died 1801; Jacob, twin to Samuel, born 1780, m. (first) Dorothy Bear, (second) Susan Gumbert, and died Aug. 7, 1878, at an advanced age, and was buried at Reading; John (2), born Nov. 5, 1783, m. Catherine Engle, died in advanced age and was buried at Boyertown; George, born June 8, 1787, and died at Pleasantville Dec. 5, 1875, in 1809 m. Elizabeth Koch (born Aug. 27, 1784, died Aug. 29, 1860, and his will, probated in 1875, was written in German; Abraham, born Aug. 2, 1789, m. Elizabeth Albright, and died Jan. 23, 1872; Daniel, born Feb. 20, 1792, m. Catherine Spohn, and died March 29, 1884, at Shanesville, and is buried at Hill Church; David, born April 5, 1794, died Nov. 18, 1876, m. (first) Deborah De Turck (born Feb. 10, 1795, died May 10, 1855), and (second) Mary Muthard (1799-1889); and William, born Aug. 6, 1795, m. Susan Moses, and died April 27, 1852.

(II) Daniel Brumbach, son of Hermanus, was born Feb. 20, 1792. He followed agricultural pursuits in Earl township, Berks county. He married Catherine Spohn, and they had the following children: Levi, a resident of Sinking Spring, who has passed his eighty-second birthday; Daniel; Samuel; Susanna; Lydia, m. to William Deysher; and Mrs. William Fry, who lived in Reading.

(III) Samuel Brumbach, son of Daniel, was a cabinet-maker and undertaker in Pine township, Berks county. He lived and died in the family faith of the Reformed Church, and for many years served as an official. His first wife was named Mary Clouser, and they had the following children: Mabry C., a cabinet maker at Boyertown; Henry, deceased, formerly of Boyertown; Morris, a farmer in Oley township; Sophia, wife of Harry Lechner; Horace, who died young; Daniel C.; and Samuel, who died at Boyertown.

(IV) Daniel C. Brumbach, son of Samuel and one of Boyertown's leading and substantial citizens, was born in August, 1840, in Pike township, Berks county. For twenty-eight years he conducted the undertaking and cabinet furniture business at this place, and was one of the organizers of the Boyertown Casket Company, the leading industry of the borough. It was organized in 1884, with a capital stock of $20,000, and this was increased in 1897 to $100,000. The company has a large eight-story office building on Arch Street, Philadelphia. In the eighties Mr. Brumbach erected the Brumbach Building, on the corner of Philadelphia Avenue and Washington Street, Boyertown, which is 38x115 feet in dimensions and three stories high, of brick construction. A part of the building is utilized as a dwelling, and the rest is used for the furniture business. He is a director of the Union Manufacturing Company and a director and vice president of the Franklin Improvement Company. This concern gives employment to from 300 to 400 people and is a very successful corporation. It owns also the building which is occupied by the Eisenlohr Cigar Manufacturing Company, one of Boyertown's best structures, three stories in height and with dimensions of 175 feet with an 80-foot ell. It is regarded as one of the best equipped factory buildings in Pennsylvania. Mr. Brumbach was chairman of the building committee during the erection of this structure which does credit to the architects, builders and owners and to the borough. In his political views Mr. Brumbach is a Democrat. For six years he was a member of the town council, and for three years served as treasurer of the school board. During the Civil War he became a member of Company A, 128th Pa. V. I., which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and he participated in the battles of Antietam and South Mountain. While his company was at Maryland Heights, he was prostrated with fever and for four months was confined in different hospitals but finally was able to return to his company and was honorably discharged in 1865. He is a member of Gen. Cook Post, G. A. R., of Boyertown.

Daniel C. Brumbach married Caroline Moyer, daughter of Isaac Moyer, of Pike township, and they have had five children, as follows: Frank, a cabinetmaker of Boyertown; Amandus, deceased, who conducted an undertaking business at Allentown; and Ella, who married James Brown, of Kutztown (successor to D. C. Brumbach in business), and they have one son, Harold; and Carrie and Daniel, who are both deceased. Mr. Brumbach is a member of the Reformed Church at Boyertown, and he has served for a number of years as deacon and elder. Since 1905 he has been president of the Fairview Cemetery Board. On 1903 he made a western tour, taking in the scenic part of the country west of the Mississippi, which has interested thousands, including Denver and surroundings, and Pike's Peak; and in 1907 he took another enjoyable trip, starting from Allentown and taking in Niagara Falls, Chicago and parts of Kansas, and returning by way of Chicago and Harrisburg.

(II) David Brumbach, son of Hermanus, born April 5, 1794, for some years conducted a woolen mill in Maidencreek township, Berks county, and in his earlier years was a mill operator in Tulpehocken. In 1841 he settled in Oley township, Berks county, where he acquired a farm of 113 acres, and this he cultivated until his removal to Friedensburg, where he lived retired until his death, Nov. 18, 1876. He is buried at the Reformed Church in Oley. He m. (first) Deborah De Turck, born Feb. 10, 1795, died May 10, 1855. To this union were born: Isaac, deceased; Eliza, m. to Abraham Herbein; James D.; Alfred, deceased; Percival, of Reading; Hiram, deceased; and two that died young.

(III) Isaac Brumbach, son of David and Deborah, lived to be seventy-eight years old. He followed farming and also operated a sawmill. His farm of eighty acres was situated in Oley township, and his death took place at Friedensburg, and he was buried at Oley Church. He was prominent in the affairs of his section and for years served as a school director. He married Rachel Hoch, who bore him four children: Jacob, who died young; Ezra, of Oley township; Deborah, m. to William Schollenberger; and Wellington. After the death of his first wife he married Mary Ann (De Turck) Geiger.

(IV) Wellington Brumbach, son of Isaac, was born in Oley township, March 31, 1861, and was reared a farmer. When quite young he went into the sawmill owned by his father and worked there until he was fourteen years old, and then devoted some four years entirely to farming. After this he learned the shoemaking trade with David Diehl, and has followed this industry ever since. In 1880 he located at Friedensburg, and on Oct. 3, 1887, settled at his present place of business. His fraternal affiliation is with the Knights of the Golden Eagle. He is a Democrat in politics. Like the other members of his family, he belongs to the Reformed Church, and since 1902 has served in the church at Friedensburg as a deacon. On Dec. 24, 1887, Mr. Brumbach married Katie M. Rothermel, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Moyer) Rothermel, and they have had five children: Marion, Florence, Emma, living, and Earl and William, deceased.

(III) James D. Brumbach, son of David, was born in Tulpehocken township, Aug. 18, 1828, and was brought up to the woolen business. When thirteen years old he accompanied his parents to Oley, and assisted on the farm until he became of age. After his marriage he farmed for his father on the property which now belongs to Ezra Levan, and remained there for seven years, when he bought the Solomon Ely farm on which he has resided for the past forty-three years. Here he has twenty-eight acres on which he has made many improvements. For fifteen years he also engaged in a mercantile business at various points, spending three years at Griesemersville, six years at Spangsville, and six years at Manatawny, and then sold out to his son Edwin. On Sept. 22, 1906, Mr. Brumbach suffered a severe loss by fire, his large double brick house being destroyed while the family was attending the funeral of Mrs. Polly Schaeffer, wife of Miles, who lived in a part of the house. Mr. Brumbach lost $1,000 above the amount of his insurance. It is his hope and expectation to spend his remaining years on this farm. On Dec. 25, 1855, he was married to Susan Herbein, daughter of Levi and Sarah (Herbein) Herbein, of Oley. Of their children: Levi died aged four years; Ammon lives in Philadelphia; James resides in Reading and Edwin H. at Pleasantville.

(IV) Edwin H. Brumbach, son of James D., was born at Spangsville, Oley township, Berks county, Pa., Feb. 24, 1869, was reared on the home farm and obtained his education first in the public schools and later in Oley Academy. For a time thereafter he engaged in clerking in his father's store at Griesemersville and after his marriage turned his attention to operating the home farm which he successfully continued for five years. He marketed his produce at Reading, making periodical visits. When his father removed to Pleasantville and acquired his own store building there, Edwin H. served as his clerk for eight years, and in the spring of 1902 purchased the business and has continued the enterprise, but with a larger scope. Since April 10, 1906, he has been postmaster, having been assistant for some years previously. Mr. Brumbach and his family are members of the Reformed Church of Oley, in which he served four years in the office of deacon. In politics he is a Democrat. His fraternal connections are with Minnehaha Lodge, No. 154 K. of P.; and Manatawny Lodge, No. 461 K. G. E.

On Oct. 19, 1889, Edwin H. Brumbach was married to Mary Alice Griesemer, daughter of Jacob and Mary Ann (Dilaplaine) Griesemer, of Oley. To this union have been born three sons and one daughter, namely: M. Edna and Ed. Lloyd G., twins, born April 2, 1892; J. Leroy, born April 19, 1894; and C. Lester, born Jan. 11, 1903. In 1904 Mr. Brumbach took an enjoyable trip, starting from Reading and going by way of Allentown, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Suspension Bridge, Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, and Chicago, to St. Louis, spending several weeks at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. His return trip was made through Cincinnati, Ohio, Washington, D. C., Baltimore, Md., and Philadelphia, taking ample time to see the various points of interest in the cities named. On this journey he traveled through ten different States, and covered a distance of 2,800 miles.


p. 845


Peter Y. Brumbach, now living retired at his home in Bechtelsville, was born in Earl township, Berks county, Nov. 30, 1839.

The early home of the Brumbachs was in Switzerland, but they have been identified with Berks county, Pa., particularly in the manufacturing industry, since before the war of the Revolution.

Hermanus Brumbach, born in 1751, died in 1803, and was buried at Amityville, Berks county. He was a farmer and weaver in Oley township. His will, probated in 1803, was written in German and signed in a good firm hand. His sons, Samuel and Jacob, were the executors. He married Maria Catharine Pott, who was born in 1749, and died in 1832, and was buried at Amityville. Their children were: (1) A daughter (name not recorded) died young. (2) John, born Dec. 5, 1774, died young. (3) Mathias, born Oct. 9, 1776, m. Mary Custer, and died Feb. 5, 1852, and is buried at Norristown. (4) Samuel, born 1780, died 1801. (5) Jacob, twin to Samuel, born 1780, m. (first) Dorothy Bear, (second) Susan Gumbert, and died Aug. 7, 1878, and was buried at Reading. (6) John (2), born Nov. 5, 1783, m. Catherine Engle, and died at an advanced age and was buried at Boyertown. (7) George is mentioned below. (8) Abraham, born Aug. 2, 1789, m. Elizabeth Albright and died Jan. 23, 1872. (9) Daniel, born Feb. 20, 1792, m. Catherine Spohn, and died March 29, 1884, at Shanesville and is buried at Hill Church. (10) David, born April 5, 1794, m. (first) Deborah De Turck (born Feb. 10, 1795, died May 10, 1855) and (second) Mary Muthard (born 1799, died 1889) and died Nov. 18, 1876. (11) William, born Aug. 6, 1795, m. Susan Moses, and died April 27, 1852.

George Brumbach, son of Hermanus, was born June 8, 1787. He was a farmer and owned a farm in Earl township, now the property of his grandson, Peter Y. In his earlier life he was a weaver, weaving both wool and flax. He had considerable ability as a veterinarian, and his services were often called into requisition. He died at his home in Pleasantville, Dec. 5, 1875; and is buried at Oley Churches. In 1809 he married Elizabeth Koch, born Aug. 27, 1784, died Aug. 29, 1860. They had three children: Henry; Susanna m. Daniel Clauser, justice of the peace of Earl township for many years; and Catherine m. Nathaniel Harner, who conducted a mill at Lobachsville some years. George Brumbach's will, probated the year of his death, was written in German.

Henry Brumbach, son of George, was born Sept. 3, 1811, and he died May 27, 1899, and is buried at the cemetery at Hill Church. He was a very successful farmer, and he built the present barn on the farm owned by his son, Peter Y. This was in 1866. On a twenty-two-acre tract adjoining he built a house, barn and out-buildings, and this tract is now the property of his daughter Lucinda, who is unmarried. He also built a house in Shanesville, in 1876, now owned by his son-in-law, A. R. Eshbach. For some years before his death he lived retired at Shanesville, in Earl township. He was deacon and elder at Hill Church many years, and he was always liberal in his donations to worthy causes. His wife, Mary Yoder, was born in 1805, daughter of Abraham Yoder, of Pike township. She died in 1873. Their children were: William lived at Bechtelsville; Peter Y.; Mary Ann m. Abraham Eshbach; Lucinda; Solomon lives at Shanesville, unmarried; Hettie is unmarried; Alfred is a farmer in Washington township; and one died young.

Peter Y. Brumbach attended both pay and public schools in Earl township. He grew to manhood on the farm, and began for himself on his father's farm when twenty-eight years old. There he lived until 1900, with the exception of one year (1863) when he served as hired man in Montgomery county. In 1900 he retired from active work and moved to Bechtelsville. He still owns the homestead of 106 acres. His present comfortable home is located on South Main street, Bechtelsville. He is a very substantial citizen and is one of the large tax payers of the borough. Mr. Brumbach has worked hard for his property, but he is very progressive and is ever ready to advance any project for the improvement of his town and county. He and his family are members of the Reformed Congregation at Hill Church, of which he was a deacon and elder many years. He was also active in the Sunday-school at Hill Church, serving as its treasurer many years.

On Sept. 16, 1865, Mr. Brumbach married Malinda Gilbert, daughter of David and Harriet (Snyder) Gilbert, of Colebrookdale township, and granddaughter of Jacob Gilbert. They have one daughter, Emma, organist of the Hill Church choir three years, and Sunday-school thirteen years, and at present a member of the Bechtelsville Choir; she married Artemus B. Fisher, son of Nicholas Fisher of New Berlinville, and clerk in a store at Bechtelsville.


p. 851


Solomon A. Brumbach, a substantial business man of Exeter township, who is one of the operators of the A. J. Brumbach woolen mills at St. Lawrence, was born Aug. 8, 1864, son of A. J. Brumbach, of Reading.

Mr. Brumbach was educated in the public schools of his native locality and at Palatinate College, at Myerstown, Pa., after leaving which he entered the woolen mills at St. Lawrence, where for twenty years he has been superintendent, having worked his way up from the bottom and he now is familiar with every detail of this great business. He was one of the organizers of the St. Lawrence Water Company, of which he is now president and a director, and is connected with various other business interests of Exeter township. Mr. Brumbach is prominent fraternally, belonging to St. John's Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M., Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, Reading Commandery No. 42, and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Reading; and Washington Camp No. 230, P. O. S. of A., of St. Lawrence.

On Dec. 13, 1894, Mr. Brumbach married Margaret M. Ermantraut, daughter of Joseph Ermantraut, and to them three children have been born: Marion E., Dorothy E. and Mary, the latter of whom is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Brumbach are consistent members of Schwartzwald Reformed Church.


p. 922


William D. Brumbach, who is prominently identified with the business interests of Exeter township, was born on the Brumbach homestead in this township, son of A. J. Brumbach.

Mr. Brumbach received his early literary training in the public schools, after leaving which he went to Oley Academy at Friedensburg, and the Palatinate College, Myerstown, Pa. After leaving the latter institution he entered the woolen mill of A. J. Brumbach, in Exeter township, where he took charge of the shipping department, and later of the books, in which latter capacity he has continued to the present time. Mr. Brumbach has always been in the foremost ranks of the leaders in any movement calculated to be of benefit to his community, and has been identified with many large enterprises. He was one of the incorporators of the St. Lawrence Water Company, being secretary thereof, and was secretary of the St. Lawrence Building Association. In politics he is a Republican, and he is now serving his third commission as notary public. Mr. Brumbach is superintendent of the St. Lawrence Union Sunday-school, and a member of Schwartzwald Reformed Church. Fraternally he is connected with Washington Camp No. 230, P. O. S. of A.

On Nov. 28, 1891, Mr. Brumbach married Edwina Jack, daughter of Dr. John A. Jack, of Friedensburg, Pa., and to this union there have been born three children, a daughter and two sons, namely: Amy J., Claude A., and William Clifford.


p. 1283


Alfred R. Brunner, a conservative businessman and respected citizen of North Reading, was born at Greshville, in Douglass township, Berks county, Aug. 14, 1843, and died Nov. 2, 1908.

George Brunner, his great-grandfather, was born in Germany, and on his coming to America, he located in Douglass township, Berks Co., Pa., where he passed the remainder of his life engaged in farming. In his religious faith he was a Lutheran. He and his wife had a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters.

Peter Brunner, son of George, was born on his father's farm in Douglass township, but in his youth went to Colebrookdale, where he followed the trade of carpenter, cabinet maker and builder. He had been reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, and never departed from it. Mr. Brunner was twice married. His first wife, Miss Mathias, bore him four children: Charles, deceased, who was a farmer in Union county, Pa.; Mrs. William Livingood, of Swamp, Montgomery county, Pa.; Angeline, deceased, wife of John Firing, of Bernville, Berks county; and Samuel, mentioned below. He married (second) Susan Fillman, and their children were: Frederick, deceased, a farmer of Union county; Peter, deceased, a shoemaker at Unionville, Pa.; Jacob, deceased, a farmer and contractor at Monocacy, Berks county; Aaron, deceased, a shoemaker at Reading; Henry, a shoe merchant at Philadelphia; David, deceased, of Temple, Pa., where he was engaged as a shoemaker; Maria, deceased wife of John Bishop, of Reading; and Angeline, who married John Firing, of Pottstown, and is now deceased.

Samuel Brunner, son of Peter, was born in Colebrookdale township, Jan. 11, 1806. On reaching manhood he engaged in farming at Greshville, and also to some extent followed shoemaking. For many years he was a deacon and elder in the Lutheran Church. He married Maria Riegner, daughter of Conrad and Catherine (Schider) Riegner, the former a farmer at Swamp, Montgomery Co., Pa. Two sons and five daughters were born of this union: Alfred R.; Frank R., a leading physician at Eshbach, Washington Co., Pa., who perished in the Boyertown Theatre fire Jan. 13, 1908; Mary Ann, m. to William N. Clemmer, of Lanark, Ill.; Catharine, m. to William Steake, of Chambersburg, Pa., now deceased; Esther, deceased; Sarah, deceased wife of Levi B. Stauffer, of Boyertown; and Emma, m. to Albert Bickel, of Lansdale, Pa. Mr. Brunner m. (second) Mrs. Mary Boyer, and the four children of this marriage were: Amanda, m. to Henry Boyer, of Reading; Caroline, m. to Jeremiah K. Grant, an attorney at Reading; Clara, deceased wife of Aaron Koch; and Samuel, a grocer at Boyertown. The husband and the father passed away in June, 1870.

Alfred R. Brunner, son of Samuel, received his education in the public schools and in the old German pay schools. Prof. J. S. Ermentrout, then county superintendent of schools, licensed him to teach in 1862, and he taught two terms at the Oberholtzer school in Washington township. He was only fourteen when he learned shoemaking under his father, and at this he worked four years. During the summers between his schooling he worked at this trade. In the spring of 1864 he entered the employ of Peter Y. Brendlinger, at New Berlinville, and clerked for six years. In 1870 he engaged in the general merchandise business at Greshville on his own account, and continued there successfully for nine and one-half years, at the end of that time going to Topton. There he formed a partnership with Charles K. Hagy under the firm name of Brunner & Hagy, but after a year and a half he returned to Greshville, and there remained three years engaged in merchandising. He then lived in Earlville for six years. In 1890 he came to Reading and opened a grocery store at Thirteenth and Greenwich streets, where he had a large trade. He carried a fine line of groceries, and some notions and dry goods. Success attended his efforts, and he made himself a very popular citizen in that section of the city. In 1905 he erected a handsome three-story brick residence at No. 601 North Thirteenth street, commanding one of the finest views in the city. In politics Mr. Brunner was a Democrat, and in religion a Lutheran, being a member of Grace Lutheran Church, of which for a time he was deacon.

On Oct. 18, 1869, Mr. Brunner was married (first) to Clara E. Keely, born 1847, died 1879, daughter of Henry B. Keely and his wife Edith (Ludwig). To this union were born: Harry K., a clerk in the Reading post-office; Lawrence K., a clerk in his father's store; and Bertha, m. to Lawrence Leaver, a prominent man of affairs at Roselle Park, N. J. Mr. Brunner married (second) Jan. 13, 1883, Lovina (Rambo) Fretz, widow of Lewis Fretz, and of this union were born two children. Miss Stella is at home, and Helen died in infancy. In 1904 Mr. and Mrs. Brunner took a western trip, visiting in Ohio, and then going on to St. Louis to attend the World's Fair.


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David B. Brunner, prominent educator and congressman of Berks county, was born March 7, 1835, in Amity township. His father was John Brunner, a carpenter in that township, and a descendant of Peter Brunner, a native of the Palatinate, who emigrated to this country before 1736, settling in Douglass township, Berks county, about 1765. During his boyhood he attended the common schools in the township till the age of twelve years, when he learned the trade of carpenter under his father. At this occupation he continued until the age of nineteen years, attending school during the winter, studying higher branches for a time, and from 1852 to 1855, he taught public schools. During that time he prepared himself for college at the Freeland Seminary. In 1856 he entered Dickinson College and took a complete classical course, graduating in 1860. He then opened a private school at Amityville, and conducted it successfully in 1860 and 1861. With this preparation he located at Reading in 1862, having purchased the Reading Classical Academy, which had been founded by the Rev. William Good in 1854. He conducted this institution with increasing success year after year till 1869, when he was elected county superintendent of common schools of Berks county, and at the end of his term of three years was re-elected without opposition. These circumstances indicate the deep and favorable impression which he made upon the people. Upon his first election, he continued the classical academy with the aid of assistants; but upon his re-election he closed it so as to be able to devote his entire attention to the schools of the county. At the end of his second term as county superintendent, he re-opened the institution under the name of Reading Scientific Academy. This change was made to signify that the study of the sciences was an important part of the course of education under him.

Besides the daily study of scientific branches, frequent lectures were delivered by him to the scholars, his subjects illustrated by philosophical experiments, etc., with the aid of instruments manufactured by himself.

In 1875 and 1876, he conducted a business college at Reading; and in 1880 and 1881 he acted as city superintendent of the common schools in Reading. From 1889 to 1893 he represented Berks county in Congress. For a number of years Prof. Brunner manifested a strong interest in the history of the Indians of Berks county. He collected many relics, and narrated the results of his investigations for the Reading Society of Natural Science. His essays were published in 1881. In the course of his labors, he made many wood-cuts to show the size, form, and appearance of Indian relics, such as arrow and spearheads, axes, knives, hammers, plates, pottery, beads, shells, pestles, mortars, ornaments, etc., for which he received much praise. He published an interesting book on this subject in 1881.

Prof. Brunner was a thorough mineralogist. He investigated the entire county in respect to its minerals with great success, and prepared a catalogue of the different varieties. The birds of the county also received his earnest attention, and he collected and mounted a number of fine specimens. His collection included 100 of the rarest specimens. He also gave much attention to microscopy, using in his researches a fine, large microscope, with lenses magnifying from 10 diameters to 1,200. The intervals in his school teaching were largely devoted to the production of scientific apparatus, and to the addition of natural curiosities; and with the aid of a lapidary's mill, he polished a large variety of the best and most beautiful minerals of the county which he mounted upon glass slides for microscopic examinations. His extensive cabinet included a thousand mounted specimens. Two degrees, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, were conferred upon him by Dickinson College, the former at the time of his graduation, and the latter in 1863. In 1877, he published an elementary work on English grammar, and in 1882 issued a second and revised edition. Many thousand copies were sold and used throughout Berks county and in adjoining counties.

In 1861 Prof. Brunner married Amanda L. Rhoads, daughter of Abraham Rhoads, of Amity township, who was a descendant of one of the earliest settlers in the county. They have five children ? Daniel Edwin, Elizabeth (m. Edwin L. Moser), Edgar Alfred, Mary and Henry Philemon.


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The Brunner family is an old and honorable one in Berks County, and its representatives in each generation have borne it worthily, among its more prominent members being the late Hon. David B. Brunner, a representative from the Ninth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, and his brother William B. Brunner, now of Amity Township, and both prominent in the educational world.

Peter Brunner, a Palatinate from Erbach, a town noted for its vineyards, in the vicinity of Coblentz, on the Rhine, came to America on the ship "Albany" with 284 other passengers, landing at Philadelphia, September 2, 1749. There were two men on board by the name of Peter Brunner and at the arrival in Philadelphia, one signed his name, and the other's name was written by a clerk. It is not likely that they were related, as they separated after landing. The one who signed his name went, soon after, to New Hanover, Montgomery County, PA, and settled there. He was unmarried when he came over, but must have married shortly after. About 1765 he moved to Douglass Township, Berks County, and bought a farm along Iron Stone Creek. The deed was not recorded and the tax lists are missing prior to 1770, at which time his name appears on the tax list. By occupation he was a farmer and weaver, carrying on both for a number of years. He acquired considerable property. He sold his son William, August 4, 1800, thirty-eight acres, sixty-three perches. In 1787 he served as a tax collector in Douglass Township. It was customary in those days for families or neighbors to get together and set apart ground for burial purposes. In accordance with this custom, those residing in Douglass Township, set apart 85 1/2 perches about one and one-half miles west of Little Oley for the burial place of Lutherans and Calvinists, and the road leading thereto was deeded by John Keely to Henry Yorgey Sr., Jacob Keely, Sr., Peter Brunner and John Nagle for the consideration of six pence December 17, 1790. Peter Brunner was a Lutheran, and joined the church at New Hanover, continuing his membership there after his removal to Berks County. The first record of the family is the birth of his first child, November 1, 1752. He was evidently married at New Hanover, but the records are so badly worn it is impossible to trace his full connection with the church, but New Hanover was a Lutheran center. Peter Brunner had three sons and four daughters: Philip, born November 1, 1752, was always a delicate child; William, born December 5, 1753; George, born April 7, 1755; Christina Nagle; Elizabeth Wentzel; Maria Eagle; and Margaret Heileg. On August 4, 1804, Peter Brunner made his will and gave all his property to his wife except sixteen bonds, amounting to 800 pounds. The wife died before 1808, and Peter's will was probated October 16, 1812. He was rather corpulent and while assisting in gathering "second crop" was stricken with apoplexy. He was eighty-four years of age when he died in 1812, and he was buried in the Fritz Burying Ground, which he had helped to provide.

William Brunner, son of Peter, was born December 5, 1753, in New Hanover, and accompanied his father to Douglass Township in 1765. Like his father he became a farmer in summer and a weaver in winter. The tax lists are missing for some years previous to 1778, when his name appears. In August, 1808, as stated above, he bought 38 acres 63 perches from his father. In 1805 he was assessed on 128 acres, in 1808 on 26 acres, and in 1811 on 176 acres. He lived in Douglass Township, Berks County until the death of his father in 1812, when he sold his farm and moved to Pottsgrove (now Pottstown), where he continued to farm and weave. He was not satisfied with his place and surroundings at Pottsgrove, and one of his causes of discontent was that he thought his farm was not in the range in which the rains generally moved. He discovered that the people north of Monocacy Hill had more rain than in his locality, and he also noticed that on some occasions the rain clouds came from a northwesterly direction, and seemed to strike against Monocacy Hill, and separate, bringing showers to people east and west of the Hill. He determined to sell and move north of Monocacy Hill where the people were blessed with a greater rain supply. Accordingly he sold his farm, and bought two tracts of John Kinze, about one and one half miles north of Monacacy Hill for 2,500 pounds ($6,666 2-3), Pennsylvania currency, June 29,1819. The larger tract, owned by Mrs. Henrietta Hess in 1895, contains 92 acres 83 perches, while the other was a tract of woodland a mile south of the one just mentioned. William Brunner was a man of restless nature. Taking a fancy to a farm, he thought that place the only place he could be happy, and as soon as he found himself the owner he saw another place still more desirable. As a result he made no less than eleven sales and purchases. He was fond of good horses, and took great pride in driving a lively team. When he lived on his farm in Amity, he purchased his groceries and other household supplies in Pottstown, and in winter when nearly seventy years old he would drive to Pottstown in his sleigh, standing up, and always at a good speed. His wife, Christina Witz whom he married probably early in 1774, was born December 7, 1755, and died October 12, 1821, and is buried at Pottstown, in the western part of the cemetery adjoining Immanuel Lutheran Church. At this time their only son, George, was living with him. After his wife's death Mr. Brunner desired to sell his farm and move to Catawissa, but he soon abandoned that notion and remained on his farm until his death. About this time an epidemic called "fever" (malaria) and a drought began, extending over the whole Schuylkill Valley, and lasting three years, known as "fever years." Many persons died of the disease, others were too sick to work, and on account of the drought the farms scarcely afforded a living. In one of these years William Brunner raised only fifteen bushels of corn. Land became valueless. He had paid one-third of the purchase money, and still owed about $4,400, but the property had depreciated so much that it was worth hardly one-half of the balance of the debt. On March 24, 1823, he sold his farm to John S. Hiester, a lawyer of Reading, for $4,500. Mr. Hiester undoubtedly had a mortgage on the property for that amount, and Mr. Brunner surrendered the farm as it was worth far less than he owed, the transfer being made in settlement of the mortgage. The son George, then rented the farm, and William remained there until he died, December 13, 1823, when he was buried in Pottstown.

George Brunner, only child of William was born March 6, 1775, in Douglass Township. He passed his boyhood and youth on his father's farms on Iron Stone Creek. He worked on the farm and in the meantime learned the weaver's trade. At the age of twenty-four he drifted into Pottstown (then Pottsgrove), a little country village. He was utterly unlike his father. The latter with his restless disposition was always full of life and energy, but George was quiet, with little energy and ambition, and could be easy and contented in any surroundings. His father endeavored in vain to arouse him. While in Pottstown he met and married about 1804, Rebecca Knauer (for whose grandfather, Knauertown, Chester County, was named). This was a most singular match. He was very slender while she was inclined to corpulency; he was quiet and slow, while she was positive, quick to discern and was a most successful manager of her own affairs. His business ability can be inferred from the story of one of their changes of abode in Pottstown. Houses were scarce, and they were obliged to move on a certain day. No house had been secured, but after the furniture was loaded on the wagons, he heard of an empty house, and went and rented it. In 1819 he moved from Pottstown with his father to Amity, and when the latter sold the home to Mr. Hiester, George and his wife rented it. They prospered slowly, but times brightened and they debated the advisability of repurchasing the farm. Their four children were about grown, and Rebecca planned that the boys were to attend to farming, and sow flax, that she and her daughter would do the house work and spin, and George would do the weaving. This succeeded so well that in 1827 the farm was bought back for $2,300, about one-third of the original price. Thus they continued to thrive slowly. In spite of George's quiet acceptance of conditions there were some points on which he was adamant. When Rebecca's relations, who lived in Chester County and spoke nothing but English, came to visit he stayed away from the house. While he never expressed any displeasure at the visitors he was exceedingly shy of English-speaking people, never venturing so much as "yes" and "no" in that language, and as soon as the "besuch" were gone, he was natural again and much relieved. His wife was a woman who enjoyed company, and was a good talker and very pleasant to meet.

When his son David was married and purchased a property south of the home farm, the late owner claimed a quantity of hay that had evidently been include in the sale, threatening to haul it away. To do this he would have been obliged to go through Mr. George Brunner's farm. Mr. Brunner had a shot-gun, though he never had the courage to fire it off. He resolved that if any person attempted to drive through his yard with a hay wagon he would arm himself with a pitchfork, guard his gate. The hay was not molested. Mr. Brunner was a strict and attentive Lutheran, belonging at Amityville, but thought he owned a good carriage he would never ride in it, walking all the way to church, and usually was passed by the family at Weavertown, and as regularly refused the invitation to ride. In politics he was a Democrat, and was often an enthusiastic worker at the pools on election day. Though not a strong man he enjoyed good health, and died of the infirmities of old age June 20, 1855. His widow lived with her daughter Mrs. Moyer at Baumstown, where she died of dropsy November 12, 1859. Both are buried at Amityville, they had four children: (1) Mary married John Moyer and lived at Baumstown. (2) John is mentioned in full below. (3) Samuel was a stone mason and worked on his father's farm; he cared little for books, and made all his calculations mentally. He married Rebecca Yorgey and they had a son, George, who now lives at Pottstown. (4) David Brunner, third son of George and Rebecca, was left in Samuel's care as a child but wandered off, fell in a ditch, and but for the prompt action of his mother would have been drowned. He later owned property south of his father, but selling this moved to Fox Hill, where his barn burned. This he rebuilt, sold the property and settled in Amityville. He had great powers of endurance. He was of kindly disposition, and rarely was angered. His wife, Caroline Yorgey, had no education, but was a great talker. They had no children.

John Brunner, eldest son of George and Rebecca, was born August 23, 1807, at Pottsgrove. In 1819 the family moved to Amity, where he worked on the farm. He was well educated for the times. From a Mr. Goodman in Oley he learned the carpenter's trade, and also the wheelwright's and millwright's trades, working as a journeyman until 1833. In the spring he moved to Greshville, and began his trade on his own account. After living there two years he purchased his farm of George Dry for $700 (1837). There in 1840 he built the house, and in 1848 the barn. He was a strong and vigorous man, and was industrious and progressive. The handling of heavy timbers and fitting together of the frame work of a large barn was tedious and laborious, and he decided all this could be avoided if the framing was done on scientific principles. The braces and oblique pieces were the difficulties, so he took his arithmetic and looked up square root, and in a short time he learned to frame the short and long braces. He was the most scientific carpenter in the county, and his reputation spread far and wide. He was not only skilled in carpentry, but could do fine and artistic work, though this was tedious and did not appeal to his more energetic nature. In his younger days he made a cymbal which in form, finish and ornamentation compared very favorably with those made by skillful manufacturers. He was a man of good judgment, and his opinions were formed after mature deliberation. In his family he was a strict disciplinarian and he was very exact about sending his children to school. He himself knew the value of an education, and he gave his children all that could be obtained in the common schools, the term then being but four months in the winter, and later he sent them to Freeland Academy now Ursinus College, and two went to College, the father helping them all he could financially and otherwise. In religion he was a Lutheran and he was a regular church goer, and in politics he was a staunch Democrat. When sixty years old he abandoned farming, his son Amos taking care of that, and William managed the carpentering business. At the age of seventy Mr. Brunner had a severe attack of dropsy, but recovered and for four years enjoyed fairly good health. He began to fail then, however, and died two years later, January 2, 1884. One after another the children had married and left home, except Amos, who stayed with his parents, and after they were gone bought the homestead. In 1833 Mr. Brunner married Elizabeth Bachman, who was born March 26, 1814, and died January 21, 1896, daughter of Daniel Bachman (born 1786) of Ruscombmanor Township. Mrs. Brunner was a kind-hearted, industrious woman, who did everything to keep her home bright and pleasant. The evening with the family was the happy time of the day, and was devoted to reading, study and the good times that a jolly congenial family thoroughly enjoys. There were seven children in the family: Mary; David B.; John B. taught ten terms of school, and is now a carpenter and builder in Reading; Frederick B., taught five terms of school, and died at Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, a Senior, in 1862; William B.; Amos B.; and George B. taught twelve terms of school and is the carpenter at the Boyertown Burial Casket Factory.

Hon. David B. Brunner was born in Amity Township, March 7, 1835. At the age of twelve after attending the common schools he was apprenticed to learn his father's trade, and at this he worked until he was nineteen. Feeling desirous of a higher education he prepared himself for college with such assistance as he could procure from teachers of the neighborhood, and in the meantime he taught school. After a short course at Freeland Seminary he entered Dickinson College, in 1856, and taking the classical course, graduated in 1860. He then opened a private school in Amityville, which he conducted for two years. In 1862 he purchased the Reading Classical Academy, and conducted the school with the exception of short intervals until 1888, under the names of Reading Scientific Academy, and Reading Scientific and Business College. In 1869 he was elected superintendent of the common schools of the county, and filled the office with great acceptability for six years, becoming well known throughout the State as an educator. In 1880-81 he served as superintendent of the schools of Reading. In addition to educational work, Prof. Brunner took great interest in mineralogy, and in Indian relics. In 1881 he published "Indians of Berks County," a reliable account of the aborigines. He collected many relics and at one time had the finest collection in the State. He was a frequent contributor to newspapers on subjects in which he was interested, and he lectured in all parts of the city and county on scientific subjects. In 1877 he published an elementary work on English Grammar, which had a wide sale. He was a Lutheran in religious belief.

In 1861 Prof. Brunner married Amanda L. Rhoads, of Amity Township. They had five children: Daniel E., who died in 1888; Elizabeth; Edgar A.; Mary; and Dr. Henry P., of No. 126 Oley Street, Reading.

In politics Prof. Brunner was an ardent Democrat, and on the subject of the tariff held advanced views. On August 29, 1888, he was nominated after a bitter contest over Daniel Ermentrout for member of Congress from the Ninth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. The confidence imposed he kept sacred, and he proved to be remarkably able and useful representative and in 1890 was re-elected. He was a man of quiet and retiring disposition, and was more of a student than a politician. As a speaker he expressed readily what he had to say, but laid no claim to the art of oratory. He was impressive but had no great amount of personal magnetism. He made friends, however, whom he kept, and whose respect his Christian manhood retained. He was a conscientious official, a true patriot and noble man. He died November 29,1903, and was buried in the Brunner lot at Amityville.

William B. Brunner, of Amity Township, was born on the Brunner homestead, July 31, 1842. His early intellectual training he received at home, and in the common schools of the district which he attended altogether thirty-three months. Later he attended Amity Academy for fifteen days, then taught by his brother, Prof. David B. Brunner, county superintendent and congressman. In 1859 when he was seventeen years old he was examined and passed a very creditable examination for teaching. He taught his first term in Brecknock Township, then one in Oley, one in Muhlenberg, one in Ontelaunee and seven in Amity. At the age of fourteen he learned the carpenter's trade, which he has ever since followed during the summer months, in his section, except for two years that he lived in Reading. He employed a number of men regularly and erected nearly all the houses and barns in his neighborhood during that time. He was active and was a master mechanic. Since the spring of 1875 he has lived on his present place, which he bought from the Daniel Lee estate. It consists of thirty-five acres of fertile land, located on the State road in Amity. Mr. Brunner is tall and erect, and of commanding presence, and he is a fluent, easy speaker.

On March 2, 1869, Mr. Brunner married Amanda Francis, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Koch) Francis, of Amity Township. To this union were born four children, namely: William Benton, who in 1896 graduated from the Keystone State Normal School, and taught school in Amity for a number of years, married Catharine Kline, of Reading, and they live in Harrisburg, where he is engaged in the merchandise business; Anna, the eldest, m. Eli R. Snyder, and died October 12, 1895, aged twenty-five years, ten months, twenty-seven days; Martha taught five terms of school, and m. M. L. Botts a railway mail clerk and merchant at Harrisburg; and Samuel Anson m. Annie Graeff, and is a grocer at Harrisburg. Mr. Brunner and his family are Lutheran members of the church at Amityville. In politics he is a Democrat, and for six years served as school director.


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William Brunner , an enterprising and progressive young business man of Muhlenberg township, who is conducting the Temple Hotel, was born in 1877, in Muhlenberg township, son of Dallias Brunner.

Dallias Brunner married Ellen Phillips and a large family was born to them: Henry, deceased; Isaac; William; Charles; Edward; Anna; Katie; Mamie; and Ellen. During his active life Mr. Brunner was a day laborer, but is now living retired at No. 641 North Ninth street. Politically he is a Democrat and in religious belief a Lutheran.

William Brunner was educated in the schools of Muhlenberg township, and when a lad engaged in laboring on a truck farm. Later he secured employment at the Temple Iron works, under Albert Broden, but subsequently became hostler at the Union House, Reading. He was for one year clerk at the Temple Hotel, under Mohr and Smith, for two and one-half years at John Northeimer's hotel in Reading, and for two years at John Mullett's hotel at Sixth and Buttonwood streets, Reading. After a short period at the Union House, under E. H. Gaul, Mr. Brunner went to Hamburg, and for one year conducted a hotel of his own, but returned to Reading and clerked in Weiler's Hotel for three years, after which he became proprietor of the Five Mile House for one and one half years. From there he went to the City Hotel as clerk for Al Payne, but again engaged in the business on his own account, conducting the Mineral Spring Hotel for one year. On April 1, 1905, Mr. Brunner leased the William L. Graul hotel, at Temple, which he has conducted very successfully to the present time.

Mr. Brunner was married to Minnie Becker, daughter of Simpson Becker, and three children were born to this union: Edna, Earl and Willie, the latter of whom is deceased. In religious belief the family are Lutherans. In political matters he is a Democrat, and fraternally he is associated with the F. O. E, of Reading; Lamonita Tribe, I. O. R. M.; and Washington Camp No. 107, P.O.S. of A.


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In the death of Mr. Bubp not alone his family but the whole community suffered a distinct loss, for he was an integral part of the city s life in several different fields, while his private benefactions had endeared him to numbers of his less fortunate fellow-townsmen. He was born in 1837 in Lower Amity township, Berks county, son of Jacob Bubp.

Jacob Bubp was a well-known butcher, and farmer of Brumfieldsville, Lower Amity township. He married Miss Lydia Engle, and they became the parents of two sons; William H., a successful hhorse dealer who died in Reading in 1903; and John E. The father and mother both died at their home in Lower Amity.

John E. Bubp spent his boyhood days upon the farm, but his natural bent towards business was early apparent, and he left home when a mere boy to clerk in a country store. As this did not furnish sufficient scope for his energies, he soon left and when only about seventeen years old came to Reading. Although a mere stripling, his business sagacity was early recognized and he soon really entered upon his career by forming the firm of Levan & Bubp, conducting a general merchandise business at No. 747 Penn street, where the business is now located. They were very successful but in 1867 the new firm of Levan, Bubp & Metzer was formed to do a wholesale crockery business at No. 441 Penn street. After one year however, Mr. Bubp withdrew and formed a similar connection with W. R. Hinnershitz. This new firm, Hinnershitz & Bubp, conducted a thriving business at No. 747 Penn street, until 1891, when the senior partner retired leaving Mr. Bubp alone in its management. His foresight and sagacity never failed him, and at the time of his death, Feb. 23, 1899, he left a large estate, accumulated by his own efforts. The business has since been continued by his sons, and the firm is now known as John E. Bubp s Sons.

Probably no man in the community stood higher in the honesty and integrity of his dealings than Mr. Bubp and his sudden demise was universally regretted. Progressive in his methods he was the first to introduce delivery wagons in the grocery business into Reading. He was vice-president of the Retail Grocers Association, and a member of the Board of Trade, as well as an honorary member of the Friendship Fire Company. During the Rebellion he enlisted in Company C, 4th Pa. V. I., under Capt. D. G. Rhoads and served the term if his enlistment with distinction. In politics he was a Republican, but never held office. At the time of his death he was a trustee of the Second Reformed Church and was a member of the consistory for some thirty years. His loss was deeply felt in the church as it was also in the Y. M. C. A., in which he was a member and a generous contributor.

In 1868 John E. Bubp married Miss Clara Getz, who was a member of one of the very early families in Berks county, and daughter of Aaron and Mary (Hushower) Getz. Aaron Getz was a blacksmith by trade, and lived in Muhlenberg township. For a number of years he lived retired, passing from this world at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife died aged seventy-three. There were five children besides Mrs. Bubp, namely: Sarah, Mrs. Kuterman; Amanda, Mrs. Alvin Boyer; Emma; Aaron, Jr.; and Henry, a United States Express agent at Allentown, where he died Nov. 25, 1905. Mrs. Bubp survives her husband and still lives in the family residence on North Ninth street. To her and Mr. Bubp were born four children, as follows: Harry G., who for a number of years was on the reportorial staff of the Reading Telegram, but who is now carrying on a drug business; Bert G. who is now carrying on his father s business; Charles E.; and Nora May, the wife of Howard C. Phillips, teller in the Schuylkill Valley Bank at Reading.

The last illness of John E. Bubp which ended in his death Feb. 23, 1899, was the result of a fall. Eight days previously he fell while going into the cellar and struck with great force. While his injuries compelled him to keep in the house there were no indications of serious trouble till the morning of February 21st, when he was taken violently ill and finally passed to his reward. Thus at the age of sixty-two years passed from the scene of his earthly activities a man whose deeds reflected only credit on his memory, and whose life may well serve as an example to those following him.


p. 1296


Thomas C. Buchanan, M. D., who has been located at No. 117 South Fifth Street, Reading, Pa., since 1902, in which time he has established a good practice, was born Oct. 2, 1875, at Honey Brook, Chester county, son of J. Clem and Emma (Bunn) Buchanan, and grandson of David Buchanan.

John Buchanan, great-grandfather of the Doctor, was a tanner by occupation and operated a large tannery near Wagontown, Chester county. He married there, and the children born to himself and wife were: John, David, Jane, Sarah and Anne. In religion the family were Presbyterians, and very active in the work of that denomination, both John Buchanan and his son David serving as elders.

David Buchanan followed the business that had been established by his father, and continued therein all of his active period, being very successful. He and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Katharine Clemens, were the parents of: Rebecca, deceased; Catherine, deceased, wife of Jacob Dampman; J. Clem; Loretta, m. to Peter Dampman; Martha, m. to Peter Supplee; Mary and El Jane, twins; and A. Thomas.

J. Clem Buchanan, father of Dr. Thomas C., was born at Honey Brook, Chester county, and received his education in the common schools of his native locality, after leaving which he took up farming as a vocation, and followed that occupation all of his life, owning one of the best farming properties in Chester county. He was a good, public-spirited citizen, and a practical, enterprising farmer. Mr. Buchanan died in 1905, aged sixty-six years, his wife Emma Bunn, having died in 1890, in her forty-fifth year.

They were the parents of three children: Thomas C., Cora C. and Paul R. In religious belief the family were Presbyterians. He was a charter member of Howell Lodge, F. & A. M., and was a Republican in politics, but, although very much interested in public affairs, would never accept office.

Thomas C. Buchanan received his literary education in the schools of Chester county, and at the York Collegiate Institute. In the fall of 1896, he entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated therefrom in June, 1900, with the degree of M. D. His first professional work was as interne at the Reading Hospital, and after one year there he accepted a position at the State Hospital for the Insane at Wernersville, PA. In 1902 Dr. Buchanan located in Reading, taking offices at No. 117 South Fifth Street, where he has been engaged in practice to the present time. Dr. Buchanan is well known and has gained the confidence of a large and growing clientele. He is at present assistant surgeon at the Reading Hospital.


p. 1213


John S. Bucher, of Seidel Hollow, Robeson township, Berks county, was born in Amity township Dec. 11, 1855, son of David and grandson of John Bucher. The family is of German origin, and has spread over Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery and Berks counties, in Pennsylvania.

John Bucher, grandfather of John S., was born in Pike township, Berks county, where he died. He was a forgeman. His children were: Jonathan, David, William George, Sophia, Caroline, Catharine and Elizabeth. Both John Bucher and his wife are buried at Hill Church.

David Bucher, son of John, was born in Pike township, April 12, 1832. He became a very capable blacksmith, and followed that trade all his life. For many years he lived in Amity township, where he died Jan. 3, 1883, and was buried at Amityville, as was also his wife, Mary Smith. Their children were: Hannah, Amanda, John S. and Jacob.

John S. Bucher attended the public schools of Amity township, and the Academy of Boyertown until he reached the age of eighteen years. He then learned the trade of blacksmith under his father s careful teaching. In 1888 he settled in Robeson township, and bought the farm owned by Dr. J. S. Ammon of twenty-five acres of land through which runs a beautiful stream known as Sandy Monocacy a name which aptly describes this stream, which flows through a valley of red sandy soil. During the rainy seasons this sand is washed into the stream, and rolls on the dam to where it lodges. From there it is taken out and dried, and owing to its purity finds a ready sale. During the season of 1909 Mr. Bucher sold about 500 tons to the United Traction Company in fact he averages that quantity to this company annually. He also ships to outside parties. The Sandy Monocacy has quite a history as a power supply. For many years it turned the wheels that operated a bloom forge and a bar iron forge on Mr. Bucher s property, originally built and operated by Jonathan Seidel, and through many years a source of good living to many employees. Newer and quicker methods forced their abandonment of late years, and the property was first sold to Dr. J. S. Ammon, who in turn sold to Mr. Bucher. The latter erected a cider mill of improved design and a circular sawmill, and these are still operated by the excellent and untiring little stream.

Mr. Bucher married Rosa Bucher, daughter of George Bucher. Their children are: Charles, living at Reading; Dora, at school; Cora, a public school teacher; Jennie, at school; Verna, at school. Mr. Bucher is a Democrat, and a member of St. John s Reformed Church in Robeson township. He is recording secretary of the church, and at the present time is serving as deacon. Fraternally he is a member of the P. O. S. of A. He is one of the energetic and active men of his community, and is a potent factor in any progressive movement.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:49 EDT

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