Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 472


Charles R. Buck, proprietor of the Boyertown Steam Laundry and one of the enterprising business men of that borough, was born at Red Hill, Montgomery county, Nov. 7, 1850, son of Charles Buck and his wife Christina, and grandson of Jacob Buck.

(I) Jacob Buck was a native of Berks County, and by trade was a blacksmith, for some years living and working at Longswamp. He moved to Hereford, Berks county, and then to Sumneytown, Montgomery county, and always followed his trade. His wife is a member of the old Schmeck family of Berks county, and is buried by his side. They had issue as follows: Charles, Daniel, Henry, Jacob, James, Camilla, Maria, and Caroline. Jacob Buck had a brother, Joseph, who lived and died at Hamburg, Berks county, and another brother who lived at Ashland, Pa. Joseph Buck had a son, Harry P., who lived at Hamburg, Berks county.

(II) Charles Buck, son of Jacob Buck, and father of Charles R., was a native of Longswamp township, Berks county, and was born Aug 3, 1820. He died Dec 19, 1902, aged eighty-two years and four months, and is buried at New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church, East Greenville, Montgomery county. He was also a blacksmith by trade, and followed that trade a number of years. In April, 1862, he moved from Red Hill to Green Lane the same county, and engaged in farming, and nine years thereafter, retired in comfortable circumstances He was an active man in the church, and he and his family were members of the Reformed church at New Goshenhoppen where he and his wife rest from their labors. In politics he was a Democrat, and served very acceptably as school director in Marlborough township, Montgomery county. His wife was Christina Royer, a descendant of one of Pennsylvania's old and honored settlers, and she was born in 1824, and died in 1883. They had three children: William H., of Green Lane, formerly a school teacher, is now a farmer and a prominent man in his locality, and he has been a justice of the peace for thirty-three years, serving his seventh continuous term, and has also served continuously as school director since 1889; Charles R.; and Ellen R., married Herman Hillegas, a coal, feed and lumber merchant at Pennsburg, Pennsylvania.

(III) Charles R. Buck as educated in the common schools of Montgomery county and Mount Pleasant Seminary, Berks county, under the tutorship of Prof. L. M. Koons. When Mr. Buck was twenty, he learned the milling trade from John R. Kepler, of Upper Hanover township, Montgomery county, and followed it for fourteen years in Berks county. In 1885 he had the misfortune of being burned out, his mill and contents at Morysville, in Berks county, being consumed. Having lost his property, Mr. Buck went to work for P.A. Brauss & Co., in the cigar and box factory, as paying clerk, and thus continued for three years. In 1888 he embarked in the huckster business, operating between Boyertown and Philadelphia for ten years. In this he prospered, and built up a large trade, shipping as many as 1,000 dozen eggs per weeks as well as all other kinds of produce in like proportion. In 1898 Mr. Buck organized the Boyertown Steam Laundry, which he has since operated with marked success. Employment is given seven people, and he commands the trade and approval of the very best people of Boyertown. The plant is conveniently located on Jefferson street, between Rhoades and Philadelphia avenue, and it is 40 x 24 feet with the annex.

Mr. Buck is a Democrat in politics and served very creditable as Justice of the peace, from 1898 to 1903. He was a member of the school board in Colebrookdale township for four years and has always taken an active interest in local events. He has been a delegate to the county convention, and was a candidate for the office of prison inspector of Berks county. Fraternally, Mr. Buck is a member of Washington Camp, No. 228, K. G. E. of Boyertown, and is Clerk of exchequer of the Castle, having held that office since 1902. He and his family are members of the Reformed Church of the Good Shepherd, of which he is trustee; he was made an official of the church in 1894, and has continued in office ever since. He is very liberal in his contributions and can always be depended upon to do even more than one man's part towards the advancement of any measure, either in church or civic life, tending towards the uplifting of humanity.

On Nov. 6, 1875, Mr. Buck married Sarah Johnson, daughter of Abraham B. and Catherine (Gruber) Johnson, of Colebrookdale township. Mrs.. Buck was born July 30, 1854, and died Dec. 25, 1903. Her many virtues are tenderly cherished by her husband and children and her loss is still mourned. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Buck were: Flora, m. to Milton W. Briel, who is connected with the Boyertown Casket Company and they have two children, Kathryn and Lillian; and Charles A., born April 15, 1885, who is his father's assistant and a bright, young business man. The family stands very high in the community, in both a business and a social way.


p. 473


Nicholas Buck, the emigrant ancestor of many of the name, was descended from an ancient family long established in the vicinity of Thionville, Lorraine. The date of his birth is unknown. The Buckville branch of the family descended from Nicholas Buck, Jr., his third son, who was nineteen years old at the time of his father's death. Lorraine is within the valley of the Rhine and on the frontier of Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, and suffered severely from war during the years between 1670 and 1733. The calamities occasioned by such long strife induced one Nicholas Buck, a single man, to embark at Rotterdam, on the ship "St. Andrew" for America. He arrived in Philadelphia, Sept. 25, 1752. For a short time he lived near Reading, and then came by way of Goshenhoppen to Springfield township, Bucks county. There he settled down and spent the remainder of his life. There is doubt as to the exact year of the emigration of Nicholas buck. The ship "Edinburgh" arrived in Philadelphia Sept. 5, 1748, from Rotterdam. In the list of passengers were mentioned Michael Hartman and "John Nickel Buck," the former no doubt the father of Nicholas Buck's second wife whom he married in 1766. In 1760 he signed a petition asking for a road in Springfield township. On this he wrote his name "Nickly Buck." On April 21, 1761, he married Mary Abigail, daughter of George and Barbara Kohl, of Nockamixon. The first child, Leonard, was born Sept. 1, 1763, and the second son, Joseph, in 1764. The wife and mother died Jan 7, 1765, at the age of twenty-two years. On May 12, 1766, Mr. Buck married (second) Elizabeth, daughter of Michael and Margaret Hartman. The children of the second union were: Nicholas, Jacob, John, Catharine, Barbara, Elizabeth, Magdalena, and Mary Ann. In his last marriage record the father is mentioned as a widower and a farmer. In 1768 he purchased from Ludwig Nuspickel, a tract of land of forty-six acres. In 1777 he was in the Revolutionary War.

Leonard Buck, son of Nicholas, married Elizabeth Kramer, born in 1769. He was a farmer. In 1786 he inherited under conditions half of his father's estate. He died in 1809, aged forty-six years. His widow survived some years. Their four children were: Mary, Catharine, Sarah, and Abigail.

Joseph Buck, son of Nicholas, married Rosina. He had a son John and other children. He sold to his brother his holdings in real estate and removed to Whitehall township in Lehigh county, in 1800.

Capt. Nicholas Buck, third son of the ancestor Nicholas, in 1789 married Mary Magdalena, daughter of John Eck, of Upper Salford. In 1792 he bought a tract of sixty-four acres. In 1803 and later he was a collector of taxes in Nockamixon. In 1807 he raised a company and had it fully equipped and prepared for action the following spring. This company of militia continued to have him as its captain until a few years before his death. He had six children: Elizabeth, Nicholas, Sarah, Mary Magdalena, Jacob S., and Samuel.

Major Jacob Buck, fourth son of the ancestor Nicholas, was born in Springfield, May 1, 1770. He was a farmer. In 1798 he married Susanna, daughter of Philip and Elizabeth Haring, of Haycock. He conducted a public house at Nockamixon in 1899. In 1814 or sooner be became owner of the "Bear Tavern" at Red Hill. About the same time his brother John became the owner of "Sorrel Horse." Major Jacob Buck's children were: John, Jacob, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Samuel, Catharine and Joseph. His descendants are numerous and reside chiefly in Bucks county, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Major John Buck was the youngest of the ancestor's sons. He was born Feb. 19, 1775. In 1795 he married Salome McCarty. He, too, early in life had a penchant for the militia. In 1808 he was a captain of a company organized by his brother Jacob. He served this company as major until the close of the war with England. In 1808 he purchased his brother Jacob's property at Revere. The tract consisted of 136 acres and on it was the famous "Sorrel Horse" hotel, which was built of logs. After many years' service this was town down in 1818. He was the father of ten children: Elizabeth, John, Joel, Edward, Martha, Reading, Enoch, Theodore, Rebecca and Nicholas. His descents live in Bucks county, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Illinois and the West.


p. 1610



Researcher's note follows this entry.

Calvin W. Bucks, proprietor of the Old Honesty Cigar Box Company, at Reading, and one of the representative business men of that city, was born Dec. 18, 1871, in Upper Bern Township. son of Joshua N. and Valeria (Winters) Bucks, and grandson of John Bucks.

The original Bucks homestead in Bern township was granted by the Penns to Jacob Grimm in 1744, and he retained it until 1770 when it was sold to Hans Books. The name Bucks on the old parchment deeds was spelled Books, these deeds now being in the possession of Calvin W. Bucks, of Reading. In 1814 Abraham Bucks, son of Hans Books (or John Bucks) sold this tract to his son Daniel Bucks. It was owned in the family for more than one hundred years.

In 1759 John Bucks was a taxable in Bern township, paying a tax of In 1770 he purchased property from Jacob Grimm as above stated, and in 1785 he sold this to his son Abraham. In 1790 according to the Federal census, he was a resident farmer of Bern township, and had two sons under sixteen years of age, and one daughter. He died in 1816, leaving a son John, Jr., who was the executor of his father's estate as recorded in Will Book C, page 112. His children were: John Jr.; Abraham; Anna Mary (m. to Conrad Christ). It is evident from the census report that there was at least a daughter whose name is not recorded.

Abraham Bucks (probably a brother of John) was a farmer in Bern township. In 1790 two of his sons were under sixteen years of age. His last will and testament was made April 24, 1811, and he died the same year. His will is on record in Will Book A, page 587. His children were: John, Abraham, Daniel, Susanna, Sarah, Margaret, Magdalena, Catharine, and Anna Maria. The sons were given the lands in Bern and were to pay their sisters 0 for their share of the large estate. Daniel, the youngest son, was given the four horses and their harnesses and the other farm implements.

John Bucks, grandfather of Calvin W,. was born in Centre township, Berks County, where at one time he was the owner of considerable property. He married Susanna Noecker, and their children were: Emanuel; Sarah m. (first) a Graeff, (second) Samuel Althouse; Matilda and Caroline, both died unmarried; Catherine m. Monroe Miller; Frank resides at Reading; Mary m. Henry Lazarus; and Joshua N. Of this family there are yet living Emanuel, Sarah, Frank and Joshua N.

Joshua N. Bucks was born in Centre township, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. He continued to farm until 1904, when he removed to Reading. He owned two adjoining farms, one of nearly 100 acres and the other of 58 acres, both in Centre township, and these he sold before taking up his residence at No. 226 West Oley street, Reading. He is engaged in the box manufacturing industry. In politics he is a Democrat and he served as auditor of Centre township. He married Valeria Winters, daughter of John R. and Amanda (Spatz) Winters of Bern township.

Calvin Bucks, only son of his parents, was reared on the home farm. He attended the public schools of his native township and of Centreport, and later the Keystone State Normal School, where he was graduated in 1900. He had taught school, however, three years prior to his graduation. For two years more he engaged in teaching and was then granted his master's diploma, teaching in all five years. In 1902 he took a commercial course in the Reading Business College, and later taught one year at that institution. In 1903 he became bookkeeper for the firm of A. Thalheimer & Son, being employed there for about two years, when it was incorporated under the name of A. Thalheimer Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of cigar boxes. For two years Mr. Bucks served as secretary and treasurer of this company. He then withdrew his interests and embarked in a similar business, Jan, 15, 1907, in association with his father, Joshua N. Bucks, under the firm name of Old Honesty Cigar Box Company. The business is prospering. It is located at No. 634 Washington street, and employment is given to fifteen workers.

On June 13, 1896, Mr. Bucks was married to Maggie Bhaer, daughter of Levi and Rebecca (Boyer) Bhaer of Mohrsville, and a granddaughter of Isaac and Anna Bhaer of Bern Township. Mr. and Mrs. Bucks have one daughter, Consuelo Beatrice.

In 1894, Mr. Bucks learned telegraphy at Shoemakersville, and subsequently filled positions in New Jersey, also at West Falls and Philadelphia. Both he and his wife belong to the First Reformed Church at Reading. He is a member of Washington Camp, No. 446, P. O. S. of A., Centreport; and Reading Lodge, no 549, F. & A. M., Reading.

(1) Abraham Bucks, son of John Bucks/Hans Books (d. 1785) and brother of John Bucks (d. 1816), died in 1811. Abraham Bucks (d. 1811) had three sons, John, Abraham, and Daniel. In 1814, after Daniel reached his majority, the lands of Abraham Bucks (d. 1811), as decreed by his will, were divided between his three sons. "It is my will, that when my youngest son Daniel has arrived to his age, then shall the three mentioned John, Abraham, and Daniel divide the land as well as they can, and impower my Brothers Son John Bucks, that he shall sign Deeds for the mentioned three sons to whom I have bequeathed them my Land. which shall be as good as if I had made them myself." I believe this is the land transaction Montgomery is referring to, and that John Bucks, son of John Bucks d. 1816, is not selling the land to Abraham, but simply dividing the land of his Uncle Abraham (d. 1811) between the three sons of Abraham - and that son Abraham's portion was the original land under the Warrant from the Penns and purchased from Jacob Grimm.

(2) John Bucks/Hans Books (d. intestate probably 1785, as land records indicate), was the father of John Jr.; Abraham; and Anna Mary (m. to Conrad Christ). This information was found in land records.

John Bucks Jr., who died in 1816, had the following children with his wife, Elisabeth, according to his will: Catherine Bucks, b. 9 Feb 1777, m. Johannes Klein 18 Oct 1796; John Bucks, b. (1 Aug?) 1779, m. Catherina Staudt? m. Elisabeth Reigel?; Elizabeth Bucks, b. 22 Oct 1781, d. 30 Mar 1852, m. Martin Meyer/Moyer; Sarah Bucks, b. 1783, m. John Klopp.

(3) Levi "Bhaer" never spelled his name that way. In records, he is found as Levi Baer, Levi Bear, and Levi Barr. The spelling "Bhaer" was adopted by Levi's wife, Rebecca Boyer, in about 1900, and by some of his children (Maggie, Theodore, Ida, Irvin). Levi Baer is buried in the cemetery of Gernant's Church. Rebecca Boyer Bhaer is buried in Charles Evans Cemetery.

(4) The father of Levi Baer is John Barr (1814-1875), son of Abraham Barr, and John Barr was married to Anna Williams. Isaac Baer, also a son of Abraham Barr, is the uncle of Levi Baer, not his father.


The contributor of this footnote is the great-granddaughter of Calvin Bucks, and the great-great granddaughter of Levi Baer.

Abraham Bucks, son of John Bucks/Hans Books (d. 1785) and brother of John Bucks (d. 1816), died in 1811. Abraham Bucks (d. 1811) had three sons, John, Abraham, and Daniel. In 1814, after Daniel reached his majority, the lands of Abraham Bucks (d. 1811), as decreed by his will, were divided between his three sons. "It is my will, that when my youngest son Daniel has arrived to his age, then shall the three mentioned John, Abraham, and Daniel divide the land as well as they can, and impower my Brothers Son John Bucks, that he shall sign Deeds for the mentioned three sons to whom I have bequeathed them my Land. which shall be as good as if I had made them myself." I believe this is the land transaction Montgomery is referring to, and that John Bucks, son of John Bucks d. 1816, is not selling the land to Abraham, but simply dividing the land of his Uncle Abraham (d. 1811) between the three sons of Abraham - and that son Abraham's portion was the original land under the Warrant from the Penns and purchased from Jacob Grimm."


p. 764


William R. Bucks, of Reading, now living retired in his comfortable home at No. 1135 North Eleventh street, was born on the old Bucks homestead near Bernville, in Bern, now Penn, township, Berks county, Jan. 10, 1834.

John Bucks emigrated to America from Berne, Switzerland. He had been engaged in the dairy business in his native land, where the mountains and the meadows in the valleys supplied the people with good pasture and water. On coming to America Mr. Bucks began prospecting for just such an ideal location, finding it at what is now Scull's Hill, where the hills were adorned with a rich growth of trees and shrubbery, the valleys fertile, and where many of his countrymen had already located, He selected a tract of four hundred acres, the hills covered with wood and shrubbery, and two meadows with fine streams of water running the entire length. Between the meadows on a slight elevation, he erected the buildings and commenced clearing the land for cultivation. There is an old record that shows that in the year 1759, when the first tax was levied in Bern township, John Bucks paid a tax of nine pounds, a considerable amount in those days.

John Bucks, grandfather of William B., was born on the homestead in 1779, and later on became the owner of it. He was a farmer and with the exception of the last years, passed all his life in his native locality. he married Elisabeth Riegel, born in 1780, and they had four children: John; Catharine m. Daniel Dundore; Elizabeth m. Isaac Dundore; and Mary, m. Jacob Rieser. They both died in Marion township, and were buried in the Tulpehocken cemetery, he in 1845, aged sixty-six years, and she in 1851, aged seventy years.

John Bucks, son of John and father of William R., came into possession of the old homestead, and was engaged in its cultivation until 1840, when he sold it and purchased the Jacob Reed farm of 125 acres in Marion township, one-half mile northeast of Stouchsburg, and removed there, carrying on farming very successfully for many years. In 1853 he tore down the old stone mansion built a century before with strong, thick walls. It was provided with a dark room on the second floor, at the head of the stairs, where shelter could be found against the Indians then numerous in that section. On the site of this old house he erected a large brick dwelling. In 1864 Mr. Bucks' son Aaron took charge of the farming, and Mr. Bucks lived with him in retirement until his death in 1889, in his eighty-second year. He married Catherine Rieser, born April 10, 1810, died 1884. They were buried in the cemetery adjoining Tulpehocken Church of which they were devoted members. Their children were: William R.; Mary R. m. Dr. George Crum, deceased; Aaron R., who first engaged in farming, and then moved to Reading and engaged in the coal business. died in 1894; Emma m. Jacob Miller, deceased; John R. resides in Myerstown; Sarah E. m. Henry Krum, deceased; Frank S. resides in Stouchsburg; and Allen died in Reading in 1900.

William R. Bucks attended Stouchsburg Academy during the winter months, and assisted his father on the farm the remainder of the year. In 1853 he taught one term of school in Tulpehocken township -- the year before the county had a superintendent of public instruction. He then attended a boarding school at the Trappe, in Montgomery county, for a term, and taught the following year in Marion township. He next taught five terms at Jefferson township. In 1861 he was employed in Bern township where he taught eight terms, one at Epler and seven at White Oak Hills (so named because of the many stately trees of that species adorning a hillside nearby). In 1867 Mr. Bucks turned his attention to a feed, grain and grocery business along the Schuylkill canal, below Leesport, where he was located for thirty-nine years. he also cultivated a small farm, which he owned, and his place was one of the busiest to be found along the canal. In 1906 He retired and went to Reading, purchasing his present property.

On Oct. 5, 1865, Mr. Bucks married Amelia Z. Herbine, daughter of William and Catharine (Zacharias) Herbine, of Bern township. She was a consistent member of Epler's Church, and later of Trinity Reformed Church. at Leesport. She died Dec. 18, 1904, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery, Reading. Two children were born of this union: John W., who is engaged in the grocery business, m. Emma Irene Fritz, and resides at the corner of Twelfth and Green streets, Reading; and Deborah A., who resides with her father, taught school for a number of terms, and later on gave private lessons in elocution. Mr. Bucks was a member of Trinity Reformed Church at Leesport, where he served as deacon and elder. After locating in Reading, he transferred his membership to St. Thomas Reformed Church, this city. In politics he is a democrat, as were both his father and grandfather. He served eighteen years as school director, ten of which he was secretary of the board, and at different times, president. He also served on the election board. Mr. Bucks, together with James Rieser and Jeremiah Parvin, owns a large tract of woodland in Bern township. It is on the highest point in the township and bears the name Seidels' Hill. The Buckses as a family have always been people of substance and respectability.


p. 350


Elijah Bull was for about thirty years one of the important figures in the commercial world of Reading. He was probably best known in his connection with the Reading Stove Works, Orr, Painter & Co., of which firm he was a member for over thirty years before his retirement, thereafter continuing to serve as director until his death. Other business interests which made him prominent in the city were his association with the National Union Bank, the Building and Loan Association and the Reading Hospital. Mr. Bull was regarded with particular esteem as the architect of his own fortunes, for he rose to a position of distinction from ordinary circumstances. Mr. Bull was born Jan. 20, 1835, at Springfield, Chester Co., Pa., son of Thomas and Sarah A. (Painter) Bull, and grandson of Elijah Bull, the latter a native of Chester county, where he spent all his life. He owned and operated large tracts of farm land. He was mustered into the volunteer service of the war of 1812, but before the detachment of which he was a member reached the front the war had been brought to a close.

Thomas Bull, father of Elijah, was born in Springfield, Chester county, May 23, 1802, and there received his education. He was reared to farming which he followed in his native county until the spring of 1846, when he moved to Pottsville, Pa. There he took up the vocation of a blacksmith, but he died within a short time thereafter June 13, 1847. He married Sarah A. Painter, and they had five children: Margaret m. Levi Buckwalter, of Spring City, Chester Co., Pa.; Charles, late of Reading, was a stove mounter, engaged in the works of Orr, Painter & Co.; Elizabeth died in childhood; Elijah; and Mary m. the late B. F. Graff. Mr. Bull m. (second) Maria Cryley, and to them were born two children, namely; Susan, m. to Reuben Rishel; and Thomas, who resides in St. Louis, Missouri.

Elijah Bull received a good education in the public schools of Chester county. Going to Philadelphia, he learned the trade of a stove molder, and there followed that occupation until he was thrown out of employment by the closing of the works on account of the panic of 1857. Thereafter until 1864 he worked part of the year at his trade, teaching school in Chester county during the winter months. In 1864 he began teaching in Mahanoy City, where he continued three years, during which time he became superintendent of the schools. On Jan. 1, 1867, he became a member of the firm of Orr, Painter & Co., manufacturers of stoves, hollowware and fine castings. In February, 1886, the firm was incorporated as the Reading Stove Works, Orr, Painter & Co. Soon after becoming a member of the firm Mr. Bull assumed charge of the shipping department, and discharged the duties of that position with fidelity until the death of Mr. Orr, in June, 1892, when he was made treasurer of the company. The latter position he retained until 1898, when he retired from active participation in the affairs of the company, though he continued to hold stock and serve as a member of the board of directors.

The extent of the business done by this concern may be judged from the fact that over four hundred workmen were employed in the various departments, engaged in molding, casting, grinding, cleaning, grinding and polishing, nickelplating, finishing and mounting. Four branches are conducted ? in Chicago, Boston, Buffalo, and Philadelphia, representing thousands upon thousands of stoves made and sold annually. Mr. Bull was a director of the National Union Bank of Reading, and a member of the Building & Loan Association. He never took any active part in public matters, his business duties having occupied all his time and attention.

He was a member of the board of managers of the Reading Hospital, and liberal and generous along lines of true philanthropy. Mr. Bull was a member of the Memorial M. E. Church of Reading, and was at one time president of its board of trustees. He joined the Odd Fellows in 185-, affiliating with Welcome Lodge, No. 229, of Philadelphia, and was also a member of Mt. Penn Lodge, Knights of Pythias. He enlisted for emergency service during the Civil war in the 42d regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

On Dec. 31, 1867, Mr. Bull married Mary A. Amole, whose father, George Amole, of Chester county, Pa., was born Oct. 12, 1802, and died Feb. 20, 1876. He was a farmer by vocation, and always resided in Chester county. Mr. Bull died Jan. 18, 1900, and his wife survived until Sept. 18, 1903. Their only child, Edna Marguerite, was married May 13, 1905, to Henry C. Keast, a native of Michigan, born Sept. 24, 1882, son of Charles and Anna E. (Eustice) Keast, both of whom were born in Cornwall, England. Mr. and Mrs. Keast have one child, Kenneth E., born Aug. 7, 1906.

Mr. Keast came to Reading in childhood and received his education in the public schools and the Interstate Commercial College. For some time he was chief packer for C. K. Whitner & Co., leaving them in 1902 to enter the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, with which he has since remained. He is chief clerk to Mr. A. H. Kline, the Chief Inspector of Lumber of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He is a Republican in politics.


p. 1092


Augustus Bulles, one of the well-known hotel men of Reading, who is conducting the popular "Hampden Park Hotel," situated at the corner of Thirteenth and Spring streets, was born Aug. 18, 1858, at Philadelphia, Pa., son of Tabold and Catherine (Noah) Bulles.

Tabold Bulles, who emigrated from Germany as a young man, settled at Philadelphia, and there engaged in the shoe business until 1861, at which time he came with his family to Reading, being for many years employed in the Scott foundry at the latter place. He died in 1871, and was buried at Alsace Church, his wife being interred in the Charles Evans cemetery. They had these children: Katie, Beulah, Theodore, Augustus, Julius, Edward, Ida and Albert.

Augustus Bulles attended the public schools of Reading, and as a boy worked in the brick yard near his home for twelve years, after which he learned the shoemaking trade, an occupation which he followed for about fifteen years at Milwaukee, Wis. In 1886 he returned to Reading, and for seven years was employed by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, also serving on the Reading police force during 1896-1897-1898, under Mayor Weidel. In 1906 he became the proprietor of the "Hampden Park Hotel," which he has conducted to the present time with success, having a large and steady patronage. Mr. Bulles is a charter member of Camp No. 329, P. 0. S. of A., and also belongs to the K. G. E. No. 53, the F. 0. E. No. 66, and the Philadelphia & Reading Relief Association. He and his family are members of St. Thomas Reformed Church.

Mr. Bulles was married to Elizabeth Koehle, and to this union the following children were born: Albert, William, Joseph, Raymond, Frank, Arthur and Caroline.

Mrs. Bulles is a daughter of Alvis and Elizabeth (Reis) Koehle, of Milwaukee, Wis., who were the parents of these children: Elizabeth; Josephine, m. to Charles Mack; and Albert and Joseph of Milwaukee, Wis. Carl Reis, grandfather of Mrs. Bulles, was born along the Rhine in the Fatherland, and came to America many years ago, being buried at Milwaukee. He was a ship-builder by trade, but later became a liquor dealer and left an estate of forty acres. By his first wife, who died three months after coming to this country, he had two children: Elizabeth and Josephine.


p. 351

Surnames: BURD, YEATES

Edward Burd was a practicing attorney at Reading, having been admitted to practice in the courts of Berks county in 1772. He removed to Reading from Lancaster. When the company of Capt. George Nagel marched to Cambridge, in Massachusetts, during July and August, 1775, Burd was one of a number of devoted and patriotic sons who went along at their own expense; and when the "Flying Camp" was raised he was chosen major of Haller's regiment. In the Battle of Long Island, in August, 1776, he was taken prisoner, and while imprisoned addressed a letter to Hon. Jasper Yeates, at Lancaster. On August 12, 1778, he was appointed prothonotary of the Supreme court, and he continued to officiate in this position by re-appointment until Jan. 2, 1800. His autograph is reproduced herewith: (Autograph at bottom of biography).


p. 1698


Benneville Burgert, now residing on his valuable farm in Maidencreek township, was born in Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa., March 24, 1841, a son of Solomon and Rachel (Hoffman) Burgert.

The grandfather was Samuel Burgert, who was a shoemaker by trade and followed it at Walnuttown. In early manhood he married and he had the following children born to him: Gideon; Benjamin; Solomon; Samuel, residing on the old homestead; Catherine, m. to John Kline; and Mary, m. to Rudy Price.

Solomon Burgert was born on the old farm in Richmond township, where he carried on farming through life. He married Rachel Hoffman, and they had children as follows: Ester, m. to (first) George Zink, and (second) Fred Miller, Catherine, who died unmarried; Solomon; Benneville; Samuel; Elijah, and James.

Benneville Burgert has spent his life in Berks country and during all his active years he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. For some years he has lived retired. In 1870 he married Sarah Rothermel, daughter of Paul and Elizabeth (Reeser) Rothermel, and they had seven children. (1) Anna, the eldest was born June 11, 1870 and died Sept. 2, 1871. (2) William was born March 22, 1872, reside on the old homestead, and manages it. He married Kate Noll and they have six children, namely, David, William, Sarah, Hettie, Benneville and Paul. (3) Sarah was born Sept. 23, 1873, married Henry Schweitzer and they have one child, Bentley. (4) Elizabeth was born Dec. 22, 1874, and died Sept. 28, 1875. (5) Solomon was born March 13, 1876, and died June 3, 1876 (6) Paul was born July 28, 1877, and died Sept 22, 1877. (7) Mary Eva was born Aug. 5, 1880, married Clarence Ohlinger and they have six children, namely; Anna, Mabel, Virgia, Elizabeth, Lillian, and Esther. Mr. And Mrs. Burgert are well-known and highly esteemed residents of their neighborhood. They are members of the Blandon Church, Mr. Burgert being of the Lutheran faith and Mrs. Burgert of the Reformed.


p. 1080


William F. Burkey, in his lifetime one of the leading citizens of Hamburg, Berks Co., Pa., prominently connected with the business, political and fraternal circles of Berks county, was born in Hamburg April 5, 1851, and he died at his home Nov. 24, 1907. An emigrant by the name of Burky came to America from Hesse-Cassel, and located at Bally, in the Goshenhoppen Valley, in Pennsylvania, where he helped to build the Roman Catholic Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament in 1743. He was a member of that church, and his remains are buried in the consecrated ground there. He was a relative of that Jacob Burkey who emigrated in 1733, and located in Bern township, Berks county. Traditions says they were brothers. The name also spelled Burcky and Borcky. Children of the Bally emigrant visited the family of the same name in Bern township. Jacob Burky of Bally, grandson of the emigrant, settled in Windsor township, Berks county, in his young manhood and there married Barbara Harver, a Protestant woman, who died about 1873, aged seventy-nine years. He was born about 1790, and died aged eighty-four years, and is buried in Charles Evans cemetery. He was a wheelwright and a farmer. His children were: (1) Joseph was drowned. (2) Mary married a Newkirk. (3) Benjamin was a charcoal burner in Greenwich and Albany townships. He had a large family, among whom was a son, William, who is a contractor and now lives in Reading. (4) Anna married a Christ. (5) Sarah married a Stump. (6) Henry W., born 1835, was a cigar-maker and later a railroad watchman for many years, making his home in Reading. His son, E. L. Burky, lives in Philadelphia. (7) Reuben H. lived in Windsor township, where he married Lucinda Schwoyer, and then lived at Hamburg, Port Clinton and Schuylkill Haven, respectively, dying in the last named place. He had a large family, and some of his posterity live about Tamaqua. (8) Samuel lived in Windsor township until his marriage with Rebecca Richards, when he moved to Mahanoy City, where he resided some years, and he died in Reading, and is buried in Aulenbach cemetery. His children were: William, Charles, Irwin, Sallie, and Laura. Jacob Burky, father of these children and grandson of the emigrant, had brothers and sisters as follows: John, Philip, Dianah (who married first a Miller and second a Dewald), and Mrs. Swoyer. The children of the emigrant ancestor were, like their parents, Roman Catholics, but some of their children located in communities where there was no Catholic Church, and married into Protestant families, some of them becoming Protestant and some being members of no church at all. The majority of the family are farmers.

(I) Jacob Burkey, the emigrant ancestor of William F. Burkey, late of Hamburg, and of John A. Burkey, of Reading, crossed the ocean on the ship "Hope" and arrived at Philadelphia Aug. 28, 1733. In 1759, when the first tax of Bern township (part of which is now Upper Bern) was levied, he was a taxable of the township, paying a tax of ~9. He was the original owner of the Burkey homestead, on which he died in January, 1764, and there he was buried, rough sandstones marking the last resting-place of this pioneer settler and his wife, and, according to tradition, of a son.

(II) Jacob Burkey (2), son of the emigrant, was born in Upper Bern township. He owned the small Burkey homestead on which he died in 1819. His wife bore the maiden name of Geissler. To them were born children as follows; John, who lived in Upper Bern, m. a Miss Faust; Heinrich, who lived at Irish Creek in Tilden township, m. a Miss Stoudt; Wilhelm, who settled in Upper Bern, m. a Miss Kettery; Jacob, went west; Daniel is mentioned below; David, who lived in Bernville, m. a Miss Schlappig, and had a son Joshua whose son Joshua is now deputy sheriff of Berks county; Betsy m. Jacob Blatt.

(III) Daniel Burkey, son of Jacob (2), was born Nov. 30, 178, in Upper Bern township, and died there in 1866. He was a shoemaker by trade, but later in life became a weaver, which occupation he followed in addition to conducting his small farm in Upper Bern township, situated one mile southwest of St. Michael's church. This tract has been in the possession of the Burkey family since it was deeded to them by the Penns. Daniel Burkey married Susanna Bautsch, daughter of Frederick Bautsch, and to them were born the following named children: Daniel m. Polly Blatt; Sallie (1812-1881) m. Jacob Kasper (1792-1698), a native of Reichenbach, Baden, Germany: Ca theine m. Isaac Ketner; Hannah m. Peter Heim; William m. Mary Becker; Peter is mentioned below; Elizabeth m. John Yerger; Benjamin m. Sarah Dunkelberger; Joseph died when fourteen years of age; two died in infancy.

Picture of Peter Burkey(IV) Peter Burkey, son of Daniel and father of William F., was born March 7, 1826, in Upper Bern township, Berks county, and he died at Hamburg, May 27, 1903. He was reared upon his father's farm, and in early youth learned the trade of carpenter and afterward that of cabinet-maker. In 1849 he started in for himself in a small way, at the latter occupation, on the property at present occupied by the large Burkey furniture establishment. At first he worked alone, but soon the growth of the business demanded help, and he engaged workmen, whom he educated to the business, thus building up the large enterprise that passed to his sons at the time of his death. Always enterprising and progressive, it is said that in the early days of his business he walked twice a day twelve miles to look after his lumber. He was one of the founders of the Hamburg Savings Bank, and for a number of years its honored president: and a stockholder and director of the Windsor Water company. He was a consistent member of the First Reformed Church of Hamburg, and was chairman of the building committee which erected the handsome new edifice, being also the largest contributor toward the erection fund. He was an elder of the church at the time of his death. In 1850 Mr. Burkey married Hannah Deysher, daughter of John Deysher, who was county commissioner from 1834 to 1837. Of this union came three children, namely: William F. is mentioned below; Daniel A. m. Minerva Van Doran, and had a son who died young; Mary B. m. Dr. George W. Ziegler, of Philadelphia. The mother lived in Philadelphia until her death there May 15, 1909, at the home of her daughter, when she was aged eighty-one years. Her remains were interred in the family plot in Hamburg.

(V) William F. Burkey, son of Peter, attended the schools of Hamburg, and when but nine years of age was a student in high school, which was then in charge of Prof. R. S. Unger and J. Howard Jacobs, Esq. At the age of seventeen he completed his education, and learned the trade of cabinet-maker with his father, with whom he continued to work until the latter's death. At that time the two sons, William F. and Daniel A., took up the business and became joint managers of the estate-relations which were sustained until the death of William F. The estate consisted of a large manufacturing plant and retail business, the store on South Fourth street-a four-story brick building, 26 x 90 feet, and the product a complete line of furniture and carpets, the firm doing a large business in the county outside of Reading, covering the trade of the entire upper part of Berks county and the coal region district. William F. Burkey was also a licensed undertaker and embalmer, and had a large business in that line. He was a director in the Hamburg Savings Bank, succeeding his father, and had been treasurer of the Board of Trade of the Union Fire Company for a number of years, and was a stockholder of the Windsor Water Company. In politics he was a Republican, and had been a member of the school board and a delegate to various county conventions.

In his religious connection Mr. Burkey was a member of the First Reformed Church, to which his family belong. He played the cornet in the Sunday school for a period of ten years, and in all this time missed but two Sundays. Mr. Burkey was a member of Vaux Lodge F. & A. M., No. 406 (was twice master of his lodge, and secretary at the time of his death); of Reading Chapter, R. A. M.; De Molay Commandery, No. 9, K. T.; Reading Lodge of Perfection; Philadelphia Consistory; and Rajah Temple, Mystic Shrine. He was also a member of Ontelaunee Tribe, I. O. R. M., of which he was treasurer; and of the P. O. S. of A., being on the degree team for a number of years. Mr. Burkey was an accomplished musician and had been prominently identified with musical organizations in the borough from 1869. He belonged to the Hamburg Cornet Band, under M. H. Schollenberger, and the Hamburg Band, under Dr. William Harris, being the cornet solo player of these companies. He was the organizer and leader of Burkey's Band of Hamburg, which was established in 1883, and which at a recent engagement at Pottsville, on the occasion of "Old Home" week, numbered thirty-five pieces. For twelve years he, he was a member of the First Brigade Band of Reading. All of Mr. Burkey's sons are members of the Burkey's Band, and are skilled musicians. In 1900 Mr. Burkey, Mr. Allen J. Fink, Mr. N. A. Confer and Mr. Amos S. Miller, of Hamburg, took a pleasure trip to Europe, visiting Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland, seeing many points of interest. On Oct. 6, 1873, Mr. Burkey married Miss Elgiva A. Derr, daughter of Benneville and Mary (Hill) Derr, and granddaughter of Israel Derr (whose wife was a Stitzel). To this union were born four sons: (1) Charles D., who was educated in the public schools, graduating from the Hamburg high school at the head of his class, is assistant cashier in the Hamburg Savings Bank. He married Bessie Confer, and resides on North Fourth street. (2) Peter H., who was also educated in the public schools and was graduated from the high school at the head of his class, learned the cabinet-maker's trade from his father, and then took a course in Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He is now paying teller of the Seaboard National Bank of New York, a position he obtained through merit, having first served the bank as clerk. He married Laura Hopkins, and resides at his home in Brooklyn. (3) William D., who attended the public and high schools of Hamburg (graduating from the latter in the class of 1898), and Dickinson College (from which he was graduated in the class of 1902), is the proprietor of the Eagle Knitting Mills, at Leesport, Pa.

He married Sally Altenderfer. (4) Edward B. was educated in the public schools and high school at Hamburg, graduating from the high school in the class of 1903, and later entered Dickinson College, graduating with the class of 1908. Mr. William F. Burkey was a thoroughly representative citizen and successful man. His quiet demeanor, gentlemanly habits, uprightness of character, and kindness of heart, endeared him to the people of his town and vicinity and his sudden call from the stage of activity was as great a public loss as his life had been a useful one.

His funeral, held in the First Reformed Church, was one of the largest ever held in the borough, and was attended by delegations from the various fraternal organizations to which he belonged. Many beautiful floral tributes gave their mute testimonial of the regard in which the deceased was held. The Rev. Mr. Gerhard said in part: "He was a man of fine temperament and noble impulses. Delicate was his sense of honor and justice. Sensitive in a high degree, reserved and yet self-assertive-but self-assertive with quiet dignity, we believe that he was thoroughly upright and reliable in his dealings with his fellow-men....The sorrow and misfortune with which he came in contact moved him to deeds of kindness and charity. He could read human nature well. He could adapt himself to every class of people. He had good judgment and, above all, good sense. He was broad-minded. He had culture, refined manners and was of good address. These were not the fruit of uncommon and rare mental ability, but acquired by his sense of good judgment, keen observation and an earnest desire to improve......a keen sense of the beautiful in nature, music and poetry. He loved to regale himself in the beautiful, and he was quick to respond to its touch." His remains were interred in St. John's cemetery, where besides the usual services the Masonic ritual was used.

(IV) William Burkey, son of Daniel, was born in Upper Bern township, and died at Leesport, at the early age of twenty-eight years; he is buried at St. Michael's Church, of which he was a Reformed member. By trade he was a cabinet-maker, and he was in business at Leesport. He married Mary Becker, of Tilden township, who died Dec. 26, 1904. age seventy-four years. They had an only son, John A.

(V) John A. Burkey, son of William, is a well-known citizen of the Fourteenth ward, Reading. He was born in Upper Bern (now Tilden) township Dec. 9, 1853. His education was acquired in the country schools and in Annville College, near Lebanon, Pa. When about fifteen years of age he learned the cabinet-maker's trade in Hamburg, from his uncle, Peter Burkey, and this he followed for five years in Hamburg, Reading and Tamaqua. He then attended Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and graduated therefrom in 1873. In 1875 he engaged in the dry-goods business at Landingville, Schuylkill county, and the next year (1876) located in Pottsville, where for three years he was engaged in a similar line. For a short time he was located in Hamburg, and then came to Reading, where he connected himself as clerk with the firm of Dives, Pomeroy, & Stewart, and has continued in their employ from that time (1880) to the present, now being the buyer of the upholstery department. He resides in his own comfortable home at No. 525 Douglass street. Mr. Burkey has been quite prominent in fraternal work. He is past worshipful master of Vaux Lodge, No. 406, F. & A. M., of Hamburg; past high priest of Excelsior Chapter No. 37, R. A. M., of Reading; member of Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T., and of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and also of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection and of the Consistory. He also belongs to Camp No. 78, P. O. S. of A., of Hamburg. He has greatly endeared himself to his fellow members in the lodges by his reliable work in whatever position placed, and by his active work on the committees appointed to look after the sick.

On Dec. 1, 1875, Mr. Burkey married Clara, daughter of Henry Seibert, of Hamburg.


p. 1292


Burkhart was originally a German name, some of the ancestors of the Berks County family spelling it Burghart and some Burckhardt, Burkhart being a somewhat Anglicized form.

Joseph Burkhart, grandfather of Elmore A. Burkhart, was born March 19, 1800, in a log house which stood in the orchard belonging to Mrs. Miese's farm, then in Bern township, now in Penn township. The house has been removed to Bernville; and is now owned by Levi Ludwig. His father's name was John, and his mother's maiden name was Jennings. She died when Joseph was only a few days old, and he was adopted by Mr. And Mrs. John Brossman, with whom he remained until he was of age. When he had arrived at a proper age he was sent to learn the trade of chairmaker with Philip Kline, on the farm now owned by Miss L. Deppen, of Washington D. C.

On June 20, 1822, Joseph Burkhart was married to Catharine Fuchs, daughter of Christian and Catharine (Clemens) Fuchs, the latter supposedly of English descent. Catharine (Fuchs) Burkhart was born March 11, 1803, in Reading and was baptized by the Rev. Mr. Boas - sponsors were Matthias Eisenbeis and Catharine Kutz (both single). When she was nine years of age her father died, and her mother put her older children with her relatives, Harry going to Jacob Conrad, at Conrad's mill. While he was there Mr. Conrad came to Reading and took Catharine home with him, to visit her brother. Mr. Conrad offered her to John Geiss, one of his neighbors, who brought his wife over to see her, and they took her home. She was there six months before her mother, supposing she was still at Conrad's knew about it, John Geiss going to Mrs. Fuchs at the end of that time to come to some understanding about the length of time Catharine was to remain at his home, and what she should receive at the expiration of her time. It was agreed, among other things, that they must send her to school, and in due time to catechetical lectures for confirmation, and they complied with all these terms, Catherine being confirmed at Northkill Church, by Rev. Daniel Ulrich in the fall of 1820. She lived twelve years at the home of John Geiss.

After their marriage on June 20, 1822, Joseph and Catharine (Fuchs) Burkhart made their first home in a house owned by Henry Filbert, on land now owned by Morris F. Rentschler. During his residence there Joseph Burkhart continued to work at the chair-making trade for Phillip Kline. This house was torn down many years ago, a few cherry trees marking the spot, which naturally is very interesting to all the family. After a few years' residence at that place Joseph Burkhart and his wife removed with the two sons born to them in their first home to the house formerly owned by Benjamin Miller, now the property of Isaac H. Wenrich, and thence a little later (1826) removed to the upper end of town (Bernville) where he bought a one-story log house from Michael Porst, standing on the ground now occupied by the double brick house of Dr. George Hetrick. Mr. Burkhart added a story to his log house, and there lived with his family for about twenty-five years, at the end of that period removing to the lower end of town and buying a lot upon which he built a new home. There he passed the remainder of his life, making chairs and carrying on a confectionery store. He died April 23, 1874, aged seventy-four years, one month four days, and his wife passed away July 16, 1876, aged seventy-three years, four months, five days. They are buried side by side in the Northkill church cemetery. This worthy couple had a family of six sons and four daughters, viz: John F., Daniel F. (deceased), Rebecca (Mrs. William E. Huber, living in Reading), Enoch (of Lykens) and Henry F. (twins, the latter dying at Shartlesville), Matilda (Mrs. John Fritz, who died at Birdsboro), William F. (died at Shoemakersville), Sarah (Mrs. Benjamin Lins, who died in Reading), Sybilla (Mrs. Harry Laut, who died in Germantown) and Cyrus F. (of Philadelphia). Four of the sons volunteered for service during the Civil war, Daniel F., Henry F., William F. and Cyrus F., all returning home safely.

John F. Burkhart, eldest of the family of Joseph and Catharine (Fuchs) Burkhart, was born Nov. 23, 1823, and in 1838 commenced his apprenticeship to the trade of tinsmith with George Kershner, of Friedensburg, Oley township, walking home and back every three or four weeks. After his trade was learned he worked for Samuel Schell and Henry Witman as a journeyman in Bernville, in 1848 starting in business for himself at that place, where he has ever since remained. He retired from active business in April, 1908, having given sixty years of his life to work. He is now the oldest resident in Bernville, and though eighty-five years of age enjoys good health. He has prospered by steady industry, and no citizen of the place is more highly respected or honored than he. He is the oldest surviving member of this branch of the family, and one of its most creditable representatives in any generation.

In the Philadelphia Record, Feb. 16, 1908, appeared the following: "To be known as the "Grand Old Man" of Bernville, Pa., is not the only honor John F. Burkhart is entitled to. He is the town's oldest business man, and the oldest tinsmith in the Blue Mountain region. Mr. Burkhart has been highly esteemed in his native town ever since he was a boy. In youth he was a bright scholar, a regular Sunday-school attendant of the Lutheran Sunday-school, which was held in the early period in the Union Church, known as the Northkill. Later he became Sunday-school superintendent and labored most faithfully for more than thirty years.

"In the early life the citizens of his township, before the town was a borough, elected him to numerous offices, and as school director he worked hard for the advancement of the public schools. When the village grew and became a borough, his neighbors called him to council and later he was elected their burgess. He ruled over the town in a non-partisan way, though he was a Republican, and his fellow citizens of all parties always gave him a rousing majority at election time.

"Nearly sixty years ago Burkhart became a tinsmith, and it is said that there is no tin roof within eight miles of Bernville that he did not sit upon with solder in his hand welding together the seams.

"When he began his apprenticeship everything was made by the tinsmith in shop or store. Factory goods were unknown, and Mr. Burkhart well recalls how he made the first 'fat lamp' ... the lamp used by all citizens sixty years ago ... Another masterpiece of his youthful days as tinsmith was the 'mam', the nursing bottle of every child in Bernville.

"Sixty-seven years ago this town had meager facilities and newspapers were scarce in Berks county. The leading one in the Schuylkill Valley was The Reading Adler, which catered to the Pennsylvania German people, and arrived every week in the Burkhart home, opposite the town pump. He being a German scholar, his neighbors often gathered around this pump on a warm summer day, and heard him read the news of the outside world."

On April 25, 1847, Mr. Burkhart was married to Anna Margaret Wenrich, whose mother was Anna Maria Lamm. They celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding on April 25, 1897, surrounded by a large family of descendants - children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their children were: J. Henry; Orlando J. m. Elizabeth Gundy, has two children -Edgar and William F. - and lives in Reading; James M., a jeweler in Reading. M. (first) Agnes Clay, and (second) Bessie Bartling, and has children - Edna May, J. Arthur, Joseph Clayton, George and Bartling; Mary C. m. John A. Schock, of Mt. Zion, Lebanon county, and has had children - Ida L. (deceased), Ella M. (deceased), Walter E., Margaret C. and James B.; Daniel A. and Elmore A. are mentioned below; Paul F., a tinsmith at Bernville, m. Alice Hieter (deceased), and had children - Chester D., Leroy H., John A., Margaret E., Catharine L. and Lydia R.; Annie M. m Samuel T. Bordner, of Bernville, for thirty years a prominent educator and at present clerk of the Quarter Sessions of Berks county, and has had children - Thomas B., Margaret M. (deceased) and Catherine A.; and Sarah M. m. John I. Mattis, of Philadelphia, and has a son, Clayton I.

J. Henry Burkhart, son of John F., was born Nov. 1, 1847. He taught school for twenty-two years, but was a tinsmith by trade. For many years he was organist at St. Paul's Church, near Schaefferstown, Pa. And was choir leader in his own church at Bernville. He died April 22, 1907, and is buried in Haag cemetery, Bernville. In politics he was a Republican. He married Amanda Reifsnyder, daughter of Charles Reifsnyder, and she makes her home in Bernville. Their children were: Laura C., m. to Dr. P. S. Mogel, of Bernville, has two children, J. Vincent and Paul B., and lives at Reading; Sallie A., m. to W. D. Heffelfinger, of Bernville, has had children - Warren (deceased), Annie (deceased), Arthur, Amelia and Rachel; Martin L. died aged three years; Mary, m. to Dr. C. D. Gruber of Bernville, has had children - May, Anna and Flora (deceased); Henry W., a tinsmith in Philadelphia, m. to Millie Bailer, has sons, George H. and J. Warren; and J. Paul is of Bernville.

Daniel A. Burkhart, son of John F. and Anna Margaret (Wenrich) Burkhart, was born in Bernville in 1859, and is now a manufacturer (of tin and sheet iron ware, spouting, tin roofing) and jobber at No. 150 South Twelfth Street, Reading. He was educated in the schools of Bernville until thirteen years of age, when he was thought old enough to learn a trade, his father taking him into his tin shop. He remained with his father until March 31, 1879, when he went to Birdsboro, and there he was employed by Albert Fritz for two years and for a like period by John K. Snell at No. 605 Penn Street, Reading. He then was employed by D. C. Schnader until July 5, 1890, when he embarked in business for himself, establishing his present concern at No. 150 South Twelfth Street. Mr. Burkhart is doing a very large business, employing skilled help and turning out work that makes a market for itself. His manufactured good include, in addition to those above mentioned, heaters, ranges, furnaces, cooking utensils.

Mr. Burkhart married Rosa Davis, daughter of Cyrus Davis, of Penn township, and they have one daughter, Mabel R., who is attending the Reading high school. The family belong to the Lutheran Church. The pleasant family home is located at No. 1256 Spruce Street. Mr. Burkhart is a member of Sirius Castle, No. 63, Knights of the Golden Eagle.

Elmore A. Burkhart, son of John F. and Anna Margaret (Wenrich) Burkhart, was born in Bernville, Sept. 22, 1862. He acquired his education in the schools of his native locality and for three years taught school in North Heidelberg township. In 1881 he came to Reading and accepted a position with the Reading Hardware Company, beginning as order clerk, from which capacity he has been promoted from time to time until he is now assistant purchasing agent for the company. He is known to be an able executive, and his services are held in high esteem while he is very popular with his fellow employees. Mr. Burkhart is fraternally connected with Camp No. 113, P. O. S. of A., at Bernville. He is a member of Grace Lutheran Church of South Eleventh Street, where he has always been active, holding the offices of deacon and secretary. In political matters he is a Republican.

On June 23, 1886, Mr. Burkhart was united in marriage with Grace B. Hoffman, daughter of Michael and Mary J. (Smith) Hoffman, and to this union there has been born one child, Carrie E., a graduate of the Girls' High School, class of 1905. The family home is located at No. 522 Douglass Street.


p. 798


Albert N. Berkholder, managing editor of the Reading Eagle, enjoys the distinction of presiding over the destinies of the paper in whose office he once served as printer's apprentice. He was born in Millcreek, Lebanon county, on Feb. 1, 1861, and came to Reading at an early age. Here he entered the public schools and when thirteen years old was admitted to the high school. A year afterward he was the publisher of the first high school paper, whose object was the dissemination of news respecting the teachers and pupils of the institution. At the age of sixteen he became an apprentice to the printer's trade in the composing room of the Eagle, and served a term of four years. His recollections of those early days are of the most interesting character, and he has never regretted the period of his life that he spent at "the case." Like many others, he found it but a stepping-stone to something higher. Col. Jesse G. Hawley, the founder, proprietor and editor of the Eagle, now deceased, took an interest in the young printer, and soon after completing his apprenticeship we find him on the reportorial staff of the paper. He distinguished himself as a ready writer, an indefatigable and energetic news gatherer, and was devoted to an unusual degree to the advancement of the Eagle. His promotion to the position of city editor followed, in due course of time, and this he filled to the satisfaction of his superiors for a period of nearly fifteen years. The Eagle was primarily founded upon the idea that its local news should be the prominent feature, and while it has been enlarged and improved in every way, it still continues to have this end in view. To be the head of such a department in a newspaper for such a long time is no mean accomplishment. In this position he showed the same traits of enterprise and energy which marked his earlier career a "nose for news," habits of industry and the journalistic passion more strongly developed than ever. Three years ago he succeeded as editor the late John D. Missimer, one of the best newspaper men that Reading has ever produced, and since then the Eagle has set a new and higher standard than ever in the presentation of those news features which have made the paper a household word in a large section of eastern Pennsylvania. It prints four editions every weekday, a Sunday paper and a weekly. When the present editor was an apprentice it was a six-column, four-page paper. Today it is never less than ten pages of eight columns each and very often as high as sixteen and more pages are printed. Mr. Burkholder is a member of the Reading Press Club, the Berks County Historical Society and the Pennsylvania German Society. He has devoted a great deal of time to local history; has written many articles on this subject, and has a large collection of books and manuscripts bearing on the early settlement of eastern Pennsylvania. He is greatly devoted to everything that will advance the best interests of the people of Reading and Berks county, and has a wide acquaintance in city and county. He is thoroughly versed in everything pertaining to their needs; is in sympathy with all their aspirations, and is unusually well posted in all branches of local history. The first member of the family in America was Hans Burghalter, a Mennonite preacher, who was the leader of a successful movement which resulted in the emigration in 1717 of a large number of his people from Switzerland, where they had undergone merciless persecution. The entire party settled in the Conestoga valley in Lancaster county, the second large company of Mennonites to found new homes in that region. They were preceded in 1709 by a large colony of Mennonites, the most distinguished of whom was Hans Herr, whose memory is justly venerated as the pioneer settler of his people in that section, and whose descendants are found in many States of the Union. Hans Burghalter, whose family was allied with the Mennonites almost since the foundation of the sect by Menno Simons nearly four hundred years ago, became prominent in the early history of Colonial Pennsylvania, and today members of the family are found in many Commonwealths, as well as in Canada. In Virginia two became bishops of their church, and the family is numerous in many Western States. Though belonging to the so called noncombatants or peace sect, the descendants of this pioneer preacher have participated in every war in which this country was ever engaged. Capt. Peter Burkhalter was an officer in the Revolutionary war and was a member of the first Constitutional Convention of Pennsylvania; and others figure in the early Colonial annals with equal prominence.


p. 525


Samuel G. Berkholder, a rising young physician of Reading, was born in Brickerville, Lancaster Co., Pa., March 12, 1871. He is a son of the late George and Elizabeth (Gockley) Burkholder, who followed farming in the above named county until 1891, when they retired and moved to Denver, Pa., where the mother, Elizabeth Burkholder, still resides. George Burkholder died April 8, 1906.

Dr. Burkholder attended the public schools at Brickerville and at Denver, Pa., during his boyhood days, and later completed his preliminary education at the Millersville State Normal School. In early youth he decided to prepare for the medical profession. This was strenuously opposed by his father who finally persuaded him to take up veterinary medicine instead. Accordingly he entered the Ontario Veterinary College in the fall of 1889, from which institution he graduated with honors in the spring of 1891. He was awarded a medal and other prizes by the above named institution as evidences of proficiency. His Alma Mater offered him the chair of veterinary anatomy on the faculty before he was twenty-one years of age. This he declined and started to practice his profession in the summer of 1891 at Denver Pa. Shortly after locating at Denver he became joint owner and editor of the Denver Press, in partnership with E. B. Wolf. In 1896 he sold his interest in the Denver Press to his partner, E. B. Wolf, and in the fall of same year he took a civil service examination for the position of federal meat inspector. He had the highest average made at the fall examination in 1896, and was promptly appointed assistant meat inspector by the Bureau of Animal Industry, and ordered to Chicago, Ill., to assist in the work in that city. Shortly after he reached Chicago, he matriculated as a student in the Harvey Medical College, a night school in good standing. From this institution he graduated in June 1898, with the highest average ever made by any student up to this time. (The college is now extinct). He continued in the meat inspection service at Chicago until Dec. 1, 1898, when he was transferred to Nashville, Tenn., to inaugurate inspection there. In the fall of 1898, before leaving Chicago, he was appointed by the management of the McKillip Veterinary College of Chicago to inaugurate a course in meat and milk inspection to prepare the students for federal positions in this line of work. He was also lecturer on comparative anatomy at his alma mater. His sudden departure from Chicago for Nashville, Tenn., terminated his connections with the above named schools, but only temporarily. He resigned his position as meat inspector at Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 15, 1899, and immediately returned to Chicago, resumed his work at the schools and started to practice his profession, locating on West Congress street, that city. In the fall of 1899 he matriculated as a senior student in the Northwestern University Medical College, Chicago, from which institution he graduated in June 1900. In March 1900, he received the honorary degree D. V. M. from the Mckillip Veterinary College. Shortly after graduating from the Northwestern University Medical College, he returned to his native State of Pennsylvania, and in August of the same year, he located at Rothsville, Pa., where he practiced his chosen profession until February 1905, when he sold out his practice there, and returned to Chicago to take up post-graduate work. Besides taking a general review in internal medicine be took a special course at the Illinois School of Electro-therapeutics. In April 1905, he returned east and located at No. 613 Walnut street, Reading, Pa., where he is enjoying a large practice. Besides doing general practice Dr. Burkholder is Medical Director of the Reading Mutual Life Insurance Company, and also secretary of the Corporation Funding and Finance Company. Both of these companies are rapidly forging to the front in their chosen lines.

In October 1900, Dr. Burkholder married Miss Rheba G. Smith, of Blainesport, Pa. The union was blessed with two children both of whom died in infancy. Dr. Burkbolder holds membership in various fraternal organizations, principal among them being the Knights of Malta and the Masons. The latter order he joined while in Chicago, being a member of Mizpah Lodge, No. 768, of that city. He is also a member of the City, County, State, and American Medical Associations.


p. 1038


Emanuel L. Bush, who holds the position of night foreman of the Oley street mills of the Reading Iron Company, and deputy for Berks county of the Brotherhood of America, resides at No. 812 Gordon street, Reading. He was born June 27, 1850, at Amityville, Pa., son of Jacob and Lucetta (Levengood) Bush.

George Bush, grandfather of Emanuel L., married a Miss Yerger, and they had these children: Peter; Sarah; Matthias; Mary, who died in her ninety-second year in June, 1905, the widow of George Straub; Catherine, who married a Mr. Chamberlain; George; Zacharias; Jacob; and Rachel, who married Samuel Fegley.

Jacob Bush, father of Emanuel L., was a laborer in Amity township, and later came with his family to Reading, where he met his death in a railroad freight yard in 1864, when forty-three years old. He married Mrs. Lucetta (Levengood) Bohn, of Pottstown, who by her former marriage had six children, three of whom are living: John L., Adam L. and James L.; Mrs. Bush died at the age of forty-four years, and both she and Mr. Bush were buried at Oley Church. They had these children: Emanuel L., Zacharias, and Sarah (m. Richard Marks).

Emanuel L. Bush spent nine years on the farm, and then came to Reading, where he lost his father at the age of thirteen years and his mother two years later. He engaged in the draying business, which he followed for five years, and he then secured employment at the old Keystone Rolling Mill, later being advanced to puddler, and for twenty-five years worked at that trade. He is now night foreman for the Reading Iron Company. At the age of eighteen years he joined the Junior Mechanics, and was a member a few years, when he dropped out, at the same time uniting with Freedom Circle No. 7, Brotherhood of America. He then became a member of Reading Lodge No. 348, I. O. O. F., which is now extinct. In the Brotherhood he held the office of Scroll Keeper for two years, after which he was appointed District Deputy of Berks county by the Grand Circle, the term of office being one year.

On April 22, 1869, Mr. Bush married Clara C. J. Burkert, daughter of Nicholas and Caroline (Kissinger) Burkert, of Reading, the former a well-known boatman on the canal. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bush: Samuel died at the age of three years; and Elmira L. married George Hinkel. Mr. Bush is a member of St. Mark's Reformed Church.


p. 710


Among relics owned by this old and honored family of Berks county, is a Bible, in excellent condition, now in the possession of Mrs. Fianna (Butz) Bertolet, who has willed it to her son, Dr. M. L. Bertolet of Mt. Penn, Pa. This Bible was brought to America by (I) John Butz, who in 1737, landed at Philadelphia with his two children, Peter and Catharine. John Butz came to this country from Hertzogberg near Kromanenberg in the lower part of Bavaria. John Butz died Feb. 23, 1750, in Philadelphia.

(II) This same old Bible shows that Peter Butz (son of John) was married Oct. 22, 1743, to Anna Barbara Carl, who was born in Hessen-Nassau, Germany, and they had these children: Mary, born in 1744; Caroline, in 1746; John, in 1747; Samuel, in 1750; Peter, in 1754; Elizabeth, in 1758, and Anna, in 1761. Peter Butz died in 1780, aged sixty-one years, eight months and twenty-five days. His wife died March 6, 1795 aged seventy-six and four months.

(III) Samuel Butz, son of Peter, was born in Longswamp township, Berks county, Aug. 10, 1750. On Dec. 13, 1774, he married Anna Mary Romig, born May 31, 1754, died Feb. 21, 1813, and they had children: Peter, born Oct. 29, 1775; Catharine, March 25, 1777; John, April 27, 1779; Susanna, March 6, 1781; Esther, Dec. 29, 1783; Elizabeth, Nov. 28, 1788 (died Oct. 31,1791); Mary, April 5, 1793. Samuel Butz died Aug. 17, 1821, aged seventy-one years, seven days.

(IV) John Butz, son of Samuel, was born April 27, 1779, and died Aug. 19, 1874 aged ninety-five years, three months and twenty-two days. The place of his birth was the same as that of his father, the homestead in Longswamp township. In 1806 he married Anna Yaeger, of Oley township, who died Aug. 24, 1828 aged forty years, eight months and fourteen days, and they had eight children, but only three grew to any age; Nathan, Jacob and Anna Maria. In 1828 the Butz family Bible came into the hands of John Butz, who highly cherished it. This very valuable volume was printed in 1704, and is in an excellent state of preservation. It contains the family records, and is of great value.

(V) Jacob Butz, son of John, was married May 25, 1828, to Elizabeth Christman, born May 28, 1809, died Nov. 19, 1895, aged eighty-six years, five months and twenty-one days, daughter of Peter and Margaret Christman. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Butz were: Daniel C., born in 1831; John Peter, in 1833 (deceased); Franklin, in 1835; Fianna, in 1837; Henry A., in 1839 (deceased); Susanna, in 1841 (deceased); Catharine, in 1848, and Jacob, in 1851 (deceased).

(IV) Daniel C. Butz, an aged resident of Oley township was born in Longswamp township, Berks county, Aug. 26, 1831 a son of Jacob Butz. He was reared to farm work, and has always been a farmer. He began working for himself upon the homestead farm of 134 acres he now occupies in 1860, and farmed this property until 1897 when he retired, and during his active life he was very successful. On the property is a spring of excellent water. The present barn was built by John Bertolet, as well as the stone residence, the latter being over one hundred years old. The barn is a very large one being 103x42, and the spring water runs through the structure thus simplifying the watering of the stock. Mr. Butz lives in a house on the farm built by his father in 1860. At present Mr. Butz rents the farm, but lives upon it and enjoys his declining years, surrounded by the plenty he has himself accumulated. Mr. Butz is a member of Oley Reformed church, and was a deacon for five years. Mrs. Butz belongs to the Lutheran church.

On Oct. 18, 1959, Mr. Butz was married to Susan D. Hoch, a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (De Turck) Hoch of Oley township. Mr. and Mrs. Butz have a daughter, Mary m. William Marquette, who is now deceased. Mrs. Marquette resides at Friedensburg. and has these children,-- Ida, Nora, Sallie, Samuel, George and Mabel.

Mr. Butz and his wife dispense a charming hospitality that makes their home a favorite gathering place for all their relatives and friends. In addition to other interests Mr. Butz is a stockholder in the creamery at Yellow House.

(IV) Peter Butz, grandfather of Lewis B. Butz. was born in Longswamp township, Oct. 29, 1775, son of Samuel and Anna Mary (Romig), but when still young, removed to Whitehall township, Lehigh county. He was a very efficient blacksmith, and made gun barrels and all kinds of cutlery, as well as farming a large farm he owned. He is buried at Unionville church. He and wife, Susanna Bieber, had children: Samuel lived in North Whitehall township, and had children, William (deceased) Peter, Louisa and Katie; Egedius; Enoch, a farmer, also lived in North Whitehall township, and had a daughter, Sarah.

(V) Egedius Butz, father of Lewis B. Butz, was born in North Whitehall township, Sept. 30, 1805, and died in Maxatawny township May 28, 1890, aged eighty-four years, seven months and twenty-eight days. The following inscription is found on the tombstone erected to the memory of Egedius Butz and wife: "Egedius Butz Sept. 30, 1805 May 28, 1890 84-7-28. Elizabeth born Bieber July 10, 1810 Oct 16, 1877 61-3-6."

Egedius Butz came to Maxatawny township when a young man, soon after his marriage, he marrying a young lady from Maxatawny township which perhaps had something to do with his selection of this township as his place of residence. His wife was Elizabeth Bieber, and they had these children: Abraham died young; Mary m. David Kemp; Susanna died young; Fianna died young; Lovina m. Caston Hoover; Lewis B.; Sarah m. Henry Kohler; Peter died at the age of twenty-one years; Louisa m. Jerry Levan; Elizabeth m. William De Turck; Carolina m. Daniel Sheradin; Clara is unmarried, and Elmira m. Henry Roth.

(VI) Lewis B. Butz, son of Egedius and Elizabeth, was born in Maxatawny township, Jan. 27, 1837. He was reared a farmer, and made that his life work until his retirement in 1900, having commenced farming for himself when twenty-one. He now owns a fine farm of 100 acres, which was once the property of Egedius Butz and earlier belonged to Abraham Bieber. Mr. Butz made a success of his farming operations, but now rents his property and lives in retirement near the Normal School on the Eastern Road which has been his home since 1892. Mr. Butz has taken a deep interest in educational matters, serving as school director for many years. At present he is trustee of the Keystone State Normal School, and has held that office since the organization of the school. He represents the stockholders, and has the honor of being the oldest living member of the board. He also was much interested in the erection of the present church of St. Paul's Reformed congregation in 1876, serving on the building committee and contributing generously toward the necessary fund. He and his family are members of this church, of which he has been both deacon and elder, and he is regarded as one of the pillars of the church and among its most liberal contributors. In politics Mr. Butz is a Democrat, and he has held many of the elective offices of the township.

On Nov. 17, 1857, Mr. Butz married Catherine Kieffer daughter of Jonathan and Fannie (Shirey) Kieffer. and granddaughter of Abraham and Lizzie (Sebert) Kieffer. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Butz were: Amos A., of Kutztown who has a son, Herbert; John E., born July 7 1862, and died April 1, 1902, leaving a daughter, Elsie; Ella C., m. to Seldon Gernert, of Allentown; Alfred, of Philadelphia, m. to Lillian Garrett, and has a son, John Alfred; Ida, m. to William R. Smith, of Philadelphia.

Such families as this are a credit to Berks county. Its representatives are men of substance, who have borne their part in the development and advancement of their several communities.


p. 861


Abel H. Byers, one of the well-known and highly esteemed residents of Hamburg borough, who is serving in the responsible position of postmaster, was born at Danbury, Conn., in 1856, son of James Byers, who with his wife, Jane Ritchey, emigrated from the North of Ireland in 1846, and located at Danbury. When the Civil War broke out James Byers enlisted in Company B, 3d Regiment, Conn. V. I., and was killed while engaged with his company in the battle of Cedar Mountain.

Abel H. Byers attended the public schools of his native place until he was ten years of age, when he accompanied his mother to Brooklyn, and there worked at gas and steam-fitting for a time. He then learned the trade of wool hat-making in the large establishment of James H. Prentiss, following the trade at that place, and also acting in the capacity of foreman until 1877, when he removed to Reading, PA. Here for six years he served as foreman in the wool hat factory of William H. Reinoehl & Co. Mr. Byers then became a member of the firm of R. H. Savage & Co., and acted as foreman for four years, when he and his brother Joseph Byers, under the name of Byers Brothers, engaged in the manufacture of fur hats, the first of the kind made at Reading. Within a year, on account of superior inducements, the firm removed their plant to Hamburg, and there organized the Byers Hat Company, continuing to manufacture fur hats under this name until 1895, when they were obliged to suspend further operations on account of the depressed condition of the hat business. Mr. Byers was then engaged by the Mohawk Valley Cap Company, at Utica, N. Y., and he continued with this company for two years, still maintaining his residence at Hamburg.

Being an earnest Republican from his early manhood, Mr. Byers naturally identified himself with the Republicans at Hamburg, and his services to the party were so highly appreciated that in 1898 he secured the appointment of postmaster of the place, notwithstanding the great contest for the office, and his management of its affairs has been so satisfactory that he has held the appointment to the present time. If Mr. Byers fills out his present appointment he will have served over twelve years, evidencing the high appreciation of his services by the community. The first Rural Free Delivery in Berks County was started at Hamburg in August, 1900, only a few routes in the whole State being earlier.

While residing at Reading, Mr. Byers assisted materially in re-organizing the Reading Artillerists as a military company of the National Guard of Pennsylvania. He was selected as second lieutenant, and served one term. In this time the company attended the Wilkes-Barre encampment, ad the men were accorded the second best record for neatness and efficiency.

Mr. Byers was married to Bertha Dehart, of Reading, whose father, Frederick Dehart, died in 1808.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:50 EDT

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