Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 524


Chester B. Cleaver, a well to do business man of Reading, Pa., who has served as county commissioner of Berks county, was born in Pleasantville, Oley township, Berks county, Nov. 21, 1855, son of Hiram K. and Catherine (Bertolet) Cleaver.

Samuel Cleaver, grandfather of Chester B., was a farmer and blacksmith all of his life in Oley township, where he had settled at an early day. He was first a Whig in politics and later a Republican, and he and his wife were members of the Lutheran church. They were the parents of six children: Albert, Samuel, Hiram K., Sarah, Angeline and Hanna.

Hiram K. Cleaver was born in Pike township, and while engaged in farming, also worked at the trade of blacksmith, which he, had learned from his father. He owned property in Oley township, which he conducted until his death in 1877, at the age of forty-six years. His first wife died in 1857. They were the parents of three children: Chester B., Annie and Amanda. Mr. Cleaver was married (second) to Esther Greisemer, and there were three children born to this marriage also: Rosella, Catherine and Mary Ann. Chester B. Cleaver was educated in Oley township, and when twelve years of age entered his uncle's store at Girardville, Schuylkill county, where he remained three years. Then after five months attendance at the State Normal School at Kutztown, be entered his father's store at Pleasantville. Three years later he engaged in the store business at Spangsville, and after a few years returned to farming. In 1879 he purchased seventy-one acres in Oley township, his present home, and here be carried on operations until 1906. He purchased three more tracts, having in all 174 acres. In 1906 he was elected county commissioner on the Republican ticket, an office he filled with efficiency and to the satisfaction of all concerned. For the past twenty-three years Mr. Cleaver has been engaged in a horse and cattle business, and in 1900 he opened a sale, exchange and livery stable in Reading, in which new enterprise he has been very successful. He is known throughout the county as an able and honorable business man, and his reputation is above reproach.

Mr. Cleaver married Ellen R. Weidner, and to this union there were born four children: Howard, Webster, Warden and Mabel. Mr. Cleaver is liberal in his religious belief. Fraternally he is connected with Chandler Lodge, No. 227, of Masons.


p. 990


One of the interesting features of a book of the nature of this volume, of biographical and historical information, is the tracing of ancestry from the sturdy pioneers who came from all over the civilized world and found in the New World a veritable Land of Promise. Many such families are to be found in Berks county, Pa., and none is more honored than that which bears the name of Cleaver, and is represented by so many of the enterprising and successful sons and daughters of the Keystone State.

(I) Derrick Cleaver, the ancestor from whom this family is directly traced, was a Quaker in religion, and his name is found among the records of Douglass and Amity townships, he having owned large tracts of land in both districts. When he died in 1768, he was a yeoman and resided in Douglass township. His last will and testament was made Oct. 25, 1767, and probated Feb. 26, 1768, being on record in Vol. 2, page 39. The executors were his only son John, and his friend Samuel Hughes. Items in the will were: "son John shall have 300 pounds in money"; "daughter Mary shall have 150 pounds in money." He also made bequests to these grandchildren: John Hatfield, Nathan Hatfield, Marv Keely, John Short and William Short.

(II) John Cleaver, son of Derrick, was the first tax collector of Colebrookdale township. In Douglass township he owned an estate of 1,000 acres, and was a very prominent man. Like his father Derrick, he was a Quaker, and belonged to the Quaker community of Maidencreek township. During the Revolution he served as captain of a company, and upon the death of his first wife, a Quakeress, he married one outside his religious creed, two very serious offenses in that day with the people of his belief, and when his confession of error in both cases was demanded, he refused, and was "read out of Meeting." John Cleaver was a devoted husband and an honorable, upright man. By his first wife he had three children: Joseph, John and Ruth. By his second wife he had seven children: Peter, Derrick, Isaac, Jonathan, Martha, Nathan and Rebecca (m. John Lykens).

(III) ----- Cleaver, son of John, had six children: Richard, Derrick, Catharine (Roger), Elizabeth, Mary (Kuser) and Margaret (Lease).

(III) Jonathan Cleaver, son of John Cleaver, was born in 1781, and his children were: Anna; Peter; Jonathan; Eliza; George K., the father of Dr. Israel Cleaver of Reading; Katie; Lewis and Lydia. Jonathan was a wool manufacturer and resided near Pleasantville in Oley township.

(III) Derrick Cleaver, son of John, was a carpenter, and lived one mile south of Pleasantville. His children were: Jonathan and Mary.

(III) Isaac Cleaver, son of John Cleaver, was born on what is now the John Davidheiser farm near Boyertown, in 1783, and died in 1856, and is buried at Hill church. He was a wheelwright by trade, and also owned a farm near Pleasantville where the old paper mill stood for so many years. Earlier in life he owned a tract in Earl township. His wife was Sallie Prutzman (1783 -1826), daughter of Adam Prutzman. Their children were: John, of Colebrookdale township; Daniel P., father of William K.; Samuel (grandfather of Chester B. Cleaver, present county commissioner of Berks county), who first lived at Tilthammer, but later removed to Pleasantville, and owned the farm now the property of Chester B. Cleaver; Benneville, of Oley township; Mary, m. to William Kelshner; Hannah, m. to Edward Jones; Sarah, m. to Benneville Miller; and Abraham, who died at Philadelphia.

(IV) Daniel P. Cleaver, a son of Isaac Cleaver, was born in Earl township, Aug. 20, 1803, and died in February 1876, aged seventy-three years. He is buried in a private cemetery at Pleasantville. In early life he was a worker in a woolen mill, but later engaged in farming and lived near Hill Church in Pike township, his property consisting of 212 acres, a portion of which was in that township and the remainder in Washington township. This property he bought in 1842, but later, after greatly improving it, he sold it, and bought an iron forge in Rockland township. This venture did not prove a success and he unfortunately lost considerable money. After this he went to Reading, then to Montgomery county, but finally returned to Pike township, where he died on a small farm he owned. For many years he was a justice of the peace, having been first appointed by Gov. Ritner. Later he was elected by the people, and he was a man very well known throughout the community. His first wife was Susanna Koch, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Walter) Koch. Their children were: Catherine m. Levi Bechtel; William K.; Aaron, unmarried, was killed during the Civil war, and is buried seven miles from Harper's Ferry near Charlestown; Sarah m. Jacob Glase (deceased), and lives at Williamsport; Daniel died young; and two died at birth. Mr. Cleaver m. (second) Catharine Fraunheiser, and they had these children: Isaac, Samuel, Kimber, Mary Ann and Hettie. As a gentleman he was honored and respected by all who met him, and while in his later days he had the misfortune to meet with financial reverses, his character was not altered and to the end of his days he remained a good friend, a kind father and husband, and was beloved by many.

(IV) Jonathan B. Cleaver, father of Jonathan, son of Jonathan (III), grandson of John (II) and great-grandson of Derrick (I), was born on the old Cleaver farm in Earl township in 1814, and died Aug. 10, 1901, aged eighty-seven years, three months and ten days, and is buried at the Oley Churches in Oley township. He was a well known farmer of Earl township, his farm consisting of thirty acres. In politics he was a Republican, and for a quarter of a century he served as justice of the peace. For several years prior to his death Mr. Cleaver lived retired. Fraternally he was a member of the I. O. O. F., his period of membership extending over forty-two years. His religious affiliations were with the Lutheran Church. His wife was Susanna Reidenheur, and they had these children: Sallie m. James Bohn, of Earl township; Lizzie died young, and Jonathan. Jonathan B. Cleaver is still remembered as a man of sterling honesty, uprightness of purpose, and he has given to his children an unstained name and unimpeached position in the confidence of the county.

(V) William K. Cleaver, a retired farmer of Berks county, living at the Oley Line, was born in Earl township, near Pleasantville, Jan. 6, 1832. Until he was eighteen he worked upon the farm, and then commenced to learn the blacksmith's trade, which he followed at Pleasantville near the toll gate where a shop stood until 1900. Mr. Cleaver worked as a blacksmith until 1861, when he enlisted in Company D, 7th Pa. V. I., for a period of three months. Company D was organized at Pleasantville, by Capt. George S. Herbst. At the expiration of the three months' service, Mr. Cleaver reenlisted at Doylestown, Sept. 23, 1861, for three years, in Durrell's Battery D, Pa. Light Artillery. He was in Kelly's Fort, along the Rappahannock, Bristoe Station, Second Battle of Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain Antietam, White Sulphur Springs, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., Battle of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg, and was mustered out at the last named place along the railroad, Sept. 23, 1864.

Mr. Cleaver returned to Oley township, and resumed work at his trade, being in several places. In 1866 he embarked in business for himself once more. About this time he married and commenced farming, for a short time being in Montgomery county, but for eight years he lived at Boyertown, and in 1879 he came to his present home of 175 acres, which he secured through his wife. Since the spring of 1893, Mr. Cleaver has resided here retired from active life. This farm has historic interest as being the property where resided Susanna Cox, who in February, 1808, was convicted of infanticide, and was hanged for the crime at Reading, in June, 1809, 10,000 people witnessing the execution. As she was the first woman hanged in Berks county, her case attracted much attention. She was an ignorant, illiterate girl, but had abundant faith in Divine mercy. She held a handkerchief in her hand at the time of the execution, and said: "I am forgiven. As I will enter Heaven, I will tell you by dropping the handkerchief out of my hand." The spectators witnessed the dropping of the handkerchief while her other hand remained closed.

The present house on the farm is a relic of the eighteenth century, the building having been constructed in 1767, and is of stone in a fine state of preservation. This is the house in which the unfortunate woman had concealed her tiny victim. The barn was built in 1869 by Catharine Geehr to replace a barn built in 1766. The present barn is 44x98 feet. The cornerstone of the old barn, bearing the date of 1769, has been incorporated in the newer structure. With the date is this inscription: "Wo God nicht Gibt Sein Segend Gedien So Sten Ler Seel Und Scheler. Jahr 1766." Mr. Cleaver has the old Geehr family Bibles, one of them being a big Bible printed in 1748.

There is a well kept cemetery where Hans Snyder, who died in 1743, is buried, as are many of his descendants. He was a native of Switzerland, as was his wife Catharine, who was born in 1688. The whole place is teeming with historic interest, and is a property of which Mr. Cleaver is naturally very proud.

In politics Mr. Cleaver is a Republican, and was school director of Pleasantville district for three years. He is a Lutheran, while his wife is a member of the Reformed Church, and both attend the Oley Churches.

On Jan. 13, 1866, Mr. Cleaver married Sarah Geiss, daughter of Henry and Susanna (Hoch) Geiss. They had these children: Susan, m. to Oliver Gift; Aaron, of Reading; Mary, m. to Albert Hoppel; Prof. William, of Cheltenham township, Montgomery county, prominent in educational matters and superintendent of schools of Cheltenham; Katie, m. to Harvey Bush; Charles, who is unmarried and at home; Sallie, who is unmarried; and two who died in infancy.

Mr. Cleaver was a brave soldier when the country needed him, and he recalls those days of peril and hardships with pleasure and recounts many thrilling stories to his interested listeners. Both he and his wife are very hospitable and their charming home is a gathering place not only for their children and their families, but also for the many friends these two have made during the years they have resided in Oley township.

(V) Jonathan Cleaver, a prominent retired farmer of Earl township, was born on his present farm, June 7, 1852, son of Jonathan B. Cleaver, and grandson of Jonathan.

After attending the school of his district Jonathan Cleaver went to the Oley Academy at Friedensburg and received a very liberal education. Completing his studies, he assisted his father on the farm until he purchased it in 1878. The property lies in both Earl and Oley townships, and the Boyertown trolley passes through his farm. In addition to this homestead, Mr. Cleaver owns sixty acres of woodland in Earl township, and is a man of substance. In politics he is a Republican and has served the township as supervisor, and in 1900 assisted in taking the census. Fraternally Mr. Cleaver is a member of the Manatawny Castle, No. 161, K. G. E., of which he is now treasurer.

On May 6, 1876, Mr. Cleaver married Maranda Mathias, daughter of Daniel and Wilhelmina (Focht) Mathias, and they had one son, J. Daniel, born June 28, 1879, who is now farming the homestead. He married Sallie Rothenberger, daughter of James Rothenberger, of Oley township, and they had one son who died in infancy. Mr. Cleaver has retired from active labor, and is passing the sunset of life in peace and quiet, and in the enjoyment of a well-earned competency. His farm is finely kept up, and the old stone house, mellowed by the years of residence in it, is an ornament to the well-laid-out fields and neat outbuildings. The fences are substantially built and kept in good repair, and the property is fully equipped with the most highly improved machinery.

Some very valuable records are found on the tombstones beneath which are interred many of the Cleaver family. Investigation has brought to light the following:

"Benneville Cleaver, born June 11, 1813, died Oct. 15, 1899, aged eighty-six years, four months and four days."

"Elizabeth, wife, born Ritter, Nov. 8, 1820, died Feb. 10, 1890, aged sixty-nine years, three months and two days."

"Aaron B. Angstadt, born May 5, 1820, died Dec. 30, 1898, aged seventy-eight years, seven months and twenty-five days."

"Catharine, his wife, born Holl, Oct. 31, 1820, died June 12, 1894, aged seventy-three years, seven months and eleven days,"

"Daniel Cleaver, born Aug. 20, 1803, died Feb. 23, 1876, aged seventy-two years, six months, three days."

"Catharine, his wife, born Oct. 9, 1832, died Aug. 24, 1888, aged fifty-five years, ten months and fifteen days."

"Isaac Cleaver, son of Daniel and Catharine, born Nov. 19, 1851, married Amanda Ziegler, died Nov. 6, 1872, aged twenty years, eleven months and seventeen days."

"Cath. Bertolet, wife Hiram K. Cleaver, married June 19, 1853 (1834 - 1857)."

"Hiram K. Cleaver, born Oct. 31, 1832, died June 6, 1877, aged forty-four years, seven months and five days."

"Maranda Cleaver, born Mathias, born Nov. 25, 1857, died April 20, 1900, aged forty-two years, four months and twenty-five days."


p. 566


Israel Cleaver, M. D., a prominent physician of Reading, represents a family that dates back to the time prior to the Revolution. The first of the name in Pennsylvania of whom record is found was Derrick Cleaver.

(I) Derrick Cleaver was twice married. By his first wife he had one child, John. By his second marriage there were seven children, one of whom was also named John, and he became the great grandfather of Dr. Cleaver.

(II) John Cleaver was also married twice. By the first union were born Joseph, John and Ruth. On Nov. 2, 1767, John Cleaver was married by Rev. Joseph Miller, to Catherine Kline, and they had seven children, Peter, Derrick, Isaac, Jonathan, Martha, Rebecca and one that died in infancy. John Cleaver died in 1790, and his widow married Benedict Martz. After about forty years of wedded life she was again left a widow, and survived Mr. Martz ten years. She died April 14, 1841, aged ninety two years, eleven months and seventeen days. John Cleaver was a Quaker in religious belief, but as he married out of the church he was dropped from the Society.

(III) Jonathan Cleaver was born in 1781, in Earl township, Berks county, Pa. He learned the business of woolen manufacturing, later owning and operating a woolen mill. He was interested in military matters, and during the period of "training days" held rank as a colonel. He died in 1862.

Jonathan Cleaver married Elizabeth Boyer, born in 1782, daughter of Samuel and Catherine Boyer, and children were born to this union as follows: Anna, born July 4, 1806, m. to Samuel Armpreister; Esther, born July 17, 1808; Peter, born April 1, 1810, father of Henry Tyson Cleaver, an engineer in the United States Navy; Elizabeth, born Feb. 2, 1812, m. to Isaac Bertolet (their son was Dr. Jonathan Bertolet late of the U. S. Navy); Jonathan, born April 30, 1814; George K., born May 18, 1816; Lewis, born Nov. 24, 1820; Mary (deceased) and Catherine (twins), born Jan. 8, 1822, the latter of whom married Joel Golden; and Leida, born Oct. 14, 1824. Jonathan Cleaver was a member of the Lutheran Church. In politics he was a Whig.

(IV) George K. Cleaver was educated in the common schools, and he learned the trade of wool fulling. In 1852 be moved to Reading, and accepted a position in the county prison as assistant under the warden, Dr. Henry Tyson. This responsible place he occupied for twelve years, but finally went back into the business world and engaged in the manufacture of carpets, which occupied his attention until his death in 1897. He married Miss Christiana Neiffer, and to them were born eight children, namely: Israel, of Reading, Pa.; George W., of Hackensack, N. J.; Christian H., deceased; Jonathan, deceased; John W., a hatter residing in Reading; James T., who died in April 1907; Gertrude A., deceased wife of Linton Miller, who left two children Earl and Alma J.; and Charles E., deceased. The mother of these children died in 1893. In early life a Lutheran, later Mr. Cleaver united with the M. E. Church.

(V) Israel Cleaver, M. D., was born Nov. 26, 1842, and in his early childhood was sent to the public schools in Reading. He completed the high school course, and then after his graduation began his medical studies in the office of Dr. Henry Tyson. He took his medical course in the University of Pennsylvania and received his degree in 1863. During this period he was appointed medical cadet at Buttonwood street military hospital in Philadelphia, and after receiving his medical diploma he was appointed by Edward M. Stanton, then Secretary of War, as assistant surgeon in the Mississippi Marine Brigade and Ram Fleet, a special organization designed to keep the river clear of bushwhackers, and equipped for both land and water engagements. He served until the discharge of his Command per General Orders in 1865.

After the close of the war Dr. Cleaver settled in Luthersburg, Clearfield Co., Pa., and remained there a year, when he removed to Philipsburg, Centre county, and entered upon a professional career that lasted until 1871. In 1871 he left Centre county, and after a course in certain special branches he located in Reading, Pa., in the spring of 1872, being still in practice in this city. He is connected with a number of professional organizations viz.: the Berks County Medical Society, the Reading Medical Association, Pennsylvania State Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the Lehigh Valley Medical Association. He is a member of the board of managers of the Reading Hospital, and secretary of that body. He holds the position of County Medical Inspector, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and is in charge of the local Dispensary for tuberculosis under the Department.

In 1866 Dr. Cleaver was married to Miss Lorena Moore, daughter of the late Wilson Moore, of Clearfield county, Pa. Of their four children Mildred died at the age of four years; Wilbur M. is the office manager of J. C. McCrorey & Co., New York City; Hattie m. J. Freeman Boas, office employe of the Reading Hardware Company; and Helen Guthrie is at home, a graduate of the Reading high school and a teacher in Sternberg School of Music, Philadelphia. The family belong to the M. E. Church. Fraternally Dr. Cleaver is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 579, F. & A. M., and of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, Pennsylvania Commandery. He is also a member of Gen. William H. Keim Post No. 76, G. A. R., while his loyal interest in the school of his early days is evinced by his connection with the local alumni association of the University of Pennsylvania.


p. 1374


David B. Clemmer, now living retired at Bally, was born in Washington township, Berks county, July 5, 1839. The name Clemmer is also spelled Klemmer. The family originally were Mennonites, but in the branch herein described, George Clemmer, grandfather of David B., married a member of the Roman Catholic faith and later was himself confirmed therein.

George Clemmer lived between Bally and Barto, in a small stone house near James Melchior's mill. He was a laborer. He is buried at the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament, of which he had become a member. His death occurred before the Civil war. He married into the Kuhns family, and his wife survived him only a short time. They had six children: John and Jacob, living at Reading; Joseph, mentioned below; Samuel, of Norristown, who became a Methodist; a daughter that married David Greth, of Reading; and Eliza, who married Henry Kuhns, a mason at Reading.

Joseph Clemmer, son of George, was born in Washington township, April 26, 1800, and he was killed by a cave-in in the ore mine at Barto, March 21, 1862. He is buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery at Bally. His home was one and one-half miles north of Bally. He married Anna Bauer, daughter of Peter and Rosina Bauer. She was born Sept. 18, 1800, and died Dec. 24, 1876, in Union township, where she was living with her daughter, Isabella. These children were born to Joseph Clemmer and wife: Isaac, born 1822, died 1852; John, born 1825, died 1863; Nathan; Joseph; David B.; Jonas; Mary, who married Samuel Koch, of Pricetown, Pa.; Catharine, born 1827, died 1852; Sarah, who married Henry Richards, and lives at Philadelphia; Isabella, who married Joseph Bauer. All the children are now deceased except Joseph, David B., Isabella and Jonas.

David B. Clemmer learned the stone mason's trade when he was seventeen, and this he followed nine years. After his marriage he worked in the ore mines at Siesholtzville and Red Lion, and for fifteen years at Barto, rising to the position of foreman. In 1888 he engaged in the butchering business, and carried this on for twelve years at Barto, residing in that town altogether twenty-three years. In 1894 he came to Bally, and that town has since been his home. He conducted a meat market and dry goods store for two years, but since the spring of 1908 he has been retired from active work. He helped to build the towns of Barto and Bally, and gave employment to a number of men. In his younger days he was very active, and being a man of progressive ideas was a source of great usefulness in his community. In politics he is a Democrat, and for two years be was assessor, and he has served as delegate to a number of county conventions. He and his family all belong to the Most Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church at Bally.

On Dec. 18, 1863, Mr. Clemmer was married to Mary Stengel, daughter of Sophierus Stengel, of Bally. Thirteen children have been born of this union, all in Washington township, as follows: Rosa, who married George Melchior, had children -- Charles, Willie, Bertha, Mary, Tillie, John, Paul and Bennett -- and died in 1903; Clara, who married Frank Melchior, a farmer of Washington township; Emma, who died in the fifteenth year of her age; William, who died aged twenty three; Matilda, born 1870, and died 1878; Mary Ann, born 1872, and died 1878; Agnes, born 1873, who married Peter Fichter, and died 1898; Katie, who died in infancy; Dora, born 1876, and died 1878; Franklin, born 1877, and died 1878; Charles, who died in infancy; Mary, who married Leo Eck, of Bally; and John, a tailor at Bally. Four of the children died within one month of diphtheria.


p. 1346


The Clemmer family is one of the oldest of the Mennonite families in the State. Henry Clemmer (as his name is signed to his last will and testament on record at Norristown) came over to America in the ship "Alexandria Ann," which landed its forty six passengers at Philadelphia Sept. 5, 1730. His will was probated June 2, 1791. In Vol. 17, Second Series Pa. Archives, page 21, his name is recorded Henrick Cleimer. The name has been changed to Klemmer and Clymer, but a large number of the descendants spell it as did the emigrant ancestor, Clemmer. Henry Clemmer settled in Philadelphia (now Montgomery) county. In 1779-80-82 the names of Henry Clemmer, Sr., and Jr., appear on the Federal and State tax lists in Franconia township, then in Philadelphia county, where they paid a large tax, showing them to be land owners at that time. Henry Clemmer, Sr., died in Franconia township. In his will he mentions nine children as follows:, Catharine m. Henry Leatheroth; Elizabeth m. Jacob Oberholtzer; Ann m. Jacob Kile; Mary m. Jacob Moyer; Christian; Henry, Jr. (died in Hatfield township, and will recorded at Norristown, Oct. 14, 1802); John; Valentine; and Abraham (died in Franconia township, and will recorded at Norristown March 7, 1838). On the same vessel on which Henry Clemmer, Sr., came to America was one Hans Jacob Oberholtzer, a Mennonite, who also located in Montgomery county. Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, Sr., married Jacob Oberholtzer, who was probably a son of Hans Jacob. The Clemmers are a numerous family and scattered throughout the State, especially in the counties of Montgomery, Bucks, Berks and Lehigh. The early members of the family were all Mennonites, but George Clemmer, a grandson of the emigrant, married into a Catholic family named Kuhns, and then he himself became a communicant of that faith; his descendants live near Bally, and are members of the parish of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Christian Clemmer, great-grandfather of Henry G., was a farmer near Sellersville, Bucks county. His children were George, Abraham, Samuel, Catharine (m. John Derstein) and Mrs. Jacob Detweiler.

George Clemmer, son of Christian, was born in the vicinity of Sellersville, Jan. 29, 1786, and died June 25, 1864. He came to Berks county before his marriage, and began farming on the farm now owned by James B. Funk. This is a large and fertile tract of land, and on it is located "Clemmer's Mill." He married Anna Geissinger (1787 - 1872), and their children were: Catharine m. David Hiestand, of Lehigh county; John lived on the farm now owned by Amos B. Pannepacker, near Bally; Rev. Christian; Rev. Samuel; Abraham lived in various places, but died and is buried in the State of Washington; and Anna m. John H. Bechtel.

Rev. Christian Clemmer, son of George, was born near Clayton, in Hereford township, on the old Clemmer farm, Feb. 8, 1813, and died on the farm now owned by his son Henry G., March 9, 1883, and is buried in the Union cemetery at the Mennonite Meeting House in Bally. He was first a farmer, and was then, in 1842, selected by lot to preach the Word of God, and he continued active in the ministry until his death, He contracted a cold at a funeral in Oley, and his death resulted seventeen weeks afterward. He owned the farm now the property of Henry G., and was successful in its cultivation. He married Barbara Gehman, daughter of John Gehman, and to their union five children were born: (1) Maria died in her fourth year. (2) Henry G. (3) Abraham G., who died in Hereford township April 8, 1877, aged thirty-four years, eight months and nine days, was extensively engaged in burning lime, for eight years having burned 17,000 bushels annually, and he also owned the seventy-three acre farm, now owned by his son David F. He m. Mary Funk, daughter of Philip Funk, of Hereford, and their children were: David F., Jacob, Oswin, Annie, Amanda, and Mary. (4) Annie died Aug. 21,1864, aged twenty years, seven months, and twenty-one days. (5) Malinda m. Jacob Oberholtzer, of Bechtelsville.

Henry G. Clemmer, son of Rev. Christian, and now living retired at Clayton, was born on the Clemmer homestead, in Hereford township, March 11, 1841. He attended the public schools of his township after they were established, and later was in school at Collegeville, now Ursinus College. He was reared to farm work, and when twenty-five years old began farming on his father's farm, and this place has continued to be his home. He has been retired from active work since 1894, his son Alfred assuming the cares and duties. He farmed from 1866 on for twenty-eight years, and met with the success that comes from industry and honest intelligent effort. In 1895 he began huckstering to Philadelphia, and they went once a week to the Philadelphia market, selling considerable produce and poultry. They also have a stand at the Reading Terminal market, and have an established trade.

The Clemmer farm has been in the family since 1838, having before that time belonged to the Gehmans. It consists of 115 acres of excellent land. The house is quite large. The old part was built during the Revolution, and is of stone, but the newer part was built at a much later period. The barn was built in 1857, replacing one erected in 1759 and covered with split cedar shingles.

Mr. Clemmer was one of the charter members of the Clayton Butter and Cheese Company, and became one of its first directors, and later its manager. In politics he is a Republican, and was committeeman of the township during the days when the high and anti-high factions were at war. He and his family attend the New Mennonite Church at Bally.

On Jan. 27, 1866, Mr. Clemmer married Mary Geissinger, daughter of Abraham and Anna (Bechtel) Geissinger, of New Zionsville, Pa., and granddaughter of Philip and Veronica (Hiestand) Geissinger, of Lehigh county. To this union have been born two children: Alfred G.; and Miss Emma, who lives at home.

Alfred G. Clemmer, born Feb. 1, 1867, received his education in the public schools and at Kutztown, and for two and one-half terms was engaged in teaching in Hereford township. He worked for his parents until he reached his majority, and in 1894 he became the active manager, engaging in farming and huckstering. He also sells cattle in the fall of the year. In 1893 he married Naomi Markley, of Norristown, daughter of Richard and Sophia (Kehl) Markley, and they have children as follows: Henry, Ira, Leroy, Alfred, Warren, Mary, Ella, Annie and Bertha.


p. 1686


Jackson J. Close, a representative of one of Exeter township's old families, whose history can be clearly traced to one of Berks county's pioneer settlers, is well and favorably known all through the section where almost his entire life, thus far, has been spent. He is a son of Isaac W. and Catherine O. (Jackson) Close, and was born in Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa., Oct 5, 1873.

In former days the name was variously spelled Klohs, Klos, Kloos and Kloss, which have been anglicized into Close in the later generations, and is now universally written in that way. The first family record is of Thomas Kloos, who, with his wife Margaret, formerly lived in Brechkehel, Hanau, Germany. Whether he died enroute to America, or whether he died soon after coming to this country, or whether he was killed by the Indians after landing, is unproved. His widow made a will which was probated Feb. 10, 1773, and is on record in Will Book 2, page 123. This document mentions the following children: John, Katherine, Maria Katherine, Elizabeth and Henry. Mrs. Margaret Kloos, widow of Thomas, was of Bern township, Berks county, where she owned property.

John, or Johannes, Kloos, eldest son of Thomas and Margaret, was born in Germany, Dec. 6, 1723, and died Sept. 21, 1795, in Alsace township, Berks county, where he owned a large farm. He was buried at Alsace Church, as was also his wife, Maria Barbara Strauss, whom he married June 2, 1754. She was born Nov. 16, 1735, daughter of Albrecht Strauss, and died Dec. 1, 1812. They had ten children, but the names of only nine are recorded: Maria Elizabeth, born April 13, 1755, m. Abraham Schneider; John, born Feb. 11, 1757, died young; Maria Barbara, born June 27, 1759, m. April 8, 1783, John Adam Spengler, son of Georg Christoph and Maria Catherine Spengler; Maria Christina, born Nov. 3, 1761, died Aug. 3, 1823, m. Conrad Schoep (also spelled Shepp), who was a Hessian soldier in the Revolutionary war; Maria Catherine, born Nov. 6, 1763, m. Wilhelm Diehm, a soldier in the Revolutionary war; Maria Magdalena m. Feb. 9, 1794, Philip Huert (now spelled Huyett); Anna Margaret, born Aug. 26, 1766, died Sept. 27, 1792, m. Dec. 1, 1789, John Spangler; Anna Maria, born Feb. 26, 1769; and Jacob, born Sept. 12, 1771, died Jan. 30, 1849, married (first) Nov. 23,1790, Magdalena Baum (1768-1831), had ten children (Catherine, Benjamin, Mary, Barbara, John, Catherine, Jacob, Elizabeth, Henry and Rebecca), and m. (second) Nov. 18, 1834, Catherine (Siegfried) Levan.

Heinrich (or Henry) Close, son of Thomas and Margaret and great-grandfather of Jackson J. Close, was a farmer in Exeter township and when he made his last will and testament, in 1814, he left a large estate. To his wife Catherine he gave especially: "12 bushels of rye; 6 bushels of wheat; 100 pounds of pork; 50 pounds of beef; 10 pounds of flax and 7 pounds and 10 shillings in money, annually." His children bore the following names: Barbara, Christiana, Elizabeth, Hannah, Eve, Susanna, Absalom, Jacob, John and Isaac. His large estate contained, besides an old barn and provision for a new one, two dwelling houses. This will was probated Aug. 12, 1815, and is on record in Book D, page 130.

Isaac Close, son of Henry and grandfather of Jackson J., was born June 4, 1788, and died Dec. 31, 1827, aged thirty-nine years, six months and twenty-seven days, and is buried at Schwartzwald Church. His wife was Susanna Wagner, and their children were: Rebecca, Solomon, Henry, Isaac W., Henrietta and Mary.

Isaac W. Close, son of Isaac and father of Jackson J. Close, was born Sept. 20, 1821, on the old Close homestead, Stonetown, Exeter township, Berks Co., Pa. During his active years he carried on farming on his farm of eighty-eight acres, about one and one-half miles south of Jacksonwald. About twelve years ago he retired and now resides at Jacksonwald. For some years prior to the establishment of the railways, he drove a team between Exeter township and Philadelphia, conveying grain and farm produce to that city and bringing back freight for farmers. In politics he is a Democrat. With his family he belongs to the Reformed congregation of the Schwartzwald Church. For many years he was the treasurer of the Schwartzwald Cemetery Association. He was married (first) in 1848 to Harriet O. Jackson, who died in 1953. They had the following children: Jacob J., who was born Dec. 26, 1849, m. Annie Weidner; Susanna J., born Sept. 15, 1851, m. Isaac A. Schaeffer; and Harriet J., born March 20, 1853, is unmarried. Mr. Close was married (second) in 1858 to Catherine O. Jackson, a daughter of Jacob Jackson, and the following children were born to the second union: Clarissa J., born Feb. 26, 1859; Washington J., Sept. 7, 1860 (m. Elizabeth Gabriel); Catherine J., July 28, 1862 (died Feb. 4, 1884); Isaac J., March 20, 1864 (m. Clara Gechter); Daniel J., March 7, 1866 (died March 1, 1867); Andrew J., Sept. 18, 1867; Henry J., Dec. 4, 1869; Amelia J., Feb. 21, 1872 (died Feb. 4, 1900); Jackson J., Oct. 5, 1873; and Annie J., Oct. 12, 1876 (died Feb. 6, 1878).

Jackson J. Close obtained his early intellectual training in the public schools of his native township and later, attended Brunner's Scientific Academy and Stoner's Interstate Commercial College in Reading, Pa., and Perkiomen Seminary, at Pennsburg. In the fall of 1897 he began to teach, and followed that profession with increasing success for some years. His first school was the Green Tree, in Exeter township, where he remained one term, and taught the following term at Alleghenyville, in Brecknock township. During the succeeding four years he taught in Exeter township, after which he turned his attention to the insurance business for one year being a solicitor for the Metropolitan Insurance Company in Reading. Since the spring of 1905, he has held a traveling position with the firm of Gately & Brennan, Reading. Mr. Close looks back upon his period of school teaching as a pleasant part of his life, being licensed by county superintendent E. M. Rapp. Until he was twenty-one years of age, be assisted on the home farm. He is thus well equipped for different careers and enjoys the reputation for honesty and ability which is a valuable asset to any man.

Mr. Close is a member of Schwartzwald Reformed Church, and since 1907, has been secretary of the church council. He is active in the Jacksonwald Union Sunday school, being its present assistant superintendent, and formerly was librarian and secretary. He has always adhered to the Democratic party, and is in close contact with the party leaders in his community. He has served in the office of judge of election, on numerous occasions, and in the spring of 1906, he was elected a member of the Exeter school board for three years, and was re-elected in the spring of 1909 for a second term and is now serving as secretary of the board. Fraternally he belongs to Washington Camp, No. 230, P. O. S. of A., in St. Lawrence, Pa.; and Lincoln Chamber, Knights of Friendship, No. 36, in Reading.


p. 730


Benjamin Clouser, who for many years prior to his retirement some time before his death was engaged as a blacksmith in Reading, Pa., was born in Robeson township, Berks county, Nov. 20, 1840, son of John and Anna (Wesley) Clouser.

John Clouser was for many years a farmer of Robeson township, Berks county, where he also engaged as a forgeman, and where he died, aged seventy-two years, his wife also attaining that age. They were the parents of ten children: John, Benjamin, Lucinda, Sarah, Thomas and Aaron, twins, Samuel, Henry, Charles and William. In religious belief Mr. Clouser was a Lutheran, while his wife belonged to the Reformed denomination.

Benjamin Clouser received his education in the schools of his native place, and when a boy learned the blacksmith's trade, which was his occupation throughout life. He was a good, practical mechanic, and a hardworking man, and in his death, which occurred Oct. 4, 1906, the city of Reading lost an honest Christian gentleman and good citizen. He was a member of the P. O. S. of A., in which organization he has many friends, and was a Republican in politics, although he never aspired to office.

Mr. Clouser married Margaret C. Corbit, daughter of John Corbit, and to this union were born four children, namely: William W., a draftsman employed by Cornelius Vanderbilt of New York; Harry C., a machinist of Reading; Anna. a teacher in the public schools of that city; and Frances, m. to Edgar L. Fulmer, office manager for a New York firm. Mrs. Clouser, who survives her husband, resides in Reading, where she is well known and very highly esteemed.


p. 651


David Clouser, in his lifetime one of Reading's highly esteemed citizens, was born in Oley township, Berks Co., Pa., March 5, 1827, son of Abraham Clouser.

Abraham Clouser was a miller by trade, who followed that occupation in Oley township throughout his life. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Hert, were born children as follows: David; John, an agriculturist of Ashland, Ohio; Sarah, m. to the Rev. Samuel Momberger; Maria, m. to Lewis Saxon; and Malinda, m. to the late Frank Candle, and residing in Reading.

David Clouser secured his early educational training in the pay schools of Oley township, and at an early age began to learn the carpenter's trade. In 1854 he came to Reading, working at his trade in the city for a period of thirty-five years. He first was employed in the Philadelphia & Reading shops, and later with different contractors, at house carpentering, and was considered a skilled and faithful workman. He erected his late home at No. 323 North Eighth street, Reading, in 1857, and resided there until his death March 5, 1907. His remains were interred at Alsace church.

Mr. Clouser married Sophia Kline, daughter of Henry Kline. She died Oct. 5, 1905, and was buried at the Berks County Alsace Church. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Clouser, only two are living: David K., who is a machinist at the Philadelphia & Reading shops, Reading, and now living at the home No. 323 North Eighth street; and Irwin, boss of the air brakes at the Philadelphia & Reading shops, Reading. In his political belief Mr. Clouser was a Democrat, but although he took a deep interest in the success of that party, never cared for public office. He was a Lutheran in his religious belief.


p. 1515


Francis L. Clouser, one of the successful young business men of Reading, was born in Cumru township, Berks county, Jan. 7, 1867, son of Daniel S. and Mary (Lord) Clouser.

John Clouser, great-grandfather of Francis L., moved from Oley to Robeson township many years ago, and bought the old George Moore farm that is now owned by one of his grandsons, Simon Clouser. He followed farming and lime burning for the remainder of his life, also owning and operating canal boats on the Schuylkill canal, which he used to carry his lime to market. Mr. Clouser died about 1841 or 1842, in the faith of the Lutheran Church, of which his wife, Catherine Feigle, was also a member. They had children as follows: Daniel; John; Benjamin; Samuel; Lydia, who married Henry Moyer; and Sarah, who married Isaac Moore.

Daniel Clouser, son of John, was born Jan. 28, 1810. On Dec. 9, 1834, he married Susannah Seifert, born Dec. 14, 1812, daughter of Daniel Seifert. Eight children were born to them, as follows: Clement, born April 23, 1836, married Mary A. Wingert, and has children - Ida, Milton, Matilda, Mamie, Elmer, Annie, Oscar and Iva; Christina, born Oct. 15, 1837, married John Thompson, and has a son, Heber; Lucy Ann, born Dec. 31, 1839, married Samuel Zacharias, and has children - Sadie, Sue and Minnie; Daniel S., born Jan. 23, 1842, married Mary Lord; Ann Elizabeth, born June 19, 1844, died Jan. 25, 1868; Edward, born Sept. 29, 1847, died Oct. 8, 1847; Amos born Dec. 11, 1848, married Amanda Reed, and has children - Emma, Minnie and Clayton; and Simon, born Nov. 1, 1852, married Mary Bitler, and has a son Harvey.

Daniel S. Clouser, son of Daniel and Susannah, was born in Robeson township Jan. 23, 1842. He followed farming there until his marriage, when he came to Reading, and found employment with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company, where he has since continued. On Sept. 2, 1866, he married Mary Lord, and the nine children born of their union are as follows: Francis L., born Jan. 7, 1867; Rose, born March 10, 1868, married George Rouch, and has a daughter, Carrie M.; Howard, born April 29, 1869, married, and has children, Florence, Eddie, Carrie, Fred, Francis, and the family home is in Pittsburg; Henry, born July 21, 1870, living at Shillington; William, born Feb. 2, 1872, now living at Reading, has two children, Francis and another; Charles, born March 27, 1873, is at home; Irwin, born June 25, 1874, died May 10, 1882; Anna A., born March 12, 1876, married Solomon Fisher, and has a daughter, Edna M.; and Florence M., born Nov. 12, 1884, married Edward Fidler.

Francis L. Clouser, son of Daniel S., accompanied his parents to Reading when he was seven years old. He attended the schools of Reading, and then learned bolt and nut making, a trade he followed until 1897 when he engaged in the retail liquor business at Eleventh and Elm streets. In 1904 he moved to Ninth and Penn streets, and now enjoys a lucrative trade.

Mr. Clouser married Maude High, daughter of Joel High, and they have a charming home at No. 1004 North Eleventh street. Mr. Clouser is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. E.; Aerie No. 66, F. O. E.; the Twentieth Century Quakers; Owl Beneficial Association; and the Ivy Leaf Association. He has been treasurer of the Junior Fire Company since 1893.


p. 1105


J. E. Clouser, who is conducting a successful grocery enterprise at Reading, Pa., is one of the most prominent men in fraternal circles in this section of Berks county. He was born Jan. 24, 1865, in Reading, son of William and Margaret (Tyson) Clouser.

William Clouser, who was a highly esteemed citizen of Reading, followed hatting all of his life, and died in 1890, aged fifty six years, his wife passing away in 1892, at the same age. Their children were: William H.; Emma m. Omer Francis; J. E. lives at Reading; and Sarah E. m. George Reed. In religious belief the family were connected with the M. E. Church, while in political matters Mr. Clouser was a Republican.

J. E. Clouser received his education in the schools of Reading, after leaving which he secured employment in the pipe mills of the Reading Iron Works, where he remained three years. He then learned hat finishing with his father, and this occupation he followed until 1892, in which year he embarked in the grocery business, continuing to the present time, and meeting with much success. Mr. Clouser, as noted before, is very prominent in fraternal circles. He is past master of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M.; past high priest, Reading Chapter No. 152, R. A. M., eminent commander of DeMolay Commandery, K. T.; member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Philadelphia Consistory, 32d degree; and a member of Allen Council No. 23. R. & S. M. He is also a member of Neversink Tribe, No. 351, I. O. R. M., past district deputy of the Thirty fifth District of Pennsylvania; member of the Knights of Malta; of Mt. Penn Council, Royal Arcanum; of Neversink Council, Loyal Association, and Immediate Relief. He represented the Grand Lodge of the State during the Washington Anniversary. He is president of the Union Fire Company, of which he is also captain, and president of the Uniformed Rank. In political matters Mr. Clouser is a Republican, and is now serving as school controller of the Sixteenth ward.

In 1884 Mr. Clouser was married to Della A. Sharp, daughter of John M. Sharp. They have no children.


p. 1546


Simon S. Clouser, who has been connected with the iron industry of Berks county, Pa., for a, number of years, is now acting in the capacity of superintendent of the forges of the Gibraltar Iron Company. Mr. Clouser was born Nov. 1, 1852, at Gibraltar, Robeson township son of Daniel and Susan (Seifert) Clouser.

Daniel Clouser, who was born in Oley township, Berks county, was a millwright by trade, and followed the occupation practically all of his life. His death occurred in 1880, and that of his wife in 1904, he being sixty-eight years of age, while she attained the remarkable age of ninety-one years. They were the parents of eight children: Clement S. m. Mary Wengerd; Catherine A. is unmarried; Lucy m. Samuel Zacharias; Daniel S. m. Mary Lord; Annie m. John Thompson; Amos m. Amanda Reed; Edgar is deceased; and Simon S. In religious belief he was Reformed, while Mrs. Clouser was a Lutheran. He was a Democrat in politics.

Simon S. Clouser was educated in the schools of Robeson township, and remained on the home farm until eighteen years of age, when he learned the boat building trade with Marcus Dick, at Six Mile Level. At this trade he worked for a number of years, subsequently accepting a position with the Gibraltar Iron Company, with which firm he remained several years. He then engaged in farming for fifteen years, at the end of which time he returned to the employ of the Seyferts, where steady application to business earned him promotion to the position of superintendent of the forge department in 1899.

Mr. Clouser was married to Mary H. Bitler, daughter of Henry Bitler, and two children have been born to this union: Harvey O., who married Emma Moore and has two children, the elder named Carrie; and one who died in infancy. Mr. Clouser is a Democrat in politics, and has served for several years as school director. He and Mrs. Clouser are members of St. John's Union Church.


p. 360


In tracing this family, the first of whom we know are Christopher Clymer and his wife, Catherine, who lived in Bristol, England. They had two children, Richard and William, who came to America about the year 1705. Both married, but only Richard left issue.

Richard Clymer and his wife, Elizabeth, had five children. Three of them died in infancy. Two sons, Christopher and William, both married and both left descendants, Christopher's son George having been one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

William Clymer, second son of Richard, married Anne Judith Roberdeau and left but one child. This was Daniel Cunningham Clymer, who was brought up by his uncle, General Roberdeau, Daniel's father having died when Daniel was quite young. Daniel Cunningham Clymer married Mary Weidner and they had three children: Ann who died unmarried; William, who married Susan Rightmyer and had eight children, all of whom died childless; and Edward Tilghman.

Edward Tilghman Clymer, son of Daniel C., married Maria Catherine Hiester, and they were the parents of seven children, as follows: Daniel Roberdeau, born March 31, 1819; William Hiester, born Oct. 9, 1820; Edward Myers, born July 16, 1822; Weidner. born May 12, 1824; Mary Hiester, born July 19, 1825; Hiester, born Nov. 3, 1827; and George Edward, born Jan. 8, 1830.

Daniel Roberdeau Clymer, eldest son of Edward Tilghman Clymer and Maria Catherine Hiester, was born at the Clymer homestead in Caernarvon township, Berks Co., Pa., March 31, 1819. After receiving his education at Lititz, Lancaster county, he engaged in the mercantile business in Reading, Pa., which he pursued until 1852. In 1853.54 he was mayor of Reading, and some years later held a position with the East Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which he resigned in 1869, after which time he was not in business. He was also a lawyer, having been admitted to the Bar Aug. 20, 1857, but was never engaged in the active practice of the law. He married at Mercersburg March 31, 1846, Delia Pierson, daughter of Silas and Sarah Pierson, of Morristown, N. J. Mrs. Clymer was born Jan. 8, 1824, and died June 14, 1861. They had five children: Maria Hiester, born June 2, 1847; Sarah Anna Moore, born June 24, 1849; Delia Pierson, born May 28, 1851; Daniel Roberdeau, Jr., born Nov. 6, 1854; and Hiester George, born Oct. 21, 1856.

Mr. Clymer was well known over the whole State and highly esteemed by a large circle of friends. He was a devout member of the Episcopal Church, and was looked upon as a faithful and upright Christian gentleman. His death occurred after a short illness at his residence in Reading, Pa., May 5, 1889.

Picture of William ClymerWilliam Hiester Clymer, second son of Edward Tilghman Clymer and Maria Catherine Hiester, was born at the Clymer homestead in Caernarvon township, near Morgantown, Berks county, Pa., Oct. 9, 1820. His father dying while the children were all small, the subject of this sketch was, placed in the charge of his uncle, William Hiester, of New Holland, Lancaster county, where he was in his uncle William's store for a short time, and subsequently sent to Lititz to school. He afterward came to Reading and he and his brother, Daniel R. Clymer, opened a dry-goods store at No. 518 Penn street. Later they moved their store to the building on the southwest corner of Fifth and Penn streets, which property they bought. Some years after William Clymer sold out his interest in the store to his brother Daniel, and in 1846 he and his brother Edward M. Clymer purchased the charcoal furnace at Mt. Laurel, Berks county, where he William H. Clymer resided until 1882, with the exception of about two years, from 1864 to 1866, when he lived in Reading. In 1860 he and his brother purchased the old Oley Charcoal Furnace near Friedensburg, one of the oldest charcoal furnaces in the United States, and commenced mining iron ore extensively. The Temple Furnace, a large and perfectly equipped anthracite furnace situated at Temple, five miles north of Reading, was built by William H. Clymer & Co., and operated by them until 1870, when the Temple Iron Company was organized with William H. Clymer as its president. About 1880 the Clymer brothers had the Mt. Laurel Furnace changed from a charcoal to an anthracite furnace, and a railroad, one and a half miles in length, was built from the East Pennsylvania railroad at Temple to the furnace. After these improvements were made the brothers organized the Clymer Iron Company, a corporation which included in its operations the Mt. Laurel Furnace, Oley Furnace, extensive limestone quarries at Bower's Station, iron ore mines near Pricetown, and a number of mines along the East Pennsylvania railroad. This corporation, of which William H. Clymer was president, was entirely independent of the Temple Iron Company; of which he was also the president. About a year before his death Mr. Clymer resigned the presidency of the Clymer Iron Company on account of ill health and was succeeded by his brother, Hiester Clymer. He, however, retained the presidency of the First National Bank of Reading, which he held from 1876 until his death, and the presidency of the Temple Iron Company. He removed with his family to Reading, Pa., in September 1882, and died there July 26, 1883. He had a large acquaintance and was greatly respected for his sterling character; was a man of excellent judgment, and his advice was frequently sought upon many important matters. He was brought up an Episcopalian and was a member of Christ Church, Reading, at the time of his death.

On June 12, 1855, Mr. Clymer married Valeria, eldest daughter of Levi B. Smith. She was born March 14, 1828, and died Aug. 17, 1901. Their family consisted of six children: Emily Smith, born July 16, 1856; Edward Tilghman, born Aug. 8, 1857; William Hiester, born March 21, 1860; Levi Smith, born April 2, 1863; Valeria Elizabeth, born April 29, 1865; and Frederick Hiester, born May 2, 1869.

Edward Myers Clymer, third son of Edward Tilghman Clymer and Maria Catherine Hiester, was born at the Clymer homestead in Caernarvon township, Berks Co., Pa., July 16,1822. He went to the local schools in his early youth and afterward to the Abbeville Academy, in Lancaster county, and to the academy of Joshua Hoopes, at West Chester. He then selected the law as his profession, and after pursuing his legal studies for a while under William Strong, Esq., he entered the Harvard Law School, from which he was graduated in 1845. Upon his return to Reading he was admitted to the Bar on Aug, 4, 1845. He then opened a law office and soon acquired a lucrative business, which he continued until 1857, at which time he became thoroughly interested in projecting the East Pennsylvania railroad, from Reading to Allentown. His efforts in this enterprise were entirely successful and he became the first president of the company, and continued in this office until the road was leased to the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. In 1874 he was chosen president of the Coal Company belonging to the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad Company, which it owned and operated in Pennsylvania, and he held this position until his death, which occurred in New York City, May 25, 1883. He was popular in social and business circles and united to a more than common business sagacity an abundance of well.directed energy, a quality which received marked development in building the East Pennsylvania railroad, and the proposed continuation of a system of underground railway under Broadway, New York. He was married, Jan. 27, 1864, to Ella Maria Dietz, daughter of William H. Dietz, of New York City. They had but one child, a son, Edward Myers Clymer, born May 6, 1869, who survived him, as did also his widow.

Mary Hiester Clymer, only daughter of Edward Tilghman and Maria Catherine Hiester, was born at the Clymer homestead, Caernarvon township, Berks Co., Pa., July 19, 1825. She was married Aug. 10, 1852, in Christ Church, Reading, Pa., by the Rev. Milton Lightner, rector, to her cousin, William Bingham Clymer, the eldest son of Henry Clymer and grandson of George Clymer, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Clymer was born at the homestead, near Trenton, Bucks Co., Pa., his mother having been Mary Willing. He received a liberal education, graduating with credit at Princeton College, and studied law but never practiced. When quite young he assumed the management of the Bingham estate. In 1842 he was appointed agent for the northern counties of Pennsylvania, and in 1845 established the general office of the estate at Wellsboro. His management of the large property was highly successful, so that in 1867 he was appointed a trustee. He ever carefully considered the rights and interests of all, and enjoyed the confidence of the trustees, while his courtesy, kindness and perfect integrity commanded the respect of the tenants and others on the estate. Mr. and Mrs. Clymer resided for a time at Wellsboro, Tioga Co., Pa., where all their children were born with the exception of the third, who was born in Philadelphia. The children were all baptized by Rev. Mr. Marple, rector of Christ Church, Wellsboro. In July 1869, they sailed for Europe, taking all their children for the advantages of education; and while abroad, on the 28th of May, 1873, Mr. Clymer died of apoplexy in Florence, Italy. The family then returned to Philadelphia in the autumn. Mr. Clymer's remains were sent home and are interred in Charles Evans cemetery, near Reading, Pa. In November 1878, Mrs. Clymer and her children left America with the intention of settling on the Continent, but she and two of her children, Richard and Maria, were drowned in the English Channel before they reached their destination, the vessel in which they took passage having been lost Nov. 26, 1878. The following children were born to Mary Hiester Clymer and William Bingham Clymer: Henry, born June 10, 1853; Mary, Dec. 13, 1854; Ellen S., Dec. 9, 1856; Richard Willing, April 10, 1858; Maria Hiester, Feb. 11, 1862; and Rose Nicolls, Sept. 19, 1865.

Hiester Clymer, fifth son of Edward Tilghman Clymer and Maria Catherine Hiester, was born at the Clymer homestead, Caernarvon township, Berks Co., Pa., Nov. 3, 1827. He received a liberal education, graduating from the College of New Jersey in 1847, and taking up the study of law was admitted to the Bar of Berks county, April 6, 1849, after which he practiced in Reading and Pottsville. He married April 3, 1856, Elizabeth M. Brooke, daughter of Matthew Brooke, of Birdsboro, Pa. They resided in Reading, where their two children were born and died, and where Mrs. Clymer died Oct. 9, 1870. He was a delegate to the Democratic Convention at Charleston, in 1860, and in the same year was one of the Revenue commissioners; served as State senator from 1860 to 1866; became the Democratic candidate for governor in the latter year, but was defeated by Governor Geary. In 1870 he was appointed by the governor a member of the Board of Public Charities, then just organized. In 1873 he was elected a representative to the XLIIId Congress from Berks county, as a Democrat; and served on the committee on the Revision of the Laws, on Public Lands and on the Library. He was reelected, to the XLIVth Congress, and was placed on the committee on Expenditures of the War Department, and the joint Standing Committee on the Library; also reelected to Congress in 1876 and 1878. In 1880 Mr. Clymer was succeeded in Congress from, the Berks District by the Hon. Daniel Ermentrout, and from that time until his death resided in Reading. His discussion with State Senator A. K. McClure, in February 1861, in the State Senate, on the repeal of the tonnage tax on the traffic of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, brought him prominently before the public. The crowning act of his Congressional life was his presentation to Congress of the special committee report touching the rascalities of William W. Belknap, President Grant's Secretary of War, which created a great sensation throughout the land. His career in the Senate of Pennsylvania was distinguished for dignity and courtesy of demeanor, force and eloquence in debate, and steadfast devotion to the best interests of the Commonwealth. He was interested in the iron business, and at the time of his death was president of the Clymer Iron Company.

Mr. Clymer married April 26, 1882, Mrs. J. B. Clemens (nee Von Schrader), of St. Louis, Missouri.

Mr. Clymer died June 12, 1884, at which time he was vice-president of the Union Trust Company, Philadelphia; president of the Clymer Iron Company, which operated the Mt. Laurel and Oley Furnaces; a director of the Reading Fire Insurance and Trust Company from the time of its organization, and a trustee of the Charles Evans Cemetery.

Hiester Clymer and Elizabeth M. Brooke had two children: Elizabeth M., born Jan. 20, 1857; and Edward Brooke, born March 18, 1859.

George Edward Clymer, youngest child of Edward Tilghman Clymer and Maria Catherine Hiester, was born at the Clymer homestead, in Caernarvon township, Berks Co., Pa., Jan. 8, 1830. He was sent to the Reading Academy and from there to Princeton College, from which institution he graduated in 1849. He then became associated with his brothers, William, Edward and Hiester, in the iron business in eastern Pennsylvania, owning the Mt. Laurel and Oley Furnaces and other property connected with the iron business. In 1858 he went to Mexico and joined a party who surveyed the route for a railroad from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico. In the summer of 1861 Mr. Clymer raised a company of cavalry which became attached to the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment, Col. R. H. Rush, of which Mr. Clymer was made major in March 1862. During 1865.68 he was occupied in mining in Nevada and Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1870 Mr. Clymer severed his connection with his brothers in the iron business and removed to Cincinnati, where he became interested in the Swift Iron & Steel Works of Newport, Ky., of which his was president. Mr. Clymer was elected vice.president in 1874 and removed with his family to Newport. In 1884 he returned to Reading and again became interested in the iron business, and after the death of his brother Hiester bought the Mt. Laurel Furnace property and operated the furnace until two years before his death, when he retired from active business and settled in Reading.

Major Clymer married June 29, 1868, Alice Cary Swift, daughter of Alexander Swift, of Cincinnati. She died in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 14, 1873, leaving two children. Mr. Clymer died in Reading July 7, 1895. He was the worshipful master of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., during the years 1855 and 1856, and was also a member of the Sons of the Revolution and of the Loyal Legion. The children of George Edward Clymer and Alice Cary Swift were as follows: Edwin Swift, born June 16, 1871; and George Alexander, born July 25, 1872.

(Note: Photo of William H. Clymer is found opposite page 360.)

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:52:53 EDT

Previous       Home Page       Index       Next
404 - Error: 404


Category not found

The Page you are looking for doesn't exist or an other error occurred. Go back, or head over to Home Page to choose a new direction.

You may not be able to visit this page because of:

  1. an out-of-date bookmark/favourite
  2. a search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this site
  3. a mistyped address
  4. you have no access to this page
  5. The requested resource was not found.
  6. An error has occurred while processing your request.