Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 773


William H. Coleman, a tinsmith of Reading, employed by the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, was born in Reading Jan. 1, 1860, son of Henry A. and Hannah S. (Hunter) Coleman.

Henry A. Coleman was born in Berks county, and married Hannah S. Hunter, daughter of Nicholas Hunter, of Oley township, Berks county. Their children were: Hunter, m. to Lavina Strohm, and residing at Fleetwood; William H.; Mary, m. to James Shunk, of Reading.

William H. Coleman was reared in Pleasantville, Oley township, by Isaac Yoder, and he received his education in the public schools. When fifteen years of age he commenced learning the trade of tinsmithing at Pleasantville with Maybury Yoder, and after two and one half years with him, he clerked for two years for F. R. Cleaver, merchant, at Pleasantville. He then went to Gabelsville, and for three years more was a clerk, but then he removed to Grim's Mill in Colebrookdale township where he farmed until 1899. At that time he found an opening at Reading with the Philadelphia & Reading railroad, and has since continued with this corporation.

On Aug. 7, 1880, Mr. Coleman married Elmira R. Fegley, daughter of John F. and Elizabeth (Royer) Regley. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman have one daughter, Elizabeth, m. to William F. Dentzer, Jr., of Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Dentzer have two children, Clayton C. and Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman have in their family a little girl of twelve, Esther Hartline, whose mother died when she was an infant and her kind foster parents have taken care of her since she was fourteen months of age.

The pleasant Coleman home is at No. 531 North Tenth street, Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are members of St. Paul's United Evangelical Church of Reading.


p. 1295

Surnames: COLLETTI

Ferdinandi Colletti, M. D., a well-known young physician and surgeon of Reading, Pa., is a native of South Italy, born in Montemiletto, near Naples, Feb. 8, 1871. Dr. Colletti received his education in the schools of his native country, taking special instruction in the classics, and later entered the medical department of the University of Naples, graduating in both medicine and surgery. His ability was at once recognized, and he was persuaded to remain for nearly two years in some of the leading hospitals of his native country, after leaving which he accepted the position of examining physician for a large steamship company, the vessels of which ply between Italy and the United States. Dr. Colletti was thus employed for a period of two and one-half years, and it was while he was serving in this capacity, in 1899, that he decided to locate in America.

After remaining in New York for a short time, Dr. Colletti removed to Allentown, Pa., remaining there until June, 1900, then going to Bethlehem, Pa., and finally settling in Reading in June, 1901. Prior to coming to this city, Dr. Colletti had taken a special course of instruction in English at Philadelphia, that he might be able to take the State Medical Examination and to understand better the requirements thereof. In this he was very successful, passing the examination very satisfactorily. He is a valuable man in the city of Reading, where so many of his countrymen have settled. He has gained the confidence and good will of the citizens of Reading and has enjoyed a lucrative practice. He has no specialties, being at home in every line, a close student, a careful practitioner and a steady-handed surgeon.

Dr. Colletti is connected professionally with the Reading Medical Association, of which he was elected president in 1909; the Reading Tuberculosis Association of which he is vice-president; the Berks County Medical Society; the Lehigh County Medical Society; the Pennsylvania State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Fraternally he is connected with the K. O. T. M. and several prominent Italian societies.


p. 652


Henry A. Collins, a substantial business man of Robeson township, Berks county, who is the proprietor of the Seideltown Grist and Flouring Mill, was born March 12, 1864, in Topton, Berks county, son of James and Mary (Albright) Collins.

James Collins, father of Henry A., who was a foreman on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, while engaged in construction work on that road was killed in 1864, and was buried at Reading. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. He and his estimable wife were the parents of these children: Daniel; Clara; Ida, who married Oliver Grubb and had two children, Charles and George; Andrew J.; Curtin and Henry A., the first three named now deceased. Mrs. Collins was married (second) to Amos Weinpelt, whom she bore three children, namely: Howard, Amos and Mary A.

Henry A. Collins was educated in the public schools of Robeson township and the city of Reading, and after leaving the latter secured employment on the farm of Milton Geiger, of Geigertown, with whom he continued as a laborer for two years. He then entered the employ of the Seyferts, at Gibraltar.. continuing in the iron works for twenty three years, the major portion of which time he acted in the important capacity of heater. Being industrious and thrifty, Mr. Collins accumulated enough to go into business on his own account, and in 1904 he purchased the William H. Kirling mill, at Seideltown, a ninety three acre tract consisting of farm and timberland, where he has since made many improvements. He has always been enterprising and hard working, and is deserving of the success which has come to him. Honest and upright in all of his dealings, Mr. Collins has gained an enviable reputation for integrity, and has the esteem and respect of all who know him. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and takes a great interest in the success of his party, although he has never sought public preferment. Fraternally be is connected with Washington Camp, No. 298, P. O. S. of A. In religious belief he is a Lutheran, while Mrs. Collins is a member of the Reformed Church.

Mr. Collins was married in 1887 to Anna M. Hafer, and eight children have been born to this union, as follows: Penrose, Paul, Harry, Herbert, Mark L., James, Margaret A. and Mary L.


p. 1158


Peter Connolly at the time of his death was employed at the Reading Sheet Iron Mill. He was a native of Ireland, born in County Tyrone in 1841. The voyage to America was made when he was sixteen years old, and while still hardly more than a boy he secured a place with the iron company and remained with them steadily until his death. He was faithful and efficient and was promoted from time to time until he became a foreman in the sheet iron department. For this position Mr. Connolly was admirably fitted, for he commanded the respect both of those under him and of his superior officers, had exceptionally good ability and was well known as a first class iron man generally.

In 1871 Mr. Connolly married Mary, daughter of Patrick Casgrove, and like her husband she was of Irish birth. She came to America with her parents when only six years old, and hence was educated entirely in the Reading schools. To Mr. and Mrs. Connolly were born five children, namely: Cecilia and James died young; Mary E., a graduate of the Girls' high school in Reading, and for several years one of Reading's successful teachers, died July 19, 1904; Nellie died July 5, 1901, aged twenty-two; and Edward, clerk and formerly timekeeper in the Reading Tube Works, of the Reading Iron Company, married Miss Carrie Aulenbach, and has four bright children, Edgar, Estella, Florence and Harold. The family were all devout Catholics. In politics Mr. Connolly was a stanch Democrat. At the time of his death he was still actively at work with the promise of many more years before him, for he passed away when in his fifty-third year, Jan. 31, 1894.


p. 1131


Jeremiah M. Conrad, of Pottstown, a conductor on the Colebrookdale branch of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, is a member of a family which has been settled in Berks county, Pa., since his great-grandfather Conrad came to this county from Germany, and settled at a place called Stone Hill, in Pike township, Berks county, and followed farming.

George Conrad, son of the emigrant and grandfather of Jeremiah M., was also a farmer by occupation, and died on his farm in Pike township, at the advanced age of ninety-six years. He is buried at Hill Church. His children were: Benjamin, Benneville, Gabriel, Sarah and Harriet, the last named still living, in Oley township, this county.

Benjamin Conrad, son of George, was born Dec. 10, 1802, and died in November, 1861. During the fall and winter seasons he followed butchering, but be was a mason and engaged principally at that trade, being a well known contractor in his section of the county. He employed about fifteen men, and many of the barns still standing in Oley township were of his construction. Mr. Conrad was twice married, first to Sarah Moyer, daughter of George Moyer, born Aug. 21, 1811. Eight children were born to this marriage, of whom Isaac, Katie, Amanda and Gabriel died unmarried; George is a resident of Bechtelsville, Berks county; Malinda m. Jacob Rhoades, and lives in Oley township; Jeremiah M. is mentioned below; Sarah m. John Sweinhart, who was with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company for fifty-two years, and is now on the retired list, and living at Pottstown, Pa. For his second wife Mr. Conrad m. Mrs. Maria Moser, daughter of Fritz Moser, of Pike township, and they had three children namely: Augustus, a painter, who resides in Boyertown, Pa.; Ella, m. to Jacob Davidheiser, and living at Pottstown; and Kate, m. to Henry Trout, and living at Pottstown. Benjamin Conrad was a member of the Hill Reformed Church, where he and his wife are buried. He was a Democrat in politics, and quite active in the public affairs of his locality, serving as constable and supervisor of Pike township.

Jeremiah M. Conrad was born Nov. 17, 1848, in Pike township, Berks county, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Moyer) Conrad. He has made his own way in the world since he was eleven years old, and he had few early advantages. He received his early education in the township schools, and was employed at farm work until he was nineteen, when he went to work in an ore mine near Barto, continuing there for eighteen months. On May 6, 1872, he went to work for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, starting as front brakeman on a mixed train. He was engaged as brakeman for three years, and then took charge of a baggage car for a time. For the past twenty-eight years he has been a regular conductor on the Colebrookdale branch on both freight and passenger trains, and during that long period of service has been singularly fortunate, having never had an accident. He is a careful and conscientious worker, and has proved trustworthy and reliable.

Mr. Conrad married Miss Emma Frey, daughter of George Frey, of Forgedale, Washington township, Berks county. She died June 30, 1908, aged fifty-seven years two months, seventeen days, and is buried at Pottstown. Mr. and Mrs. Conrad became the parents of eleven children, namely: Mary m. Elam Schultz, of Pottstown, and they have three children, William, Emma and Florence; Katie is the wife of Joseph Guinter, of Pottstown, and has four children, Harry, Paul, William and Florence; Henry F., assistant yardmaster at Pottstown, m. Pauline Weinger; Miss Alice is at home with her father; George is engaged in teaching, giving private lessons in Latin, Greek, German and geometry, at Pottstown; John lives at home; Emma died young; William Jeremiah died young; James died young; Florence and Cecelia, twins, died in infancy.

On Aug. 4, 1909, Mr. Conrad married Mrs. Vesta L. Dankel, daughter of Charles and Sarah S. (Fegley) Reese. Mrs. Conrad had three children by her first marriage, born as follows: Elsie C., Feb. 24, 1894; Pearl S., May 2, 1896; and Edith M., July 11, 1898.

Mr. Conrad's home is at the corner of Fourth and Johnson streets, Pottstown, Montgomery county, Pa. He is a member of the Philadelphia & Reading Relief and Conductors' societies. In religion he is a Catholic.


p. 1084


George S. Cook, one of the substantial business men of Reading, Pa., who is engaged in the manufacture of baskets, was born Sept. 8, 1856, in Reading, son of John Cook, and grandson of Joseph Cook.

Joseph Cook, who was born in Switzerland, came to America with his family, landing at Baltimore, Md., where he remained for several years. In 1853 he came to Reading, where he became the pioneer basket manufacturer of the city, having learned his trade in his native country. He died at the age of sixty years, the same age at which his wife, who had been Josephine Clymer, passed away. Their children were: Caroline, the wife of Edward McCoy, of Cumberland, Md.; Kate Elizabeth; Frederick, a bbasketof Reading; and Joseph, Jacob, John, William and Mary, all deceased.

John Cook came to America with his father when five years of age, learned the trade of basket-making and was first engaged in business on Walnut street, above Tenth. He later located at No. 219 North Tenth street, and there continued until his death, Nov. 6, 1905, aged sixty-eight years, having been engaged in business with his son for thirty-three years. He married Caroline Becker, daughter of Jacob, and she died in 1903. The children born to the union were: George S.; and John S., who is employed at the Roller Mill, m. Hannah Hoyer, and lives on Pike street, Reading.

George S. Cook received his education in the public schools of Reading, and with his father learned the business of basket making. His father took him into partnership in 1879, the firm name becoming John Cook & Son, and under the name Mr. Cook has continued the business to the present time with much success. Mr. Cook manufactures all kinds of baskets--willow, reed and rattan--and has a large local trade. He married Mary B. Stable, daughter of John B., of Reading, and to this union have been born: Gertrude m. Edward Brockaway; John, unmarried is engaged in the grocery business; George is serving in the U. S. Navy; and Carrie. Solomon, Susan, William, Harry, and Irvin are at home. In politics Mr. Cook is a Democrat. He is a member of the St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church.


p. 1131


Frederick W. Coonley, who died Jan. 29, 1900, at the early age of forty-one years, was a very active business man and good citizen of Reading. He was born in the city of Lancaster, Pa., in 1858, son of Frederick and Johanna (Oxford) Coonley. After the death of his mother he was reared by his stepmother Susan Emore Coonley.

The name of Coonley is a well known one in Pennsylvania and many of the name have the Christian name of Frederick.

Frederick Coonley, grandfather of Frederick W., was born in Germany, and came to America when seventeen years of age. He located at Lancaster, and lived there to the age of eighty-Two years. By trade be was a brickmaker and in time became a man of capital. He married Mary Keech, who lived to be sixty-seven years old. They had children as follows: Elizabeth, deceased, m. Samuel Kissinger; Margaret, deceased, m. Jacob Shadell; George was a resident of Chambersburg; Frederick (2); Rosanna, widow of John Goodman, lives at Chambersburg; Sarah died unmarried; Jacob died in the Civil war; and Louisa m. John Kendig, and they live at Philadelphia.

Frederick Coonley (2), father of the late Frederick W., was born in 1935, at Lancaster, and there became a prominent brick manufacturer. Later he sold his plant to a Mr. Poutz, who continues in the business his predecessor founded. For some years Mr. Coonley engaged extensively in contracting and building and at the time of his death he owned a large amount of real estate. He was twice married. After the death of his first wife, Johanna Oxford, he married Susan Emore, of Reading. He died in 1880, at the age of forty-five years. In politics he was a Democrat and in fraternal connection a Mason.

Frederick W. Coonley attended the public schools of Lancaster, and after his mother's death was under his stepmother's care. He worked with his father, but later learned the baking business, and followed it for some years. In 1888 he came to Reading, and in 1896 established a smoked meat business and had a stall in the Kissinger market. He was a successful business man. His burial was in Gethsemane Catholic cemetery.

Mr. Coonley was married, July 17, 1894, to Emma C. Specht, of Cincinnati, Ohio, daughter of Kilian and Elizabeth (Smith) Specht, and they had one daughter, Susan Elizabeth, who is a student at St. Peter's parochial school.

Kilian Specht, father of Mrs. Coonley, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1843, and came to America when eight years of age. He lived for a short time in Philadelphia and then went to Jennings county, Indiana, where he lived until the war broke out when he enlisted. After the war he returned to Seymour, Ind., where he was manager of the Rader house. From there he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then spent two years at Covington, Ky. In January 1900, he came to Reading and retired from business, and his death occurred Feb. 17, 1904, and he was buried in Gethsemane Catholic cemetery. In 1871 he married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of John and Anna Smith, and she resides with Mrs. Coonley. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Specht were: Emma C., Charles, Edward, Mamie, Elizabeth, Adelaide, and Samuel. Mamie is the widow of Henry Kortekamp, who died April 11, 1905, at Reading, Pa., leaving two children, H. Elmer and Ada (who died Oct. 28, 1907, aged three years).

Mrs. Coonley is a very capable business woman, and she continues to conduct the business in smoked meats at the Kissinger market, having a well established trade. She resides at No. 1115 Walnut street, with her young daughter and her aged mother. She is a devoted member of St. Peter's Catholic Church.

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

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