Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 421


John B. Dampman was born in Chester county, Pa., July 20, 1851. He is the son of Jacob and Catharine (Buchanan) Dampman, being descended both on his father's and mother's side from the early settlers of Chester county.

Mr. Dampman was educated in the common schools of Chester county, was a student in New England schools, and afterward graduated from Pennington (N. J.) Seminary. He taught school in both Chester and Berks counties, and in 1873 entered the office of George F. Baer, as a student at law, being admitted to the Bar of Berks county in 1875. He engaged in the practice of his profession for six years, and in 1881 became the founder of the Reading Herald, continuing as its editor and proprietor for fifteen years, during which time he made it a newspaper of considerable force in the community. In 1806 he sold the Herald to William McCormick and went upon the staff of the Pittsburg Times, as editorial writer and literary editor. He remained there for upward of five years, during which time he became a prominent and well-known figure in Pittsburg journalism.

In 1901 he resigned from the Times, and returning to Reading took up the profession of advertising, in which he has had considerable success, especially in the line of bank advertising and in political advertising, though he has been busily employed also in mercantile commissions. In the political line he has conducted many important campaigns, one of which was the notable contest which resulted in. the formation of Greater Pittsburg.

Mr. Dampman was one of the founders of the Reading Press Club and has taken a prominent part in newspaper organizations, having been for two terms a member of the governing board of the International League of Press Clubs, of which he was one of the founders. He was also an officer of the Pittsburg Press Club and represented that organization at several national conventions.

Mr. Dampman married in 1879 Miss Annie L. Frees, of Reading, and has one son, Lieutenant Paul E. Dampman, of the United States navy, who graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1904, and has since seen service in various parts of the world.


p. 1029


A. J. Darlington, who will be remembered as the efficient manager of the Western Union Telegraph Company's office at Reading, as well as city ticket agent for the Philadelphia & Reading Company, was born near Parkesburg, Chester Co., Pa., son of Robert and Rachel (Lawrence) Darlington.

Mr. Darlington was educated in the schools of Chester county until the age of fourteen years, when he entered the telegraph office at Oxford to learn telegraphing. During this period he enlisted for service in the Civil war, entering Company I, 3d Pa. Vols., Heavy Artillery, in which he served until June 19, 1863, when he was honorably discharged. During his service he was wounded quite seriously, and through the rest of his life suffered on account of it, and this probably was the cause of his death.

After the close of his service in the Army, Mr. Darlington came to Reading and entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company as telegraph operator. Promotion followed rapidly and he was soon placed in charge of the company's ticket office here. He was also placed in charge of the Western Union Telegraph office in the same building, and he continued to fill these offices until his death. His genial manner and hearty manliness made him a favorite with every one who came within his influence, and the name of "Jack" Darlington was one of affection instead of familiarity. Outside his bereaved family and inner circle of friends, the public at large mourned his death.

In 1867 Mr. Darlington married Elisabeth Mishler, daughter of Jacob and Elisabeth (Bechtel) Mishler, and they had three children, namely: Mary E., wife of Lewis V. Halberstadt; Edmund L., chief clerk in the Reading office of R. G. Dun & Co.; and Margaret, deceased. In political sentiment, Mr. Darlington was a staunch Democrat. On one occasion, giving way to the desire of friends, he permitted his name to be used as a candidate for mayor, polling a large complimentary vote. He was a member of the Royal Arcanum, the I. O. O. F., and of St. Paul's Memorial Reformed Church.


, p. 1060


William L. Dauth, who, in association with his younger brother, Luther G. Dauth, is engaged in a tinsmith business at Reading, being his father's successor, the latter now living retired, was born at Boyertown, Pa., Oct. 9. 1873, son of John P. and Amanda (Graul) Dauth.

Philip Dauth, great-grandfather of William L., was born in Rheinpfalz, Germany, and came to America in 1835, locating at Newark, N. J., where he was engaged in contracting and building. Later in life he revisited his native land where he owned considerable real estate, and died and was buried there. He had five children.

Charles V. Dauth, son of Philip, was born at Kircheimbolanden, Rheinpfalz, Germany, Jan. 29, 1814, and was a mere lad when he came to America. At Philadelphia, Dec. 11, 1838, he was married to Madelaide Mellert, born March 28, 1817, in Haslock, Germany, who died at Reading, March 7, 1854. Their children were: John P.; Lewis, born June 26, 1842; George W., born Aug. 13, 1844; Mary T., born Oct. 29, 1847, m. Charles Dauth; and Arnold, born March 7, 1750. The maternal grandparents of this family were John and Theresa (Kleily) Mellert, natives of Germany. Charles V Dauth died at Reading, July 6, 1898, aged eighty-four years.

John Philip Dauth, father of William L., was born Oct. 29, 1840, at Philadelphia Pa. He was educated in the public schools of Reading, to which city he was brought when three years of age. He was reared in the family of the late John Mellert from the age of nine years, and when ten years old began to learn the tinsmith, plumbing and gas fitting trades with his father. He was one of the first of the young men to show a willingness to offer his life and services to his county in the Civil war. His services merit an extended account and hereby is attached as nearly a complete army record as it has been possible to secure.

John P. Dauth was enrolled at Reading, April 7, 1861, and was mustered into the State service at Camp Easton on the seventh of the following June. He was in Company F, 3d P. R. V. C., as musician, and this regiment served in the First Brigade, McCall's Division, Army of the Potomac. They were there drilled until June 27, when they were sent on to Washington, D. C., to protect the capital of the country. On July 27, 1861, there were mustered into the United States service, and a division was formed in Tennallytown, where they laid several months. From there they came to Camp Pierpont where they were quartered for the winter. The first fight was at Tennallytown, where a decisive victory was won. The other engagements were as follows: reconnoitred to Drainsville Oct. 19, 21, 1861; skirmish near Drainsville. Dec. 20th; advanced on Manassas, March 10, 14, 1862; to the Peninsula, June 8-11; Seven Days battle, June 26 to July 1; battle of Mechanicsville (Beaver Dam Station); battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27; Charles City Cross Roads (White Oak Swamp), June 30; Malvern Hill, July 1; movement to reenforce Pope, Aug. 14-23; Northern Virginia campaign, Aug. 24 to Sept. 2; battle of Gainesville, Aug. 28; Groveton, Aug. 29; Bull Run, Aug. 30-31; Chantilly, Sept. 1; Maryland campaign, Sept. 6-20; South Mountain, Sept. 14; Antietam, Sept. 16-17; moved to near Warrenton, Oct. 26 to Nov. 6; Fredericksburg, Dec. 12-15; Hamilton's Crossing, Dec. 13; Burnside's second campaign, Jan. 20-24, 1863; duty in defense of Washington, February, 1863, to January 1864; moved to Martinsburg, W. Va., Jan. 5-7, 1864; expedition from New Creek to Moorefield, Jan. 31 to Feb. 6; raid on Virginia Central R. R., April 30 to May 19; marched over Cotton and Great Flat Top Mountains, May 2-5; forced march to Cloyd Mountain, May 7-8; action on Bush Mountain, May 9; New River Bridge, May 10; pursuit to Salt Pond Mountain, May 12; veterans and recruits formed into a battalion and served in Gen. Crook's campaign from Meadow Bluff to Gaston, May 31 to June 5; skirmish through Pond Gas, June 6-8; Hunter's Lynchburg raid, June 9-18; skirmish near Brownsburg, June 10; capture of Lexington, June 11; destruction of the Military Institute at Lexington, June 12, 1864; action near Liberty, June 16; before Lynchburg, June 17-18; Diamond Hill, June 17; retreat to Meadow Bluff, June 18-25, 1864. Mr. Dauth entered the service as a musician, was wounded in the second battle of Bull Run, Va., Aug. 31, 1862 (gunshot in left leg); also in battle of Antietam, Md., Sept. 17, 1862 (gunshot in left arm), and was mustered out June 30, 1864.

After the close of his military service, Mr. Dauth engaged in business for himself at No. 754 Penn street, Reading, where he continued until 1902, since which time his sons have continued the business at No. 18 South Eighth street. He retains his building on Penn street. He is the owner and proprietor of the Reading Granite Quarry, located at Mohnton, Pa., where he has given as many as thirty-five men employed at one time.

On April 23, 1865, John P. Dauth was married to Amanda Graul, a daughter of Samuel B. Graul, whose history appears in this volume. They had four children, namely: Adalaid M.; William L; John S., born Aug. 22, 1875, died March 31, 1876; and Luther G., born at Reading, Sept. 13, 1877. Mr. Dauth and family are members of Old Trinity Lutheran Church of Reading, in which he has been very active and was connected with the Sunday-school for many years after he returned from the army. Fraternally he is a member of Chandler Lodge, No. 227 F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237; Reading Commandery, No. 42, and a charter member of Rajah Temple. Formerly he belonged to Lu Lu Temple of Philadelphia. He organized Washington Camp., No. 61, P. O. S. of A., at Reading, in 1860, passed all the chairs and is still a member. He belongs also to Oley Lodge of I. O. O. F., is the father of that order at Reading, and is a past grand, having served five times. In politics he is an independent Democrat, and served as a member of the Reading common council in 1879-80-81 and 1882.

To the large business built up by John P. Dauth the sons William L. and Luther G. have still further added and now control a large part of the city trade in their line.


p. 774


James E. Dautrich is among the well known business men of Reading, Pa., engaged in contracting and building. He was born in this city June 7, 1861, son of James Dautrich.

James Dautrich was born in 1833, in Alsace township, Berks county, and when a young man learned the carpenter's trade, coming to Reading when twenty years of age. Here from 1853 he followed his trade until 1865, in which year he engaged in contracting, an occupation which he continued to pursue until his death May 16, 1899. Mr. Dautrich contracted specially in stone and brick, furnishing the materials for some of the largest and most substantial buildings of the city, especially in the Northeastern section. Mr. Dautrich married Annie Borkert, daughter of the late Captain John Borkert, who for many years operated the flour and grist mill at Antietam Lake, Alsace township. She died in June, 1900, and both she and her husband are buried in Aulenbach's cemetery. Their children were: Jacob E., James E., Philip A. and Kate (deceased).

James E. Dautrich attended the public schools of Reading and finished his education at the age of seventeen years in the grammar school. He then went to learn the hatter's trade, which he followed for a few years in Reading, after which he went to Bridgeport, Conn. Mr. Dautrich remained in the New England States altogether eleven years, and at the end of this time returned to Reading, and here resumed his trade until the death of his father, when he took charge of his father's business, and has continued to conduct it to the present time, with great success. He employs an average of from twenty to twenty-five men, and also furnishes the brick and stone for the principal buildings in Reading. Among the buildings built by Mr. Dautrich in Reading may be mentioned the Curtis & Jones shoe factory, the Nolde & Horst stocking factory, terra cotta for the large Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart department store. Mr. Dautrich lives at No. 119 South Eleventh street.

Mr. James E. Dautrich was married Dec. 13, 1894, to Miss Amanda C. Gettis, daughter of James and Lydia (Garrett) Gettis, of Berks county. Politically Mr. Dautrich is a Republican, and under Mayor Adam H. Leader was appointed scavenger of the city, a position which he filled very satisfactorily for three years. He has also held a number of minor positions, being register assessor for a number of years. He is a member of Grace Lutheran Church. He is fraternally connected with Camp No. 560, P. O. S. of A., and the Friendship Fire Company.


p. 1091


Elmer Davidheiser, a successful farmer residing on the Davidheiser homestead at Monocacy, in Amity township, Berks county, was born Dec. 21, 1865, son of George and Elizabeth (Shirey) and great-grandson of Jacob Davidheiser, of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

Jacob Davidheiser was born in Falkner Swamp, Montgomery county, and lived one and one-half miles east of Sassamansville, where he owned and cultivated a good farm. Among his children were: Henry, George, Jacob, William, Mrs. John Fegley, Mrs. Henry Hoffman, Mrs. Washington Smith, and Mrs. Benjamin Smith, the last two marrying brothers.

George Davidheiser, son of Jacob, was born March 10, 1798, and died Sept. 9, 1863. In 1836 he settled in Douglass township. Berks county, not far from Pottstown, along the Iron Stone creek. Here he built a brick mill in 1840 or 1841, which he sold some twelve years later to a man by the name of Wampole, and which is now the property of Mahlon Weidner. After he sold his property in Douglass township, Mr. Davidheiser moved his family to Amity township, locating about 1848 on the Philadelphia turn-pike, between Douglassville and Monocracy where he had a large and fertile tract of land. He was a millwright by trade, and in earlier life followed that occupation in connection with farming. He and his family were Lutheran members of the Amityville church. On Aug. 25, 1822, he married Salome Fegley, born Feb. 8, 1804, daughter of Conrad and Catharine Fegley. She died Nov. 20, 1857, and both she and her husband are buried at Amityville, Fourteen children blessed their union: John, born Aug. 23, 1823; Catharine 1825-1832; Sophia, born March 9, 1826; a son, Dec. 12, 1828; Sarah Ann, 1829-1833; George, Sept. 14, 1831; Rebecca, 1833-1835; Jacob, Jan. 14, 1835; Caroline, 1836-1858; Mary Ann, Nov. 25, 1838; Lovina, April 26, 1840; one, July 1, 1842; Engeline, 1844-1854; and Lizzie, Jan. 19, 1847.

George Davidheiser, son of George and Salome, was born Sept. 14, 1831. After his marriage in 1855 he began farming the old Davidheiser homestead, and remained there for ten years, and then bought the adjoining farm of nearly 100 acres on which he lived for three years. In 1868 he bought a farm near Monocacy where he lived until his death Feb. 3, 1870. After that time the widow and her children operated it, until the spring of 1908, when the son Elmer assumed charge of it. The father was a Lutheran, belonging to the church at Amityville, and there he was buried. On June 17, 1855, he married Elizabeth Shirey, born Sept. 23, 1833, daughter of William and Sallie (Harner) Shirey, the latter of whom, born Sept. 16, 1812, is still living and is the oldest lady in Lower Berks county. The children born of this union were: Amanda m. Samuel Shirey, and lives in Reading; Annie m. Wellington Shirey (brother of Samuel) and lives in Monocacy; Ammon died young; a daughter died in infancy; Elmer; and George, who worked five years as a wheelwright and fourteen years in the Reading Car Shops, went to Ashland, Ala., in April, 1909, to engage in the graphite business (he m. Ellen Griesemer, daughter of Irwin Griesemer, formerly of Oley township, now of Alabama, where he, too, is in the graphite business). In 1868 the father built the present stone residence on the farm.

Elmer Davidheiser received his education in the public schools near his home, and as he was but four years old when his father died, it was necessary that he early take his place as one of the workers on the home farm. He was but seventeen when he began work for his mother, conducting the fifty-two acre farm with great success. In the spring of 1908 he began for himself. The Davidheiser tract is located on the Old State Road just above Monocacy, and its general appearance proves it one of the best managed places in that locality. The land is highly productive and Mr. Davidheiser is scientific in his care of the soil.

Mr. Davidheiser is popular in fraternal organizations, belonging to Monocacy Lodge, No. 441, I. O. O. F.; Washington Camp. No. 240, P. O. S. of A., of Douglassville; and Neversink Camp No. 7634, M. W. A. of Reading. He and his family are Lutherans. In politics he is active in the ranks of the Democratic party, and has been delegate to a number of county conventions, and for six years, 1894 to 1900, was a member of the school board, of which time he served four years as secretary and one year as president.

Mr. Davidheiser married Katie Wallace, daughter of Dr. James Wallace, and they have had four children: George Ammon, Annie Laura, a daughter that died in infancy, and William Elmer.


p. 1520


Lewis O Davies, proprietor of the People's Laundry, at No. 1107 Elm street, Reading, was born in that city in March, 1874, and is the only surviving child of Howard and Maud (Rauck) Davies.

The elder Mr. Davies is a pattern maker by trade, at one time employed by the Philadelphia & Reading Company, and later at the Scott Works, where he was working when he retired. Mr. and Mrs. Davies had one other child, their first-born, Charles R., now deceased. Mr. Davies is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., the K. P., the Philadelphia & Reading Relief Association and the Cramp Association of Philadelphia. His religious creed is that of the United Brethern Church, of which he is a member.

Lewis 0. Davies, after completing his education in the Reading schools, began his business career by taking a position under I. A. Schlechter, a jeweler. From him he went to Mr. Luden, also in the-jewelry line, and later to the Reading Stove Works. This, too, was not a permanent place, and Mr. Davies was next employed by David Reber in the express company. His services were then given successively to B. &. J. Saylor, grocers, to J. H. Carth and to J. D. Miller & Sons. With the experience thus varied behind him, Mr. Davies finally determined to go into business for himself and in 1902 he established the Peoples Laundry, and has since that time occupied the premises at No. 1107 Elm street. He employs six people, and runs a wagon. Only Troy hand work is done and Mr. Davies has built up a good patronage, which is constantly increased by his satisfactory service. He maintains about 100 branch offices throughout the city.

In 1897 Lewis Davies and Miss Annie De Binder were married, and they now have two children, a son and a daughter, Herbert and Emma. Mr. Davies holds membership in the fraternal orders, namely: Wyomissing Council, Royal Arcanum, Emblematic Lodge, No. 169, I. 0. 0. F.; and the United Workmen. Politically he has always maintained an independent stand.


p. 388


Samuel Davies, proprietor of the Industrial Foundry and Machine Works, of Reading, comes of Welsh ancestry, and is in the third generation from the founder of the family in America, one Samuel Davies.

Samuel Davies was born in Newbridge, Wales, in 1737. He changed his name from Davis to Davies, holding that such was the correct Welsh spelling, and all of his kin have retained the added letter ever since. About 1764 Samuel Davies sailed for America, came to Berks county and settled in Reading, then a small village, where he opened a shoe shop and store combined. In 1773 he married his wife, Elizabeth, who was of German parentage. With the exception of four years in Bradford, Chester Co., Pa., their married life was spent wholly in Reading, and there they died, he in 1821, aged eighty-four, and she some years later. They were members of the Quaker sect. Their children were: (1) Mary, born in 1774, m. a Mr. Miller. (2) Lydia, born July 26, 1775, m. but had no family. (3) Rebecca, born June 12, 1777, m. Thomas Borger. (4) Joseph, born Jan. 1, 1779, in early life was a tanner in Chester county. He m. in 1805, Miss Lydia Kennedy, of West Bradford township, Chester county, and a family of eleven children was born to them. Mrs. Lydia Davies died Nov. 30, 1819, aged forty-one years, three months and twenty days. Some seven years later Joseph Davies decided to go West, and in the summer of 1826 he traveled on foot to Parke county, Ind., a distance of nearly one thousand miles. He died, July 5, 1827. (5) Benjamin was the father of Samuel Davies.. (6) Samuel, born Jan. 14, 1783, m. Aug. 31, 1815, in Chester county, Miss Sarah Harry. He went west to Indiana, and there died Dec. 14, 1862. His wife died Jan. 28, 1857, leaving four sons, Jesse, Samuel, Lewis and Joseph. (7) Jacob, born June 27, 1786, became the father of two daughters, both now deceased. (8) Isaac, born April 23, 1789, was known as the strongest man of Eastern Pennsylvania. He left no family. (9) Joshua, born Aug. 17, 1791, became a well known teacher in Reading, and died Feb. 22, 1849, leaving an only daughter, Sarah. (10) Elizabeth, born Dec. 8, 1793, left no descendants.

Benjamin Davies was born March 17, 1781, and on Jan. 27, 1805, was married to Miss Mary Williams. Eight children were born to them, all deceased except the youngest. (1) Abner, born Nov. 6, 1808, m. and died, leaving three children, William, Lenora and Myers. (2) Lydia died in childhood. (3) Elizabeth, (4) Samuel, and (5) Anne died in early life. (6) Mary W., born Sept. 10, 1816, m. Charles Dehart, and had children, William, Elizabeth, David, Mary, Edward, Charles and Emma. (7) Lydia W. was a teacher of Berks county, and died unmarried at the age of seventy. (8) Benjamin, Jr., m. and had four children, Howard, Anna, Mary and Jessica. The mother of this family died, and on Feb. 16, 1828. Mr. Davies m. (second) Miss Mary Martin. By this union there were four children: Samuel is mentioned below; Elizabeth, born Sept. 26, 1840, m. Herman Dersch and had ten children, of whom five are living -- John, Gertrude, George, Rebecca and Helen; Rebecca, born Aug. 31, 1843, m. William Hutchinson, and had nine children, of whom William, Ruth, Elizabeth and Rebecca are living (Mr. Hutchinson enlisted Aug. 10, 1861, in Company H, 88th Pa. V. I., was wounded in the right thigh during the second battle of Bull Run, Aug. 19. 1862, was taken prisoner before Petersburg, and held in Libby Prison until mustered out March 30, 1865); Joseph, born July 2, 1846, became a machinist by trade and m. Miss Margaret Hale, and of their ten children there are living, Mary, Anna, Katherine, Rebecca and Martha Nora.

Benjamin Davies, father of this large family, became a prominent citizen in Reading. Beginning in the shoe business, he was for some time established on Penn street between Fourth and Fifth. When the Farmers National Bank was opened, Mr. Davies opened the books and was made its first bookkeeper, and later he served for a time as its cashier, maintaining his connection with the institution for a period of forty years. This fact alone bespeaks his place in the business world of Reading, while his personality made him very popular socially. In religion he was a strict observer of the customs of the Friends. He died in 1854, in his seventy-fourth year, while his wife survived him until 1888, when she died aged eighty-eight, the greatest age attained by any member of the Davies family.

Samuel Davies was born in Reading, May 4, 1839, and until he was fifteen years old he attended the public schools. He then entered the Philadelphia & Reading railroad shops, in order to become a machinist, and he remained there four years. He next spent about a year and a half in the lathe department of the Scott foundry, and afterward was employed at various places, including Lebanon, Pittsburg and Wheeling. Returning to Reading, he was engaged at the Johnson foundry and machine shop when the war broke out. He enlisted in the State service in April, 1861, and on June 4, 1861, he enlisted in the United States service under Capt. William Briner, Company D, 3d Pa. R. V. C. He served all through the war in the Army of the Potomac, was in a number of hard fought battles, like the Seven Days Fight around Richmond, second Bull Run. South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg, and was mustered out at Philadelphia in the fall of 1864. The government gave him employment in Nashville, and Mr. Davies spent some time in that city, before going back to Reading. There he again worked as a machinist, for the railroad until 1881, but in that year he went into business for himself.

The concern of which Mr. Davies is now sole proprietor has passed through various phases of existence. Originally, in 1881, the firm name was Miller, Price & Co., and the company did a foundry and machine business. A few years later it became Miller, Printze & Co., and then Davies, Printze & Co., and finally in 1904 Mr. Davies took entire control of the plant. It is now known as the Industrial Foundry and Machine Works, and is located at Nos. 229-231 South Ninth street. There are about twenty hands employed, and the trade, though largely a local one, is of good volume.

On Dec. 13, 1866, Mr. Davies married Miss Margaret Birch, daughter of the late Dr. Solomon Birch. Five children were born to them, as follows: Mary Elizabeth died at the age of two years; Harry and William are both mechanics employed with their father; Beulah, who was graduated from the Reading high school in the class of 1895, taught in that city a few years and then married Joseph H. Skilton, a resident of Philadelphia; and Margaret, of the class of 1900 in the Reading high school, is now teaching at the Pear and Buttonwood school. Mr. Davies served during the war in Company D, 32d Pa. V. I., seeing much active service, and is now a member of G. A. R. Post No. 16, of which he is past commander. He also belongs to the Union Veteran Legion, and holds the official rank of past colonel. In politics he is a Republican.


p. 389


Nevin M. Davis, a civil engineer ranking deservedly high in his profession, came of a family long established in York county, and his death, April 12, 1909, was deeply deplored. He was a son of the Rev. William F. P. and Ellen. E. (Myers) Davis.

The Rev. William F. P. Davis was a minister of the Reformed Church. He lived to the age of only fifty-two years, passing away in 1883. At the time of his death he had a charge in Berks county that embraced Wernersville (Hain's Church), Sinking Spring's, Kissinger's and Yocum's Churches. He married Ellen E., daughter of Benjamin Myers, a retired business man of York and founder of the Farmers Insurance Company, of that place. The children born to this marriage were as follows: William S., a graduate of Lehigh University, and now general manager of the Lebanon Textile Works; Louisa Bell, now Mrs. Charles Wilson, of Glen Olden, Pa.; Paul Benjamin, also a Lehigh University man, assistant city engineer of Reading from 1903 to 1909; John Henry, a clerk in the Second National Bank; Martha, at home; and Nevin M.

Nevin M. Davis was born Aug. 28, 1864, in New Oxford, Adams county, where his father had his first charge. After leaving school he entered Franklin and Marshall College, and was graduated in 1885. The first position he secured was with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Co. as civil engineer, and he was with the Company for seven years. During this time he was assistant engineer in the construction of the Allentown Terminal and the Philadelphia,. Harrisburg & Pittsburg Terminal Railways. Another work with which he was concerned was the Port Reading Railway from Boundbrook, N. J., to Port Reading. Mr. Davis also held the position of assistant engineer for the Central New England and Western Railway, with headquarters at Hartford, Conn., and had charge of the maintenance of the famous Poughkeepsie Bridge. In 1892 he gave up his position with the railroad and opened an office on his own account, taking engineering contracts. He was at first associated with the firm of Davis Bros., but in 1898 that was dissolved and Mr. Davis had his office alone in the Wanner Building, Reed and Court streets. He was extremely proficient in his profession, and his work was always of the highest class. Mr. Davis was also connected with various electric railways, and directed the engineering work on the Reading & Womelsdorf Electric Railway. He was chief engineer of the Safe Harbor Steam Railway in Lancaster county.

Mr. Davis was married Jan. 14, 1893, to Elizabeth Fry Stein, daughter of Jacob Stein and the late Ellen Elizabeth Stein, of Allentown, where Mr. Stein was a retired farmer. Three children were born to them, but Elizabeth, the second, died in infancy. The other two are Frederick Stein and Robert Stein, both in school. Mr. and Mrs. Davis belong to St. Paul's Reformed Church.

Mr. Davis had for many years belonged to the Masonic fraternity, and is connected with various other organizations, in most of which he has been very active and held important offices. He is Past Master of Reading Lodge, No. 549, F. &A. M.; Past High Priest, and at present secretary of Reading Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M.; Past Eminent Commander of De Molay Commandery, No. 9, K. T.; Past Thrice Illustrious Grand Master of Allen Council, No. 23, R. & S. M.; member of Harrisburg Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons, 32d degree; and a charter member of Rajah Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S., in which he served as Oriental Guide for nine years. Mr. Davis also represented the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of the State of Louisiana, to the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania.

In politics Mr. Davis was an ardent Democrat, serving at the time of his death as representative of the Sixteenth ward on the school board. He served as county surveyor for three years. He was a member of the Americus Club, the Union Fire Company No. 13 (since its organization) and had held most of the offices in it. He was president of the Firemen's Union in 1906 and 1907, and a member of the Firemen's Relief Association as delegate from his company to the organization at large. In whatever capacity, he always rendered most valued and efficient service.

The most important professional and political position held by Mr. Davis was that of engineer to the county commissioners of Berks county in 1906-07-08, during which time he designed and introduced into Berks county bridges of reinforced concrete. The most noted of these bridges is the one across the Schuylkill river at Dauberville, consisting of four seventy-five foot spans of reinforced concrete, and a total length of four hundred feet. This is considered one of the most artistic structures in Eastern Pennsylvania, and Mr. Davis was highly complimented by his profession and by the public in general for the many handsome structures he designed and erected, which will ever be monuments to his memory.


, p. 1273


Samuel H. Davis, an honorable citizen of Reading, who has been identified with many phases of the development of that city, was born June 19, 1847, at Merthyr Tydvill, Wales, son of Samuel and Martha (Garnel) Davis.

Samuel Davis, the father, was born in Wales and died in his native land. His business was building and contracting, and these occupations filled out a busy life of fifty-eight years, his death occurring in January, 1872. His wife died at Scranton, Pa., in 1891, at the age of sixty-nine years. They had twelve children, of whom John died in Wales; James came to America in 1857; Samuel H. came several years later; Harry, Joseph and Elizabeth all came to America in 1889; George followed his brothers and sister in 1896; the others died in Wales. The family were Welsh Baptists in religious faith. Many natives of Wales settled very early in Berks county, and they have ever been classed with the best citizens.

Samuel H. Davis was fourteen years old when he left his school books and home and went to the north of England, where he found work in a rolling, mill. After remaining there five years he made his way to Scotland and continued to work in iron mills until he was twenty one years of age, when he came to America. He landed at old Castle Garden, whence he immediately proceeded to Reading, Pa., where he found employment in McManus's sheet mill, at which he had been engaged some two years when the strike of 1873 threw him out of work.

Mr. Davis then turned his attention to other things and in 1874 was employed by Robert Williams on the construction of the new Philadelphia & Reading depot, on which he worked from start to finish. Later he engaged with a Mr. Daniel Francis as a carpenter during the construction of the first horse car line on Sixth street, which was operated then by horsepower. This work lasted for several years and he then hired out to J. H. Sternbergh at the steel plant, working at he furnaces, and remained until he was promoted to be boss in three mills.

During this time Mr. Davis, in partnership with Walter A. Griesemer, under the firm name of Davis & Griesemer, erected a row of residences. The firm later went through several changes, becoming successively, Davis & Leinbach, Davis & Reiff, Davis, Ganter & Eichner, and finally Davis & Reiff. The row of stone-front modern residences mentioned contains nineteen houses, on Greenwich street, between Front and McKnight, of handsome construction, and they have given satisfaction to those who occupy them in every respect. Mr. Davis erected a home for himself at No. 134 North Fourth street, Reading, where he expects to spend the rest of his days in peace and comfort. It is of Indiana limestone, substantial and commodious, a desirable home in every respect and a credit to the locality. Mr. Davis is about to retire from active business pursuits to enjoy a well-earned rest. During all his energetic business life he has followed the rule of leading his workmen and taking the same chances they do. Clad in overalls, although his capital was being used in the different contracts being carried out, he looked and worked just like his men. This modest and unassuming manner won him high regard with the various artisans, and has done much to keep his men from making any serious inconvenience when labor troubles have annoyed almost every contractor and builder in the country. Mr. Davis has very kind memories of Jonathan G. Leinbach, whom he met in 1877, a perfect stranger, and during the many years of their business association they remained warm personal friends. In discussing the reasons for his success in business where many others who started out seemingly better equipped failed, Mr. Davis says that he has always kept in mind the old saying that he who attends carefully to his own business has his hands full.

In 1884 Mr. Davis was married to Mary Hoff, daughter of Bright Hoff, and a member of a family old and prominent in Reading. Away back in its early history the grandfather of Mrs. Davis kept the hostelry which was well known in those days as the "Brighton Hotel." Mr. and Mrs. Davis have had two children Paul an Walter, the latter dying aged three months. The former was born in 1885. From boyhood he was fond of athletic sports and for three years he managed the Scholastic League and also managed a team of ball players, while he was pursuing his studies at the Bethlehem Preparatory School. He has always been a favorite with lovers of athletic sports. At present he is working as an expert electrician at Reading, with Goldenberger & Lyons.

Mr. Davis has been a citizen of the United State ever since coming here, having taken out naturalization papers immediately. In political sentiment he has always been identified with the Republican party and has given hearty support to its candidates. He is very well known in political circles in the Sixth ward and has done yeoman service for the city in the line of public-spirited efforts, in that ward, for the past twenty years.


p. 1031


Thomas T. Davis, auctioneer, of Reading, was born July 22, 1859, in Penn township, Berks county, and is a member of the fourth generation of his family in the county. He is of Welsh descent, tracing his line from Edward Advise (also Davis), who was one of three brothers to come from their native Wales and settle in America. The other two settled in the South.

(I) Edward Advise first located in Chester county, Pa., in middle life moving to Berks county and settling at Berkley, above Reading. There he owned a large farm and erected a set of buildings, on the property now belonging to Reese Davis, one of his descendants. He died upon this farm at a ripe old age, and is buried at the Friends' meeting-house in Ontelaunee township. His wife was a Morgan from Morgantown, her family being one of the foremost in Berks county during the Revolutionary period. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Advise had the following children: Elizabeth, born in 1789 (died young); Hannah, 1790 (married Thomas Ives); Ann, 1793; Luke, 1795; Franklin, 1798 (died without issue at Leesport); Lewis Reese, 1801; Elizabeth (2), 1810.

(II) Luke Davis, son of Edward, born May 2, 1795, in Chester county, between Morgantown and Churchtown, died in 1861, aged sixty-six years. He came with his parents to Berkley, Berks county, became a miller, and owned a grist-mill, which he conducted for many years. Forty acres of land belonged to the mill property, and he also owned an adjoining farm of 100 acres. There was a set of buildings on each piece of property. He married Catharine Dunkel, daughter of John Dunkel and his wife, whose maiden name was Deisher. Luke Davis and his wife were both members of the Society of Friends, and they were buried at the Berkley meeting-house. All their family of thirteen children were reared in that faith. They were as follows: John, born in 1817; Edward, 1819; Elizabeth, 1821; Cyrus, 1822; Hannah. 1825; Rufus K., 1827; Eliza, 1829; Mark, 1831; Luke D., 1833; George, 1835; Judith, 1837; Catharine, 1840; Reese F., 1843.

(III) Cyrus Davis, son of Luke, and father of Thomas T. Davis, was born in 1822 at Berkley near the old Friends' meeting-house, and died in 1874, aged fifty-two years. He is buried at Bern Church. He lived in Penn township, where he followed farming, owning 118 acres of land which he cultivated successfully. His land was a part of the old homestead, and the present apple orchard on the place (which is now owned by Harry Hiester) was planted by Cyrus Davis when he was a mere boy. This orchard and farm later became his own property, and there all his children were born and reared. The large Swiss barn on the place was built by his father, Luke Davis. The property was very desirable, Plum creek flowing through the land, and there was water for the cattle in each of the eight fields.

Cyrus Davis married Priscilla Kerschner, who survived him ten years, dying on Christmas morning, 1884, at the age of sixty-five years. They were the parents of seventeen children, thirteen sons and four daughters, namely: Rufus and Morgan, both of whom died young; Mary, m. Joseph Lewis; John; Cyrus, of Penn township; Emma, m. to George Lash (both deceased); Howard; Heber, who died in 1874, unmarried; George; Rosa, m. to Daniel Burkhart; Mahlon, of Reading; Thomas T.; James, who died in 1874 at the same time as his father and brother Heber, all being victims of typhoid fever (Cyrus and Heber Davis were buried at the same time, in one grave); Susan, deceased, m. to Jacob Engel, of Shoemakersville; Lewis; and Harry and Penrose, both deceased.

During the Civil war Cyrus Davis was three times drafted for service, but he never entered the army. He was a Hicksite Quaker, and warfare was against his religious principles, but another and possibly stronger reason was the fact that this large family needed him, and his neighbors, by whom he was held in the highest respect, assisted him in securing substitutes, raising the necessary money. The three drafts cost him in all $2,500. One of his neighbors, a man named Kauffman, came to him on one of these occasions with a bagful of money, saying; "Davis, you must not go to war, your wife and small children must need you." One of his substitutes, Albert Ludwig, was shot shortly after entering the service, meeting instant death, and the fact grieved Mrs. Davis sorely; Ludwig, was a single man.

(IV) Thomas T. Davis, son of Cyrus, received his early education in the schools of his native township and later attended the high school at Bernville. He was reared upon the farm, which he left, however, in his twenty-first year, after which he learned the butcher's trade from his brother George, at Reading, working for him several years. Later he was employed by J. F. Lengel and others in Reading, and it was while still engaged in this line that he began to cry sales, in 1884. He was so successful that he soon gave up his trade and devoted all his time to the new occupation, with which he combined real estate dealing, and he has been interested in this business ever since. He is the best known auctioneer in Reading, being an expert in that line, and he has cried more sales annually than there are days in the year. He is the auctioneer for the sheriff's office of Berks county, a position he has filled since the administration of former Sheriff Fahrenbach, in 1891. For many years he has cried more sales than any other auctioneer in Reading, his services being constantly in demand. He has a clear, loud voice, an affable manner, a comprehensive knowledge of values, and a faculty for getting the highest price for goods in combination of qualities which accounts for his success. His familiarity with the real estate business gains him universal confidence and makes his services doubly valuable. He has been in the building business since the year 1903, since when he has erected sixteen nice residences at Riverside, which have given him the reputation of being as honest a builder as there is in Reading. His speculations in land and city lots have covered a long period, and he is an extensive owner of property in and about Reading.

On January 11, 1883, Mr. Davis married Laura K. Boas, daughter of John S. and Mary (Kline) Boas, of Reading, and they have had nine children, namely: Walter B., Addie B.,. Eva B., Mary P., Thomas W., Laura Frances, Florence H., Violet M. (who died in 1896) and Harry B.

Mr. Davis has lived in the Tenth ward in Reading since 1902. He is a Republican in politics, and he and his family are members of the Lutheran Church. He himself was named after, baptized, confirmed and married by Rev. Thomas Theophilus Iaeger, of Reading. The family burial plot is in Aulenbach cemetery.

(III) Rufus K. Davis, son of Luke, was born Oct. 16, 1827, on the homestead, and died in August, 1886, aged fifty-eight years. He was a farmer by occupation, and in 1872 moved to Cumru township, where he purchased a fifty-acre farm which was formerly one of the Swartz properties. He owned a 134-acre farm in Penn township on which he lived prior to 1872. He married Tamson Swartz, daughter of Joseph Swartz and granddaughter of John Swartz, and to them were born two children, Joseph S. and Lucy. Both are unmarried, and live in Cumru township, near the State barracks.

(III) Luke D. Davis, son of Luke, was born Oct. 2, 1833, on the homestead at Davis Mill, at Berkley. He was educated in the local pay school and in the Friends school at Reading. For ten years after beginning work he was a clerk in the general store of Amos W. Potteiger, at Reading, and then he learned the milling business from Christian Bechtel, in Cumru township, following that line ever since for thirty-three years. He was engaged, for a number of years with his father-in-law, William Krick In 1888 he became proprietor of the Spring Mill, in Heidelberg township, which he has ever since conducted in connection with that property he owns forty acres of land, and he also owns seven houses in Reading.

On Jan. 27, 1857, Mr. Davis married Sarah Krick, and they had two children, Margaret and William Luke, the latter dying in infancy. The daughter married Thomas B. Althouse, and has, one son, Luke D.; they reside at Philadelphia. Mr. Davis adheres to the faith of his forefathers, being a Member of the Society of Friends. He is a Republican in politics, and served six years as school director.


p. 381


Warren L. Davis, son of James and Anna (Greatrake) Davis, was born at Birdsboro, Berks county, Oct. 24, 1868. After receiving a common school education in the local schools, he, while yet a boy, established a messenger service between Birdsboro and Reading, which he carried on successfully for a year and a half. Then he located at Reading and learned printing, but not being satisfied with this occupation he entered the employ of George S. Herbein, dealer in furniture and carpets, and continued with him six years. During this time he qualified himself thoroughly for accounting, and entered the hardware house of Bright & Lerch. Appreciating his efficiency, they in 1895 selected him as their chief clerk and treasurer, which position he held until the death of Mr. Lerch in 1898, when the firm changed to Bright Company. In the new firm he performed the same duties as Mr. Lerch and also remained their treasurer until July, 1901, having been in their employ for thirteen years.

In 1901 he was offered the responsible position of general bookkeeper of the Farmers National Bank, of Reading, the oldest and strongest bank in Reading. He accepted this position and his proficiency was so great that in August, 1903, he was promoted to be cashier, and this position he has held most creditably until the present.

Mr. Davis married, Dec. 25, 1895, Laura M. Dillon, daughter of Moses Dillon, of Reading. They have two children, Steward and Anna Louise. They belong to St. Barnabas Protestant Episcopal Church.


p. 624


Rev. William F. P. Davis was born in Paradise township, York county, Pa., a rural district in the south-eastern part of this State, Oct. 1, 1831, son of John and Isabella Davis, the latter a daughter of the late Rev. Frederick William Vandersloot,and grand-daughter of one of the earliest ministers of the Reformed Church in this country, of the same name -- a sister, accordingly of the Revs. Frederick William and F. Edward Vandersloot, and aunt of the late Rev. J. S. Vandersloot, son of the Rev. F. Edward and a cousin of Mr. Davis. She was also a grand-daughter, on her mother's side of the Rev. Philip Reinhold Pauli, for many years pastor of a Reformed Church in the city of Reading, Pa. -- the father of the brethren Revs. Williams and Charles Augustus Pauli -- her uncles -- who, for many successive years exercised their ministry in the city of Reading and vicinity -- the former as successor to his venerable father. Mr. Davis was accordingly a direct descendant of both the Pauli and the Vandersloot families, so long and so prominently represented in the ministry of the Reformed Church of this county.

Mr. Davis was baptized, in infancy, by his maternal uncle, the Ref. F. Edward Vandersloot, and subsequently catechised and confirmed by the Ref. Daniel Ziegler, D. D., and received as a communicant member of the Straeher's church, in York county, Pa. In early life already he felt himself powerfully drawn towards the work of the holy ministry, so largely represented by his ancestors, but was prevented from entering the sacred office for want of means to prosecute the studies necessary to qualify him for the work. He learned the trade of a saddler and spent a number of years in this occupation. In this way he sought to acquire the means necessary for the prosecution of his literary and theological studies. He commenced his preparatory course in the excellent high school or academy kept for many years and successfully presided over by the late Prof. Geo. W. Ruby, Ph. D. in York, Pa. Subsequently he entered Franklin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, Pa., where he graduated in 1861, after which he entered the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church, then located at Mercersburg, Pa., and completed his studies in the same in 1863. During his student life, he was in the habit of working with the farmers, in the vicinity of Lancaster, many of whom still remember him and speak of him with respect as an industrious and skillful laborer. His excellent character and conduct made a very favorable impression on the minds of these simple-hearted and unsophisticated tillers of the soil. They saw that a student, devoted to science and literature, possessed at the same time both the requisite will and capacity to engage in useful manual labor.

In the spring of 1863, Mr. Davis was licensed by the Zion's Classis, and during the same year ordained and installed as pastor of the Abbottstown or New Oxford charge, in Adams county, Pa. This first charge he served faithfully and with success for a period of about nine years. After the death of his relative, the Rev. Charles Augustus Pauli, in the fall of 1871, Mr. Davis became his successor in the Sinking Spring charge, in Berks county, Pa., then composed of the five congregations, namely, Sinking Spring., Hain's, Yocom's, Kissinger's and St. John's at Hamburg. Several of these congregations he subsequently resigned and had the charge reconstructed, so that latterly it consisted of four congregations. He served his people faithfully, and, as a consequence, was highly respected and loved by them. In several of the congregations he was particularly successful in gathering in members, and thus adding to the numerical strength of his charge. His preaching was of a high order -- practical and popular. He preached the Gospel in its purity, excellence and saving power; and his efforts were crowned with signal success. He officiated in both the English and German languages, using them with equal facility, accuracy and effect. Taken altogether, Mr. Davis was one of our best and most successful pastors, sincerely devoted to the spiritual welfare of his numerous parishioners, and well deserving of their grateful remembrance.

Mr. Davis was married to Miss Ellen E. Myers, of York, Pa., Oct. 22, 1863. They had ten children, seven of whom -- five sons and two daughters -- survive their sainted father. Three of the children preceded him to the eternal world.

Mr. Davis was a heavy-built man, of robust constitution and general good health. He was, however, predisposed to apoplexy. As far back as the 12th of March, 1881, he had an attack of this kind, from which, however, he soon recovered sufficiently to enable him to attend to the duties of his calling. On the 21st of February, 1883, he had a second attack, from which he never fully recovered. Still, although partially disabled, he continued to attend to his pastoral duties, but not without considerable effort and inconvenience. At length he was so much debilitated that he could scarcely conduct the services of the sanctuary. A few weeks prior to his decease, he told his congregations that he needed at least three months' rest, and, as advised by his physicians, entire freedom from clerical duties. By that time he hoped to be able to see whether he could further serve his congregations or not. He was advised to take a voyage to Europe, and, on the day preceding his death he completed his arrangements for the proposed trip. Shortly before midnight, on the 10th of June, he had a third attack of the fatal disease. He lay in an unconscious state until the next morning, Monday, June 11, 1863, when between five and six o'clock, in the bosom of his family, at Reading, Pa., Brother Davis gently fell asleep in Jesus, aged 51 years, 8 months and 10 days. His funeral took place on Thursday following, at one o'clock p.m. The services were held in St. Paul's Reformed Church, at Reading, of which the family were members. A large number of the members of the several churches which Brother Davis served were present to testify their love and attachment to their esteemed pastor. Some forty or fifty ministers of different denominations were also present at these solemnities, many of whom took part in the same. The services at the house were conducted by the Rev. D. McCauley. The assembled multitude then went to St. Paul's Church. Dr. Miller of York, Pa., read the Scripture lesson and offered a prayer in English. He was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Kremer in a German prayer. Rev. A. S. Leinbach preached a German discourse from Rev. 2: 10: "Be thou faithful unto death, etc." Rev. Dr. Bausman preached an English sermon from 2 Tim 4: 5-8. The Ref. L. K. Evans conducted the services at the grave. The brethren, Revs. H. Mosser, D. B. Albright, T. C. Leinbach, A. J. Bachman, John L. Leinbach, and L. D. Steckel, acted as pall-bearers.

Beautiful and affecting was the presence of so large a number of the members of the pastoral charge of Brother Davis to testify their extreme sorrow, and bear testimony to the zeal and fidelity of their beloved pastor. Beautiful and appropriate, also, was it that so large a number of his clerical brethren should be present and participate in the solemnities attending the final disposal of his mortal remains. It was, at the same time, hard to see the stricken wife and mother with her seven sorrowing children sitting beside the open coffin of a beloved husband an a kind father, of whom they had been suddenly and unexpectedly deprived. Here was room for the consoling promises of Him who is the "Father of the fatherless," and a "judge of the widow." Well is it for us all to remember under such circumstances what is written: "Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord, from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit -- that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.

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