Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1674


Abner S. Deysher, a prominent manufacturer and influential citizen of Reading, was born in that city June 24, 1857, son of Jacob H. and Anna K. (Shaffer) Deysher.

Jacob H. Deysher was for many years one of Reading's leading men. In his earlier days he had conducted a planing mill and lumber yard at Second and Cherry streets, but in 1868, he built the plant now occupied by Charles Hendel. There he carried on an extensive business for many years, but toward the very end of his life handed over the management to his son, Abner S. His wife was Miss Anna K. Shaffer, and she bore him three children, namely: Abner S.; Oliver M., in his brother's employ; and Kate m. Edward M. Freehafer, and died in 1900. Mrs. Jacob Deysher died the same year as her daughter, at the age of sixty-seven. The family were members of the M. E. Church, and in political views Mr. Deysher was a Republican.

Abner S. Deysher received his education in the public schools of Reading, and as soon as he left them, he entered his father's mill. He became familiar with all the details of the several departments, and developed into an expert mill man. Under his superintendence the manufacture of furniture and boxes had been introduced during the elder Mr. Deysher's lifetime, and for some time after his death the mill was conducted along about the same lines as before. In 1894 Abner S. Deysher purchased the other interests in the concern and a few years later established the present Abner S. Deysher Box Factory. He makes all kinds of packing boxes, and supplies nearly all of the manufacturers of Reading and the vicinity.

Mr. Deysher's factory covers some 60x207 feet, with a room for the necessary boiler, engine, etc., and it is equipped with all the latest machinery. His business has reached such proportions that he will be obliged soon to increase his manufacturing capacity some forty per cent. He employs on an average from seventy-five to one hundred men and there is never a day in the year when the plant is idle, unless for necessary repairs, Mr. Deysher is known as a hustling business man, and one instance of his sagacity and enterprise is the use he makes of the shavings accumulated in the box factory. They are all screened and the first grade are baled and sold by the car load. Mr. Deysher is a leading dealer in this line and constantly has contracts on hand for from one to ten car loads. The screenings or "dust" left is used as fuel for running the establishment. This flourishing factory, one of the leading enterprises of Reading, is entirely the fruit of Mr. Deysher's industry and initiative, as he is the sole owner. He is also the owner of a valuable stock farm where he has some of the finest blooded (fancy) stock in the United States.

Throughout the State of Pennsylvania Mr. Deysher is known as a prominent Mason, high up in his degree in the Order and influential in its councils. He belongs to St. John's Lodge, No. 237; and Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T. He is also a member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Vigilance Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Camp No. 61, P. O. S. of A., all of Reading. In politics he supports the Republican party, but he is no politician, although he is a loyal citizen in his advocacy of measures for the public good. He served at one time as one of the water commissioners.

In 1881 Mr. Deysher was united in marriage to Miss Maria Pierce, daughter of a man prominent in Reading business circles for many years. Mr. Deysher is one of the city's best citizens and is justly held in universally high esteem.


p. 810


Ellwood H. Deysher, attorney-at-law at Reading, and descendant of one of the first families in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, was born Jan. 9, 1857, at Reading. He received his preliminary education in the public schools, graduated from the Reading high school with the class of 1873, and continued his studies in the higher branches at the Millersville State Normal School for several years, when he entered the law office of J. Howard Jacobs, Esq. After reading law under him for the prescribed period, he was admitted to practice in the several courts of Berks county Nov. 13, 1882, and afterward in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

After practicing ten years, he formed a law-partnership with James A. O'Reilly, Esq., and they carried on a very successful business under the name of O'Reilly & Deysher, until Mr. O'Reilly's sudden accidental death on the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley Railroad at Spring City in 1902. Since then Mr. Deysher has continued to practice by himself. Upon reaching his majority he identified himself with the Republican party and took an active part in many campaigns, becoming the chairman of the County Committee in 1887.

Mr. Deysher's father was Martin Deysher, a prominent lumber merchant at Reading from 1854 to 1860, when he was accidentally killed on the railroad at Mud Run, while in the lumber regions buying a large stock for his yard at Reading. He was born in Oley township in 1833, and reared on his father's farm until he was about twenty years old, when he located at Reading, and, after being associated with his brother, Jacob H. Deysher, for about a year, embarked in the lumber business for himself, for which he had manifested much aptitude. He was married to Sarah M. High, daughter of Jeremiah High, farmer of Oley, by whom he had three children, Ellwood H., Rose E. (who died in 1894, aged thirty-five years) and Allen Martin (who died in infancy).

His grandfather was Jacob Deysher, farmer and ironmaster of Oley, who for a number of years operated the Trappe Forge. He was married to Marie Hoch (High), of Oley, by whom he had ten children, seven sons and three daughters: Joseph, Jonas, John, Jacob H., Daniel, Martin, Amos, Mary (m. Isaac Behm); Rachael (m. Isaac Stettler) and Anna (m. to Benjamin Barto). Jacob Deysher died in 1862, and his wife died in 1868.


p. 1680


The Deysher family has been connected with Berks county's history and affairs for the last century and a half. John Deisher, a German Palatinate, emigrating to America about the middle of the eighteenth century, and settling in Richmond township. The different ways of spelling the name are caused by the English way of spelling German sounds. Thus "Teischer," as it appears in Richmond records of about 1770, became Anglicized to "Deisher," and "Deysher."

John Deisher, great-great-great-grandfather of Isaac D., settled in Richmond township, where he died in 1761, leaving a large estate, and naming Stephen, his second son, as executor. Besides Stephen, there were: Peter m. Betsy Lesher; Jacob: Mary m. Henry Kime; Barbara m. Peter Hister; and Susanna Elizabeth. At least the first two named were born in Germany.

Peter Deisher, first-born of the above family, lived in Maxatawny township, where he owned a large estate. He died a few days subsequent to the date of his will-September 14, 1807, leaving his wife, Betsy, and three sons: John; Peter (2) and Jacob.

Stephen Deisher, executor of the ancestor's will, is on record in 1768, as a "taxable of Richmond," under the name of "Stophel Teischer." He married Maria Hattenstein, daughter of a Doctor Hattenstein, and has two daughters mentioned: Catharine, and Esther. Catharine became the first wife of Henry Stitzel, and upon her death, he married her sister, Esther. Stephen Deisher died about 1839, Esther, and her daughter, Elizabeth (Stitzel) Sharadin, being apparently the sole heirs.

Peter (2), son of Peter (1), of the ancestral family, is recorded as marrying Elizabeth Dunkel. They had thirteen children, as follows: Hettie; Elizabeth; William; John D., mentioned later; Anna H.; Susanna; Caroline; Peter; Jacob; Abbie; Charles; Maria; and Louisa.

John D. was the fourth child in the above family, and the grandfather of Isaac D. It was this generation that changed the spelling of the name to "Deysher," which will be used henceforth. John D. was a native of Maxatawny township. carrying on his business of farming near Kutztown. He married and was the father of the following children: Daniel. referred to later; John, who lived at Lyons, Pa.; Sarah m. Peter Knapp, of Reading; a daughter who married a Mr. Hill, of Allentown, Pa.: a daughter who married Edwin Sholl, of Fleetwood, Pa. The father of this family died about 1875.

Daniel Deysher, father of Isaac D., was born about 1821, in Maxatawny township. and came to Eagle Point about 1868, where he settled on a farm. From that year until 1884, his consistent honesty and good farming won him the substantial respect of the whole country-side. He is described as being "short-set, smooth-faced, black haired. and weighing about 180 pounds." The reason for this description is that he disappeared absolutely about the year 1889, and nothing is known of him, or whether he is dead. He either fell into a "mile-hole," or met with foul play, and his strange vanishing is still mentioned among his friends and neighbors. He owned the farm now in the possession of Reuben Henge.

Daniel Deysher was twice married. his first wife being Lefena Stein, daughter of Jacob Stein, of Greenwich township. They had two children, both deceased. His second wife was Lovina Stein, sister of Lefena. She died in 1873, aged thirty-nine, and is buried at Grimville. Her children were: Catharine (m. first, David Adam, and second, James Nunermacher); Louisa (m. Levi Liebensperger); Mary J. (m. Percival Brumbach); Isaac D.; Elmira (deceased; m. Oscar Reinhart); Nicholas, Kutztown, Pa.; Emma (m. Jonathan George); George, of Breinigsville, Pa.

Isaac C, Deysher, our subject, was born near Kutztown, Maxatawny township, February 26, 1859. He was reared to farm life and served his parents until his twenty-fourth year. Between 1883 and 1988 he went West for two years and was employed at the usual higher wage rate of that section, mostly on the farm. In the spring of 1888 Isaac D. settled on the property where he now resides, which belonged at that time to his father-in-law, Charles Faust. Here he remained as tenant until 1897, when he purchased the farm, and now cultivates it.

On Oct. 1, 1888, Isaac D. was married to Miss Cordelia Faust, daughter of Charles and Mary Ann (Zettelmayer) Faust. Mrs. Deysher's grandfather, Daniel, married Frederica Shumaker. Mrs. Faust died the latter part of February, 1866, aged 46 years. To Mr. and Mrs. Deysher have come four children: Charles F., Hattie I., Mary A., and George H.

Mr. Deysher is a consistent voter of the Democratic ticket, and is a member of the New Bethel Corner Church, Lutheran Congregation, of which he has been Deacon and treasurer. Mrs. Deysher is a member of the Reformed congregation, and is active in its work.

The farm, of which Mr. Deysher is proprietor, consists of 150 acres, eighty of which is farming land--"potato land." In accordance with the custom of the countryside Mr. Deysher puts in from eight to twelve acres of that vegetable, and is very successful in raising a fine grade. The present large brick residence, surrounded by broad lawns, was constructed by Charles Faust, father-in-law of Mr. Deysher, in 1859 and the barn was built in 1854.

One George Zettelmayer bought the property from the Stein family, and through him it came into the possession of Mr. Faust. About forty years ago a very good quality of slate was discovered to be underlying almost the whole farm, and at present there are three different quarries operating in the beds. These quarries employ quite a large company of workers, Rehr & Fricker of Reading having operated a lease in the deposit for fully nineteen years, one quarry employing as many as twenty workmen at a time. Good slate being in great demand this article finds a ready market.

Mr. Deysher is justly regarded as having all the virtues of his ancestors, as being an intelligent and progressive citizen, and one who is at all times just and considerate, yet watchful of his own interests, seeking his success in the legitimate and commendable lines of business.


, p. 851


Howard B. Deysher, well known in Mount Penn borough, Berks Co., Pa., where he is residing in his home on Perkiomen avenue, was born Oct. 15, 1864, in Rockland township, son of John G. and Catherine (Barto) Deysher, and grandson of Johannes and Catherine (Griesemer) Deysher farming people of near Friedensburg, Oley township.

John G. Deysher was born in Oley township in December, 1833, and for many years he was engaged in cultivating his father's farm. In 1831 he built a brick house in Friedensburg, into which he moved the following year, and there he has since resided. He works among the farmers in the summer months, and in the winters butchers for them, and is well known and highly respected by the people of his township, who have elected him to positions of honor and trust, he having been a supervisor of Oley township for over twenty years. In political principles he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Reformed Church at Friedensburg. During the Civil war Mr. Deysher took up arms in defense of his country. and served bravely and faithfully. On Jan. 25, 1857, Mr. Deysher married Catherine Barto, and they celebrated their Golden Wedding Jan. 25, 1907. Their fifteen children were as follows: Cordelia m. Samuel Wahl, of Fleetwood; Andora m. Calvin Potter, of Stonersville; Oscar, who lives in Reading, m. Ellen Hauck; Nathaniel m. Celia Schlegel, and lives at Fleetwood; John, unmarried, resides at home; Howard B.; Ida m. Irwin Shane, of Griesemersville; Freeman, who lives in Reading, m. Kate Heyt; Edwina m. Theodore Riegner, of Reading; Annie m. George Haas, of Pricetown; Clara died unmarried in 1901, aged twenty-two years; Charles and Mamie are at home; Catherine died young; and a daughter died in infancy.

Howard B. Deysher attended the schools of Oley township until seventeen years of age, when he hired out among the farmers, and continued at that work until he attained his majority. He then worked among the farmers of Exeter township, but later returned to Oley township, and in March, 1902, located in Mount Penn, where he purchased a residence on Perkiomen avenue, which has been his home to the present time. He worked two years for contractor Charles Schlegel, and since that time has worked as molder's helper in Reading. In political matters. Mr. Deysher is a Democrat. He and his family are members of Friedensburg Union Church, he being a Reformed and his wife a Lutheran member. In 1885 Mr. Deysher married Sarah C. Hartline, born Dec. 29, 1862, daughter of Joshua D. and Elizabeth L. (Clouser) Hartline, and to this union there were born children as follows: William, born Sept. 6. 1886, died Dec. 8, 1903; George H., born Feb. 5, 1887, m. Amelia Reifsnyder, and lives in Reading. Elizabeth H., born Sept. 23, 1888; Catherine H., Aug. 27, 1890; John H., March 29, 1892; Miranda H., Jan. 20. 1894; Earl H., Jan. 26, 1896; Howard H., Feb. 17, 1900 (died Nov. 29. 1903); Ralph H., April 30, 1908; and four others died in infancy.


p. 1187


Samuel Diehl Dibert, who has been engaged in the manufacture of cigars at Reading since 1885, was born Feb. 21, 1855, on a farm in Bedford county, Pa., and while a small boy his parents removed to Bedford. He attended the local schools until he was sixteen years old and then became a clerk in the general store of G. R. Oster & Co., where he continued until 1875, when he went to Reading and entered the cigar factory of Hantsch & Crouse (the junior partner having been his brother-in-law) for the purpose of learning the business. After serving as a clerk for several years he filled the position of traveling salesman until 1883 when he became one of the firm of Dibert Brothers & Co., which established a factory at New York City, and carried on business for two years. The factory was then transferred to Reading and located in the Earl Building at the northwest corner of Fifth and Penn streets. In 1898 Mr. Dibert became the sole owner of the business, and he has carried on the manufacture of cigars in a most successful manner to the present time, shipping his product to all parts of the United States. Since 1893 his plant has been established at Washington and Thorn streets.

Mr. Dibert was made a Freemason in Bedford Lodge in 1880 and in 1890 his membership was transferred to Lodge No. 62, of Reading. He is also a member of Excelsior Chapter and Reading Commandery. He was advanced to the 32 in the Philadelphia Consistory in 1894. Since 1906 he has served as one of the trustees of the Masonic Temple on North Fifth street, Reading.

Mr. Dibert has been an active member of the Board of Trade since 1889. In appreciation of his active services he was placed on various important committees, and it was upon his motion that a general committee was appointed in 1897 to make the necessary arrangements for the proper celebration of the "Sesqui-Centennial of Reading" in June, 1898. When the celebration took place he was the president of the Board of Trade and much of the success of the celebration was due to his persevering energy and official courtesies. From this time he has shown much practical interest in local affairs, more especially of a financial or of an industrial character, serving as a director in the management of different corporations. In 1891 Mr. Dibert was married to Elizabeth G., daughter of Abraham Peters and Celestia Boyer, his wife, of Jonestown, Pa., and they have two daughters, Blanche E. and Ruth C.

His father, William Dibert, was born in Bedford county in 1827, and brought up as a farmer. He followed farming for twenty years, and then removed to Bedford to engage in the hotel business which he carried on successfully for ten years, in connection with a line of stages between Bedford and Cumberland, Md. In 1900 he removed to Reading, and since then has been living in retirement. He was married to Elizabeth Diehl, daughter of Jonathan Diehl, farmer of Bedford county, by whom he had four children: Sadie (m. Daniel W. Crouse, for many years engaged in manufacturing cigars at Reading); Henry S. (m. Ella G. Newman); Samuel D.; and Jonathan (died In infancy). His wife died in 1901, aged seventy-five years.

His grandfather was Thomas Dibert, also a farmer of Bedford county. He married Elizabeth Robb.

His great-grandfather was Charles Dibert (m. to Mary Wisegarber) who migrated from Virginia to Pennsylvania and became one of the earliest settlers of Bedford county.


p. 744


The city of Reading counts among its most valued citizens descendants of German settlers who came to Pennsylvania, direct from the Fatherland, bringing with them the solid virtues and thrifty habits which characterize their nationality. The Dick family belongs in this category and it can be traced to one Jacob Dick, who came to America from Germany and is known to have taken part in the Revolutionary war.

This Jacob Dick was the grandfather of the late Amos L. Dick, at the time of his death a venerable retired resident of Reading. After the close of the Revolutionary struggle Jacob Dick settled in what was then the straggling village of Reading, where he established himself in business, doing chair-making, spinning wheel manufacturing, and also working as a carpenter. The site of the business was where the photograph gallery of Mr. Fritz now stands. Jacob Dick died in 1834; his wife passed away ten years before. They had two children: Susan, who married a Mr. Boas, and died in Reading, and Jacob, father of Amos L.

Jacob Dick (2) was born in the old Penn street home at Reading in 1783, and when he reached maturity married Susan Lutz. Their children were: Sarah Ruth, born in 1806, died Sept. 5, 1889, at Fritz town, aged eighty-three years, six months, twenty-seven days; a son, born Oct. 12,1808, died eleven days later: Susan, born Oct. 12, 1808, died in 1828, aged nineteen years, seven months, twenty-six days; Margaret, born Aug. 18, 1810, died July 21, 1885, aged seventy-four years, eleven months, three days, in Oley township; Catherine Leinbach, born Feb. 15, 1812, died Dec. 16, 1890, aged seventy-eight years, ten months, one day, near Boyertown; Elizabeth Johnson, born Nov. 9, 1813, died July 5, 1876, aged sixty-two years, seven months, twenty-six days, at Colebrookdale; Nicholas, born Nov 28, 1815, died in October, 1873, aged fifty seven years, ten months, six days, in Cumru township; Jacob, born Nov. 24, 1817, died aged eight years, two months, twenty-seven days; Amos L. was born Aug. 10, 1819; Maria DeTurk, born Sept. 10, 1821, died March 7, 1884, aged sixty-two years, five months, twenty-seven days, in Exeter township; Sophia, born in 1823, married James Smeck, and died May 6, 1870, aged forty-six years, seven months, twenty-eight days, at Reading; Jacob L., born Nov.. 14, 1824, died Feb. 6, 1904, aged seventy-nine years, two months, twenty-two days, in Indiana; Solomon, born April 1, 1830, died Oct. 9, 1872, aged forty-two years, six months, eight days, in Indiana.

After their marriage the parents of Amos L. Dick settled in Cumru township, along the Schuylkill river, and the father followed farming from 1806 continuously until 1858, when he retired, dying Dec. 11, 1859. He owned a farm of 135 acres. His wife died March 13, 1870, aged eighty-three years, two months, twenty-one days. They both were interred in the Charles Evans cemetery.

Amos L. Dick attended the subscription schools in the neighborhood of his home, which were the only available schools during his boyhood, and by the time he was seventeen years of age was a well-informed youth. His practical education had been in no way neglected, either, farm work claiming a large part of his time and attention. In assisting his father he learned how to manage for himself, and in 1848 he married and settled on a farm of 100 acres, which he purchased, in Robeson township. Mr. Dick remained on this farm for twenty years, in 1868 removing to Reading.

After coming to the city Mr. Dick followed contracting and building for some years, and was very successful. At length increasing years impelled him to retire entirely from business activity. He could recall the time when Reading's population did not exceed 4,000, long before it became the home of so many immense industries and the dwelling place of some of the most intelligent and cultured people of the great State of Pennsylvania. He occupied a very comfortable home at No. 29 North Ninth street, and was probably one of the most venerable, as he was one of the most esteemed residents of his city. He died May 12,1907.

In 1848 Mr. Dick married Amelia Dunkle, born Dec. 18, 1828, daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth (Althouse) Dunkle. The Dunkle family is a very old one in Berks county, having been established here by Jacob Dunkle, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Dick. Her grandparents were George and Charlotte (Engle) Dunkle. Mr. and Mrs. Dick had one daughter, Emma, who married John DeLong, wholesale leather merchant of Philadelphia. Mr. And Mrs. DeLong have had three children, viz: Flora, Howard and Oscar, the latter deceased. Mrs. Dick was one of a large family, her brothers and sisters being: Mary Ann, Caroline, Morgan, Sarah A., Elizabeth C., Albert, Killian G., David G., and James.

Mr. Dick was a life-long Democrat. He was the oldest member of the First Reformed Church at Reading, which he joined in 1839, his wife joining in 1846.

Nicholas Dick, son of Jacob (2), was born Nov. 28, 1815, and died Oct. 4, 1873. He married Esther DeTurk, who still survives, being now one of the oldest residents of Reading. Her home is at No. 140 South Ninth street. Mr. Dick was a life-long Democrat, and a worthy member of the Reformed Church. His father built the residence which still stands on the old Dick homestead, in Cumru township, in 1811. The barn he built in 1809 and the smoke-house in 1810. They were so substantially constructed that they have defied the attacks of time up to the present. Nicholas Dick's children were: Marcus D. (of Seyfert Station, Berks county), William, Eli D., Albert, Henry, Susan (wife of A. F. Wenzel, of Baumstown), Annie and Lizzie D.

Picture of Henry DickHenry Dick, son of Nicholas, was born in Cumru township, Berks county, April 24, 1845. He was educated in the district schools and at Brunner's Business College, and then engaged in farming, continuing thus until 1885, when he retired. In 1874 he became interested in the Farmers' Market-House Company, having a half interest, which he retained until the time of his death, May 21, 1901. Mr. Dick was a man of sterling integrity and was at various times elected by his townsmen to hold office, serving as a member of the common council, from the Third ward, in 1888-89, and declining a renomination.

Mr. Dick married Mary A. Kissinger, daughter of Washington S. and Elizabeth (Yost) Kissinger, and she lives at No. 106 South Ninth street, Reading. They had children as follows: Charles, Franklin and Henry (who is attending Princeton University, as a member of the class of 1909).

Charles K. Dick, senior member of the firm of Dick Brothers, brass founders and pattern-makers, of Reading, was born March 31, 1875. He attended the district schools and the Reading high school, and subsequently took a course at Stoner's Business College, Reading, after which he served an apprenticeship to the trade of pattern-maker, at the National Brass & Iron Works. After a few years of work as a journeyman for the same firm he engaged in business on his own account, in 1897 organizing the well-known Excelsior Brass Works, of which firm he served as secretary and treasurer until 1901. On March 1, 1902, Mr. Dick engaged in business with his brother Franklin K., at No. 120 Penn street, the firm being known as Dick Brothers. Twenty skilled mechanics are employed in the works, the local trade is large and steady, and extends through many States, and the firm is enjoying increasing prosperity.

Mr. Dick married Eva M. Baldwin, daughter of Franklin D. and Amanda D. (Rudolph) Baldwin, of Lancaster county, and one child, Martha Elizabeth, has been born to this union. Mr. Dick is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being connected with Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A.M., Excelsior R. A. Chapter, No. 237, Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T., Reading Lodge of Perfection; Caldwell Consistory, thirty-second degree, of Bloomsburg, Pa., and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Since 1901 Mr. Dick has been superintendent of the well-known Farmers' Market-House, Inc., being also treasurer and a director of said corporation.

Franklin K. Dick, junior member of the firm of Dick Brothers, was born in Cumru township, Berks county, June 26, 1878. He spent his early school days in his native township, later attending the public schools of Reading, after leaving which he served fifteen months at the trade of locksmith. He later learned the pattern-making trade, as well as engraving and chasing, and remained with the Reading Hardware Company, his first employers, for about six and one-half years. On March 1, 1902, with his brother, Charles K., Mr. Dick engaged in business at No. 120 Penn street, under the firm name of Dick Brothers.

On the organization of the firm it was the intention of the brothers to manufacture nothing except brass castings, but since that time they have added to the list of their products, which now include plumbers' supplies and a fine line of plumbers' specialties. The works were first furnished power by a five-horse-power engine, but they now have a seventy-five horse-power engine and 120 horse-power boiler. The works are equipped with the latest and best machinery, and employ nothing but skilled mechanics.

Mr. Dick married Miss Margaret Schick, daughter of Christian and Mary Schick, of Reading, and two children, Miriam and Carroll S., have been born to this union. Mr. Dick is a member of the First Reformed Church, and is assistant librarian of the Sunday-school. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, of Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M., and of the P. O. S. of A., and is very popular in all of these organizations. His residence is at No. 33 North Ninth street.

Eli D. Dick, a well-known business citizen of Reading, who is associated with the Bard Hardware Company, of that city, was born in Cumru township, Berks county, July 13, 1853, a son of Nicholas Dick and a grandson of Jacob Dick (2), and a nephew of the late Amos L. Dick of Reading.

Mr. Dick attended the public schools of his native township, and one term at Myerstown, Lebanon county, and assisted his father at farming until 1882, in the fall of which year he came to Reading, and accepted a position with the firm with which he is still connected.

Mr. Dick married Miss Catharine DeHart, and they reside at No. 1120 Franklin street. They are the parents of three children: George W., who is attending school; Esther L., deceased; and Mary A. He and his wife are members of the Reformed denomination.


p. 1239


B. Frank Dickinson, a well-known resident of Robeson township, Berks county, where he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits all of his life, was born in Robeson township, Dec. 24, 1860, son of Lewis and Catherine A. R. (Gaul) Dickinson.

Eli Dickinson, the grandfather of B. Frank, and a native of Robeson township, was a cabinet maker by trade, and also owned and operated a farm of sixty-five acres. He died at the age of eighty-two years. Mr. Dickinson married (first) Lydia Stevens, by whom he had these children: Rachel, Samuel, Lewis, Hannah, Lizzie and Phebe. The family were Quakers in religious belief, while in politics Mr. Dickinson was a Republican.

Lewis Dickinson, father of B. Frank, was born and reared in Robeson township, where he spent his entire life in agricultural pursuits, dying in 1905, at the age of seventy-three years. He married Catherine A. R. Gaul, born June 19, 1835, daughter of Benjamin Gaul, and to this union there were born these children: Lydia A., m. (first) Thomas Gest, by whom she had.-Jennie, Lewis and William (twins), Bessie and Frank, and m. (second) James Morrison. by whom there was no issue; Emma J., m. (first) Lafayette Geiger, by whom she had one child Sallie, and m. (second) Wilmer Seifert, by whom there was no issue; B. Frank; and Valeria, m. Samuel Lively. Mr. Dickinson was reared in the Quaker faith, but later in life joined St. James Lutheran Church, of which he was a trustee for ten years. He was a Republican in politics, but never sought office.

B. Frank Dickinson received his education in the common schools of Robeson township. and from the time when he was old enough, worked on the home farm, which he inherited at his father's death. He has operated this property ever since, with much success.

In 1891 Mr. Dickinson was married to Anna Dickinson, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Seifert) Dickinson, and three children have been born to this union: Irene, Lewis and Frank. In religious belief Mrs. Dickinson is a Baptist. Dickinson is a stanch Republican in politics, but like his honored father has never desired to hold public office.


p. 517


Joseph Rambo Dickinson, a member of the Berks county Bar, is a son of W. Scott and Mary A. (Rambo) Dickinson, and was born in Reading July 31, 1872. On the maternal side he is a grandson of Joseph Rambo, a drover and hotel-keeper of Reading. Mr. and Mrs. W. Scott Dickinson had three children, viz: Joseph R.; Nelson H., a molder of Reading; and William S., a teller of the Berks County Trust Company.

Mr. Dickinson graduated from the Reading high school in 1889, and immediately afterward entered the office of Jeremiah K. Grant, then district attorney of Berks county, remaining there until September, 1900, when he entered the employ of Ermentrout & Ruhl, a firm composed of the late Daniel Ermentrout, a member of Congress, and C. H. Ruhl. While clerking for these lawyers he read law and was admitted to the Bar in 1899. He is a member of the Superior and Supreme Courts of the State and the United States District, Circuit and Circuit Court of Appeals. He is engaged in the active practice of the law and enjoys an extensive practice.

He is a Mason; a member of the B. P. O. Elks, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Red Men, Liberty Fire Company, and many other social organizations. He belongs to the Trinity Lutheran Church. In politics he is a Democrat, and he is interested in a number of financial and industrial enterprises.

On April 8, 1900, Mr. Dickinson was married to Eva M. Moyer, daughter of Charles Moyer, of Reading. They have two children, a daughter Anna, named in honor of the noted lecturer and authoress, Anna Dickinson, and a son, Joseph R.


, p. 1615


Peter Dieffenbach, a substantial citizen and enterprising business man of Bethel Township, who is engaged in the manufacturing of buggies, phaetons, delivery wagons, etc., on the old Dieffenbach homestead, was born July 16, 1855, in Bethel township, son of David and Mary (Rollman) Dieffenbach.

John Jacob Dieffenbach, the great-great-grandfather of Peter, had the reputation of being the first American born citizen to make a pipe organ in the United States, one of his first instruments being made in 1787 for the Tulpehocken Church. He lived about one and one-half miles west of Millersburg, Bethel township, where his son, Christian, who succeeded him, continued the business for many years. Christian Dieffenbach died at an advanced age, having been the father of five children, as follows: David was the grandfather of Peter; Elizabeth m. John Wagner and died in Millersburg, at the age of eighty-one years; Catherine m. Joseph Naftsinger and resided near the old homestead, where she died, aged about seventy-five years; Julia remained single and died when seventy odd years of age; and Jonathan died in Miamisburg, O., at the age of sixty-eight years.

David Dieffenbach carried on the business founded by his grandfather and built a number of instruments, being later succeeded by a son, Thomas. He married Margaret Smith, and to them were born the following children: Elias, who was a carpenter and contractor of Bethel township, making a specialty of bridges and churches, m. Catherine Holtzman, and died aged eighty-six years; David was the father of Peter; Lovina m. Amos DeHart, of Myerstown, Lebanon county, and died aged seventy-five years; Caroline died unmarried when seventy-six years old; Thomas; Samuel, a huckster, of Mt. Aetna, Berks county, where he died at the age of seventy-one years, m. Eliza Fisher.

David Dieffenbach was born in Bethel township in 1823, and early in life learned the carpenter's trade, later engaging in coach making. He married Mary Rollman, daughter of Peter Rollman, and she bore him the following eleven children: (1) Henrietta m. Watson High, resides in W. Lebanon, and has had eleven children, seven of whom are living; (2) Emma m. Henry Hiester and died in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill county, aged fifty-nine years, leaving four children; (3) Thomas m. Emma Weidman and has two boys and one girl; (4) Kate m. Adam Reinold, resides in Freystown, and has five children; (5) Peter; (6) Frank, who resides in Reading, m. Agnes Miller, and they have one child; (7) Sophia m. John Miller, resides in Fritztown and has three children; (8) David, who resides in Washington, Kans., m. Amanda Schriffer; (9) Amelia m. Abraham Yost, resides on a farm near Hiester's Mill, Berks county, and has five children; (10) Mary m. George Hartman, resides near Freystown, and has six children; and (11) Ida died young.

Peter Dieffenbach was educated in the public schools of his native locality, and at the same time acquired a fair knowledge of coach building by assisting his father. He subsequently learned the trade of blacksmith with John Miller of Fredericksburg, after which he worked in other places, still continuing his trade. He then embarked in the business on his own account being now engaged thereat on the old homestead at Cross Creek Mills, Pa. Mr. Dieffenbach was married to Miss Caroline Kerscher, daughter of David and Elizabeth (Kreitzer) Kerscher, and to this union the following six children were born: (1) Minnie m. Harvey Yungst, resides in Elizabethtown, Lancaster county, and has two boys, -- Roy Eugene and Earl Davis; (2) Agnes m. Jacob Miller, a creamer, and resides near Freystown, having three children,--Carrie, Harry and Stella; (3) Wallace, who works with his father, m. a daughter of John A. Krick, resides at Meckville, and has two children, Peter and George; (4) Pierce, who resides at home and follows coach building, m. Lizzie Darkes, daughter of Ephraim and Amanda (Bressler) Darkes, and they have had one child, a daughter, Helen; (5) Davis is single and lives at home with his parents; and (6) Herbert died in his fourth year.

Mr. Dieffenbach has always been a stanch supporter of the principles of the great Democratic party, in the ranks of which he has been very active in Bethel township. He has served in numerous minor offices, but has never aspired higher. He is active in the work of Klopp's Union Church, in which he has held the offices of deacon and elder. Mr. Dieffenbach is well known in his community, where he has the respect and esteem of all.


p. 474


Samuel W. Dieffenbach a highly esteemed citizen of Tulpehocken township, Berks county, and the popular proprietor of the "Brown House" at Mount Aetna, was born June 15, 1866, in the same township, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Fisher) Dieffenbach.

John Jacob Dieffenbach, the great-great-grandfather of Samuel W., had the reputation of being the first American- born citizen to make a pipe organ in this country, one of his first instruments being made in 1787 for the Tulpehocken church. He lived about one and one-half miles west of Millersburg, Bethel township, Berks county, where his son, Christian, who succeeded him, continued the business for many years. John Jacob Dieffenbach came to the Tulpehocken settlement from Schoharie, N. Y., and was first engaged in building wagons, plows and harrows for the farmers. He had, however, an ambition to build church organs, and while on a trip to Philadelphia, carefully inspected the imported organs. Returning home he began work, but he did not know how to weld the seams of the metal pipes, nor did any one else in all this part of the country. Finally a foreign tramp came along, and he taught Mr. Dieffenbach the secret of the work. This was the beginning of an extensive industry. Mr. Dieffenbach first used animal bones for the keys, but later procured elephant's tusks, sawing them into shape and polishing them himself. Among his children were Christian and Thomas. The last named was succeeded in the cabinet making and undertaking business by his oldest son Henry, now advanced in years and living on the old homestead.

Christian Dieffenbach, son of John Jacob, succeeded to the organ business. He died at an advanced age, the father of the following children: David, grandfather of Samuel W.; Elizabeth, who died in Millersburg, at the age of eighty-one years (m. John Wagner); Catherine, who resided near the old homestead, where she died aged about seventy-five years (m. Joseph Naftsinger); July, who died unmarried when over seventy years of age; and Jonathan, who died in Miamisburg, Ohio, aged sixty-eight years.

David Dieffenbach, son of Christian, carried on the business founded by his grandfather and built a number of instruments, being later succeeded by his son, Thomas. He married Margaret Smith, and to them were born the following children: Elias, a cabinet maker and contractor in Bethel township, making a specialty of bridges and churches, died aged eighty-six years (he m. Catherine Holtzman); Thomas, born Jan. 22, 1821, and died in Millersburg in his eightieth year (he m. Maria Loose); David, born in 1823 (m. Mary Rollman); Lovina (m. Amos DeHart of Myerstown); Caroline, who died unmarried aged seventy-six; and Samuel.

Samuel Dieffenbach was born near Freystown, Bethel township, where he received his education and learned the trade of shoemaker, at the same time working more or less at carpentering and wheelwrighting with his brother David. Subsequently he engaged in huckstering, and this he carried on until his death Aug. 26, 1906. On Jan. 29, 1861, he married Elizabeth Fisher, daughter of Peter and Susanna (Stoudt) Fisher. She is now making her home at Mt. Aetna, in the house built by Mr. Dieffenbach in 1876. Of the six children born to Samuel Dieffenbach and wife, four sons died young, the survivors being Miss Mary, who lives with her mother; and Samuel W.

Samuel W. Dieffenbach received his early education in the public schools of the district and the high school, and after leaving school he assisted his father in the business for some time; and was then appointed U. S. storekeeper and gauger at various distilleries throughout the country for a period of six years. He married Lizzie Harnish, daughter of Christian and Sallie (Smith) Harnish. Two children were born of this union: Ella Mary, at home; and Anna Maria, who died aged one year. Mr. and Mrs. Dieffenbach reside at Mt. Aetna, where for eight years they have successfully conducted the "Brown House."

Mr. Diffenbach is an active member of the Lutheran denomination, while his wife belongs to the Reformed faith. He is a Democrat in politics, but has never aspired to office. Fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 69, P. O S. of A., and the 0. of U. A. He has a pleasing personality, and is very popular throughout the township and county.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:53:00 EDT

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