Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1221


Among the well know residents and successful business men of Reading, may be mentioned Charles Eck, who is extensively engaged in contracting and building, and who resides at No. 416 North Ninth street. Mr. Eck was born April 2, 1840, in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, son of the late George and Abelina Eck.

George Eck, who was a native of Berks county, learned the tailor's trade when a young man, but followed this only a few years, owing to ill health. He was employed at different occupations for the rest of his life, his death being caused by a blast in a stone quarry at Allentown, Pa., in his seventy-first year. His wife, Abelina, who died at the age of fifty-eight years, bore him fifteen children, as follows: Hannah, born July 10, 1836; Mary, deceased, born Aug. 23, 1837; Susanna, born Aug. 19, 1838; Charles; Catherine, born Sept. 14, 1841; Leannah, deceased, born March 9, 1843; Polly, deceased, born Sept. 10, 1844; Sarah, born Jan. 8, 1846; Caroline, born Sept. 8, 1848; George, born Aug, 1849; Jonas, born July 11, 1851; Wilson, deceased, born March 23, 1853; Michael, born July 21, 1855; Rebecca A., born Aug. 6, 1858; and Martha, born Dec. 13, 1860.

Charles Eck attended the public schools of his native township, and until nineteen years of age worked on a farm. He then went to Fairfield county, Ohio, where he learned the building business in all of its details. Returning to Berks county in 1874 he located in Reading, and here followed brick-laying for a time and butchering for eight years, but finally engaged in the building business which he has continued to the present time with much success. Among many other structures erected by Mr. Eck, his present handsome residence, built by him in 1887, is worthy of mention. He is one of the self-made men of the city, and his success in life is due entirely to his own efforts.

Mr. Eck was married to Elizabeth De Long, daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Specht) De Long, and to this union have been born: Louisa, Celesta and Lucinda are deceased; Emma m. M. J. Hoffman, and has two children, Marion and Emily; Lillie; and Melvin m. Annie Smith, and has also two children, Erma and Carl. Mr. Eck is independent in politics. His religious belief is that of the Evangelical Church.


p. 1146


Jacob Eck (deceased), who was for many years engaged in carpentering in Reading, Pa., although the last five years of his business life were spent in conducting a grocery business, was born in 1842, near Fleetwood, Richmond township, Berks county, son of John and Kate (Rothermel) Eck.

Peter Eck, grandfather of Jacob, was a native of France, and on coming to this country settled in Longswamp township, Berks county, where he engaged in farming all of his life. He and his wife, a Miss Kase, were devout Catholics, and were buried at Bally. Their children were: Jacob, Peter, John, Nancy, Magdalene, Lydia, Savilla, Sarah, Rachel and Leah.

John Eck, son of Peter and father of Jacob, engaged in farming in Richmond township, were he was considered a very prosperous man,. He married Kate Rothermel, and to them were born a family of whom seven grew to maturity, as follows: Jacob, Charles, Peter, Catherine, Sarah, Mary and Savilla.

Jacob Eck was reared in the home of his father, and attended the schools of his native locality, after leaving which he learned the carpenter's trade, being employed by the Philadelphia & Reading railroad for over thirty years. About five years prior to his death he retired from active business life, and opened up a grocery store, which his widow has conducted since his death in 1895. Mr. Eck was a man of sterling qualifies of character, and a faithful member of the Baptist Church. In political matters he was a Republican, and fraternally he was connected with the K. G. E.

In 1876 Mr. Eck was married to Miss Susan Yorgy, daughter of Henry and Mary (Hiester) Yorgy, and to them were born three children: William, who represents the Hooven Mercantile Company, of New York, m. Magdalene Whitman, and has one child, Lance; Catherine, and Mary.

Henry Yorgy, father of Mrs. Eck, was a well known citizen and proprietor of a hotel near Amityville, Berks county, being also by trade a tailor and clockmaker. He died in the faith of the Lutheran Church in his seventy-sixth year, while his wife, Mary Hiester, a member of the Reformed denomination, died when seventy years old. Their children were: Sarah, Harriet and Catherine, deceased; Mary, John; Amelia; Susan and Henry.




The descendants of Zacharias Heckenrode, an early settler of Berks county, spell the name in various ways. Eckenrode, Eckenroad, Eckenroth, Heckenroad and Heckenroath being common forms among the present day representatives of the family.

(I) Zacharias Heckenrode, who was the first ancestor in America of this numerous family, was a resident of Tulpehocken township in 1759, in which year it is recorded he was a taxable there, paying $2.66 federal tax. Many of the name still cling to the religious faith of their forefathers, who were Catholics.

(II) Jacob Eckenroth, son of Zacharias, was a farmer in Heidelberg township, Berks county. His children were Peter, Jacob, Henry, Michael, Lewis, Lizzie and John.

(III) Henry Eckenroth, son of Jacob, born in Heidelberg township about 1792, died about 1874, when eighty-two years, five months, fifteen days, old. He lived in Cumru township, near Gouglersville, owning a small tract of land, and though he attended to its cultivation he was best known throughout lower Berks county as a charcoal burner. He married Barbara Saugner, a native of western Berks county, who died near Gouglersville about 1892, at the great age of 103 years, fifteen days. She was known far and wide for her remarkable vitality. Mr. and Mrs. Eckenroth were members of the Catholic Church, and they are buried side by side in the Catholic cemetery at Reading; their graves are unmarked. He was a man of firm convictions, and strict with his children, rearing them to be honest and industrious members of society. They were eleven in number, as follows: Henry, George and Katie died unmarried; John, who lived in the vicinity of Wernersville, married Mary Hartman; Francis (born 1826 - died 1906) had children - Wallace, Edward, Charles, Emma, Ida, Irwin and Harry (this family is mentioned elsewhere); Thomas was next in the family; Lewis is mentioned farther on in this article; Richard; Samuel is mentioned farther on; Jacob; Reuben was born March 22, 1852.

(IV) Lewis Eckenroth, son of Henry and father of Albert L., was born in Heidelberg township and died Oct. 10, 1880. He followed farming in Heidelberg and Spring townships, and died in Cumru township, where he owned a tract of fourteen acres. He married Susan Trostle, daughter of Henry Trostle, of Brecknock township, and they had children: Ellen, deceased, m. John Mohn; Frank is now of Mohnton, Berks county; Ida died young; Cassie died age eight years, three months; Albert L.; Lizzie m. Charles Fitterling; Thomas; Nora m. Martin Matz; Charles lives at Mohnton; and Annie died aged fourteen years.

(V) Albert L. Eckenroth, son of Lewis, was born May 15, 1868, in Heidelberg township. He received his education in the district schools, but he began to learn the hatter's trade at an early age, with Spatz, Hornberger & Co., of Mohnton, working with that firm for eight years. He was next with John Hendel's Sons, on South Fifth street, at Reading, remaining in their employ for eleven years, and since 1900 he has been working at hatting for J. G. Mohn & Bros., well-known manufacturers of Reading. He is considered one of the best tradesmen in his line in Berks county. Mr. Eckenroth owns a farm comprising over twenty acres in Cumru township, between Mohnton and Gouglersville, and he makes his home on his farm in that township, where he is considered one of the most progressive citizens of the day. He is an industrious man, energetic and ambitious, shrewd and conservative in planning his affairs and able in carrying out his ideas.

As a local worker in the Democratic party Mr. Eckenroth is well known in the county. Since 1900 he has been a member of the county standing committee from Cumru township; he was a watchman at the Berks county prison for one year, and for three years was a member of the township board of school directors. During two years of that time he served as president of the board, and it is but a just acknowledgment of his efforts to record that his administration throughout was one of notable progress. During his period of service as director two of the finest school buildings in the county were erected. The one at Shillington was built in 1901, and the one at Oakbrook in 1899. It was also during his administration that the first township high school in Berks county was established, under the new law, and this school is now the leading institution of the kind in the county. It is under the care of Prof. A. M. Dietrich. The salary of teachers was increased and numerous other improvements were made in the school system while Mr. Eckenroth was in office, and both teachers and pupils have reason to remember his services with gratitude.

In fraternal connection Mr. Eckenroth is a member of the P. O. S. of A., the Modern Woodmen and the I. O. O. F. He assisted in organizing Camp No. 211, P. O. S. of A., of Mohnton, and was its first president; is a member of Unamis Tribe, No. 330, I. O. R. M., of Reading; belongs to Mt. Penn Lodge, Odd Fellows, of Reading, and to the Junior Fire Company No. 2, of Reading.

Mr. Eckenroth married Miss Clara Kegerise, daughter of Elias and Elizabeth (Sweigert) Kegerise, who are now deceased. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Eckenroth, namely: Bonding, Harry, George W., Albert L., Jr., Charles and Susan Elizabeth. Mr. Eckenroth and his family are Reformed members of the Gouglersville Union Church.

(IV) Samuel Eckenroad, son of Henry, born Sept. 10, 1844, in Brecknock township, died April 5, 1886, aged forty-one years, six months, twenty-five days. He is buried at Sinking Spring. He lived and died in Lower Heidelberg township, where he owned a tract of land, and he engaged in stone quarrying, in his later years leasing a quarry at Sinking Spring, which he was working at the time of his death. Samuel Eckenroad married Mary Ann Ruth, born March 4, 1841, daughter of Absalom and Ann (Fisher) Ruth, and five children were born to them, namely: George S.; Charles A., a farmer residing near Wernersville; Annie, unmarried, who lives with her mother; Harry O., a cigar-maker, also living at home; and Edwin R., a school teacher of Spring township, unmarried and living at home.

(V) George S. Eckenroad, son of Samuel, was born Jan. 19, 1867, in Spring township, and obtained his schooling at Gaul's school, in Lower Heidelberg township. From the time he was fourteen until he was eighteen he worked on the farm, and then went to learn the blacksmith's trade with David Sharman, of Fritztown, Berks county. He has followed this business ever since, being located at Fritztown, where he enjoys the good-will and patronage of a large proportion of the people, doing horse-shoeing as well as general blacksmith work. In 1904 he built a shop 24 x 36 feet, and has an up-to-date establishment. He is a citizen of high repute, honest and upright in his relations with his fellow men, and respected for his honorable life. He has been successful in business, and besides his shop owns two acres of valuable land at Fritztown, and two nice residences in Sinking Spring, one being his own home, which he has occupied since it was built in 1891. In the fall of 1906 he was one of a company of men, the others being A. S. Stiely, J. S. Hatt, Joseph Smith, N. M. Wenrich, B. F. Huntzinger and Frank C. Fisher, who purchased a small tract of land at a discount from N. M. Wenrich and thereon erected a building 26 x 36 feet in dimensions, two and a half stories high, in which they have since carried on the manufacture of hosiery.

On March 31, 1889, Mr. Eckenroad married Amelia Matz, born Jan. 29, 1862, daughter of David and Mary Ann (Ulrich) Matz, of Spring township, and three children have been born to them: Charles, a molder, now living at Sinking Spring, who married Laura Gromis; Paul M., learning the blacksmith trade with his father; and William S., at school.

Mr. Eckenroad is active in the Democratic party, and has held the various precinct offices with satisfaction to the organization. Socially he belongs to Wernersville Lodge, No. 835, I. O. O. F., and to Castle No. 334, K. G. E., of Sinking Spring.

(III) Lewis Eckenrode, son of Jacob, was a lifelong farmer, and lived at various places, for a number of years making his home at Churchtown, Lancaster county, where he died when about sixty-five years old. He is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Reading. He married Catharine Schnabel, and to them were born the following children: Betzy, wife of Henry Bolten; Adam, mentioned farther on; Christian, who died unmarried; Susan, Mrs. Clark; Catharine, wife of Frank Seiling (she is a member of the Catholic Church); Annetta, wife of Wellington Poff, of Reading; and Henry, a farmer of Lancaster county, whose children were Albert, Maggie, Henrietta, Rosa, Kate and Ida.

(IV) Adam Eckenroad, a retired farmer living in Lower Heidelberg township, was born Jan. 15, 1831, in Lancaster county, near Churchtown, and was reared to farming. For thirteen years he was employed at the Mount Penn Furnace, but with that exception he followed farming throughout his active years. In 1874 he purchased the farm upon which he now lives, and two years later, in 1876, he built the present barn upon the place. The house was erected by Daniel Texter in 1852. The farm comprises 165 acres, and besides this property Mr. Eckenroad owns a tract of forty acres in Lancaster county. He attends the Reading Market, having stand No. 188, at the Bingaman Street Market House.

Mr. Eckenroad married Sarah Smith, of Sinking Spring, daughter of Frederick Smith, the latter a member of the Catholic Church, to which Mr. Eckenroad also belongs, his membership being in St. Peter's Church at Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Eckenroad have three children, namely: Christian, born Nov. 23, 1874, assists his father with the work of the farm; Lizzie is the wife of Nelson Krick, who is employed in Reading, and they live with the Eckenroads; Kate is the wife of David Hassler, of Blainsport, Pennsylvania.


p. 1544


Francis H. Eckenroad, whose death occurred Dec. 11, 1906, at the age of eighty years, at his residence, No. 631 Laurel street, Reading, was an old resident of the city, having spent practically his whole active business life within its limits. He was born Dec. 11, 1826, when his parents, John and Mary (Hartman) Eckenroad, were living near "Hartman's Hotel," in the vicinity of Wernersville.

Picture of Frances EckenroadMr. Eckenroad was unable to avail himself of even the limited educational advantages which were to be had in that early day, and his school days lasted but two weeks. So good, however, were his natural abilities, that even hampered thus by lack of training he became known as one of the best business men in the city. He came to Reading about fifty-two years ago, and having learned the shoemaker's trade early in life followed that occupation steadily till he retired, about eight years before his death, being located in the same shop for forty-five consecutive years. He invested his earnings, and was so uniformly successful in his undertakings that he accumulated a good property.

In 1852 Mr. Eckenroad married Miss Elvina Hain, daughter of George and Eva (Fisher) Hain. Ten children were born to this union, of whom the following six are living: G. Wallace is a wheelwright and wagon-maker at Gouglersville, PA.; H. Edward, who was superintendent for L. H. Focht, builder, opened a millinery business in March, 1909, at No. 39 North Ninth street, Reading, and also has a store at No. 5153 Haverford avenue, Philadelphia; Charles is a blacksmith; Ida m. Charles Smith; Irvin is a wheelwright; and Harry E., a well-known musician and teacher of instrumental music in the Academy of Music at Reading, has given a number of amateur productions. One daughter, Emma, m. G. Smith Geiger, and died May 13, 1909. Mr. Eckenroad was also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Mary Hill and Mrs. Elizabeth Hill; two half-sisters, Mrs. Susan Seidel and Mrs. Levina Kemp; and three half-brothers, Thomas, Michael and Wilson Eckenroad.

Mr. Eckenroad was formerly a member of Salome Lodge, I. O. O. F., continuing in its ranks until it disbanded. In religious connection, he was a member of Faith Reformed Church, and was treasurer of its Sabbath-school for twenty-seven years. In the many years he was identified with the city of Reading he earned the respect of the community, and he is mourned by many friends.


p. 796


Capt. Conrad Eckert (grandfather of Isaac Eckert, whose sketch appears in this publication) was born at Langenselbold, in the Kingdom of Hanover, Feb. 6, 1741. During that year his father, John Eckert, emigrated to Pennsylvania, and settled in Heidelberg township, Lancaster (now Berks) county. He was brought up to farming, and when a young man became a blacksmith, which calling he pursued for some time. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was one of the active Associators of the county. As such he commanded a company which was raised in Heidelberg township, and became a part of the 1st Battalion, commanded by Col. Henry Haller. This battalion marched to service in New Jersey in December, 1776, but the companies returned home without permission, because they had not been paid according to the terms of their enlistment. Captain Eckert is the "Captain Echard" mentioned by General Israel Putnam as one of the captains who informed him that "their companies had run away to a man, excepting a lieutenant, sergeant and drummer."

Captain Eckert's company afterward formed a part of Spyker's Battalion, and participated in the campaign at and about Germantown and White Marsh during the fall of 1777. He was wounded in the battle at Germantown, and his health in consequence became so impaired that he never fully recovered. Subsequently, in 1778 and 1780, his company was connected with the 4th Battalion of county militia.

He officiated as a county commissioner from 1785 to the time of his death in 1791. It is said that during the Revolution he carried on a powder-mill in the southern extremity of Heidelberg township, along the head waters of Spring creek. His farm where he resided adjoined the "Corner Church" property on the east.

Upon his return from military service, Captain Eckert carried on farming on the Eckert homestead, near Robesonia, until his death, Aug. 25, 1791. He was married to Elizabeth Hain, daughter of _______ Hain, in Heidelberg township, by whom he had seven sons -- John, Peter, George, David, Daniel, Solomon and Conrad -- and two daughters -- Catherine (m. to Henry Copenhaven) and Barbara (m. to Daniel Reeser). His remains were buried in the graveyard connected with Hain's Church. Col. Valentine Eckert, whose sketch appears in this publication, was an elder brother.

Peter Eckert; for many years a prominent and successful merchant at Womelsdorf, and grandfather of George B. Eckert, was born on the Eckert homestead in Heidelberg township, several miles east of Womelsdorf, Nov. 12, 1771. He was brought up on the farm and worked as clerk in a country store until he became of age. He then embarked in the store business for himself at Womelsdorf, which he followed very successfully until his decease, covering a period of upward of forty years. His trading relations extended over a wide stretch of country, even reaching into the Southern States. He was of an enterprising spirit and appreciating the importance of education, sent his children to Philadelphia to give them the advantages of the most advanced schools of that time. He owned a large tract of coal land in Schuylkill county and was one of the first persons to use anthracite coal for domestic purposes. This was hauled to Womelsdorf by his own teams.

Mr. Eckert was married to Susan Phillipina Brown, daughter of George Brown of Millbach, Lebanon county, who removed to Erie, Pa., and there died. Mr. and Mrs. Eckert had ten children, two dying in infancy; David, who died at Philadelphia, unmarried, at the age of thirty years; William, m. to Rebecca Hiester; Isaac (whose sketch appears in this publication); Dr. George Nicholas, a graduate physician, member of Congress from the Philadelphia district in 1849-50, and director of the United States Mint at Philadelphia, m. to Emily Trevor; Peter, who died at the age of seventeen years; Mary, who died unmarried; Eliza, m. to Dr. Lot Benson; and Susan, m. to Rev. William A. Good. Peter Eckert died in 1839, aged sixty-eight years, and his wife in 1851, aged eighty years.


p. 797


George Brown Eckert, iron-master at Reading for nearly thirty years, was born at Reading Sept. 5, 1840. He received his education in the local schools in the Balmar French Academy at West Chester, PA., and in an advanced preparatory school at Danbury, Conn. When the Civil war broke out his patriotic spirit was aroused with that of some of his associates, and while the Ringgold Light Artillery was preparing for the front in a building near his home on Fifth street, he enlisted as a volunteer of this company, which was mustered into the Picture of George B. EckertUnited States service at Harrisburg April 16, 1861, and he served his term of three months with the company, when he was honorably discharged. This enlistment made him one of the First Defenders, so recognized throughout the United States, and as such he received from Congress a medal of honor and a vote of thanks. Upon his discharge from the service mentioned, prominent military officials appreciated his spirit and character so highly that he was commissioned lieutenant of the 3d Regiment, United States Infantry, and he continued in active service until near the termination of the war. By reason of his military service he became a member of the First Defenders Association, of Post No. 76, G. A. R., and of the Loyal Legion, with all of which organizations he was prominently identified until his decease. Mr. Eckert was a member of the Berks County Historical Society, and upon his decease an appropriate sketch was read before the meeting Oct. 10, 1899, which included the following remarks relating to his military services in the regular army:

"He was appointed second lieutenant, 3d U. S. Infantry, Aug. 5, 1861, and assigned to Company I; promoted to first lieutenant March 12, 1862, participating in the Peninsular campaign, in the advance on Chickahominy, Fair Oaks, Gaine's Mills, Seven Pines, Seven Days' battles, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. In May, 1863, he was ordered to report to Colonel Buchanan, 4th U. S. Infantry, for mustering duty at Trenton, N. J. Lieutenant Eckert resigned from the army Nov. 10, 1864."

Upon his return home from the Civil war, he entered the employ of his father (who was then engaged in operating the Henry Clay Furnace which he and his brother Dr. George N. Eckert had erected in the southern part of Reading in 1842), and he served as a clerk in the works until 1873, when he and his brother Henry S. Eckert formed a co-partnership under the name of Eckert & Bro., purchased the furnace property, and carried it on very successfully until his brother's decease in 1894. He afterward continued its operation for himself and his brother's estate until May, 1899, when the plant was sold to the Empire Iron & Steel Company of New York.

Mr. Eckert became a director of the Farmers National Bank in 1874, and filled that position until his death in 1899. Upon the death of his brother Henry S. Eckert (who had served as president of the bank from 1873 to 1894), he succeeded to the presidency, but on account of the condition of his health was obliged to resign after filling the office for seventeen months.

In his young manhood Mr. Eckert identified himself with Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, and he continued in active membership until his decease, filling various positions in the management of the church, more especially on the finance committee. Upon the death of his father, he united with his brother Henry S. Eckert, and sister Mrs. Rebecca Stetson in presenting the chimes in the church steeple as a memorial to their father. He was a member of the Wyomissing Club of Reading, of the Union League of Philadelphia, and of the Iron-Masters Association of America, in which he was highly appreciated for his sociability and culture.

Mr. Eckert was married to Mary Ann Trexler, daughter of Horatio Trexler (a prominent iron-master at Reading for many years, and president of the National Union Bank of Reading from 1873 to 1900), the they had three children: William Brown; Sarah Hunter (m. to Howard Jewell Potts), and Henry S. (who died in 1893, aged twenty-one years). He died July 5, 1899. [For earlier generations see sketch of Isaac Eckert, his father, in this publication.]


p. 825


George J. Eckert, one of the most useful, progressive and patriotic citizens of Reading, where he was at the head of a large brick manufactory, died Feb. 10, 1900, and was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. He was a man of strong personality, sound judgment and sterling integrity, and took an active part in public affairs.

Philip Eckert, grandfather of George J., was born June 18, 1756, and died Sept. 10, 1828. His wife, Lydia Beck, was born June 17, 1762. Their children were: George, born Sept. 9, 1782; Mary, 1784; Susanna, 1785; Catherine, 1788; Peter, 1790; Sarah, 1792; Margaret, 1794; Elizabeth, 1795; Catherine (2), 1799; and Hannah, 1803.

George Eckert, son of Philip, was born near Schaefferstown, Lebanon county, Sept. 9, 1782, and died Jan. 19, 1854. On Jan. 26, 1809, he married Sarah Resley, born Dec. 16, 1787, died Jan. 12, 1879, daughter of Rudolph Resley, of Lebanon county. Their children were: Catherine, born 1809; Elizabeth, 1811; Mary, 1813; George, 1815; Cyrus, 1817; Philip, 1820; William 1822; Rudolph, 1825; George John, 1827; and Aaron T., 1830.

George John Eckert, son of George, was born Feb. 14, 1827, in Lebanon county. He acquired his education in the public schools of Lebanon, and in Marshall College, Mercersburg, graduating from the latter institution in the fall of 1852. He came at once to Reading, and having determined upon a professional career, placed himself under the instruction of the Hon. William Strong, the well-known lawyer, and he was admitted to the Bar of Berks county April 28, 1855. Until 1865 he labored faithfully at his profession, but it was not congenial, and he abandoned his practice to devote his entire time to his fire brick factory, which he had established in 1863. This he enlarged and extended until it became one of the important industries of the city, with a high reputation for turning out a first class product.

Mr. Eckert was a very successful man, but in the midst of his wide personal interests he found time to take an active and intelligent interest in the affairs of his town and country. During the Civil war he was instrumental in raising and equipping troops, and when Pennsylvania was invaded he shouldered a musket himself, being in the service ninety days. On July 6, 1863, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Company C, 42d P.V.I. As a stalwart Republican he did his party great service. In 1863 he was a delegate to the State convention at Pittsburg; and in 1868 to the National Convention at Chicago. He was a member of the select council of Reading from 1866 to 1869, and of the common council from 1876 to 1878. Mr. Eckert was one of the promoters of the Union Bank of Reading, and for three years was one of its directors. His religious connection was with the First Reformed Congregation of Reading, which he served a long time as trustee, and he was chairman of the building committee when the church was remodeled in 1874-1875.

On Nov. 26, 1857, Mr. Eckert was married to Rebecca Gerhard, born March 28, 1838, daughter of Isaac M. Gerhard, and his wife, Catherine (Capp). Isaac M. Gerhard was the owner of three large farms in Lebanon county, and one in Berks, and he is buried at Newmanstown; his children were: Elizabeth (died unmarried), Rebecca, Katie (wife of George Zimmerman), Mary Ann (died in childhood), and Emma (m. to Nicholas Hunter, of Sheridan, Pa.). To Mr. and Mrs. George J. Eckert were born the following children: Isaac G. m. Elizabeth Smith, and lives at Drifton, Pa.; Rudolph R. is employed by the George W. Alexander Hat Company of West Reading; Mintie S. and Emma R. are at home; George m. Amy Koch, and lives at Philadelphia, where he is employed at the John B. Stetson Co., hat manufacturers; William died at the age of five; and Ellen is a skilled artist, whose pen sketch of the old Eckert Fire Brick factory deserves to rank as a masterpiece. In 1876 Mr. Eckert erected his beautiful home at West Reading, where his widow, son and daughters now reside. The mansion is modern in every particular, contains twenty-two charming rooms, all tastefully furnished, and it has many relics of the Revolution. Mrs. Eckert has the old "swallow nest" pulpit of the old historic Host Church of Berks county, now (1909) over one hundred and fifty years old. The home is surrounded by several acres of land, on which is a fine garden, vineyard, and all kinds of choice fruit. This is one of the most beautiful places in the county, and Mrs. Eckert and her family are very popular among a wide circle of friends.


p. 798


Henry S. Eckert, banker and iron manufacturer at Reading from 1873 to 1894, was born at Reading in 1830, son of Isaac Eckert. He received his preparatory education at Reading, and then entered Marshall College at Mercersburg, graduating from that institution. Upon his return home his father placed him at the Henry Clay Furnace to learn the iron business, and in a comparatively short time he was given the active management of the plant, a position he continued to fill until July 1, 1873, when he and his brother, George B. Eckert, formed a copartnership, under the firm name of Eckert & Bro., for the purpose of carrying on the business, and their father sold the works to them. They operated this large plant very successfully until the decease of Henry S. in 1894. Their enterprise included extensive mining operations, and they employed altogether from 200 to 300 men.

Mr. Henry S. Eckert took an active interest in political matters, local, State and National for thirty years. His valuable business affairs inclined him to advocate protection to home industry, and on that account he was an ardent Republican. During the Civil war he was active in supporting the national government, and in 1862 was one of the Emergency Men from Reading to assist in repelling the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania. In 1866 the Republican party of the county gave him the nomination for Congress, and his popularity was shown by his obtaining a majority of the votes of Reading over the Democratic nominee. He represented the Eighth ward in the select council from 1872 to 1875, officiating as president of that body from 1873 to 1875.

The cause of education received the earnest attention of Mr. Eckert for many years, and he represented the Eighth ward in the school board, having officiated as president of the board continuously from 1872 until 1888. In 1873 one of the large public school buildings, situated on North Tenth street, near Washington, was named after him. Art was largely patronized by Mr. Eckert, especially productions of home talent, and his art gallery, which was built as an annex to his elegant home on Perkiomen avenue, contained a choice collection of superior paintings by Benade, Devlan, Spang, and Shearer.

Mr. Eckert encouraged the substantial development of Reading and vicinity by the establishment of internal improvements, having cooperated with other enterprising men in constructing the Berks County Railroad, the Wilmington & Northern Railroad, and the Penn Street Passenger Railway, and he officiated as a director. He succeeded his father as president of the Farmers National Bank of Reading in 1873, and filled the position in a most satisfactory manner until his decease in 1894. He was prominently identified with the Union Trust Company and the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Philadelphia; the Pennsylvania Bolt & Nut Works at Lebanon; the Charles Evans Cemetery; and the Reading Hospital. He served as president of the Eastern Pig Iron Association for a number of years, having aided in its organization in 1883.

Mr. Eckert was married in 1857 to Carrie Hunter, daughter of Nicholas Hunter, an iron-master of Reading, by whom he had four children: Isaac, Helen, Hunter and Kate. He died Jan. 10, 1894, and his wife March 28, 1880.


p. 346


Isaac Eckert, until lately president of the Farmers National Bank of Reading, is one of the leading citizens of that place, a man of distinctive prominence in its commercial life, in which he maintains a name which has long been a synonym for worth and integrity, as well as marked business ability, in this part of Pennsylvania. The Eckert family is one of the oldest in Berks county, having been located here for almost two centuries. As the name implies, the Eckerts are of German origin.

Valentine Eckert, born in Langensalza, Hanover, Germany, in 1733, came to America with his parents in 1740, the family settling in the Tulpehocken Valley, in the western part of Berks county. He became quite a prominent man in his day, becoming a citizen of this country after twenty-one years' residence here. He took a leading part in the Revolution and the events leading up to and following that struggle. In June, 1776, he was one of ten who represented Berks county in the Provincial Conference, and the next month was one of a delegation of eight members from Berks county to the Provincial convention convoked for the purpose of framing a new form of government, founded on the authority of the people, to succeed the old proprietary form. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly in both 1776 and 1777. During the war he commanded a cavalry company, was wounded at the battle of Germantown, became sub-lieutenant of the county in 1777, and served as such until he became lieutenant of the county, in the year 1781. In 1784 he was appointed a judge of the court of Common Pleas, holding that office for seven years, until by the Constitution of 1790 a president judge took the places of the various judges. In 1816, though then very advanced in age, he removed to the State of Virginia, where he died, at Winchester, in December, 1821, in his eighty-eighth year.

Peter Eckert, son of Valentine, passed all his life in Berks county, and engaged in farming and merchandising near Womelsdorf, the family home.

Isaac Eckert, son of Peter, was born in January 1800, in Womelsdorf, and there received his early education in the public schools, later attending the grammar schools of the University of Pennsylvania. Before reaching his majority he became associated in business with his older brother, William, the sons succeeding their father in the grocery business, which they continued at Womelsdorf until 1828, in which year they moved their establishment to Reading. There they continued it until the year 1836, when Isaac Eckert withdrew from the firm to enter the iron manufacturing business in partnership with his younger brother, Dr. George N. Eckert. In 1842-44 they erected the Henry Clay Furnace, at that time one of the largest anthracite furnaces in the country, and in the year 1855 a second stack was completed. After Dr. Eckert died, on June 28, 1865, Isaac Eckert became sole proprietor of these works until his retirement, in 1873, when he passed them over to his sons, Henry S. and George B. This was not his only connection in the iron manufacturing line, for in 1852 he became president of the Leesport Iron Company, of which he remained the executive head until his death, thus controlling and managing extensive iron interests, in which he was one of the largest stockholders. Naturally his influence extended to other business enterprises, and he became especially well known as president of the Farmers Bank, an institution founded in 1814, of which he was chosen president in 1838. He served as such for the unusually long period of thirty-five years, and upon his death, which occurred Dec. 13, 1873, was succeeded therein by his son Henry S. Eckert.

Mr. Eckert was just as active in matters affecting the general welfare as he was in commercial circles. He served many years as president of the Berks County Agricultural and Horticultural Society, of which he was one of the founders, and was interested deeply in other enterprises calculated to advance the best industries of this section. Originally a Whig in politics, he became a Republican upon the organization of the party, and in 1860 was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, held at Chicago, which placed Abraham Lincoln at the head of the ticket; in 1864 he was a Presidential elector from the State of Pennsylvania. Throughout the war he did his utmost to aid the Union cause, both by liberal contributions and by his influence in directing public sentiment in his city.

Isaac Eckert married Judith Hahn, daughter of Dr. Hahn, of Montgomery county, and he was survived by his widow and three children, Henry S., George B. and Rebecca, the last named the wife of P. R. Stetson, of New York City. As a memorial, after Mr. Eckert's death this family presented a full chime of ten bells to Christ Episcopal Church of Reading, of which Mr. Eckert had been a member.

Henry S. Eckert, son of Isaac, was born in Reading, where he received his preparatory education in the public schools. He then became a student at Franklin and Marshall College, from which he graduated, after which he entered business life. Becoming associated with his father in the iron business, he soon qualified so thoroughly for its demands that he was able to take the management of the works himself, and on July 1, 1873, the year of their father's death, but shortly before that event, he and his brother George B. formed a partnership to engage in the iron business, under the firm name of Eckert & Brother. Before long the Henry Clay Furnace became their property, but with all their new responsibilities they passed successfully through the financial panic of 1873. They not only carried on the manufacturing business, but also owned the iron mines which supplied their works with the necessary ore, employing altogether, in the mines and works, over two hundred and fifty men.

Besides his important connection with the firm of Eckert & Brother Mr. Eckert's iron interests led him into other associations of even greater prominence, and he served as president of the Eastern Pig Iron Association, as president of the Topton Furnace Company of Topton, and president of the Pennsylvania Bolt & Nut Works of Lebanon. As to local enterprises, it has already been stated that he succeeded his father in the presidency of the Farmers Bank in 1873, and he continued to hold that position until his own death, in 1893, when his son Isaac succeeded to the incumbency. He was also a trustee of the Union Trust Company and of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, the latter a Philadelphia institution. He was one of the promoters of the Penn Street Passenger Railway, which was put into operation in 1874, and which played so important a part in the improvement of East Reading. He was one of the projectors of the Berks County railroad, from Reading to Slatington, becoming a member of the board of directors upon the organization of the company, and he also served as a director of the Wilmington & Northern Railroad Company. He was a director of the Reading Hospital and of the Charles Evans cemetery. For over twenty years he gave his services as president of the school board of control, and in recognition of his valuable work the Eckert school, erected in 1873, was named in his honor.

As a large manufacturer Mr. Eckert was naturally inclined to a belief in the principles of protection, and accordingly upheld the tenets of the Republican party, in whose workings he took an active and efficient part. In 1866 he was the Republican nominee for Congressman from his district, running against J. Lawrence Getz, but although supported handsomely by his home city, which gave him a majority, he could not overcome the normal Democratic vote in the district.

In 1857 Mr. Eckert married Carrie Hunter, daughter of Nicholas Hunter, an ironmaster of Reading, and four children were born to them, viz.: Isaac, Helen (Mrs. Herman Miegs), Hunter and Kate M. (Mrs. Reeves). The mother passed away March 28, 1880. Mr. Eckert was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, in which he served as vestryman for a number of years before his death, and he was a zealous worker in all its enterprises.

Isaac Eckert, at present one of the most notable figures in the business life of the city of Reading, was born there May 27, 1859. He received his education in the public schools of the city and at Lafayette College, from which institution he was graduated in 1879, after which he immediately turned his energies to the line of business which his ancestors have followed for generations. The business was sold to the Empire Iron & Steel Company. Mr. Eckert served from 1893 until 1908, when he resigned owing to ill health, as president of the Farmers Bank, now the Farmers National Bank, which was presided over by a member of this family for almost seventy years, Isaac Eckert being of the third generation of the family to occupy that office. The circumstance is remarkable, not only for the unusual length of time the position was held in the family but as indicative of continued moral and mental strength. Mr. Eckert was also president of the Deppen Brewing Company, an important business concern of the city, but this, too, he resigned on account of failing health; he occupies a high position among the most substantial citizens of the present day. However, he is not active in either politics or outside matters to the extent his father and grandfather were, though he is a man of high public spirit and ready to lend his influence or financial aid to worthy project which have the advancement of the city or the general welfare as their object. He is a Republican in political sentiment, and interested in local government, particularly municipal affairs.

In 1879 Mr. Eckert married Eliza Kaufman, daughter of William M. Kaufman, and they have had two children, William K. and Carrie.

William K. Eckert, of Reading is interested in numerous enterprises in the city. He is a native of Reading, born in 1879, son of Isaac and Eliza (Kaufman) Eckert. In his youth he attended the local grammar and high schools, graduating from the latter in 1898, when he went to Cornell University. There he spent two years, at the end of which time he returned to Reading and read law with Isaac Hiester. On Dec. 12, 1901, he took the position of secretary-treasurer and general manager of the Deppen Brewing Company, which position he resigned in 1908, to enter the banking business, which is his present occupation. He is a director of the Farmers' National Bank and of the Colonial Trust Company, two of the strongest financial institutions of the city, and in 1906 was chosen second vice-president of the former institution, with which his family have been so long associated. He is one of the most successful young business men of his native city, where he has a host of friends.

Mr. Eckert married, Dec. 12, 1905, in Reading, Miss Mary L. Barbey, whose family is mentioned elsewhere, the Barbeys being among the old and prominent families of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Eckert reside at No. 812 North Fifth street, Reading, and are well known and much esteemed in that locality. They are members of the Episcopal Church.


p. 796


Isaac Eckert (father of George B. Eckert) was born Jan. 26, 1800, at Womelsdorf, Berks county, and was brought up on a farm, and educated in the local schools and the preparatory school of the University of Pennsylvania. In his young manhood he entered the large general store of his father, Peter Eckert, at Womelsdorf. He showed so much proficiency in business affairs that his father transferred the store to him and his elder brother William before he became of age. In 1828 they removed to Reading, and established their store at the northwest corner of Fourth and Penn streets, where they traded successfully until 1836. Isaac Eckert then retired from the store business to associate with his younger brother, Dr. George N. Eckert, in the manufacture of iron. In 1841-44, they erected the Henry Clay Furnace along the Schuylkill river in the southern section of Reading, then one of the largest anthracite furnaces in Pennsylvania, and this is said to have been the first furnace at which anthracite coal was used in the manufacture of iron. In 1855 they erected a second furnace near by, which they operated until the younger brother's decease in 1865. The surviving partner then purchased his brother's interest, and carried on the plant very successfully until 1873, when he sold it to his two sons, Henry S., and George B., whom he had educated for the business. He died shortly afterward, Dec. 13, 1873.

Isaac Eckert was also prominently identified with other industrial affairs relating to the manufacture of iron for many years, more especially with the Leesport Iron Company at Leesport, and in the mining of iron ore in different parts of Berks county, whereby he became the owner of many hundred acres of land. He was one of the founders of the Berks County Agricultural Society, and served as president for a number of years. He took great interest in the best breeds of live stock and the finest varieties of standard fruits, and during his presidency superior specimens of them constituted the chief attractions at the annual fairs.

Mr. Eckert's success as a merchant and manufacturer attracted the respect and confidence of the directors of the Farmers' Bank of Reading to such a degree for a number of years that they selected him as president, beginning in 1836, and he continued to fill this important and responsible position in a most successful and creditable manner for nearly forty years (until his decease in 1873), notwithstanding the trying fluctuations of financial affairs at Reading, more especially the panics of 1837 and 1857.

In 1867 and also in 1873 Mr. Eckert made extensive tours through the principal countries of Europe, and acquired much practical information upon many subjects. In the latter year, he served as one of the commissioners to the Vienna Exposition, having been appointed by President Grant. He also served as one of the two commissioners from the Berks District for the organization of the board of finance under which the Centennial Exposition of 1876 was successfully conducted.

Mr. Eckert took great interest in the success of the political principles in which he had been educated, and to which he adhered through life, first as a Whig and afterward as a Republican. His influence and wealth were freely used for the benefit of his party. During the Rebellion he contributed liberally of his means to encourage the national administration in successfully prosecuting the war for the preservation of the Union, and in this behalf he took an active part with other prominent men of Reading at public and private meetings to develop proper sentiments in the community favorable to the great cause. In 1860 he was a delegate to the National Convention at Chicago, when Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President on the Republican ticket, and in 1864 he served as one of the Presidential Electors for the State of Pennsylvania. Politically he was universally respected, and personally he was highly esteemed for his many admirable traits of character.

Mr. Eckert was a member of Christ Episcopal Church at Reading, and a liberal contributor to the endowment fund of the diocese of Central Pennsylvania. He was distinguished for cheerfulness of disposition, and he possessed pleasing manners in his social and business intercourse. A full chime of ten superior bells, weighing over five tons, was presented by his children to the church as a memorial to him, and placed in the Gothic spire of that elegant and costly structure.

Mr. Eckert was married to Judith Hahn (daughter of Dr. John Hahn, of New Hanover township, Montgomery county, a graduate physician of the University of Pennsylvania, member of Congress from 1815-17, and a lineal descendant of Philip Hahn, who emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1729). To Mr. and Mrs. Eckert were born three children: Henry S., George B., and Rebecca (married to P. R. Stetson, of New York). Mr. Eckert died Dec. 13, 1873, and his wife Nov. 5, 1875, aged sixty-nine years. Dr. John Hahn was the son of Philip Hahn, a captain in the Revolution, whose mother was Anna Margaretha Hiester, a daughter of Daniel Hiester, of Montgomery county.


p. 796


John Eckert, the progenitor of the family to which George B. Eckert belongs, was born in October, 1707, in the parish of Spielburg, Germany, in a country of fine farms and magnificent forests, near Frankfort-on-the-Main, and there learned trade of blacksmith. In 1732 he married Angelia Hicks, and in 1741 emigrated with his wife and four children to Pennsylvania, settling in Heidelberg township, where he continued his trade as blacksmith and brought up his sons to the same trade. He died in July, 1770, and his well, disposing of a considerable property, was probated Aug. 13, 1770. In this document the names of his children are given as follows: Johanna Magdalena, m. to the Rev. Henry Decker; Valentine, m. to Elizabeth Gernant; Jonas, m. to Mary Catharine Ruth; Conrad, m. to Elizabeth Hehn; Nicholas; Mary Christina, m. to George Troutman; and Ann Mary, m. to Frederick Hehn. In the release, relating to the settlement of the estate, the sons are described as blacksmiths by occupation. In the several generations of this family its members were prominently identified with the iron business in Berks county for upward of 150 years.


p. 796


Peter Eckert; for many years a prominent and successful merchant at Womelsdorf, and grandfather of George B. Eckert, was born on the Eckert homestead in Heidelberg township, several miles east of Womelsdorf, Nov. 12, 1771. He was brought up on the farm and worked as a clerk in a country store until he became of age. He then embarked in the store business for himself in Womelsdorf, which he followed very successfully until his decease, covering a period of upward of forty years. His trading relations extended over a wide stretch of country, even reaching into the Southern States. He was of an enterprising spirit and appreciating the importance of education, sent his children to Philadelphia to give them the advantages of the most advanced schools of that time. He owned a large tract of coal land in Schuylkill county and was one of the first persons to use anthracite coal for domestic purposes. This was hauled to Womelsdorf by his own teams.

Mr. Eckert was married to Susan Phillipina Brown, daughter of George Brown of Millbach, Lebanon county, who removed to Erie, Pa., and there died. Mr. and Mrs. Eckert had ten children, two dying in infancy; David, who died at Philadelphia, unmarried, at the age of thirty years; William, m. to Rebecca Hiester; Isaac (whose sketch appears in this publication); Dr. George Nicholas, a graduate physician, member of Congress from the Philadelphia district in 1849-50, and director of the United States Mint at Philadelphia, m. to Emily Trevor; Peter, who died at the age of seventeen years; Mary, who died unmarried; Eliza, m. to Dr. Lot Benson; and Susan, m. to Rev. William A. Good. Peter Eckert died in 1839, aged sixty-eight years, and his wife in 1851, aged eighty years.


p. 798

Surnames: ECKERT

Valentine Eckert, prominent in the Revolutionary war from Berks county, was born at Langenselbold, in the Kingdom of Hanover, in 1733. He came to America with his parents in 1741, who settled in the Tulpehocken Valley at a point east of where Womelsdorf is now situated. He was naturalized in September 1761. In June 1776, he was one of the ten members of the Provincial Conference who represented Berks county in that important body; and in July following, he was selected as a delegate from the county to the Provincial convention which was assembled for the purpose of framing a new government founded on the authority of the people. In 1776 and 1779 he represented the county in the Provincial Assembly. He was a resident of Cumru township, and a blacksmith by occupation. He offered his services to the government in the Revolutionary war, and commanded a company of Cavalry Associators for a time. He and his company participated in the battle of Germantown, in October 1777, where he was wounded. He was appointed sub-lieutenant of the county on March 21, 1777, and served in that office until his promotion to lieutenant of the county in January 1781, a position he filled until the close of the war. While serving as sub-lieutenant, he also acted as a commissioner for the purchase of army supplies. In 1784, he was appointed judge of the court of Common Pleas of the county, and occupied that office for a term of seven years, when, by the Constitution of 1790, a president judge of all the courts was appointed to take the place of the several judges. In the Pennsylvania militia, he was brigade inspector for the county for a period of twenty years, from April 11, 1793. About the year 1816, he moved to Virginia, and died at Winchester, that State, in December 1821, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. He was a brother of Capt. Conrad Eckert, whose sketch appears in this publication.



William J. Eckert, a substantial farmer in Heidelberg township where he owns a fine farm that has been in the Eckert name for several generations, was born there April 7, 1862.

The progenitor of the Eckert family in Berks county, Pa., was (I) Johan Conrad Eckert, who settled in Heidelberg township where in 1759 he was assessed equal to $66.50) federal tax. On May 17, 1777, he was captain of the 6th Company. Col. Nicholas Lotz's 4th Battalion, of Berks county militia, in the Revolution. 0n May 10, 1780, he was captain of Lieut. Col. Joseph Hiester's 6th Battalion. The Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series. Vol. V, p. 231, give John Eckert as ensign of the company. Among his children were : Philip and Johannes (John).

(II) Philip Eckert, son of Johan Conrad, was born June 18, 1756, and he died Sept. 10, 1828. He was married to Lydia Beck, born June 17, 1762, and their children were: George. born Sept. 9, 1782 (died Jan 19, 1854); Mary, 1784; Susanna, 1785; Catharine, 1788; Peter, 1790; Sarah, 1792; Margaret, 1794; Elizabeth, 1795; Catharine (2). 1799; and Hannah, 1803.

(III) George Eckert. son of Philip, born Sept. 9, 1782. died Jan. 19. 1854. He married Sarah. born Dec. 16, 1787, daughter of Rudolph Resley, of South Lebanon township, Lebanon Co., Pa. She died Jan. 12, 1879. Their children were: Catharine. born 1809; Elizabeth, 1811; Mary, 1813; George, 1815; Cyrus, 1817; Philip, 1820; William. 1822; Rudolph, 1825; George John, 1827; and Aaron T., 1830.

(IV) George John Eckert, son of George and Sarah, was born Feb. 14, 1827, in North Lebanon township, Lebanon county. He graduated from Marshall College, Mercersburg, Sept. 6, 1852. and studied law in Hon. William Strong's office at Reading, being admitted to practice April 28, 1855. In 1865 he left a large practice to engage in business, in which he was very successful. On Nov. 26, 1857 he was married to Rebecca, daughter of Isaac M. Gerhard, of Sheridan. Pa., and their children were: Isaac G., Rudolph R., Mintie S., Emma R., George, William (deceased) and Ellen.

(II) John Eckert, son of Johan Conrad, the progenitor was born Oct. 13, 1766, and passed his entire life engaged in farming on the land owned by his father and still in the family, it being now owned by William J. Eckert, and his brother Aaron. The land is the finest in the township, and has splendid water. John Eckert died Dec 14, 1857. In 1792 he married Catharine Haak, born Aug 7, 1774, who died Aug. 16, 1848, after fifty-six years of wedded life. They became the parents of five sons and four daughters. as follows: Jacob, William, Rebecca, John (Dec. 8, 1799-Jan. 27, 1871), Benjamin, Isaac, Sarah, Mary and Catharine (June 3, 1808 - Oct. 31, 1829).

(III) Jacob Eckert, son of John, was born Sept. 7, 1793. He became the owner of the old homestead, upon which in 1810 he erected a stone house. He was very successful in his farming, and the improvements be made on the home place greatly enhanced its value. In religious work he was prominent as a member of the Corner Church, and there he now lies buried. He married Sarah Shepp, born July 15, 1806, daughter of Conrad Shepp, a native of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, who came over during the Revolution, and instead of returning to the country that had sold his military services became a farmer near Reading, Pa. Conrad Shepp married a Klohs, and was the father of Daniel, Elizabeth and Catherine, besides Mrs. Eckert. Mrs. Eckert died Aug 1. 1866. her husband surviving her but ten months. They had children: James; Marry, born April 4, 1828, who married Daniel Henne (Aug. 8, 1827-Sept. 29, 1894), and died Dec. 10, 1905: Jacob, who married Susan Krick, and lived in Wernersville; and Amanda, born Feb. 28, 1845, who died Jan. 17, 1866.

(IV) James Eckert. son of Jacob, was born in Heidelberg township Sept. 20, 1832. He received such education as the common schools afforded, and worked on the home farm until twenty-eight years of age, or until his marriage, when he began for himself on the homestead. Here he continued until 1883, when he moved to a smaller place. known as the John Spicher farm. He is now living in a comfortable little home at Ephrata. Lancaster Co., Pa., having no active employment other than looking after his real estate. Mr. Eckert has been twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Hoyer, born Nov. 2, 1841, daughter of Simon and Catharine Hoyer. She died April 25, 1864, the mother of two children, namely: William J., born April 7, 1862; and Emma, born in February, 1864, who married Adam Leid. a farmer of Chester county, Pa., and has one son, James. In November, 1865, Mr. Eckert married (second) Lydia Hertzog, and to this union were born: Aaron, who is mentioned below, and Ida, born March 16, 1874. The family were reared in the German Baptist faith. In politics Mr. Eckert has been an active worker for Republican principles.

(V) William J. Eckert, son of James and Elizabeth (Hoyer), received his education in the public schools, and then turned his attention to the cultivation of the old homestead. He is now the owner of this property, which has come to him in direct line from Johan Conrad, the successive owners being John, son of Johan Conrad; Jacob, son of John; James, son of Jacob; and William J., son of James. This farm has been improved by each succeeding generation, and in 1901 William J. Eckert remodeled the house, practically tearing down the old structure with the exception of the gable end to the west, where just below the cornice is a stone bearing the inscription: "Erected in 1810 by Jacob and Sarah Eckert." The present house is modern and commodious, with large porches. A well-kept lawn, crossed by good stone walks, surrounds it, and makes it one of the most attractive places in the township. The barn, 45 x 86 feet, was erected in 1882. Mr. Eckert thoroughly understands farming, and he disposes of his produce at the Reading market, attending twice a week. His stand is No. 108, Kissinger's market house. He has also engaged in the raising of fancy poultry, and has a good dairy, keeping about twenty cows. Mr. Eckert is a Republican and for nine consecutive years served his township as school director, for eight years being treasurer of the board. During this time two new school houses were erected -- Mountain in 1900, and Fannery in 1905.

On May 25, 18~2, Mr. Eckert married Fianna Mohler, born Aug. 5, 1859, daughter of Levi and Magdalena (Bitzer) Mohler, of Lancaster county, and four children have blessed this union: Louisa, born March 24, 1883; Levi J., July 22, 1887; Mabel A., April 15, 1890; and Verda E., March 9, 1899.

(V) Aaron Eckert, son of James and Lydia (Hertzog), was born on the old Eckert homestead April 5, 1867. He attended the Showers school and was at the Trappe one term. Farming has always been his occupation, and he gave his services to his father until he attained his majority, at which time he came into possession of one of his father's farms. This consists of sixty-nine acres of good land, which Mr. Eckert keeps in good condition and has well-stocked. In 1887 he married Annie Reber, daughter of William and Henrietta (Stoudt) Reber, of Bernville. They have no children. Both Mr. Eckert and his wife are members of the German Baptist church at Richland. They are highly esteemed people, and have many friends.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:53:08 EDT

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