Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1663


Henry F. Fidler, a prominent citizen of the borough of Womelsdorf, Berks county, where he is engaged in an extensive cigar manufacturing business, was born there July 31, 1854, son of Isaac and Mary (Mathew) Fidler, and is a member of the old and honored Fidler family of Berks county, the ancestor of which, Henry Fidler, was a taxable in Tulpehocken township in 1759, where he paid a Federal tax of twenty-pounds. He had a number of children, one of whom was the great-grandfather of Henry F. Fidler.

John (Johan) Adam Fidler, grandfather of Henry F., was a farmer in Heidelberg township. He married Anna Maria Moyer, who bore him seven children: Isaac; David; Daniel; Augustus; Levi; Mary, m. a Mr. Schaffer, of Harrisburg; and Adam M., born Dec. 24, 1826, m. Sophia Hall (1826-1903) and had children, Mary, Emma, Morgan, Sarah, an infant, Henry, Catharine, Thomas, Isabella, Ellen, Rebecca, John, Clara and David, all deceased except Mary, Sarah, Catharine, Rebecca and Clara.

Isaac Fidler, son of John Adam and father of Henry F., was born Nov. 25, 1808, in Heidelberg township, and his death occurred at Womelsdorf April 9, 1863. Mr. Fidler was a shoemaker by trade, but in later life he purchased a farm, which he was cultivating at the time of his death. Isaac Fidler married Mary Mathew, born Oct. 19, 1808, who died Sept. 14, 1884, and to this union there were born children as follows: Angelina, m. John Shaffer, proprietor of the old "General Taylor House", Reading, for many years; Franklin, who died at Mahanoy City, Pa., July 6, 1876; John, born Oct. 29, 1836, who died and was buried at Womelsdorf in 1880; Isaac, who died at Womelsdorf in 1906; Mary, who is unmarried and resides with her brother Henry F.; Sarah, m. William A. Sallada, of Womelsdorf; Rebecca, m. William Ziegler, of Reading, both now deceased; Henry F.; and Ella, who died in infancy.

Henry F. Fidler, son of Isaac, obtained his education in the township schools, and in 1870 learned the cigar making trade with J. H. Balsley, of his native town. He followed the trade as a workman until 1880, at which time he embarked in the business on his own account, and he carried on this enterprise with much success until June 2, 1902, when he was succeeded by his sons, Henry I. and Edgar G., and his nephew, John I. Fidler, who are doing a flourishing business under the firm name of H. F. Fidler & Company. In 1903 Mr. Fidler erected a brick factory, three and one-half stories in height, 30 x 75 feet, and here are employed ninety-three first class workmen, manufacturing high grade hand-made cigars, which have won a reputation all over the country, among them the following brands: "Peyton Randolph, perfecto;" "Peyton Randolph, club house;" "H. F. & Company, perfection" and "Otho H. Williams," all ten-cent grade; and "El Rocco," "Reia Mia," "The Fidler," "Amaville," "Conewango," "Paulo" and "Betty Van Lew," in five-cent cigars.

Mr. Fidler is a self made man, and has proved his business ability. Quick to see an advantage, he is just as quick to grasp it, and his foresight and capacity have made him the man to be chosen as prime mover in various large business deals and enterprises. He was a promoter of the Womelsdorf Union Bank, and for six months served on the board of directors; has been an auditor and general director of the Pennsylvania Trust Company since 1902, this being one of the strongest financial institutions in the county; was one of the organizers of the Lebanon County Trust Company, and for one year was one of its directors, resigning with the privilege of appointing his own successor; has been for some time a director of the Union cemetery of Womelsdorf; was one of the promoters of the Robesonia Water Company, of which he became treasurer and a director; and is a director and treasurer of the Womelsdorf Water Company. Mr. Fidler owns the homesteads of his wife's and his own parents, the former the old Keener homestead consisting of 126 acres in Tulpehocken township, and the latter of 115 3/4 acres in Marion township. These properties have been put in the best of condition by Mr. Fidler. He makes his home on the main (High) street of Womelsdorf, where he has resided for more than half a century.

In politics Mr. Fidler is a Republican in national affairs, while on local questions he is independent of party ties. He served in the town council for three years. In his religious belief he is Reformed, and he attends Womelsdorf Union Church, in which he is a trustee.

On Oct. 9, 1875, Mr. Fidler was married to Miss Kate Keener, daughter of Henry and Wilhelmina Keener, farming and milling people of Tulpehocken township, and to this union there were born three children, namely: Harry I., who married Lizzie Miller, daughter of John H. Miller, of Wernersville, Pa.; Edgar C.; and a son who died in infancy.


p. 746


William Fidler, who is carrying on agricultural operations in Marion township, Berks Co., Pa., along the Berks and Dauphin turnpike, was born in that township, Feb. 18, 1856 son of Henry and Hannah (Scholl) Fidler.

There was a Gottfried Fidler, over twenty-one years of age, among the emigrants that came to New York State in 1710 passing the winter of 1710 and summer of 1711 in Livingston Manor, N. Y., then Schoharie, N. Y., in 1713, and in 1723 coming to Tulpehocken, Berks (then Lancaster) county.

Gottfried Fidler (or Fiedler) was an early settler in Tulpehocken, and is buried at St. Daniel's Church. He was a co-worker with Conrad Weiser, Peter Klopp, Hans Miller and others in the Tulpehocken Valley, and was one of the Palatinates from the Schoharie who joined the Seventh-day Adventists in Lancaster before 1750. It is a matter of history that during the early period of their conversion, the old Psalters and other good books were burned at Gottfried Fidler's house near Womelsdorf, in the presence of a number of the followers, among them being the great and good leader, Conrad Weiser. Gottfried Fidler had a large family, and among his sons were: Henry, Stephen, Andrew, Adam and John.

Henry Fidler, born Feb. 14, 1723, died May 2, 1777. He and his wife Mary Magdalene had four sons and five daughters.

Henry Fidler (2), born March 21, 1752, died June 6, 1831. He married Eve Lehnig, and their married life covered a period of twenty-nine years. They were the parents of three sons and eight daughters, as recorded at St. Daniel's Church: Maria Catharine, born April 23, 1776 (sponsors, Conrad Spatz and Maria Catharine Fiedler); John, born Oct. 31, 1778 (sponsors, John Fiedler and Elizabeth Fischer); Henry (3), born Dec. 16, 1779; Eva Barbara, born April 16, 1782; Elizabeth, born Dec. 24, 1784 (sponsors, John Adam Fidler and wife) Maria Christina, born Dec. 16, 1789; Eva Catharine, born March 24, 1792; Maria Margaret, born Feb. 3, 1794; Abraham, born July 5, 1796; and Sarah, born Aug. 15, 1800.

Henry Fidler (3), born Dec. 16, 1779, died Sept. 24, 1860. He married Catharine Leininger, with whom he lived forty-four years. They had three sons and four daughters: Elizabeth, born March 19, 1802; Daniel, born May 31, 1804, died Jan. 19, 1857, m. in 1831, Elizabeth Miller by whom he had four daughters; Polly; Sarah; Eliza; Henry (4), born in 1812 and Elias, born July 1, 1814, died April 15, 1879. Of these children, Elias born 1814, was for thirty years a general merchant at Womelsdorf, and then until his death was engaged in the grain business. He was very active in the New Lutheran Church, and held a number of offices therein. He married Eliza Schulze, born Oct. 5, 1818, died May 1, 1901, and they had children: Mary; Julia C., wife of George C. Valentine, of Womelsdorf; Henry S.; Frederick (1854-1899), who had children, Arthur Penn, Julia, Herbert S. and Alfred.

Henry Fidler (4), father of William, was born near Charming Forge, in 1812, and died in the borough of Womelsdorf in 1873. He was a hosiery manufacturer until about forty years of age, at which time he moved to the farm on which his son William now lives, and there he lived until 1865. He then spent two years in Womelsdorf, after which he located on farm in that borough, there passing the remainder of his life. He and his family were members of Reed's Church, where he was buried. Mr. Fidler married Hannah Scholl, daughter of Peter and Margaret (Reed) Scholl, who had children: Peter, George, Isaac; Sallie (m. Jacob Zerbe), Catharine (died unmarried), Mattie (m. a Gerhart) and Hannah (m. Mr. Fidler). Mrs. Fidler's grandfather was Simon Scholl, of Millbach, Lebanon county, and his father was the ancestor of the American line of Scholls. After her husband's death Mrs. Fidler continued on the farm until 1884, when she moved to Womelsdorf, and there lived until 1893, when she moved to the present farm of her son William, where she died in 1900. To Henry Fidler and his wife were born the following children: Richard, Kate, Harry, Eliza, Frank, Louisa, William, Amelia, George and Wayne. None of the daughters were ever married. William Fidler was reared to agricultural pursuits and he became the owner of his present farm in 1900, after his mother's death. He had conducted the farm for her from 1893 to 1900. This tract, which is located on the pike one mile northwest of Womelsdorf, consists of thirty-two acres, and is in the best of condition, and is supplied with good water. He at present devotes all his time to its cultivation. With his family he attends Reed's Lutheran Church. He is a stanch Republican in politics, and has held several local offices.

Mr. Fidler was married to Lizzie F. Cherington, daughter of Thomas D. and Kate (Scholl) Cherington, of Millbach, Lebanon county, and they have children as follows: Harry W., Elsie Ida and Thomas C.


p. 617


George Field, of Reading, who resides at No. 441 1/2 South Sixth Street, has made that city his home since 1865, but claims Philadelphia as his birthplace. His birth occurred Nov. 5, 1836, in a locality known as Francisville, but which is now a part of Seventeenth street and Ridge avenue.

Mr. Field passed most of his boyhood and youth in Conshohocken, and when old enough went into the People's Works in Philadelphia to learn to be a machinist. When his preparation was over he took a position for a short time with the Alan Wood Co., in the Schuylkill Iron Works at Conshohocken, and then went to Norristown, Pa. This, too, was but a temporary position, as Mr. Field had an offer from the Plymouth Iron Works, which he accepted. On Feb. 9, 1863, he left the Plymouth Iron Works having accepted a position at the Monocacy Furnace, where he put the furnace in order, and remained for two years. A place was then offered him in the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Shops, and Feb. 8, 1865, began his long connection with that Company, covering a period of forty-two years. Mr. Field has long enjoyed a reputation as a most competent machinist and was considered one of the Company's most reliable men.

In 1878 the Railway Company sent a party abroad to assemble a locomotive built at the Reading Shops for the Paris Exposition, and Mr. Field, who had charge of erecting the engine at the Reading Shops, was among those chosen for this work. S. D. Blackmon, who was general foreman at this time, C. Gilbert Steffe, Frazier W. Wooten and Mr. Field composed the party. They left Philadelphia, April 4, 1878, on the steam collier "Pottsville, No. 14," Captain Samuel Colburn, a vessel owned by the Reading Company, and arrived at Havre April 21st. After remaining there two weeks, seven days of which was required to assemble the engine, they left Havre May 5th.

Mr. Field has always been a strong Democrat of the Jacksonian type, and has been active in party work in the Second ward. He was made representative from that ward in Common Council in 1869, and was one who helped to vote the market houses from Penn Square. Fraternally he was formerly connected with the I. O. O. F., F. & A.M., and the K. of P., and is now a member of the Philadelphia & Reading Relief and Reading Railway Veteran Associations.

On December 1st, 1906, he was retired and placed on the pension list, having attained the age limit of seventy years.

In 1860 occurred the union of George Field and Miss Amanda Brant, also a native of Philadelphia, and a daughter of Thomas and Catherine (Barndollar) Brant. The issue of this marriage is an only daughter, Kate V.; at home.


p. 853


William W. Field, one of the highly esteemed citizens of Penn township, Berks Co., Pa., who is now acting in the capacity of director of the poor for Berks county, was born in 1851, in North Heidelberg township, son of Elias and Kate (Wenrich) Field, and grandson of William Field.

Elias Field was born in North Heidelberg township, and followed the occupation of a farmer there all of his life, his death occurring in his seventieth year, and his burial taking place at the Corner Church in Heidelberg township. He married Kate Wenrich, and to them were born children as follows: Rebecca died unmarried; William R.; Reuben died at Douglassville; Frank died in Union county; Thomas m. Erebell Knoll, and lives in Womelsdorf; Sybilla m. Albert Fisher, of Robesonia; Emma m. Frank Mattis, of Lebanon county; Kate m. Thomas Egart, of Reading; John lives in Maryland; and a daughter died in infancy.

William Wenrich Field attended the public schools of North Heidelberg township, Heidelberg, Jefferson and Lower Heidelberg, and until twenty-two years old, worked among the farmers of his locality. His first venture on his own account was made in Penn township, where he purchased the Daniel Strause farm of forty-eight acres, to which he added from time to time until he now has 138 acres of excellent land. He purchased forty-nine acres from William Phillips, in Penn township, a property which he has tenanted, and another of thirty-two acres from Samuel Roth, and in addition owns five acres of chestnut woodland in Upper Bern township. He has a fine home, fourteen miles from Reading and about one-quarter of a mile from the "Bagenstose Hotel," and supplies himself with water from a well 134 feet, 3 inches deep, over which is a fine wind pump. For the past thirty-two years he has been agent for the Clarks Cove Fertilizer, and has sold many carloads in his district.

In 1875 Mr. Field married Sarah Strause, daughter of Daniel S. and Rebecca (Berger) Strause, and they have had one child: Ida m. James Vargang, a business man of West Reading, by whom she has one daughter, Eva. Mr. Field is a stanch Democrat in politics, and in addition to heaving served his township as school director was elected poor director of Berks county in 1907, by a large majority. Fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 399, P. O. S. of A., of Scull Hill. He is a member of the Bernville Lutheran Church, and a director of the cemetery.


p. 372


The successful government of a large city like Reading, Pa., requires the best efforts of substantial reliable and public-spirited men, and one of these is found in Edward H. Filbert, City Treasurer.

The Filbert family is an old one in Berks county. Gabriel Filbert, grandfather of Edward H., was born at Womelsdorf, where he was engaged in farming.

Adam Filbert, son of Gabriel, born in Womelsdorf, moved to Reading, Pa., April 1, 1880, and there died Jan. 5, 1902, aged sixty-six years. He was a miller by trade. He married Catharine Moyer, a member of one of the oldest families in Berks county, and a daughter of Henry Moyer, a cabinet maker and undertaker. They had six children, five of whom survive, namely: Annie, wife of Lee L. Hartzel, with the Yocum cigar factory; Charles F., a coal dealer at Reading; William H., a druggist at Saginaw, Mich.; Ralph, a printer; and Edward H., of Reading. Adam Filbert, the father, was a member of Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A.M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M., and Golden Rule Lodge, I. O. O. F.

Edward H. Filbert was born at Womelsdorf, Berks county, Jan. 15, 1871, on the old homestead, and after completing his schooling in the City of Reading, he spent one year in Bright's hardware store as a clerk. He next became connected with the Reading Hardware Works, after which he was clerk in the freight department of the Reading Railroad for six years, going then into the employ of the United States Express Company, as cashier, and remaining about six years in that connection. He was appointed by City Treasurer Hoffman Nov. 16, 1899 to fill out an unexpired term as assistant treasurer, and when Treasurer Tyson assumed control, April 7, 1902, he was retained in a position for which he had shown eminent qualifications. He was elected City Treasurer Feb. 18, 1908, and inaugurated April 6, 1908.

Mr. Filbert is a member of the following organizations: Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14, A. A. S. R.; Philadelphia Consistory 32, A. A. S. R.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. E.; Reading Aerie, No. 66 F. O. E.; Washington Camp, No. 163, P. O. S. of A.; Progressive Lodge, No. 470, I. O. O. F.; Wyomissing Council, No. 1584, R. A.; Liberty Fire Company, No. 5; Schuylkill Camping Club; Ninety-eight Social Union; Oley Valley Rod & Gun Club; Temple Club; and North Eastern Democratic Association. In politics he is a Democrat, and he is secretary of the 15th Ward Democrat Club of Reading.

Charles F. Filbert, son of Adam and Catherine (Moyer) Filbert, and brother of Edward H. was born in Womelsdorf, Pa., in 1858. He attended the public schools there. In 1880 he engaged in the coal business at the corner of Greenwich and Moss streets, Reading, and remained there seventeen years, meeting with good success in his undertaking, and building up a good patronage. The next five years were spent at No. 1141 Moss street, after which in 1900 he moved to No. 730 Oley, his present location. He sells all kinds of anthracite coal, and keeps two wagons running all the time.

On Oct. 22, 1885, Mr. Filbert married Mary Hans, daughter of Richard V. and Martha E. (Shultz) Hans. They have one daughter, Martha, who married Walter M. Deem, and has two children, Mary and Richard. In religious faith they are Lutherans. Mr. Filbert is a popular member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, the Knights of the Golden Eagle and Hampden Fire Company.


pgs. 1572 - 1576


George Filbert, a citizen of enterprise and public spirit, a man of high repute, successful and active in municipal affairs, plays an important part on life's stage. He makes his home in Womelsdorf, Berks county. Few men attain to a position equal in influence to that occupied by Mr. Filbert, and his retirement from business activities would be felt in many lines. He was born June 18, 1838, and is descended from substantial German ancestry, planted on American soil by Samuel Filbert.

(1) Samuel Filbert, at the age of twenty-seven, came to the New World on the ship "Samuel," Hugh Percy, Master, sailing from Rotterdam. Tradition says he came from either Wittenberg or Wurtemberg, Germany. He took the oath of allegiance Aug. 30, 1737. The original signature was Samuel, but the clerk who copied the rolls wrote it Daniel, thereby causing some confusion. Samuel Filbert's wife's name was Susanna. He died in 1786, and his second son, Philip, filed papers as administrator of the estate Nov. 2, 1786. His grave is in the center of the old North-Kill cemetery, but the inscription on his white marble tombstone (as are those over the graves of his son Thomas and grandson Samuel) is now illegible. To Samuel and Susanna Filbert were born six children, and the names and dates of birth and baptism of the last five are taken from the records of the Rev. John Casper Stover, who spells the name "Philbert" and gives the residence as "North-Kill." The children were: John Thomas (time and place of birth unknown); Maria Catharina, born Oct. 25, 1739, baptized Dec. 30, 1739, sponsors, Andreas Knaft and wife, m. Nov. 10, 1760, John Heinrich Ache; Anna Elizabetha, born Dec. 6, 1741, baptized Dec. 7, 1741, sponsor Anna Elizabeth Knaft, m. May 16, 1763, John Henry Webber, a captain in the Revolutionary war; John Philip, born Dec. 7, 1743, baptized Dec. 27, 1743, sponsors Philip Meeth and wife; John Peter, born Aug. 22, 1746, baptized Aug. 31, 1749, sponsors, Peter Muench (or Minnich) and wife Christina; and Maria Christina, born May 25, 1749, baptized May 28, 1749, sponsors Peter Muench (or Minnich) and wife Christina. The three sons having the first name John in common, dropped it and became known as Thomas, Philip and Peter.

Samuel Filbert and Godfried Fidler each gave an acre of ground to the old North-Kill Lutheran congregation at Bernville. This congregation was formed in 1730, and services were held in the different homes until 1743, when a log church was built on the part donated by Samuel Filbert. Each acre was in the form of a triangle, so that the two acres formed a square. On Dec. 25, 1745, each signed an agreement to deed to the trustees the acre in question, neither having as yet raised their patents from the proprietaries. Samuel Filbert deeded his in 1771. In 1791 the log church was replaced by a brick building, which Philip Filbert, son of Samuel, was instrumental in building, and in 1897 the present handsome brown stone edifice was erected. Back of the chancel in the new building is a beautiful stained glass window to "Samuel Filbert, Founder, 1743."

(II) Thomas Filbert, eldest son of Samuel, became the owner of the home farm. On May 16, 1763, he married Catharine Batteiger. Thomas died in 1784, and his will probated Dec. 11, 1784, does not mention his children by name, but makes elaborate provision for his wife Catharine. They had a son Samuel, born May 16, 1764, and baptized May 20, 1764, for whom Samuel and his wife Susanna (grandparents) stood as sponsors. This Samuel is supposed to be the one of that name who died in Oley, and to whose wife, Maria, and son Samuel, administration papers were granted Jan. 14, 1818.

(II) Peter Filbert, youngest son of the emigrant Samuel, was a delegate from the first battalion of Berks county militia to the Convention held in Lancaster July 4, 1776, to elect three brigadier generals for the Pennsylvania and Delaware militia. In 1785 he was elected sheriff of Berks county. His will was probated Jan. 31, 1822, in Reading. His son and namesake, Peter, was an attorney, a member of the State Legislature and first mayor of Reading.

(II) Philip Filbert, second son and fourth child of Samuel and Susanna, born Dec. 7, 1743, was a captain in Weaver's battalion, and was mustered into service Dec. 3, 1777, for thirty days. On June 4, 1777, a commission was forwarded to Col. Jacob Morgan, by Timothy Matlack, secretary of the executive council, for the Sixth Battalion. Philip Filbert was commissioned captain of the Eighth Company. In 1778 he served as captain of the Sixth Battalion, and in 1780 he held a similar rank in the Second Battalion. He died Aug. 20, 1817. He married Anna Maria Myers, and his will, probated Oct. 17, 1817, provides for his wife Anna Maria; devises his farm in Heidelberg to his son John (grandfather of George of Womelsdorf); leaves a bequest to his grandson Peter, son of his deceased son Samuel; and mentions a daughter Catharine. The will also mentions Maria Magdalena, as a daughter of his wife. His is buried in Bernville.

(III) Samuel Filbert, eldest son of Philip and Anna Maria, married Sabilla (Sybella or Sibilla) Umbenhauer, daughter of Francis Umbenhauer, a captain in the Revolution, and died about 1795, his will being dated Dec. 13, 1794, and probated Jan. 7, 1795. This gives one-half of his estate to his wife Sabilla, and one-half to his sons, Joseph and Peter, and names his father, Philip Filbert, and his father-in-law, Francis Umbenhauer, executors and guardians of his sons. Philip Filbert, Jr. (supposedly a son of Thomas Filbert) is a witness to the will. Joseph, son of Samuel, died in 1803 or 1804, tradition says, from the kick of a horse.

(III) John Filbert, son of Philip, was born on the Filbert farm at North-Kill. He was a carpenter by trade, and became a very wealthy man, owning considerable land, and was widely known and prominent in public affairs. His genial disposition gathered to him many friends, young and old, and he heartily enjoyed a good smoke and cheerful company. He married Anna Maria Leiss, daughter of Heinrich Leiss. Their children were: John m. and had children, Amelia, John Franklin and Hiester W.; Samuel is mentioned below; Anna Maria m. John Groff, a farmer of Bernville; Elizabeth m. Daniel Sohn, of Heidelberg, steward of the County Home for twelve years (no issue); Gabriel m. Elizabeth Kinter, and among their children were Adam, John, Michael, Frank, Emma, Isaac, Maria and George; Elias m. Leah Kintzer, and had a daughter Isabella (m. to Dr. L. A. Livingood, and died in 1899); and Matilda m. Augustus Leiss, and had children, Amelia, Emma and Maria.

(IV) Samuel Filbert, son of John and father of George, was born in 1810, in Heidelberg township, now North Heidelberg, but formerly called North-kill, on the farm owned by county controller, Dr. H. F. Livingood, and farmed for forty years by Nathaniel Blatt. He died in 1872, aged sixty-two years. He devoted himself to farming and was very successful. At the time of his death he was the owner of two farms, both now the property of his son George. His political support was given the Democratic party, and he was frequently the choice of the people for public office, holding at different times all the various township offices. From 1859 to 1862 he was a director of the poor for Berks county. He attended the Union Church at Womelsdorf, in which he was very active, and at one time served as trustee. His remains rest in the family plot in the cemetery there. He had an untarnished reputation for honesty and integrity, and he practised in his daily life the high principles of morality of the faith he professed. He married Catharine Kalbach, daughter of John Kalbach, and wife (whose maiden name was Ruth), of North Heidelberg township. To this marriage were born children as follows: John died aged sixty-seven years, leaving two sons, William and Samuel; William S., of Womelsdorf, had four children, John E., William D., Kate and Harry (deceased); Rebecca m. Edward Killmer, of Stouchsburg, and had two children, Emma and John; George; Sarah died in 1844; Maria m. Jonathan Dundore, and had two children, Charles and Kate; Amelia m. Albert Faust and had a son, William; Adam M., of Lebanon had one son; Dr. Peter, of Pottsville, has five children.

(V) George Filbert, son of Samuel, and prominent in Marion township, obtained his education in the old log schoolhouse on Franklin street, Womelsdorf, where the teacher was an Englishman, Francil Wissel. After the free schools were established he attended them for a time. Later becoming a student in Stouchsburg Academy under Prof. Searl, he attended there for two sessions. Leaving school at the age of eighteen he assisted his father on the farm until past twenty, when he bought one-half interest in the store of Richard See and W. S. Filbert, in Womelsdorf. The firm name was changed to Filbert & Brother, and business was carried on with unvarying success for nineteen years. During this time they purchased the northeast corner of High and Second Streets, also adjoining property known as the Brown estate and Phillip Nepple's, and thereon they erected a two-story brick building. In 1877 the firm became W. S. Filbert & Son, and under that name was carried on until 1893. Then the two brothers, George and William S., traded properties, George obtaining the grain house and farm and later the store and building. For business reasons the name of W. S. Filbert & Son was retained, and in 1905 George again began to run the store under his own name. The Filbert store was established in 1855, and has since been in the family name. It has a fine record for fair dealing, and first class stock. Mr. George Filbert did also conduct the Filbert grain house in partnership with his son, Martin S., under the firm name of George & M. S. Filbert. They had a large and profitable trade in grain, coal, lumber, seed, fertilizers, etc., and they also conducted the Laucks mill at Womelsdorf, which they purchased in 1891. To this mill is attached a large cider mill where hundreds of barrels of cider are annually made. Eighteen acres of land also belong to the mill. In addition to their other interests, Mr. filbert and his son also deal in cattle, selling to the farmers, and they fatten from fifty to eighty head annually for the market.

Mr. Filbert owns 130 acres of good land at Filbert's Crossing, which he has stocked, and farms himself. He also owns two farms in Marion township, one of 165 acres and the other the old homestead of 175 acres, both of which are rented. On the 165-acre farm are three lime kilns where lime is burned for the neighboring farmers. He owns several dwelling houses in Womelsdorf, three at Filbert's Crossing, two double houses at Robesonia, besides other property, and 250 acres of woodland on South Mountain. In connection with their lumber business Mr. Filbert and his son manufacture upwards of 200,000 shingles each year. Mr. Filbert has given personal attention to the management of his various interests, but he has also had time to be active in any thing that tended toward the material growth of his town and county. He assisted in organizing of the Womelsdorf Union Bank, but refused a directorate. His community is greatly indebted to him, and he has freely given his aid whenever desired. He is a clear headed, sensible businessman, upright and just in his dealings, and one who has not only the respect, but also the friendship of his fellowmen.

Mr. George Filbert has been twice married. In 1858 he wedded Emma R. Scharff, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca (Leiss) Scharff. She died in 1872, the mother of four children: Samuel m. Sally Levy, and died leaving his widow with two children, Emma and Levy; Martin S.; Rebecca m. A. P. Warner, of Philadelphia, private secretary and manager of the Continental Brewing Company; and George W., a dentist of Womelsdorf, m. Lizzie Filbert. Mr. Filbert m. (second) Etta M. Brobst, daughter of Dr. Edward Brobst, of West Leesport, Pa., and to this union have come two children, namely: Robert B., who at the age of sixteen is six feet tall, is studying electrical engineering at the State College; and Marguerite L. is also in school. Mr. Filbert and his family are Lutherans, attending Zion Union church, where he at one time sang in the choir.

(VI) Martin S. Filbert, son of George, and now prominent in the business world of the county, was born Nov. 1, 1865. His education was acquired in the Womelsdorf high school, Albright college at Myerstown, and the Millersville State Normal. For one year after leaving school he clerked for his father, becoming familiar with the customs of the business world. Then at the end of that time the partnership was formed with his father, under the name of George & M. S. Filbert, and together they engaged in the grain, coal, lumber and feed business, and this continued until 1906, when Martin S., bought out his father's interest, and he has since conducted it alone. His warehouse is located along the Lebanon Valley Railway, and he employs ten men. He has already demonstrated that he has inherited the business acumen of his father, and is meeting with the success that attends honest principles and careful methods. He is well-known throughout the county. In addition to the above mentioned business he is treasurer of the Womelsdorf and Rehrersburg Rural Telephone & Telegraph company; is superintendent of the Miller Pure Rye Distillery; and with William D. Filbert, is the owner of the Womelsdorf Consolidated Water Company.

In politics Mr. Filbert is active as a Democrat, and since 1905 he has been a member of the town council, and before that time he served as borough treasurer for five years. Fraternally he is quite prominent, belonging to Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A. M., of Womelsdorf; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T. ; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Camp No. 67, P. O. S. of A.; Rod and Gun Club, of Womelsdorf; Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Company; Womelsdorf Poultry Association; Wyomissing Club, Reading; and the Mountain Spring Association, of Reading. His is a Lutheran member of Zion Union Church, in which he is a deacon and superintendent of the Sunday-school.

On Sept. 29, 1888, Mr. Martin S. Filbert was married to Mary Schoener, daughter of Major John F. Schoener (whose wife was a Froelich), tax receiver of Mahanoy City. In 1904 Mr. Filbert built a modern frame residence on High street, next to Womelsdorf Union Bank, and there he has since made his home. He and his wife are important factors in the social life of the town, and they have many warm friends.

(VI) Dr. George W. Filbert, son of George and brother of Martin S., was born in Womelsdorf, Pa., Oct. 13, 1870. His early education was received in the borough schools, and he then attended business college at Collegeville, Pa., graduating in 1891, with the degree of B. S. He then spent several summers with his uncle Dr. P. K. Filbert, the popular president of the Pennsylvania Dental Society, located at Pottsville, and during the winters he attended the Philadelphia Dental College, from which he was graduated in 1894. He was president of his class, and very popular both with his fellow students and with the Faculty. He belonged to the Garretsonian Society, connected with the college, After his graduation he located in Philadelphia, where he followed his profession with marked success for a period of three years. In 1897 he settled in Womelsdorf, and also has offices at Bernville, where he is every other Monday; in Strausstown, where he is every other Tuesday. He is a thorough workman, and few dentists can boast of as large a list of patrons. In his fraternal connections Dr. Filbert is a member of Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A. M. of Womelsdorf; Lodge No. 77, I. O. O. F., Strausstown; and Mrs. Filbert belongs to the Daughters of Rebekah at Strausstown. Both the Doctor and his wife belong to the Reformed Church at Strausstown, and for some years, Mrs. Filbert, who is highly accomplished, sang in the choir. On June 1, 1901, Dr. Filbert married Lizzie M. Filbert, only child of James K. and Selesia (Goodman) Filbert (the former the well known proprietor of the "Filbert House" at Strausstown) and granddaughter of Gabriel and Elizabeth (Kintzer) Filbert (pioneer farming people of Marion township, Berks county). They have many warm friends, and their home is a most hospitable one.

(IV) John Filbert, son of John and Anna Maria (Leiss), was born in North Heidelberg township, Aug. 12, 1807, and he died April 14, 1844, aged thirty-six years, eight months, two days. His life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, with some occasional work at carpentering, and he lived on his father's farm. He married Sarah Potteiger, daughter of John and Catharine (Noll) Potteiger. Their children were: Amelia, who married Adam L. Fisher; John Franklin; and Hiester W.

(V) John Franklin Filbert, son of John, was born in Heidelberg township Jan. 25, 1832. In his boyhood he attended the old pay school conducted in the upper story of the spring house on the old Filbert farm. This building was two and one-half stories high, and was torn down in 1869. In the lower part was a fine spring of good water. On reaching manhood he engaged in farming until 1871, when he bought the store and hotel property at Robesonia, and conducted the hotel until 1891, when he retired. This building still belongs to the estate, and Mr. Filbert's son conducts a mercantile business there. John Franklin Filbert died Oct. 27, 1905, aged seventy-three years, nine months, two days. His wife Maria (Forrer) was born March 19, 1831, daughter of Jacob and Rebecca Forrer. She died Nov. 9, 1860, aged twenty-nine years, seven months, twenty days. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Filbert, namely: Amelia m. Wayne A. Reed, a Civil war veteran residing at Robesonia; Thomas; James, a coal merchant at Robesonia, m. (first) Ellen Helder (deceased), had two daughters, Annie and Lizzie, and (second) Eva Hoover; John, a farmer on the homestead (which he owns), m. Isabella C. H. Stump, and has two children, Loretta and Sophia.

(VI) Thomas Filbert, son of John Franklin, and now a successful and popular merchant, was born in Heidelberg township, Aug. 1, 1856. He received a careful education, attending first the township schools, and then in turn, Palatinate College, Myerstown, and Reading Academy, the latter then under the supervision of Prof. E. E. Post. He was only thirteen years of age when he began clerking in a general store at Robesonia, when he soon showed remarkable ability along mercantile lines, and a business acumen far beyond his years. In 1885 he formed a partnership with W. H. Brown under the firm name of Filbert & Brown, and this continued until 1891, when he sold his interest to Mr. Brown. Mr. Filbert then began clerking in the linen and dress goods department of Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart, in Reading, and there continued for six years. In August, 1898, he bought out his former business of Mr. Brown, and since then he has carried on a general mercantile business. He has a fine trade, and his goods have the highest reputation for quality and prices. His social connections are with the Royal Arcanum. He and his family attend St. Daniel's (Corner) Lutheran Church, in which he held the office of deacon for several years. In 1884, he married Emma Brown, daughter of John L. Brown, a farmer of Heidelberg township. To this union came one daughter, Lavinia F., a graduate of the Westchester State Normal, class of 1907, and an esteemed teacher at Robesonia.

(V) Hiester W. Filbert, son of John, was born on the home farm June 17, 1834, and until he was eighteen he attended the old pay school, where the teacher received three cents a day for each pupil. He had been reared to farm work, and was hired at fifty cents a month for the first year, after which his wages were gradually increased. From this he became a clerk in a store and then engaged in farming and cattle dealing. In 1871 he entered the mercantile business at Robesonia on his own account, and has continued to the present time. In 1885 he erected a large brick residence, and there he also conducts his business. On Jan. 15, 1867, he married Catharine Saylor, daughter of John Saylor, and they have one daughter, Nora Mary, who became the wife of Dr. H. L. Bollman, practising physician at Robesonia, and has had two children, Leroy (a student at college) and Catharine (who died Sept. 12, 1906, aged twelve years).

(VI) James Filbert, son of John Franklin and brother of Thomas, was born on the Filbert farm in Heidelberg township, Oct. 22, 1854. Until he was sixteen years of age he attended the district schools, and then entered the general store of his uncle, H. W. Filbert; at Robesonia, there working for a number of years. From Robesonia he went to Reading, then to Birdsboro, and in 1882 to Burlington, Iowa, where he worked in a dry goods store for Samuel Bentz. Returning to the East, he again found employment in his uncle's store. In 1894 he started in the coal business for himself, taking the business established in Robesonia by his father, who retired. He has continued in this to the present time, and the patronage has steadily increased under his management. In 1907 he moved his place of business to the Lebanon Valley Railroad tracks and White Street. He is a member of St. Daniel's (Corner) Lutheran Church, as were his parents. On April 10, 1875, he married (first) Ellen Helder (deceased), daughter of William and Sarah (Klopp) Helder, and had two children, Annie (m. Harry Dreisbach, of Robesonia) and Sallie E. (m. Clayton W. Kalbach, member of the firm of William A. Kalbach & Sons, cigar box manufacturers of Robesonia). Mr. Filbert m. (second) Eva Hoover, daughter of H. H. Hoover, of Wernersville. They reside in a charming modern frame house on Main street, Robesonia, and Mr. Filbert also owns other real estate in the town. He is interested in all good movements, and is looked upon as one of the most progressive men of his town.

(VI) John Filbert, Jr., son of John Franklin, and now the owner of the old homestead, was born there Dec. 11, 1858. He was educated in the township schools which he attended until he was twelve years old. His parents then moved to Robesonia, and he there attended the graded schools until he was twenty, when he began to assist his father in the hotel business. In the fall of 1878 he moved to his father's farm of 117 acres, assisting the latter in its cultivation until in 1882 when be began for himself. This he continued until 1902, when he moved to Robesonia, and there resided three years. He then (1905) again moved to the old farm, and the following spring purchased it from his father. Fortune has smiled upon his efforts, and abundant crops have been his. He has a fine herd of Holstein cattle. He is a believer in modern methods, and has a complete outfit of the best improved farm machinery. The brick house on the farm was built by Mr. Filbert's grandfather. There is also a substantial Swiss barn 40 x 103 feet. In politics Mr. Filbert is an active Democrat, and in his religious faith he, as well as his family, is a Lutheran, and is a member of St. Daniel's (Corner) Lutheran Church. On July 16, 1878, he married Isabelle C. H. Stump, daughter of John B. and Amelia (Gruber) Stump, farming people of North Heidelberg township. They have two daughters, namely: Loretta F. m. William S. McLean, an employe of the Wernersville Insane Asylum, and has three children, John, Walter and Thomas; Mabel S. m. Walter Huyett, a successful veterinary surgeon of Wernersville, and has two daughters, Edith and Violet. Mr. Filbert is a man of keen intelligence, and has broadened his vision by extensive traveling over this country.

John Filbert (also called Peter) married Polly Ludwig, and had five sons and three daughters, two of the daughters dying comparatively young. The sons were: Peter, who had a large family, one of his daughters becoming Mrs. Craige (whose son Walter resides in Reading); John, mentioned below; Charles, who lived in Macon county, Ill., and left a large family (one of his grandsons is John A. Filbert, No. 4334 Wentworth Ave., Chicago); Samuel, who lived at Amityville, and had four children, Ann, Charles, Ellen and Adah; and Enoch, who married Amelia Wonce, and of their three children Daniel lived in Camden. Of the daughters of John and Polly (Ludwig) practically nothing is known except that a daughter of one of them, Harriet Schrader, married and lived in Ohio.

John Filbert, son of John and Polly (Ludwig), married Esther Spang, and their children were: Amelia m. Willoughby Trexler, and had children, Peter D., Filbert, Esther, Sarah, Mary Minerva and Isaac (who died young); Ludwig Spang is mentioned below; Catharine m. Daniel Murphy, and had three children, Esther, John and Flora C.; Frederick died when about nineteen years of age; John F. m. Frances May, and had three children, Louis L., George H. and Ella; Samuel S. m. Margaret Ann Swartz; Mary m. Jefferson Galbraith, and has three children living: Charles, Emily Gertrude and Annie Filbert; Isaac S. m. Mary Heft; and Ellen died in infancy.

Ludwig Spang Filbert, M. D., son of John and Esther (Spang) Filbert, married Annie Caroline Nagle, daughter of John Filbert and Lydia (Bertolette) Nagle, of Reading. To this marriage were born two children, Laura Corinda, m. to Horatio Nelson Day; and Richard Yates, m. to Margaret Doremus DeRonde and has two children, Ludwig Spang and DeRonde.

John Filbert Nagle, father of Mrs. Annie C. (Nagle) Filbert, was a son of Peter Nagle, Jr., once mayor of Reading, and his wife, Susan E. Filbert. He m. Lydia Bertolette, daughter of John Shenkle Bertolette, of Spring Forge, near Earlville, on the Manatawny Creek, Berks county, and their children were: Annie Caroline, m. to Ludwig Spang Filbert, M. D.; and Lydia Bertolette.

Thomas Jefferson Filbert, son of Thomas and grandson of John Thomas, was born in Heidelberg township in 1812, and he died July 8, 1878, at the age of sixty-seven years, and is buried in the family plot in Green Hill cemetery, in Waynesboro, Franklin county. By occupation he was a merchant tailor, and carried on that trade at Waynesboro. In his religious faith he was a Lutheran, and a member of Zion church. Prior to the Civil war his ballot was cast in support of the Democratic party, but after that struggle he became a Republican. Mr. Filbert was twice married. He wedded (first) Nancy McFern, of Waynesboro, and they had one son, Thomas J. (now deceased), a prosperous banker, who married Marion Van Hoff (who was raised in Dr. Dale's family), and their children were: Harry, Edward, Annie, living, and Catherine, deceased. Mr. Filbert m. (second) Emma Saylor, daughter of John and Catharine (Schaeffer) Saylor, the former a merchant and farmer in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county. To this second marriage was born a daughter, Adelaide, m. to Norris D. Geiser, founder of the Geiser Machine Shops at Waynesboro.

John Thomas Filbert, father of Thomas and grandfather of Thomas Jefferson, was a resident of Heidelberg township, where he followed farming. His wife was Maria Seltzer, of Womelsdorf, and they were the parents of six children: Thomas, father of Thomas Jefferson; Joseph, who m. Matilda, daughter of Judge Rahn, of Schuylkill county, and had no children; Michael, who lived in Ohio, where he became very wealthy; William, who lived in Ohio, and whose sons served in the Civil war; Jacob, who lived in Springfield, Ohio, where he was prominent in religious circles; and Jestina, who m. a Mr. Cook.


p. 1612


Among the worthy bearers of the Filbert name in Berks county may be mentioned William A. Filbert, a prosperous farmer in Bern township.

John Filbert, father of William A., was born in Marion township, Berks county, in October, 1832, and he followed the occupation of farmer in his native township all his active life, owning 162 acres of valuable land near Womelsdorf, now the property of George Filbert. The last years of his life he passed in Womelsdorf living retired. He died in 1895 and is buried at Womelsdorf. He married Maria Schoener, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Leiss) Schoener, and she now lives in her own home in Womelsdorf. Mr. Filbert was a member of Zion's Lutheran Church, and he served as deacon and elder. The only children of this marriage were the two sons, William A. and Samuel E.

William A. Filbert was born in Marion township, Jan. 25, 1858, and he attended the public schools in the vicinity of his home until he was twenty years of age. He assisted his father on the farm, and then farmed his father's farm for three years. In 1891 he moved to Bern township, and located on his father-in-law's farm of 162 acres. This is located on the main road from Heister's Mill to Reading. He has become well known and highly esteemed, and he has been active in public affairs as a loyal Democrat. In 1907, he was elected a member of the school board of his township, and he has long taken an active part in the betterment of the educational system. Mr. Filbert is a member of the Lutheran church and he has been both elder and deacon in Womelsdorf and Bern churches, and he is active in all religious work.

Mr. Filbert has been twice married. His first wife, Florenda Fisher, was a daughter of Daniel Fisher. To this union was born one daughter, Annie, m. to Harry Basley, a cigar manufacturer at Womelsdorf. Mr. Filbert m. (second) Emma Snyder, daughter of John L. and Matilda (Smith) Snyder, of Bernville. Three children have been born to the, namely: Millie and Lottie, at home; and one that died in infancy.


p. 1094


William D. Filbert, representative of Fairbanks, Morse & Co., New York City, was born at Womelsdorf, Pa., May 13, 1868, son of William S. Filbert and a representative in the sixth generation of the family in America. From (I) Samuel Filbert, the emigrant ancestor who took the oath of allegiance Aug. 30, 1737, and his wife, Susanna, Mr. Filbert is descended through (II) Philip and his wife, Anna Maria (Myers), (III) John Filbert and his wife, Anna Maria (Leisse), (IV) Samuel Filbert and his wife, Catherine (Kalbach), (V) William /s. and his wife Charlotte H. (Dewald). The history of each generation in detail appears elsewhere in this volume under the caption "Filbert Family."

(V) William S. Filbert was born Jan. 20, 1834, in Marion township, son of Samuel and Catharine (Kalbach) Filbert, and for many years he was a successful merchant at Womelsdorf, for a long time being in partnership with his brother George. He retired from business in 1908 and now resides at Womelsdorf. On Dec. 20, 1857, he married Charlotte H. Dewald, and to this union were born four children: John E. superintendent of the Nagle Boiler Works at Erie, Pa; Kate, who married C. M. Petree. of Womelsdorf; William D.; and Harry S., who died at the age of twenty-one years.

(VI) William D. Filbert attended the public schools at Womelsdorf, and in 1884 he graduated from Eastman's Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He then clerked in his father's store, acquiring a good practical knowledge of the commercial world. He continued here for fourteen years, being a partner for eight years. He then spent six years in the manufacture of cigars at Womelsdorf, and at the end of that time he became connected with Fairbanks, Morse & Co., a firm handling gas, gasoline and oil engines, Eclipse and Fairbanks-Morse windmills, steam and power pumps, railway specialties, dynamos and motors, mining supplies, gas producers and producer gas plants. In this position he has given great satisfaction. He is a man of pleasing personality, winning friends for himself and for the company he represents, and withal he is strictly a business man. He resides at No. 143 West Greenwich street, Reading.

Mr. Filbert has taken an active interest in public affairs. He is a believer in the principles of the Democratic party, and he served as president of the council at Womelsdorf when the town hall was built. Socially he belongs to Williamson Lodge, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T. ; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Mart S. Filbert and he are the owners of the Womelsdorf Consolidated Water Company.

Mr. Filbert married Miss Sadie Ermentrout, daughter of Joseph C. Ermentrout, and they have two children: Joseph W. and John H. The family are members of the Reformed church.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:53:15 EDT

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