Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery

FLICKER, AUGUSTUS S.

p. 601

Surnames: FLICKER, SWAVELY, TROUT, DRAYER, CARL, BECKER, YOUNG, KISSINGER, SNYDER, GAMBLER, SPOTTS

Augustus S. Flicker, deceased, known among the hotel men of Reading, Pa., and for fourteen years the proprietor of the "Merchants Hotel" of that city, was born in Oley township, Berks County, Aug. 22, 1847, son of Jeremiah and Mary (Swavely) Flicker, and died Nov. 28, 1900.

The Flicker family has its origin in Christian Flicker, who located in the hills of Earl township, Berks county, about the close of the American Revolution, in which war he is said to have fought against his will, in King George's Army. He was a German, and came from Brunswick or Hessen. In 1790 the Federal census report records him the head of a family consisting of five persons, made up of himself and wife, one son under sixteen years of age and two daughters.

Jacob Flicker, his son, was the grandfather of Augustus S. Flicker. He was born in Earl township, but removed to Oley township where he died, and where his son Jeremiah was born.

Jeremiah Flicker, son of Jacob, owned and operated a large tract of land in Oley township, where he continued agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1863, when in his forty-second year, caused by a fall into a well some three years previous. He was a prominent Democrat, and for some years served as road commissioner. He married Mary Swavely, daughter of Jacob Swavely, and wife (nee Trout). Seven children were born of this union: Jacob m. Anna Drayer, and has five children, Laura, Harry, Ellen, Jennie and John; Augustus S.; Sally; Jeremiah, Jr., m. Mary Carl, and has one child, Anna; Mary m. Daniel D. Becker, and had five children: Esther, Wayne, Lucy, Marcella, and one who died in infancy; and two others died in infancy. In religious belief the family were members of the Reformed Church.

Augustus S. Flicker was educated in the schools of Oley township, and as a boy of fourteen began work on a farm, carrying his earnings of four dollars a month to his mother. He continued at farm work until he was twenty, and from that time until he came to Reading drove the Almshouse Farm team or was in charge of Amos Young's trotting horses in Exeter township. On coming to Reading he was employed on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad as a fireman until 1876. He then worked on a farm and the following year engaged in huckstering. His next venture was in the grocery business, in which he continued for nine years and then for a few years with various partners was in the flour and feed business. In 1888 he engaged in the hotel business at the corner of Third and Penn streets. The place was owned at that time by John M. Kissinger. Mr. Flicker purchased this property after conducting it for five years. This hotel contained sixty-five rooms, and was one of the best kept hotels in the city.

On Feb. 26, 1878, Mr. Flicker married Emma Snyder, daughter of Lewis and Kate (Gambler) Snyder, and four children were born to this union: Florence (m. Hollingsworth Spotts, and they reside in Reading and have a daughter, Martha), Wayne, Edna and Earl. Mr. Flicker was a member of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., the royal Arcanum and the Knights of the Golden Eagle. He was well known as a member of the Neversink Fire Company and of several clubs. In politics he was a Democrat and was largely influential with his party in this section. In religion Mr. Flicker was connected with the First Reformed Church.


FLICKINGER, CHRISTIAN S.

p. 934

Surnames: FLICKINGER, SNADER, REIGER, BITZER, SANDER, REAM, EBERLY, FRITZ, BURKHART

Christian S. Flickinger, who is proprietor of a successful butchering business at Shillington, Pa., was born June 7, 1852 in Spring township, Berks county, son of Jacob and Sophia (Snader) Flickinger.

Christian Flickinger, grandfather of Christian S., was a native of Berks county, where he engaged in farming and cattle dealing all his life. He married a Miss Reiger, and they had six children: Samuel, John, Jacob, Bennewell, Catherine and Elizabeth. The old couple are buried in Gehman cemetery, at Adamstown.

Jacob Flickinger, father of Christian S., obtained a fair education in the schools of his native locality, and in early life followed farming, later engaging in the cattle and butchering business both in Lancaster and Berks counties. He died in Spring township. Mr. Flickinger was twice married, his first wife being Harriet Bitzer, by whom he had children as follows: Rufus, who is deceased; and Elizabeth, who is living at Terre Hill, Lancaster Co., Pa. By his second marriage, with Sophia Sander, there were nine children; Christian S., Harriet (Mrs. Ream, of Reamstown, Lancaster county), Frank (of Reading), and Maggie (Mrs. Eberly, of Ephrata, Pa.), living, and Jacob, Amanda, Mary, Katie and Robert deceased.

Christian S. Flickinger attended the schools of Spring township, and spent his early life in agricultural pursuits. For a period of thirty years he has been in the butchering business, and in 1897 settled in Shillington, where he has since continued with much success. In 1877 Mr. Flickinger married Mary Fritz, daughter of Samuel and Harriet (Burkhart) Fritz, and to them were born: Alva, who is unmarried and at home; Clinton; and Lillie. In politics Mr. Flickinger is a Republican and though no office seeker he takes a great interest in public matters. Any movement in the line of education finds him its stanch supporter, and he has always been found in the front ranks of those promoting any public-spirited enterprise. He and his family are members of the Reformed Church.


FLICKINGER, MARTIN M.

p. 1638

Surnames: FLICKINGER, MENGEL, MOHN, CLINE, LUTZ, FASIG, RENNINGER, BOWERS, WATTERS, DUDLEY, GRIM, OSWALD

Martin M. Flickinger, a prosperous cattle dealer of Reading, Pa., was born Dec. 9, 1859, at Terrehill, Lancaster county, Pa., a son of Christian and Elizabeth (Mengel) Flickinger.

Christian Flickinger is now a retired resident of Denver, Pa. For many years he was a raiser of horses and cattle. In 1851, when the gold fever was at its height in California, he went, by way of the lower route to the gold fields and met with excellent success. He was the father of ten children as follows: Amelia; Elinor; Henry and John, all deceased, Martin M.; Catherine (m. Isaac Mohn); Emma (m. Prof. Amos Cline, a tobacco merchant at Terrhill, Lancaster county); Mary (m. Isaias B. Lutz, a prominent merchant at Reading; Elizabeth (m. Frank Fasig, with the Reading Hardware Company); and Valeria (m. E. B. Renninger, of Denver, Pa.).

Although the father of our subject is now eighty-six years of age he is as active as a man of but sixty years. He casts a straight Republican vote in every election; is a member of the Mennonite body. The mother of our subject was first identified with the First Reformed Church and later with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Martin M. Flicking was educated in the schools of Lancaster County, and when a boy drove cattle and handled horses for his father, and later entered into business for himself at Adamstown, subsequently at Denver, and still later at the Three Mile House at Shillington. In 1892 he engaged in handling stock at the Reading Stockyards, and he now does an extensive business at Lancaster, where he also has an office. He is a very able business man, and an experienced cattle man.

On Dec. 18, 1881, Mr. Flickinger was married to Mary Bowers, the only child of Lewis and Lydia (Oswald) Bowers, and they had ten children, as follows: Alice married E. McLean Watters, of Akron, Ohio, assistant manager at Philadelphia for a Pittsburg firm; Florence; William (deceased); Martin J. m. Helen L. Dudley, is now at Lancaster where he assists his father to manage his interests; Charles (deceased); Paul; Mary Emma; Catherine and Beulah. The mother of these children died April 2, 1898, aged thirty-six years. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On Dec. 30, 1905, he married (second) Miss Mary Grim.

In politics Mr. Flickinger is a Republican. He belongs to Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. Elks.


FLOWER, SAMUEL

p. 1486

Surnames: FLOWER, WILLIAMS, CASSEL, FOX, TAYLOR, SPANGLER, WINTERS, WILLIAMS, MILLER, TROUT, DUBSON, GERNANT, HILLER, SEHL, STOCKER, KOCH

Samuel Flower, of Maiden-creek township, Berks county, who has lived at Blandon all of his life, was born in the house in which he now resides, April 26, 1852, son of Nathan and Barbara (Williams) Flower.

Samuel Flower, the grandfather of Samuel, was married to Elizabeth Cassel, and they had five children, as follows: Nathan; John m. Rebecca Fox; Nellie m. Pierson Taylor (deceased), resides at Blandon and is seventy-four years old; Sarah m. Morgan Spangler; and Mary m. Isaac Winters.

Nathan Flower, father of Samuel, was born at Blandon, where in early life he followed the trade of cooper, but subsequently became interested in agricultural pursuits and purchased a farm, on which he died in 1900, aged about seventy years. Mr. Flower was married to Barbara Williams, who was a daughter of William Williams, who married a Miss Miller, and there were five children born to this union, namely: Elizabeth, who died young; Samuel; John, who died in youth; James, deceased, who married Mary Trout; and Charles, night puddle boss at the Blandon rolling mills, who married Hettie Dubson.

Samuel Flower received his education and was reared to manhood at Blandon, where he learned the trade of carpenter in his youth. This trade he continued to follow in his home locality with much success until several years ago.

Mr. Flower was married to Tryphena Gernant, and five children have been born to this union: Samuel R. m. Katie Hiller (deceased) and has two children, Raymond and Laurence; Clara, the widow of George Sehl, has had two children, Rosie (deceased) and Stephen; Ellen m. Lawrence Stocker; Harry A. is unmarried; and Robert W. m. Gertrude Koch and has two children, - Robert and Evelyn. The family are members of the Reformed Church. Mr. Flower is connected with the Carpenters' Union, and is a Democrat in politics.


FOCHT, BENJAMIN S.

p. 1545

Surnames: FOCHT, STEPP, SHEARER, MILLER, REBER, WERNER, BROSSMAN

Benjamin S. Focht, one of the substantial and representative farmers of Berks county, resides on his well cultivated estate of eighty- five acres, located near the Tulpehocken, at State Hill, in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county, son of Daniel and Hannah (Stepp) Focht, and grandson of George Focht of Windsor township.

Daniel Focht was born on his fathers farm in Windsor township in 1818, and early in life learned the stone mason's trade, which he followed for a number of years.

Later he purchased a twenty- four acre farm near Windsor Castle, but this he subsequently sold and removed to a farm of 156 acres in Centre township, where his death occurred in 1901. He was a radical Democrat in his political views, and for five years served as supervisor in Centre township. His religious belief was that of the Lutheran faith, and he was a member and regular attendant of St. Michael's Union Church. Mr. Focht was married to Hannah Stepp, daughter of Samuel Stepp, of Centre township, and they had these thirteen children: Frederick, David, Mary, Catherine, William, Benjamin, Reuben, Ellen, Lenora, James, Frank, Samuel, and Isabella.

Benjamin S. Focht spent his boyhood days on his father's small tract in Windsor township, and there and in Centre township his education was secured. When twenty- five years of age, Mr. Focht commenced farming for himself on his father's tract in Centre township, which is now in possession of his son James. This farm Mr. Focht conducted twenty- one years, at the end of which time he purchased his present farm, a finely- located tract of eighty-five acres in Lower Heidelberg township. Mr. Focht has always made a specialty of potatoes and he is known as the champion potato raiser of the district. He keeps eight head of cattle and four horses. For fourteen years Mr. Focht had a steam threshing apparatus, and went out threshing among the neighboring farmers, and in addition for many years engaged extensively in butchering, but as he had advanced in years he has gradually given up these occupations, which his sons have relieved him of. He is now surrounded by all that makes life dear, - affectionate friends, devoted descendants, ample means and a wide circle of estimable fellow citizens who hold him in the highest regard. He is a Democrat in politics, and he and his family are members of Bern Union Church, belonging to the Lutheran denomination.

In 1869 Mr. Focht was married to Esther Shearer, daughter of Daniel and Eliza (Miller) Shearer, the former a farmer and carpenter of Windsor township. Mr. and Mrs. Focht have eight children: Andora m. William Reber, of Lower Heidelberg township; Thomas, a farmer, m. Tillie Werner of Blue Marsh; Alvin, also a farmer, m. Lovie Werner, sister of Tillie; Richard is single and lives at home; Milton, a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township, m. Laura Reber; Ellen m. Charles Brossman, a music teacher of Lower Heidelberg township; and Mamie E. and Robert reside at home.


FOCHT BROTHERS

p. 880

Surnames: FOCHT, SMITH, LOY, STOYER, BAVER, JACOBY, HEINLY, DEWALT, MILLER, SHIFFERT, HERB, GUST, STRASSER, KNEPPER, ZETTLEMAYER, DERR, ROTHERMEL, SCHAFFER, EPTING, KETNER, DUNKEL

Among the many German immigrants to Pennsylvania in the first half of the eighteenth century was one Johann Georg Focht, who was born Jan. 14, 1758, and died Oct. 26, 1841. He owned a farm of 212 acres in Windsor township and there spent the rest of his life. This property descended to his son Jacob and remained in the family for some time, but is now in the possession of Joseph Smith. Johann Georg Focht married in 1783 Susanna Loy, who was born Dec. 28, 1764, and died Sept. 26, 1843, and they had nine children, namely; George Peter; Jacob; John; Jeremiah; Hannah, Mrs. John Baver; Betz, Mrs. Conrad Jacoby; and Dinah, who never married. There is a large branch of the family descended from the oldest son, who was born Nov. 4, 1786, and who died Feb. 7, 1852. He married Magdalena Heinly, born in 1790, died in 1854, and their family numbered ten, four sons and six daughters.

Jacob Focht, second son of Johann, was born Nov. 18, 1794, and died Sept. 6, 1863. He was a resident of Windsor township, and quite prominent there, as he carried on both farming and distilling on a large scale for those days. His farm consisted of 212 acres and was brought to a high state of cultivation. In the distilling line he brewed applejack, rye and other whiskies and hauled his products by team to Philadelphia for sale. Jacob Focht married Maria Dewalt, whose life covered almost a century, as she was born March 26, 1802, and died Jan. 25, 1899, in her ninety-seventh year. Their children were: Polly, Mrs. Jacob Miller; Dinah, Mrs. William Miller; Jeremiah, of Port Clinton, Pa.; Samuel; Annie, Mrs. William Shiffert; Julia, Mrs. Henry Herb; Lydia, Mrs. Joseph Gust; Hannah, Mrs. Joel Strasser; Catherine, Mrs. Daniel Knepper; Henry, of Hamburg, Pa.; Elizabeth, who died unmarried; George, who married Miss Maria Strasser; and Daniel, who died young.

Samuel Focht, the father of the Focht brothers, was a life-long farmer in Windsor township, and succeeded to the Focht homestead. He was born there in 1829, and passed away amid the same familiar surroundings, Oct. 3, 1894. His wife, Beckie, daughter of Peter Zettlemayer, survived him only one day, dying in her sixty-fifth year. She had suffered for several years from an incurable disease and grief for her husband's death hastened her end. The children born to this couple were as follows: Samuel, founder and editor of the Hamburg Item, who married Miss Rosa Derr and died in 1895, aged thirty- five; Adaline, Mrs. William Rothermel; Amos; Jacob, and Charles, who married Miss Alice Strasser.

Amos Focht, son of Samuel, was born in Windsor township, Sept. 23, 1857. Although he went to the district school till he was sixteen years old, it offered only a limited education, of which, however, he made the most. When seventeen he learned the trade of blacksmith and the next year added that of wheelwright, two lines of work which he has successfully followed ever since, in addition to farming. He owns a tract of forty-one acres of fine land, located one and a half miles southwest of Hamburg. He is very industrious, keeping his farm in a high state of cultivation. In 1891 he built a substantial Swiss barn, which adds considerably to the value of his property. The dwelling, erected in 1822, is still good for another century.

The wife chosen by Amos Focht was Miss Minnadora Anna Schaeffer, granddaughter of Ferdinand and daughter of Elias and Anna (Rothermel) Schaeffer, of Greenwich township. Two daughters were born to this union, namely: Vinnie C., who married Jacob Epting; and A. Birdie, Mrs. William Ketner. Mr. Focht and his wife are members and regular attendants of Zion's Lutheran church.

Jacob Focht was born July 11, 1859. His early years were spent like his brother's, attending school and helping his father's farm. He continued to assist his father for some time after leaving school, but in 1853 began farming for himself. He now owns a good place of forty-three acres, well managed and splendidly kept up, and receives encouraging returns from his labor. All the men of the Focht family are Democrats in their political views and stand for the best type of citizenship.

The bond of kinship uniting Amos and Jacob Focht has been drawn even closer by the fact that they married sisters. Mrs. Jacob Focht was Miss Louisa Schaeffer, and was born Aug. 14, 1862. Four children have been born to them, as follows: Gertie, Sept. 5, 1884 (who married George Dunkel); Mamie R., March 1, 1887; Katie L., June 7, 1889; and Milton J., Nov. 19, 1895.


FOCHT, James S.

p. 443

Surnames: FOCHT, WILBUR, STEPP, ROTH, HUNTINGDON, BAER, KECK, ZECHMAN, TREXLER, BECHTEL, EPLER, SMITH

James S. Focht, general superintendent of the Job Wilbur Mining & Milling Company, of Providence, R.I., and a successful farmer residing near Greenawald Station, in Albany township, Berks county, was born in Windsor township, this county, May 12, 1856, son of Daniel and Hannah (Stepp) Focht, and grandson of George Focht, of Windsor township.

Daniel Focht, the father, was born on his father's farm in Windsor township in 1818, and early in life learned the stone-mason's trade, which he followed for a number of years. Later he purchased a farm near Windsor Castle, consisting of twenty-four acres but this he subsequently sold and removed to a farm in Centre township, where his death occurred in 1901. He was a staunch Democrat in his political views, and for some time he served as supervisor of Centre township. In religious belief he was a Lutheran and belonged to St. Michael's Union Church. Mr. Focht married Hannah Stepp, daughter of Samuel Stepp, of Centre township, and twelve children were born to them, namely: David, Mary, Catherine, William, Benjamin, Reuben, Ellen, Senora, James S., Frank, Samuel and Isabella.

James S. Focht was educated in the public schools of Centre township which he attended until he was eighteen years of age. This was chiefly in the old Roth school, to which vicinity his parents had moved when he was two years old. At the age of twenty-two he entered the Huntingdon Collegiate Institute, in Huntingdon county, and after three months hard work was licensed to teach by Prof. Samuel A. Baer. His first term was taught at Klinesville, at a salary of twenty dollars for a term of five months. He then taught four terms in Greenwich township, and three in Windsor under Superintendents Baer, Keck and Zechman. For four years Mr. Focht was engaged in a mercantile business at Lenhartsville, and in connection with this he also for one year conducted the Farmers & Drovers Hotel the hotel stand having now been his property since 1905. After giving up teaching entirely, he became connected with the Job Wilbur Mining & Milling Company, of Providence, R.I., superintending their mining in Berks and other counties of the State. In 1895 he purchased the old Trexler homestead, located at Greenawald in Albany township, and known as the Trexler tannery, consisting of one hundred acres. This farm he purchased for the Wilbur Company, and on it is found Talckene, a mineral deposit which is used exclusively in the manufacture of oil cloth and linoleum. An average of 7,500 tons are shipped annually to Port Richmond, Philadelphia, Pa. Mr. Focht owns the old Focht homestead in Centre township, consisting of 106 acres, and also an adjacent tract of fifty-four acres, at one time the property of his father. On this tract are a new set of buildings, and the land is in an excellent state of cultivation. On the homestead Mr. Focht erected, in 1905, a fine barn 46 x 112 feet, on a solid concrete foundation. There is running water in both barn and hen house, as well as in the residence. The house is of brick, with large double porches, and was erected by Daniel Focht in 1868. Mr. Foch also owns several houses in Lenhartsville, and also a factory building. He is the largest tax payer in that borough.

In politics Mr. Focht is a strong and influential Democrat. He has held many township offices, and was the first chief burgess of Lenhartsville borough, of which he was a leading spirit in the incorporation. He was justice of the peace in Lenhartsville and served the third commission before moving to Albany. He was also deputy coroner and school director, and he is thoroughly interested in the cause of education. In 1908 he was one of five candidates for county treasurer, but was unsuccessful, and is a candidate again for 1911. In Church and Sunday-school work he has long taken an active part, having served as elder at Friedens Church, and superintendent of the Sunday schools at Greenawald's, Bethel and Friedens.

In December, 1881, Mr. Focht was married to Agnes B. Epler, daughter of Valentine and Rebecca (Bechtel) Epler, of Penn township. Eleven children were born of this union: Charles F. m. Kate Smith; Alice Agnes graduated from the Keystone State Normal School in the class of 1907, and is now teaching at Lenhartsville; George W. and William J. are students at the Keystone State Normal School; J. Herbert, Edgar B., and Elda May are at home; and a daughter and three sons all died in early infancy.


FOCHT, LEVI H.

p. 375

Surnames: FOCHT, HUYETT, HIESTER, HEMMIG, MOHR, FRITZ, MOCK, LINCOLN, DEETER, WEIDNER, LACEY, CASSATT, BEARD

Levi H. Focht, head of the firm of L. H. Focht & Son, general contractors and builders, is one of the leading men in his line in Berks county. He maintains his business headquarters in Reading and his home in the borough of Birdsboro, and is actively identified with the most progressive interests of both places. The business in which he finds his chief interest was established in 1870, and evidences of his work abound in and around Reading, though his operations are by no means confined to this locality.

Mr. Focht was born Aug. 3, 1850, in Robeson township, Berks county, where his family has long been located. He is of German descent. His grandfather, George Focht, was born Feb. 1, 1773, and followed farming in Robeson township. But he was also an undertaker and cabinetmaker, and in the pursuit of those callings settled in Birdsboro, where he carried on business for a number of years. A clock which he made in 1832 is now one of the cherished possessions of his grandson, Levi H. Focht. George Focht died March 1, 1839. He married Catherine Huyett, and they had the following named children: John, born June 14, 1804; Samuel, born Aug. 8, 1805, who was engaged in business as a carpenter in Reading, as such building the McIlvaine rolling-mill and also the first house erected by E. & G. Brooke in Birdsboro; Daniel, born April 20, 1807, who was the father of Levi H. Focht; Mary, born Jan. 18, 1809, who married a Hiester; Charles, born Jan. 5, 1812, who also followed carpentering; George, born Jan. 1, 1814; and Jacob, born July 18, 1815, a carpenter of Reading, who was the last survivor of the family, dying Dec. 26, 1886. This family were all Lutherans in religious belief.

Daniel Focht was born April 20, 1807, on the homestead in Robeson township. Practically all of his active years were spent in the service of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, whose employ he entered in early manhood, and he was so reliable a workman that at one time he had charge of construction and repairs on the Schuylkill canal. He also cultivated the homestead farm after his father's death. He met his death by drowning in the canal, about two miles above Birdsboro, Oct. 14, 1871. Daniel Focht married Catherine Hemmig, daughter of David Hemmig, and she died June 6, 1863, at the age of fifty-four. To their union were born nine children, eight of whom lived to maturity, viz: Mary Ann born May 21, 1834, m. Raymond Mohr (deceased); Sarah, born Nov. 21, 1835, m. Lewis Fritz; one died in infancy in 1837; Catherine, born Sept. 19, 1839, m. David Mock; David, born Oct. 30, 1841, died Nov. 7, 1873, leaving a widow, Mrs. Martha (Lincoln) Focht, who still resides in Reading; Leah, born Oct. 24, 1843 m. Jeremiah Weidner; Hannah, born April 17, 1846, m. John Lacey; Levi H. was born Aug. 3, 1850. The father of this family was a Lutheran in religious connection, the mother a member of the Reformed Church. He was a Democrat in political sentiment.

Levi H. Focht was educated in the public schools of Birdsboro, and began work at the early age of thirteen, in the employ of the Schuylkill Navigation Company. He was engaged in repair work on the canal for two years, after which he commenced to serve his apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, under his brother-in-law, Raymond Mohr, of Birdsboro. He also learned undertaking. For a time he found employment on the Perkiomen railroad, later working for Berton & McDonald, bridge builders, of Philadelphia, on a number of bridges in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When only eighteen years old he was given charge of the construction of the large wooden bridge across the Pompton river on the line of the Midland railroad of New Jersey ?conclusive evidence of his remarkable ability in the building line. In 1870 he began to take contracts on his own account, and he was successful from the beginning, for his youth seemed to make no difference in the confidence which his patrons had in his integrity and capability. In 1873 he established himself in Birdsboro, and many of the most important buildings in that borough, including structures in both the business and residence parts, are of his construction. He deserves the greatest share of the credit for the beautiful section of Birdsboro now included in the east ward, formerly known as Lincoln-town, most of the attractive and substantial residences which have made that locality famous having been erected according to his plans and under his supervision. Since 1874 Mr. Focht has had his business headquarters in the city of Reading, as more accessible to the extensive territory from which he draws his patronage. In the spring of 1906 he admitted his son, George Walter Focht, to a partnership under the firm name of L. H. Focht & Son, and their offices are located in the Baer Building, in Reading, where they enjoy all the modern facilities for the conduct of their widespread interests.

Mr. Focht has had numerous contracts from the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, having erected most of the stations along their line, besides many elegant and commodious residences along the line of the Pennsylvania road. He also put up the stock farm buildings on the estate of Mr. A. J. Cassatt: an addition to the Haverford (Pa.) College buildings; the Wood Memorial Chapel, adjoining Christ Cathedral, in Reading; and various other structures which display his artistic and architectural ability, as well as his thorough workmanship in the merely mechanical part of the work. He has always depended upon the excellence of his work to gain him new customers and retain the old, and he has had no reason to regret the course he has pursued throughout a career filled with unusual activity. The firm has a reputation second to none for work of high quality, reliability and irreproachable standards, and few business houses in any line enjoy such unlimited confidence either among patrons or business associates.

Mr. Focht has always been vitally interested in the welfare of his home borough, Birdsboro, and he has found time to advance its interests in numerous ways. He has served twenty-four consecutive years as member of the council of that borough, and has been a member of the Birdsboro Fire Company since its organization, acting as treasurer of the company for twenty-one years. He has been a stockholder in and director of the First National Bank of Birdsboro since its organization, and in this connection it may also be stated that he has been a director of the Reading National Bank since its organization. He is a stanch Republican in political faith.

In the fraternal circles of Reading and Berks county generally Mr. Focht is a familiar and popular figure. He is a high Mason, holding membership in Chandler Lodge, No. 227 Excelsior Chapter, No. 237 Commandery No. 42, K. T., and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., all of Reading; and Philadelphia Consistory, thirty-second degree. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F., belonging to Neversink Lodge, No. 514, of Birdsboro; to the I. O. R. M., at Birdsboro; the Fraternal Order of Eagles; Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. Elks, and Mount Pleasant Council, No. 37, O. U. A. M.

On May 23, 1874, Mr. Focht married Alice Beard daughter of Jeremiah Beard, of Birdsboro, and to them were born two sons, George Walter and Levi Roy, the last named dying March 12, 1880. As previous stated, George Walter Focht is now in partnership with his father in the contracting and building business. He married Miss Alice Huyett, daughter of Isaac Huyett.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:53:17 EDT

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