Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 578


James L. Freeman, who carries on an extensive business in lime and fluxing stone, and crushed stone of all sizes. at Sinking Spring, Berks Co., Pa., was born in that town Dec. 7. 1857. son of Moses and Rebecca (Luft) Freeman, mud a member of an old and honored Pennsylvania family.

Jurig (George) Freeman, the American ancestor of this family, was born in Germany in 1706, and came to this country in his thirty-third year. landing at. Philadelphia. Aug. 27, 1739, on the ship "Samuel," commanded by Hugh Percy. It appears that he settled in Cumru township some time after 1750.

George Freeman, great-grandfather of James L., was born Jan. 10. 1783, and died in 1825. He married Elizabeth Gerhard, born in 1786. and they became the parents of children as follows: George. born Dec. 5, 1808; John; Catherine, born May 7, 1811; Jacob. born Oct. 17, 1813; Elizabeth, George Freeman. son of George, and grandfather of James L., was born Dec. 5, 1308, and died July 31, 1881. aged seventy-two years, seven months. twenty-six days. He married Sarah Breidenstein of Cumru township (who lived nearby his parents). born March 17, 1807, died March 23, 1893. aged eighty-six years. six days, and they had these children: Moses, Catherine. Jacob, Benjamin and Levi. Mr. Freeman was a farmer in Spring township, whither lie had removed in early life.

Moses Freeman, father of James L., was born March 18, 1833. at Freemansville, in Cumru township. and died Jan. 4, 1859. aged twenty-five years. nine months. sixteen days. He was a carpenter by occupation, following that trade at Sinking Spring. where he had erected his residence just before his death. Mr. Freeman married Rebecca Luft, born Nov. 5. 1835. daughter of Adam arid Elizabeth (Bensing).Luft, and three children were born to this union: Helen C. m. William Schlegel, of Sinking Spring. Pa.. and has two children, Nora arid Harry; James L.. and Moses, roadmaster at Sinking Spring, :has these children. Walter, Bessie. Emma. Moses, Paul, Catherine and Nora James L Freeman obtained his education in the township schools which he left when sixteen years of age. from which time until 1881 he engaged at laboring. In the latter year he engaged in huckstering. which he followed successfully for some time through Lancaster county, subsequently embarking in a mercantile business at Sinking Spring, of which he was the proprietor until !904. when he sold out. He was also the owner of a restaurant :for some time, but this he also sold. About 1882 Mr. Freeman first engaged in the lime stone business at Wernersville, where he had a lease upon a quarry on Abraham Miller's farm. Here he burned lime and sold furnace stone to Birdsoro. Keystone furnace of Reading. and Warwick Iron Company. This business he continued at Wernersville for four years. at :the same time conducting a quarry on the Evans farm at Sinking Spring, which he discontinued in 1900 to engage on his own tract at the eastern end of . Sinking Spring, consisting of about eight acres. He ship: to Berks and surrounding counties, employs ten men. owns his own crusher. and has built up a large and profitable business. He is a man of progress and enterprise and has won a reputation for honesty and integrity in all business dealings. 1n political matters Mr. Freeman is a Democrat. and cast his first vote for his party in 1878. He was elected tax collector in 1909. Fraternally he is a member of Lexington Lodge, Knights of Pythias, No. 155; Jr. O. U. A. M., No. 77; charter member of the 1. O. O. F., No. 660, all of Sinking Spring; and order of Red Men No. 301. Reading, He and his family are members of St John's Reformed Church of Sinking Spring, in which he has been a trustee, and from 1897 to 1905 deacon.

In the year 1880 Mr. Freeman was married to Sallie Schell, born April 18, 1858, daughter of William and Mary (Smith) Schell, farming people of Heidelbcrg township. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Freeman: Charles W., a merchant at Sinking Spring; and Clarence J., a trolley car conductor. at Sinking Spring, who married Addie Reinhart, and has a daughter, Evelyn, .Mr. and Mrs. Freeman also reared a niece of Mrs. Freeman's, Lou Ludwig, taking her at the age of seven, and giving her the love and care of parents.

Charles W. Freeman, son of James L., was born Feb. 8, 1881, at Sinking Spring, Pa., and was educated in the borough schools, and the Inter-State Commercial College, Reading, from which he was graduated in April, 1899.. He then assisted his father in the mercantile business until November, 1905, when he purchased his father's interest, and since that time has conducted the business alone, with much success. Socially he is prominently identified with the P. O. S. of A.. being a member of Washington Camp No. 282, at Sinking Spring, of which he is a past president. He served as district president of district No. 5 from 1904 to 1906. and on Feb. 22, 1907, was elected to the high office of county president. He is also a member of Sinking Spring Lodge No. 660, I. O. O. F.. and member of Williamson Lodge No. 307, F. & A. M., of Womelsdorf. Mr. Freeman and his family are members of St. John's Reformed Church of Sinking Spring where for two years he served as assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school, where lie was a teacher for some time. On June 7, 1906, Mr. Freeman was married to Miss Nora C. Lamm, daughter of Charles F. and Sallie(Gaul) Lamm, of Lower Heidelberg township. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman have one daughter. Olga Sarah.

Peter B. Freeman. a well known farmer of Cumru township. is conducting operations near Freemansville, where he was born Feb. 28, 1844, son of Cornelius and Mary Ann (Britton) Freeman and grandson of George and Elizabeth (Gerhard) Freeman (mentioned above).

Freemansville, a village in Cumru township, was named after Cornelius Freeman, the oldest resident of the place, who was instrumental in establishing the post-office there. Cornelius Freeman was born at this place. Nov. 29. 1819, became a well known citizen and land owner, and a deacon of Yocom's Church. He married Mary Ann Britton, who bore him nine children, as follows: Peter B.: Cornelius: Ellen, m. to Christian Breidenstein; Elizabeth, who died single at the age of nineteen years; John; William; Mary and George, who died young; and Catherine, who died at the age of sixteen years.

Peter B. Freeman was educated in the public schools and was reared upon the farm. which he left at the age of eight years to go to work in the Mount Penn furnace, where he continued for about fourteen years, being an all around mechanic. He began farming in 1866 on his father-in-law's farm, and this property he purchased in 1871, since which time he has been engaged successfully in agricultural pursuits. He devotes considerable attention to truck farming, attending the market at Ninth and Buttonwood streets, Reading, where be has been a well-known figure since its establishment. He specializes in strawberries. his highest year being the one in which he raised 105 bushels. In 1890 he erected the present house, replacing an old log cabin, forty-two feet long, which had been built in 1783 by one John Weidner. He has in many other ways improved the property; and uses the best and latest improved machinery and implements. His chief enjoyment is hunting, and he is noted as a fox hunter in his vicinity, being well acquainted with the surrounding hills of Cumru township. In political matters Mr. Freeman is a stanch Democrat, and his first vote was cast in 1865. He and his family are Lutheran members of Christ's (Yocom's) Church.

On May 14. 1865. Mr. Freeman was married to Dora Rathje, born June 14. 1845, daughter of Dietrich and Christiana (Geeseka) Rathje, natives of Hanover, Germany. Thirteen children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Freeman, namely; Mary m. Charles Hartz; Elizabeth m. Samuel Hafer; William m. Dinah Fleck: Ella m. William Bower; George m. (first) Catharine Breidenstein, now deceased. and (second] Mary Ziegler; Annie m. Israel Schmehl; Kate m. Harvey Neatock; Marguerite m. Frank Gring; Charles is single and resides at home; Emma m. Walter Andrew: Minnie m. George Kurtz; Frederick m. Alice Neatock: and Edith is single and resides at home.


p. 1065


Solomon Freeman, the farmer on the famous Hillside Stock Farm, in Spring township, near Fritztown, Berks county, was born July 5, 1872, in Lower Heidelberg township. His family is an old and honored one in Pennsylvania.

Jurig (George) Freeman, the American ancestor of the family, was born in Germany in 1706, and came to this country in his thirty-third year, landing at Philadelphia, Aug. 27, 1739, in the ship "Samuel," commanded by Hugh Percy. It appears that he settled in Cumru township, sometime after 1750.

George Freeman, the great-grandfather of Solomon Freeman, was born Jan 10, 1783, and died in 1825. He married Elizabeth Gerhard, born in 1786, and they became the parents of children as follows: George, born Dec. 5, 1808; John; Catharine, born May 7, 1811; Jacob, born Oct. 17, 1813; Elizabeth, born May 28, 1815; Benjamin, born June 1, 1817; Cornelius, born Nov. 29, 1819; Peter; and Samuel.

George Freeman, son of George, and grandfather of Solomon, was born Dec. 5, 1808, and died July 31, 1881, aged seventy-two years, seven months and twenty-six days. He married Sarah Breidenstein, of Cumru township, who lived near his parents. She was born March 17, 1807, and died March 23, 1893, aged eight-six years, six days. They had these children: Moses, Catharine, Jacob, Benjamin and Levi. Mr. Freeman was a farmer in Spring township, whither he had moved early in life.

Benjamin Freeman, son of George, was engaged as a blacksmith at West Reading, Pa., for the long period of thirty years. At the end of that period he bought a farm of forty-nine acres in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county, upon which he has since lived and followed farming. He married Sarah Miller, daughter of Solomon Miller, of Spring township, and to who have been born nine children, six of whom survive, as follows: George, Solomon, Ida (married to Henry Gehert), Alice (married to Daniel Kessler), William and Annie.

Solomon Freeman spent his boyhood days upon his father's farm, and attended the district schools of the locality. In 1887 he came to Fritztown, where he has since made his home. His home property consists of one acre of ground, upon which he built a nice frame house in 1894. Since 1902 he has managed the farming interests of the Hillside Stock Farm, which has a national reputation among horsemen. It is the property of Harry Orr of Reading.

Mr. Freeman was united in marriage June 4, 1887, with Miss Matilda Smith, daughter of Joseph and Lydia Smith, of Fritztown, who are fully mentioned elsewhere. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman have one son, John Howard, born Feb. 1, 1888. They are Lutheran members of St. John's Church at Sinking Spring. Mr. Freeman has a burial lot in the cemetery at that church, where his grandmother is buried. He is a Democrat in politics. Socially he belongs to Castle No. 334, Knights of the Golden Eagle, at Sinking Spring.


p. 1116


William R. Frees, who is engaged in truck farming near Textile, Pa., is one of Spring township's enterprising agriculturists, and was born June 4, 1845, in Robeson township, Berks county, son of Henry and Sarah (Reeser) Frees.

The Frees family came from Friesland, Holland, and the progenitor in this country is supposed to have been Johannes Frees, great-grandfather of William R., the latter of who has in his possession an old bible, in which the ancestor's name appears in German script.

Samuel Frees, son of Johannes and grandfather of William R., was born in Robeson township, where he became a successful farmer and the owner of upwards of 200 acres of land, much of which was timbered. He is buried at Plow Church, of which he was an official member. He married Mary Moore, and they had ten children, as follows: John, born Sept. 18, 1815, was a farmer of Brecknock township, and died July 9, 1897; Sallie m. Christian Jacobs, of Robeson township; Henry; Leah m. Thomas Jacobs, brother of Christian; Katie m. John Schaeffer of Robeson township; Mary m. John Westley; Hannah m. Ephraim Dickinson; Marguerite m. Michael Westley, all of Robeson township; Samuel spent his life in Robeson and Cumru townships; and Daniel, born March 8, 1835, died Feb. 17, 1876. m. Mary Westley, and left a family of six children.

Henry Frees, father of William R., was born in Robeson township, April 2, 1821, and died May 12, 1901, at the home of his son, William R., being buried at Robeson (Plow) Church, of which he as a deacon and elder. He spent his life in agricultural pursuits, owning a small farm in Caernarvon township, and was well known and highly esteemed in his community. Mr. Frees married Sarah Reeser, born Aug. 13, 1822, died May 27, 1894, daughter of William Reeser of Robeson township. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Frees, namely: Mary, m. to David Goodman, of Reading; William R.; Lizzie, m. to Elhannon Frees, of Robeson township; Amanda m. to Heber Moore, of Caernarvon township; and Samuel F., who died of small-pox in his youth.

William R. Frees was reared to agricultural pursuits on his father's farm, and in 1868 took a trip West, visiting Roseville and Freeport, Ill., and Hastings, Minn. In 1870 he returned home and until 1877 worked for his parents, at which time he removed to Robeson township where he remained for three years. He spent four years in Union township in tenant farming, and from 1886 until 1902 operated the John Haas farm in Cumru township, during eight years of which time he drove a daily milk route to Reading. In the spring of 1905, Mr. Frees purchased the Joshua Eyrich farm of thirty-seven acres, in Spring township, a valuable and well located tract, on which are a new set of buildings, and from which can be had a fine view to Reading, two miles distant. Mr. Frees and his family are members of Christ (Yocum) Church in Cumru township, Mr. Frees being a Lutheran, while his wife adheres to the faith of the Reformed denomination.

On Jan 8, 1876, Mr. Frees was married to Annie E. Eshelman, daughter of Moses and Priscilla (Steffy) Eshelman, of Plowville, Robeson township, and to this union there has been born one son: Harvey Luther.

Harvey Luther Frees was born Feb. 3, 1877, graduated from Keystone State Normal School, and taught school for some years. He is now in the employ of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company, at Reading. He married Mamie S. Babb, daughter of Daniel Babb, and they have two children: Alma Loraine and Harold W. D.


p. 389


Dr. Abraham Nester Fretz, who for over thirty-four years has been engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery at Fleetwood, Berks county., was born Aug. 7, 1839, in Hereford township, son of Daniel Fretz.

Daniel Fretz was born in Hereford township in 1805, was reared to agricultural pursuits and followed farming in the vicinity of his birth until his death, in 1880. He married Esther Nester, of Pike township, near Hill Church, and to this union were born six children: Abraham N.; Lewis, m. to Lavana Rambo; Annie, who died young; Irwin, m. to Mary March; and Priscilla and Annie, who both died young.

Dr. Abraham N. Fretz's early education was secured in the public schools, and after a thorough preparation at Mr. Pleasant Seminary at Boyertown, he entered the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Medical Department in 1863. The country then being in the midst of the Civil war, he enlisted at Washington, D. C., and, receiving the appointment of acting assistant surgeon, was detailed to perform hospital service at Newport News and vicinity until 1866. Then, under the Reconstruction Act, Gen. John H. Schofield appointed him president of the board of registration, with headquarters at City Point, Va., and he filled this responsible position in the most satisfactory manner until the fall of 1869.

While at the latter place Dr. Fretz identified himself with the affairs of Prince George county, and the electors of that district elected him as one of the Assemblymen. There being two parties in that State, viz., the Radical Republicans and the Liberal Republicans, he was chosen on the ticket of the latter, and served in this honorable position during the years 1869, 1870 and 1871. He then returned to Pennsylvania and took an additional course of medical lectures in the University for a year, after which he established himself in medical practice at Linfield, Montgomery county, and was successfully engaged at that place until his removal, in 1875, to Fleetwood, Berks, county, where he has been in active practice ever since.

Dr. Fretz, upon locating at Fleetwood, took an active interest in educational affairs and quite naturally his fellow citizens selected him to be a school director, and he served as such from 1877 to 1884. In 1887 he was elected as one of the justices of the peace of this borough, and he has been serving in this position by re-election until the present time, showing the high appreciation of the community in his judicial integrity. In politics he has been a Democrat, and upon settling in the county he identified himself with its political affairs, as well as with those of the State and nation. He frequently represented the borough in conventions, and in the county conventions of 1883 and 1902 he officiated as chairman.

Dr. Fretz, was married in 1863 to Emma Robertson, of Philadelphia, daughter of Thomas Robertson, and to this union, one son, Thomas, has been born.

Thomas Fretz was born in 1866 at Philadelphia, attended the schools of Fleetwood, and after a preparatory course at the Keystone State Normal School, he attended Lafayette College, from which he was graduated in 1890. He continued the higher branches of study at Princeton University, from which he was graduated in 1893. In 1900 he was elected principal of the grammar schools at Newark, N. J., and he filled this responsible position in the most satisfactory manner until 1907, when he was appointed to a similar position in New York City, which he still holds. He was married to Mary Madeira, daughter of John H. Madeira, of Blandon, and one daughter, Emily, was born to this union. Mrs. Fretz died in 1893.


p. 1662


Daniel F. Frey, who is engaged in butchering in Amityville, Berks county, was born in Pike township, same county, Nov. 19, 1867, son of William F. Frey and grandson of Daniel B. Frey.

Daniel B. Frey, the grandfather was born May 15, 1813, and died June 25, 1894. By occupation he was a butcher and farmer. He lived in Pike township many years, and in Oley township he cultivated the present farm of Morris Haas. He was a Reformed member of Oley Church, where he is buried. He was twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth Imbody, died young, and is buried at Hill Church. To this union were born William F.; Martin, 1843-1897, a butcher at Pleasantville; Henry, a soldier in the Civil war; David, who lived at the Swamp; and Mary. m. to Charles Fretz. Daniel B. Frey m. (second) Christina Clauser, sister to Elizabeth (Clauser) Flicker (wife of Solomon Flicker); she was born Aug. 17, 1803, and died Nov. 22, 1881. No children were born of this union.

William F. Frey, son of Daniel B., was born in Pike township Feb. 7, 1837. He was hired out among farmers in his young manhood, and for twenty-one years he and his wife lived with David Lobach in Pike township, working his farm, and here all their children, except Daniel and Jacob were born. In 1899 Mr. Frey located about a half a mile north of Pleasantville, and is now employed there. He and his family are members of the Reformed Church at Lobachsville. In January, 1864, Mr. Frey married Lydia Ann Flicker, born Dec. 26, 1841, in Oley township, daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth (Clauser) Flicker (the former a tanner by trade, and granddaughter of Jacob Flicker). Fourteen children were born to this union, namely: Daniel F.; Jacob, of Reading; Irwin, unmarried; David, of Amityville; Charles, of Pike township; Annie, (m. Henry Schaffer, of Boyertown); Katie (m. Nathan Folk, of Oley Line); Edwin, unmarried, who perished in the Boyertown opera house fire Jan 13, 1908, aged thirty years; and six who died in infancy--Willie, Fred, Frank, Morris, and twin daughters.

Daniel F. Frey lived with his parents until he was eight years old, and then went to live with his uncle Joseph Flicker, a brother of his mother. There he lived nine years, and was then for six years hired out among farmers in Oley township. In 1891 he learned the butchering trade form William R. Rhoads, of Amityville, and worked for him for seven years, when his employer sold out his stock, good will and property to Mr. Frey. He has since been engaged in business for himself, employing three men, and killing on an average three and four steers a week besides hogs and calves. He ships to the Reading abattoir and during the summer runs three wagons in his district. He has the support of the good people of his district. He has a good home in Amityville, and eleven acres of ground, all of which he manages well.

On Sept. 30, 1893, Mr. Frey married Debbie Minninger, daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth (Koch) Minninger, of Earl township, where the former is engaged as a small farmer and stone mason. Mr. and Mrs. Frey have two children, namely: Minnie M. and W. Jennings. Mr. Frey is a Democrat in politics, but has had too much business of his own to manage to take an active interest in party work. He is a member of Camp No. 213, P. O. S. of A., of Amityville; and the I. O. O. F., of Birdsboro. He and his family are Reformed members of the Church at Amityville, of which for eight years he was a deacon.


p. 1629


George W. Freyberger, a teacher in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, was born in that township August 19, 1861, son of George and Amelia (Schmehl) Freyberger, and grandson of George and Catharine (Bitting) Freyberger.

Family tradition states that Jacob Freyberger, a native of Switzerland, was the ancestor of those of the name in Berks county, and that after coming to the New world he located in Bern township, Berks county. The Pennsylvania Archives record that one Jacob Freyberger emigrated to America and landed at Philadelphia Oct. 10, 1754, having crossed the ocean on the ship "Peggy." The Federal census report of 1790 shows "Widow" Freyberger, of Bern township, as the head of a family consisting in that year of two sons above sixteen years of age, two sons under sixteen years of age, and three daughters. This probably was the widow of Jacob Freyberger. The Federal census report of 1790 also records the names of Jacob and John Freyberger, the former having a family of two sons, less than sixteen years old, and five daughters. John was married but had no issue. The ancestor, Jacob Freyberger, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served in Capt. Jacob Soder's Fifth Company, being one of his two Court Martial men of the Company May 17, 1777. [Penn's Archives, Fifth Series, page 192.] In 1777 Jacob Freyberger was a resident of Bern township, Berks county.

George Freyberger, grandfather of George W., was of Maiden-creek township. He died in 1836, and is buried at Schwartzwald Church of which he was a member. He was a carpenter and undertaker, and lived in Exeter a number of years before he died. His wife was Catharine Bitting, daughter of Daniel Bitting, of Exeter township. She died during the seventies, when past seventy years of age. Of their five children, all born in Exeter, one daughter died small. The others were: Daniel, who lived in the homestead in Exeter; Mary, m. to John Lutz, of Exeter; Catharine, m. to Reuben Nagel, of Exeter; and George, born in 1827. George Freyberger (born in 1827) says that his grandfather lived in Maiden-creek township, and that among his children was a daughter Eve who was the wife of Michael Huntzinger, the grandfather of the Rev. Mr. Huntzinger, of Reading. In 1790 John Christian Freyberger and William Freyberger lived in Heidelberg township, Berks county; and John Freyberger lived in Brunswick and Manheim townships in what is now Schuylkill (then Berks) county. The latter had one son above sixteen years of age, and one son under sixteen years of age, and one daughter. His relationship, if any, to the Bern township family is not known.

George Freyberger, son of George and father of George W., was born in Exeter township, Feb. 7, 1827. When a young man, he learned the tailor's trade in Amity township, and this he followed some twenty years in Exeter and Ruscombmanor townships. He located in Ruscombmanor township in 1855, and there has since made his home. Here he followed the tailor's trade until after the Civil war. For five years he worked at the Oley Furnace, and late in the sixties he took to farming, and continued until 1896, when he retired. Since 1903, he has lived with his son George W. He was married August 14, 1853 to Amelia Schmehl, daughter of Jacob and Barbara (Breidigam) Schmehl, of Ruscombmanor township. She was born Oct. 31, 1829, and since 1903 has been totally blind. To George and Amelia Freyberger were born four children of whom a son Irwin, died aged twenty-seven days. Those living are: Jacob S. who married Harriet Hill, and lives in Ruscombmanor township; George W.; and Thomas J. who married Sallie Endy, and lives in Ruscombmanor township.

George W. Freyberger was reared to farm life, and worked for his parents until he was of age. He obtained his early education in the common schools of his district. He attended the Oley Academy under Prof. Henry Schadler, now a minister of the Reformed faith and located at Allentown. Mr. Freyberger was licensed to teach in the public schools by Prof. D. S. Keck, then County Superintendent, in 1881, and taught his first and second terms at Schmehl's School. The past twenty-six terms he has taught the Links School of Ruscombmanor township. He is one of the efficient teachers of the county. After teaching several terms, Mr. Freyberger was given a professional certificate and later he received a State Teacher's Permanent Certificate. He now lives in his own home, where he has a tract of twenty-one acres.

Mr. Freyberger is a member of Ringgold Council No. 23, O. U. A. M., of Friedensburg; and Castle No. 119, K. G. E., of Friedensburg, of the latter of which he is a charter member, and has been an official since its organization in 1886. He is the District Grand Chief of District No. 6 of Berks county, and is active in the interest of the lodge. In politics he is a Republican, has been a delegate to a number of county conventions, and is now Republican committeeman for his township. He belongs to Spies's Lutheran Church, which he has served as deacon and elder, the former office nine years, and the latter six years.

Mr. Freyberger was married in 1889 to Rosa Guinther, daughter of L. F. and Sarah (Bortz) Guinther, of Reading. Their children are: Edna, Wayne and Earl.


p. 1666


William I. Frick, a resident of Douglass township, Berks county, who is in the Railway Mail Service, was born at Pottstown, Pa., and comes of a substantial family whose early home was in Wurtemberg, Germany.

William C. Frick, father of William I., was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and was but two years of age when brought by his parents to America. The family located in Pottstown, Pa., and there William C. passed his youth and early manhood. After his marriage he moved to Barto, the terminus of the Colebrookdale branch of the Philadelphia & Reading railroad, on which he was baggage master for twenty-seven years. He began farming in 1894, owning a fine little farm of thirty-five acres. He died in 1908, aged fifty-nine years, six months, and is buried at Pottstown. He was a man of considerable intelligence, and was highly esteemed by the community in which he lived. In politics he was a Democrat, and he served as roadmaster under the new road law, in Douglass township, dying while in office. In his religious faith he was a New Mennonite, and was a member of that church at Bally and was active in the Sunday-school, in which he was a teacher. For many years he was president of the Christian Endeavor Association. His wife, Catharine (Shriner) Frick, is still living, and makes her home in Pottstown. They had eight children, namely Albert, of Philadelphia; William I.; Morris, of Pottstown; Leroy, of Pottstown; Carrie, m. Edward Kieffer; Catharine and Mamie, unmarried; and Amy.

William I. Frick, accompanied his parents to Barto in 1878, and there passed his boyhood days, attending the common schools of Washington township. He learned telegraphy when sixteen years old, and at eighteen was station agents at the Manatawny Station on the Colebrookdale branch of the Philadelphia & Reading, filling that office with ability for twenty years. He then resigned to enter the railway mail service, taking the civil service examination at Philadelphia. He is now on the New York and Pittsburg branch. He is quick and accurate and has made a success of his chosen calling.

Fraternally Mr. Frick is a member of the Manatawny Lodge, No. 341, I. O. O. F., and of the Royal Arcanum at Pottstown. He and his family belong to Zion's Reformed Church at Pottstown.

Mr. Frick married Sarah M. Focht, daughter of Mahlon and Catharine (Mauger) Focht, of Douglass township, and they have three children, two sons and one daughter, namely; Mahlon, Frederick and Catharine.


p. 1502


Ellsworth Fricker of Reading, who is extensively engaged in raising fine poultry, was born in 1861, in that city, son of Andrew J. and Mary C. (Mills) Fricker.

Andrew J. Fricker was born in Reading, and in early life learned the molding trade, but later engaged in the paper box business, which he followed the major portion of his life. He died in 1895 at the age of sixty years, and his wife in 1878, when thirty-five years of age, their children being: Ellsworth; Kate, deceased; Sarah, single; and Jacob, deceased. Religiously the family were connected with the Reformed Church. In political matters, Mr. Fricker was a Republican, and was prominent in city affairs, being councilman for two terms. He was very well known in the city, where he had many friends, and was a member of the I. O. O. F.

Ellsworth Fricker was educated in the schools of Reading, and as a boy learned the trade of blacksmith, which he followed for about eight years, and then engaged in teaming. For eighteen years he was in the employ of the P. & R. Co., as brakeman and baggagemaster, resigning in 1903. In 1906 he engaged in the poultry business, purchasing the Miller Poultry Farm, and in this he has continued to the present time with much success.

Mr. Fricker is a member of the Royal Arcanum, Mt. Penn Lodge, No. 518, and the I. O. O. F. His politics are those of the Republican party.

Mr. Fricker married Clara S. Reischard, and to them have been born two children, Jacob and Esther. Mr. and Mrs. Fricker attend the Reformed Church.


p 1676


George W. Fricker, deceased, of Reading was born in that city, July 17, 1842, and was the youngest son of Jacob Fricker.

Jacob Fricker was a native of Huntingdon county, Pa., where he remained until after his education was completed. When about twenty-two years old he came to Reading and secured a position as foreman under Jacob Sourbeer, a manufacturer of fur hats. After several years of this association Mr. Fricker went into business for himself with Harry Brown as a partner and in 1835 they located at No. 807 Penn street. There, on a site of 30 x 270 feet, Mr. Fricker built a house, which is still standing, while in the rear was a log house where they carried on the manufacture of fur hats. Later they moved to Fifth and Court streets, where Tragle Brothers; large cordage building now stands. The business demanded considerable traveling from Mr. Fricker as it was the custom then to go around through the country, selling the hats or trading them for new skins, and during one of these trips he contracted a severe cold resulting in his death in August 1847.

In 1828 Mr. Fricker had married a lady whose first name was Catherine, who survived him for many years, and lived in their old Penn street house for a period covering six decades. Their children were: Peter H., engaged in the hat business and a member of the Ringgold Band, deceased in 1860; Andrew J., deceased, who was a printer and box manufacturer, was connected with the Reading Lumber Company, and served as councilman for the Tenth ward; Sarah E., deceased; Jacob B.; and George W.

George W. Fricker received his education in the public schools of Reading. He became a box manufacturer and for a long time was located on South Twelfth street, where his brother, A. J. Fricker, was associated with him. His operations were highly successful and in 1892 he retired from business. His remaining years were spent in quiet enjoyment of his leisure at his home at No. 807 Penn street, and there he died Sept. 5, 1902. His remains were interred in the Charles Evans cemetery. Mr. Fricker stood high among the business men of Reading and was a well-known citizen.

Mr. Fricker was survived by his widow, Mrs. Louisa Fricker, who was a daughter of the late David G. and Mary G. (Frey) Knabb, the former an employe for many years at the Philadelphia and Reading station. Mrs. Fricker has no children, but a niece, Miss Sarah W. Fricker, lives with her in her home at No. 526 Walnut street. Mrs. Fricker is a member of St. Paul's Reformed Church, as was her husband.

Anthony Fricker, the ancestor of the family in America, located in the town of Reading prior to 1759, in which year he paid a federal tax of 8. His last will and testament he made in 1796, and this was probated June 5, 1797, soon after his death. It is recorded in Will Book A, page 362. In the will he speaks of Conrad Weiser as the "Grandfather" of my children. From this item it is evident that his wife Eve who survived him as a daughter of Conrad Weiser.

Anthony Fricker left a large estate. His children Anthony, Peter, Thomas and Catharine were bequested only one shilling as they had already received their share. His other children were George; John; Margaretha; William; Henry, and Magdalena who was the youngest daughter.

In 1831 William Fricker died and in his will he bequested one hundred dollars annually to his mother Eve, to be "paid" her as long as she lived. He speaks of "all my children" but does not mention their names.

Anthony Fricker, who died in 1884, and his wife Amelia had children: Ellen and Clara. The latter m. Peter Benson. Anthony Fricker bequested three hundred dollars to Julia Lebo, his wife's sister. He also bequested Leavy Fricker, daughter "of my deceased son William L, whose mother was Amelia Seitzinger, the sum of one hundred dollars."

William Fricker (son of William) died in 1871. He bequested his wife Elizabeth the home at No. 44 North Eighth street, with a lot 16x230 feet, with shop on the rear. They had children: Jane and Franklin, and a granddaughter Kate Schaedle.


p 368


It is most consonant that in this work be incorporated a sketch of the career of this well-known and honored citizen and prominent business man of Reading, for not only is he a native of the city which is now his home, but he is also a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of the county in which his entire life has been passed. Mr. Fricker was born in the old family homestead at No. 807 Penn street, Dec. 19, 1839, son of Jacob and Catherine (Allgaier) Fricker, both likewise natives of the old Keystone State.

Jacob Fricker was born in Huntingdon county, where he was reared and educated, and where he remained until he was about twenty-two years of age, when he came to Reading and secured a position as foreman and manager in the hat factory of Jacob Sauerbier. He retained this incumbency about twelve years, and then engaged in the same branch of enterprise on his own responsibility, forming a partnership with Harry Brown and establishing their factory at No. 807 Penn street in 1835. On tat site, 30 x 270 feet in dimensions, Mr. Fricker erected his dwelling, which is still standing, and in an excellent state of preservation. In the rear of this building the firm established their fur-hat manufactory, utilizing a log house. At the same time they established a wholesale and retail store at the corner of Fifth and Court streets, where Tragle Bros.' large cordage building now stands. Mr. Fricker continued to be actively identified with this business until his death. The business demanded considerable traveling on his part, as the custom in those days was for the manufacturers to go about from on locality to another, selling their products or exchanging them for new fur-pelts. On one of these trips he contracted a severe cold, the ultimate result of which was his death in March, 1847. In 1828 Jacob Fricker married Catherine Allgaier, who survived him for many years, continuing to reside in the old Penn street homestead for sixty years. She died in 1888. Five children were born to Jacob Fricker and wife: Peter H., who was engaged in the manufacture of fur hats in Reading, and who was a prominent member of the old Ringgold Band, died in 1860; Andrew J., a printer and box manufacturer, also identified with the Reading Lumber Company, and the representative of the Tenth ward in the city council, died in 1895; Sarah E. died in 1886; Jacob B.; George W., who was engaged in printing and manufacturing, died in 1902. As per family arrangement the estate was not settled until 1905, a period of fifty-eight years, when Jacob B., the sole survivor, became the owner of the old homestead.

Jacob B. Fricker was reared to manhood in his native town, and after completing the course of the Reading schools, he found employment as a clerk in a local mercantile establishment. He followed this vocation for a number of years, with different firms, and during the Civil war was employed as a clerk in the post-office, and later was clerk and teller in the First National and the Reading Savings Banks. In 1871 he became associated with the De Long Brothers, tanners and curriers, who for many years occupied the southeast corner of Ninth and Muhlenberg streets, and with them in 1875 he established a wholesale leather house in Philadelphia, and at this writing still remains a partner of this firm. In 1884 he formed a partnership with Lambert A. Rehr, and under the firm name of Rehr & Fricker, they engaged as contractors and builders. The firm is still in existence, with offices at No. 124 Cedar street, and they control a large and important business, having erected more than 1,000 houses in Reading. This fact in itself offers the most effective voucher for the correct business methods and technical ability of the firm, whose reputation has ever been of the highest, and whose splendid success has been richly deserved.

Mr. Fricker is a man of progressive spirit and has identified himself with various other enterprises which have contributed to the material advancement and prestige of his home city. He is one of the organizers, and remains an interested principal in the Reading Lumber Company. Mr. Fricker was a director in the Reading Hardware Company many years, but recently severed his connection with the company. For the past ten years he has been the manager and treasurer of the Reading Abattoir Company, which he organized and now has incorporated by the Sate of Pennsylvania. He is not only treasurer but also one of the largest stockholders. He is president and stockholder of the Crescent Brass Foundry Company, and takes a lively interest in the management of the same. In politics Mr. Fricker is a stanch supporter of the principles and policies of the Republican party, and his religious faith is that of the Reformed Church. He and his wife prominent members of St. Paul's Reformed Church, with which he has been identified since its organization, and of whose choir he has been a member for thirty years, also taking an active part in the work of the Sunday school. He has served on the building committee of six different churches of the Reformed denomination, those of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Andrew and Zion, on the first church buildings of St. Stephen and St. Mark, on the Sunday-school building of St. Paul's, and on the Seminary building of the Reformed Church of Lancaster, Pa., and in each instance he gave most valuable assistance by reason of his fine technical knowledge as a contractor and builder.

In 1868 Mr. Fricker married Miss Annie E. Getz, daughter of the late Peter D. Getz, an honored pioneer of Reading and to this union have been born three daughters: Mary F. m. Thomas G. Mull, and has one daughter, Helen; Martha A.; and Annie F., the two last named remaining under the parental roof. Mr. And Mrs. Fricker were members of the Mozart Musical Union, being original members, and they continued interested in same as long as it was in existence. Mr. Fricker is a loyal and public-spirited citizen and has an abiding interest in all that concerns his native city, which is endeared to him by the gracious memories and associations of the past as well as of the present.


p. 1522


George William Fries, who was for a number of years prominent in Reading as a member of the bottling firms of Fries & Croessant, and as a hotel keeper, has been living retired since 1900. Mr. Fries was born Jan. 16, 1850, in Reading, son of John Fries, a native of Germany.

John Fries came to America from Bavaria in 1833, and landed at Baltimore, Md., from whence he went to Marietta, Lancaster county, and thence after a short time to Lancaster City. There is engaged in the hotel business conducting what was then known as the "Indian Queen Hotel" on the Philadelphia pike. On coming to Reading he engaged in the huckstering business for a time, and then took up general contracting, digging cellars. He was a well-known man and was highly respected by all. Mr. Fries died in 1883, at the age of seventy-four years. He married Mary M. Banning, who died in 1876, and they had the following children: Joseph A., born in Lancaster county, was for a number of years a member of the Ringgold Band in Reading, and now resides in Philadelphia; John W., who was one of the first to enlist in the Civil war from Reading, resides in the city; Michael A. is of Reading; George William; Adam, who also enlisted among the first from Reading, served as assistant fire chief under Chief Howard Boyer; George was killed during the Civil war while carrying dispatches; Valentine is deceased; and Mary married Joseph A. Huck.

George William Fries attended the public schools of Reading and when a young man learned the molding trade, which he followed until 1882, and then engaged in the bottling business at No. 640 Cherry street for one year. His next location was at No. 215 Moss street, where he and his partner, Mr. Croessant, erected a fine building and continued in the business for sixteen years under the firm name of Fries & Croessant. Mr. Fries withdrew from the firm in January, 1898, and engaged in the hotel business at Moss and Walnut streets, retiring therefrom in April, 1900. Since that time Mr. Fries has lived a quiet life at No., 925 Walnut street.

On April 18, 1870, Mr. Fries married Mary Ganter, daughter of F. X. Ganter of Reading, and to this union have been born the following children: John V., who married Nora Helfrich, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., died Jan. 31, 1882, leaving two children,-Maria and Florence; Edward G., a jeweler, married Carrie Flood; Francis W. died in 1905, at the age of twenty-eight years; Lena died when four years old; Gertrude, the wife of Jacob McQuaite, lives at No. 1030 Walnut street; William A. is a shoe cutter; and Vincent is an apprentice to the machinist's trade.

Mr. Fries is a Democrat in politics and served as a judge of elections of the first precinct of the Ninth ward. He is a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church, and of two church organizations. He is greatly interested in the fire companies, is a member of the Veterans Fire Association, which he joined in February, 1904, and is also connected with the Rainbow Fire Company, which he became a member of in September, 1868, when Lewis Moyer was president thereof.


p. 948


Jacob Fries, the senior member of the firm of Jacob Fries & Son, plumbers, on Perkiomen avenue, one of the leading business establishments of the city of Reading, Pa., was born in Reading, Aug. 30, 1860, son of John J. and Margaret Fries, the former a railroad man who was killed in an accident while acting as conductor. At this time Jacob Fries was a child and when he was but six years of age his mother died, leaving him an orphan. He was reared by August Ernst and his wife, receiving a good education in the public schools, and at the age of fifteen years apprenticed himself to the machinist's trade in the shops of the Philadelphia & Reading Company, where he is still employed. He is a skilled mechanic and faithful employe, and is very popular with his fellow workmen in the shops.

In 1881, Mr. Fries married Rosie E. Reif, daughter of Henry P. and Barbara Reif, and to this union there were born the following children: Bertha; H. Jacob; Arthur, the junior member of the firm of Jacob Fries & Son; Charles; Paul; Raymond; Lillie; George, and Leonard. In religious matters they are identified with St. Andrew's Reformed Church. Mr. Fries is independent in politics, and has served as judge of election. Fraternally he is connected with the P. O. S. of A. and Royal Arcanum.


p 740


J. M. Fries, a manufacturing confectioner at No. 1013 Chestnut street, Reading, was born in 1862, at Leesport, Pa., son of John W. Fries, who is engaged in the restaurant business in Reading.

John M. Fries received his education in the public schools of Lancaster and Berks counties, and located in Reading in 1876, being employed as an apprentice with C. M. Groff, with whom he remained eight years. He was with a Mr. Kraft for four years, and with Mr. Brown, who bought out Mr. Kraft, two years. Mr. Fries engaged in business on his own account in 1887, at No. 1013 Chestnut street, beginning on a small scale. In 1896 he built a three-story factory structure 13 * x 45 feet, and three years later an addition 27 x 45 feet. Owing to an increase in business, Mr. Fries was compelled to build in November, 1905, another addition, 35 x 35 feet. Mr. Fries has installed the latest candy making machinery, and during the winter his output is on an average of a ton of candy daily. He manufactures chocolates and Easter novelties, and all hard candies. Mr. Fries makes a specialty of ice cream, Fries Celebrated, as it is known, having this name registered. Peach Brand Confectionery is another of Mr. Fries' products, and it is widely known for its excellence. He has a very large trade among private families, having two wagons continually on the streets, and employs about twenty-five hands. His factory is in the rear of his store, and his residence is at No. 1007 Franklin street. He erected a fine dwelling house at Nos. 1017-19 Chestnut street. The store room at his residence is 27 * x 80 feet, and is the finest in the city. His factory is operated by one fifteen, two four and two two-horse-power motors, and a twenty-three horsepower boiler and engine. It is widely known for cleanliness, and Mr. Fries takes pleasure in manufacturing the best of goods. He has installed an ice machine, capacity ten tons, for the manufacture of his own ice.

Mr. Fries married Emma Deifenbach, daughter of William Diefenbach, of Reading, and four children were born to this union: Clayton M., who has charge of his father's factory, m. Mamie Moyer; Edna m. William Criswell, manager of the Lester Shoe Store at Reading; and two died young. The family are Methodists. Mr. Fries is a very prominent member of the K. O. T. M., P. O. S. of A., Jr. O. U. A. M., K. G. E., R. A., and the Princes of Bagdad.


p. 823


Jeremiah Trexler Fritch, chief burgess of Kutztown and proprietor of the "Black Horse Hotel," and successful merchant, was born in that town, March 13, 1859, son of Allen W. and Amanda (Jackson) Fritch.

John Fritch, the emigrant ancestor of the family, came from Germany and settled in Longswamp township at a place known at Fritch's Mill, which has been in the possession of the family to the present time.

George Fritch, son of John and grandfather of Jeremiah T., was a well-known farmer near Kutztown. He was twice married. His first wife was Maria Ann Swartz, by whom he had children: Eli, John, George, Nathan, Tryon, Anne and Esther, most of whom lived in Longswamp township, where their descendants are to be found at this day. Mr. Fritch's second wife was Christina Mathias, widow of Jacob Mathias, and one child, Allen W., was born to this union.

Allen W. Fritch, for many years an educator in the public schools and a well-known musician and choir leader, is at present supervisor of this borough. For the past nine years he has been a member of the school board, and for a number of years treasurer thereof. He married Amanda Jackson, daughter of Elias Jackson, one of the founders of the old Kutztown foundry, located at Walnut street and Kutz avenue, and to this union there were born: Jeremiah Trexler; and Robert, a barber at Pittsburg.

Jeremiah Trexler Fritch received his education in the public schools and at the Keystone State Normal School, and at the age of sixteen years learned the printer's trade. He then formed a partnership with Solon A. Wanner, under the firm name of Wanner & Fritch, and they conducted a successful business for three years in the job printing line. At the end of this time the partners sold out to Isaac F. Christ, who continued the business very successfully for many years. At present Mr. Fritch is engaged in business on Main street, Kutztown, where he has been highly successful in the sale of musical instruments (especially phonographs) and music. He is also proprietor of the "Black Horse Hotel" and barber shop. In politics Mr. Fritch is a stalwart Republican and an active worker in the ranks of that party. To show his popularity it is only necessary to state that he was elected chief burgess of Kutztown in the spring of 1906, by a large majority over his Democratic opponent, when it is a well-known fact that the borough is regularly Democratic, about three to one.

Mr. Fritch is a member of Adonai Castle, No. 70, K. G. E., and of Aerie No. 839, F. O. E., Kutztown being active in both orders.

On May 21, 1880, Mr. Fritch married Ellen Schlegel, daughter of Benjamin and Lovina (Smith) Schlegel, and to this union the following children were born: Gertrude m. Harvey Boger; Oneida m. Claude Gockenback; Allen W., Mamie and Wirt live at home; and George B. died in infancy.


p. 1633


Levi L. Fritch, a highly respected resident of Longswamp, belongs to that progressive class of citizens to which is due so much of the substantial growth and strength of the American nation.

Johannes Frietsch, great-grandfather of Levi L., was born in Hesse Darmstadt, June 14, 1744. He was one of the five hundred passengers on the ship "Hero," Ralph Forster, captain, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes. They landed in America Oct. 27, 1764, and on this same day he qualified, as recorded in the Pennsylvania Archives (2nd Series) Vol. 17, page 466. (Johannes Frietsch). He was married to a Miss Maria Palsgrafin, June 30, 1769, and they had the following children: John, born in 1771, in Longswamp township; Elizabeth, Nov. 23, 1772, in Maxatawny township; Jacob, Aug. 24, 1779 in Maxatawny township; John Henry, Aug 30, 1781; John George, in Longswamp township, Oct. 10, 1787. Johannes Frietsch died Sept. 13, 1823, aged seventy-nine years, two months and twenty-nine days.

John George Fritsch (as his name was spelled), grandfather of Levi L., was born Oct. 10, 1787, at 10 P.M. He was a miller by occupation, and resided at the old mill in what is known as Long's dale or valley, in Longswamp township, near the present home of our subject. This has always been regarded as the family homestead and it is now owned and occupied by Frank Fritsch. He died at Kutztown in 1863. His wife was Miss Nancy Long, who bore him seven children as follows: Nathan m. Mary Dry; George m. Miss Mathias; John m. Miss Glassmoyer; Levi is mentioned below; Annie m. Reuben Howerter; Esther m. Aaron Long; and Lydia remained single.

Levi Fritch, son of George and father of Levi L., was born and reared at the old mill. He learned the trade of millwright, which he followed all his active life. He was an expert workman, and was strictly honest, winning a high reputation for first class workmanship, and he built all the mills, with a very few exceptions, erected in eastern Berks county, and in part of Montgomery county. In 1857 he bought the old Jacob Fritch property, where his son, Levi L., now resides. The same year he erected a fine brick house, and two years later a modern barn. Shortly after this he gave up his work and passed the remainder of his life in retirement, enjoying the rest that comes from a comfortable competency won by steady work and wise investment. He died Oct. 25, 1892, at the age of seventy-four years. His remains were laid to rest in the Mertztown Church cemetery. His wife, who was Miss Sarah Long, daughter of Daniel Long and sister of Drs. M. S. and Augustus Long (both deceased), is still living, making her home with her son Levi L. She is a sister of Mrs. Acker, of Reading, and of Mrs. Haas of Topton, the others of her family being deceased. To Levi and Sarah (Long) Fritch were born the following children: Tilghman, a merchant of Mertztown, m. Miss Esther Fegley, daughter of Sol. Fegley; Manoah, of Philadelphia, m. Mary Weiler; and Levi L.

Levi L. Fritch was born on the homestead where he now resides, April 25, 1858. His education was acquired in the local schools, the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, and Brunner's Business College, Reading. For a long time he clerked in the store of his brother, and for a time was a partner in the same, but for the past eighteen years he has given his attention to the lumber business, manufacturing barrel staves, for which there is a ready demand.

In 1880 Mr. Fritch was married to Miss Sallie Miller, daughter of Nathan Miller, of Mertztown. This union has been blessed with six daughters, as follows: Clara S., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, and for eight years a successful public school teacher, m. Frank Lawrence, of St. Louis, Mo. Lillian F., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, and for five years a teacher, m. Winfield Hertzell, and now resides in Denver, Colo. Jennie B., also a graduate of the Keystone Normal, who taught for five years in Lehigh county, m. Rev. Charles A. Butz, of Myerstone, Lebanon county. Ella N., who like her sisters graduated from the Keystone State Normal, is now engaged in teaching in Lower Macungie township, Lehigh county. Melrose M. is a student in the Bloomsburg Normal School. Helen A. is attending the Longswamp high school under Prof. Kemp. The family are all members of the Mertztown Lutheran Church. In his political principles Mr. Fritch is a stanch Republican, but he has never aspired to the honors and responsibilities of official position. He has a fine reputation as a business man, is very popular with those who know him, and is much esteemed throughout Berks county.


p. 824


Dr. Milton L. Fritch, a leading medical practitioner Virginville, Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa., was born July 9, 1845, in Longswamp township, son of Horatio N. and Lavina (Geist) Fritch.

Henry Fritch, grandfather of the Doctor, died in 1851, when about sixty-seven years of age. He married Mary Schwartz, who lived to the ripe old age of ninety-two years. Their children were: Henry; John; Sallie (of Allentown); Hannah; Judith (m. Charles Shroeder of Macungie, Lehigh county); Elizabeth, deceased (m. Frank Schlouch, a landlord of Siegersville); Phoebe (m. Augustus Dunkle, a retired landlord of Allentown); Horatio N.; and William.

Horatio N. Fritch, father of Dr. Milton L., was born in 1819, and died in 1858. He was engaged in operating a general merchandise store this side of Shamrock, in Longswamp township, the place being known as Trexler's store. In 1853 he removed to Reading, where he conducted a successful mercantile business until his death. On Nov. 27, 1842, Mr. Fritch married Lavina Geist, daughter of Benjamin Geist, of Longswamp township, and to this union were born: Amanda, deceased; Dr. M. L.; Louisa (m. Dr. M. S. Richards of Rothrocksville); Samuel, a traveling salesman of Philadelphia; Horatio, Jr., a clerk at Allentown; Phoebe (m. Milton Schwoyer, a farmer of Leigh county); and James, a tanner at Reading. Mrs. Lavina Fritch, who is now in her eightieth year, resides with her daughter, Mrs. Dr. Richards.

Dr. Milton L. Fritch was reared on the farm in his native township, and received his early education in the public schools there. He later attended Prof. D. B. Brunner's Academy in Reading, and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, after which he taught school in Longswamp township for three terms. In 1867 he went into the Court House in Reading as clerk of the Orphan's Court, a position which was offered to him unsolicited, and after he had served in that position for one year, ex-Judge Heidenreich, who was then serving as city treasurer, requested Mr. Fritch to become one of the city's clerks, in which capacity Mr. Fritch served most acceptably. In the spring of 1869 he commenced to read medicine with Dr. M. S. Richards, of Rothrocksville, and subsequently attended lectures in Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, graduating with the class of 1871, after which he located in Virginville, which was then in its infancy. He commenced his professional career among strangers, but soon became known as a most successful practitioner, and his gentlemanly bearing, his industrious habits, and his skill as a physician made him one of the town's most popular citizens.

On Feb. 24, 1876, Dr. Fritch married Miss Mary Lesher, daughter of Samuel and Floranda (Kroninger) Lesher, and to this union were born these children: Rev. George W., the well-known Lutheran divine, located at Sunbury, Northumberland county, m. Ellen Smith, and has one daughter, Florence; William L., is a clerk at Blandon; Samuel J. is a teacher at the Diamond Business College, Philadelphia; and Florence died in infancy. Dr. Fritch has served Richmond township as school director for six years, and has been frequently a delegate to county conventions of the Democratic party. He has been a member of the Lutheran Church for the past thirty years. He belongs to the P. O. S. of A. of Virginville; and to Perry Lodge, I. O. O. F.

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