Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1536


Augustus Fritz, a well-known resident of Reading, who as operator of the elevator in the Pennsylvania Trust Company Building has made a large acquaintance, was born July 31, 1859, in Cumru township, Berks county, son of Isaac and Eliza (Maloney) Fritz.

Daniel Fritz, the grandfather of Augustus, was born in Cumru township, and there spent all of his life, dying at the age of eighty. He married and had these children: Benjamin; Augustus; Daniel, who was a soldier during the Civil war, and Isaac, father of Augustus. Isaac Fritz was born in Cumru township, and spent his life in agricultural pursuits among the farmers of his district. He died when comparatively a young man, in 1870. Mr. Fritz married Eliza Maloney, and both are buried at Yocom's cemetery, in Cumru township. Their children were: Henry, deceased; Annie E., of Philadelphia; Augustus; Isaac, of Reading; and Mary, who married William White.

Augustus Fritz secured his early education in the public schools, and as a young man entered the employ of the Van Reeds, at their paper mill, remaining in this employ for a period of twenty-two years. In 1893 he came to Reading and located at No. 525 Schuykill avenue, where he still resides. He is employed as an elevator operator in the Pennsylvania Trust Company Building, and is well and favorably known. He is a member of Camp No. 560, P. O. S. of A., and of St. Mary's Reformed Church.

In 1882 Mr. Fritz was married to Alma Leinbach, daughter of Christian Rick and Louisa (Tobias) Leinbach, the former of whom was for many years a well-known paper manufacturer of Reading. Mr. And Mrs. Fritz have four children: Harry L., a machinist and tool-maker employed at the Penn Hardware Company, married Estella Miller, and has two children, -Grace and Florence; Laura, the wife of Edward Froby; Charles A.; and Jennie L.


p. 1418


Edwin Fritz, of Reading, Pa., was born in Reading in 1872, son of Henry and Louisa (Mohler) Fritz.

Henry Fritz, grandfather of Edwin, was a native of Lancaster county, where he was engaged throughout his active life in farming and shoemaking. He married Ellen Keffer, who bore him these children: Michael, Elias, Henry and Sarah. The family are also connected, through great-grandmother Fritz, with the Spangs of Germany, the estate of whom, consisting of millions of dollars, is under litigation in the Fatherland.

Henry Fritz, the father of Edwin, was born in 1836, in Adamstown, Pa., and was educated in the schools of Reading, in which city he learned the machinist's trade. This he followed for two years, and then engaged as a locomotive engineer, and later as a stationary engineer, being employed with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad for a period of forty-nine years, one month and seventeen days. In March 1903, he retired, and since that time he has been living with his son, Edwin. Among the engines driven by Mr. Fritz during his long service with the road may be mentioned: the "California," "Tuscarora," manufactured by Gowan and Marks Reading, "Vera Cruz," "Buena Vista," "Elmira," "Auburn," the last two of which were confiscated by the United States Government, "Blue Bird," and many others. In 1858 Mr. Fritz was married to Louisa Mohler, and to their marriage were born six children": Charles H.; Laura, deceased; George A.; Walter I.; Bessie, deceased; and Edwin. Mr. Fritz is a member of the Sr. O. U. A. M. In political matters he is a Democrat.

Edwin Fritz was educated in the schools of Reading, and as a young man entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, with which he remained nine years, learning the trade of pattern making. He then resigned to accept a position with the Smith Exhaust Pipe Co., was later employed by the E. & G. Brooke Company, of Birdsboro, and then engaged with the Chambersburg Engineering Company of Chambersburg, Pa. Shortly afterward he returned to the employ of the E. & G. Brooke Company, but later associated himself with the Snell & Meharg Engine Company. Returning to Reading, Mr. Fritz engaged with Davis, Printz & Company, but in 1904 resigned his position to engage in the hotel business, opening in that year the "Third Ward Hotel," which he supplied with all modern conveniences, but sold out in 1908 and retired. He has, since that date, resided at No. 44 Maple street.

Mr. Fritz has always taken a keen interest in municipal affairs, supporting the principles of the Democratic party, and for a number of years filled the position of Ward assessor. In the spring of 1907 he was elected alderman from the Third ward to the common council, and took his seat in that body in April of that year. He is fraternally connected with the Mt. Penn Association, Friendship Fire Company, Combine Association, F. O. E. No. 66, 1900 Beneficial Association, Twentieth Century Quakers, P. O. S. of A. Camp No. 61, Red Men, Flaming Arrow, and Trinity Brotherhood Association, the latter being connected with Trinity Lutheran Church, of which Mr. Fritz is a member.


p. 1444


Eli Fritz (deceased) was, for fifty years one of the best known residents of lower Berks county, having for that period operated what is known as "Fritz's Mill" in Douglass township, located on the Ironstone creek.

John Fritz (also spelled Fritts) is on record in Douglass township as being a taxable in 1759. He was the first ancestor of the family in this county.

John Fritz, Jr., died in 1843, leaving a wife and some children, the will mentioning only a son Ephraim, who was given the plantation in Douglass township.

John Fritz, grandfather of Eli, was a farmer of Douglass township during his lifetime. He owned and lived on the farm now owned by James Fisher. In his will, which is on record in Will Book 10, page 448, his wife Sarah was bequested the farm of 106 acres. Their family consisted of the following children: Samuel, David Joseph, John, Catharine (m. Frederick Hallman) and Sally (m. Isaac Keiser). The father of this family lived to a very ripe old age, dying in 1858.

David Fritz, the next in line, was also a farmer in Douglass township owning and cultivating the old homestead now belonging to James Fisher. During his lifetime he erected "Fritz's Mill," which remained in the family until 1908, at which time it was sold to Jacob Yorgey, who now continues to operate it. David Fritz married Nellie E., daughter of Jacob Kaiser, and their children were as follow: Eli; Matilda, m. to Christian Yorgey; and Mahlon, residing on Fox Hill, Pottsgrove township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

Eli Fritz was born about Pottstown, Pa., Feb. 1, 1831. He was reared to farm life, and learned milling in his father's mill, over the operations of which he continued to preside for a full half-century, from about 1857 until his death, July 29, 1907. In this position he became known all over this section, and he was quite active in the public affairs of his locality serving in different township offices. He was a stanch Democrat in politics. He and his family were Lutheran members of Emanuel Church, otherwise known as Kutz's Church, of Pottsgrove township. The family burial plot is in the cemetery at Pottstown.

Mr. Fritz married (first) Catharine Riegner, who died young. In 1867 he married Lovina Y., daughter of Peter and Anna (Yoder) Levengood, of New Hanover township. Mrs. Fritz was born in the year 1839, and received her education in the old "pay" school, German only being taught. Since the death of her husband she has passed most of her time in Reading, with her daughter, Ida T., Mrs. Henry B. Nuss. Mr. and Ms. Eli Fritz had also a son James L., who now resides in Reading. Henry B. Nuss, son-in-law of Eli Fritz, was born Nov. 14, 1867, in Lower Macungie township, Lehigh county, son of William and Emeline (Bortz) Nuss. William Nuss (son of John) came about 1877 to Longswamp township, Berks county, where he continues to reside. His wife died in 1908. They had children as follows: Hiram, Henry B., Ella, Mary, James, William, Charles (who perished in the Boyertown fire Jan. 13, 1908), Minnie and Elmer. On September 7, 1889, Henry B. Nuss married Ida T. Fritz, and they have had children: Henry W., Emma Z., George L. and Marion L.


p. 690


One of the best known pleasure resorts of the vicinity of the city of reading, Pa., is the "Mountain View Hotel," situated on the old Morgantown road, one and one-half miles from the city which is conducted by Mr. Henry F. Fritz, a hotel keeper of many years experience. Mr. Fritz was born Nov. 187, 1861, in Cumru township, son of Lewis G. and Sarah Ann (Focht) Fritz.

Henry F. Fritz received his education in the schools of his native township, and was reared on his father's farm, which he continued to operate for ten years after his marriage. He then engaged in the hotel business at Jacksonwald, Berks county, where he continued for seven years, his next venture being in the ice business in Reading, which he conducted very successfully for five years. On April 1, 1907, Mr. Fritz succeeded his father in the management of the "Mountain View Hotel," which has twenty-four finely furnished rooms with all modern conveniences. Mr. Fritz makes a courteous and genial host, and his hostelry is becoming very popular as a pleasure and health resort.

On Nov. 29, 1885, Mr. Fritz was married to Miss Clara Berg, daughter of Isaac and Maria (Noll) Berg and to them tow children have been born: Augusta M. and Carrie C. Mr. Fritz is a Republican in politics, and while a resident of Jacksonwald, served as postmaster for a period of seven years. In 1908 he was elected treasurer of his township, and re-elected in 1909. He has been prominent in fraternal circles, and is a popular member of Wyomissing Council, Royal Areanum, and Camp No. 230, P. O. S. of A., of St. Lawrence, Berks county.


p. 1093


John S. Fritz, engaged in the photographing business at No. 852 Penn street, Reading, was born on his father's farm in Lehigh county, Pa., in 1861, and there remained until fifteen years of age. At this time he went to Philadelphia, and was there employed two years when he began to learn photography, starting with his brother-in-law in a car, traveling through the country. Mr. Fritz remained with his brother-in-law for six months, and then bought him out, following the business for the next nine months in the surrounding counties. Not finding business very profitable he decided to give up photography for the time being and went to Atlantic City, where he was employed for some time, and later at Philadelphia, remaining at the latter place two years.

Being a skilled mechanic, Mr. Fritz had not trouble in getting positions, and he worked at Philadelphia, Pa., Orange, N.J., and at Lailor's in Reading. In June, 1883, Mr. Fritz again went out with a car, and traveled through Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan, and from Cold Water, in the last named State, he shipped his goods back to Reading, Feb. 28, 1886. In August, 1886, he engaged in business at No. 418 North Sixth street, Reading, where he remained in business for ten years, being very successful. he came to his present place in 1896, and here he has a fine studio. His business is growing daily, his work being of the highest standard, and he also does a large business in framing and crayons, water colors and pastels.

Mr. Fritz was married in Reading to Miss Elizabeth Apffel, daughter of the late Francis Apffel, of Reading, and they reside at No. 346 North Sixth street. Their children are: Lillian, aged seventeen years, a graduate of a musical institute; Raymond, aged fifteen years, attending Stoner's College; and Elsie, aged thirteen years, attending the city schools. The family are members of Grace Methodist Church.


p. 689


Lewis G. Fritz, now living at his pleasant residence at Mountain View, was for a number of years well known to the people of Cumru township, Berks county, as a leading hotel proprietor.

Martin Fritz, grandfather of Lewis G. Fritz, owned the land around the "Center House" (Grill post-office), in Cumru township, was a blacksmith by trade, and an early resident of the Yocum's Church district, where he was buried. He married Catherine Retchja, and to them were born children as follows: Harry, John and George, of Lancaster county; Jacob, a blacksmith of Brecknock township; Martin and Elias, twins, the latter a blacksmith at Center; Mary, married to Henry Foreman; Catherine; and Harriet (died in March, 1909), married to Cyrus Strohl, of Lancaster county. All of the sons in this family learned the blacksmith's trade and all are deceased.

Martin Fritz, the father of Lewis G., was born Aug. 11, 1806, in Cumru township, and died at Shillington, just four days before his eighty-fourth birthday. For many years he was a farmer in Cumru township, where he owned considerable land, but several years were spent at Wernersville and Sinking Spring. He was an official member of Yocum's Church. Mr. Fritz married Susan Gring, daughter of Henry Gring, and to them were born these children: Lewis G.; John, living at No. 216 West Douglass Street, Reading; Susan, m. to Jeremiah Gehret; Amos, Samuel, who died at the age of twenty years; Henry G., m. to Susanna Hinnershitz; Joseph, who died when twenty years old; and Sarah, m. to John M. Grill.

Lewis G. Fritz was reared on the home farm in Cumru township, and obtained most of his education in the public schools of his native locality, later spending six months in a school at Churchtown, Lancaster county. In 1871 he became the proprietor of the "Green Tree Hotel," in Cumru township, which he conducted for fourteen successive years, then removing upon the Boyer farm, at the Lancaster bridge, where he farmed for seven years. In 1893 he removed to his private residence near the "Green Tree Hotel," and during the summer and winter of 1896 built the "Mountain View Hotel," which he occupied from April 29, 1897, until April 1, 1907, when his son, Henry F., succeeded him in the management. Mr. Fritz then erected two nice frame dwellings at Mountain View, in one of which he is now living retired. He rebuilt two brick houses below his residence in 1907, and these he has rented. He was at one time part owner of the famous Fritz Island, located one and one-half miles south of Reading, in the Schuylkill river, his interests in which he sold to the city of Reading, in 1906. He recalls very well the historic flood of 1853, and the following incident concerning it is ever fresh in his memory; The Bushong distillery was located at the foot of Penn street, Reading, on the banks of the Schuylkill, and when the river rose the rushing torrents tore the large pig sty from its foundations and dumped over a hundred hogs into the river. They swam one and one-half miles down the river and thirty-three were washed ashore on Fritz Island and saved. This island is quite large, at its highest point being twenty-one and one-half feet above low water mark, and of the island six acres have never been under water to the knowledge of the oldest residents here. In politics Mr. Fritz is a Republican, and for four years he was supervisor of the township. He and his family are Lutheran member of Christ's (Yocum's) Church.

On Oct. 16, 1859, Mr. Fritz was married to Sarah Ann Focht, daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Hemmig) Focht, of Robeson township, and to them were born these children: Emma Louisa, born July 24, 1860, m. (first) Jacob Adam, deceased, and (second) Frank Boyer; Henry F., born Nov. 18, 1861; Catharine, born June 4, 1865, died June 8, 1876; Sylvester, born Jan. 13, 1868; Margaret, born Oct. 4, 1869, died May 31, 1876; Sarah Ann, born Sept. 23, 1870, died May 31, 1876; Lewis, born Oct. 28, 1872, died May 31, 1876, the same day as his sister Margaret, and both were buried in one grave; George, born May 5, 1865, a carpenter foreman for L. H. Focht, the well-known contractor, m. Agnes M. Hain; Alice, born May 30, 1879, m. William Robinson, and has two children, Catharine May and Ray Sarah; and two boys were still born.

George F. Fritz, youngest son of Lewis G. Fritz, was born in Cumru township, Berks county, May 5, 1875. He attended the common schools of his native district, and later was a pupil at the Reading Academy, then taught by the late Prof. D. B. Brunner. He was reared upon the farm, living there until 1892, at which time he left home to learn his trade, serving his apprenticeship under L. H. Focht, with whom he has continued up to the present time. He is now foreman of a gang of carpenters, and the high reputation enjoyed by his employer is sufficient testimony as to his ability, for the position is a very responsible one. He is a man of good habits and is well liked.

Mr. Fritz was married, July 11, 1896, to Miss Agnes M. Hain, daughter of Abraham U. Hain, and five children have been born to them, namely: Mabel H., Paul H., Walter H, James H. and Mary A. H. Since 1898 this family have occupied their own home at West Reading. This place was erected by Mr. Fritz's brother-in-law, the late James M. Hain. The Fritz family belong to Bethany Lutheran Church of West Reading. In politics Mr. Fritz is a Republican, and in social connection he is a member of Fraternity Castle, No. 302, K. G. E., of Reading.


p. 1063


Martin H. Fritz, an enterprising young business man of Shillington, Pa., engaged in the manufacture of hosiery and as an insurance agent, was born Dec. 15, 1876, on his grandfather's farm in Cumru township, Berks county, son of Henry G. and Susan (Hinnershitz) Fritz, and a descendant of Baltzer Fritz, the ancestor of this family.

Martin Fritz, great-grandfather of Martin H., is buried at Yocom's Church, as is also his wife, Catherine Kettig. He owned land in about the center of Cumru township, the ground on which the blacksmith shop stands having formerly been his property. The children of Martin Fritz were: Harry, John and George, of Lancaster county; Jacob, a blacksmith of Brecknock township, Berks county; Martin; Elias, who lived at the Center in Cumru township, on the old Fritz stand; Mary, who married Henry Foreman; Catherine; and Harriet, who married Cyrus Strohl, of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.

Martin Fritz, son of Martin, was born Aug, 11, 1806, in Cumru township, and died in 1890, aged eighty-four years. He was a large land owner and farmer, and lived for a number of years in Wernersville, and later at Sinking Spring, his death occurring in Cumru township. He was buried at Yocom's Church. He married Margaretta, daughter of Henry Gring, and to them were born the following children: Henry, born April 1, 1833, died young; Lewis, born Dec. 17, 1834, conducts the "Fairview Hotel," in Cumru; John, born Jan. 23, 1837; Susan, born Nov. 18, 1838; Samuel, born in 1840; Henry G., born Aug. 25, 1842; Joseph died at the age of twenty years; Amos, born Dec. 25, 1846, died young; and Sarah m. John M. Grill.

Henry G. Fritz, father of Martin H., was born Aug. 25, 1842, in Cumru township, and began farming in 1863 near the "Green Tree" as a tenant. After living on different farms in the township until 1882, he moved upon the Fritz homestead near the "Five Mile House," and there he remained until 1893, having acquired this property in 1881. He is a Republican in politics, and for a number of years was a tax collector in Cumru township, a most responsible position. He is an official member of Yocom's Church, he and his wife belonging to the Lutheran congregation.

In 1862 Mr. Fritz was married to Susan Hinnershitz, daughter of George and Susan (Shade) Hinnershitz, and to them were born these children: Rebecca m. Daniel Krick; Sallie m. Cyrus Althouse; Cyrus m. Ida Trexler; and Martin H. m. Ada G. Eberly.

Martin H. Fritz was educated in the public schools, the Keystone State Normal school, from which he was graduated in 1898, the Perkiomen Seminary, and later took the scientific course at the Keystone State Normal school. In 1896 Supt. E. M. Rapp licensed him to teach school, and in the fall of that year he began teaching at the Mt. Pleasant school in his native township. He taught in all six terms, and met with much success as an educator. In 1900 Mr. Fritz took a business course with the International Correspondence school, and in the following year engaged in the manufacture of seamless hosiery, erecting, in 1901, a factory at Shillington, 28x60 feet, two and one-half stories high. He employs fifty persons, and his output averages 400 dozen pair of hose daily. He manufactures a fine grade of goods, and his product finds a ready market in all of the large cities of the country. He does his own printing and extracting. In political matters Mr. Fritz is a Republican. He is a member of Yocom's Union Church, belonging to the Lutheran denomination thereof, and has been superintendent of the Sunday-school for the past three years, holding a like position for two years at the Mt. Pleasant Union Sunday-school.


p. 1103


Samuel E. Fritz, who is engaged in steam-fitting and plumbing at No. 401 Elm street, Reading, Pa., is one of the best known men in his business in the city. He was born in Cumru township, Berks county, May 15, 1872, son of John L. and Annie (Kurtz) Fritz, and grandson of Elias Fritz, one of the early settlers of the vicinity of the "Centre House."

John L. Fritz, father of Samuel E., is a blacksmith by trade in the employ of Orr & Sembower, and also owns a valuable farm in Cumru township. He and his wife were the parents of these children: Kate; Samuel E.; J. Howard; Mamie, deceased; Lottie; and Naomi and Esther, deceased.

Samuel E. Fritz was educated in the common schools of Cumru township, and was reared principally with his maternal grandfather, Samuel Kurtz. He learned the business of plumbing, spending three years with E. S. Summons and three years with the Daniel Adam Steam Heating & Radiating Co., and then started in business on his own account at No. 305 Elm street, Oct. 24, 1898, remaining there for seven years. At this time he successfully passed the examination, registering No. 26, Thomas Weber, Inspector. Mr. Fritz has done some of the largest jobs in his line in Reading, although his operations are not confined to this city, he also having done work in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and other cities. He is considered an expert in the line of steam and hot water heating, and has the reputation of doing his work promptly and well. His offices in Reading are among the best appointed in the city, and he employs from twelve to fifteen men the year around.

On June 28, 1894, Mr. Fritz married Alice Lewis, daughter of Samuel, a native of Lancaster county, and one child has been born to this union, Edith M., who is attending school. Mr. Fritz is a member of the Knights of Malta and the Red Men. With his wife he attends the Reformed Church.


p. 1534

Surnames: HAAK, SEIDEL

Sylvester F. Fritz, who is successfully engaged in the milk business, his route being located in the city of Reading, Pa., has his place of business at the "Mountain View Hotel," which hotel, is conducted by his brother, Henry F. Fritz. He was born Jan. 13, 1868, in Cumru township, Berks county, son of Lewis G. Fritz.

Sylvester F. Fritz attended the schools of Cumru township, and when a lad of fourteen years secured employment on an ore boat, where he did the work of a man. After about two years in this capacity he resigned and returned to the home farm, on which he worked for his father until his marriage. On March 9, 1893, he married Miss Ida A. Haak, daughter of Nathan and Lydia (Seidel) Haak. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Fritz spent one year in Reading, and they then returned to Cumru township, where he erected his pleasant residence in the summer of 1895. Since 1892 Mr. Fritz has been engaged in the milk business at the "Mountain View Hotel," which place was formerly owned by his father, and he has built up one of the best trades in the city of Reading. Since attaining his majority Mr. Fritz has been an ardent Republican, and has been active in the ranks of his party, serving on numerous occasions on the election board of his township. He and Mrs. Fritz are consistent members of Yocom's (Christ's) Union Church, of which they are liberal supporters.

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

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