Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1308


The George family, planted in America some one hundred and fifty years ago, is found active in many different walks of life, and has been distinguished by industry, thrift and good citizenship. At the present time Rev. Dr. Jonathan V. George is successfully carrying on the Reading Collegiate Institute; Samuel George is a successful contractor and builder in Reading; and Daniel S. George is a prosperous farmer in Maxatawny township.

(I) Jost Heinrich George was born in 1707, at Breitenbach, near Herborn, Nassau, Germany. His children were: (1)Johann Heinrich. (2) Heinrich came to America Aug. 11, 1750, and tradition says he settled at Harrisburg, where he owned blocks of houses. He had a palatial residence, and it is said he received a princely inheritance from Germany after his father's death, but before he died he burned all the papers he had belonging to his father, as well as all his correspondence pertaining to his inheritance from Germany. He had a son, and a daughter, Anna Catharine, whose name was not given, but was referred to in a letter written by her father on May 2, 1783.

(II) Johann Heinrich George, son of Jost Heinrich, came to America when his oldest son was nine years of age, according to family tradition. His wife was Anna Maria Nicks, and they settled in Greenwich township, Berks county. Their children were: Jost Heinrich; Heinrich Jacob; and one referred to in letter.

(III) Jost Heinrich George, son of Johann Heinrich, married Elizabeth Mayer (1769-1840), and she is buried in the cemetery at Dunkel's Church. They lived in Greenwich township. Their children were: Elizabeth, m. to Christian Dietrich (1783-1873); Barbara (Bevy), m. to Hans Georg Kohler, and the mother of Rev. Daniel Kohler; J. Jacob (1790-1859), m. to Catharine Zimmerman, and had children ____Maria (m. Charles Bleiler), Joseph, Jacob, Henry (inherited the home), Phoebe (m. Charles Shomo ), Charles and Daniel; Eva, m. to Jacob Noecker; Maria, m. to Peter Spohn; and Hannah, m. to George Haring.

(III) Heinrich Jacob George, second son of Johann Heinrich, was born Feb. 27, 1774, and he died July 3, 1832, aged fifty-eight years, four months, six days. His wife was Maria Catharine Leiby, born 1778, died 1865. Their children were: Jacob m. Polly Willtrout; Heinrich m. Polly Hilbert; Elizabeth m. Daniel Peiffer; Rebecca m. Jacob Seitler; Maria m. William Bast; Felde (Valentine) m. Kate Neff; Charles m. Sarah Adams; and Lydia m. John Haring.

(IV) Jacob George, son of Heinrich Jacob, was born in Berks county, and when a young man learned the trade of gunsmith which he followed for several years, then taking up a tract of eighty-four acres in Greenwich township, which he farmed for the remainder of his life. He died in 1881, at the age of eighty-three years. He married Polly Willtrout, and to them were born children as follows: ____m. Jacob Kershner; Daniel W. is mentioned below; ____m. Reuben Harris; Jonathan lived in Greenwich township; Sallie m. Jonathan Mechley of Greenwich township; Jacob; Fianna m. Daniel Mechley; Jackson is deceased; Mary m. ____Adams; and Benjamin.

(V) Daniel W. George, son of Jacob, was born in Greenwich township, Nov. 8, 1826, and he died on his farm in Maxatawny township April 25, 1904, aged seventy-seven years, five months, seventeen days, and was buried at Dunkel's Church. He was a life-long farmer, and owned a tract of thirty-three acres in Greenwich township, upon which he made his home until 1899, when he bought the Jacob Merkel farm in Maxatawny township, to which he moved. He m. (first) Hannah Hummel, daughter of Benjamin Hummel, who died aged about sixty years. No children were born of this union. He m. (second) Judith A. Hummel, daughter of Solomon Hummel, of Greenwich township, born August 9, 1853. Three children were born of this union, namely: Daniel S.; Miss Lillie L., an invalid; and Judith A. M., m. to Ambrose Stettler, a farmer on the old George homestead in Greenwich township, by whom she has children ___ Alvin C., Samuel O., Franklin D. and Verna M.

(VI) Daniel S. George, son of Daniel W., was born in Greenwich township, Oct. 29, 1879, and was early trained to agricultural pursuits to which he has devoted his life. He worked for his father until the latter's death in 1904, and in December of that year came into possession of the Jacob D. Merkel farm in the eastern part of Maxatawny township. His farm is well stocked, and he has fifteen head of cattle, and six horses. His milk is all sold at the Rothrocksville creamery. His fraternal connection is with the Jr. O. U. A. M., of New Smithville, in which he has held various offices. He is a member of the Reformed Church, while his wife is a Lutheran. On April 4, 1903, Mr. George was married to Jennie Klotz, daughter of Samuel and Lucy Ann (Fritch) Klotz, of Topton, and they have had two children: Daniel Edgar; and Helen Agnes, who died aged six months and seven days.

(V) Benjamin George, son of Jacob, was born in 1835 in Greenwich township, and as a young man learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for about fifteen years. He then engaged in farming in Greenwich township, and There died Feb. 20,1903. He was a Democrat in politics, and in religion a member of the New Jerusalem Church of Greenwich township. He married Catharine Rothermel who survives and still resides in Greenwich township. Their children were: Lovina died young; Samuel; William died young; Elias is of Reading; Emanuel is deceased; Benjamin lives in Reading; Elizabeth died young; Emma m. Alvin Adams; Mary A. m. Alvin J. Kline; and Katie L. m. John Adams.

(VI) Samuel George, son of Benjamin, and now one of the well known contractors and brick layers in Reading, was born in Greenwich township, Sept. 2, 1864. He attended the schools of his native township, until he was seventeen, and from that time until he attained his majority he engaged in farm work. He then went to learn the trade of brick layer, which he followed two years in Greenwich, finishing his apprenticeship in Allentown. He came to Reading in 1894, here working as a journeyman for one year, and in 1895 he engaged in business with Charles Schlenker, a partnership which was most successfully and pleasantly continued until Mr. Schlenker's death in 1901. In 1904 Mr. George formed a partnership with James H. Ramer, under the firm name of Ramer & George, and they have erected a large number of buildings in the northeastern part of the city. Mr. George is a good business man and excellent workman, and has an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity. Mr. George married Lovina M. Leiby, daughter of Jacob U. and Annie (Miller) Leiby, who died March 14, 1900, and was buried at Dunkel's church, Greenwich township. One daughter was born of this union, Miss Annie E. In politics Mr. George is a Democrat, although now not an active worker in political affairs. He belongs to the Maccabees, in which he is justly popular. He is an active member of St. Thomas's church (Reformed), Reading, in which he has held the offices of deacon, elder, treasurer and trustee, acting in the last named capacity at the present time.

(IV) Charles George, son of Heinrich Jacob, engaged in farming all his life in Maxatawny township. In 1887 he retired from active work and located in Kutztown, where his death occurred. His wife, Sarah Adams, survived him until 1895, when she passed away at the age of seventy-six years. Their four children were: Henry, of Bath, Pa.; Charles; Mary Ann, m. to W. A. Walbert, of Maxatawny township; and Rev. Jonathan V., D. D.

(V) Rev. Jonathan V. George, D. D., son of Charles and Sarah, was born in Maxatawny township, May 23, 1860, and is now conducting the Reading Collegiate Institute, an excellent preparatory school. He secured his preliminary education in the common schools of his native locality, and after graduating from the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, he took a special course in Franklin and Marshall College. He graduated from the Theological Seminary in 1890, and pursued a special post-graduate course, receiving the degree of B. D. From Harriman University (Tennessee) he received the degrees of S. T. D. and D. D. He also took a special course at the Northern Illinois College, graduating with the degree of Ph. D., and was ordained in June, 1890. He served at Reamstown, Pa., for nine months, and was then elected to the Allegheny charge in Berks county, which he is still serving, the charge consisting of five congregations. Since 1903 he has been conducting the Reading Collegiate Institute, formerly the Scientific College conducted by the Hon. D. B. Brunner, an institution preparing both young men and young women for college and for teaching. Under his management the school has been very successful, and has come to be considered one of the best of its kind in the State. Dr. George was married to Sarah L. Sitler, of Weisenburg township, Lehigh county, and one child has been born to them, Jennie Belle, a teacher in the public schools of Reading. Dr. George is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Knights of the Golden Eagle, and the Royal Arcanum. In political affiliation he is independent.


. p. 436


Edwin R. Gerber is a son of Levi R. and Chesta (Hartman) Gerber, and his early ancestors were some of the first inhabitants of Reading. He was born at Reading Nov. 30, 1856, and was educated there in the common schools and Keystone State Normal at Kutztown. Upon quitting school he learned printing and turned his attention to reporting on the Reading 'Daily News'. In 1887 he became prominently connected with the Reading 'Telegram' as one of the founders, and he continued with this daily newspaper until 1905, when he was obliged to discontinue his active services on account of having become mayor of the city, to which position he had been elected at the spring election of that year on the Democratic ticket. His activity, ability and sterling qualities for a number of years in the city had won the respect and confidence of his political associates, and his advocacy of municipal improvements had been so earnest and successful that his elevation to the office of mayor was quite natural.

Mr. Gerber served very efficiently as secretary of the Board of Trade for five years from 1900 to 1905, and as president of the Board of Public Works for four years from 1901 to 1905. He was re-elected for another term in both positions, but he was obliged to resign on account of his duties as mayor so as to devote all his attention to the office. He has been a very active member of the Americus Club, the Elks and the Press Club. Mr. Gerber is president of the General Light Company of New Jersey, engaged in the manufacture of acetylene gas machines, and is secretary and treasurer of the Langer & Gerber Engraving Company of Reading. His more active duties are as business manager of the 'Reading Telegram'. He has ever been much interested in public charities, and is now a member of the local board acting with the State Board of Charities.

Mr. Gerber was married June 7, 1881, to Lizzie J. Drase, daughter of Jacob H. Drase, of Reading. They have two children: Viola, and Howard, the latter a chemist in the city laboratory. They are members of the Trinity Lutheran Church.


(REV.), p. 458


Rev. George Washington Gerhard is by descent, as well as by education and choice, a lifelong member of the Reformed Church. His great-great-grandfather, Frederick Gerhard, who emigrated from Langenselbold, Hesse-Cassel, Germany, to America in 1737, and settled in Berks county, Pa., was a stanch upholder of the Reformed faith. The same is true of the father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

His parents were Elias Gerhard and his wife Sarah (daughter of Daniel and Judith Kauffman). He was born at Bernville, Berks Co., Pa., and was thirteen years old when his father was accidentally killed by a runaway horse. His mother had died six months prior to his father's accidental death. After the father's death the young boy made his home with Aaron R. Bucks, at Stouchsburg, Berks Co., Pa., where he spent his youth on the farm. He worked on the farm during the summer and attended the Whitehall Academy of Stouchsburg during the winter months. At the age of sixteen years he taught one term of public school in Alsace township ( school), close to Spies's Reformed and Lutheran church. At the close of the school term, April, 1876, he entered Palatinate College, Myerstown, Pa., where he remained one year. In the fall of 1877 he entered the Sophomore Class of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., and graduated from that institution in June, 1880. In September, 1880, he entered the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church at Lancaster, Pa., and graduated in May, 1883. After his graduation he traveled four months through the West. On Sept. 1, 1883, he received a call from a Mission at Lock Haven, Pa., which he accepted, and entered upon the active duties of the pastorate the same month. In this congregation he labored faithfully and energetically for nine years. During these nine years the membership increased rapidly, the indebtedness was wiped out, the church property improved, and the congregation brought to self-support, paying the pastor a living salary. During his pastorate at Lock Haven, the Rev. Mr. Gerhard was elected in the spring of 1887 Chaplain of the 12th Regiment of the National Guards, of Pennsylvania, which office he accepted, receiving his commission from Gen. James A. Beaver, then Governor of the State. He served six years as chaplain, and spent three weeks with his regiment at Homestead, during the memorable labor strike of 1891.

In 1890 Rev. Mr. Gerhard was elected Colonel of the Sons of Veterans of the State of Pennsylvania, at the Annual Encampment at Wilkes-Barre. At the expiration of his term of office it was a source of great pleasure to him to find that the division under his command had made commendable progress. Like his father, he is very patriotic. His father served his country during the Rebellion, being mustered in Nov. 10, 1862, in the 167th Regiment, commanded by Col. Charles A Knoderer. The regiment passed through some rough experiences, and at the expiration of his term of enlistment he was mustered out, Aug. 12, 1863, and returned to his home without a single injury.

On Oct. 14, 1890, the Rev. Mr. Gerhard was married to Miss Lillie Rebecca Klopp, of Stouchsburg, Pa. William A. Klopp, father of Mrs. Gerhard, was a successful business man and highly respected citizen of Stouchsburg, his native town, where he spent the whole of his busy life, excepting the last few years which were passed at Wernersville, Pa., where he died June 1, 1900, and he was buried at Tulpehocken Reformed Church, near Myerstown, Pennsylvania.

There was born to the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard one son, Earl, a bright and interesting boy who in all probability will follow in the footsteps of his father and enter the holy ministry of the Reformed Church.

On March 18, 1893, Rev. Mr. Gerhard received and accepted a call from the First Reformed Church, Hamburg, Pa. As in his first field of labor he was eminently successful. On April 4, 1898, St. John's Reformed and Lutheran Church building was destroyed by fire. These two denominations had worshipped jointly in the same church building for a period of 125 years, but when the church was destroyed by fire Rev. Mr. Gerhard took a firm stand for a division, and after three months' discussion and labor, the two congregations by a majority vote decided to divide the property and each congregation erected its own building. The Rev. Mr. Gerhard was untiring in his labors during the erection of the new church, and specially confined himself to securing funds. When the church was dedicated and all bills turned in it was found that there remained only $4,500 of a debt on the beautiful granite structure. The pastor's efforts in securing funds were uncommonly successful. Some time prior to the building of the church he erected a handsome parsonage costing nearly $4,000. In four years he was instrumental in raising nearly $40,000 for building purposes only. When he came to Hamburg the charge consisted of three congregations, Hamburg, Shoemakersville and Port Clinton. Shoemakersville congregation was at once detached from the Hamburg charge and added to the Leesport charge. After the erection of the new church Port Clinton congregation was detached and added to the Auburn charge. Hamburg was now the first congregation of the Reformed Church in Berks county, outside of the City of Reading, to support its own pastor, and what is more it paid the pastor more salary than did the three congregations, in addition to the handsome parsonage which the pastor enjoyed. The liberality of the Hamburg people greatly increased under his ministry.

On October 16, 1908, Rev. Mr. Gerhard accepted a call from the West Reading charge, comprising St. James' Reformed Church, West Reading, Epler's in Bern township and Hinnershitz in Muhlenburg township. He entered upon his present pastorate Nov. 22, 1908. With his former energy he at once began to lay plans to gather funds for the erection of a fine brown stone church edifice costing from $25,000 to $30,000 when completed. Success has attended his efforts from the very beginning, and the prospects for the growth of the St. James Church are brighter than at any time in the past.


p. 1297


James Rieser Gerhard, M.D., a rising young medical practitioner of Reading, Pa., whose residence and offices are situated at No. 540 Centre avenue, was born in Douglassville, Berks county, Feb. 9, 1874, son of Dr. Frank R. and Lillie Paris (Grove) Gerhard.

Frederick Gerhard, great-great grandfather of Dr. James R., was a native of Germany, and came to the United States before the Revolutionary war, becoming one of the pioneer farmers of Heidelberg township, Berks county.

Frederick Gerhard , Jr., son of Frederick, was a miller by trade, which he followed in connection with farming, and lived at Host, Jefferson township. He and his wife, a Miss Troutman, were members of the Reformed Church, and became the parents of these children: John, a soldier of the Mexican war, remained in the West after the close of that struggle; Rev. William, deceased, was a well-known minister of the Reformed Church of Lancaster county; Jacob; Isaac was a farmer at Host; Augustus was a cabinet maker at Nebraska City, Nebr.; Rebecca, Catherine, Sarah and Amelia, the latter of whom died in infancy.

Jacob Gerhard, son of Frederick, Jr., and grandfather of Dr. James R., was born Jan. 1, 1814, on the old homestead farm at Host, and here followed milling and farming all of his life. A man of high principles, he was honored and respected by all who knew him, and he was an active and faithful member and official of the Reformed Church. In politics he was a stanch Democrat. Mr. Gerhard married Sarah Rieser, daughter of Abraham Rieser, and to this union there were born three sons and three daughters: Mary m. Jacob Miller, of Reading; Sarah R. m. Isaac L. Moyer, of Stouchsburg, Berks county: Dr. Frank R.; John F. is a dry goods merchant of Reading; Amelia J. m. Elias Obold, of Obold, Berks county; and Rev. James is a Presbyterian minister at Galena, Kansas.

Dr. Frank R. Gerhard was born May 12, 1843, at Host, Jefferson township, Berks county, and was brought up on the farm and educated in the common schools, and in Franklin and Marshall College of Lancaster, Pa., from which he was graduated in July, 1866. Immediately after his graduation from college he took up the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. Frank Rieser, of Reading, and after three years of study he graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, in March, 1869, and on Oct. 16th, following, began his present practice in the village of Douglassville. Dr. Gerhard is a close student, a careful physician and competent surgeon, and he has built up one of the largest village and country practices in Union township, showing himself well qualified to handle any case that is entrusted to him. Fraternally he is connected with the Royal Arcanum, while politically he upholds the principles of the Democratic party, with the exception of the silver plank in the Chicago platform.

On May 6, 1873, Dr. Gerhard was united in marriage with Lillie Paris Grove, daughter of the late Daniel B. Grove, a piano manufacturer of Philadelphia, and one son, James R., was born to this union.

James Rieser Gerhard was educated in the common schools of Berks county, and graduated from Selwyn Hall, a preparatory school in Reading, in 1893, and then went to Yale University, graduating therefrom with the degree of A. B. in 1897. In that year he entered the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and was graduated therefrom in 1901, standing fourth in his class. He then served one year as Resident Physician and Surgeon in the Germantown Hospital and Dispensary, after which time he moved to Reading, Pa. Dr. Gerhard has won the confidence of the people of his locality, and has shown his skill as a physician in numerous cases. He keeps himself well posted in the new discoveries in his profession by his subscription to the leading medical journals of the country, and he is a member of the city and county medical societies. In politics he is independent, while he and his wife are Episcopalians in religious belief, being communicants in St. Barnabas Church.


p. 988


Milton J. Gerhard, farmer of Washington township, living one mile north of Bechtelsville, belongs to a branch of the Gerhard family of western Berks county which settled around Wintersville and Freystown. Rev. Eli Gerhard is also of this family, whose history has been fully written by Rev. George W. Gerhard, now a resident of West Reading, Berks county.

Jacob Gerhard, grandfather of Milton J. Gerhard, was born March 31, 1803, in Longswamp township, near Henningsville and Fredericksville, and was a farmer, owning the place in that township which is now the property of Mrs. John De Long. He died Nov. 6, 1864, aged sixty-one years, seven months, six days, and is buried at Huff's Church. His wife, Lydia Rohrbach, born Nov. 6, 1805, died Dec. 17, 1880, aged seventy-five years, one month, eleven days. They had five children: Lucinda, who married Amos Rohrbach; Henry, of Longswamp township; Daniel; John, formerly of Longswamp, now living at Topton, Berks county; and Frank, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Daniel Gerhard, son of Jacob, was born Feb. 1, 1835, in Longswamp township, learned the carpenter's trade and followed that calling in the part of Longswamp township where he lived as well as in the surrounding region. Since 1900 he has made his home with his son Milton, leading a semi-retired life, and working occasionally on his son's farm. He married Eliza Angstadt, daughter of Jacob and Anna (Kercher) Angstadt, of Rockland township, and they have three children: Torinda, m. to Matthias H. Dotterer, a grocer of Reading; Milton J.; and Amanda, m. to James Hill, of Longswamp township. All of this family belong to Huff's Church.

Milton J. Gerhard, son of Daniel, was born Nov. 11, 1869, in Longswamp township, and there received a fair education in the public schools. When twenty-one years old he began checking in the store of Matthias H. Dotterer, at Bechtelsville, remaining there for several years. Mr. Dotterer is now of Reading. Mr. Gerhard was next employed in the creamery at Henningsville for over two years, and thence removed to Schofers, in Maxatawny township, where he worked in the creamery for about four years. He then worked in the creameries at Exeter and Womelsdorf, for the same proprietor who conducted the other creameries mentioned, continuing at such work for seven years in all. In the spring of 1899 he came to Washington township, settling on the place where he now resides, and which he bought in the fall of 1899. It was formerly the property of Abraham Dotterer, and before he owned it belonged to Matthias Dotterer. It comprises 107 acres of land, desirably located, and well equipped with substantial buildings, the barn being 35x90 feet in dimensions, and the house a nice stone dwelling. Everything about the place is kept in first-class condition. Mr. Gerhard gives special attention to dairying, keeping seventeen milk cows, and ships his milk to Philadelphia every morning.

In 1896 Mr. Gerhard married Ida L. Benfield, daughter of Abraham Benfield and his wife Leanna Lucinda (Rohrbach), of Huff's Church, and they have become the parents of four children: Paul H., Ralph J., Elsie B. and Elvia B. Mr. Gerhard and his family are members of Huff's Church, belonging to the Reformed congregation.


p 399


Benjamin Gerhart, the grandfather of Peter William Gerhart, Jr., superintendent of the treatment department of the "Grand View Sanatorium." and his brother, George W. Gerhart, merchant and prominent citizen of Rosina, was a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township. He married Catharine Seibert.

John Peter Gerhart, son of Benjamin, was formerly a resident of Lower Heidelberg, near Brownsville, and for the last thirty years of his life was a resident of Wernersville. His occupation was that of a grafter of trees and gardener. He died in 1903, aged seventy-six years. He was married to Caroline Werner, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Lamm) Werner, and by her had twelve children: Calvin E. m. Amelia Lambert; Frank P. m. Emma Peiffer; Ellenora S. m. Alfred Webber, and after his decease George F. Knorr; Anna M. m. Gustave Bien; Albert B. m. Sue Reinhold; Agnes Priscilla m. Thomas Furry;Peter W.; George W. m. Anna Fidler; Katharine Louisa; Elizabeth Wilhelmina m. Harry Parker; and two died young.

Peter William Gerhart, Jr., superintendent of the treatment department of the "Grand View Sanatorium," a position he has filled for nearly twenty-five years, was born in Lower Heidelberg, near Brownsville, on April 18,1862. His mother dying when he was only eight years old, he was placed on a farm, and continued there (except for three years he spent at Reading), helping and going to school, until he was sixteen years old. Then he went to Cumberland county for the purpose of attending school there and acquiring a knowledge of the English language while assisting in farming and stock raising, and he remained there for three years. He then returned to Wernersville, but remained only six months when he went to Ohio and secured employment on a farm in the vicinity of Lima. He continued on this farm for four years, at the end of which time, his health failing, he found employment as a reporter on a local newspaper, filling this position for three years. In 1886 he returned to Wernersville and secured a position as stable boss in the large stables of the "Grand View Sanatorium," and he displayed such intelligent interest in his work, and gave such satisfaction to the proprietors, Drs. Wenrich & Deppen, that after the short time of three months they promoted him to the treatment department of the institution. Showing great qualifications and ambition, he continued there until the fall of 1888, when under their advice he took a regular course of instruction in the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine, for the purpose of learning massage and medical electricity. He graduated in June, 1889, and upon his return to the Sanatorium was placed in charge of the treatment department, where he has remained until the present time. Being interested in local educational matters, Mr. Gerhart was elected a school director of the township in February, 1906, for a term of three years, and re-elected in February, 1909. He has served as the school board's secretary for three successive years, and also was chosen a representative from Berks county for three successive years to the State Directors' Convention, which meets annually at Harrisburg.

Mr. Gerhart was married to Ida Rebecca Wenrich, the only daughter of William H. Wenrich, of Bernville, and they have had three children, Sarah, J. Clarence. and one that died in infancy Mr. Gerhart was elected an elder of St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church in January, 1909, and immediately chosen its treasurer. Socially he is a member of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 835, Wernersville.

William H. Wenrich. Mrs. Gerhart's father, m. Sarah Billman, daughter of John Billman, of Upper Bern (now Tilden), and they had three children: Willis E., Ida Rebecca. and one that died young.

John S. Wenrich, of Bernville, her grandfather, m. Lydia Himmelberger, and had two children. William H. and Rebecca, the last named the wife of A. Morris Kershner. Her great-grandfather was Paul Wenrich.

George W. Gerhart, another son of the late John Peter Gerhart, was born Aug. 4, 1863, in Lower Heidelberg township. He received his early education in the township school and supplemented it with study at the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown. He was first licensed to teach by Prof. D. S. Keck, former superintendent of Berks county, and commenced his work as teacher in the fall of 1882 in Heidelberg township, where he was engaged for five terms. He was reared upon the farm, but has never followed farming since he began life on his own account, having continued to teach until he embarked in the mercantile business. In the spring of 1888 he formed a partnership with Mr. Fidler under the firm name of Fidler & Gerhart, this relation lasting for one year. Mr. Gerhart then took Henry Miller into partnership with him, and they did business together for thirteen years under the name of Miller & Gerhart, being located on Robeson street, in Rosina. At the end of this period Mr. Miller, by mutual consent of the partners, withdrew from the concern, John I. Miller becoming a member of the firm, the name of which remained unchanged. This association continued for two years, and in 1904 Mr. Gerhart formed a partnership with M. A. Moyer, under the name of Gerhart & Moyer. They enjoy the confidence and patronage of the community to a gratifying degree, and have a high reputation for enterprise and progress as well as honorable dealing. They carry a complete line of general merchandise, and cater to a trade which extends over a radius of fourteen miles around Rosina.

Mr. Gerhart is a man of active disposition, and takes part in the life of the community in lines outside of his direct business interests. He is a stanch Democrat in political opinion and willing to work for the success of his party, has served as delegate to county and State conventions, and has been elected to local offices of trust, having been school director and tax collector of his township. He is also prominent in church work, he and his family being members of St. Paul's Reformed Church of Rosina, of which Mr. Gerhart is at present an elder. He was most active in the erection of the present fine edifice, in 1904, which cost the congregation over $15,000, serving as a member of the building committee, of which he was treasurer. He has been treasurer of the church ever since its organization. It is very prosperous, and Mr. Gerhart has been one of its most devoted workers. Socially he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, holding membership in Lodge No. 119, of Rosina, of which he is a past chancellor. He owns the Wagner Hall building, a three-story brick block 30 x 60 feet in dimensions, the first and second stories of which are used by the firm of Gerhart & Moyer, and the third floor as the meeting place of various secret societies. Mr. Gerhart also owns the property adjoining this building on the north. Here he razed the old building and built an addition to the store 30 x 50 feet in the rear and 15 x 60 on the north, making the most up-to-date store in the Lebanon Valley. It is lighted throughout by electricity, and is heated by steam. He purchased both buildings in 1907. He also owns the property across the street which he uses for his residence.

In May, 1887, Mr. Gerhart was married to Miss Annie Fidler, daughter of William and Annie (Klopp) Fidler, the former of whom was in business in Rosina as a manufacturer of cigar boxes. To Mr. and Mrs. Gerhart have been born six children namely. Estella M., Horace (who died in infancy) Robert R., Luke W., Edna A. and Lyman R. Mr. Gerhart is giving all his children good educational advantages, being convinced of the value of proper training. Estella M., a graduate of the township high school was married in May 1908, to Walter V. R. High (son of D. K. High), who with his brother Henry V. R High is engaged in the honey business at Bernville, where they reside. Robert R. is a graduate of the township high school, and the latter is also a graduate of the Interstate Commercial College, of Reading, and now holds the responsible Position of teller in the Wernersville National Bank at Wernersville. Luke W. is now attending the Interstate Commercial College.


p. 534


Howard Erasmus Gerhardt, dealer in pianos and all kinds of musical instruments, was born Jan, 18, 1879, in Millersburg, Bethel P.O., Berks county, Pa., son of Dr. Erasmus and Agnes (Weber) Gerhart.

The Gerhardt family is of German descent, and Mr. Howard E. Gerhardt has succeeded in tracing his line back to (I) Christian Gerhardt, Burgomaster of Grafenhaininchen, Saxony, Germany, who died July 11, 1637. His wife was Anna Dobler, daughter of Gallus Dobler, Court Chaplain at Dresden. They became the parents of a son, Paul.

(II) Paul Gerhardt, son of Christian and Anna (Dobler), was born March 12, 1607, and he died June 7, 1676. On Feb. 11, 1655, he married Anna Maria Berthold, daughter of Andrew Berthold. Paul Gerhardt was known as a religious poet, the Luther of the seventeenth century hymnology.

III) Paul Frederick Gerhardt, son of Paul and Anna Maria (Berthold), was born Aug. 2, 1662.

(IV) Christopher Gerhardt, son of Paul Frederick, died Aug. 15, 1736.

(V) William Gerhardt was a son of Christopher.

(VI) Frederick Gerhardt, son of William, was born March 26, 1714, in Langenselbold, Dukedom of Isenberg, Germany. He emigrated to America prior to the Revolution. On Jan. 22, 1737, he married Elizabeth Fisher, daughter of Henry Fisher. With their son John Peter, born Oct. 28, 1737, they emigrated to America, landing at Philadelphia, Aug. 27, 1739, having made the voyage on the ship "Samuel," Hugh Percy, commander. Shortly after their arrival in Philadelphia, the wife died, and Frederick Gerhardt located in Heidelberg township, Berks county, where, Feb. 14, 1740, he married a widow, Barbara Rieger. On Dec. 1, 1768, he purchased of George Brendle, a tract of seventy acres of land in Heidelberg township. By trade he was a wagoner. His parents had been members of the German Reformed church, but through a sermon preached in 1742 by the Rev. Mr. Ruettner, a Moravian minister, he became a member of Reed's Church, and subsequently he became one of the principal founders of the Moravian Brethren in North Heidelberg township, known as the Herrn Hurch. As an elder of the Moravian Church he attended the first public convention of the Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, held Aug. 29, 1743. He died Nov. 30, 1779, and is buried in the cemetery adjoining the church. Through the efforts of a grandson, John K. Gerhardt, a monument was erected by subscription. Frederick Gerhardt was the father of ten children, namely: (1) John Peter Gerhart, born Oct. 28, 1737, m. Elizabeth _________, and had one child, Andreas (born Oct. 13, 1791, died Oct. 31, 1791), and was buried at Host Church. (2) Conrad Gerhard, born Nov. 22, 1740, was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Heidelberg township until 1808, when he retired from business and located in Philadelphia. In 1768, he m. Rachael Rogaert Ysselstein, and they had seven children- Rachael, Elizabeth, William, Mary, John, Elonora and Thomas. In 1815 he m. (second) Elizabeth Jungmann, daughter of Rev. George Jungmann. There were no children by this marriage. (3) Elizabeth Gerhardt was born Sept. 29, 1742. (4) Frederick Gerhard, born Sept. 23, 1744, m. Susanna Dundor, daughter of Jacob and Anna Maria Dundor. In his will dated Nov. 30, 1822, he mentions three sons and two daughters: Frederick (1780-1845) m. Magdalena Troutman, and had eleven children: Jacob, who m. (first) a Miss Leiss, had two sons, and (second) Catharine Magdalena Schock, and had eight children; John died in 1852; Anna Maria m. Jacob Ebling; and Barbara m. a Mr. Strauss, and died in 1840. (5) Johannes Gerhart, born Feb. 12, 1747, located in the neighborhood of Swamp Church in Lancaster county, and there he and his wife, Susanna Rhoads, are buried. They had nine children: Peter, John, Frederick, Jacob, William, Susannah, Barbara, Christian and a daughter who married a Mr.Bixler. (6) Anna Maria Gerhart, born June 13, 1750, m. Jacob Meahlaesen. (7) Jacob was born Jan. 1, 1752. (8) Anthony Gerhart, born Feb. 10, 1754, died in infancy. (9) Anna Rosina Gerhart, born Oct. 29, 1755, m. Henry Burkholder, and had children: Daniel, Peter, Jacob, Elizabeth, Samuel, Sally and Maria. (10) Catharine Gerhart was born Oct. 2, 1758.

(VII) Jacob Gerhart, son of Frederick by his second marriage, was born Jan. 1, 1752. By his father's will dated Nov. 26, 1779, he received the old homestead. He was a private in Capt. Ferdinand Ritter's Company, 6th Battalion, Berks county militia, commanded by Joseph Hiester in the service of the United States in 1780. He died Dec. 13, 1808, and both he and his wife Elizabeth Potteiger (born May 7, 1752, died April 25, 1824, daughter of Martin and Susanna Potteiger), are buried at the Eck Church. They had three sons: (1) Martin Gerhart, born April 6, 1776, died Dec. 7, 1826, m. Margueretha Leiss, and had four children: Isaac m. Catharine Klopp, and had four children, Kate, (m. George Zimmerman), Emma (m. Nick Hunter, and had two sons, Edward and Frederick), Rebecca (m. George J. Eckert) and Elizabeth; John Gerhart; Elizabeth Gerhart; and Elias Gerhart. (2) Frederick, born April 13, 1781, is mentioned below. (3) John (born April 11, 1789, died March 20, 1827) m. Anna Maria Klopp (born March 5, 1791, died Aug. 28, 1824) and had eight children: John K., Elias, Isaac. Maria, Joel, Nathan, Elizabeth and Esther.

(VIII) Frederick Gerhart, second son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Potteiger), was born April 13, 1781, and died March 20, 1823. He m. Elizabeth Kalbach (born Sept. 17, 1786, died April 15, 1817). They had six children: (1) John Gerhart, born May 24, 1805, died Sept. 5, 1868. He was twice married. By his first wife, Kate Meiser (1805-1837), his children were: (a) Mary Gerhart m. (first) John Filbert, and had children- Henry R. Filbert (m. Amelia Kalbach, and has eight children, Ella, Anna, Nathaniel, Millie, Mary, Ida, Carrie and Charles); John Filbert (m. Emma Stump); Agnes Filbert (m. James Wagner); and Emma Filbert. Mary m. (second) Samuel Dundore, and to this marriage were born four children: Clara Dundore (m. Clayton Schaeffer); James Dundore (m. Ella Himmelberger); Thomas Dundore (m. Catharine Burkey); and Darius Dundore (m. Kate Hiester). (b) Lizzie Gerhart m. Adam Stump, and their son Levi m. Emma Seidel. (c) Levi M. Gerhart, captain of Company G, 151st P.V.I., in the Civil war, was mustered into service Nov. 1, 1862. He m. Elmira Lamb, and their children were: Beulah, Sallie, James and Kate. (d) Kate Gerhart m. Adam Stoudt, and had three children, Ida, Kate and Levi. John Gerhart m. for his second wife, Martha Schull (1810-1878), and they had five children: Ellen; Louise m. John Keener, and had three children-Adam, Ella and Sarah; Amelia m. Amos Graul, and had one child; Emma Victoria ; and John. (2) Mary Gerhart (born July 4, 1807, died Dec. 21, 1894, m. George Beyerle (born March 19, 1804, died Sept. 20, 1875) and their children were: (a) Dr. Wellington G. Beyerle m. (first) Anna Hines, and had eight children: George; Flora Grace (m. Milton H. Fahrenbach, and has two children, Russel Fahrenbach and Sarah Fahrenbach); Charles; William Percival (m. Hannah Peters, and has a daughter, Helen); Louis Allen (m. Gertrude Heffner, and has a son, Wellington); Ida E.; Walter Henry; and Anna Matilda (deceased). Dr. Beyerle m. (second) Arabella Daniels, and they have one child, John Franklin. (b) Mary Ann Beyerle m. Rev. Franklin H. Schwartz, a Reformed pastor (no children). (c) Percival Beyerle was twice married, but no records can be found. (d) William Beyerle m. Valeria Lesher, and had three children: Ida (m. Edward J. Krause, and had two children- Walter Krause and Alfred Krause); Alice; and William. (e) Sybilla Beyerle m. Dr. John Brobst, and has six children: Laura (m. Newton Harrison, and has four children, Edward, John, Robert and Laura); Mary; Minnie; William (m. Victoria Grunwell, and has three children, Thomas, Robert and Marshall); Lillie; and Jennie. (3) Isaac Gerhart, born Nov. 26, 1808, is mentioned farther on. (4) Elizabeth Gerhart (born May 22, 1811, died April 4, 1880) m. George Miller (born July 24, 1806, died March 22, 1888). Their children were: Kate, m. to Nathaniel Kalbach; and Lizzie m. to Abraham S. Groh. (5) Ephraim Gerhart, born Feb. 24, 1816, died in infancy. (6) Gabriel Gerhart, born Feb. 24, 1816 (twin to Ephraim), died December, 1891. He m. Catharine Gruber (born Feb. 1, 1815, died March 24, 1865), and their children were: (a) Emma S. Gerhart m. John G. Royer, and had two children: Kate (m. Jeremiah Hartman, and had one child, Edith Hartman); and Liza Jane. (b) Amelia Gerhart m. Adam D. Stump, and had children: Laura, Robert, Lillie, Florence, Harvey and Allen. (c) Elmira Gerhart m. Monroe Zerbe, and had children: Charles; Laura (m. John Bohn); Edward; Lovey; and Cora. (d) Jonathan. (e) Amos Gerhart died unmarried.

(IX) Isaac Gerhart, son of Frederick and Elizabeth (Kalbach), was born Nov. 26, 1808, and died July 12, 1894. He m. Elizabeth Kurr (born July 3, 1813, died May 9, 1893). Their six children were : (1) Emma Gerhart, born May 24, 1836, m. Charles H. Zieber (born Aug. 13, 1840). (2) Ephraim J. Gerhart, born July 1, 1837, m. Mary Brown (born Feb. 11, 1845) and has children: Lizzie m. John Lindenmuth; Emma, born Feb. 24, 1871, m. Wall Piefer; Charles W., born Feb. 19, 1873, and died Aug. 1, 1873; and Paul W., born June 13, 1882. (3) Minnie Gerhart was born Nov. 11, 1839. (4) Erasmus, born June 25, 1842, is mentioned in full below. (5) Meranda Gerhart and (6) Celissia Gerhart died in infancy.

Mrs. Elizabeth (Kurr) Gerhart, wife of Isaac, was born July 3, 1813, and died May 9,1893. She was a daughter of John Kurr (died March 28, 1863, aged eighty-one) and Mary (Rehrer) (died Sept. 9, 1875, aged eighty-one), a granddaughter of Thomas Kurr (who died Nov. 28, 1832, aged seventy-eight years) and of Godfried Rehrer (State Representative in 1819 and 1822, who died Sept. 22, 1823), and great-granddaughter of Thomas Kurr, Sr. (Deacon in 1757 of the Adtollohoe or German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rehrersburg) and of Godfrey Rehrer (who in 1768 had a tavern in Rehrersburg, where in 1789 was the voting place of the 4th District).

(X) Erasmus Gerhart, M. D., born June 25, 1842, son of Isaac and Elisabeth (Kurr), died July 27, 1896. He was enrolled Oct. 7, 1858, as a student in Swatara College at Jonestown, and on Nov. 3, 1859, at Freeland Seminary, Perkiomen Bridge, Montgomery county. On Oct. 10, 1864, he entered the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated therefrom March 14, 1867, with the degree of Doctorem in Arte Medica. On Dec. 24, 1875, he m. Agnes Weber (born Feb. 13, 1853), and their children were: Gertrude Charlotte, born July 1, 1877, m. Hunter Henninger, and has two children, Marian and John Hunter; Howard Erasmus, born Jan 18, 1879, is the subject proper of this sketch; Ida May, born April 20, 1881, m. Harry E. German, and has one son, Robert German (born Dec. 24, 1906); John Isaac, born May 30, 1884; and Sophia Elizabeth and Florence Grace (twins), born Jan. 19, 1893.

Mrs. Agnes (Weber) Gerhart was born Feb. 13, 1853, a daughter of John and Sophia (Snyder) Weber. John Weber was born in 1823, and died in 1900, son of John Adam Weber (born July 13, 1788, died March 12, 1849) and his wife Juliana Bordner (born May 21, 1791, died Sept. 26, 1869), the latter a daughter of Ensign Jacob Bordner (born 1754, died 1837, Capt. Lesher's Company, Col. Patton's Battalion, Berks county militia, 1776) and his wife Anna Maria Brosz (1761-1839). John Adam Weber was a son of Henry Weber (1758-1799) and Margaret (Meyer) Weber, the latter a daughter of Court Martial Man Valentine Meyer, of the 6th Company, 6th Battalion, 1777. Henry Weber was a son of John Henry Weber (born May 28, 1737, died April 10, 1815) and his wife Elizabeth Filbert (1741-1813).

Mrs. Sophia (Snyder) Weber, mother of Mrs. Agnes (Weber) Gerhart, was born in 1830, and died in 1896. She was a daughter of Peter Snyder (1802-1860) and his wife Eva Rieth (1806-1871). Peter Snyder was a son of George Snyder, Jr., and his wife Katharine Koebe, and a grandson of George Snyder, Sr. (the maiden name of whose wife was Rehrer). Eva (Reith) Snyder was a daughter of J. Adam Rieth (born 1756, died 1815, a fifer in Capt. Furrer's Company, Col. Patton's Battalion) and Juliana Braun (1766-1826) and a granddaughter of Leonhard Rieth and Elizabeth Lebo, who donated between seven and eight acres of land for church and burial purposes, upon which Reed's church was built.

(XI) Howard Erasmus Gerhardt attended the district schools of Bethel township, and later he taught school for one term in Brecknock township. In the fall of 1897 he enrolled as a student at the Inter-State Commercial College, Reading, graduating the following spring. He secured a position with C. H. Lichty as stenographer, and later was given charge of the Musical Merchandise and Sheet Music department, where he laid the foundation of his successful career. On May 19, 1902, he opened a musical merchandise and sheet music store of his own at No. 757 Penn street, and in March, 1904 owing to the development of the business he was compelled to procure larger quarters, moving to No. 809 Penn street. At this time he formed a partnership with Bertrand H. Farr, under the firm name of Farr & Gerhardt, and they were the sole representatives for the Aeolian line of instruments, including the Weber, Steck, Wheelock and Stuyvesant Pianola pianos, the Metrostyle and Themodist Pianolas, the Orchestrelle, and the Sohmer, Wegman, Estey and Becker Bros. pianos. They carried a complete line of musical merchandise, sheet music, Edison and Victor machines and records, Regina music boxes, etc. Mr. Gerhardt retired from the firm on March 10, 1909, and on Aug. 30, 1909, he opened a complete music store of his own at No. 843 Penn street. He controls several well-known piano and player piano agencies, and carries a full line of musical merchandise.

Mr. Gerhardt was received into full communion in the Salem Reformed Church, Bethel, by the rite of confirmation administered by Rev. Henry Hilbish, and a few years later he was transferred by certificate to the Second Reformed Church, Reading. In his political faith he is a stanch Republican. He is a member of the following fraternal organizations: Mt. Penn Council, No. 495, Royal Arcanum; Reading Tent, No. 426, Knights of the Maccabees; Penn Primary, No. 2, Prudent Patricians of Pompeii; and Progressive Americans, No. 1. He is eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution through five different lines, as follows: Jacob Gerhard, a private in Capt. Ferdinand Ritter's Company, 6th Battalion, Berks county militia, in 1780; Capt. Henry Weaver, commissioned captain of the 6th Company, 6th Battalion, Berks county militia, May 17, 1777, Henry Spycker, colonel; Court Martial Man Valentine Meyer, 6th Company, 6th Battalion, May 17, 1777; Ensign Jacob Bortner (or Bordner), Capt. Fisher's Company, Col. Patton's Battalion, Berks county militia, Aug. 27, 1776; and Adam Read (or Rieth), fifer in Capt. Michael Furrer's Company, Col. John Patton's Battalion, Berks county militia, stationed at South Amboy, Sept. 5, 1776.

On Nov. 28, 1901, Mr. Gerhardt was married to Rebecca Rosella Seyfert, who was born July 5, 1885, daughter of Charles Robert and Amelia Catharine (Frentzel) Seyfert. To this union have been born two children: Thelma Seyfert, born May 26, 1903; and Reginald Robert, born March 7, 1906, who died five days later.

Mrs. Rebecca Rosella (Seyfert) Gerhardt is descended through her father from Johann Schwank, Mayor of the City of Fulda, Germany, in 1732, who was born at Neisse, in Schlesien, Germany, and whose son, George Schwank, also became mayor of Fulda. John C, Schwank, great-grandfather of Mrs. Gerhardt, was born in Heinfelt, Germany, in 1796, and died March 14, 1864. He m. Elizabeth Schall (also a native of Heinfelt), and their daughter, Catharine Schwank m. Robert Charles Seyfert, Bandmaster of the Regimental Band in the German army from the Dukedom of Waldeck, at the Siege of Paris, and later Bandmaster at the Castle at Arolson, the capital of the Dukedom of Waldeck. Charles Robert Seyfert, son of Bandmaster Robert Charles and father of Mrs. Gerhardt, was born Oct. 19, 1854, and he m. Amelia Catharine Frentzel, born Jan. 4, 1860, daughter of Frederick William and Margaret (Snyder) Frentzel. Frederick William Frentzel was born Dec. 24, 1804, at Spielberg, Kreis Hanau, Court Vagtersbag, in Kurhessen, Germany, and died April 18, 1881. Mrs. Margaret (Snyder) Frentzel was born Feb, 14, 1830, daughter of Philip Snyder (born March, 1802, and emigrated from the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany), and his wife Mary Anna Diller, and granddaughter of Adam Snyder and his wife Anna Kline.


p. 639


Franklin W. Gerhart. Among the prominent and enterprising citizens of Berks county was the late Franklin W. Gerhart, whose death occurred Nov. 11,1869. He was born in Bedford county, Pa., in 1829, brother of the late Rev. Henry Gerhart.

The following is taken from one of the local papers at the time of the death of the Rev. Henry Gerhart: "Rev. Henry Gerhart, an aged gentleman, for many years past a resident of North Wales, died at his home at School street, Tuesday night, Dec. 17, at 11:30 o'clock, of heart disease. He had not been in his usual good health for a week past, but no serious outcome was expected from his indisposition. Deceased was at one time a minister, a school teacher and a soldier, serving in the Rebellion, participating in the battle of Antietam. He was born in Bedford, Bedford Co., Pa., Dec. 6, 1821, his father at that time being a missionary to that country, having been sent from Hatfield by the Reformed Synod of this section of the State. In 1829 the father again became a resident of Hatfield, and Henry attended school in that vicinity. From there he went to Mercersburg College, and after graduating taught school for eight years in Kentucky. Then he went to Franklin and Marshall College at Lancaster to prepare for the ministry. After finishing the prescribed courses there he received several calls to various churches, but never accepted any of them. He then enlisted for four years in the Union Army under General Sherman and during his army life contracted several diseases, the most serious of which was asthma, and for which he received a pension. Two years ago he was an inmate of the Soldiers' Home at Erie, Pa. He was an intelligent and well-read gentleman, and during his leisure hours wrote many interesting accounts of his war experiences besides articles upon religious and historical subjects. The branch of the Gerhart family of which he was a member is a large one, consisting of ten children, as follows: Fannie, now living in North Wales; Christiana. of Philadelphia; Mr. & Jesse Hendricks, of North Wales; Elizabeth, who died in Bedford; Jacob, of Norristown; Simon, of Lansdale: Samuel who died in Hatfield; Franklin W. who died some years ago while distributing some mail in his store at Limerick Square, and Dr. Alexander Gerhart, who died in Lansdale."

Franklin W. Gerhart attended the public schools and Franklin and Marshall College at Lancaster, and for a time taught school, later engaging in the mercantile business at Limerick Square, Pa., where he remained until his death. He was postmaster at this point, having the office in his store, and rose early on the morning of his death. While attending to his duties at his office, his death occurred. He was a well-known and highly-esteemed man, and his death occurred when he was thirty-nine years, two months and five days old. He was a member of the Reformed Church; in politics he was a Democrat. Mr. Gerhart married Sarah Ann Huber, daughter of Jonas and Maria (Kurtz) Huber, and to this union were born the following children: Clara m. G. W. Rehrer, and has three children, J. Franklin, Robert and Paul; Simon W., a buyer for a dry goods house of Cleveland, Ohio, has these children, Glen, Clyde, Leslie, Gordon and Margaretta; Mary E. m. William Landaw, and resides at home with her mother; Ella m. Charles E. Bodey, who is in the hardware business in Reading, and has had children, Earle (died Sept. 25, 1906), Maria and Allen. Mrs. Gerhart came to Reading with her family in 1871, and has since resided at her home, No. 928 Elm street. Jonas Huber, father of Mrs. Gerhart. followed farming at Gilbertsville. and was a very prominent man of his day, serving as deacon and elder of the Reformed Church. In politics he was a Democrat. He and his wife were the parents of three children: Milton, who died at the age of twenty-one years; Sarah A., who became Mrs. Gerhart; and. Rev. S. M. K. Huber, of Philadelphia.

The Rev. S. M. K. Huber, a minister of the Reformed Church. graduated from Mechanicsburg, Pa., seminary. He married Amanda Fritz, of Limerick, Pa., and they have a family of seven children, namely: Mary B., Martha D., Ella B., Sallie, Nevin, Paul and Bertha.


p. 1437


John P. Gerhart, of Reading, assistant engineer of the Reading Paper Mills, was born Nov. 18, 1857, in North Heidelberg township, Berks county. He is a grandson of John Gerhart, also a native of North Heidelberg township, who lived and died there, and is buried at Hain's Church. He married Catharine Brossman, and they had these children: John, Daniel. Peter, Elogius, and Mrs. Adam Lerch. John Gerhart made his will Dec. 3, 1872.

Elogius Gerhart, father of John P. Gerhart, was born at the old homestead in North Heidelberg township, and in time became the owner of that place, which comprised eighty-six acres of good land. He followed farming all his life. He died in 1872, aged fifty-three years, and is buried at Hain's Church, with which he had been identified as a Reformed member, serving as deacon and elder of the congregation. He married Annie Heck, daughter of John Heck, and she died in 1862, at the age of forty years. They were the parents of two children. Sarah (widow of Francis Ruth, living near Robesonia) and John P.

John P. Gerhart attended the Lengel school during his boyhood and early began to do farm work, which he followed until his removal to Reading. For a period of twenty years he was thus engaged in North Heidelberg township, where he still owns the farm which was formerly the property of his grandfather and father, in turn, the tract of eighty-six acres previously mentioned. In his possession are some very old and valuable deeds relating to the ownership of this farm, one of which, dated March 18, 1737, conveyed a certain tract of land in the county of Lancaster, Heidelberg township (now Berks county), from Thomas and Richard Penn to Thomas Davis. Another dated April 28, 1770, records its transfer in the township of Lebanon and county of Lancaster from Henry Stohr and his wife Rebecca to John Brossman; and one of March 13, 1822, from Joseph Obold and wife to John Gerhart. John P. Gerhart came into possession of the place in 1880.

In 1903 Mr. Gerhart moved to Reading, and he has since rented out his farm. During his residence in the city he has been employed at the Reading Paper Mills.

Mr. Gerhart married Arabella Deisher, daughter of William and Sarah (Stoyer) Deisher, and four children have been born to this union: Esther married Mathias Deck and lives in Reading; Florence is unmarried; Leon is attending school; a son died in infancy. The family reside at No. 123 1/2 South Sixth street, where Mr. Gerhart owns his own home. He is a member of the Hains Church with which so many of his family have been identified, and in politics is a Democrat.


p. 1221


William H. German, a well known and highly esteemed citizen of Reading, Pa., and a veteran of the Civil war, was born in Reading, March 5, 1847, son of John and Deborah A. (Sagee) German.

John German was born at Milton, Pa. and learned the trade of brush making in Philadelphia. He came to Reading and engaged in business on Penn street, on the present site of the opera house, under the firm name of Helms & German, for thirty years. For a few years prior to his death, Mr. German lived retired. He and his wife had seven children, four of whom still survive: Emma M., William H., Edwin F. and Elmer A.

William H. German received his education in the schools of Reading, going three years to the high school, and when thirteen years of age went to learn the machinist's trade with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, in the shops of which line he remained for several years. In 1868 he was appointed to a clerkship at the Reading postoffice, resigning at the end of one year to accept the position of census taker of Berks county. The next five years were spent at his trade, at the roundhouse of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. He was then appointed a letter carrier of Reading, a position in which he continued for eight years. Mr. German next accepted a position as bookkeeper for the Deppen Brewing Company, where he remained four years, in 1891 taking his present position, as head bookkeeper, at the Jackson Rope Walk, one of the oldest business places of Reading.

Mr. German married Anna Maxton, daughter of David Maxton, a native of Chester county, but later a resident of Reading. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. German: Harry R., who is his father's assistant; and Charles M. and Frank W., twins. While a boy at school, Mr. German enlisted as a drummer boy in Company H., 104th Pa. V.I., but his father refused to let him serve on account of his youth. Later, in 1863, he enlisted in company C. 42nd Regiment, was out but a short time, and again enlisted, this time in Company A., 195th Pa. V.I., serving about four months, when he was mustered out at Harrisburg. Mr. German is a member of Post No. 16, G.A.R., and for a period of thirty-five years has been adjutant of the post. In political matters he is a Republican, and when a resident of the Eighth ward, Reading, served as inspector. Mr. German is a member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, in the work of which he takes an active part.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:12 EDT

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