Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 357


David F. Gordon, seventh President Judge of Berks county, from 1849 to 1851, was born at Philadelphia Nov. 20, 1795. He received a classical education at the University of Pennsylvania, studied law and was admitted to practice in 1816. He remained in that city until 1824, when he removed to Reading and was admitted to practice in the several courts of Berks county. He continued in active practice here for eight years, and then purchased the Berks and Schuylkill Journal, a weekly English newspaper, published at Reading. He published this paper very successfully until 1838, then sold it and resumed his law practice. After practising for eleven years, he was appointed president judge of the county, which had just been erected into a separate judicial district. He remained on the Bench until December, 1851, retiring then by virtue of the amendment to the Constitution, under which the office of judge became elective, and the Hon. J. Pringle Jones was chosen to fill this position for ten years. He was recognized as an able judge, and thoroughly conscientious in the performance of his judicial duties. Upon retiring from the Bench, he resumed his legal practice at Reading. He died Dec. 27, 1859.


p. 1521


Andrew Gossler, an energetic and enterprising business man of Reading, Pa., and the proprietor of a tonsorial parlor at No. 46 South Fourth street, was born on the property he now occupies, April 26, 1850, son of Andrew S. and Sarah (Ely) Gossler.

The Gosslers were of German descent, and the first of the name to come to America were three brothers, one of whom settled in Reading, another, it is believed, in Lancaster county, and the third in Chester county. The first of the family of whom there is anything definitely known was one Henry Gossler, the grandfather of our subject. He was born in Reading, educated in the schools and became a carpenter by trade. He died in the early part of the eighteenth century, while yet in the prime of his life. He married a Miss Snell, by whom he had children as follows: Jacob, a tailor by trade, who lived in Reading; Andrew S., father of our subject; James, who died young; and Polly, who was married to Mr. Joseph Rorke, and for many years lived in Phoenixville. In religious belief our subject's grandparents were Methodists.

Andrew S. Gossler was educated in the schools of Reading and while yet a boy learned the barber's trade, following this for fifty-six years. He died in 1881, aged seventy-one years, and his wife in 1888, aged eighty-seven years. They were the parents of eight children, as follows: James married (first) a Miss Shively, and (second) Ada Clemson, and had children by the latter marriage: Frank, Ellen, Walter, Chester, James, Joseph and Ione; Joseph married Anna E. Hinnershitz and had two children, William and Sarah; Washington married Kate Lants; Emma, single, is deceased; Rebecca married Washington Heffelfinger, and has four children, Andrew J., Edwin, Wallace and Minnie; Sarah and Clara A. are unmarried; and Andrew, our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Gossler were members of the M. E. Church, and took an active interest in the work of that denomination, giving liberally to its support. He was a member of Montgomery Lodge, I. O. O. F., and was a Democrat in politics, although he never sought political preferment.

Andrew Gossler, our subject, was educated in the common schools of Reading, and in September, 1865, commenced to learn the barber's trade with his father, in a place on Penn street, below Fourth, and remained in that shop for twenty-five years. He then removed to his present place, and here he has continued to follow his trade to the present time. Mr. Gossler is very fond of all out-door sport, and with his faithful dog "Colonel" has gone on many a rabbit-hunt. Mr. Gossler is exceptionally vigorous, and on many hunting and fishing expeditions has tired out men of one-half his years.

Mr. Gossler was married in 1888 to Miss Sabilla Espenshade, daughter of Joseph Espenshade. Although a member of no church, Mr. Gossler is a good Christian gentleman. In politics he is a Democrat, but will accept no public office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business.


p. 1207


Clinton Gottschall, proprietor of the Speedway Palace Stables, Nos. 934-936 Rose street, Reading, was born in Alsace township, five miles from the city of Reading, in 1873, son of John and Elvina (Smoyer) Gottschall, and grandson of George Gottschall.

Leonard Gottschall, great-grandfather of Clinton. was a native of Germany, and came to America when a young man, settling in Alsace township, Berks Co., Pa., where he spent his life in agricultural pursuits.

George Gottschall, son of Leonard, was born in that township, and there married Elizabeth Cummins, who died there at the age of eighty-five years. He died aged eighty-two years. They had these children: Ella Shields, Lena Delp, Sallie Sophern, Elizabeth Newkirk, Rachel Heller, Susan Becker, John, Leonard, Daniel and George.

John Gottschall, father of Clinton, was also born in Alsace township. He was at one time an engineer for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, running engine No. 9 on the East Penn road, which he continued for eight years, and then purchased a farm in Alsace township. He returned to Reading, however, and was elected a constable of the fourteenth ward, being also engaged very extensively at poultry raising.

Mr. Gottschall died in 1903, at the age of seventy-nine years, his widow, who survives him, residing in Reading. Their children were: John, a butcher, m. Emma Rapp, and they reside at No. 1026 North Tenth street; Ellen m. Isaac Reiter, of Oley township; and Clinton.

Clinton Gottschall attended the public schools of his native township until fourteen years of age, and then went to Chester county, and remained for a period of three years on his father's farm. At the end of this time he came to Reading and learned the coach blacksmithing trade, which he followed for twelve years, and then engaged in his present business, building, in 1904, his present modern stables, 40 x 102 feet, three stories, at Nos. 934-936 Rose street, which are among the finest in the county. He has stable room for forty horses, and the accommodations at this place are the best to be found in the city.

Mr. Gottschall married Daisy Fichthorn, daughter of Reuben and Clara (Russel) Fichthorn, and to them have been born these children; Clinton, Jr., was killed by a trolley car at Fourth and Windsor streets Oct. 30, 1905, in his sixth year; Floyd, Helen and Paul. In political matters Mr. Gottschall is a Republican. He is a member of the Reformed Church, which Mrs. Gottschall also attends.


p. 653


Henry S. Gottschall, one of the representative farmers of Berks county, Pa., who is engaged in cultivating his fine property in Alsace township, was born June 23, 1839, in Alsace township, son of Daniel and Hannah (Schildt) Gottschall.

George Gottschall, grandfather of Henry S., was a son of John Gottschall and wife (nee Keller). He married Susan Croninger, by who he had these children: Daniel; Elizabeth, m. to John Neukirk; Sarah, m. to John Holdrie, of Indiana; Ella, m. to John Schildt, of Alsace township; Elana, m. to William Delp; Rachel, m. to Samuel Heller, Leonard m. to Mrs. Magdalena (Fox) Keener; George, m. to Mrs. Elizabeth (Delp) Butterweck; and John, m. to Elmina Schwoyer.

Daniel Gottschall, father of Henry S., was a farmer of Alsace township, where he spent his entire life. He was married to Hannah Schildt, and to them these children were born: Lovina, m. to Amos Hoyer; Henry S.; Sarah, m. to Daniel Bingaman; Daniel, who died young; and Jacob, who also died in youth.

Henry S. Gottschall received his educational training in the common schools of his native township, and he has always been engaged in farming. His present fine property, situated near Seidel's blacksmith shop in Alsace township, is cultivated by the most modern methods and machinery and presents an excellent appearance. He is a stanch Republican in politics, and his first vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. With his family Mr. Gottschall attends Spies's Church of the Lutheran faith.

On June 23, 1860, Mr. Gottschall was married to Miss L. Heist, and to this union there have been born children as follows: Rose, m. Philip Hauck, and has three children, Harry, Willie and Earl; Mary m. James Klopp, and has two children, Ella and Anna; Milton m. and has eight children, Allen m. Alice Zieber and has two children, Edna and Annie; John; Annie m. John Noll; Maggie (Lovie) m. Samuel Sitchel.


page 1075


Frank B. Gottshall, broom manufacturer and farmer in Boyertown. was born in Douglass township, Montgomery county, Pa., March 1, 1869, and is a member of a very highly respected family that is descended from Rev. Jacob Gottshall.

Rev. Jacob Gottshall came over from Holland in 1702. and is said to be the direct ancestor of all of the name in Montgomery and surrounding counties. He was a minister of the Mennonite Church, well educated, energetic and self-sacrificing. He was one of the three translators, from Dutch to German, of the celebrated "Mirror of Martyrs" (1601)-a translation that was one of the important literary achievements of Colonial Pennsylvania. The date of his death and place of burial are not known. He preached many years at Skippack, and may be buried in the old Mennonite Lower Skippack Church, or he may be buried at Germantown in the cemetery surrounding the oldest Mennonite church in America, built in 1770, on the site of the log church erected in 1708. Some of his children settled in Montgomery county.

Gottshall Gottschalk, great-grandfather of Frank B., settled in Frederick township, Montgomery county, in 1781, and his old homestead is now owned by M. C. Gottshall, a cousin of Frank B. He was a weaver by trade, and followed that occupation in connection with farming, doing an excellent business, and at his death in 1824 he left a fine farm of 246 acres to be divided between his two sons, Dillman and William.

William Gottshall, grand father of Frank B. was born in 1784, and he inherited the farm mentioned above as the property of M. C. Gottshall. He was the father of thirteen children-eleven sons and two daughters --of whom twelve grew to maturity and reared families: Rev. Moses, William, Dillman, John, Andrew, Addison, Rev. Abraham, Gottshall, Mrs. Bergey, Mrs. Umstead, Jacob and Joseph.

Rev. Abraham Gottshall, son of William, was born at Schwenkville, in 1825, and he died April 1, 1901, and is buried at Bally. He lived at Niantic, Montgomery county, where he owned a farm of fifty-four acres. From the time he was about forty he was a preacher of the New Mennonite Church, and was a very fluent speaker. He was greatly beloved by those who knew him best. He married Maria Bowman, daughter of John and Magdalena (Bower) Bowman, of Niantic, and their children were : Diana, who died aged fifteen years; Menno, of Boyertown Lizzie. who died unmarried at the age of forty; John and Abraham, twins ; May, deceased wife of Daniel Urfer ; William. of Sunbury ; Milton, of Boyertown ; Katie, wife of harry Riegner ; Abraham, of Schwenkville and Frank B.

Frank B. Gottshall was educated in the schools of his district and reared to farming. He worked for his parents until his marriage, and in 1888 came to Boyertown, settling on a tract of fifty-four acres, which he bought the following year. This has since been his home. the house being at the corner of East Fourth and Madison streets, at the lower end of Boyertown. The summers are devoted to the cultivation of the land, and the winters to the manufacture of brooms. He is a trustee in the New Mennonite Church, to which his family also belong.

On Sept. 15. 1888, Mr. Gottshall was married to Hannah Borneman, daughter of Amos and Margaret (Heistand) Borneman, and granddaughter of Henry Borneman and of Abraham Heistand (of Shimerville, Lehigh county). To Mr. and Mrs. Gottshall were born: Elnora, at home; Margaret. at the West Chester State Normal School; Pierce; Pearl; Martha, deceased; Franklin ; Chester and Stella. Mrs. Gottshall has a grand father's clock that belonged to Mr. Abraham Heistand. She also has the family tree of the Borneman family. It was made of wood by Amos Borneman in 1870. taking eighteen months of steady work. It is a piece of rare workmanship, and has attracted considerable attention. Eight generations are represented and 3.200 members of the family appear on it. Forty-two pairs of twins are shown, four pairs appearing in one family of thirteen children. This family tree is the only one of its kind known to be in existence, and is considered very valuable.


p. 903


Jacob C. Gottshall, who is conducting a thriving business in the beautiful borough of Fleetwood, Pa., with his bakery situated on Main street, was born March 18, 1856, at Schwenkville, Montgomery county, son of Rev. Moses H. Gottshall.

William Gottshall of Schwenkville, Pa., grandfather of Jacob C., was married to Magdalena Hunsberger, and to them were born these children: Dillman; Abraham, who died in infancy; William; Adam; Joseph; Moses; Andrew; John; Jacob; Abraham; Elizabeth and Hannah. The father of these children died in his ninety-second year, his son, William also attaining advanced age, dying in 1901, aged ninety-five years. Numerous members of the Gottshall family have been Mennonite ministers, and at present Moses H. Gottshall (father of Jacob C.), Abraham Gottshall (uncle of Jacob C.), William Gottshall (a brother), and Harvey Allebach (a nephew) are ministers of that faith in Montgomery county.

Rev. Moses H. Gottshall was born March 25, 1815, and died in 1888, having been a New Mennonite minister of the Gospel for nearly fifty years, preaching at Schwenkville for forty-two consecutive years. This charge was supplied by members of the Gottshall family for more than sixty years. In addition to his ministerial duties Rev. Mr. Gottshall operated a farm of 100 acres which had been in the family name for over a century. He was first married to Hannah Clemens, and to this union were born children as follows: Katie m. John Allebach, of the Skippack; Lizzie, deceased, m. Jacob R. Allebach, merchant at Green Lane; Maggie m. David Wasser, miller, at Schwenkville, and both are deceased; Henry died aged twenty-four years; Moses and Hannah died in infancy from croup; Moses (2) m. Annie Stauffer, of Kraussdale, Montgomery county; and Jacob C. Mr. Gottshall m. (second) Mary Shelly, and two children were born to this union: Hannah died in infancy; and William m. Nancy Von Neida, of Lancaster county.

Jacob C. Gottshall received his education in the schools of his native place, and was reared to farm work. In 1893 he removed to Fleetwood and engaged in the baking business, which he has continued with much success to the present time. His business has grown rapidly, and he now employs two teams, his bakery being fitted up with the latest and most improved machinery. On Sept. 4, 1880, he married Sarah W. Urffer, daughter of Daniel Y. and Susannah (Weigner) Urffer, of Sassamansville, Montgomery county, and to this union have been born: Alice U., m. to Howard Brown, of Fleetwood, Pa.; Howard U.; Ezra U.; and Jacob U.

Mr. Gottshall is a member of the Mennonite Church, which he attends regularly and supports liberally. He is a Republican, but he has never taken, more that a good citizen's interest in political matters, preferring to give his time and attention to his business. He is greatly esteemed in his community, where his many sterling traits of character and mind are recognized and appreciated.


p. 931


James I. Gougler, a highly esteemed citizen of Mohnton, Berks Co., Pa., engaged in the butchering business, was born at Gouglersville, this county, Jan. 6, 1862, son of Philip and Susan (Spohn) Gougler.

Philip Gougler, the grandfather of James I., was a farmer of Chester county, and also engaged in the cabinet-making and undertaking business at Yellow Springs. He was a true Christian man, a consistent member of the Lutheran Church, and was held in the highest esteem in his community. He married Catherine Pool, who died aged sixty-five years, and he passed away in his sixty-seventh year; both are buried at the Pikeland cemetery in Chester county. Thirteen children were born to Philip Gougler and his wife, namely: Nicholas died single at the age of twenty-five years; Henry died in Illinois; John, born May 15, 1806, married Maria Bomberger, and had these children, Emeline B., Mary A. B., Jeremiah, Catherine, Henry, Harriet and John; Philip became the father of James I.; Samuel married Elizabeth Longecker, who died at Pottstown, Pa., the mother of one son, John; William died single in Philadelphia; Isaiah died unmarried in Boston; Elizabeth, who married John Lafferty, died in Indiana; Kate married James Watkins, and died in Philadelphia, the mother of these children, Isabella, Esther, Mary and William; Esther married (first) a Mr. Louter, and had children, Louis, Harry and Emma, and married (second) John Elliott, by whom she had one child, Howard (she died in Philadelphia); Rebecca, who married George Walters, died at Phoenixville, Chester county, the mother of seven children, all of who died in infancy except Noah; Christiana, who married Henry Ramsey, also died at Phoenixville; and Mary died young.

John Gougler, of the above family, with his brother, Philip, founded Gouglersville, at which place the brothers established a post-office in 1855. In 1813 an inn had been established at the place by Jacob Reedy, and it was later kept by William Kohl, from whom it was purchased in 1842 by John Gougler, he greatly enlarging it and making many improvements. During the days of the stage coach, before the advent of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, this hotel was one of the main stopping places, and here horses were changed. In 1843 John Gougler established his store at this place, and here he and his wife died, being buried at the place.

Philip Gougler, father of James I., was born near Springfield, Chester county, and when a young man came to Berks county. He was employed by his brother John in the general store, and later engaged in the hotel business, bought out his brother's interest in the store, and for thirty-one years was proprietor of both enterprises. Some years prior to his death he retired. He was also engaged in the undertaking and furniture business and was one of the leading men of his community. In political matters he was a Democrat. He died in the faith of the Lutheran Church and was buried at the Gouglersville cemetery. Philip Gougler married Susan Spohn, and to them were born children as follows: Lewis, who married Ellen Moore, died at the age of twenty six years; twins died in infancy; Rosa, who married Jefferson Marks, resides at Vinemont, Pa., and has twin boys, Calvin and Irwin; and James I.

James I. Gougler obtained his education in the schools of his native locality, and remained with his father until the latter's death, which occurred when James was eighteen years of age. He learned the butchering business with his brother, Lewis, and in 1881, when nineteen years old, embarked in business on his own account, starting in a very humble way. Through his business ability and good management, his honesty and straight-forwardness in all dealings, and his general popularity, he has built his business up until it is now one of the largest in its line in the county. He owns the meat market at Ninth and Penn streets, Reading, attends the Kissinger market, having two stands there, and employs ten skilled butchers. He kills from forty to fifty steers weekly, finding a ready sale for his product in Mohnton, Reading and the surrounding country, and has three wagons constantly delivering his goods. He is both retail and wholesale, and the business is steadily reaching larger proportions. At one time Mr. Gougler went West for his cattle, but he now secures his meat in Lancaster county. He is a large property owner, having nine dwelling-houses in Mohnton and several in Shillington, and in 1896 erected his present modern residence on Wyomissing avenue, which is provided with the most modern improvements. He is a director in the Mohnton National Bank of Mohnton. His fraternal connections are with Knights of Pythias Lodge No. 485 and the Knights of the Golden Eagle.

Mr. Gougler was married to Miss Susan Tothero, daughter of Jacob and Rebecca (Whitman) Tothero, and granddaughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Frederick) Whitman. To this union have been born children as follows: James B., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, Kutztown, class of 1906, is now teaching in Mohnton; Naomi A., a graduate of the Shillington high school, class of 1907, is a student of Maryland College, Lutherville, Md.; Clarence T. is a butcher by trade.

In political matters Mr. Gougler is a Democrat, and he has always interested himself in movements calculated to be of benefit to his community. He was elected the first chief burgess of Mohnton by a large majority. He attends St. John's Lutheran Church.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:15 EDT

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