Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1170

William Grieshaber, dealer in woolen and cotton rags, metals, gum shoes and scrap rubber, old iron, shirt clips, tailor and shoe clips, doing business at No. 832 Franklin street, Reading, Pa., was born Oct. 31, 1874, at Philadelphia, Pa., son of Christopher and Caroline Grieshaber.

Mr. Grieshaber was educated in the public schools of Reading and after completing his schooling, went to work and soon established himself in his present line of business, in which he has been very successful. He thoroughly understands his business in all its details and has the confidence of the public. A number of the largest paper manufacturers in this country obtain their stock from him and he ships to Massachusetts and other Eastern States. He employs from three to six men who are busy all the time, and occupies convenient quarters. His warehouse is 20X80 ft. in dimensions, three stories, with basement, and he expects to obtain larger quarters shortly.

Mr. Grieshaber is a very active worker in St. Stephen's Reformed Church, and is a member of the Christian Endeavor Society. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Malta, the P. O. S. of A., and to the Grand Fraternity.


p. 1117


James H. S. Griess, of Pottstown, Pa., is a native of District township, Berks county, born March 28, 1860. He belongs to a family which has long been identified with Hereford township, where his great-grandfather Jacob Griess, lived.

Jacob Greiss was a charcoal burner and laborer in Hereford township, living between Perryville (now Harlem) and the Devil's Hole. In his later years he moved to District township, where he died during the fifties. He and his wife are buried in unmarked graves at Huff's Church. Her maiden name was Rauch, and they were the parents of ten children, namely: Peter lived in Hereford; his wife was a Fry, and they had children-David, Henry, Adam, Elizabeth (m. John Gangler) and Lucinda (m. Samuel Kehs). George, grandfather of James H. S. Griess, is mentioned later. Philip, m. to a Yeakel, was a laborer in Upper Milford township, Lehigh Co., Pa. David lived in the Blue Mountains, where he was engaged as a charcoal burner. John (1817-1902) lived in District township, where he had his own home and worked as a laborer; he m. Sallie Moyer (1820-1905) and they are buried at Huff's Church. Polly m. a Mr. Fenstermacher, and lived in Longswamp township, where he kept a hotel known as "Ginders Hotel," near Topton. Peggy never married. Catharine m. Abraham Gehris, and they lived in Hereford, where he was a laborer; they are buried at Huff's Church. Barbara (Bevvy) m. Benjamin Sell, and lived in Longswamp township. Elizabeth (Betzy) completed the family.

George Greiss, son of Jacob, was a weaver and wove all kinds of linens. He owned his own home and eight acres of land, on which property his shop was located. He married Sarah Gehris, and they lived in Longswamp township, but they are buried at Huff's Church, in Hereford township. They were the parents of children, as follows: Jacob, who married Mary Rothenberger; Philip, who was a tailor at Womelsdorf, Berks county; George, who lied at Alburtis, Pa.; Peter, a blacksmith in Hereford, who is mentioned below; David, who settled out West and died there; Daniel was a cobbler and died unmarried at Albertis; Sarah, m. to Henry Wendling and John, who lived in the State of Delaware and who m. Mary Jane, daughter of Capt. J. and Sarah Evans (she is buried at Huff's Church).

Peter Griess, father of James H. S. Griess, was born in 1835 in Hereford township, and died Nov. 18, 1891, aged fifty-six. He is buried at Bally Catholic Church. Mr. Griess was a blacksmith, and followed his trade in Salisbury township, Lehigh county, until 1874, when he took up farming in the same township, continuing there for three years more. In 1877 he moved to Maxatawny and burned lime for one year. In 1878 he moved to Hereford township, Berks county, where he engaged in farming until his death. He married Mary Schoch, daughter of Jacob and Susanna (Kehs) Schoch, born Jan. 25, 1938, and as she was a member of the Catholic Church he too adopted that faith. Mrs. Griess now makes her home with her son Jermanus, near Clayton, in Hereford township. She was the mother of nine children, viz.: Amelia (m. Henry Hering), James H. S., Jermanus (unmarried), Jane (m. Henry Kehs, of Pottstown), Maggie (died aged seven years), and four who died in infancy.

James H. S. Griess received his education in the schools of Salisbury township, Lehigh county, and in the city of Allentown. He was reared upon the farm, but when quite young began working in the ore mines around Siesholtzville, doing such work for four years. In 1882 he settled in Pottstown, where he learned the milling business from Bertolet & Miller, in 1885 succeeding Mr. Bertolet in the firm, which has since been Miller & Griess. They have the most extensive business in their line in the upper part of Montgomery county, manufacturing from seventy-five to one hundred barrels of four daily, and their leading brand is the "Favorite," which finds a ready market all over the eastern part of the United States. This firm also buys and sells feed, doing a general business in that line, and enjoys in a large measure the good-will and confidence of the people of the town and surrounding district. They do besides a large coal and wood business, having gained considerable patronage in that line. Six men are employed regularly, and the firm has prospered throughout its existence.

In addition to his business, Mr. Griess owns a valuable form of 103 acres in Hereford township, near Clayton, which he rents; this was formerly the Samuel D. Heil property.

On April 26, 1885, Mr. Griess married Matilda G. Covely, daughter of David and Mary (Gery) Covely, of Hereford township, and they have had three children: J. Allen (Deceased), Norman R. and Raymond P. This family are members of St. Aloysius Catholic Church of Pottstown. Mr. Griess holds membership in the St. Joseph Society at Bally, and the St. Aloysius Society and Knights of Columbus at Pottstown. He is a Charter member of Father Bally Council, K. of C., of Pottstown, and also a fourth degree member.


p. 1185


The Griffiths are an early Welsh family of Pennsylvania. In 1686 and 1698 many Welsh families arrived and settled in the districts of Caernarvon, Brecknock, Robeson and Cumru, in what is now Berks county. Among these was one Hugh Griffith. He had a brother, Ellis Griffith, who was one of the very earliest settlers of what is now Amity township, being one of the signers of the petition for the organization of the township in 1744. In his will, which was probated in 1759, the year of his death, is the following provision: "I bequeath to Cousin Evan Griffith all my land. If, however, he cannot be found, my land shall become the property of brother Hugh Griffith of Robeson township." In 1759 a John Griffith lived in Robeson township, where he was a large tax-payer. By some members of the family it is believed that John was the father of Evan. Michael Griffith, a half-brother of Evan, lived in Chester county; he was a cripple, but was very strong.

Evan Griffith was a well known man in Brecknock township in its early years, coming from Chester county. By occupation he was a pump maker. He sleeps in the cemetery at Allegheny Church, in an unmarked grave. He married Catharine Weiss, and their children were: Samuel, of Robeson township; Mrs. Philip Hummel, of Brecknock; Ann, who married Daniel Brendel; Betzy, who married Henry Trostle; Bevvy, who marred Peter Steffy; Sophia, who married Isaac Lewis; John; Cassie, who married John Heddens; William, who died young; Isaac; and Benjamin, who died when he was about thirty years of age, leaving one son and one daughter.

John Griffith, son of Evan, was born Jan. 25, 1792, and died March 13, 1881, in his ninetieth year. He was a farmer in Brecknock township, near Furlows Hotel. In addition to his farming he followed the trade of cooper. For about six years of his life he lived in Mifflin county. His wife was Maria (better known as Polly) Brendel. She was born Feb. 1, 1799, daughter of Abraham Brendel, and she died March 14, 1887, in the eighty-ninth year of her age. To John and Maria Griffith were born children as follows: Cyrus, mentioned below; Catharine, who married Samuel Rathman, a farmer in Brecknock township, and had one son and two daughters; and William, mentioned below.

Isaac Griffith, son of Evan, was born Feb. 5, 1799, and became a prominent man in Brecknock township, where he owned a farm of some sixty acres, now the property of Albert Kachel. For many years he served as supervisor. He died Oct. 11, 1882, in his eighty-fourth year, and was buried at Allegheny Church. He married Catharine Trostle, daughter of Henry Trostle, and became the father of thirteen children, namely: Catharine, Elizabeth, John, Sarah, Cassie, Louisa, Isaac, William, Samuel, Benjamin, Caroline, _____, and one that died in infancy.

Samuel Griffith, son of Isaac and grandson of Evan, was born Nov. 5, 1834, in Brecknock township. He owns an eighty-four acre farm, but is now living retired. He has served his township as school director and assistant assessor. He is a member of the Allegheny Church, where many of the Griffiths lie buried. Mr. Samuel Griffith has been twice married. His first wife was Lydia Eshelman (1839-1870), and his second Elizabeth Zimmerman. His children, all born to the first wife, were: Jeremiah; Sarah A.; Aaron; Jacob E., a teacher and justice of the peace in Brecknock township; and Solomon, who died in 1882, aged twelve years.

Cyrus Griffith, mentioned above as son of John and grandson of Evan, was a cooper by trade, and followed that occupation in Brecknock township many years, being one of the last to work at that trade in his community. He owned a farm of about 100 acres near Knauers, which he rented, and in earlier years this was conducted by his sons. He was born Sept. 21, 1817, in Brecknock, and died Nov. 24, 1903, aged eighty-six years. He was a Reformed member of the Allegheny Church, and was a thoroughly honorable and upright man. While he never rode on a steam car in his life, he traveled as far as the western part of the State, and worked for a time at his trade in the Kishacoquilla Valley, in Mifflin county. He married Catharine Fritz, who was born Jan. 19, 1821, daughter of John Fritz, and died Dec. 6, 1891, in her seventy-first year. Their four children were: Frank, of Mohnton; John, deceased; Sarah, who died in childhood; and Wayne F.

Wayne F. Griffith, son of Cyrus, and a foremost citizen and well known justice of the peace of Brecknock township, now engaged in dealing in farm implements and fertilizers at Knauers, was born Dec. 8, 1867. His boyhood was passed upon his father's farm, and his early education was obtained in the township schools and in a private school in charge of Henry T. Kachel. He first became engaged in the farm implement business in 1885, when but eighteen years of age, and since then has carried on the business successfully at Knauers. He has patrons within a radius of twelve miles, and he sells from eighty to one hundred tons of fertilizer every year. His honest, open dealings and genial obliging manners have won him a growing list of patrons. He deals in all kinds of farm implements, and has the largest line of farm equipment in the county, also doing a large amount of repair work.

In politics Mr. Griffith is quite influential as a Democrat, and he has been active in party work, his influence always being sought by those anxious for party preferment. When but twenty-two years of age he was elected township clerk, and he was appointed by Governor Robert E. Pattison justice of the peace, and since then has been re-elected three times. At his first election he had every vote that was polled by both parties, something that had never happened before and never has since to any candidate. He is also the committeeman of his party, representing the township on the county committee. In the organization of the new Mohnton National Bank, Mr. Griffith was unanimously elected cashier, a position he still holds. This bank is in successful operation, and the first year made a net profit to the stockholders of fourteen per cent. Mr. Griffith resides in a modern residence at Knauers, which he erected in 1896. It is surrounded by a well-kept terraced lawn, in which may be found many South Carolina poplar trees, and much beautiful shrubbery.

On Nov. 30, 1895, Mr. Griffith was married to Jennie Kachel, daughter of Samuel and Caroline (Griffith) Kachel, farming people of Brecknock. They attend the Allegheny Union Church, in which Mr. Griffith is a member of the Sunday-school and was a teacher for several years.

William Griffith, son of John and brother of Cyrus, was born in Mifflin county March 5, 1831. From his youth up he engaged in farming and after 1860 made his home in Brecknock township, where he owned 105 acres of land. This he cultivated until 1897. Since the spring of 1907 he has lived in Mohnton with his son Hiram. He sold his farm in 1903. Considering his advanced years he is well preserved, and in spite of his long years of activity is still able to take a keen interest in things around him. He married Catharine Marks, born 1836, died 1881, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Marks. They were the parents of eleven children, as follows: Elijah, deceased, who married Joanna Hornberger, and had children, Charles, Cora and Maggie; Amanda, who married Nelson Bixler; Maggie, who married Albert Kachel; Augustus M.; Martin, deceased, who married Sallie Gebhart; Hiram M. and Biram, twins; William, who married Emma Krick, and lives at Gouglersville, Pa.; Joseph, who died in infancy; and Dora and Alice, who both died young.

Augustus M. Griffith, son of William and Catharine, was born in Brecknock township March 16, 1863. He obtained a limited education in the common schools which he left at an early age to work upon the home farm. He remained with his father until he attained his majority, and then for one year drove a team. In 1885 he moved to his father's farm, which he conducted for two years. In 1887 he purchased a sixty-acre farm in Brecknock township, where he farmed for sixteen years. In 1904 he purchased hi brother Hiram's bakery at Mohnton, and this he has since successfully conducted. He bakes an excellent quality of bread and pastry, and twenty-five different kinds of cake, for all of which he has a ready market in Mohnton and surrounding districts. In the Reading markets he has stands: No. 196 at Fourth and Penn streets; at Ninth and Buttonwood streets; No. 172, Sixth and Bingaman streets; and No. 60, Tenth and Chestnut streets. He keeps two double teams to supply Mohnton and vicinity. His weekly consumption of flour is estimated at thirty barrels. He has all the latest and best improved machinery. On the evening of May 26, 1905, a fire broke out in a neighboring property, which was communicated by the wind to Mr. Griffith's, and his bakery and dwelling were consumed, entailing a loss of five thousand dollars, only partially insured. He at once rebuilt, and now has a fine home and bakery on Wood street, Mohnton. In politics, like his brothers, he is a Democrat. He and his family attend Allegheny Church, of which they are Lutheran members.

On Jan. 27, 1882, Mr. Griffith married Mary Ann Strunk, daughter of Martin and Kate (Stoner) Strunk, and their children are: Walter, unmarried; Goldie, married to Charles B. High, a school teacher of Shillington by whom she has a son, Jean; Miss Nora, at home; Stella, married to Harvey Boone, and Tamie, at home.

Biram Griffith, proprietor of the "Hotel Griffith," located on the site of the former Mohn's Store postoffice, at Mohnton, Pa., was born in Brecknock township, Berks county, Aug. 5, 1866, son of William and Catharine (Marks) Griffith.

He spent his school days in Brecknock township and worked with his father until eighteen years of age. On Jan. 17, 1887, he came to Mohnton and learned the hatter's trade, which he followed for eleven years, also engaging successful in horse trading and the livery business, the latter of which he sold in 1904 to his brother Hiram. For a period of three years Mr. Griffith drove the mail between Mohnton and Adamstown, and before the advent of the trolley cars carried passengers. In his youth he had also learned the milling business with Daniel Yelk, with whom he remained one year, although he never engaged in this business on his own account. He built his present hotel in 1904 and received his license in 1905, since which time he has done a large business. His hotel, a three-story structure with twenty-nine rooms, one of the best in Berks county, is well liked by the traveling public, and Mr. Griffith makes a cordial, affable host, being very popular in his community. In his political belief he is a Democrat, and he has served a number of times as delegate to county conventions. He is a member of the Reformed Church of Allegheny, and a liberal contributor toward its support.

Mr. Griffith married Catherine Steffey, daughter of Ephraim and Elizabeth (Gephard) Steffey, of Brecknock township, Berks county, and to this union were born four children: Katie, who married Harry Whitner, of Mohnton, and has two children; Edith M., who died in infancy; and Edna and Edgar B., attending school.

Hiram M. Griffith, a substantial business man of Berks county, who is carrying on a flourishing livery business at Mohnton, Cumru township, was born Aug. 5, 1866, in Brecknock township, Berks county.

He attended the schools of his native township, and when a young man learned cigar-making with James and Samuel Prutzman, of Adamstown, Pa., following this occupation for four years. He then learned the hatter's trade with George Hendel, and followed same for four years, after which he engaged in the baking business at which he was employed from 1893 until 1904, when he sold out to his brother Augustus. He then engaged in the livery business, having brought out his brother, Biram. The stable is located at Wood and Wyomissing avenues, and he has from fifteen to twenty horses, enjoying a large and profitable business. He is a Democrat in politics, and is connected fraternally with the P. O. S. of A., Camp No. 211. His religious connection is with the Salem Evangelical Association of Mohnton.

Mr. Griffith was united in marriage to Mary Mosser, the estimable daughter of Nicholas and Sallie (Grill) Mosser, and to this union were born two children, both daughters, Gertrude (who died in infancy) and Marjorie E. Mr. and Mrs. Griffith are well known in Mohnton, and enjoys the friendship and esteem of a large acquaintanceship.


p. 465


Adam F. E. Grill, one of the foremost citizens of Cumru township, Berks county, resides in the borough of Shillington, Pa., in a fine residence at the northwest corner of Lancaster and Wyomissing avenues. He was born on his father's farm, now the property of Joshua Dives, Jan. 28, 1857, son of Levi and Mary (Eshelman) Grill.

Philip Grill, great-grandfather of Adam F. E., was an extensive land owner in Spring township, having fully 255 acres. He died on the farm on which he had resided all of his life, and his remains were interred at Sinking Spring burying-ground, as were those of his wife, whose maiden name was Lesher. They had these children: Christina married Philip Kappes; Samuel obtained the original homestead, erected the present buildings upon it, and then removed to Ohio; John was given another of the old homesteads, later removed to Centre county, Pa., and then followed Samuel to Ohio; Katie m. Jacob Hatt; Eliza m. Jacob Brossman, and removed to Naperville, Ill.; Adam; Philip m. Sarah Mohn, sister of Catherine Mohn; and Joseph.

Adam Grill grandfather of Adam F. E., was born in Spring township, and was a lifelong farmer, owning the farm now in the possession of our subject, where he lived the major portion of his life. He married Catherine Mohn, who bore him the following ten children: Samuel settled at Bowmansville, Lancaster county; Catherine m. Christian Kress; Elizabeth m. Henry Von Neida; Mary m. Richard Hornberger; Levi; Sallie m. Nicholas Mosser; Adam lived on the old homestead; Lydia m. James Leininger; Daniel was a tax collector of Reading, Pa.; and Henry resided at Oakbrook, Cumru township.

Levi Grill, father of Adam F. E., was born in Cumru township, Nov. 5, 1830, and his entire life was spent in agricultural pursuits. For many years he lived on the Lancaster Pike, midway between the Five Mile House and Gouglersville, his fine farm consisting of 100 acres. He built the present home upon it in 1874, the barn being built by his father, Adam Grill, in 1838. This property has a good meadow of twelve acres, eight acres of woodland, and an excellent spring of clear water. In 1853 Mr. Grill was married to Mary Eshelman, daughter of Daniel and Lydia (Heberling) Eshelman, and to this union there were born two sons: John E., a well known merchant of Reading; and Adam F. E.

Adam F. E. Grill received his education in the public schools of his native township, and at the Keystone State Normal school, Kutztown, Pa. At the early age of fifteen years he began teaching school in the village of Mohnsville, when there was but one school at that place. He finished one term there, after which he taught in different other schools in Cumru and Spring townships and then went back to Mohnsville and took charge of the grammar school there to teach his twenty-third and last term, when the hamlet had grown to be a large town. His long career as an educator was begun in 1872, when D. B. Brunner was county superintendent, and he became well and favorably known as a pedagogue. During the summer months Mr. Grill worked upon his father's farm, where he had spent his boyhood days. In politics Mr. Grill is a Democrat, and in 1892-3 he was elected township committeeman, and in the latter years was elected county chairman of the Democratic party, a position he filled with efficiency for a full term. He was the last judge of election of Cumru township when it had over 800 voters, it being then divided into five voting precincts.

On Feb 18, 1895, Assistant U. S. Treasurer W. B. Bigler of Philadelphia appointed Mr. Grill to a responsible clerkship in the Philadelphia U. S. Sub-Treasury, and in this position he has served most acceptably ever since. His work consists of counting and assorting money, and in the last fourteen years he has handled hundreds of millions of dollars. He has charge of the Assorting Teller's desk. For the past ten years he has made daily trips from his home in Shillington to Philadelphia. In 1899 Mr. Grill built his fine residence at Shillington, it being one of the most beautiful and substantial brick residences of the place, and in 1903 he erected two fine brick residences on Lancaster avenue on a side lot of his residence property. He has two other good houses on Lancaster avenue, one of brick and the other frame, and he has also obtained the old Grill homestead, which belonged to his grandfather and father, in which the latter was born.

On Jan. 27, 1877, Mr. Grill was married to Mary Huyett, daughter of Garson and Eva (Gaul) Huyett, and granddaughter of John and Elizabeth (Hartman) Huyett, an old and honored family of Berks county. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Grill. Mr. Grill stands high in the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and is one of the most substantial men of his locality and an influential molder of public opinion in his township.


p. 743


Daniel M. Grill, a citizen of Reading, Pa., who is retired, resides in his home at No. 112 South Third street in this city. Mr. Grill was born in Cumru township, Berks county, Pa., July 14, 1842, a son of Adam and Catherine M. Grill.

Of the Grill family, at least three generations having been born in Berks county. Philip Grill, grandfather of Daniel, married a Miss Lesher, and they were early settlers in Cumru township, where he became possessed of an excellent farm. Their children were: John, deceased, formerly an extensive farmer in Ohio; Samuel, deceased, also owned farming land in Ohio; Adam, father of Daniel Grill; Joseph, who died aged eighty-two years at Sinking Spring; Philip, deceased, of Cumru township; Catherine, who m. Jacob Hart, and had children, Samuel, John, Jacob, Levi, Louisa, Catherine, Kate, Polly, Sally and Bessie; Leah, who m. Jacob Brossman; Mrs. Cubbison; and Bessie, who m. George Matz. In religious belief the family were members of the Reformed Church. Politically Mr. Grill was a Democrat.

Adam Grill, father of Daniel, followed agricultural pursuits all of his life, dying in 1857, aged sixty-four years, while his widow survived him until March 31, 1888, being eighty-eight years old at the time of her death. They were the parents of these children: Bennewell died young, as did also David; Samuel, deceased, m. Betsy Venida; Betsy m. Henry Venida; Catherine m. Christian Cress; Polly m. Richard Hornberger; Levi, who lives on the old homestead, m. Mary Eshelman; Sarah m. Nicholas Moser; Adam m. Sarah Dewees; Lydia m. James Leininger; Daniel; and Henry, of Oakbrook, m. Mary Heister. Mr. and Mrs. Grill and their family were also members of the Reformed Church. Mr. Grill was a Democrat in politics, and served faithfully for a number of years as supervisor of his township.

Daniel Grill, although receiving a good German education, was but poorly versed in English. He remained at home until twenty-two years of age, when he purchased a farm in Cumru township, and this he operated for thirty-two years, operating a diary in conjunction therewith. Mr. Grill sold his interests in 1897 and retired to Mohnsville, but in 1903 located in Reading, where he has since resided, his home being located at No. 112 South Third street.

In 1864, Mr. Grill married Mary Matz, daughter of William and Sarah (Straub) Matz, natives of Berks county, and to this union were born four children: Charles W., m. to Kate Lewis; Frank H., m. to Elizabeth Shonour, and they had two children, Helen (deceased) and Marie; G. Harvey, m. to Alice Holdry and they have two children, Daniel and Mabel; Clara, m. to Edgar Glasser.

Both Mr. Grill and his wife are members of the Reformed Church, to which he has always given a very liberal support. Politically he has been a life-long Democrat, and since coming to Reading has served in the office of tax collector, while during his residence in Cumru township he was treasurer of that township for a number of years. He is a man who is justly held in high esteem by his fellow citizens.


p. 1051


F. Pierce D. Grill, a farmer and dairyman of Berks county, whose fine property of fifty-five acres is situated in Cumru township, was born Feb. 28, 1865, on the farm on which he now resides, son of Adam M. and Sarah (Dewees) Grill.

Adam Grill, grandfather of F. Pierce D., was born Aug. 22, 1798, in what is now Spring township, and died May 21, 1858. He was a farmer of Cumru township, where he owned a farm of 155 acres, on which he built a barn in 1832. He married Catherine Mohn, born Jan. 11, 1800, who died March 31, 1888, daughter of Daniel and Barbara (Albright) Mohn. Ten children were born to this union: Samuel (m. Betsy VonNeida); Elizabeth (m. Henry VonNeida); Catherine (m. Christil Kress); Polly (m. Richard Hornberger); Levi (m. Polly Eshelman); Sally (m. Nicholas Mosser); Adam M. (m. Sarah Dewees); Lydia (m. James Leininger); Daniel (m. Mary Matz); and Henry (m. Mary Hiester).

Adam M. Grill was born Oct. 17, 1835, and was reared on the original homestead, where he lived until 1904, then retiring and removing to Church street, Mohnton. Since 1897 he has conducted a milk route into Mohnsville, owning a twenty-six acre farm about two miles northwest of that village. In politics he is a Republican. He and his family attend Zion's Evangelical Church ; he was class-leader, treasurer and trustee of the church of that denomination at Mohn's Hill.

Mr. Grill married Nov. 6, 1860, Sarah Dewees, born Jan. 4, 1841, daughter of John M. and Leah G. (Matz) Dewees, and five children were born to this union: William D. m. Ida Miller, and had three children--Jennie (died when three years old), Leo and Harry; Alice R. died unmarried at the age of twenty-eight years; F. Pierce D.; Martin D. m. Hannah Weidner, and has three children--John, Stanley, and Forest; and Quinton D. is unmarried.

F. Pierce D. Grill has spent his entire life on the property on which he now lives, and which he obtained from his father. This property, which consists of fifty-five acres, is a part of the old homestead owned by his grandfather, and which has been in the family possession for upward of 100 years. The original barn, built in 1832 by Adam Grill, still stands, as does the home, built by his son, Adam M., in 1868. Mr. Grill is also engaged in operating a milk route, running a team daily, except Sunday, to Mohnton. In politics he is a Republican. He and his family are connected with Mohn's Hill Memorial United Evangelical Church.

On Aug. 11, 1889, Mr. Grill married Annie H. Fisher, born July 31, 1866, daughter of Richard and Annie (Hoyer) Fisher, and three children have been born to this union: Stephen F., born June 10, 1890; Leroy F., Jan. 21, 1893; and Lillie F., May 24, 1898.


p. 1550


Frank M. Grill, one of the well-known young men of Cumru township, who holds a responsible position at the Berks county almshouse, was born July 14, 1873, in Cumru township, near the "Five-Mile House," son of Daniel M. and Mary (Matz) Grill.

Philip Grill, great-grandfather of Frank M., was the owner of a large farm in Spring township, where he died. He was buried at Sinking Spring. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Lesher, were born children as follows: Christina, m. to Philip Kappes; Samuel, who obtained the homestead, and later removed to Ohio; John, who first went to Centre county, Pa., and later to Ohio; Katie, m. Jacob Hatt; Eliza, m. to Jacob Brossman, and later a resident of Naperville, Ill.; Adam; Philip, m. to Sarah Mohn; and Joseph.

Adam Grill, son of Philip, was born in Spring township Aug. 22, 1793, and died May 21, 1858. He was a lifelong farmer. He married Catherine Mohn, born Jan. 11, 1800, died March 31, 1888, daughter of Daniel and Barbara (Albright) Mohn. They became the parents of ten children, namely: Samuel, of Bowmansville, Lancaster county; Catherine, m. to Christian Kress; Elizabeth, m. to Henry Von Neida; Mary, m. to Richard Hornberger; Levi, m. to Mary Eshelman; Sallie, m. to Nicholas Mossier; Adam, on the old home farm, and m. to Sarah Dewees; Lydia, m. to James Leininger; Daniel M.; and Henry, of Oakbrook, Cumru township.

Daniel M. Grill, son of Adam and father of Frank M., was born in Cumru township in 1844, and for many years was a prominent farmer in that township. He now lives at No. 212 South Third street, Reading, in which city he was for a number of years tax collector of the Seventh ward. He married Mary Matz, daughter of William and Sallie (Straub) Matz, and to this union there were born: Charles, a farmer, m. Katie Lewis; Howard, also a farmer, m. Alice Hoetry; Frank M.; and Clara m. Edward Geisweit, of Reading.

Frank M. Grill received a fair education, attending the schools of Cumru township until the age of eighteen years, when he became engaged in agricultural pursuits with his father. On April 1, 1894, he accepted his present position, in which he has served faithfully to the present time, giving universal satisfaction. He owns a fine residence in Shillington, on Lancaster avenue, and he and his wife have a large social circle. Mr. Grill was married to Lizzie Schonnont, daughter of Joseph Schonnont, and to this union there has been born one daughter, Maria. Mr. Grill is a Democrat in politics, but beyond the casting of his vote takes but little interest in political matters. He and Mrs. Grill are members of the Reformed Church, which they attend at Gouglersville.


p. 778


John M. Grill, for a number of years a well known agriculturist of Cumru township, Berks county now living retired at Shillington, Pa., was born Sept. 13, 1837, near Wernersville, Berks county, son of Joseph and Hannah (Matz) Grill.

Joseph Grill was born Aug. 7, 1806, in Cumru, now Spring township, and was a lifelong farmer. For seven years he lived on a sixteen-acre tract in Lower Heidelberg township, and later he removed to Spring township, where he owned a good farm on which he died in July, 1891. He also owned the old Grill homestead in Spring township, and was in comfortable circumstances. Mr. Grill married Hannah Matz, daughter of John and Elisabeth (Shoup) Matz, and to this union there were born children as follows: Joshua, m. to Mary Gring; Mary, living at Sinking Spring; John M.; Joseph, who died in childhood; Henry, m. to Sarah Huyett; Catherine, living in Sinking Spring; and Samuel, who died in childhood.

John M. Grill attended the pay schools and later the free schools of his day, and his entire life was spent in farming. He remained on the farm until 1890, in which year he removed to Shillington, and he has there resided retired to the present time. In 1866, he commenced farming for himself near the Green Tree in Cumru township, on his father-in-law's farm, which he acquired after the latter's death July 22, 1891, at the age of eighty-three years, eleven months, eleven days. In 1890 Mr. Grill built a large, two-story brick residence at the corner of Philadelphia and Lancaster avenues in Shillington, which the family occupied since 1893. Mr. Grill and his brother Henry own the old Grill homestead of 120 acres of land, which lies adjacent to the old Wheat Field mines in Spring township, and here blue iron ore is found in great quantity. At one time Mr. Grill was a prominent figure in local politics, and for a time was a Democratic auditor of Cumru township. He and his wife are members of Christ's Union Church, Cumru, of which he is a Reformed and she a Lutheran member. He has been a deacon and elder of the church for many years. In 1893 Mr. and Mrs. Grill attended the World's Fair at Chicago, and in 1901 the Exposition at Buffalo, and they have also traveled extensively in other parts of the country. They are well known in their vicinity, and have a large social circle.

On Nov. 21, 1867, Mr. Grill married Sarah Fritz, daughter of Martin and Margaretta (Gring) Fritz, and granddaughter of Martin and Catherine (Rathje) Fritz. Mr. and Mrs. Grill's adopted daughter, whom they reared from her third year, Sallie A. Kohl, married Washington Leinbach, son of James and Catharine (Ahrens), Reading, and they have one son, Leroy K. Mr. and Mrs. Leinbach reside with Mr. and Mrs. Grill.


p. 633


Martin D. Grill, a well known young business man of Berks county, Pa., who is engaged in the manufacture of hosiery at Mohnton, was born Oct. 20, 1874, in Cumru township, son of Adam M. and Sarah (Dewees) Grill.

Adam Grill, the grandfather of Martin D., was a native of Spring township, Berks county, where he was born Aug. 22, 1793. He spent his life in agricultural pursuits in Cumru township, where he owned a tract of 155 acres of land, and here he died May 21, 1858. He married Catharine Mohn, born Jan. 11, 1800, who died March 31, 1888, daughter of Daniel and Barbara (Albright) Mohn, and there were ten children born to this union: Samuel, m. to Betsy von Neida; Elizabeth, m. to Henry von Neida; Catharine, m. to Chris. Kress; Polly, m. to Richard Hornberger; Levi, m. to Polly Eshelman; Sally, m. to Nicholas Mosser; Adam M.; Lydia, m. to James Leininger; Daniel, m. to Mary Matz; and Henry, m. to Mary Hiester.

Adam M. Grill was born Oct. 17, 1835, and was reared on the homestead, where he lived until 1904, when he retired and removed to Church street, Mohnton. Since 1897 he has conducted a milk route into Mohnsville. He owns a twenty-six acre farm about two miles northwest of that village. In politics he is a Republican. He and his family attend Zion's Evangelical Church, of which he was a class leader, treasurer and trustee at Mohn's Hill.

Adam M. Grill was married Nov. 6, 1860, to Sarah Dewees, born Jan. 4, 1841, daughter of John M. and Leah G. (Matz) Dewees, and five children were born to this union: William D. m. Ida Miller, and has two children, Leo and Harry; Alice R. died unmarried at the age of twenty-eight years; F. Pierce D. m. Annie H. Fisher, and has three children, Stephen F., Leroy F. and Lillie F.; Martin D.; and Quinton D. is unmarried.

Martin D. Grill received his education in the public schools of Cumru township, and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa. During the spring terms of 1894, 1895 and 1896, Mr. Grill was engaged in school teaching in Spring township, and from the latter year until 1907, followed that profession in Cumru township. At this time he engaged in his present business, the manufacture of men's seamless half hose, under the firm name of the Electrical Hosiery Company. Thirty hands are now employed at his factory, and these high grade goods find a ready sale throughout the State.

Mr. Grill was married to Hannah R. Weidner, daughter of John Y. and Catharine (Hornberger) Weidner, and three children were born to this union: John, Stanley and Forest. In politics Mr. Grill is a Republican, while in religious belief he and Mrs. Grill are connected with the United Evangelical Church. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias of Mohnton, and the P. O. S. of A., No 211. Mr. and Mrs. Grill reside in their own home in Mohnton, which Mr. Grill purchased in 1898.

John M. Dewees, grandfather of Martin D. Grill, was a son of William and Elizabeth Martin Dewees, and was born Feb. 26, 1807. His only brother, George M., went to Stark county, Ohio. John M. Dewees followed the same trade as his father, that of a shop-carpenter, making all kinds of household furniture. He was also an undertaker, making his own coffins. In 1835, he was commissioned Captain of the 12th Company, 55th Regiment, of the Militia of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the 2nd Brigade, of the 6th Division, composed of the counties of Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks and Schuylkill, his commission bearing date Aug. 3, 1835, and good until Aug. 3, 1842, given and signed by Gov. Joseph Ritner. He was also a surveyor and he served as justice of the peace, his first commission bearing date of 1840. He was a justice from the aforesaid date until 1879, his last commission bearing date of April 13, 1874, good until 1879, having held the office for nearly forty years. Legal papers made and issued by him are noted for their neatness, accuracy and excellent penmanship. Lawyers and court officials often complimented him on his elegant penmanship which he did mostly with the quill. In 1834 he married Leah G. Matz (born Feb. 11, 1812) daughter of George Matz. They had three daughters and two sons, the sons dying in infancy. Of the daughters: Elizabeth M. m. Samuel P. Coldren; Sarah M. m. Adam M. Grill; and Rachel M. m. Jere H. Miller. John M. Dewees was a man of ordinary means, and proved himself to be of great usefulness in this section between 1840 and 1875. He was intensely interested in the educational system provided by the Act of 1834, and in 1835, when an effort was made to repeal this act he labored hard to interest the people and explain to them the importance of educational advantages provided for by this act. He was a lover of music, especially of the fiddle, zither and accordion. He was the owner of a small tract of land in Spring township. He died Dec. 14, 1881, and is buried at Mohns Hill burying ground.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:19 EDT

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