Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1639


George W. Heffelfinger, builder and real estate agent at Wyomissing, was born at Reading, Feb. 22, 1856. He received his early education in the local schools, which he attended until he was twelve years old, when he accompanied his parents to Mt. Etna, a village in the western end of the county. He attended school there for several years and then learned the trade of cabinet-maker under his father, assisting him in the business of undertaker until 1880, when he again accompanied his parents on a removal to Reading. He entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company as a wood-carver for executing fine, original designs in the ornamentation of their passenger coaches, and he continued with the company about ten years.

Ill health from close confinement made it necessary for Mr. Heffelfinger to secure out-door work, and he became solicitor of John D. Strunk, photographer, a line he followed until 1896. In that year the Reading Suburban Real Estate Company was organized for the purpose of projecting a suburban town, and in this behalf purchased several farms one and one-half miles west of Reading, in Spring township, and laid out the town of Wyomissing. Mr. Heffelfinger became interested in the valuation and sale of the lots and assisted the company materially in establishing the town in a successful manner. In 1901 he began building operations for himself and erected a square of fine homes along Reading avenue, extending from Penn Avenue to Mory Street, and in 1902 he moved there with his family, starting a grocery store in the corner building on Penn Avenue. In 1904 he succeeded in securing a postoffice for the place, and it was located in his store. He acted as postmaster, and after carrying on the store and postoffice for a year sold the premises to Alfred B. Yorgey, who became his successor. He then exerted himself in the erection of a borough by soliciting and securing many subscribers to the petition, and the movement was successful, the decree of incorporation being made in 1906. He is still active in the sale of lots, and in the improvement of the place by the erection of dwelling houses.

Mr. Heffelfinger married Cecelia Auchenbach, daughter of John B. and Priscilla (Kapp) Auchenbach, of Mt. Etna. They have seven children: Lester R., Flossie, Erma, Ada, Earl, Irene and Paul.

George Marshall Heffelfinger, father of George W., was born at Mt. Etna in 1832. He learned the trade of cabinet-maker at Myerstown, and he followed it at Mt. Etna and later at Reading (whither he had removed with his family) until 1879, when he secured employment in the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad shops, continuing with that company six years. On account of his age, he was obliged to engage in lighter work and since then he has made picture frames. He married Lucinda Truckermiller, and they had five children: George W.; John, who married Mary Heckar; Harry, who married Christie Grebe; Adam, who married Hattie Sheiry; and Mary who married George Wertley. The wife and mother died in 1905.

John Heffelfinger, grandfather of George W., was of Tulpehocken township. He married Louisa Marshall, and they had six sons: John, Cyrus, George, Edward, Washington and Daniel.


p. 688

Abraham Heffner, a retired resident of Richmond township, Berks county, who was for many years engaged in farming in that section, was born on the old Heffner homestead near Virginville, July 20, 1836.

Heinrich Heffner , great-grandfather of Abraham, and his wife Maria Eva Kelchner, to whom he was married Nov. 28, 1752, were the progenitors of this family in Berks county. Pa. He was probably the Henry Heffner who came in the ship "Patience" from the Palatinate and the Grand Duchy of Wurtemberg with 270 other passengers, sailing from Rotterdam, via Cowes, Sept. 19, 1749. His family of six children were: Johann Heinrich, Hans Georg, Eva Catharine Elizabeth, Eva Magdalena and Catharine. Heinrich Haffner was a son of Andreas, of Eberstadt, a town four miles south of Darmstadt. Germany. In 1752, the year of his marriage, he established himself about three-quarters of a mile south of Virginville. on the land now owned by Richard 0. Trexler. He brought with him from Germany a box containing many old papers, and was probably a weaver by trade, as he reserved "den Webstuhl und das Geschirr dazu" in an agreement with his son, Heinrich, made April 13, 1784.

Johann Heinrich Heffner. grandfather of Abraham, was born Nov. 23, 1754, and died June 27, 1825. He was the first born of his parents, and was a farmer in Richmond township, living on his father's land, which was acquired by patent from the Commonwealth in 1784. He married Anna Katherine Kohler, daughter of John and Anna Maria Kohler. of Greenwich township. They had ten children, namely: Daniel; John; Henry; Abraham; Samuel; Solomon; Polly, who was lame and died single aged sixty-six years; Kate, m. to Lansing Knapp, of West Penn township, Schuylkill county; Hannah, m. to Daniel Underkoffler, of Mohrsville; and Jacob. While Heinrich Heffner was a prisoner during the Revolutionary war, he was confined in a church in New Jersey, and there a great-uncle of Samuel Heffner, of Moselem Springs, was frozen to death. The following is a copy of a valuable paper now in possession of one of the descendants in Berks county: "Whereas, Heinrich Heffner of Jacob Baldy's company in Col. Philip Gehr's . Battalion has made complaint to us, the Subscribers, Commissioners of said county that he could not attend at the Muster and Field days in 1777 and 1778, he being a Prisoner of War and not exchanged, and we find his complaint just, do therefore agreeable to an act of Assembly acquit and exhonerate the said Heinrich Heffner from fine which might have incurred from not attending said Muster and Field days. Given under our Hands, the fourth day of October, in the year of Our Lord, One thousand, seven hundred and ninety. (Signed) John Keim, Henry Speyker, Jacob Beyer."

Abraham Heffner, father of Abraham, who was a farmer and lifelong resident of Richmond township, was born in 1798, and died in 1854. He was the owner of the original Heffner homestead about three-quarters of a mile south of Virginville. He married Polly Kerchner, born in 1801, daughter of Godleib Kerchner, of Greenwich township. She died in the seventy-sixth year of her age. To them were born these children: Isaac, who died single, was a farmer of Richmond township; Elizabeth m. Charles Zettelmoyer, also a farmer of Greenwich township; Polly died single, aged seventy-three years; Sarah died in infancy; Anna m. Samuel Boyer, a stone mason of Richmond township, later of Denver, Columbia Co., Pa., where they died; Susanna died single, aged fifty-one years; Daniel was a carpenter and farmer of Richmond township; Abraham; Carolina never married; and Samuel died when twenty-four years old.

Abraham Heffner, son of Abraham and Polly, was reared on his father's farm, and he followed this vocation until 1900, when he retired from active life. He received a limited education in the free school of his time, but he has since, through observation and study, become a well educated man. At the age of forty-two years Abraham Heffner m. Miss Racy Ann Stoudt, daughter of Benneville and Hettie (Berndt) Stoudt, of Maiden-creek township. The following children were born to this union: Mary, m. to John A. C. Wiesner, a prosperous farmer of Kempton, Pa., and Samuel. Sallie and Susanna, at home. In the spring of 1855, one year after the death of his father, Mr. Heffner began farming for himself on the Heffner homestead, purchasing the farm at appraisement and continuing thereon until 1880, when he sold this property and purchased the Reeser -farm of eighty-six acres in Maiden-creek township, continuing thereon for nineteen years. On this tract he then discovered an inexhaustible amount of a fine quality of cement stone, for the handling of which, a number of leading Reading capitalists formed the Reading Cement Company, to which company Mr. Heffner sold his farm in 1900 for a large figure. At this time he purchased the large brick residence in which he and his family are comfortably situated. Mr. Heffner is considered one of the substantial citizens of Richmond township, and is well known and highly esteemed.


p. 616


Daniel A Heffner, senior member of the well known clothing and men's outfitting firm of Heffner, Gilbert & Croll, Nos. 418-420 Penn street, Reading, was born in 1854, in Virginville, Berks county, son of Solomon and Wilhelmina (Weigley) Heffner.

In 1749 Heinrich Haeffner came from Eberstadt, Germany, to America and located in Richmond township, Berks county, Pa. In 1752 he married Maria Eva, daughter of Matthaus Kelchner, of that township. Their children were: John Heinrich, 1754-1825; Han Georg, 1757-1818; Eva Catharine, born 1760; Elizabeth, born 1762; Eva Magdalene, born 1765; and Catharine, born 1768.

John Heinrich Haeffner, son of Heinrich, remained on the old stand in Richmond township, near Virginville. He married Anna Catharine Kohler, born Sept. 26, 1759. and they had children: Daniel; John; Henry; Abraham (1789-1854); Samuel (1791-1872); Solomon(died 1876); Polly (was a cripple); Kate (born 1795); Hannah (born 1798); and Jacob (1804-1877, is buried on his land in a private burial ground). John Heinrich Haeffner was a soldier in 1777 in the Revolutionary war, and was a prisoner of war in a church in New Jersey. His relative and neighbor, a Merkel, froze to death in his arms. He suffered severe hardships through hunger and cold. He served in Capt. Jacob Baldy's Company, and Gehr's Battalion.

Solomon Heffner, son of John Heinrich, married Rachel Graeff (1802-1849), and they lived at Virginville. Their children were: Susanna, John, Solomon (father of Daniel A.). Hettie. Kate, Mary, Henry and Lydia G.

Solomon Heffner was born in Virginville, and when a young man learned engineering, which, however, he gave up in his latter years on account of failing health, and went into the hotel business. He died in 1862, at the age of thirty-five years, and his wife, whose maiden name was Wilhelmina Weigley, passed away in 1890, remaining a widow to the end of her life. The three children born of their marriage were Solomon; Emma, m. (first) William Epling. and (second) Henry Smith; and Daniel A. The family were members of the Lutheran Church. In political belief Mr. Heffner was a stanch Democrat.

Daniel A. Heffner was left without a father at a very tender age, and as a consequence his chances for an education were limited, most of his learning being acquired at night schools after a hard day's work. His first employment was on a farm, and he later worked in the ore banks of Berks county, but finally he learned the painting and paper-hanging trade, at which he worked for several years. Going then to Shenandoah, he went into the huckstering business, and later was a clerk in Lenhartsville, from which place he came to Reading as a clerk for B. H. Brown in the dry goods business. Mr. Heffner next removed to Hamburg, where he engaged in a mercantile business, and this he conducted successfully for ten years. At the end of this time he sold out, and in 1884 came to Reading. where he engaged with Meyers & Heim, tailors and dealers in men's furnishings, continuing with these gentlemen until in 1898. In this year with John H. Gilbert and William M. Croll, Mr. Heffner established the business of Heffner, Gilbert & Croll, which did business from 1898 until 1904, at No. 528 Penn street. In the latter named year, on account of press of business, they were obliged to seek larger quarters, and subsequently removed to Nos. 418-420 Penn street, better known as the J. C. Illig stand. Here the firm has done a thriving business, carrying a full line of up-to-date goods. The partners are well known and popular in the community, and the firm has an established reputation for honesty and integrity, having the full confidence of the people. Mr. Heffner is also prominent in fraternal and social organizations, being connected with Vaux Lodge, No. 406, F. & A: M, of Hamburg; Excelsior Chapter, No. 437, R. A.

M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, of which he is a charter member; Rajah Temple. A. A. 0. N. M. S.; Knights of the Golden Eagle, Reading; Lodge No. 115, B. P. 0. E.. and many other organizations. In political matters he is a Democrat. Mr. Heffner and his wife attend the Lutheran Church.

In 1875 Mr. Heffner was married to Agnes Croll and to them have been born two daughters: Minnie S. m. Joseph R. Sellers, of Reading, and has a son, James,. H and Emily May m. Charles Dellinger, of Reading.


p. 691


Franklin D, Heffner, an influential and well-to-do agriculturist of Berks county Pa., who is now residing on the original Merkel homestead in the eastern end of Richmond township, was born on the old original Heffner homestead, near Virginville, in Richmond township, Feb. 20, 1859, son of Daniel and Lucy (Wink) Heffner.

Heinrich Haeffner, the great-great-grandfather of Franklin D. Heffner. emigrated from the Palatinate, Wurtemberg, Germany. He was twice married, his second wife being Maria Eva Kelchner, daughter of Matthaus Kelchner, an early settler of Richmond township. She bore him two sturdy sons and four daughters, namely: Johann Heinrich; Hans Georg, born in 1757, married Maria Hummel, and died in 1818; Eva Catharine; Elizabeth; Eva Magdalena, and Catharine. Heinrich Haeffner (Haffner) was a son of Andreas Haeffner of Eberstadt, Darmstadt, Germany. The latter married in 1752, and established himself about one mile south of Virginville, on the land now owned by Richard G. Trexler. He was probably a weaver, as he mentioned "den Webstuhl und das Geschirr dazu' in an agreement with his son Heinrich made April 13, 1784.

During the Revolutionary War Heinrich Heffner (as the name appears in the record) was a soldier in Capt. Joseph Baldy's company. In the winter of 1777-8 he with others were confined as prisoners in a church in New Jersey. One Christian Merkel, also of Richmond township, froze to death in Heinrich Haeffners arms. The following legal document is on record in the Court House of Berks county: "Berks County, ss: Whereas Heinrich Heffner, of Jacob Baldy's Co., in Col. Philip Gehr's Battalion, has made complaint to us, the Subscribers, Commissioners of said county that he could not attend at Muster and Field days in 1777-1778 as he was a prisoner of War and not exchanged, and we find his complaint just, do therefore, agreeable to an Act of General Assembly, passed the 27th day of March. 1789, acquit and exhonerate the said Henry Heffner from the fine which he might have incurred from not attending said Muster and Field days. Given under our hands, the fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, seven hundred and ninety. (Signed) John Keim. Henry Speyker. Jacob Beyer."

Johann Heinrich Haeffner, son of Heinrich. was born Nov. 23, 1754, and died aged seventy years, seven months and four days. He married Anna Catherine Kohler, born in 1759, and their children were: Daniel m. Betsey Graeff; John died young; Henry m. Betsey Rahn; Abraham (grandfather of Franklin D.); Samuel, born in 1791, m. Kate Folk, and died in 1872; Solomon m. Rachel Graeff; Jacob, born in 1804, m. Rebecca Rahn, and died in 1877; Polly was a lifelong invalid; Hannah m. Daniel Underkoffler; and Kate m. Lansing Knapp.

Abraham Heffner, son of Johann Heinrich, was born in 1789, and died in 1854. He lived for a number of years at Moselem. To him and his wife, Polly Kerchner (1801-1876), were born children as follows: Isaac died young: Elizabeth m. Charles Zettelmoyer. a resident of the old Heffner stand; Polly; Sarah died in childhood; Anna m. Samuel Moyer; Susanna died young; Daniel became the father of Franklin D.; Abraham m. Racy Ann Stoudt; Caroline; and Samuel died young.

Daniel Heffner. son of Abraham, was born on the old Heffner homestead in 1834, and died in 1881. He received his education in the schools of his day, and when a young man learned the trade of carpenter, becoming a first-class mechanic. He built many buildings in and about the village of Virginville, and taught many men the trade. He also owned a small farm near Virginville, which is now in the possession of his son, Franklin D. In political matters Mr. Heffner was a Democrat, and he was a leader in the ranks of his party in this section of the state, serving as school director of Richmond township for many years. He and his family were strict Lutherans. attending Moselem Church, of which he was trustee for a long period. Daniel Heffner married Lucy Wink, daughter of David and Ann (Hill) Wink, farming people of Maxatawny township. She died in 1902, aged sixty-eight years, and both she and her husband are buried at Moselem Church. To them were born four children, as follows: Franklin D.; Mary Ann, who died aged ten years; Amos I., who died in his seventeenth year; and Joel, who passed away when four years old.

Franklin D. Heffner attended the district schools of his locality, and was reared upon the farm on which he was born. For some years he lived on a small farm near Virginville, which lies adjacent to the old Heffner homestead, but in 1891 he bought the fine farm on which he now resides. This property is valuable. It is one of the best farms in the township. It consists of 110 acres of excellent land, the buildings upon which are large, substantial and in excellent condition. The water facilities are of the best. Mr. Heffner is an up-to-date, practical agriculturist, using the most modern machinery and implements, and his good crops are in a measure due to the manner in which he prepares the soil prior to planting. He has a good herd of live stock, and his horses are known throughout the township as of the best, breed. He is one of the substantial citizens of Richmond town ship, and a heavy tax payer. Personally he is quiet and unassuming, and he is known to his neighbors and acquaintances as an honorable and upright citizen. Mr. Heffner is a strong and uncompromising Democrat, but, although he takes an active interest in politics, believing that it is his duty as a citizen to do so he has never allowed his name to be used as a candidate for public position. He and his family are loyal supporters of the Lutheran faith and consistent members of Moselem Church, of which Mr. Heffner has been deacon for four years and treasurer for over seventeen years. He was a member of the building committee when the new church was built in 1894 and contributed largely in time, money and material towards its erection.

In 1881 Mr. Heffner married Mary Ann Dietrich, daughter of Jonathan and Catherine (Keim) Dietrich, of Greenwich township, and to this union there have been born children as follows: Joel W., Mary C., Daniel E., Katie C., Jonas F., Hannah A., A. Howard, Alice 3., Ada L., Franklin J. and Florence E. Adam Dietrich, great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Heffner, was born in 1740 and died in 1817. He married Maria Barbara Steinbruch (1741-1821), who, like himself, had come from the Palatinate, Germany, on the good ship "Brittania," which landed at Philadelphia Oct. 26, 1767. They were the parents of the following children: Johann Adam, 1765-1823; Johann Georg. 1767-1837; Maria Barbara, 1769--1846; Catherine, 1771----- Johann Jacob, 1773-1857; Johann Michael, 1775-1862; Johann Heinrich, 1777-about 1857; Johannes, 1779-1830; a daughter born in 1781; Johann Christian, 1783-1874; Maria Magdalena, 1785; and Anna Margareta, 1787-1838.

Johann Christian Dietrich, son of Adam, was born in 1783, and died in 1874. He married Elizabeth Georg (1786-1846). and to them were born children 'as follows: Benjamin, 1806-1877; Solomon, 1807-1874; Beckie m. Jacob Heinly; Jonathan was the grandfather of Mrs. Heffner;. George, 1811-1887; Samuel, 1817-1893; Anna m. Daniel Spohn; Hettie m. John Moyer; Daniel, 1824-1898; Nathan, 1827-1880; and Henry, 1832-1905.

Jonathan Dietrich, son of Christian, was born Dec. 2, 1802, and died Jan. 29, 1862. He married Elizabeth Schearer, born Sept. 25. 1810,. who died June 7, 1897, and both were buried at Moselem Church. They had the following children: Ephraim, born in 1835. died in 1905; Jonathan, father of Mrs. Heffner; Joel; William; Daniel; Henry; Samuel; Edwin and Sarah Ann.

Jonathan Dietrich, son of Jonathan, was born Nov. 28, 1835, and died Aug. 6, 1871. He owned and cultivated a tract of fifty acres of land in Greenwich township, where his whole life was spent. Mr. Dietrich married Catherine Keim, and td them were born children as follows: Terinta m. Isaac Hess. a farmer of Maiden-creek township; Mary Ann m. Mr. Heffner; George M. m. Katie Fegley, and is a farmer near Evansville, Pa.; and Katie m. Oscar Luckinbill, of Leesport, Pennsylvania.


p. 804


Samuel D. Heil, late of Hereford township, was born June 14, 1813, and died June 26, 1891, aged seventy-eight years, twelve days. He is buried at New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church. The family is an old one in this section, Conrad Heil, his grandfather, having owned much land here during his lifetime. In 1778 he purchased a tract of eighty-five acres in Hereford township from Philip Rauch; in 1785 he purchased 132 acres in the same township from David Meeshter; in 1794 he bought a small tract, of five acres, from George Wiegner, and in 1809 he bought twenty-seven acres. He was a man of affairs and good standing. His family consisted of sons Conrad and Daniel and several daughters. He is buried at New Goshenhoppen Church.

Daniel Heil, son of Conrad, was born in Hereford township June 5, 1775, and died June 26, 1827, aged fifty-two years, twenty-one days. Like so many of this family, he is buried at New Goshenhoppen Church. He was engaged as a farmer in Hereford, owning the farm which later became the property of his son Samuel. He married Catharine Hertzog, born May 6, 1773, who died Nov. 25, 1847, aged seventy-four years, six months, nineteen days. Three children were born to them, Samuel D., Philip and Jacob. Philip, born in 1799, and Jacob, born in 1801, both died in 1802, only about two weeks apart.

Samuel D. Heil followed farming during his active years, living on his place in Hereford township between Clayton and Chapel, on the Clayton and Hereford turnpike. It comprised over ninety acres of valuable land. From 1851 until his death, however, he led a semi-retired life, although he had numerous interests which kept him in touch with the life of the community, and he was well known in his capacity of peacemaker, settling many differences between neighbors which, though trifling in themselves, might have caused trouble if not equitably disposed of. He served as a justice of the peace for thirty years, and fulfilled the obligations of his office in the most honorable manner. He was also school director, and as an earnest member of the Democratic party was active in its councils, acting many times as delegate to county conventions. In his day he was a leading man of the township. With his family he belonged to the New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church, of which he was a trustee for many years. He was in comfortable circumstances, and in 1852 settled down in retirement at the place where his widow still resides, a nice home with thirty acres of ground in Hereford township. He built the present barn the same year. The house was erected the year before, in 1851. After removing to this place he rented his ninety-acre farm, which is now the property of James Greiss.

Mr. Heil was twice married, his first union, to Sarah Kehl, daughter of Anthony Kehl, taking place Jan. 18, 1834. She was born June 14, 1813, and died Sept. 7, 1856, aged forty-three years, two months, twenty-three days. She was the mother of six children, namely: Solomon, born in 1834, who died in 1901; Matilda, who is unmarried; Maria, born in 1838, who died in 1908 (wife of Aaron T. Hertzog); Bileam, born in 1840, who died in 1861; William H., who died young; and Priscilla, born in 1851, who died in 1874.

On April 3, 1869, Mr. Heil married Susanna Hersch, who survives him, as does also the only child born to this marriage, Agnes A., now the wife of Harvey Hiestand, a farmer of Hereford township. Mr. and Mrs. Hiestand have one daughter, Verna.

Mrs. Susanna Heil is a pleasant woman, intelligent and active, both mentally and physically. She is a constant reader, keeping well informed on current news, and possessing a retentive mind. Having been left in comfortable circumstances, she is in a position to enjoy her age in peace and contentment, and she is highly respected for her many sterling qualities.

Elias Hersch, of Marlborough, Montgomery Co., Pa., grandfather of Mrs. Susanna Heil, married Susanna Long, and they had children: Samuel, Michael, Charles, Daniel, Jacob, William, John, Hannah, Polly, Rebecca and Joseph.

Joseph Hersch, father of Mrs. Heil, married Anna Graber, and they lived in Upper Hanover township, Montgomery county. They had three children: Susanna, widow of Samuel D. Heil; Emma E., who died unmarried at the age of fifty-six years, four months, two days; and Charles H., of Macungie, Pennsylvania.


p. 1078


Francis M. Heilig, a farmer near Pine Iron Works, in Douglass township, Berks county, Pa., was born in Cumru township, this county, March 2, 1846.

George Heilig, grandfather of Francis M., was born in Germany and came to America in his young manhood. In his earlier life he lived at Sumneytown, Montgomery Co., Pa., and then came to Berks county to live with his son Samuel at Seibert's forge, in Upper Tulpehocken township. He died near Shartlesville, about 1841 or 1842, well advanced in the eighties, and was buried at the Blue Mountain Church. He was tall, being fully six feet in height. A grandson, George W. Heilig, of Reading, says that his grandfather was bedfast for several years before his death. George W. Heilig married a Miller, and their eight children were: George, John, Charles, Samuel, Francis, Reuben, Mrs. Richard O'Connor and Mary (Molly).

Francis Heilig, son of George, lived at different places. For some years he had his home in Cumru township, where he was an iron worker at the Nicholas Yocum forge. Later he lived in District township, where for a number of years he operated a forge for himself. He then moved to Pricetown, and after four years there located in East Reading where he lived retired until his death about 1898, when he was aged eighty-five years, and he is buried at the Union Meeting House in Oley. He was a member of the Croll or New Lutheran Church. He married Esther Reichard, who died about 1887. They had eight children: Nathaniel, Jairus and William (twins), Elmira (m. David Rohrbach), Mary (m. Edward Druckenmiller), Amanda (m. John Bertolet), Francis M. and Jonathan.

Francis M. Heilig was a mere lad when his parents removed to District township, and there he grew up around his father's iron forge. After the close of the Civil war he went to Reading, and worked in the railroad shops as a carpenter, continuing there until his marriage in 1873. Two years later he moved to Douglass township, and settled on the farm on which he still resides. This farm consists of eighty acres, and was known as the John Mowdy farm, and still earlier belonged to the Eagle family. The present stone house was built in 1816. When Mr. Heilig bought his land in Douglass township, his acreage included the farm of fifty-seven acres now owned by his daughter, Lillie, wife of Thomas Kurtz, and the 147-acre farm of his son Arthur Heilig. The stone house on Mrs. Kurtz's place was built in 1777 by Charles Leopold, and in the south gable is a stone with the inscription "C. L. 1777." This house is still occupied as a dwelling. Mr. Heilig and his family belong to the United Evangelical Church at Pottstown.

In 1873 Mr. Heilig married Elizabeth Bertolet, daughter of Jacob Bertolet, a foremost citizen of Oley township, and sister of Israel Bertolet, president of the First National Bank of Oley. Ten children have blessed this union, as follows: Alice m. David Garte, a baker at Pottstown; Mabel m. William B. Wisler, of Pine Iron Works; Laura m. William Brunner, of Douglass township; Lillie m. Thomas Kurtz, of Douglass township; Miss Annie is at home; Arthur is a farmer on a farm adjoining his father's; Winfield is an insurance agent at Pottstown; Miss Bessie is at home, as are also Misses Ella and Hannah.

Samuel Heilig, son of George the emigrant ancestor, died at Reading in March, 1848, aged thirty-five years, and was buried at Trinity Lutheran Church in the little cemetery. He was an iron worker and forge man, and was employed at Seibert's forge in Upper Tulpehocken township, and at the Reading Steam Forge. He married Esther Dierolf, and they had eight children: Amelia, Anna, Emma, George W., and four that died young.

George W. Heilig, son of Samuel, was born in Upper Tulpehocken township, Berks county, Dec. 13, 1835. From his boyhood until he was eighteen he was bound out to Fred Beideman for board and clothing. After he was eighteen he attended White Hall Academy, in Cumberland county, Pa. In 1854 he was licensed to teach school by Rev. William A. Good, and in that year taught his first school in the free school of Upper Bern township, where he was engaged for two consecutive terms of three months each, at a salary of twenty-eight dollars per month. The following three terms he taught in Upper Tulpehocken township, and he then became clerk in Beideman's store, Shartlesville, for three years, being considered a very able salesman. From 1856 to 1859 he clerked at Strausstown for Joseph Potteiger, in the last year becoming a partner of his employer under the firm name of Potteiger & Heilig. This lasted six years and he then came to Shartlesville, where he kept a store for one year. He then became a bookkeeper for Kline & Eppihimer, Reading. In 1869 he was appointed assistant revenue assessor, which office he filled until 1886. In 1859 he married Catharine Reber, daughter of Jonathan Reber, and their children were: Albert R., Calvin, James, Irwin, Edward, Frederick, Harry, William (died aged six years), Clara J., Annie L., and Marie K.


p. 1435


Nathaniel Heilig, for twenty-five years one of the trusted employes in the Philadelphia & Reading blacksmith shops, whose death occurred in Reading Jan. 16, 1906. was born in Berks county, Pa., Oct. 30, 1838, son of Francis Heilig, a native of Pike township. Francis Heilig had a forge in his native township, where he lived for many years, but late in life came to Reading, where he died. He was the father of eight children,-three girls and five boys.

Nathaniel Heilig received his education in the public schools, and at an early age worked for his father at the forge. In 1870 he came to Reading, engaging at the blacksmith trade in the P. & R. shops, where he was employed for twenty-five years. being at the time of his retirement one of the oldest employes of his department. After retiring Mr. Heilig spent his remaining years in quiet at his home. He was buried at Charles Evans cemetery. Mr. Heilig married Caroline Rohrbach, daughter of George Rohrbach of Berks county, and she survives him and resides in Reading. Their children were: Priscilla, wife of Frank J. Boyer, the well-known publisher of Reading, who is also extensively interested in mining ventures, resides in Reading, and has had children-Ellen P., Howard, James H., Irvin, Florence, Harry, William, Edward and Charles (who died in infancy); Francis, a machinist employed by the P. & R. Co., resides at No. 1049 North Eleventh street, and married Katie Angstadt; and Elmer, who is also a machinist at the P. & R. shops. (married) resides at No. 1036 North Eleventh street, Reading.

Mr. Nathaniel Heilig was very well known in his community. and his death was a severe loss not only to his family, but to a large circle of warm friends. He was a member of the Ebenezer Evangelical Church.


p. 91-1385


Adam Heilman, late of Reading, Pa., was a native of Germany, born Feb. 24, 1820, son of Michael and Elizabeth (Miller) Heilman, both of whom died in the Fatherland.

Adam Heilman learned the trade of shoemaker in his native country, and on coming to America in 1838 he engaged at that occupation first in Philadelphia, where, however, he remained only five weeks. Removing to Reading, young Heilman engaged at his trade and made it his life work, his first place of business being at the present site of William Rosenthals printing establishment, which was owned by the Borrells, and later at No. 660 Penn street. Mr. Heilman remained at the latter place until February 1897, from which time and until his death he lived in retirement. He was what may well be called a self-made man. On his arrival in this county his capital was little more than a great amount of ambition, tireless energy and unbounded honesty. He was one of the successful men of his section. Always a good, skilled workman, he instructed others in his trade, and some of the leading shoemakers of Reading owe their success in the business to his valuable teachings.

In 1842, Mr. Heilman was married (first) to Hannah Miller, born in Amity township, Berks county, and seven children were born to this union, three of whom are living. On March 20, 1859, Mr. Heilman was married (second) to Mrs. Caroline Kieffer, and there were seven children born to this marriage also, five of them still surviving. In religious belief the family are Lutherans, and Mr. Heilman was prominent at the time of the erection of St. Johns Lutheran Church, in which he was an elder, trtrusteend deacon, and treasurer for seventeen years. In political matters he was a Democrat, but in local matters took an independent stand. He was connected with the I.O.O.F. and Teutonia Lodge, F. & A. M., of Reading. Mr. Heilman was well-known as a musician and in this connection was identified for many years with the old Germania Band.


p. 1511


Charles F. Heilman, a veteran of the Civil war, residing in Reading, is a German by birth, but from early childhood has lived in America. He was born in Wurtemberg, in 1845, son of John B. Heilman for many years one of the most respected residents of Reading.

John B. Heilman followed the calling of a shepherd in Germany, and remained in that country for a long time after his marriage. In 1852 he came to America to better his fortunes, and as he knew no one here, and had no special objective point, upon landing in New York, he went with a Mr. Haak, whom he had met on the boat, and who was going to Reading. Soon after his arrival in that city he secured employment in the shops of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, and remained with that company for a period of forty years, an unusual and honorable record. He made one trip back to his native home in Germany. John B. Heilman died May 10, 1903, aged eighty-five years. His wife, whose maiden name was C. Frederika Sturgzboch, had died many years before, Feb. 16, 1888, and both are buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. Their children were as follows: William T., a retired cigar manufacturer, residing with his sister, the widow of Judge Bruckman; Charles F.; Mark G., who is in the cigar business in Pottstown; John B., Jr., of Hot Springs. Ark.; and Caroline H., who married the late Judge George W. Bruckman.

Charles F. Heilman was seven years old when his parents came to Reading, and all of his education was received in American schools. After leaving the Reading public schools he learned cigarmaking with Charles Breneiser, remaining with him until the time of the Civil war. In 1864, at the age of nineteen he enlisted in Company E, 205th Pa. V. I., under Capt. William Walter, and during his term of service he was in the battles of Fort Steadman and Petersburg. He was discharged at Alexandria, Va., and mustered out at Harrisburg. Returning to Reading he spent three years in the shops of the Philadelphia & Reading railroad, as a molder, but at the end of that time he gave that trade up, and again took up cigarmaking, at which he has continued to work ever since. At present he is employed by the Yocum Brothers.

Mr. Heilman married Miss Ellen Nuss, daughter of Charles and Sarah (Rowe) Nuss. A family of six children has been born to this union, namely: Sadie, wife of Harry German. residing at No. 941 Washington street, Reading; John. employed at the Perkiomen Brick Plant; Maude E., at home; Harry, a cigarmaker by trade and a musician who is well-known locally; Luther, a musician, who married Miss Ada Geist: and Carrie, at home. The family reside at No. 115 North Ninth street. Reading. Mr. Heilman as an old soldier naturally is connected with the G. A. R., a member of Post No. 76, and he is also an Odd Fellow, belonging to Mt. Penn Lodge, No. 518.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:30 EDT

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