Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 648


John Hendel's sons. The hat business has constituted a prominent feature of the industrial life of Reading from the beginning of the place, and of all the numerous successful plants which have been carried on here during the past 160 years none has surpassed that which was established by John Hendel and his brother in 1871 on Fifth street below Laurel, and which has been owned and operated by John Hendel's sons in an equally successful manner since 1895.

In 1860, fifty years ago, Levi Hendel and two of his sons, John and George, embarked in the business of manufacturing wool hats at Adamstown, in Lancaster county (ten miles southwest from Reading), under the firm name of Levi Hendel & Sons, and there they carried on their factory for four years. The sons retiring from the firm, they then established a factory at St. Lawrence, in Exeter township, Berks county, a short distance beyond the Black Bear Inn, and after operating it three years moved to Reading, where they erected a more commodious plant on Maple street south of Chestnut. They carried on business there successfully for three years, when they sold the plant and dissolved the partnership. John Hendel then secured a hat factory at the corner of Eleventh and Spruce streets but he remained there only a year when he and his brothers, George and Henry B., trading as John Hendel & Bros., purchased the large "Wyomissing Woolen Mills" on South Fifth below Laurel, and equipped it with the most improved machinery, making it at that time (1871) one of the largest wool hat establishments in Pennsylvania.

Notwithstanding the growing uncertain conditions of the hat trade then, their enterprising spirit nevertheless asserted itself and they developed their business into larger proportions and carried on their plant with a greater number of employees. In 1879 (Jan. 1) the senior partner, John Hendel, admitted three of his sons (Levi H., Daniel J., and James M.) as partners, and the firm name was then changed to Hendel Brothers & Sons. Subsequently other partners were admitted at different times, and the business was carried on extensively until 1895 when the founders retired, and the firm was reorganized by three of John Hendel's sons (Daniel J., Edwin F., and Harrison P.), who purchased the plant and began to trade under the name of John Hendel's Sons.

In December, 1897, the firm determined to discontinue the further manufacture of wool hats and after re-constructing the large factory and equipping it with the latest improved machinery for the production of soft fur hats, medium grade, embarked in the new business, and since then they have manufactured large quantities of fur hats, which are sold at New York City through their own sales agents and shipped to jobbers in all parts of the United States and Canada. They began with 225 hands, but gradually increased their production until they came to employ 400 hands. Harrison P. Hendel, the youngest partner, whilst on a pilgrimage with the "Shrine" to the Pacific coast in 1907, was accidentally killed with many other Shriners from Reading at Honda, Cal., on May 11, and his interest in the firm was purchased immediately afterward by his two brothers, the surviving partners, who have continued the business under the name of John Hendel's Sons, keeping up the superior reputation and credit of the establishment which their enterprising father had created. He was born at Reading Sept 12, 1867, and acquired his education in the local schools and at Hackettstown, N. J. He then entered the office of his father's factory as a clerk, and filled this position in a most faithful manner until 1895, when he became on of the firm of John Hendel's Sons.

John Hendel was prominently engaged in the manufacture of wool hats for thirty-five years, and came to be identified with different financial institutions at Reading, more especially the First National Bank and the Reading Trust Company, of which he was a director for many years until his decease in March, 1905. He was very highly esteemed for his superior character as a man; and he had an exceptional career as one of the leading successful manufacturers at Reading for twenty-five years, having operated his large establishment in a most remarkable manner through all the costly fluctuations of that trying period. He was an earnest advocate of Republican principles and appreciated the great importance of supporting the doctrine of protection to home industries. He was a member of Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. and A. M., and of DeMolay Commandery, No. 9, K. T. He took an active interest in matters relating to the development of the Evangelical Church in this section of the State, and served for many years as a class-leader, steward and trustee.

Mr. Hendel was born at Adamstown, Lancaster county, Dec. 7, 1833, and, after receiving a limited education learned the trade of hatter under his father, an experienced hat manufacturer, and he was engaged at his trade at that place until 1860, when he formed a co-partnership with his father and his brother George. [For his subsequent career in the wool hat business, see previous sketch of John Hendel's Sons.] He married in 1853 Catharine Stieff, daughter of William Stieff, of Adamstown, and by her he had eleven children: Levi H., Daniel J., James M., John O., Mary A., (m. Walter A. Boas), George W., Charles W., Edwin F., Harrison P., Harvey H. and Catharine A. (m. George G. Guenther). John, George and Harvey died in their youth. James ably represented the firm for a number of years at New York City in the sale of their hats, and died in 1889, at the age of thirty-two years.

Levi Hendel was the father of John Hendel. He was born in Brecknock township, Lancaster county, in 1809, and having been left an orphan at the age of four years, was indentured to a neighboring farmer until his fourteenth year, when he was apprenticed to the hatter's trade under Philip Fichthorn, of Adamstown, the brother of his sister Theresa's husband, William Fichthorn. After becoming a proficient workman, he engaged in the business of manufacturing wool hats at Adamstown and he followed it until he died, in 1868. He married Susan Bollman, a daughter of Jacob Bollman, farmer of Cumru (afterward Spring) township, Berks county, and they had six children: John, George, Kate (m. Isaac Lausch), Henry, Louisa (m. William Humbert) and William. After the decease of his first wife, in 1862, he married Susan Will, a daughter of Henry Will, a coach-maker of Cumru township, and by her he had two children, Emma (m. Isaac Y. Spang) and Howard (who died in infancy). And his grandfather was John Hendel, who settled in Lancaster county, at Adamstown, where he carried on the business of cabinet-making. He married Catharine Auman, and they had three children; Levi, John and Theresa (m. William Fichthorn).

Daniel Jacob Hendel, the senior partner of John Hendel's Sons, manufacturers of hats at Reading since 1895, was born at Adamstown, Lancaster county, July 8, 1855. He received his preliminary education at Adamstown and Reading, and then took a course of advanced studies in Millersville State Normal School, for several years, until he was sixteen years of age. he then entered his father's hat factory at Reading for the purpose of learning the business in all its branches, and after serving a regular apprenticeship and working as a journeyman until he became of age he was appointed foreman of the finishing department, which imposed upon him as a young man a large share of responsibility. He managed this department for several years until 1879, when he was admitted as a partner, evidencing the skillful manner in which he had discharged his duties. Mr. Hendel continued with the firm until 1895, attending strictly to business and gradually assuming more and more responsibilities, when the firm was reorganized by the senior partner's three sons ( Daniel, Edwin and Harrison), who purchased the plant and took upon themselves its management, for which they had been gradually prepared by their father, and in which they have since been very successful, trading under the name of John Hendel's Sons. [See sketch of this firm.] He was made a Freemason in St. John's Lodge No. 435, F. and A. M., at Reading, in 1883, and was advanced to the thirty-second degree in the Philadelphia Consistory in 1891. He has also been identified with the Reading Commandery, No. 42, Knights Templar, of which he officiated as eminent commander, in 1894. Since 1906, he has served as a director of the First National Bank, of which his father had been one of the directors from 1879 to 1902.

In 1880 Mr. Hendel married Amanda M. Bachman, daughter of Charles S. Bachman (a successful merchant-tailor for many years at Reading) and Sarah F. Barndt, his wife, by whom he had three sons: George Stanley, Frederick Bachman and Harry Bachman--the last two having been twins, who died in youth.

Edwin Franklin Hendel, junior partner of John Hendel's Sons, was born at St. Lawrence, near Reading, March 30, 1866, and was an infant when his parents removed to Reading. He acquired his early education in the schools at Reading, and then attended an advanced school at Hackettstown, N. J. He learned the trade of hatter in his father's large establishment, where he was employed until 1895; then he and his two brother, Daniel and Harrison, formed a co-partnership of John Hendel's Sons and purchased the hat factory of Hendel Brothers, Sons & Co., including its extensive trade; and since then this co-partnership has carried on the business in a very successful manner. Mr. Hendel was made a Freemason in St. John's Lodge, No. 435, in 1903; and in June of that year he was advanced to the thirty-second degree in the Philadelphia Consistory.

In 1887 Mr. Hendel married Mary A. Faber, daughter of John T. Faber and Savilla Miller, his wife, of Reading, and they have two children: Raymond Harrison and Catharine Marie.


p. 564


George Hendel, hat manufacturer at Reading for over thirty-five years, was born in 1835, at Adamstown, Lancaster Co., Pa., where he received his education in the local public schools and then learned the hatter's trade in his father's factory. He continued in his father's employ until 1860, when the latter formed a co-partnership with him and his brother John, and they traded together under the name of Levi Hendel & Sons for four years. The partnership was then dissolved, and he and his brother John located at St. Lawrence, in Berks county, and there they carried on business until January, 1867, when they removed to Reading, having erected a plant on Maple street south of Chestnut. Here they traded for three years and then dissolved the partnership. In 1871, he and his brothers, John and Henry B., formed a co-partnership under the name of John Hendel & Bros., and purchased the Wyomissing Woolen Mills, situated on Fifth street below Laurel, which they remodeled and supplied with superior machinery for manufacturing wool hats, and he continued in the firm until 1895, when he sold his interest to his brother John. In 1878, Mr. Hendel erected a wool hat factory along the Wyomissing creek, near Shillington, and he and his brother John carried on business there until 1895 as Hendel Brothers; and in 1886, they erected another wool hat factory along the Cacoosing creek at Montello, which they operated under the name of Hendel Hat Company until 1895; then he purchased the interest of his brother in the two plants. The former was converted into a fur hat factory, and it has since been carried on by him and his two sons, trading as George Hendel & Sons, employing about 225 hands. The wool hat business in the Montello factory was continued by him and his two sons as the Hendel Hat Company until 1901, when they dismantled the plant and removed the machinery to a factory at Tenth and Spruce streets, Reading, and here they have continued the manufacture of wool hats under the same name until the present time, employing about one hundred hands.

Mr. Hendel was made a Free Mason in Chandler Lodge, No. 227; and he is a member of DeMolay Commandery No. 9, K. T. In politics he has been a Republican for fifty years; and in religious matters identified with the Evangelical church since 1864. He was married to Catharine Mohn, daughter of William Mohn and Polly Gerner his wife, by whom he has two sons; John R., and William H. His wife died in 1902. Mr. Hendel's father was Levi Hendel, a hat manufacturer at Adamstown for many years. [See sketch of his older brother John Hendel in this publication.]


p 989


John S. Hendricks, retired, was the senior member of the well known firm of Hendricks & Adams, manufacturers of "The Original Pretzel," of Reading. He was born Dec. 17, 1842, in Hilltown township, Bucks county, son of Benjamin B. Hendricks, a farmer of Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties, who spent the last few years of his life with his son, John S., in Reading, and there died when almost seventy-seven years of age. He married Elizabeth Swartz, and she died when thirty-five years old. Their children were: Barbara, Abraham, Isaac and John S.

John S. Hendricks received the greater part of his education in the district schools of Chester county, Pa., which he attended until seventeen years old. At the age of eighteen years, he enlisted (Sept. 3, 1861) in Company H. 50th Pa. V. I., and after serving his tem re-enlisted, and served gallantly through the following large engagements: the second battle of Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Knoxville, Wilderness, and Spottsylvania Court House, and was captured May 12, 1864, being held prisoner at Andersonville and Charlestown for nine months and fifteen days. He was discharged from the service Feb. 2, 1865, with a gallant record, and returned to Chester county, Pa., where he engaged at farm work until 1871. In that year he returned to Reading, and entered the employ of the late Benjamin Lichtenthaeler, where he remained for the term of twenty-one years and three months, a record of which he may well feel proud. Few men are better known in Berks and surrounding counties than is Mr. Hendricks, and there is none more popular than he.

Mr. Hendricks married, Feb. 4, 1874, Miss Emma Kroninger, daughter of the late David Kroninger, of Reading, and their children were: Edward; Bessie, deceased; Lillian, wife of Adam O'Harra; Sadie Maude, deceased; Paul, deceased in infancy; Henry, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy, Aug. 31, 1905; Florence, deceased; John W.; Warren, attending school; and Franklin, who died when seven years old.

In politics Mr. Hendricks is a Republican, but has not been active in his party, his extensive business operations having demanded his entire time and attention. He is a consistent member of the First Baptist Church of Reading. In fraternal circles Mr. Hendricks is connected with the Odd Fellows. He and his wife reside at No. 313 Franklin street, and are highly esteemed and respected by all.


p. 1440


William H. Hendricks, who has been engaged in the coal business in Reading, Pa., at Nos. 332-334 Canal street, since the spring of 1906, was born Sept. 30, 1853, in the city of Reading, son of Joseph and Sally (Kistner) Hendricks.

William H. Hendricks was educated in the schools of Reading, and as a boy was employed as a mule driver on the old Schuylkill Canal. From time to time he was promoted, finally becoming a captain of a canal boat, and later leased boats, doing a freighting business for several years form the coal mines to Reading. In the spring of 1906 Mr. Hendricks purchased his present coal yard, which is one of the finest in the city, and the capacity of which is 3,000 tons. Mr. Hendricks continues to lease canal boats, which bring his coal direct to his yards, he being the only dealer in the city who gets his coal direct from the anthracite fields.

On February 15, 1870, Mr. Hendricks was united in marriage with Miss Lillie A. Long, daughter of Charles Long, and to this union there have been born four children: Joseph and William, deceased; Harry, who is his father's assistant; and Sally, who became the wife of Samuel Loose. Mr. Hendricks has become well known in Reading where he bears a reputation for honesty and integrity. He is independent in his political views.


p. 605


The members of the Henne family referred to in this sketch are descended from Michael Henne, who passed his life in Berks county. He was born near Bernville, followed farming in that locality, and died there. He and his wife, whose maiden name was Catharine Haag, are both buried at Bernville. Their children were John, Michael, Daniel and Jared.

Jared Henne, son of Michael, was born July 2, 1831, and died Nov. 3, 1906, in Upper Tulpehocken township; he was buried at the Blue Mountain Church. He was a carpenter, following the trade most of his life. He married Sallie Fox, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Potteiger) Fox, and she still survives, making her home at Strausstown. They became the parents of five children: Aaron F.; Howard F.; Sallie, m. to Abraham Ritzman; Clara, m. to Wilson W. Strause; and John, m. to Agnes Feick.

Aaron F. Henne, eldest son of Jared Henne, was born Dec. 4, 1853, in Upper Tulpehocken township, learned the carpenter's trade with his father, and followed the same for twelve years. For five years he was in the mercantile business at Cross-kill Mills. For seven years he farmed on the Jacob Potteiger farm and for eight years on the Aaron Kern farm, in 1906 buying the old William Reber homestead, in Upper Tulpehocken township, near Strausstown, upon which he has since resided. The place comprises twenty-seven acres, to the cultivation of which he devotes his time. He married Hannah Ritzman, daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Wagner) Ritzman, and they have had two sons, Charles W. and William J., the latter a barber at Strausstown.

Charles W. Henne, son of Aaron F., was born Feb 12, 1879, in Upper Tulpehocken township, and received his education in the public schools. For three years after commencing to work he was engaged at clerking in the general stores of J. A. Smith and L. W. Ritzman at Strausstown, and Howard Long at Rehrersburg. On Aug. 1, 1899, he went to Reading, and learned the barber's trade from William Shearer, of No. 117 North Ninth Street. After completing his trade he returned home and opened the Lincoln Barber Shop, of which he is still proprietor, with his brother, William J., as his foreman. At Strausstown he learned the cigar business with John Bricker and Calvin Foreman, and in 1905 he opened the La Fama Cigar Company, embarking in business on his own account with only one employe. He now has from ten to fifteen men who turn out a high grade of work. His most popular brands, with more than local fame, are "La Fama 10," "Carrie May," "Henne Value," "1910," "Paddy's Delight," "Little Pets," "Dutch Charlie," "Henne's Reliable" and "The Cyclone."

Mr. Henne married Kate Unger, daughter of Abraham and Rebecca (Resh) Unger, and four children have been born to them: A son that died in infancy; Hannah R., who died when three years old; Carrie May, and Jacob A.

Mr. Henne is a Democrat in politics and interested in local affairs, having served two terms as assessor of Upper Tulpehocken township, being elected for the second term without opposition, and receiving the highest vote on the ticket. He is a member of Zion's blue Mountain Church (Lutheran). Socially he takes an active part in secret organizations, and is a member of the Masons, Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, P. O. S. of A. and P. O. of A.

Howard F. Henne, second son of Jared and Sallie (Fox) Henne, was born Nov. 9, 1855, in Jefferson township, and received his education in the public schools. When seventeen years old he went to learn the shoemaker's trade under J. A. Smith, at Strausstown, remaining with him for seven years, after which he went into business for himself at Strausstown, Upper Tulpehocken township, where he has continued to make his home until the present. He is kept busy doing fine custom work, having a large patronage in that line. Mr. Henne has other business interests, being treasurer of a building and loan association, and is a well-known resident of his locality. He has served as delegate to a number of county conventions, has been juryman several times, and has acted twice as judge of election, being quite active in local politics as a Democrat. He was formerly fire warden of upper Berks county, having been appointed to that office by the county commissioners; and has also served as school director of Upper Tulpehocken township.

Mr. Henne married Emma Henne, daughter of Moses and Leah (Feick) Henne, and they have had one son, Martyn R. Mr. Henne is a Lutheran in religion, an active member of Zion's Blue Mountain Church, which he has served as deacon, elder and trustee. He is active in fraternal circles, belonging to the P. O. S. of A. and I. O. O. F., and is particularly interested in the latter order, being a past grand of his home lodge, a member of the Ridgely Protective Association and a member of the Rebekahs. He was a representative to the Grand Lodge at Wilkes-Barre.

Martyn R. Henne, son of Howard F., was born Aug. 16, 1881, and received his early education in the public schools of his home neighborhood. Later he attended the Palmer's Business College of Philadelphia, and then took a special course at the Y. M. C. A., Philadelphia, in Advanced English, Business Law, etc., and also a series of lectures in Credits, and a course in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He was employed with the Central high school in Philadelphia for nine months, and for one year following was with Dr. Ernest La Place, also in Philadelphia, at the end of that time becoming connected with a plumbing supply house, with which he remained nine months. He has since held his present position, that of bookkeeper at the Northern National Bank of Philadelphia, with which he became connected in November, 1899. He is a director of the Pennsylvania Building and Loan Association, No. 2, and of the West Somerset Building and Loan Association, both of Philadelphia.

Mr. Henne is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of Lu Lu Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Philadelphia. He also belongs to the P. O. S. of A., at Strausstown; Verita's Lodge, No. 643, I. O. O. F., at Philadelphia; Palmer's Business College alumni; and to the American Institute of Banking, having been engaged with the latter organization in numerous capacities for a number of years.


p. 1123


Jacob W. Henne, a business man of Strausstown, Berks county, was born there Feb. 11, 1858, son of Moses and Leah (Feick) Henne. The family has long been settled in upper Berks county, his great-grandfather, John Henne, having lived in that section.

George Henne, son of John, lived in what was then Bern township, near Shartlesville, died there, and is buried at St. Michael's Church. He was a farmer and carpenter by occupation. He married Mary Grasy, and to them were born six children; Elias died at Shartlesville; Levi died in Schuykill county; Joel died at Shartlesville; Moses is mentioned below; James died in the West; Rachel married Solomon Seyfert.

Moses Henne, father of Jacob W., was born June 7, 1828, in Upper Bern township, died Sept. 3, 1901, and is buried at the Blue Mountain Church, Strausstown. When a young man he followed farming, but later he engaged in the hotel business at Strausstown, continuing in that line for a period of thirty-seven years, and he was very well known and much respected. He married Leah Feick, daughter of Christian and Elizabeth (Shade) Feick, born Oct. 10, 1828; Mrs. Henne is still living at Strausstown. To this union were born children as follows: Sarah m. Wilson Keener, a carpenter; Emma m. Howard F. Henne, a shoemaker; Cassie and Katie are unmarried; Dianna m. C. V. Reber, an undertaker, of Strausstown; Mary is unmarried; William died in 1899; Jacob W. is in business at Strausstown.

Jacob W. Henne attended the public schools of his home locality, and after leaving school was first employed with his father. He then learned cigar-making, which trade he followed for a period of twenty-five years, during twenty of which he was engaged as a manufacturer at Strausstown. In 1899, Mr. Henne embarked in the carriage business, which he has continued, dealing largely in buggies, carriages and harness, at Strausstown, and since 1901 he has also conducted a general store there, having a large and well stocked stock.

Mr. Henne married Rebecca Schaeffer, daughter of Mr. Jacob Schaeffer and wife (whose maiden name was Potteiger) of Jefferson township. He is a Lutheran member of Zion's Blue Mountain Church, Strausstown, Pa., and is a Republican in political sentiment.


p. 466


The Henne family was settled in Bucks county, Pa., in 1771 by Samuel and Daniel Henne. In Berks county it dates back to Samuel Henne, who was born in Tulpehocken, now Jefferson township. He is buried at Blue Mountain church in Upper Bern township. By occupation he was a farmer and carpenter, and owned a small farm of fifteen acres, which he operated in addition to working at his trade. A Democrat in politics, he served a period of two terms as supervisor of the township, and was a member of the State militia. He married Barbara Noll, daughter of Peter Noll, of Lebanon county. Their children were: Samuel, a carpenter of Strausstown; Willoughby, of Schuylkill Haven, a contractor and builder; Malinda (m. Josiah Boltz, and died in 1907); Barbara (m. Albert Leminger, a veteran of the Civil war who died in 1898 in Lebanon); John of Williamsport, a carpenter; Ephraim; Adam, a carpenter of Schaefferstown; Levi, a contracting plasterer of Hamburg.

Ephraim Henne, son of Samuel and father of Oscar, was born in Jefferson township, July 8, 1853. He attended the public school of his district, and when fifteen years old went to Pittston, Pa., to learn the carpenter's trade. In 1881 he and his family moved to Schuylkill Haven, and there he followed his trade until 1901 when he came to Reading, and now resides at No. 361 Schuylkill avenue, busily engaged in contracting and building. He has been identified with many building operations at Reading and throughout Berks county, being recognized as an excellent workman. On May 23, 1873, Mr. Henne married Miss Kate Zerby, a daughter of John Zerby (whose wife was a Hiester), of Upper Tulpehocken township. Their children are: Oscar D.; James I. died in infancy; Minerva m. Calvin Fitler; Sadie m. Dr. Harry Rentschler; Charles E. died at the age of six; Beulah; Mary died in childhood; Elsie; Herman; Martin. Mr. Henne is an independent voter, casting his ballot for the man he believes best fitted for the place without regard to party lines. He is a member of St. Matthews Lutheran church, and he is a man widely known and universally respected. Oscar D. Henne, building inspector of Reading and a man of high standing in the community, was born in Upper Bern, Berks Co., Pa., March 9, 1874.

When only eight years of age his parents moved to Schuylkill Haven, and there he attended excellent schools, although he left school when quite young to learn the carpenter's trade under his father. In 1893 he went to Wilkes Barre, where he was in the employ of M. B. Houpt & Son in their planing mill. After a year, in 1894 he removed to Philadelphia, and worked for D. Dougherty, a large contractor. In 1896 he left his employ and traveled in Indiana and Minnesota, working at his trade until 1898, and seeing much of the country. In the last named year, he returned home and enlisted in Company F, of Pottsville Pa., 4th Reg. Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served throughout the entire Porto Rico campaign. In Porto Rico he was promoted to the rank of artificer, and when he was mustered out Nov. 17, 1898, he was so recorded. In 1899 he came to Reading and engaged in contracting and building, following these lines successfully until May 1, 1908, when he was appointed by Hon. William Rick building inspector of the city of Reading, which responsible position he now holds, his practical knowledge of contracting and building making him an excellent city official.

Mr. Henne resides in his own home at No 134 West Greenwich street, Fifteenth ward, of Reading. He is a Republican in politics, and is very prominent in the ranks of his party. He belongs to the Lutheran church, while his wife is a member of the Reformed church.

On Nov. 21. 1903, Mr. Henne married Emily Tyson, daughter of Irwin and Ellen (Becker) Tyson, of Schuylkill Haven, and they have one son, Allen T. Naturally Mr. Henne is regarded as one of the leading young men of Reading, whose business and political future is very bright. He comes of good, solid stock, originally German, but now thoroughly Americanized, and is a fair example of vigorous, sturdy American manhood.


p. 1018


Hiram L. Henninger, assistant superintendent of the Charles Evans cemetery, of Reading, is a representative of a family that has lived in Berks county for a century and a quarter, if not even longer.

John Henninger, his paternal grandfather, was born in Windsor township, Berks county, July 17, 1788. He was married by Rev. Mr. Muhlenberg to Miss Sarah Rapp, and eight children were born to them, viz.: William, April 25, 1815; Mary A., Sept. 18, 1816; Catherine, April 25, 1818, who married Jacob Young; Frederick R., June 25, 1820; Sarah C., July 8, 1822; John R., Aug. 18, 1824; Hiram L., Dec. 11, 1826; and Charles B., Dec. 10, 1828.

Charles B. Henninger, father of Hiram L., claimed Kutztown as his place of birth. His education was acquired in the public schools of Berks county, and he grew up on his father's farm, inured to farm labor. At the age of fourteen he came to Reading to learn cabinet-making, and after finishing his apprenticeship he worked for Jacob Ritter till 1857. Feeling able by that time to start out for himself, he opened an undertaking business, with an extensive furniture branch, locating at No. 716 Penn street. He carried on both branches of his business till 1860 when he closed out the furniture store and gave his whole attention to the other part. In 1878 he took in his son F. Irwin as a partner, but the latter died while still a young man, in 1892, and the following year Mr. Henninger made his younger son, Hiram L., his associate. Five years later the father retired from business, having amassed a comfortable competence and won for himself an honored place among Reading's business men. He married Miss Rebecca Kreider, and their union was blessed with seven children as follows: Theodore, deceased; Charles, deceased; F. Irwin, who died in 1892, aged thirty-nine; Sarah A.; Emma L.; Mrs. Robert Seidel; Lillian M.; Mrs. Herbert Stroup; and Hiram L. Mr. Henninger was a Lutheran in religious belief, as was also his wife. In politics he was well known in Reading, having served as a member of the common council elected on the Republican ticket, and having shown himself there a faithful servant of the people. At one time he was also interested in fraternal work and belonged to ten lodges.

Hiram L. Henninger was born in Reading Nov. 19, 1855, and received his education in the city schools. He early entered his father's employ, and was thoroughly trained in his work, so that he was well able to carry on his father's work when the latter retired. As stated above, he was in partnership with his father some years, and then after 1897 conducted the business alone. In July, 1902, he sold out his establishment to his cousin Hunter Henninger, and has, since then, been appointed assistant superintendent of the Charles Evans cemetery. He is a familiar figure in lodge circles, being a member of the Knights of Malta, Knights of the Golden Eagle and the Junior O. U. A. M.

Mr. Henninger is married and resides at present at No. 1354 Perkiomen avenue.


p. 1191


Hunter Henninger, funeral director at Reading for upward of twenty years, was born at Reading April 26, 1863. After receiving his education in the local schools and Brunner's Business College, he entered the employ of his father for the purpose of learning the business of conducting funerals, and he continued in his father's employ until 1885, when he became a partner. The business was then conducted under the name of J. R. Henninger & Son until the decease of the father in December, 1890, when the son became the sole owner; and he has since carried it on in a very successful manner. In July, 1902, he enlarged his business by purchasing the undertaking establishment of Charles Henninger & Son, at No. 716 Penn street, and upon taking possession of this long established stand he tore down the factory on the rear of the premises and erected in its stead a modern undertaker's plant with the latest improvements for embalming and operating a morgue, making it one of the most complete in the eastern Pennsylvania. Being thoroughly experienced in the business, with an extended acquaintance in the community, he has a large patronage. He is frequently engaged to conduct funerals from Reading to distant places where interment is made, and also to conduct them to Reading from distant places to make interment here. His urbanity and thoughtfulness in the performance of his delicate duties in the hour of bereavement are highly appreciated.

Mr. Henninger has become prominently identified with Free Masonry at Reading, being a past master of Reading Lodge No. 549, a past high priest of Chapter No. 152, and a past commander of De Molay Commandery No. 9, Knights Templar. He is also a member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of the Royal Order of Scotland, Knights of the Golden Eagle, Knights of Friendship, Royal Arcanum and Progressive Americans.

Mr. Henninger was married in 1890 to Rebecca Boyer, a daughter of B. Frank Boyer, Esq., of Reading, and she died in 1893. In 1900 he was married to Gertrude C. Gerhart, a daughter of Dr. Erasmus and Agnes (Weber) Gerhart, of Millersburg, in Bethel township, Berks county, and by her has two children: Maryan Gerhart and John Hunter. She attended the local schools of Reading and was graduated from the Girls' High School of Reading with distinction in 1895; after which she taught school in Marion township for one term and in Reading for four terms. Since her marriage she has taken much active interest in the Daughters of the American Revolution, being a member of that distinguished society at Reading. Her lineage shows that she has six ancestors who were enlisted in the Colonial army. Mr. Henninger and his family are members of the Second Reformed Church.

Mr. Henninger's father was John Rapp Henninger, who was born at Kutztown. There he earned the trade of shoemaking, which he followed at that place; also at Milton and at Reading, locating at the last named place some time before 1860, and embarking in the shoe business at No. 715 Penn street. During 1861 and 1862, he manufactured many thousand pairs of shoes for the United States government. In 1863 he entered the employ of his brother Charles, to assist in conducting funerals. He continued with him until 1870, when he engaged in the business for himself, locating at 1025 Penn street; and he continued until his decease in December, 1890, dying at the age of sixty-seven years. He was married to Maryan Latimer Hunter, daughter of John Hunter of Ireland and Sarah Ramsay, his wife, of Scotland, they having immigrated to Pennsylvania. The daughter was born and brought up in the vicinity of Milton, Pa., moved to Reading, and died in 1891, aged sixty-eight years. They had twelve children, four dying early in life. The others were: Sarah, William, Mary, Nathaniel, Martha, Annie, Hunter and Clara.

His grandparents were John Henninger and Sarah Rapp, his wife; and his great-grandparents, Johannes Henninger and Maria Dorothea Kettra.


p. 762


John H. Henninger, who conducts a grocery and market at No. 122 Hamilton street, Reading, was born in 1862, in Bethel township, Berks county, son of Isaac and Malinda (Stoop) Henninger, the former of whom followed agricultural pursuits throughout his life in Bethel township, where he died in the faith of the Lutheran Church. The parents of John H. Henninger had three children, Cyrenus W., John H. and Thomas M.

John H. Henninger received his educational advantages in the schools of his native township, and his boyhood was spent much the same as other Pennsylvania farmer lads. He worked on his father's farm until fifteen years of age, when he hired out among the farmers in his vicinity, finally acquiring enough to rent a farm. This he cultivated for fourteen years, and then engaged in butchering, at which business he continued until 1903, and in this year came to Reading, establishing his present business. He carries a full line of meats and fancy and staple groceries, and from the start his business has been steadily growing. He is an honest and upright business man, and deserves the patronage of his community.

Mr. Henninger married, in 1882, Susan Brown, of Brownsville, Pa., and to this union were born six children, four of whom are deceased, two sons and two daughters. Those surviving are Paul and Robert, the latter of whom married Annie Miller, of Fleetwood, Pa. In his religious belief Mr. Henninger is a Lutheran. In political matters he is a supporter of the principles of the Democratic party.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:32 EDT

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