Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 894


Roger S. Hoover, station agent and despatcher for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company at Tuckerton, Berks county, was born Aug. 22, 1861, in Penn township, Berks county, son of John H. and Elvina K. (Snyder) Hoover, and a grandson of John Hoover.

John Hoover, the grandfather, settled in Maiden-creek township, Berks county, where he followed the trade of millwright for a number of years. He died, however, in Heidelberg township. He married Katharine Hottenstein, and their children were: Joseph, of Reading; Catherine; John H.; Henry, deceased; and Mary, who married Samuel Kehr. In religious belief the family were Reformed, and in politics the men were Democrats.

John H. Hoover, father of Roger S., was born in Maiden-creek township, where he received most of his education. After attending a school at Holyoke, Mass., he commenced school teaching, which he followed for many years, abandoning this profession to go into the general mercantile business at Brownsville, with his brother Joseph. Subsequently he engaged in farming. He died in Penn township, Jan. 1, 1904, when he had reached his seventy-third year. His wife is still living at the age of seventy-three. To Mr. and Mrs. Hoover were born these children: Catherine, who married (first) Edwin Rickenbach and (second) Franklin Bagenstrose; Calvin, who in 1892 was appointed professor in History in the university at Valparaiso, Ind.; Roger S.; David S., who married Emma Knoll; Mary, who married Adam D. Bagenstrose; Samuel S., who married Katie Hain; Francis, at home; Helen, who married Thomas Degler; and John and Jacob, who died in infancy.

Roger S. Hoover was educated in the common schools of his native township, and his first work after his schooling was over was as a farm laborer. At the age of eighteen years he went to work on the canal, where he was employed for seven years, and then learned telegraphy. In 1887 he engaged with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company as telegrapher, and March 5, 1890, he accepted the position of night operator at Tuckerton, being appointed in 1892 to the position of station agent and despatcher. In 1891 Mr. Hoover was married to Anna K. Madeira, daughter of Nicholas and Lydia (Koller) Madeira, and four children have been born to this union: Byron, Miles, Lillian and Emily. In religious belief the family are Reformed. Mr. Hoover is independent in politics, and is fraternally connected with Leesport Lodge, No. 141, I. O. O. F., the Philadelphia & Reading Relief Association, and the Loyal Protective Association.


p. 1036


Samuel S. Hoover, justice of the peace of Penn township, is an enterprising business man of Mount Pleasant, and belongs to one of Berks county's old and honored families. Mr. Hoover was born July 28, 1870, in Penn township, son of John H. and Elvina (Snyder) Hoover.

John Hoover, the great-great-great-grandfather of Samuel S., in 1724 settled on 1,000 acres of land near where the village of Reamstown, Lancaster county, now stands. It is thought he was a native of Austria. His son, Francis Joseph Hoover, was the father of Joseph Hoover, the great-grandfather of Samuel S. He was born in Lancaster county, and spent his life on a farm about five miles northwest of Reamstown. He married Jane Keating, and they had the following children: John, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, William, Nancy (who married Isaac Foltz) and Margaret.

Of this family John Keating Hoover, the grandfather of Samuel S., was born near Reamstown, in West Cocalico township, Lancaster county, Nov. 11, 1793, and died in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county, April 10, 1864. He is buried at the Corner Church near Robesonia. He came to Berks county when twenty-one years of age, locating in Maidencreek township, where he followed the trade of miller and millwright, and also owned a small farm on which he carried on agricultural operations. He died in his seventy-first year. His first wife was Catherine Hottenstine, whom he married in Reading in 1822, and they had five children: Joseph H., born Sept. 8, 1823, who married (first) Annie Reihould, and (second) Amanda Frees; Mary, deceased, who married Samuel Kehr; Henry, who died in Franklin county, Pa.; John H.; and Catherine, living in Reading. The grandfather's second marriage was to Catherine Berger, of Oley township, and to this union there was born one son, Rev. Francis, a Lutheran minister of Lockport, N. Y., who married Jennie Hedley.

John H. Hoover, father of Samuel S., was formerly a well-known schoolmaster in Bern, Penn and Lower Heidelberg townships, and later became a clerk at Centreville. At the time of his death he was engaged in farming in Penn township, where he passed away in 1904; he was buried at Belleman's Church. He married Elvina Snyder, daughter of Abraham Snyder, and they had these children besides Samuel S.: Kate, who married Frank Backenstose; Prof. C. S., who is teaching history at Valparaiso, Ind.; Roger S., ticket agent at Tuckerton for the Philadelphia & Reading railroad; David S., a saddler at Fleetwood; Mary, who married Adam D. Backenstose; Frances S., unmarried and at home in Penn township; Helen, who married Thomas Degler, of Ruscombmanor township; John and Jacob, who died young; and two who died in infancy. Samuel S. Hoover attended the public schools of West Leesport, and later the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, after leaving which he taught school for one term in North Heidelberg, two terms in Bern and six terms in Penn township. In 1899 he became connected with Ahrens & Richardson, in the creamery business, and he now has charge of the Mt. Pleasant creamery. Mr. Hoover is a Democrat, and in addition to having served his township as auditor, he is now serving his second term as justice of the peace. He was one of the original board of directors of the First National Bank of Bernville. His religious connection is with the Hain's Church. Mr. Hoover married Katie Susanna Hain, only daughter of John W. and Mary (Henninger) Hain, of Wernersville, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Hoover live in Mount Pleasant, and they have been blessed with one daughter, Mary E.


p 1013


Charles H. Hoppes, one of the progressive men of Oley township, a school director and a well known man, was born in this township, Nov. 15, 1866, son of Daniel R. Hoppes, and grandson of Solomon Hoppes.

(I) Solomon Hoppes for many years was engaged in making pumps in Oley township, and was one of the well known men of Berks county. His wife was of the Rowe family, and they had three children-Obediah, Amos and Daniel R.

(II) Daniel R. Hoppes was born in Oley township in 1838, and died Feb. 10, 1900, being buried at Friedens cemetery. He was also a pump maker, having learned his trade from a Mr. Derr at Oley or Friedensburg. He followed this calling all of his active life, and was noted for his excellent work and strict integrity of character. He married Amelia Haas, daughter of Abraham Haas, and they had children as follows: John is of Barto, Pa.; Mary m. Peter Fry; Charles H.; Catharine m. Jonas Reider; Daniel H. is a blacksmith by trade, and employed by his brother.

(III) Charles H. Hoppes attended the public schools of Oley township until he was eighteen, when he went to Oley to learn the blacksmith's trade under Jeremiah Hauck. In 1888 he embarked in business for himself, and in 1895 he erected a fine modern shop, and he has one of the best stands in Berks county. Mr. Hoppes devotes a good deal of his time to handling farm implements, and in the spring of 1908 he purchased a large stock as well as the good will of Ammon S. Hartman of Oley and is doing a thriving business, which shows a healthy increase.

Mr. Hoppes married Miss Catharine Bower, a daughter of Jeremiah and Catharine Bower, of Oley. They have two children: Amelia B. and Edwin B. Mr. Hoppes is a Democrat, and for fifteen years he served his township as auditor, and in 1907 was elected to the position of school director. He is a Lutheran in religious faith and one of the most liberal contributors to his church in the community. Energetic, hard working and an excellent business man, Mr. Hoppes is easily one of the leading men of his township.


p. 1616


The Hornberger family of Berks and surrounding Counties had its origin in Johann Carl (Charles) and his son Conrad Hornberger, who emigrated from Switzerland. The Pennsylvania Archives give the date of their landing at Philadelphia as Sept. 5, 1730. When (I) Carl Hornberger left his native land and sailed for the New World on the ship "Alexandria Ann," he was accompanied by his wife, Anna Eva, and at least two sons, the one Conrad, and another who died enroute and was buried at sea. This emigrant family brought with them a Bible, in which was kept the family register, but unfortunately this precious book fell into the possession of a later family of Hornbergers who moved to Illinois, and who, not appreciating it's priceless value, permitted it to become the plaything of children, and it's destruction followed as a matter of course.

In 1759 Johann Carl Hornberger paid a federal tax of 9 in Brecknock township, Berks county. His will is on record in the Berks county court-house, and was probated in 1786, the year of his death. In it he mentions that he himself was old in years; and refers to these children: Conrad, George Frederick (whose place of settlement is unknown), Maria Eva, and John Jacob (who settled in Lancaster county.

(II) Conrad Hornberger, son of Johann Carl, was born in the Old World, and as stated accompanied his parents to Pennsylvania. He was a blacksmith by trade, and made his home in Brecknock township near Gouglersville, where he owned a tract of upward of three hundred acres of land. This tract in later years became the property of his son, Conrad, Jr. His wife was Catharine Huffert. He died in 1796, and in that year his will was probated. In this document he mentions children: David; Conrad; Carl; Margaret; Catharine; Magdalena; and Mary.

(III) Conrad Hornberger, Jr., son of Conrad, was a farmer and distiller in Brecknock township, owning his father's estate, which consisted originally of about three hundred acres, and which in time was divided into three tracts and shared among three sons. A. S. Deisher, of Reading, now owns 197 acres of it. Conrad Hornberger was born Oct. 6, 1771, and died June 20, 1851, aged nearly eighty years, and is buried at Gouglersville, Berks county. He married Elizabeth Mosser, born Dec. 25, 1779, who died on her birthday seventy-six years later. Their children were: (1) Isaac (born Jan. 22, 1802, died aged fifty seven years, fifteen days), a farmer on a part of the homestead, married Hannah Ruth. (2) William H. is mentioned below. (3) John (born Dec. 19, 1805, died April 15, 1887), who also owned part of the homestead, m. Hannah Grant (1816-1885). (4) Kate m. George Marks (son of George Marks, Sr.), who was a laborer in Cumru township. (5) Joseph M. (born March 18, 1812, died Aug. 18, 1894, aged eighty-two years, five months) m. (first) Cassie (or Catharine) Spatz, by whom he had eleven children, (second) Mary Burns (born Nov. 27,1827, daughter of Jacob Burns, died Oct. 5, 1868, aged forty years, ten months, eight days), by whom he had one son and (third) Barbara Warner, daughter of Joseph. (6) Elizabeth m. Joseph Hemmig, of Cumru township. (7) Conrad, born Oct. 6, 1809, died Dec. 7, 1899, aged ninety years, two months, one day. He was a well-known man, at one time conducting the "Leopard Hotel," at Baumstown, Pa., and later the "Angelica Hotel." He m. Bertha Hemmig (1807-1875, daughter of David and Catharine Hemmig), and they had a large family --Catherine, James (born March 12, 1835), Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, Emma, Maggie, Rufus, Sebastian and John. (8) Catherine m. Nathan Miller. (9) Susanna m. Jeremiah Moore. (10) Emanuel died unmarried when aged about fifty years. He was an invalid. (11) Richard (born Sept. 16, 1816, died April 21, 1892, aged seventy-five years, seven months, five days) m. Polly Grill (1825-1885), was a farmer and lived on part of the old homestead. He served as school director and was well-known in his community. (12) Mary m. John Brendel, who moved by team to Mifflin county, Pennsylvania. (IV) William H. Hornberger, son of Conrad, Jr., was born Feb. 4, 1804, in Brecknock township. He died Dec. 1, 1887, aged eighty-three years, nine months, twenty-seven days. He was an able horseman, and always had a fine team of well-kept horses, in which he took a deep interest. At the age of fourteen years he began driving a six-horse team, drawing a big Conestoga wagon. At this time there were no canals or railroads, and he made frequent trips to Philadelphia, taking down flour and bringing back merchandise and freight for the settlers of Cumru and the people of Reading. During these trips he would feed and stable his team under the clear sky. He had oil blankets with which he covered his horses, and often on winter mornings they stood in deep snow that came up to their bellies. Mr. Hornberger would sleep on or under the wagon, rolled up in blankets, with a revolver in each hand, for robberies and murders were frequent, and on the return trip he had upon his person from $500 to $2500 in money. He was never robbed and never lost a cent, but he always was on guard, and because of his strength and great courage was much feared by the robbers. Several times upon his arrival home during the winter, he had to be lifted from his saddle horse, his legs and feet being so stiff that his sister Elizabeth (Mrs. Hemmig) soaked his frozen boots and stocking from his feet with hot water before he could walk.

In 1824 he hauled the first lumber from Marietta, Lancaster county, for the construction of the county almshouse. Mr. Hornberger was not only a famous teamster, but also one of the best farmers of the county, and was widely known. He possessed considerable property, owning the tract of land in Cumru township, now belonging to Harry Frey, as well as other land. In his later life, while in the field plowing, Almighty God in a wonderful way manifested Himself to him. He was a member of the Evangelical Church of Mohnsville, and an ardent Christian until his death. He was bitterly opposed to the use of tobacco and spiritous liquors, and was a model man in every way, and was very much esteemed. His death was a loss to the community, where he was regarded as a valuable and good man. In politics he was a Republican, and he served as supervisor of his township.

William H. Hornberger married Nellie Deeds, born April 3, 1806, daughter of Henry W. and Mary (Warner) Deeds of Cumru township. She died Jan. 1, 1888, aged eighty-one years, eight months, twenty-eight days. She bore him the following children: Harriet m. Reuben Gring. Cyrus D. is mentioned below. Joseph D. is mentioned below. William, who was a farmer in Cumru, m. Amanda Hemmig. Ellen m. Joseph Swartz. Mary, born June 11, 1846, m. Samuel K. Miller, of Mohnton, Pa. Catharine m. Henry Trout.

(V) Cyrus D. Hornberger, son of William H.., was born in Cumru township, Berks county, July 14, 1832, and since March, 1906, has lived retired in Reading. His youth was passed on the farm, and he learned the gun-barrel manufacturing business form his uncle, Henry W. Deeds of Cumru. This vocation he followed for three years, and then went to the wheelwright trade, which he followed at Mohnton for thirty years. He worked at carpentering for some two years, and then began farming on his sixty[three acre tract at Mohnton, In 1879 he built the present house in this land, and the following year, 1880, he erected the barn. He farmed eight years, and then, building a comfortable brick house at Mohnton, moved there, and made it his home until his removal to Reading. From 1874 to 1889 he carried on hat manufacturing in a factory he had erected the former year. In 1866 he built a grist-mill, developed the water-power, and after operating it a few years sold it to Reuben Gring; and he also erected the water-power of the Globe Hat Works, how the property of his son, Aaron S. Mr. Hornberger was a prominent man in his day, and it can be truly said that the world benefited by his useful life. He was a man of progress and enterprise. He owned considerable property which was covered with timber when he obtained it. This he cut down, cleared the soil of rocks and stumps, and he donated the land to the Reading and Southwestern Street Railway Company as an inducement to build their line to his town -- the only man to do so. He still owns property in Cumru, and four dwellings and a building in Mohnton, of which town he was one of the founders, the other surviving founder being Samuel K. Mohn. The town was named in honor of Mr. Mohn's father and himself.

On Oct 1, 1854, Mr. Hornberger married Caroline Spatz, born Dec. 8, 1833, daughter of John and Mary (Heberling) Spatz of Cumru. Six children were born of this union, namely: Milton S., who died in 1886, is mentioned farther on; Joanna, who m. the late James Westley, now resides at No 420 North Twelfth street, Reading; Josephus S. is mentioned below; Aaron S.; Cyrus lives at Toledo, Ohio; and Emma died in 1886, aged fourteen years.

(VI) Milton S. Hornberger, son of Cyrus D., was born May e, 1856, and he died March 2, 1886, in the faith of the Evangelical Church, of which he was an official member. For a number of years he was a surveyor at Mohnton, and he also served in the capacity of engineer in the Hornberger & Co. hat factory. He was known as a man of integrity and honesty. In 1882 he married Emma German, born April 30, 1857, daughter of George and Kate (Dietrich) German, natives of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, and three children were born of this union: Mabel, a seamstress at Mohnton; Harry G.; and Milton G., a hat finisher.

(VII) Harry G. Hornberger, an enterprising young business man of Mohnton, Pa., where he is extensively engaged in contracting and building, was born Nov. 12, 1884, in Mohnton, Pa., a son of Milton S. and Emma (German) Hornberger, and grandson of Cyrus D. Hornberger, mention of whom is made fully elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Hornberger was educated in the schools of his native township, and also took a complete architectural course in the International Correspondence School of Scranton, Pa., When seventeen years of age, he went to learn the carpenter's trade with Jacob F. Westley, of Mohnton, Pa., and at the time of Mr. Westley's death, Feb. 7, 1906, Mr. Hornberger became his successor. He has continued the business to the present time, employing on an average six skilled mechanics, and among the buildings erected by him may be mentioned: the large Mohnton Knitting Mills; Hendel's Hat Factory (remodeled); the Fritztown Knitting Mills; the residence of Oswin F. Kroyer, of Edison; the Albert H. Tobias double building, dwelling and cigar factory, at Edison; the Mt. Pleasant public school in Cumru, and a number of others. Mr. Hornberger is a man of enterprise and progressive ideas, and is succeeding through his business ability, his integrity, and his willingness to live up to the letter of each contract. In politics he is an independent voter. Fraternally he is connected with Washington Camp. P. O. S. of A., and with Hillside Camp, No. 8020, Modern Woodmen of American, both of Mohnton, Pennsylvania.

(VI) Josephus S. Hornberger, son of Cyrus D. proprietor of a lake and park at Mohnton, and a well-known clothier at reading, Pa., was born Jan. 11, 1861. He spent his boyhood days upon the farm, and attended the local schools of this township, which he left when sixteen years old o learn carpentering from his father. He followed that trade for a few years. In 1881, he learned the hatter's trade, at which he was engaged until about 1886, when he commenced farming on his father's place, which came into his possession in later years. When he farmed he also did general hauling for the business men of Mohnton. In 1889 he sold his farm stock and moved to Mohnton, engaging in the ice business, which he conducted successfully for ten years. He served the trade not only at Mohnton, but also at Reading, continuing there until 1899, when he leased his plant to the Reading Cold Storage Ice Company. In 1909 Mr. Hornberger purchased the good will, fixtures and stock of the Morris Weil Clothing House, located at No. 642 Penn street, Reading, one of the oldest and best-known clothing houses of the city. He then formed a partnership with his son, Alvin M., under the firm name of J. S. Hornberger & Co., and they enjoy in a large measure the patronage of the people of Berks and surrounding counties. They carry a large line of up-to-date goods. Recently Mr. Hornberger purchased a tract of woodland, cut the wood, and used it in the construction of lake at Mohnton, which covers an area of six and one-half acres. This lake and the adjoining park make one of the pleasure resorts of the district. Mr. Hornberger has several steel rowboats and one naptha launch upon the lake, all of which are in constant use during the summer. On Nov. 29, 1906, his boat house was destroyed by fire and a launch which cost his $700 was burned. He has since replaced it. Jr. Hornberger is a stockholder in the Merchants & Traders Oil Company, of Ohio. He is president of the H. S. Hornberger Wholesale Ice Company, and is at present busily engaged in building six large ice house, with concrete abutments, for the use of this concern, which disposes of about fifteen thousand tons of ice annually and is steadily adding to its trade. Besides his handsome residence, Mr. Hornberger owns twelve other dwellings in his town, and the sixty-two and a half acres of farm land which belonged to his father. He undoubtedly inherits his love for fine horses, and one of his prize possessions in "Hilker, a pacing horse with a record of 2:15 made at "Three Mile House" in 1906. He is a republican in politics and socially is a member of Tent No. 426, K. O. T. M., of Reading, the largest Tent in the State. He and his family are members of the Salem Evangelical Association of his town.

On Aug. 23, 1881, Mr. Hornberger was married to Kate G. Mosser, daughter of Nicholas and Sally (Grill) Mosser, and they have one son and one daughter, namely: (1) Alvin M., who is a graduate of the township high school and the Schissler Business College (class of 1900), Norristown, Pa., is a member of the firm of J. S. Hornberger & Co. He m. Mame E. Johnson, daughter of J. M. Johnson, contractor of water works, of Millersburg, Dauphin Co., Pa., and they reside at No. 243 South Twelfth street, Reading. Mrs. Alvin M. Hornberger is a graduate of Freeburg Musical College, class of 1897, and is an accomplished musician and a talented vocalist. (2) Charlotte E. is an accomplished musician, having been a pupil of the late professor Berg, of Reading, and also of Professor Unger. She traveled with Tolls Stock Company, under the leadership of the well-known Mrs. Reber of Philadelphia. She is now the wife of James A. G. Vierling, of Reading, who is a foreman at the Reading Railway Locomotive shops. The J. S. Hornberger family mansion, completed in the summer of 1908, is a beautiful variegated glass cement residence at the corner of Lake and Front streets, Mohnton, and is known as Lakeside, since it overlooks the large artificial lake constructed by Mr. Hornberger. It is the most attractive home in Berks county, and the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania. It is built of solid cement, porch, floors, columns, etc., all being of cement. The porch columns are two feet in diameter and very massive in appearance. At a short distance the outside walks resemble tile work. This effect as produced by pressing small pieces of stained glass into the cement before it hardened. It was Mr. Hornberger's own idea. There are entrances at the front, in the rear, and on either side. This home is very conveniently arranged, the rooms and large, and everything about the place tends to promote the idea of comfort. It is lighted by electricity throughout. Cement figures and a large fountain ornament the yard. Mr. Hornberger is at present busily engaged in erecting a handsome mansion for his son Alvin, who will occupy it as soon as it is finished.

(V) Joseph D. Hornberger, former steward of the Berks county almshouse, and the odes and best known auctioneer in the county, was born in the Hornberger homestead in Cumru township, where he now resides, Sept. 23, 1834. He is a son of William H. and Nellie (Deeds) Hornberger, mention of whose family and ancestry is made above. Mr. Hornberger attended the old pay schools in vogue in his boyhood, acquiring a good business education He worked upon his father's farm until he was twenty-two years old, and then began farming on his father-in-law's farm, in Cumru township, near Flying Hill. He began poor, buying his farm stock on credit, but no obligations were ever more sacredly kept than his -- when his notes became due they were promptly met. This 145 acre farm he cultivated for seven years. IN 1859 the barn on this property was totally destroyed by fire, incurring a loss to Mr. Hornberger of about three thousand dollars. His entire farm stock, including fifteen cows, chickens, grain, thirty-five tons of hay and farm implements, were consumed in the devouring flames, and Mr. and Mrs. Hornberger had to begin life anew. He then moved to the "Three Mile House," conducting that hotel for three years, when he took to farming again, on the old Evan's estate, now owned by the Levans. Six years later he sold all of his fine stock, and the sale, held in the spring, was the largest one ever held in the county up to that date. People attended from far and wide, and his stock brought Mr. Hornberger almost ten thousand dollars. He now moved to Shillington, where he erected three large brick dwellings on Lancaster avenue, occupying one of them until he moved upon the Kurtz farm and into the "Kurtz House," were he lived four years. In 1876 he moved to the "Five Mile House," which hotel he greatly remodeled and also built shedding, and while there enjoyed an extensive patronage.

In 1882 he moved back to the "Three Mile House," living there until 1885, when he was elected steward of the Berks county almshouse. He continued to fill that office for a period of seven years, during which time he did much for the county home. He enjoys the reputation to this day of having been the best steward Berks county ever had and the county is indebted to him for having brought the 500-acre farm up to its present high standard of fertility and productiveness. Under his management the fences were torn our, the fields made larger, and the value and beauty of the property increased in many ways. Jr. Hornberger was a great favorite with the inmates of the home. He is a man of sunshiny disposition and possesses any other attractive characteristics, among which are frankness, honesty, promptness, kindness, and good common sense. In the fall of 1892 Mr. Hornberger and Mr. John C. Potteiger bought out William D. Althouse, proprietor of the "William Penn Hotel" and the well-known horse bazaar of West Philadelphia. In 1893, Mr. Hornberger sold out his interest in the enterprise to his partner, and the following year erected the house at Brookside now owned by Capt. Schall, where he lived until 1899. In 1900, by request, he became the proprietor of "Carsonia Inn" Building up its trade, but he finally moved back to Cumru township, settling upon a farm adjacent to the Hornberger homestead, where he is now engaged in farming and crying sales.

Mr. Hornberger is a very remarkable man in many ways. He has wonderful vital powers, and few men have had a more interesting career. He has been both successful and unsuccessful, having been a success in making money and unsuccessful in holding it. The losses he has suffered, however, have been in no way due to negligence or lack of ability on his part, but to such mischance's of fortune as would have dampened the enterprise of a less indomitable spirit. As a horse and cattle dealer he lost many animals by death. He lost nearly twenty thousand dollars and bailing and indorsing for people, and thirty thousand dollars would not cover what he lost by others' lack of responsibility, the death of cattle and horses, and the destruction of his barn and loss of his farm stock. In 1852, when eighteen years old, he began crying sales, a business which he has followed now for more than half a century. In this procession Mr. Hornberger has met with remarkable success, and has no equal in his section of the county. His lung power is wonderful, and his voice is powerful and can be heard far away. He has cried sales throughout eastern Pennsylvania, and has sold more farm stock, household goods, cattle and horses than any other two men in Berks county. The value of the goods he has disposed of amounts to millions of dollars. In politics Mr. Hornberger is a Republican and cast his first vote in 1856 for Fremont for President. In religious matters he is a free thinker, and believes in right living, because right is right and God is God.

On Dec. 24, 1857, Mr. Hornberger was married to Anna Louisa S. Yost, daughter of Nicholas and Susanna (Seidel) Yost, and granddaughter of Nicholas Yost. To Mr. and Mrs. Hornberger were born two sons and one daughter, namely: (1) Douglas Y., born Nov. 26, 1858, died June 5, 1901. He married Katie Huyett, and they had two children, Hattie and Mabel. (2) S. Ellen married Wellington Zacharies, a butcher of Fleetwood, and they have one daughter, Gertrude H. L. (3) Howard Y., born April 15, 1864, is a speculator in horses, and is an all around horseman, an excellent trainer and driver, and has raced in the Grand Circle. He is an able, intelligent man, an auctioneer of note, and has cried sales throughout eastern Pennsylvania, frequently assisting his father, from whom he learned the profession when a young man.

(IV) Joseph M. Hornberger, son of Conrad, Jr., born March 18, 1812, died Aug. 18, 1894, aged eighty-two years, five months. He was an agriculturist by occupation, and owned the old homestead of seventy-five acres. For many years he served as supervisor, and was a very well known man in his day. He married (first) Catharine (or Cassie) Spatz, daughter of John Spatz, Sr., and they had eleven children, namely: Urias S., of Reinhold's Station, Pa., Margaret, m. to Augustus Mayers, a merchant in Hardin county, Iowa; Elizabeth, m. to Leo J. Hess, of Reading; Catharine, m. to John Y. Weidner, postmaster of Mohnton; Joseph S., of Mohnton; Ephraim, who died young; Hannah, m. to Peter Schwagerl, Custom House clerk of New York; Susan, m. to George Yocum, of Reading; and John, Edward M. and Frank, who died young. Joseph M. Hornberger m. (second) Mary Burns, born Nov. 27, 1827, daughter of Jacob Burns, died Oct. 5, 1868, aged forty years, ten months, eight days. To this union was born, William of Reading. He m. (third) Barbara Warner, daughter of Joseph. By the third marriage there were no children.

(V) Joseph S. Hornberger, son of Joseph M., was born on the old homestead in Cumru township, Feb. 10, 1851, and was given the advantages of the township schools. At the age of eighteen he learned the hatter's trade with J. K. Ruth, of near Mohnton, which he follows to the present time. From 1896 to 1901 he was a partner in the firm of the Globe Hat Company, which went out of existence in the latter year. In politics he is a Republican, and he and his family are active members of Salem Evangelical Church of Mohnton, of which he was an officer for a number of years. On Jan. 30, 1875, Mr. Hornberger was married to Amanda R. Regar, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Rehrer) Regar, and to this union had been born one son, Charles B. Mr. Hornberger is a man who has always stood high in the estimation of his fellow townsmen, and he has many friends.

(VI) Charles B. Hornberger, son of Joseph S., and one of the well-known citizens of Cumru township, where he is driving Route No. 1, Rural Free Delivery, of Mohnton, was born Dec. 10, 1876, at Adamstown, Lancaster county. He received a good education in the public schools, afterward attending Prof. D. B. Brunner's Business College. He then engaged in the milk business, being the pioneer in the town in that line. This he sold out to Samuel Westley, and began work in the Globe Hat factory. Here he worked for five years, and then spent four years in the employ of J. H. Spatz & Co. On May 15, 1905, after passing a difficult civil service examination, Mr. Hornberger began driving a twenty-four mile Rural Free Delivery route, which takes in the southern part of Cumru township, and this he has continued to the present time. He and his father reside together in a fine brick residence at the northwest corner of Church and Summit streets, in the borough of Mohnton. He is a Republican in politics, and fraternally is connected with Camp No. 211, P. O. S. of A., and the K. G. E., both of Mohnton. He and his wife attend the Evangelical Church. Mr. Hornberger was married to Miss Grace Hyman, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Patton) Hyman, of Churchtown, Lancaster county, and two children have been born to the union: Evelyn U. and Charles C.


p. 1054


For nearly two centuries the Horning family has been residing in this section of Pennsylvania, and members in each generation have been active in the work of the Mennonite Church, and all have led God-fearing, upright lives. Among those who today are active in mercantile or agricultural life may be mentioned Jeremiah Horning, his brother John Horning, and in the younger generation, John B., Isaac Z. and Aaron Horning.

(I) Bentz Horning was the first of the family in Berks county. He came from Germany early in the eighteenth century, and with his son Paul settled in what is now Brecknock township. He had two sons, Michael and Paul. Of these. Michael settled at the Trappe, in Montgomery county, and his son John lived in Huntingdon county, where he owned a large farm. Gilbert Horning, son of John, was born at Rebecca Forge in 1820, and lived on the homestead all his life, becoming a man of affairs, and prominent in public work, serving as director of the poor; he married Elizabeth Beightal, and had children: John (a minister of the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church), Gilbert C. (a bookkeeper for the Reading Iron Company, Reading) and William D. (born July 2, 1847, an attorney in Berks, director of the poor for three years, married Laura J. Shaffer, of Reading, and has one child, Mary E.).

(II) Paul Horning, son of Bentz, accompanied his father from the Fatherland, and settled in Brecknock township, then a part of Lancaster county. He owned a tract of land at Alleghenyville, which is now the property of Jeremiah Hoshour. He was a farmer and windmill (fanmill) maker. Both he and his wife Margaret are buried at the Allegheny meeting-house, and their graves are marked with rough sandstones, but the inscriptions are no longer decipherable. He died in 1831, when well advanced in years. His children were: Polly; Kate; Daniel, who died unmarried; Wendel, who lived above Reamstown, and is buried at Mohler's meeting-house; Samuel, who lived for some time in Maryland, but later returned to Pennsylvania, and died in Lancaster county; Joseph; Nancy; Sally, who married Isaac Powell, of Lancaster; and Susan, who married Charles Heiffler.

(III) Joseph Horning, son of Paul, was born May 9, 1798. He made his home in Brecknock township, along the Allegheny creek, where he owned a small tract of land. He was a wagoner by trade, and followed that line nearly all his life in connection with farming. He was very well known, was highly esteemed, and was a consistent follower of the Mennonite faith. He died Jan. 25, 1876, aged seventy-seven years, eight months, sixteen days, and his remains rest in the cemetery at the Allegheny meeting-house. He married Fanny Mosser, who was born July 22, 1803, and who died Jan. 24, 1889, in her eighty-sixth year. Their five children--two sons and three daughters--were: Rev. Benjamin; Esther, who married Joseph Shirk, of Spring Grove, Pa.; Nancy, who married Peter Lichty, of Churchtown, Pa.; Moses, of Bowmansville; and Fannie, born Sept. 30, 1830, who married Henry Gehman, of Adamstown, and is the only one now living, at the present time making her home with her son.

(IV) Rev. Benjamin Horning, son of Joseph, was born on his father's farm Feb. 22, 1824, and his death occurred Nov. 3, 1903. He passed his entire life in the one neighborhood, making his home on a tract of forty acres he owned near the Allegheny Church, and which is now owned by his son Aaron. From his father he learned the wagoner's trade, which he followed continuously until 1890, when he gave up his business that he might devote his entire time to the service of the Master.

He was ordained to the ministry of the Mennonite Church in 1862. His ministerial work was largely confined to the churches of Alleghenyville, Berks county; Adamstown; Gehman's Church; and Bowmansville, Lancaster county. In his younger days he was often called to preach the word to other congregations, and he frequently officiated at funerals of friends of other denominations. Occasionally he preached in the Allegheny Union Church to Lutheran and Reformed people. His funeral, attended by a large concourse of friends, was held in that church. He was possessed of a high sense of honor, and was beloved by all who knew him. In the pulpit he was an able and fluent speaker, one whose earnestness and sincerity were never questioned.

He married Luzetta Ziemer, born Nov. 8, 1824, died Nov. 16, 1900, daughter of Jeremiah and Polly (Westley) Ziemer, well-known farming people of Brecknock township. To Rev. Benjamin and Mrs. Horning were born thirteen children, namely: Augustus, a farmer near Bowmansville, Pa.; John, mentioned below; Joseph, a farmer near Bowmansville, who died in 1898; Jeremiah, mentioned in full farther on; Susan, who married Martin Newswanger, of Goodville, Pa.; Mary, who died in young womanhood; Fannie, who died young; Sarah, who married John Shirk, of Philadelphia; Benjamin, who died in infancy; Lizzie, who married Monroe Good, of Bowmansville; Isaac Z., full mention of whom is made later; Katie, who married Christian Martin, of Terre Hill, Pa.; and Aaron, who resides on the old homestead at Alleghenyville, mentioned below.

(V) John Horning, son of Rev. Benjamin, was born near Alleghenyville, Nov. 3, 1849, and was reared to manhood on the farm. He obtained a limited education in the township school, which he left at an early age. When twenty years old he started out for himself, for two years working on a farm in Lancaster county. In 1872 he was married, and after that for a while worked at day's labor, but again took up farming, which he successfully carried on nine years. At the end of that time he purchased a forty-acre tract in Paradise township, Lancaster county, which he operated for six years. Forming a partnership with H. E. Musser in 1889, under the name of Musser & Horning, he engaged in the hardware and implement business at Kinzers, a venture that proved very successful and was continued for eleven years. The partnership was the dissolved, and Mr. Horning took entire charge. A year later he sold the implement business to his former partner, but the hardware line he retained, and this he improved, adding to the stock, and meeting the growing demands of trade. He prospered in his work, but because of a good offer made him by the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company he discontinued the business, and moved to Lancaster, Pa., where he has a comfortable home. While Mr. Horning was yet associated in business with Mr. Musser he did most of the traveling in the interest of the firm, and in this way obtained a thorough knowledge of the implement business. Since 1900 he has given all his time and energy to the interests of the McCormick Company. His territory includes twelve counties in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. His success is due to his thorough knowledge of the business and his upright principles.

On Jan. 30, 1872, he married Hettie A. Good, who was born in Leacock township, Lancaster county, Nov. 24, 1848, daughter of Isaac H. and Hettie (Hurst) Good. Both Mr. and Mrs. Horning adhere to the Mennonite faith.

(V) Jeremiah Horning, son of Rev. Benjamin and brother of John, was born April 7, 1853, and was reared upon his father's farm, remaining at home until he was twenty years of age. He then married and engaged in trucking on the old Henry Westley farm of twenty acres, where he remained two years. In the centennial year he moved upon his present property, which he then bought, and engaged in butchering, farming and trucking on a large scale. While butchering, which he continued for a period of fifteen years, he killed on an average six steers a week, and had two teams on the road, besides attending the Reading market three times a week. Three hired men were kept constantly at work, and much was accomplished under Mr. Horning's able supervision. In 1900 Mr. Horning became engaged in the lumbering business, and since then has had two portable sawmills in operation, cutting down timber and sawing the logs for market. in this connection he has some half dozen people employed. In 1888 he engaged in mercantile business in Alleghenyville, and this he carried on until 1904, when he turned it over to his son John B., who now conducts it. For about ten years he has been engaged in cattle dealing, handling as many as one thousand head per annum.

Mr. Horning is the founder of Alleghenyville, and he had all the buildings of the village erected with the exception of the church and the school-house. Most of the town is built on land belonging to him. He is the foremost man in the township, and has dome more for the community than any other one man. His farm consists of 100 acres of good land, and he had a well drilled 500 feet from his buildings, 127 feet deep, which furnishes the best of water for his family as well as his stock. In politics he is a Republican, has been delegate to county conventions, and was the first postmaster at Alleghenyville, also serving as school director for six years. He was one of the liberal contributors to the Allegheny Church, erected in 1878, and he and his family are all faithful Mennonites.

On March 8, 1873, Jeremiah Horning was married to Sarah Beam, born June 29, 1853, daughter of Richard and Salome (Kern) Beam, of Bowmansville. To this union were born seven sons and five daughters: Mary married Isaac Griffith, of Alleghenyville; Samuel married Mary Schnader, and resides in Philadelphia; Lucy married Raymond Fritz, of Reamstown; Alice married James Hornberger, of Reading; John B. married Lillie M. Kachel, and is a merchant at Alleghenyville; Sallie died in her third year; Benjamin died in infancy; Harry B. is a mechanic at Cleveland, Ohio; and Irwin, Abel, Annie V. and Walter are all at home.

(V) Isaac Z. Horning, son of Rev. Benjamin and brother of Jeremiah, was born Oct. 18, 1868, and was reared with his brothers and sisters on the home farm, attending the district schools until he was fifteen years old. He assisted in the work of the home farm until 1886, when he began working for his brother Jeremiah as butcher and farm hand. Here he continued for eight years, for the last three being chief butcher. In 1897 he bought out the business, and since then has attended the Reading market twice a week in the winter and three times in the summer. He has stalls Nos. 60-61 at the Bingaman street market, where he enjoys a large patronage. He kills on an average five or six steers a week during the entire year. Besides his market trade he runs a wagon throughout the county. His reputation is of the best, and he conducts his business on honorable principles. Like all his family he is a Mennonite in religious faith, attending the church in which his father was for so many years the minister. In politics he is a Republican, and since 1899 has efficiently served as school director, for one year being secretary of the board.

On Dec. 11, 1886, Isaac Z. Horning was married to Ellen Yelk, daughter of John and Jestina (Trait) Yelk, the former a farmer and blacksmith in Brecknock township. To this union have come two children: Katie, who married Rudy M. Matz, of Alleghenyville; and Lewis Y., who is assisting his father, and who is married to Sallie Matz.

(VI) John B. Horning, son of Jeremiah, was born Oct. 24, 1882. His early education was obtained in the township schools, and he later attended Perkiomen Seminary, from which he graduated in 1902, being among the first ten in class of fifty and one of the commencement speakers. He was a prominent athlete, being captain of the class track team in his senior year and a member of the relay team which carried off first honors at the University of Pennsylvania relay races. In the fall of 1899 he began teaching in his native township, teaching the Remps school two terms, and at Alleghenyville one term. In the spring of 1903 he bought out his father's store at Alleghenyville, and in conducting this has proved he chose wisely when he adopted a mercantile career. He is courteous and obliging, and keeps up a good stock, successfully meeting the wants of his large and increasing custom. He served as assistant postmaster to his father from 1902 to 1905, when the office was discontinued by the establishment of the rural mail route. Mr. Horning is a young man who has earned his prosperity by a close adherence to the high business principles instilled in him by his honored father, and he keeps wide awake to the interests of the community. He was one of the charter members of Knauer Lodge, No. 3052, Knights and Ladies of Honor, organized Sept. 16, 1908, at Knauer's, Pa., and its first financial secretary.

In 1901 John B. Horning was married to Lillie Kachel, daughter of Albert and Maggie (Griffith) Kachel, well known farming people of Brecknock township. Four children have blessed this union, namely: Stanley, Inza, Esther and Elsie. Mr. Horning has been active in the Republican party, has served on the election board, and has been the township committeeman since 1906. He is a Lutheran in religious faith, attending the Allegheny Union Church, and he served as superintendent of the Sunday-school from 1900 to 1907.

(V) Aaron Horning, a truck farmer at Alleghenyville, was born there Oct. 15, 1872, son of Rev. Benjamin and Luzetta Horning. He was reared upon the farm and attended the township schools, after the manner of the farmer boys of that locality. He remained on the home farm assisting his father until 1894, when he began for himself on the old homestead, which consists of forty-seven acres of good truck land. He pays especial attention to trucking and goes to the Reading market once or twice a week, having stand No. 66 at the Bingaman street market. He has met with success in his work, and is hard-working and honest. He and his family are Mennonites, and have their place of worship below Alleghenyville.

Mr. Horning was married in 1893 to Mary Ellen Brendel, who was born Dec. 23, 1871, daughter of Esaias and Eliza (Kline) Brendel, farming people of Brecknock township. They have two sons, Paul, born Nov. 17, 1894, and Howard, born Feb. 11, 1898. Mr. Horning owns the old farm where his father lived and died, while the home of his grandfather stood but a short distance to the southeast.


p. 770


Wesley Horning, who died Oct. 26, 1901, was born in Huntingdon county, Pa., Feb. 12, 1837, son of John and Mary Horning. Possessed of a good mind and a keen desire for education, Mr. Horning was not satisfied with the work he could do in the common schools in his day, and in 1860 he began what proved to be a four years' course in Freeland Seminary. He then came to Reading and entered upon his apprenticeship as a carpenter, but before he had completed his term he enlisted in the army for a period of nine months. He served as a private in Company B, 128th Pa. V. I., under Capt. McNoll, was in the battles of South Mountain, Antietam and Chancellorsville, and was honorable discharged May 29, 1863. On his return to Reading Mr. Horning completed his apprenticeship, and then worked at carpentry for twenty-three years. He next became connected with the Reading Car-wheel Works, and was there employed at the time of his death.

On May 25, 1870, Mr. Horning married Miss Clara Whitman, daughter of Benjamin and Catherine (Wright) Whitman. No children were born to them, but they took into their home and hearts a niece of Mrs. Horning, Anna Whitman, and also another child, Stella Garman. The last named became Mrs. James Miller, while Anna Whitman married Philip Ganter. In religious belief the family were Evangelical, and Mr. Horning was an active worker in the church to which he belonged, at different times having held almost all the offices in it. He was universally held in high esteem for his well known honesty, and his genial disposition and kindly nature made him many warm friends. His wife was a worthy helpmate, and their thirty years of happy wedded life were filled with acts of charity and helpfulness to the needy or unhappy. Their motto was always the old Biblical command "Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth," and in its spirit they lived and worked. In Masonic circles Mr. Horning was prominent. He joined Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., Dec. 19, 1865, and served as Worshipful Master in 1866. He joined Excelsior Chapter, R. A. M., Oct. 12, 1883, and was High Priest in 1888. On April 27, 1887, he was knighted in Reading Commandery, K. T., and was a member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. His interest was largely absorbed by his lodge work, and he never took an active part in politics, although he was always a good Republican.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:41 EDT

Previous       Home Page       Index       Next
404 - Error: 404


Category not found

The Page you are looking for doesn't exist or an other error occurred. Go back, or head over to Home Page to choose a new direction.

You may not be able to visit this page because of:

  1. an out-of-date bookmark/favourite
  2. a search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this site
  3. a mistyped address
  4. you have no access to this page
  5. The requested resource was not found.
  6. An error has occurred while processing your request.