Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 905


Charles S. Kachel, who is engaged in truck farming in Brecknock township, is one of the most popular citizens of his locality, and has been prominent in church, public and business circles. He was born on one of the Kachel homesteads in Brecknock township, April 19, 1854. After leaving the public school, Mr. Kachel engaged in farming on his father's place until he was twenty-two years old, at which time he learned the carpenter's trade with August Hartz, in whose employ he continued for upward of ten years. He then engaged in this business for himself, being so employed for twenty-two years, during the last eight years of which he worked as a boss carpenter. Mr. Kachel is a jack-of-all-trades, being a blacksmith, wheelwright, painter and carpenter. In 1888 he removed to Knauer's where he had during the previous year purchased a seventeen-acre tract, and here in 1898 he erected an entirely new set of buildings, having one of the most valuable farms for its size in the township. Mr. Kachel was organist of Allegheny Church from 1882 until 1904, and during these twenty-two years he officiated at 332 funerals; his diary, in which he records the date of funeral, age of deceased, and the text of the sermon, makes a very valuable register. He also was organist at the Wyomissing (Gouglersville) Church, from 1889 to 1893, and he and his family now worship at Allegheny Church, the old burial place of the Kachels. Mr. Kachel was a member and attendant of the Sunday school from the age of fifteen years, and since eighteen years of age has been superintendent of the Allegheny and Maple Grove Sunday schools. In political matters he is a stanch Democrat, and has served the township as school director, assessor, tax collector and township committeeman for several years, and is at present treasurer of the road master's board.

On June 27, 1885, Mr. Kachel married Ellen E. Kramer, daughter of Samuel and Julia (Ziemer) Kramer, and five children were born to this union: Elsie M., Lewis M., Howard L., Julia E., and Mamie E.


p. 887


Henry T. Kachel, a highly esteemed resident and oldtime school teacher of Berks county, now resides near Knauer's in Brecknock township, where he was born Jan. 17, 1850, son of Reuben and Cassia (Trostle) Kachel.

Reuben Kachel was born in 1820 in Brecknock township, where he became one of the early school teachers; his salary was but twenty dollars per month. He also engaged in agricultural pursuits, and was the tenant on the Trostle farm at the time of his death, in 1852. Mr. Kachel married Cassia Trostle, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Griffith) Trostle, and two children were born to this union: Henry T. and Reuben Samuel, the latter a school director of Spring township, who married Rebecca Fisher and has five children, Milton, Wellington, Paul, Estella and Viola.

Henry T. Kachel was reared on his grandfather Henry Trostle's farm, his father having died when he was about two years old, and he worked on the farm and at coopering until he began his career as a school teacher, in Cumru township in 1871. Mr. Kachel was first licensed to teach by the late Prof. D. B. Brunner, who was then county superintendent, and after teaching two terms in Cumru township he taught in Brecknock township, where he continued his profession for sixteen terms. He was one of the old-time schoolmasters, and during the early days experience all the trials of the pioneer educator, when the children were ill supplied with books and the public school system but poorly organized. In 1877 he located on his present property, which consists of three tracts, two at Knauer's of eighteen acres each, and one of thirty-five acres in the township. He was a storekeeper and gauger at Mount Etna, Berks county, during President Cleveland's administration, was committeeman of his township for two years, and was a delegate to a number of county conventions, including that which nominated Prof. D. B. Brunner for Congress, and that which renominated Judge Ermentrout for the President Judgeship of Berks county. He was also auditor, and is at present serving his second term as school director, having been president of the board for two years. He and his family are members of Allegheny Union Church, he being of the Reformed and his wife of the Lutheran congregation; he was deacon for eight years and associate treasurer for a long period; was for many years superintendent and assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school; the whole family are members of the choir, and his daughter is the present church organist.

In 1876 Mr. Kachel was married to Emma F. Slouch, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Seyfrit) Slouch, farming people of Brecknock township, and one daughter was born to this union, Carrie E., who is unmarried and resides at home.

George Trostle, Mr. Kachel's great-great grandfather on his mother's side, was born in Brecknock township Feb. 17, 1730. There is still in existence an old deed, bearing date 1749, showing the he got a patent for the Trostle homestead. How long he lived there before that time may be only conjectured. He married Rosina Seidabenner, and they became the parent of the following children: Heinrich, John, George, Jacob, William, Abraham, Margaret (wife of Jacob Merkle) and Elizabeth (wife of David Miller). Of these, Abraham was a private in Capt. Sebastian Miller's Company, Col. Joseph Hiester's Battalion, in the Revolution, May 31, 1781. He settled in Lancaster county. John married and lived in Brecknock township, but had no children. He was a blacksmith, engaged for the most part in making chains. Mr. Henry T. Kachel has found parts of an old deed showing that a patent was applied for George Trostle's (the great-great-grandfather's) farm in 1749, and that this property was sold, the deed, dated June 29, 1805, showing that all signed over the homestead to Heinrich; the document is torn, but the signatures of all the children are visible. George Trostle died Sept. 11, 1804.

Heinrich Trostle, son of George, was a blacksmith by trade, and did a great deal of work for the Indians, with whom he was on the friendliest terms, many stored of his association with the Red men being familiar to the older members of the family. He had two teams on the road hauling goods from Philadelphia to Pittsburg. His will was probated in 1824. He married Elizabeth Sweikhart, and they had children: Henry (2), to whom the homestead was bequeathed; John, who was survived by his wife Catharine (who was executrix of his will made Jan. 18, 1857, and probated Feb. 23, 1857) and children, Levina, Sarah, Caroline and Wallace; Barbara, born Jan. 6, 1786 who married Benjamin Remp, and died March 15, 1857; Peggy, who married George Fritz; and Elizabeth who became the wife of Isaac Griffith. Henry Trostle (2), born Jan. 15, 1794, died Aug. 15, 1875, and is buried in the cemetery of the Allegheny church, of which he was a stanch member. He married Elizabeth Griffith, and their children wee: Benjamin, Isaac, Henry (3), John, Eliza, Katie, Cassia and Susan (who married Louis Eckenroth and had four sons and four daughter), of whom Benjamin, Isaac, Eliza and Katie died unmarried. In about 1800, when Henry Trostle was six years of age, he witnessed the parting of the Indians and his father, the Indians informing the latter that they were going on the warpath, and proving their words by beginning to murder when only a short distance away. At the age of thirteen young Henry made his first trip to Pittsburg with his father's team. It had not been intended that the lad should make the entire trip, but to drive only until he could find some one to take the team. This was not to the young man's liking, however, and he made the long drive without looking for anyone to do the work. This was the beginning of this work for him, and he drove his father's teams until he was twenty-one years of age. He then started out for himself and made many long and ofttimes dangerous trips. Later he was engaged in hauling charcoal to Mt. Penn Furnace for a number of years. When not engaged with his teams he devoted himself to farming--doing the work the other boys did while he was absent. His wife Elizabeth died in 1842, and from that time until 1848 his household was looked after by his daughter Cassia. In the latter year she wedded Reuben Kachel, who rented the farm until 1852, when he died. Then again Cassia became her father's housekeeper, continuing until he died in 1875.


p. 1210


Levi W. Kachel, a well known citizen and prominent public man of Cumru township, Berks county, who since the spring of 1906 has lived retired in his fine residence on Lancaster avenue, Shillington, was born on the old homestead in Cumru township, Dec. 14, 1849, son of Daniel Kachel.

Among the emigrants from Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in 1732 was Andrew Kachel. He became the owner of 200 acres of land in Cumru township. His will, on record in the Berks county court house, probated July 16, 1777, is signed in German. He made provision for his beloved wife Ursula, and especially mentioned his son Simon. His wife Ursula and son Andrew were made executors. He mentioned that his three sons Simon, Leonard and John shall have equal shares, except as before stated.

John Kachel, son of Andrew, was a native of Cumru township, and became one of the leading agriculturists thereof, owning a farm of 192 acres on which he resided until his death. he married Catherine Eitzer, and to them were born these children: Jacob, born March 9, 1786, died Oct. 19, 1865, the father of two sons, Henry and Jacob; Andrew died unmarried; John lived near the Green Tree, in Cumru township; William died young; Elizabeth m. Michael Bittner; Samuel; Daniel; Michael was a noted marksman, and figured in shooting matches; Susan m. Elijah Spencer; and Polly and David both died unmarried.

Daniel Kachel, father of Levi W., was born on the old home in Cumru township in April, 1797, and attained a fair education in the township schools, learning the milling trade when a young man at Tulpehocken Creek. This business he followed for a period of twelve years, and then engaged in farming on the homestead, remaining there until his death, in January, 1894. He was buried at Plow Church in Robeson township, Berks county. In 1853 he built the residence on the farm, as well as some outbuildings, and he was always a good and practical farmer and public-spirited citizen. His religious belief was that of the Lutheran Church, which he attended faithfully and supported liberally. He married Miss Catherine Wagner, daughter of Daniel Wagner, and to them were born: Solomon, m. to Elizabeth Breitenstein, is the owner of the old homestead in Cumru township; Daniel died when eighteen years old; Levi W.; John W., m. to Elizabeth Tothero, is an agriculturist of Cumru township; and Cassie m. James R. Yost.

Levi W. Kachel attended the public schools of his native township until the age of eighteen years, receiving a fair education. After leaving school he worked for his father on the farm. On Dec. 7, 1878, he married Annie Tothero, daughter of Isaac and Leah (Westley) Tothero, of Robeson township, and they at once purchased a small farm of Michael Moyer, consisting of thirty-one and one-half acres near Shillington. On this they remained only two years, after which they purchased a fertile farm of eighty-nine acres in Brecknock township, where they continued until 1889, and then returned to Cumru township, buying a two-acre tract upon which they resided until 1906. In that year they located in Shillington and Mr. Kachel built a fine residence on Lancaster avenue. He also owns two building lots, 30 x 100 feet, in Shillington, also being in possession of his farm in Brecknock township, which he has leased. He is a member of the Lutheran Church. In political matters he is a Republican, has served his township as school director for three years, 1901-02-03, the last year of which he was treasurer of the board, and is one of the foremost men in the township in educational movements. He has an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity, and stands high in the esteem of the citizens of his community. Mr. and Mrs. Kachel were the parents of one child, Clayton L., who died when nine months old and was buried at the Plow Church.


p. 1400


Nathan G. Kachel, one of the prominent and highly respected truck farmers of Brecknock, where he is also efficiently serving as school director, was born on his present property, May 23, 1857, son of Aaron Kachel, and a descendant of one of the early Swiss pioneers of the county.

In 1732 there came to America a little band of emigrants from Switzerland, among whom was Andrew Kachel. He settled in Cumru township, Berks county, where he became the owner of 200 acres of land. His will, which is on record in the Berks county court house, was probated July 16, 1777, and is signed in good clear German. He made ample provision for his beloved wife Ursula, and specially mentions his son Simon. His wife Ursula and son Andrew were the executors. Other sons were Leonard and John.

John Kachel, son of the emigrant Andrew, was a farmer in Brecknock township. He married Catherine Eitzer, and became the father of the following children: Jacob, born March 9, 1786, died Oct. 19, 1865, the father of two sons--Henry and Jacob; Andrew died unmarried; John lived near the green Tree, in Cumru township; William died young; Elizabeth married Michael Bittner; Samuel; Daniel, a farmer and miller, died in January, 1904; Michael was a noted marksman and figured at the olden time shooting matches; Susan married Elijah Spencer; and Polly and David died unmarried.

Samuel Kachel, son of John, was born in Cumru township, Jan. 15, 1796, and there passed his entire life. He was the owner of a large farm, which he kept in a high state of cultivation, and became one of the substantial men of the place. He learned the shoemaker's trade in his youth, and followed it to some extend as long as he lived. He died April 6, 1861. He married Elizabeth Rieser, born Jan. 15, 1800, and died Dec. 21, 1883. They were the parents of seven children, as follows: Reuben, born 1820, died in 1852; Aaron; Mary m. Elijah Remp, and is deceased; Sarah m. Jacob Mamer, and is deceased; Catherine m. Jesse Hartz, and is deceased; Benjamin, born June 3, 1836, lives on the homestead; and Samuel is a farmer in Brecknock township.

Aaron Kachel, son of Samuel, was born on his father's farm May 29, 1824. He was the owner of a fine farm, and this is now the property of his son, Nathan G. In his political belief he was a staunch Democrat, and in the early sixties was a member of the school board. He was a Lutheran member of the Allegheny church, and was a member of the building committee when that church was erected in 1878. His death occurred June 30, 1891, and he was laid to rest in the cemetery at Allegheny. His wife, Betzy Griffith, born Dec. 18, 1824, died an accidental death Dec. 24, 1889. She was a daughter of Isaac Griffith. By her marriage with Mr. Kachel she became the mother of four sons, as follows: John, born Oct. 1, 1851, was a farmer on the homestead, and died Dec. 2, 1892; he married Elizabeth Blankenbiller. Charles S. married Ellen E. Kramer, and he resides in Kanuers. Albert G. and Nathan G. are twins and Albert G. married Maggie Griffith.

Nathan G. Kachel, son of Aaron, was born as above stated. His entire life has been devoted to farm work. He obtained his education in the district school, and assisted his father at home until he attained his majority. In 1878 he went to Davis county, Iowa, where for six months he worked on a farm, and then returned to his native county. After his marriage in 1888 he tenanted on the Isaac Kramer farm in Brecknock township for four years, at the end of that time returning to the homestead, where he has since lived. He cultivates the fifty-seven acre farm which belonged to his father, and this he purchased in 1893. He raises all kinds of vegetables and fruit, and these he sells at the Reading market having stand No. 210 at the Bingaman street market. In his farm work he is very progressive, and is quick to adopt new methods as soon as he sees their practical value. he has all the standard up-to-date farm implements, and keeps them in perfect condition all the time.

Mr. Kachel and his family attend the Allegheny church, in which they are Lutheran members. For four years he was president of the church organization. In politics he is a Democrat, and in 1904 he was elected school director; and he has also served as delegate to the county conventions.

On Aug. 28, 1888, Mr. Kachel was married to Cassie Kramer, who was born June 6, 1875, daughter of Isaac Kramer, and his wife, Betzy Hoschaur. To this union were born six children: Annie; Calvin; Nora, who died Aug. 26, 1894, aged one year, six months, three days; Pierce; Steward; and Isaac.


p. 774


Aury E. Kalbach, a member of one of the old established families of Berks county, resides at No. 316 North Second street, Reading. He was born at Womelsdorf, Pa., Oct. 28, 1861, son of Josiah L. and Catherine (Bennethum) Kalbach, and grandson of Daniel and Kate (Lash) Kalbach.

George Kalbach, great-grandfather of Aury E., was the German emigrant of the family, who came to Berks county at an early day and settled in Heidelberg Township. He married Maria Spang, a member of one of the aristocratic and wealthy old German families, the Spang estate when settled being estimated at $7,000,000.

Daniel Kalbach, the grandfather, bought the old Bittner homestead in Spring township and lived there for many years, becoming a man of importance and establishing a reputation for strict integrity. By his first wife, Kate Yeagley, his children were: Israel, of Ohio; and Eliza, m. to Daniel Shenfelder, of Newmanstown. He m. (second) Mrs. Kate (Lash) Seibert, widow of John Seibert. She had one child of her first marriage, Mary Ann (m. Uriah Reifsnyder). By her second marriage, with Mr. Kalbach, she had the following children: Ellen, m. to Henry Behne; Josiah L. and William.

Josiah L. Kalbach learned the coach painting trade in young manhood, and followed this business for some years, and then went into the candy-making business, establishing himself at Third and Penn streets, where he carried on a successful business for twenty-two years, retiring in 1902. He now lives retired at No. 419 Washington street. Josiah Kalbach and wife, Catherine Bennethum, had three children, namely: Della, m. to Harry Deysher, shipping clerk at J. H. Sternbergh's steel plant; Catherine, m. to Ellis Kirk, a cartoonist and sketch artist; and Aury E. The family is one which has been united for generations in religion and politics, belonging to the Reformed Church and the Democratic party.

Aury E. Kalbach was educated in the schools at Womelsdorf, and after completing his education, became a news agent for a time and then entered the Reading Iron Company's pipe mill, but left there to learn the hatter's trade. This he followed for three years and then became interested in local express work, which he carried on some four years. He then entered his father's employ and remained with him as candy maker for twenty years. Since his father's retirement, he has devoted his attention to transportation, teaming for large manufacturing concerns.

Mr. Kalbach was married, in 1882, to Sallie Miller, and their only child died in infancy. He m. (second) Sarah Wessner, daughter of Mark and Sarah (Bower) Wessner of Maiden-creek. Three children have been born to this union: Mark Leroy, born Nov. 23, 1892, at home; Catherine Bertha, born Aug. 24, 1897; and Josiah Bennethum, born Nov. 29, 1899, at home.


p. 819


William A. Kalbach, one of the most prominent business men of Robesonia, senior member of the well-known firm of W. A. Kalbach & Sons, doing business under the name of Eagle Cigar Box Company, was born Aug. 1, 1844, on one of the Kalbach homesteads in North Heidelberg township, son of Adam and Catherine (Althouse) Kalbach.

The Kalbach family had its origin in the northeastern part of Germany, whence came Christopher Kahlbach, the immigrant ancestor, who settled in Heidelberg township, Berks Co., Pa., before the middle of the eighteenth century. Here he acquired property, prospered, and reared a family of children, among whom were: Adam (the great-grandfather of William A.) and Michael. The latter, born in 1766, died in 1840. He had sons: Daniel, 1800-1874, and Michael, 1814-1896 (who married Elizabeth Womelsdorf, 1816-1895). Michael, Sr., and his sons are buried at Womelsdorf. Through the marriage of George Kalbach, one of the early members of this family, to Maria Spang, these Kalbachs are among the heirs to the great Spang fortune in Germany.

Adam Kalbach, the great-grandfather of William A., was a farmer in Tulpehocken township, where he owned a large plantation, on which he died, ripe in years, in 1801. He and his wife, Maria Eva, had these children: Michael, George, Adam, Johannes, Susanna, Elizabeth, Maria Sabilla, Regina Catherine and Sophia.

Adam Kalbach, son of Adam, and grandfather of William A., was also a farmer in Tulpehocken (now Penn) township, owning a large tract of land. He was twice married, his first wife's maiden name being Ruth, and his second wife's name being Christ. His children, all by the first union, were: Adam; Joseph; John; William; Isaac; Mrs. Conrad Loose; Mrs. George Loose; Mrs. John Epler; and Jacob.

Adam Kalbach, father of William A., born in what is now Penn township, was a lifelong farmer, owning tracts of 210 and 130 acres. He was a Reformed member of the Bernville Church, where he was buried. Mr. Kalbach married Catherine Althouse, daughter of Adam Althouse, and to this union there were born nine children: Harrison, Sarah (m. Edward Potteiger), Isaac, Catherine (m. Jared Brossman), Levi, James, William A., Amelia (m. Henry Filbert) and Amandon.

William A. Kalbach was reared to agricultural pursuits, and after reaching his twenty-first year engaged in tenant farming on his father's property, where he continued for four years. In 1866 he bought the Dr. Beyerle farm in North Heidelberg township, where he lived five years, when he rented his farm and engaged in a sawmill business in the different counties of eastern Pennsylvania, a line he followed with success for twenty years. In 1882 he came to Robesonia, where he has since lived in a large brick residence on Main and Robeson streets. On Jan. 15, 1895, he and his sons purchased the cigar box machinery and outfit of Belleman Brothers, and they have a good business and employ about twenty hands, catering especially to the local trade. Mr. Kalbach is a Democrat in politics, and his religious affiliations are with the North Heidelberg Church, of which he is a Reformed member, and where he has served as deacon.

In 1870 Mr. Kalbach m. Emma Lengel, daughter of Levi and Catherine (Dundore) Lengel, and three sons have been born to this union: Harry A., a druggist of Philadelphia, m. Sallie Miller; Clayton W., born Aug. 29, 1879, educated in the district schools, the Inter-State Commercial College, and Albright College, at Myerstown, is in business with his father, and m. Sallie E. Filbert; Webster L., educated in the township schools and the Lebanon Business College (where he took a commercial course), is in business with his father and brother.


p. 408


F. J. Kantner, M. D., is a well-known physician, of Reading, Pa., where he has successfully engaged in the duties that pertain to his profession since 1888, is one of the leading citizens of the city. He was born September 12, 1852 in Penn township, Berks county, son of Joel and Elizabeth (Leib) Kantner.

Thomas Kantner, grandfather of the Doctor, was born in Tulpehocken township, Berks county, in 1790. He became a prominent and well-to-do farmer, and he also owned and operated an old-time applejack distillery, accumulating of comfortable competency. He died in 1869, and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Heister, was born in 1792, and died in 1878. They were parents of the following children: Lydia m. John Zerby; Isaac; Maria m. Jacob Spangler; Margaret m. Isaac Knoll; Joel; Levi; Asa; Hannah m. Bennewell Degler; Zeth; Elizabeth; Ismael; and Augustus. In religious belief the family were all members of the Reformed Church, and in political matters were Democrat.

Joel Kantner, son of Thomas, received his education in the common schools of Upper Tulpehocken township, and early in life he became interested in working in wood. He was a skilled and ingenious mechanic, and there was hardly anything in the line of wood or iron work that he was unable to make or repair. He built many church pipe organs in his locality, some of which are in use at the present time, and he also manufactured melodeons. In addition Mr. Kantner operated a small farm. He was a member of the Reformed Church, giving liberally to its support, and he died in its faith in April 1888, aged sixty-six years. His first wife died in 1859, aged thirty years. He married (second) Leah Miller. His four children were all born to the first union, and were: Washington, of Reading; Dr. F. J.; William T., of Reading; and Levi, who died age four years. In politics, Mr. Kantner was a stanch Democrat.

Dr. F. J. Kantner's early education was secured in the schools of Penn township, and he later attended Stouchsburg Academy, subsequently teaching school for one term each in District and Jefferson townships, and later he attended Womelsdorf Academy for two terms under Professor Grumbine. He then engaged in the sewing machine and musical instrument business, but afterward returned to the old home where he remained about one year. At the end of that time Mr. Kantner moved to Bernville, remaining there until 1877, when he came to Reading and accepted a position with C. M. Maxwell, selling pianos and organs, later engaging on his own account at No. 517 Penn street in the same business. Mr. Kantner took up the manufacture of reed organs on a large scale, but finding competition too great, he sold out his business to take up the study of medicine, having previously read medicine with a view to entering the profession, but abandoning the idea on account of lack of funds with which to pursue his studies. He entered Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1885, and was graduated there from in 1888, with the degree of M. D., at once opening offices in Reading, where he has since been engaged in lucrative practice.

In 1872 Dr. Kantner married Mary C. Zeller, of Marion township, Berks county. Four children have been born to this union: Laura L., a teacher in the public schools of Reading; Harry H., an attorney-at-law; Mary A., wife of Dr. Stryker; and Lottie, at home. Dr. Kantner is a loyal Democrat in politics, and was elected coroner of Berks county for one term.


p. 731


George J. Kapp, one of Marion township's highly respected citizens, who lived retired at Stouchsburg from 1902, was for many years engaged in tailoring. He was born Sept. 22, 1837, in Mill Creek township, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of John and Eliza (Meiser) Kapp, and died Sept. 26, 1909.

Michael Kapp, the progenitor of this family, was of German descent, and a pioneer settler of Heidelberg township, in the district that is now embraced in Jackson township, Lebanon county. His name appears among the list of taxables of Heidelberg one year after Berks county had been separated from Lancaster. Mr. Kapp had two children: Frederick; and Leonard, who had a son Leonard.

Frederick Kapp (Capp), the great-grandfather of George J., was one of the pioneers of the Newmanstown section of what is now Lebanon county. He owned in the neighborhood of 400 acres of land, on which he built log cabins, and dug a well in sandy soil. He had reached a depth of sixty feet, but while he was at dinner the sides caved in, burying his tools. which stood at the bottom of the well, and there they remain to this day. He was an excellent blacksmith, manufacturing all of his own farming implements in addition to forks and blacksmith nails. He is buried in the old burial ground at the Tulpehocken Lutheran Church. His grave has no head-stone, but a relative has a stone near by. Frederick Kapp had children: George and Andrew; Molly, m. to Frederick Moyer; and Meria, m. to Jacob Kehl.

Andrew Kapp, grandfather of George J., was born Feb. 25, 1782, at Newmanstown, on the Kapp farm later owned by his son John. He was a lifelong farmer, and died Dec. 31. 1844, being buried at the burial ground at Newmanstown. He married Elizabeth MilIer, who was born Jan. 19, 1783, at Millcreek, Lebanon county, and died Aug. 27, 1867. They had three children: Sarah died unmarried at an advanced age; Catherine, m. to Isaac Gerhart; and John. John Kapp, father of George J., was born at Newmanstown. Pa., Nov. 24, 1809, and died Aug. 7, 1892 aged eighty-two years, eight months, thirteen days being buried at Newmanstown. He was a lifelong farmer, having an excellent property of 123 acres in Millcreek township, Lebanon county, and was a man of wide acquaintance among the agriculturists of his district. Mr. Kapp was also a well-known sportsman, being an excellent marksman, and frequently won prizes. In his religious belief he was a Lutheran, and he attended St. Elias Church at Newmanstown. Mr. Kapp married Elizabeth Meiser, born Dec. 4, 1807, and died Sept. 19, 1875, aged sixty-seven years, nine months, fifteen days, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Keller) Meiser. They had nine children, all but one surviving, the oldest being seventy-five years of age, and the youngest past fifty-five: Peter, Levi. Elizabeth, George, Thomas, James, Emma, Sarah and John.

George J. Kapp spent his youth upon the home farm, and until he was seventeen years of age remained with his parents, at this time learning the trade of tailor from Frederick A. Schultz, who was a member of the same family from which came Governor Schultz. Mr. Kapp came to Stouchsburg in 1862, and there carried on the tailoring business with marked success until his retirement in 1902. He had in his employ five assistants, and enjoyed a large trade, much of which in the earlier days consisted in making up home-made woolen material, which was brought to him by the settlers in the surrounding country. Mr. Kapp was an agent for the Northern Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Ephrata, Lancaster county, a position which he held since 1875, during which time he wrote up a large number of risks in his district.

Although he was an invalid from the fall of 1906, and was almost entirely confined to his house, he was of cheerful disposition, bearing his suffering patiently. He was a man of intelligence, and conversed fluently in both English and German. A Republican in his political affiliations, he always had the welfare of his township at heart, but would never allow his name to be used in connection with any office. He was a member of the Order of Good Fellows at Stouchsburg, being one of the oldest members. He was connected with Christ (Tulpehocken) Lutheran Church. of Marion township.

On June 21. 1862, Mr. Kapp married Amanda M. Donges, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Burkholder) Donges, and to this union there have been born two children: Ellen m. Frank Walborn, a cigar-packer of Stouchsburg, who was born March 17, 1858, and died April 6, 1905, aged forty-seven years. leaving two children, Ralph K. and Mary. A.; and Charles F., born Oct. 30, 1867, met his death in the dynamite explosion which destroyed the Tulpehocken church in Marion township, Nov. 6. 1884, in his eighteenth year, and is buried in the Kapp family lot at that church, his last resting-place being marked by the Kapp monument.


p. 1184


Leonard Israel Kapp, a substantial farmer of Marion township, Berks Co., Pa., who is cultivating an excellent tract of 140 acres of farming land, was born July 10, 1860, in Jackson township, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of Leonard and Maria (Mosser) Kapp.

Leonard Kapp, the great-grandfather of Leonard I., was a son of Michael Kapp, a native of Germany, who emigrated to Heidelberg township, now embraced in Jackson township, Lebanon county, long before 1752, in which year Berks county was organized, that section of land being taken from Lancaster county. Leonard Kapp owned much land in Jackson township, where he died. He had a brother Frederick, who had two sons ? George and Andrew.

The grandfather of Leonard I. Kapp, also named Leonard, was born May 24, 1780, in Lebanon county, and died at Reistville, on the old homestead, Sept. 30, 1853, being buried at Christ Lutheran Church at Myerstown. He owned large properties in Jackson township, and was considered a very wealthy man for that day. Mr. Kapp married Anna Yundt, and they had the following children: John, born July 18, 1807; Henry, Dec. 3, 1808; George, Aug. 21, 1810; Catherine, May 10, 1813; Jacob, Nov. 11, 1814; Leah, July 16, 1817; Elizabeth, May 29, 1821; Lydia, Nov. 27, 1823; and Leonard, Feb. 24, 1826.

Leonard Kapp, father of Leonard I., was born Feb. 24, 1826, in Lebanon county, and died Sept. 10, 1882, at the age of fifty-six years, six months, sixteen days, on his farm in Marion township, being buried in the Kapp family lot at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1872 Mr. Kapp moved to Marion township, and settled on a farm of 140 acres, four years later purchasing the farm adjoining, which was the property of Jacob Scheetz, who had obtained it from Adam Schuetz, who had originally settled on it in 1723. The southern part of this farm originally belonged to the Balthaser Anspach, as is shown on the Lindenmuth map of early settlers. The property on which Mr. Kapp first settled belonged to one Samuel Scheetz, a brother of Jacob, the latter of whom owned an ox during the latter forties or early fifties, weighing 3425 pounds, the largest animal that Berks countians ever saw. Mr. Scheetz had a special shed in which the ox was kept, and a special wagon was constructed, on which the animal was hauled to Philadelphia, where after exhibiting it for some time, Mr. Scheetz sold it. Admission was charged to view this great beast, and the country people for miles around rode in on horseback to see it. Later it was killed and mounted, and stood on exhibition in Horticultural Hall, at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Leonard Kapp was a prosperous farmer and well-known man in his vicinity.

He was a Lutheran member of Christ Evangelical Church, in which he was a deacon and elder, and in politics was a Democrat, serving his township as school director for some years. He married Maria Mosser, daughter of John and Sarah (Schuetz) Mosser, and they had these children: Sarah; John L., of Reistville, Lebanon county; Emma, m. to Christ Bucher, of Reistville; Amanda, m. to John Krall, of Reistville; Simon C., an iron worker of No. 521 East Cumberland street, Lebanon; Leonard I.; Maria, who died in infancy; and Annie, m. to Frank Treida, of Mount Aetna, Pennsylvania.

Leonard I. Kapp was born on Israel Day, according to the Almanac, from which he received his middle name. When twelve years of age he removed with his parents to Marion township, where he worked for his father until the latter's death, at which time he was bequeathed the original farm, and his sister Sarah the second farm. Each of these properties consist of 140 acres, and are in a high state of cultivation. Four years after his father's death, Mr. Kapp's farm stock was sold at public vendue, and Mr. Kapp, his sister and mother removed to Stouchsburg, where Mrs. Kapp died Nov. 22, 1906, aged eighty-three years. In the following spring Mr. Kapp and his sister returned to Miss Kapp's farm, and on account of the scarcity of farms in this neighborhood the original homestead was rented.

In politics Mr. Kapp is a Democrat, and he has always been a leader in movements that promise to be of benefit to the community in which he resides. He is a good, practical farmer, and his sister's property, which he cultivates, is one of the fine farms of this section of Marion township. Mr. and Miss Kapp are members of Christ Lutheran (Tulpehocken) Church, where he has been a deacon since 1901. Both are greatly interested in the work of the Sunday-school, of which Mr. Kapp is an official.


p. 762


William Katzenmoyer, deceased, was an employee of the East Penn car shops for many years. He was born at Reading, March 30, 1844, son of William and Catherine (Schreffler) Katzenmoyer.

Ludwig Katzenmoyer, grandfather of William, lived in Heidelberg township, but late in life moved to Reading, where he died advanced in years. He was buried at Alsace Church, where several generations of the family are interred. He was a farmer and owned much land about Hampton, now a part of Reading. He was married four times, surviving all his wives. Among his children were: John, Jacob, William, Polly, Fannie (who went West, was never heard from, and her estate is still unclaimed), Kate and Magdalene.

William Katzenmoyer Sr., son of Ludwig and father of William, was a farmer in Berks county many years, then moved to Reading, where he died at the age of sixty-three years. His children were the following: Ludwig; Jacob, who died young; Catherine, m. to Henry Snyder; Susan and Rebecca, who both died young; and Willliam. William, Sr., had one step-brother, Henry Beidler, and one step-sister, Eliza, wife of Peter Leise.

William Katzenmoyer attended the district schools near his home and then worked for some years on the farm. He came to the East Penn shops, and remained in continuous employ of the company for twenty-three years. His last work before retiring was the painting of engines. Judge Ermentrout then appointed him tipstaff at the court house, in which position he served several years. He died April 26, 1899, at the age of fifty-five years, one month and seven days, and was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery.

Mr. Katzenmoyer was married, May 30, 1868, to Mary I. Koch, daughter of John and Catherine (Hoff) Koch. They had sons as follows born to them: William H., connected with the Scott Works, at Reading; Irvin D. and George L., both working in the J. H. Sternbergh plant; and Lyman H. all industrious young men and all living at home with their mother at No. 505 North Eighth street Reading.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:47 EDT

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