Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1608


Rev. Benjamin Elias Kramlich was born in Weisenburg township, Lehigh county, Pa., Oct 7, 1831, son of Christian and Catharine (Kocher) Kramlich. During his boyhood he attended the common schools at Fogelsville, after which he was a pupil at an academy conducted by Rev. Van Deveer at Easton. In that city he was engaged for several years as a clerk in a dry goods store. In 1851 he resumed his studies, entering the preparatory department of Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, and he graduated from that institution in 1856. The next two years were spent at the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and in the fall of 1858 he was licensed by the West Pennsylvania Synod, and was admitted into the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, and was ordained by it at Lebanon, Pa., in 1859. He first took charge of Trexlertown, Maxatawny (Siegfried's), Moselem, Fleetwood, Rockland (Mertz's) Hereford (Huff's) and Mertztown. At various times during the long years of his ministry he served Mohrsville, Shoemakersville and Jacksonville, and at the time of his death he was still serving five of the original congregations, having given up Moselem and Huff's years before, and added St. Peters, Topton, which he organized.

During his entire ministry he was connected with the Keystone State Normal School, which he helped to establish. He was a member of the board of trustees from the very beginning, and its president during the last twenty-three years. From 1885 to 1888 he also served as president of Conference.

On May 23, 1863, the Rev. Mr. Kramlich married Sophia B. Bieber, daughter of John and Hannah Bieber. He died Jan. 1, 1900, leaving his widow and three sons--Rev. William Wilberforce, Rev. John Frederick and Prof. George Edgar--and two daughters--Ella Evangeline and Charlotte Belle. His remains rest in the cemetery at Kutztown. The board of trustees of the Normal School placed a tablet in that institution in commemoration of his excellent services in its behalf.

Rev. William Wilberforce Kramlich, eldest son of the late Rev. Benjamin Elias, was born in Kutztown, Jan. 22, 1866, and was educated in the Normal School of that town, and at Chambersburg, entering Muhlenberg College, 1883, and graduating therefrom in 1887. In the fall he entered the Theological Seminary, from which he graduated May 19, 1891, and he was ordained at Pottstown. During the first years he assisted his father, and was then called to the Womelsdorf parish--Zion's, St. Daniel's near Robesonia, St. John's Host and Zion's at Strausstown. This field he served until the latter part of November, 1901. He is now located at Pinegrove, Pa. On June 14, 1894, he married Ida Ahrens, of Reading.

Rev. John Frederick Kramlich was born at Kutztown, Aug. 20, 1871, and his early literary training was received in the Normal School, from which he graduated in 1889. For three years he taught in the public schools of Lehigh county. He later entered Muhlenberg College, and graduated in 1896. In 1899 he graduated from Mt. Airy Seminary, and was ordained May 29th, by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania. He then took charge of Grace Church at Royersford. The congregation has built a fine new church during his ministry.

Prof. George Edgar Kromlich was born at Kutztown Oct. 3, 1873, and received his elementary training in the Normal School, graduating in 1891. After teaching several terms in Berks and Montgomery counties he entered Muhlenberg College, from which institution he graduated in 1897. He then taught in the classical department of the Keystone State Normal School for two terms, after which he became principal of schools in Brookville, Jefferson county, and later was superintendent of schools at Tarentum, Allegheny county. After pursuing a post-graduate course in the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, he accepted the chair of German and Latin in the Ball high school, Galveston, Texas, where he is now located.


p. 1124


Curtis E. Krauss, local superintendent of the Otto Eisenlohr & Bros. cigar manufactory, Reading, was born in Lehigh county, Pa., Dec. 13, 1872.

Balthaser Krauss, the ancestor of the American family of the name, was a son of Widow Anna Krauss, who came to Pennsylvania in 1733. On Jan. 16, 1736, he married Susanna Hoffman, and their children were: Rosina, born April 10, 1737; Susanna, Aug. 29, 1738; Barbara, July 22, 1742; Balthaser, Nov. 28, 1743; and Maria, July 17, 1750. Balthaser Krauss died Feb. 25, 1774, and his wife April 14, 1791.

Balthaser Krauss, son of Balthaser the emigrant, was born Nov. 28, 1743. On June 14, 1769, he married Susanna, daughter of H. Heinrich Yeakel, and their children were: John, born March 1, 1770; Andrew, June 21, 1771; Balthaser, Nov. 10, 1772 (died Aug. 26, 1779); Regina, 1775 (died 1807); Helena, 1776; Rosanna, 1780; George, Feb. 23, 1783; and Lydia, July 3, 1786.

John Krauss, son of Balthaser and Susanna (Yeakel), was born March 1, 1770. On May 11, 1795, he married Rosina Yeakel, daughter of Michael Yeakel, and their children were: Sarah, born 1795 (died 1798); Maria, Jan. 7, 1798; a daughter, 1800 (died unnamed); Anthony, May 23, 1803; Daniel, Oct. 16, 1805 (died April 3, 1808); a daughter, 1811 (died 1811); a son 1813 (died 1813); Joseph, Nov. 14, 1814; and Lydia.

Andrew Krauss, son of Balthaser and Susanna (Yeakel) born June 21, 1771, married Nov. 30, 1797, Susanna, daughter of Andrew Schultz. Their children were: Regina, born 1798; Leah, 1799; Joel, Oct. 11, 1801; George, Dec. 14, 1803; Samuel; Rebecca, Nov. 20, 1805; John; and David, Jan. 12, 1821.

George Krauss, son of Balthaser and Susanna (Yeakel) and the next in direct line to Curtis E. Krauss of Reading, was born Feb. 23, 1783, in Upper Montgomery county.

Jacob Krauss, son of George, was born May 9, 1807, in Kraussdale, Montgomery county, where he engaged in farming all his life. Like his ancestors he belonged to the Schwenkfelder religious society. He married Lydia Krieble, and they had these children: Amos, born March 21, 1833; Amanda, June 19, 1834; Selina, June 1, 1837; Samuel, Aug. 23, 1839; Jacob, Feb. 1, 1842; Catharine, March 21, 1844; and Mary, Oct. 23, 1846. Jacob Krauss died in 1879.

Amos Krauss, son of Jacob and Lydia (Krieble), was born in Lehigh county, March 21, 1833. His early years were spent on his fathers farm, and in 1883 he moved to Quakertown, where he followed farming. For some years he taught school in Upper Milford township, Lehigh county. He is now living retired in his own home. He is a man of high repute, and has been a good and useful citizen. His wife, Sophia Edelman, is a daughter of John Edelman, of Montgomery county. They had nine children: Amanda, m. to Frank Ackerman; Ambrose, who died in infancy; Preston, of Philadelphia; Morris, of Quakertown; Percifur, of Philadelphia; Puella, m. to L. H. Bartholomew, and died in August, 1906; Virginia, m. to Francis C. Detweiler, of Philadelphia; Curtis E.; and Sylvia, m. to Jeremiah Wissler, of Souderton, Pennsylvania.

Curtis E. Krauss was educated in the public schools of Quakertown, whither his parents had removed when he was eleven years of age. At the age of seventeen he learned the cigar makers trade from Henry Sommer & Son, with whom he remained about two years. He then worked at different factories in Quakertown, and the surrounding district, after which he connected himself with the H. Smeal Cigar Manufacturing Company, of Philadelphia, as general manager, remaining there four years. The following two years he was in the preparation department of Graham & Ernst, cigar manufacturers at Quakertown, acquiring a varied and valuable experience. He then, June 1, 1904, became foreman of Otto Eisenlohr & Bros. factory at Richlandtown, Bucks county, remaining there until March 1st of the following year, when he became the general manager and superintendent of the Otto Eisenlohr & Bros. factory at Reading, the second largest of its kind in that city. The plant is located at Seventh and Washington streets, the main building is 55x100 feet, and the annex is 30x45 feet, all four stories high. The interior is finished in hard wood, and everything is arranged on a strictly sanitary basis. There are about 400 persons employed, and over all Mr. Krauss has entire charge.

In 1895 Mr. Krauss married Miss Lizzie Heist, daughter of Henry C. and Leanna Heist, of Quakertown. Two children have been born to them: Herman Lloyd and Christine Leome. Socially Mr. Krauss belongs to St. Bernard Commandery, No. 49, Knights of Malta, of Quakertown; and Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M., of Reading. He and his family are members of Trinity Lutheran Church. The family home is at No. 723 North Fourth street, Reading.


p. 596


Milton C. Kreider, alderman of the Fourth ward, Reading, has been prominently connected with the political affairs of that city for a number of years. He is descended from a family of German origin, the founders of which in this country were three brothers, who came to America many generations ago. One of them settled in Lebanon county, one in Huntingdon county and the other in Lancaster county, Pa., Mr. Kreider being descended from the latter.

William Kreider, grandfather of the Alderman, lived in Lititz, Lancaster county. He went to Florida and took part in the Seminole Indian war and was never heard from afterward. Edwin W. Kreider, the Alderman's father, was then but four years old. He became a carriage builder and died in Reading May 17, 1904, aged seventy-four years. He married Angelina Missemer, daughter of Samuel Missemer, who was in the cigar business at Catasauqua, and they were the parents of ten children, four of whom are deceased: E. W., who died in 1876, aged fourteen years; George B., who died in 1866, aged two years; Mary Ida, who died in infancy in 1860; and Clarence, a bookkeeper, who died in 1902. The surviving children are Milton C.; Franklin S., a constable of the Fourth ward, Reading; Annie, wife of Benjamin Schoenberger, in the clothing business in Reading; Emma, at home; Roland and Henry, carriage painters of Reading.

Milton C. Kreider was born March 23, 1854, and he was educated in the public schools. Leaving home at the age of seventeen years his first occupation was at herding cattle on the plains. He spent eight years on the frontier, and then returning to Reading, went into the carriage business with his father, becoming general superintendent for the latter. He remained in this position until 1886, when he went to Schuylkill county, and engaged in carriage building and hotel keeping on his own account, remaining there six years. Returning to Reading he entered his father's carriage shops again in the position of superintendent. In 1893 Mr. Kreider was elected superintendent of the Reading Relief Society. In 1896 he was elected constable of the Fourth ward, and in 1899 was elected to succeed himself in that office. In 1902, although running on the Democratic ticket in a Republican ward, he was elected alderman of the Fourth ward, which office he is still filling.

Mr. Kreider was married April 9, 1881, to Valera Geier. He and his wife have adopted two children: Tracey Redcay and Leroy Hoberacker, both of whom are at school. Fraternally Alderman Kreider is a member of the Red Men; the Fraternal Order of Eagles; and "The Commercials." In religion he is a member of the Methodist Church.


p. 208


Edward S. Kremp, lawyer, Reading, comes from an ancestry which had its origin in Alsace-Lorraine, several generations of the family having resided in Saar-Union, while under the jurisdiction of France, of which municipality his great-grandfather, John Kremp, a Chevalier de St. Louis (born Dec. 12, 1747, died Feb. 26, 1836), was Mayor from 1810 to 1819.

Xavier Kremp, grandfather of Edward S., was born April 13, 1791, and was a number of years municipal clerk of Saar-Union.

Dominic Kremp, son of Xavier, born June 18, 1832, came to America in June, 1850, taking up his residence in Reading, Berks Co., Pa. He dealt for many years in real estate but is now living retired. His wife was Matilda Leitham, Daughter of Martin Leitham, a prominent farmer of Bally, Berks country. To them were born three children: Mary E., Anna A., and Edward S.

Edward S. Kremp is a native of Reading, born Nov. 16, 1866. His early educational training was gained in the public schools of the city, and he later attended St. Vincent's College, at Latrobe, Pa., where he was graduated with first honors in 1886. Beginning the study of law in the office of Cyrus G. Derr, of Reading, he was admitted to the Bar in November, 1889, and has since continued to practice.

Mr. Kremp married, in 1890, Miss Elsie Boas, who comes from distinguished ancestry, being the daughter of Capt. E. P. Boas and Elizabeth Kupp, the latter the daughter of Major Henry S. Kupp, of Birdsboro, Berks county, who was provost marshal during the war of the Rebellion. Her mother, Rebecca (Morgan) Kupp, was a daughter of Colonel Morgan, the founder of Morgantown, Berks county, and the line here runs back to the Morgans of Revolutionary fame. To Mr. and Mrs. Kremp has been born one daughter, Augusta.

Mr. Kremp at one time owned the beautiful country seat known as "Ravenswood" in the suburbs, which was built by him, and he is the author of "Caws from Ravenswood," a booklet of poems which appeared in December, 1895, and which two months thereafter was translated into German by Professor Wilhelm Hartman.


p. 1241


Joseph P. Kremp, one of the best known and most successful business men in the city of Reading, son of the late Louis and Caroline (Prestat) Kremp, was born in 1854, in Berks county, Pennsylvania.

Picture of Joseph P. KrempHe was educated in the public and high schools of that city and later finished at Villa Nova College. After graduation, he entered his father's building association office, in which he obtained a thorough, practical training in the conduct of all branches of real estate, banking and insurance business. Later, he became interested in the manufacture of high class ornamental glassware, previously made only by expert artists and workmen in Europe and exported to this country. For this purpose he left his father's office to establish the Reading Glass Works, the pioneer American company in this line, and was appointed general manager. A modern plant was erected, but conditions were not conducive to making the enterprise a commercial success. It was therefore abandoned; and, in conjunction with his father, he incorporated the Reading Brewing Company, the plant being built on the site of the glass works. Mr. Kremp was made general manager, which position he held for eight years. He was notary public for the First National Bank and other banks of Reading (succeeding his father, upon his death, as director), and represented many of the leading insurance companies in this district. In 1882 he became interested in the Penn Butt Works as a partner with C. R. and A. A. Heizmann, with a one-third interest. Later, upon the consolidation of the Penn Butt Works with the Penn Hardware Company, his interests were transferred and he became a director in the latter company.

Mr. Kremp was a director of the Penn National Bank, the Pennsylvania Trust Company, and a member of the Board of Trade. He was also interested in a great number of building associations in Reading.

Mr. Kremp enjoyed an extensive personal acquaintance through the southeastern section of the State. He had many stanch friends who admired his social qualities and unswerving loyalty to his social and business ideals. As a business man, he was energetic and extremely broadminded. Although through his active efforts he gained a competency, on a number of occasions he sacrificed financial interests when in conflict with the high standard which he had set for himself and on which his business reputation was based. The city of Reading is not only indebted to him for the establishment of two important industrial plants which gave employment to hundreds of men, but also to his public-spirited citizenship in taking part in most important movements for the general welfare and advancement of the community.

At the time of his death in Reading, Oct. 31, 1902, besides his extensive professional and business occupations, he was a member of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, of the Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia and of St. John's Society.

On March 4, 1887, Mr. Kremp was married to Laura Amelia Miller, daughter of Lewis Miller (mentioned just above), a former partner in the old Reading Iron Works, and the inventor of the well-known Miller cotton compress. To this union were born two children: Lewis, who having prepared at the Cascadella School, Ithaca, N. Y., became a student in the engineering department of Columbia University, N. Y.; and Marie Ada, pupil at the Academy of Madame of the Sacred Heart, Manhattanville, New York.

Mrs. Kremp has been actively engaged in works of commemoration and beneficence. Among other positions, she served as a member of the committee on Woman's Work to be sent from Berks county, Pa., to the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, Ill., in 1893; on committee of judges of the Women's Work at the International Cotton Exposition in Atlanta, Ga.; was first president of the Ladies' Auxiliary of St. Joseph's Hospital, Reading, Pa.; section president of the Needlework Guild, and on the Women's committee of the Sesqui-Centennial in Reading.

Louis Kremp, father of Joseph P., a well known citizen of Reading, was nationally famous at the "Father of Building Associations." At one time during his career, he was secretary of twenty-one separate institutions of that character, and regarded as one of the best real estate and insurance agents in the State of Pennsylvania.

The elder Kremp was born Oct. 26, 1820, in Saar-Union, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France, son of John Kremp, for many years city clerk, and grandson of John Kremp, who had held the office of Mayor and was a man of More than ordinary influence. Louis Kremp obtained his early education in the joined his father as a partner in business, continuing with him until the spring of 1849, when with his wife he left for America, arriving in New York City on July 4th. At this time Mr. C. Wagner, a friend and school companion, was teaching Latin in Philadelphia, and on his advice Mr. Kremp removed to Reading, where he opened a notion store. In April, 1862, he was elected secretary of St. Peter's Catholic Church Beneficial Society, a very extensive organization.

In 1863 he was elected secretary of the Reading German Building & Savings Association, and assisted in organizing several branches. In 1873 he was elected alderman of the Eighth ward of Reading, by a large majority, but at the end of his first term declined renomination, at that date receiving a commission as notary public. Mr. Kremp was the founder of the Reading Brewing Company. He died March 15, 1896.

In September, 1847, in his native country, Mr. Kremp was married to Caroline Prestat, born July 2, 1828, in Fraize, France, who died April 2, 1883, daughter of Nicholas Joseph Prestat, a prominent man of his locality, who held a responsible position under the government.

To Mr. and Mrs. Kremp were born children as follows: Joseph P., Amelia T., Lizzie P., and Caroline E.


p. 779


Frank L. Kreps is a plumber at Reading, Pa., whose establishment is situated at No. 40 North Sixth street. He was born April 30, 1865, at Salem, Ohio, son of Henry and Mary (O'Brien) Kreps.

Henry Kreps, father of Frank L., was also a native of Salem, Ohio, and there spent his entire life, and died in 1876, aged about thirty-eight years. His trade was that of a machinist, and he was for many years known as a skilled mechanic and successful business man. Henry Kreps was married to Mary O'Brien, who died at Norristown, Pa., in August 1896, aged fifty-two years, and to them there were born these children: William, engaged in the manufacture of silk at Paterson, N. J.; Frank L.; Charles, in the plumbing business at Fort Washington, Pa.; Elwood, a carpenter of Chester, Pa.; Ida, wife of William Schoffner, of Norristown, Pa.; and Katie, m. to Frank Bechtel, of near Coatesville, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Mrs. Mary (O'Brien) Kreps was a daughter of George O'Brien, a native of a suburb of New York City. He was a machinist and a stationary engineer. His children were: Sallie, Elizabeth, Mary and John (who located at Chester Pa., and died in the early seventies).

Frank L. Kreps attended the public schools of his native town, and when twelve years old went to Delaware, later to Chester county, Pa., and finally to Philadelphia, where he learned the plumbing trade, following that occupation for about six years. At the expiration of this time he removed to Norristown, Pa., where for one year he was in the employ of the State Government, as a plumber, and the next year was spent at Phoenixville, where he was connected with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Mr. Kreps then spent six months at Pottstown, Pa., coming to Reading in 1892, where for thirteen years he was employed by the plumbing firm of Ed. Schull & Co. In 1907, Mr. Kreps engaged in business on his own account, opening an establishment at No. 108 North Eighth street, and later his present place, conveniently situated in the down-town district, No. 40 North Sixth street. He is a practical plumber, gas, hot water, and steam fitter.

Mr. Kreps was married to Maggie Garrison, of Reading, and their residence is situated at No. 108 North Eighth street. Fraternally, Mr. Kreps is connected with Aerie No. 66, F. O. E., of Reading, and he is also a member of the Master Plumbers' Association.


p. 516


Rev. George Smith Kressley, A. M., Professor of Latin, Greek and German, in the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa., was born Feb. 8, 1877, in the village of Rothrocksville, in Maxatawny township, Berks county.

Nathan Kressley, grandfather of George S., was a farmer and machinist. In early life he was a resident of Lowhill, Lehigh county, but later he removed to Maxatawny township, where he owned land, and where he engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is buried at Morgenland Church in Lehigh county. Mr. Kressley married Abbie Moyer, and they had these children: Frank, Percival M., Oliver, Amanda, Jane, Maria and Annie.

Percival M. Kressley, son of Nathan, was born in Lowhill, Lehigh county, Sept. 5, 1849, and died Feb. 21, 1906. He was a farmer in Maxatawny township for about twenty-eight years, owning excellent land near Rothrocksville, at which place he had engaged in the mercantile business for many years prior to engaging in agricultural pursuits. He was a good, representative citizen, and in political matters he was a Republican. On June 27, 1874, Mr. Kressley married Martha R. Smith, daughter of Stephen and Caroline (Smoyer) Smith, and to this union there were born these children: Rev. George Smith; Howard S.; and Annie S., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1907, and now engaged in teaching.

Rev. George Smith Kressley received his early education in the schools of Maxatawny township, attended the Keystone State Normal School, and then entered Muhlenberg College, from which he graduated in 1898. He later took a course at the Theological Seminary at Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, and graduated therefrom in 1901, being ordained a minister of the Lutheran Church in June of that year. Previous to his graduation from the seminary he had been appointed to the Department of Latin, Greek and German, in the Keystone State Normal School, in which capacity he has served to the institution. Latin is a part of the regular Normal course, but the school makes a specialty of regular college preparatory work, and Prof. Kressley has been especially successful in this line, having prepared during the short time in which he has presided over the department over fifty student for the various colleges of the country.

On Aug. 5, 1902, Dr. Kressley was married to Anna R. Fretz, daughter of Reed and Maggie (Landis) Fretz, of Bucks county, and to this union there has been born one daughter: Helen Elizabeth.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:00 EDT

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