Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1068


Abram S. Kurtz, a retired agriculturalist of Caernarvon township, Berks county, who had spent all of his life in the vicinity of Morgantown, was born in this locality, June 15, 1855, son of Abram and Barbara (Stoltzfus) Kurtz.

Jacob Kurtz, grandfather of Abram S., was born in 1782, and died in 1853, aged seventy-one years, four months, twenty-one days. In 1809 he married Sallie Kurtz, born in 1791, who died in 1877. In the year of his marriage Mr. Kurtz purchased the old Morgan farm, where he resided until 1847, and in this year erected the buildings at King's, where he made his home until his death.

Abram Kurtz, son of Jacob, was born Feb. 26, 1820, on the old Gen. Morgan homestead, of which he took charge in 1847. After five and one-half years he removed to King's, a part of the Clymer farm, where he remained for eight and one-half years. He then put up a new set of buildings on the Morgan farm, where he made his home until his death. Although Mr. Kurtz lived to nearly eighty-eight years old, he retained his strength to a remarkable degree. He died February 8, 1908, and was buried in the Beiler cemetery. He was one of the grand old men of Caernarvon township, and as such was respected and esteemed by all who knew him. Mr. Kurtz married Barbara Stoltzfus, of Lancaster county, Pa., who was born Jan. 31, 1828, and died Dec. 31, 1895. She was buried in the Beiler cemetery, near Elverson, Pa. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz: Abram S.; Sarah m. Jacob Beiler; Elizabeth resided with her father; Isaac married Susan Esch; Barbara married Samuel Petersheim, and lives in Morgantown; Jacob S. m. Lydia Mast; and Annie m. Gideon Zook.

Abram S. Kurtz lived on the old Morgan homestead from April, 1878 until April 1907, when he sold this old and historic place, which had been in the family for a period of ninety-eight years, three generations having occupied it during that time. The old house is still standing, and the old granaries may be seen in the attic, where the grain was hidden during the Revolutionary war, as well as the secretive walls in the basement, with their movable stones.

Mr. Kurtz married Miss Susan Yoder, of Holmes county, Ohio, to which State her parents moved in pioneer days with an old Conestoga wagon, the journey requiring three weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz are the parents of the following children, all born on the old Morgan farm: Fannie m. Daniel Hertzler; Elizabeth died Sept. 26, 1904, aged twenty-three years, one month, fifteen days; Jacob lives at Elverson; Susan; Barbara and Ida.


p. 590


Adam Kurtz, junior member of the firm of Reed & Kurtz, proprietors of a popular restaurant at No. 433 Penn street, Reading, Pa., was born Aug. 21, 1877, in Marion township, Berks Co., Pa., son of William and Seleca (Kintzer) Kurtz.

William Kurtz was born March 22, 1834, in Marion township, where the Kurtz family was established early in the eighteenth century. All of his life has been spent in agricultural pursuits on the fine 100 acre farm on which he now resides, and on which is situated an old two and one-half story stone barn, a part of which was erected by Johann Jacob Losch, in about 1753, in which year he also erected the old historic house, which was used as an Indian fort in Colonial days. William Kurtz was married (first) May 12, 1863, to Amanda Grimes, who died in 1865, in her twenty-first year, leaving two children: Lizzie, m. to David Althouse, of Womelsdorf; and Sallie, m. to William Boyer, of Heidelberg township. Mr. Kurtz's second marriage occurred in 1867, when he was united with Seleca Kintzer, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Kintzer, and there were two sons born to this marriage: Adam; and Samuel, born March 2, 1881, m. Lottie Trautman, by whom he has had two children, Mildred and George W.

Adam Kurtz received his education in the public schools of his native township, and his youth was spent in agricultural pursuits on the old home farm. Deciding that there was a brighter future offered him in the city, he came to Reading in 1895, and for a time was in the employ of E. S. Wenrich, at No. 545 Penn street, but in June, 1902, with Elmer F. Reed as a partner, he established the present business, the connection having continued to the present time. The restaurant caters especially to the working man, and is one of the most popular of its kind in the city, gratifying success having attended the partners' efforts. In fraternal circles, Mr. Kurtz is connected with Washington Camp No. 560, P. O. S. of A.; Muhlenberg Lodge, No. 1082, I. O. O. F., both of Reading; Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree; Williamsport Consistory, 32d degree, and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a member of Liberty Fire Company. He and his family belong to First Reformed Church.

On June 1, 1903, Mr. Kurtz was married to Bessie Horn, eldest daughter of Robert and Mary (Reider) Horn, of Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz reside in their comfortable home at No. 513 Weiser street.


p. 1125


Adam A. Kurtz, who has been a lifelong resident of Cumru township, Berks county, was born on the old Kurtz homestead in this township, Aug. 31, 1862, son of Samuel and Catherine (Hains) Kurtz, and grandson of John Kurtz.

Samuel Kurtz was born May 14, 1814 in Cumru township, and died Dec. 17, 1884, and was buried at Yocom's Church. He was a lifelong farmer in his native township, where for many years he owned the old homestead. Mr. Kurtz married Catherine Hains, who died Dec. 4, 1884, aged sixty-seven years, seven days, daughter of Samuel Hains, of near Shoemakersville, Pa. To this union were born these children: Elizabeth, unmarried; Annie, m. to John Fritz, of Shillington; David, who lives at No. 317 South Fifth street, Reading; Samuel, of Spring Mount, Pa.; Catherine, m. to Rufus Yost, of Spring township; Mary, m. (first) to George Fisher (deceased) and (second) to Henry Fenstermacher, of Reading; Lydia, m. to Evan Spohn, of Sinking Spring; Rosa, m. to Morris Moser, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., and Adam Amos.

Adam Amos Kurtz obtained his education in the township schools, and until eighteen years of age worked on the home farm. He then learned the blacksmith's trade, which, he followed for four years. In 1887 he commenced work at the Reading Pipe Mill, where he has continued as a pipe cutter to the present time. In political matters Mr. Kurtz is a Republican, and fraternally he is connected with Chamber No. 28, Knights of Friendship, and Reading Tent of the Maccabees. Mr. Kurtz and his family are members of Yocum's Union Church, he being of the Lutheran denomination. In 1891 he erected a brick residence on Fern street in Oakbrook, and in 1897 he purchased another large brick residence located next to the one in which he lives.

On Sept. 19, 1886, Mr. Kurtz was married to Emily Tyack, daughter of James Tyack. a foreman in the Radenbush mines in Cumru township, who was born in London, England, Jan. 18, 1822, and died in 1874. He was married in St. Tillery, England, in 1843, to Grace Laity, born Nov. 24, 1827, daughter of Richard Laity, of England, and she now resides with her son-in-law, Mr. Kurtz. Mr. and Mrs. Tyack had thirteen children, Mrs. Kurtz being the twelfth. To Mr. and Mrs. Adam A. Kurtz were born five children: Florence E., who died in infancy; Robert H., who died aged four years, two months; Ernest J., who died aged fourteen months; and Harry A., born March 20, 1896, and Annie G., born Feb. 21, 1899, who are now attending school. rose


p. 1552


B. Frank Kurtz, of Caernarvon township, Berks county, where he is engaged in milling, was born Feb. 4, 1851, at the Kurtz Mills, son of John and Harriet (Gabriel) Kurtz.

John Kurtz, the great-great-grandfather of B. Frank Kurtz, emigrated from Germany to Scotland, where he married a Scotch lady, and later came to America, settling in Big Valley, Chester county, Pa. He was a miller by trade, as were his five sons, who manufactured flour for the American army during the Revolutionary war, concealing this flour in the large mill chimney where the British soldiers were unable to find it. One of John Kurtz's sons, named Christian, the great-grandfather of B. Frank, was born in Chester county, and died there, Both he and his wife were buried at Fair View Church.

Jacob Kurtz, the grandfather of B. Frank, was born in Joanna, Berks county, and he and his wife, Ann (Shingle) Kurtz, were buried near there at Harmony Church.

John Kurtz, the father of B. Frank, was born at Kurtz Mills, Feb. 3, 1818, and died Aug. 17, 1882. He was a miller by trade, and when a young man removed to Warwick, Chester county, where he became manager of the Warwick mills. In 1859 he purchased the Kurtz mills from the Bull Estate, and continued to operate them until his death in 1882. Mr. John Kurtz and Mr. Jacobs were the prime movers in the establishment of the New Caernarvon Cemetery at Morgantown, and Mr. Kurtz was the first man to be interred in the burial ground he labored so hard to establish. He was a prominent man of his community, and was a county commissioner from 1864 to 1867.

John Kurtz married Harriet Gabriel, who was born near Joanna, Sept. 25, 1820, and died at Kurtz Mills, Feb. 17, 1866. To them were born these children: Thomas; Sara, born Sept. 15, 1844, who died Jan. 8, 1847; William B., who lives in Portland, Ore.; Jacob; B. Franklin; Mary m. F. Sheler; Tamsen m. (first) to a Mr. Plank, and (second) to J. H. Wells; Maggie, m. to Mr. Albright and living at York, Pa.; Clara E., m. to William E. Grim and living at Honeybrook, Chester county; and J. Edward, who lives at The Dalles, Oregon.

B. Frank Kurtz attended the public schools of his native township and a select school of Morgantown, Pa., taught by Professor Hyke, and after completing his education learned milling with his father, who at that time operated the Kurtz mills. In the spring of 1883 he purchased these mills, his father having died the previous fall, and the operation of this enterprise has been his occupation to the present time. In 1892 he remodeled the mills, introducing the roller process, and the output now exceeds 200 barrels of flour monthly, in addition to a very large exchange trade, as well as over twenty tons of feed and a large custom trade. Besides the mills, Mr. Kurtz owns a fine farm of some seventy-five acres, and his well known integrity and honesty, as well as his business capacity, have caused him to be chosen as administrator of numerous estates, including the Unangst estate, which necessitated a trip to St. Louis.

On May 1, 1879, Mr. Kurtz was married to Miss Laura A. Good, born Feb. 21, 1858, daughter of Owen B. and Sara A. (Mast) Good. The former was born Nov. 22, 1813, and died Feb. 7, 1885, and the latter was born in 1823, and died May 10, 1858. Both are buried in the Byler Cemetery, near Elverson, Pa. Mrs. Kurtz's grandparents were John and Barbara (Brunner) Good. To Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Kurtz have been born eight children: (1) Sara Adella, born April 10, 1881, m. to Harry Plank, lives at Kurtz mills, and has two children-David K., born June 30, 1901, and Luther, born July 20, 1906. (2) Fannie Verge, born Jan. 27, 1884, who is an accomplished vocalist, was an expert stenographer with Shattach & Michmer in the Land Title Building, Philadelphia. She married Dr. George Maxwell, a skilled dentist and optician of Bristow, Nebr. (3) Laura Ellena, born Oct. 19, 1887, affectionately called Lena, is an accomplished musician. (4) Marie Mast, born July 2, 1890, graduated from the Morgantown high school when sixteen years of age, and is now a teacher in the Caernarvon public schools. (5) Charles Franklin was born July 16, 1892. (6) John Winfred was born April 2, 1894. (7) Harold Ethelbert was born Sept. 27, 1897. (8) Verna Heintz was born Jan. 26, 1902.

Mr. Kurtz is a stanch Democrat, and that he is very popular in Caernarvon township is evinced by the fact that although the district in which he resides is strongly Republican, his neighbors have on numerous occasions chosen him to fill township offices. He has been a delegate from Caernarnvon to more than twenty county conventions, a member of the county standing committee for over twenty years, delegate to the State convention that nominated Robert E. Pattison for his second term as governor of Pennsylvania, and a delegate to the National convention at Kansas City, in 1909, when for the second time William J. Bryan was nominated for the presidency. In the campaign of 1907 he was one of the leading candidates for the nomination for clerk of quarter sessions.

Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz have traveled extensively, having visited the Pacific coast and traveled through much of the West. Mr. Kurtz's religious affiliations are with the St. Thomas Episcopal Church at Morgantown, while Mrs. Kurtz is an adherent of the Methodist faith. They have a beautiful home at Kurtz Mills, and are highly esteemed by their neighbors and many friends.

KURTZ, J. E. (DR.)

p. 661


Dr. J. E. Kurtz, one of the most prominent physicians of Reading, belongs to a family noted for its members who have followed the "healing art," his father, Dr. Samuel L. Kurtz, being one of the best known physicians in Reading, and his brother, Dr. Clarence Morgan Kurtz, being another of the skilled medical men of that city.

The maternal ancestors of Dr. J. E. Kurtz came from Wales to America in 1661, and his paternal ancestors were natives of Darmstadt, Germany, who came to this country at various periods ranging from 1727 to 1745, settling in Chester county, Pa., where they followed agricultural pursuits.

Dr. Samuel L. Kurtz married Sarah Morgan, daughter of John Morgan, of Phoenixville, Chester county, whose farm embraced all of the land upon which Phoenixville now stands. Three children were born to this union: Clarence Morgan Kurtz, M. D., of Reading; Georgine, m. to Nicholas Muhlenberg, a chemist; and Dr. J. E.

Dr. J. E. Kurtz was born Oct. 15, 1856, at Oakland Mills, Juniata Co., Pa. He was educated in the Reading high school, and at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., from which he graduated in 1877 with the degree of A. B. (the degree of A. M. being later conferred upon him), and at Jefferson Medical College, from which he graduated March 13, 1880. Since this time the Doctor has been practising his profession in Reading. For a time he followed a general practice but for many years he has made a specialty of the eye, ear, nose and throat, and in this he has been eminently successful.

Dr. Kurtz was married Oct. 3, 1888, to Mary E. Shoemaker, daughter of Dr. Charles E. Shoemaker, a prominent physician of Reading who died in 1890. Two children were born to this union: Georgine and Francina, both at school. Dr. Kurtz is a member of the Reading (City) Medical Society, of the Berks County Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association, and has time and again been a delegate to the State and National bodies.


p. 1415


John B. Kurtz, proprietor of the "Kurtz House" in Cumru township, Berks county, was born on the Kurtz homestead July 15, 1875, son of Henry and Amanda (Swartz) Kurtz.

Abraham Kurtz, his great-grandfather, was born July 5, 1753, and died Sept. 21, 1831, aged seventy-eight years, two months, sixteen days. He owned the old Kurtz homestead in Cumru township, on which he was buried, as was his wife, Barbara, born in 1750, who died Oct. 11, 1823, aged seventy-three years, nine months. Their children were: Mary, born Jan. 9, 1775; Abraham, born Dec. 4, 1779. who removed to Centerville, Cumberland county, Pa., where he reared a large family: Susan, born Feb. 19, 1782; John, born July 14, 1784; Elizabeth, born Feb. 13, 1788; and Catherine, born April 30, 1791. Two of the daughters married cousins, both of whose names were Jacob Yoder, and both of whom settled in Holmes county, Ohio.

John Kurtz, born July 14, 1784, died May 5, 1849. He was a farmer, and owned 190 acres of fine land in Cumru township, in 1847 building the house thereon, and later the barn; these buildings stand near the Kurtz House, and are still excellent in condition. He was well to do, owning in addition to this property three fine farms in Lancaster county, giving one each to his sons, Abraham, Jacob and John. John Kurtz married Anna Kurtz, born Aug. 9, 1782, who died Aug. 5, 1852, the mother of these children: Samuel, born in 1814, lived on the old home; Abraham, born in 1815, Jacob in 1817, and John in 1820, all settled in Lancaster county; Joseph, born Oct. 2, 1822, died Sept. 21, 1827; Barbara, born June 19, 1824, died March 30, 1857; Henry; Annie, born in 1831, married Joshua Huyett; and Amos, born March 21, 1834, on the homestead in Cumru township, married Catherine Eberly, daughter of David and Cassandra (Ream) Eberly. He was a farmer until 1873 when he came to Shillington, and in 1878 built a double brick house on Lancaster avenue, in 1879 building the brick house in which he has lived retired ever since. In 1877-78 he was elected supervisor of Cumru township by the Republican party, was an elder of Emanuel Reformed Church of Shillington, and a prominent and substantial citizen.

Henry Kurtz was born on the old homestead, July 15, 1828, and died April 18, 1901. He owned the Kurtz farm, which then consisted of about 100 acres of the best land in Berks county, and in 1871 erected the "Kurtz House," a large three-story brick building which has twenty-five large rooms. Although an agriculturist up to that time, the next six years were given entirely to the hotel business, and in 1885 he retired altogether from active life. In 1884 he erected the fine large brick residence across the meadow from the "Kurtz House," an elevated wooden bridge connecting this residence with the Lancaster turnpike. Here the remainder of his life was spent in retirement. He was a well to do man, and at his death left a large estate to his children. Mr. Kurtz was married to Amanda Swartz, born Jan. 7, 1834, who died Oct. 5, 1889, and they had these children: Mary, who married William Shalter; Ellen, who married John Hain, deceased; Amanda, who married William High; Annie, who married George Hoffman; James, who married Laura Schaeffer; and John B., who married Deborah Yerger.

John B. Kurtz obtained his education in the Kurtz school, so named after his grandfather, and was reared on his father's farm. In the spring of 1902 he became the proprietor of the "Kurtz House," which he has successfully conducted to the present time. He is a genial courteous gentleman, a pleasing conversationalist, and has the faculty of making friends. He does an extensive business, the "Kurtz House" now being one of the largest hostelries in Berks county, outside of Reading; it is equipped with every modern convenience. He is also the owner of the "Green Tree," which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1906, having been a hotel for all of this period, and which property he acquired in 1901 by purchase. Seventy-four acres of good land belong to this famous hostelry, and a spring of the purest water in Berks county flows through a large trough in front of the place. Mr. Kurtz is a great lover of horses, and owns the famous thoroughbred, "Dolcy M.," which was foaled June 15, 1903, and which has made a great record, and he also owns the famous stallion, "Simeon Larabie." He is connected with the Eagles of Reading, and is a member and treasurer of the Oakbrook Gunning Club. In political matters he is a Republican. He and his family are members of Yocum's Union Church, and adhere to the Reformed faith.

On Feb. 11, 1902, Mr. Kurtz was married to Deborah Yerger, daughter of John and Ellen (Wanner) Yerger, and granddaughter of John and Rebecca (Medler) Yerger, and to this union have been born: Mary; John H. and James Y., the latter two of whom were twins, and died in infancy, and Helen Elizabeth, born April 10, 1909.


p. 1694


John B. Kurtz, who is very prominently identified with the creamery interests of Berks county, and who is also one of the most substantial citizens of Reading, Pa., was born in 1859, in West Cocalico township, Lancaster county, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Brubaker) Kurtz.

Samuel Kurtz followed agricultural pursuits all of his life in Lancaster county, where he died in 1890, aged sixty-six years, his widow surviving but one year, and her death occurred in her fifty-seventh year. They had three children: Sarah m. John H. Gearhart; Elizabeth m. A. R. Shirk; and John B. The parents of Mr. Kurtz were old and worthy members of the Mennonite Church. In politics the father was a Republican.

John B. Kurtz attended the schools of his native township, and assisted on his father's farm until he went into business for himself. He first engaged in the creamery business, which he has developed until at present time he owns nine creameries, notwithstanding which he cannot supply the demand, and frequently is obliged to buy butter at Denver and other points. He owns one of the finest creameries in the State, his plant at Reading costing $8,000. He makes a specialty of the Kurtz Gilt Edged Butter, which is sold on its merit all over the country. Mr. Kurtz operates a stand at the West Reading Market. The management of all of the creameries he keeps under his own control, and does all of his own buying, and he is looked upon as one of the most enterprising business men of this section. His creameries are equipped with all modern appliances and he owns an independent ice plant.

Mr. Kurtz was married (first) to Hannah Shirk, and they had two children: Hayden and Stella. His second marriage was to Laura Fox, and they have one child: Ralph. Mr. Kurtz is a member of Masonic Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., The I. O .O. F., and the P. O. S. of A.


p. 196


Kauffman C. Kurtz, who for almost forty years has been engaged in the milling business in Robeson township, where he also conducts a farm, is a very well known man in that section of Berks county. He was born in 1833 in Caernarvon township, this county, son of Jacob and Ann (Shingle) Kurtz, who reared a large family.

Jacob Kurtz was also a miller by occupation, following that calling all his life. He purchased the old Hartley Potts mill and operated it until his death, doing an active and prosperous business. He was a capable man, and held various township offices, to which he was elected on the Democratic ticket, which always received his support. He married Ann Shingle, and to them were born thirteen children, namely: John; Henry; David; George; Samuel; Kauffman C.; Thomas; Matilda, who married James Scarlet; Elizabeth, who married Jacob Sheeler; Ann, who married Peter Plank; Catherina, who married Edward Evens; Barbara who died young; and Jacob. The father of this family died in 1881, at the age of seventy-seven years, the mother at the advanced age of ninety. In religious belief he was a Baptist, while she was a Methodist.

Kauffman C. Kurtz was six months old when his parents moved to Robeson township, and there he was reared and educated, attending the common schools. He learned his father's trade, working on the home farm and in his father's mill until 1869, since when he has been engaged in milling on his own account. In that year he and his brother-in-law, Peter Plank, purchased what was known as the Brunner mill, located on Hay creek, and they continued to operate it in partnership, under the firm name of Plank & Kurtz, until Mr. Plank's death, in 1903. Mr. Kurtz has since carried on the business alone, though the old firm name remains unchanged. In the fall of 1885 they replaced the old mill with the present three-story stone structure. The plant is what is known as a twenty-five-barrel mill, and much of the grinding done is custom work. There is also a sawmill in connection with the gristmill, and considerable custom work is also done in that line. Mr. Kurtz, in addition to milling, looks after the cultivation of his ninety-five-acre farm. He has likewise been active in the public affairs of his locality, having served as jury commissioner and school director, holding the latter office twelve years. Like his father he is a stanch Democrat. Mr. Kurtz was twice drafted during the Civil war, in 1862 and again in 1864, on the first occasion paying $900 for a substitute, and the second time $300.

In 1862 Mr. Kurtz married Elizabeth Bitler, daughter of Daniel and Eve (Priest) Bitler, and to them were born three children, namely: Matilda, who died when six years old; Hiester, an engraver, who married Cora Evens, and has two children, Mary and James K., and Levi, a machinist, who is married to Margaret Fisher and has two children, Alma and Estella. rose


p. 1097


Reuben L. Kurtz, a substantial business man of Reading, Pa., who since 1904 has been conducting a grocery at Greenwich and Pear streets, was born in 1856, one-half mile north of Morgantown, Pa., son of Jacob and Sarah (Zook) Kurtz, and grandson of Jacob Kurtz, of the old German Kurtz family.

Jacob Kurtz, father of Reuben L., was born Nov. 3, 1812, was reared about one mile from Morgantown on the old Col. Morgan homestead and was educated in the pay schools that existed in his youth. At the age of twenty-two years he married Sarah Zook, daughter of Jacob Zook, a neighboring farmer, and removed to a farm near Ephrata, Lancaster county, where they remained six years. Mr. Kurtz then purchased the Clymer farm which borders the village of Morgantown, and here lived for four years, when he sold out and removed to the village. His wife died in 1880, the mother of ten children: three died in infancy; Mrs. Catherine Hertzler; Mrs. Sarah Reeser; Mrs. Elizabeth Keller; Jacob H.; Reuben L.; Elmer C. and Clara. Mr. Kurtz was a member of the Caernarvon Amish congregation. He always took a deep interest in educational matters, assisting to keep going the pay schools, and when the public school question was agitated it found no warmer supporter than he. He was a school director for many years, and when eighteen years of age assisted in building a schoolhouse, hauling many stones for the structure. During the war he assisted in raising money to furnish substitutes. Mr. Kurtz often took three-day trips to Philadelphia in his large Conestoga wagon loaded with farm produce, returning with a load of merchandise, and also made a number of trips to Ohio, where he purchased horses, cattle, and sheep, which he brought East on the hoof and sold to the farmers of his section. On one of these occasions he made the outgoing trip by the Erie canal and the lake. When the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was built, stones were used instead of sills, and Mr. Kurtz furnished from his farm and delivered by teams many of these stones in the vicinity of Coatesville these being made in the form of blocks about 12 x 18 x 22 inches. He was an interesting figure in the community, and there was scarcely a person in the village who did not at one time or another sit at his side and listen with interest to his accounts of old times. At the time of his death Mr. Kurtz was ninety-one years and nine months of age.

Reuben L. Kurtz was educated in the schools of Morgantown and Millersville, and remained on the home farm until about eighteen years of age, when he began clerking in his brother's general store at Morgantown. Later he engaged in farming, at which he continued for seven years, then embarking in the meat and butchering business, as well as dealing in agricultural instruments. He then traveled for the D. M. Osborn Company, and in 1901 located in Reading, where he was appointed tax collector, a position he held for three years. In 1904 he engaged in his present business, in which he has continued with much success to the present time.

In 1881 Mr. Kurtz was married to Rosie Eyrich, and to them have been born three children: Warren, a bookkeeper of Philadelphia; Edna, in the employ C.K. Whitner; and Edwin, who died Sept. 15, 1908. The family are Methodists in religious belief. Mr. Kurtz is fraternally connected with Howell Lodge, F. & A. M., of Honeybrook, Pa.; and Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree. He is a Republican in political matters, and in Harrison's administration served as United States gauger.


p. 399


Samuel L. Kurtz, M. D., is well known through Berks county, both as a physician and surgeon of skill, and as a survivor of the great Civil war. He was born Sept. 27, 1832, son of Samuel and Mary (Longackre) Kurtz.

Joseph Kurtz, paternal grandfather of the Doctor, was born in Chester county, Pa. On Oct. 19, 1787, he married Fannie Miller, and their children were: John, born Sept. 23, 1788; Abraham, Nov. 27, 1789; Joseph, Jan 10, 1791; Henry, July 19, 1792; Barbara, Aug. 5, 1793; Leah, Sept. 19, 1794; Samuel, Nov. 12, 1795; Elizabeth, Nov. 25, 1796; David, Jan. 30, 1798; Isaac, Feb. 22, 1799; Frances, May 4, 1800; Christian, Nov. 8, 1801; Jacob, Oct. 1, 1802; Daniel, Jan. 22; 1804; Anna, March 20, 1805; Jacob, Oct. 25, 1806; Susannah, May 25, 1808; Daniel (2), Aug. 1, 1809; and Susannah (2), July 1, 1812. The family were members of the Mennonite Church. Joseph Kurtz died March 18, 1815.

Samuel Kurtz, father of the Doctor, was born in Chester county, Nov 12, 1795, and his education was obtained in the common schools. Upon reaching his majority he turned his attention to farming, a vocation he followed for many years in Pikeland township. In 1834 he removed to Juniata county, where he operated a farm for six or seven years at East Salem, and there he died April 23, 1883. His first wife, who was a daughter of Jacob Longackre, died in the prime of life. She was the mother of Joseph, born Aug. 22, 1819; Jacob, born Aug. 1, 1822; Annie, born Dec. 18, 1825, married William Cross; Samuel (1) born Oct. 24, 1829; Dr. Samuel L., born Sept. 27, 1832; Mary, born March 14, 1836, married George D. Taylor. This branch of the family were Methodists. After the death of his first wife Mr. Kurtz married Mary Miller, by whom one child was born, Fannie, who became the wife of George D. Taylor, the father of Dr. Taylor, of Reading. Samuel Kurtz's third wife was Mary Jacobs. No children were born to the last marriage.

Samuel L. Kurtz was educated in the schools of Juniata county, and in old Trappe Seminary, now Ursinus College. Later he read medicine with Dr. Henry Geiger, of Montgomery county, and in 1851 entered Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in 1854. His first field of practice was at Phoenixville, Pa., where he remained two years, and then removed to Oakland Mills, Juniata county, remaining there until the fall of 1861, when he was appointed assistant surgeon of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. He continued to full that position until June, 1862, when he was promoted to surgeon of the 85th Pa. V. I., with which regiment he remained until Nov. 22, 1864, when, at the expiration of the term of service of the regiment, he was honorable discharged. He settled in Reading, locating at No. 340 South Fifth street, and his present office is at No. 412 South Fifth street.

The Doctor is a member of the American Medical Association; of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, of which in 1891 he served as president; and of the Berks County Medical Society, serving his second term as its president. He is also a member of the Reading Medical Association. He was one of the original members of the board of trustees of the Reading Hospital, and has served upon its staff since its organization. He is a member of the board of health, and is examiner for a number of life insurance companies. Fraternally, he is connected with the Masons, being a member of Phoenix Lodge, F. & A. M., and past master. He belongs to Keim Post, G. A. R., and to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U. S. Commandery of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kurtz married, in 1854, Miss Sarah Morgan, and to this union three children have been born: Dr. J. Ellis, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, is a physician and surgeon at Reading; Georgeine married Nicholas H. Muhlenberg; and Clarence M., also a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, practising at Reading. Dr. Kurtz is a Republican in politics, and was one of the Harrison electors in 1888. He is a vestryman in St., Barnabas Episcopal Church.


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William S. Kurtz, an enterprising young business man of Berks county, who is carrying on a successful flour and feed business at Womelsdorf, was born Aug. 31, 1870, at Womelsdorf, son of Samuel and Eve Ann (Arnold) Kurtz.

Stephen Kurtz, the ancestor of the numerous Berks county family, was born in Switzerland, where he lived all of his life. Among his children were two sons, Johannes and Christian, who came to America, the latter a number of years prior to the former. He located in Tulpehocken township, where he was a taxable in 1759, paying three pounds federal tax in that year. He had a son, Stephen, now buried near Moyerstown, north of the pike. These pioneers were of the Amish faith, were devout in their worship, and good upright citizens.

Johannes Kurtz, son of Stephen of Switzerland, and great-great-grandfather of William S., was a native of Switzerland and came to America in the ship Anderson, landing at Philadelphia, Sept. 27, 1752, being a resident of the Northkill in 1757. His great-grandson James, who lives on the old homestead, has a large book printed at Ephrata, Pa., in which is printed in good German the name of the ancestor and the date, 1757. He owned one farm of 206 acres, which he acquired in 1764, having purchased it from Adam Losh (Lesh), whose father Johan Losh erected a house on the old homestead in 1753. This house, which is of stone, is in good condition today, and the wall will be good for another century. This land Johannes Kurtz, in about 1780, divided in two tracts, the deeds therefor calling for 101 and 120 acres respectively, the difference being due to the provincial authorities allowing six per cent for roads and other improvements. The inscription on his tomb-stone in the private burial ground on the homestead reads: "Denkmal von Johannes Kurtz. Er war geboren in Europe in der Schweitz und storb in April 1796 alt 74 Yahre." His wife, Betty Rickenbach, died in February, 1796, aged seventy-three years, and was the mother of these children: Jacob, who settled in the vicinity of Ephrata, Lancaster county, had three children,-John, Jacob and Nancy, m. to John Kurtz, of another branch of the family in Cumru township, who founded Kurtz House; John also settled in Lancaster county; Stephen lived on one of the homesteads for some years and then removed to Mifflin county, where he died; Adam; and Mrs. John Forney lived in Ontelaunee township.

Adam Kurtz, the great-grandfather of William S., was born on the old Kurtz homestead in Marion township, Sept. 4, 1768, and died Aug. 3, 1852, aged eighty-three years, ten months, twenty-nine days. He was a farmer on the homestead, was a well-known and substantial citizen, and as each of his children became of age he gave them farms. His wife was Anna Mast, born Dec. 11, 1773, who died Jan. 9, 1842, aged sixty-eight years, twenty-nine days, and they had seven children, as follows: (1) Jacob died unmarried. (2) David m. Susan Hettinger and had five children, - Abraham, Samuel, David, Sarah and Lydia. (3) John (1800-1870), m. Margaret Field, and had eight children-Mary, Rebecca, Matilda, Leah, Lovina, John, Elias, Reuben and Samuel. (4) Samuel. (5) Elizabeth m. John Koenig, of near Rickenbach Station. (6) Jonathan m. Molly Koenig and had three children,-Adam, Eliza and Rebecca. (7) Magdalena m. David Kurtz and lived along the Susquehanna, in Upper Pennsylvania.

Samuel Kurtz, grandfather of William S., was born Sept. 25, 1804, and died March 18, 1876. He attended the old German pay schools, where the Psalter and New Testament were the text books, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. He became the owner of a nice farm of nearly 100 acres in Marion township, and there his death occurred, his burial taking place on the private burialground of the family, where five generations are buried. In 1828 Mr. Kurtz was married to Sarah Rickenbach, born Sept. 25, 1799, who died in 1893, in his sixty-third year, had these children,-Amanda, George, James, John, Sallie, and Levi; Jacob lives in Des Moines, Ia.; William and James (born Feb. 18, 1838) live on the homestead, which they own jointly with Samuel; Samuel; and Amanda m. John Kintzer (both now deceased) and had these children,-Samuel, John, Robert, Sallie and Annie.

Samuel Kurtz, son of Samuel, was born Jan. 29, 1841, in Marion township, Berks county. Until he was twenty-one years old he worked on the farm, and then learned the milling trade in Womelsdorf, an occupation which he followed until 1907, in which year he retired. In politics Mr. Kurtz is a Democrat, was burgess in 1884 and served as councilman for three years, and has always shown a lively interest in public matters and movements for the public good. He is one of the substantial men of his community, where he wields considerable influence. In 1869 Mr. Kurtz was married to Eve Ann Arnold, born Jan. 12, 1850, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Stettler) Arnold, of Womelsdorf, and to this union two children have been born; William S. and Arnold R., born June 7, 1876, who died July 16, 1876. Although part owner of the old homestead, Mr. Kurtz makes his home in his fine residence on High street, Womelsdorf, and is also the owner of a residence property on Franklin street, in the same borough.

William S. Kurtz was educated in the township schools, which he left at an early age to learn the stove moulding trade with the Lebanon Stove Works, an occupation which he followed for seven years at Lebanon and eight years at Womelsdorf. In 1903 he engaged in the flour, and feed and confectionery business, which he has followed to the present time, with gratifying success. He has displayed more than ordinary ability in handling his business affairs, and the scope of his operations is constantly increasing. In politics he is a Democrat, and fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Woodmen's Protective Association of Womelsdorf. He and his family are members of Zion's Union Church of Womelsdorf.

In 1892 Mr. Kurtz was married to Mary C. Kintzer, daughter of Isaac Y. and Elvina (Smith) Kintzer, the former of whom was the warden of the Berks county prison for a number of years. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz, namely: Ruth E., born Nov. 17, 1892, who died March 29, 1895; and Edith E. Mr. Kurtz has his place of business on High street, while his residence is situated on Franklin street. He is a popular member of Womelsdorf Fire Company.


p. 1191

Tradition says that (I) Nicholas Coots and (Ia) Jacob Kutz, who settled in Maxatawny township, back of Kutztown, on what is now known as the Stock Farm, were brothers, and that they had another brother who settled in Carlisle, Pa., where many of the name live at this time. The name of this third brother was probably (Ib) Samuel Kutz. (I) Nicholas C

oots, also spelled Couts, Cutz, and Kutz, was the first of the family on record in Pennsylvania On Nov. 18, 1729, he purchased from Casper Wistar, brass button manufacturer, and his wife Catharine, of the city of Philadelphia, a tract of 150 acres of land, situated in Maxatawny township (near Eagle Point, now owned by Isaac Kutz), Philadelphia (now Berks) county, paying for the same fifty-two pounds, ten shillings. On Sept 4, 1734, he purchased another tract of 222 acres, located in the same township, and on Feb. 2, 1737, two other tracts of 250 3-4 acres from John and Thomas Penn, and on Jan. 6, 1741, a tract of forty-eight acres, all located in the one township. He was the father of six children: Nicholas (2), whose wife's name was Eva; Jacob, whose wife's name was Elizabeth; George, whose wife's name was Margaret; Thomas, whose wife's name was Elizabeth; Adam, whose wife's name was Catharine; and Catharine, who married Conrad Henninger.

(II) Nicholas Kutz (2), eldest son of Nicholas, obtained that part of the homestead on which were the original buildings. He was a farmer by occupation. His wife Eva bore him two sons: Nicholas (3) and Johann.

(III) Nicholas Kutz (3), son of Nicholas (2), was born on the Kutz homestead in Maxatawny township, Feb. 14, 1764, and there his death occurred May 4, 1831, when he was aged sixty-seven years, two months and twenty days. His remains are buried in the family burial ground on the farm -- four generations sleeping their last sleep there. He married Maria Susanna Scharadin (1769-1847), daughter of Jacob and Margareth (Haak) Scharadin. They had two children, Samuel S. and Eva Catharine (m. Samuel Swoyer). Nicholas Kutz became the owner of the homestead and his whole life was devoted to farming.

(IV) Samuel S. Kutz, son of Nicholas (3), was born on the old homestead, Jan. 28, 1800, and he died there May 6, 1878. His life occupation was farming, and he was very successful in all that he undertook, becoming a very wealthy man. He gave a good farm to each of his four sons. He married Catharine Sell, born May 3, 1797, and died in 1872, daughter of Johannes and Margaret Sell. Their four sons were: John, m. to Sarah Dreibelbis; Jacob s., m. to Mary DeLong, daughter of David DeLong; Daniel, m. to Hetty Sell; and Isaac, m. to Susanna DeLong, daughter of Francis DeLong. Of these sons, John became the father of three children: Mary, m. to James Heffner; Madora Ann, m. to Isaac Kutz; and Samuel D., m. to Agnes Heffly. Jacob S. is mentioned in full farther on, as is also Isaac. Daniel (twin to Isaac) became the father of two children, Catharine (m. George Raubenbold, deceased, of Hamburg), and John (who died aged about ten years), and lived on his fine farm in Siegfried's Dale, Maxatawny township. Samuel S. Kutz, the father, was an official member of St. John's Lutheran Church at Kutztown for upwards of a quarter of a century, and was greatly esteemed in the community. In politics he was an uncompromising Democrat. He paid the largest tax in the district.

(V) Jacob S. Kutz, son of Samuel S., was born July 3, 1826, and died March 4, 1904. He was a prosperous farmer, owning a tract of 175 acres of the best land in Maxatawny township, one-half mile east of Eagle Point. He and his family were active members of St. John's Lutheran Church, Kutztown, of which he was deacon and trustee for many years. In 1855 he was married to Mary DeLong, daughter of David DeLong and wife whose maiden name was Bieber), and to this union were born: Edwin S.; Isaac, who had a dream which foretold the day and hour of his death in 1903; Andora, who died aged ten years; and David D., who resides at Kutztown.

(VI) Edwin S. Kutz, son of Jacob S., was reared on his father's farm near Eagle Point, Maxatawny township, where he was born May 19, 1856. He obtained his early education in the local schools, and at the age of fourteen years began attending the Kutztown State Normal School, later entering a school of higher education at Kingston, Luzerne county. In 1882 he purchased the Jacob Merkel farm, consisting of 145 acres of excellent land, situated one-half mile from Moselem Springs, in the direction of Kutztown. Here he has been very successful. He uses only the most modern machinery and best approved methods on his farm, and his property is kept in fine condition. In the spring of 1910 Mr. Kutz expects to turn his farm over to the care of his son Edwin S., Jr., while he himself will move to the new home he is building on Park Avenue in Kutztown. He takes great interest in the educational affairs of his township, and for a number of years served as school director.

In 1880 Mr. Kutz was married to Marietta Deysher, daughter of Jacob and Caroline (Butz) Deysher, agriculturists of Maxatawny township, and to this union have been born four children: Daisy m., Aug 23, 1906, William Wessner, of Kutztown, and has two children, Arlena and John; Edwin S., Jr., m. Jan. 11, 1908, Susan Heffner, daughter of Abraham Heffner (whose wife was a Stoudt), and has one child, Edna May: George and Helen. To Jacob and Caroline Deysher were born the following: Marietta, Mrs. Kutz; Frank, a farmer and horse dealer in Maxatawny; Jacob P., a wealthy farmer in Maxatawny; Ida and Caroline, both unmarried, who reside with their brother Jacob P.; and George, who is a Lutheran minister at Jonestown, Pennsylvania.

(V) Isaac Kutz, son of Samuel S., was born in the Kutz homestead, where his sons, also, were born, Nov. 19, 1830. He cultivated the home farm until his retirement in 1885, when he sold off his stock, but he continued to make his home there until 1890, when he moved to Fleetwood. In 1893 he erected the finest residence in Upper Berks county. This is located at the corner of Main and Walnut streets, in the borough of Fleetwood. It is furnished throughout with hardwood lumber -- the house itself being of brick -- and it is surrounded by a beautifully kept lawn. He still owns the old homestead in Maxatawny, two and one-half miles from Kutztown. This consists of 158 acres of the richest land in the county, while the comfortable brick residence on it, which Mr. Kutz built in 1872, makes it a very desirable country place. While still in active work, Mr. Kutz took great pride in his fine dairy, and owned some very valuable cows. On Jan. 17, 1860, he was married to Susanna DeLong, born July 15, 1839, died July 2, 1908, aged sixty-eight years, eleven months, seventeen days, and is buried at Fleetwood, Pa. She was a daughter of Francis and Esther (Schaeffer) DeLong, prosperous farming people at Bowers, Pa. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kutz: Franklin S. and Charles W.

(V) Franklin S. Kutz, son of Isaac, was born in Maxatawny township, on the old Kutz homestead, Sept. 17, 1862. He received his education in the public schools and the Keystone State Normal School and later attended the Eastman Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., whence he was graduated in 1882. He then became bookkeeper for Bell, Walt & Co., wholesale shoe merchants of Philadelphia, with whom he remained two years. In 1885 he came to Fleetwood, and engaged in the general mercantile business with Lewis B. Schaeffer, Daniel S. Schaeffer and Charles A. Messersmith, under the firm name of Schaeffer, Messersmith & Kutz. This firm continued in this business until March 11, 1889, when Mr. Kutz and his brother Charles W. bought out the interests of Messrs. Daniel S. Schaeffer and Charles A. Messersmith, doing business under the firm name of Schaeffer & Kutz Bros. Until March 27, 1897, at which date the brothers bought the interest of Mr. Lewis B. Schaeffer, and changed the firm to Kutz Bros. This firm continued in the same line, meeting with great success, until in 1906, when they sold out to devote their entire time to the manufacture of seamless hosiery, a business in which they had been engaged since 1895. They employ seventy-five people, and have a ready market for their entire product. In 1898 Kutz Brothers erected the three-story brick business house on the southwest corner of Main and Franklin streets, 40 x 115 feet in dimensions. The first floor is used as the store room, and is one of the finest in the section, while the second and third floors are used for manufacturing purposes. When the First National Bank of Fleetwood was organized in 1907, they erected a three-story brick building on the west side of their main building; the first floor of which is occupied by the First National Bank, and the second floor is used as the firm's office. At the organization of this bank Mr. Franklin S. Kutz became on of its directors, and was elected the vice-president. He is a member of Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A.M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Philadelphia Consistory, S. P. R. S., 32*; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He also belongs to Camp No. 103, P. O. S. of A.; and Castle No. 374, K. G. E., both of Fleetwood. He and his family are members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Fleetwood, to which he contributes liberally.

On Jan. 25, 1886, Mr. Kutz was married to Alice S. Schaeffer, daughter of Lewis B. and Caroline (Messersmith) Schaeffer, of Fleetwood, and they have one son, Charles Isaac, born Nov. 3, 1888, who has been given the advantage of a University education. Mr. Kutz resides on Main street, near the home of his aged father. He is progressive and enterprising, and is always interested in anything that will promote the moral and material growth of his town. In 1904 he accompanied the Knights Templars on a pleasure trip to the Pacific coast.

(VI) Charles W. Kutz, son of Isaac and brother of Franklin S., was born on the old Kutz homestead in Maxatawny, Oct. 10, 1865. His early education was secured in the public schools, and completed in the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown. He gained his training for the business world in the famous Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., graduating therefrom in 1885. He then remained with his parents until March 11, 1889, when he engaged in the mercantile business established some years before by his brother, Franklin S., and under the firm name of Kutz Brothers, they prospered until they sold out in 1906. Since that time they have devoted themselves to the manufacture of seamless hosiery, as above stated. Both Mr. Kutz and his brother are Democrats, but neither cares for the honors and responsibilities of public office. Mr. Charles W. Kutz is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church at Kutztown.

On Sept. 17, 1895, Mr. Kutz was married to Katie W. Ressler, daughter of Reuben and Catharine (Wanner) Ressler, and they have one daughter, Katharine Susanna, born July 22, 1900. Mr. Kutz resides with his parents on Main Street, and is devoted to his home and family. He is not a member of any social or fraternal organization.

(V) John Kutz, son of Samuel S. and Catharine (Sell) Kutz, was born in Maxatawny township, on the homestead, Oct. 27, 1821, and he died July 4, 1884, and is buried at Kutztown. He was a lifelong farmer and obtained the Peter Levan homestead at Eagle Point, which his father bought for him in 1846. He was twenty-eight when he settled on the Levan farm. He married Sarah Dreibelbis, born Feb. 7, 1829, and died April 4, 1878, aged forty-nine years, one month and twenty-seven days, daughter of David Dreibelbis, of Richmond township. They had three children: Mary Malinda, born in 1848, married James Heffner, of Kutztown, and died in 1902; Madora Ann, born Nov. 8, 1858, married her cousin, Isaac Kutz; and Samuel D.

(VI) Samuel D. Kutz, son of John and Sarah (Dreibelbis), was born near Eagle Point on his father's farm Aug. 5, 1861. He was reared to farming and worked for his father until he was twenty-three years old, and then began farming on the homestead for himself, where he still lives. The farm consists of 140 acres of good land. He has erected a modern barn, 80 x 45 feet in dimensions ??strictly up-to-date building. He has seven head of horses, and twenty-four head of cattle. His milk is all shipped to the creamery. The house in which he lives was built by Peter Levan many years ago. Everything about the place bespeaks the intelligent care of the owner. All his life he has given evidence of a methodical nature, his days in the public schools and also in the Keystone State Normal School being marked by careful, systematic work. In politics Mr. Kutz is a Democrat, and his religious connection is with the Lutheran Church at Kutztown. All his life with the exception of five years passed at Kutztown three miles away has been passed on his present homestead. In 1893 he married Agnes Heffly, daughter of William Heffly, and they have one son, John W., born Dec. 24, 1894, who at the age of fourteen years graduated from the school at Eagle Point, taking his examination and receiving his diploma at Bowers, and he then entered the Keystone State Normal School, class "D"; and was promoted to the junior class the next spring. He is a boy of much ability, and while devoted to his books, does not neglect the work on the farm. Mr. Samuel D. Kutz has taken Mathias Angstadt, a bright lad of eight years, from the Home of the Friendless, Reading, and has given him a happy home.

(III) Johann Kutz, son of Nicholas (2), was born Nov. 10, 1774, and died March 20 , 1846, aged seventy-one years, four months and ten days, and his remains rest in the Hope cemetery at Kutztown. He married and had a son, Daniel B.

(IV) Daniel B. Kutz, son of Johann, became a very prominent man in his community, and devoted many years of his life to public service. He was successfully engaged as a merchant for many years at Kutztown, being associated in business with ex-Judge William Heidenreich for several years until 1857, under the firm name of Heidenreich & Kutz. He was the foremost figure in Berks county politics many years, leading the Democratic party through many battles, and he befriended many men. He supported the Hon. William B. Strong for the judge-ship, and after his term of office as judge of Berks county, he was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Col. Kutz was a strong supporter of David Kutz for the Bench as associate judge of Berks county, and in 1852-55 he worked to make Benjamin Kutz county commissioner. He was assemblyman in 1840-41. He married a Miss Heffner, and the had children: Benneville; Edwin, of Allentown, whose son became alderman of that city; Daniel, who operates a large cattle ranch in the State of Washington; and Mrs. George Weaver.

(V) Benneville Kutz, son of Daniel B., died comparatively young in years. He married Sarah Fisher, daughter of Jacob Fisher, and she died July 28, 1898, at the age of sixty-six years. They were the parents of the following children: Nicholas J.; Anna E., wife of Douglas Seifert, a druggist of Potter county; Carrie E., Mrs. Wilson D. Althouse, a coal operator, at Norristown; Cora L., wife of Wellington D. Hoffman, a station agent on the Philadelphia & Reading railway at Bridgeport, Pa.,; Ira George; and Pius, who died in infancy. Jacob Fisher, father of Mrs. Sarah (Fisher) Kutz, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and he died at the advanced age of ninety-nine years and three months.

(VI) Nicholas J. Kutz, son of Benneville and Sarah, was born in the borough of Kutztown Nov. 18, 1860. He received his early education in the district school, and later attended the Kutztown State Normal School, graduating therefrom in 1879. He taught school in Maxatawny township for two terms, and in the fall of 1882 accepted the position of grammar school teacher at Egypt, Lehigh county. After the completion of his first term he was unanimously elected to serve another, but was offered a more lucrative position with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, in Philadelphia. During President Cleveland's administration he was appointed a registry clerk in the Philadelphia post-office, and after the administration was once more in the hands of the other great political power he was again given his position in the railroad company's freight office, where he continued eight years. In the spring of 1894 Mr. Kutz and N. S. Schaeffer, of Fleetwood, formed a partnership, and commenced business under the firm name of N. S. Schaeffer & Co. They deal in general merchandise, and occupy the entire building at the southeast corner of Main and Richmond streets, Fleetwood, the firm enjoying the largest trade of this thriving town. In 1902 they admitted another partner in the person of George J. Schlegel, opening at this time in addition to the general store a hardware store on the northwest corner of Main and Richmond streets, this stand being formerly known as Kelchner's. Mr. Schlegel has entire charge of this branch of the business. Mr. Kutz is interested in other enterprises, being associated with his brother-in-law, W. D. Althouse, in coal mining in Somerset county, Pa., and Preston county, W. Va., coal operations. Politically Mr. Kutz is an influential Democrat, and a well known factor in local politics. He was a member of the Fleetwood council for six years, serving during that time as secretary of that body. He resides in his comfortable brick residence on Main street, Fleetwood, and he and his family are members of St. Paul's Union Lutheran Church.

On Oct. 29, 1891, Mr. Kutz was married to Clara S. Kline, daughter of Israel and Amelia (Schaeffer) Kline, and one daughter has been born to them, Florence M., a graduate of the Fleetwood high school.

(VI) Ira George Kutz, son of Benneville, was born at Kutztown, May 14, 1867, and is now the popular district attorney of Berks county, elected in November, 1904, by a large majority. His preliminary education was received in the public schools of his native town, and he continued his studies in the Keystone State Normal School, and was graduated in 1886, with honor. Having chosen teaching as a profession he followed it for the ensuing eight years, three years of which time he was principal of the Kutztown high school. In 1893, having been a student at La Fayette College for a period of four years, he received a diploma from that institution. He then began the study of law in the office of Stevens & Stevens in Reading, and continued there until 1897, in which year he was admitted to the Bar. He entered upon the practice of his profession at once, and remained in private practice until 1904, winning a place in the front rank in the legal lights of the county, and earning the respect and esteem of those much older than himself. He achieved a reputation that made him desirable material for the Democratic nomination for district attorney, and this choice received such a hearty endorsement from the people that he was elected by a majority of 2,500. He has a keen perception of the importance of his duty to his office and to himself, and he has won a reputation for fearless-nests in the discharge of that duty that has made him the terror of law breakers and the idol of the people he serves.

On Oct. 20, 1898, Mr. Kutz was married to Clara B. Shepp, daughter of John Shepp, a retired farmer residing in Reading. They have one child, Elizabeth, born Jan. 18, 1900. Mr. Kutz is a member of the Blue Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M.; Oley Lodge, No. 218, I. O. O. F.; K. G. E.; Americus Club; 1900 Beneficial Association; Northeastern Democratic League; and Hampden Fire Company. He is a communicant of Trinity Lutheran Church at Kutztown.

(Ia) Jacob Kutz, mentioned at the beginning of this article as a brother of Nicholas and co-founder of the Kutz family, was a native of Switzerland, who emigrated to America on the ship "Pink Plaisance," which qualified at Philadelphia in the fall of 1732. He was born in 1674, as was also his wife Christina. They were, accordingly, at the time of their coming to this country, fifty-eight years of age. Jacob Kutz settled in Maxatawny township, on the tract now known as the Stock Farm. This property is well located, fertile and with an abundance of good water. The Kutztown Fair Association now owns a part of it, and part of it has been cut into building lots. In the list of names in the Pennsylvania archives, the name of the wife of this emigrant is given as Katharina, but on a tombstone erected to the memory of their son Jacob, it is given as Christina, and this is accepted as correct. Her maiden name was Bossert, and she attained advanced years, dying in the one hundredth year of her age. Their children were: (1) John Adam, who lived in Carlisle, Pa., for some years, later went to Ohio, and there died. (2) Jacob m. Susanna Geeher (1778-1824), and they had children: David, who m. Kate Sell, and had children -- Jacob, George, Dewald , Sell, Judith, Sallie, Susanna, Mary and Barbara; Samuel, who m. his cousin, Polly Kutz, daughter of Jacob and Betty, and their children were -- Jacob, Aaron, Samuel, Henry, Robert, Mary Ann and Sarah; Joseph (1800-1890), who m. Elizabeth Mertz (died in 1862), and had children --Catharine, Jacob, Charles, Judith, Annie, Catharine (2), Sarah (1825-1887), Diana, Susanna, Hettie, Leah, Betzey, Caroline and Aaron; Benjamin (May 11, 1806-Feb. 9, 1874), who m. Sarah Sittler (1806-1892), and had children --Jacob, Daniel S., Helen and William S.; Betsey or Elizabeth (1804-1867), who m. Johannes Rohn; Rebecca, who m. Jacob Ann; and Ann, who m. George Graver. (3) Daniel is mentioned farther on. (4) Betty m. Jacob Kutz, and they settled at Carlisle, where many of their descendants still reside. Their children were all very strong. In those days much apple-jack was made, and was hauled by wagon to Pittsburg. The boys would lift full barrels of this liquor with comparative ease up on the Conestoga wagons. This Jacob Kutz was, presumably, a descendant of the third brother, mentioned at the beginning of the article as (Ib) Samuel, who settled at Carlisle. To Jacob and Betty Kutz were born children as follows: Polly, David, Jacob, Peter, Jesse, Daniel, Nancy and another son. (5) Catharine. (6) Peter, born April 28, 1780, died March 31, 1859, aged seventy-eight years, eleven months and three days. He was a stone mason In Kutztown. He married Susanna Biehl (1784-1867), and their children were: Charles, Abraham, Josiah and Lucy.

(IIa) Daniel Kutz, son of Jacob, was born in 1782, and he died on his farm in Maxatawny in 1875, in his ninety-third year. He was a life-long farmer, and owner of considerable property in both Maxatawny and Richmond townships. He was buried at Kutztown, where he was a member of the Reformed Church. He married Elizabeth Fister, whose parents came from Switzerland, and they became the parents of children as follows: Sally, who died unmarried; Christina; Nathan; David F.; Jacob; and Elizabeth, born 1826.

(IIIa) David F. Kutz, son of Daniel, was born in Richmond township, Oct. 23, 1819, and is at present making his home with his son, Cosmos D. He is a remarkably well preserved old gentleman, and is able to read without glasses. He was the owner of a valuable arm in Maxatawny township, to which he devoted his energies. He was a man of enterprise and intelligence, and he was an excellent penman, his education having been received in both public and private schools. He married Caroline Haas, daughter of Jonathan Haas, of Longswamp township, and they became the parents of eight children, namely: Cyrenus W.; Cosmos D.; Albert Alfred, who died young; Moses; Jarus; Elsworth; Valeria, who married Milton Schollenberger; and Evella, who married Alvin Weiser.

(IVa) Cosmos D. Kutz, son of David F., and one of the most prominent men in Berks county, was born in Maxatawny township, Sept. 27, 1850. His literary training was received in the public schools, and his business education in the commercial department of Wyoming Seminary, also taking some other branches in the latter institution. He early learned the duties connected with a farmer's life, and on leaving school he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed until he was twenty years of age. He then engaged in a mercantile business at Bowers Station, and several years later he went to New Jerusalem, where he remained for seven years. In 1882 he came to Lyons, and with his brother Moses, formed a partnership under the firm name of Kutz Brothers, and the met with considerable success in their undertakings in the mercantile world, but in 1894 they disbanded, and for a short time devoted themselves to the produce business. Mr. Cosmos D. Kutz then sold his right, title and interest to his brother. In 1896 he was elected treasurer of Berks county, and in January, 1897, assumed the duties of that office. Here he served his three-year term, giving satisfaction to his constituents, and proving himself a man of ability and of conscientiousness in the discharge of his duty. He has long been active in Berks county politics as a stanch Democrat, and has wielded great influence in the destiny of his party in the county, assisting many a good man to an office of public trust. He was a committeeman in Maxatawny township for many years, and served efficiently as a school director of Rockland township. Since 1887 he has been a justice of the peace in Maxatawny. He has settled up a number of estates, fully justifying the confidence reposed in him. In 1906 he was appointed receiver of the C. W. Landis estate, at Bowers, and later became the trustee of the stockholders -- a long and tedious duty, but one which Mr. Kutz discharged with his accustomed ability. He was also the receiver for the Isaac Samuels estate of Reading. He has proved himself a man of large business capacity. He and his brother own one of the largest and most valuable farms in the township. Mr. Kutz also owns other real estate, and his home, opposite the Lyons depot, is a comfortable home, with a fine lawn and beautiful shade trees.

Mr. Kutz and his family are members of De Long's Reformed Church, in which he has held various offices. When the present church edifice was erected in 1902 he was secretary of the building committee, and he liberally contributed toward the building. He is a member of Lyons Lodge, No. 634, I. O. O. F., and Lodge No. 102, K. P., both of Lyons; Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. & A. M., of Kutztown, of which he was treasurer for five years.

Mr. Kutz was married in 1872 to Mary Barto, daughter of William and Catharine (Merkel) Barto. Five children have blessed their union, namely: Minnie, m. to Dr. Herbert Schollenberger, of Reading; Lizzie, m. to George Knittle, of Allentown; George W., of Lyons, m to Annie Printzenhoff, and father of three sons, Paul, George and Floyd (he assists his father in the lumber business); Fred B., m. to Carrie Peters, by whom he has one child, Gladys, and is engaged in the manufacture of hosiery; and Luma, a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1897, who is now an efficient and respected teacher in Maxatawny township.

Mr. Kutz is a man of versatility and in the midst of all his varied interests has never lost his complete oversight of all that concerns him. At the present time he is looking after estates, his own property interests, the lumber business, the manufacturing business -- he being a senior member of the hosiery manufacturing firm of Kutz, Kieffer & Kutz, employing some fifty hands, keeps abreast of the political situation, and with it all finds time to keep well posted on the events of the world. One of the most difficult tasks ever given him, one that required both the greatest care and endless patience, was that of filing the archives of the county from the time of its organization in 1752 to date (1898). To this work he was appointed by the commissioners of the county. Owing to technicalities of the law payment for this has never been made. Few men stand as high as Mr. Kutz in the estimation of his fellowmen, and he has proved equal to every trust.

(IIIa) Benjamin Kutz, son of Jacob and Susanna (Geeher), and grandson of (Ia) Jacob, was born on what is now the Stock Farm, near Kutztown, May 11, 1806, and died Fe. 9, 1874, aged sixty-seven years, eight months, and twenty-eight days. He devoted his active life to farming, and prospered in all that he undertook. In 1829 he purchased his home, now owned by his son, William S. It then consisted of ninety-nine acres, and a part of it is now the property of the Normal School. He was a foremost citizen of Berks county, and held a number of important offices, being supervisor, school director, county commissioner (1852-1855). He was prominent in St. John's Lutheran Church, and held a number of offices therein. His remains now rest in Fairview cemetery. He married Sarah Sittler, who was born in 1806, daughter of Conrad and Susanna (Dunkel) Sittler, of Greenwich township. She died in 1892, aged eighty-six years and twenty-two days. They became the parents of four children: Jacob, who died young; Daniel S., mentioned below; Helen, m. to Jonathan Biehl, a resident of Kutztown, who is now deceased; and William S.

(IVa) Daniel S. Kutz, son of Benjamin, was born in Kutztown, July 29, 1828, and in his native town has passed all his life. In his boyhood he attended a private school, and later and academy which proved the forerunner of the great Normal school. He became the owner of property near the borough, and he devoted his time to the raising of crops until five years ago, when he retired. He has always been an ardent Democrat, and insists that he voted for but one Republican in his life, that lone occasion being when he was the candidate for inspector, and his Republican opponent asked him to exchange votes. His first vote was cast for James K. Polk for President. He served as assessor of the borough for three terms, as councilman for one term, and he is now judge of elections. In 1850 he married Louisa, daughter of Solomon Kutz. The only child of this union, a daughter, died about twenty years ago. Mr. Kutz is well preserved. He walks briskly, and has a pleasant word for everybody. He writes a good clear and steady hand, and he is able to read without glasses.

(IVa) William S. Kutz, son of Benjamin and brother of Daniel S., was born Dec. 29, 1834, and is now a prosperous farmer at the Normal School in Maxatawny township. He was born and reared on the farm where he now lives. In 1874 his father died, and he has since carried on the farm, which consists of one hundred acres of the most valuable land in the county. In 1892 he erected a comfortable brick house on the farm, but the present barn was built by his father in 1823. Mr. Kutz keeps five head of horses and seven of cattle. In politics like most of his name he is a Democrat. For six years he was school director of Maxatawny township. He is a director of the Sinking Spring Fire Insurance Company, an office he has held since 1895. He is a stock holder of the Keystone State Normal School, and has been treasurer of the Fairview Cemetery Company, for the past quarter of a century. Besides his farm he is the owner of a good residence on Noble street, Kutztown, and also of other real estate. He and his family attend St. Paul's Reformed Church, in which he was a trustee for six years.

On June 14, 1870, Mr. Kutz was married to Sarah Kemp, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Swayer) Kemp. They have had three children: Wilson B. m. Mary Deisher, daughter of Daniel Deisher, and lives with his father: Solon Howard died in infancy; and Harry W. m. Nora Berk, daughter of Cornelius Berk, of Richmond township, and has two sons, William and Frederick.


p. 406


John J. Kutz, lawyer of Reading, is descended from an old and honorable German family which has left its impress on the institutions of the county. He was born in Reading, Jan. 16, 1865.

Jacob, John, Adam, John, Adam, John, thus run the Christian names of the Kutz family from the great-great-great-grandfather to the present generation. Jacob and the first John were leading farmers of Berks county before the days of the Revolution, while the first Adam moved into the village of Reading and began the manufacture of hats, being, together with Samuel Homan (also the great-grandfather of Mr. Kutz), pioneers of that industry in the country, a business which the grandfather also carried on, as did the father of our subject, Adam Kutz, a member of the firm of Kutz, Arnold & Co., until the date of his death, in 1876. He married Mary R. Seidel, daughter of Jacob Seidel, a retired farmer of Chester county, Pa., and to them were born four children, Samuel and Bessie being deceased; those surviving are Sallie Edith and John J., the former the wife of Addison Allen, a lawyer of New York City.

John J. Kutz was born in Reading and is a product of her institutions so far as his primary training is concerned. He later attended Phillips Academy at Andover, Mass., where he graduated in 1884. Matriculating then at Yale University, he took his literary degree in 1888, and then took up the study of his profession in the law department of that University. He continued his study in the office of Cyrus G. Derr, and in 1890 was admitted to the Bar of Berks county. Since that time he has been engaged in the practice of law, and in addition is interested in financial and industrial lines. He is a director of the National Union Bank of Reading, a director of the Pennsylvania Trust Company, a director of the Reading Gas Company, vice-president of the Mt. Penn Stove Works, and president of the Columbian Cutlery Company.

Mr. Kutz was the candidate of the Republican party for district attorney in 1895. He is a member of the Wyomissing, Berkshire and Tuesday Clubs, and a member of the Lutheran denomination.

Mr. Kutz was married to Mary McIlvain, Jan. 26, 1898. Mrs. Kutz is the daughter of the late Morton C. McIlvain, an iron-master of Reading, who married Sidney H. Leoser, and on both sides of the family comes of distinguished stock. Her great-great-grandfather on the maternal side, Michael Hillegass, was the first treasurer of the United States. On her father's side she is the great-great-granddaughter of John Morton, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and was in the Congress of the United States during the Revolution. Her grandfather, Thomas S. Leoser, was a distinguished veteran of the Mexican war, having been captain of what was familiarly known as the Reading Artillerists. Three of Mrs. Kutz's uncles were in the war of the Rebellion, Lieut. Howard McIlvain, Capt. Charles McKnight Leoser and Lieut. Christopher Leoser.


p. 727


S. Jairus Kutz, hosiery manufacturer at Bechtelsville, is a native son of Berks county, born in Maxatawny township, March 2, 1856. He received his education in the public schools of his home district, and in the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. He gave his services to his parents on the home farm until he had attained the age of twenty-four years, when he began to learn the machinist's trade with Zehm & Brother, at Kutztown. This trade he followed with great success for twenty years-nine years at Kutztown, and eleven years at Reading. For eight years he was connected with the Boss Knitting Machine Works at Reading, as partner, owning a half interest. In 1900 he entered business for himself alone at Reading, employing twenty-five men. In 1905 he located in Bechtelsville, and two years later he erected a large three-story factory of cement blocks, 30 x 85 feet, and they employ sixty hands. Their product is seamless hosiery and they ship all over the country, having a high reputation for general excellence.

In 1877 Mr. Kutz was married to Ellen Bailey, daughter of Joseph and Leanda (Saul) Bailey, of Maxatawny township. The have had children: Calvin J., Bernard L., Paul M. and Jennie E., living; and Stella V., Gertrude E., Vida L. and Findley D., deceased. Of these, Paul M., born Aug. 4, 1887, received his education in the public schools of Reading and is now a sergeant of Company A, 17th Battery, Field Artillery, stationed at Havana, Cuba. Mr. Kutz and his family attend the First Reformed Church.

Calvin J. Kutz, son of S. Jairus, and member of the firm of Kutz Knitting Mills, was born near Kutztown May 24, 1880. He attended the common schools, and later the Keystone State Normal School, and Prof. D. B. Brunner's Business College at Reading. He was but fourteen when under his father he began to learn the trade of machinist, an occupation he followed until 1902. He then went to Pittsburg, and worked there for fourteen months, at the end of that time returning to Reading, and with his father and brother, Bernard L., formed the Kutz Knitting Mills, a firm that has won a steady success since its foundation. Mr. Kutz is a member of Camp No. 324, P. O. S. of A., at Bechtelsville, of which he is president. He drew the plans for the present large lodge hall which was built in 1907-08. Mr. Kutz and his family attend the First Reformed Church at Reading. He married Annie Smith, daughter of John Smith, of Lyons, Pa., and they have two children, Grant J. and Pauline M.

Bernard L. Kutz, son of S. Jairus, and member of the firm of Kutz Knitting Mills, was born at Kutztown March 31, 1884. He attended the public schools at Kutztown, and later at Reading, to which city his parents had removed, and he graduated from the high school in the class of 1903. He then learned the machinist's trade from his father and brother, and later entered the hosiery manufacturing business with them. Mr. Kutz is a member of Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 327, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery; and Camp No. 324, P. O. S. of A., at Bechtelsville. He is justice of the peace at Bechtelsville, to which office he was elected by the Democratic party. Mr. Kutz married Florence Will, daughter of Alfred and Annie (Sheifley) Will, of Reading, and they have had three children, namely: Vida E., Finley J. and Olga V., of whom Finley J. died in childhood.

David F. Kutz, father of S. Jairus Kutz, had children as follows: Cyrenius, Cosmos, Albert, Moses, S. Jairus, Alfred (who died young), Elsworth, Valeria (m. Milton Schollenberger, a farmer of Richmond township), and Evella (m. Alvin Weiser, a farmer of Bowers Station).

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:04 EDT

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