Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1463


Ephraim M. Leh, a farmer in Colebrookdale township, near the Douglass township line, Berks county, was born Nov. 14, 1849, and is said to have descended from John Philip Leh, who came to America on the ship "Two Brothers" in 1745, and settled in Bucks county, Pa. Prior to 1779 George Leh had located in York county, Pa., and in 1802 John Leh was on record in that county. Many of the name are found today in York county.

According to the Pennsylvania archives Henry Leh, of Bucks county, in 1779, owned one hundred acres of land, two horses and four head of cattle. He was the father of Henry (2).

Henry Leh (2), son of Henry, was born in Bucks county Dec. 6, 1767, and is thought to have been of English extraction, and of a Quaker family. He came to Berks county, and engaged in farming and in mill-wrighting, following the latter trade four years. He owned the old Leh farm from about 1800 until his death. This consisted of some eighty acres when he purchased it. He married Catharine Muth, born March 11, 1774, daughter of Philip and Barbara Muth, and she died Dec. 29, 1850. Their children were: William, a clock maker at Pottstown; Daniel, who lived at Easton, Pa.; Samuel, who made his home in Bucks county, as also did John; Henry (3); Jacob, who lived in the vicinity of Hill Church, but died of smallpox at Reading; Sarah, who married (first) John Reinert and (second) Samuel Burden.

Henry Leh (3), son of Henry (2), was born on the old Leh homestead in Colebrookdale township, June 10, 1814. He was a tailor by trade and followed it a number of years, but in latter life he farmed the old homestead, where he died Oct. 14, 1892. and he was laid to rest in Fairview cemetery beside his wife. He was a man of enterprise and progressive ideas, and he erected the present house and barn, the former in 1884, and the latter in 1868. He was an active worker in the Reformed congregation at Boyertown, and served as elder and member of the building committee. His wife, Mary Ann Maurer, born Oct. 27, 1818, was a daughter of Andrew Maurer, and she died March 20, 1857, in her thirty-ninth year. Their children were: Frank, who lived at Reading and died at the Soldiers Home in 1908; Emma, who is the widow of Solomon Bush, and lives at Boyertown; Catharine, deceased wife of Ephraim Weider; Susan, who married John Ritter, of Boyertown; Ephraim M.; Henry, a painter at Pottstown; and Mary, who married Lewis Walters, of Pottstown.

Ephraim M. Leh, son of Henry (3), attended the public schools near his home until he was fifteen years old. He then learned the painting trade, which he followed for seven years. In 1871 he began farming on the old homestead, which consists of seventy-three acres. Of this he has been the owner since 1894, and he has a good outfit of machinery. In politics he is a Democrat, and in religion a believer in the faith of the Reformed Church, attending with his family the Church of the Good Shepherd.

On Feb. 11, 1870, Mr. Leh was married to Mary Houck, daughter of Amos and Hannah (Gabel) Houck, of Colebrookdale township, and to this union three children have been born, namely: Edgar E., who died in infancy; Warren, a cigar maker, who married Kate Lechner, daughter of Harrison Lechner; and Laura, who married Edwin Mowdey, of Reading.


p. 1109


Miss Sarah Eve Lehman, one of the old and highly esteemed residents of Kutztown, Berks county, who is a business woman of exceptional ability, is a native of the borough of Kutztown, born July 2, 1845, daughter of Jacob and Eve (Copp) Lehman.

Rev. Daniel Lehman, grandfather of Miss Lehman, was a pioneer in American church work and a prominent Lutheran minister of his time. He came to America from Germany on the Pennsylvania packet "Peter Osborn," landing at Philadelphia April 30, 1773, and no doubt would have met the fate of a redemptioner, had not the Rev. Dr. Kunze interested himself in his behalf and paid his passage. Dr. Kunze, having ascertained that he was well grounded in the rudiments of knowledge, employed him as an instructor in his seminary and also gave him instruction in theology. He was licensed to preach the Gospel in 1775, and was ordained a minister of the Lutheran Church in 1778. The Rev. Mr. Lehman for a time lived in Reading, and up to 1780 was the regular pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. In 1780 he removed to Moselem, Richmond township, where he resided for about thirty years, serving at different times many congregations, including Moselem, Kutztown, Hamburg, Rockland, Trexlertown and Grimville. He died Oct. 2, 1810, and was buried under the altar of Moselem Church.

Jacob Lehman, father of Miss Sarah E., was born in Richmond township, April 7, 1790. He was a tinsmith by occupation and an esteemed citizen of Kutztown. He was a soldier of the war of 1812 and a member of Capt. Gabriel Oldt's company. N April 9, 181q5, he married Eve Copp, daughter of Conrad and Eve (Knoedler) Copp. He died April 7, 1865. His children were: Daniel, a cooper by trade, died at the age of seventy-seven years; William' Elizabeth died single; Jacob died in infancy; Henrietta died in early womanhood; Catherine m. John Wylie, and her descendants still reside in Kutztown; Jacob, who entered the Civil war as a first lieutenant and rose to the rank of captain, died in Philadelphia about 1886, leaving a widow, Sarah (Thompson) Lehman; Nathan was twice married; Mary m. Edward Andrews, and lives in Pottsville, Schuylkill county; and Sarah Eve is of Kutztown.

Sarah Eve Lehman received her education in the public and private schools of her native locality, and at an early age decided upon a business career. She entered mercantile life as a hat and shoe merchant on Main street, Kutztown, and there she has continued with much success to the present time, her stand having been well and favorably known for over a generation. Miss Lehman has been very prosperous in her business ventures, and is also well-known in Kutztown for her activity in Church and Sunday-school work.


p. 1332


Adam Kindt Leibelsperger, who is engaged in business in Reading, Pa., as a member of the transfer and local express company of Leibelsperger & Walborn, was born in 1880, in Richmond township, Berks county, son of Joel M. And Mary (Kindt) Leibelsperger, the former a hotel keeper and general merchant at Moselem Springs for a number of years.

Adam K. Leibelsperger received his education in the common schools of Richmond township and after attending Keystone State Normal school at Kutztown, Pa., entered his fathers mercantile establishment, where he remained for two years. He came to Reading in 1903, and engaged as a shipping clerk with a the wholesale grocery firm of J. B. Miller & Sons,

and in 1904, in company with Jacob Walborn engaged in his present business. The firm has been successful from the start, they now employing nine men and having twenty boarding horses and five express teams. The office and storage and warehouse is located between Tenth and Eleventh, on Windsor street. Both of the partners are young men of much business ability, and their enterprise and energy have built up a patronage that compares favorably with any in the same line in the city.

Mr. Leibelsperger married Miss Katherine Hill, who died on Nov. 18, 1907, age twenty-seven years, six months, six days. She was the daughter of Charles F. Hill and Mary (Rahn) of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.


p. 1644


Joel M. Leibelsperger, merchant and hotel proprietor of Moselem Springs, in Richmond township, Berks county, is one of the most prominent and influential citizens of this section. He is extensively engaged in the mercantile business, having one of the largest and best equipped general stores in the county; while the manner in which he conducts his hotel merits the approval of the respectable people of his community. Mr. Leibelsperger was born in Richmond township, March 30, 1852, son of Jacob D. and Hannah (Merkel) Leibelsperger.

The Leibelsperger family was planted in America by George Adam Leibelsperger, who emigrated to the New World from Germany.

Frederick Leibelsperger, son of George Adam, was a resident of Weisenburg, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania.

Solomon Leibelsperger, son of Frederick, was born in 1791, and died in 1883. He became one of the early settlers of Berks county, and was the owner of much land. A conscientious and just man, and one of public spirit and progress, he took great interest in church and educational matters. In appearance he was tall and powerful frame, and he possessed great strength and endurance. His wisdom and judgment were recognized, and his advice was sought by men in all walks of life. He married Elizabeth Dunkel, daughter of Jacob Dunkel, and their married life extended over a period of fifty-three years. They were the parents of two sons; Jacob D.; and John D., who also lived in Richmond township.

Jacob D. Leibelsperger, son of Solomon and father of Joel M., was born in 1820, in Richmond township, and his death occurred at his home in 1893. He was the owner of 600 acres of the best land in his township. In 1842, he married Hannah Merkel, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Kershner) Merkel, of Richmond township, and to their happy union were born the following children: Elizabeth, who died aged five years; Catharine (m. George S. Schaeffer); Amanda (m. August Schaeffer); Hannah (m. Elias Sunday); Joel M.; and John and William, who own the old homestead and are now living retired at Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.

Joel M. Leibelsperger spent his youthful days on his father's farm, and acquired his preliminary education in the district schools near his home. This was supplemented by two years' study in the Keystone State Normal School. In 1882 he entered upon his career as a hotel keeper, and the extensive patronage he enjoys from the traveling public well attests to the superiority of his accommodations and to the courtesy accorded his guests. He began his mercantile business in 1884, and has met with flattering success.

Moselem Springs owes much to Mr. Leibelsperger. He has ever been alive to the interests of his community, and was largely instrumental in making the village the business center of the wealthy agricultural section within a radius of five miles. He it was who built the creamery and the blacksmith shop, and he has constantly enlarged his store to meet the growing demands of the public. He is well read and he takes a deep interest in public education. His tastes do not run along the line of office holding, but at the earnest solicitation of the citizens he served as school director for three years, acting as secretary of the board, and for twenty-three years he has been treasurer of the board. For twenty-one years he has been treasurer of the township. In the spring of 1884 he was appointed postmaster of Moselem Springs, and still holds that office. Beside his store and hotel property Mr. Leibelsperger is the owner of a fine farm of 207 acres, which since 1885 has been tenanted by Wilson M. Rahn. He looks after his business, and he wields much influence for good in the community. He is an official in St. Peter's Lutheran Church, in Richmond township, to which his ancestors also belonged. His life has been well-spent and useful, and he enjoys the commendation of the best people in the community. His good acts and many kindnesses will live long after him.

In 1872, Mr. Leibelsperger was united in marriage with Mary Ann Kindt, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Schaeffer) Kindt, of Richmond township. Nine children were born to them, all dying in infancy except the second, Sallie, who lived to the age of four years; and the eighth Adam, born in 1880, who is engaged in the local express business in Reading, and who married Katie Hill, daughter of Charles Hill, of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.


p. 1392


James O. Leibold, justice of the peace and farmer in Albany township,Berks county, was born in that township Sept. 14, 1876, son of John and Maria A. (Steigerwald), grandson of Johan George Leibold and Maria C.(Gesi) Leibold, and great-grandson of Heinrich and Salome Gesi, of Switzerland. Johan George Leibold, grandfather of James O., was born in Oberamt Marlbach, Reilinghaus, Germany, May 11, 1803, and died in Albany township, Berks county, Pa., April 17, 1892. He was a farmer and shoemaker.  At the age of thirty years he came to America, and settled in Longswamp township, Berks county, where lived an older brother whose emigration had taken place some years before. He then went to Kutztown, where he bought a home and followed his trade of shoemaking. From Kutztown he located in Albany township, where he purchased a farm, but after living on it some years he sold it, and then purchased the one which now belongs to his grandson, James O., and where he died.  He was a well educated man and was especially versed in the Scriptures. He was a man of progress and enterprise, and was highly esteemed in the community. In his business affairs he was eminently successful, and his death was sincerely deplored. He was active in Democratic politics, but always refused to accept public office. He was a Lutheran member of Friedens Church as Wessnersville, where he is buried. He married Maria C. Gesi, daughter of Heinrich and Salome Gesi, of Switzerland. She was born Aug. 8, 1810, and died May 5, 1875. They had five children, as follows: Mary, who died soon after her marriage to Daniel Snyder; John; Henry, who lived in Heidelberg township; Catharine, m. to Cyrus Dries of Reading; and Elizabeth, m. to John Boyd, of Cementon, Pa.John (or Johan) Leibold, son of Johan George and father of James O., was born in Maxatawny township March 30, 1838, and was but a child when brought by his parents to Albany township to the farm now owned by Hisson, James O.  He was a shoemaker by trade, and followed that occupation up to the time of his death, Nov. 4, 1906.  He also conducted a farm offifty-five acres, and made many improvements on his place.  He was an active member of the Lutheran congregation at Friedens Church, and held a number of offices therein. During the war of the Rebellion, he served in Company G, 167th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He married Maria A.Steigerwald, born Feb.. 24, 1845, daughter of John Steigerwald; she diedOct. 20, 1882. Their children were: Amandus A. of Reading; Messina, deceased wife of Elmer Lutz; Frank, of Reading; Fred, deceased; William of Erie, Pa; Annie, m. to James Shears of Reading; Alice, m. to William A. Bauscher, of Albany; Charles E., of Atlanta, Ga., and Martha L.,wife of Henry Knauss, of Allentown, Pennsylvania. James O. Leibold was educated in the township schools, and was reared upon the farm, working for his parents until eighteen years of age. He was then hired out to a farmer near Allentown, Lehigh county, and when twenty years of age learned the milling trade. In 1898 he and his brother Amandus A. formed a partnership under the firm name of Leibold &Brother, and leased the Van Reed mill at West Reading.  In 1900 they took charge of Shadel's mill at Shillington, which they successfully conducted three years. The firm then dissolved, and Mrs. James O. Leibold became the representative of H. R. Kearney & Company, of Minneapolis, Minn., extensive flour merchants of that city, and he continued with them for two years, or until he suffered an attack of typhoid fever. He then resigned and accepted his position with M. C. Dietrich, of Kempton, a merchant, grain and lumber dealer, with whom he remained until 1904 to the spring of 1907. At the close of his connection with Mr. Dietrich he purchased his father's farm near Kempton, consisting of fifty-five acres. This he has since cared for, and has made a success of it, paying especial attention to potato culture. Mr. Leibold is a Democrat in politics, and in the spring of 1908 he was elected a justice of the peace in Albany township, an office he is now filling with great ability. He is also committeeman of his township, and is a very influential factor in politics. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Americans at Shillington, of which he is a charter member; and of the Knights of Friendship, at Mohnton. He and his family are members of Friedens Reformed Church at Wessnersville. Mr. Leibold married Montana Long, daughter of Jonas and Catharine (Snyder) Long, of Wessnersville, and they have two children: Edith F.And Ethel M.


p. 643


Albert S. Leidy, merchant of Boyertown, comes of a family long settled in Frederick township, Montgomery Co., Pa. Where he was born Oct. 20, 1845.

Jacob Leidy, his grandfather, lived in Frederick township, where he engaged in farming, owning the homestead farm of over 100 acres?a very fine place. He and his wife had a family of ten or twelve children, among whom was but one son, Francis. He is buried in the private burial ground of the family in Frederick township, near Keelers church, on the old Leidy homestead: several generations of the family are interred there.

Francis Leidy, son of Jacob, was born about 1814 in Frederick township, Montgomery county, and died at the age of about forty-five. In 1857-58, at Pottstown, where he is buried. In his earlier life he followed farming, but later he was engaged as a hay dealer in Pottstown, continuing to follow that business until his death. He was successful in business and accumulated property.

Mr. Leidy was twice married, his first wife being Rachel Smith, daughter of John Smith, of Red Hill, Montgomery co., Pa., and to them were born three children, one son and two daughters: Rebecca m. Alex. Sassaman, and resides in Philadelphia; Amanda (deceased) m. William Dannahaur and lived in Philadelphia; Albert S. Is mentioned below. By his second marriage, with Mary Ann Hoffman, Mr. Leidy had one daughter, who died young.

Albert S. Leidy was born at Frederick and attended the schools at Fegyleysville and the Swamp, in Montgomery county. When young he followed the cigar business for a short time, but when the Civil war broke out he entered the Union service, in which he remained for three years. He was only in his seventeenth year when he enlisted, in 1862, in Company H, 119th Pa. V. I., at Zieglerville, and he was promoted from the ranks, in time becoming first lieutenant of that company, which was attached to the 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. Though in many fierce engagements Mr. Leidy was never wounded. At the battle of the wilderness he had a very narrow escape, a bullet striking the scabbard of his sword, thus saving him from a wound in the leg. He says he hated to lose the scabbard, as it was new, and he had just paid $25 for the scabbard and sword, but he picked up another which answered the purpose, and which he still has in his possession. He was mustered out at Philadelphia.

After the war Mr. Leidy engaged in the manufacture of clothing at Zieglerville, following this business in all for fourteen years, and employing at times as many as two hundred people. The product was mens woolen clothing. He then lived for a year in Philadelphia, where he was in the cotton yard business, and in 1881 he located in Gilbertsville, Montgomery county, where was in the horse and cattle business for six years. He was in that business with M. L. Ritter for one year. In 1886 he came to Boyertown, where he engaged in the baking and liquor business, continuing same successfully for a period of twenty-one years, at one location. In the spring of 1907 he was succeeded in this business by his son J. Albert. Since that time he has built a double brick house on Walnut street, Boyertown, near the famous casket factory, and in the summer of 1908 he built a three-story brick store and residence on the northeast corner of Philadelphia avenue and Walnut street, where he is now conducting a grocery store. He is also interested in the casket factory. Mr. Leidy is a member of General Crook Post, No. 597, G. A. R. Of Boyertown, and is also connected with Quakertown Lodge, No. 512, F. & A. M.

In 1870 Mr. Leidy married Elizabeth Bryan, daughter of Dr. Joel and Maria (Shaner) Bryan, the former an Englishman who practised medicine at New Berlinville, Pa. Five children have been born to this union: Ulysses S. died in infancy; Oren Ross, a member of the law firm of Leidy & Goodstein, is practising law in New York City, with offices at No. 38 Park Row; Austin C. B. Resides at Boyertown; Jacob Albert has succeeded his father in the baking and liquor business; Hiram B. Perished in the Boyertown Opera House fire, Jan. 13, 1908, when twenty-three years old.


p. 1464-5


Frank G. Leidy, of Boyertown, proprietor of Leidy's Livery stable, was born in that borough February 15, 1862, son of Daniel S. Leidy, grandson of Samuel Leidy and great-grandson of Philip Leidy.

Daniel S. Leidy was born in Frederick township, Montgomery Co., PA, and died at Boyertown, where he had been in business for a number of years. In early life he learned cigar-making, and followed that business as a manufacturer at Boyertown, but later he conducted Leidy's paper-mill at Bally for eight years, there employing from ten to fifteen hands. Coming again to Boyertown he engaged in the livery business in 1872, and was interested in same until his death. However he carried on the business on a much smaller scale than his son, having only ten horses.

Mr. Leidy was married three times, and by his first wife, whose maiden name was Stettler, had three children, Henry, Joseph and Chester. To his second union with Rebecca Daub, no children were born. By his third wife Hannah Gabel, he had four children: Frank G. is mentioned below; Annie is unmarried; Emma married L. P. G. Fegley, of Boyertown; Hannah widow of Henry Graffen, lives at Reading. The father was a member of the Boyertown Reformed Church. He is buried in the family plot in Fairview Cemetery, Boyertown.

Frank G. Leidy obtained his education in the public schools of his native borough and at Mount Pleasant Seminary, Boyertown. He then learned the jeweler's trade from J. S. East, of Boyertown, but in 1883, after he had learned his trade, he had to abandon it to take charge of his father's livery stable, his father having been stricken with paralysis. He has ever since remained in the business, which he has built up from a small concern to its present proportions, his stable being now the largest in Berks County. He keeps fifty regular livery horses, and has eight men constantly in his employ. His main stable is 103 by 70 feet in dimensions, and other buildings are needed besides. Mr. Leidy understands his business thoroughly, and his methods and enterprise are, appreciated by his numerous patrons, among which are many traveling men. He is widely known all over the county. In addition to his interests in the livery business, Mr. Leidy is a directory of the Union Manufacturing Company of Boyertown and a stockholder in the famous Boyertown Casket Company, which he helped to organize.

In 1884 Mr. Leidy married Katie Ellis, daughter of James Ellis, of Reading and five children have been born to them, as follows: Charles E. assists his father; Ralph E. is employed in the casket factory; Bessie E. a graduate of the Boyertown high school, class of 1905, and the West Chester Normal School class of 1907, is now a public school teacher at Boyertown; Franklin E. was one of the victims who met death in the Boyertown Opera House fire January 13, 1908, at the age of thirteen years; and Anna E.

Mr. Leidy and his family are members of the Boyertown Reformed Church. He is a Republican in politics and has served his borough as councilman. His fraternal connections are numerous, including membership in the Odd Fellows, I. O. R. M. (Podicon Tribe), P. O. S. of A. Knights of Friendship and Knights of the Golden Eagle, all at Boyertown.

Last Modified Sunday, 08-Mar-2009 14:08:54 EDT

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