Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1260


"Rev. Dr. Aaron Seibert Leinbach, a well-known Reformed Clergyman, who died in Reading, was a son of the late Rev. Thomas H. and Elizabeth Leinbach, and was born July 20, 1825, in Spring township, several miles from Reading, in the house now occupied by Benneville Krick. He was one of a family of thirteen children, the following of whom survive: Rev. Samuel Augustus Leinbach, of this city; Rev. Thomas Calvin Leinbach, of Womelsdorf; Charles Leinbach, Mrs. Maria Walborn, Mrs. Clara Dundore, Mrs. Emma Loose, all of Myerstown; and Mrs. Elvina Reber, of Philadelphia. "Before he was a year old his father moved to the parsonage of the Tulpehocken church, of which he was pastor, located in Jackson township, Lebanon county. It was here that Dr. Leinbach spent his earlier years. He attended the common schools of the neighborhood, and afterward entered the academy at Womelsdorf and then the academy at Myerstown. From here he entered Marshall College, at Mercersburg, in 1842, and graduated in the fall of 1846. He then prosecuted his theological studies in the seminary at the same place until 1848, and was licensed to preach on the 16th day of May of the same year. He was ordained by the classis of the Reformed Church and installed as pastor of the Palmyra charge in Lebanon county, which he served for the short period of five months when he was called to the pastorate of the First Reformed church of Reading. He entered upon his duties Sept. 6, 1848, and successfully served the congregation for fourteen and one-half years. He preached in German and English and lectured during the week. The German and English services alternated, as did also the lectures. During the greater portion of the time he delivered two lectures a week, one in German and the other in English, but afterward only once a week in German and English alternately. At times, when Trinity Lutheran Church was without a pastor, he attended week-day services there and sometimes filled the pulpit on Sundays. During a period of the time he was pastor of the First Reformed Church, he preached at stated intervals at Schwartzwald Church, and became the regular pastor of that well-known congregation, July 1, 1855.

"Dr. Leinbach began his pastorate at Shalters, May 1, 1864; at Hinnershitz church, Oct. 8, 1871; at Alsace, Oct. 8, 1873. He also served the following congregations: Immanuel, Hamburg, from April 24, 1864 to June 10, 1866; St. Michael's, Upper Bern, from Aug. 7, 1864, to Sept. 29, 1867; St. John's, Robeson, from May 22, 1864, to June 29, 1873; Mohrsville, from Jan. 22, 1865, to Jan. 23, 1881; Bern church, from July 25, 1875, to Aug. 12, 1883; Leesport church, from June 26, 1870, to Jan. 23, 1881.

"When he announced to the members of his different congregations in the spring of 1895 that he would resign his charges and throw aside the cares of his office, the expressions of regret were general. This course, Dr. Leinbach deemed necessary, as of recent years his manifold duties were too great a strain on his nervous system. On Sunday, July 28, 1895, the venerable pastor conducted his concluding services in Alsace church; on Sunday morning, Aug. 4, Hinnershitz, and in the afternoon of the same day at Shalter's church. On Sunday, Aug. 11, he preached his farewell sermon at Spies' church, and on Sunday, Aug. 18, at Schwartzwald (which congregation he has served for a period of nearly forty years). All services were largely attended, not only by the members of the different congregations, but by numerous friends living within a radius of many miles.

"Since the time he was licensed as a preacher he had baptized 7,729 persons; confirmed 3,437; married 2,829 couples, and officiated at 4,289 funerals. At various times, his son, the late Rev. John Hiester Leinbach, officiated in his stead, otherwise these figures would have been larger.

"A number of years ago the title of D. D. was conferred upon him by Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. Leinbach was for nearly half a century one of the most active and influential Reformed clergymen in Eastern Pennsylvania. He labored in season and out of season, and as his congregations were widely scattered he was out almost daily, preaching funeral sermons, visiting the sick, and in an hundred ways ministering comfort and consolation. He filled in full and complete measure all the duties of a pastor, and in addition to his week-day appointments, he held services at two or three, and occasionally four of his churches on a single Sunday, on which occasions he was required to drive many miles. He thoroughly understood the people, and they had full confidence in his advice and judgment in temporal as well as spiritual affairs. He was sympathetic and considerate of every one with whom he came in contact. His amiable disposition and even temperament made him one of the most approachable of men. His kindliness of manner commended him as a model pastor, and there was never any friction between him and his congregation. His parishioners believed in him as no other man and he was held by them in the greatest affection as a counsellor, pastor and friend. He was amiable, charitable and always good-natured, and his parsonage was at all times a place where his many hundreds of members were always welcome. There were few men who enjoyed a wider acquaintance throughout Berks county than Rev. Dr. Leinbach, and he was beloved wherever he was known. His relations with his congregations were based on a mutual confidence and good feeling that added much to the prosperity of the congregations. He was the embodiment of kindness, and he will be sincerely mourned in hundreds of homes. His name was a household word throughout this entire section. As a preacher he was practical and eloquent. He drew his lessons from everyday life, and his sermons were based on old-fashioned Gospel truths, and ran in a channel of thought that all could understand. While he at all times directed his hearers to prepare for the better land above, Dr. Leinbach never neglected to inculcate in his discourses principles of right living, right thinking, and right doing in one's daily life. He addressed his people as a kind father would a child and in this lay one of the sources of his popularity.

"At the farewell services at Schwartzwald, Rev. Dr. Mosser, a successor of Dr. Leinbach, at the First Church, truthfully said, "A minister of the Gospel who remains in one church forty years as its pastor, and then lays down the cares of the office on account of the infirmities of old age, is a hero of God.' On the same occasion Dr. Leinbach gave the statistics of the church. He stated that he began his pastorate in Schwartzwald, July 29, 1855, and since then had baptized 1,523 people, confirmed 1,012, wedded 484 couples and officiated at 694 funerals. At the first communion he had 166 guests and at the last 426. This number, he said, was not the largest, however, as he had had already as many as 550. He concluded with these words: 'It is a sad thing for me to sever my connection with this church, but my declining years demand it. I now bid you farewell and pray that our Father's blessing may rest upon you all.' During the deliverance of the above many were moved to tears. At the close he was presented on behalf on the congregation with a handsome engrossed set of resolutions enclosed in a frame, testifying to his great ability as a minister, and to his faithful services as their pastor. Dr. Leinbach, in a feeling manner, responded. He said, I thank you for your expression of good will and efforts to reward me. You have always shown me the greatest kindness and words cannot express my appreciation.

"The resolutions in conclusion paid Dr. Leinbach this beautiful tribute: 'May God grant you an eventide of life as gentle and calm as a pleasant summer's eve; and we beg of you to rest assured in your retirement that in the bosoms of the members of Schwartzwald congregation, hearts beat, praying for you that heavenly benediction may descend on you from the Great Bishop of our souls.' The other congregations took similar action when Dr. Leinbach retired as their pastor.

"Of the numerous weddings he performed, the first was on the 10th of September, 1848, when he married Lewis Ruth, a young merchant of this city, to Miss Matilda Houck of Lebanon county. The second was on the 24th of the same month, when he married William Call to Miss Clementine Fichthorn, both of this city.

"When visiting in the country, the venerable pastor was always greeted in the most cordial manner. To the Eagle he said at the time of his retirement: 'I do not believe there are people anywhere who are more hospitable and social than those of Berks. They are principally from German stock, and you know it is the nature of Germans to be gemuethlich. This is a German word for sociality and geniality which is difficult to translate into English and retain its full force. In the whole course of my ministry I have never been repulsed or treated coldly in a single instance.'

"In going out to fill an appointment Dr. Leinbach's difficulty was not to find a place to stop, but to decide where not to stop, the invitations being so numerous and pressing. No matter where he visited it was very evident from the manner in which he was received that he was heartily welcome. He always endeavored to visit in the order of invitations. In answer to the question - 'What do country people generally talk about when they meet at church and when you meet them at their homes?' Dr. Leinbach replied some months ago: 'As we are living among nature it is natural that the people should talk about the works of nature, including the crops. I think it is in keeping with Christianity for the people when they meet, to inquire about each other's health, circumstances, etc. Religion should not destroy the humanity of a person and make him morose, stiff and unnatural. During the services the country people are usually attentive and when I meet them in their families, they are, as a general thing, very fond of talking about church matters.'

"When Dr. Leinbach assumed the pastorate of the First Reformed church in 1848, it was the only one of the denomination in Reading. The second church was just about being organized. As he never refused to respond to a call his work for many many years was very wearing and his devotion to it helped to somewhat impair a constitution that had in it vigor enough to have carried him to an age considerably beyond that at which he died.

"Dr. Leinbach is survived by his widow, who was his second wife, and four children: Jacob J. S. Leinbach, Mrs. Adam B. Rieser, Mrs. Morris Schaffer and Mrs. John Armstrong. His son, Rev. John H. Leinbach, a prominent Reformed clergyman, died less than a year ago, and another son, Thomas, died about three years ago. His first wife was Eliza Amanda Schantz, of Allentown, to whom he was married Jan. 8, 1850. She died Aug. 13, 1867."

The notice of his funeral as telegraphed to the Times was: "The funeral of the late Rev. Dr. Aaron S. Leinbach this afternoon [June 27, 1896] was the largest here in years. There were nearly fifty clergymen in attendance. The floral tributes were many and magnificent. Rev. Dr. B. Bausman, of St. Paul's Memorial Reformed Church, who fifty years ago was the roommate of Dr. Leinbach in Marshall College, at Mercersburg, preached the sermon. Six pastors of Reformed Churches in this city were pall-bearers."


p. 379


A. Ellsworth Leinbach, vice-president of the J. G. Leinbach Company of Reading, was born Oct, 24, 1862, in the city with which his whole business career has been identified. His parents were Mahlon A. and Mary E. (Adam) Leinbach.

Mahlon A. Leinbach was born April 14, 1840, in Bern township, Berks county, but while he was a small child his father removed to Exeter township, and the boy attended school there. He has always been engaged in the manufacture of pants and woolen goods, and gained his first insight into the details of that work under William Brumbach, with whom he remained a number of years. From there he went to the Reading Mills, of which his brother J. G. was one of the owners and was given an interest in the firm, being one of the organizers of this large plant. He was active in its management till July, 1904, when he retired from he firm, although he still retains stock and is one of the directors. He is also a director of the Mt. Penn Gravity Railroad, of the Reading Cold Storage Company and of the Black Bear Railroad. Mr. Leinbach married Miss Mary E. Adam, of Berks county and they had a family of seven children, only two of whom are living. A. Ellsworth and Charles E. The latter resides at home and is foreman of the spinning department in the Reading Mills. The family residence is at No. 311 North Fourth street, where Mr. Leinbach built a home specially adapted to his own needs and ideas. With his wife and sons he is a member of the First Reformed Church.

A. Ellsworth Leinbach during his boyhood attended the Reading schools, and then entered the Reading Mills. He advanced steadily through different positions, becoming familiar with the various departments of the factory, and is now in charge of the weaving departments. His official position, since the incorporation of the company, has been vice-president, and he has proved himself a most efficient, capable and wide-awake business man. He has also been active in politics, a strong supporter of the Republican principles, and has done much service for his part, as delegate to county and State conventions, as secretary of the county committee, and as chairman of the Seventh Ward Republicans, while he has also been a member of the school board of Reading for several years.

In 1884 A. Ellsworth Leinbach married Miss M. Alice Lotz, daughter of Caspar and Rebecca (Nagle) Lotz, of Reading. Two children have been born to them, viz.: Ada L., who was graduated from Marshall Seminary, at Oak Lane, Philadelphia, in 1904, married William A. Heizmann, a young business man of Reading; and Caspar L. died Feb. 20, 1905, aged fifteen years, three months and twenty-two days. The family residence is at No. 314 Oley street. Socially Mr. Leinbach is a member of Isaac Hiester Lodge No. 660, F. & A. M.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree; Harrisburg Consistory, 32d degree; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. Elks.


p. 769


Albert Leinbach, now living retired from active work in Reading, is a native of Cumru township, born June 27, 1835, son of Frederick and Maria (Guldin) Leinbach.

Frederick Leinbach, the father, was also a native of Berks county. While he learned thoroughly the blacksmiths trade and followed it more or less all his life, he also engaged in farming near Leesport, giving the major part of his time to this work. Later in life his farming interest were all in Exeter township. He died at Reading at the age of fifty-seven years, and his wife, whose maiden name was Maria Guldin, lived to the age of sixty. Only five of their family still survive, namely: Daniel, Albert, Mahlon, Jonathan G. And Mary,, the latter being now the widow of James Levan, and a resident of Reading.

Albert Leinbach was reared upon his fathers farm, and worked there until he was nineteen years of age. He then went to work in Brumbachs wool factory, at St. Lawrence, where he remained upwards of fifteen years. He continued at this work until his retirement, being spinning boss the last forty years. Like many of his family Mr. Leinbach is thoroughly versed in the wool business. Since June, 1904, he has not been actively engaged at anything. In politics he is a Republican. During the Civil war he served in the Pennsylvania militia, and was in a terrible railroad wreck where so many of the soldiers lost their lives.

On Jan. 9, 1859, Mr. Leinbach married Miss Sarah Nagel, who was born Jan. 1, 1840, daughter of William and Henrietta (Ermold) Nagel, of Reading, and granddaughter of Peter Nagel. The Nagels are prominently identified with the early civil and military history of Berks county. William Nagel died May 1, 1848. Four children, two sons and two daughters have been born to this union: William H., a resident of Atlantic City, N. J.; Benjamin F., of North Fourth street, Reading Sallie E., widow of John F. Morriston; and Hattie, who married Warren J. Thomas, and they reside with her parents. The family residence is at No. 415 N. Fifth street. Mr. Leinbach and his family are all members of the Reformed Church, and are active in its work. They rank among the substantial and highly esteemed citizens of Reading.


pg. 1342


Benjamin F. Leinbach, who since 1898 has lived retired at Friedensburg, was one of the progressive and prosperous farmers of the county. He was born on the home farm of his grand-uncles, John and Daniel Hoch, Jan. 19, 1853, son of Samuel and Mary (Reppert) Leinbach, and a member of one of the early settled families of the county.

The Leinbachs of Berks county are descended from Henry Leinbach and his wife, Barbara Lerch, of Wetterau, Germany, the line of Benjamin F. Leinbach being through their son, Johannes, Sr. (the first of the name in America) and his wife, Anna Elizabeth (Leiss); their son, Johannes, Jr., and his wife, Catharine (Riehm); their son, John Daniel and his wife Catharine (Graul); their son, Samuel and his wife Elizabeth (Hoch); and their son, Samuel and his wife Mary (Reppert).

Samuel Leinbach, son of John Daniel and grandfather of Benjamin F., was a native of Oley township, born April 14, 1798. His sponsors were Daniel Hartman and Maria Lerch. He passed his entire as a farmer, removing from Berks county to Upper Northumberland county after his marriage, and there he died and was buried at Turbotville. He was twice married before his removal to Northumberland, his first wife, Elizabeth Hoch, died in Berks county before his removal to Northumberland, the mother of two children: Samuel; and Sabilla, who married David Bertolet. He married (second) a Miss Barto, and they had six children: Ephraim, Jeremiah, Nathan, Uriah, Ann Marie, and Malinda.

Samuel Leinbach, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Hoch) was born June 5, 1827, and he died June 25, 1897, aged seventy years and twenty days, and was buried at Spies's church, of which he was a member. He made his home in Alsace township, where he followed farming. He married Mary Reppert, who was born in 1827, daughter of Jacob Reppert, and she died in 1864, the mother of four children. Benjamin F., Elizabeth; Mary Magdalena, who died young; and Daniel of Pottstown.

Benjamin F. Leinbach received his education in district schools, Oley Academy and later in a fifteen weeks course at Brunner's Academy in Reading. He taught school five terms in Alsace township, beginning in the fall of 1871, and receiving a salary of thirty dollars per month. He was early trained to farm work and in 1882 he began farming at the place where he was born and in that same year bought the homestead. This consisted of 328 acres in one tract, sixty-five in a second, and seven and one-half in a third, making 400 1/2 acres all together. Here Mr. Leinbach was profitably engaged from 1882 until 1898, when he was succeeded by his son Beriah. In the spring of 1898 he built a comfortable and modern brick residence in Friedensburg, located at the corner of Main and Water streets, and her he has since lived retired.

Unlike most of his family, Mr. Leinbach is a Democrat, and for six years he served a school director in Alsace township. He is a member of Spies's Church, in which he has served as a deacon.

In 1874 Mr. Leinbach was united in marriage with Sarah H. Yoder, daughter of Gideon and Mary (Houseman) Yoder. Three children were born to them, namely; Beriah, who married Maggie Beidler, and has two children, Benjamin and Ray; Mary, who married Charles Swoyer, of Reading; Sallie, who married William H. Lutz of Oley.


p. 1380


Benjamin Franklin Leinbach, of Reading, who holds the responsible position of superintendent of the fulling department of the Leinbach mills of that city, is a native of Reading, born June 20, 1862, son of Albert and Sarah (Nagle) Leinbach.

Albert Leinbach, who is now living retired at his home at No. 415 North Fifth street, spent all of his active life as a woolen manufacturer. Although not actively engaged in the duties at the mills, he is still a member of the firm and takes a great interest in its success. He married Sarah Nagle, and to this union there were born four children, as follows: William, of Atlantic City, N. J.; Benjamin Franklin; Sallie m. John Morrison, deceased, and Hattie m. Warren Thomas.

Benjamin Franklin Leinbach received his education in the public schools of Reading, and in 1876, when still a lad, entered the Leinbach mills, with which he has been associated to the present time. He has worked his way up through every department of the business, learning each detail, ad now holds the position of superintendent of the fulling department, much of the success of this great enterprise being due to his good business judgement and untiring efforts. Mr. Leinbach was married Sept. 14, 1893, to Alice Hartman, daughter of Benjamin Hartman, of Reading. No children have been born to this union. Mr. Leinbach is fraternally connected wit the Royal Arcanum. In politics he is a Republican. He and his wife attend Trinity Lutheran Church.


p. 1108


Calvin A. Leinbach, a leading business man of Spring township, Berks county, whose grocery and notions store is situated at No. 624 Penn avenue, West Reading, was born May 23, 1870 in Bern township, son of James T. And Catherine (Ahrens) Leinbach.

Jacob Leinbach, grandfather of Calvin A., was born in Oley township, and when a young man went to Bern township, where the rest of his life was spent in agricultural pursuits. He died at the age of eighty-six years, and was buried at Eplers Church, of which he was a member. Mr. Leinbach married Catherine Shill, daughter of Henry Shill, of Bern township, and she died at the age of sixty-five years, the mother of the following children: Harriet m. Jacob Hain; Washington died at Leesport; Catherine m. Adam Boone; Jacob lives at Leesport; Angeline m. David Allenbach; James T.; Eliza m. William Mosser; Sarah m. (first) Henry Chipp, and (second) Jonathan Reeser; Cassia m. Charles King; and Reuben lives in Illinois.

James T. Leinbach, father of Calvin A., was born Feb. 14, 1826, and after leaving school work3d for some time on his fathers farm. At the age of twenty-eight years he began working on his own account in Bern township, where he continued for many years. He worked thirteen years in Maiden-creek township, and three years in Sinking Spring. In 1895 he removed to the city of Reading, and purchased a residence at No. 133 Walnut street, where since that time he has lived practically retired. On Jan. 17, 1852, Mr. Leinbach married Catherine Ahrens, daughter of Henry and Anna (King) Ahrens, and to this union there were born eleven children, as follows: Adam lives in Whiteside Co., Ill.; Reuben lives at Sinking Spring; James lives at Ridgewood, Cumru township; Mary; John died at the age of thirty-seven years; Calvin A.; Katie; Washington is of Shillington; Angeline; Hattie, and a son died in infancy. Mr. Leinbach is a member of Eplers Church, where he has served as a deacon. In politics he is a Republican.

Calvin A. Leinbach attended the schools of Bern and Maiden-creek townships, and spent his boyhood days on the farm until seventeen years of age, when he began to clerk in the grocery store of Isaac From, with whom he continued for three years. He then returned home for a period of five years, and in 1894 he embarked in business in Reading, locating at Second and Walnut streets. There he continued until 1902, in which year he located at No. 540 Penn avenue, West Reading, this being his location until April, 1906, when he secured his present place of business, No. 624 Penn avenue. Mr. Leinbach has a fine store room, 38 x 28, where he carries a full line of fancy and staple groceries, as well as a large and varied stock of notions.

Mr. Leinbach married Katie Gruber, daughter of William and Catherine (Matz) Gruber, and to this union there have been born four children: Catherine M.; Gruber C. Died aged two months, twenty-two days; Mildred A.; and Fern A. Born July 29, 1908. Mr. Leinbach is a member of St. James Reformed Church at West Reading, where he is a deacon, a member of the financial board and a teacher in the Sunday-school. Fraternally he belongs to the Royal Arcanum.



Charles H. Leinbach, a well known and prosperous merchant of Reading, comes of German stock, and his ancestors settled in Pennsylvania in 1723, in the township of Oley, Berks county.

Elias A. Leinbach, father of Charles H., was a son of Christian, who resided in Bern township. Elias A. Leinbach became the postmaster at Leinbach's postoffice, and discharged the duties of that office for a period of nearly fifty years. He married Caroline, daughter of Solomon Hoch, retired, and they became the parents of a large family. Those still living are: Rev. Thomas H., pastor of St. John's Reformed Church at Reading; Rev. Elmer H., pastor of St. John's Church in Kutztown; Sallie H.; Laura, m. to John Z. Rieser; Carrie S., m. to Rev. C. E. Schaeffer, of St. Mark's Reformed Church, Reading; and Charles H.

Charles H. Leinbach was born in Bern township in 1859, and was firsts sent to the public school of that section. Later he went both to the Millersville State Normal School and to the State Normal School at Kutztown. Naturally a good student, with these advantages he was well prepared for teaching and followed that profession awhile in his native township, before entering upon his business career. At the age of twenty-one he went to Reading as an apprentice under his uncles, who, under the firm name of Leinbach & Brother, conducted a clothing establishment at No. 851 Penn street. The young man showed a decided aptitude for the work, and in 1890 he was taken into partnership. He has been connected with it continuously from that time, and since the death of his uncles has been the senior member of the firm.

On Feb. 26, 1885, Mr. Leinbach married Miss Ella J. Bitzer, daughter of R. R. Bitzer, a prominent coal and lumber merchant of Ephrata, Lancaster county. To this union, there have been born three sons; Raymond, Paul and Clarence, and two daughters, Mary and Magdalene. The family residence is a pleasant home at No. 10 North Eleventh street.

Mr. Leinbach belongs to a family always deeply interested in religious work, and has devoted much time himself to such labors. He was one of the founders of St. Andrew's Reformed Sunday-school, and has been its superintendent for a period of twenty-two years, with a corps of teachers and officers under him that now numbers nearly one hundred. This Sunday school was the nucleus from which grew St. Andrew's Reformed Church, and Mr. . Leinbach was one of the charter members at its organization in 1890. He was chosen a member of its first Consistory and is still a member and officer. He is doing a great deal of Christian work outside of his own church and school. He is president of the Berks County Sabbath School Association, a member of the Reformed Church Publication Board, and also of the Board of Ministerial Relief. In politics he is a Republican.33-1260 Leinbach, Rev. Aaron S.

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