Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


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Charles Leininger, hosiery manufacturer and farmer at Mohn's Hill, was born at Fritztown, Spring township, Sept. 3, 1855, son of Joseph and Rebecca Leininger. His youth was passed on the home farm, and there he gained the practical training that has made of his agricultural work so marked a success. He remained at home until he was twenty-one, and a year later began farming his father's farm, so continuing there for three years. After his wife died he left the farm, but in 1890 after his second marriage he resumed farming, and has been exceedingly prosperous in all his undertakings. His farm is well stocked, and is equipped with all the latest improved machinery. It is located in the southwestern end of Spring township, close to the Lancaster county line, and was first owned and cleared by the pioneer, Ludwig Mohn, a native of Hanover, Germany. The Mohn Memorial Church is located on this farm, only a few hundred yards from the house. The farm presents a fine appearance, with its substantial and attractive buildings, and the owner is justly proud of his estate. In 1902, in partnership with his brother George H., he formed the firm of Leininger Brothers to engage in the manufacture of hosiery. They erected a frame building 28x60 feet, two stories high. Employment is given to thirty-five hands, and about 250 dozen pairs are turned out each day and shipments are made all over the United States. A high standard is maintained, and no goods with the slightest defect are permitted to leave the factory.

Mr. Leininger and his family attend Mohn's Memorial Church (United Evangelical), at Mohn's Hill, of which he is class leader and trustee, as well as member of the Sunday-school, and at one time was superintendent of the latter. He is a good and useful citizen, and is highly respected wherever he is known.

In 1877 Mr. Leininger was married to Mary Ann Coleman, who was born Dec. 3, 1857, daughter of Aaron and Barbara (Burkhart) Coleman. Two children were born to them, Jennie and Elmer. Mrs. Leininger died May 6, 1887, aged twenty-nine years, five months, three days. For his second wife Mr. Leininger married Mary Stitzer, daughter of Ephraim and Lovina (Brown) Stitzer, of Pricetown. Four children were born of this union: Roscoe (died in infancy), Mabel, Raymond and Joseph. They attend school only one-eighth of a mile distant from their home, and their education is carefully looked after by their parents.


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The name of Leininger is inseparably connected with the best interests of that section of Berks county comprising the township of Cumru. Howard S. Leininger is engaged extensively in the coal business at Mohnton; Isaac G. Leininger is a successful contractor and builder in the growing town of Edison; Albert G. Leininger is a prosperous farmer and dairyman; George H. Leininger is an enterprising manufacturer at Mohnton; and William G. Leininger, also of Mohnton, is at the head of the important industry that bears his name. All bear high reputation for industry and integrity, and all have proved themselves worthy as intelligent, progressive and useful citizens.

(I) (Johann) Jacob Leininger came to America on the ship "Phoenix," John Mason, commander, landing at Philadelphia Aug. 28, 1750, and became the founder of an honored family of Berks county, Pa. In 1759 he was a landowner and taxpayer (his taxes amounting to 5) in Heidelberg township, this county. Tradition says that he was a young man when he emigrated and that he married in Heidelberg township. Among his children was a son Daniel.

(II) Daniel Leininger, son of the emigrant, was born Feb. 27, 1780, and became a well-known farmer in Spring township, near Gouglersville. There he died Aug. 29, 1860, aged eighty years, six months, two days, and was buried in the cemetery at that place. He was twice married. His first wife was Margaret Hornberger, and his second, Hannah Texter. To his first marriage were born the following children: John; George, who lived at Fritztown; Daniel, who lived near Fritztown; Kate, who married Adam Weiler; and Polly, who married David Gentz. The children of the second marriage were: Susanna married Charles Fix, of Indiana; Sally married Samuel Kegerise, and moved West; Hannah and Joseph T. were twins, of whom the former was married to Moses Stamm, and the latter became the father of George H. and Mrs. Albert G. Leininger; Ann was married to Rev. John Seyfrit, of Allentown, Pa; and Jacob went to Missouri and there married, afterward going to California.

(III) John Leininger, eldest son of Daniel, and father of John D., was born in Spring township Aug. 31, 1804. He died in Mohnton, where he owned a small tract of land, on March, 18, 1873, aged sixty-eight years, five months, eighteen days, and lies buried in the Mohnton cemetery. His religious faith was that of the Evangelical Church. He married Annie Dechart, born April 3, 1814, died April 5, 1885, aged seventy-one years, two days, and they had children as follows: Isaac, who married Elizabeth Henne, and lived at Flat Rock, Ohio, where he died in 1906; James (1837-1879), who is mentioned at length in the next paragraph; Daniel, who married Mary Gilbert and lived in Flat Rock, Ohio; John D., father of Howard S.,; Elijah, who died in boyhood; Henry, who died unmarried at the age of forty-two years; Katie, who married Daniel Wolf, of Mohnton; Annie, who married Daniel Anthony, of Mohnton; and Joseph, who died aged eighteen years.

(IV) James Leininger, son of John and father of William G., was born in Cumru township in 1837. In his younger days he was a miller by trade, but eventually settled down to farming and was thus engaged at the time of his death in 1879. He owned a tract of fine land, and was one of the substantial men of his neighborhood. In politics he was a good Republican. He married Lydia A. Grill, born in 1839, daughter of Adam and Catherine (Mohn) Grill. She died in 1894, the mother of the following children: Arabella, who married John J. Eshelman, a cigar manufacturer of Mohnton; Isaac G., a butcher and horse dealer of Edison, Pa., who married Miss Alice H. Fry; William G.; and Albert G., present owner of the homestead. Mr. Leininger and his family were all members and faithful supporters of the Mohnton Evangelical Church, and in the graveyard adjoining rest both Mr. and Mrs. Leininger.

(III) Joseph T. Leininger, son of Daniel, was born near Gouglersville May 30, 1830, and died Jan. 26, 1907. By trade he was a carpenter, a calling learned in his youth, and which he followed for about six years. In 1869 he purchased a farm at Mohn's Hill, on which he lived until 1884. He then built a home on this property into which he moved the following year. He did some little work at farming and trucking, largely for pastime. He was very prosperous, and was esteemed a good citizen. For many years he was trustee and class-leader in the church of the Evangelical Association at the place, of which he was a liberal supporter and a regular communicant. In 1853 he was married to Rebecca Hoyer, daughter of Peter and Sarah (Luft) Hoyer, born March 30, 1829. Nine children were born of this union, as follows: Frank, who died in infancy, from the effects of a burn; Charles H.; Sarah, who died in infancy; Ellen, who was married to Samuel Stork; Thomas, who was married to Caroline Coldren, and died leaving a son, Stephen; George H.; Kate, who was married to Daniel Epler; Mary H., who was married to Albert G. Leininger, mentioned below; and Rufus, who died in childhood.

(IV) George H. Leininger, president of the Mohnton National Bank, son of Joseph T. and Rebecca (Hoyer) Leininger, was born in Spring township, Berks county, June 25, 1862. He left school early to work on his father's farm, but he was a good student and secured a fair education in the local schools. He continued to assist his father until 1880, and then worked with him two years more, at cigar-making. In 1882 he embarked in that business for himself at Mohn's Hill, and continued there for three years, thence moving to Mohnsville, now Mohnton, where he has been established ever since. He continued his cigar business until 1897. In March, 1896, Mr. Leininger formed a partnership with William G. Leininger for the manufacture of seamless hosiery, which business they continued for two and one-half years. On Nov. 1, 1898, they dissolved partnership and each continued on his own account. The firm name of Industrial Hosiery Mills was retained by Mr. George H. Leininger, who now operates a modernly equipped mill at Mohnton, employing about seventy hands. Here are the main offices of several mills established later, which have a combined capacity of ten thousand pairs of hosiery daily. Goods are shipped throughout the United States, Canada, and to Honolulu. In 1903 Mr. Leininger, in partnership with his brother Charles H., started a hosiery mill at Mohn's Hill, Vinemont Station, and there they now operate a fair-sized mill, where sixty hands are constantly employed. In November, 1904, Mr. Leininger started a branch mill, at Ephrata, Lancaster county, and this was put in charge of a brother-in-law, John A. Bohler, and here there are forty employes. Mr. Leininger has brought to his work the qualities surest to tell in business and his success has been unmistakable and well deserved.

On Sept. 13, 1884, George H. Leininger was married to Ella S. Mohn, daughter of Samuel K., and Susanna (Spatz) Mohn, and five children have been born to them: Wellington, born March 3, 1886, who was graduated from Albright College in 1907, and later entered Harvard University (at Boston), taking a post-graduate course; Charles M., born Feb. 24, 1888, a graduate of Schuylkill Seminary and a member of the class of 1910, Haverford College; Beulah, born Jan. 2, 1891, and E. Mae, born May 5, 1893, both attending school; and George D., born April 16, 1898, who died Dec. 17, 1900. Mr. Leininger and his family are members of the Zion's United Evangelical Church, of Mohnton, where he is class-leader and trustee. Since 1899 he has also been superintendent of the Sunday-school, which number 520 members, and he gives freely of his time and money to the church. In politics he is an Independent voter.

(IV) John D. Leininger, son of John and father of Howard S., is now living retired in Cumru township. He was born where the "Hotel Mohnton" now stands, Aug. 29, 1842. His boyhood days were spent in Mohnton, and when twenty-five years of age he learned the hatter's trade, which he followed for eighteen years. He then ran a dairy wagon for about ten years. In politics he is a Republican, and his social relations are with Lodge No. 485 K. of P., and the Sr. O. U. A. M., both of Mohnton. Mr. Leininger served during the Civil war, on the Union side. He and his family attend the Zion's Evangelical Church of Mohnton, in which he was assistant class-leader of Class No. 1 for some years. On March 5, 1868, he married Mary Strunk, daughter of George and Mary (Yocum) Strunk, and they have had children as follows: Howard S., who married Annie Sheneman; Frank S., who married Nora Aulenbach; Emma, who died in infancy; Lizzie, who died aged sixteen years; Maggie, at home; and Annie, also at home.

(V) Howard S. Leininger, son of John D., and one of Mohnton's leading business men, was born in Cumru township, Dec. 26, 1868. He attended the township schools at Mohnton. His first work was at the hatter's trade, which he followed for about ten years. The following two years he spent in farming, and in 1889 he began for himself, always carrying on agricultural pursuits in connection with his other business. He owns three tracts of land, all in Cumru, consisting of about 100 acres of good, productive soil. He is an exceedingly busy man, and he has won the honorable position he now holds by thrift and industry. He is extensively engaged in hauling, both in Mohnton and the surrounding country, as well as in Reading, having twenty-two head of horses, and owning about forty-four wagons. When he engaged in the coal business, in 1898, he purchased his supply from the Reading dealers, but in 1901 he began to buy by the carload. He has his chutes at Seventh and Bingaman streets, Reading, and does an extensive business. He was the first man to engage in this line in the new borough of Mohnton. In politics Mr. Leininger is a Republican, and his social connections are with Camp No. 211, P. O. S. of A., and Castle No. 137, K. G. E., both at Mohnton. With his family he belongs to Zion's United Evangelical Church.

Mr. Leininger married Miss Annie Sheneman, daughter of Lewis and Harriett (Strunk) Sheneman, of Cumru township. They have one son, Elmer, who assists his father in business. They reside in a charming home on Church street, and are highly esteemed by all who know them.

(V) Isaac G. Leininger, son of James, is a very busy and successful contractor and builder at Edison, where he was one of the first two residents. He was born upon his father's farm in Cumru Oct. 14, 1860. When sixteen years of age he learned the hatter's trade under the George Hendel Company, and this he followed for a period of sixteen years. In November, 1893, with Mr. Albert Tobias, he erected the first dwelling in Edison, a two-story double frame house. In 1894 Mr. Leininger engaged in the butcher business, which he carried on with considerable success for thirteen years. He had a stand in the Bingaman street market in Reading. In 1903 he began contracting, and up to the present has erected seventy-five houses. In 1893 he erected the fine residence in which he now makes his home. It is nicely furnished within, and the lawns are kept in perfect condition. From 1893 to 1901 Mr. Leininger conducted a general store in his own building, but he now rents this. He is a man of enterprise, and has met with well-merited success, owning considerable property, including eleven houses at Edison, and a farm of fifty-five acres on the road leading from Gouglersville to Vinemont, seven acres of this being woodland. In 1904 he erected a Swiss barn 45 x 55 feet, which he has rented. He also deals in horses and is interested in various enterprises. He is independent in politics, and he and his family attend the United Evangelical Church.

On July 26, 1881, Mr. Leininger married Alice H. Fry, born May 19, 1863, daughter of James and Hannah (Heberling) Fry, of Spring township. Six children, one son and five daughters, have blessed this union, namely: Nora died in infancy; Carrie married Benton Henning; Alma married Wayne Musser, a barber at Mohnton; James married Daisy Spencer; Naomi is at home; Elsie died in infancy. James Fry, father of Mrs. Leininger, had three children: Alice H., Mrs. Leininger; Aquilla, who died aged seven years; and James, who married Kate Nagel, and lives in Shillington, Pennsylvania.

(V) William G. Leininger, head of one of the leading industrial plants at Mohnton, with a branch at Fritztown, was born in Cumru township, Dec. 27, 1863, son of James and Lydia A. (Grill) Leininger. He passed his boyhood and youth in attendance at the district schools, and in helping about the farm. At the age of eighteen he left home to familiarize himself with the hat finishing trade, working under John Hendel & Son, of Reading. For fourteen years this business engrossed his attention, and then in 1895 he engaged in a mercantile enterprise in Mohnton. Two years later he discontinued this and for eight months tried broom manufacturing, but this proved unsatisfactory. In March, 1895, he went into partnership with Mr. George H. Leininger, under the firm name of the Industrial Hosiery Mills, of Mohnton. So successful were they and so ready a demand was found for their goods that they agreed to separate and to establish two distinct plants for the manufacture of hosiery. This firm was dissolved Nov. 1, 1898, and Mr. William G. Leininger gave his entire attention to the management of a factory he had erected the preceding year. It is a structure 28 x 70 feet, three stories high, and seventy-five hands are employed, turning out some four hundred and fifty dozen pairs a day. The plant is known as the William G. Leininger Factory, and is an important factor in the industrial life of the community. Mr. Leininger also has established a branch at Fritztown, which was opened Jan. 1, 1907. The building there is 28 x 36 feet, two stories high, and employment is furnished to thirty people. They turn out over two hundred dozen pairs daily. The goods are all of excellent quality and find a ready market in all parts of the United States, and in the Sandwich Islands, and Mr. Leininger does an exceptionally large business in Los Angeles, Cal. For some years, too, he was interested in the Steffy Music and Furniture Company, which he was instrumental in establishing, and of which he was treasurer. The company was very successful from its inception, but Mr. Leininger found that his other business interests required his entire attention, and so withdrew from the concern Jan. 1, 1905. The present owner is Dr. Miller, who conducts it under the name of the Mohnton Furniture House. Mr. Leininger assisted in organizing the Mohnton National Bank, and was elected a director thereof. In his political views he is strictly non-partisan. He regards public office as a public trust, demanding the highest available efficiency and integrity, and always votes for the candidates he thinks best meeting those requirements. He is public-spirited, active in local matters, was largely instrumental in the establishment of Mohnton as a borough, and was elected a member of the first borough council. He is active as a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 485, Knights of the Golden Eagle and the Modern Woodmen, all of Mohnton.

On July 3, 1885, Mr. Leininger was married to Agnes H. Behm, daughter of Adam and Elizabeth Behm. They have four daughters, viz.: Bessie B.; Luella B., who married John E. Grimes, of Mohnton, and has one daughter, Marguerite Elizabeth; Stella B.; and Edna B. They are all members of the Zion's United Evangelical Church, of which Mr. Leininger has been a trustee continuously since 1892, and he is also steward and a member of the Men's Bible class.

(V) Albert G. Leininger, youngest son of James and Lydia A. (Grill) Leininger, was born June 30, 1866. He, like the rest of the children, obtained a limited education in a Cumru township public school. As a child he desired to study medicine. But his father died in the prime of life, when the boy was about thirteen years old, and this sad event ended Albert's school career. For many years he supported and cared for his aged and helpless mother and grandmother. He was instinctively inclined toward nature. He loved the soil, the huge, beautiful trees which covered the hillside, the glorious sky over the picturesque valley of his home; and the animals on the farm became his companions. During these years, after his father's death, he managed the work for his mother. He was also a lover of peace and rather enjoyed the solitary life. So in the spring of 1888 he purchased the old Leininger homestead. Both the land, in fertility, and the buildings have been greatly improved. A new house was erected in 1893 and later other conditions were altered which make the property more convenient and valuable. Together with agriculture Albert Leininger, with the help of his family, carried on a successful dairy, retailing the milk and truck at Reading and Shillington. In politics he was formerly a Republican, but seeing the terrible curse of liquor upon our nation and the human race generally, he strongly assisted the Prohibition party of his community. His fraternal connections are with the Knights of Pythias (Lodge No. 485) and Knights of the Golden Eagle (Castle No. 137), both of Mohnton. All of his family are loyal members of Zion's United Evangelical Church.

On May 15, 1885, Mr. Leininger was married to Mary H. Leininger, daughter of Joseph T. and Rebecca Leininger, in Spring township. To this union came six children: Martha L., who attended Albright College, being a member of the class of 1909, and later took up medical work; Katie and Laura, who died at an early age; Robert R., who is continuing the work on the farm; Albert A., now at school and preparing for college; and Ruth Rebecca, also at school. They have enjoyed the freedom of the country, the fresh air, the rippling brook, and the pets which they found in the animals for which they cared.


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Irwin G. Leininger, one of Berks county's representative farmers, who owns and operates the Leininger homestead, a fine tract of seventy-five acres partly in Spring and partly in Lower Heidelberg township, was born May 3, 1858, in Marion township, Berks county, son of John K. and Caroline (Brown) Leininger.

Daniel Leininger, the great-grandfather of Irwin G. was born in 1780, and died in 1860, having spent his life in agricultural pursuits. He married (first) Margaret Hornberger, by whom he had these children: Daniel, who had Darius, Isaac, William and Mary (who m. James Shower); John; George; Kate, m. to Adam Weiler; and Polly, m. to David Gentz. Daniel Leininger married (second) Hannah Texter, and by this union he had these children: Sally, m. to Samuel Kegerise; Susan, m. to Charles Fix; Joseph; Hannah, m. to Moses Stamm; and Ann, m. to John Seifert.

George Leininger, grandfather of Irwin G., was born March 12, 1809, and died Jan. 16, 1887, aged seventy-seven years, ten months, four days. He was a lifelong farmer, and owned and conducted the property now occupied by Irwin G. Leininger. He was a man of fine appearance, was well known and influential, and was a representative citizen of his locality. He married Mary Kleinginni, who was born May 10, 1809, and who died March 12, 1890, daughter of John Kleinginni, of Cumru township, and to them were born the following children: Caroline m. Abraham Houser, of Schaefferstown, Pa.; John; Mary m. B. S. Klopp, of Stouchsburg, Pa.; Adam; Hannah m. Abraham Fessler, of Schaefferstown, Pa., and had children-Katie, Mary, Hannah, George and Ellen; Charles, born 1842, died unmarried in 1870; Joshua m. Celinda Kline, and resides in Freeport, Ill.; Katie m. Albert Moyer, and resides in Dayton, Ohio; Daniel L., born Sept. 4, 1848, resides with his sister, Agnes, at Reading; Ellen, born in 1850, died in 1902, unmarried, in Reading; Agnes resides in Reading; and two died in infancy. The parents of these children were members of the Lutheran Church, and were buried in the Sinking Spring cemetery.

John K. Leininger, father of Irwin G., was born Oct. 30, 1833, in Heidelberg township, and died June 2, 1899, at the age of sixty-five years, seven months, two days. He was a lifelong farmer and owned the farm now owned by Irwin G. Leininger. For some years he also engaged in the sale of agricultural implements. He conducted the Bushong farm in Bern township for some tie, which was known as Glenside and which consisted of some 560 acres, said to be the best farm in Berks county, yielding in one year 5,500 bushels of wheat. Mr. Leininger had thirty milch cows, carried on a milk route to Reading, owned twenty-six horses, and employed continually a dozen or more employees, at one time having sixty corn huskers in the field. In one year he made 365 loads of hay, which he marketed in Reading. In 1890 he purchased his father's farm, on which he resided until his retirement, several years prior to his death, when he removed to Reading. Mr. Leininger enjoyed a wide acquaintance, and was one of the most highly esteemed men of his township. He was a Lutheran member of the St. John's Church at Sinking Spring, and is buried in the cemetery connected with that church.

John K. Leininger married Caroline Brown, who was born Dec. 7, 1831, and who died Sept. 24, 1901, in her seventieth year, and to them were born the following children: Irwin G.; Martin T., of Reading; John, who went West and has not been heard from since 1881; Mary M., born in 1864, who died unmarried in 1900; and Samuel, of Myerstown, Pa., where his is a telegraph operator.

Irwin G. Leininger obtained his education in the public schools of Reading, and later attended Prof. D. B. Brunner's Reading Academy. His youthful days were spent upon the farm until 1888, when he located in Friztown, and engaged in operating the old homestead, which he conducted on shares until 1901, in which year he purchased it. On this seventy-five acre tract is found some of the finest spring water in the world, the historic Cacoosing creek running through the property, and here also is a vein of magnetic ore, which was mined in abundance in the early seventies. Mr. Leininger is an up-to-date farmer, keeping fine live stock on his place, including twelve head of pure Holstein cattle. He has an excellent peach orchard of 500 trees, where some of the finest fruit in the county is grown. In politics Mr. Leininger is a Republican. He and his family are members of St. John's Lutheran Church at Sinking Spring.

In 1891, Mr. Leininger married Miss Kate Miller, born Sept. 3, 1870, daughter of William and Hannah (Leserve) Miller, of Reading, and to this union has been born one son, John, who finished a special course at the West Chester State Normal, class of 1909, and intends entering the University of Pennsylvania to study Electrical Engineering and later Mechanical Engineering.


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Picture of Charles E. LeippeCharles E. Leippe, proprietor of the Reading Knitting Mills, was born at Greenland, Lancaster Co., Pa., Sept. 10, 1859. He attended the public schools of Lancaster city and the Eastman Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and, after graduating from the latter institution found employment in the match factory of Joseph Loehr, in New York City. He continued in this factory at a small salary for a year, when he entered his father's bending works at Reading, having declined a position under Mr. Loehr at a large salary; and he continued in his father's employ as bookkeeper until the father's decease, in 1888. He and his brother, J. Harry Leippe, then purchased the plant, and they have carried on the business in a successful manner under the name of "Anchor Bending Works" until the present time, shipping their product to all parts of the world.

In 1898 Mr. Leippe became interested in the manufacture of hosiery, one of the thriving industries of Reading, and, purchasing a half interest in the Reading Knitting Mills, the oldest hosiery works at Reading, he has since then been prominently identified with this great industry. In 1907 he purchased the remaining half interest and from that time he has carried on the establishment for himself in a most successful manner. His plant has the distinction of being the second largest producer of eighty-four-needle half-hose in the United States. He employs one hundred and fifty hands and ships the hosiery to all the States of the Union.

Mr. Leippe has been identified for a number of years with the management of the Schuylkill Valley Bank, the Berks County Trust company, the American Casualty Company, and the Reading Mutual Fire Insurance Company, as a director, serving the last-named as president since 1902. He has also taken great interest in the Board of Trade since 1888, having served this body so important to the business interests of Reading as president during the years 1907 and 1908. He assisted in establishing the Homeopathic Hospital at Reading in 1891 and has officiated as treasurer since 1896. He has served as a trustee of the Young Women's Christian Association since its organization, in 1898, and during 1909 he started a movement for establishing a gymnasium on the premises, so as to supply a proper place in Reading for the physical culture of women. He is prominent in Masonic circles as a member of St. John's Lodge, No. 435, Excelsior Chapter, and Reading Commandery; also as a member of Rajah Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and of the Lodge of Perfection. In politics he has taken an active part in the welfare of the Republican party at Reading since establishing his residence here, in 1880. In 1900 and 1901 he represented the First district on the board of public works; and in 1905 he was nominated by the Republicans as their candidate for mayor; though not elected the vote for him showed his great popularity.

Mr. Leippe married Alice Josephine Brose, daughter of Daniel Brose (a well-known miller of Schock's Mill, in Lancaster county) and Mary Reich, his wife, who was the daughter of Dr. George Reich (near Maytown, Lancaster county). They have a daughter, Anna Brose, who was educated at Reading, having graduated from the high school in 1903, and at Washington, D. C., in the Washington College. Mr. Leippe has traveled extensively in Europe and in the United States. He spent three months abroad in 1895, accompanied by his wife and mother, and three months in California in 1904, accompanied by his wife and daughter. Mrs. Leippe has taken great interest in religious and charitable matters at Reading for many years. She is one of the lady managers of the Homeopathic Hospital.

Mr. Leippe's father was Jacob Algeir Leippe, who established the "Anchor Bending Works" at Reading in 1880 and carried it on successfully until his death, in 1888. He was born at Steinfurth, in Baden, Germany, Nov. 20, 1834, and, after attending the national schools there, learned the trade of wagon-maker. He emigrated to America in 1854 and settled at Lancaster, Pa., where he worked at his trade for two years, and then located at Greenland, four miles east of Lancaster, for the purpose of engaging in the business for himself. He carried on wagon works there until 1865 and then returned to Lancaster to embark in the manufacture of shafts, rims, spokes, and other supplies for all kinds of vehicles. He named his establishment the "Anchor Bending Works," and conducted operations there until 1880; then, seeing an opportunity at Reading to carry on the business more extensively, he removed to this prosperous manufacturing center and operated his plant here under the same name until his decease.

The father, Jacob A. Leippe, married Juliana Vollweiler (daughter of George Vollweiler, of Eppingen, in Baden, Germany, manufacturer of linen), and by her he had twelve children: J. Harry m. Elizabeth Heupel; Charles E.,; Mary Elizabeth m. A. C. Hagelgans, of Philadelphia; Emma Louisa m. Rev. Israel F. Heisler, of Williamsport; Katie Algeir m. Robert A. Riegel of Philadelphia; Julia Vollweiler m. J. Lewis Lengel, of Reading; Anna Jane, graduated nurse, is assistant superintendent of the Reading Hospital; Jacob A.; Clara Minnie m. Herbert H. Ranck, of Joanna Station, Berks county; Lillie Rose m. George Benninger, of Reading; William Theodore m. Lillie Spears, of Reading; Albert Augustus m. Gertrude Prutzman, of Adamstown. The last two sons are identified with the bending works as partners.


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Charles Leitheiser, a well known citizen of Fleetwood borough, Berks county, who conducts a restaurant, cigar store and pool room on Main street, was born Oct. 5, 1861, in Muhlenberg township, son of Francis Leitheiser.

The great-grandfather of Charles Leitheiser was Jacob, who bought a piece of ground in the borough of Reading (then Alsace township) in 1795, and court records show that he purchased land in this township as early as 1777. He had three sons: James, William and George.

George Leitheiser, son of Jacob, was born Feb. 22, 1792, and died April 13, 1881, aged eighty-nine years, one month, days. He was a shoemaker by trade, an occupation which he followed where Hyde Park is now located for many years. He married Mary Cake, born Nov. 10, 1795, died Nov. 22, 1872, aged years, twelve days, daughter of Jacob and Hannah Cake, English people. They had issue, namely: Henry; John, 1814.-1875; Jacob; Sarah; Reuben; Alexander; Rebecca; Francis; and Mary, 1829-1903.

Francis Leitheiser was born July 25, 1827, in Alsace (now Muhlenberg) township, and was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg. There were no public schools in the locality at that time, but he attended a pay school for several months of two years, at Alsace Church. On June 29, 1850, he married Mary Ann Adams, daughter of William Adams of Alsace township. She was born April 15, 1829, and died Feb. 3, 1903. They had children: Ellen, who died in infancy; Susan, m. to William Yeager; Emma, m. to Jacob Wessner; Catherine, m. to the late Morris Harner; Hannah, m. to Lawrence Wessner; Mary Ann, who died in childhood; John Jacob, a merchant at Hyde Park, Pa., m. to Lizzie Gring; Charles; George, m. to Sallie Leinbach; and Annie, born Feb. 5, 1869, m. to William H. Dietrich, Jr., of Reading, Pa., and died April 11, 1906.

Charles Leitheiser received his education in the local schools, and when a young man worked in a foundry in Reading for some time. He then accepted a position in a paper bag factory, in the same city, and there re.mained until he engaged in the baking and huckstering business. In 1887 he removed to Fleetwood, Pa., and engaged in the manufacture of cigars, but later added a cigar store, restaurant and pool room. Mr. Leitheiser is a successful business man and through thrift and economy has been enabled to buy a nice brick residence on Main street, as well as several well.located building lots.

On Feb. 5, 1885, Mr. Leitheiser married Martha Dengler, daughter of Jacob and Sallie Diehl Dengler, of Oley township, Berks county. They have had no children. Socially Mr. Leitheiser is a member of Aerie No. 66, F. O. E., Reading; and the K. G. E., at Fleetwood. He is a Lutheran in religious belief, and a Democrat in politics; and served in 1904 as councilman of the borough of Fleetwood.


p. 1086


Henry Lencke died June 10th, 1908, aged forty-seven years, a man cut off in the very prime of life, blessed with a devoted wife and loving children, enjoying the fullest confidence of the owners of The Reading Eagle, and the esteem of his fellow workmen. Mr. Lencke was born and reared in Reading, and his untimely death, which was not entirely unexpected, coming as it did after a protracted illness, brought sorrow to many. Mr. Lencke was a son of Henry Lencke, Sr., who died Feb. 7, 1907, aged eighty-one years.

Henry Lencke Sr., was a well known cabinet maker, who was born in Germany, and when a boy learned the trade of his father and grandfather. In 1853 he married, and several years later came to America with his young wife and located at Reading. There he was employed in furniture making by Frederick Henninger. In 1869 he worked as a carpenter for the Reading railroad, and a few years later he began manufacturing picture frames and rubber stamps at No. 48 South Seventh street. He conducted this business until the death of his wife Johanna, in 1891, when he retired permanently. He was an expert in polishing all kinds of woods with shellac, and made many special cabinets, including some for music and other for sewing machines. At one time he did a large business in filling special orders of this kind. He belonged to the Seven Wise Men, Knights of Pythias, and the Red Men, and as he possessed a strong tenor voice he was a very valued member of the Harmonie Maennerchor for many years, and was an honorary member until his death. He joined it thirty years prior to his death, and was financial secretary for twenty years. In religious faith he was a member of St. John's German Lutheran Church. He is survived by these children: Mary m. Herman Petsch, of Lower Alsace township; and J. K. Lencke is engaged in the pneumatic tool manufacturing business at St. Petersburg, Russia. There are eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren in this family.

When Henry Lencke, Jr., was a lad he began carrying The Reading Eagle and on Jan. 31, 1874, he began what was to prove a service of thirty-four years, working first in the press room, and later learned the trade of a printer. He showed such aptitude for the work that he was advanced until he became foreman of the press room, and held that responsible position for nearly a quarter of a century.

His fraternal affiliations were with the Masonic order, he having been past master of Teutonia Lodge No. 367, F. & A. M., serving as master in 1891 and 1904; was a member of Excelsior Chapter No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T., and Reading Lodge of Perfection. He was secretary of the Consolidated Masonic Board of Charities. Mr. Lencke was also active in the affairs of St. John's Lutheran church, for nine years having served as deacon, retiring from the vestry a short time prior to his death only to be elected trustee of the congregation. He was president of the school board for several years. Mr. Lencke was also a member of several German organizations, including the Reading Turn Verein and the Unterstuetzungsbund.

Mr. Lencke is survived by his widow and two daughters, Mary Louise and Laura Alice. Mrs. Lencke, whose maiden name was Alice German, is a daughter of the late Owen and Mary (Fry) German, of Germansville, Lehigh county.


p. 1206


Jerome C. Lengel, senior member of the well known cigar manufacturing firm of Lengel & Ernst, of Reading, Pa., was born in Jefferson township, Berks county, June 18, 1865, son of Paul M. and Emma (Riegel) Lengel.

Isaac Lengel, grandfather of J. C., was a native of Jefferson township, and was a shoemaker by trade, an occupation which he followed all of his active period. He also owned and operated a small farm. Mr. Lengel married a Miss Moyer, also a native of Berks county, and she bore her husband two children: Paul M; and Emma m. (first) Charles Henne, and (second) Frank Wagner.

Paul M. Lengel learned the shoemaker's trade with his father, but devoted his time principally to stone masonry, which he also learned when a young man. He died in April, 1908. He married Emma Riegel, and to this union there were born seven children as follows: James, a shoemaker of Reading, m. Valeria Grimes, and they have two children, Daisy (m. Robert Hottenstein) and Murphy; Jerome C.; Sally, deceased, m. Clinton Shutter; George is deceased; Agnes m. L. J. Geiger, of Reading, and they have four sons, Paul, David, Levi and Lewis; Oscar J., deceased, m. Lydia Lengel, and has one son, Oscar; and Minnie m. George S. Frederick. In religious belief Mr. Lengel was a member of the Lutheran Church, while his wife is connected with the Reformed faith.

Jerome C. Lengel received his literary education in the common and high schools of Berks county, later receiving a commercial course at Prof. Brunner's Business College at Reading. He taught school in Tulpehocken and Spring townships for five years, and in 1887 engaged with the Reading Eagle as bookkeeper, continuing with that publication until 1892. In this year Mr. Lengel accepted a position as superintendent and bookkeeper for Frank J. Hunt, the cigar manufacturer, and continued with that gentleman until he went out of business seven years later. Mr. Lengel then formed a partnership with John A. Ernst, and under the firm name of Lengel & Ernst they operate at No. 113* North Third street, where they have a factory of three stories, 17 x 45 feet, and manufacture the following well known brands of ten-cent goods: "Tulpehocken," "Wall St. Club," "Legal," "Floradelphia," "Point Blanck," "L. & E," "Critic," and several private brands. The firm enjoy a constantly increasing business and are extensive shippers to all of the Eastern States.

Mr. Lengel was married in 1890 to Aurilla Hoffman, daughter of George F. Hoffman, and she died in 1903 aged thirty-three years. Their two children were: Frank and Lulu L. In religious belief Mr. Lengel is a Lutheran, while politically he is independent. He is fraternally connected with the Brotherhood of America and the Knights of Malta.


p. 1331


Joel S. Lengel, who has been chief engineer for the Metropolitan Electric Company, Reading, for a number of years, has been with that concern since 1889. He was born in 1856 in Penn township, Berks county, where his grandfather, Martin Lengel, was a prominent farmer in Penn Valley, owning a fine farm there. Martin Lengel was born Jan. 4, 1786, and died Jan. 2, 1861, aged seventy-four years, eleven months, twenty-nine days; he is buried at Bernville. He married Elizabeth Bickel, born Sept. 12, 1785, died Nov. 6, 1868. She is buried at Bern Church. They had one son and two daughters: Israel, Mrs. Samuel Phillips and Mrs. Jerome Degler.

Israel Lengel, son of Martin, was born Nov. 20, 1822, at the old homestead in Penn Valley, and died Sept. 9, 1888, aged sixty-five years, nine months, nineteen days. He was a prominent farmer in that district for many years, a few years before his death, however, removing to the borough of Bernville, where he bought a home and lived retired. He married Mary Althouse, born Aug. 28, 1825, died Dec. 24, 18--, and they had children as follows: Frank, one that died in infancy, Isabella, Elmira, Priscilla, Mary, Matilda, Joel S., Lizzie, Aaron, Levi and another that died in infancy.

Joel S. Lengel attended public school in Penn, Bern and North Heidelberg townships. In 1888 he came to Reading, where he has since made his home, and during the first year of his residence here, was in the employ of Watt & Co., shoe manufacturers, as engineer, also serving in the same capacity with J. G. Speidel. In 1889 he entered his present employ, where he has since remained. By application, hard work and ability to perform his duties well, he has risen to the post of chief engineer, which he has filled for some years with eminent satisfaction to the firm, being a good mechanic and devoted to his work. He has had as many as fifty-five men in his charge in this position.

Mr. Lengel married Ellen Werner, daughter of Augustus L. Werner, of Centre township, Berks county, and granddaughter of William Werner, a native of Heidelberg township. Mr. and Mrs. Lengel have two children: Alvin, married to Mamie Trusty and living in Reading; and Catharine, wife of C. M. Althouse and also living in Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Lengel occupy their own home at No. 930 Oley street, Reading, which he bought and remodeled. They have an adopted daughter, Miss Edna Werner, who makes her home with them at present.

Mr. Lengel is a member of Camp No. 89, P. O. S. of A., of Reading, and of the Motormen's Relief Association. He is a Democrat in political sentiment and a Lutheran in church connection.


p. 1468


William Wilson Lengel, of Stouchsburg, where he conducts a butchering establishment, was born Sept. 19, 1855, in Upper Tulpehocken township, Berks county, son of David M. and Catherine (Strouse) Lengel.

Paul Lengel, the progenitor of this numerous Berks county family, was a pioneer of Heidelberg township, where he was a taxable in 1739, paying L2. Among his sons were: Stephen, the great-grandfather of William W.; and John, who died in 1806. His will, which was made July 22, 1805, is on record in Will Book A, page 517, and states that he owned a plantation in Pine Grove township, "Bercks" county, and it also speaks of land in the mountains. It mentions these children; Catherine, who married Frederick Womelsdorf; and Conrad and Thomas, who were the executors.

Stephen Lengel, the great-grandfather of William W., who died in Heidelberg township, was a farmer, and owned a large tract of land in Heidelberg township. He is buried at the Little Tulpehocken Church, of which he was a member. Mr. Lengel married a Miss Wenrich, and they had these children: John Adam; George, who settled in the West; Matthew, who operated the homestead; Jacob, who lived in North Heidelberg township; Daniel and Elizabeth, who married John Brossman.

Daniel Lengel is buried at the Blue Mountain Church, of which he was an official member. He owned a twenty-four-acre tract of land in Jefferson township, and was a prominent Democrat of his day, serving as supervisor for a number of years. Mr. Lengel married Elizabeth Moyer, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Wertz) Moyer, and they had a family of seven children: Rebecca m. Andrew Scharf; David; Adam lived in Richland, Pa.; Elizabeth m. Jonathan Ritzman; Malinda m. Philip Wilhelm; Daniel lived and died at Reading; and Amelia m. Oliver Hatt. Daniel Lengel was a man of fine physique, tall and strong.

David M. Lengel, father of William W., was born Jan. 13, 1833, in Upper Tulpehocken township, Berks county, and until seventeen years of age was engaged in farming. At that age he learned the stone mason's trade, as well as that of plasterer, and he worked for many years as a boss mason and plasterer, having five men in his employ. He erected the foundations for many buildings in Tulpehocken and the surrounding townships, and for seven years in the sixties was engaged in farming in Upper Tulpehocken township, and for two years in Bethel township. Mr. Lengel was married (first) in 1852 to Catherine Strouse, who was born in July, 1833, and died Feb. 19, 1875, being buried at the Blue Mountain Church. She was a daughter of John and Catherine (Zerbe) Strouse, of near Strausstown, and became the mother of these children: Amelia died when fifteen years of age; Adam resided in Millersburg, Pa.; William W.; David died in infancy; Kate, twin of David, m. John Witman, of Reading; Emma m. Lewis Frederick, of Reading; Levi lived in Reading; Albert was a resident of Lebanon, Pa.; James died aged seven years; three sons died in infancy; and Allison lived in Reading. Mr. Lengel was married (second) to Kate Seamon, who was born in April, 1833, and died March 19, 1901.

William Wilson Lengel was reared upon the home farm, and his education was secured in the public schools of his native locality. In 1893 he came to Stouchsburg, where he established himself in the butchering business, which he has carried on with much success to the present time. During his first four years he was engaged somewhat extensively in shipping calves, squabs and poultry, but he now gives his attention wholly to the local trade. He has a well-kept, completely equipped shop, and has a large high-class trade, to supply which he kills 200 beeves, 300 hogs and many calves yearly, and which necessitates the use of two wagons. In addition to his business building, which is a valuable property, Mr. Lengel owns several dwellings in Stouchsburg, in one of which he resides, while the others he rents. In politics he is a Democrat. He and his family are members of Long's (Tulpehocken) Church, of which he was an elder for several years.

In 1876 Mr. Lengel was married to Diana Rebecca Knoll, daughter of Israel and Rebecca (Stupp) Knoll, and they have had four children: George R. died in infancy; Annie R. resides at home; Mary M., m. John A. Holtzman, of Stouchsburg, Pa., and has three children, - Lottie R., Ray and Laura R.; and Edwin C. m. Lillie Schoener and has two sons, -Lewis and Charles.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:09 EDT

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