Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 979


Charles Albert Lewis who for ten years prior to his death had been a resident of Reading, Pa., was born Aug. 13, 1860, in Blue Ball, Lancaster county, son of Henry and Mary (Francis) Lewis, the former of Lancaster county and the latter of Philadelphia.

Henry Lewis was a farmer in Lancaster county and early in life was also engaged in the harness business, being quite prominent in his locality. He died in 1901, aged sixty-nine years, his wife passing away while in the prime of life, the mother of five children: William, Charles A., Henry, Elizabeth (unmarried) and Mary. The family was active workers in the Reformed Church. Mr. Lewis being an elder therein for a number of years. In politics he was a Democrat.

Charles Albert Lewis was educated in the public schools of Lancaster county, and when a young man leaned the cigar-maker's trade. This he followed all his life, and while in the employ of Gumpert Bros., Reading, he died Nov. 7, 1902. He was quiet and unassuming in manner, honest and upright in all his dealings with his fellowmen, and had a kindly, Christian character, which made for him many warm friends. Mr. Lewis was married May 3, 1893 to Anna E. Henninger, daughter of John R. and Mary Ann (Hunter) Henninger. Mr. Lewis was a member of the K.G.E. and the Royal Arcanum. In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of the Second Reformed Church of Reading, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery.

The Henninger family of which Mrs. Lewis is a member is one well known in Berks county. John Henninger, the grandfather of Mrs. Lewis, was born July 17, 1788, in Windsor township, Berks county. He was united in marriage with Sarah Rapp, in Reading, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Mr. Muhlenberg. He died Dec. 19, 1828, aged forty years and five months. Their children were as follows: William, born April 25, 1815; Mary Ann, Sept. 18, 1816 (died in March 1817); Catharine, April 25, 1818 (m. Jacob Young); Frederick Rapp, June 25, 1820; Sarah Christiana, July 8, 1822; John Rapp, Aug. 18, 1824 (father of Mrs. Lewis); Hiram Lewis, Dec. 11, 1826; and Charles Bastion, Dec. 10, 1828 (died Oct. 24, 1900).

A full account of this Henninger family will be found elsewhere.


p. 1447


John H. Lewis, of Reading, who is proprietor of the "Clinton House," at the corner of Front and Washington streets, was born Feb. 18, 1875, in Chester county, son of John P. and Mary E. (James) Lewis.

John P. Lewis was educated in the schools of Chester county, where he followed agricultural pursuits until 1877, at this time removing to Reading and becoming employed as a teamster for Orr, Painter & Co. He later became shipping clerk and was holding this position at the time of his death, June 6, 1891. He and his wife were the parents of these children: Frank J., deceased, m. Pauline Albert; Lizzie m. Samuel Price, and had one child, Mary; Samuel P., deceased, m. Emma Gnau, and had three children, Florence, John and Russell; Charles M. m. Clara Miller, and had four children, Robert, Edmund, Grace and an infant, deceased; John H. m. Martha M. Yeager, and had two children, J. Frank and Marie; George O. m. Laura Gibbs. In religious belief Mr. Lewis was a Methodist. Politically his views were those of the Democratic party.

John H. Lewis was educated in the schools of Reading and learned the blacksmith's trade at the Keystone wagon works, where he worked for five years. He then clerked for five years in the hotel at Wood and Franklin streets, and in 1903 came to the "Clinton House," of which he has been proprietor to the present time. His house contains twenty rooms, being furnished with all modern conveniences, and he himself is well thought of in his community. He is a member of the Eagles, the P. O. S. of A. No. 678, Neversink Fire Co., a contributing member of the Schuylkill Fire Co., and member of the Independent Gunning Club, West End Social Club, Harmony Social Club, Northwestern Beneficial Association, Wayside Club, Elm Leaf Gun Club, and the Eagle's Mountain Home. In political matters he is a Republican, and belongs to the Sixth Ward Republican Club. Mr. Lewis owns a comfortable residence at No. 118 West Greenwich street.


p. 1522


John P. Lewis (deceased), for may years in the employ of Orr, Painter & Co., was born in Chester county, Pa., in the year 1828, and was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Painter) Lewis, prominent people in that section.

Probably no man of his day was held in greater esteem in Chester county than Samuel Lewis, whose noble character and upright principles won him not only universal respect but warm personal admiration. Born in Chester county, Nov. 17, 1802, he spent his entire life in that part of the State, and there died. Reared to farm pursuits, he made agriculture his life calling and was one of the representative farmers of his section. He was united in marriage, Jan. 4, 1828, to Miss Elizabeth Painter, whose birth occurred April 17, 1808.

Children were born to them as follows: John P.; Margaret A., Jan. 27, 1830; Caroline, May 7, 1832; Adeline, Sept. 1, 1834; Samuel, Feb. 1, 1837; William, Nov. 22, 1839; and Oliver, Dec. 1, 1843. The family were devout members of the Methodist church, and their many acts of kindness and charity bore testimony to the sincerity of their professions. Politically Mr. Lewis was a Democrat.

John P. Lewis attended the schools of Chester county and was early made acquainted with the routine of a farmer's life. He continued to follow that occupation on his own account till 1877, when he moved into Reading and took a position with the well known stove firm, Orr, Painter & Company. In one capacity or another he worked for them until he was transferred to the shipping department and given the responsible position there that he filled so efficiently up to the time of his death. That event occurred June 6,

1901, in the seventy-third year of his age, and he was survived by his wife and a large family of children and grandchildren. Mrs. Lewis bore the maiden name of Mary E. James. She became the mother of the following children: Frank J., deceased, m. Miss Pauline Albert; Samuel P., deceased, m. Miss Emma Gnau, and has three children, Florence, John and Russell; Lizzie m. Samuel Price, and has one daughter, Mary; Charles M. m. Miss Clara Miller and has had four children, Robert, Edmund, Grace and one that died in infancy; John H. m. Miss Martha M. Yeeger and has two children, J. Frank and Maria; and George O. m. Miss Laura Gibbs. Mr. Lewis was a man who believed strictly in attending to his own affairs, and both in his private and business life was a good example of the model citizen. Devoted to his own home and family, his leisure was spent with them and their home life was unusually happy. Politically Mr. Lewis was a strong Democrat, and he and his family were members of the Methodist Church.


p. 1384


Samuel P. Lewis, who died in Reading Oct 18, 1904, had been a resident of that city since 1881. He was born in Chester county, Pa., July 27, 1868, son of John and Mary (James) Lewis.

The parents were both natives of Chester county, and were among the representative farming people of that section. John Lewis owned valuable properties there, which he operated until 1881, in which year he removed to Reading. He entered the employ of Orr, Painter & Co., with whom he remained until he died in 1891. He had a family of six children, namely: Frank, Lizzie (m. Samuel Price), Samuel P., John H., George O. and Charles. Both Mr. Lewis and his wife were Presbyterians.

Samuel P. Lewis received most of his education in the public schools of Reading, but he left school early, and when not much more than a boy commenced to learn the trade of stove molder in the foundry of Orr, Painter & Co. He remained with them several years, until he accepted the position of special officer for the city, a place which he was filling most acceptably when his career was cut short by death in 1904. Not only faithful in the discharge of his duties, he was greatly esteemed by his superior officers, and he was very popular socially. He was a member of Reading Lodge, No. 549, F. & A. M.

Mr. Lewis married, Feb. 6, 1892, Miss Emma E. Gnau, daughter of Jacob and Amelia (Frill) Gnau. Three children were born to this union, namely: John H. (born Sept. 10, 1893, is at school), Florence A. and Russell R.

Jacob Gnau, father of Mrs. Lewis, was born in October 1846, and died Aug. 31, 1899. He was a native of Reading, and was educated in the schools there. Learning the trade of stove molder, he followed that occupation until 1872, when he went into the hotel business at Columbia Hall, on Penn street. This proved so successful, that in 1887 he was able to retire. Mr. Gnau served in the Civil war and was a member of McLean Post, G. A. R. He also belonged to Friendship Fire Company and to the Masonic fraternity. Twice married, by his union with Miss Rebecca Britton there was no issue. By his marriage with Miss Amelia Frill there were two children: one who died in infancy and Emma E. (Mrs. Lewis).


p. 1490


William and Charles Leymaster, who, under the firm name of Leymaster & Bro., have been carrying on a business in painting and papering in Reading, since 1900, belong to the second generation of their name associated with that occupation.

The Leymaster family came from Muhlenberg township, where the grandfather, a well known farmer of his day, lived and died, and where his son, Samuel, was born. The latter became a skilled painter, and early established himself in Reading. His first partner was M. J. Serling, but later a Mr. Bricker was admitted to the firm, and the name became Leymaster, Serling & Company. Their first location was at No. 15 North Sixth street, the next at No. 45 North Sixth street, and then for twelve years the firm was at No. 105 North Sixth street. The final location, where the sons still continue the business, was No. 16 North Sixth street, and there Mr. Leymaster remained in active control until his death in December, 1893, over twenty-eight years from the time he established his business in Reading.

Samuel Leymaster was twice married; by his first wife, who was Miss Catherine Stoltz, he had five children, William, Ellen, Elizabeth, Charles and Catherine (who died young). By the second wife, Rebecca Nagle, there were three daughters, Annie, Mary and Sallie. Mr. Leymaster was perhaps as well known as a musician as a business man, for he had played with a number of the local bands, belonging at different times to the old City, the old Rifle, the Keystone and Ringgold bands.

William Leymaster, eldest son of Samuel and senior member of the present firm, was born in Reading. He took up his father's trade and followed it until 1880, in that year entering the employ of the Philadelphia and Reading railroad. He left that to go into the cigar business, and for thirteen years was successfully engaged in that line at No. 28 North Sixth street. In 1900 he and his brother together bought the other interests in the business founded by their father, and have since then been conducting it on their own account.

Charles Leymaster, also born in Reading, is younger than his brother. He also learned papering and painting under his father, and has always been engaged in that line. At the time of his father's death he acquired an interest in the business, and later, in 1900, he and his brother, as stated above, acquired the entire control of the business. They have an established trade in both departments, carry complete lines, and as they employ skilled workers have a reputation for satisfactory work.

Charles Leymaster was married to Miss Emma L. Otto, a daughter of the late Jacob Otto, and they have three children, Clara, Florence and Ella, and have lost one, Carrie.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:11 EDT

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