Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery




Patrick J. McCauley, proprietor of the "Rising sun Hotel," at Reading, has been connected with various other business enterprises and is well known in building and contracting circles. Mr. McCauley was born in 1866, in County Mayo, Ireland, son of Peter and Ellen (Clark) McCauley.

Peter McCauley, who was a farmer all of his life, lived and died in County Mayo, Ireland, his death occurring in 1874, in his fifty-fourth year. He was twice married, and by his first wife had a son, Robert, who still lives in the old country. Five children were born to his second marriage: Margaret, of Reading, m. Edward Coney; Peter is in Ireland; Patrick J.; John also resides in Ireland; and Catherine is deceased. In religious belief the family are members of the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs. McCauley died in 1900, aged fifty-four years.

Patrick J. McCauley came to American in 1884 on the steamship "British Princess," which landed at Philadelphia. From that city Mr. McCauley came to Reading, where he arrived May 26, 1884, and he at once found employment with the Reading Iron Company, in whose tube mill he worked until 1886. In this year he went to Hartford, Conn., where he clerked in a hotel for two years, then returning to Reading, where he engaged as a clerk in the hotel of Jacob Etzel, Tenth and Greenwich streets for two years. After one year at Ninth and Greenwich streets, Mr. McCauley, in 1893, returned to his native country, but remained only seven months, again coming to Reading. He engaged in the insurance business for a short time, and then associated himself with the "Harugari Hotel" on South Sixth street for five years, at the end of which time he purchased his present property, the "Rising Sun Hotel," which caters to first class trade. Mr. McCauley is a genial, courteous host, and makes an earnest effort to furnish his patrons with all conveniences.

On May 5, 1897, Mr. McCauley was married to Catherine Cullen, daughter of John Cullen, and to them have been born: John, Paul, Jared, Thomas, Margaret (died at the age of four months), and James. The family are members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Mr. McCauley being a member of the building committee on St. Joseph's parochial school. He has also engaged extensively in the building business in Reading, erecting a number of properties in the northwestern section of the city. Politically he is a Democrat, but takes only a good citizen's part in public matters. Fraternally he is connected with the Junior Fire Company.


p. 515


William McCormick, editor and proprietor of the Reading Herald, was born in 1866, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Mr. McCormick was graduated from Yale in 1887, and since then has been engaged in newspaper work, save for one year while teaching school in New York State. He was reporter on papers in Boston and Philadelphia; editor of the Times at Bethlehem, Pa., for two years; and in 1893 established the Leader at Allentown, Pa. In 1896 he bought from John B. Dampman, a half interest in the Reading Herald, and one year later became sole owner. Mr. McCormick makes his home in Mount Penn borough. He is unmarried.


p 1441


Joseph I. McCullough, of Reading, was born in that city Aug. 23, 1876, a son of Michael McCullough. Michael McCullough, born in 1834, was a welder by trade and was employed for a number of years in the Seyfert & McManus foundry. Later in life he went into the hotel business, locating at Nos. 542-544 South Seventh street, and was thus engaged till his death in 1899. He married Miss Margaret Clingaman, who died seven years before him, at the age of fifty-five. Of their nine children four died in infancy, and the others were as follows: Daniel F., deceased; Anna C.; Mary, deceased; Joseph I.; and John, deceased. The family belonged to St. Peter's Catholic Church. The elder Mr. McCullough was a prominent politician, of more than local importance. An active worker for the Democratic party, he had many warm friends in his ward and was sent as representative to both branches of the city council, serving at one time as its president. From 1872 to 1874 he sat in the State legislature, and made a good record there. Mr. McCullough was one who saw service during the Civil war, having enlisted in the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, for three months.

As a member of a devout Catholic family, it was natural that Joseph I. McCullough should have received his education in the parochial school of St. Peter's parish. After his student days were over he went to work for the Reading Iron Company and was employed by that concern for three years. At that time his father had opened his hotel and the son became his clerk, working in that capacity till the death of his father. Thereafter he conducted the place himself for a few years, but May 1, 1902, sold out. He then filled a clerical position till 1905, when he went into business for himself once more. He carried on a cigar store and pool room, with two tables, located at No. 644 Bingaman street, and during the two years in which he managed it did a very good business.

In addition to the demands of his daily occupation Mr. McCullough has found time for considerable political work and is prominent in the Democratic ranks in Reading. In 1902, his services were recognized by election to the select branch of the city council, in which he was the youngest member ever sent to that body. He continued in that position four years, giving his constituents efficient service. Mr. McCullough is a member of the Liberty Fire Company, having joined that organization in 1898.

The union of Mr. McCullough in 1900 to Miss Rosa T. Albert, the daughter of George F. Albert, has been blessed with seven children, Paul M., Mildred R., Margaret E., Leonard J. and Gertrude A., surviving, and Gerald A. and Joseph I., Jr., deceased. Mr. McCullough has ever adhered to the faith in which he was brought up and he and his family are connected with St. Peter's Church.


p. 1170


Mrs. Mary Ann McDonough, a well known woman at Reading, Pa., whose twenty-three years' service as matron of the outer depot of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad gave her an unusually large acquaintance, was born near Friedensburg, in Berks county, April 6, 1846, daughter of Jacob and Judis (Luckens) Hassler, a complete biography of whom will be found in this volume in the sketch of Erza S. Hassler.

In 1866 Mrs. McDonough married Israel B. Rauenzahn, born July 10, 1840, at Pricetown, who was for some years a farmer and later a railroad man. He met his death in an accident Aug. 10, 1877, at Alburtis, Lehigh county, and was buried at Pricetown. He was a son of Gideon and Elizabeth (Brown) Rauenzahn, the latter of whom was a daughter of Daniel and granddaughter of Jacob Brown, who was the ancestor of a large family of Ruscombmanor and the surrounding townships. Christian Rauenzahn, grandfather of Israel, founded the family in Berks county, and was a descendant of Herr von Rauenzahn. The ancestor brought with him to this country a large family Bible, which contains valuable records of this noble family of the German Empire, and which was sold and now is probably in some Philadelphia museum. Mr. And Mrs. Israel B. Rauenzahn had the following children: Annie E. died in infancy: Albert is a steamfitter and plumber of Reading; Hayward lives at Fleetwood; and Israel is resident of Reading.

The second marriage of Mrs. McDonough was to William A. McDonough, in February 1905. Mr. McDonough is a son of John McDonough, of Ireland, and is an iron worker of Reading. Mrs. McDonough owns the corner residence at No. 1200 Green street, and the dwelling at No. 620 Moss street, Reading, and she and her husband reside at No. 337 South Ninth street.


p. 718


Allison F. McGowan, who died at his home in Reading, May 24, 1897, was for many years prominently identified with the business interests of the city, as a dealer in coal, lime and sand. Mr. McGowan was born at Geiger's Mills, Union township, Berks county, son of John and Elizabeth (Geiger) McGowan.

John McGowan, whose father was a native or Ireland, was a well-known agriculturist of Union township, where his entire life was spent. He and his wife, Elizabeth Geiger, were leading members of St. Paul's ("Old Forrest") M. E. Church. They had the following children: George, James, John F., Allison F., Howard, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Harriet, Emily, Kate and William.

Allison F. McGowan received his education in the Union township schools, and afterward engaged for a short time in teaching. He then became a clerk in McGowan & Miltmore's hardware store, in Reading, where he remained several years, and afterward connected himself with the firm of Bright & Lerch, with whom he continued for five years. At the end of this time Mr. McGowan purchased an interest in the firm of High & Geiger, coal, sand and lime dealers, and after Mr. High's retirement the business was carried on by Mr. Geiger. When the latter gentleman left the business, Mr. McGowan assumed charge, and carried this on until his death, the enterprise being very successful. Mr. McGowan was always considered a man of much business ability, careful and industrious, and he was rated one of the city's successful and representative men. He was a member of the I. O. O. F., of Reading, and of St. Peter's M. E. Church of Reading. He was a great lover of music, and was the choir-master of St. Peter's church for twenty years.

Mr. McGowan married Miss Louisa Geiger, the daughter of Levi and Mary (Zerr) Geiger, and to this union there were born three children: Howard L. and Allison J., both deceased; and William H., who is engaged in the manufacture of underwear at Nos. 746-748 Cherry street, the firm being known as the Eclipse Knitting Company, and who is the organist and choirmaster at St. Barnabas P. E. church, Reading.


p. 1658


Hon Howard Glacy McGowan. In every community, great or small, there are found men who by reason of personal attributes, enterprising spirit and natural ability, have risen above their fellows in business, social or public life. Berks county, Pa., has many examples, and one of these is the Hon. Howard Glacy McGowan, ex-representative to the State Legislature, and a leading agriculturist of Robeson township. Mr. McGowan was born in Union township. Berks county, Sept. 8, 1858, son of John and Elizabeth (Geiger) McGowan.

John McGowan, grandfather of Howard G., was a native of the North of Ireland, whence he came to America in 1790, settling at once on a farm in Berks county. There he and his wife both died in the faith of the Presbyterian Church. Three children were born to them: Nathaniel, William and John. Mr. McGowan was a Democrat in politics.

John McGowan, father of Howard G., was born in Union township, in 1807, on the farm where he lived all his life, dying in 1887, in the eightieth year of his age. He spent his life engaged in agricultural pursuits, leaving at his death a valuable estate, which was divided among all of his children. Mr. McGowan married Elizabeth Geiger, daughter of George Geiger, and she died in 1893, when eighty years old, the mother of children as follows: George G.; John; William G. ; James; Allison F. : Howard Glacy: Mary (m. Levi Geiger) : Sarah (m. John P. Haws) ; Catherine (m. Herman U. Geiger); Elizabeth V. (m. N. N. Specher) ; Emily (died young) and Harriet B. (m. E. M. Zerr). In religious belief the family were Methodists, and Mr. McGowan donated the ground on which St. Paul's Church now stands, then known as the old Forrest Church. He was a Democrat in politics, was county commissioner in 1867, school director, assessor and tax collector. Fraternally he was connected with Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M. of Reading.

Howard G. McGowan was educated in the schools of Union township, and the Reading high school, after leaving which he entered the hardware store of his brother William G. of the firm known as the McGowan & Miltimore, hardware merchants, in Reading, remaining there seven years. Mr. McGowan then accepted a position with the Adams Express Company where he continued three years, and in 1880 he purchased the old Bitler homestead in Robeson township, a tract of 111 acres of land which he is still cultivating. He has made many improvements, and devotes his attention to fruit and berry growing, having raised as many as 100 bushels of strawberries, in addition to 800 baskets of peaches, apples and pears in a single season. He keeps a dairy of thoroughbred Jersey cattle, and is a successful agriculturist in every way. Mr. McGowan is a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Agriculture, a director of the Farmers' Institute of Berks county; chairman of the board of managers of the Farmers' Institute, a position which he had held for ten years; and for twenty-five years has been a member of the Berks County Agricultural Association, and an annual exhibitor, for twenty-five years, winning the first prize for corn, potatoes, apples, pears, etc.

In 1879 Mr. McGowan married Amanda E. Geiger, daughter of Herman and Maria S. Geiger, and two children were born to this union Howard A.. who died in 1881, at the age of six months; and H. Preston, born March 17, 1895. Mr. McGowan is a Democrat in politics, and has been assessor, tax collector, etc. in his district. In 1906 he was elected a member of the State Legislature, and served on the committees on Agriculture, Law and Order, Public Health and Sanitation, Constitutional Reform, and other committees. During the session of 1907 his activity in the interest of his constituents attracted more than ordinary attention. During the session he was appointed to attend the National Good Roads Congress at Pittsburgh, Pa.; chosen on the Appropriation Committee and to fill many other important positions. He presented many bills to the Legislature, investigated the Vinegar law in the interests of the farmers of the State, and subsequently had printed a circular letter relative to this work, which was distributed to farmers throughout the State. He succeeded in having an Act passed in the interest of shippers of milk and cream in cans and other vessels over railroads, and through this law all milk cans and other vessels must be thoroughly cleaned by the receiver of milk before being returned to the shipper. The sanitary effect of this law is appreciated by the residents of cities and towns, and the law is as well of much assistance to farmers in keeping the vessels clean. Mr. McGowan spoke in support of many measures and through his activity in the House and Senate several bills became laws much to the benefit of the farmers in whose interest Mr. McGowan was working. In recent years (two years in succession) Governor E. T. Stuart appointed Mr. McGowan a delegate to the National Farmers' Congress, which was held in Richmond, Va., and Madison, Wis. respectively.

Fraternally Mr. McGowan is a member of the P. 0. S. of A., being a charter member of Camp No. 388, of Geigertown; and Neversink Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., of Birdsboro. He is a member of St. Paul's M. E. Church, where he is serving as secretary of the board of trustees, steward and Sunday-school treasurer, and he was at one time the Sunday-school organist, and at present is serving as chorister in the church.


p. 1331


James McGowan, president of the Berks County Agricultural Society, of which organization he has been a member since 1874, and a leading retired citizen of Robeson township, Berks county, was born May 2, 1838 in Union township, this county, son of John and Elizabeth (Geiger) McGowan.

Mr. McGowan was educated in the schools of Union township, and early in life took up agricultural pursuits, which he has made his life work. He is considered an authority on modern farming methods, and his beautifully located farm is well adapted for pasturing purposes for his herd of fifteen cows, a stream of fine, clear water running through the property. Mr. McGowan's dairy business is an extensive one, the product thereof being sold in the Philadelphia market. In religious belief Mr. McGowan and his family are Methodists. He is a Democrat in politics, and was for a number of years township assessor and tax collector. During his long membership in the Berks County Agricultural Society, Mr. McGowan has never missed a meeting, and since being elected to the presidency in 1883, he has done much towards strengthening it in many ways. Since 1895 he has also been president of the Berks County Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

In 1862 Mr. McGowan married Annie Ammons, daughter of Henry Ammons, who died in April, 1883. To this union were born eight children: William m. Rosie Miller; John m. Bella Rancel; Harry m. May Patterson; Evan m. Jennie Sponagle; Elizabeth m. Samuel Wicklein; Maggie m. George E. Wells; Amanda m. H. A. Rehr; and Kate m. Ambrose Slichter.


p. 1434


J. Wallace McGowan, of the firm of John C. McGowan Company, who for a number of years was an officer in the Marine Service, was born in Reading, Pa., July 13, 1878, son of William G. and Catherine McGowan.

William G. McGowan, who died in 1887: aged fifty-four years, was for a long period one of Reading's well-known business men, being engaged in the hardware business both wholesale and retail. At one time he was a member of the Stichter Hardware Company, and later, with a Mr. Miltimore, founded the firm of McGowan & Miltimore. Mr. McGowan and his wife, who died aged sixty-five years, were the parents of eight children, four of whom grew to maturity: Lizzie, a teacher in the public schools of Reading; Edwin, a clerk in the employ of the John G. McGowan Company; J. Wallace; and John G., deceased.

John G. McGowan was born in 1858 in Reading, and attended the public schools and later the high school, from which he was graduated. He was a member of the High School Alumni Association, and served on many committees. In 1885 he entered into a partnership with N. N. Sprecher at No. 537 Penn street, this being the nucleus of the present firm of John G. McGowan Company. A few years later he purchased his partner's interest and removed to No. 530 Penn street, and in 1899 into the Y. M. C. A. building. He was one of Reading's best known business men. He was a vocalist of more than local reputation and was a member of the Reading Choral Society, of which he was treasurer. He was elder and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church, also superintendent of the Sunday-school. To which latter position he had been re-elected just previous to his death. He was a member of the Reading Sabbath School Superintendents Association and the Berks County Sunday School Association; and for twenty-one years was a member of the board of managers of the Y. M. C. A. No man has ever been held in higher esteem by his fellow townsmen than he, and his death caused sorrow among a wide circle of friends. J. Wallace R. McGowan graduated from the Reading high school in 1895, immediately after which he received an appointment to the Merchant Marine and United States Navy. He went aboard the Pennsylvania Nautical School Ship (manned by Naval officers) "Saratoga," discharging his duties for two years. Although Mr. McGowan did not graduate from the school-ship at this time, which was owing to the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, he received a discharge in lieu of a diploma, given each student of an equal rank. However, not satisfied with his diploma, he at the close of the war went back to the school-ship and took up a post-graduate course, completing his work second in the class.

While the Spanish-American war was in progress, Mr. McGowan served under Admiral Sigsbee, then captain of the "St. Paul." Later, Mr. McGowan entered the employ of the Red Star Line, between New York and Antwerp; was also with the Quebec Steamship Company and several other Trans-Atlantic liners. In January, 1904, he accepted the rank of second officer on the Pacific mail liner "Mongolia," then the largest ship under the American flag in the world. He joined at the Camden shipbuilding yards, N. J., taking her on her first voyage, via the West Indies and Strait of Magellan, to San Francisco. On his arrival at San Francisco he received a commission on the Pacific Mail steamer lines. Having discharged his duties successfully on the "Mongolia," he joined the "Manchuria." On this steamship he made numerous voyages along the Western coast, frequently anchoring at Mexican and Central American ports, among which were: Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua. Costs Rica and Panama.

While the "Manchuria" was making her trips to China, Mr. McGowan, on one of these, became acquainted with the Taft party. Taking them aboard this vessel, he transported them to port at Honolulu and Japan, stopping at Yokahoma, Kobe, Nagasaki, thence to Manila. While in Panama at the time of the celebration of the Panama Liberty. Mr. McGowan again met Secretary Taft, Colonel Edwards, head of the Philippine commission, and Governor Shontz, who had then control over the canal zone.

The home port during his entire career on the Pacific Coast, was San Francisco. Had Mr. McGowan reported back for duty at the end of his furlough, he would have been in the midst of the great earthquake and conflagration there, being scarcely a month away from that city. On his return, via the Southern Pacific, he passed through many of the districts damaged by the earthquake, stopping at San Jose, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. From these towns he traveled through the fruitful vineyards of southern California; thence across the desert-like sands of Arizona, arriving at Tucson. A few days later he reached El Paso, a town near the Mexican border noted for its variety of architecture, and then passing through San Antonio, Texas he came to the lowlands of Louisiana, and then on to Reading.

Since locating in this city Mr. McGowan has been connected with the John G. McGowan Company. Mr. McGowan is a member of the Reading Board of Trade, the Washington Library Club, Brotherhood of the Union, the Alumni of the Pennsylvania Nautical School and of the Masters and Pilots Association of San Francisco.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:15 EDT

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