Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1316


Isaac McHose, a well-known citizen and retired business man of Reading, Pa., residing at Fifth and Walnut streets, who was for many years a generous supporter of public institutions and the prime mover in various business enterprises, has been a resident of this city since 1852. Mr. McHose was born Dec. 6, 1822 in Hanover, Lehigh county, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Lohrbach) McHose and grandson of Isaac McHose, the latter a native of Scotland who came to America at an early date and settled in Northampton county, Pa. Isaac McHose, father of Isaac of Reading, was a contractor and builder in Northampton county for many years, and was a lieutenant in the war of 1812. In later years he removed to Rittersville, Lehigh county, and there died in the faith of the Reformed Church. Politically he was a Democrat. Mr. McHose was married to Elizabeth Lohrbach, a native of Northampton county, and to them were born ten children, of whom Isaac is the only one now living.

Isaac McHose attended the subscription schools of his native locality, and with his father learned the trade of brick-layer, and when seventeen years old helped to build the first anthracite furnace at Catasauqua in 1839. Working with his father at different places he soon learned how to build furnaces and made this his business. For thirty years he was engaged in building blast furnaces in Reading, Robesonia, Topton, Millerstown, Temple and other places in Eastern Pennsylvania, putting the furnaces into successful blast before turning them over to their owners, and finally became interested himself in the manufacture of iron. In company with Mr. Clymer he carried on an extensive iron business at Temple Furnace, which Mr. McHose built, known as the McHose, Clymer & Co., for eight years.

Mr. McHose developed the Reading Fire Brick works from a struggling plant to a flourishing business, and for a number of years was president of the Keystone National Bank. He was a member of the select council, the Reading school board and the water board. He was one of the three citizens who secured the site now occupied by the Reading Hospital and was one of the organizers of this institution, as well as of the Homeopathic Hospital, of which he was the first president. He helped to secure the location of the Reading silk mill here, was one of the organizers of the Reading Steam Heat Co. and was its first president and subsequently became its superintendent, was the first president of the Reading Library Co., and with two other citizens bought the Odd Fellows' Hall, Fifth and Franklin streets, in which to locate the library. He helped to organize the Y. M. C. A; and was its first president. As president of the Board of Trade and through his friendship with President Roberts of the Pennsylvania Railroad, he was instrumental in securing the erection of the substantial iron bridge spanning the railroad and the river at the foot of Penn street. It was his suggestion that the city, the county and the railroad company each pay one-third of the cost of the structure. He continued in the iron business until 1890 when he retired.

On Aug. 16, 1862, Mr. McHose was made a member of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., and he is now connected with Reading Commandery, Excelsior Chapter, and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Formerly he was a member of the I. O. O. F. He was one of the presidential electors when James G. Blaine was a candidate for the presidency in 1885, was at one time the Republican candidate for the nomination for State Treasurer and about twenty years ago was the party's nominee for Congress. He has long been a member of St. Paul's Reformed Church, served in its consistory and presented to the congregation the fine pipe organ which cost $5,500. He was for many years a trustee of Bethany Orphans' Home of Womelsdorf. Mr. McHose is looking well for a man of his age, is in excellent health and spirits and is thoroughly enjoying life. He has always taken good care of himself and observed regular hours, to which he attributes his general good health.

Mr. McHose was married to Letitia Wieder, a native of Emaus, and to them have been born four children: Susan, m. to Jerome L. Boyer; Ambrose, of Philadelphia; Wilson, engaged in the manufacture of fire brick in Reading; and Isaac, a clerk in the offices of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company.


p. 525


Robert McKittrick, a well-known resident of Reading, who is employed by the American Steel & Iron Manufacturing Company, of the city, was born March 4, 1847, in Cumberland, England, son of Robert and Mary (Taggert) McKittrick.

Robert McKittrick, the elder, was also a native of Cumberland, England, and received his education in the common schools there, being later employed around blast furnaces. He became what is known as a furnaceman, and was an expert iron maker, following this occupation for many years. He had been previously employed in a chemical works, but gave this up for the iron works. Mr. McKittrick died in 1890, aged eighty-one years, as a result of injuries received in an accident. He and his wife were Presbyterians in religious belief. They were the parents of six children: James; Agnes; Sarah, who lives in South Africa, the wife of William Davidson; Elizabeth, also of South Africa, the wife of Thomas Harrison; Robert; and Henry, of South Africa.

Robert McKittrick, the younger, was educated in the schools of his native Cumberland, and as a boy learned the molder's trade which he followed for four years, and later acquired a thorough knowledge of the machinist's trade, being employed for eighteen years as superintendent of the blast furnaces at Cleater Moor. In June 1889, Mr. McKittrick came to America, locating at Talladega, Ala., for about two years, and then located in Pennsylvania, accepting a position at Sheridan as foreman of the Sheridan furnace. He remained there for two years and nine months, and then coming to Reading, he entered the scale works, where he was employed until he entered the employ of J. H. Sternbergh, now the American Steel & Iron Manufacturing Company.

In 1873 Mr. McKittrick was married to Anna Walker, a native of Cumberland, England, and to this union have been born children as follows: Ada, Margaret Ann, Agnes (deceased), Aaron Edward, Robert, Marie, William H. and Harry. Mr. and Mrs. McKittrick are both members of the Episcopal church. In his native country Mr. McKittrick was a member of Sterling Lodge, F. & A. M.


p. 367


Milton Brayton McKnight, son of David McKnight and Elizabeth Hiester, his wife, was born in Reading, Sept. 30, 1855.

Paul McKnight, his great-grandfather, of Scottish ancestry, came to America in 1752, from the North of Ireland, and settled in Chester county.

Paul's son, John McKnight (born May 31, 1774-died March 9, 1855), came to Reading in 1808. and conducted a Branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania of Philadelphia, which Branch Bank was afterward incorporated as the National Union Bank of Reading.

David McKnight (born May 2, 1814-died Aug. 29, 1873), a son of John McKnight, assisted and succeeded his father in conducting the Reading Branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania, and upon the incorporation of the Union Bank of Reading (afterward the National Union Bank) became its first president, and held this office until his death.

On his mother's side, Elizabeth Beck Hiester (born May 5, 1817-died Oct. 11, 1897) was a daughter of Joseph Hiester of Reading (born Aug. 4, 1768--died April 16, 1830), and a granddaughter of Joseph Hiester (1710-1772), who came to America from Westphalia, Germany, in 1737.

M. Brayton McKnight attended the local public schools, graduating from the Reading high school in 1872, and entered Amherst College the same year, from which college he was graduated in 1876. He then read law in the office of his brother-in-law, Charles H. Schaeffer, Esq., of Reading, and was admitted to the Bar of Berks county in 1878. Going to Colorado in the fall of 1879, he was admitted to the Bar of that State and took a clerical position in the office of Hon. Robert S. Morrison, a prominent attorney of Georgetown, Colo. Returning to Reading the following year, he resumed the practice of law.

In 1881 he assisted in the incorporation of the Mt. Penn Stove Works, a company just forming for the manufacture of cooking and heating appliances, and being elected secretary and treasurer of the new corporation, he relinquished his law practice and devoted his whole time to manufacturing. He retained the office of secretary and treasurer of the Mt. Penn Stove works for twenty-five years, and in 1907 he was elected president of the company, which office he now holds. During this time this company has grown to be one of the prominent manufacturing and business enterprises of Reading.

Mr. McKnight was married in 1880 to Ida May Geise, who died in 1882, without any children. On March 31, 1898 he married Wilhelmina Hamilton Holmes (daughter of Robert Holmes, of Reading), who died on Nov. 3, 1901, leaving two daughters, Helen, born June 16, 1899, and Katharine, born May 23, 1901.

Mr. McKnight is identified with various business enterprises of Reading, is on the board of directors of the Mt. Penn Gravity Railroad, the Reading & Temple Railway, the Reading Hospital, the Charles Evans Cemetery Company and the Reading Sanitarium for the Treatment of Tuberculosis, and is a member of the Berks County Historical Society, the Pennsylvania-German Society and the Pennsylvania Forestry Association.


p. 1717


William S. McKnight, whose death occurred at his home, No. 528 Spruce street, Reading, Aug. 17, 1907, had been a resident of that city all of his life, and was one of its well-known and highly esteemed citizens. Mr. McKnight was born Oct. 29, 1848, in Reading.

After securing a good public school education Mr. McKnight entered the Eastman Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., from which he was graduated, and he then engaged in the grocery business with his brother, John McKnight, at the northwest corner of Fourth and Penn streets, Reading, for several years. For many years thereafter he was employed by the Harbsters as bookkeeper, and filled a like position for other well-known firms in Reading, until 1903, when failing health caused his retirement.

Mr. McKnight was buried at Charles Evans cemetery, with the service of the Episcopal Church, in which he had been baptized. He was an active member of St. John's Lodge. No. 435, F. & A.M. and also belonged to Neversink Fire Company and to Camp No. 89, P.O. S. of A.

On Sept. 9, 1887, Mr. McKnight was married to Lydia A. Seaman, daughter of Lewis and Mary (Heiser) Seaman, and granddaughter of Lewis Seaman, the latter of whom had these children: Catherine, Moses, Elias, Lewis, Ann and John. Lewis Seaman, Mrs. McKnight's father, was a blacksmith of Leesport and later of Bernville. He had the following children: William, who is single; Lydia A., who became Mrs. McKnight; Alice, who married Charles Schaeffer; Kate, who married Charles Moyer; and Charles, who is single. All of this family reside at Reading, where they are prominent in the business and social life of the city.


p. 1237


The McLean family originated in Ireland where Daniel McLean was born in the northern part, April 8, 1812, and came to America when 21 years of age. His death occurred June 22, 1876, when he was 64 years, 2 months and 14 days old. His remains are interred at Amityville.

After coming to America he located in the vicinity of Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., Pa., being attracted there by the coal mines, as he was a miner. There he resided until 1850, when with his family he moved upon a farm in Amity township, near Weaverstown. This farm consisted of 116 acres of good, fertile land, and he farmed it successfully until his death. Daniel McLean was an enterprising man, and very industrious, and labored hard to bring up his children in the right way and give them more educational advantages than he had enjoyed. Although a Presbyterian, as there was no church of that denomination in the vicinity, he attended the Reformed Church. His wife was Elizabeth Ann Breuster, who was born Aug. 12, 1816, and died Oct. 17, 1881, aged 65 years, 2 months and 5 days. She too was a native of Ireland, and she and Mr. McLean met on shipboard. During the two months consumed by the trip on the sailing vessel, the young people grew to love each other, and upon landing in New York they were married. Their children were: James B.; Samuel B., who resides in Amity township on the old homestead; Dr. Daniel B., who resides near his brother James B.; and John, who was born Dec. 10, 1851, and died April 6, 1886, aged 34 years, 3 months and 26 days. The old homestead has a stone house upon it built by Daniel McLean in the sixties. Mr. James B. McLean has an old dinner gong, brought from Ireland, and of a kind seldom seen in this country. It is 2-1/2 inches in diameter and 3/8 of an inch thick. This family relic is over a hundred years old, and is greatly prized.

James B. McLean, a farmer of Weaverstown, Amity township, was born Sept. 9, 1843, and when 25 years old he began farming in that vicinity. His boyhood was filled with work on the farm and attending school, until he was given the advantage of a course at the Hill school at Pottstown and at the Boyertown Academy. He was licensed to teach by Professor Ermentrout and was examined by James N. Ermentrout, later presiding judge. Mr. McLean taught school one term during the winter of 1866-7 at Weaverstown, and received 25 dollars a month for his services. Then he worked for his father-in-law for several years, and after the latter's death he bought the farm of 131 acres of very good land, suitable for mixed farming. The house was built by George Lorah in 1797, and is in excellent condition.

Mr. McLean and family are members of the Reformed Church of Amityville, in which he is a deacon and elder, and has been since 1866. In politics he is a Democrat and has served his township as committeeman, auditor, assessor and registry assessor. He might have had any of the other offices within the gift of his neighbors, but refused them, feeling that he had done his full duty as a good citizen. He was a State delegate to four conventions, and a delegate to a number of county conventions. Mr. McLean was a delegate to the convention that nominated Judge James N. Ermentrout for the first time, and to the one which nominated him for the second term.

In 1866 Mr. McLean was married to Mary A. Lorah, a daughter of John and Emma (Griesemer) Lorah. Mr. and Mrs. McLean have had two children: William Lorah, who died in infancy; and Rev. Eugene Lorah.

The Rev. Eugene Lorah McLean was educated in the public schools of his community, Kutztown State Normal school, Franklin & Marshall college, and in a theological seminary. After his graduation he was ordained and his first charge was at Everett, Pa. There he preached the gospel for 10 years and is now stationed at Frederick, Md. He married Mary Neff, of Huntingdon county, Pa., and they have a daughter, Mary Margarite.

James B. McLean is widely and favorably known in Berks county as a man who is industrious as a farmer, and public-spirited as a citizen. He is pleasantly located and he has brought his land to a high state of cultivation.


p. 510


William F. McLean, one of the most prominent farmers of Berks County, Pa., and a leading citizen in the affairs of Heidelberg township, owns a fine farm of many acres one mile east of Womelsdorf, on the Berks and Dauphin pike. He was born Oct. 1, 1854, in Philadelphia, Pa., son of Daniel J. and Adeline F. (Futcher) McLean.

The great-grandfather of William F. McLean, who was the progenitor of the family in this country, came here in middle life from Aberdeen, Scotland, and was a member of the noted military McLean family. He was married and had children at the time of his location in America.

William McLean, son of the progenitor, was born Feb. 15, 1778, at Philadelphia, and died Jan. 20, 1844. He married Sarah Douglass, born Sept. 10, 1783, who died at Philadelphia, Dec. 31, 1843, and both are buried at the old Philadelphia cemetery. Mr. McLean was a jeweler all his life, and was very successful. He and his wife had these children: Elizabeth, born Oct. 3, 1801; Andrew, born Feb. 22, 1803; Martha, May 25, 1804; John D., Feb. 28, 1806; William S., June 3, 1808; James V., Jan. 29, 1810; Margaret, Jan 22, 1812; Samuel G., Oct. 6, 1813; Robert M. Oct. 4, 1815; Col. George P., July 13, 1817 (was colonel of the 88th Pa. V. I.); Daniel J., July 14, 1819; Jonathan D., May 4, 1821 (Lieut.-Col. of the 88th Reg. Pa. V. I.); Joseph A., May 22, 1823; and Mary E., March 28, 1826. Lieut. Col. Joseph A. McLean was killed at the head of his regiment while leading a charge on the Confederate masked battery at the second battle of Bull Run, and his body was never recovered, resting in an unknown grave on the battlefield. McLean Post, G. A. R., No. 16, was named in this hero's honor.

Daniel J. McLean, father of William F., was born at Philadelphia, July 14, 1819, and died May 30, 1880, in the place now occupied by his son William F. He was a watch case maker by trade, which he followed for many years at the old stand at Dock and Walnut streets, Philadelphia, under the firm name of McLean & Harper. Much of the concern's business was done in the South, and at the outbreak of the Civil war the partners sustained much loss, and finally mutually agreed to sever their business connections. Mr. Harper, however, continued the business on a smaller scale. Mr. McLean also served in the militia of emergency men who were mustered in at Philadelphia during the raid of the Confederates into the State of Pennsylvania. Mr. McLean was active in the ranks of the Republican party, serving for a number of years in the city council from the Twentieth ward, and being highway commissioner. He was on the presentation committee when the city of Philadelphia awarded General McClellan a gold medal for bravery; participated in the Philadelphia Council's reception committee, June 9, 1860, when the first Japanese embassy visited the United States, and was on a similar committee, Feb. 21, 1861, when President-elect Abraham Lincoln visited Philadelphia. He is buried at the Union cemetery, Womelsdorf.

Mr. McLean was married to Adeline F. Futcher, born Oct. 17, 1824, who died Aug. 28, 1892, and was buried at Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, daughter of William and Catherine (Talbert) Futcher. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. McLean: William F.

William F. McLean was educated in the public and pay schools of Philadelphia which he left at the age of nineteen years, his last schooling being in the Philadelphia High School for Boys. In the spring of 1872 his parents removed to the old Manderbach property, opposite Womelsdorf station, in Berks county, this removal being made on account of the failing health of Mr. McLean's father. Here William F. McLean taught in the public schools for three terms, and at the end of this time engaged in the poultry business, raising fine thoroughbred poultry, which he sold in different parts of the country, disposing of their eggs all over the United States. This he followed with much success until the spring of 1876, when he was appointed to the position of turn-stile keeper at the entrance gate to the exhibition of the Philadelphia Centennial, serving with ability until the end of the exposition, by which time he had been promoted on merit to a lieutenancy. His duties completed here, Mr. McLean returned to poultry raising which he continued until his father-in-law William Scheetz's death, in 1584, when he purchased one of the latter's farms at appraisement and since that time has been giving his entire attention to the cultivation thereof. He breeds thoroughbred Jersey cattle and has also made numerous importations from England of Scotch collie dogs. His farm consists of 135 acres of which forty acres is woodland located on the South Mountain, and it is very highly cultivated. Mr. McLean is a practical agriculturist and has his farm furnished with the best and most modern farm implements, and in the spring of 1897 he built an addition to his residence. He operates a dairy, the product of which he sells to a creamery. In politics Mr. McLean is a Republican, but in local matters votes independently.

On Nov. 30, 1873, Mr. McLean was married to Mary Agnes Scheetz, daughter of William and Henrietta (Deppen) Scheetz, and to this union four sons have been born: William S. m. Reta, daughter of John and Isabella Filbert, and resides at Robesonia, and has charge of the hospital department of the State Asylum at Wernersville: Walter D. m. Catherine Scheetz, works for his father and resides in the tenant house; Robert D. resides at home; and Edgar P. died in infancy.


p. 705


John Archibald McLenegan was born at Lancaster, Pa., Feb. 2, 1841, at the homestead on East King street. When six years of age, he was adopted by an uncle, George B. Withers Esq., of the Lancaster Bar, and his earliest education was received at private schools in that city. He afterward attended the Strasburg Academy, to which place his uncle had removed on account of failing health. He then assumed the care of his uncle's farms near Strasburg until the latter's decease in 1859, when he accompanied his aunt, Mrs. Withers, to Reading where he secured a position with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, as private messenger, traveling between New York and Washington. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as a volunteer in the Ringgold Light Artillery for three months, and then for three years with the Anderson Troop. He is enrolled as a First Defender. Upon being mustered out of service, he joined a colony of friends and relatives from Lancaster, and invested in farm lands in Wisconsin, where he remained for five years. He then returned to Reading and resumed employment with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, continuing with the company until 1983, and afterward for upward of twenty years filled the position of traveling salesman for the Reading Woolen Mills, visiting the business centers in the South and West and developing a large business for this important enterprise at Reading. In 1905, his health failing, he located with his family on his farm at White Bear, along the Wilmington & Northern Railroad, at this place he died June 10, 1906.

Mr. McLenegan was married to Mary Ann McKnight, daughter of David McKnight, and granddaughter of John McKnight, the first banker at Reading, and they had seven children: Elizabeth Hiester, Selina (m. Frederick E. Yorke, and has a daughter, Dorothy), William and Henry (twins, the latter deceased), John (deceased), Robert Wallace, and Frederick Augustus. The mother died Oct. 19, 1908.

His father was Zephaniah McLenegan, born at Lancaster, in 1801, where he was educated and admitted to the Lancaster Bar in 1822, and afterward came to occupy considerable prominence in the official life of the county, serving as county treasurer in 1833 and 1834 and as prothonotary from 1836 to 1839. He was a man of scholarly tastes, and possessed one of the best private libraries in Lancaster. He was member of the Presbyterian Church, and died in 1842. He m. Henrietta Augusta Musser, daughter of John Musser (for a time Collector of the Port of Philadelphia), and great-granddaughter of Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. They had four children: Edward (m. to Mary Dunn), Henry Hall (m. to Sarah Reigart), Charles (died in Rio de Janiero in 1859, aged twenty-two years) and John Archibald.

Mr. McLenegan's grandfather, Archibald McLenegan, was born in 1739, in Ireland, of Scotch parents, and emigrated from Monaghan, County Ulster locating at Lancaster, Pa. In 1791 he m. Mary Wallace, daughter of William Wallace, and granddaughter of James Wallace who had emigrated to Pennsylvania prior to 1721 and settled in Swartara township. They had ten children: Samuel, Elizabeth (m. an Humphreys), Elijah (m. Mary Fordney), Sarah (m. a Randall), Zephaniah, Isaiah, Mary (m. William Wallace), Athalia (m. a Shepley), Martha (m. Robert Wallace), and Ann (m. the Rev. Mr. Pauli). Archibald McLenegan was possessed in a marked degree of those sterling virtues which characterize the Scotch-Irish. He was largely interested in farming operations in Leacock township, and was a well-known citizen of Lancaster in its early days, being the proprietor of the old "White Horse Inn," which was situated at the east end of King street, and which later became the private residence of his son Zephaniah. He died in 1831.


p. 1398


John J. McNurney was a native of Wisconsin, where he received his education, and learned the blacksmiths trade. After finishing his trade, at the age of nineteen, he started in business in Chicago, Ill., where he was burned out during the big Chicago fire, after which time he came East and located in Reading. He had an exceptionally fine professional and business reputation, being an industrious and skilled mechanic, in his line of business. The success that came to this well-known and popular man was deserved, and was the fitting reward of a lifelong determination to excel in all that he undertook. He was a progressive man, of a positive type, having perfect confidence in his ability, and took great interest and pride in his business.

He retired Jan. 1, 1907, and left Reading the following July on a tour of the Pacific coast, for pleasure and enjoyment. He was accompanied on this trip by his niece, Miss May Fallon, who resides at No. 46 North Eighth street, and is the only living relative in Pennsylvania. On returning home he met with an accident which caused his death in Chicago, Sept. 1, 1907. His remains were taken to Reading and buried in the Charles Evans cemetery.

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

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