Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1624


Henry L. Machemer of Bern township, a successful merchant and farmer, was born in Lower Heidelberg township, June 13, 1852, and is a son of David Machemer. Jacob Machemer, the grandfather, lived in Lower Heidelberg township, about a mile northeast of Brownsville. He was born Jan. 18, 1783, and died Sept. 27, 1863, aged eighty years, seven months and nine days. He owned a small farm, now known as the Jonathan Reber estate, in Lower Heidelberg township, but he died at Tuckerton in Muhlenberg township, and is buried at Bern Church. He was twice married, and among his children were: Michael, who died in Heidelberg township; Ephraim. who died at Sinking Spring in 1907; Jacob, who died young; Elizabeth, who married Barnhart Hettinger ; David; and Caroline (Rhoads), who died at Tuckerton in 1907. David Machemer was born in Lower Heidelberg township. All of his life he followed farming, owning a small farm which he cultivated. He died in June, 1875, aged fifty-four years. He is buried at Bern Church, of which he was a member. He married Mary Lambert (died in September, 1879, aged fifty-one years), daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Tobias) Lambert. Their children were: John, who has traveled through all the States in the Union and has spent considerable time among the Indians, manufactures and sells patent medicines, and is now in the West (he enlisted when sixteen years of age and served three years in the Civil war) ; Sarah (deceased, married Henry Hartman) ; Henry L.; James, who lives in West Reading; Mary Ann; David; Charles; Reuben and George who died young of diphtheria less than two years apart; Clara (who died in 1909. married William Reedy of Reading); Rosa E. (widow of Charles Smith, and resides in Reading) and Joseph who was killed in a boiler explosion in 1888. Henry L. Machemer attended the public schools of Lower Heidelberg township, working among the farmers until he attained his majority. After this he worked by the day until 1886 when he bought the old John Savage home, which at one time was operated as a hotel, and for the building of which when a boy of sixteen he helped to haul lumber. Connected with this pleasant home Mr. Machemer owns twenty acres of good land, and once a week he carries his produce to the Reading market. He also operates a mercantile business which he established in 1902, and has built up to its present proportions. Mr. Machemer married Mary Savage, daughter of John and Ellen (Koller) Savage of Bern township, and one son, Howard, was born to them, but he died when five years old. Mr. Machemer is a member of Bern Reformed Church. In politics he is a Democrat. Among his other interests he has made considerable research in the matter of Indian relics, and has a fine collection of 500 arrow heads which he has gathered in Bern township, and he is regarded as an authority in all kindred lines. Successful, genial and a hard worker, Mr. Machemer holds the position of honor which he has fairly won in his community.


p. 1636


Henry S. Machemer, a prominent citizen of Reading and Berks county, is a native of Perry township, born Feb. 3, 1856. He is the youngest son of the late John and Sarah (Snyder) Machemer.

John Machemer was born in Upper Bern (now Tilden) township, Berks county, about 1816, and died in 1867, in his fifty-second year. He and his wife are buried at Gernands Church, of which they were members, belonging to the Reformed congregation. He was a blacksmith, and followed his trade near Mohrsville for many years, in addition to cultivating his farm of about fifty acres. He was a Democrat, and influential in his district, serving as supervisor for some years. When twenty-two years of age he married Sarah Snyder, whose parents lived on a farm adjoining the Machemer homestead. Mrs. Machemer died in August, 1881, aged sixty-three years. They had eight children as follows: Frank, who lived near Hamburg, died May 26, 1909, in his seventy-eighth year: Isaac S., who has been station agent at Bern Station for many years, was formerly the merchant at Berne. John, of Reading, was a policeman of Reading for many years and is now in the restaurant business. Peter, of Mohrsville, is a lock-tender on the Schuylkill Canal. Henry S. is mentioned below. Mary married John Bealer, and both are deceased. There were two daughters, between Isaac and John, who died a year apart, one when eleven years old.

Henry S. Machemer spent his boyhood on his father's farm, and received his early education in the public schools subsequently attending select schools. At the age of eighteen years he secured a position with I. H. Rahn and his brother, Isaac S. Machemer, who were then in the mercantile business at Leesport under the firm name of Rahn & Machemer, and with them he remained five years, was employed by Samuel Sunday, their successor, and afterward by Willitts Bros., at the same place. He finally became a partner in the firm of Willitts, Dauber & Company, and when it was dissolved became a salesman with Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart, Reading, in the cloth and cassimere department. Subsequently he connected himself as salesman with the firm of Hall, Shenk & Company, which has since become Glase, Hall & Company, wholesale dealers in foreign and domestic dry goods, Philadelphia, and later he was employed as traveling salesman by William C. Hendricks & Company, of Trenton, N. J., manufacturers and importers of queensware. In 1886 he became a traveling salesman for Lippincott & Company, wholesale grocers and tea dealers, Philadelphia, by which firm he has been employed up to this time, living at Leesport, Ontelaunee and West Leesport, and locating in Reading in 1899. He resides at No. 438 North Ninth street. He has visited nearly every district in Berks and adjoining counties twice a month for the past twenty-five years, and enjoys a large personal acquaintance.

Mr. Machemer has always taken an active interest in Democratic politics, casting his first vote for Samuel J. Tilden for President, and has never missed a primary or general election since. He has been elected delegate to county conventions a number of times; was committeeman of Ontelaunee for a number of years, and served as school director of that township until he moved to West Leesport. His home has been in the Eleventh ward since his removal to Reading, and he has taken the same interest in politics here as in his former home. In 1907, as candidate for the office of county controller, he received a large vote. Mr. Machemer is a charter member of Camp No. 165, P. O. S. of A., of Leesport; a charter member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle Castle at the same place; and is a member of the Northeastern Democratic Association of Reading. On Aug. 4, 1877, Mr. Machemer married Ida Stamm, daughter of James T. and Henrietta (Steach) Stamm, of Womelsdorf, Berks county, and granddaughter of John Stamm, who lived near Bern Church. James T. Stamm was a school teacher in Berks county for forty-five successive years. He and his wife are buried at Womelsdorf, where they last resided. To Mr. and Mrs. Machemer have been born three children: Claude J., who for many years was employed by the Philadelphia & Reading Company as a clerk, died April 20, 1908, in his thirtieth year (he married Clara Gass, and they had two children, Henrietta and Grace); Harry L. is employed in the shipping department of the W. H. Luden Candy Manufacturing Company, at Reading; Clarence S. is employed as a cutter at the Curtis E. Jones Company's factory, Reading.


p. 1654


Joseph B. Machemer, blacksmith and carriage builder of Sinking Spring, Berks county, was born May 20, 1868. at the place where he still resides, son of Ephraim Machemer.

Joseph Machemer, his grandfather, was born Jan. 18, 1783, in Lower Heidelberg township, about a mile northeast of Brownsville, and died Sept. 27, 1863, aged eighty years, eight months, nine days. He owned a small farm, now the Jonathan Reber estate, in Lower Heidelberg township, but he died at Tuckerton, in Muhlenberg township, and is buried at Bern Church. Among his children were: Michael, who died in Heidelberg township; Ephraim; Jacob, who died young; Elizabeth, who married Barnhart Hittinger; and David. Ephraim Machemer, father of Joseph B., born Oct. 1, 1823, died at Sinking Spring Dec. 3, 1906, aged eighty-three years, two months, two days. He was a carpenter, and during the many years he followed that trade he built the old Penn street bridge. He lived at Sinking Spring, where he died, and is buried at St. John's Church. He was a Reformed member of that church. In politics he was a Democrat. He was twice married, first to Mary Huntzinger, and they had children as follows: Edward, Adam, James (deceased), Catharine (deceased), Leanda (deceased) and Sarah. For his second wife Mr. Machemer married Rebecca S. Boltz by whom he had these children: George (deceased). Ephraim (deceased). Henry (deceased), Joseph B., Jacob B., Lizzie (deceased) and Rebecca.

Joseph B. Machemer was only twelve years old when he commenced to earn his own living. He worked in the ore mines for over three years, and then learned the blacksmith's trade from M. D. Ruth, of Sinking Spring, in whose employ he remained three and a quarter years. After that he spent two years at Wernersville, the second in the employ of H. L. Fiant, and then went to Brownsville, in Heidelberg township, working for S. Blimline exclusively as a coach blacksmith. In 1892 he engaged in partnership with George M. Hain, under the firm name of Hain & Machemer, which continued for three years, doing business at Sinking Spring. On Dec. 9, 1895, Mr. Machemer purchased his partner's interest in the coach and blacksmith business, and he has since carried it on alone. He is a successful business man, honest and upright, and held in the highest esteem by his fellow-townsmen. His product consists of fine carriages of all kinds, business wagons, market wagons, etc., and his work is reliable in every respect. His establishment is large and up-to-date, and he also has a Fine residence in the borough.

Mr. Machemer has proved his public spirit in various ways, took an active part in the incorporation of the village into a borough, and has served as treasurer of the township. He is a Democrat in political sentiment. He is widely known in fraternal circles, holding membership in Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A.M., of Womelsdorf; Reading Royal Arch Chapter; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Reading; Sinking Spring Lodge, No. 660, I. O. O. F.; the Knights of Friendship; P. O. S. of A. at Sinking Spring; and Wyanet Tribe. No. 301, I. O. R. M., Reading. He is a Lutheran member of St. John's Church at Sinking Spring. Mr. Machemer married, April 29, 1893, Annie V. Grill, daughter of Henry Grill, a well-known citizen and at present tax collector of Sinking Spring. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Machemer, namely: Harry E., Florence M., Esther M. and Arthur F.


p. 771


Charles H. Machmer, who, as assistant superintendent of the Reading branch of the Prudential Life Insurance Company, is well and favorably known to a large body of his fellow-citizens, was born Oct. 21, 1878, at Bernville, Berks Co., Pa., son of Henry S., a veteran school teacher of Berks county.

The Machmer family is one of the old-established ones of Berks county that has a history that is interesting to preserve. The founder was Philip Machmer, who was born in Switzerland and came to America in 1753, settling in the rich agricultural domains of Berks county, Pa. He prospered, as in 1759, he paid a Federal tax of 4,. in Bern township. He lived at least twenty years after settling here, as his last will and testament, dated Nov. 7, 1773, was registered Dec. 14, 1773. He and his wife Elizabeth had five children, and they were mentioned in the will as follows: Nicholas, who was under twenty-one years of age when the father died, obtained the homestead, and he was to pay 500 to his brothers and sisters; Mary m. Bastian Bartlet; Philip and George were ordered by the will to learn a trade when they should become sixteen years of age; and Margaret. Nicholas Machmer, yeoman of Bern township, died in 1823. He and his wife, Eva, had a daughter, Elizabeth, and two sons, John and Peter. George Machmer, son of Philip Machmer, died in 1840. He bequeathed John Machmer, son of Nicholas, $500, and John Machmer, son of Philip, $200, and also made bequests to David and Daniel Machmer, whose relationship he does not specify. He had no issue.

Peter Machmer, probably a son of Nicholas, was a farmer in Upper Bern township. He made his will Jan. 12, 1852, which was probated May 22, 1854. He and wife Magdalena had sons, John and Benneville. Michael Machmer made his will Nov. 5, 1851, and it was probated in 1872, the year of his death. His wife, Sophia, was named executrix. The names of his daughters are not mentioned in the will, and, when it was made, his sons, Michael, Franklin and Meckley, were all under age.

William Machmer, born in Maryland in 1777, died in Upper Bern (now Tilden) township, Berks county, in 1865. Among his children were John F., Jonathan and Abraham. John F. Machmer, son of William, died in 1882, in Upper Bern (or Tilden) township, and both he and his father are buried at St. Michael's Church.

Henry S. Machmer, son of John F., was born in Tilden township in 1847, and was educated in the common schools of his native township and in Hamburg, and later attended the Millersville State Normal School. At the age of seventeen he began teaching, and taught in Upper Bern, Centre, Penn and Bernville. For seven terms he was principal of the Penn grammar school. and taught twenty-four terms in Lower Heidelberg. He is one of the veteran teachers of Berks county, and is a well known figure at teachers' institutes. He served as justice of the peace in Bernville five years, and is now serving his fourth term in that position in Lower Heidelberg. He married Susanna Himmelberger, daughter of John Himmelberger, of Centre township. They had nine children, four of whom are deceased. The survivors are: Anson, of Wernersville; Annie, m. to William McGreth, of Alliance, Ohio; Edward H., a painter at Reading; Charles H.; and Willis J., of East Liverpool, Ohio. Charles H. Machmer was reared at State Hill, in Lower Heidelberg township, and there attended the public schools, later entering the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, and still later took a commercial course, in 1899 graduating from the Lebanon Valley Business College. He also attended the Interstate Commercial College at Reading, where he was a student of merit. Prior to identifying himself with life insurance, he taught school in Lower Heidelberg township and one term at Robesonia. In May, 1901, he connected himself with the Prudential Insurance Company, at the Reading agency, and Dec. 23, 1903, he was promoted to the position of assistant superintendent. He is a most successful insurance man and ably performs the many responsible duties of his position. Since 1902 he has occupied a home of his own, at No. 364 Schuylkill avenue.

In 1897, Mr. Machmer was married to Themson E. Speicher, a daughter of Jacob K. and Themson (Roeder) Speicher, of Robesonia, and they have had three children, namely: Elliott D., born May 22, 1898, died Jan. 4, 1899; Stanley E., born May 27, 1900, died Nov. 8, 1900; and Russell S., born June 19, 1906.

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

Previous       Home Page       Index       Next
404 - Error: 404


Category not found

The Page you are looking for doesn't exist or an other error occurred. Go back, or head over to Home Page to choose a new direction.

You may not be able to visit this page because of:

  1. an out-of-date bookmark/favourite
  2. a search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this site
  3. a mistyped address
  4. you have no access to this page
  5. The requested resource was not found.
  6. An error has occurred while processing your request.