Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1651


F.L.R. Mattern, M.D., was born Dec. 16, 1879, son of William and Sarah (Freehafer) Mattern, both natives of Schuylkill county.

William Mattern early in life became connected with the iron business, and has remained in that kind of work ever since. He is now the superintendent of the York Sheet Mill, of the Susquehanna Iron and Steel Company, and is considered an expert in his line. He and his wife had a family of four children, namely: Alice, deceased; Harry, vice-president and assistant manager of the Lebanon Chair Works; Edward, who died in infancy; and Dr. F. L. R. Mr. Mattern is prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity, while in religious faith he is a Methodist, and in politics a good Republican.

Dr. F. L. R. Mattern received his early education in the public schools of Columbia, Lancaster county, and was for one year at the Franklin and Marshall College, in Lancaster. His professional training was obtained in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated in 1903. After receiving his degree he secured the appointment of resident physician for one year in the Reading Hospital, and on July 1, 1904, he opened his office in Reading. With his thorough preparation and hospital experience, Dr. Mattern unites a pleasing personality that inspires confidence and in his five years of practice he has been unusually successful. His ability is recognized not only in his constantly increasing clientele, but also among his fellow practitioners. He is a member of the Reading Medical Association, and is a keen student in his profession, with a mind ever open to new and helpful ideas. The doctor belongs to the Greek letter fraternities, Alpha Kappa Kappa and the Phi Kappa Psi.


p 504


James Gicker Matternes, M. D., of Centreport, has been located there in the practice of medicine ever since his graduation and is in command of a good patronage. He was born Sept. 16, 1869, in Lower Heidelberg township son of Abraham and grandson of Isaac Matternes.

Heinrich Matternes the great-grandfather was an early settler in Cumru township and followed milling there. Isaac Matternes, the Doctor's grandfather, was raised on the South Mountain, back of Wernersville, and attended the Hams Church school. He learned the shoemakers trade and followed it for some time at Reading, eventually moving to Mt Pleasant, in Penn township, where he died at the age of eighty-three years. He assisted in digging for the foundation of the second house erected at Wernersville. He was a well-known man in his day. His first wife those maiden name was Mell, died at the age of thirty years, the mother of five children: Abraham, Isaac, Jr., Amanda , Mary (m. Peter Miller) and one that died in infancy. For his second wife Mr. Matternes married a Mrs. Paff, by whom he had no children.

Abraham Matternes, son of Isaac, was born in Lower Heidelberg township. He learned milling, which he followed a few years, and then he went to work in Van Reed's paper-mill, where he contracted smallpox, from which he died in March, 1873, at the early age of thirty-three years. He was twice married, first to Amelia Shell, of Bern township who died without issue. His second marriage was to Mrs. Caroline Hinnershitz, daughter of Daniel Gicker, and to them were born two children: James Gicker and Sallie. the latter the wife of Harry Haag, of Lower Heidelberg township.

James Gicker Matternes attended the Blue Marsh school in lower Heidelberg township and had two months at select school in Mt. Pleasant. In the spring of 1887 he entered the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, from which he was graduated in the spring of 1891, after which he engaged in teaching, five terms in all. For three terms he was in Lower Heidelberg township, one term in Washington township and one term in Penn township, and meantime he began preparation for the profession to which he intended to devote his life. He read medicine with Dr. D. H. Ham, of Mt. Pleasant, for three summers, and in 1894 entered Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, graduating in 1897. He has since been located at Centreport borough, where he has gained a large practice, being one of the best known physicians of his locality. He is a member of the Berks County Medical Society and the Pennsylvania State Medical Society and has various fraternal connections, belonging to Vaux Lodge, No. 406, F. & A. M., of Hamburg, Pa.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237; Reading Commandery; and Rajah Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S.; to the K. 0. T. M.; to camp No. 446, P. 0. 5. of A., of Centreport ; and Perry Lodge, No. 1055, I. 0. 0. F.

In 1899 Dr. Matternes married Miss Mary E. Plies, daughter of Benjamin Plies, of Bernville, this county, and they have had two children, Helen May and Lawrence Abraham. The Doctor is a member of the Bern Reformed Church. He is a Democrat in politics and has been school director at Centreport.


p. 414


John A. Matthew, a prominent citizen and successful hardware merchant at Womelsdorf, Pa., was born in that town Nov. 21, 1846, son of Elias and Elizabeth (Manderbach) Matthew. His paternal grandfather lived at Newmanstown, Lebanon Co., Pa., and is buried there.

Elias Matthew was born at Newmanstown, Pa., Nov. 18, 1816, and died Sept. 12, 1893, aged seventy-six years, nine months, twenty-four days. By trade he was a stonecutter, and he became quite well-to-do, owning his own home. He married Elizabeth Manderbach, born March 18, 1824, and died Nov. 30, 1888, aged sixty-four years, eight months, twelve days. Her father, John Manderbach, served as sheriff of the county. To Elias Matthew and wife were born five children, as follows: Maria m. John K. Beidler, of Cumberland county, Pa.; John A.; Sarah m. S. L. Gabel, deceased; Adda m. S. E. Illig, a barber at Womelsdorf; and Harry D., a successful merchant at Berlinville, Pa., m. Mame Bennethum.

John A. Matthew attended the schools of his native town, and also the schools in Heidelberg township. His boyhood days were passed upon a farm in Ohio, but when the Civil war broke out he returned to his home, and enlisted from Womelsdorf in June, 1863, becoming a member of Company K, 42d Pennsylvania militia, which was enlisted for three months, but was in service only six weeks, going as far as Hagerstown, Md., and then returning to Womelsdorf. On Feb. 12, 1864, he enlisted a second time, becoming a private in Company B., 55th Pa. V. I., under Gen. Ben. Butler, in the Army of the James. He participated in the following engagements: Drury's Bluff, Va. (in which the regiment lost over 300 men), Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg, Chapman's Farm, Fort Gregg, Fort Baldwin, Hatchers Run, and then followed Lee to Appomattox. He was mustered out Aug. 29, 1865. After the war he was unable to work for nearly two years because of a sore foot. In 1868 he bought out the omnibus route from Womelsdorf to the railroad station, which he ran daily for twenty years. In 1888 he opened a hardware store on High street which he still conducts, and in which he has been very successful. He owns his own building, and this has a frontage of sixty-six feet. In politics he is a Jefferson Democrat, and he has filled a number of local offices of trust and responsibility, among them those of burgess of Womelsdorf, treasurer of the borough and councilman.

He was a member of the school board for six years and treasurer for a number of years. He and his family are Lutheran members of Zion Union Church.

Mr. Matthew married Lizzie Geissler, of Reading, and they have had five children: Luther H., associated with his father in business; Paul A., a tinsmith; Grace E., at home; and Anna Martha and Rosa May, who both died in infancy.

John G. Geissler, father of Mrs. Matthew, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, where his father, also named John G., carried on tinsmithing. He learned his father's trade, beginning at the age of thirteen years, and after finishing his apprenticeship assisted his father in the business. In the spring of 1847 he came to America, arriving in Reading in April. Here two of his uncles were engaged in the tinsmithing business, and they gave him employment. He wrote home to his father of the great opportunities open in Reading, and as a consequence John G., Sr., crossed the ocean in the same year, bringing the entire family, and soon becoming well established in the stove and tinware business in Reading. All the sons made their father's trade their life work with the exception of John M., of Minnesota, who is an extensive farmer and member of the State Legislature.

On Jan. 1, 1861, John G. Geissler, Jr., started in the stove and tinware business for himself at Sinking Spring, and in 1863 transferred it to Womelsdorf, where he was afterward located, later being assisted by his son, Charles B. Their establishment was one of the largest of the kind in the county. It occupied all of the building on Front street, once used by Congressman Ermentrout's ancestors as a hat factory. As long as he lived Mr. Geissler worked in the store from morning till night, and accomplished a great deal in the course of the day. For some years he did not go on roofs, but in his younger days preferred roofing to any other branch of his trade. He had a comfortable residence at the corner of Second and Franklin streets, Womelsdorf. He married Margaret, daughter of George Buck, long since deceased, of Temple, a Revolutionary soldier. Mrs. Geissler died in 1883. Their children were: Elizabeth (Lizzie) m. John A. Matthew; Augustus, of Minnesota, is engaged in the stove and tinware business; Charles B., is with his father; Maggie m. N. D. Snyder, of York; James A., is in the hardware business in Minnesota; John M., of Womelsdorf, was for fifteen years with A. S. Valentine & Son; Miss Rosa kept house for her father. Mr. Geissler was one of Womelsdorf's most useful citizens, and his friends were numerous. He had been a member of the town council, and member of the school board. Fraternally he was one of the early members of Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A. M., of Womelsdorf; a charter member of Germania Lodge, I. O. O. F. of Reading; and formerly belonged to Goethe Lodge, Harugari. He died Jan. 20, 1899, aged seventy-six years, ten months and five days.


p. 652


The Mathias family in Berks county, Pa., is of German origin, the first of the name to come to America being

(I) Philip Mattes (as he spelled his name in his will). His will was made Nov. 4, 1792, and probated Feb. 26, 1793 (See Will Book B, page 331.) His death occurred in Earl township. The name Mathias is variously spelled. In the tax list of Earl township, in 1782, it is recorded as Philip Mathew, and in other legal documents it is spelled Matthis, Mattis, and Mades. Philip Mattes owned considerable property, and at his death gave two of his daughters, Elizabeth and Maria Catharine, fifty pounds in money. His son Philip and trusty friend, John Houck, were the executors. His children mentioned in the will were: Elizabeth, Philip, Jacob, Stephen, Maria Catharine, Barbara and Eva Rosina.

(II) Jacob Mathias, son of Philip, lived in Earl township, where he obtained fifty acres of land from a man named Yeager for a bowl of punch. At this time not all the land in the district had been taken up. This tract is now owned by Jacob S. Mathias. Jacob Mathias married a Miss Heater, and they are buried at Hill Church. He died in 1825, and his will is recorded in Book C, p. 346. In it are mentioned sons Johannes, David, William and Jacob, and daughters Christina (m. Adam Diener), Betzy (m. George Moser), Polly (m. John Emes and second, James Emes), Catharine (m. Henry Emes), and Sallie (m. John Reider). The son Jacob and Michael Motz were the executors of the will.

(II) Philip Mathias (2), son of Philip the ancestor, was born in Amity township, and died in 1801, and is buried at Amityville. He was a member of the German Reformed Church. His will made May 15, 1801, was probated the 27th of the following June. He married Mary Swavely, who survived him many years, and she is buried at Oley churches. Five children are mentioned in his will, namely: Philip, Jacob, who was for thirty years an invalid; Elizabeth; Daniel; and Abraham, a farmer in Colebrookdale township whose children were William H., Jonathan, Abraham, Mrs. Jonathan Houck, Mrs. Philip Snyder and Mrs. Heffner.

(III) Daniel Mathias, son of Philip (2), was born in Amity township, but in early life moved to Earl. He was a farmer, and cleared land, selling the timber to the forges. He owned a seventy-acre farm in Earl township, which later became the property of his son, Daniel, and remained in the Mathias name until 1908, when Daniel Mathias's grandson, Daniel Cleaver, purchased it. Daniel Mathias was very successful in his work, and showed himself a man of remarkable ability. He was a Democrat, and gave his services to his district as school director being greatly interested in educational matters. He was an official in the Oley Reformed Church. With his wife he is buried in the cemetery at Oley. He married Elizabeth Spohn, daughter of Casper Spohn, a Hessian soldier who remained in Berks county after the Revolution. Their children were: Anna, deceased, who married George Drumheller, deceased, and lived in Earl township; Philip S.; Enoch, first a farmer in Earl, then a merchant in Gilbertsville; and finally a resident of Reading where he died; Mary, who married Elam Guldin, a man of adventurous spirit, who served in both the Mexican and the Civil wars; Jacob, who lived at Conshohocken, Pa.; Hiram, a merchant at Earlville; Daniel, who lived on the homestead many years, and later removed to his present home near Pleasantville; and Mahlon, who died aged nineteen years.

(IV) Philip S. Mathias, son of Daniel, was born in Earl township in 1825, and he died Feb. 26, 1869. He was an early school teacher in Earl township, teaching in all sixteen terms in one district. He owned a 20-acre tract in Earl township, and there his death occurred, and his remains were interred at Oley church, of which he was an official member. In politics he was a Democrat. He belonged to the Odd Fellows at Pleasantville. He married Mary Mathias, born April 17, 1826, daughter of Jacob and Hannah (Motz) Mathias, a distant relative. She now lives at Shanesville, with her daughter, Miss Sarah E. Mathias. To Philip S. and Mary (Mathias) Mathias were born the following children: Miss Sarah E.; Morris M.; Hannah, m. to Edward Clemens, of Ambler, Pa.; and Ada, m. to Edwin H. Weller, of Shanesville.

(V) Morris M. Mathias, son of Philip S., received his early education in the schools of Earl township, and later attended the Kallynean Academy, at Boyertown. In 1872 he was licensed to teach by the late Prof. D. B. Brunner, and he taught three terms in Pine Grove school in his native township. Later he taught four terms in the Pleasantville Independent district in Oley, and then two terms in Shanesville. He was successful both as an instructor and as a disciplinarian, and attained a high place among Berks county educators. In 1877 he began farming on the Aaron Weller farm near Shanesville, and this farm became his by purchase in 1885. It contains seventy acres of rich land, and he carried on farming here until the spring of 1908, when he was succeeded by his son, J. M. W. Mathias. In 1907 he built an addition to the house, and greatly improved the property; the excellent condition of the entire place shows his good management. He also owns several tracts of woodland, one in Earl township, and one in Pike. He is an aggressive citizen, intelligent and progressive, and he is keenly interested in the development of his community. In 1882, when but twenty-eight years of age he was elected justice of the peace, and has been re-elected continuously since, his present term extending to May 6, 1912. He has settled many disputes, and has many times kept friends and neighbors out of court, being in reality the peace maker of the district. He has served as clerk at many sales, as administrator of estates, and also as executor, and has been made guardian of a number of children. He is an agent of the Boyertown Fire Insurance Company, and has been since 1893. For six years he was auditor of the township. He and his family are members of the Oley Reformed Church, of which he was a deacon and later elder, and he is secretary of the Oley Cemetery Company.

On Sept. 25, 1875, Mr. Mathias was married to Mary Ann D. Weller, daughter of Aaron and Sarah (Dotterer) Weller. Their children were: Sarah, who died in infancy; Olivia W., at home; Warren W., a farmer in Oley township, near Pleasantville, m. to Willi De Turck, daughter of Daniel De Turck, of Oley, and has children M. Daniel, Mary M., Olivia May and Philip Curtis; Morris W., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1902, and now engaged in teaching in Earl township, m. to Alice Clauser, daughter of Henry Clauser, and has children Stanly, Helen and Ralph; J. M. W., a farmer on the homestead, m. to Katie Dry, daughter of Samuel Dry, and has children ? Leroy, Mabel and Annie; and Lawrence W., a farmer in Oley, organist of the Oley Union Sunday-school, and formerly a teacher of music, m. to Ella Fisher, daughter of Daniel D. Fisher, and has one son, Russell.


p. 639


John S. Matthias, prominently identified with business, political and fraternal circles of Reading, was born in that city, Oct. 23, 1860, son of David and Elizabeth (Whitman) Matthias.

David Matthias lives retired in Reading. His two sons both reside here also: W. C., Superintendent of Fire Alarm at City Hall; and John S., who is the representative of the Lauer Brewing Company.

John S. Matthias attended school in Reading and then entered the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, after which he took a commercial course at the Reading business college, where he graduated. He then served as bookkeeper in a brickyard for five years, and spent four years as a clerk in a mercantile establishment at Kutztown. Following this he was connected for some eight years with the Reading Eagle, and then became bill clerk with the United States Express Company for about four years. On Feb. 1, 1900, Mr. Matthias became associated the Lauer Brewing Company.

Mr. Matthias was married to Sallie E. Wilson, daughter of Lyman Wilson, a well known citizen of Reading. Politically Mr. Matthias is a Republican. In 1904 he was elected a member of the city council from the Fifth ward, by a majority of 216 votes, the largest vote ever given any candidate for the same office in that ward. He is a valued member of Reading Lodge of Elks, No. 115; and of quite a number of other secret organizations.


p. 1310

Surnames: WHITEMAN

William C. Matthias, a mechanical and electrical engineer of Reading, and superintendent of the Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph System of that city, was born there June 18, 1871, son of David and Elizabeth (Whiteman) Matthias, and he has passed practically all of his life in his home town. He obtained his education in the public schools and the Keystone State Norman School, at Kutztown, after leaving the latter learning the machinist's trade with Davies, Printz & Co. After completing his apprenticeship he was employed at the Diamond Drill Works at Birdsboro, and later was with the Reading Hardware Company. In 1900 he entered the City Engineer's office, where he remained three years, and then he became second assistant city clerk, holding that position three years. This he resigned to accept the post of mechanical and electrical engineer at the city's Sewage Disposal Plant. While there he designed and patented numerous devices for the treatment and disposal of sewage, which are used extensively in Reading and elsewhere. This position he resigned to accept that of superintendent of the City Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph System, to which he had been appointed April 1, 1908. Since accepting this office he has practically rebuilt the system, introducing a number of improved methods. The city is now equipped with two sets of wires and double sets of alarm boxes, thereby affording the people cheaper, better and quicker service from both the fire and police departments.


p. 1428


The first reunion of the Motz family (originally spelled Matz) was held at the old homestead about one mile southeast of the Brice (now the cozy home of Mr. Solomon Motz, the youngest of the family of nine children), on Friday, Sept. 7th. It was an ideal fall day, and about one hundred and twenty-five persons, including neighbors who had been invited, were present.

"Family history is always interesting and the history of the Motz family in America dates from the year that Lorenz Matz, then a lad of only sixteen years, sailed with 185 others, from Rotterdam, Holland, on the ship Mercury, bound for America. The voyage required thirty-seven days, and on his arrival in this country young Lorenz settled near Mohnsville, Berks county, Pa. Here he married and reared a family of ten children, nine boys and one daughter. One of these sons, whose name was Daniel, was the great-grandfather of the present generation who, with their descendants, joined in the reunion last Friday. Unfortunately little is known of his history, or that of his son, Grandfather Motz, whose name was also Daniel. Grandfather Motz, however, was the father of seven children, six sons and one daughter.

"One of his sons, Daniel, married Henrietta Warner. To them were born eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. The family lived successively in Berks, Lancaster, and Franklin counties, Pa., and in the spring of 1855 the father, mother and the ten children then living came to Ohio and located in Franklin county, on the farm now owned by the youngest son, Solomon, where the reunion was held. The names of the children, ten of whom came to Ohio with their parents are as follows: Benville Motz, aged seventy-five, lives in Truro township, near Brice. He is the father of nine children, two sons and seven daughters; two of the daughters are deceased. Daniel Motz, who died at Akron, Ohio, in 1904, aged seventy-one, was the father of sic children, four sons and two daughters. Hannah Motz (Mrs. Henry Will), of Canal Winchester, aged seventy-one, is the mother of seven children, three sons and four daughters; a son and daughter are deceased.. Levi Motz, aged Seventy, of Granite City, Ill,. Is the father of three children, two sons and one daughter; the mother and sons are deceased. Henrietta Motz died in Pennsylvania in 1851, at the age of twelve. Henry Motz, aged sixty-six, who resides in Madison township, Franklin county, Ohio, is the only bachelor in the family. Mary (Mrs. David Yost) of Shelby county, Ill., aged sixty-four, is the mother of eleven children, ten of whom are living. Reuben Motz, aged sixty-two, of Oakland. Cal., is the father of three children, two sons and a daughter. John Motz, aged fifty-nine, of Columbus, Ohio, is the father of eight children, four sons and four daughters. Susan (Mrs. Samuel Bowman) of Canal Winchester, aged fifty-seven, is the mother of four children, three sons and one daughter. Solomon Motz, aged fifty-four, and living on the home place near Brice, is the father of one son. The combined aged of the nine children living foot up 578 years, an average of over 64 years.

"Those present at the reunion representing the above families were: Benville Motz and wife, of Brice, and their children, as follows: John Motz, wife and four children of Brice; Mrs. George Ford and four children of Brice; W. B. Motz, of Truro township; Mrs. Sarah Powell and two children, of Vigo, Ross county; Mrs. Henry Fancher and one child, of Brice; Mrs. Maude Mason of Madison township.

"Sidney Motz of Wooster, Orlando Motz of Toledo, and Ella Lonsbury of Akron, children of Daniel Motz, deceased.

"Henry Will, of Canal Winchester, wife and children as follows: John Will and wife of Canal Winchester; George Will , wife and four children, of Brice; William HUNTWORK, wife and two children, of Basil; William CODNER, wife and two children, and Miss Jessie Will, of Canal Winchester.

"Levi Motz, of Granite City, Illinois.

"Henry Motz of Brice.

"(None of the members of David Costs family of Shelby county, Ill., or of Reuben Mottss family of Oakland., Cal., could be present, but they sent letters feelingly expressing their regrets and hoping for a pleasant reunion.)

"John Motz, wife and children as follows; Rose C. Daniels and two children; Gertrude, Sarah and Henrietta Motz, all of Columbus, Ohio.

"Samuel Bowman, wife and children; John C, and wife, Howard and wife, and grandchildren, Catherine and Earl Smith, all of Canal Winchester.

"Solomon Motz and wife, and their son George, his wife and son, all of near Brice.

"On the Warner side of the house the only representatives present were Mr. And Mrs. Elisha Warner, of St. Paul, Ohio.

"Representatives of other branches of the Motz family (being cousins in various degrees) were the following:

"Misses Arda and Stella Matz, and Mrs. Dr. Good, of Bellevue, Ohio; Mrs. Mary A. Mowrer, of Catawba Island, Ohio.

"Mrs. A. W. Matz and daughter Miss Ida, Jacob Matz, daughter Hulda and two grandchildren, and Mr. Wellington Matz, all of Wooster, Ohio. The latter is connected with the Wooster Daily News and the Wayne County Democrat, and one of those jolly good fellows who knows how to keep everything running in a pleasant vein at any kind of gathering.

"Louie Matz and wife, of Cleveland, Ohio.

"The following neighbors and friends were also present to enjoy the day: Mrs. Jonathan Ruse, daughter Myrtle and son Harry. James Wingert and wife, George Francisco, Albert Francisco, and Miss Jennie Francisco. George Vandemark, wife, daughter Grace and sons Homer and Clark. Perry Smith, wife and child. Berril Shride and wife, George Lee, wife and daughter Luda. Pierce McCracken. Tullie King and Miss Lou King. F. L. Allgire and wife. George Groves and wife. Wesley ORoark. William Alspaugh, wife and daughter Gatha. Mrs. Thurman Tussing and daughter Mabel. Vernon Miller, who was the official photographer. Mrs. Noah Looker, Ralph Guisinsger, Charley Ford. George Thomas and wife of Columbus. Joseph Milner, wife and son Willie of Pickering. Rev. Hughes and wife, of Canal Winchester, and B. F. Gayman representing The Times and The Buckeye News.

"The foremost hours were spent by members and friends of the Motz family in reviewing the family history and in social chat, and at noon dinner was announced. After the gables had been removed from the lawn and a group picture had been taken of all present, the meeting was called to order by Mr. John Motz, but before doing so he would call upon some of those present for short addresses. The following responded in the order named: Rev. G. F. Hughes and B. F Gayman, of Canal Winchester; Wellington Matz, of Wooster; Elisha Warner, of St, Paul; Henry Will, of Canal Winchester.

"On motion of Wellington Matz, John Motz, of Brice was elected [resident, and Mrs. Alice Codner, of Canal Winchester, secretary-treasurer. A collection, amounting to $4.62, was lifted to defray the expense for postage and other incidentals attending the next reunion. The chair then appointed the secretary, Mr. Wellington Matz, of Wooster, and Mr. Henry Motz, of Brice, a committee to select the time and place for the next reunion. The secretary was requested to keep a record of the births and deaths on the different branches of the family, and then, following the adjournment, well-wishes were said and the first pleasant reunion of the Motz family was at an end."


p. 1427


Isaac Matz, for some years, one of Readings leading contractors and builders was a native of Berks county, and died in Reading, in 1881.

Mr. Matzos educational advantages were secured in the common schools of his native county, and at an early age he learned the carpenters trade, which he followed for a short time before engaging in contracting for himself. He was an able business man, and was connected with various enterprises. Mr. Matz was married to Sarah Snyder, daughter of John Snyder. She died Jan. 27, 1904. To this union were born the following children: Frank died at the age of thirty years; Kate m. John Schaeffer, and had seven children: Maggie m. Mabury Slater, and had two children; Charles died at the age of two years; Rebecca m. William Albright, a cigar maker, and had two children, one now deceased; Lillian m. Thomas M. Curry, and had two children, Thomas Wilfred (deceased), and Angela; Thomas m. Ella Smith, and had two children, Mary (deceased), and Harold; Sally m. (first) Jefferson Stauffer (by whom she had five children), (second) George Waltman, and (third) Daniel Kerling; Isabella died young; J. Jefferson m. Laura Clowry, and has two children, a daughter Arline, and a son.

In religious belief the family were connected with the Reformed Church. Mr. Matz was a Democrat in politics, but never cared for public office.


p. 1189


James Matz, contractor and builder, No. 1273 Cotton street, Reading, was born Sept. 26, 1855, in Cumru township, Berks county, son of Gabriel and Elizabeth (Wobensmith) Matz.

His grandfather, Jacob Matz, was also a native of Berks county. He and his wife had the following children: Jacob, John, Isaac, David, Gabriel, Reuben, and several daughters. In politics he was a Democrat. The family belonged mostly to the Reformed Church.

Gabriel Matz was a carpenter by trade, and from 1861 until his death in May, 1889, he was engaged in contracting in Reading. He was a skilled workman, as many of Reading's most substantial buildings and residences built by him will testify, and was a kind and helpful neighbor and a useful citizen. In politics he was a Democrat, but outside of casting his vote, cared little for public matters. He and his wife who died in 1906, aged seventy-eight years, were the parents of these children: Henry, Clara, James, Susan, Jacob, Sally, Samuel, and Charles. In religious belief the family were Reformed.

James Matz obtained a common school education in Reading, and as a boy learned the carpenter's trade, under his father. For several years father and son were engaged together in contracting and building, but in 1884 James branched out on his own account and since that time his operations have averaged thirty-five houses a year. During this time he has erected five public school buildings, numerous factories, the Keystone Fire Company's building, and that of the Union Fire Company. In 1906 he was engaged in erecting the tool house for the Reading Water Board, at Maiden Creek Pumping Station. He is a skilled mechanic, is honest in his dealings and lives up to the terms of his contract.

On Jan. 10, 1880, Mr. Matz married Miss Annie L. Zeigler, daughter of John and Emma Zeigler, and they had the following children: Charles E., a veteran of the Spanish-American war, is also connected with the regular army, and has seen service in the Philippines; James A., who served in Troop F, 2d U. S. Cav., from June 2, 1898, to Jan. 31, 1904, was promoted to sergeant, and saw service in Cuba, the Philippines and Fort McPherson, Ga.; William A. is a carpenter of Philadelphia; Annie L., in the Girls' high school, Reading; and George W. C., also in high school.

Mr. Matz is fraternally connected with the F. O. E. He has been prominently identified with public matters and for four years served as a member of the common council from the Tenth ward, and also inspector of elections.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:19 EDT

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