Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1551


Albert O. Minkhouse, who is now living at No. 932 Muhlenberg street, Reading, was for thirteen years engaged in the barbering business at Fifth and Laurel streets. His birth occurred Nov. 5, 1864, in this city, son of Francis F. and Marie E. (Moyer) Minkhouse.

Francis F. Minkhouse, born in Osnabruck, Hanover, Germany, in 1820, there learned his trade of cabinetmaker. He came to America in 1844, landing in Philadelphia, where he worked in the sugar refining works for fifteen years. He took out his naturalization papers in Philadelphia. In 1859 he came to Reading and worked for Mr. Wells in the planing mill at Oak and Cherry streets, and was the first to introduce in the city of Reading fancy brackets for houses. He then worked at Kanter's organ factory, making Reading his home. He bought property at No. 317 Spruce street, and there died May 31, 1882. He was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. He was married three times. His third wife was Marie E. (Moyer) Keehn, born July 15, 1822, died Feb. 9, 1905. He was a Lutheran, while her faith was that of the Methodist Church. The only child of the third marriage was Albert O.

Albert O. Minkhouse received his education in the schools of Reading, and when a boy of fourteen years apprenticed himself to the barber's trade with his stepbrother, William H. Keehn, at Pearl and Bingaman streets, whom he worked with for seven years. At the end of this time Mr. Minkhouse opened tonsorial parlors at the northwest corner of Fifth and Laurel streets, and there he continued very successfully for thirteen years, when owing to failing health he sold out. In his political belief Mr. Minkhouse is independent, although he is public-spirited and a stanch supporter of all movements calculated to benefit the community.


p. 1339


Charles O. Minnich, who was for many years engaged in school teaching in North Heidelberg township, a profession in which he was very favorably known, is now engaged in the manufacture of cement blocks at Robesonia, Pa., and is a farmer and school director of North Heidelberg township. He was born Sept. 26, 1860, in this township, son of Adam and Henrietta (Klopp) Minnich.

Christopher Minich (Minnich) was the progenitor of the family in America, and his will, written in German is on record in Berks Court House, in Will Book A, page 515. It was probated in 1806, and mentions his son Benjamin as the executor. Benjamin Minich died in 1832, in which year his will was entered for probate. It is on record in Will Book 7, page 60, and the executors were his son Jacob, and Joseph Reber.

Jacob Minnich, grandfather of Charles O., was a lifelong farmer, and was elected to various township offices. He married Elizabeth Potteiger, and they had two children: Adam; and Ellen, who married Jonathan Klopp. Jacob Minnich is buried in North Heidelberg township.

Adam Minnich was born on the old homestead in North Heidelberg township and during the major portion of his life was an agriculturist, although he lived retired for some years before his death. He is buried at the Moravian Church in North Heidelberg township. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, was for thirty-seven years a school teacher, thirty-six years being in North Heidelberg township and the other in Perry township, and he was a great friend of the cause of education, doing much towards building up the present public school system, which met with so much opposition at first. In politics he was a Democrat, served as prison inspector, was a school director of his township for nine years, and for a long period served as justice of the peace in his district. He was married to Henrietta Klopp, and they had two children: Deborah, who married Rev. A. Johnson Long, of Marion township and Charles O.

Charles O. Minnich was reared in agricultural pursuits and lived with his parents until he became of age. He obtained his early education in the schools of his township, and later he attended the Keystone State Normal school, at Kutztown, which he left when a member of the senior class. He was licensed to teach in the public schools of Berks county in 1879, by Prof. D. S. Keck, and taught his first term in Lower Heidelberg township at the Ahrens school, which was followed by a term at Lengels school, and the succeeding nineteen years were spent at Klopp's school in his native district. During his long service as an educator, Mr. Minnich became well-known, and the fact of his incumbency at one school for nineteen successive terms testifies to his efficiency and popularity. In the spring of 1882 he commenced farming the original Minnich homestead of ninety-two acres of fertile land, which he had secured by purchase after his father's death, and from that time on he spent the winters in teaching and the summer months in cultivating his land. He has twelve head of cattle and thirteen horses, and during the last few years he has given a great deal of attention to stock-raising.

In politics Mr. Minnich is a staunch Democrat, and he has been active in the ranks of his party since attaining his majority. His first office was that of judge of election, and in 1904 he was elected to a school director of North Heidelberg township, and as such is serving now, having been secretary of the board for one year and president thereof for a like period. He and his family are members of the Moravian Church of North Heidelberg township. Mr. Minnich was active in the interest of Patrons of Husbandry of Robesonia, and assisted in organizing the Benneville Grange.

In 1880 Mr. Minnich was married to Emma Kalbach, daughter of James and Sarah (Derr) Kalback, and granddaughter of Adam Kalback, who married Miss Althouse. To this union there have been born nine children. Lloyd K., a graduate of the class of 1902, Keystone State Normal school and a teacher in North Heidelberg township, m. Cora Fisher, and has one daughter, Ellen; Constance S. m Calvin Master, a mechanic of Robesonia, and has one daughter, Marguerite; E. Willis, a graduate of the class of 1905 at the Keystone State Normal school, and a teacher in the schools of North Heidelberg township, m. Annie Krieder; J. Earl is a farmer and assists his father; C. Raymond is also a farmer, and during the winter months a student; and Adam J., Stella, Mabel and Russell all died in youth and are buried at North Heidelberg.


p. 696


John D. Mishler, manager of the Reading Academy of Music, Sixth street, between Washington and Walnut streets, from 1886 to May 12, 1907, with the exception of two years, 1889-1890, is one of the best known amusement managers in the State of Pennsylvania and throughout the country, and surely few managers among them are as popular as he. In presenting his career to the readers of the Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County we take pleasure in quoting briefly from various newspapers of Reading, showing the esteem in which he is held in the community, as voiced by these newspapers.

"John D. Mishler was born in Newmanstown, Lebanon county, April 28, 1847, and he moved with his parents, Joseph and Rebecca (Zimmerman) Mishler, to Reading in 1848. After receiving an ordinary education in the pay schools of the city, at seventeen years of age, in 1864, he entered the service of the then leading dry-goods house (now the Common Sense Shoe Store), John S. Pearson & Co., as a package delivery boy, at the salary of $75 a year. He kept the store clean and carried or delivered on a wheelbarrow to residences and hotels goods sold by the firm and between times sold over $15,000 worth of dry goods in the first year, for which the firm made him a present of $25.

"May 2, 1867, he went to Europe and the Paris Exposition, making a four months' tour. He was on the sea twenty-one days, owing to fogs and damage to the machinery of the steamer. His 'death on the sea' was announced in the Berks County Democrat, a then prominent weekly newspaper, as no news could be had of the steamer. He was accorded the privilege of perusing his own obituary. On his return he visited relatives in Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon counties, giving an account of his travels, people gathering from great distances to hear him, as going across the ocean was then considered remarkable. He was met at the depot on his return by a brass band and many citizens, escorted to the Keystone House (now Hotel Penn) and given a supper. He was the fifth person from Reading who had gone to Europe. His letters to the Berks and Schuylkill Journal were read with much interest and copied by Pennsylvania newspapers.

"May 4, 1868, at Reading, he commenced the retail dry-goods business at No. 533 Penn street (the Globe Store, later purchased by Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart), which he continued until the latter part of 1874, introducing many new ideas in the store and in newspaper advertisements to attract customers. He was always an original, liberal advertiser, and was the first business man in Reading to insert a column advertisement, in 1868 - later one of four columns, and he at one time had an entire page of the Times, with an extra edition of two thousand copies of the paper. At an early age he was a contributor to newspapers, with a weekly article in the Times, called 'The Man About Town'; he has always been a warm and much respected friend of the press and was the first associate member of the Reading Press Club (organized Feb. 18, 1888).

"It was the custom of the only morning newspaper, the Times, published in the then old State House, northeast corner Penn and Fifth streets, to go to press at 9 p.m., the telegraphic news being clipped at 6 p.m. from the Philadelphia Telegraph and The Bulletin; local events following after that were noticed in the second day issue. He secured the consent of the owners of the Times once to go to press specially in the morning, and 'bribed' the printers (with a sextel of beer, four dozen pretzels and some cigars) to work all night. By doing this had (he?) published Dec. 4, 1868, an account written by himself, of over two columns, of a Maennerchor masquerade ball, at Odd Fellows Hall, now the Library building, the first time that such a thing had been done in the city, and that an occurrence after 9 p.m. appeared in the paper the next morning, and it created much surprised comment. He conducted for some years the 'Globe Condenser' in the Berks and Schuylkill Journal, making it a feature of the paper while also advertising his Globe Dry Goods Store.

"He was one of the active men and one of the first directors of the first Penn Street Passenger Railways Company in 1874, running from the foot of Penn street to Nineteenth street. He was a member of the board of health in 1873. In April, 1875, he had a drawing made for a park of the then Fair Grounds, now Penn Common, illustrated in the New York Graphic, the first illustrated daily newspaper in America, and advocated their abandonment for a public park, by a liberal distribution of the papers in the city and to leading people in the county. May 10, 1871, he erected in front of his place of business, No. 533 Penn street, a marble public drinking fountain, for which he paid to the city $10 a year for the use of the water. The fountain is now at Penn Common, Eleventh street, above Washington. Prof. Washing Donaldson, the well-known aeronaut, made the only store packing paper balloon ascension ever attempted in this country, from Penn Square, May 17, 1873, in the 'John D. Mishler,' Mr. Mishler having furnished everything for the experiment."

"In politics Mr. Mishler is a Republican, but is liberal and broad-minded in his politics as he is in all things. He was confirmed a member of Trinity Lutheran Church by Rev. Jacob Fry, but is not an active church member or bigoted in his faith, being a very liberal friend to Catholics and Hebrews. He is a member of Philadelphia Sovereign Consistory, thirty-second degree Masons, a Knight Templar of Reading Commandery, No. 42, and all the lodges of the various orders to that elevation, being a member of the new Isaac Hiester Lodge, No. 660, having withdrawn from lodge No. 367. He is a member of Rajah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

"For over twenty-five years he has been liberal and foremost in charities of all kinds, from the time when the people contributed hundreds of dollars up to now, when they annually give thousands of dollars. His efforts in behalf of the Home for Widows and Single Women were of much assistance to the Board of Managers, and he has given toward and solicited from citizens for that institution money many times.

"On July 11, 1873, he took at his own expense and entertained for the day 1,300 poor children, to Heilman's Dale, above Lebanon; Christmas, 1872, he gave a dinner to 260 poor children at the City Hotel. Dec. 25, 1892, he gave a special free Christmas morning dramatic performance, 'Lost in New York,' to the delight of over three thousand poor children, and the Reading newsboys have often in a body attended entertainments at the Academy without charge. In 1887 he inaugurated the idea of an annual Christmas offering to all the Reading charitable institutions by placing contribution boxes in hotels, saloons, stores and factories. Over $500 was realized. He was general secretary for seven years of the Associated Charities, organized in 1902.

"He organized the Berks County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, April 2, 1891, and was the president for five years, giving much time and effective advice in the prevention of Picture of John D. Mishlercruelty. He was one of the Citizens' Committee in the introduction in Reading of the 'Pingree Potato plan,' to aid the poor to help themselves. He had a drawing made by William H. Dechant Feb. 2, 1893, for a public drive along the slope of Mt. Penn from the Common to McKinight's Gap and return. He organized in Reading Dec. 18, 1894, the Pennsylvania Bill Posters' Association and was the president to June 6, 1909. In 1875 he managed the Active Base Ball Club, and placed it at the head of all amateur organizations in the State. In 1896 and 1897 he was chairman of the executive committee for Reading's Floral and Chrysanthemum Show, both exhibitions being very successful, and the profits of which were divided among the Hospitals. In May, 1895, he was chairman of the Finance committee for the Forty-Second Annual Conclave, Knights Templars, held at Reading, May 27-29; all bills were paid a week after the Conclave and a pro rata of the surplus was returned to the subscribers to the fund. He was again chairman of the Finance committee for the Conclave May 27-29, 1901, with the same financial business result. He was the treasurer of the Finance Committee for the thirty-ninth Annual Encampment, Pennsylvania Grand Army of the Republic, held at Reading, June 6-7-8, 1905. After all bills were paid the balance in the treasury, with additional subscriptions by individuals, was given to the Charles Evans Cemetery Company, to keep in good condition for all time 'the Soldiers' Monument, the graves and the ground surrounding.'

His father had erected the first modern theatre in the State, outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburg, which was opened Oct. 1, 1872, at 533-535 Penn street, Reading, and this he managed until 1886, when he had it removed and the present Academy of Music was erected by a stock company and himself. The Academy has very often been given without charge for charitable and religious purposes. Gus Williams, June 19, 1882, named his most successful play 'John Mishler.' In 1877-78 Mr. Mishler toured the country as manager of the Swedish Ladies Vocal Quartette. From 1882 to 1886 he managed and was with Bartholomew's famous Equine Paradox, and again from 1889 to 1891 (the Academy was then leased by H. R. Jacobs). In 1873 he established the Mishler Theatrical Circuit of Eastern Pennsylvania, comprising nine of the principal cities, which he controlled for years. As an amusement manager he is in many respects a remarkable exception, in that he will not exaggerate and always tells the truth only, in newspaper advertisements, and if an entertainment deteriorates from the time he booked it, until the date of its appearance, he so announces in the newspapers that day, and his patrons are always sure of what they will see.

"Mr. Mishler has always taken a lively, progressive, useful, liberal and unselfish, much appreciated interest in the development of the city and the welfare of the people. His greatest achievement was the Sesqui-Centennial. He selected the week of the celebration, June 5-12, 1898, and, as he prophesied it would be, the weather from Sunday morning to Saturday night, was perfect, clear, cool and delightful. He arranged most of the program for the seven days' festivities, and did very much in every way to make the celebration the complete success it was. As chairman of the Finance committee, he solicited subscriptions for $10,416.66. Within two weeks after the celebration all bills had been paid and there was remaining $1,418.84, which the Executive committee decided to give toward the payment of the electrical display $1,902.50, that had been ordered by the City Council committee. The $483.66 was paid by the city in 1902.

"Mr. Mishler is an enthusiast in everything that enlists his attention. No matter what the result may be, he works untiringly to the best of his judgment and ability for success. Always doing, but one who still feels that he has not enough to do. If not for money's sake or popularity ? simply that he feels best satisfied when employed ? if not for himself, then for others."

Mr. Mishler was on the committee of the Board of Trade, to solicit subscriptions for the erection of an armory for the several companies of the National Guard of the City of Reading, October, 1907; he was active in securing a loan of $500,000 for Reading to have a plant for the filtration of water, October, 1907; he has repeatedly made liberal efforts to build a modern hotel, a much needed want in the city; he has done much effective work in the Board of Trade to enlarge its public usefulness; he was a member of the committee who collected $5,000 for the relief of the sufferers of the Boyertown theatre fire, January, 1908; he revised the constitution and by-laws of the Board of Trade and published an illustrated sixty-page manual; as chairman of the committee on "Streets, Sidewalks, Light" of the Board of Trade he has very much improved these city conditions. On Jan. 9, 1908, he responded to the toast "Our City's Special Needs," at a Board of Trade dinner. In May, 1908, he was given a dinner at the Mineral Spring Hotel by the Board of Trade as "A Reading Booster"; he delivered an address at the Eighteenth Annual Commencement exercises of the Reading Hospital, May 27, 1908, full of plain truths, forcibly given, and advocated State legislation for the protection of graduated nurses; he was on the Reception committee when Governor Stuart addressed the Christian Endeavor State Convention in Penn Common at Reading, July 9, 1908; in 1908 he visited Ireland with Mrs. Mishler, and wrote to the Eagle many very interesting letters of the condition of that country, its changes and possibilities, given in his candid and original style; on his return Mr. and Mrs. Mishler were given a "home coming dinner" at the Mineral Spring Hotel, Sept. 10, 1908, by more than one hundred men and women; Sept. 24th of the same year the Reading Press Club gave him "a welcome home reception"; he presided at a Christian Science public assemblage Oct. 13, 1908; he presided at the Republican mass meeting in the Academy of Music Oct. 30, 1908, in the Taft campaign; he was foremost in making country roads better and in advocating a State road from Philadelphia to Pittsburg passing through Reading; he was chairman of the "General Relief Committee," for the relief of the needy families afflicted with typhoid fever during the local epidemic in 1908; he is a trustee of the Young Women's Christian Association and assisted in soliciting more than five thousand dollars to build a gymnasium to modernize their home, which he assisted in providing five years ago. Evidently Mr. Mishler is one of those very busy men who can find time and who take delight in helping to advance public affairs in the different sides of life. He was the toastmaster at a banquet of Reading's best citizens given by Henry W. Shoemaker and G. Scott Smith, owners of The Reading Times, Feb. 10, 1909, when an oil painting by Kuechler (deceased) was placed in a building made famous by Kuechler, who had a national reputation.

"Mr. Mishler said: 'All the world loves a generous person. It is not the material result of the generosity, but the kindly spirit that prompts it that attracts and endears. It is not necessary to have much in order to be generous ? but the disposition to share liberally what one has. Even at the cost of a little self-sacrifice, the reward is always worth the price paid. There are things of which we may all be more generous. The comfort of sympathy, the stimulus of praise and encouragement, are often more welcome, more appreciated, than that which mere money can buy.' Mr. Mishler's philosophy of life is affecting in its simplicity. 'Just to be kindly and good-natured,' he says; 'just to do a little bit better than one found it, that's all I think a man need aim at, if you ask me.' He also said: 'If only half the nice things said after people are dead were only told while they are alive, how much more happiness there would be in the world.'"

Such as been the life of Mr. Mishler as portrayed by his home newspapers; and the writer (Walter Kieffer, of Lancaster), who knew him for over thirty years, desired to bear testimony to the truthfulness of all that has been said of one of Reading's foremost citizens ? John D. Mishler. Beginning a good deal more than a quarter of a century ago, Mr. Mishler gave to Lancaster and other leading neighboring cities the best amusements they had, and he is just as popular in other Pennsylvania cities as he is in Reading.

Mr. Mishler married Sept. 7, 1871, Louisa C. Halbach, daughter of the late August Halbach, of Philadelphia, and their home at No. 417 Green Terrace is known at all times as one of the most hospitable in Reading. Three children were born to this union: Rebecca Marie m. H. Hurd Hillegass, paper bag manufacturer at Reading; Maud Viola m. Henry E. Bell, proprietor of the Reading Bill Posting Company; J. Boyd assists his father in the clerical work of his business. No family is more respected, nor none is more beloved in Reading, for their unselfishness and sociability. Mr. Mishler retired from the theatrical business at Reading May 11, 1907. He then agreeably surprised some friends ? "each one of whom he remembers for their participation in a specific incident in his life," by presenting them a copy of "Mishler's Memoirs," a neatly printed and handsomely illustrated volume of some two hundred pages, octavo size, telling the story of John D. Mishler's life from 1847 to 1907. The edition was limited to one hundred copies. The table of contents embraces much that is of interest in the career of the enterprising townsman who has rounded out a period of more than sixty years of a varied and busy life. In this volume may be found much concerning him as a man of business; as a liberal newspaper advertiser; his connection with the drama in Reading; his public benefactions; his connection with an fostering care of various charitable institutions; his active participation in the Sesqui-Centennial celebration of Reading, etc. Indeed, the history of nearly all public enterprises in Reading for well nigh half a century contains pages upon pages of the work done by Mr. Mishler. He has always been intensely loyal to Reading and its municipal advancement.

"In his retirement from his long and honorable connection with the dramatic life of Reading, it is sincerely hoped by many citizens that he may continue to reside here. He is a useful citizen, a wide-awake business man, public-spirited, never weary of well-doing, clean-handed and active in the discharge of whatever he is called upon to do that may inure to the welfare of his city, his friends and his neighbors."


p. 442


John D. Missimer was for twenty-five years before his death managing editor of the Reading Eagle. Born in 1847 at Dengler (now Mount Penn), Berks county, he was the son of John Missimer, a prominent Democrat and member of the Pennsylvania Legislature for several terms. Just prior to the Civil war he was librarian to the House of Representatives in Washington. John D. Missimer attended school in Washington until he received the appointment, secured by Maj. S. E. Ancona, the Congressman from this district, as cadet at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. He made a voyage to foreign ports, but taking a dislike to the life of the navy was allowed to resign. Early in life he gained considerable reputation as a writer of verse and sketches for the newspapers, and he naturally drifted into newspaper work, being for some time associated with the famous "Brick" Pomeroy in the publication, in New York, of an illustrated weekly paper that enjoyed a national circulation. His connection with the Reading Eagle commenced about 1872, when he became a reporter on the staff of that journal, with which he was thereafter identified until his death. He soon acquired the reputation of being one of the most affable and capable newspaper men in the city, and in 1880 he succeeded J. Warren Conrad as managing editor, which position he continued to hold until his sudden death, Sunday morning, April 22, 1906.

As a general all-around newspaper man Mr. Missimer had few equals. He did his work with a thoroughness which made the paper a complete epitome of each day's events. He was a master of details, concise, able and industrious, and possessed the faculty of condensing an item or "boiling it down" to substance. In his relations with his subordinates he was genial and sympathetic. At the close of his thirtieth year with the Eagle he fellow-workers celebrated the anniversary by tendering him a banquet, as a tribute to his fidelity to the paper and his courtesy to them.

Mr. Missimer was a ready and easy writer, and a number of years ago he contributed many serial stories of interest to the New York Weekly, the Saturday Night, and other weekly and monthly publications. He wrote "The Amish Girl" and several other dramas, which at different times were presented to appreciative and delighted audiences in Reading and other cities. For years he contributed much to metropolitan dailies, and three years before his death the founded the Reading Financial Bulletin, which he published to the end of his days. It is a publication devoted to the subject of local investments.

A few years before his death he wrote and published a pamphlet on the libel law, which was intended as a guide to young newspaper writers, and it not only had a large sale among that class but also among experienced newspaper workers all over the country, and the author received many letters from successful publishers in praise of the work. During his last days he wrote the history of the famous "Conway Cabal," a conspiracy fomented in this section during the Revolutionary war to depose Washington from the position of commander of the Continental army. This plot is supposed to have been hatched in Reading and Mr. Missimer invested his work with a great deal of local color. Its preparation involved the consultation of many authorities, and he devoted himself to it with his accustomed vigor and thoroughness.

From the time of his young manhood Mr. Missimer entered heartily into the social life of the city, and in his later years he enjoyed spending his leisure moments among congenial friends. His popularity and felicity of expression are attested in the fact that he was frequently called upon to act as toastmaster at banquets, and in this role appeared at his best. He was always most happy in his introduction of the speakers. He was a member of the Reading Council, Royal Arcanum, the Reading Press Club, the Berks County Historical Society, Trinity Lutheran Church, and a trustee of St. Joseph's Hospital.

Mr. Missimer married Anetta Richards, who survived him with one daughter, Grace.


p. 1470


Augustus D. Mitchell, of Dauberville, Berks county, has been engaged as a mason contractor for over a quarter of a century, and is well-known in that county. He was born in Centre township Sept. 13, 1885, son of Michael Mitchell and grandson of Reuben Mitchell.

Rueben Mitchell lived in Centre township, near Bellemans Church, where he engaged in farming for the long period of forty-one years. He was married and was the father of the following children: Jacob, Rebecca, and Michael.

Michael Mitchell was born in Lower Heidelberg township, and lived in Centre township, where he was a well-known farmer citizen until his death, at the age of sixty-seven years. He married Elizabeth Dinkelberger, daughter of Peter Dinkelberger, of Centre township, and nine children were born to them; John, Mary, Daniel, Sarah, Kate, Elizabeth, Calvin, August D. and Rebecca, the last named dying young.

August D. Mitchell attended the schools of Centre township and remained at home assisting his father until twenty-two years old. He then went to learn the stonemasons trade with his uncle, Daniel Dinkelberger, and commenced contracting in that line on his own account in 1882. He has continued to follow this business very successfully to the present, and has a large patronage which extends throughout the upper part of the county, finding plenty of work. Among other contracts he had seven houses in Dauberville, thirteen houses in Reading and seven county bridges.

August D. Mitchell and his wife Lovina have had a family of four children: Herman, born Dec. 25, 1886; Lizzie, born May 4, 1888; Milton, born Oct. 26, 1890, who graduated from the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown in 1905, taught in Ontelaunee township, and is now teaching in his home township, Centre; and Amanda, born Aug. 29, 1892. This family has a fine home at Dauberville.

In political connection Mr. Mitchell is a Democrat, and quite prominent in his community. For a period of twenty-one years he served as constable of Centre township, finally refusing a re-election. He has also served as committeeman.


p. 1316


Albert F. Mogel, who filled the office of sheriff of Berks county in 1902-3-4, is one of the foremost business men of Leesport, Pa., his success being commensurate with his popularity. He has long been a recognized leader of the Democratic party in northwestern Berks, having entered the political field when he reached his majority and been identified with the interest of that party every since. Mr. Mogel was born Nov. 5, 1864 on the old Mogel homestead in Centre township, Berks county, son of David W. and Elizabeth (Fryberger) Mogel.

Valentine Mogel, who came to America in 1751, from the Rhine river provinces in the western part of the German Empire, settled on the Mogel homestead in that year, and this property has descended through four generations of the family. In 1790 it became the property of the ancestor's son, also named Valentine, and after the latter's death in 1831 it went to his son, Henry. He died in 1867, whereupon one of Henry's sons, David, became the owner.

Albert F. Mogel attended the common schools of Centre township, and in 1881 went west, working on a farm near Bloomington, Ill. He soon returned home, however, and at the age of seventeen years began teaching Kauffman's school in Centre township, and later the Bagenstose school for three years. In 1884 he attended the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, Ind., and on his return in 1887 was appointed deputy county treasurer by his father, a position in which he served three years. In 1801 he engaged in the general merchandise business at Dauberville, Berks county, for four years, and in 1895 moved to Leesport, where he purchased from Samuel Sunday the store and residence now owned by him, forming a partnership with his brother-in-law, James W. Rahn, under the firm name of Mogel and Rahn. Mr. Rahn died July 17, 1903, whereupon Mr. Mogel bought his interest in the business, and since has carried on the industry alone. In 1894 Mr. Mogel was appointed chief clerk for the Berks county commissioners, Henry Stoyer, John Wunch and Jeremiah Hartman being the board of commissioners.

From his youth, Mr. Mogel has been an untiring worker for his party. He was elected a delegate from Centre township to the Democratic county convention at the age of twenty-one years, and afterward served five years as a member of the Democratic county standing committee, serving as its secretary for the last year. He was three times a Democratic State delegate, an alternate to the Democratic State convention at Chicago, which nominated William Jennings Bryan for President. He stumped the county for Governor Pattison and William J. Bryan and became well and favorable known. In 1891 he was elected a delegate to the proposed Constitutional convention, proposed by the State Legislature, which was defeated by the popular vote. In 1898 he received second highest vote in the Democratic county convention for the office of sheriff and in 1901 was nominated and elected to that office for three years, serving with credit. On Sept. 23, 1902, he had to perform the unpleasant duty of executing George Ganz. At the close of his term he devoted all his time to his store interest, and now is also engaged in farming to some extent, owning a small tract near Leesport.

On April 19, 1887, Mr. Mogul married Alice Henrietta Rahn, daughter of William, Rahn, deceased, and to this union came two children: Emma Valeria and Adam Cleveland, the latter of whom died Dec. 11, 1890, aged two years, two months, seven days. Emma Valeria Mogel married Prof. Howard C. Snyder, teacher of the Ontelaunee township high school, Sept. 29, 1906.

Mr. Mogel united with the Reformed Church in 1880 and is a prominent worker thereof. He belongs to a large number of secret societies, being a member of Vaux Lodge, No. 406, F. & A. M., of Hamburg; Reading Lodge of Perfection and the Philadelphia Consistory; and of W. C. No. 165, P. O. S. of A. of Leesport. This camp he represented at ten State camp session and was four times elected by the State camp a nation delegate, also serving as district president of the 2nd district of Berks. He organized Leesport Castle, No. 503, K. G. E., with 162 charter members, and has been its representative the past ten years, being elected grand second guardsman in 1901. He is also a member of Meade Camp, Sons of Veterans, of Ontelaunee; Council No. 985, O of I. A., of Oley; Lodge No. 218. I. O. O. F., of Leesport; Camp No. 9284, M. W. of A.; and the D. of L., No. 182. He is energetic and industrious, has large business interests, and his standing in the community is deservedly high.


p. 636


Dr. Peter S. Mogel, a well-known dentist located at No. 814 Penn street, Reading, was born in Tulpehocken township, Berks county, Nov. 18, 1862, son of Emendon B. and Louise (Schade) Mogel.

The name of Mogel has been spelled in nine different ways by the members of the same family - Mochel, Mockel, Mockle, Mogel, Mogle, Mocel, Mokel, Mokle, and Mogul. The family was planted in this country by Valentine Mochel, who arrived at Philadelphia Aug. 28. 1750, on the "Phoenix," John Mason, master. The vessel had sailed from Rotterdam, last from Cowes and carried 339 passengers. When he arrived Valentine Mochel registered his name spelling it "Mochel," and he first drifted to what is known as Penns Valley in Perry county, above Harrisburg, at a place called Millheim. He took up land, but after being there from some time found the Indians becoming troublesome, so fearing for his family's safety, he migrated to near Centreport, in the vicinity of Belleman's Church, where he took up a tract of land in 1752, and this land has remain in the family name to the present time, the owner now (1909) being ex-county treasurer David W. Mogel, whose son John operates it. The house was originally built by Valentine Mogel (or Mochel) is still standing, altered only by additions made by the present owner. Valentine Mochel had three children, among them Valentine (2).

Valentine Mochel (2), son of the emigrant, was born in Centre township, June 22, 1758, and died April 25, 1830. He married Catharine Meyer, and they had nine children, among whom were: Valentine (3), born Aug, 12, 1788, died unmarried Feb. 21, 1848; Henry W., born Jan. 30, 1792, died Nov. 14, 1867; and Samuel. With the children of this generation come the change in the spelling of the name, doubtless due to the English school teachers, who often tried to Anglicize the German names, and were consequently responsible for many of the changes in name so common throughout Pennsylvania.

Samuel Mogel, son of Valentine (2), was born Nov. 1805, and died May 4, 1858. He married Sarah Bagenstose, and they had thirteen children.

Emendon B. Mogel, son of Samuel and father of Dr. Peter S., was born Nov. 11, 1834 in Centre township, Berks county, and he became a well-known man in his district. He was a veterinary surgeon and for many years located at Bernville, where he died Dec. 17, 1901. He married Louise Schade, daughter of Joseph Schade, and they had two children: Dr. Peter S.; and Rev. Levi S. born April 26, 1860, and now a Presbyterian minister located at Woodburn, Ore., Married to Maud McKinney.

Dr. Peter S. Mogel received his preliminary education in the school of Bernville, and then entered the Dental Department of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1889. He then located at Bernville where for a time he followed his profession, coming to Reading in 1892. He is a member of the Dental Alumni of the State University; of the State Dental society; of the Lebanon Valley district Dental Society; of the Reading Dental Society. Fraternally he belongs to Isaac Hiester Lodge, No. 660, F. & A. M.; Lodge No. 115, B. P, O, E; and Council No. 495, Royal Arcanum.

Dr. Mogel married Laura C. Burkhart, and they have two sons: J. Vincent and Paul B.

Henry W. Mogel, son of Valentine (1) and Catharine (Meyer) Mochel, was born Jan. 30, 1792, and died Nov. 14, 1867. He was a framer on the old homestead. He was one of the founders and an official member of Belleman's Reformed Church in Centre township; and he was prominent in public affairs, holding a number of offices.

David W. Mogel, son of Henry W., was born Sept. 17, 1838, and has long been one of the well-known men in the political life of Berks county. In 1887 he was elected county treasurer, and filled that office efficiently for three years. During the Civil war he served in Company D, 167th Pa., V. I. His fraternal connections are with McLean Post NO. 16, G. A. R.; Washington Camp, No. 165, P. O. S. of A.; and the Pennsylvania Grange. He married Eliza Fryberger, and they had nine children: Morgan F., Born July 20, 1862; Albert F., Nov. 5, 1864; Valentine F., Nov. 28, 1866 (died Jan. 30, 1896; Ellen F., April 20, 1869 (died Sept. 22, 1897); Howard F., June 16, 1871; Levi F., Sept. 9, 1873; John F., June 8, 1879; Adam F., March 29, 1881 (died Nov. 17, 1888); and David F., July 28, 1885.

Albert F. Mogel, son of David W., was born Nov. 5, 1864. For some years he was a teacher in the public schools. In 1902 he was elected sheriff of Berks county on the Democratic ticket, serving three years. He is now living in Leesport, where he has a general store. He is president of the First National Bank of Leesport. Fraternally he is a member of Vaux Lodge, No. 406, F & A. M., Hamburg; Reading Lodge of Perfection; Philadelphia Consistory, 32d degree; Oley Lodge, No. 218, I. O. O. F.; Washington Camp, No. 9284, M. W. of A.; Leesport Temple, No. 10, O. U. A.; Munson Council, No. 282, D. of L.

On April 19, 1887, Mr. Mogel married Alice Henrietta Rahn, daughter of William Rahn. There only daughter, Emma V., is married to Prof. H. C. Snyder. A son, Adam C., died Dec. 11, 1890, aged two years.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:27 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.