Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1212

Surnames: MOSER, REESER, REBER, KERSCHNER, LONG, BLATT, RICHARDS, TROXTLE, RAUDENBUSH, PHILLIPS, BERNHEISER, KURTZ, AMMON, DALTON, BERNHEISEL, LEVAN, MENARD Howard L. Moser, a prosperous business man of Cumru township, who is the proprietor of a mercantile establishment at Noble and Fern streets, Oakbrook, Berks county, was born April 20, 1863, in Bern township, son of Joseph K. and Sarah (Reeser) Moser.

John Moser, the great-grandfather of Howard L., was a farmer in Bern township, having a large tract of land, about 300 acres, in the center of the township. He was born in 1782, and died there in 1847. His wife, whose maiden name was Reber, passed away in her seventy-fourth year. They are buried at Gernant's Church. Seven children were born to this couple, John being the only son.

John Moser, grandfather of Howard L., was born on the old homestead in 1803, and was a farmer all his life in Bern township, where he died at the age of seventy-two years. He married Mary Kerschner, of Virginia, daughter of Conrad Kerschner a pioneer of Bern township, and she died at the age of sixty-eight years in 1878. Mr. Moser was a Democrat in politics, and in religious belief belonged to Epler's Reformed Church, which he assisted to build, and in which for many years he was an official. His children were: Reuben, who died unmarried; Joseph K.; John K., who died in 1902, and who was twice married; Daniel, deceased, m. to Mary Long; Sarah, m. to Daniel Blatt; Mary, m. to Daniel Ulrich; Elizabeth, unmarried, who lives with her brother, Joseph K.; and Emma, m. to Abraham Richards.

Joseph K. Moser, father of Howard L., was born Dec. 30, 1833, on the old homestead, and attended the pay and public schools of his native township. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and as a young man worked for two years on the John Troxtle farm in Gibralter, Pa. He then located in Cumru township, and for one year worked on the John Raudenbush farm, later engaging in trucking for nine years. He then retired, and lived in his pleasant home at Oakbrook, which he erected in 1884, until his death Dec. 12, 1908. He was buried at Epler's Church. On March 27, 1857, Mr. Moser was married to Sarah Reeser, daughter of Samuel and Mary Magdalena (Phillips) Reeser, of Bern township, and to this union there were born children as follows: James R., m. to Elizabeth Bernheiser, is an engineer on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, and is living at Schuylkill Haven, Pa.; Morris R., a manufacturer of candy at Wilkes Barre, m. Rosie Kurtz; Howard L; Samuel, who has been an employe of the Reading Iron Co.'s pipe mill for thirty years, m. Lillie Ammon, and resides at Oakbrook; Sarah m. Charles F. Dalton, of Oakbrook; and Katie is also of Oakbrook. Mr. Moser was a Democrat in politics, and a member of Epler's Reformed Church.

Howard L. Moser attended the public schools of his native township, after leaving which he went with his parents to Gibralter, and in 1872 came to Cumru township, where he engaged in making fire brick, an occupation which he followed for a short time. He then became employed at the Reading Iron Company's pipe-mill, where he continued for about eight years. In 1895 he engaged in his present business at Fern and Noble Streets, Oakbrook, carrying a fine line of general merchandise. He is an excellent business man, and his enterprise and fair dealing have won him much trade.

Mr. Moser was married to Emma Bernheisel, daughter of Elias Bernheisel, and to this union two children have been born: Corinne T. m. John Levan; and Floy at home. In politics Mr. Moser is a Democrat, and he has served on the election boards of his township. He is a member of St. John's Reformed Church, of Reading, where he has served as deacon since 1904. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Americans No. 252, and the Knights of Friendship No. 128.

Elias Bernheisel, father of Mrs. Moser, was born in 1840, and died Oct. 5, 1891, having for many years been an official employe of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, at Pawling, Chester county. His wife was Tumella Menard, daughter of Jacob Menard, of Leesport, and eight children were born to the union: Elizabeth, Emma, John, Lillie, Alfred C., Claude, Annie and Howard.


p 1230


Samuel H. Moser, a well-known farmer and representative citizen of Bern township, residing on the old homestead, was born Dec. 24, 1862, in Penn township, near Garfield, Berks county.

Mr. Moser was about four months old when his parents settled on his fine farm. He attended the schools of Bern township and assisted his father as he grew older and when he reached manhood rented the farm for some nine years. In 1894 he purchased the property, which contains 160 acres of very valuable land. It is very favorably situated not far from West Leesport and extends on both sides of the highway. His handsome residence is situated on one side and his substantial barn and numerous other buildings are on the opposite side. He has made many improvements and has his land under a fine state of cultivation. Mr. Moser was married (first) to Catharine G. Kauffman, a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Ginn) Kauffman. They had three children: Lizzie, m. Henry Becker, residing at North Leesport; and Debbie and Edwin D., at home. Mrs. Moser died May 20, 1896, aged thirty-five years, one month and twenty-six days. She was buried at Epler's Church. Mr. Moser was married (second) to Helen Backenstone, daughter of Henry and Rebecca (Marsh) Backenstone, of Centre township, and they have the following children: George D., Emma, Catharine, Herbert and William. Mr. Moser is a member of Epler's Reformed Church, in which he has served as deacon and as elder. He is a Democrat in his political views and has been one of the most active workers for his party in this section. He has served on the election board and since the adoption of the new law has served as treasurer of the Bern township road board. In 1900 he was elected to the school board and has always been interested in local educational affairs. He is substitute rural free delivery carrier No. 1 of West Leesport and was appointed by the regular carrier, J. L. Snyder. He has frequently attended county conventions armed with credentials as a delegate and is always faithful to the responsibilities entrusted to him. Fraternally he belongs to K. G. E. Castle No. 503, Leesport; P. 0. S. of A. Camp No. 165; and Ontelaunee Council, No. 985, 0. of I. A., Leesport.


p. 1473


Benneville G. Mosser, who owns and operates a thirty-eight acre farm at Cedar Top, Cumru township, in connection with which he follows hat making, was born Nov. 14, 1865, in Cumru township, Berks county.

At the age of sixteen years Mr. Mosser learned the hatting trade in Mohnton, and this he has followed in connection with farming to the present time, having been employed by J. G. Mohn & Bros., of Reading, since 1887. He owns a farm of thirty-eight acres in Cumru township, as well as two dwellings and his own residence. Mr. Mosser is progressive and modern in his methods, and his success has been largely due to his integrity in business dealings. He and his family are Reformed members of Gouglersville Church. Mr. Mosser was married to Sallie M. Bickel, born April 5, 1867, daughter of Frank and Mary (Dunkelberger) Bickel, and to this union there have been born eight children, as follows: Robert B.; Elmer B., who died in 19800, aged fourteen years; Frank B., who married Bessie Reber, of Mohnton; Mabel B.; Alice B.; Floyd B.; and infant daughter; and Sallie Belle.

Robert B. Mosser, the eldest son of Benneville G., was born in Cumru township, Aug. 18, 1885, was educated in the township schools, Reading Academy and Business College, from which he was graduated in 1901, and the Reading Collegiate Institute, which is under the supervision of Rev. Dr. J. V. George, and in 1903 was licensed to teach school by Prof. E. M. Rapp. Since that time he has been engaged in teaching school in Cumru township, beginning at Eshelman's where he continued for three successive terms, and since 1906 has been at Cedar Top. Mr. Mosser is a member of Maine Chamber, No. 46, K. of F., of Mohnton, and like his father is a Democrat in politics.

On June 23, 1906, Mr. Mosser was married to Katie R. Kohl, born Aug. 3, 1888, daughter of Nelson S. and Ellen (Remp) Kohl, and to them one son has been born, Robert Clayton.


p. 179

Daniel A. Mosser, a contractor and builder, and former hotel proprietor, now living retired in West Reading, was born in Cumru township, July 7, 1842, son of John Mosser.

Nicholas Mosser, great-grandfather of Daniel A., came from Germany and settled in Brecknock township, Berks county. Tradition says he was a brother of that Mosser around whom centered the coal land litigation in Schuylkill county (mentioned in full in Mosser family sketch). Besides several daughters, he had two sons: Samuel, who died a bachelor; and John.

John Mosser, son of Nicholas, was born in Brecknock township, and was buried at Wyomissing Church. He married Maria Hornberger, daughter of Conrad, and their children were: Polly m. Abel Major; John; Rebecca m. Reuben Messinger, and had three children - John and Samuel, living, and Mary, deceased young; Benjamin m. Polly Kissinger, and had two children - William and Mary; Nicholas, Jr., m. Sarah Grill, and had children - Franklin, Adam, John, Ben, Charles, Henry, Kate, Mary, Sallie and Amanda; Daniel m. Catharine Stafford, and had children - James, Henry, Augustus, Lydia, Catharine and Sarah; and Catharine (Kate) m. Jacob Schabel, deceased.

John Mosser, son of John and father of Daniel A., engaged in blacksmithing and farming near Mohnton, Pa., where he owned a tract of thirty-eight acres. As chosen representative of the Republican party he served as supervisor of Cumru township for eight years. He is a Reformed member of Gouglersville Church, in which he served as deacon and elder, and in many other ways. He died May 12, 1895. He married Elizabeth Adams, daughter of Isaac Adams, of Cumru, and their children were: Daniel A.; and Catharine A. (m. Charles Beidler, of Cumru).

Daniel A. Mosser, son of John, was reared upon the home farm, remaining there until he was twenty-two. Then, in 1864, he began the butchering business which he followed for twenty-two years. He began at the Five Mile House, then went to the Green Tree, and later to Reading, attending the Reading markets and having a large trade. For four years he farmed a small tract of thirty-eight acres on the line between Cumru and Spring townships. In 1890 he became the proprietor of the "Farmers and Mechanics Hotel" of West Reading, conducting it successfully for three years. He then (1893) assumed the same relation to the "West Reading Hotel," which he bought and improved, practically rebuilding it. He built up a large trade, the public finding in him the accommodating, courteous host that insures a hotel's success. In 1903 he sold this to the Lauer Brewing Company. Mr. Mosser has engaged to a considerable extent in contracting and building, and has erected a number of dwellings in West Reading, among them four for himself. This includes his charming home at No. 539 Penn avenue, and three at Cumru and Sixth streets. He also has building lots and other real estate. Mr. Mosser is a stanch Republican, and efficiently served as a representative of the Fifth ward in the common council of Reading, in 1880 and 1881. He and his family are Reformed members of the Gouglersville Union Church, of which he was deacon four years.

On March 5, 1870, Mr. Mosser was married to Amelia Barto, born Oct. 15, 1850, daughter of Benjamin and Anna (Bloch) Barto (the former a shoemaker in Rockland township) and granddaughter of John Barto. To Mr. and Mrs. Mosser have been born twelve children, five of whom are still living: Emma, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, m. Fred Wertz; Maggie died young; John lived to the age of nineteen; Harrison and Allen both died young; Edward is a machinist and lives with his parents; Elizabeth is a stenographer with the Reading Hardware Company; Howard died young; Wilson is a machinist and lives at home; Alice died young; Daniel, Jr., and a daughter, twins, were born Jan. 1896, but the latter was still born. Mr. Mosser is a man of strong personality. He is five feet, eleven inches tall, and weighs 250 pounds. He has decided opinions, which he is capable of defending intelligently, and is a debater of no mean ability. Tenacious as he is of his own opinion, he is always good-natured to those who disagree with him, and he is a very companionable man, with many warm friends.


p. 1247


Franklin Grill Mosser, one of the substantial men of Berks county, who is postmaster and general merchant at Grill, in Cumru township, was born on a farm in this township, Aug. 28, 1856.

Mr. Mosser's educational advantages were secured in the schools of his native township, where at the age of thirteen years he learned the hatter's trade, an occupation which he followed for seven years. He then engaged in the hotel business at Mohnsville, during the Centennial year, and continued in this enterprise for five years thereafter. When twenty-five years of age Mr. Mosser engaged in the painting business, which he followed for six years at different places, and then accepted the position of hotel clerk at the Merchants Hotel, Reading, where he became well and favorably known. In 1902 Mr. Mosser built a dwelling and store building at Grill, and opened the first store, where he has since built up a large trade in groceries and general merchandise. Since June 4, 1904, Mr. Mosser has held the position of postmaster. In politics Mr. Mosser is a stanch Democrat and for six years served his township efficiently as school director. He owns a fine, large dwelling in Mohnton borough, where he resided for twenty years prior to coming to Grill. He is a member of Mohnton Lodge No. 485, K. P., Knights of Friendship No. 146, of Mohnton, and Jr. O. U. A. M., No. 186. He and Mrs. Mosser are members of Gouglersville Union Church, of which he was a deacon for several years.

On Christmas Day, 1876, Mr. Mosser was married to Rebecca Mengel, daughter of John and Catherine (Fulday) Mengel, and five children have been born to them: Lillie m. George Baker, and has one child, Annie; Sallie m. John A. Hollinger and has one child, Ruth; Katie m. D. F. Gaul; John died in his fourth year; and Harvey A. was born Jan. 10, 1891.


p. 1529


John G. Mosser, a well-known citizen and substantial business man of Cumru township, Berks county, who is carrying on an extensive butchering business at Mohnton, was born Jan. 14, 1858, in Cumru township, son of Nicholas Mosser.

Nicholas Mosser, great-grandfather of John G., came from Germany and settled in Brecknock township, Berks county, and it is traditional that he was a brother of that Mosser, around whom centered the great litigation for valuable coal lands in Schuylkill county. Besides several daughters, he had two sons; Samuel, who died a bachelor; and John. The latter was born in Brecknock township, and is buried at Allegheny Church. He was a farmer and owned land near Alleghenyville. He and his wife, Maria Hornberger, daughter of Conrad Hornberger, had these children: Polly, who married Abel Major; John, a blacksmith who married Betz Adams, lived in Lancaster, later came to Cumru township, and died in Spring; Rebecca married Reuben Messinger; Benjamin, who was a laborer of Cumru township, m. Polly Kissinger, and also had two children, William and Mary; Nicholas; Daniel, also a laborer of Cumru township, m. Catherine Stafford, and had these children, -- James, Henry, Augustus, Lydia, Catherine and Sarah; and Catherine, m. Jacob Schnabel.

Nicholas Mosser, father of John G., was born in Cumru township, Berks county, Oct. 22, 1819. He attended the pay schools of his day from thirty to sixty days each winter, and these schools were from three to four miles from his home. Until twenty-five years of age Mr. Mosser worked on his father's farm, and he then started out on his own account working on farms, at carpentering and as a stone mason. From 1856 to 1896 he lived on a small tract of land in Cumru township, and in the latter year retired from active life and has lived ever since at Mohnsville. He has always been an ardent Democrat, and for four years was supervisor of Cumru township. His religious belief is that of the Reformed Church, which he attends at Gouglersville, and he is elder there.

In January, 1855, Mr. Mosser was married to Sarah Grill, daughter of Adam and Catherine (Moler) Grill, and to this union there have been born ten children: Frank m. Beckie Mengel; John; Catherine m. Josephus Hornberger; Benneville G. m. Sallie Bickel; Adam m. Emma Weidner; Henry m. Agnes Hatt; Charles m. Maggie Kessler; Sallie m. Frank W. Schlichter; Mame m. Hiram M. Griffith; and Amanda m. William C. Miller. Nicholas Mosser, the father of these children, is one of the oldest men in Cumru township, and is remarkably well preserved, possessing a marvelous memory. He is a good conversationalist, and relates many interesting incidents of the earlier days of Cumru township, vividly recalling happenings of his childhood days. He can still remember, and often points out the spot, where, when he was three years old, his father shot a pet dog. Mr. Mosser furnished the data for the foregoing record, on Jan. 3, 1907.

John G. Mosser attended the township schools and was reared on the farm, and when a young man learned the hatting trade, also working for some time as carpenter. In 1883 he became head butcher at the County Alms House, a position in which he continued for one year, and then engaged in butchering business, which he has followed ever since at Mohnton. He has a large and ever increasing trade, having two delivery wagons constantly on the go, and his trade extends also into Reading. Carrying nothing but first-class goods, and dealing always with honesty and fairness, he has won the confidence and patronage of the community, where he is known as a substantial business man and good citizen. Mr. Mosser is a member of the Gouglersville Reformed Church, and for a period of fourteen years has been trustee of the church. His fraternal connections are with the P. O. S. of A., Camp 311, and the Nights of Pythias, in both of which orders he is very popular.

Mr. Mosser married Emma Louders, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Miller) Louders, and to this union were born children as follows: Charles, who is assisting his father, married Miss Sidney Wanner; Minnie, who is a trained nurse, is at the Homeopathic Hospital, Reading; Eva, who was a graduate of the Cumru township high school at the age of fourteen years, being one of the youngest of her class; Neoma, who is also a graduate of the same school; Pearl and Alverta, attending school; and John.

Mr. and Mrs. Mosser and their pleasant family, reside in their home in Mohnton, and are among the most highly esteemed people in their community, where they have many friends.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:30 EDT

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