Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 924


John Starr Pearson, an extensive farmer of Ontelaunee township, Berks county, who for more than thirty years has also been engaged in the lime business, was born Jan. 1, 1843 in Maiden-creek township, son of Mordecai Wright and Debora (Parvin) Pearson.

As early as 1682 John Pearson came to this country with William Penn, from Chester, England, and it is recorded that while voyaging up the Delaware river, Penn turned to him and said: "Thou hast been the companion of my trials; what wilt thou have that I call this place." Pearson returned: "Call it Chester, in remembrance of the place from which I came." This occurred 225 years ago. In 1683, Thomas Pearson, brother of John, came and it is probable that he lived somewhere between Chester, Chester county, and Gwynedd, Montgomery county. Of his children we know of but one son: Lawrence, who is supposed to have resided at the same place. He was married and left a son, Benjamin, who, it is supposed, settled at or near Reading, about the year 1760. He was married, and among his children was a son Thomas, the great-grandfather of John S.

Thomas Pearson's principal vocation so far as is known was that of teacher. He married Sarah Starr, a member of a family that was quite numerous in this section, where they were large land owners. The farm now occupied by John Starr Pearson was originally a Starr property, and the old home, which was erected in 1729 and stood only a short distance from the present family residence, was razed about twenty years ago. Thomas Pearson had one son by his first marriage: John Starr. He subsequently removed to Maryland, where he was married a second time, and had two children: Thomas and Sarah, who afterward came to this section, becoming well known and highly esteemed citizens.

John Starr Pearson was a farmer, and lived to the age of fifty years, dying in 1831. He married Mary Wright, and reared on child to manhood: Mordecai Wright.

Mordecai Wright Pearson was born Aug. 10, 1816, and was fifteen years of age when his father died. In 1842 he married Debora Parvin, daughter of Francis and Susanna Parvin, of Berkley, Pa., and died July 4, 1878, his widow surviving him until January 1890. They had four children: John Starr; William is a resident of this section; Susan; and Charles, who died in 1893, aged forty years, married Beulah Kahler, of Reading, and had two children, Helen K. (born Sept. 30, 1884) and Lawrence J. (born Nov. 8, 1888).

John Starr Pearson attended first the subscription school of his native locality, later attended the public schools, and subsequently entered the De Kalb Institute near Norristown. He has been engaged in farming ever since reaching his majority, and has also followed the lime business very successfully since 1874, an occupation that has given him a large acquaintance throughout Berks county.

Mr. Pearson married (first) Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Charles and Leah C. Smith, of Sadsbury, Pa., and to this union there were born two children: Mary m. Charles Canby, of Philadelphia; and Edward L. died aged four years. Mr. Pearson's second marriage was to Maria S. M. Smith, daughter of Jesse and Hannah Marsh, of Sadsbury, Pa. Mr. Pearson, as also his brother and sister, continues membership with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, and resides close to the old meeting house.


p. 1528


The Peifer family of Spring township, Berks county, is worthily represented by several substantial and highly respected citizens, descendants of the sturdy German race that has done so much for the development and progress of the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

(I) Frantz Peifer was a farmer in the town of Marienberg, about two hours from Hachenburg, Nassau, Germany. He married Elizabeth Kessler, and they had children: Gerhart, Christ, Frantz, Martin, Barbara and Elizabeth.

(II) Martin Peifer, son of Frantz, was born in Naussau, Germany, at his father's farm, July 26, 1794, and came to America with his brother in 1818, landing at Baltimore. He at once became a redemptioner with George Gernand, who paid eighty dollars for his passage at Baltimore. His bondage lasted two years, and he then worked at farm labor until in 1832 he bought a tract of thirty-one acres, to which he added in later years. At his death he left an estate of about $20,000. He was genuinely respected, and the competence he acquired was the result of hard work, economy and good management. He was a member of Hain's Church, to which he contributed liberally. He died Dec. 7, 1870. On Dec. 31, 1826, he married Hannah Krick, born June 6, 1803 (daughter of Peter Krick), who died Sept. 30, 1872. They had two children, Jeremiah and Peter. The former, born Dec. 22, 1828, died unmarried Sept. 20, 1895, and was buried at Hain's Church, in the old churchyard. The parents are also buried in the old churchyard, there being no cemetery when they died.

(III) Peter Peifer, son of Martin, was born in Heidelberg township, Berks county, April 17, 1840. He Picture of Peter Pfeiferlived with and worked for his father until he was thirty years of age, in 1870 beginning to farm one of his father's farms, continuing thus until 1894. On June 21, 1894, he moved to Fritztown, where the year before he had built a nice brick house on the Fritztown road, and there he and his family have since resided. He owns one of the finest farms in Lower Heidelberg township, consisting of 154 acres, well improved with a brick residence which Mr. Peifer erected in 1886, with ten good rooms, double porches, and surrounded by a beautiful large yard. Excellent water is found on the place. He owns in all six farms, a total of 800 acres of valuable land, including the original homestead near Hain's church, consisting of sixty acres; a farm of forty-nine acres near Sinking Spring; a farm of 105 acres near Kulp's Mill in Spring township (which he bough from his son Robert L.); another of 187 acres in the same township; and he bought the old Marshall homestead in Spring township, consisting of 125 acres at the Cacoosing. He also owns the Hain's Woolen Mills, located one and one-half miles back of Wernersville, with one of the best water-powers in the country. The buildings are of brick, three stories high, 30X60 feet. Mr. Peifer is one of the most substantial and successful farmer in his section. He has, however, not confined his real estate investments to farms, also owning six dwellings in Fritztown, which he rents. He has 100 acres of woodland. In politics Mr. Peifer is an ardent Democrat, firmly believing in the old Jacksonian principles. He is a firm adherent to Free Trade doctrines, and delights in tariff discussion, believing in a constitutional tariff which no President need fear to sign. He is well informed, and skilled in argument. He is a Reformed member of Hain's Church, and has a fine lot there.

On Oct. 19, 1869, Mr. Peifer was married to Mary Hassler, born Dec. 10, 1838, daughter of Benjamin and Sophia (Ebling) Hassler, the former a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township. Her paternal grandfather was John Hassler. Three children have been born to them, namely: (1) Robert L. is mentioned below. (2) Hannah E., born Jan. 30, 1874, married Frank N. Brown, of Fritztown. (3) Jefferson D., born Oct. 28, 1881, is at home.

(IV) Robert L. Peifer of Brookside, engaged in the coal and feed business, was born in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county, Sept. 4, 1870, son of Peter and Mary (Hassler) Peifer. He attended the public schools of his native township and then was employed with his father, and afterward farmed for himself on his father's farms in Spring township. Later he went to Sinking Spring, where he bought the Sharman farm of forty-nine acres, upon which he farmed two years. He then went on his father's farm in Lower Heidelberg township for one year; then went to Spring township and bough one of Eli Reigel's farms, near Kulp's Mill, of 105 acres, and remained there until he came to his present place of business, in November, 1908. Mr. Peifer built a brick warehouse 30 by40 feet, three stories high, and is located at Angelica and Good streets, where he does a wholesale and retail business. He has one of the best equipped plants in Pennsylvania, with every facility for transferring the coal from the cars to the wagons by machinery; a shovel is never needed except to correct the weight on the scale. The plant cost about two thousand dollars.

Mr. Peifer married Louisa Fry, daughter of Eli Fry, of Spring township, and has the following children: Martin, Hannah (living with her grandfather Peifer), Emma, Peter and Jay. Mr. Peifer is a Democrat and a member of Hain's Church.


p. 860


George N. Peifer, of Sinking Spring, is descended from (I) Frantz Peifer, who was a farmer in the town of Marienberg, about two hours from Hachenburg, Nassau, German. He married Elizabeth Kessler, and they had children: Gerhart, Christ, Frantz, Martin, Barbara and Elizabeth.

(II) Gerhart Peifer, son of Frantz, was born in Germany on his father's farm Sept. 28, 1782. He married Catharine Miller, daughter of Johannnes Miller, and they all came to America in 1818. The Miller family possessed some means, and paid Gerhart Peifer's passage. They settled at Sinking Spring, in Berks county, Pa., where the remainder of their lives was passed. Gerhart Peifer was a carpenter, and worked at his trade for some time. He died May 17, 1845, at the age of sixty-two years, seven months. The children born to Gerhart and Catharine (Miller) Peifer were: Mathias, Daniel, Gerhart, Catharine (m. John Luft) and Harriet (m. John D. Whittich).

(III) Mathias Peifer, son of Gerhart, was born in Germany Jan 25, 1804, and died in Berks country, Pa., July 8, 1884, aged eighty years, five months, thirteen days. He accompanied his parents to America, landing first at Baltimore, Md. By trade he was a blacksmith, and he was the first blacksmith at Sinking Spring, becoming one of the must esteemed citizens of that place. In politics he was a stanch Republican, and kept well informed on public affairs. He owned his own home, and at his death was comfortably well off. He married Maria Neff (daughter of George Neff, of Lancaster county), born Oct. 17, 18009, died Jan. 3, 1888, aged seventy-eight years, two months, sixteen days. Both she and her husband are buried in the United Brethren cemetery at Sinking Spring. Their children were: John died young; Susan m. George Wittich, of Reading; Mary m. Daniel Bitler; Daniel N. is mentioned below; George N. is mentioned below; Reuben died young; Sarah m. Benjamin Weidman; Lizzie m. A. I. Noll.

(IV) Daniel N. Peifer, J. R., son of Mathias, was born at Sinking Spring, and attended the local schools. On Oct. 27, 1862, he enlisted for service in the Union army, becoming a member of Company E, 167th P. V. I., and at the end of his nine months' term of enlistment was discharged at Reading Aug. 12, 1863. For three terms he served as justice of the peace in Spring township, and on his removal to Mohnton was for four years a notary public. In 1905 he was elected justice of the peace, and is still serving in that office. By his first marriage, with Sarah Bollman, who died during his service in the army, had had two children, Reuben and Sallie, both of whom are deceased. Mr. Peifer married (second) Mary A. Mohn, daughter of Benjamin and Harriet (Deeds) Mohn. They have no children. In politics Squire Peifer is a Democrat.

(IV) George N. Peifer, son of Mathias, was born in Singing Spring, Pa., Oct. 19, 1838, and in that locality has passed his entire life. His early education was obtained in the old eight-cornered stone school building at the angle of the pike and the Van Reed road. This he attended for ten years, his teachers during that time being John Bush, Daniel Bitler and Henry Stetler. At the age of seventeen he began to learn the blacksmith's trade under his father, and this trade, in connection with coach-making, he followed for a quarter of a century. This blacksmith shop, the oldest business stand in the village, stood half way I the road, and was the first building in Sinking Spring within the recollection of the oldest settlers. Mr. Peifer was successful, and as his business constantly grew he was obliged to employ others to assist him, part of the time having as many as ten men. In 1887 he retired from business, and has since devoted himself to the cultivation of his fine farm of forty acres. He resides on main street, in the center of the village.

Mr. Peifer is prominent in Republican circles. He was his party's candidate for recorder of deeds in 1906, and was defeated by only a small majority. He has been committeeman of Spring township since 1897, and he has been delegate to many conventions. At the present time he is serving as roadmaster. For some years he held the offices of register and assessor. Fraternally he is a member of Knight of Pythias Lodge No. 155 (in which he is district deputy of the Fourth district of Berks county) and of P. O. S. of A. Comp No. 282. Mr. Peifer has the honor of having been the first chancellor commander of the K. P. lodge, the first president of P. O. S. of A. camp, and the first noble chief of the K. G. E. castle in his village. He was also the first presiding officer of the Brotherhood of the Union, which was active some years ago. He has represented all of his lodges in the Grand Lodges of the State.

On Sept. 30, 1858, Mr. Peifer married Hettie Sharman, born Feb. 23, 1841, daughter of Isaac and Sarah (Hartranft) Sharman. To this union have been born three sons and two daughters: John S., street commissioner of Reading, m. Ida Werner; George S., of Reading, a clerk for the Reading Railway Company, m. Mary Miller; Sallie m. George Werner, of Reading; Lizzie m. George Coneauff, a blacksmith, formerly of Lancaster county, now of Sinking Spring; Daniel M. died young.


p. 1065


Charles S. Peiffer, one of Marion township's leading business men, who is engaged in the manufacture of cigars at Stouchsburg, was born at Mount Aetna, Pa., Jan. 13, 1878, son of Adam T. and Emma S. (Snyder) Peiffer.

Jacob Peiffer, also known as Johan Jacob, the progenitor of this large family of western Berks county, was born May 1, 1730, and died May 21, 1798, on his farm. His name appears among the taxable residents of the Tulpehocken section of 1759, he paying a tax of three pounds in that year. His wife, Margaretta, was born Nov. 28, 17--, and died in Feb. 2, 1792. Jacob Peiffer's will, which was made ten days prior to his death, is on record in Will Book A, page 378. His children were: Philip, George, Margaretha, Anna Maria and Heinrich; the latter two being under age when their father died, Simon Riegel was appointed their guardian. Philip and George Peiffer were the executors of their father's estate. Philip Peiffer was born June 4, 1769, and died Feb. 7, 1850. He married (first) Margaretha Miller, and (second) Catherine Kreiger, and had a son Philip (1802-1874, who m. Elizabeth Seibert, Johann George Peiffer was born Aug. 24, 1771, and died April 18, 1925.

Heinrich Peiffer, great-grandfather of Charles S., was born Jan. 6, 1782, and died April 10, 1847). He was a farmer of Marion township, and is buried in the old burial ground at Tulpehocken Church. Mr. Peiffer married Maria Riehl, born Oct. 12, 1777, died Jan. 16, 1837. They had children: Henry, born Sept. 25, 1804, died Sept. 7, 1867, m. Elizabeth Battorf (1807-1894), and Samuel.

Samuel Peiffer, grandfather of Charles S., was born Dec. 25, 1807, and died Dec. 13, 1888, and is buried at Tulpehocken Reformed Church. He followed the shoemaking trade in Marion township for forty years. His wife, Catherine Loose, born Feb. 18, 1821, daughter of John and Magdalena (Fisher) Loose, died in March, 1885. They had three children: Cecelia, who died aged five years; Samuel H., and Adam T.

Adam T. Peiffer was born on his father's farm in Marion township, Nov. 12, 1853, and worked thereon until sixteen years of age, when he learned the trade of saddler. He then resumed his work upon the farm, where he continued until thirty-four years of age, and in 1885 went to Stouchsburg, and has resided there to the present time. One year after locating in that town he learned the trade of cigar making, and since March, 1903, he has been interested in the business with his son. Mr. Peiffer is an active Democrat, and since 1882 has filled the office of clerk of Marion township, being elected on numerous occasions without opposition. He was committee man of his district for three years, and has been a delegate to numerous county conventions. Fraternally he is connected with the Ancient Order of Good Fellows No. 42, of Stouchsburg; Camp No. 237, P. O. S. of A.; and Mrs. Peiffer is connected with the Ladies' branch of the Patriotic Order of Americans of Stouchsburg. Mrs. Peiffer has in her possession an ordinary walnut table, 34 X 48 inches in dimensions, which she obtained from her father, who bought it at Peter Snyder's sale for twenty-five cents, this sale occurring at the time of the remodelling of Reith's Church. This table, which was originally donated by one of the Reiths, was used as altar and communion table at the first communion services in the church, and later for thirty years was used by old Jacob Reith. This valuable old relic is 179 years old (1909) and a large sum has been offered Mrs. Peiffer for it. Mr. and Mrs. Peiffer are members of Tulpehocken (Welker's) Reformed Church, of which Mr. Peiffer was a deacon for three years. On Jan. 20, 1877, Mr. Peiffer married Emma S. Snyder, daughter of Aaron and Lovina (Lebo) Snyder, the former of whom was a justice of the peace for thirty years. One son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Peiffer, Charles S.

Charles S. Peiffer was still an infant when his parents removed to Marion township and settled near the Rev. Thomas Leinbach's estate, where he spent eight years of his boyhood, and at the end of that time came with his parents to Stouchsburg, where he attended the public schools. He learned the trade of cigar making when sixteen years of age, and worked at the bench until March 4, 1903, when he engaged in the business of his own account, and now employs fourteen hands. Most of his product is disposed of to jobbers, but in addition to this he has an excellent local trade, all of his goods being hand made. He manufactures the famous "Davy Campbell," named after Davy Campbell, a Civil war veteran, who participated in twenty-six engagements. This brave old soldier was very popular in Stouchsburg, and was an intimate friend of Mr. Peiffer. The cigar at once sprung into prominence and is now one of the best sellers in Berks county. Mr. Peiffer is prominently identified with the Patriotic Order Sons of America, and he was president of the third district of Berks county in 1903. He is a member of Camp N. 237, P. O. S. of A., at Stouchsburg, in which he has passed through the chairs; is a past grand of the Ancient Order of Good Fellows, No. 42, of Stouchsburg; and a member of Myerstown Lodge, I. O. O. F. He is an active Democrat in politics, and has held a number of township offices. He attends the Tulpehocken Reformed Church.


p. 1313


Jacob S. Peipher, the proprietor of the Reading Scale and Machine Works, is a man of wide reputation in his line in Reading and that vicinity. In a section where large manufacturing concerns are so numerous a machine and repairing establishment of proved reliability is of the highest importance, the field being a profitable one and the business a valuable accommodation to the local factories. Mr. Peipher has been engaged as a machinist practically all his life. He was born in Reading Dec. 4, 1852, son of Jacob and Susan (Kissinger) Peipher, who had a family of six children, four of whom lived to maturity, namely: Mary A., wife of George Market; Jacob S.; Rosie, who was killed at Reading, on the Gravity Railroad; and Adam, a barber, who is also deceased. The father was identified with the lumber trade, having been manager of Fasig's lumber yard, in Reading. He died in February, 1861, and the mother is still living. Mr. Peipher was a member of the Reformed Church.

Jacob S. Peipher received a grammar school education in Reading, and after leaving school, began work in the humble capacity of tow-boy on the canal. Later he sold Philadelphia and New York papers, and he also drove a horse and cart for some time, during the Civil war. Then, at the age of sixteen, he commenced to learn the machinist's trade, which he completed when twenty years old, after which he worked as a journeyman at the Reading Foundry and for Mellert & Company. Since leaving their employ he has been in business for himself. His first location was on Spruce street, whence he moved to Court street, and later for a time was at Cherry and Carpenter streets. In 1889 the business in which he is now interested was founded, Mr. Peipher and three other men associating under the name of the Reading Scale and Machine Company, Limited. At present Mr. Peipher is the sole owner. He does an extensive business in the iron foundry and machine shops, manufacturing scales, engines, shafts, pulleys, hanger, plumbers' supplies, boilers, tanks, stacks, and similar products, and turning out castings of every description. In addition to manufacturing, he maintains a completely equipped repair department, and he also carries a line of belting, pumps and governors. Seventy hands are employed at the plant, which is located at the northwest corner of Front and Chestnut streets, in Reading. An excellent trade has been built up in the various lines named, the firm having high standing throughout this section of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Peipher married Sarah Fritz, daughter of Michael Fritz, and the have had three children, Mamie, Edwin and William. Mr. Peipher is a Mason in fraternal connection, belonging to Teutonia Lodge, No. 367, and he is a member of the Junior Fired Company of Reading.


p. 533


Edward Pengelly, one of the substantial men of Reading, senior member of the printing firm of Edward Pengelly & Brother, was born in 1856, in Cornwall, England, son of Michael and Frances (Merrifield) Pengelly.

Michael Pengelly came to America in 1866, having previously worked as a minor in Chile, South America, for six years. He died in Nevada City, Cal., in 1867. His widow came to America in 1873, with two sons and two daughters, namely: Emily, Edward, Harriet and James H. In religious belief the family are Methodists.

Edward Pengelly was seventeen years old when he accompanied his mother to America, locating in Reading, Pa. Ten days later, Oct. 13, 1873, he entered the office of the Reading Eagle as an apprentice, where he worked until 1880, when he was engaged as a compositor on the Reading News, where he continued for six years, or until it suspended. Mr. Pengelly then went West and for a time worked at Butte City, Montana, and later at Centerville, a suburb of Butte, where he was foreman for six months of the Mining Journal under Mr. Penrose, who was later murdered. He then returned to Reading, and, in company with five other practical printers, started the Daily Telegram, retaining his interest for four years, when he sold out and entered into partnership with Adam G. Harner in book and job printing. They began business under the name of Harner & Pengelly, and the partnership lasted until 1899. On May 10th of that year the present firm was organized, under the name of Edward Pengelly & Brother, and they control a fair share of the better class of the printing trade of Reading.

In 1893 Mr. Pengelly was married to Emma G. Boyer, daughter of Alvin N. Boyer, and they have one daughter, Frances Merrifield. In 1884 Mr. Pengelly became identified with the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of St. John's Lodge, No. 435. He belongs also to Mount Penn Lodge, I. O. O. F. In politics he is independent. In 1902 Mr. Pengelly enjoyed a pleasant visit to his old home in England.


p. 1217


Richard H. Pennebacker, a practical farmer of Spring township, Berks Co., Pa., died at Sinking Spring, Aug. 21, 1908, aged eighty-eight years, four months, three days.

The name Pennebacker is sometimes spelled Pennypacker. Samuel Pennebacker, grandfather of Richard H., was a farmer in Schwenkville, Montgomery county, owning the farm that is now the property of ex-Governor Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker. Samuel Pennebacker was a Mennonite. He married and had a large family, among his children being a son, Abraham.

Abraham Pennebacker, son of Samuel, was born at the famous Pennypacker Mills, in Montgomery county, in 1787. He learned the millwright's trade, and this he followed until he was twenty-seven years old. He then came to Berks county, and located in Cumru (now Spring) township, where he came into possession of a good farm of 124 acres by marriage. He also owned another farm of 123 acres, and this he had rented. He was successful, and his neighbors held him in high esteem. He frequently served as juryman and appraiser, and he assisted in laying out many of the Berks county roads. He died Sept. 4, 1848. He married Hannah, daughter of John and Hannah (Pennypacker) Hill. She was a member of the Reformed Church, while her husband, Abraham, was a Mennonite. They had six children: Richard H.; John died, unmarried, aged sixty-three, at the home of his brother, Richard H.; Charles is of Philadelphia; Abraham is of Reading; Mary A. m. the late Joseph G. Huyett, and is now living at Wilmington, Del.; and James H., born Sept. 10, 1837, now living retired at Edison, m. in 1863, Catharine Huyett (born 1841) and has two children-Alice H. (at home) and Cora H. (wife of H. W. Showalter, of New Holland).

Richard H. Pennebacker was born in Spring township (then Cumru) in 1820. He was reared to farming in his youth, and on starting out in life for himself, chose that vocation, and he continued actively engaged along that line until 1886, after which he lived retired. His farm consisted of 124 acres of land along the Wyomissing Creek. For a few years after he gave up work he remained on the farm, and in 1890 he moved to Sinking Spring, where he died from apoplexy. In politics he was a Republican, and in religious connection a member of the United Brethren Church. He married Mary S. Masser, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Steiner) Masser. She still lives at Sinking Spring. The children of this marriage were: Adam M.; Eva A. m Charles W. Zacharias (now deceased), and has a daughter, Mary (m. Rev. Irwin Runk, a United Brethren minister now resident at Harrisburg); and Sallie A. m. H. A. Soder, of Freeland, Luzerne county, and has two children, Alberta and Florence.

Mr. Pennebacker married Mary Elizabeth Luft, daughter of Benjamin B. and Catharine (Bollman) Luft, and they have two children: Mary Catharine m. Irwin A. Dautrich, of Reading, and has two children-Harold Llewellyn and Luke Donald; and Benjamin Luke L., for the last ten years has been a jeweler with the Anderson Jewelry Company. Mr. Pennebacker is a Republican in politics, and has been an active worker for his party in the Fifteenth ward. He is a member of St. Mark's Reformed Church. Socially he belongs to Mt. Penn Lodge No. 65, K. P.; and is a charter member of Camp No. 689, P. O. S. of A., Reading, of which for four years he was the secretary.


p. 396


Few families have contributed to the State of Pennsylvania as many men of sound judgment, wisdom and unselfish patriotism as that founded in America by Hendrick Pannebecker, who was born on or about March 21, 1674. He came to America from Flomborn, a village on the River Rhine, near Worms. There is a reference to him in an account book of Pastorious, on the 3d of 1st month, 1702. About 1699 he married Eve Umstat, daughter of Hans Peter Umstat, of Germantown. They had eight children: Martha, 1706-1761; Adolph, 1708-1789; Peter, 1710-1770; John, 1713-1784 (was prominent in the early days of the Revolution); Jacob, 1715-1752; Henry, 1717-1792; Barbara; and one other daughter who married a Keyser.

Peter Pannebecker, son of the emigrant Hendrick, married Elizabeth Keyser, and they became the parents of a son William.

William Pennebecker, son of Peter and Elizabeth, was born Aug. 26, 1740, and he married Mary Hause. They had a son Jesse.

Jesse Pennebecker, son of William and Mary, was born Feb. 1, 1783. He was a farmer near Keely's Church, Schwenkville, and is buried in the cemetery there. He married (first) Salome Berkey, and among their children were: Jesse B., born in 1820; Amos; and two daughters. His second wife was a Livengood and to this marriage were born: Moses and Elias.

Jesse B. Pannepacker, son of Jesse, was born at Schwenkville, Montgomery Co., Pa., Sept. 23, 1820; he died at his home in Colebrookdale township, Berks county, April 23, 1885, and his remains rest at Fairview cemetery, Boyertown. He was a blacksmith by trade, and for ten years worked in his shop at Eshbach. He then spent eight years in farming at the same place, after which he located in Colebrookdale township, where he had a farm of thirty-eight acres, and this he cultivated from that time on until his retirement. He added twenty-eight acres to his original tract. His industry and good management brought him success, and about eleven years before he died he was able to retire and to pass his last years in the enjoyment of the competency he had earned. As a public-spirited citizen, he was of the front rank. His political principles were those of the Republican party, and he ably filled the offices of school director and tax collector. Like all his family he belonged to St. John's Lutheran Church at Boyertown, and he at various times held all the offices in the gift of the Church. He is buried in the family lot in Fairview cemetery. He married (first) Mary Bechtel, born Oct. 23, 1821, daughter of Gehart (or Gerhart) Bechtel and wife (whose maiden name was Erdman). Both Gehart Bechtel and wife are buried in the Mennonite graveyard at Bally. Mrs. Mary (Bechtel) Pannepacker died Feb. 11, 1878. The only child born to Jesse B. and Mary (Bechtel) Pannepacker was Amos B. Jesse B. Pannepacker married (second) Esther Krause (1819-1905).

Amos B. Pannepacker, son of Jesse B., was born at Eshbach Corner, in Washington township, Berks county, Oct. 26, 1843. He attended the old pay school held in a spring house at Eschbach, on the John Reidenauer farm. The teachers were a Mr. Siegenfuse and Mr. John Trollinger. Later he attended a public school. He gave his services to his parents on the home farm until he attained his majority, and continued working for his father after that time until he was twenty-eight. After his marriage he began farming for himself in Colebrookdale township, two miles from Boyertown, on one of his father's farms. This continued to be his home until 1882, when he rented the farm of seventy-five acres. The farm on which he now lives he purchased in 1894. It consists of 110 acres of fertile land, and is improved with substantial buildings, part of which Mr. Pannepacker himself erected. He is one of the heavy taxpayers of the township. Besides his farm he is interested in the Clayton Creamery, and is president of the Clayton Creamery Association. This Creamery averages about five thousand pounds of milk daily the year round. He is also interested in the Boyertown Candy Company, and in a number of different enterprises.

Mr. Pannepacker has been active in local matters as a strong Republican, and for two years he served the township as supervisor. He was township committeeman for a number of years and was delegate to a number of county conventions. He is a member of Christ Lutheran Church, at Niantic, which he has served as deacon and elder, and at the present time is serving as trustee. His wife belongs to the New Mennonite Church at Bally.

On Dec. 24, 1870, Mr. Pannepacker married Annie Clemmer, daughter of John and Susan (Bauer) Clemmer, of Washington township. To this union was born a daughter, Annie, who is now the wife of Ulysses C. Moyer, the farmer on Mr. Pannepacker's farm. They have had two children: Amos H., who died aged two and one-half years; and Rosa.

On Oct. 4, 1877, the anniversary of the battle of Germantown, was held a re-union of the descendants of Hendrick Pannebecker. The site selected was the camp ground occupied by Washington and the Revolutionary army at "Pennypacker's Mills," on the Perkiomen creek. The program on that occasion included an oration by Samuel W. Pennypacker, since Governor of the Commonwealth; a hymn, written by Isaac R. Pennypacker, and adapted to Mennonite music, commemorative of Leonard Keyser, a Mennonite martyr, who was one of the forefathers of the family, to be sung to illustrate the first epoch; the ballad of Washington at Pennypacker's Mills, written by Theodore Winthrop in his novel "Edwin Brothertoft" to be read or sung as an illustration of the Revolutionary epoch; and "Gen. Pennypacker's March," by Pierre Latour, to be played for the present epoch.

The story of Leonard Keyser as given by Van Braght is as follows: "In the year 1527 was the learned and good Leonard Keyser taken and condemned to be burned. As he neared the fire, bound in a cart, he broke off a flower that grew in the field and said to the judges, for they rode along with him, 'If ye can burn this little flower and me, then have ye judged aright; if not, take heed and repent.' Thrice the great fagots were heaped around him at the stake and kindled. Nevertheless when they had burned away, his body was found unmarked save that his hair was singed and his nails were a little brown. Likewise the little flower yet lay in his hand unchanged. Thereupon, the sheriffs cut his body into pieces and cast them into the Inn. But a judge was so moved thereat that he yielded up his office, and one of the sheriffs became a Mennonite brother and ever thereafter lived a pious life."


When Leonard Keyser heard the cries Of grief for martyred dead, And saw the place of sacrifice Whereto his pathway led, He pleaded not, with useless prayer To scorning bigots near, But plucked a flower that bloomed so fair It made the waste more drear.

One flower that had escaped the breath That swept the withered land; God's symbol of a life from death He held it in his hand. "If ye have power," he spake, "this hour With all the fires ye light To burn my body, or this flower, Then have ye done aright."

His eyes upraised saw not the glare Of torch on hooting crowd But far above the fagots' flare A rift within the cloud -A promise sent from God on high That hate should surely fail; No wealth could then His power defy Nor in the end prevail.

We seek not, Lord, to know the spell That wrought Thy will divine, We know Thou doest all things well; The miracle was Thine To cause the bonds to fall, to take From death all trace of pain And mark of fire, and then to make The flower to bloom again.

The fagots' blaze like noontide hours Gave vigor to truth's germ, And tears but seemed the summer showers To make its root more firm. Upon the Inn's dark ebbing tide The martyr's corse was thrown, A witness of his creed he died, A faith his children own.

Upon those waves the good ships bore Truth's fruitage to the sea Whose surges broke upon this shore Of peace and liberty. And Thou, O, God! whose hallowed hand Upheld the troubled sea Whereon our sires sailed to this land, We life our prayers to Thee-

To ask that for these kinsfolk here Thou wilt extend Thy care As when Thou mad'st the rift appear Above the fagots' flare; We thank Thee for Thy blessings given To all this gathered throng, And sing Thy Praises unto Heaven In one triumphant song.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:40 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.