Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 356


George D. Penrose (deceased) was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks Co., Pa., son of Ephraim and Lydia Ann (Smith) Penrose. The Penrose family is a very prominent one in Pennsylvania, of English descent and of Quaker belief.

Ephraim Penrose was a life-long farmer of Maiden-creek township, where he owned and operated a valuable farm. He and his wife were members of the Society of Friends, he belonging to the Hicksite branch, and she to the Orthodox. They had one child, George D.

George D. Penrose was educated in the common schools of Berks county, passed through the high school at Reading, and took an advanced course at Swarthmore College, the great Quaker educational institution which ranks with Yale and Harvard. While he was still a youth he learned telegraphy, and after completing his education he followed it for some years and subsequently became an operator for the Berks & Lehigh Railway Company. In 1883 he accepted a similar position with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, and on promotion was sent to the general office in Philadelphia. He was a young man of marked ability, and continued to find recognition with his employers and became assistant auditor for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company. He was filling this important position at the time of his death, which took place Aug. 2, 1889, as the result of an accident. It had been the custom of himself and wife to spend the summer seasons at Atlantic City, where Mr. Penrose enjoyed the surf bathing, and it was during a season there that he was drowned. This calamity was a source of universal regret to his family, his employers and to a very large circle of friends.

On Oct. 16, 1884, Mr. Penrose was married to Catharine M. Yarrington, daughter of Thomas O. and Catharine S. (Feather) Yarrington, both of English descent. One child was born to this marriage, Edwin Y. In political faith Mr. Penrose was a Republican. Fraternally he was an Odd Fellow.

The Yarringtons came from England early in the 17th century, and were among the earliest settlers in Stonington, Conn. Abel Yarrington, grandfather of Thomas O., left Connecticut in 1770, and settled in Wilkes Barre, Pa., where he established the first ferry across the Susquehanna at that point. He was a soldier in the Revolution. Of his sons, five in number, the third was Luther.

Luther Yarrington, son of Abel, was born in 1776, and died at Wilkes Barre in 1836. He married Hannah Abbot, a descendant of George Abbot. The latter, a native of Yorkshire, England, born in 1615, emigrated to America in 1640, and became one of the founders of Andover, Massachusetts.

Thomas O. Yarrington, son of Luther and Hannah, was reared in Wilkes Barre. He became a civil engineer, and followed that profession for many years. He died June 3, 1905, aged eighty-six years. He married Catharine S. Feather, daughter of William and Margaret (Strohecker) Feather. Mrs. Yarrington died Dec. 7, 1902, the mother of seven children: Abbot died in infancy; William F., of Mauch Chunk, m. Hannah (Dodson) Alsover; Luther A., of Reading, m. Emily McCauley, daughter of the Rev. C. A. McCauley, and had two children-Edith (deceased) and Charles (deceased in November, 1905, aged ten years); Amelia m. George W. Manning, of New York, and has one daughter, Grace Y.; Thomas O., of Reading, m. Emma Heatherington; Catharine M. is Mrs. Penrose; and Margaret m. William H. Albright, a job printer at Reading and has two children-William Y. and Frank Y. The Yarringtons are all members of the Episcopal Church. Peter Feather, great-grandfather of Mrs. Catharine S. (Feather) Yarrington, appeared on the list of taxables in Reading in 1759. Peter Feather, Jr., son of Peter, was born in Reading, and in 1788 he married Margaret Van Kenna, daughter of Balzer and Maria A. (Levan) Van Kenna, and granddaughter of Casper Van Kenna. Maria A. (Levan Van Kenna was born in Exeter in 1730, daughter of Isaac Levan, on of the first settlers.

William Feather, son of Peter, Jr., and Margaret, was born in 1791, and died in 1849. He owned and conducted a tannery at Hamburg, Berks county, at the time of his death. He married Margaret Strohecker, who was born in Reading in 1796, daughter of John and Julianna Strohecker, residents of Reading a century ago. Mrs. Margaret (Strohecker) Feather died at Hamburg in 1874. John Strohecker, Sr., father of John and grandfather of Mrs. Feather, served in the Revolution as first lieutenant, Capt. George Will's Company, Major Hiester's Battalion of Militia, of Berks county, Pa., in service at Newtown, Jan. 2, 1777.


p. 1127


Among the flourishing business concerns of Reading, Pa., is that of Penta & Radnazzo, of No. 44 North Fifth street, dealers in foreign and domestic fruits, nuts, canned goods, etc.

Mr. Radnazzo was born Sept. 4, 1863, near Naples, Italy, and came to this country in 1884, settling in Reading. He married in his native country, Carmella Repucci, and they have three children- Maria Madalena, Maria Giuseppa and Francesco. In their religious belief they are Roman Catholics. Mr. Radnazzo received his naturalization papers in 1890, and is a Republican in politics.

Mr. Penta, who was born Nov. 1, 1860, in Italy, came to America in 1884, and after a short time engaged in business with Mr. Radnazzo. He was married in 1894 to Rosina Runo, and to them have been born three children: Lorenzo A., Michael G. and Giovanni. In religious belief they are Roman Catholics. In 1896 Mr. Penta received his naturalization papers, and like his partner is a Republican.

Messrs. Penta and Radnazzo are among the enterprising business men of Reading. Their place of business is fully stocked with a fine line of foreign and domestic fruits and nuts, canned salmon and other delicacies, and they deal both wholesale and retail. They have an excellent reputation for fair business dealings, and their business in the city is constantly increasing. In addition to the lines above mentioned, they are agents for the Fabie Line and Folly Steamship Company, the Cunard Line, the White Star Line, the Italian Royal Mail Steamship Company, the Anchor Line, the Austrian & American Steamship Company, the Hamburg-American Line, and the La Veloce (Italian Line). They transact a large amount of business for the Italian colony, especially in financial transactions, they being the medium through which much of the money goes to Italy from this city.


p. 1523

Surnames: PEPPER

Harlan N. Pepper, deceased, business man of Reading, who was proprietor of the "White House Lunch Wagon," located in front of the Second National Bank Building, was a native of Massachusetts, born in Southbridge, in 1846, son of Joseph Pepper, originally a shoemaker by trade, who in later years engaged in farming in Massachusetts and died in that State, aged sixty-three years.

Harlan N. Pepper received his education in the public schools of his native state, and when seventeen years of age enlisted in the Civil war, becoming a private in Company F, 51st Mass. Volunteer Infantry. He served nine months, taking part in many important engagements, and after being honorably discharged was employed at one of the large shoe houses of his native place for a period of fifteen years. The next two years he spent traveling for a company in the erection of machines, then removed to Worcester, Mass., for a short time, later going to Providence, R. I., where the next five years of his life were spent. In 1900 Mr. Pepper came to Reading. Erecting a small lunch wagon he began business, his trade increasing so rapidly that he was soon compelled to erect a building for his business, which he enlarged from time to time. The "White House Cafe," as it was known, was largely patronized, remaining open from six o' clock in the evening until six o' clock in the morning. Mr. Pepper was also the owner of a large four-story building, 30 x 30 feet, at Madison avenue and Washington streets, which is occupied as a garage, and in which he had a four and one-half horse power motor. Mr. Pepper resided at No. 422 Washington street. He died Feb. 4, 1909, the last of a large family.

Mr. Pepper was considered a substantial man, and it can be readily seen that he was a self-made one. His success was due to his own energy and enterprise, and his honesty and integrity in business dealings. He was of cheerful and happy disposition, and of great kindness of heart. Besides his own son, Charles, of New York, he reared five other children.


p. 1343


Jacob Peters, of the borough of Mohnton, who engaged in plaster contracting, was born Oct. 30, 1858, in West Earl township, Lancaster county, son of Henry K. and Lydia (Hartman) Peters.

John Michael Peters, the grandfather of Peter, was a native of Ireland, and came to this country when a boy with his sister, his parents being deceased. He located in West Earl township, Lancaster county, and there the remainder of his life was spent in agricultural pursuits. He married Polly Kelly, who died in middle life, and both were buried in Rollans cemetery, near New Holland, Pa. There children were: Isaac, who died while defending his country in the Civil war ; Joseph, who was a farm hand, met an accidental death while working for a Mr. Bare ; John, who died suddenly in Indianapolis, Ind., where he had been successfully engaged in the milling business ; Gibson, a soldier in both the Mexican and Civil wars, who was of a roving disposition and had a wonderful career ; Susanna, who married Henry Swergert, a farmer of Lancaster county ; Elizabeth, who married George Smith, a soldier in the Civil war ; Henry, father of Jacob ; Cornelius, who married Joanna Witzel of Berks county ; and Rev. Lewis, a minister of the United Brethren Church, was a noted pulpit orator, and for many years had been presiding elder. He died in New Holland, Pa., in 1890, aged fifty-four years and is buried at Steelton, Dauphin county. He married a Miss Rand, and they had three children, Dr. Jacob, Dr. Augustus and a daughter.

Henry K. Peters was born in Earl township, Lancaster county, Oct. 16, 1830, and died there May 9, 1882, having been engaged for a number of years in operating a sawmill for Benjamin Schaeffer. Mr. Peters was a highly respected citizen, and all his life was a regular attendant of the United Brethren Church at Hinkletown, Lancaster county. He was twice married, (first) Oct. 4, 1853, to Lydia Harman, born Aug. 4, 1830, who died Sept. 17, 1865, daughter of Daniel Harman. Six children were born to this union: Lemon, born July 29, 1854, married Cecelia Holman ; Herman, born July 19, 1856, married Emma Schaeffer ; Jacob ; Harriet, born April 23, 1860, married William Carpenter, deceased ; Mary Ann, born Dec. 11, 1861, died June 14, 1880 ; and Henry, born Feb. 14, 1864, is a bachelor of Lancaster. Mr. Peters was married (second) to Fannie Dietrich, daughter of George W. Dietrich of Lancaster county, and to them was born one son, Benjamin Franklin.

Jacob Peters was reared to agricultural pursuits, but when sixteen years of age began to learn the trade of plasterer with Jacob Shatz of Lancaster, in whose employ he continued for three years, then connecting himself with J. Madison Dietrich, a contractor of Vogansville, Lancaster county. In 1880 Mr. Peters engaged in business on his own account in Lancaster county, following his trade throughout the country for a period of twelve years and employing an average of six people the year round. On Dec. 12, 1892, he located in Mohnton, and for two years worked for Adam Wentzel of Sinking Spring, a plasterer contractor. In 1895 Mr. Peters re-engaged in business on his own account, doing work in Reading and the surrounding county, and in this he is at present engaged. Himself a thorough mechanic and skilled workman, Mr. peters employs only those who are skilled at the trade, and his staff of workmen comprises twenty mechanics. He has been handling all of the contracts of the Reading Real Estate co. since 1902, this company building from thirty-five to forty-five buildings annually, and he also did the work in forty-five houses erected by Mertz & Christman of Reading in 1905. In 1906 he had the contract for plastering the large Barbey Hall at Hamburg, Pa., and in the fall of that year did the work in J. Dive's summer residence in Cumru township. Politically Mr. Peters is a stalwart Republican, and takes a great interest in public matters. He is a member of the Hill Side Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. In religious belief he and his family are members of Salem Evangelical of Mohnton, and in earlier life Mr. Peters was much interested in Sunday school work, being for a number of years superintendent of the Evangelical Sunday school at Vogansville.

On Nov. 21, 1878, Mr. Peters was married to Dora R. Reitz, born Aug. 1, 1852, in Ossenberg, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, daughter of Baltzer and Caroline (Reitz) Reitz, and to this union there have been born six children: Harry C., born July 24, 1879, married Ada Shirk, of Mohnton ; Caroline R., born Dec. 4, 1882, married Frank R. Good, of Lancaster county ; Lizzie R., born April 2, 1883, married Irwin R. Mosser, of Mohnton ; George W., born June 26, 1884, married Stella Hittle, of Boyertown ; Lydia, born March 8, 1886 ; and Chester A., born Sept. 14, 1888.


p. 709


Charles S. Phillips, M. D., physician and pharmacist, located at No. 1342 North Eleventh street, Reading, was born July 2, 1849, at Womelsdorf, Pa., son of Charles S. and Eliza (Stephen) Phillips.

Solomon Phillips, the ancestor of the Phillips family, came to America in the ship "Phoenix," which arrived at Philadelphia, Aug. 28, 1750. He lived to a ripe old age and reared a large family, two of his sons being Michael and Heinrich (The latter the direct ancestor of Dr. Phillips).

Heinrich Phillips resided near Belleman's Church, where he and his wife Esther (Mogel) Phillips, lie buried. They reared children as follows: Peter, Jacob, John, Samuel, John Adam and several daughters.

Peter Phillips, grandfather of Dr. Phillips, was a farmer near Belleman's Church in what is now Centre township, Berks county, where he was born, and both he and his wife are buried in the old graveyard near that church. He was accidentally drowned at Lenhart's Dam. He married Maria Catherina Schwalm, and their children were: Magdalena, born Dec. 22, 1809 ; Anna Maria, Dec. 19, 1812 ; Charles S., Sept. 19, 1813 ; Peter, Aug. 20, 1815 ; Esther, Aug. 27, 1817 (m. John Richard) ; Catherine, Jan. 31, 1820 (m. (first) William Schwenk, (second) George Eyrick and (third) Daniel Rhein) ; John, June 24, 1822 ; Caroline, Oct. 2, 1824 ; Rebecca, April 9, 1827 ; Reuben Oct. 18, 1831, and Franklin, Dec. 3, 1835. Of these Catherine and Franklin still survive.

Charles S. Phillips, father of Dr. Phillips, was born Sept. 19, 1813, in what is now Centre township, and died near Reading on his farm, in 1896. He is buried at the Ontelaunee Church. He dealt extensively in horses and the business was very lucrative before the days of railroads. He was also a veterinary surgeon for many years. He married Eliza Stephen, who was residing with her son, Dr. Phillips, at the time of her death, and she rests in the Womelsdorf cemetery. They had the following children: Walker and Charles S., both professional men at Reading ; Francis, residing at Philadelphia ; George, a physician practicing at Womelsdorf ; and John, a prospector and miner, now residing in Central America, but formerly for many years of California.

Until he was twelve years of age, Dr. Charles S. Phillips lived at Womelsdorf, but in 1861 he accompanied his parents to Lebanon, where he attended school. In 1864 he went to Washington City and was in the employ of the Government as a hospital steward, remaining there until Christmas morning, 1864, when he returned to Lebanon.

In 1876, Dr. Phillips was married to Fate Fehafer, a daughter of Michael and Sarah (Geiger) Fehafer, and to this union has been born sixteen children, ten of whom are buried in the family lot at Womelsdorf, namely: Anna m. to J. W. Gramm ; Stella, who died young ; Charles, residing at Port Kennedy, Pa. ; Maud and Walker, twins, the latter of whom died in infancy ; Agnes, who died in infancy ; Francis, residing at Reading ; John and Louisa, who both died young ; Emma ; George and David, twins, who both died young ; Crissie, who died young ; Edith, residing at home ; and Grant and Ernest, both of whom died young. Dr. Phillips and family belong to the Reformed Church. In politics he is identified with the policies of the Republican party, but he has never consented to hold political office. He is a member of Ashland Lodge, No. 294, F. & A. M., and Griscom Chapter, No. 219 Royal Arch Masons.


p. 1514


Frank Phillips, of Reading, was born Dec. 26, 1864, at Avondale, Chester county, Pa., a son of Chalkley and Emma (Taylor) Phillips.

Mr. Phillips belongs to an old and honorable family of Chester county. His great-grandparents were John and Mary (Davis) Phillips and they had the following children: Sarah married Breese Lyons ; Lavinia married Joseph Colum ; Margaret married William Reyser ; Mary is unmarried ; George married Susan Meyers ; and Thomas.

Thomas Phillips, grandfather of Frank, was born at Wilmington, Del,. in 1810. When he was seven years of age his parents moved to Malvern, Pa., where he later learned the blacksmith's trade and was there engaged in business until he removed to a farm that he bought in the vicinity of Avondale, on which he resided until his death, in 1889. He married Edith Chandler and they had the following children: Phebe, who married Edwin Conard, had four children, Everard, Thomas, Emma and Mary L. ; John, who married Sarah Grey, had five children Matilda, Thomas, Laura, Ella and Ada ; Mary, who married Elwood Hallowell, had four children, Joseph, Annie, Edward and Bertha ; Hannah died in infancy ; Chandler, who married Mary A. Watson, had one child, Florence E. ; Annie, who married C. C. Hallowell, had three children Flora, Edith and Josephine ; Margaret, who married H. C. Greenfield, has one daughter, Ida M. ; Lydia P., who married Morris Watson, has two children, Mary E. and Wilmer P. ; and Chalkley, who married Emma Taylor, has four children, Frank, Eugene, Charles and Leona.

Chalkley Phillips, father of Frank, was born at Avondale, Chester county, Pa., March 26, 1840. During his life spent in Chester county, he engaged in farming, owning one farm of 100 acres, in Franklin township, and a second one of forty-five acres in London, Brittain township. For four years he conducted a hotel at Krebsville and then engaged in different lines of business until 1895, when he came to Reading, where he now lives retired. He married Emma, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret Taylor, of near Newark, Delaware.

Frank Phillips attended the public schools, the New London Academy, at New London, the Shortledge Boarding School and the West Chester State Normal School. He then went to St. Louis, Mo., where he entered the employ of an uncle, a very prominent citizen there, a large contractor and former mayor. Mr. Phillips remained there until 1884, when he went to Texas and became a cowboy on a large ranch, and when he tired of that life he returned to Chester county and followed farming on his father's farm in Franklin township. After a time he embarked in a livery business at Kennett Square, which he conducted for four years, and from that went into the hotel business and conducted a hotel at Delaware City, Del., meeting with success in this line which he subsequently followed at Elkins, Md., Harrisburg, Pa., where he operated the "Park Hotel, " the "Three-Mile House," at Shillington, Berks county, and then bought the "Cecil Hotel," in New York City. After conducting the latter for three years he sold out and then took charge of the "Imperial Hotel," at Phillipsburg, N. J., going from there to the "Cross Keys Hotel," at Doylestown, which, for 150 years has been a licensed hotel. Mr. Phillips then became proprietor of the "Surf House," at Surf City, N. J., which is the most easterly point on the Atlantic coast.

After this long experience, Mr. Phillips came to Reading and on April 1, 1908, became proprietor of the "Colonial Cafe," Penn Square, which under his management, has proved a money-maker. It is equipped with modern comforts and is conducted along the most approved lines.

Mr. Phillips married Bessie Behm, who is a daughter of William and Ella Behm, and they have two children: Ruth V. and Norwood V.


p. 1068


Irwin Y. Phillips, a representative agriculturalist of Berks county, Pa., who is carrying on operations on his seventy-acre tract in Cumru township, about four and one-half miles from the city of Reading, was born March 13, 1866, in Bern township, Berks county, son of Reuben G. and Mary (Yoder) Phillips.

Solomon Phillips, the progenitor of the family in America, came to this country in the ship "Phoenix," Capt. John Mason, which arrived at Philadelphia, PA., Aug. 28, 1750, he being the only Phillips in the 339 passengers. He settled in Bern (now Centre) township, where many of the name now reside, and lived to advanced years, as did his son, Michael. Michael's son, John H. Phillips, who attained the age of 105 years, had a son, Jacob, who died when ninety-two years old, the latter being the great-grandfather of Irwin Y.

Henry B. Phillips, son of Jacob, was a lifelong resident of Centre township, where he followed the trade of stone mason in early life and farming in his latter years, owning two large farms of 133 and 129 acres, respectively. He was a stanch Democrat in politics, was public-spirited to a high degree, and was often called upon to act as delegate to county conventions. He was a Lutheran member of Belleman's Union Church, in which he was a deacon and elder. He married Hannah Geschwindt, sister of Henry Geschwindt, and they had eight children, namely: Nathaniel G., Reuben G., Levi G., Mrs. Reuben Ludwig, David G., Henry G., Mrs. Henry Christ and Mrs. Joseph Althouse.

Reuben G. Phillips was born Aug. 27, 1838, on the Phillips homestead in Centre township, and from 1885 until his retirement, in 1897, lived on his ninety-two-acre farm in Lower Heidelberg township. He now lives in his residence at Wernersville, where he and his wife attend Sinking Spring Lutheran Church, of which he is an official member. In politics he is a Democrat. Mr. Phillips married Mary Yoder, a daughter of Frederick and Mary (Shartle) Yoder, and to them there were born five children: Clara m. Henry Huyett; Sallie m. Webster Potteiger; Irwin Y.; Katie m. Charles Miller; and Frederick m. Annie Hornberger.

Irwin Y. Phillips was educated in the Bern township and Lower Heidelberg schools, which he attended until twenty-one years of age, and he then went out to Sac county, Iowa, working on a farm there for one year. In 1890 Mr. Phillips began farming for himself on what is known as the Maccabees farm, near Shillington, but after two years removed to the Endlich farm in Alsace township. In 1899 he purchased the Benneville M. Gaul farm in Cumru township, and here he has since made his home. He cultivates seventy acres of land, and keeps a fine herd of cows, running a milk wagon daily to Reading, about four and one-half miles distant. Mr. Phillips uses the latest makes of machinery, and his property is considered one of the finest of its size in the community. In political matters he is a Democrat, and fraternally he is connected with the Maccabees. He and his wife are Lutheran members of St. John's Church of Mohnsville.

In the year 1889, Mr. Phillips married Deborah Kalbach, born Feb 21, 1865, daughter of Harrison and Sarah (Gerhart) Kalbach, farming people of Bern township. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Phillips: Laura M., born Oct. 25, 1889; Annie I., March 5, 1891; Irwin, March 14, 1893; Wayne H., Jan. 22, 1898; Amly Ruth, Dec. 3, 1907 (died July 19, 1908); and Deborah, Dec. 22, 1908.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:41 EDT

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