Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1602


Andrew J. Potts, residing on a farm near Douglassville, is a native of Union township, Berks Co., Pa., born March 27, 1841.

The Potts family is a very old one in Berks county. The towns of Pottstown and Pottsville in Montgomery and Schuylkill counties, respectively, perpetuate the name. The early history of the family is most difficult to trace. One David Potts, Jr., lived in Douglass township and he had daughters, Ruth, Martha and Anna (m. John Ellis). He also had a sister, Rebecca (m. John Baird). A Pott or Potts family in Berks county had its origin in a Hessian soldier, who after the American Revolution lived in Heidelberg township, in the mountains.

Edward Potts, Jr., grandfather of Andrew J., was born in Berks county, Oct. 8, 1776, and died at the home of his daughter Julian in Union township Aug. 27, 1856. He was a farmer and made frequent trips by team to Philadelphia with grain, produce, etc., bringing back on his return trip all sorts of merchandise. He married Maria Magdalena Leawren, born July 17, 1781, daughter of Jacob and Margareta Leawren. She died Jan. 9, 1849, and both she and her husband are buried at Amityville on the south side, second row from west wall (Tablets). They had nine children: Julian m. David Schrack; Maria born March 25, 1805. m. William Reed, and died Aug: 1, 1882; Charlotte, born July 22, 1812, died unmarried April, 29, 1853; Eliza died unmarried; William, born Oct. 13, 1811, lived at Monocacy and was killed Oct. 14, 1870, on the railroad: Lewis, born June 21, 1814, died Feb. 28, 1889, lived at Monocacy; Jacob, born April 4, 1818, lived at Monocacy Hill, and died July 29, 1851; David, born Oct. 13, 1820, died July 19, 1843; and Amos. Maria, Charlotte, Jacob and David are buried on the same lot with their parents (Tablets). Edward Potts. Jr., made his last will and testament Aug. 23, 1853, and it is recorded in Will Book 10, page 344. The executor was his son-in-law David Schrack. At the time of making the will he lived in Amity township, where He owned a farm.

Amos Potts, son of Edward, Jr., and father of Andrew J., was born at 8:00 A. M., July 4, 1808, in the sign of the Scorpion, in Pottstown township, Montgomery county, and was baptized at the same place Sept. 16, 1808, by the Rev. Frederick William Geisenheiner. He was a farmer in Amity township, where he owned and operated the farm until lately the property of his son Andrew J. This farm He purchased in 1843, later selling it to his son, who on Dec. 28, 1901, presented it to his daughter, Emma J. Mr. Amos Potts built the present set of buildings on this farm. He was confirmed a member of the Evangelical Lutheran church at Amityville April 28, 1827, by Rev. Conrad Miller, pastor, and held the offices of deacon and elder. He was a school director and interested in the public affairs of his township. About the year 1833 he married Sarah Reifsnyder, born May 12, 1810, daughter of Samuel and Mary Reifsnyder. She died Aug. 26, 1846, and is buried on the south side of the Amityville church, near the gate (Tablet). To this union were born : Henry F., born March 27, 1836; Mary Ann, born July 16, 1838; William H. and Andrew J., twins; and James K. P. The twins were born March 27, 1841, the fifth birthday anniversary of their elder brother Henry F. Amos Potts married, (second) Nov. 18, 1848, Maria Spies, daughter of Ludwig Spies, born April 2, 1813, in North America, and baptized the same day by the Rev. Mr. Herman. Amos Potts died suddenly Sunday morning, May 19, 1895, and was buried at Amityville Cemetery, Row four, on Ascension Day. He left three children, twelve grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren, all of whom were present at the funeral. Mrs. Maria (Spies) Potts died at the home of her brother Daniel Spies, on Monocacy Hill, Jan. 9, 1899, and was buried beside her husband in Amityville cemetery, Jan. 14th following.

Andrew J. Potts, son of Amos, was born March 27, 1841, and grew to manhood on his father's farm in Amity township, two miles from Douglassville. He made farming his work until 1902 when he retired, and was succeeded by his daughter Emma J. The farm consists of sixty acres. Mr. Potts was one of the organizers of the Mission Manufacturing Company, at No. 74 North Charlotte street, Pottstown. They manufacture paper boxes and do fine printing, employing altogether thirty-five persons, four in the printing department and the others in the box factory. The firm enjoys a large local trade. The company was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania Sept. 24, 1907, and is capitalized at $25,000. Mr. Potts is a stockholder and vice president of the company. In politics he is a Republican. He and his wife are members of Baltzell United Brethren Church of Pottstown, and while a member of Amityville he was trustee of the same denomination for twenty-five years, and for twenty successive years an exhorter. He gave liberally toward the church at Amityville, and is one of the loyal supporters of the church at Pottstown.

On May 20, 1869, Mr. Potts was married by the Rev. C. T. Poulton, to Willemine Spies, born in Amity township July 20, 1849, baptized Nov. 18, 1849, by Rev. George Miller. She is a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Stapleton) Spies, of Amity township, and granddaughter of Ludwig and Mary (Reifsnyder) Spies, the former a merchant at Weaverstown.

Emma J. Potts, daughter of Andrew J. and Willemine (Spies) Potts, was born at Douglassville, Pa., Feb. 25, 1870, and was baptized in August, 1874, by the Rev. A. H. Kauffman. On March 21, 1905 (the twenty-seventh birthday anniversary of her brother Wilmer S.), she married George W. Kessel, son of Ferdinand Kessel (of Wurtemberg, Germany), the ceremony being performed at Pottstown, Pa., by Rev. L. K. Evans, D. D., pastor of Trinity Reformed Church. Mr. Kessel was born at the foot of Monocacy Hill in Amity township Sept. 6, 1880. They have a son Herbert, born April 20, 1906.

Wilmer S. Potts, son of Andrew J. and Willemine (Spies) Potts, was born at Douglassville, Pa., March 21, 1878, and was baptized July 21, 1878. by Rev. A. H. Kauffman. He acquired a common school education in the township schools. On Jan. 22, 1895, he began the study of telegraphy in the Philadelphia & Reading Station at Douglassville, and in July of the following year qualified as an efficient operator and is at present a commercial telegrapher in Pottstown, Pa. Mr. Potts was one of the original members of the Citizens Band of Douglassville, which was organized Oct. 18, 1903, and had a successful career of several years. Mr. Potts played the bass drum. On Wednesday, May 23, 1906, at 12 o'clock noon, Mr. Potts was united in marriage to Miss Ruth Kephart, daughter of Jonathan and Martha Kephart, at her home No. 74 South Charlotte street, Pottstown, by Rev. O. P. Smith, D. D., pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration. On Sunday morning Sept. 8, 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Potts were admitted into full membership of the Temple M. E. Church in North Coventry township, Chester Co., Pa., by Rev. John Flint, pastor. Mr. Potts is the historian of the Potts and Spies families.


p. 797


Howard Jewell Potts, secretary and treasurer of the General Advertising Company at Reading (manufacturers of enameloid art signs), was born March 18, 1864, at Philadelphia, Pa., and received his education in the local schools until he reached the age of seventeen years. He then entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a clerk, and he continued to fill that position at Philadelphia until 1885, when his proficiency won his promotion to chief clerk to the Superintendent of the Pennsylvania-Schuylkill Valley Railroad at Reading, shortly after the railroad was opened to that point for traffic. He then removed to Reading and filled this important position to the great satisfaction of his superior officers until August, 1903, when he resigned for the purpose of engaging in the manufacturing business. He had assisted in organizing the General Advertising Company in 1901, and had served as one of its directors. Upon resigning the chief-clerkship mentioned, he was elected secretary and treasurer of the company, and for the past six years has devoted all his time to the development of its increasing business, with trading relations extending to all parts of the United States.

In appreciation of his superior business character, Mr. Potts was selected as one of the directors of the Farmers' National Bank of Reading. He was one of the original members of the Wyomissing Club, and also of the Berkshire Country Club, continuing an active member of both of these prominent social organizations until the present time.

In 1896 Mr. Potts was married to Sarah Hunter Eckert, daughter of George B. Eckert, a prominent iron manufacturer and banker at Reading for nearly thirty years until his decease in 1899. They have three children: Mary, George and Amelia.

His father was Howard Jewell Potts, of Germantown, Pa., where he was brought up and educated. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1872. He died in 1890, aged fifty-one years. He was married to Amelia Maples, daughter of Thomas Maples, of London, England, where she was born in 1840. They had five children: Matilda, Howard Jewell, Hiram (m. to Sallie Crozer Griffith), William (who died in 1895, aged twenty-three years), and Allan.

Mr. Potts's grandfather was William Potts, of Burlington, N. J., where he was born July 13, 1792. He died in 1857. In 1827 he married Elizabeth Tyler, who was born at Philadelphia in 1804, and who died in 1851.

His great-grandfather was Thomas Potts, born in 1761, at Burlington, N. J., and died in 1824. He was married to Sarah Van Sciver in 1786.


p. 845


William Harrison R. Potts (deceased), who was for many years a well-known and prosperous agriculturist and influential citizen of Amity township, Berks county, was born in Union township, Berks county, in 1841, son of Amos and Sarah (Reifsnyder) Potts.

Amos Potts, father of William H. R. was also a farmer of Amity township, where his death occurred in 1895, at the age of eighty-seven years, and that of his wife, Sarah Reifsnyder, in 1846. To Mr. and Mrs. Potts the following children were born; Henry F.; Mary A., married to John Bisbing; Andrew J. and William Harrison R., twins; and James, who is deceased. Amos Potts married (second) Mary Spies, but there were no children born to this union. In religious belief Mr. Potts adhered to the faith of the United Brethren Church. In politics he was a Republican, but it is not known whether he ever held office.

William Harrison R. Potts was reared upon the home farm in Amity township, and he made farming his life work, continuing in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1888. In 1869 he was married to Susan M. Bower, daughter of Daniel Bower, of Amity township. And there were two children born to this union, namely: Tillie B., who died at the age of three years; and Minnie, who married Howard m. Livingood, and has three children: William P., Howard L. and Catherine M. In religious believe Mr. Potts was of the United Brethren Church and his political principles were those of the Republican party. During the Civil war Mr. Potts enlisted in the Union army, in Company G, 175th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, in which regiment he served nine months.


p. 1028


Edward Curtis Price, foreman at the plant of Orr & Sembower, at Millmont, Pa., was born Sept. 24, 1855, at Pottsville, son of Richard M. Price.

Joseph Price, grandfather of Edward C., was born May 8, 1797, and he died April 16, 1873. He married Catherine (Kate) Masser (born Feb. 15, 1806, died Feb. 22, 1884). Abraham Masser, her father, was born April 2, 1779, and his wife, Catherine, Dec. 26, 1781. Their children were: Hannah (Dantrich), Catherine (Price), William, Daniel, Mary (Hartman), David, Magdalena (DeHart), Elizabeth (Fies), Sallie and Benjamin. To Joseph and Catherine (Masser) Price were born the following children: James M., born Sept. 1 1827, died May 8, 1888; Wilhelmina M., born Feb. 2, 1830, died Feb. 22, 1903; Richard M.; Annie E., born Oct. 28, 1834, m. William Spohn, and died April 20, 1894; Amos, born Oct. 15, 1835, m. Louisa Wertz, and lives in Cumru township; Catherine, born June 29, 1837, lives with her daughter in Reading; Israel M., born March 4, 1839, lives retired at Mohnton; and Moses M., born March 1, 1847, died Aug. 24, 1890.

Richard M. Price, son of Joseph, was born Sept. 12, 1832, and died April 3, 1903. He married Lucinda Richards, and they had three children, namely: Edward Curtis; Joseph M., born Aug. 24, 1857; and Charles W., born Aug. 6, 1859.

Edward Curtis Price attended school in Pottsville and Reading, and was only a boy when he began work at the truck business in Bergen, now a part of Jersey City, New Jersey. After a short time there he became a newsboy for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company, and remained in that Company's employ for three years. He then learned the business of boiler-making at Reading with F. J. Obert. After finishing his apprenticeship he continued work there until he had been in that place six years, when he went to Allentown. At the end of two years he went to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was employed seven years as foreman. The next two years he was in Lansing, Mich., in the same capacity. The firm at the latter place sent him to Usal, Mendocino Co., Cal., to put up large boilers for a sawmill. Returning to Lansing he remained but a short time. In 1883 and 1884 he was at Sunbury, Pa. He was badly burned about the face and hands in a gas explosion, March 3, 1888, at Grand Rapids, Mich. In 1892 he came back to Reading, and for about three years was in the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Company. In 1899 he became foreman of the boiler department for Orr & Sembower, with thirty-five men under him, and he is still giving great satisfaction to his employers, showing marked executive ability and a thorough knowledge of the work.

Mr. Price married Elmira Palm, daughter of Lucien Palm, of Reading. They have had children as follows: Charles E., who died aged five years; Richard W., who died aged two years; Edward C. J. R., living at No. 1246 Muhlenberg street, Reading; and Ellen L., who married William Bloch, of Reading. Mr. Price is a Republican, and for four years has been a member of the school board from the Second ward and re-elected for a second term of four years. His fraternal connections are with Aerie No. 66, F. O. E., in which he has passed all the chairs and is now a member of the house committee, and since 1907 has been president of the Mountain Home Association; the Twentieth Century Quakers; Veteran Firemen's Relief Association; Washington Fire Company, and Washington Firemen's Relief Association; the Lincoln Republican Club and Northeastern Republican Club. He has his home at No. 632 Bingaman street, Reading.


p. 698


Henry Price, a well-known contractor and builder of Reading, Pa., residing at No. 810 Franklin street, has been engaged in these lines in this city since 1888. Mr. Price was born Oct. 13, 1846, in Myerstown, Lebanon, Co., Pa., son of William Price, also a native of that county.

William Price was a carpenter by trade, an occupation which he followed throughout a useful life. In 1863 he went to Shelby county, Ill., taking his family with him, and there he continued to ply his trade up to the time of his death, when forty-eight years of age. While there he built one of the finest flour mills in the State for a Mr. Schoefield. He was acquainted with President Abraham Lincoln when the latter was still a law student, and was a witness to the President's assassination. Mr. Price married (first) Lydia Wetzel, who died in her twenty-sixth year. The children of this marriage were: Jonathan, who died when twenty-one years of age; Emma, m. to John Rupp, of Indiana; Henry, our subject; Reuben A., who is engaged in contracting at Reading, and m. to Fannie Kieffer; William, who died when twenty years of age; and one child which died in infancy. William Price m. (second) Leah Anthony, who is still living and makes her home at Myerstown, Lebanon county. She is the mother of three children, namely: Seal, m. to Edward Hecht, of Chicago, Ill.; George, of Myerstown, m. to Annie Holtzman; and Mary, m. to Morris Kreider, of Annville, Lebanon county.

Henry Price attended the schools of Myerstown until fifteen years of age, and then was taught the carpenter's trade by his father. In the early days the work of a carpenter was anything but easy, and Mr. Price and his father often had to travel long distances to reach their work. On one occasion they walked five miles to work and five miles home at night every day, and at this time were working fifteen hours per day. At the time they built the hotel at Tremont, Pa., they had a distance of twenty-one miles to walk twice a week, carrying their tools on their back. Mr. Price secured work at Pottsville, a distance of thirty-eight miles, and this they also walked. Henry Price went with his father to Illinois in 1863, and there remained three years, or until after his father's death, when his step-mother asked him to accompany her to Myerstown. This Mr. Price did, and from Myerstown came direct to Reading, only expecting, however, to remain a short time. After being employed here for a time, Mr. Price decided to make Reading his home, and here he has continued ever since, engaging in business on his own account in 1888, his first job being four fine residences at Tenth and Franklin streets. Among the many buildings erected by Mr. Price may be mentioned the following: the residences of C. D. Moser and S. H. Fulmer; the Schuylkill Valley Bank; Kissinger's Farmers' Market House; Hotel Brighter; the warehouse for the Penn Hardware Company, A. F. Kramer's residence; the James Otto store on Penn street, and the cigar store of Charles Breneiser, at the corner of Seventh and Penn streets, one of the finest in Reading.

In 1871 Mr. Price married Miss Amanda Seidel, daughter of Francis and Catherine (Fisher) Seidel, they have one daughter, Mary, who married Aaron Miller, an employe of the Alexander firm, in the hat business, and has a daughter, Helen, attending school.

Mr. Price is a Republican in politics. He is a Mason of high standing, being a member of Chandler Lodge, No. 227, Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, Reading Commandery No. 42, and the Mystic Shrine. He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias No. 65, the Elks No. 115, and the Royal Arcanum, and is exceedingly popular in all of these societies. Mr. and Mrs. Price are members of the Trinity Lutheran Church, which they attend consistently and support liberally. He is well known in Reading as a man of many sterling qualities, and bears an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity.


p. 1608


Josiah E. Price, son of John and Mary (Deppen) Price, was born at Womelsdorf, in Berks county, Dec. 4, 1843, and educated at that place and at Reading, to which city his parents removed when he was a lad. After filling positions as district school teacher, and working in the art studios of Maurer and Devlan until 1864, he secured a position with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company, at Reading, in the office of Gustavus Anthony Nicolls, Esq., who was then the general superintendent of the company. By his devotion to duty and efficiency in its performance, he was promoted gradually, and in 1877 transferred to the accounting department in the general office at Philadelphia, removing then to that city with his family. In 1892 he was appointed auditor of disbursements of the Reading System, and he has been at the head of this important department ever since. He has been in the continuous employment of the company forty-five years (1864-1909).

On account of his great proficiency, Mr. Price was selected as a member of the Association of American Railway Accounting Officers. He served on the standing committee on disbursements at the time this committee prepared a tentative text of the Classification of Operating Expenses, which was submitted Dec. 15, 1906, and after modification by the Association was promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission and made effective July 1,1907.

Mr. Price was married in 1866 to Mary Ann Whitaker, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Derr) Whitaker. They have four children: Samuel W. m. Letitia H. Price of Middletown, Del.; Frederick W. m. Adeline W. L. Schab, of Bethlehem, Pa.; Edmund James m. Mary Strawn Jamison, of Elkins Park, Pa., Sept. 22, 1909; Irene m. Herbert B. Shearer, of Lancaster, Pa. They are members of the Tioga Methodist Episcopal Church, having resided in this section of Philadelphia since their removal from Reading. Besides taking an active part in the Sunday-school work for a number of years, Mr. Price was also prominently identified with the Y. M. C. A., and the Culture Extension League of Philadelphia.

John Price, the father, was born at Womelsdorf, in 1809, and his wife, Mary Deppen, in Heidelberg township in 1814. He was a custom tailor by trade, and removed to Reading with his family in 1852. He died at Reading at the age of sixty-nine years, and his wife at the age of eighty-five years. They had five sons and three daughters: Elkanah, who died in infancy; Franklin, who m. Annie Hottenstein; John A., who enlisted in the Civil war and was mortally wounded while in active service in the seven days' fight in front of Richmond, Va.; Josiah E.; William H., m. to Christie Bausher; Matilda, unmarried; Rebecca, m. to John C. DeHart; and Mary E., m. to John S. Rudisill.

Mr. Price's ancestors emigrated to America before the Revolution. His great-grandfather, William Price, was born in England in 1750. The Deppens were descendants of the French Huguenots, this being attested by an interesting heirloom of the family in the form of a gold signet ring, which bears the initials of a grand-uncle, Christian Deppen, with the "Fleur de lis" on the seal.


p. 640


Daniel F. Printz illustrates in a remarkable degree the power of natural endowments to overcome adverse circumstances, for though he started in youth without promise of any kind he nevertheless reached a position of commanding influence in manufactures, building operations and finance almost at the threshold of his business career, which he has maintained in this community for twenty years with increasing success.

Mr. Printz was born at Reading shortly after the close of the Civil war, on Oct. 26, 1865, and his mother Picture of Daniel Printzhaving died when he was but a year old he was allowed to drift along without parental care as to his future destiny. Quite naturally he received a limited education in the elementary branches in the local schools which he attended until he became twelve years of age, and then secured his first regular employment for wages in the Reading Hardware Works. While he was working there a spirit of ambition to become a skilled mechanic asserted itself and accordingly within a year he applied for an apprenticeship in the machine shop of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, which had a recognized fame for developing finished workmen. His application was granted and for the next four years, until the end of his apprenticeship, he exerted himself toward acquiring a practical knowledge of the trade in all its branches; and he remained with the company afterward for five years for the purpose of increasing his proficiency.

With this experience in turning out and running machinery, he, at the age of twenty-five years, felt qualified to start in business for himself; and associating himself as partner with Mr. Samuel H. Fulmer, banker of Reading, he purchased a nickel-plating works. Within one year his genius for organizing and directing an enterprise was displayed in the development of the works into an establishment for the manufacture of bicycle saddles and accessories. This was in 1891, when the bicycle craze in the country was at its highest point. The firm was known as the P. & F. manufacturing Co., and in a few years its productions came to be forwarded to all parts of the world, and its plant to be known as the largest of its kind operated anywhere, with a volume of business exceeding that of any other similar enterprise in the country.

The spirit of organization, co-operation and concentration was formulating and developing rapidly in the United States during this period, and in the next ten years the P. & F. Manufacturing Company had come to possess so much influence in the line of bicycle accessories that it was purchased by the American Saddle Company, with Mr. Printz included as one of the directors of the company; and this company afterward came to be absorbed by the American Bicycle Company when he retired from management.

In 1893 the Reading Wood Pulley Company was incorporated with Mr. Printz as one of the directors, and he was chosen as president of the corporation, which position he has filled to the present time, successfully directing its affairs. During this period building operations were going on extensively at Reading, and Mr. Printz became interested in them; and co-operating with Mr. Fulmer and later with Lambert Rehr and Jacob B. Fricker, he assisted in erecting and disposing of several hundred dwelling- houses, mostly in east Reading on and in the vicinity of Perkiomen avenue.

In 1902 the Reading Stove Works was found to require re-organization, and the stockholders, appreciating the ability of Mr. Printz in managing various enterprises successfully, selected him to become its president. He has filled this position to the present, maintaining its trading relations throughout the country, even throughout the world, in an admirable manner, and keeping up the reputation of Orr, Painter & Co., for superior stoves and heaters, which had been established by his predecessor, Jesse Orr.

In 1904 Mr. Printz became interested in establishing a furniture business at Pittston, Pa.; in 1905 he organized the Reading Saddle Manufacturing Company, for the purpose of manufacturing bicycle saddles and hardware specialties which have since been sold extensively throughout the country, and he has officiated at the head of these enterprises to the present time. In 1906, upon the reorganization of the Reading Standard Manufacturing Company, for the increased manufacture of motor cycles, he was selected to act as president of the company. Over two thousand employes are required in the numerous industrial establishments under his control and supervision; and daily reports are submitted or forwarded to him for his inspection and approval, which evidences the extensive and important character of his duties and responsibilities.

Mr. Printz represented the ward in which he resides (the Sixteenth) on the school board as one of the controllers from that district for two terms from 1898 to 1906; he has served as a director of the Penn National Bank since 1903, acting as chairman of the building committee; and since 1904 he has filled the position of treasurer of the Pennsylvania Stove Manufacturers Association.

In 1881 Mr. Printz married Matilda Becker, daughter of Nicholas Becker, of Reading, and granddaughter of Samuel Lewis, a descendant of one of the earliest settlers in Cumru township, at "Lewis' Neck" along the Schuylkill river, and great-granddaughter of Philip Rush, a descendant of Michael Rosch, Sr., who emigrated from Remmingsheim, in Wurtemberg, Germany, and settled at Reading in 1751. By her he has a son, Harold Ellsworth, who was educated in the local schools and Kenyon Military Academy, Gambler, Ohio.

James Printz, the father of Daniel F., is a machinist of Reading; he married Susan Homan, daughter of Daniel Homan, of Reading, and they had two children: Charles (deceased) and Daniel F. Printz.


p. 651


John C. Printz, who for many years was a pattern-maker and member of the firm of Davis & Printz, on Ninth, below Bingaman street, was born in 1839, in Bradford county, Pa., son of Rev. George Printz, a minister of the Presbyterian Church.

John C. Printz was married in 1867 to Lavinia Espenshade, daughter of Henry F. and Louisa (Leaman) Espenshade, an old and honorable Pennsylvania Mennonite family. Mr. Espenshade was for many years a tanner on Cherry, below Fifth street, Reading, and was well and favorably known in that part of the city. He and his wife had these children: Lemuel, a soldier in the Civil war, was wounded in battle and died at a hospital; Daniel F. is deceased; and Lavinia C. m. Mr. Printz.

Mrs. Printz survives her husband, and lives in the home built by him. To Mr. and Mrs. Printz were born the following children: Henry G., who is a pattern-maker, m. a Miss Gantz; Etta L. m. Edward Yeager; Ella m. Frank G. Dietrich, a teacher; Mabel m. Jeremiah Romig, a conductor in the employ of the United Traction Company's System; Paul is a molder; Martha m. Gustavus Abraham, a hatter; Fred, unmarried, is in the United States Navy; and Charles died at the age of nine years.

John C. Printz was known to be a man of honor and integrity, and was much esteemed by his acquaintances for his many sterling characteristics. He was patriotic and public-spirited, and was considered a representative citizen of Reading. His fraternal connections were with Montgomery Lodge of the Odd Fellows, of Reading; Knights of Pythias; Knights of Malta; and Friendship Fire Company.


p. 435


Henry F. Printzenhoff, a retired contractor and one of the leading citizens of Hamburg, Berks Co., Pa., who has been prominently identified with all public measures calculated to be of benefit to the community, was born July 7, 1847, in Rockland township, this county, son of Charles and grandson of Frederick Printzenhoff. The name of Printzenhoff signifies "Prince's Court."

Frederick Printzenhoff emigrated to America from Germany in his young manhood, and, locating in Philadelphia, followed coach-making until his removal to Friedensburg, Berks county, where he continued the same business until his decease, in 1863. He was married to an Englishwoman, and became the father of five children: Charles, William, Jerome, Caroline and Amanda.

Charles Printzenhoff, eldest son of Frederick, was born in Philadelphia in 1812, and while a boy accompanied a tailor, following same for several years. He then engaged in the hotel business at different places for varying periods of time. In 1866 he removed to White Deer Mills, in Union county, where he died in 1901. His wife, Sarah Fisher, daughter of John Fisher, of Oley township, was born in 1818, and died in 1893. Their children were: Mary Ann, who married John Carey; Jonathon; Caroline, who married David Berkenstock; Henry F., James, who died young; Adeline, who married Adolph Ranck; Ellen, who married Henry Smith; Franklin, who married Amanda Koch; Mahlon, who married Ellen Fisher; Catherine, who married Lewis Spiece; Hannah, who married Charles S?ler; and Sarah, who died young.

Henry F. Printzenhoff was educated in the schools of Kutztown, and learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed until 1869, when he went to Philadelphia, engaging in bridge-building in the employ of the Philadelphia Bridge Company until 1890. He then entered into partnership with William J. Armstrong, and did business under the name of Armstrong & Printzenhoff, for the construction of bridges and other contract work.

His firm put up bridges on numerous railroads, including the Jersey Southern & Pine Creek, the Wilmington & Northern, and the Shenandoah Valley; and immediately after the Johnstown flood this firm had the first construction party there, with 372 men, for the purpose of re-constructing bridges, large buildings, etc. They also constructed the wharves at Philadelphia, along the Delaware avenue front, from Race street to South street, for which they received high praise. During his work in the vicinity of Hamburg Mr. Printzenhoff was attracted by the beauty of the village and decided to make it his home. He erected a superior dwelling-house and purchased several farms he is operating successfully, making a specialty of poultry. When the citizens of Hamburg were discussing the question of introducing improved lighting for the public streets and private dwellings he encouraged the matter greatly, and assisted materially in establishing the Hamburg Gas Company, of which he has officiated as president since its organization, in 1904.


p. 808


Asaph Prutzman (deceased), who for many years was at the head of one of the most successful business enterprises in Reading, Pa., had been a lifelong resident of that city, where he was born July 19, 1829.

Andrew Prutzman, his father, was likewise born in Reading, and received his education in the public schools there. Early in life he learned the trade of a tin and copper smith, and during his lifetime carried on a tinware and stove business. In May, 1813, he married Anna Sibilla Furshel, born July 25, 1795, in Wurtemberg, Germany, daughter of Nicholas and Maria Ann Furshel, the former of whom was a member of the Reformed Church, being chorister and schoolmaster, while his wife was a Catholic in religious faith. Andrew Prutzman died while his wife survived until Jan. 28, 1868, dying at the age of seventy-three. They were members of the Lutheran Church, and in politics Mr. Prutzman was a Democrat. The children of Andrew and Anna Sibilla Prutzman were: Jacob, born Sept. 14, 1814; Mary Ann, born June 20, 1817; Henry, born May 23, 1819; Nicholas, born Aug. 1, 1821; Hannah, born Aug. 1, 1824; Rebecca, born April 24, 1828; and Asaph, born July 19, 1829. Three of this family are still living.

Asaph Prutzman was educated like his father in Reading, and after completing his schooling commenced to learn the trade of blacksmith. He spent three years at this trade with Valentine Groff, whose shop was then located opposite the Church of Our Father (Universalist), but he found the work so heavy and injurious to his health that he gave it up and learned tinsmithing instead. He spent four years in making himself thoroughly familiar with the details of that trade. He then went into business for himself in that line, building up an extensive trade, for a long period being one of Reading's prominent men. When he retired he left to his sons one of the best known and best managed enterprises in the city. Highly successful himself, he was very philanthropic and always ready to help others, many a young man receiving substantial assistance from him in making his way in the world. Mr. Prutzman's benefactors in other ways were also liberal and the full extent of his philanthropy will never be known.

On May 31, 1853, Asaph Prutzman married Miss Margaretta Burns Mengel, daughter of Soloman and Catherine (Burns) Mengel, six children are still living. Both Mr. and Mrs. Prutzman were members of the M. E. Church, the latter now having belonged to that denomination for fifty years. Mr. Prutzman was a very active church worker until he became afflicted with heart disease, which obliged him to relax his activities. A man devoted to his home and family, he spent the greater part of his leisure time by his fireside. A great reader, he was well posted on all general topics, and was a conversationalist of unusual powers. An indulgent husband and father, his death on June 12, 1905, was a great loss to his family, all of whom survived him. He was laid to rest in the Charles Evans cemetery.

To Asaph Prutzman and his wife were born eight children, three sons and five daughters, as follows: (1) Walter M. is in the stove and roofing business at No. 304 Penn street. He first married Miss Rosie High, who died leaving two children---Paul Burns and Maud M. (deceased). He married (second) Mrs. Rebecca (Leinbach) Snyder. (2) Catharine Amelia is deceased. (3) Jacob Mengel married Eva Nolan, of Columbia, and they have three children---William Asaph, Florence G. and Raymond J. (4) Emily Clarinda is deceased. (5) Mary Emily married Joseph Bunting, and has one child, Helen M. (6) Asaph Edgar is deceased. (7) Margaretta Burns is deceased. (8) Alice Annie May married John H. Eckel, and they have three children---Madeline M., Asaph Burns and Anna Sibilla, the last named of whom was named after her great-grandmother, Anna Sibilla Prutzman.




Walter Prutzman, engaged in business at No. 304 Penn street, Reading, Pa., as a dealer in stoves, heaters and ranges, and as a tin and sheet-iron worker, was born in Reading in 1854, son of Asaph and Margaret (Mengel) Prutzman.

Walter Prutzman was educated in the schools of Reading, and as a boy learned the trade of tin and sheet-iron worker at his father's place of business. Later he connected himself with W. H. Bitting, under the firm style of Bitting & Prutzman, this partnership continuing for twelve years. Since this time Mr. Prutzman has conducted the business alone. The stand, which is at No. 304 Penn Street, a 21 X 90 foot building, is one of the oldest in the city, the business having been founded by Asaph Prutzman in 1860, his son now employing on an average six clerks, selling stoves and furnaces from catalogue, and repairing the same. He has a well-managed, flourishing business which is increasing daily, his fair dealings having won the confidence of the people of the community. In 1880 Mr. Prutzman was married to Miss Rosie High, daughter of Joseph High, and to this union there were born two children: Maude M., who died aged five years; and Paul B., engineer at the Reading Heat & Power Company. Mrs. Prutzman died in 1898, and Mr. Prutzman was married (second) to Miss Rebecca Lembach, daughter of Lewis Lembach. There have been no children to this union.

Mr. Prutzman served eight consecutive years (1891-1899) as school controller of the Sixth ward, and again in 1904, and 1908. He was a delegate to the city convention that nominated William H. Rowe for mayor. He and his wife are members of St. Paul's Reformed Church and have been active workers in the church for years.


p 1699


W. A. Purdy, president of the National Shoe and Corset Lace Co., was born in Rockland county, New York, in 1873.

Mr. Purdy's education was secured in the schools of Rockland Co., N. Y., and after graduating from Packer's Business College, he removed to New York City, where he engaged with the brokerage firm of Halle & Steiglitz, of Wall street, and later with Clarence Whitman & Co. He remained with the latter firm for nine years, leaving their employ to engage in his present live of business. In 1902 Mr. Purdy came to Reading and equipped his factory with the latest and most improved machinery, here employing from ten to twelve men. The output, which annually amounts to $50,000, is supplied only to the first-class trade, and Mr. Purdy's goods are known all over the country for their uniform quality and superior grade.

Mr. Purdy was married to Miss Jessie W. Patten, and they attend the Methodist Church. In politics Mr. Purdy is a Republican, but he has devoted all of his time to his business interests and therefore had had no aspirations for public office.


p. 733


George Putt, foreman of the ore roasters at the Robesonia Iron Company's plant, was born near Robesonia, in Heidelberg township, Berks Co., Pa., Aug. 7, 1862, son of Joseph and Catherine (Brigel) Putt.

Jacob Putt his grandfather, was a native of Germany, and came to Berks county when he was fifteen years of age. He worked as a teamster, hauling charcoal and iron ore for many years, and all of his sons followed the same business. He lies buried at St. Daniel's (Corner) Church. His sons were: Joseph, George, Thomas, Jacob, Henry, Franklin, Levi and Frederick. His daughters were Sophia married Adam Deppen; Susan married (first) Elijah Hassler and (second) John Leninger; Peggy married a Mr. Heckler; Sarah died unmarried.

Joseph Putt, father of George, resided in the house in which the latter was born, in Heidelberg township, for nearly fifty years. He followed teaming as a business. He married Catherine Brigel, daughter of Adam and Barbara (Weinhold) Brigel. Mr. and Mrs. Putt have long since passed away and are interred at Womelsdorf. They had the following children: Frank, who was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor, while fighting in defense of his country; Charles, who lives at Garrett, Ind.; Joseph, who is assistant foreman at the Robesonia Iron Company; Jacob, a farmer residing near Garrett, Ind.; William, who is in the employ of the Robesonia Iron Company; Sarah, who was accidentally burned to death in childhood; Ellen I., married to Charles P. Mayer, who is stove tender for the Robesonia Iron Company; and George.

George Putt left school at a very early age in order to commence work at the furnace, beginning to be self-supporting in 1878, and has continued with the Robesonia Iron Company. He has proved himself such a reliable, steady and efficient employe that he has had substantial recognition of his usefulness at various times, and in 1887 he was appointed foreman of the ore roasters, having a gang of twenty-six men under his charge. In politics he is a Republican, and although he lives in a strong Democratic district he was elected school director in the spring of 1902, in which office he served for three years. He has filled other positions, having been township committeeman for two years, and on different occasions has been chosen a delegate to county conventions. He is a member of Washington Camp, No. 67, P. O. S. of A., of Womelsdorf, and of Lodge No. 119, Knights of Pythias, of Robesonia.

In 1886 Mr. Putt was married to Fianna Achenbach, born April 6, 1864, a daughter of Levi and Mary (Putt) Achenbach, the former of whom is a stone-mason in Mill Creek township. Mr. and Mrs. Putt have three children. Jennie M.; Maggie M., who married Howard Flickinger, a clerk at Robesonia; and Irwin. Mr. Putt and his family reside in their own home on Main street, Robesonia, which he bought in 1900. With his family he belongs to St. Paul's Reformed Church, in which he is a deacon. He was a liberal contributor to the erection of this handsome church edifice in 1903.

Joseph Putt, foreman of the laborers at the Robesonia Iron Company's plant at Robesonia, was born Oct. 25, 1852, in his father's house in Heidelberg township. He is a son of Joseph Putt. He obtained his education at the Furnace school-house in his native township, but was only ten years old when he began work at the Robesonia Furnace, and he has been working regularly in the same employ ever since, being one o the company's oldest and most reliable employes. He has charge of the labor force of fifty men, a position he has filled since 1904. He is a Republican in politics, and on different occasions has been a delegate to county conventions.

On Aug. 13, 1887, he was married to Leah Spears, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Yonson) Spears, and they have one son, James H. S., who is a young man of fine educational attainments. He was educated in the township schools, graduated from the Robesonia high school, later attended two spring sessions at the West Chester Normal School and still later graduated from the Inter-State Commercial College, Reading. Mr. putt resides in his own home on Elm street, Robesonia, which he purchased in the spring of 1902. Fraternally he belongs to Washington Camp, No. 37, P. O. S. of A., of Robesonia, of which he has been a trustee since 1899; and to the Knights of Pythias Lodge No. 119, of which he is past chancellor commander. He is a Reformed member of Zion's Church of Womelsdorf. Mrs. Putt was reared in the Presbyterian faith, her parents belonging to the First Presbyterian Church. She is connected with St. Daniel's (Corner) Church.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:43 EDT

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