Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 891


Walter M. Raubenhold, a foremost citizen of Hamburg, who for over twenty years has been engaged in the hardware business at that place, was born May 3, 1850, in Greenwich township, Berks county, on his grandfather's plantation, son of William Raubenhold.

Adam Raubenhold, great-grandfather of Walter M. Raubenhold, was of Brunswick township, Schuylkill Co., Pa., where he was engaged in farming. He was the father of three sons and two daughters, namely: (1) Peter; (2) William, who had two sons, Adam and George; (3) Jonathan (Jonas), who had three children, Hiram, William and a daughter; (4) Mrs. George Mengel; and (5) Mrs. Ketner.

Peter Raubenhold, son of Adam and grandfather of Walter M., was born Aug. 19, 1801, and died Oct. 16, 1883. He married Maria Sunday, born Dec. 23, 1804, died July 12, 1893, in the eighty-ninth year of her age, and to them were born five children, as follows: Joseph, who married Elizabeth Dreibelbis, and had two sons, Peter and George; Catherine, who married Benneville Stoyer; George, who married a Miss Luckenbill, and had three sons, Alfred, Albert and William; Polly, who became the wife of Daniel Smith; and William.

William Raubenhold, son of Peter, was of Windsor township, born there in 1835. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, which he followed until his decease in 1871. He married Hannah Merkel, born Oct. 9, 1839, daughter of John and Esther Merkel; she died April 16, 1878, aged thirty-eight years, six months, seven days. To this union were born three children: Walter M.; Thomas, who married Mary Schaeffer; and Mary, who died young.

Walter M. Raubenhold was educated in the public schools of Windsor township and at Hamburg, to which place his mother had removed on the death of the father, in 1871. When sixteen years of age he entered the store of James L. Merkel, as a clerk, and there continued until 1884, attending school at Collegeville in the meantime, for the purpose of acquiring a business education. Then he opened a general hardware store for himself at Hamburg, and has continued in the same business in the same building up to the present time, a period of more than twenty-four years.

Mr. Raubenhold, having become thoroughly interested in the cause of education, was elected a school director from the south ward for four consecutive terms, covering a period of twelve years, serving as secretary and treasurer for six years, and while on the board he was one of the building committee which superintended the erection of the handsome and commodious public school building on North Third street, in 1893. He was an active and prominent member of St. John's Lutheran Church when the congregation determined to rebuild immediately the edifice which had been destroyed by fire on April 4th, 1898, and he was selected as one of the building committee. The beautiful edifice whose erection this committee superintended reflects in a high degree their taste, ability and enterprise. When the citizens of Hamburg were making arrangements for the erection of a public library, in 1903, Mr. Raubenhold, on account of his experience, was placed on the building committee, and the superior and attractive structure which the committee erected is a credit to every citizen of Hamburg borough, as well as to the committee itself. Mr. Raubenhold, upon the expiration of his term, was re-elected to office, becoming treasurer of the public library. He again showed his ability when the subject of supplying Hamburg with water arose as a public question. He took an active part in its discussion, and on the organization of the company was elected a director, a position he has held to the present time, having also acted as treasurer of the company for eight years.

In 1880 Mr. Raubenhold was married to Catherine Miller, daughter of David G. Miller, of Hamburg, and two sons have been born to this union, Franklin and William.


p. 1344


David B. Rauch, farmer near Huff's Church, in Hereford township, was born on the old homestead there Dec. 23, 1842, son of John Rauch and grandson of David Rauch.

David Rauch, born Nov. 27, 1769, in eastern Berks county, died Dec. 11, 1843, aged seventy-four years, fourteen days. He was a farmer, and lived in Hereford township, owning the farm near Huff's church which is now the property of his grandson, David B. Rauch, and which consists of 150 acres of fertile land, improved with good buildings. He built the stone house there in 1830. The old part of the barn was built in 1803 and the other part in 1823. There is an old burial ground on this tract, covering a half acre of ground, and about one hundred people are interred there. As late as 1879 one Elizabeth Zimmerman, unmarried, was buried there. This was the principal burial ground of the settlers in the vicinity before the establishment of the one at Huff's church. In 1901 Mr. David B. Rauch sold three acres of land, to the Huff's Church congregation for cemetery purposes, and on this plot are now buried a number of people to whose memory have been erected creditable monuments. David Rauch, the grandfather, and his wife are buried at Huff's Church. She was Barbara Lieser, born Feb. 16, 1770, died March 22, 1838, aged sixty-eight years, one month, six days. They had children as follows: Elizabeth; David, who lived in Springville, Bucks Co., Pa. (he had a daughter); Barbara, married to Jonas Saul; Magdalena; Maria, married to Philip Hertzog; Catharine, married to Abraham Moyer; Rachel, married to John Hertzog; Henry L. (1813-1850), a watchmaker, who lived in Washington township, Berks county (his children were Maria, Sarah and Jefferson); John, mentioned below; and Samuel (1796-1853), of Hereford, who never married.

John Rauch, son of David, born in Hereford township, near Huff's Church, Nov. 9, 1815, died there on his farm Nov. 10, 1875, aged sixty years, one day. He was a farmer, owning and working the place which now belongs to his son David B., and which has been in the possession of this family since 1804, having formerly belonged to David Rauch. He was a member and deacon of the Reformed congregation of Huff's Church. John Rauch married Maria Bossert, born in 1819, daughter of Adam Bossert; she died March 4, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. John Rauch had children as follows: Maria (married Martin Landis), David B., Sallie Ann (married John D. Baus), Caroline (married Horatio Hertzog), Charles B., John B., Emmalinda (deceased wife of William Benfield) and Annie (who died when young).

David B. Rauch commenced his education in an old pay school, which he attended one winter, and after their establishment he went to the free schools. He was reared upon the farm, working for his parents until he was twenty-two years old, after which he learned the carpenter's trade. He followed that calling fourteen years, after which he farmed the homestead for eighteen years. In the spring of 1894 he purchased the Samuel Baus farm, in the upper part of Dale, a tract of twenty-seven acres, on which are a nice set of buildings. Mr. Rauch built the present house on the place in 1894, and he made an addition to the barn the following year. The place is an ideal home in more ways than one. Besides this place, where he still makes his home, Mr. Rauch owns the old homestead of 150 acres, and he is regarded as a substantial resident of Hereford township, where he is well known, having served two terms as auditor and two years as tax collector. Mr. Rauch is a Democrat in politics.

In the year 1868 Mr. Rauch married Eliza Ann Moll, daughter of Christophel and Susanna (Repp) Moll, of Hereford township, farming people, who had a family of nine children, namely: Horatio, Sarah, Elizabeth, Susanna, Eliza Ann, William, Daniel, Caroline and Emeline. John and Elizabeth (Bittenbender) Moll, grandparents of Mrs. Rauch, lived in Siesholtzville. Their children were: George, Jacob, John, Christophel, Susan, Peggy, Betzy, Polly, Catharine and Nancy.

Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rauch: James M. is mentioned below; Mary married Epheniah Fronheiser, a farmer of Hereford, and they have children - John, William, Mamie, Eliza Ann, Katie and James; John, third child of Mr. and Mrs. Rauch, died in infancy; Allen, a farmer living near Siesholtzville, married Eve Gerhart, and they have two children, John and Jennie; Annie married Frank Derr, of District township, and they have had three children, Claude, Harvey and Stella.

James M. Rauch, son of David B. Rauch, was born Nov. 17, 1868, and was reared upon the home farm. From early youth he showed a fondness for books, was studious at school, and when eighteen years old was licensed to teach public school, receiving his certificate from Prof. D. S. Keck. His first experience was gained at the Rhode school-house in Greenwich township, where he taught one term; then for a term he was engaged in Hereford township. He then took a competitive examination, and was appointed Sept. 9, 1893, under civil service rules, to a clerkship in the treasury department, where he has ever since been employed. Since July, 1906, Mr. Rauch has also been engaged in dealing in coal, in which line he has met with success, giving employment to five men. He deals in wood, coal, coke and ice.

Mr. Rauch married Mary Moll, daughter of Reuben and Katie (Baus) Moll, and they have had three children, Amy, Arthur R. (who died when seven months old) and Stella.


p. 538


Frank I. Rauch, who holds the responsible position of assistant superintendent of the Reading Eagle Publishing Company, was born in Heidelberg township, Berks county, Sept. 1, 1854, son of William and Matilda (Ulrich) Rauch. When he was about five years old the family moved to Stouchsburg, Marion township, this county. His earlier education was acquired in the public schools of that township and later he was sent for some time to the Stouchsburg Academy. On starting to make his own way in the world he began with farm work, spending four years in that occupation; he then secured employment in a store in North Heidelberg, where he clerked for one year and following that was similarly engaged at Stouchsburg, for a year and a half. In 1874 he removed to Reading and became associated with the Reading Eagle Publishing Company, in the capacity of subscription clerk. Since then he has steadily risen, becoming, several years after he entered as clerk, bookkeeper for the concern and for the last ten years having held the position of assistant superintendent. Mr. Rauch possesses admirable qualifications for his work and well deserves the confidence which the company reposes in him.

On Dec. 27, 1881, Mr. Rauch was united in marriage to Miss Martha Houder, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Houder, of Reading both of whom are deceased. Daniel Houder was for years in the service of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. Mr. Rauch belongs to St. Paul's Memorial Reformed Church, and was secretary of the consistory for three years. Fraternally he has been quite active and belongs to the Masons, the Elks and the Press Club of Reading. In the former order he is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 549, is a past master, and for eleven years served as secretary. He is also a past officer in the Elks.


p. 517


John W. Rauch, secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Reading Eagle Company, is descended from old established families of Pennsylvania. The UIrichs, his ancestors on the maternal side, were among the early farmers of Heidelberg township, Berks county, while the Rauch family belonged originally in Dauphin county.

William Rauch, father of John W., was born in Hanover township, Dauphin county. Though his father spent his early life farming, he learned the carpenter's trade and came to Berks county as a journeyman. William became a contracting carpenter, and followed that trade till his death in 1872 at the comparatively early age of fifty-four years He married Matilda, daughter of George Ulrich, a well-known farmer of Berks county, and to their union eight children were born, namely: one who died in infancy; Henry, who died aged six; Sarah, Mrs. Jacob Stupp, of North Heidelberg, who died when forty-two years old; Mary E., deceased wife of J. M. Landis, private secretary of Vice-President Voorhees, of the Philadelphia & Reading railroad; George U., a farmer in Jackson township, Lebanon county; Rebecca, wife of William Zartman, also a farmer in Jackson township; Frank I., assistant superintendent of the Eagle Company; and John W.

John W. Rauch was born in Heidelberg Nov. 8, 1848, and he attended the public schools of that district. His opportunities for an education were limited, however, for when he was twelve and a half years old he was taken from school and put to work on a farm. He continued at this connection till he was eighteen, and then went as clerk in country stores, remaining two years and six months in the first place, six months in two other stores, and then returning to his first store position he remained there three years more. In 1872 he moved to Reading where he was at first engaged again in a dry goods store, but after five months he secured a position with the Reading Eagle Company, and has ever since been connected with that, rising steadily. When he began Feb. 24, 1873, he was subscription clerk; the following year he was made bookkeeper; Dec. 6,1881, was promoted to the position of superintendent; and Feb. 1, 1904, had the added responsibilities of the office of secretary and treasurer laid upon him. There are 117 people on the pay-roll of the Eagle Company, and all of these employes as well as the general interests of the company are under Mr. Rauch's personal supervision The phenomenal growth of the Eagle in popularity and the extent of its circulation and patronage give unimpeachable evidence of Mr. Rauch's entire fitness for the position he fills.

On Oct. 3, 1868. Mr. Rauch was united in matrimony to Miss Maria E. Anderson, and three children have been born to this union: Harry, a linotype operator on the Eagle; William B., head of the mechanical part of the Eagle advertising department; and Lillie May, wife of Peter B. Graeff, a stenographer at Washington D. C. Mr. Rauch was formerly a member of St. Paul's Reformed Church, and belonged to the Consistory of that body, but his name is now on the rolls of the First Reformed Church. He is a man of wide and varied interests as is shown by the character of the many organizations with which he is connected. These include Teutonia Lodge, F. & A.M.; Harrisburg Consistory; Rajah Temple, Mystic Shrine, Reading; Reading Lodge, B. P. 0. E.; Fraternal Order of Eagles; Royal Arcanum; Loyal Addition to the Royal Arcanum Wyomissing Club; Elks' Home Company; Eagles' Mountain Home Company; Americus Club; Commercial Club; Maennerchor; Liederkranz; Turnverein; and the Board of Trade. In the wide circle of acquaintance resulting from this diversity of association Mr. Rauch has numerous warm friends and is held in high esteem by all. He has the respect of all the employes of the Reading Eagle Company for the executive ability and the energetic yet courteous manner in which he manages that establishment. In February, 1898. on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his service at the Eagle office, he was surprised by the employes, who tendered him a banquet at the "Mansion House," when toasts were drunk to his health. In the speeches many complimentary remarks were made respecting him. Some sixty persons, including representatives of other Reading newspapers participated. It was marked by a cordiality which spoke volumes of the harmony and good feeling prevailing in the Eagle office and toward all its neighbors. Mr. Rauch was escorted by a committee to the "Mansion House" and introduced to the company while they were seated around the banqueting board.


p. 1328


Wellington H. Rauch, farmer in Green Valley, Hereford township, Berks county, was born Dec. 3, 1852, at Gilbertsville, Montgomery county, Pa., son of Thomas L. Rauch.

(I) Henry Rauch, the first known ancestor of this Rauch family, lived in the eastern end of Berks county, being a farmer in Hereford township. His will, which is on file in the Berks county courthouse, recorded in Will Book B, page 107, was made Sept. 15, 1783, and was probated April 6th following, so it is presumed he died in the spring of 1784. George Rauch and George Lahr were the executors of the will of Henry Rauch, who mentions his "plantation" in that document. He and his wife, Magdalena, had six sons and five daughters: George, Philip, Henry, Jacob, David, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Barbara, Margaret and Magdalena.

(II) Jacob Rauch, son of Henry, settled in Manheim township, in Schuylkill county, Pa., and from him descend the Rauchs who live in the coal regions. He died in May, 1811, being survived by his wife "Gertraut," and the following children are mentioned in his will, which is recorded in Book A, page 591, in the Berks county court-house: Jonathan, Jacob, Solomon, Daniel and Christina. He provided that his children, as they became of age, should learn trades.

(II) Henry Rauch, son of Henry, in 1799 lived in Hereford township, Berks county, where he was the head of a family.

(II) David Rauch, son of Henry, born Nov. 27, 1769, died Dec. 11, 1843, aged seventy-four years, fourteen days. His last will and testament, made Nov. 6, 1840, is on record in Will Book B, page 107, at the Berks county court-house, and his sons, Henry and John, were the executors. He married Barbara Lieser (1770-1838), and both are buried at Huff's Church. Their children were: Elizabeth, David, Samuel (1796-1853), Barbara, Magdalena, Maria, Catharine, Rachel, Henry (1813-1850), and John (1815-1875).

(II) John Rauch, son of Henry, lived near Perryville (now Harlem), in Hereford township, where he owned and worked a small farm. He was a weaver by trade, and made all kinds of homespun in addition to following farming. He is buried above Nazareth, at Bushkill, in eastern Pennsylvania. By his wife, Hannah (Hoffman), daughter of Michael, he had three sons, Henry (who lived at Nazareth, Pa.), Michael (who lived above Nazareth) and John, and several daughters, one of whom was married to Peter Greiss.

(III) John Rauch, son of John, was known as "Bush John," to distinguish him from another John Rauch in the same district. He lived near Dale, in Hereford township, where he owned a small tract of land, was a shingle-maker and weaver, and in the winter time went out butchering among the farmers, becoming well-known in the pursuit of these various occupations. He was a great hunter and fisher. He is buried at Huff's church. He married Rebecca Leeser, and nine children were born to them: (1) Thomas L. is mentioned farther on. (2) Benjamin L., a farmer of Washington township, had children, John F., William F., Manoah F., Benjamin F., James F., Rebecca F., Catharine F., Amanda F. and Adam (both of whom died young) and Emma (married Benjamin Schaeffer). (3) Samuel lived at various places and died at Philadelphia, where he conducted a wholesale grocery store. He became wealthy. He married Amanda Seaman, daughter of Daniel Seaman, of Hamburg, Pa. (4) Hannah married Henry Richard and lived at Bechtelsville; they had one son and four daughters. (5) William was twice married, first to Maria Frey, by whom he had two children, Katie and John, and afterward to Mrs. Caroline Baus. There were no children born to the second marriage. (6) Reuben L., who is unmarried, lives at Hereford and is engaged in huckstering. (7) James L., who lives in Hereford township, is a shoemaker and basket-maker by occupation. (8) John died young. (9) Henry died young.

(IV) Thomas L. Rauch, son of John, born in Hereford township, Aug. 10, 1825, died June 25, 1905, aged seventy-nine years, ten months, fifteen days. He received a good education, learning to read both German and English, and when eighteen years old went to learn the blacksmith's trade from John Walker. He followed that calling for fifty years, retiring some five years before his death. Mr. Rauch is buried at Huff's Church, having belonged to the Reformed congregation of that church, which he served as elder. His wife, Catharine Herber, daughter of Henry and Susan (Landich) Herber, of Greenwich township, born Feb. 24, 1824, died Jan. 29, 1896, aged seventy-one years, eleven months, five days. Five children were born to them: Lewis died in infancy; Henry H., a blacksmith, died in Clayton; Wellington H. is mentioned farther on; Rosa Ellen died when eleven years and two days old; Anna Rebecca, deceased, was the wife of William E. Stangier, of Reading.

(V) Wellington H. Rauch received his early education in Hereford and Washington townships, Berks county, he being fourteen years old when his parents moved to Hereford township. Later he attended the Boyertown Academy. He was reared to farming in Hereford, and also learned the blacksmith's trade from his father, following that work in connection with farming until 1900, since which time he has devoted himself exclusively to farming. He has twenty-eight acres of very productive land, and raises excellent crops. For many years Rauch's smith shop was a very busy place, many coming from a distance to have blacksmith work done there. The blacksmith shop was built in 1867, by Thomas L. Rauch, who built the large stone house in 1893.

On Sept. 14, 1883, Mr. Rauch married Susanna A. Carl, daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca (Rohrbach) Carl, of District township. They have no children. Mr. and Mrs. Rauch are members of the Reformed congregation of Huff's church, of which he was a deacon for eight years. Mr. Rauch is a Republican in politics.


p. 687


Abraham S. Raudenbush, M. D., of Reading, Pa., was born July 24. 1841, in Montgomery county, son of Abraham and Mary (Scholl) Raudenbush, and a grandson of George and Mary (Gearhart) Raudenbush. George Raudenbush, great-grandfather of Dr. A. S., came to America from Germany, and settled in Bucks county, near Sellersville. He was a farmer and shoemaker by occupation; and there spent the remainder of his life. He had two sons, Peter and George.

George Raudenbush, son of the emigrant George, was educated in the schools of Bucks county and early took to agricultural pursuits, following these successfully throughout his life. After his death his wife resided with a daughter, Mrs. Harriet Althouse. He was the father of ten children; as follows: Jacob, George, Abraham, Samuel, Jesse, Enos, Sallie (m. Jacob Cressman, of Bucks county), Harriet (m. Thomas Althouse), Matilda (m. John Clymer), and Elizabeth (m. a Mr. Leida). In religious belief the family were members of the Reformed Church. Mr. Raudenbush was a Democrat. He died in 1848, aged about eighty years, and his wife in 1852, when seventy-seven years old. Abraham Raudenbush received but a meagre education in the schools of Bucks county. He was reared to farming pursuits, and carried on farming near Sellersville, later removing to the edge of Montgomery county, and there remained for several years. He later went to Sellersville, and there purchased the old Abraham Schull farm, on which he continued to live until 1863, when he sold the farm, retired and in 1882 moved to Reading to reside with his son. He died in 1892, aged eighty-eight years. His wife died in 1882, aged seventy-six years, the mother of six children: One daughter died in infancy; James is deceased; Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of Enos Rosenberger, of Kutztown; Mary married Jacob Trucksess, and lives in Montgomery county; Abraham S.; and Louisa died in infancy. Mr. Raudenbush was a member of the Reformed Church, in which he was deacon and elder. In politics he was a Democrat.

Dr. Abraham S. Raudenbush was educated primarily in the schools of Montgomery county and took advanced studies at Freeland Seminary (now Ursinus College. Early in life he evidenced a desire for the medical profession, and read medicine under Keeler & Groff of Montgomery county and remaining with them two years, when he entered Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. graduating with the class of 1863, with the degree of M. D. His first field of practice was Adamstown. Lancaster county, where he remained eighteen years, and he then located in Reading, opening an office at No. 233 South Fourth street. After four years spent at this office, the Doctor removed to his present location and here he has been actively engaged in practice. The Doctor was for some years was a member of the medical staff of the Reading Hospital, being one of the first to hold that position after the hospital opened its doors to the public, and he continued in that capacity until 1902, when he retired. He still retains his position, however, on the staff of examiners of students for resident physicians. He is connected with the Reading and Berks county medical societies and the Pennsylvania Medical Association, as well as the American Medical Association. He was formerly a member of the Lehigh Valley Medical Association, which meets but once a year for the benefit of the public, and was a Tri-County Sensorial District for Schuylkill Berks and Montgomery counties. The Doctor is fraternally connected with the Royal Arcanum In politics he is a Democrat, but is broad and liberal in his views.

In 1865 Dr. Raudenbush married Miss Sarah Stauffer, daughter of Henry Stauffer, of Lancaster county, and one child was born to this union: Charles H., who is a druggist of Reading, keeping one of the finest pharmacies in the city.


p. 614


Cr. Charles Hunter Raudenbush, who conducts a thriving drug business, at Reading, Berks Co., Pa., was born Oct. 7, 1866, at Adamstown, Lancaster county, son of Dr. A. S. and Sarah (Stauffer) Raudenbush, whose history appears elsewhere in this work.

Dr. Charles H. Raudenbush attended the public schools of his native place, and after graduating there from entered the State Normal School at Millersville. After two spring terms at the latter institution, Dr. Raudenbush came to Reading with his father, and in 1882 entered the high school of the city from which he was graduated with the class of 1886. In October of the same year he entered the drug store of J. H. Stein, at Eighth and Penn streets, Reading, remaining until October, 1889, when he attended a course of lectures on pharmacy at Philadelphia. Graduating from The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1891, Dr. Raudenbush returned to Reading and engaged again with Mr. Stein, with whom he remained until March, 1896, and on May 1st of that year he engaged in business on his own account, opening a store in the Mansion House building. This was the location of his business until April, 1905, when, feeling the need of larger quarters he removed to his present place, No. 39 North Sixth street, where he has since continued. Mr. Raudenbush has one of the finest equipped pharmacies in the city, and he has won the steady trade of a large patronage.

On Oct. 26, 1898, Dr. Raudenbush married Mattie B. Thompson, daughter of Isaac F. and Lydia (Steen) Thompson, of Coatesville, Chester Co., Pa., and to this union have been born one son and one daughter, Charles B. and Helen T.


p. 1563


Richard B. Raudenbush, who owns and operates a valuable farm in Cumru township, Berks county, is one of the leading citizens of his community, where the greater portion of his life has been spent. Mr. Raudenbush was born in Manor township, Lancaster Co., Pa., son of Joseph and Sarah (Baum) Raudenbush.

John Raudenbush, the great-grandfather of Richard B., was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, where he followed the milling business. He and his two brothers came to America, one settling where St. Louis now stands, one in Schuylkill county, and John in Goshenhoppen, below Boyertown. He was one of the earliest millers of this portion of the State, an occupation which he followed until his death. His son, also named John, learned the milling trade under his father, and this business he followed in Lancaster countyfor many years, coming thence to Berks county. His death occurred in Cumru township, and he was buried at Yocom's Church, of which he was a Reformed member. Mr. Raudenbush married a Miss Hemmig, also buried at Yocum's, and to them were born: Adam, John, Daniel, Joseph, Henry; Eva m. Levi Hemmig; Elizabeth m. Henry Eckenrode and Sarah m. George Esterly.

Joseph Raudenbush, the father of Richard B., was born in 1821, in Lancaster county, and for 30 years followed the trade of his father. He then purchased a farm of 147 acres in the Poplar Neck district, the one now owned by his son, Richard B. Here he made many improvements and erected all of the present buildings with the exception of the house. Mr. Raudenbush died in his 66th year, while his wife, Sarah, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Zacharias) Baum, lived to be 77 years of age. These children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Raudenbush: Mary A., died at the age of 13 years; Elizabeth m. Augustus Schuster; Richard B.; John, deceased; and Sarah A. m. Ezra Wentzel.

Richard B. Raudenbush attended the schools of Berks county, and as a boy worked on his father's farm, which he has operated since his parents' death. This farm, which is one of the finest in Cumru township, is situated on the Pennsylvania railroad, which company purchased 3-7/10 acres of his land, on which to lay tracks to enter Reading. He has a fine herd of cows, and his milk finds a ready market in the city of Reading. Mr. Raudenbush's farm commands an excellent view of the Schuylkill river and the mountains.

Mr. Raudenbush married Elizabeth A., daughter of Isaac Schlichter, of Reading, and to this union have been born five children: Sara A. m Levi Ettinger, of Cumru township; Joseph S. and Franklin S. are at home; Annie E. m. Samuel Merkel; Matilda I. is at home. Mr. Raudenbush is a member of Yocom's Reformed Church. In 1893 he was made a Mason in Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F.& A.M., and he also belongs to Reading Chapter, No. 237.


p. 719


Rauenzahn. Christian Rauenzahn, a native of Manheim, Germany, where the family was one of prominence and wealth, was a son of Herr von Rauenzahn. Christian Rauenzahn left his native country for cause, being at that time well supplied with means, and settled in Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa., where he became the owner of about 700 acres of land, but he died in very humble circumstances. He is buried in a private burial ground on the old Weidner farm below Pricetown and his grave has no head-stone. Christian Rauenzahn was survived by his wife, Hannah, who died at an advanced age in 1836. Among their children were: Gideon; Isaac; John; Christian; David, who lives in Ohio; a son who died in Indiana; and Mrs. Daniel Ballett. Christian Rauenzahn was the owner of a large Bible, the printing of which was begun in 1527 and was completed in 1535. This was a rare and valuable book, and the commissioners of the Centennial, held at Philadelphia in 1876, made some effort to secure it to place on exhibition, sending a man from Philadelphia to Pricetown, he however failing to secure it. This old relic passed from Christian to his son Gideon, and from the latter to his son John, who procured it at public sale, and was sold by him to a concern in Philadelphia.

Gideon Rauenzahn, son of Christian, was born in Richmond township, and died upon his 231-acre farm in Ruscombmanor township, in about 1867, when nearly eighty years of age. He was a stone mason by trade, an occupation which was adopted and followed by seven of his sons. He married Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Daniel Brown of Pricetown, and they had a family of thirteen children, as follows: Solomon met his death by drowning, in 1842; Sarah m. Benjamin Wentzel; Hannah m. Daniel Mannville, and died in Oklahoma; David died at Philadelphia in 1887; William B.; Daniel was a stonemason at Pricetown; Jacob, carried on that trade at Reading; Elizabeth m. Nicholas Bechtel; Israel, a stone mason of Reading, met his death in a railroad accident; Gideon was a stone mason of Reading; John, a stone mason of Philadelphia, is now deceased; Mary m. Amos Brown, of Stowe, Pa.,; and Emeline died young.

William B. Rauenzahn was born May 6, 1831, in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, and was reared on his father's farm, upon which he worked until past eighteen years of age, at which time he learned the blacksmith's trade in Ontelaunee township, with Abraham Hughes. This occupation he followed for two years, and then went to Perry township, where he spent a like period at the trade, and in 1857 he came to Reading, where he entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. He was a flue-welder for this company at the pipe mill for nine years, and altogether worked for this company as a blacksmith for fifteen years. Mr. Rauenzahn is one of the few living men in this locality who have shod oxen, this occurring in 1850, 1851 and 1852 while he worked at his trade in Ontelaunee and Perry townships. In the former district there lived many Quakers, among them the Wileys, Perkinses, Smiths and Penroses, and Dr. Wiley had a yoke of oxen which were shod by Mr. Rauenzahn on numerous occasions. These big, strong beasts were used at the plows, as well as in wagons, and Wash Wiley used them to haul flour to the boat landing at Shoemakersville. Mr. Rauenzahn recalls many interesting incidents of his younger days, among which might be mentioned the following: It was during his term of apprenticeship, and he was working out during haymaking and harvesting time to earn spending money, his employer being Quaker Smith. They were hauling in hay with four good horses, when the large wagon-load of hay became "stuck" and no amount of urging could make the horses go another inch. At this time the yoke of big oxen were hitched up to the wagon, and to the surprise of all these beasts pulled the load away with comparative ease, which the four horses could not budge. Mr. Rauenzahn was a member of the Reading police force under Mayor Charles F. Evans from 1873 to 1879. Since May, 1903, he has lived a quiet life, his retirement being due to his incapacitation from an extraordinary case of hiccoughs, which continued for seven weeks. The case puzzled physicians and attracted wide-spread attention, local and metropolitan papers alike giving much space to it and remedies being sent to Mr. Rauenzahn from all over the country. He was eventually cured by Dr. A. N. Seidel, of Reading, by the use of a common remedy. For many years Mr. Rauenzahn has been a member of Salome Lodge of Odd Fellows No. 105, and the American Mechanics, both of Reading. He is a Republican in politics, and during 1856, when James Buchanan was elected president, he served as judge of election in his district. He and his family are members of the Evangelical Association.

In 1853 Mr. Rauenzahn was married to Willia Bush, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Brown) Bush, born Aug. 17, 1830, who died Sept. 15, 1891, and they had these children: Henry B.; Solomon and Thomas, who died young; Emanuel, who resides in Milwaukee, Wis.; Sallie, who died young; Emma, who met her death in 1889, aged twenty;-five years, in the silk mill disaster; and Zipporah, m. to Allen Levan.

Henry B. Rauenzahn was born Aug. 16, 1854, in Ontelaunee township, and as a boy came to Reading, where he spent his school days. For many years he was a sand contractor, but in 1885 he embarked in the hotel business at Tenth and Green streets, and since 1898 he has conducted the "North End Hotel." He is very popular in his district, and enjoys a large and lucrative business. Fraternally he is connected with Salome Lodge No. 105, I. O. O. F., Reading.

Mr. Rauenzahn was married to Mary Hartman, Aug. 7, 1875. She is the daughter of Henry and Hannah (Lease) Hartman, granddaughter of John Hartman, and great-granddaughter of Jacob Bowers, who lived to the remarkable age of 103 years. To Mr. and Mrs. Rauenzahn there have been born sixteen children, as follows: William, Lillie and Lottie, deceased; Harry S.; Luther; Naomi; George; Lester; an infant son; Emma; an infant son; Edith; an infant son; Dorothy, and two who died in infancy.

Harry S. Rauenzahn was born July 3, 1880, and died April 11, 1909, in Reading, Pa. He attended the public schools until sixteen years of age, at which time he learned the coach-painting trade at the Keystone Wagon works from Charles Dietrich, now deceased. This he followed at Reading for nine years, after which he worked at the Pullman shops at Wilmington, Del., for nine months, and subsequently returned to Reading, and assisted in the erection of the 126-foot brick stacks at the Philadelphia & Reading shops. In 1904 Mr. Rauenzahn became a trolley car conductor for the Reading United Traction Co., and there he continued until his death. He was a resident of the Thirteenth ward, owning a brick residence at No. 2044 Kutztown road, purchased by him in 1905. He was a member of Camp No. 663, P. O. S. of A., of Reading, and Tent No. 446, K. O. T. M., also of this city. With his family he belonged to Grace Reformed Church of Alsace, before joining which he was a deacon of Trinity Reformed Church.

On Sept. 29, 1904, Mr. Rauenzahn was married to Anna Wolf, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Houck) Wolf of Chester county, and they had two children: Luther E., born Nov. 4, 1905, died July 22, 1906; and Marie E.


p. 503


George A. Ravel, a merchant of Reading, is a native of that city, born there Dec. 28, 1865, son of George Ravel Sr. The father still resides in Reading, but has retired after his long years of labor as an iron-molder.

George A. Ravel was sent first to the public schools, and then to a parochial one, but at the age of twelve his attendance stopped altogether, and he went to work as an errand boy for Jonathan Mould. He worked for him from 1877 to 1887, and was promoted a number of times acting as clerk in various departments, and finally being put in charge of the domestic department. After a year spent in Chicago, still in the mercantile line, Mr. Ravel returned to Reading, and on Oct. 13, 1888, opened a store of his own in a private house located at No. 113 North Ninth street. He began with a room twenty by thirty feet, but two years later he built an addition twenty by forty-five feet, and remained in those quarters until 1897. He then bought the property and erected a store building 20 x 100 feet, four stories in height, where he carries a full line of notions, dry goods and ladies and gentlemen's furnishings. He employs twelve clerks, and has a constantly increasing volume of trade. In 1903, as he felt his health failing somewhat from overwork, Mr. Ravel took Mr. E. P. Fidler in as a partner, thus lightening his own responsibilities. Mr. Ravel has also gone extensively into building operations, lately, and during the past four years has erected forty buildings in different parts of the city. He is a most capable business man, with unusually good judgment, and ranks among the most successful merchants of the city.

The wife chosen by Mr. Ravel was Miss Annie M. Bitting, daughter of Jacob and Sallie Bitting, both now deceased. Three sons have been born to this union, Harry, Walter and George, all attending school. The family reside at No. 1257 Eckert avenue. Mr. Ravel is a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, but his wife belongs to the Reformed Church.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:45 EDT

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