Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 667


J. H. Reichert, of Willow Glen Farm, in Marion township, Berks county, and second vice-president of the International Correspondence Schools, of Scranton, Pa., was born in Upper Tulpehocken township, Berks county, Sept. 1, 1865, son of Jeremiah M. Reichert (a soldier of the Civil war), and grandson of Charles Reichert (a Revolutionary soldier).

The family is of Swiss extraction, and was one of the earliest to locate in Berks county, the name appearing in 1739 on the first tax list made up for Bern township.

As a young man Mr. Reichert was a salesman, and about twelve years ago he became connected with the International Correspondence Schools at Scranton, Pa., and is now serving as second vice-president, having charge of the selling force. He has, however, retained his residence in Marion township, on the homestead of his maternal ancestors, the Maidenfords.

Willow Glen Farm consists of 105 acres, and is one of the landmarks of the county, having been settled by Mr. Reichert1s ancestors nearly two centuries ago. The farm house is 177 years old. This place is run on business principles, and after being practically ruined through farming along old methods by generation after generation When Mr. Reichert took charge he studied the question carefully for weeks and months and at the end of that time had concluded two things were necessary: To discontinue the pasturing of cattle, and to waste less home fertilizer. He worked out a system of green crops, suitable to the climate and soil, and he has a fine herd of fifty-five Jerseys (in milk). His milk is of excellent quality, and brings two cents a quart more in Reading than that sold by other farmers. The milk of each cow is weighed at each milking, and the total daily yield is watched, so that any variations can be quickly noted and the cause caught. In one year the farm produced 154,000 quarts of milk. All the rough feed?hay, grain and ensilage?is raised, and none purchased, and nothing is sold except wheat, milk and cattle, yet the farm has an annual income of $7,000.


p. 1157


Penrose L. Reichwine, train despatcher for the Pennsylvania Railroad at Reading, was born at Mohnton, in Cumru township, Berks county, Jan. 31, 1877, son of Henry J. Reichwine. The family originated in Baden-Baden, Germany, and the name has been spelled Reichwine, Richwine, Richwein, Reichwein, etc.

Cornelius Reichwine, grandfather of Penrose L., was born in Berks county, and for many years was engaged in the manufacture of gun barrels for the government, having his factory in Cumru township, where is now the borough of Mohnton. In 1838 he opened a shop which later became Ruth's gristmill. He died in Cumru township at the age of eighty-two years. His wife's maiden name was Holtry. Their children were: Richard lives in Reading; Joseph died in Reading; Isaac lives in Florid, Putnam Co., Ill.; John died aged three years; Daniel is deceased; Henry J.; Louisa died young; Mary married Cyrus Hoffert; Tillie married John Regar; Amanda married James O'Neill; and Catharine married a Lambert.

Henry J. Reichwine, son of Cornelius, was born March 25, 1846, and was a skilled hatter, following that trade with George Hendel for many years. He is at present in the employ of the Neversink Dye Works at Reading. He married Sarah Amanda Lutz, daughter of Daniel and Catharine (Hemminger) Lutz, and they have three children: Penrose L.; Bertha m. Walter Amman; and Kate is at home.

Penrose L. Reichwine attended the public schools and high school at Ephrata, Lancaster Co., Pa., and when sixteen years of age he learned the art of telegraphing, entering the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He spent five years as an operator, and in 1906 he was made train dispatcher at Reading, the position he still holds.

Mr. Reichwine has been twice married. He m. (first) Josephine Weaver, daughter of Aaron Weaver, and she died at Lynnport, Lehigh county, in January, 1895, leaving a son, Harry L., now in school. Mr. Reichwine m. (second) Miss Marion Pearl Elliott, daughter of Horace Elliott, of Pottstown. She was a well known school teacher in that city. Mr. Reichwine is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 66, F. O. E.; P. R. R. Relief Association; Royal Arcanum. He and his wife attend the United Evangelical Church. Their home is at No. 635 North Front street, Reading.


p. 1587


The Reidenauers of Berks county are descended from one Johannes Reidenauer, a German from the Palatinate, who fled to the New World to escape religious persecution. He crossed the Atlantic on the ship "Lydia" which qualified at Philadelphia Dec. 11, 1739. He was born in 1699, and was consequently forty when he came to America. In 1759 one John Reidenauer was a taxable resident in District township, Berks Co., Pa., but it is not known whether it was this John or his son of the same name. Both are buried at Hill Church.

Johannes Reidenauer, the younger, son of the emigrant, was born in Germany Dec. 26, 1723, and was sixteen when he came with his father to America. He died June 14, 1805, and was buried at Hill Church. He made his will Aug. 28, 1801, and it is on record in Will Book 4, page 294. He married Elizabeth Herb, born in 1732, died Jan. 20, 1808, and to them were born the following children: Johannes, 1759-1828; Frederick, 1762-1837; Jacob, 1764-1831; Abraham; Mary Elizabeth, who married George Seibert; Susanna, who married John Stauffer, and had a son Jacob, to whom her father bequeathed a sheep; Barbara, who married Michael Hoffman; and Catharine, who never married.

Johannes Reidenauer, born Dec. 3, 1759, son of Johannes, lived in District township, Berks county, where he owned a small tract of land which he cultivated in addition to working among the farmers. He died July 22, 1828, and is buried at Hill Church. He married Susanna Herb, and their children were: Abraham, who lives at New Berlinville; Jacob, of Maxatawny township; John, who died in Washington township; Daniel; Susan, m. to Abraham Herbst, of District township; Catharine, who became the wife of a Mr. Lehr, and lived in Philadelphia; and Peggy, m. to Peter Case, of Hereford township.

John Reidenauer, son of Johannes, lived in District township, where he owned and cultivated a small farm. Though eighty-four years old when he died, in 1904, he had all his teeth, and he was never sick until about the last year of his life. He married Catharine Becker, daughter of Henry Becker, and she died some years before Mr. Reidenauer, passing away July 24, 1890, had a family of seven children; William B., John, Lizzie, Emma, James, Mary and Isabella.

William B. Reidenauer was born Aug. 24, 1846, in District township, and grew up on the farm. Such education a he received was gained in the pay schools in vogue during his boyhood, and he had to earn the money for his tuition. The cost was three and a half cents a day, and he attended from thirty to thirty-five days every winter, getting the money by doing various kinds of manual labor for neighboring farmers, threshing, butchering, shelling corn, etc., for which he received twenty-five cents a day. David Benfield and Josiah Schaeffer were his teachers, and he attended in District and Washington townships. He did farm work until fifteen years old, when he went to work in the ore mines at Rittenhouse Gap, continuing at such employment for seven years. He then learned the carpenter1s trade from Jacob Dengler, of Washington township, following it for a number of years in lower Berks county, and for five years he was a boss carpenter, employing as many as nine men. Though principally engaged in putting up houses and barns, he has the reputation of being a good all-round mechanic. At present Mr. Reidenauer devotes most of his time to his sawmill, which is located just above Bechtelsville, in Washington township, and he also has a small farm, having a valuable property, which makes him on the largest tax-payers in the township. On Sept. 22, 1908, Mr. Reidenauer met with a severe reverse, a disastrous fire destroying his sawmill, gristmill, cider press, house and ice house. The loss was nearly $10,000, and only partially covered by insurance. A quarter of a mile east of his home place he has another gristmill, which is operated by his son Warren. For some four years Mr. Reidenauer was engaged in the manufacture of brick, turning out as many as 300,000 per annum, and he gave employment to twelve men in this line. At present he has two, three or four men in his employ besides his son. He is a man of good judgment, honorable and reliable, and is looked upon as one of the leading and substantial citizens of his township.

Mr. Reidenauer was married in 1872 to Amanda Moser, daughter of William Moser, and she died Oct. 13, 1907, at the age of fifty-six years, the mother of eight children, as follows: Wilson, who is now living in Pike township; Harrison M., of Bechtelsville; Mahlon M.; Elmer, of Boyertown, Berks county; Warren of Bechtelsville; Ida, wife of Elmer Conrad, of District township; Edwin, who is still at home; and Allen unmarried.

Mr. Reidenauer and his family are members of the Lutheran congregation of the Hill Church, and he has served three years as elder.

He is a Republican in political sentiment. In 1908 he built a substantial residence at Boyertown., Harrison M. Reidenauer, proprietor of the "Keystone House," at Bechtelsville, was born Oct. 7, 1873, in Washington township, and there attended the Reidenauer public school, which was named for his father. He went to school until he was fifteen, and his first work was as a teamster, hauling logs and lumber for his father, who conducted a large sawmill. After six years at this work he learned the milling business, under William C, Bechtel, of Bechtelsville, remaining in his employ one year, when he returned to the gristmill of his father, to work as miller. At that time he continued in his father's employ for two years, after which he conducted the mill for himself, renting it from his father, until 1902. He then became proprietor of the Dale store and hotel, which he carried on for one year. In the spring of 1906 he became the proprietor of the "Keystone House" in Bechtelsville, which he has since conducted with increasing success and patronage. The house contains fifteen rooms and Mr. Reidenauer enjoys his share of the traveling trade as well as the local patronage. In addition to his hotel business Mr. Reidenauer is engaged as a dealer in cattle and horses, having an established trade in this line which has proved very profitable. Every fall he has a sale of cattle, at his public house. Mr. Reidenauer is a young business man of good reputation and honorable ideas, and he is making his way in the world very creditably.

On Dec. 29, 1894, Mr. Reidenauer married Miss Sarah M. Eshbach, daughter of George and Sophia (Moyer) Eshbach, and they have two children, Norman and Erma. The family are Lutheran members of the Hill Church. Mr. Reidenauer is a member of Washington Camp No. 327, P. O. S. of A., of Bechtelsville.

Mahlon M. Reidenauer was born Dec. 24, 1876, at Bechtelsville. He was reared under the parental roof, attended the common schools of Washington township, and from boyhood assisted his father in his various enterprises, beginning at an early age to saw wood and do other work around the sawmill. He worked for his father continuously, giving him his time until he was eighteen years old, after which he remained with him another four years, working for wages. In the spring of 1898 he removed to Bechtelsville, locating at the Red Mill, a gristmill in the south end of the borough, which he conducted as such for ten years, in the spring of 1908 converting it into a planing-mill. Meantime, in 1900, he had become the owner of the mill and property, purchasing same from the Henry Young estate. The mill itself is one of the landmarks of the district and is quite old. The property includes three acres of land, and is valuable particularly for Mr. Reidenauer1s present needs. He manufactures doors, windows, etc., and does general mill work, giving employment to several men the year round. Water-power is used in the operation of the mill.

On Jan, 15, 1899, Mr. Reidenauer married Miss Lydia Landis, born Aug. 21, 1880, daughter of Martin and Maria (Rauch) Landis.. Mrs. Reidenauer passed away April 21, 1907, aged twenty-six years, eight months. She was the mother of one child, Lottie L. Mr. Reidenauer is a member of the Lutheran congregation of the Hill Church, to which his wife also belonged.


p 1148


Jonas B Reidenouer, a successful citizen of Boyertown, where he is employed by the Colebrookdale Iron Company, is a member of a family which traces its American origin to a German from the Palatinate, who fled to the New World to escape religious persecution in the Old. This emigrant was Johannes Reidenouer, who was born in 1690, son of Nicholas and Susanna Reidenouer, of Rothenhal. He crossed the Atlantic on the ship "Lydia," which qualified at Philadelphia Dec. 11,1739, and on the same vessel came his son, Johannes, Jr., then sixteen years of age. In 1759 one John Reidenouer was a taxable resident in District township, Berks county, and this must have been the son, as the father died in 1755. Both are buried at Hill Church. The father was married in 1716, and he and his wife, Maria Catharine, had children as follows: John, born in 1717, died in 1721. George, born in 1718, married Elizabeth Kippinger, and removed to western Maryland, where many of his descendants are found. George Nicholas, born in 1720, did not come to America until 1764. Margaret, born in 1722, married John Nicholas Philips. Johannes, born in 1723, married Elizabeth Herbein. John Jacob, born in 1725, died young. Catharine Barbara, born in 1728, married Peter Kohn. Christina, born in 1729, married John Adam Forch. Christopher was born in 1731. Maria Ellis, born in 1733, married Conrad Smith. Maria Albertina, born in 1735, died young. Elizabeth, born in 1737, died young. Anna Ursula was born in 1740.

In the hill country contiguous to the Maxatawny and Oley Valleys were seated the Oley Hills, and the district now comprised in the townships of District, Pike, Rockland and Ruscombmanor townships. This territory has an abundance of fine water. In these districts were located a large number of Alsatians and Lorrainese at an early date, among them being the Reitenouers, Mosers, Gerbers, De Ia Camps, Beavers, John Ruhlin, Matthieu Morrett. Nicholas Guerin, John George Riehl, Henry Linville and John Michael Grauel.

Johannes Reidenouer, the younger, was born in Germany Dec. 26, 1723, and at his death June 14, 1805, was buried at Hill Church. He made his will Aug. 28, 1801, and it is on record in Will Book 4, page 294. To him and his wife, Elizabeth Herbein, born 1732, died Jan. 20,1808, were born the following children: Johannes, 1759-1828; Frederick, 1762-1837; Jacob, 1764-1831; Abraham; Mary Elizabeth, who married George Seibert; Susanna, who married John Stauffer, and had a son Jacob to whom her father bequeathed a sheep; Barbara, who married Michael Hoffman ; and Catharine, who never married.

Johannes Reidenouer, born Dec. 3, 1759, son of Johannes, lived in District township, Berks county, where he owned a small tract of land which he cultivated in addition to working among the farmers. He died July 22, 1828, and is buried at Hill Church. He married Elizabeth Herb, born in 1752, and died Jan. 20, 1808, a tall, strong woman of decided character. Their children were Abraham, who lives at New Berlinville : Jacob, of Maxatawny township ; John, who died in Washington township; Daniel ; Susan, m. to Abraham Herbst, of District township: Catharine, m. to a Mr. Lehr, and they lived in Philadelphia; and Peggy, m. to Peter Case, of Hereford township.

Daniel Reidenouer, son of Johannes and Elizabeth, was born Jan. 5, 1814. He devoted himself to the cultivation of his tract of twelve acres and to day labor, and at his death May 2, 1892, was buried at Hill Church. He married Maria Polly Becker, who was born Feb. 11, 1817, and who died May 18, 1900. Their children were: Sarah, m. to William Mutter, of New Berlinville; Jonas B.; Reuben, of Lock haven, Pa.; George, who died aged fifty years ; David, twin to George, who died in the Civil war; Mary, m. to Andrew Kemmerer, of Washington township ; Lizzie, m. to Jonathan Hoffman, of Washington township; ElIen, widow of Jacob Gildberg ; Emma, widow of James Herbst.

Jonas B. Reidenouer, son of Daniel, was born in District township, Berks county, Nov. 10, 1839, and now lives in a fine brick home in Boyertown, which he erected in 1902. This is a double house, the one half being occupied by Mr. Reidenouer, and the other by his married daughter, Ella. Mr. Reidenouer learned the blacksmith's trade at the age of seventeen with John Deysher, of Boyertown, and this he followed two years, when he became the blacksmith for the Phoenix Iron Company at Boyertown, sharpening tools, and later he became the engineer of the Company, continuing in this employ for thirty-five years, and becoming one of their most valuable men. Since 1895 he has been employed by the Colebrookdale Iron Company. In politics he is a Democrat, and while actively interested in his party's welfare has never held any office except that of school director. He and is family are Lutheran members of St. John's Church, in which he has been a deacon.

In 1863 Mr. Reidenouer married Emma Stetler, daughter of Christian and Mary (Fry) Stetler, of Gilbertsville, and their children are : Henry, of Boyertown ; Thomas and Horace, of Pottstown; Ella, m. to Ray Hartlein, of Boyertown ; and Charles, of Chicago. Besides his home Mr. Reidenouer owns a good house on Philadelphia avenue. He is one of the substantial citizens of the borough.

Reider, Daniel T.

p. 1485


Daniel T. Reider, a retired citizen of Berks county, who resides near Blandon, was born at Molltown, Aug. 31, 1859, son of Henry and Theresa (Straub) Reider.

Henry Reider was a saddler by trade, but later engaged in the hotel business at Fleetwood. He died aged seventy-six yeares, his widow surviving him for a long period and being eighty years at the time of her death. They had the following children: Mary, deceased, m. (first) George Dixon and (second) Frank Bobst; Lucinda m. Cyrus Sell; Charles died young; George m. Ada Hoffman; John m. Mary Myers; Emma, deceased, m. Augustus Reber, William died young; Clara who died March 13, 1908 m. Harrison Lord; Sylvanius m. Savilla Herr; Daniel T.; Alice m. Irvin Bossler; and Samuel.

Daniel T. Reider resided at Molltown until nine years of age, at which time he removed with his parents to Reading, and attended the public schools there for three years, his education being completed in the school at Douglasville, which he attended one term. For a number of years Mr. Reider was engaged in work around the iron works, being principally employed in the Blandon Rolling Mills, but he now lives in retirement.

On Nov 11, 1882, Mr. Reider married Susannah Henry (or Heinrich) daughter of William and Mary Fianna (Eck) Heinrich. One son, William, was born to this union. Aug. 7, 1883, who was educated in the local schools. He is regularly employed at the Blandon Rolling Mills. Nov 22, 1902, he married Valeria Heller, daughter of Amos and Sarah (Rothermel) Heller, the latter of whom is now married to Adam Kemmerer. Two children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. William Reider: Anna Minerva, June 28, 1903; and Harry Daniel, June 30, 1905. The family are members of the Lutheran Church at Blandon, and father and son are both Democrats.


p. 970


Daniel Q. Rider, a highly esteemed retired citizen of the Butterlane, Mount Penn borough, where he owns a pleasant residence, was born April 1, 1847, in Exeter township, Berks county, son of David and Ellen (Quinter) Reider.

John Reider, great-grandfather of Daniel Q. R., lived near the line of Oley and Pike townships, in the vicinity of Lobachsville. He was a farmer by occupation. His will was probated in 1828, the year of his death, and is on record in Will Book 6, page 221. Among his children were: Jacob, to whom was given the tin-plate stove and pipe; John, a farmer in Ruscombmanor township, whose children were?Rachel, Hettie, Betzy, Mary, William, John Simon, Israel, Steffy, and Solomon; Mary married to John Minder, of Friedensburg; and Mrs. Adam Haas, whose husband was one of the executors of his father-in-law1s will.

Tradition says that George Casper Reiter, of Rockland township, who died in the prime of life in 1801, was a brother of John Reider. His will is recorded in Will Book 4, page 8. The Christian name of his wife was Catharine, and their children were: Martin, Godfried, and George and Jacob, who were minors in 1801.

Jacob Reider, son of John and grandfather of Daniel Q., was born in Pike township in 1786, and died there on his small tract located three miles above Friedensburg, Feb. 22, 18561, aged about sixty-five years. He and his wife, Maria Breidigan (1788-1834), are buried at Friedensburg. He was a weaver and wove all kinds of linen goods. His five children were: Aaron had children?Lizzie, Ellen, Emma, David, George and a daughter who was burned to death on a boat; Benneville was the father of Jacob and Morris; David is mentioned below; Sarah m. William Schmeck; and Rachel, born in 1828, is unmarried.

David Reider was born early in February, 1818, in Exeter township, where he was a lifelong farmer, and died Jan. 1, 1874, being buried at the Union Schwartzwald Church, of which he and his wife, who is also buried there, were Lutheran members. Mrs. Ellen (Quinter) Reider was the daughter of Peter and Susan (Ulrich) Quinter, the former a shoemaker of Exeter township Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Reider: Daniel Q; and Peter and Jacob, twins, born June 20, 1854. Peter Reider, a farmer of near Lenhartsville, in Greenwich township, married Sarah Ritter. He died in the fall of 1908, aged fifty-six years, and is buried at Dunkel1s Church. Jacob, who is a fireman of Reading, m. (first) Ellen Border, deceased, and (second) Nettie Bohler.

Daniel Q. Reider attended the public schools until fifteen years of age, when he began working on the farm, continuing at agricultural pursuits for some years. Early in life he worked at Brumbach1s woolen mills at St. Lawrence, was later employed as a sizer and blocker in the hat factory at Reading, and from 1888 until 1891 was employed as watchman at the Berks county jail. After leaving the latter position, Mr. Reider was engaged in various employment until his retirement. Since 1884 Mr. Reider has lived in his pleasant home in the Butterlane, with which he has a half-acre of fruit trees. In political matters he is a Democrat, while fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 61, P. O. S. of A., Reading. He and his wife attend Schwartzwald Church, of which they are Lutheran members.

In 1873 Mr. Reider married Sarah S. Sweitzer, daughter of William and Sarah (Bixler) Sweitzer, and to this union there was born one daughter: Alice, born in 1873, who died, aged three years, ten months, twenty-two days.


p. 1685


The Reiff family has long been known in Berks county, and each generation has presented good, substantial citizens, whose industrious and useful lives have been of benefit to their various communities. The name was worthily borne by the late Charles Reiff and in the present day by his nephew, Lot W. Reiff, deputy clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Berks county.

(1) Conrad Reiff, a pioneer of the county, settled in Oley township, prior to the organization of the county in 1752. He became a large land owner in the western end of the township, and he died in 1877, the year he made his last will and testament, which is on record in Will Book 2, p. 300. This will was proved May 22, 1777, and the executors were his son, Daniel and his friend, Daniel Hunter. His wife, Anna Margaretha, survived him. The will mentions but two sons, Philip and Daniel. In 1759 Conrad Reiff and his two sons paid the largest federal tax paid in Oley township, paying 100 pounds. Tradition says Conrad Reiff was buried on the farm (late the property of Charles Reiff), in the yard near the east side of the implement shed. No tombstone marks his grave, but a rough field stone stands there.

(II) Daniel Reiff, son of Conrad, was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and was a man of prominence in public affairs. He died prior to 1813, and is probably buried on the Reiff homestead, or in the "flat" along the trolley road, south of the upper station at Friedensburg. The will of his widow, Catharine, is on record in Will Book D, p. 261, of which her son, Conrad, was sole executor. She had a son-in-law, Samuel Hottenstein, and her grandsons, Daniel and Jacob Reiff shared largely in her bequests. Her will was made in 1813, and probated Nov. 20, 1820.

(III) Conrad Reiff, son of Daniel and Catharine, was born Nov. 24, 1764, and died Feb. 23, 1838, aged seventy-three years, two months and twenty-nine days. In 1789 he married Elizabeth Hoch, born Jan. 12, 1766, and died Oct. 10, 1843, aged seventy-seven years, eight months, twenty-eight days, and both are buried in a private burial ground on the hill of the original homestead. Conrad Reiff was a farmer and blacksmith. He owned 400 acres of land, since divided into three tracts,. He was a wealthy man for the time. He adhered to no particular religious faith. His children were: Jacob; Daniel; Maricha, who married Daniel Kemp; and Betty, who married (first) a Mr. Guldin, and (second) a Mr. Bertolet.

(IV) Jacob Reiff, son of Conrad, was born on the old farm March 15, 1792, and he died Dec. 20, 1879, aged eighty-seven years, nine months and five days. He was a blacksmith by trade, and also carried on farming on an extensive scale. He owned the farm which became the property of his son, Charles, and also a farm of more than one hundred acres a little to the west. He married Sarah Hoch, born May 24, 1798, died Jan. 20, 1852, aged fifty-three years, seven months, twenty-six days. Their marriage took place Dec. 28, 1817, and was blessed by the following children: Elizabeth, born Jan. 26, 1819; Isaac, March 18, 1820; Hannah, Nov. 13, 1821; Lewis, Jan. 29, 1824 (died Oct. 19, 1851); William, Aug. 18, 1825 (died Aug. 23, 1869); Maria C., Oct. 6, 1827; Sarah, March 8, 1829; Charles, Jan. 6, 1831; Amelia, Nov. 8, 1832 (died 1894); Rebecca, Aug. 15, 1834; and Daniel, Oct. 26, 1836.

(V) Charles Reiff, son of Jacob, lived on the farm near Friedensburg, where he was born Jan. 6, 1831. He died March 13, 1909. He worked for his father until he was thirty-five years of age, and then began for himself, on a part of the homestead, there continuing until his death. He owned a fine farm of 170 acres, and was one of the heavy tax payers of Oley township. He was prominent in public affairs and took a good citizen's interest in all that pertained to the welfare of his town and county. He served as school director for three years and as auditor for a like period. His family are Lutheran members of Friedensburg Church, of which Mr. Reiff had been deacon and elder. He was a trustee of the building committee, that erected the present church edifice in 1883.

On Jan. 27, 1872, Mr. Reiff was married to Hannah C. Angstadt, daughter of Aaron Angstadt. Their children were: Daniel, born March 29, 1873; Minnie, who married Charles Heilig; William, born Aug. 29, 1875; Sarah, who married Oscar Schaeffer; Aaron, born Aug. 27, 1878; Amanda, born 1879, and died 1882; Jacob, born Nov. 3, 1881; Emma; and Hannah. Mr. Reiff served for nine months in the Civil war as a member of Company C, 167th Pa. Vol. Infantry.

(VI) William Reiff, son of Charles, is a great hunter, and with others of Oley township, takes annual trips to different parts of the State for big game He is a leader in his success in this line, and is noted as a marksman.

(V) Isaac Reiff, son of Jacob, was born March 18, 1920, on the old Reiff homestead, and there died in 1888, aged sixty-eight years. He married Caroline Widener, and they had eleven children, among whom were: Samuel W., of Reading; Lewis, a farmer of Oley township; Milton W., a contractor at Reading; Ada, wife of Dr. Frank Hartzog, of Oley; Mrs. Calentine Hartman; Albert and John died in youth; Jacob died from sunstroke while home on his summer vacation, at the time of his death being a student at the Kutztown State Normal School; Alvin died in 1904, aged forty-six years; and Lot W.

(VI) Lot W. Reiff, son of Isaac, is a prominent public man of Berks county. He was born in Oley township, Berks county, Feb. 12, 1863, was educated in the public schools, Oley Academy, and Kutztown State Normal School, and has taught school for sixteen terms. He is a Democrat, served as township school director; member of the county standing committee; was delegate to the Democratic State Convention in 1890, 1898, 1899, and 1908, and was a presidential elector in 1900; was elected to the House of Representatives in 1898, and re-elected in November, 1900. While still serving as a legislator in 1901, he was appointed by Clerk of Courts, Jacob B. Esser, as Deputy Clerk of Quarter Sessions, and was re-appointed under the administration of Peter S. Hall, and Samuel T. Bordner. He was Deputy County Treasurer under Henry H. Fry from 1906-1908. Mr. Reiff has been the political leader of Berks county since 1904, and is the most shrewd politician Berks county ever produced. He has a wide acquaintance and his political influence is undisputed.

Mr. Reiff is the efficient secretary of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Berks county, which institution was organized in 1845; and he in 1893 was prominent in the organization of the Schuylkill Valley Mutual Wind, Storm and Lightning Insurance Company of Berks county, of which he is now secretary. Mr. Reiff is an extensive property owner of the county.

Fraternally he belongs to the following bodies: The Knights of the Golden Eagle of Manatawny; the P. O. S. of A. of Oley Line; the Order of Red Men; Oley Lodge, No. 218, I. O. O. F.; and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 66, the latter two are of Reading.

In July, 1893, Mr. Reiff was married to Deborah Baer, and they have two children, Guy and Esther. The family worship in the Lutheran Church at Friedensburg.


p. 1073


William M. Reiff, a highly esteemed citizen of Reading, Pa., residing at No. 935 Oley street, has been a trusted employe of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad for nearly forty-five years. He was born April 19, 1844, in Lower Providence, Montgomery county, Pa., son of Christopher and Sarah Ann (Barrett) Reiff.

George Reiff, grandfather of William M., was a resident of Montgomery county, where he died, when still a young man, being buried at Lower Providence Baptist Church. He married Peggy Heebner, and they had two children: Christopher; and Elizabeth, who married Henry Lonacker, of Lower Providence.

Christopher Reiff was born Oct. 5, 1819,, in Montgomery county, and died Nov. 25, 1908, aged eighty-nine years, one month and twenty days. His last years were passed at the home of his son George H., in Allentown. He was a farmer in his earlier life, but in 1855 he located at Morristown, where he learned core making. Later he became a railroader, but after coming to Reading he again followed core making, but subsequently, in 1858, when the East Penn. Railroad was opened, he accepted an appointment as baggage agent, a position which he filled until the road was leased to the Reading Railroad. Mr. Reiff married Sarah Ann Barrett, daughter of Philip Barrett, and her death was caused by a fall from a two-story widow while asleep, May 22, 1890. They had five children: Ann Elizabeth died young; William M.; George H., of Allentown; Ann Rebecca, who died in infancy; and Irwin D., of Reading.

William M. Reiff accompanied his parents to Norristown when quite small, and in 1855 came with them to Reading, where he has since resided with the exception of from 1877 to 1885, when he conducted the train between Kutztown and Topton, having his home at the former place. He attended the public schools of Reading, and later lived one year with an uncle at Turbotville, Northumberland county. On his return he became a clerk with William Rhoads, Jr. & Sr., who conducted a general store at the old jail building, at the corner of Fifth and Washington streets, and remained in their employ two years, afterward for one year attending Prof. John S. Ermentrout's select school in Reading. He then clerked for two years in F. B. Shalter's store, where the "United State Hotel" is now located, and in 1862 he entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, remaining with them for two months. At this time he enlisted in Company E, 128th Pa V. I., for nine months service, his captain being William H. Andrews, who was killed in Antietam. He was at Antietam in reserve, South Mountain, Chancellorsville, May 1, 2, 3, 1863, and was mustered out at Harrisburg, May 19, 1863, with a fine war record. On his return he was employed by the Hope Express Company for a period of six months, and then again entered the railroad service, Dec. 25, 1863, as a brakeman, later became baggage-master and then train dispatcher, and since May 1, 1877, he has been a conductor. Since 1896 his run has been between Reading and Philadelphia, he having the 6:20 a. m. from Reading. Mr. Reiff has never had a serious accident, and is one of the company1s most trusted employes, as he is one of the most popular conductors on the line. He owns his own fine large residence in Reading, and is highly esteemed in the community in which he has lived so long. Mrs. Reiff is a lady of refined tastes, and is greatly interested in the biographical history of the Baer or Barr family, being one of the secretaries of the Baer family association.

Mr. Reiff was married in 1865 to Emma C. Barr, daughter of Ephraim and Rebecca Barr, and three children have been born to this union: Mame A. (m. J. Morris High, now deceased); Anna R. (died aged two weeks); and William H. (holds a responsible position with the American Iron & Steel Company at Lebanon). Mr. Reiff is fraternally connected with Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. & A. M., of Kutztown; Reading Chapter; and DeMolay Commandery of Reading; and O. R. C., of Nicolls, Division of America.


p 1148


Frank K, Reifsnyder, a prosperous business man of Reading, PA., who is engaged in roof painting, was born Nov. 12, 1873. in that city, son of Owen E. and Caroline (Kesser) Reifsnyder, natives of Berks county.

Owen F. Reifsnyder was as for many years employed at the tin shops of the Philadelphia & Reading Company, and died in Reading in 1900, aged seventy-seven years. Although he was a member of no church, his religious belief was that of the Lutheran Church. He and his wife had seven children, five of whom still survive: Sally, m. to Peter Oswald; Emma, deceased, m to Charles M Ludwig; Amanda, deceased, m to George Mayberry; Anna, single; Irvin; James, and Frank K.

Frank K. Reifsnyder received his education in the schools of Reading, after leaving which he worked in a cigar factory as errand boy, later learning the trade of cigar making, which he followed until 1900. In this year he engaged as a contractor in roof painting, and he has continued in this line to the present time, being very successful. He owns a residence property at No. 140 South Twelfth street, and there he and his wife reside. Mr. Reifsnyder was married in 1904 to Anna Mays, daughter of Henry J. and Susan (Deppen) Mays. Two children. Henry O., and Anna Mays, have been born to this union. Besides Mrs. Reifsnyder, Mr. Henry J. Mays was the father of H. Robert; Esther M., wife of William J. Horst. of Denver, Colo.; and Jacob H., of Womelsdorf.

Mr. Reifsnyder is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and Progressive Lodge and Brotherhood, Independent Order Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Reformed Church, belonging to the choir thereof, while Mrs. Reifsnyder belongs to the United Evangelical faith.


p 596


John F. Reifsnyder, in whose death at Reading, Pa., March 17, 1905, this city lost a citizen who had been identified with the commission business here for many years, was widely known.

John F. Reifsynder was born in Oley township, April 22, 1848, a son of Joel and Margaret (Jones) Reifsnyder. His father was a blacksmith and followed his business at Unionville, where he died at the age of thirty-three years. His widow died in October, 1908, at Baumstown. They had four children, George, John F., Matilda and Joel, Jr. (who died July 10, 1909).

Mr. Reifsnyder obtained a common school education and when he was sixteen years of age he secured employment in the shipping department of the Brooke Iron Company, of Birdsboro. In 1886 he came to Reading and opened a retail commission house at No. 210 North Ninth street, where he continued for ten years, when, on account of business expansion, he bought the two dwellings at the north-east corner of Ninth and Elm streets. These he converted into appropriate buildings for his business and here continued in the commission line, both wholesale and retail. In 1882 Mr. Reifsnyder leased a portion of the Reading Railway fright house, at Eighth and Buttonwood streets, with an office on the Eighth street side, and this he converted into a storage warehouse. Here he carried on his enormous business for fourteen years and during this time handled hundreds of car loads of commodities. As an example of his vast trade, in a single year he handled seventy-five cars of bananas and sixty cars of oranges.

Mr. Reifsnyder was married at Reading, in 1870, to Annie G. Lincoln, daughter of the late John D. and Sarah (Gilbert) Lincoln, the former of whom died at the age of eighty-one years and the latter at the age of eighty-five years. They had the following children: Amelia, deceased; Alfred; Harrison, of Reading; Elizabeth; John, deceased; Richard; Martha; Annie G.; Sarah, Mary; and Oscar, who died young. Mr. and Mrs. Reifsnyder had one daughter that died in infancy. Mr. Reifsnyder invested in Reading property to some extent and in 1893 erected Reifsnyder Hall, which is situated on the northeast corner of Ninth and Elm streets, and which is rented for lodge purposes.

Mrs. Reifsnyder belongs to the same Lincoln family that gave the people of the United States the immortal President Abraham Lincoln. In Exeter township about a mile below Exeter Station there is an old stone house in which lived, up to the time of his death, in 1736, Mordecai Lincoln, who was the great-great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln homestead, which embraces sixty-one acres is owned by the brother, Richard G. Lincoln, who was born in Exeter and is the third surviving brother of Mrs. Reifsnyder. He purchased the property some ten years since, and in many ways he is a typical Lincoln, closely resembling the martyred President.

The latter was not born in the old stone house, but is so closely associated with the early days of the family that its possession is a source of pleasure to the younger generation.


p 1361


Samuel S. Reifsnyder, one of the representative men of Lower Heidelberg township, who was for seventeen years the proprietor of the "Tulpehocken House" at the Blue Marsh in North Heidelberg township, was born April 12, 1839, in Lower Heidelberg township, son of Samuel and Justina (Stiely) Reifsnyder.

Johann Ernst Reifsnyder (also spelled Reiffschneider), a native of Germany, was a passenger on board the ship "Phoenix," which qualified at Philadelphia, Sept 30, 1743, and soon after this date he settled in Berks county. His children were: (1) David was the grandfather of Samuel S. (2) Daniel married and died young at New Wales, Pa. (3) George, who was born June 1, 1786, and died May 23, 1859, m. Elizabeth Spangler (born March 3, 1786, died Aug. 17, 1878), both being buried at Hain's Church. They lived at Brownsville and had these children: Polly m. Daniel Greth; Susanna m Emanuel Greth; Elizabeth m. Joseph Fox; Martha m. William Phillips; Kitty Ann, twin of Martha, m. Peter Leininger; and Ellen died unmarried. (4) Jacob, who lived at Dengler's and is buried at Schwartzwald Church, had these children, Samuel, Perry, Jacob, William, Elizabeth, Maria, and Rebecca. (5) John, who was lame, lived below Reading and kept Giles Locks, having three children, Charles, Solomon and Dr. William. (6) Catherine m. Wilhelm Stiely, a weaver of Stielytown, in Lower Heidelberg township.

David Reifsnyder, grandfather of Samuel S., was born April 13, 1781, and died July 15, 1849, being buried at Hain's Church. He was a farmer and lived at Brownsville, Berks county, which town he was instrumental in building up. His brother-in-law, Michael Brown, built the first house there before 1800, and hence the name Brownsville. Mr. Reifsnyder owned a tract of sixty acres of land near Hain's Church, and there his death occurred. He was also a wheelwright by trade, and this he followed for many years. He was married to Elizabeth Knerr, who died without issue, and he then married her sister Catherine Knerr, daughter of Christian Knerr. She was born Jan. 5, 1784, and died May 20, 1861, having been the mother of these children: Samuel; Ellen m. Daniel Shower, a stone mason of Lower Heidelberg township; Catherine m. Daniel Dunkelberger; Jonas, of Womelsdorf, was the twin of Catherine; Maria, widow of Henry Seibert, was born Feb. 7, 1825, and lives with her son George at Sixth and Bingaman streets, Reading; and Sarah, born on the homestead, Oct. 2, 1827, m. Reuben Spangler, who died in 1901 in Reading, where Mrs. Spangler has lived since 1867.

Samuel Reifsnyder, father of Samuel S., was born at Brownsville. He was the owner of two hundred and seventy acres of land in North Heidelberg township, and was a farmer all his active life with the exception of five years spent in the lumber business in Luzerne county. After the death of his wife he cut the farm in two parts, one part going to his son Samuel and the other to his son Adam. He was a Democrat in politics and served his township as assessor, tax collector and supervisor. He was a member of Hain's Reformed Church of which he was a deacon. Mr. Reifsnyder was married (first) to Justina Stiely, born June 16, 1817, who died Feb. 23, 1850, and they had three children: Mary m. William Brossman of Lower Heidelberg township; Adam, who died in North Heidelberg township, m. Sarah Ernst, who still survives, and had these children, Candace, Adam, George, David, Sallie, Samuel, Calvin, Kate, Charles and Lillie; and Samuel S. is mentioned below. Mr. Reifsnyder's second marriage was to Elizabeth Huyett, and to them four children were born, three of whom died young. The surviving daughter, Rosa, married Elmer Snyder and lives at Allentown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Reifsnyder is buried at Sinking Spring.

Samuel S. Reifsnyder worked for his parents until he was of age, at which time he married. In 1863 he became the tenant on the John Addams tract of thirty acres, where he remained one year, and then tenanted on other farms in that section for five years more, also engaging in huckstering for a period. Subsequently he returned to his father's farm, which he operated for eighteen consecutive years. In 1890 he purchased the "Tulpehocken House" at the Blue Marsh in North Heidelberg township, where he did a large business until 1907, in which year he sold it to Nicholas Bortz, of Reading, the present proprietor. Mr. Reifsnyder is a Democrat in politics, and takes an active interest in anything pertaining to the welfare of his township. He and his family are members of Hain's Church, where his wife rests from her labors.

On Aug. 8, 1856, Mr. Reifsnyder was married to Mary Gicker, born June 22, 1838, who died March 9, 1904, daughter of John and Annie (Leib) Gicker, of Lower Heidelberg township, along the Tulpehocken. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Riefsnyder: Agnes, m. to Martin Hacker, of Reading; Wellington A., who died at the age of seventeen years; Nathaniel M.; Albert J., who lives at Egypt, Lehigh county; Sarah m. to George Dunkelberger, of Lower Heidelberg township; Clara, deceased, wife of Benneville Lamm; Miranda, m. to Irwin Hafer, of Reading; Annie who died at the age of two years; and Adaline, m. to Thomas Heister, a teacher of Brownsville, Pennsylvania.

Nathaniel M. Reifsnyder, son of Samuel S., was born in North Heidelberg township, May 14, 1863. He assisted his father upon the farm until his marriage at the age of twenty-seven years, and he also helped to conduct the hotel at Blue Marsh. He has always worked with his father with the exception of two years spent at laboring in Sinking Spring. Mr. Reifsnyder married Aug. 309, 1890, Emma Bare, daughter of Percival Bare, a well-known resident of Reading. To Mr. and Mrs. Reifsnyder have been born two children, a son and a daughter, Miles S. and Florence M. Mr. Reifsnyder and his family attend Hain's Church.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:48 EDT

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