Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 958


J. Allen Riegel, a well-known citizen of Reading, who holds the responsible position of chief clerk in the Reading post-office, was born in 1846, in Bernville, Berks County, son of William B. and Mary (Lengel) Riegel, and grandson of Jacob and Christiana (Bohn ) Riegel. Grandfather Jacob Riegel was a soldier of the war of 1812-1814.

William B. Riegel was born n his father';s farm near West Leesport, Pa. He learned the watchmaker's trade with a Mr. Gift, of Hamburg, and later went to Philadelphia and worked under instruction. Returning to Leesport, he there continued until 1845, in which year he went to Bernville, were he engaged in the watchmaking and jewelry business until 1860. During the war he was engaged at the P.& R. shops, Reading, as a machinist, and although he had never learned the trade was a considered a first-class mechanic. After the war he resumed the trade of watchmaker, in Reading, and this he continued until his death, Aug. 22, 1897, at the age of seventy-five years. He was one of the best clock and watchmakers in the city, being especially expert at repairing "grandfather" clocks, which he repaired for nearly all the prominent families and banks in the city. He was the only clockmaker in the city who practically made a new clock out of an old one, manufacturing any part needed. He was a genius. He could make almost anything out of iron, brass or wood; he made fishing reels, fishing rods and fishing nets of all kinds and sizes, and manufactured nearly all the tools he used in making clocks and watches. He was a fisherman and a hunter, a good marksman, having shot many deer, bears, wild turkeys and other game. He and his wife had one child, J. Allen.

J. Allen Reigel was educated in the schools of Bernville and also the old Reading Academy, after leaving which he served his time to the watchmaking trade until the war broke out. He enlisted in Company E, 46th Regt., Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served his term of enlistment, being honorably discharged. On his return to Reading he clerked in Col. John Fritz's mercantile establishment, and when in 1869 Col. Fritz was appointed postmaster, he took young Riegel with him, recognizing the young man's ability. Forty consecutive years of public service have made Mr. Riegel one of the best known men of Reading. Capably filling every position given him, he has been steadily promoted, and since 1875 has been chief clerk.

In 1866 Mr. Riegel married Anna Fulmer, a native of Van Reed, Berks County, and a foster daughter of Henry Z. and Mary A. Van Reed, of the well known Van Reed Paper-mill near Reading. Mr. and Mrs. Riegel have the Textile Machine Works; William B., a druggist of Philadelphia, who has been a machinist and professional bicycle rider; Charles H., also a druggist of Philadelphia; Allen F., a jeweler and watchmaker of Reading; Mary E., a teacher in the public schools and a graduate of the Girls' High School, living at home and engaged in teaching; and Rosa E., a foster daughter, who is a dressmaker. In religious belief the family are members of the Reformed Church. Mr. Riegel is a member of Emblematic Lodge, I. O. O. F., and McLean Post, G.A.R., in which he has held positions.


p. 825


One of the leading concerns of Reading is the firm of W. D. Mohn & Co., machinists, tool-makers, steam and hot water fitters, plumbers and dealers in plumbers' supplies, in which Robert E. and Austin H. Riegner are partners. They are members of the old and honored family of Riegner, members of which have distinguished themselves in every walk of life.

Conrad Riegner, their great-grandfather, was born July 12, 1788, in New Hanover township, Montgomery Co., Pa., and died Feb. 15, 1847; he was buried at the historic Swamp Church. Conrad Riegner spent his life in agricultural pursuits, owned considerable property, and became a substantial and highly esteemed citizen. He married Catherine Schneider, born May 9, 1786, died May 22, 1854, and to them were born the following children: Solomon, who settled at Sanatogo and died in Pottstown, Pa.; Frederick, who lived and died at Phoenixville, Pa.; Benjamin; Aaron, whose life was spent at Chambersburg, Pa.; Mrs. Samuel Brunner, mother of Dr. Franklin R. Brunner; Mrs. Isaac Baret; Hettie, who married Solomon Stettler, of Topton, Pa.; and Reuben, who lived and died at Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Riegner, grandfather of the Riegner brothers, was born April 16, 1814, in New Hanover township, Montgomery county, and on reaching his majority removed to Boyertown, where he followed blacksmithing until a short time prior to his death. Mr. Riegner was a captain in the State militia of that section of Berks county for fourteen years, was a Democrat in politics, and served as constable of the township for a number of terms. He died May 22, 1869, in the faith of the Evangelical Church and is buried at Boyertown. In 1836 Benjamin Riegner was married to Catherine Worman, born Nov. 27, 1813, in Colebrookdale township, daughter of Joseph Worman, a tanner of Bucks county, Pa. She died June 22, 1871. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Riegner: Lewis spent his life in Reading; Benneville located in Carlisle, Pa.; Sarah died at the age of four years, two months, thirteen days; Henry died aged nine months, twenty-one days; Elmira married Joshua Gerber, and died in 1868, in her twenty-fifth year; Hiram W. is mentioned below; Catherine married Josiah Knauer, of Chester county, Pa.; Tamma married Rev. David S. Stauffer, the well-known U. E. pastor, who is stationed at Adamstown, Pa.; Amanda married Dr. D. B. Bower, of Boyertown, Pennsylvania.

Hiram W. Riegner was born at Boyertown, Berks county, April 2, 1846, and his boyhood days were spent under the parental roof. When eighteen years of age he went to learn the tanner's trade with Joseph trout, near the "Five Mile House" in Cumru township, and this occupation he followed for fourteen years, when he engaged in work at the Mohnton hat factory, remaining there for seven years. Mr. Riegner then became employed with the T. A. Willson Optical Company of Reading, for three years, when he returned to the hatting business, which he has followed to the present time, being now in the employ of the George Hendel firm at Edison (now in the borough of Shillington). In political matters Mr. Riegner is independent, voting rather for the man than the party, and he and his family are consistent members of the Zion's United Evangelical Church of Mohnton, where he has been class-leader of the English class for some time. He has been a chorister of the church for the past quarter of a century, and since 1882 has had charge of the primary department of the Sunday-school.

In 1867 Mr. Riegner was united in marriage with Miss Sevilla D. Mohn, born Nov. 16, 1845, daughter of Benjamin A. Mohn, the founder of Mohnton. Two children were born to this union, Robert E. and Austin H.

Robert E. Riegner was born March 17, 1868, at Mohnton, Berks Co., Pa., attended the public schools of his native locality, and at the age of fifteen years started to learn the machinist's trade, being employed for three years with T. A. Willson & Co. He then went to Philadelphia, where he was employed with the National Optical Company for three years, and with the well-known firm of Queen & Co. for fourteen years, having for a long period been in charge of the tool department. Mr. Riegner then returned to his native borough, and in August, 1903, was admitted a member of the firm of W. D. Mohn & Co., where he has since been in charge of the plant as superintendent. He is a skilled mechanic, and thoroughly capable of discharging the duties of his position. The company has a large and constantly increasing trade, particularly in job work and a few specialties of their own, doing a great deal of business with the firm of Queen & Co. of Philadelphia. The plant, located at Carpenter and Cherry streets, is fitted with a sixty-horse-power boiler, and a thirty-horse-power engine.

Mr. Riegner took a complete course in mechanical drawing at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, graduating therefrom in 1892; he was a member of same during his residence in Philadelphia.

On Feb. 8, 1893, Mr. Riegner was married to Miss Frances Coulter, of Philadelphia, and one child has been born to this union, Roscoe E., who is now attending high school. Mr. Riegner built his present home at Mohnton in 1905. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the United Evangelical Church, in which he is a teacher in the Sunday-school. He is a charter member of Camp No. 211, P. O. S. of A., of Mohnton, and is also connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, Camp No. 8020.

Austin H. Reigner was born Oct. 4, 1872, in Lewisburg, Union Co., Pa., and when three years of age came to Mohnton, Berks county, with his parents.

He attended the public schools of Cumru township, and night school in Philadelphia, and learned the machinist's trade with Orr & Sembower, of Reading, with whom he remained three years. Mr. Riegner then went to Philadelphia, where he was employed by the National Optical Company, and later went to Toledo, Ohio, and Buffalo, N. Y., at which latter city he had charge of the Oliver Dental Manufacturing Company for two years. Mr. Riegner then located in Reading and engaged in the manufacture of special machinery for two years on South Front street. In 1900 he engaged in business with Mr. W. D. Mohn, and in 1902 they removed the plant to its present location, corner of Carpenter and Cherry streets. Mr. Riegner is manager of the plant, and under his able management the business of the firm has been carried on in a very satisfactory manner.

In 1896 Mr. Riegner was married to Miss Estella Walters, daughter of Adolph Walters, of Altoona, Pa., and three children have been born to this union: Dallas W., Marco and Helen L. In politics Mr. Riegner is a Republican. He is a member of Zion's United Evangelical Church, where he teaches a class of young men in the Sunday-school. In 1899 Mr. Riegner was made a Mason in Hiram Lodge, No. 105, of Buffalo, N. Y., was transferred to Chandler Lodge, No. 227, of Reading, Pa., and is also a member of Reading Lodge of Perfection.

In 1896 Mr. Riegner graduated at the Spring Garden Institution of Science and Arts, in the electrical department, at the head of his class, with an average of 100, receiving a medal from ex-Governor Pattison at that school; he also took a complete course in mechanical drawing at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.



William S. Rieser, a highly respected citizen and retired farmer of Bern township, was born in Bern township, Berks Co., Pa., Jan. 5, 1841, son of Daniel and Catherine (Stoudt) Rieser.

Johan Jacob Rieser, great-grandfather of William S., was an early settler in this section.

Abraham Rieser, son of Johan Jacob, was born Aug. 16, 1781, and died July 9, 1857, aged seventy-five years, ten months and twenty-three days. He was married (first) Aug. 6, 1808, to Sarah Yrich, born Aug. 20, 1784, who died Nov. 23, 1822. He married (second) Anna Maria Yrich. His remains, as well as those of his two wives, rest in the burial ground at Bern Church. Abraham Rieser became a man of prominence in Bern township, where he acquired 350 acres of valuable land. He built the first Rieser mill in Bern township and operated it for many years. After retiring to his farm he improved it greatly, erecting all the buildings on the property now owned by his grandson, William S., and also all the buildings on the farm which was long owned by Jacob Rieser, and which is now owned by William Schlappich. The children of Abraham Rieser and his wife were: Daniel; Jacob and Jonathan both died in Bern township; Franklin, a physician residing in Reading, is the only survivor of that generation of the family; Mary m. John Bucks; Sarah m. Jacob Gerhart; and Hettie m. Washington Leinbach.

Daniel Rieser, father of William S., was born Dec. 18, 1808, and died Jan. 5, 1888, aged seventy-nine years and eighteen days. He was a well-known miller an a successful farmer. He bought 130 acres of the homestead farm, selling five acres later for a quarry. He owned also a farm of fifty-four acres on which he built a house and barn, and a farm of 225 acres in Spring township. He retired from active life a few years before his death. He was a worthy member of Epler's Reformed Church, in which he was an elder for twelve years, and also served as a deacon, was a member of the church building committee, and at all times was a liberal in the cause of religion. He married Catherine Stoudt, daughter of Jacob Stoudt. She was born June 28, 1811, and died March 28, 1896, aged eighty-four years, nine months. They had two sons, William S. and Cyrus S., the latter of whom died aged forty-one years. His surviving children are: Pearson, George and Cora.

William S. Rieser attended the old subscription schools in childhood and later the district schools. In 1865 he began farming where he now resides, and continued until 1897, when he retired from active work. The old buildings erected by his grandfather still stand but he added to and remodeled them to suit modern ways of living. In politics he is a stanch Democrat. He is a member of Epler's Reformed Church, and has been one of its elders since 1901.

William S. Rieser married Elizabeth Hahn, daughter of Daniel and Mary Hahn, and they have four children, as follows: (1) Irvin, residing in Bern township, married Emma Bucks, and has one child, Esther. (2) Jennie m. William Dietrich, residing in Centre township, and they have children, Florence, Helen, Paul, John, William, Carrie, Laura, Annie, Edna, and Wayne. (3) Edwin C., a stenographer and book-keeper, is a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, afterward taking a post-graduate course at Perkiomen Seminary. While attending Pennsylvania State College he was a member of the class of 1905. He m. Edna S. Becker. (4) Harry H., the farmer on the old homestead, m. Carrie Spatz and they have one son, Arthur. They are all respected and representative people of Bern township.


(Bonnie Blau): Other sources say that the wife of Abraham Rieser (in paragraph 3) was Sarah YEICH.


p. 801


John A. Rigg - identified with the street railways at Reading since 1874 - was born at Gibraltar, in Robeson township, Berks county, Feb. 14, 1854. During his infancy his parents removed to the farm of his grandfather, Adam Styer, in Caernarvon township, Lancaster county, midway between Churchtown and Morgantown, which he purchased in 1896, and where he has since made his summer home. He was educated in the local schools and worked on the farm until he was fifteen years old, when he went to Reading and found employment in the pottery of Daniel Shenfelder. He worked in this pottery for three years, and afterward in the Keystone Rolling Mill, McIlvain's Rolling Mill and Deysher's Lumber Yard for two years, when he directed his attention to service on the street railways. This was in 1874, when the system was about being established in Reading. He first became a conductor on what was then known as the Sixth street line, but served as such for only several months when he was appointed superintendent, and he filled this position during the development of the system until 1891, when he became the vice-president of the People's Passenger Railway at Philadelphia. He, however, remained at Philadelphia only two years, when he returned to Reading to organize the Reading Traction Company, establish a large electric light and power plant, and introduce the use of electricity in the propulsion of cars. This company elected him president and he served for five years, when he was again called to Philadelphia, to take charge of the United Power & Transportation Company, embracing numerous systems in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware; and he has been at the head of the systems until the present time, now covering a period of ten years, the most important period in the development of the street railway service in Pennsylvania. These systems have come to embrace upward of seventy-five companies, incorporated with an aggregate capitalization of $100,000,000; and he is at present either the president or one of the directors in their management.

Mr. Rigg was elected by the voters of the Fourth ward to represent them in select council from 1885 to 1894, officiating as president of the body from 1887 to 1890. He assisted in establishing the Free Public Library of Reading in 1898, serving since then as one of the trustees. He was chiefly instrumental in establishing Carsonia Park, three miles east of Reading, in 1892, as a place of resort and amusement for the people.

In 1872 Mr. Rigg was married to Sarah Amanda Baum (daughter of Augustus Baum and Elizabeth Brown, his wife, of Reading), by whom he had three children: Dr. Walter A. Rigg (m. Bessie Harner), Dr. Samuel Rigg (m. Mazie Geyer) and Dora (died in infancy).

His father was Samuel Evans Rigg, born in Caernarvon township, Lancaster county, in 1806; carried on butchering for some years, and then farming; and died in 1870. He was married twice, first to Ellen Shaner, by whom he had four children, and after her decease to Catharine Styer (daughter of Adam Styer and Elizabeth Yohn, his wife, of Caernarvon township), by whom he had three children: Sarah Jane (m. Martin H. Posen), Samuel E. (m. Ellen Ammon) and John A. (above).

His grandfather was George Rigg, Jr., who married Eleanor Evans (daughter of Evan Evans, 1754-1792, son of Evan Evans, 1717-1765, and grandson of Nathan Evans, 1682-1763, who emigrated from Montgomeryshire, Wales, to Pennsylvania in 1700). He was born in 1776.

His great-grandfather was George Rigg, who was enlisted in the Revolution and died in 1776, while on his way home from the expedition in Canada.


p. 1322


Samuel e. Rigg, deceased, who for many years was a faithful employee of the United Traction Company of Reading, at the time of his death holding the position of superintendent of that concern, was born March 24, 1850, in Churchtown, Lancaster County, Pa., son of Samuel and Catherine (Styer) Rigg.

Mr. Rigg received his education in the common schools of Lancaster county, and when a young man engaged in farm work, also carrying on agricultural pursuits on his own account. After his marriage, Mr. Rigg removed to the city of Reading, soon thereafter accepting the position of conductor with the United Traction Co., gradually working his way upward, from position to position, until finally appointed superintendent of the company's lines in Reading. He was in the employ of the company for twenty-eight years, and was an honest, faithful workman. He was a favorite with employers and employees, being kind and thoughtful with his men, never forgetting that at one time he had held a subordinate position. His death, which occurred Oct. 23, 1904, took from the company one of its valued servants, and was a blow not only to his immediate family and friends, but to the entire community.

In 1872 Mr. Rigg was married to Ellen Ammon, daughter of George Ammon, and she survives him and makes her home in Reading. He had always been a Democrat in his political views, but never aspired to public office. He was a valued member of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Rigg was popular in fraternal circles, and a well-known member of the I.O.O.F.


p. 967


Lewis Ringler, a well-to-do business man and representative citizen of Millmont, Cumru township, Berks county, was engaged in the butchering business. He was born March 31, 1845, in Reading, Pa., son of Daniel and Mary (Seiders) Ringler.

Jacob Ringler, grandfather of Lewis, was born in 1799, and died in 1873, having spent many years of his life in Reading, where he owned considerable property on Chestnut street, between Front and Second streets, and where he was engaged in boat-building. He married Susan Lerch, and to them were born these children: Daniel; Sarah m. Joel Sharman; Sophia m. John Bechtel; Germina died in 1908; Priscilla m. Benneville Pike; Septimus is a resident of Gibraltar; and Rebecca m. Charles Armpriester.

Daniel Ringler was born Feb. 4, 1817, in Reading, Pa., and learned the boat-building business from his father, an occupation which he followed all his life. He enlisted Oct. 14, 1863, in Company G, 93d Pa. V. I., and was mustered out of service June 18, 1864, at Philadelphia on account of disability. His second enlistment occurred July 10, 1864, in Company A, 195th Pa. V. I., and he received his honorable discharge at Harrisburg, Nov. 4th of that same year. Mr. Ringler contracted rheumatism while in the service and for fourteen years was incapacitated by that disease. He married Mary Seiders, daughter of Lewis Seiders, and to them were born children as follows: Emma m. William Burns; Jacob m. Catharine Fisher, and served in the Civil war, where he was shot and killed by a member of his own company; Lewis; Septimus m. Amanda Hinsted; Solomon m. Cassie Pfaff; Catharine m. (first) Charles Good and (second) Charles Seiders; Sophia m. Henry Leader.

Lewis Ringler's school days were spent in his native city, and in 1863 he commenced to learn the boat-building business with his father, following that occupation until 1888, when he embarked in the butchering business in Millmont, at which he continued with much success to the time of his death, Nov. 13, 1908. He attended the Bingaman street market, Reading, and in this way assured his customers of having the best and freshest meats to be obtained. In 1906 Mr. Ringler built his fine residence, and he also owned several other properties in the town.

In 1863 Mr. Ringler married Angeline Lebo, daughter of Jacob and Lydia (Huffert) Lebo, and she died Nov. 19, 1906, aged sixty-four years, nine months, and was buried in the Gouglersville cemetery. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ringler, namely: Henry m. Sallie Hiller, of Millmont, and has had five children--Annie, Lewis, Ella (deceased), Bertha and Edna; Elizabeth died in infancy; Sarah M. m. Frank P. Moyer, a cigar-maker by trade, and has had two children--Mamie and Lillie (died aged two years). Mr. Ringler was a Republican in political matters. In religion he was a member of the Gouglersville Reformed Church. He was the first to erect a house in Millmont, Cumru township, and this settlement is now quite a thriving village, commanding an excellent view of the Schuylkill river and the mountains.


p. 967


John W. Ringler, of Reading, has carried on his confectionery and tobacco store at No. 205 Bingaman street since 1874. He has passed most of his life in that city, where he was born Dec. 30, 1844, son of Israel W. Ringler, and grandson of Reuben Ringler. The family has long been located in Berks county.
    Reuben Ringler was a tailor, but followed his trade only a short time, in 1833 going to work at Robesonia Furnace. He married Sarah Wilson, a native of Lancaster county, Pa., and to their union were born the following named children: Sarah, who married Joseph Brandshett; Anthony, who was a blacksmith in Scranton, Pa., where he died in about 1887; Israel W.; Isabel, who married James Gold, and went to live in Philadelphia, where she still has her home, at No. 3209 Dauphin street (she is the last survivor of this family); Jerome, a boatbuilder on the Schuylkill canal, an expert in his line, who died in March, 1863, during the smallpox epidemic, shortly before his son, Mark was killed at Chancellorsville; Harriet, wife of Robert Baker, and Sarah, deceased, who married Frank Kelley. The mother of this family was a member of the Methodist Church, but the father's religious connection is not known. He was a Democrat in political opinion. He was a private soldier during the war of 1812, and drew a pension for the services he rendered. His death occurred in February, 1870, at the age of eighty-two years.
    Israel W. Ringler attended school in Reading, and during his young manhood clerked in a general store there. Later he embarked in merchandising on his own account in that city, continuing in that line until 1865, when he sold out and engaged in the music business at the location now occupied by Potteiger's drug store, at Fourth and Spruce streets. He had purchased that property in 1848, and lived there over sixty years. In 1842 Israel W. Ringler married Mary A. Moers, who was born in 1822 and now lives at No. 347 Spruce street. Her grandfather, John F. Moers, established himself in the marble and tombstone business at No. 314 Penn street in 1793. To Mr. and Mrs. Ringler were born children as follows: John W., who is mentioned further on; Franklin, who died in 1851, when three years old; Heber, who died in 1866; Charles A., an employee of the Reading Iron Company; Robert B., born Sept. 16, 1862, now a jeweler of Reading; and Mary E., who married John Hampden, a manufacturer of artificial teeth. This family were Methodists in religious belief. The father passed away June 22, 1892.
    John W. Ringler was reared and educated in his native city, attending the old Chestnut street school until he reached the age of sixteen. At that time he entered his father's general store, where he remained until his enlistment, Feb. 1, 1864, in Durrell's Independent Battery D, Pennsylvania Light Artillery. He served until June 13, 1865, when the battery was discharged following Lee's surrender. Mr. Ringler saw considerable active service, taking part in Grant's campaign from the Wilderness to Appomattox. His military service completed, he returned to Reading, and within a short time became engaged in boating on the canal. In 1870 he went to Norfolk, Va., coming back to Reading in 1873, and carrying on the manufacture of brick until 1874, when he sold out that business and purchased the property at No. 205 Bingaman street, where he has since been located. He has a thriving confectionery and tobacco stand, which he has carried on since 1874, and is well-known in the neighborhood as an honest, industrious business man. Mr. Ringler has prospered, and owns a piece of residence property in Oakbrook (in Cumru township) and also one in Millmont. His wife owns the home and store property at No. 205 Bingaman street, as well as another piece in the First Ward, at No. 474 South Third street. Mr. Ringler has been quite active in local public affairs, and from 1884 to 1889 served as alderman of his ward, the First, having been elected as the candidate of the Republican party, of which he is an enthusiastic adherent. He is also prominent in Grand Army circles, being a member and past commander of Keim Post, No. 76, G. A. R. Department of Pennsylvania.

On Sept. 21, 1869, Mr. Ringler was married to Catherine E. Seiders, daughter of Benjamin and Esther (Engle) Seiders. To this union came one child, born May 10, 1876 (the opening day of the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia), who died in infancy.


p. 1685


Rishel. William Rishel, who passed all of his life in Jefferson township, Berks county, was born there in 1823. He died in 1908 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. George Stoudt. Until his retirement in 1899 he conducted a fifty-acre farm. He was a Democrat in politics, and served the township

for a number of years as school director and supervisor. He was a member of St. Thomas Reformed church, which he had served in an official capacity. Mr. Rishel married Maria Wenrich, daughter of Hon. Paul Wenrich, of Jefferson township, and five children were born to them: Rebecca m. William F. Heckler; William P.; Sarah M., unmarried, lived in Philadelphia; James I.; and Clara E. m. George Stoudt, of Shartlesville, Berks county.

William P. Rishel, J. P. of Centre township, was born in Jefferson township, on the old homestead, Jan 6, 1851. He attended the township schools, Bernville Academy, the Keystone State Normal School (at Kutztown) and Palatinate College at Myerstown, receiving a thorough education, which well fitted him for the teacher's profession. He was engaged in teaching in all thirty-five terms, in Jefferson township, Centre township (for twenty years) and Centreport, at which place he taught the borough school for six terms. This was his last school, and he retired in 1906 with a record of successful work of which he may well feel proud. Mr. Rishel owns fifteen acres of land near Centreport, and there he resides. He is a well-known man in his district, and still retains the interest in educational affairs which such a veteran teacher would naturally feel. He served many years as auditor of his township, and in 1886 was elected justice of the peace of Centre township, in which capacity he is still serving. He is a Democrat.

Mr. Rishel married Sarah Y. Christ, daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Yoder) Christ, and to them have been born two children: Sallie V. m. C. K. Miller, of Centreport; Delilah F. m. Melvin N. Miller, of Centre township.

Mr. Rishel is a member of St. Michael's Reformed Church. He belongs to Leesport Castle, K. G. E., and to the P. O. S. of A., which latter he has served many years as financial secretary.

James I. Rishel, a confectioner of West Reading borough, was born in Jefferson township, where he received his early education in the township schools. Later he attended the Bernville high school and the Keystone State Normal School, after which he was licensed to reach by the late Prof. D. B. Brunner, and he engaged in teaching for four successive years. He first taught in Centre township, at the Kauffman school-house, and for the following three terms was engaged in his native district. When twenty-six years old he moved to Reading, where he engaged in the shoe business, which he continued for fifteen years, doing custom work, of which he made a specialty, having a large trade. His store was at No. 514 South Sixth street. He sold out his business on account of failing health, and then became an insurance solicitor for the Prudential Insurance Company, following it for some four years. Since 1903 he has been associated with the Grand Union Tea Company as salesman.

Since 1888 Mr. Rishel has made his home in Spring township, in that year having erected his comfortable residence at Nos. 518-520 Penn avenue. He has been actively identified with all the progressive movements of his town and when the question of incorporating the borough of West Reading was being agitated he was one of its heartiest advocates. Upon the organization he was chosen school director by a flattering support and his interest in this branch of the public administration has made his services valuable. He served Spring township for three years as school director when it had twenty-seven schools, and during his term the Spring township high school was established and the eight-room building erected; his name appears upon the large marble slab set into the front wall of the fine building, among those of the other directors serving at the time. He was secretary of the board for two years. In politics Mr. Rishel is a stanch Democrat, and he takes an interest in promoting the success of his party. Socially he is connected with Fraternity Castle, No. 302, K. G. E. (of which he is a past master), of Reading, and Lodge No. 660, I. O. O. F., of Sinking Spring.

Mr. Rishel married Miss Amelia Winters, daughter of Joel and Elizabeth (Gring) Winters and granddaughter of Jacob and Sarah (Rahn) Winters. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rishel, three sons and one daughter, namely: William W., J. George, Elmer J. and Elsie M.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:53 EDT

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