Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 961


John F. Rote, a well-known hotel man of Reading, Pa., whose hostelry and restaurant were located at Nos. 15-19 South Sixth street, died Nov. 7, 1907. He was born in Center county, at Brush Valley near the line of Clinton, Sept. 27, 1833, son of Paul and Mary (McKesson) Rote, the former of German descent and the latter of Scotch.

George Rote, the emigrant ancestor of the Rotes, was a farmer during the early days when the unsettled conditions of the country made it necessary for the sturdy pioneers to take their fire arms to the field with them. One of his daughters was captured by Indians while on her way to milk the cows, but was soon thereafter rescued.

John F. Rote, son of George, settled in Clinton county, Pa., where he owned valuable farms and carried on agricultural pursuits as long as he lived. He married a Miss Keister, and to them were born children as follows: Henry, George, Abraham, Griffith, Simon, Paul, Peter, Elizabeth and Peggy. In religious belief they were Lutherans.

Paul Rote, son of John F., was a farmer in Sugar Valley for many years, but later emigrated to Illinois, thence to Douglas county, Kans., near Lawrence, being there at the time of Quantrell's raid. He purchased 160 acres of land, and there continued to farm all of his life, also owning several residential properties in Lawrence. He died in 1878, aged seventy years, while his wife passed away in 1893, when eighty-three years old. They were the parents of ten children, as follows: William C., John F., Samuel, Paul, Thomas, Rebecca J., Mary C., Alexander, Elizabeth and Lewis. In religious belief they were members of the Evangelical Church. In politics Mr. Rote was a Democrat.

John F. Rote received his early education in the schools of Clinton county, Pa., and worked on a farm in Sugar Valley for his father. At the age of nineteen years he went to Hickory Bottom, Blair county, and taught school during the following winter, later going to Clearfield county. In the spring of 1854, he embarked in the lumber business, at Shawsville, seven miles below Clearfield on the Susquehanna river, rafting lumber down the river, and the following winter he taught school in Goshen township, Clearfield county. The next spring he engaged in the lumber and sawmill business, rafting the lumber from Clearfield to Marietta, Lancaster Co., Pa., and this he continued until 1865, when he became engaged in the carriage manufacturing business at Clearfield. In 1868 he sold out this business and went to Lawrence, Kans., where for some years he was engaged in the live stock and insurance business with his brother, William C., and his brother-in-law, Howard Pemberton, remaining there until 1870, when he returned East and located in Reading. He engaged in the restaurant business, opening the old Delmonico restaurant on Fifth and Cherry streets, but shortly afterward removed to No. 19, and still later to No. 13, Eighth street. In 1887 he purchased the property known as the old "Ream Hotel" on Penn street, between Eighth and Ninth, where John Schultz's tailor shop is now located. He tore down the old building and erected a new, but this he sold in the spring of 1890, at which time he opened his late business on South Sixth street (which is now conducted by his son Everett C. Rote), where he was engaged with much success until his death.

Mr. Rote was married in May, 1859, to Christina Y. Shaw, daughter of Archibald and Rebecca Shaw, of Shawsville, and to this union was born one child: Everett C., who married Sallie E. Fisher, by whom he had these children ? Elsie C., a graduate of the Girls' High School and a teacher in the public schools; Rebecca, also a graduate of the high school and now superintendent of her father's business; and Esther. Mrs. John F. Rote died in November, 1861, and Mr. Rote married (second) in December, 1864, Sarah A. Reisinger, daughter of Isaac and Jane Reisinger, of Marietta, Lancaster county, and she died Dec. 4, 1905. To this marriage were born two daughters, Jennie M. and Laura M. Jennie M. m. Edward A. Stoeckel, in the United States government employ, and has two children ? Robert R. (m. to Miss Mabel Beears, and has a son, John F. R.) and Rhea; Laura M. m. Harry W. Beard, in the city engineer's office, Reading, and has three children ? John, Bessie and Catherine.

Mr. John Rote was a member of Chandler Lodge, No. 227, Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, and Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T. He formerly belonged to Clearfield Lodge No. 198, I. O. O. F., which he joined in 1865. He was a Democrat in politics, and was a member of the council from the Eighth ward for two terms, 1880 and 1882. While in Clearfield he was a member of the school board, and during the Civil war belonged to the Clearfield Rifles. He was an inventor of no mean ability and secured patents on several very useful articles, among them Rote's Vegetable Grater and Slicer, which had a very good sale; an egg beater; and an ice cream freezer.


p. 1442


Albert Roth, school director and farmer of Bern township, Berks Co., Pa., was born Dec. 2, 1867. He attended the township schools, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and has made that vocation his lifework. He owns a good farm of fifty acres in Bern township, and this is kept in a fine state of cultivation. Mr. Roth attends the Reading market once a week. For several years he was employed in the car shops at Reading. A Democrat in politics, Mr. Roth was elected a school director of Bern township on that ticket in 1908. In religion he is a member of Epler's Reformed Church, in which he has served as deacon; and fraternally he is a member of Castle No. 503, Knights of the Golden Eagle, of Leesport.

In 1887 Mr. Roth married Kate Reeser, daughter of Levi Reeser (mentioned elsewhere), and they had one daughter, Edna, who m. Peter Spayd and is the mother of one son, Norman.


p. 1485


John C. Roth, of Muhlenberg township, was born Oct. 15, 1848, at Lincoln, Lancaster Co., Pa., son of Jacob and Hannah (Crouse) Roth.

The grandfather of John C. Roth was Daniel Rhoades, (the form of the name which he used). By his wife, Mary, he had three children: Harry m. a Miss Reddick; Jacob; and Louisa m. a Mr. McNally of Canada. Jacob Roth of this family was a cabinet maker by trade and until his death followed that line in connection with the undertaking business. He was married to Hannah Crouse, and to them the following children were born: Daniel, a carpenter and builder, who is now manager of the Northeastern Planing Mill, Reading, m. Frances Meckley, and they have two children, Mamie and Bessie; Henry m. Eva Krick, has one child, Herbert, and resides at Reamstown, Lancaster county, where he operates a small farm: William died when about seventeen years old; Adam died when about sixteen: John C; Linnie m. Wilson Else, and resides in Reading: Lemon died single at Canton, Ohio, Mary m. Adam Gottschall, resides in Reading and has one child, Harry: and Sallie m. Emanuel Koser and died without issue.

John C. Roth was educated in the schools of his native district, and his father having died when he was about eight years old, he was put at the shoemaker trade by his guardian, and followed that business for some time. He was in business on his own account for a short period at Fairview, Ohio, then removed west to Kansas, where he worked on a farm, and subsequently returned to Pennsylvania, where for six years he was engaged in the sand business at Reading. At the end of this time, Mr. Roth purchased his present fine farm, on which he is making a specialty of fruit raising. He has planted between 400 and 500 apple trees, about 600 or 700 peach trees and sixty pear trees, in addition to plums, grapes, etc., and many of these are already bearing and bringing in handsome profits. Mr. Roth is acknowledged to be one of the good, practical fruit growers of this section of Berks county, and as a citizen he stands deservedly high. He is a Democrat in politics, and with his family attends the Ninth and Greenwich Street Reformed Church, Reading.

In February 1882, Mr. Roth was married to Mary Stripe, daughter of George and Elizabeth Stripe, and the following children were born to this union: Clarence, a resident of Doniphan county, Kansas; Frank, who is single and resides at home: Frances, who married Irvin Homan, an employee at the Carpenter Steel Works, resides in Muhlenberg township and has one child, LeRoy: George: Elsie: Annie: Minnie: Daniel: John, deceased: and Pearl.


p. 1495


Daniel A. Rothenberger, who is engaged in trucking near Friedensburg, Berks county, has also been very successful as a teacher. He was born in Ruscombmanor township, at Basket, Feb. 11, 1858, and was reared to farming. At the age of sixteen he went to learn the carpenter's trade under his grandfather, Daniel Angstadt, and this trade he followed eight seasons. His early education had been obtained n the township schools and at Oley Academy, and in 1876 he was licensed to teach by Prof. Samuel A. Baer. He taught his first four terms in Alsace township, and since then has taught in Oley, having taught in all thirty-two terms, and having a high place in the educational world of Berks county.

In politics Mr. Rothenberger is a firm believer in Democratic principles, and has been active in his party's welfare. He has been committeeman from Oley township, and assistant assessor, and has also served as delegate to county and State conventions. In 1906 he was a candidate for the State Legislature, and made a very creditable run. From the time he was twelve years old he has been connected with the Lutheran Sunday-school, and has been teacher and superintendent. He is a member of Minnehaha Lodge, No. 154, K. P.; Oley Castle, No. 119, K. G. E.; and Council No. 123, O. U. A. M., of Oley.

In 1882 Mr. Rothenberger married Clara Lutz, daughter of John and Mary (Freyberger) Lutz, of Exeter township. Twelve children have been born of this union: Mary m. Wilson Reinert; John C. M. Lilah M. Haring; Sophia; Sallie m. Peter Angstadt; George; Charles; Daniel died in infancy; Sylvester; Roy; Clara; Leon; Catharine.

John C. Rothenberger, son of Daniel A., was born in Oley township Aug. 28, 1884, and is now engaged as a merchant in Griesemersville. He was reared upon the farm and attended the public schools and Oley Academy, later going to State College and taking a special course in dairying. He then assisted for a short time in the New Jerusalem Creamery, and in1904 came to Griesemersville, conducting thee the creamery for M. B. Clauser.

On May 1, 1908, he took charge of the store at Griesemersville, purchasing the good-will, stock and fixtures for Mr. Clauser, and he has a fine country trade.

On April 25, 1908, Mr. Rothenberger married Lilah M. Haring, daughter of James and Sophia (Falkenstein) Haring, of Oley township, and a daughter, Ethel Marguerite H., was born to them Jan. 11, 1909. In fraternal societies Mr. Rothenberger has taken an active interest, belonging to Oley Castle, No. 119, K. G. E.; the Red Men at Friedensburg; and the Lodge No. 1109, I. O. O. F., at Griesemersville, in which he is past grand. He is a member of Friedens Lutheran Church. On May 1, 1908, he was made assistant postmaster at Griesemersville.


p. 934


Rothenberger. The Rothenberger family of Berks county can lay claim to being one of the oldest families in this section of Pennsylvania, and members thereof are found in nearly every township in the county, representing the various professions and prominent in business, social and public life.

There were four of the Rothenbergers who came to this country in the pioneer days, cousins, two brothers on each side. One of them settled with his cousin at Spring Valley, in Muhlenberg township, Berks county, and the other two settled at the Leize's bridge, in that township. According to the records, As early as 1738, Hans Peter Rosenberger arrived in the ship "Nancy and Friendship," from the Palatinate, and on Sept. 3, of the following year, Nicklas Rodenberger, who (although it is not definitely known) is supposed to have been the originator of the branch of the Rothenberger family with which this biography deals, arrived in the ship "Royal Judith," Edward Painter, commander, from Rotterdam, last from Deal. There was also a Johannes Rothenberger, who came Oct. 22, 1754, in the ship "Henrietta," John Ross, captain. Since he spelled his name in the same manner that it is spelled today, it is not at all improbable that he may have been the progenitor of the family. The three emigrants came respectively from Franconia, Wurtemberg and Hesse. There is no doubt as to the authenticity, however, of the following history.

Frederick Rothenberger, the great-grandfather of Clayton M. and Frank M. Rothenberger of Maiden-creek township, was born Nov. 25, 1771, and died Dec. 5, 1833. He married Catherine Saylor, and they had seven children: Samuel; Daniel; Polly (Mary), who remained single; Sarah, who married John Fisher; Elizabeth, who married a Homan; Rebecca, who married Daniel Bernhart; and Judith, who married John Hartman.

Daniel Rothenberger, son of Frederick, was born Nov. 26, 1801, and died Dec. 5, 1890. He married Elizabeth Gerhart, and they had the following children: Frank; Obediah; Frederic; Jacob; Levi; Daniel; Urias; Catherine, who married William Fisher; Leah, who married Benneville Fox; Elizabeth, who married Henry Fisher; and Mary, who married Mabery Hartman.

Frank Rothenberger, father of Clayton M. and Frank M., was born in Alsace township Sept. 3, 1830. He was married Nov. 11, 1854, to Catherine Miller, daughter of Isaac and Magdalena (Weidman) Miller, born Nov. 16, 1834. By this union there were twelve children, as follows: Mary, born Sept. 11, 1855, who married A. G. Rothermel; Urias, born July 31, 1857; one that died in infancy, born June 2, 1859; Owen, born Aug. 5, 1860, who died March 15, 1863; Milton, born June 8, 1862; Daniel, born March 24, 1864; Isaac, born Aug. 22, 1866; Sallie, born Dec. 20, 1868, who married J. J. Kelchner; Clayton M. and Frank M.; Morris, born July 10, 1875; and Catherine, born April 16, 1877, who married John K. Stoudt. The father of these children died Jan. 30, 1907, aged seventy-six years, four months, twenty-seven days.

Clayton M. Rothenberger was born June 20, 1871, in Ontelaunee township, on the old family homestead near Leesport, and received his education in that locality. Until thirty-three years of age he worked on the home farm, but in the spring of 1906 he formed a partnership with his brother Frank, and they are now engaged in a successful general merchandise business at Blandon. On Sept. 26, 1896, Mr. Rothenberger was married to Lizzie A. Rickenbach, daughter of Edward and Ellen (Roth) Rickenbach, and a descendant of one of Berks county's oldest and most honored families, and one child was born to this union: Elwood, born Dec. 15, 1897, on the old Rickenbach homestead in Ontelaunee township, who now attends the grammar school at Blandon. Mr. Rothenberger is a member of Blandon Lodge, No. 1084, I. O. O. F.; Leesport Camp, No 165, P. O. S. of A., and Leesport Castle No. 503, K. G. E. The family are members of Gernant's Church, Mrs. Rothenberger being of the Lutheran and her husband of the Reformed faith, and he at present is serving as deacon of the church, taking much interest in church and charitable work.

Frank M. Rothenberger was born July 4, 1873, on the old homestead in Ontelaunee township, was reared on the farm, and for a time was in the employ of the New York Silk Company at Fleetwood, Berks county. Later he clerked in the general store of A. G. Rothermel & Co., in the building where he is now located, and subsequently entered the employ of the Prudential Life Insurance Company, after leaving which he became a carpenter in the Reading shops of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company. Mr. Rothenberger then formed a partnership with his brother Isaac, at Wernersville, under the firm name of I. M. Rothenberger & Brother, general merchandise dealers, which continued until the spring of 1906, at which time the partnership with his brother Clayton was formed, the business being known as Rothenberger & Brother.

On Nov. 29, 1900, Mr. Rothenberger was married to Sallie S. Miller, daughter of Peter and Amanda (Schmehl) Miller, and a descendant of an old and highly respected family of Berks county, and four children have been born to this union, namely: Ralph M., born May 31, 1902, at Reading; a daughter, born April 22, 1903, at Wernersville, who died the same day; Paul P., born Oct. 16, 1904, at Wernersville; and Earl Edward, born Dec. 2, 1907, at Blandon. Mr. Rothenberger and his family are members of the Reformed denomination, and attend Gernant's Church. Fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 165, P. O. S. of A., and Blandon Lodge, No. 1084, I O. O. F.

Both of the Rothenberger brothers are men of much business ability, and they have built up a large and lucrative patronage. They carry a full line of first-class general merchandise, and their ability to judge the needs of their community, as well as their well-known business integrity, has aided much in making their establishment so popular in Blandon and the surrounding country. The post-office is located in their place of business, Frank being assistant postmaster and Clayton rural free delivery carrier. They are worthy representatives of this old and honored family.


p. 669


The Rothenberger family has lived in Berks county for 150 and more years, and is worthily represented in the present generation by George W. Rothenberger, born in Reading, April 13, 1871, son of the late Cornelius K. Rothenberger.

The ancestor of this family was Peter Rothenberger, who was a Swiss. He came to America on the ship "Brotherhood," which landed at Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 1750. Soon after coming to this country he settled in Alsace township, this county, where he died late in 1772. His executors were Jacob Kuhn and Henry Baum. He had a son Peter (See below) and a daughter Mary. In 1783, petitions were presented to the Orphans Court praying that guardians be appointed for them - stating that they were under fourteen years of age.

(I) Peter Rothenberger, great-great-grandfather of George W., of Reading, was a resident of Alsace township at an early date. He was born March 24, 1769, and died in Alsace, Jan. 4, 1825, aged fifty-five years, nine months, ten days. He married Rebecca Shalter, born Sept. 1, 1773, and died Nov. 28, 1847. The federal census report of 1790 records Peter Rodenberger, a resident of Alsace township, Berks county, as having six sons, and two daughters, the children all under sixteen years of age. Both Peter Rothenberger and wife are buried at Alsace Church. One of their sons was Peter.

(II) Peter Rothenberger, son of Peter and Rebecca, was born in Alsace township, Berks county, Feb. 22, 1795, and died Nov. 14, 1871. His wife, Maria Schneider, was born Oct. 11, 1798, and died Dec. 17, 1870. Mr. Rothenberger was a farmer, and in early life lived in Alsace and later in Centre township. He and wife were members of the Reformed Congregation of the Alsace Church, where they are buried. Their children were: Peter; Hannah married John Klohs; Polly married Elias Bickel; Molly married Benjamin Herb; and John S.

(III) John S. Rothenberger, son of Peter, was a native of Centre township, born March 5, 1821, died Dec. 29, 1872. He carried on the old homestead farm until 1853, when he removed to Leisz's Bridge, and in company with his father purchased a farm for $14,000, on which he spent the remainder of his life. Mr. Rothenberger was married (first) in 1840, to Mary Ann Kauffman (born Sept. 10, 1818, died March 23, 1864), by whom he had eleven children: Cyrus W.; William K.; John K.; Peter K.; Levi K.; Cornelius K,; Milton K. and Albert K., both deceased; Mary K., m. to Wellington Moser; Deborah K., m. to Edward Shearer; and Thomas K., of San Francisco. The second marriage of Mr. Rothenberger was in 1864, to Matilda (Kauffman) Daubert, a widow, and sister to his first wife. To their union there were born seven children: James, of Temple; Harry, who went West; Morris, deceased; Kate (Catherine), m. to Elmer Angstadt; Rosa, m. to Edward Moore, of California; George, of Reading; and Sallie, deceased. In religious belief Mr. Rothenberger was Reformed, while both of his wives were connected with the Lutheran Church. In political matters he was a Democrat.

(IV) Cornelius K. Rothenberger, son of John S., was born in Penn township, Berks county, June 25, 1847, and was reared upon his father's farm, working there until he attained his majority. He then engaged in the brick manufacturing business at Birdsboro, and in 1878 became the proprietor of the "Riverside Hotel" which he conducted eight years. In 1880, he again engaged in the brick manufacturing business, in North Reading, and he also followed contracting and house building very profitably until 1895. In 1894 Mr. Rothenberger engaged in the grocery business, at Riverside, following this ten years, at the end of that time his son-in-law, Wilson E. Moser, becoming his partner under the firm name of Moser & Rothenberger. This firm lasted two years, when the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Rothenberger then lived retired until Feb. 1, 1908, when he again engaged in the grocery business. He was a fine business man. He was accidentally killed Jan. 18, 1909, by a train at the crossing of Seventh and Penn streets, Reading, and is buried at Charles Evans Cemetery; the three preceding generations are buried at Alsace Cemetery. Mr. Rothenberger was a member of the Heptasophs; Washington Camp, No. 691, P. O. S. of A. With his family he belonged to Olivet Reformed Church, Reading, of which for some years he was a trustee. In politics he was a Democrat. In June, 1870, he married Rosa Drexel, daughter of John Drexel, of West Reading. She was born in April, 1844, and died Dec. 27, 1902, the mother of five children: George W., born April 13, 1871; Bertha, m. to Wilson E. Moser, of Riverside; John, who died aged two years; Mary, m. to Stephen Sehl, of Reading; and William, a dyer at Reading. Mr. Rothenberger owned a farm of fifty-six acres in Exeter township, and the buildings at Nos. 35 and 37 Exeter street, and three lots at Exeter and Front streets.

(V) George W. Rothenberger received his education in the city schools, and in Prof. D. B. Brunner's Academy and Business College at Reading. At the age of eighteen he learned the tailor's trade in that city, and this has ever since been his occupation. When but twenty-two he engaged in business for himself, and soon built up a lucrative business. He is practical, and he understands his business thoroughly. He employs from six to twelve men. Mr. Rothenberger is the owner of the three-story brick residence, No. 906 Penn street, with a frontage of 19 1/2 feet and in depth 120 feet, having purchased this April 2, 1900. In March, 1909, Mr. Rothenberger purchased a private residence at No. 1524 Perkiomen avenue, where he has resided since April 1st.

Mr. Rothenberger was married Sept. 14, 1899, to Anna M. Brown, daughter of the late Albert and Emily (Ludwig) Brown, of Reading, and they have had three children, one of whom, the first, died in infancy. The others are Thomas B. and John F. Mr. Rothenberger belongs to the Second Reformed Church and his wife belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church. He is fraternally connected with the Mystic Star Commandery, No. 47, Knights of Malta; Progressive Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Penn Wheelmen.


p. 1373


Rothenberger. The branch of the Rothenberger family to which Daniel and Lewis Rothenberger, brothers of Hereford township, Berks county, belong is traced back to one John Nicholas Rothenberger, who emigrated from the German Fatherland to America about 1741. He located in that part of Northampton county now included in Lehigh county, and not much later bought land there. In 1734 the proprietors of the Province of Pennsylvania sold a tract of 150 acres, located in Upper Milford township, Northampton (now Lehigh) county, to John Teeter, who on April 21, w, sold it to John Nicholas "Rothenburger" (also "Rodenburger"). On April 30, 1776, he and his wife, Maria Catharine, sold this tract to their son, Jacob, and as the name is signed Rothenberger in the deed setting forth this transfer that spelling is regarded as correct.

The property mentioned, through various changes in ownership, remained in the Rothenberger family until 1872. On May 13, 1830, Jacob Rothenberger, whose wife was then deceased, sold it to his son George for $1,800 lawful money. After the death of George Rothenberger it was old to his son Daniel, in 1858, and he sold it to William Rothenberger, who owned it until his death, in 1872, when it was disposed of at public sale to Daniel Yeakel, from whom it passed to Albert Snyder, who now owns and lives upon the place. It is in the vicinity of Sigmund, Lehigh county, near where Sigmund Furnace was located.

Jacob Rothenberger had four sons: George, who is mentioned later; John, who had a son Charles; Peter, who was the father of Ephraim and Daniel; and Jacob, who had Daniel, Ephraim and Willoughby. Three of these sons lived in Upper Milford township, Lehigh county, and belonged to the old Zionsville church. Jacob located in Indiana in 1858, moving out in the big covered Conestoga wagons.

George Rothenberger, son of Jacob, was born at the homestead at Sigmund, and died in 1857-58, when about seventy years old. He is buried at Old Zionsville. He was a farmer by occupation. His wife, Sallie (Mensch), died in 1873, the mother of eleven children, namely: Rachel, Dinah, Lavina, Susanna, Daniel, Reuben, David, George, Christian, William and Samuel.

Daniel Rothenberger, son of George, was born May 8, 1808, at the old homestead in Upper Milford township, Lehigh county, and died May 10, 1865, at the place in Hereford township, Berks county, where his sons, Daniel and Lewis now live. He is buried at Zionsville, where he was a member of the Reformed Church. He followed farming, owning a tract of forty acres, upon which he built the present dwelling in 1860, and in winter engaged in cigar making. Being a progressive man, he was interested in education, and served as school trustee under the old pay system. In politics he was a Democrat.

Mr. Rothenberger's first marriage was to Sallie Marsteller, who was born about 1814, daughter of Peter Marsteller, of Hereford township, and died in 1847. She was the mother of six children, three sons and three daughters, viz.: Joel, Daniel, Lewis, Catharine, Sallie and Amanda, the two last named dying in infancy. Mr. Rothenberger's second marriage was to Lydia Stahler, who died in 1888. To them were born two children, both of whom died when young.

Joel Rothenberger is a native of Hereford township, where all of Daniel Rothenberger's children were born. He began housekeeping there, but has long lived in Clinton county, Ind., where he followed farming until his retirement. He is now (1909) in his seventy-third year. He has been twice married, and by his first union, with Maria Krommis, had four children, William, Daniel, Sarah and Flora. By his second wife, Lydia Mohler, he had two, Lydia and Perry.

Daniel Rothenberger, son of Daniel, was born July 12, 1838, in Hereford township, and there attended Traub school, No. 7, receiving all his education in the public schools. He was reared to farming, but for twelve years he and his brother Lewis engaged in lime-burning, doing a large business. They had their kilns at Sigmund, conducting the plant now operated by Daniel Yeakel, and burning considerable lime for building purposes as well as for farmers. In one year they burned over 28,000 bushels, and they employed as many as ten men, and kept two teams busy all the time. In 1866 the brothers took their father's homestead, where they have ever since resided, their families occupying the same house. Both tried life in the West for a short time, Daniel Rothenberger going to Indiana in the fall of 1860 with his uncle, George Rothenberger, and his brother Joel, who had gone out previously. He remained for two years, and in 1863 went out for another year.

On April 4, 1868, Mr. Rothenberger married Rebecca Helfrich, and they have had five children: Emma C., Sallie A. (who married George R. Gregory, of Reading), Charles W., Daniel H. and Cassilia R. Mr. and Mrs. Rothenberger are Reformed members of Zion's Church. He is identified with the Democratic party in politics, and is well known throughout the township, where he has served five years as treasurer and seven years as school director.

Mrs. Rothenberger is a daughter of Daniel and Margaret (Buck) Helfrich, of Weisenburg township, Lehigh Co., Pa., and a granddaughter of Rev. Johannes Heinrich Helfrich, who began his labors as pastor of Ziegel's Church, in Lehigh county, in 1778. His death occurring in 1810, his son, Rev. Johannes Helfrich, was elected to succeed him, and served this and other congregations for a period of thirty-five years. In 1852 Rev. William A. Helfrich, son of Rev. Johannes, was elected pastor, serving until 1879, when his son, Rev. Nevin W. Helfrich, took his place. Thus for long over a century four generations of the one family have filled the pastorate of this church.

Lewis Rothenberger was born Sept. 23, 1844, on his father's homestead in Hereford township. He attended school No. 7, Traub's, in that township. He was in Clinton county, Indiana, for one year, working on the farm, and also helped to clear twenty acres of land, and as previously stated, he was engaged in the lime-burning business with his brother at Sigmund for a number of years. He has been out to Indiana seven times on visits, but like the brother with whose interests his own have been identified for so many years he has been content to settle down at the old home of his father. He, too, is active in the local circles of the Democratic party, and served four years as township treasurer.

On March 28, 1873, Mr. Rothenberger married Maria Reinhart, daughter of Reuben and Angelina (Reinhart) Reinhart, of Upper Milford township, Lehigh Co., Pa., and they have had one son, Calvin, born May 3, 1874, who died in his twelfth year.


p. 1466


Francis Rothenberger, foreman of the Mount Laurel Slag Crusher Company, and the owner of a fertile farm of forty-six acres in Muhlenberg township, was born in 1850 in Muhlenberg township, son of Samuel and Magdalena (Heckman) Rothenberger.

Samuel Rothenberger, who was a laborer, died when his son Francis was but an infant, leaving a widow and nine children, as follows: Sarah, who died unmarried; Samuel, Henry and Thomas, deceased; Emma, of Philadelphia; James, of Oley township, m. to Ellen Kauffman; an infant, deceased; Adam, deceased; and Francis. Mrs. Rothenberger died in 1854, in the faith of the Reformed Church, of which her husband had also been a member.

Francis Rothenberger was educated in the common schools of his native township, and until 1898 all of his life was spent in agricultural pursuits, he having acquired a property of forty-six acres in Muhlenberg township. In the year mentioned Mr. Rothenberger accepted a position with the Mount Laurel Slag Crusher Company, of which he has been foreman since 1901. He is a Democrat in politics, and has served as school director and tax collector of the township. Fraternally he is connected with the I. O. R. M., and the Temple Relief Association.

In 1880 Mr. Rothenberger was married to Catherine Barrell, daughter of Jacob Barrell, and ten children were born to this union, nine of whom are living; Emma, unmarried; Samuel; Ellen, who married Mr. Weik; Frederick; Thomas; Minnie, deceased; James; Katie; John; and Lillian. Mr. Rothenberger is a member of the Lutheran Church, while his wife adheres to the Reformed faith.


p. 914


Isaac M. Rothenberger, general merchant at Wernersville, was born in Ontelaunee township, August 22, 1866, son of Franklin and Catherine (Miller) Rothenberger.

Daniel Rothenberger, his grandfather, was of Muhlenberg township, and carried on a farm adjoining the Alsace Church until 1876, when he retired and removed to Reading, where he died in 1890. He married Elizabeth Gehret, and by her had ten children; Franklin; Obediah m. Amelia Eyrich; Frederick m. Catherine Fisher; Jacob m. Sallie Mengel; Levi m. Lizzie Miller; Daniel m. Amelia Schmehl; Mary m. Mayberry Hartman; Catherine m. William Fisher; Leah m. Ben. Fox; and Elizabeth.

Franklin Rothenberger, father of Isaac M., was a farmer of Ontelaunee township for many years, retiring in 1896. He was twice married, and by his first wife Catherine Miller became the father of twelve children: Mary, m. A. G. Rothermel; Urias, m. (first) Ella Balthasar, and (second) Mary Deturck; Milton, moved to Windsor, Ill.; Daniel, moved to Lancaster; Isaac M.; Sarah m. J. J. Kelchner; Clayton m. Ella Rickenbach; Franklin m. Sallie Miller; Morris, is unmarried; Kate m. John Stoudt; and two died young. Catherine (Miller) Rothenberger, who was a daughter of Isaac Miller, died in 1894, at the age of fifty-nine years. Mr. Rothenberger married (second) the widow of John Koller.

Isaac M. Rothenberger was educated in the public schools, and after leaving school assisted his father in his farming operations until he was of age. He then engaged as a clerk in the store of A. G. Rothermel, his brother-in-law, at Blandon for five years, and then was in the dry good store of J. Mould & Co. at Reading for two years. With this experience he became a partner in the business of Mr. Rothermel at Blandon, and they traded under the firm name of A. G. Rothermel & Co. for five years, from 1895 to 1900. He then sold his interest in the store and formed a partnership with Ephraim Dunkel, and they carried on a coal, lumber, grain, flour and feed business at Blandon, under the name of Dunkel & Rothenberger, for two years. Selling his interest in this business to Mr. Dunkel's son, he purchased a general store at Wernersville, and removing to this city, took his brother Franklin in as a partner, and they carried on the business as I. M. Rothenberger & Bro., for three years. In the spring of 1906 he purchased his brother's interest, and has since carried on the business alone.

Mr. Rothenberger served as a school director of Maidencreek township for three years. While at Blandon he took great interest in the Sunday school and officiated as superintendent thereof for three years. He was also the leader in the singing, accompanying on a cornet during the exercises. When he located at Wernersville he manifested the same interest in the Reformed Sunday school, being a teacher of the Ladies Bible Class, and acting as chorister at the same time. Both he and his wife were members of Hain's Church choir. He was one of the first men to agitate the establishment of a bank at Wernersville and upon its successful organization he was elected one of its directors.

In 1894 Mr. Rothenberger married Anna Weidenhammer, daughter of Wellington Weidenhammer, of Montour county, and they had one daughter who died in infancy. Wellington Weidenhammer served as justice of the peace in the town of Limestoneville for forty consecutive years.


p. 1486


William K. Rothenberger, a retired citizen of Muhlenberg township, who for many years was engaged in farming, milling and butchering, was born on the old family homestead in Centre township Dec. 13, 1842, son of John D. and Mary (Kauffman) Rothenberger.

The great-grandfather of William K. Rothenberger was a resident of Alsace township and the father of these children: Peter; Hannah m. John Close; Polly (Mary) m. Josiah Herb; Molly m. Benjamin Herb.

Peter Rothenberger, the grandfather, was married to Polly Snyder, and they had these children: John D.; and Polly, m. to Elias Bickel.

John D. Rothenberger was a farmer in Alsace township, where he resided all of his life. He married (first) Mary Kauffman, and they had ten children: Cyrus K. deceased; William K.; John K., Peter K. and Levi K., all deceased; Cornelius K., of North Reading; Milton K., deceased; Mary K. m. to Wellington Moser; Debora K., m. to Edward Schearer; and Thomas K., of San Francisco. He married (second) Matilda Kauffman, sister of his first wife, and they had seven children, namely: James, of Temple; Harry, who went out West; Morris, deceased; Kate, m. to Elmer Angstadt; Rose, m. to Edward Moore, of California; George, of Reading; and Sallie.

William K. Rothenberger was educated in the schools of Centre and Muhlenberg townships, and early in life learned the trade of miller and butcher, which in connection with farming, he followed all his business life. He now lives practically retired. With his family he attends Alsace Reformed Church, and in politics is a Democrat, but he has never aspired to public office. Mr. Rothenberger has done much traveling, and in 1907 took a trip to Florida, remaining there from Christmas until May, 1908.

Mr. Rothenberger was married to Elizabeth Close, a daughter of John and Hannah (Rothenberger) Close, and they have three children: Magdalena m. Harry Bentley; Elenora m. William A. Sharp; and Jennie m. John Ruth.

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

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