Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 440


Abraham H. Rothermel. The large and influential Rothermel family of Pennsylvania is descended Picture of Abraham Rothermelfrom John Rothermel, who was born in Wachbach, a province of Holland, in 1688. In 1708, he married Sybilla Zimmerman, a sister of General Zimmerman, of his native land. In 1730, after the birth of one daughter and five sons, he set sail from Rotterdam, with his entire family, for America. John Rothermel died at sea and never saw the shores of the country for which he started. His wife and children arrived in Philadelphia Aug. 29, 1730. The daughter, Anna Maria, who had married Peter Fetherolf, in Wachbach, in 1729, settled with her husband in Macungie township, Lehigh county. The five sons, namely: Lawrence, Paul, Peter, John and Christian, all settled in Berks county.

Abraham H. Rothermel, the subject of this sketch, is a descendant in the fourth generation from John Rothermel, of Wachbach. His father, Abraham Rothermel (1822-1903), was a son of Peter Rothermel (1773-1856), who was a son of Peter Rothermel, the son of the aforesaid John Rothermel. All of Mr. Rothermel's paternal ancestors in America, with the exception of his father, whose remains are interred in Spies's Church Cemetery, lie buried in the Rothermel family cemetery, at Walnuttown, Berks county.

Mr. Rothermel's mother was Magdalena (Heckman) Rothermel (1828-1888), daughter of Adam and Catharine (Heffner) Heckman, of Alsace township. His paternal grandmother was Magdalena Iaeger, daughter of Frederick Iaeger, of Oley township (1748-1822), and his paternal great-grandmother was Magdalena (Dreibelbis) Rothermel, daughter of Jacob Dreibelbis. The last named, as well as Frederick Iaeger, above mentioned, were soldiers of note in the war of the American Revolution.

Abraham H. Rothermel, one of Reading's ablest lawyers, and ex-district attorney, is the youngest son of Abraham and Magdalena (Heckman) Rothermel. He was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks county, March 8, 1863. His parents removed to the Quaker community in Amity township when he was two years of age, and there his youthful character was moulded under the pure and refined influence of a Christian home. He attended the schools of the township, being qualified at an early age to teach a township school, and this he did for several years with boyish dignity and marked aptitude, more than half the pupils being older than himself. After teaching several years, he entered upon a course of preparatory study at Palatinate College, Myerstown, Pa., and later at the Franklin and Marshall Academy. In September, 1883, he entered Franklin an Marshall College, at Lancaster, Pa., from which institution he was graduated in 1887 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Later the same institution conferred the degree of Master of Arts upon him. Immediately after his graduation from college, Mr. Rothermel took up the study of law under the preceptorship of the late Hon. Augustus S. Sassaman, and he was admitted to practice in the courts of Berks county, Nov. 24, 1888; and later, on motion of Richmond L. Jones, Esq., was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

In November, 1889, Mr. Rothermel entered into a partnership in the practice of law with David F. Mauger, Esq., under the firm name of Rothermel & Mauger, and the partnership, which has been eminently successful, has continued to the present time, the firm enjoying a large and representative clientage. In politics Mr. Rothermel has always been a consistent Democrat, and he has done valuable service for his party in many campaigns. He is an eloquent and forceful public speaker, and has been on the platform on many notable occasions. His fame as an orator is not confined to political circles. In May, 1897, he delivered the oration at the laying of the corner-stone of the Watts de Peyster Library at Franklin and Marshall College, as the representative of the donor, Gen. J. Watts de Peyster, of New York; and again, in June, 1898, he was selected by General de Peyster to make the formal presentation of the library to the board of trustees of the college. From 1890 to 1893 Mr. Rothermel filled the office of county solicitor of Berks. The conscientious and fearless manner in which he performed his duties did much to procure for him the almost unanimous nomination of his party for the office of district attorney, to which he was elected in 1898, and he filled this office with distinction, for a term of three years from 1899 to 1902.

Mr. Rothermel is a member of the Second Reformed Church of Reading; the Berks County Historical Society; the Pennsylvania-German Society; the Wyomissing Club; and the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.

In November, 1898, Mr. Rothermel married Miss Eva McKenty, of Reading, Pa., and their marriage has been blessed with two sons, Henry McKenty and Frederic de Peyster. They reside at No. 130 North Fifth street in the winter and spend their summers at their beautiful home near Carsonia Park, in Lower Alsace township.


p. 928


Adam S. Rothermel is a resident of the western end of Richmond township, where he owns a fertile farm of seventy-six acres, which is in a fine state of cultivation. On this property is a substantial stone residence, surrounded by a large, well-kept lawn, the property as a whole being one the finest of its size in the township. Mr. Rothermel was born Aug. 14, 1850, son of Leonard Rothermel.

Johannes Rodarmel (Rothermel), the progenitor of this numerous Berks county family, was born in Wachbach, Germany, in 1688, and was married in 1708 to Sybilla Zimmerman, a native of his country. On Aug. 29, 1730, his widow and six children landed at Philadelphia, Pa., he having died on the voyage to this country and been buried at sea. The children were: Anna, Lawrence, Paul, Peter, John and Christian.

Leonard Rothermel, grandson of Johannes, was born in 1751, and died Oct. 25, 1829. He was a farmer and extensive land owner of Maiden-creek township, and married Susannah Berndt, born in 1762, daughter of John Berndt; she died in April, 1819, the mother of a large family.

Leonard Rothermel, son of Leonard, was one of the old pedagogues of Berks county, teaching in the German language a pay school of twelve pupils in Maiden-creek township, and in addition he performed the duties of his farm, which was situated not far from the present home of Mr. Adam S. Rothermel. Leonard Rothermel was an intelligent man, and became well and favorably known as an educator. He espoused the principles of the Democratic party, but although he took a great interest in its success would never allow his name to be used as a candidate for public office. He was married to Catherine, daughter of Henry Schaeffer, a farmer of Richmond township, and to this union were born children as follows: Elias died at the age of thirteen years; Amanda married William Stoudt, a farmer of Maxatawny township; Emma m. Milton Weidenhammer, of North Reading; Adam S.; Catherine m. Elias Stein, of Mertztown; Enoch died aged twenty-two years; Angelina m. James Heiter, a farmer of Richmond township; and Henry became an agriculturist of Exeter township.

Adam S. Rothermel was reared on his father's small farm, and was mentally equipped in the schools of his township, which he attended until he was sixteen years of age. He then learned the tailor's trade, working three years as an apprentice with Benjamin Schucker, at Molltown, after which he served one year with practical tailors. He then engaged in business for himself, tailoring two years at Evansville, Berks county, and then carried on the business at his home in Perry township. In connection with his trade he also conducted a small farm.

On Feb. 15, 1873, Mr. Rothermel married Mary M. Deturck, daughter of John and Susan (Mengel) Deturck, and to them were born these children: Alice m. Howard Smith, a farmer of Windsor township; Hettie m. Morris L. Schaeffer, a farmer of Richmond township; Laura m. Luther D. Moyer, who conducts a general mercantile business at Eshbach, Berks county; and Harris graduated at the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1902, since which time he has been teaching school, having taught two terms in Richmond township and one term each in Perry and Alsace townships, and he married Clara Idella Kline, daughter of Amos Kline of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Rothermel died Dec. 22, 1904, in her fiftieth year.

Mr. Adam S. Rothermel was a farmer in Perry township for seventeen years, and in 1890 purchased the excellent property on which he now resides. He takes a keen interest in educational affairs, and while in Perry township his fellow-townsmen elected him school director three times, he filling that position most acceptably, and serving as treasurer of the board during the six years of his incumbency. After his removal to his native township he was again elected school director for three years, again serving as treasurer of the board. In politics he is a stanch Democrat. Mr. Rothermel attends the Becker's St. Peter's Church.


p. 787


Prof. Amos C. Rothermel. The Rothermels in America trace their genealogy back some four hundred years to one Johannes Rothermel, who won both fame and a name in the early wars of Germany. Johannes was a brave soldier, and so frequently dyed his arm in the blood of his enemies that his comrades designated him as der Roth Ermel (red sleeve), and in this way he acquired the name of Johannes Rothermel.

John Rothermel, descendant of this early progenitor, was born in the Province of Wachbach, Holland, in 1688, and married Sybilla Zimmerman, native of the same Province, and a sister of the famous General Zimmerman of the Dutch army. Six children were born to the couple and then, on account of the unsettled condition of their native land, and a desire for greater freedom, they concluded to come to America. With their six children, and in company with a large number of other emigrants, they set sail, but before reaching the shores of the New World John Rothermel died and was buried at sea. The remainder of the family landed at Philadelphia, on Aug. 29, 1730, and in the following year located in the part of Philadelphia county that is now included in the bounds of Berks county.

The children of John Rothermel and Sybilla Zimmerman, his wife, were as follows: Anna Maria, Lawrence, Paul, Peter, John and Christian. Anna Maria, the only daughter and oldest child, before leaving Wachbach, married Peter Fetherolf, and she and her husband, after being in America a brief time, settled in Macungie township, Lehigh county, where they lived out the rest of their days. Lawrence, the oldest son, settled in Windsor township, Berks County, where he married a Miss Kuhns, and rose to be one of the foremost citizens of that section. Paul purchased a large tract of land in Maidencreek township and settled upon it; he married Catherine Maurer and by her had issue five sons and one daughter. Peter became a large land owner in the fertile valley of the Manatawny, where he prospered and raised a family of four children. John settled in Windsor township, where his older brother, Lawrence, had already located. Christian, the youngest child of the family, purchased a large tract of land in Maiden-creek township, adjoining the property of his brother Paul; he married and had six children, four daughter and two sons.

John Rothermel, the fifth son of John and Sybilla (Zimmerman) Rothermel - as has already been stated - located in Windsor township. He married Mary Seigfreid, who bore him four sons, namely: Abraham, Jacob, Daniel, and John. Jacob, the second of these sons, married twice. At this writing it has not been ascertained who his first wife was, but it is known that she bore him three children, namely: John, Joseph, and a daughter, who married a Fegley. For his second wife he married a Miss Price, who bore him three sons: Jacob, David P., and Simon. David P. Rothermel was born Dec. 31, 1803, in Richmond township, and always lived there. He was a cooper by trade, but during most of his lifetime engaged in farming. He worked hard and prospered, and by industry and frugality acquired a fine farm. He died Dec. 3, 1885. V David P. Rothermel married Barbara Weiand, who was born Sept. 27, 1801, at Pittsburg, Pa., and who bore him the following children: Eliza, John, David, Lewis W., and Amelia, all of who were born in Richmond township, and grew to maturity there. Barbara (Weiand) Rothermel died March 11, 1881, and she and her husband are buried in the graveyard of the Lutheran and Reformed Church close to the town of Fleetwood. V Lewis W. Rothermel, the fourth child of David P., and Barbara (Weiand) Rothermel, was born July 24, 1837, in Richmond township. On reaching the years of young manhood he learned the blacksmith's trade and followed the useful calling for eighteen years. He resided in the village of Moselem, where was located one of Berks county's largest furnaces, and where he was occupied principally at repairing the heavy wagons and shoeing the many horses and mules that were used in hauling to and from the furnaces. Eventually the manufacture of iron at Moselem became unprofitable and was abandoned, and with the passing of the furnace and the many large teams that were used in operating it, blacksmithing at that place became unprofitable. Lewis W. Rothermel then gave up the trade at which he had worked hard for eighteen long years, and took to farming on the parental homestead in Richmond township. Here he followed the vocation of farming, and tenderly cared for his aged parents until they passed to their reward. Here he still resides in the enjoyment of the fruits of a well-spent life, and the love and respect of a large circle of friends and neighbors.

Lewis W. Rothermel married Lydia R. Rothermel, a distant relative, a descendant of Paul Rothermel and Catherine Maurer. To them the following children have been born: Amos C., Silas, Samuel, Lydia, Emily, and Lewis and Irene, the last two named being twins. Silas is a practicing attorney in Reading. Samuel is engaged in the lumber trade in Reading. Lydia formerly taught in the public schools, but is now married and devotes all her time to her household. Emily is married. Irene is living with her husband near Fleetwood. Lewis is a physician at Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania.

Amos C. Rothermel, the subject proper of this sketch, was born at Moselem in Richmond Township, Berks county, Jan. 6, 1864. He was the oldest child of the family, and as a lad spent many an hour about his father's blacksmith shop, watching the latter strike the iron while it was hot, and blowing the bellows for him. This was to him an interesting experience at his most impressionable period of life, but the environment did not have the customary effect upon the youth, for he never acquired a desire to learn and engage at his father's trade. Circumstances early turned the course of his life into a different channel. To afford the children of the neighborhood special advantages educationally, the proprietor of the Moselem furnace secured the services of a lady from New England, who was a born teacher and a friend to her pupils as well; who not only taught them their daily lessons but fired them with high ideals and an ambition to know more and achieve greater things. For a period of six years, for ten months of each year, Amos C. Rothermel sat under the beneficent instruction of that teacher, and he has never yet ceased to credit to that fortunate experience his success as a scholar and educator.

Having laid the foundation of his education in the village school at Moselem, he entered the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, Berks county, and, after two years studious application, graduated from that institution. Soon after entering the normal school he turned his attention to teaching, beginning in Richmond township, where he taught successfully for three terms. Subsequently to his graduation he for one year conducted the Polytechnic Institute, at Gilberts, in Monroe County, Pa. In the fall of 1887 he returned to Kutztown State Normal School for the purpose of preparing himself to take a course of training in a higher institution of learning. Completing his preparatory course in a year's time, he, in the fall of 1888, entered Franklin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, Pa., from which he graduated three years afterward with honor. Upon graduation from college he was elected to the faculty of the Kutztown State Normal School as Professor of Natural Science, a branch to which he had given much hard study, and was especially qualified to teach. His success as an instructor and disciplinarian marked him as a man fit for promotion, and in 1893 he was made vice-principal of the institution, but the duties of that position being only of perfunctory character, they did not interfere with his duties of the classroom and he continued to hold the chair of Natural Science until 1890, when he was elected Principal of the institution. His promotion to the principalship gave him the executive management of this large school with all the varied and weighty responsibilities which it involves. This change released him almost entirely from class work and he has since been teaching only such branches as are of distinctly pedagogical character.

Though comparatively a young man Prof. Rothermel's administration of the Kutztown State Normal School from the very beginning has proved highly successful and satisfactory. He governs principally by conciliatory means, which he has found to answer almost every purpose; for he claims that when students are accorded just and considerate treatment they will almost invariably yield respectful obedience. While his policy of government has been mild it has yet been firm, and under him the institution has kept pace with the general education progress of our rapidly moving age. Its standard has been raised and its different departments have been enlarged and improved to meet fully the requirements of the future. Its reputation has grown with its years and it is justly classed as one of the best State normal schools in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

On June 30, 1894, Prof. Rothermel married Miss Ada L. Spatz, daughter of John and Catharine (Moyer) Spatz, at Reading and a lady of refinement and culture, and many excellent social qualities. No children have been born to them, but a bright little girl who has been adopted into their home receives the full measure of parental care and affection. In the matter of religion, Mr. and Mrs. Rothermel are members of the Reformed Church, it being the church of their ancestry through many generations. In politics Mr. Rothermel is a Democrat.

And such is the history of Prof. Amos C. Rothermel, a scholarly gentleman, a successful educator and a worthy representative of one of Berks county's oldest and most distinguished families.


p. 854


Daniel H. Rothermel, formerly a prosperous farmer in Richmond township, was one of the prominent and substantial citizens of this section. He was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks Co., Pa., son of Jacob Rothermel, and he died on his valuable farm of 150 acres, in 1885, aged thirty-nine years.

The earliest known ancestor of the old and honored family of Rothermel was Johannes Rothermel (also spelled Rodearmel). He was born in 1688, at Wachbach, and in 1730 crossed the Atlantic, dying en route to America. In his native land he married Sybilla Zimmerman, who bore him three children: Anna Maria m. Peter Fetherolf, a native of Wachbach, and they were the progenitors of the representative and intellectual Fetherolf family of Lehigh and surround counties and many of their descendants are profession people; Lawrence, born in 1738, settled in Windsor township, Berks county, and left many descendants; Paul settled in Maiden-creek township, Berks county; Peter; John, born in 1722, had a son, Jacob, whose son David had a son Lewis, born in 1837, who is the father of Prof. A. C. Rothermel (the honored principal of the Keystone State Normal School), Silas (an attorney), and Lewis (a physician); and Christian had children, Margaret, Sybilla, Magdalena, Amanda, Peter and John. It was this Peter Rothermel, who was the famous artist, who painted the "Battle of Gettysburg." Peter F., son of Peter, was once district attorney of Philadelphia.

Peter Rothermel, the fourth son of the ancestor, and the great-grandfather of the late Daniel H., in 1737 became the owner of 100 acres, and one year later acquired 250 acres of land. In 1743 he purchased 100 acres more, and thus became one of the largest land owners of this section. His property was all valuable, lying in the bottoms along the Maxatawny creek, in Berks county. His children were: Daniel, Peter, Margaret, and Abraham. Some of them went far from home, and became the founders of families of the name in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

Peter Rothermel, son of Peter and grandfather of Daniel H., was born in 1773, and died in 1856. His wife was Magdalena Iager and they had the following children: Maria, born in 1796; Catherine, in 1797; Daniel, in 1799; Susanna, in 1801; Peter, in 1802 (afflicted with blindness); Sarah, in 1803; Anna, in 1808; Jacob, in 1811; John, in 1812 (father of Hon. John H. Rothermel, who was elected in 1907, a member of Congress, from the Berks and Lehigh Congressional District); Hannah, in 1814; Elizabeth, in 1816; and Abraham, in 1822 (died in 1804), the father of Hon. Abraham Rothermel, formerly district attorney of Berks county).

Jacob Rothermel, father of Daniel H., was born Jan. 14, 1811, and died June 10, 1888. His occupation was farming. He married twice, (first) a Miss Hoch and (second) a Mrs. Kauffman. His children were: Daniel H., Samuel, Amos, James, Mary, Esther and Catherine.

Daniel H. Rothermel was a man of business enterprise and of worthy citizenship. In connection with his farming industries he dealt extensively in horses. This business he thoroughly understood, and made it a success. At the time of his death he was able to leave his widow and children a large estate, the former of whom has since resided in a comfortable and attractive home on Main street, Fleetwood. Since 1901, the farm has been under the management of his son, Horace D. Mr. Rotherrmel was much interested in the cause of education in general and to his own children he gave advantages far beyond the ordinary, and thus prepared them whatever might be their chosen field of labor.

In 1870, Daniel H. Rothermel was married to Deborah De Turk, who is a daughter of the late Daniel and Deborah (Knabb) De Turk, former residents of Oley township. Mr. and Mrs. De Turk had the following children: Esther m. (first) David Baer, (second) Samuel Melot; Sarah m. Lewis J. De Turk; Deborah; Abraham m. (first) Alice Herbein, (second) Catherine Bertolett; Ezra m. Alice Merkel; and Horace died aged twenty-four years.

To Daniel H. Rothermel and wife were born six children, namely: Clayton D., Elmer D., Ella D., Deborah D., Horace D., and Daniel J. Clayton D., is a graduate of the Baltimore Medical School and is engaged in medical practice at Philadelphia. Elmer D. married Hanna Schaeffer, and they have one daughter, Mabel. Ella D., residing with her mother, is a lady of literary culture and many accomplishments. She is a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1895, and also of Neff's School of Literary Interpretation, of Philadelphia, class of 1901. Deborah D., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1897, married Augustus P. Merkel, an implement merchant and machinist, residing at Fleetwood, and their two children, Mary and William, both died in infancy. Horace D., born Feb 5, 1879, manages the homestead in Richmond township; in 1900 he m. Emma R. Schaeffer, and they have one daughter, Elda S. Daniel L, a graduate from a school of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, is located in that city.


p. 977


Enoch G. Rothermel, a well known hotel-keeper of Perry township, who is owner and proprietor of the popular "Mansion House" at Shoemakersville, Berks county, was born in Maiden-creek township, son of John B. and Maria (Griesemer) Rothermel.

The progenitor of the Rothermel family in this county, Johannes Rothermel, who was a brave soldier of the German wars, was a native of Wachbach, born in 1688. In 1708 he married Sabilla Zimmerman, of royal blood, and in 1730 they, with their one daughter and five sons, crossed the Atlantic for the New World. Johannes Rothermel, however, did not live to see the new country, he dying and being buried at sea. The widow and her children landed at Philadelphia Aug. 29, 1730, the name of the latter being: Anna Maria (m. Peter Feterholf, of Lehigh county); Laurence; Paul; Peter; John and Christian.

Paul Rothermel, son of Johannes, settled in Maiden-creek township in 1738. He was naturalized in 1744, and resided on his 250 acre farm all of his life. In 1847 he married Catherine Maurer, of Philadelphia county, and to them were born: Peter, Leonard, Paul, John, Jacob and Barbara.

Leonard Rothermel, son of Paul, married a Miss Barnett, and they had three children: David B., Leonard and John B. (the father of Enoch G.).

John B. Rothermel was a wealthy farmer of Maiden-creek township. He married Anna Maria Griesemer, and they had these children: Louisa, Harrison, Susanna, Enoch G., John Yarak, Napoleon (died young), Albert, Jeremiah and Nicholas.

Enoch G. Rothermel obtained a limited education in the local schools and spent his youthful days upon his father's farm. He first worked at agricultural pursuits and during his first wife's lifetime he was proprietor of the hotel at Blandon. Immediately after his second marriage he bought the "Market House Hotel." Moss and Buttonwood streets, Reading, but after two years sold it to the Lauer Brewing Company, and bought the "Molltown House," which he conducted six years. He then purchased for $14,000 the "Mansion House" at Shoemakersville which he has operated successfully since 1905. He is also the owner of the lot of ground opposite his hotel, for which he paid $5,100 in 1906, fifty acres of land at Molltown, in Maiden-creek township, and three tenant houses and one hotel. He is a man of influence in his community, and is highly esteemed by all with whom he has come into contact.

Mr. Rothermel has been twice married, his first wife, to whom he was married in 1872, being Isabella Rothermel, daughter of Peter and Sallie (Wiest) Rothermel. On Dec. 24, 1895, Mr. Rothermel was married (second) to Ida A. Schlear, daughter of John and Katie (Loose) Schlear, and to this union there were born three children: Enoch S., born July 23, 1897; Katie M., Oct. 20, 1899; and Mabel H., July 31, 1901.


p. 1625


The Rothermels of Berks county, Pa., trace their ancestry directly to one John Rothermel, born in Wachbach, a Dutch province, in 1688. In 1708 he married Sybilla Zimmerman, of the same province, and after the birth of six children, emigrated to America, his cause for leaving being the unsettled political conditions of his native country, and a desire for the greater freedom of the New World. In company with a large number of other emigrants from that country, he set sail for America with his wife and children. He died, however, on the journey to the new country, in 1730, but his wife and children arrived safely in Philadelphia, Aug. 20, 1730, locating in Berks county (then Philadelphia county) the following year. The six children were: Anna Maria; Lawrence; Paul; Peter; John and Christian. Of these, Anna Maria, born in February, 1712, married Peter Feterolf in 1729, and located in Macungie township (now in Lehigh county), where he died Aug. 15, 1784, and his wife a few years later. Lawrence located in Windsor township, Berks county, in 1738, and in 1748 married a Miss Kuhns; they had two children, Leonard and Maria, the latter marrying John C. Romig. Paul located in Maiden-creek township in 1737, and married Catherine Maurer in 1747; they had children: Peter; Leonard; Paul; John; Jacob and Barbara. Peter, the fourth child born to his parents, and the great-grandfather of John H.. Rothermel, is mentioned below. John, born in Wachbach, Jan, 21, 1722, purchased a twenty-five acre tract of land adjoining the estate of his brother Lawrence in 1747, and there he resided until his death in 1785; he married Mary Sigfred, by whom he had four children. Abraham; Jacob; Daniel and John. Christian, the remaining member of the family, in 1772 purchased 250 acres of land along Maiden-creek; he was the father of six children: Margaret; Sybilla; Magdalena; Amanda; Peter and John.

Peter Rothermel, great-grandfather of John H. Rothermel, was an extensive land owner in Berks county. In 1737 he became the owner of 100 acres and in 1743 purchased an additional 100 acres, meantime acquiring 250 acres more in 1738. All of his lands lay along the Maxatawny Creek. He married and was the father of a number of children, some of whom went west and were the founders of homes in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The children were: Daniel, Peter, Margaret and Abraham.

Peter Rothermel, son of Peter, was born on the old homestead on Maxatawny Creek Sept. 1, 1773, and there resided, throughout his life engaged in farming. He died Feb. 1, 1856, aged eighty-three years. He was married Feb. 11, 1795, to Magdalena Iager, and fourteen children were born of this union: Maria; Catherine; Daniel; Susanna; Peter; Sarah; Anna: Esther; Jacob; John, Hannah; Elizabeth; Sybilla and Abraham.

John Rothermel was born April 8, 1812, in Richmond township, Berks county, were he was reared on a farm and educated in the public schools, such as they were in his day. After residing there for some years, he removed to Maiden-creek township, and located on a farm, following agricultural pursuits until his death. In political matters he was a supporter of the principles of the Democratic party. He died in August, 1890. Mr. Rothermel married Louisa Hoover, who was born Dec. 11, 1827, in Cumru township, Berks county, and children as follows came to this union: William, born July 2, 1848; Peter, Feb. 20, 1850; Katie (deceased) Oct. 4, 1851; Israel H.; born April 26, 1853, died Aug. 7, 1903; John H., March 7, 1856, present representative in Congress from Berks county; Moses, Aug. 11, 1858; Cyrus and Mary, twins, March 13, 1861; Lydia, July 16, 1862; Esther, Oct. 17, 1863; Wilson H., May 4, 1866; Annie, Nov. 4, 1867; Alice, July 2, 1870; and Joseph M., May 18, 1872.

John H. Rothermel, of Reading, elected to represent the Thirteenth District - comprising Berks and Lehigh counties - in the LXth and LXIst Congress, has been a leading attorney of Pennsylvania for many years. He is one of Berks county's native sons, having been born March 7, 1856, in Richmond township, and his ancestors for over a century and a half have been prominently identified with the professional and industrial history of this county. His parents, John and Louisa (Hoover) Rothermel, were farming people of Maiden-creek township, this county, and John J. Rothermel was reared on the farm. He received his early education in the local public schools and Prof. Brunner's Scientific Academy, at Reading, Pa., and taught in the public schools of his native county for several years, being also engaged for about two years in Brunner's Academy. He took up the study of law and was admitted to the Bar in 1881. Since then he has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in the higher and lower courts, both State and Federal.

For twenty-five years, Mr. Rothermel has given special attention to the trial of cases, and as a trial lawyer has been identified with the most important litigation in his section, amongst others the notable case of the Commonwealth versus Samuel Greason, which won Mr. Rothermel national reputation. The death warrant was read to the defendant ten times, and as many times he was snatched from the gallows by his lawyer. In the meantime Mr. Rothermel secured the passage of a law (Act of April 22, 1903) which empowered the Supreme court to authorize the reopening of the case. After the enactment of this law the Supreme court directed the lower court to reopen the case, and then the real trouble began, every move made by the defendant being beset with serious difficulties. The longer the case progressed the more intricate it became, until finally a new trial was obtained, and on June 16, 1905, the defendant was acquitted. This introduced a new feature in the criminal administration of justice and is the only proceeding of its kind in the history of Pennsylvania, a record of which is in the office of the Supreme court and will be a guide and precedent for all cases in the future. This was the most noted of the various homicide cases defended by Mr. Rothermel, many of which had attracted widespread attention, and the comprehensive knowledge of the law he displayed in its conduct won him so many friends in Berks county that he received the nomination for Congress against four formidable competitors. But though naturally gratified at the support he was given in his own county at the election which followed, nothing could have been more flattering than the large majority he polled in Lehigh county, which with Berks makes up the Thirteenth District. He was elected with a majority of 5,600. Mr. Rothermel's service in the LXth Congress was his first experience in public office, and he signally distinguished himself therein by securing the passage of a bill appropriating a substantial sum for the enlargement of the Federal building in Reading, Pa., and in being a conscientious and painstaking official. His prompt and cheerful compliance with requests of his constituents has made him a most popular Congressman. At the Federal Capitol he is regarded with high honor and esteem. He ran for a Common Pleas judgeship in 1899, but was defeated, although he received promising support at the primaries. In 1891, upon the death of Judge Schwartz, he was prominently mentioned as the latter's successor, and his candidacy was strongly urged by way of indorsements by the county Bar, but Judge Bland obtained the appointment. At the following general election he was importuned by his many friends to become a candidate for the nomination for that office, but declined out of regard for Judge Bland, who was appointed by the Governor. In his political affiliations Mr. Rothermel is an unswerving supporter of the Democratic party.

On March 8, 1883, Mr. Rothermel was married to Sarah Zimmerman and they have one son, Ralph Z., born Aug. 7, 1884.


p. 1158


Frank H. Rothermel, who is conducting a successful business at the corner of Green and North Front streets, Reading, where he carries a full line of meats and canned goods, was born in 1875, in Bern township, Berks county, son of Adam B. and Rebecca (Hartman) Rothermel.

Leonard Rothermel, great-grandfather of Frank H., was born in Maiden-creek township, where he engaged in farming all of his life. He was the father of nine children: Jeremiah, John, Leonard, David, Mary, Catherine, and three who are recorded as named Harvey, died young.

Jeremiah Rothermel, like his father Leonard, was born on the old Rothermel homestead in Maiden-creek township, May 17, 1822, and was a general merchant at Blandon, where the upper hotel is now situated. He also engaged in farming for some time, but had been living retired for some years prior to his death Feb. 16, 1890. He married Lydia Brown, born Sept. 26, 1824, and to them were born nine children, as follows; Calvin died aged three years; Amelia, m. William Gernant; Maria and Eva died young; Catherine m. David L. Rottenberger; two children whose names are not recorded; and Jeremiah m. Emma Brockway. Mrs. Lydia Rothermel died April 16, 1902, in the faith of the Dunkard Church, in which her husband was a preacher.

Adam B. Rothermel was born in Maiden-creek township, May 21, 1854, and died June 9, 1907. He married (first) Mary Hartman, daughter of Amos and Rebecca Hartman, and to this union there were born nine children, as follows: Wilson, Mary, Amelia, Susan, Frank, Adam, Harry, Edward (deceased), and Oliver. He m. (second) Elizabeth McKentley, daughter of Joseph and Susan (Snyder) McKentley, and one child was born to this union, Herbert, at school.

Frank H. Rothermel was educated in the schools of Bern and Muhlenberg townships, and until twenty years of age was engaged in farming. At this time he learned the butchering business with H. F. Kramer, with whom he remained for seven years, and in 1903 embarked in business for himself at the old H. F. Kramer stand in Reading, three years later locating at his present place of business. Here Mr. Rothermel has introduced many modern improvements, his large refrigerator, holding one and one-half tons of ice, keeping all his fresh and house dressed meats in the best of condition. He also carries a full line of canned goods and smoked meats, and the excellence of his goods as well as his moderate prices have won him a large and steady trade.

Mr. Rothermel was married to Miss Bertha Kramer, daughter of H. F. Kramer, and to this union there has been born one child, Harold. In religious belief Mr. and Mrs. Rothermel are Lutherans. He is a Republican in politics.


p. 415


Ira P. Rothermel, eldest son of John K. and Susanna E. (Peters) Rothermel, was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks CO., Pa. His father was a descendant from one of the earliest families in the country, and a prominent farmer in Richmond township, and our subject's youth was mostly spent in assisting in the arduous duties of the farm. The advantages of a liberal education, however, were not denied him. He was educated in the public schools of his township, Brunner's Scientific Academy at Reading, and the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown. After reaching a country school in Ruscombmanor township for one year, he entered Lafayette College, from which institution he graduated in the classical course in the year 1885. The following year Mr. Rothermel came to Reading and began the study of law under the direction of Frank R. Schell, Esq., and after the latter's decease, which occurred a few months later, he entered the law offices of Jacob S. Livingood, a distinguished lawyer, under whose preceptorship he continued and concluded his law studies. He was admitted to the Berks County Bar Jan 21, 1888, and later to the Supreme court and the Superior court of this State. Since his admission to the Bar he has assiduously carried on his profession in a successful manner, mostly in the line of office practice and in the settlement of estates.

Mr. Rothermel became affiliated with the Freemasons at Reading in 1891, where he joined Chandler Lodge No. 227, Excelsior Chapter No. 237, and Reading Commandery, No. 42, Knights Templar. In manner, Mr. Rothermel is modest and unassuming, by nature kind and genial, honorable in all his dealings and generous to every one in work and deed.

Mr. Rothermel was married to Elizabeth Grim, and they have three children, John G., Daniel G., and Catharine G. The family are active members of St. Paul's Memorial Reformed Church. Mrs. Rothermel is a daughter of Daniel P., Grim, of Kutztown, and a grand-daughter of Col. Daniel B. Grim, who conducted a large farm, tannery, general store and hotel at Grimville, in the upper section of this county.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:57 EDT

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