Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 978


Jackson Rothermel, a prosperous farmer of Windsor township, where he was born Oct. 8, 1859, is a descendant of one of the earliest settlers in 180-978 Rothermel, Jackson that section and bears a name that for generations has been known in the annals of Berks county, while the homestead which he occupies has been in the family since the days of the first settler.

(I) Johannes Rothermel, from which all of the name in America are descended, started with his family for the New World, but did not himself live to reach the land of promise. He was born in Wachbach, Germany, in 1688, and married Sybilla Zimmerman, who was born in 1708, and they had the following family: Anna Maria (m. in Wachbach in 1729, Peter Fetheroff); Laurence; Paul; Peter; John; and Christian. With all these children, the parents started in the summer of 1730 for America but the father died at sea, and on her arrival at Philadelphia that fall, the widow was obliged to make her own way in that strange land. But the grim determination with which she and her young sons set themselves to this hard task won its rightful reward.

(II) Laurence Rothermel, who was born in 1714-15, came to Windsor township in 1738, one of the first white settlers in that region, says tradition, and from that day the Rothermels have been identified with the development of Berks county. In 1746 Laurence Rothermel married a Miss Kuhns, of Alburtis, Lehigh county, and two children were born to them: Leonard; and Maria (m. John C. Romig). Mr. Rothermel died, and was interred in the graveyard of the old Zion's Church in Perry township.

(III) Leonard Rothermel succeeded to a part of the original homestead, and made it a nucleus for an extensive domain. Born in 1751, his whole life was spent in farming, and he became a wealthy and prominent man, at one time owning over 400 acres, as in 1812 he received by patent 176 acres, while he had previously acquired a tract of 225 acres. As his sons grew up, he gave to each in succession a part of the property, thus starting them out well, for in those days, with plenty of timber and stone, houses were put up at small outlay of actual money. Leonard Rothermel died Oct. 26, 1829, aged seventy-eight, and his wife Susanna, who was born in 1762, passed away in April, 1819, aged fifty-eight. Their remains were interred, side by side, in the Zion's churchyard, where Laurence Rothermel had been buried. Their children were: Catherine, Daniel, Jacob, John, Elizabeth, Laurence, Maria, Peter and Hannah.
(IV) John Rothermel was born in Windsor township, and in the division of his father's property part of the original homestead came to him, and there he passed his life, engaged in farming. The barn, which is still standing on the place, was built by him. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Joseph Miller, and they became the parents of the following Children: Sallie, Mrs. George Bautsch; Joseph; Peter, born in 1799 (m. Elizabeth Reber), and died in 1879; Leonard, who died when fifteen years old; and David, who died unmarried in 1903, aged sixty-eight.

(V) Joseph Rothermel was born on the old homestead, Oct. 11, 1825, and died there May 8, 1893. So eager was he for an education that he earned the money himself to pay his tuition in one of the pay schools. As a young man he learned the trade of a stone mason and worked at it fifteen years, but after that bought the homestead from his father and devoted the rest of his active years to cultivating it. At the time of his purchase the place contained 108 acres, but a small portion has since been sold. Joseph Rothermel married Rebecca, daughter of Jacob Rothermel, and they had issue as follows: Emeline, who died aged twelve; Frank, who lived only three years; James, who was drowned in the canal at Hamburg in 1902; Priscilla, who died of scarlet fever at the age of eight; Jackson, of Hamburg; and Joseph, of Leesport, Pa.

(VI) Jackson Rothermel grew up on the homestead, attending school till he was sixteen, and then remaining at home to help his father six years longer. In 1881 he moved to a farm adjoining his father's which he operated for eight years, while during this period he also did threshing for the farmers over a wide radius of territory. In 1889 he moved back to the old Rothermel farm, which has been his home ever since, and which he purchased in 1893. It now contains ninety-eight acres and is one of the best tracts in the county, for it is both of good soil and very well managed, so that Mr. Rothermel reaps bountiful crops. He is progressive and enterprising in his methods, modern in his ideas and devoted to the cause of education, for which he has worked on the school board for six years. He is an elder in the Reformed Church (Zion's), an office he has held for nine years, and his is one of a committee of five chosen for building the new Zion's Union Church, which is now nearing completion.

On Oct. 6, 1881, Mr. Rothermel married Ella L., the daughter of Alfred and Diana (Williams) Rentschler, the former now deceased. A family of six children has been born to this union, as follows: Diana R., born Feb. 13, 1882, m. William H. Dreibelbis; Joseph A., born May 28, 1884, attended the Keystone Normal, was graduated from Perkiomen Seminary in 1906, and from Franklin and Marshall College in 1909, and is now a professor and teacher at Perkiomen Seminary; Hettie E., born Feb. 26, 1890, m. Oscar C. Hein; Jackson, Jr., was born Nov. 2, 1893; Edna E., May 10, 1896; and Sallie M., Jan. 24, 1900. The family are all members of Zion's Church, of Perry township.


p. 1206


Jacob H. Rothermel, a prosperous citizen of Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa., was born July 20, 1863, in the township in which he still lives, and where he has spent all of his life, son of Samuel M. and Esther (Hoch) Rothermel.

The Rothermel family was founded in this country by Johannes Rothermel, a native of Wachbach, Germany, born there in 1688. In 1708 he was married to Sybilla Zimmermann, and to them were born six children: Anna Maria, Lawrence, Paul, Peter, John and Christian. The family started for America, and Johannes Rothermel died on the voyage, his widow and children landing at Philadelphia, Aug. 29, 1730, and locating in the following year in what is now Berks county, Pennsylvania.

John Rothermel, son of Johannes, became a farmer and justice of the peace in Richmond township. It is a matter of record that Jacob Rothermel was a captain of militia in the Revolutionary army, Second battalion, Third Company, and tradition has it that John Rothermel was a Revolutionary soldier, the probability being that there is a discrepancy in the name and that tradition is correct. John Rothermel's remains were interred in the Rothermel burying ground, one-quarter of a mile west of Fleetwood. He married Mary Siegfried, who is said to have been the first white child in Maxatawny township, Berks county, and they had these children: Abraham, Jacob, Daniel, and John. He married again, and the children born of the second union were: Jacob, grandfather of Jacob H.; David; Mrs. Charles Heffner; Mrs. Fegley, of Orwigsburg, Pa.; and Elizabeth Rothermel.

Jacob Rothermel, born May 11, 1798, in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, a part of which is now Richmond township, died April 15, 1886, aged nearly eighty-eight years. He was a miller by trade, and also engaged in the manufacture of linseed oil, pursuing this vocation until 1840, when he began farming. On Nov. 10, 1822, he married Sarah Merkel, of Richmond township, and to them were born children as follows: Jonas, Jacob (who died aged eight years), Samuel M., Aaron, Anna (died in infancy), Sarah and John.

Samuel M. Rothermel was born Feb. 26, 1831, and died April 23, 1900. He was a lifelong resident of Richmond township, where in his youth he obtained a limited education. Throughout life he was a great reader, his favorite work being the Bible, and he was possessed of a remarkable memory. When twenty-six years of age he began farming on his father's property in Richmond township, and there he continued for thirty years, in 1887 removing to a farm belonging to his brother-in-law, Daniel Hoch, there continuing until his death. On No. 26, 1860, Mr. Rothermel was married to Esther Hoch, daughter of Benjamin and Susannah (Kinsey) Hoch, of Richmond township. To this union were born: Susannah, who died in infancy; and Jacob H.

Jacob H. Rothermel was reared on his father's farm and obtained his education in the schools of his native township, leaving same at the age of twenty years to resume agricultural pursuits. He then purchased from his father a farm of fifty-five acres in Maiden-creek township, and a ninety acre farm near the borough of Fleetwood, which had belonged to his uncle. Since the death of his father in 1900, Mr. Rothermel has inherited additional property, and has in latter years been engaged in supervising the work. He and his wife are consistent members of St. Paul's Reformed Church at Fleetwood. In politics he is a Democrat.

On Dec. 25, 1901, Mr. Rothermel was married to Esther Rothermel, daughter of John K. and Susannah (Peters) Rothermel, of Richmond township. Mr. Rothermel and his estimable wife are greatly esteemed in this community, where he is regarded as an up-to-date, practical farmer, and good, substantial business man.


p. 1184


Jeremiah R. Rothermel, a representative agriculturist of Perry township, Berks county, who is engaged as rural mail carrier, was born Oct. 3, 1855, in Perry township, son of Daniel S. and Esther (Reber) Rothermel.

The ancestor of the Rothermel family in America was Johannes Rothermel, a native of Germany, who died at sea while on his way to this country. One of his sons, Lawrence, was married in 1746 to a Miss Kuhns, of Windsor township, where he had settled in 1738 as a pioneer. He had two children: Leonard; and Maria, who became the wife of John C. Romig.

Leonard Rothermel, a great-grandfather of Jeremiah R., was an extensive farmer of Windsor township, owning over 400 acres of land, one tract being now in the possession of his grandson, Jackson Rothermel. He was the father of the following children: Catherine (m. John Fritz); Daniel; Jacob; John; Elizabeth (m., Henry Long); Lawrence; Maria (m. Joseph Tyson); Peter, and Hannah.

Peter Rothermel, grandfather of Jeremiah R., who lived in Windsor township, was a carpenter and farmer, and for some years made his home in Hamburg, where he followed the former occupation. He died in 1879, aged eighty years. He married Esther Saul, and to them were born children as follows: Jacob, Daniel S., Peter, William, Esther (m. Joseph Seltzer), Susan (m. John Krick), and Mary (m. Joseph Reber).

Daniel S. Rothermel, well-known in Perry township, for many years following his trade of carpenter there, was born Oct. 19, 1831, in Windsor township (now Perry), and died March 22, 1897. He owned an excellent farm of seventy-two acres near Mohrsville, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits from 1872 to 1895. In politics he first was a Democrat, and later a prohibitionist, but he never held office. In religious belief he and his family were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, of which he was an elder for many years, dying while in office. Mr. Rothermel married Esther Reber, and to them were born children as follows: Jeremiah R.; Albert, who was drowned at the age of three years; Amos, whose death occurred in his thirteenth year; Annie L., who married Samuel Trump; Caroline, who died in youth; Emmeline, who died at the age of six years; Miss Ella, at home; Ada, who died March 15, 1902, aged thirty-one years; Miss Lizzie, at home; Samuel, who married Lizzie Spatz; Katie, wife of Lafayette Rentschler; Howard, single; and Sallie, who died in infancy.

Jeremiah R. Rothermel was educated in the local schools of his native township, the Hamburg high school and Professor Unger's Academy at Shoemakersville, later attending the Reading Scientific Academy under Prof. D. B. Brunner and the Keystone State Normal School. He began teaching in 1877 at the Meeting-House school in Bern township, where he taught four terms, one term in Centre, fifteen terms in Perry, three terms in Ontelaunee, and had engaged a school in Perry for the twenty-fifth term, but resigned same, after his appointment as mail carrier. He obtained a permanent certificate June 4, 1887, under the superintendency of Prof. D. S. Keck, when Dr. Higbee was state superintendent. He was well and favorably known as an educator throughout Berks county, and one of the most popular teachers of his day. Mr. Rothermel made a journey in 1879 to Clinton county, Iowa, where he worked on a farm, but the following year returned to his native township and again began teaching. For one year he clerked in the general store of H. S. Fraunfelter, at Mohrsville, Pa., and also engaged in painting during the summer months, while teaching in winter, doing work at Royersford, Montgomery county, and Reading and other towns in Berks county.

Mr. Rothermel now owns a good farm in the northern part of Mohrsville, consisting of fifty acres of excellent land, upon which stands one of the oldest stone houses in this section. While it is old, it is nevertheless in an excellent state of preservation, and may last for 100 years. It was lately repaired and remodelled, and is now a very cozy and comfortable home. The house is surrounded by a beautiful, well-kept lawn, and the barns and outbuildings are in good repair. Mr. Rothermel also owns a large double brick dwelling in Mohrsville, which is tenanted.

On Aug. 1, 1905, Mr. Rothermel was appointed a rural letter carrier on Route No. 1 from Mohrsville, he making daily trips of twenty-six and three-tenths miles through Centre, Penn and Upper Bern townships. He is a Republican in politics and has been a number of times delegate to county conventions. Mr. Rothermel and his family are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mohrsville, of which he as been a deacon since Easter, 1899, a Sunday-school teacher for many years, superintendent of the Sunday-school for a period, and a member of the Consistory since 1883. He is fraternally connected with Perry Lodge No. 1055, of Shoemakersville, a past grand master; and a member of Welcome Lodge No. 55, Shepherds of Bethlehem, of which he is past commander.

On March 4, 1888, Mr. Rothermel married Mary Kneeream, daughter of Christopher and Christina Kneeream, who emigrated to America from Germany. To this union there have been born the following children: Laura Minnie, born Dec. 27, 1888, died May 26, 1906; Daniel Luther, born July 4, 1892; and Stanley Morris, born Feb 23, 1898, died May 1st, 1900. Daniel Luther Rothermel is a member of the class of 1909, Perry township high school at Shoemakersville. During his vacation in 1908 he attended Prof. Kerst's National Business College, at Reading, Pa., studying short-hand, book-keeping and typewriting, and intends to complete his course there also in 1909.


p. 922


John G. Rothermel, farmer near Stony Creek Mills, in Lower Alsace township, is a substantial citizen of this part of Berks county.

The Rothermel family originated in Holland and from that country the great-grandfather of John G. Rothermel emigrated to America, locating in Maiden-creek township, Berks county. His five sons were named Peter, Leonard, Jacob, John and Paul. He owned the farm near Blandon which is now the property of his great-grandson, Oscar Rothermel. The original homestead was large, but divisions reduced it in acreage. The lower part became the inheritance of his son Leonard.

Leonard Rothermel, grandfather of John G., was born on the homestead where he spent the whole of his life. He married (first) Susan Kauffman, and (second) Mary Bernet. He was the father of nine children, two; Samuel and Susan, being born to the first union; and John G., David B., Leonard B., Jeremiah B., Hannah (wife of Leonard Moyer), Mary (wife of Valentine Hartman), and Catherine (wife of Aaron Heckman) to the second.

John B. Rothermel, father of John G., was born on the old homestead, March 29, 1809, and almost all of his life was spent there. He died Oct. 7, 1894, aged 85 years. He married Maria Griesemer, daughter of William Griesemer, and his wife Margaret, nee Yeager. She died April 30, 1854, aged thirty-seven years. The had the following children: Louisa, residing at Lebanon, m. (first) Valentine Schmeck, and (second) Henry Neiman; Harrison G., residing in Maiden-creek township, m. Amanda Guildin; Susanna m. Albert Guildin, and both died in 1902, within five months, in Maiden-creek township; Enoch G., residing at Shoemakersville, m. (first) Isabella Rothermel, and (second) Ida Schlear; John G., Napoleon and Jared, both died young; Albert G., residing at Blandon, m Mary Rothenberger; Jeremiah G., residing near Maiden-creek station, m. Elmina Rahn; Nicholas G., residing in Muhlenberg township, m. Ida Wenrich.

John G. Rothermel was born on the old homestead Jan. 3, 1845, and was educated in the local schools, and in the Philomathian Institute at Birdsboro, once an ambitious institution which is no longer in existence. He spent one term at Hill school at Pottstown, and later attended the Keystone State Normal School. Although thus prepared for almost any career, he chose farming for his vocation, and has given it the greater part of his time. He owns two farms in Oley township; a farm in Lower Alsace, where he resides, besides other valuable real estate. He has been a life-long Republican, and despite the fact that he resides in a Democratic community; he has frequently been elected to local office, having served as township auditor, school director, and tax collector. When elected in the last office, he received every vote polled by both parties. He is now serving his fourth term as township assessor, having always been elected with a majority which testifies to his personal popularity.

In 1872, Mr. Rothermel married Emeline H. Schmehl., daughter of the late William and Elizabeth D (Hoffmaster) Schmehl. They had four children: (1) A son died in infancy, (2) John S., born in the year 1876, attended public school and is a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1899. He taught public school, for nine terms, his first term having been when seventeen years old. He married Katie R. Hartman, and they have one child, Eva Mae. (3) Marie S. attended the Oley Academy, and (4) Irene S. is a graduate of the Inter-State Commercial College, Reading, and both remain at home taking the place of their deceased mother in directing the household affairs for the father.

Mrs. Rothermel died Aug. 26, 1902, aged fifty-seven years, eleven months and nine days. She had been ill but six days, suffering with membranous laryngitis. She was a life-long member of the Lutheran congregation of Spies's church, and highly appreciated for her Christian character. Her remains were buried on the family plot in the cemetery adjoining that church.


p. 184


John K. Rothermel. In every age and country, whether in a crisis or in times of peace, there is generally one person who looms up into special prominence, and such constitute the famous men in history. The country districts are no exception to this social experience; they also have their men of local eminence, and such a man, it may be truly said, was John K. Rothermel in the community in which he lived. This local distinction he had not sought; he was neither ambitious nor proud; he did not want office; he preferred to be a private citizen. It was his character and dealings with others that account for this estimation.

John, K. Rothermel was born in Maiden-creek township, Berks Co., Pa., Oct. 5, 1835, and died Feb. 27, 1908, on his farm in Richmond township, although his home was then at Fleetwood, Pa., and was buried at the Becker's St. Peter's Church, of which church he was a member and one of the founders. He was a son of Daniel and Esther (Koller) Rothermel, of German descent, a lineal descendant of John Rothermel-who died on the ocean leaving his orphan children to settle (1730) in the New World-and of the fifth generation of the Rothermel family in American: 1st generation John, 2d Peter, 3d Peter, 4th Daniel, 5th John K., the subject of this sketch. On May 20, 1861, he married Susanna Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Benjamin B. and Sarah (Kindt) Peters. His family consisted of the following children: Ira P., Sallie, John P., Esther, Sue, Florence and Harry P. His widow and children survived him. L Ira married A. Lizzie Grim, of Kutztown; children, John, Daniel and Catharine. John married Sallie K. Bechtel, of Reading; children, Julia and Leonard. Esther married Jacob H. Rothermel, of Fleetwood. Sue married Rev. M. L. Herbein, of Reading, a minister of the Reformed Church. Harry married Mabel Pryor of Langhorne, Pa., and they have one child, Dorothy.

He was medium sized, strong and wiry, active and quick. He had hazel eyes and black hair. His strongest traits of character were strict integrity and his desire to see justice done to all especially to the poor. He was no admirer of competition in business, believed in a chance for everyone, and a "square deal" for all. He was a good neighbor and highly respected. His greatest weakness of character was his impatience and irritability with what he considered wrong. Although not a reader, having received but nine months' schooling, yet he was a man of originality and independence of thought.

He was an advocate of education, good schools, and good teachers, a director of schools of Richmond township for several terms, first in his community to introduce the English language into a German family as best he could. He sent his children to the Normal school at Kutztown where the daughters graduated and the sons prepared for college. Ira is a graduate of Lafayette College, and a successful attorney-at-law, residing in Reading. Sallie is a teacher in Fleetwood. John is a graduate of the Medical Department, University of Pennsylvania. Esther and Sue were at one time teachers. Florence, a graduate of Dickenson College, is now a teacher in the Camden (N. J.) high school, and was formerly a teacher in the State Normal School at Kutztown. Harry, a graduate of Lafayette College, is now professor in the Boys' high school, Philadelphia, and was the organizer and first principal of the Shoemakersville (Pa.) high school.

He was a farmer by occupation all his life. When the Northampton Iron Company opened their mines in Richmond township, he was chosen as their superintendent as long as the mines were operated. He was also treasurer of Rothermel & Co.'s iron ore mines in Maiden-creek township, but he did not relinquish farming which thus engaged. He owned and operated several very large farms and was unusually successful.

In politics he placed citizenship above partisanship. Although religiously inclined and a member of the German Reformed Church, his religion was not of the emotional kind. His Christianity was practical-loving his neighbor as himself, his God above all else, contributing liberally but unostentatiously to both church and charity.


p. 185


John S. Rothermel, for many years proprietor of the "Farmers' Hotel," was one of the most highly esteemed residents of Muhlenberg township, and in his death, which occurred Feb 22, 1902, the county Lost one of its most substantial citizens. Mr. Rothermel was born Aug. 21, 1844, in Muhlenberg township, son of Peter and Kate (Schaeffer) Rothermel.

Johannes Rothermel, grandfather of John S., was born in Alsace township, Berks county, in 17666, and his wife, Deborah DeTurk, in 1782 in Oley township. Her father was a captain in the Revolutionary war. To Johannes Rothermel and his wife were born: Johannes, Sarah, Catherine, Deborah, Peter, Mrs. Beaver and Peter (2). In religious belief the family were Baptists, in which faith Mr. Rothermel died April 30, 1826, and his wife in 1844.

Peter Rothermel, son of Johannes, married Kate Schaeffer, and to them were born children as follows: Deborah m. Daniel Maurer, and had two children, Mary and Katie; Catherine m. Levi Rotheberger, and had one child, Deborah; John S.; and Peter m. Mary Barnhardt, and had one child, William.

John S. Rothermel was educated in the public schools of Muhlenberg township and also took a course at West Chester Academy, after which he worked on his father's farm until his marriage. On July 6, 1863, he enlisted for three months' service under Capt. Samuel A. Haines in Company G, 42nd Pa. V. I., and participated in the battle of Antietam, the balance of his enlistment being spent in guard duty at Harrisburg, his regiment guarding the bridge across the Susquehanna river. After the war he returned home, where he continued to work until his marriage, when he removed to one of his father's farms, which he operated as a tenant. Subsequently, Mr. Rothermel located on the Gariel Gehret farm of sixty acres, where he carried on a butchering business for about six years, this farm being located three and one-half miles from Reading on the Centre pike, then known as the Pottsville and Philadelphia pike. "The Farmers' Hotel" on this property is one of the oldest hotel stands in this part of Berks county, and was carried on by Gabriel Gehret's father, Jacob Gehret. Mr. Rothermel applied for a license here after the hotel had been closed for about twelve years, and after this was granted by the county courts he opened the hostelry, and until his death carried on farming and hotel-keeping.

Mr. Rothermel was married to Catherine M. Gehret, daughter of Gabriel and Mary (Maurer) Gehret, and to this union there were born three children, namely: Harrison, born Aug. 4, 1867, m. Kate Hahn, and had one child, Edna; John B., born Sept. 11, 1871, m. Alice Fox, deceased, and had one child, May (died May 22, 1896, aged ten days); and Amelia I., m. Howard Schmeck, and had one child, Catherine. In religious belief he was Reformed, and was a member of Hinnershitz Church. He was a Democrat in politics, having been elected a number of times to the office of school director. Fraternally Mr. Rothermel was connected with Leesport Lodge, No. 144, I. O. O. F., his wife being a member of the Rebekahs.

Mrs. Rothermel was a daughter of Gabriel Gehret, and one of a family of four daughters, the three being: Amelia, m. to Daniel Baum; Ellen, m. to Thomas Baum, brother of Daniel; and Adeline, m. to Daniel Holtry, deceased.


p. 186


Nicholas G. Rothermel, proprietor of an extensive coal, lumber, feed and flour business at Blandon, Pa., who owns a fine residence at Hyde Park, where he now lives, was born in 1853, in Maiden-creek township, son of John B. and Marie (Griesemer) Rothermel, the former of Maiden-creek, and the latter of Oley township.

Leonard Rothermel, grandfather of Nicholas G., was the owner of the old Rothermel homestead in Maiden-creek township, which he operated all of his life, and which is still in the possession of his heirs. He married a Miss Barnard, and to them were born the following children: David m. Pracilla Rothermel; Leonard m. Catherine Schaeffer; Jeremiah m. Lydia Brown; John b.; Mary m. Wellington Hartman; Hannah m. Leonard Moyer; and Catherine m. Aaron Heckman.

John B. Rothermel followed in the footsteps of his father and made agricultural pursuits his life work. He died on the homestead in 1894, when eighty-six years old, and his wife in 1854, when aged thirty-seven years. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rothermel, eight of whom grew to maturity as follows: Louise m. (first Valentine Schmeck and (second) Henry Neiman; Harrison m. Amanda Guldin; Susanna m. Albert Guldin; Enoch m. (first) Isabella Rothermel and (second) Ida Schler; John m. Emeline Schmehl; Albert G. m. Mary Rothernberger; Jeremiah m. Emeline Rahn; and Nicholas G. In politics Mr. Rothermel was a Republican, and during his long and active life he was honored by election to various township offices.

Nicholas G. Rothermel was educated in the common schools, Friedensburg Academy and the Hill school at Pottstown, and the Keystone State Normal school, Kutztown, after leaving which he entered the employ of Louis Leonard, as clerk in his store at Molltown. He also clerked in J. B. Miller's store at Bernville for two years, when he started a general store at Blandon, in company with A. G. Rothermel, this partnership, under the name of Rothermel Bros., lasting for ten years, at the end of which time he sold his interests to his brother and started on a long trip through the West, visiting eighteen States. He spent one year in Vermilion county, Ill., where he taught school, and then returned East to superintend a store at Yellow House. Later he engaged in the hotel business, having charge to the "Union House," Reading, in company with Daniel Schmeck, under the firm name of Rothermel & Schmeck, but after three years he sold out his interest and purchased a hotel at Moss and Buttonwood streets, which he conducted for twelve years. Mr. Rothermel then became instrumental in organizing the company which built the Muhlenburg brewery, of which he was a salesman and collector for two years, at the end of which time he purchased the "Temple Hotel." After conducting this hostelry for seven months he sold out to Smith & Moore, of Philadelphia, and returned to the Muhlenburg brewery as manager for six years, and then spent two years in retirement. He then purchased Dunkle Brothers coal, lumber and feed business at Blandon, which he has conducted since 1904. Since locating in Hyde Park, Mr. Rothermel has erected a large, two-story brick residence, equipped with all modern improvements and conveniences, which is considered one of the handsomest in the borough.

In 1892 Mr. Rothermel was married to Ida P. Wenrich, daughter of Adam Wenrich, and to this union two children have been born: Helen E. and Nicholas R. Mrs. Rothermel is a member of Alsace Lutheran Church. Mr. Rothermel is a Republican in politics and has served as delegate to State and county conventions and held the office of assistant postmaster. In addition to the enterprises mentioned above, Mr. Rothermel has been instrumental in helping to organize some of the large industries of this section, including the Fleetwood National Bank, and the Reading and Southwestern Railroad.


p. 1311


Silas R. Rothermel has been practicing law in Reading since 1894. He was born Feb. 26, 1867, in Richmond township, Berks county since the advent of the original ancestor, in 1737. His grandfather, David Rothermel, passed his life as a farmer in Richmond township, where his son Lewis, the father of Silas, has also followed the same occupation, and where he now resides.

Lewis Rothermel married Lydia Rothermel, a cousin. It is a fact somewhat noteworthy that among Mr. Rothermel's ancestors, both paternal and maternal, cousins have intermarried for nine generations. To Lewis and Lydia Rothermel were born seven children, one of whom, Annie died when six years old. Those who survive are: Amos C., principal of the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa.; Samuel P., a farmer of Bern township; Lydia, a school teacher; Emily, at home; Lewis, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, class of 1907; Irene, wife of Frank Rothermel, a Berks county rural mail agent; and Silas R.

Silas R. Rothermel was born at the old homestead in Richmond township, and received his primary education in the excellent district school of his home community, after which he attended the Keystone State Normal, at Kutztown, graduating in 1886. He taught school one term, and then began reading law in the office of Rothermel Brothers at Reading, was admitted in 1894 to the Berks county Bar, and later to practice before the higher courts. Mr. Rothermel has a lucrative clientele and honorable standing in his profession. He is a Democrat in politics.

Mr. Rothermel married in 1892 Miss Amelia Kistler, daughter of Jacob Kistler, of Albany township. Berks county. To this marriage was born one daughter, Florence, now attending the public school.



Wilson H. Rothermel, M. D., who, both as a physician and a citizen, is very generally known and highly esteemed in the city of Reading, Pa., where he has practised his profession with notable success for ten years, was born in 1866, in Maiden-creek township, Berks county. Dr. Rothermel was educated in the schools of his native locality, later took a course at Palatinate College, taught school for several years in Maiden-creek and Muhlenberg township, and read medicine under Dr. Daniel B. Beaver. He entered Jefferson Medical College in 1891, from which he was graduated in 1894, and located in Reading in 1897, opening an office on Ninth street. He was elected coroner of Berks county, an office which he ably filled, and on Feb 1, 1901, he settled at his present office, No. 654 Tenth street, where he has since continued successfully. Dr. Rothermel is a member of the Foresters of America, the Twentieth Century Quakers and the Knights and Ladies of Honor. In politics he is a Democrat, and in religious connection a member of the Reformed Church.

Dr. Rothermel married Alice T. Schmehl, daughter of Jacob and Esther Schmehl, and to this union there were born six children: Esther L. (deceased), Earle W., Ruth A., A. Catherine, John W. (deceased) and Mary Helen.

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