Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 189


Frederick Row, residing at No. 168 Clymer street, Reading, belongs to a family that has been settled in Berks county for a century. His grandfather came to Reading from Germany, and the two succeeding generations have continued to make their home in that city where the founder of the family settled and died.

John Row, father of Frederick, was a native of Reading, born June 4, 1819. He became a shoemaker and followed that trade during the winter months, while in the summer he made bricks, working up to the last twelve years of his life. The house in which his son formerly lived is constructed of bricks made by the father, and was built in 1869. During the Civil war John Row served from Oct. 23, 1862 to Aug. 12, 1863, in Company B. 167th Pa. V. I., under Capt. Melcher, but during his term of service was only in one large engagement, that at Stillwater, Va., where the colonel of his regiment was killed. Mr. Row married Miss Sarah Maurer, who outlived her husband many years, passing away June 5, 1903, which he died in April, 1887. Their children were as follows: Susan, Mrs. Alexander Printz; William H., in the grocery business, and married to Miss Sally Bradagan; John D., a plumber; Elizabeth, Mrs. N. L. Ehrgood; Frederick; Mary, widow of T. R. Darlington; and Sallie, wife of Jacob Rhoad. All are residents of Reading.

Frederick Row was born in Reading, Oct. 4, 1862. He attended the public schools of the city, and was graduated from the high school with the class of 1882. He learned the trade of a machinist, and worked at that for over four years, but at the end of that time he turned his attention to electricity, and has been engaged in that every since. He spent a year and a half with W. G. Sands, and then in 1889, went into business as an electrician on his own account, having his shop in his residence. He is a skilled workman and has built up a large patronage, having up to the present wired 1,000 houses for the West Reading Building and Loan Association, alone, besides doing all the work for the well-known contractor, J. R. Bechtel. He is thoroughly established in his line of work, and is one of the prosperous business men of Reading.

On June 14, 1904, Mr. Row married Miss Sallie M. Landis, daughter of Joel and Catherine (Willman) Landis, of Reading. Mr. Row has by no means confined his attention to business alone, but is a prominent figure in local politics and in fraternal circles. A strong Republican, he is now serving as judge of elections for the Sixteenth ward, First precinct, and had been the regular assessor of the Third precinct, Third ward, for eight years. Since 1898 he has been a member of the Board of Trade. A lifelong member and director of the Alumni Association, he is now president of its board of directors, and also served one year as president and two years as treasurer. As a Mason Mr. Row has attained the 32d degree, and is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 549; Reading Chapter; DeMolay Commandery, and Rajah Temple, and is engineer and architect of the Lodge of Perfection, and has taken an active part in the Sons of Veterans, in which for six years he was assistant to the State adjutant, for one years assistant State treasurer, and one years State treasurer. A man of active mind and broad interests, Mr. Row has been a great traveler and has not only made himself familiar with the greater part of his own country but has also seen much of Europe.


p. 190


Joseph Zerbe Rowe, one of Reading's well known men, was born March 24, 1844, at Mt. Rock, Cumberland Co., Pa., son of Henry B. and Elizabeth (Zerbe) Rowe.

Henry B. Rowe was a blacksmith by occupation, a trade which he followed at Shippensburg until 1847, when he came to Reading, being blacksmith at the County Home for two years. He then opened a shop on North Third street, a the present site of Kershner's ice cream factory, and there continued until his death, July 4, 1867, in the faith of the Baptist Church. In political matters Mr. Rowe was a Republican. He was well-known throughout his community as a man of worth, and was known to be a thorough workman and skilled mechanic. Two sons were born to him and hi wife: William, now deceased, who served as mayor of Reading; and Joseph Z.

Joseph Zerbe Rowe was but two and one-half years old when his parents located in Reading, and his education was secured in the common schools of that city, which he left at the age of thirteen years, at the time of his father's death, to go to work. When seventeen years of age he enlisted in Company H, 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel W. W. H. Davis, of Doylestown, Captain William Walter, who resigned, and Captain D. B. Groft. He served three years and two months, and at one time when taken with typhoid fever, was not allowed to be taken to the hospital, but was cared for in the officers' quarters, a lieutenant of his regiment giving over his bunk to him until he was able to be taken home. After six weeks he returned to his regiment, although he could have easily obtained his discharge. After the war Mr. Rowe returned to Reading and took up his business, which he has continued to the present time, although his son has been in active charge thereof since July, 1906.

Mr. Rowe was married in 1867 to Sarah Leyenburger, of Newark, N. J., and the children born to this union are: Henry, a blacksmith on Eighth street, Reading; Kate, who married a Mr. Kocher, and has seven children; John W., who is carrying on his father's business; Joseph, of Elmira, N. Y., connected with the meat packing firm of Swift & Co.; and Marcus, of the Duryea Power Co., Reading. Mr. Rowe was made a mason in Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M., and is a member of Reading Chapter, Reading Commandery, and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also connected with the Union Veteran League, No. 43, of the United States. In political matters Mr. Rowe is a Republican.


p. 491


William Garber Rowe, who has been prominently identified with the mining interests of the country for a period covering thirty-five years, was born in Reading, Sept. 16, 1849, son of William Rowe and grandson of John Rowe, a native of England.

John Rowe was an expert mining engineer, and traveled almost all over the world. He came to America and opened copper mines near Shannonville and Phoenixville, Pa., then went to Australia to operate gold mines, and finally to Brazil, where he died of yellow fever, when fifty-two years of age. He was known as one of the most skilled engineers and prospectors of his time.

William Rowe, son of John, was born in England, and came to America with his father when a lad of fourteen years. He always engaged in the mining business, and like his father, was very successful. He traveled through Cuba and Australia, and in 1849 went to California to engage in gold mining. He opened the first iron ore mine of the Eastern Pennsylvania valley, which was very successful, and he likewise operated in Berks, Lancaster and Chester counties. He was very skilled in his profession, and was known as one of the leaders thereof. Mr. Rowe died April 3, 1906, having been for twenty-five years retired. He married Julia V. Vache, who survived him and resided at No. 1040 Penn street, Reading, until her death, Feb. 3, 1907, when more than four score years of age. To Mr. and Mrs. William Rowe were born: H. T., engaged in plumbing on Penn street, Reading; Thomas M., a druggist; Mrs. T. B. Maurer, of Long Beach, N. J.; Mrs. A. F. Smith; Misses Mary M. and Jane A., at home; and William Garber.

William Garber Rowe attended the schools of Reading, and under his father's instructions became skilled in mining. He has been actively engaged in that occupation since 1871. For seven years he was superintendent of the Edge Hill Iron Company, Pa., and operated mines in Orange county, Va. He was for ten years at Barto and operated the Rhoads mines at Boyertown, and was superintendent of the iron ore mines for the Reading Coal and Iron Company. In 1901 Mr. Rowe, knowing the value of the ore deposit in the location of Boyertown, bought up all the mining properties, including the Phoenix or California mine, the Warwick, Gable No. 1 and Gable No. 2, and the Lewis estate, in all covering over 300 acres in fee simple and mineral rights.

They are a continuation of the large Cornwall ore beds in Lebanon county, Pa., and next to them for quantity thus far discovered. This is now owned by the Boyertown Ore Company. They have title to the mineral rights under Boyertown from one end of the borough to the other. Since 1902 this company, of which Mr. Rowe is general superintendent, have conducted the mining operations, and they have on hand large quantities of ore and are shipping daily.

Much trouble was caused in the operation of these mines in the past, and one of the most exciting of the experiences was that of 1887, when William Garber Rowe and George F. Baer were operating the Rhoads mine. A cofferdam was located between this and the Phoenix operation. The superintendent of the latter followed the vein of ore, and, it is alleged, broke through this dam and continued this drift into the Rhoads property. One morning at 7:30 o'clock, Mr. Rowe received a telegram at his home in Reading, stating that the Phoenix miners were trying to take possession of the Rhoads mine. He at once consulted with his partner, then drove his trotter to Boyertown, covering the distance in one and one-half hours. Upon reaching the scene Mr. Rowe went underground and found the men in his mine. All were arrested and taken before Squire Schoenley, of Gablesville, and held under bail for forcible entry. The case was taken to court and Mr. Rowe won.

The most complete plant is the Gable No. 2 mine. The shaft house is of structural iron, making it perfectly fireproof. There is a double-acting first-motion engine of 300 horse power. Since Mr. Rowe assumed charge of the mine larger tanks have been placed in the shaft, and by means of these 1,000 gallons of water are ejected each minute, day and night, thus controlling the coming water from all the mines. The company proposes to install a new plant at the Warwick shaft similar to that at the Gable No. 2, and thus opening up the operations which have been lying idle for twenty years. Mr. Rowe also operates mines at Gardner, Lehigh county, and Siesholtzville, Berks county.

Mr. William Garber Rowe married Zipporah E. Bechtel, daughter of Abraham B. Bechtel, and she died in January, 1881, leaving two children: William A., who was associated with his father in mining operations until his death, Aug. 6, 1908, when thirty-two years of age; and Miss Leonore, at home. In politics Mr. Rowe is a Republican. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Reading, and resides at No. 1156 Franklin street, that city.


p. 192


Jeremiah W, Royer, of Marion township, who is conducting the well-known Marion Mills, at Stouchsburg, on the Tulpehocken, was born July 13, 1852, in Jackson township, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of Benjamin and Mary Ann (White) Royer.

The Royer family of Pennsylvania traces its ancestry back to 1720, when Sebastian Royer and his four sons came to America, the first settlement of this family being made on the bank of a fordable river in Montgomery county, where the town is named Royersford. Here two of the sons settled permanently, but the father, being of a more roving spirit, removed to what was Elizabeth township, in Lancaster county, on the site of the present village of Brickerville, where Sebastian Royer spent the rest of his life. His youngest son, Amos, settled in what was then Cocalico township, but now Ephrata. He had four sons of whom Philip, the second, also had four sons, namely: Abraham, Jonathan, Joseph and Benjamin. Abraham had a son, Jacob, who was a farmer in West Cacalico township, where he died when nearly seventy-seven years old. His wife was Elizabeth Stuber, and their six children were: William; Jacob; John; Henry S., who was born Sept. 25, 1829, married Margaret Weaver, and had three children,--Lizzie, George, (deceased), and Dr. Jacob of Terrehill, Lancaster county; Samuel, of Mount Joy; and Abraham, deceased.

Joseph Royer, the third son of Amos, settled in Manheim township, where his son, Joseph, Jr., was born in 1801 and died in 1843. Joseph Royer, Jr., was married to Catherine Royer, daughter of Joseph Royer of Clay township, and she died in 1876. They were Dunkards in religious belief. Their children were: Israel; Sarah; David; Joseph R., a leading confectioner of Manheim township, who was born march 5, 1835, married Annie Shuman, and had four children,--Minnie, Milton, Joseph C. and Clarence de Vaux; Frances and Martin, who are deceased; and Tobias, a veteran of the Civil war.

Samuel Royer, the oldest of Amos' sons, had a son Samuel, who died near Millway, March 22, 1897, at the advanced age of ninety-nine years, ten months, twenty days, leaving an estate of upwards of $250,000.

Johannes Royer, brother of Amos (both sons of Sebastian the progenitor), settled in that part of Lancaster county now embraced in Jackson township, Lebanon county, and is buried at the Tulpehocken Meeting House. He married and among other children had a son, Samuel, the grandfather of Jeremiah W.

Samuel Royer is buried at Tulpehocken Meeting House. He was a farmer all of his life in Jackson township, Lebanon county, where he became the owner of two large farms, and was in comfortable circumstances. He married Nancy Bollinger, a daughter of Christol Bollinger, and they had these children: John, who died young; Samuel and Joel, of Jackson township; Jonathan, who died young; Christian, of Jackson township; Benjamin; Catherine, m. to Christol Geip; Anna, m. to Henry Bollinger; Mary, m. to Jonathan Bollinger; and Daniel, of Richland, Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Royer, father of Jeremiah W., was born in August, 1830, and died May 26, 1907, in his seventy-seventh year, being buried on Decoration Day, at the Millback Dunkard's Meeting House. He was an agriculturist all of his life, and from 1859 until the time of his death he cultivated a twenty-five acre tract in Millcreek township. Mr. Royer was a Dunkard in religious belief, was a man of quiet demeanor, and was much respected in the community in which he spent so many years. He married Mary Ann White, daughter of Philip and Catherine (Walter) White, the former of whom was of English extraction and a resident of Stricklertown. Mrs. Royer was born in 1831, and died Jan. 15, 1907, aged seventy-six years. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Royer were: Jeremiah W.; Cyrus, who resides at Tamaqua, Pa.; Elizabeth, who is unmarried; Jonathan, a farmer of Millbach; and Lucian, who operates the old homestead.

Jeremiah W. Royer was reared on the home farm, where he worked for his parents until his twentieth year, at which time he learned the milling business, an occupation which he followed for sixteen years at various mills in this section of the country. In 1887 he commenced business on his own account at Welker's Church in Jackson township, and subsequently, April 1, 1889, he came to his present property, which he purchased in 1894. Mr. Royer has been very successful in his milling operations, his "Boss Roller" brand having a large sale in the coal regions, and his "Just Right" brand enjoying an extensive local trade. Adjoining his mill property he owns fifty-eight acres of land, which is a very fertile tract, and on which his residence is situated. He is scrupulously honest, and is held in the highest esteem by his fellow-townsmen, who frequently see a sack upon his back as thick as the miller and quite as long. Like "Jerry the Miller" of old, "not one grain of over toll ever dropped into his bin to weigh upon his parting soul,." He is hard-working and industrious, and what he has accumulated he has gotten through his own earnest, untiring efforts. Mr. Royer is extensively engaged in dealing in wheat, and during four months time in the summer and fall of 1907 he handled twenty-six carloads of the cereal.

On May 15, 1875, Mr. Royer was united in marriage with Polly North, daughter of Isaac and Susanna (Reed) North, the former of whom was a well-known railroad engineer of Newmanstown, where he is buried. Mr. and Mrs. Royer have been the parents of these children: Herbert; Sallie, who died Nov. 15, 1896; Vesta; Maggie, who married Irwin Swope, a farmer of Marion township; Frederick; Milton, Emma and Sadie. All of the children live at home except Mrs. Swope.

Mr. Royer is an independent Republican in politics. Fraternally he is connected with the Ancient Order of Good Fellows of Stouchsburg. He is liberal in his religious views, and is a willing contributor to worthy religious movements.


Amos (or Emig) was the oldest son, not the youngest son of Sebastian Royer.

Philip Royer had 5 sons not 4. There was also a Philip jr. not mentioned, who has descendants alive today. (Sebastian also had a 5th son, but he died in infancy.)

Joseph Royer, listed as the third son of Amos, is the actually the third son of Philip.

Samuel Royer who died in 1897 with no heir, known to the family as "Rich Sam" was the son of David Royer and Ann Miller, not a Samuel Royer.

Samuel Royer listed as the oldest son of Amos is a mystery. Neither Amos/Emig or Philip had a son named Samuel. Nor did the brother Jonathan (of Philip) have a son Samuel. Sebastian had a son Samuel who married Julian Schenk and lived in Warwick Township, Lancaster Co.

The Samuel married to Nancy Bollinger is very confusing. Either Montgomery or I have the wrong family in the wrong spot. I have those children listed to that couple as belonging to Samuel Royer and Maria Hernley, not Samuel Royer and Nancy (Anna) Bollinger. I also have different birth and death dates for the Benjamin listed but since I am not sure which family he really belongs to, I cannot state it with assurance. I have 29 Samuel Royers in my files, which doesn't make it a simple matter.

Mike Ledo (


p. 193


David W. Rubright, proprietor of the Globe Dye & Bleach Works, of Shoemakersville, Pa., and one of the leading and influential citizens of that place, was born Sept. 19, 1856, in Perry township, Berks county, son of Gabriel and Hettie (Kissinger) Rubright.

Jonas Rubright, the first of this family to settle in Berks county, came from Wurtemberg, Germany, prior to the Revolutionary war, setting in Centre township, where he owned the tract now known as the Rentschler farm, and was an extensive farmer. In later years he lived in Schuylkill county, where he died in the Lutheran faith, and was buried at the Red Church. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Wertman, was buried in the Zion Church burial ground. It is not known whether or not Jonas and Catherine Rubright had other children than George Philip.

George Philip Rubright lived in Windsor township, where he operated a small farm and worked at the trade of pump maker. He was twice married and the father of sixteen children. Three of the four born to his first wife, Sallie Winter, were as follows: Moses; Hannah, m. to John Achten; and Leah, m. to John Klopp. Mr. Rubright's second wife was Sarah Dewalt, and to this union there were born twelve children, among whom were: Sallie, m. to David Sheary; Gabriel; Joel, who settled in Ohio; Matilda, m. to Stephen Keim; Paul, m. to Sarah Bausher, and father of thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters; Katie, m. to John W. Smith, by whom she has one child; Polly, m. to Jared Noecker, and mother of seven children.

Gabriel Rubright was born Oct. 3, 1831, in Windsor township, Berks county, and in youth attended the pay schools of his district, which he left at an early age to learn the trade of carpenter with David Shearer, his brother-in-law. He learned pump making from his father, and for a number of years worked at his trade in the boat yards, residing at Hamburg. In 1868 he removed to Frackville, Schuylkill county, and there he is still residing, working daily at his trade. Mr. Rubright married Hettie Kissinger, daughter of Abraham and Eliza (Rissmiller) Kissinger, and to this union there were born children as follows: Elias died in childhood; Alfred m. Priscilla Moyer; David W.; Amos m. Jennie Jackson; Katie m. Louis Behmer; Mary m. Alex. Phillips; George died in infancy; Morris was killed in the coal mines, Christmas day, 1893, aged twenty-four years, leaving a widow, Rosa Carp, and three children; William m. Rosa Reed; Lizzie m. George Washer; Annie m. Wilson Rickenbach; Jacob; and Edward, who married Lillie Hoffman. Of the Kissinger family, to which Mrs. Rubright belonged, Mary is deceased; Isaac was killed on the railroad about twenty-seven years ago; Jacob m. a Miss Krupp, and has a son, Lee; and Ellen m. James Shade.

David W. Rubright received his education in the local schools of his township, and at Frackville, Schuylkill county. He began work as a breaker boy in the coal mines, where he picked slate for seven years during the summer months, attending school in the winter time. In 1876 he returned to his native township, and for four years worked upon the farm, but in 1880 began carpentering with Adam Heckman, of Shoemakersville, in whose employ he continued for a period of five years. He then went to Reading and for nine years worked for David Mosser, assisting in building the rear five-story structure of Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart, and a number of dwellings at Wernersville. For one season he worked at Pottsville, Shenandoah and Mahanoy City, and continued at his trade in nearly all of the villages and towns in Upper Berks country. In 1895 Mr. Rubright went to Camden, N. J., and assisted his brother-in-law, Wilson Rickenbach, in building boats and pleasure yachts. After a few years he returned to Shoemakersville, Pa., and acted as carpenter foreman for William Reeser in building the large plant of the terra cotta works, sough of Shoemakersville.

In 1899 Mr. Rubright and F. V. B. Madeira formed a partnership under the name of Rubright & Madeira, and engaged in paper box manufacturing, but after the junior partner's death, Mr. Rubright sold the plant and good will to Henry Stoyer. In 1901 Mr. Rubright entered into business relations with William G rim, under the firm name of Rubright & Grim, and engaged in the bleaching business. This firm was successful from the start and Mr. Rubright purchased his partner's interest, later admitting David S. Wolf into the firm, under the name of Globe Dye & Bleach Works, and they bleach underwear for the following well-known firms: Globe Knitting Mill of Shoemakersville, Pa.; Reading Underwear Company, Reading; H. K. Deisher, Kutztown; George Unger, Boyertown; Macungie Knitting Mill, Macungie; Lesher-Raig Knitting Company, Reamstown; Wagner Company, Mohrsville; Moyer & Heissler, Orwigsburg; Samuel Unger Estate, Pottsville; William F. Scheerer & Sons, Pottsville; Ammon Brothers, Reading; Mohnton Knitting Mill, Mohnton; Reading Underwear Company, Mill No. 2, Ephrata; Eagle Knitting Mill, Leesport; Miller & Balthaser, West Leesport; Manheim Knitting Mill, Manheim. The capacity is 5,000 pounds per day.

Mr. Rubright is one of Berks county's self-made men. From a humble beginning in life he has worked his way up step by step, until now he ranks with the successful men of his community. He is the possessor of an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity, and enjoys the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens. In addition to being the leading stockholder in the bleach works, Mr. Rubright owns considerable property in Shoemakersville, and in 1906 erected two large brick houses on Noble street, residing in one of them himself, while on of his sons, who is in the employ of his father, resides in the other. He owned the first automobile in the town. This is a Packard touring car, which he bought in Philadelphia and rode home in it, being able to manage it himself the next day.

Mr. Rubright was married to Miss Emma Wheeler, daughter of Harry and Sarah (Unger) Wheeler, the latter of whom died Feb 17, 1904, at the ripe age of ninety-three years, the mother of ten children. To Mr. and Mrs. Rubright the following children have been born: Mahlon W., born June 10, 1878, m. Clara Martin, daughter of Israel and Caroline Martin, and has one son, George, (Born Feb. 22, 1906); Jeremiah, born March 6, 1880, m. Nora Betz, daughter of Samuel and Salena Betz, and has had two children, Larue (born Nov. 21, 1906) and Helen May (born November, 1908, died in infancy); Cora Emma, born Dec. 8, 1882, died in infancy; and Edward D., born April 9, 1884, m. Sue Gerber, daughter of John and Susan Gerber.


p. 1120


John Rudy, a resident of Mount Penn, Pa., who is engaged in the express, drayage and ice business, was born Feb. 10, 1862, in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, son of George and Maggie (Stahl) Rudy.

George Rudy, who was the foreman of large stables in his native country, died there in 1872, when thirty-eight years old, and his wife met her death by asphyxiation at Hoboken, while on her way to visit her son. Mr. and Mrs. Rudy had seven children: Andrew, of Reading; John; William, of Lancaster county; Lizzie, wife of Henry Kissel, of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany; Charles, of Lancaster county; Maria, who died at the age of eight years; and Helena, who died when fourteen years old.

John Rudy was reared in his native country, and was educated in the common schools. At the age of eighteen years he entered the German army as a member of the 118th Regiment, 4th Company, Infantry, "Gross Herzog Prince Carl," and served three months. In 1885, he married Maggie Seilheimer, born in Hesse Darmstadt Dec. 17, 1864, daughter of Henry and Maggie (Deximer) Seilheimer, and for three years thereafter they remained in that country, Mr. Rudy being engaged in grape growing. In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Rudy came to America, and locating in Reading, he secured employment with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. He then purchased a thirty-five acre farm in Lower Heidelberg township, on which he resided for two years, when he sold out and removed to Exeter township, where for four years he managed the vineyard of George Romich.

Mr. Rudy next located at Dengler's P. O., now Mount Penn, where he purchased a home, and since that time has been engaged in the express and ice business. In politics he is a Democrat. He is an ardent member of Union Fire Company, of Reading, uniform rank, the Firemen's Relief Association, Mount Penn Fire Company (of which he was one of the organizers), and Union Fire Company and Veteran Firemen's Associations. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Mt. Penn Lodge, having transferred from Germania Lodge, Reading; the I. O. O. F. Accident Association; the Fraternal Order of Eagles, No. 66; the Eagles Mountain Home Association; and the Exeter Live Stock Association.

To Mr. and Mrs. Rudy eleven children have been born: John, born Dec. 17, 1886; Charles, Sept. 9, 1888; Katie, Oct. 18, 1891; Clara (died when eight years old); William, (died when fourteen months old; George, April 5, 1896 (was drowned on Sept. 8, 1908, and his body was recovered three days later by Earl Dease); Annie, May 5, 1807; Harry Jan. 20, 1900; Samuel, Jan. 20, 1901; Ellen, Jan. 30, 1904; and Elmer, Aug. 27, 1905, (died in infancy).


p. 551


Christian H. Ruhl, attorney at the Reading Bar since 1875, and President of the Berks County Trust Company since its organization in 1900, was born at Carlisle, Cumberland county, Pa., Aug. 7, 1853. He was educated in the local schools, and at Dickenson College, from which institution he was graduated in 1874. During his course of study in the College he had entered the law offices of Charles E. McLaughlin, Esq., at Carlisle, for the purpose of taking up the practice of law as his profession, and shortly after his graduation was admitted to the Cumberland County Bar (Aug. 24, 1874). Having decided to locate in a larger county, he selected Berks country for his field of practice and removing to Reading was admitted to the Bar April 15, 1875. He gradually secured an increasing practice by his careful attention to business, and when James N. Ermentrout, Esq. (member of the law-partnership of Daniel and James Ermentrout), was elevated to the Bench Jan. 1, 1886, his senior partner, Hon. Daniel Ermentrout (then in Congress form the Berks District), selected Mr. Ruhl to take the place of his brother, and formed the partnership of Ermentrout & Ruhl; and this partnership continued in a very active and successful practice until the decease of Mr. Ermentrout in 1899.

Mr. Ermentrout having been prominently identified with the political affairs of the county during this time, the legal business of the firm was attended to almost wholly by Mr. Ruhl. Their business embraced an extensive practice in all the local courts, and the prosecution of numerous cases and the settlement of intricate estates having involved much litigation, he came to attend the terms of the Supreme court annually during the week set apart for Berks county. He began his practice before the Supreme court in 1877. The State reports during a period of thirty years show cases annually which were represented by Mr. Ruhl, either for the plaintiff or for the defendant, and the paper-books display his great care and ability in the preparation of his legal contests. Besides appearing before the Supreme and Superior courts of the State, he has also had considerable practice before the District, Circuit and Supreme courts of the United States, which has given him a wide acquaintance with the legal profession in many States of the Union. He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association as one of the delegates to the Universal Congress of Lawyers which assembled at St. Louis, Mo.; and in 1905 to the American Bar Association which assembled at Narragansett Pier, R. I. During this time, from 1898 to 1905, he officiated as the Register in Bankruptcy. From the time of locating in Berks politics with the Democratic party and exerted a large influence throughout the county in the nomination of candidates for office.

Mr. Ruhl has been identified with different financial institutions of this community, either as counsel or director, for many years: National Bank of Boyertown, Womelsdorf National Bank, and East Reading Electric Street Railway Company. He was one of the organizers of the Berks County Trust Company in 1900, and has since officiated as its president; also of the Reading Glove & Mitten Manufacturing Company in 1898, and has since served as a director.

In 1878, Mr. Ruhl was married to Elizabeth K. Runkle, daughter of John Runkle, of Reading, manufacturer for many years, who died in 1904, aged eighty-seven years. They have been active members of the First Presbyterian Church since their marriage. He served as a trustee of the congregation and as superintendent of the Sunday-school for many years. They also co-operated heartily in the successful establishment of the Homeopathic Hospital in 1888, and the Young Women's Christian Association in 1898, Mr. Ruhl serving the former as secretary for five years, and as president for twelve years, and the latter as president since its organization.

Mr. Ruhl's father, Jesse Ruhl, was born in 1812, in Lancaster county, near Mt. Joy. He was a year old when his parents moved to Cumberland county, about three miles east of Carlisle, and engaged in farming. Upon the decease of his father, he carried on the farm until 1865, when he removed to Carlisle, and lived there in retirement until his death in 1891. He was married to Mary Ann Gladfelter, daughter of George Gladfelter, of York county, and they had four children: Joseph (farmer on the homestead); George (for many years in business at Carlisle and died in 1906); Catharine (m. to John H. Strickler); and Christian Henry (the subject of this sketch).

His grandfather was Christian Ruhl, born in 1751 in Lancaster county, and brought up to farming. He removed to Cumberland county in 1813, and besides carrying on farming was also engaged in lumbering, milling and distilling until he died in 1850.

His great-great-grandfather emigrated from Holland in 1743, and settled near Mount Joy, in Lancaster county.


p. 196


F. G. Runyeon, M. C., a medical practitioner of No. 1390 Perkiomen avenue, Reading, Pa., was born Sept. 1, 1881, in the city of Reading, son of George O. and Ida (Griffith) Runyeon, natives of Berks county.

Dr. Runyeon secured his early education in the grammar and high schools of his native city, graduating from the latter in 1898, after which he took post-graduate work at same institution, entering the University of Pennsylvania in 1899. He was graduated from this great institution in 1903, with the degree of M. D., and he immediately entered the Reading Hospital where he served as resident physician for one year. On July 1, 1904, he settled in practice at his present office, where he has since continued with such success. As the people of the community have gained confidence in the Doctor, so has his practice grown. He is a close student and skilled physician, keeping well abreast of the times by his membership in the leading medical societies, including the Berks County and Reading Medical societies, the Pennsylvania Medical society, and the American Medical Association. He is a member of the staff of the Reading Hospital, as assistant to Dr. W. S. Bertolet. He is fraternally connected with the Kappa Sigma and the Sigma Xi, of his University. His offices are well appointed and equipped with all the latest and most highly improved appurtenances.

On Dec. 28, 1904, Dr. Runyeon was married to Miss Anna Wobensmith, and to them there has been born one child, A. Margaret.


p. 187


Dr. John D. Rupp, practicing physician at Shoemakersville, Perry township, Berks county, was born at Chapman's, in Lehigh county, Pa., Dec. 14, 1854, son of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Rauch) Rupp, and grandson of Jacob Rupp, the latter of whom emigrated to America on the ship "Crawford," landing at Philadelphia, Oct 16, 1772.

Benjamin Rupp was born in 1800 at Chapman's, and was there reared to farming, a pursuit which he followed all of his life, his death occurring in 1862. His wife, who had been Mary Ann Rauch, daughter of John Rauch of Snyder county, was born in 1828 and died in 1901, and their children were: Harry, unmarried; Benjamin m. Esther McLean; Dr. John D.; Mary m. Wilson Hartzell, and Anna m. William Roth, the last two named being of Allentown.

Dr. John D. Rupp received his preliminary education in the public schools of his native town, and having prepared himself for the study of medicine, attended New York Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1878. After traveling for a time, he located at the village of Molltown, in Richmond township, Berks county, in 1880 for the practice of his profession, and he remained there in active practice for twelve years, when he removed to Shoemakersville, where he has continued to the present time, with much success.

In 1880 Dr. Rupp was married to Alice Schlegel, daughter of Peter and Caroline (Hawkins)Schlegel of Fleetwood, granddaughter of Abraham Schlegel, and great granddaughter of Heinrich Schlegel, who was a son of the ancestor, Christian Schlegel, who emigrated to America prior to 1750. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rupp: Harry, who married Annie Dries, a daughter of Cyrus Dries of Perry township; Mary; Blanche, and Laura.


p. 328

Surnames: RUSH

Jacob Rush, the first President Judge of Berks county, was born near Philadelphia in 1746, and was a brother of the celebrated artist and physician, Dr. Benjamin Rush. He received an excellent preparatory education and then entered the College of New Jersey, at Princeton, from which he was graduated in 1765. Immediately after the State Constitution of 1790 was adopted, he was appointed to preside over the Courts of the Third Judicial District, which included the county of Berks. He afterward became president judge of the First District (of which Philadelphia formed a part), and held that position for many years until the time of his death. He was a patriot of the Revolution, and in its darkest days stood firm to its principles.

While president judge of the county he resided in Reading, on the west side of South Fifth street, between Cherry and Franklin streets. He died at Philadelphia Jan. 5, 1820.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:58 EDT

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