Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1169


Calvin Ruth, a young business man of Wyomissing, Berks county, belongs to a family which has been represented in both Berks and Lancaster counties from the early days.

(I) Peter Ruth, the first ancestor of whom we have record, was a farmer by occupation, and operated along the Cacoosing, in Heidelberg township, Berks county. He and his wife Catherine had fourteen children: Michael, Jacob, Christian, Peter, George, John, Henry, Francis, Catherine, Mary, Barbara, Eve, Magdalena and Margaret. The father of this family died in September, 1771.

(II) Francis Ruth, son of Peter, died in 1809. He and his wife Elizabeth had eleven children: Elizabeth, John, Henry, Christian, Catherine, Magdalena, Isaac, Mary, Jacob, Peter, and Rebecca.

(III) Christian Ruth, son of Francis, was born April 20, 1781, in Berks county, and when a young man removed to Lancaster county, in the vicinity of Denver, where he carried on farming. His first wife was a Kurtz, and by her he had six children: Peter, Mary, Henry, Elizabeth, Francis and Caroline. To him and his second wife, Susanna (Ludwig), were born four children: Nathan, John, Jacob and Catherine. Christian Ruth died in 1847.

(IV) Francis Ruth was born in 1815 in East Cocalico township, Lancaster county, and was there reared to farming. About 1860 he removed to Berks county, where he died in 1899, at the age of eighty-four, his wife also being eighty-four years old at the time of her death, in 1903. He married Magdalena Gehret, and to them were born children as follows: Isaac married Mary Holl; Elizabeth married John Dundore; Harriet married John Baer; Susanna married Adam Emigh; Magdalena married Aaron Gaul; Peter married Annie Ebling; John married Anna Zerr; Amanda married John E. Moyer; Francis married Sarah Gehret; Jacob is mentioned below; Sarah married Lewis E. Spohn; Edwin C. married Emma Moyer; Carolina married James Shoup; Henry, Ezrom, and Reuben all died young.

(V) Jacob Ruth, son of Francis, was born Oct. 20, 1853, in East Cocalico, Lancaster county, and was reared to farming, which vocation he followed for many years in Heidelberg township, Berks county. He still owns a farm of 158 acres there, which he now rents, and which is considered one of the most valuable and fertile tracts in that township. Since the spring of 1903 he has resided at Wyomissing. Mr. Ruth has not only been an active man of business, but he has taken an intelligent interest in the public affairs of the communities in which he has resided, and while in Heidelberg he served as school director and as treasurer of the school board. He became the first treasurer of the borough of Wyomissing upon its organization. In religion he is a member of the Reformed Church, belonging to Hain's Church, of which he has been deacon and elder.

In 1873 Mr. Ruth married H. M. Catharine Hain, daughter of Adam L. and Hannah (Gaul) Hain, of Marion township. Mrs. Ruth was born July 20, 1854, and died May 28, 1902, the mother of four children, namely: Eva K., who lives at home; a daughter, twin to Eva, who died in infancy; Adam P., and Calvin. Of these, Adam P. Ruth graduated from the Robesonia high school, from the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, in 1896, and from a Reading commercial school. He taught school four terms in Heidelberg township, and is now a clerk in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at Washington, D.C., where he resides. In 1903 he married Cadella Jarvis, and they have one daughter, Catherine R., born in 1905.

(VI) Calvin Ruth was born Oct. 19, 1877, in Lower Heidelberg township, and attended the public schools in both Heidelberg and Lower Heidelberg townships, continuing his studies until he was nineteen years old. He was reared upon the farm, upon which he worked until 1903, the year in which he established his present coal business at Wyomissing. Mr. Ruth bought out William E. Sheidy, built a new house, and greatly improved the yard, which has done a thriving business under his management. He disposes of between two thousand and three thousand tons of coal annually, and has built up this large trade himself, enjoying a good reputation for honorable dealing. He is well known throughout this territory, running two daily teams, and has patrons at Shillington, Reading, and along the Harrisburg pike.

Mr. Ruth is a member of Hain's Reformed Church. He also holds membership in Wernersville Lodge, No. 835, I. O. O. F.


p. 1630


Daniel Ruth, for many years a leading business man in the city of Reading, Pennsylvania, was born April 13, 1822 and died January 11, 1908. He was the son of Benjamin and Susan (Rothermel) Ruth.

The parents of Daniel Ruth were both natives of Berks county, Pa. His father resided in Cumru township, now Spring township (where Daniel was born) along the beautiful Cacoosing Creek, and his mother was a daughter of Peter and Magdalena Iaeger Rothermel, of Richmond township. Benjamin Ruth was a farmer by calling. His life was brought to an untimely close when he was twenty-one years of age. His widow was left with three children, namely: Henry, Daniel and Mary, who married Charles Reinert. Mrs. Ruth afterwards married Samuel Gross, and eight children were born to them, viz.: George Washington; Peter; Catharine; Louisa; Samuel; Jacob; Susan and Charles, of whom only one, Jacob, now (1909) survives.

Daniel Ruth was brought up partly under the care of his uncle, Daniel Rothermel, until he reached the age of sixteen, and up to that time he attended the district schools of Berks county. When he had reached a proper age to learn a trade, he decided upon cabinet making and served his apprenticeship under Jacob Kuntzman. After working in that line six years, he went to Reading, Pa., and was there for three years, in the employ of the Johnson Foundry, engaged in building coal cars. He then took a position with Jacob Doughty, a manufacturer of agricultural implements. He had marked business aptitude, and in his various enterprises succeeded so well that in 1898 he retired from active business, occupying himself in looking after his property interests.

In 1842 Mr. Ruth was married to his first wife, Miss Hannah Ely, who was born in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania. They enjoyed only thirteen years of wedded life, Mrs. Ruth dying in 1855, leaving four children: George, Margaret Elizabeth (who married William M. Wells, March 10, 1867), John and Henry. April 22, 1866, Mr. Ruth married his second wife, whose maiden name was Amanda Garrett, who, with her daughter Susan, their only child, survives him.

Mr. Ruth was a member of the Reformed Church. In politics he was a Democrat. He was also one who risked his life for his country during the Civil War, having been mustered, December 11, 1862, into Company B, under Captain Charles Melcher, 167th Pennsylvania Regiment, Colonel Charles A. Knoderer, commanding.


p. 1442


Edwin G. Ruth, county treasurer of Berks from 1903 to 1906, and a leading and representative citizen of Reading, Pa., was born Jan. 3, 1858, in East Cocalico township, Lancaster Co., Pa., son of Francis and Magdalena (Gehret) Ruth.

Peter Ruth, the great-great-grandfather of Edwin G., was a farmer by occupation, and operated along the Cacoosing creek, in Heidelberg township. To him and his wife, Catherine, were born fourteen children: Michael, Jacob, Christian, Peter (1764-1819), George, John, Henry (Sept. 6, 1799-1855), Francis, Catherine, Mary, Barbara, Eve, Magdalena and Margaret. The father of these children died in September, 1771. His son Francis Ruth, who died in 1809, married a lady whose first name was Elizabeth, and they had eleven children: Elizabeth; John; Henry; Christian; Catherine; Magdalena; Isaac; Mary; Jacob; Peter; Elizabeth and Rebecca. Of this family, Christian was born April 20, 1781, in Berks county, and when a young man removed to Lancaster county, in the vicinity of Denver, where he carried on farming. His first wife was a Kurtz, and by her he had six children: Peter; Mary; Henry; Elizabeth; Francis and Caroline. He married (second) Susanna Ludwig, and to them were born four children: Nathan; John; Jacob and Catherine. Christian Ruth died in 1847.

Francis Ruth, father of Edwin G., was born in East Cocalico township, Lancaster county, in 1815, and was there reared to farming. About 1860 he removed to Berks county, where he died in 1899, his wife also being eighty-four years old at the time of her death in 1903. He married Magdalena Gehret, and to them were born children as follows: Isaac, who married Mary Holl; Elizabeth, who married John Dundore; Harriet, who married John Baer; Susanna, who married Adam Emich; Magdalena, who married Aaron Gaul; Peter, who married Annie Ebling; John, who married Anna Zerr; Amanda who married John E. Moyer; Francis, who married Sarah Gehret; Jacob, who married Hannah Hain; Sarah, who married Lewis E. Spohn; Edwin G.; Carolina, who married James Shoup; and three who died young.

During Edwin G. Ruth's infancy his parents removed to Berks county, locating in the eastern section of Heidelberg township, near Hain's Hill. He was educated in the local schools and in the Womelsdorf Academy, and was reared to farming on his father's place, where he remained until he became of age in 1879. He then engaged at farming for himself and continued until his election to the office of county treasurer, when he gave his entire attention to his official duties from 1903 to 1906. Previously he officiated as a school director of Lower Heidelberg township for nine years, in which time he assisted in erecting nine township school buildings. He has taken an active interest in Hain's Church for many years, serving as deacon and as elder. He assisted in organizing the Wernersville National Bank and became on of the directors on the board. Mr. Ruth was married to Emma Moyer, daughter of John and Mary (Degler) Moyer of Heidelberg township, and to this union there have been born five children: Tillie Emma, who married Dr. Conrad S. Reber; Edna; Katie; Laura, and one child which died young. Tillie and Edna were graduated from the Keystone State Normal school, the latter being a teacher of the public school in Spring township; and Katie took a special course in the Parisian school of tailoring and designing at Philadelphia, from which she was graduated with the highest honors.


p. 1634


Isaac Ruth, one of the supervisors of Lower Heidelberg township, and a son of Francis Ruth, was born in the vicinity of Denver, Lancaster county, Sept.23, 1841, and was there educated and trained to farming. When he was sixteen years old, he went to Cumberland county, found employment with a farmer near Shippensburg, and while assisting his employer in stock raising and farming operations, obtained an English education. He remained two years, and then returning home, accompanied his father to Heidelberg township, Berks county, where the latter had purchased a large farm. After assisting his father three years, he married and moved to Reading, where he was employed as a teamster at the Krick Grist Mill, situated along the Canal, near the Lebanon Valley Railroad. He continued at this employment three years, and then assisted Rick Brothers in putting up their foundry, working for them in all two years. He next engaged in the manufacture of hand-made building brick, with his plant in Ricktown, along Schuylkill avenue. He had been engaged in this business for about thirteen years, when he was appointed highway commissioner for the Western District of Reading, and he sold out his business. He served as commissioner eight years, and then engaged in farming along the Tulpehocken Creek, in Bern township, and at building operations with the West Reading Building Association for several years. After 1893 he engaged in farming on his forty-acre farm in Lower Heidelberg township, one-half mile west of Sinking Spring. He sold this farm in the spring of 1907, and a year later moved into his own residence at No. 141 North Front street, Reading, where he has since lived retired. Under the new Road Law, which became operative in 1906, he was elected one of the road commissioners of Lower Heidelberg, and he is now filling his first term. He is a stanch Democrat.

In 1862 Mr. Ruth married Mary Holl, daughter of Peter and Catharine (Spatz) Holl, of Lower Heidelberg township. She died in 1872, aged thirty years. The children born of this union were: Susanna Elizabeth m. Franklin Eidell; Emma Amanda m. Nicholas Kauffman; Francis H. m. Cora Wagner; and a son died young. In 1876 Mr. Ruth married (second) Amanda Moyer, daughter of William Moyer, of Spring township, and four children have been born of this union: Sallie Ann, William Isaac, Eva Magdalena, and a son that died in infancy.


p. 1138


John A. Ruth, who died in Reading April 17, 1901, belonged to a family long resident in Berks county, and was born there in Spring township, Sept. 17, 1839. son of John and Rebecca (Allspach) Ruth.

John Ruth owned two very valuable farms in Spring township, and was also extensively engaged in buying and selling cattle. He was a prominent man in that region during his day, and was also well known in Reading, where many of the older citizens still remember him. He died during the early sixties, aged eighty-five years. He and his wife had seven children namely: Cyrus, of Sinking Spring; Eliza, m. to William Potteiger; John A.; Henry Y.; Sarah, m. to Samuel Deppen; and two that died in infancy. The family were members of the Reformed Church, and in politics Mr. Ruth was a Democrat.

John A. Ruth was educated in the common schools of Spring township, and remained at home until he was eighteen years old. He then began working in the iron mines in that township, and spent several years in that employment, but later he came to Reading, and was thereafter identified with that city. At first he was in the hotel business on South Sixth street, and later was with the Harbster Iron Company. From there he went to a position with John Bowman, a wholesale liquor dealer, located on Penn street, between Third and Fourth, and was still employed by him at the time of his death in 1901. Mr. Ruth always supported the Democratic party in politics, and in religion he was a Lutheran. At one time he was a member of the P. O. S. of A., but later took his name from its rolls.

During the Civil war Mr. Ruth enlisted in the Union army, but in a short time was discharged on account of disability, as he had contracted a chronic intestinal trouble.

On Sept. 21, 1872, John A. Ruth married Ellen, daughter of Patrick and Mary (Becher) Feeney, of Chester county, the former a native of Ireland. Mrs. Ruth was born in this country in Leesport, Pa. Five children were the issue of this union, namely: Lillie, m. to Joseph Lewis; Nora, m. to Luther Yeager; Mary; Grace; and Minnie, deceased. Luther Yeager, who is now employed by the Philadelphia & Reading railroad, enlisted during the Spanish-American war in Company A, 4th Pa. V. I., under Capt. Willets, and served in Puerto Rico, being honorably discharged in November, 1898.


p. 1700


John J. Ruth, proprietor of the historic "Cacoosing Hotel," in Lower Heidelberg township, near the Spring township line, has been located there since 1903. He is a native of Penn township, this county, born May 10, 1863, and was reared on the parental farm in North Heidelberg township. He received his education in the public schools.

When he was eighteen years old, Mr. Ruth started out in life for himself as a farmer, but after he had been away from home one year his father again desired his services, and he accordingly returned to his parents, working for them nine years longer. He then engaged in farming on his own account in Penn township, on Reuben Hedrich's farm, upon which he lived as a tenant for ten years. In the spring of 1903 he sold his farm stock and purchased the "Cacoosing Hotel" property, including a farm of twenty-nine acres, from the Adam Stump estate. He has made his home there eve since, conducting this well-known Hostelry, which is patronized by the traveling public and many Reading people. Mr. Ruth is an obliging landlord, doing everything in his power for the comfort and convenience of his guests.

Mr. Ruth has been twice married. His first wife, Lydia (Speicher) Ruth, died five years after her marriage, the mother of a son and a daughter, twins. The son died in infancy, but the daughter Lillie is still surviving. Mr. Ruth's second marriage was to Maggie L., daughter of John and Louisa (Balthaser) Ruth. No children have been born to this union. Mr. Ruth and his family are Lutheran members of the Bern Union Church, and fraternally he is a member of Lodge No. 835, I. O. O. F.; and Washington Camp, No. 99, P. O. S. of A., both of Wernersville. He is a Democrat in political belief.

Israel Ruth, father of John J. Ruth, was born in 1824. He was a shoemaker by trade and followed that occupation in his earlier years, later conducting a farm. He married Catharine Boyer, who died in 1890, and both are buried at the Corner Church in Heidelberg township. Mr. and Mrs. Israel Ruth had eight children, as follows: Joshua, is a resident of Reading; Mary m. Levi Strause, of Reading; William lives in San Francisco, Cal.; Emma m. George W. Spatz, of Robesonia, Pa.; Sarah m. Aaron Lease, of Reading; John J.; and two died in infancy and are buried at the Bern Church.

Jonas Ruth, grandfather of John J. Ruth, lived in the vicinity of Reading. Three of his four children were: Josephus, Israel, and John.


p. 833


John J. Ruth. Among the representative citizens of Cumru township, Berks county, none is more worthy of mention than John J. Ruth, who conducts the leading general store of Millmont. He was born Sept. 19, 1853, in Tulpehocken township, Berks county, son of John L. Ruth.

Jacob Ruth, grandfather of John J., was a leading agriculturist and highly esteemed citizen of Heidelberg township, where all of his life was spent, and where his wife also died. They were the parents of: Samuel, Lewis, Mrs. Charles Rick, Mrs. Benjamin Loose, and John L.

John L. Ruth was born in Heidelberg township, and early in life engaged in farming, being also interested in a hotel business for many years. He died in Reading, at the age of eighty-seven years, and his wife died when eighty-four years old, and both were interred in the Charles Evans cemetery. Their children were: Alfred, Cyrus, James and Adams, deceased; John J.; George, a blacksmith of Reading; and Morris, of Millmont; Priscilla, wife of William Keller, of Centre Hall, Centre Co., Pa.; Eliza, wife of Daniel Spatz, of Missouri; Ellen, deceased wife of William Goodhard, of Exeter township; and Mrs. Richard Adams, of Farmington, Missouri.

John J. Ruth attended the public schools of Tulpehocken township and the City of Reading, and as a boy engaged in farm work, later learning the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for a period of four years. His first business venture was in the tobacco and confectionery trade, at Reading, where he successfully continued for seven years, and in January, 1902, he came to Millmont and established his present business, which has grown to large proportions. Mr. Ruth carries a full line of flour, feed, groceries and notions, and in these commodities he has become the leading dealer of this section.

Mr. Ruth was married to Miss Lillie Sutton, who died in 1892, the mother of one child, Rosie (m. Jacob Knuckles, of Missouri, and has three children). In political matters Mr. Ruth is independent. He attends St. John's Reformed Church.


p. 519


Leonard M. Ruth, cashier of the Wernersville National Bank, of Wernersville, Pa., was born in Lower Heidelberg township, son of James H. and Catharine (Dundore) Ruth.

Leonard Ruth, Mr. Ruth's great-grandfather, was a son of Michael Ruth, and carried on farming near Hain's Church. He married Elizabeth Weinhold, of Cumru (now Spring) township, and they had ten children, four of whom died in infancy. The others were: Isaac, Josiah, Levi, Elizabeth, Michael W. and Leonard.

Michael W. Ruth, son of Leonard, was a farmer of Lower Heidelberg township. He was born in 1830, and died in 1905. He married Catharine Hain, daughter of John Hain, and she died shortly after her husband's death at the age of seventy-four years. They had six children: James H. (father of Leonard M.); Frank P. (died young); J. Hain (m. Mary Moyer, and after her decease Jennie Rothenberger); Ellen (m. Samuel R. Fisher); Emma (m. Garson M. Huyett); and Mary (died young).

James H. Ruth, father of Leonard M., was born in Lower Heidelberg township in 1852, educated in the local schools, and brought up to farming, which occupation he has followed up to the present time. He officiated as a school director of the township, for three terms, and also as treasurer, deacon and elder of the Hain's Church for nine years. He married Catharine Dundore, daughter of John D. and Sarah A. (Scholl) Dundore. Mr. Dundore was brought up on a farm in Bern township, and carried on farming operations in Lower Heidelberg township. Mr. Ruth had six children: Leonard M.; Jennie (m. Amos Yoder); and Elizabeth, Ellen, Laura, and Mary, all of whom are single.

Leonard M. Ruth was born Aug. 2, 1875, and was educated in the local schools. He graduated from the West Chester State Normal School in 1895, and then taught public school for eleven years - in Lower Heidelberg township four years, and as principal of the Robesonia high school for seven years. Upon the organization of the Wernersville National Bank in 1906, he was chosen one of the directors and cashier, and he has officiated as such until now in a highly satisfactory manner.

In 1904 Mr. Ruth was elected treasurer and deacon in the Hain's Church, and served as such for two years. He was one of the charter members of the Citizens' Hose Company No. 1, for the protection of the people of the village from fire, and has since maintained an active membership.

Mr. Ruth married Laura E. Mengle, daughter of Samuel G. and Agnes (Shoup) Mengle, of Lower Heidelberg township. Mrs. Laura E. Ruth was born Oct. 19, 1875, in Muhlenberg township.

The great-grandfather of Mrs. Laura E. Ruth was Daniel Mengel, of Richmond township. He married Susanna Kind, and they both lived to the age of eighty-seven years. They were the parents of eighteen children, one of whom, Samuel, was the grandfather of Mrs. Ruth. He was a farmer in Maiden-creek township, and he married Henrietta Gerhard, of Alsace township, by whom he had four children, Nathaniel, David Llewellyn, Rebecca Jane and Samuel G.

Dr. Samuel G. Mengle, father of Mrs. Ruth, was born April 19, 1850, in Ontelaunee township. He was educated in the local schools, and graduated from the Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, in 1870. On Jan. 1, 1872, he married Agnes Shoup, daughter of Richard Shoup, and they had four children, Stella, Laurant, Laura and Carrie, all but Mrs. Ruth dying young. Mrs. Agnes (Shoup) Mengle, the mother of Mrs. Ruth, was born Dec. 24, 1854, in Cumru township, was educated in the local schools, and died in 1883. Two years after the death of Mrs. Mengle, Dr. Mengle moved to Peru, Ill., where he married a second time, and where he is now practising medicine.

Richard Shoup, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Ruth, was a farmer of Cumru township, who died in 1896, at the age of sixty-seven years. He married Elvina Gerhart, daughter of John B. Gerhart, of Lower Heidelberg, by whom he had one daughter, Agnes. After the death of Elvina (Gerhart) Shoup in 1866, Richard Shoup married (second) Kate Lamm. They had three children, Thomas, Emma, and Adalaide.

John B. Gerhart, the maternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Ruth, married Sarah Kline, and had five children: Elvina, Sarah, Ellenora, Rebecca, and John K.

Owing to the early death of her mother, Mrs. Laura E. Ruth, at the age of seven years was placed into the care of John K. Gerhart, and his sister Rebecca. She was reared in Lower Heidelberg township, educated in the local schools, and for a few terms attended Albright College, Myerstown, Pennsylvania.


p. 1695


Levi Ruth, who was for many years engaged in cigar manufacturing in the city of Reading, Pa., was a native of Lebanon county, born Feb. 19, 1841, son of Benevelle and Catherine (Paff) Ruth and grandson of Jonathan Ruth.

Jonathan Ruth, who was a highly esteemed citizen of Heidelberg township, devoted all of his life to agricultural pursuits, and died stanch in the faith of the Reformed Church. He married Katie Hiester, and to them were born these children: Gabriel m. Nellie Haas; Joseph m. Susan Fisher; Levi m. Mary Kegerias; Beneville; Catherine m. Harrison Sloats; Johanna m. Henry Snyder; Rebecca and Susan died single; and Caroline.

Benevelle Ruth was born between Wernersville and Sinking Spring, in Heidelberg township, and was reared on the home farm, on which he remained until about nineteen years of age. At this time he came to Reading, where he was employed in a blacksmith shop for some time, later worked at the Krick mill and Bushong Brothers' farm and distillery, and finally engaged with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, in whose shops he continued until his retirement. He married Catherine Paff, daughter of Jonas Paff, an early settler of Alsace township, and to this union there were born nine children: Solomon; Benevelle, who lost his life in the Civil war; Levi; Rebecca, m. to Thomas Arnold; Amanda, m. to John Reeser; Mary, m. to William O'Boyle; Sarah, m. to John A. Britton, and two who died in infancy. In religious belief the family were connected with the Reformed Church. Mr. Ruth was originally a Democrat in politics, but at the time of his death was an ardent supporter of Republican principles.

When seven years of age Levi Ruth was brought to Reading by his parents, and in this city he secured his education in the common schools, after leaving which he took up cigar making, a business which he followed practically all of his life, being foreman for Mr. George W. Lehr, on Penn street, at the time of his death. He was a skilled mechanic and excellent workman, and had the full confidence and esteem of his employers. He died April 30, 1889.

In June, 1870, Mr. Ruth married Miss Emma Feather, daughter of Rebecca Feather, and granddaughter of Samuel and Mary (Bucher) Feather, and two children were born to this union: Mary R., m. Harry C. Meck, and had two children - Harold. R. and Robert C.; and Emma C. m. C. W. Shade, and also had two children - Marion R. and Emily K.


p. 1075


Morris M. Ruth, who in November, 1908, moved from Millmont to Reading, was an experienced core-maker, connected with the large foundry plant of Orr & Sembower, at Millmont, Pa. He was born Nov. 2, 1860, in Marion township, Berks county, youngest of the eleven children of John L. Ruth.

John L. Ruth was a son of Frederick Ruth and wife (whose maiden name was Ludwig). He married Matilda Moyer, daughter of George W. and Barbara (Fisher) Moyer, and they had eleven children: Alfred; Cyrus; John; James; Adam; George; Prissilla m. William H. Keller; Alize m. Daniel F. Spatz; Matilda m. Richard Adams; Ellen m. William Goodhard; and Morris M.

Mr. Ruth attended the schools of his native township and those of the city of Reading, and at the age of fourteen years began carrying papers. For about one year he was employed in the drilling department of the Reading Hardware Company, and for two years at the Rick foundry. At the age of eighteen years he went to Missouri, where he spent three years, being engaged in farm work and railroading. Returning to Berks county at the end of that time, he was again employed at the Reading Hardware Company's works, but after a short time went back to Missouri, remaining two years. He then again returned to his native county, and for ten years was successfully engaged in a retail milk business in Reading, but in 1898 located in Millmont, where for a short time he was employed in the pipe mill and later in the stove works. Mr. Ruth then became connected with the firm of Orr & Sembower as a core-maker, a position he filled most efficiently. On Nov. 3, 1908, he moved to No. 428 Wunder street, Reading.

In 1884 Mr. Ruth married Annie B. Fatz, daughter of Adam and Cecelia C. (Hassel) Fatz, of Reading, and to them have been born the following children: William J., a stove-plate moulder by trade, m. Mary Fricker; Nathan I., a machinery moulder by trade, and employed at the Orr & Sembower plant at Millmont, was formerly president of Camp No. 678, P. O. S. of A., Reading, and was elected in July, 1906, president of the moulders' union of Reading, being a young man of much executive ability, well and favorably known in union circles; Cecelia C. m. Author Westley, of Reading; and Annie M. is at school. Mr. Ruth erected a pleasant home at Millmont in 1900, where they resided until the removal to Reading. They attend the Reformed Church. In political matters Mr. Ruth is a Democrat, and fraternally he is connected with Camp No. 689, P. O. S. of A., Reading; Independent Americans, Lodge No. 27, Reading; Iron Moulders' Union, and since 1882 with the Keystone Fire Company. Mrs. Ruth is also prominent is several fraternities including St. Bernard Temple, L. G. E., No. 16, Reading; Daughters of Liberty No. 122, Reading; and Dames of Malta No. 22, Reading.


p. 893


William H. Ruth, a well-to-do business man of Berks county, who conducts the "Railroad House" at Sinking Spring, was born Jan. 7, 1863, in Brickerville, Lancaster county, son of Henry F. Ruth.

Philip Ruth, the great-grandfather of William H., was born Aug. 1, 1776, and died June 9, 1833, after a life spent in agricultural pursuits in Spring township. He is buried at Sinking Spring, where the remains of his wife, Elizabeth, are also interred. Mr. and Mrs. Ruth had these children: Peter settled in Lancaster county; Molly, who married Jacob Pahm, died in Sinking Spring; Elizabeth, who married Bennewell Boyer, died in Heidelberg township; Absalom was the grandfather of William H.; Thomas lived in Spring township.

Absalom Ruth, born Jan. 4, 1807, in Spring township, died April 13, 1873. He was a farmer all of his life, carrying on operations in Spring and Heidelberg townships. He married Annie Fisher, born May 20, 1802, who died Dec. 3, 1890, daughter of William and Margaret (Krick) Fisher, and to this union there were born: Isaac, who died when four years of age; Samuel, who died in Heidelberg township; Henry F., father of William H.; Abraham, who died in Exeter township, Mary, who married Samuel Eckenroth; Absalom W., living at Adamstown; Ellen, deceased, who married George Kintzer; Catherine, who married Jacob Behm; Lemon, who resides at Reading; and Richard and Emma, who died young.

Henry F. Ruth was born in Spring township, Berks Co., Pa., Feb. 28, 1863. After attending the common schools of Spring township, he began farming, first in Spring township, and then in Clay township, Lancaster Co., Pa., locating there inn 1861. After six years in that locality he returned to Spring township where he made his home for fifteen years. His next move was to Muhlenberg township, near Hyde Park, and for two years he farmed and then entered a hotel business at West Reading. After three and one-half years there he operated the "Bellview Hotel" at Hyde Park, for two and one-half years. The following six years he spent at Reading, where he was a successful grocer until his retirement, in 1898, when he returned to Hyde Park. He now lives retired. In addition to his work as farmer, hotel man and grocer, Mr. Ruth served his country in her extremity, enlisting in Company F, 179th P. V. I., and after nine months' faithful service received his honorable discharge at Heidelberg, July 27, 1863.

On Sept. 10, 1857, Mr. Ruth was married to Rebecca Bertrem, daughter of Jonathan and Ellen (Rader) Bertrem. Mrs. Ruth died March 25, 1906, aged seventy years, and is buried at Sinking Spring. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ruth: Hannah A. married Peter Leisz and lives at Zion City, Ill.; Martin L. married Anna Addams, of West Reading; William H. is mentioned below; Anna F. married Charles Hoffman, of Columbia, Pa.; Absalom was killed on the East Pennsylvania railroad, at the age of twenty-three years; Ellen N. married Harry Homan, and resides at Hyde Park; Emma E. married William Yoder of Hyde Park; Milton B., unmarried, resides at Reading; Debbie M. is the widow of Jacob Hoffman, who met his death on the Lebanon Valley railroad bridge; Sadie C. married George Minker, of Reading. With a good business record, a gallant war service, and a large family of children all in comfortable circumstances, Mr. Ruth is enjoying his present ease in his declining years, and is looked up to not only by his family, but by those who have been his companions and friends for many years.

William H. Ruth during his youth attended school in Spring and Lower Heidelberg townships, Berks county. He also learned the butcher's trade while farming, and when he had mastered this occupation engaged in butchering for sixteen years at Tuckerton, thus continuing until 1898, when he branched out into a produce business, which he developed successfully, continuing it until 1902, when he purchased the "Railroad House." He has since carried this place on to the satisfaction of his visitors and his own financial profit.

Mr. Ruth was married to Isabella Kocher, of Berks county. They have no children. In political faith he is a Democrat, and has always been actively interested in the welfare of the community. He is a prominent member of the Reformed Church, at Tuckerton, Pa., and a liberal contributor. Fraternally Mr. Ruth is a member of the Knights of Malta, commandery No. 47, Reading; the I. O. O. F., also at Reading, and the P. O. S. of A., at Hyde Park. He is genial and enterprising, and a man who understands his business and the principles of true American citizenship.


p. 869


William H. Ruth, a leading citizen and school director of Spring township, Berks county, who is quite extensively engaged in truck farming, was born March 13, 1866, at Fritztown, Pa., son of Daniel and Catherine (Hatt) Ruth, and a member of one of the best-known and most numerous families of Pennsylvania.

Peter Ruth, great-grandfather of William H., was a farmer whose property was situated along the Cacoosing Creek, in Heidelberg township. He died in September, 1771. To him and his wife, Catherine, were born the following children: Michael, Jacob, Christian, Peter (born in 1764, died in 1819), George, John, Henry, Francis, Catherine, Mary, Barbara, Eve, Magdalena and Margaret.

Henry Ruth, son of Peter and grandfather of William H., was born Sept. 6, 1799, and died in 1855. He was an agriculturist of Fritztown, owning what is now the well-known Hill Side Stock Farm, the property of Harry Orr. Henry Ruth married, Sept. 26, 1819, Elizabeth Ruth, born July 19, 1796, and to them were born the following children: Abraham, born July 27, 1820; Charles, born Sept. 26, 1822, died June 11, 1823; Charles, born Dec. 31, 1825; Henry, born July 27, 1824, died Nov. 3, 1829; Lewis, born June 3, 1831; and Daniel, born Jan. 11, 1836.

Daniel Ruth, father of William H., was born Jan. 11, 1836, in Spring township, and died Sept. 1, 1897. In early life he engaged in clerking in the country store at Fritztown, where later he became a partner, but subsequently embarked in agricultural pursuits, and for many years operated a twenty-five acre farm at Fritztown. Mr. Ruth was a well-known citizen of his community, and enjoyed a reputation for honesty, integrity and public spirit. He was buried at Sinking Spring Church, of which he was a member. In politics he was a Democrat, and for many years collected the tax in Spring township.

Daniel Ruth was married to Catherine Hatt, born in August, 1838, who now resides on the homestead at Fritztown, and to them there were born these children: Marcus D., a merchant of Sinking Spring; LaFayette R., who married Lizzie Whitman; Emanuel, of Gouglersville; Rebecca, who died unmarried; William H.; Jacob, who is unmarried and lives at home; Katie, who married Franklin Haas, of Fritztown; and Emma, who married Pierce Struk, of Mohnton.

William H. Ruth was educated in the township schools, and later attended Lebanon Valley College at Annville for two terms. In 1891 he engaged in truck farming, having prior to that time clerked in a store and engaged in cigar-making for one and one-half years. His twenty-five acres of good land are well cultivated, and he has been successful to a high degree. In politics Mr. Ruth is a Republican, and although the district is strongly Democratic, in the spring of 1902 he was elected school director, and three years later re-elected to that office by a large majority. He is greatly interested in educational matters, and is an intelligent and progressive official. He and his family are members of Zion U. E. Church, of Mohnton, Pennsylvania.

In 1891 Mr. Ruth was married to Rosa Rintz, born June 7, 1866, daughter of Casper and Rosa (Hoover) Rintz, of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Ruth have had eight children, namely: Franklin P., who died aged two months, seven days; Catherine R.; Jacob D.; Annie E.; Charles H.; Hattie N.; Edna V., and Adam C.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:59 EDT

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