Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1100


John George Schumacher, late a retired business man of Reading, Pa., who was formerly largely interested in the coffee roasting line, was born May 4, 1838, in Wurtemberg, Germany, son of John and Margaret (Koenig) Schumacher, and died Sept. 4, 1909.

The parents of Mr. Schumacher were natives of Germany, and the mother died there aged sixty years. In 1851 the father came to America. Prior to this he had been a farmer but in this country he was a laborer.

He died at the age of fifty-eight years. There were twelve children in the family, evenly divided, and four of them are still living, John George and two sisters in Schuylkill county, and one yet in Germany.

John G. Schumacher attended school in his native land and also learned the weaving trade there. In 1861 he came to America, landing at New York city, going thence to Philadelphia and from there to Schuylkill Haven, where he found employment at different jobs. In 1874 he came to Reading and later went to railroading, working for thirteen years for the Pennsylvania Company, between Pottsville and Philadelphia. He then bought a coffee roaster which he operated with ample success up to 1892, when he retired from active business. He lived in his pleasant home at No. 1046 Elm street and owned considerable city property, mostly in the ninth ward, where he had twenty-four houses. He was also in the wall paper business for a time, and had a practical knowledge of many lines. His last years were fully occupied in looking after his real estate investments.

Mr. Schumacher was married (first) to Mary Rolland, and they had one daughter, Annie M., who died in 1895, the wife of George Becker. Mr. Schumacher m. (second) Annie Rote, and they had one daughter, Mary, wife of Daniel Parker, a resident of Exeter township, Mr. Schumacher m. (third) Margaret Schmidt, widow of Benjamin Herbst.

In politics Mr. Schumacher was a Democrat. He had belonged to the Lutheran Church from boyhood, and had filled almost all of the church offices. He was a well known and very highly esteemed citizen. In 1892 he made an enjoyable visit of three months in Germany, visiting the scenes of his early life.


p. 850


Christopher Schutter, a well known and highly esteemed citizen of Cumru township, Berks county, who now lives retired at his home in Oakbrook, Pa., was born Oct, 30, 1839, in Wurtemberg, Germany, son of Conrad and Christina (Hauck) Schutter.

Conrad Schutter was born Dec. 27, 1800, and in 1852 came to America with his family, his oldest son, Christian, having preceded them to this country two years before. Mr. Schutter was a potter by trade, and followed that occupation at Sinking springs, Pa., but in later years he became a gardener. He died April 14, 1890, and was buried at St. John's Lutheran cemetery, Reading, as was his wife. Mr. Schutter married Christina Hauck (born in 1803, died Jan. 11, 1870), and they became the parents of six children: Christian lived in Spring township, and had children, William, Mary, George, Henry and Katie; Frederick, born Jan. 27, 1820, is still living and has children, Ricka, Mary, Catherine, Annie, Frederick, William, Christopher and Maggie; Christina m. John Houck, of Buffalo, N. Y., and has children, Mary, Ricka, Charles, Christian, William and Frederick; Ricka, born in 1837, died in 1870, married George Bruestle, a native of Germany, and they had, Louisa, Annie and George (deceased); Christopher; and Regina m. John Schmidt, a native of Germany, but resident of Reading, where he died, and had three children, Kate, Fred and George.

Christopher Schutter attended German schools until eleven years old, and with his parents emigrated to America. When in his fourteenth year he learned the blacksmith's trade with Michael Miller, of Eighth and Franklin streets, Reading, in whose employ he remained three years. He followed blacksmithing all of his active period, working for some time in the Philadelphia & Reading shops, and for twenty-four years at the sheet mill, being engaged principally in making shear knives. In 1902 he retired from active pursuits, and since that time he has lived in his fine brick residence on Lancaster avenue, Oakbrook, which he has owned since the fall of 1881. In politics he is an independent voter. He and his family are members of St. James Lutheran Church at Reading.

In 1868 Mr. Schutter was married to Elizabeth Hoyer, born Dec. 20, 1836, who died Oct. 11, 1897, daughter of John and Mary (Griess) Hoyer, of Reading. Four children were born to this union: John died in infancy; Elizabeth is caring for her father in his declining years; Charles died in 1897, at the age of twenty years; and Susie.


p., 1269


Schwartz. The first of this family to settle in Pennsylvania came from Germany, and was married after his arrival in this country, his wife's maiden name being Nye. She was the mother of his son John, the next in line in the branch of the family we are tracing, and died when he was only a few years old. The father afterward moved to Shamokin, Pa., there married again.

John Schwartz, born Jan. 11, 1769, died Aug. 10, 1807. In early life he conducted the "Black Horse Tavern," near Adamstown, Lancaster county, and while there met and married Rachel Adam, the founder of Adamstown. She long survived her husband, living until July 2, 1851, being just two days less than eighty-two years old. After his marriage John Schwartz moved to Cumru township, this county, where he bought a farm which he cultivated until his death, which was caused by a fall from a barn door at night; his injuries resulted in his death nine days later. He left five children, namely: Joseph, born Jan. 9, 1797, m. Sarah Homan; Thomas, born Feb. 6, 1795, died at Pine Grove, Schuylkill county, Jan. 11, 1854; William is mentioned below; Peggy m. Nicholas Madeira, of Reading; James, born June 6, 1805, died Aug. 12, 1879, and his wife, Susan, born June 19, 1814, died at the age of seventy-six years, eight months.

William Schwartz, son of John, was born in Reading in 1799 and died in that city in 1861, aged sixty-two years. In his early life he was a miller, and with his brothers Joseph and James conducted the historic old mill which obtained its water-power from the Wyomissing creek. He owned a farm of seventy-two acres in Cumru township, which is now the property of his son's widow, Mrs. William S. Schwartz. At the time of his death he was a merchant at the northwest corner of Tenth and Penn streets, Reading, being a member of the grocery firm of A. J. & W. Schwartz; his partner was his nephew, Adam H. Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz is buried in the family lot in the Charles Evens cemetery. He married Magdalena Seidel, born in 1804, daughter of Nicholas Seidel, who was an extensive land owner in the vicinity of Reading. Mrs. Schwartz died in her seventy-fifth year. She was the mother of three children: William S., Alvin F. (who died unmarried in 1871, aged twenty-eight years), and Henry N.

William S. Schwartz, son of William, born in Reading Dec. 27, 1840, died there Aug. 4, 1895, at his home, No. 25 South Tenth street. He was a well-known business man, having kept a livery stable on Cherry street, below Sixth, for some years, later engaged in the butchering business, and subsequently in the manufacture of cigars in partnership with William Donahower. Later he conducted the "Three Mile House" at Shillington for four years, and in 1891 he and his brother Henry built the famous "Summit Hotel" on Mount Penn, a spacious three-story stone building of about thirty rooms. It is the grandest to be obtained anywhere in the eastern part of the United States. This hotel is still owned by his widow and brother, the latter conducting it.

Mr. Schwartz was twice married. By his first wife, Hannah Bridegam, he had no children. On March 30, 1886, Mr. Schwartz m. (second) Emily S. Dengler, daughter of Madison and Catharine (Rudy) Dengler, and granddaughter of George and Christina (Luther) Dengler. Mrs. Schwartz's father was a railroad engineer in his earlier life, and later conducted a restaurant in Reading, at Eighth and Penn streets. To Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz were born four children, Alvin D., William B., Mazie E. and Katharine M. The family belong to St. Andrew's Reformed Church of Reading.

Henry N. Schwartz, youngest son of William, was born March 23, 1846, in Reading, at the corner of Tenth and Penn streets, and was educated in the public schools of the city. On Jan. 29, 1864, he enlisted at Reading in Durrell's Battery (D), Pennsylvania Volunteer Artillery, and served until June 13, 1865. He was in active service in the battle of the Wilderness and at the siege of Petersburg. On a previous enlistment in July, 1863, in Company B, 53d Pennsylvania Regiment, Mr. Schwartz had been in the service for about two months.

After the war he engaged in farming, in Cumru township, for eight years, and since 1880 he has been continuously in the hotel business. He has conducted the hotel at Tenth and Penn streets, Reading, the "Five Mile House" and the "Summit Hotel" at Mount Penn, which he built in partnership with his elder brother, William S. Schwartz, and which he has conducted since 1891. Its picturesque location and comfortable accommodations make it a very desirable hostelry, and it is well patronized the year round. In 1867 Henry N. Schwartz married Mary Bickel, daughter of Elias and Mary (Rothenberger) Bickel, of Heidelberg township, and to this union were born four children: Harry B.; Ella, m. to Charles Sheidy, of New York; Alice; and Minnie, m. to George Leinbach, of Reading. Fraternally Mr. Schwartz is a member of Aerie No. 66 F. O. E., of Reading.


p. 356


Hiram H. Schwartz, first Orphans' court Judge of Berks county, from 1883 to 1891, was born in Maxatawny township, near Kutztown. In 1834 he went to Lehigh county and there worked on a farm, and while so engaged attended the local schools until he was sixteen years old. He continued his preparatory education in the Van Derveer Boarding School for several years; then entered Franklin and Marshall College, and after taking a regular course was graduated in 1855. Upon returning home he engaged at teaching public school for two years; and then he was elected school superintendent of Lehigh county, an office he very successfully filled from 1857 to 1860. During this time he took up the study of the law at Allentown, in the office of the Hon. Samuel A. Bridges, and was admitted to practice in 1858. After practising at Allentown two years, he located at Kutztown, and he continued in active practice in Berks county until he received the appointment of Judge of the Orphans' court in June, 1883, from Governor Pattison, which office had been created by a special Act of Assembly; and at the next election for the term of ten years. He officiated until his death Aug. 25, 1891, after a protracted illness. After having located at Kutztown in 1860, he became interested in various enterprises there. He was particularly interested in the cause of education, and identified himself with the establishment of the Keystone State Normal School, which he served a trustee until his decease.


p. 1016


Thomas H. Schwartz, of Cumru township, belongs to a family long identified with that general section of the State, and one that has from generation to generation been concerned almost wholly with agricultural pursuits.

The first of the name to settle in Pennsylvania came from Germany, but was married after his arrival in this country to a Miss Nye, who became the mother of his son John. Mrs. Schwartz died a few years after the birth of the boy, and the father afterward moved to Shamokin and there married again.

John Schwartz, son of the above and great-grandfather of Thomas H, was born Jan. 11, 1769, and died Aug 10, 1807, aged thirty-eight. In early life he ran the "Black Horse Tavern" near Adamstown, Lancaster county, and while there met and married his wife Rachel Adam. She was born July 4, 1769, daughter of Bernhart Adam, the founder of Adamstown. She long survived her husband, as she lived till July 2, 1851, being within two days of her eighty-second birthday when she died. After marriage John Schwartz moved to Cumru township, bought a farm and operated it until his death. This sad event was due to a fall from a barn door at night, causing injuries which resulted in death nine days later. He left five children, viz.: Thomas, born Feb. 6, 1854; Joseph; William, a retired farmer, died at Reading; Peggy m. Nicholas Madeira, of Reading; and James, born June 6, 1805, died Aug. 12, 1879 (m. Susan ---, born June 19, 1814, died aged seventy-six years and eight months).

Joseph Schwartz was born Jan. 9, 1797. For the earlier part of his life he was a boatman, first upon the Schuylkill river and then on the Union canal, but he was also familiar with the milling trade, which he learned at Leesport, and he later turned his attention to that occupation. He operated the Schwartz mill for some time, and then in middle life took up farming, locating in Cumru township, where he owned a tract of thirty acres besides some woodland and a five-acre tract of fine farming land, now forming part of the Joseph Davis estate. Joseph Schwartz married Sarah Homan, born Jan. 14, 1797, daughter of Henry and Mary (Rotzmoyer) Homan. She died Dec. 8, 1870, while Mr. Schwartz survived until Oct. 6, 1874. Their children were: Adam, a merchant in Reading, m. Miss Margaret Breidigan; Emma m. Levi Templin, a prosperous Reading merchant; Sarah died unmarried; Tamson m. Rufus Davis, a farmer in Penn, and later in Cumru township; and Joseph H.

Joseph H. Schwartz was born in Cumru township, Sept. 9, 1834. Brought up to farm work, it became his life-long calling, and from 1857 till his death he was operating on his own account. He began on the old farm, which he afterward brought and made it his permanent home. He also owned a thirty-four acre timber tract in the same township. In 1858 he married Ellen D. Hornberger, daughter of William and Ellen (Deeds) Hornberger, and children were born to them as follows: Thomas H.; C. Franklin, a farmer near Pottstown, m. Mary E. Crummins; Rufus died unmarried when twenty-two years old; George of West Reading, m. Miss Lydia Wiesser; Charles m. Alice Eyrich, and lives on the old Seitzinger farm in Cumru township; Joseph, a farmer at Angelica, m. Lillie Steffey; and Wellington m. Annie Rathman, and assists his brother Thomas on the old homestead. Joseph Schwartz died May 12, 1891, in his fifty-sixth year. Like all his family he was a member of Yocom's Union Church of the Reformed faith.

Thomas H. Schwartz was born on the farm which is still his home, April 10, 1860. Farming interests have always occupied his attention except for one period of three years, dating from the time he was eighteen, as a hatmaker. After his father's death the entire responsibility of the homestead fell upon his shoulders and he has been in charge of it ever since. It is situated on the Wyomissing road with the creek running through it, and is a most valuable property, comprising ninety-three acres. In politics like all the family Mr. Schwartz married Jennie Seitzinger, and they have four children, William, Ellen E., Rufus and Charles. Mrs. Schwartz is a daughter of William R. and Elizabeth (Hahn) Seitzinger.


p 1085


Andrew L. Schweimler, one of the prosperous business men of Reading, whose grocery is located at No. 128 East Buttonwood street, corner of Pear, was born in 1867, a son of Andrew J. and Caroline (Merget), and grandson of Joseph K. and Sarah (Angstadt) Schweimler.

Joseph K. Schweimler was born in Tioga county, Pa, but removed to Berks county, where he died in 1892, aged seventy-two years. His wife, Sarah Angstadt, died in 1893. Their children were: Elizabeth, deceased, m. William Geiger; William; Susan m. Franklin France; Joseph; Andrew J.; James W., and several died in infancy. The family belonged to the Lutheran faith.

Andrew J. Schweimler, son of Joseph K., left the public school at an early age to go to work in the Reading cotton mill. Later he became a huckster and sold produce until, at the age of twenty-one years, he entered the army for service in the Civil War, enlisting Sept. 24, 1861, in Battery D, Independent Artillery, which was attached to the Army of the Potomac. He re-enlisted Feb. 4, 1864, was promoted to Corporal May 1, 1864, and mustered out at the expiration of his term, June 13, 1865. He was taken sick at Memphis, Tenn., and after a season in the hospital he was honorable discharged at Covington, Ky,, after serving faithfully through four years of the war. Upon his return home he resumed his truck business for a short time, and then opened a grocery store at Ninth and Franklin streets, which he conducted until 1878. In that year he sold out and engaged in the hotel business for about a year, afterward selling out and learning the trade of boiler maker, which he followed until 1890. In the latter year he assisted his son Andrew L., who opened up a grocery store at No. 717 North Ninth street. In 1894 the store was removed to its present location at No. 128 Buttonwood, corner of Pear street, where the business is successfully conducted by the son to this time, the father assisting the son until his death. Mr. Schweimler was a valued comrade of the local G. A. R., and also belonged to the Union Veteran Legion. He was a member of the K. of P. and of the Senior Order of American Mechanics. Politically he was a Republican. He married Caroline Merget, and their children were: Andrew L., Laura and George, both deceased; and Carrie, m. to W. O. Weidenheimer.

Andrew L. Schweimler was educated in the Reading pubic schools. His first work was in the shoe store of William Geiger, where he remained a year and then was employed in Willson's spectacle factory for a year. The following year was passed in the Jackson Rope Walk, and six years in the J. H. Seivard shoe factory, as an employee of the finishing department. In June 1890, he engaged in the grocery business, at No. 717 North Ninth street, continuing there until 1894, since when he has been at his present location. He carries a large and well selected stock of staple and fancy groceries and does a good business.

In 1894 Mr. Schweimler was married to Minnie A. Kistler, daughter of Wilson Kistler and Sophia (Blose) Kistler and they have one child, Stanley S. Mr. Schweimler is a member and Past Commander of Meade Camp No.16, Sons of Veterans; of Juniata Tribe, No. 74, O. O. R. M.; of Camp No. 330 P. O. S. of A. Both he and his wife belong to the Lutheran Church.


p. 1525


Four brothers of the name of Schweitzer emigrated from Wurtemberg, Germany, about 1740, settling in eastern Pennsylvania, as follows: Peter, in Brecknock township, Lancaster county (now in Berks county), the second in Northampton county, the third in Cumberland county, and the fourth in Lancaster (now Dauphin) county. Peter Schweitzer was married to a young woman named Heffelfinger, who came to America at the same time he did. They had seven children: Frederick, Peter, Susan, Christina, Catharine, Elizabeth and Margaret.

(II) Frederick Schweitzer, son of Peter, was born in Brecknock township, and carried on farming in the primitive way of his day in a new country; his farm was the present property of Augustus Bixler. He married Barbara Burkhardt, and their children were: John, Frederick, Jr., Peter, Jacob, Elizabeth, Barbara, Susan (who married Jacob Mohr) and Catharine. Of these, John, born Aug. 28, 1791, married Mary Ziegler (daughter of Abraham), and died Dec. 5, 1871, the father of four children: Samuel Z.; John, who married Mary Suader; Salome, who married John Kachel; and Elizabeth, who married Peter Bixler. Samuel Z. Schweitzer, son of John, born Jan. 1, 1816, is still living, and is active in mind and body. He was well educated, and for years was a successful teacher, but his later years were devoted to farming on a large scale, and to his work as a director of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Sinking Spring. His wife was Elizabeth Haller, daughter of Samuel, of Lancaster county. It is given to but few men to so merit and receive universal esteem through a long life such as Samuel Z. Schweitzer has enjoyed.

(III) Frederick Schweitzer, Jr., son of Frederick, was born in Brecknock township, Feb. 20, 1794, and died May 22, 1889, aged eighty-eight years, three months, two days. He devoted his life to farming and his farm in now the property of his grandson, Phineas. His wife, Elizabeth Moore, daughter of John Moore, was born Aug. 15, 1796, and died Feb. 11, 1875, in her seventy-ninth year. Their children were: Daniel, who married Leah Bixler, and died at Birdsboro, Pa.; Peter, who married Mary Bressler, and owned a farm adjoining that of Phineas, a part of the old homestead; Elizabeth, who married Peter Beam; Mary, who died unmarried; Samuel M.; and William M., who married Sophia Burkhart, and was of a roaming disposition.

(IV) Samuel M. Schweitzer, son of Frederick, Jr., was born in Brecknock township Aug. 28, 1828, and died Nov. 7, 1905, aged seventy-seven years, two months, nine days. He was a farmer for many years, and from 1861 to 1865 owned the "Three Mile House." In his political faith he was a Republican, and in religious belief a Lutheran, and for many years he was a deacon in the Allegheny Church, but late in life he joined the Plow Church, which he helped to build. He served on the building committee, and was an elder there for eight years. He was also instrumental in the erection of the church in 1888, and was a liberal contributor toward its erection, also helping to raise funds. Mr. Schweitzer was a man of genial disposition, and was greatly beloved by all who knew him. He married Mary S. Slouch, born Oct. 31, 1834, died March 2, 1904, in her seventieth year, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Seifrit) Slouch, and granddaughter of George Slouch. George Slouch was a son of Michael Slouch, who in 1759 paid L4 tax in Brecknock township. To Samuel M. Schweitzer and his wife were born two children: Phineas and Maggie. The latter married Otis Schweitzer (son of Benaniah and grandson of John), a farmer of Robeson township.

(V) Phineas S. Schweitzer, son of Samuel M., is a representative citizen of Brecknock township. He was born Oct. 24, 1858, on a Slouch farm adjoining the Schweitzer homestead. He grew to manhood on a farm, attending the district schools and later Churchtown Academy, in Lancaster county. The latter institution was then under the able management of Prof. J. F. Foltz. He then taught school for some time and afterward assisted his father on the farm until the latter's death, at which time he assumed the management. This property lies in Brecknock township, at the extreme eastern end, in what is known at Potato Valley, and it consists of 133 acres of good land. They raise all kinds of fruit and vegetables, and the property is abundantly supplied with water. Mr. Schweitzer is a man of intelligence, and is one of the progressive and useful citizens of the community. In politics he is a Republican, and he has served as township committeeman, secretary of the school board for six consecutive years, township clerk two years, township auditor six years, and delegate to county conventions many times. He and his family are Lutheran members of the Plow Church in Robeson township. Mr. Schweitzer has been organist of both congregations since the erection of the church in 1888, and also president of the Sunday school for the same length of time. In 1883 Mr. Schweitzer married Sarah A. Kramer, daughter of Samuel and Julia (Ziemer) Kramer, well known citizens of Brecknock township. Two daughters have blessed this marriage, namely: Gertie M., who married Lewis Wickline, trucker on his father-in-law's place, and has one daughter, Esther May; and Mamie E., who is at home.

(II) Peter Schweitzer, second son of Peter, the emigrant from Wurtemberg, married and reared a family, in which was a son, Peter.

(III) Peter Schweitzer, son of Peter and grandson of the emigrant, passed his active life as a farmer and tanner on the place where Harvey Kramer now lives. His wife was an Ammon, and their children were: Bevvy, who married Samuel Eshelman; Sally, who married John Kramer; Kate, who married Jacob Sengner; John; William, a farmer in Exeter township; Peter, who lived in Brecknock; and Mrs. William Whitman.

(IV) John Schweitzer, son of Peter, was born March 27, 1803, and died April 9, 1874, when he was in his seventy-second year. By occupation he was a tanner, and his tannery was located where Harvey Z. Kramer now makes his home, in Brecknock. The latter years of his life he devoted to farming, owning a farm of 200 acres in Potato Valley - so named by Christian Ziegler, in a joke, but the name has clung to this particularly rich agricultural valley ever since. He married Elizabeth Wagner, born Feb. 13, 1803, who died May 9, 1888. They had nine children, namely: Benaniah, who owned the homestead; Maria, who married Jacob Schnader, of Fairville; Lovina and Jackson, who both died young; Nathan, of Lycoming county; Augustus W.; Edward, a farmer in Robeson township; Obed, also a farmer in Robeson; and Christianna, who married Benjamin Remp, of Brecknock. John Schweitzer and his wife erected in 1854 a fine double-deck barn, 92 x 75 feet, the only one of its kind in the State. In 1859 the present residence, a large stone mansion, was erected. On the premises is an old log house that was erected in 1775 by Peter Schweitzer, the great-great-grandfather of the present generation, and this is now used as a truck house.

(V) Benaniah Schweitzer, son of John, was born at the family home Feb. 20, 1829, and after a useful and active life of more than seventy-seven years passed away Sept. 16, 1906. He owned a large farm near Adamstown, Lancaster county, where he lived for fourteen years. In 1875 he bought the home now in possession of his sons, and on it he spent his last days. In politics he was active as a Democrat, and was school director in both Lancaster and Berks counties, ably serving his districts. He was a Lutheran member of the Allegheny Church, and for many years served as an elder. He was a good and useful citizen of his community, and was honest and upright. He married Susanna Gring, who was born in 1839, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Kessler) Gring, the former a farmer and carpet weaver in Lancaster county. They became the parents of ten children: Elizabeth, who married John Kramer, of Brecknock; Otis, who married Maggie Schweitzer; Emery; Nathaniel, who married Mary Griffith; Emeline, who married Harvey Hoffert; Susan, who married Michael Witwer; Charles, who married Bessie Kachel; Franklin, who married Cassie Trostle; Harry K.; and Theodore.

(VI) Emery Schweitzer, son of Benaniah, was born April 29, 1864, and was educated in the township schools, which he attended until he was eighteen years of age. He was early trained to farm work, and remained at home, assisting his father, until he attained his majority. He continued at home working for wages from that time until 1892, when he took a trip through the West, going to San Jose, Cal., where he was in the employ of the famous lawyer, D. M. Delmas, recently so much in the public eye as the defender of Harry K. Thaw in New York City. Mr. Schweitzer remained there for a period of three years, working in the vineyard. In the latter part of 1905 he went to St. Paul, Minn., and from there to Faribault, Minn., where he remained from July to November of that year. His western trip was quite a success, and as well a most enjoyable experience. Returning to his native county, he began farming the original homestead of the family in Brecknock township, which consists now of 210 acres of the best land in this section. He and his brothers are successful farmers and truckers. They attend the Reading market once or twice a week the whole year round.

In political belief Mr. Schweitzer is a Democrat, but he has given little time to public affairs, his own business engrossing his entire time and attention. However, he was induced to serve one term as township auditor. He is a Lutheran member of the Allegheny Union Church. He was president of the Maple Grove Sunday-school, and was also organist for a time. He is a worthy representative of an intelligent family, and is a man of sound judgment and of considerable tact and ability in dealing with his fellow-men.

(VI) Harry K. Sweitzer, son of Benaniah, and brother of Emery, was born June 29, 1881. He grew up on the farm and after attending the township schools entered the Adamstown high school, then in charge of Prof. Henry Matz. In the spring of 1898 he entered the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, in the E Division, but left as a Junior in 1900 to engage in farming. He began for himself in 1907. In politics he is a Jeffersonian Democrat, and in 1906 he served efficiently as register assessor of his township. He is a Lutheran member of the Allegheny Church, and has been an official member of that Sunday-school. In 1907 he married Mary E. Zerbe, daughter of William and Ellen (Frees) Zerbe, of Brecknock township, Lancaster county.

(VI) Theodore Schweitzer, son of Benaniah and brother to Emery and Harry K., was born on the home farm on Aug. 4, 1883. He obtained a fair education in the Maple Grove school, and early learned the duties pertaining to the successful management of a farm. In 1907 he and his brother Emery bought the father's fine farm of 210 acres, and this they now jointly cultivate. In May, 1904, Mr. Schweitzer was married to Viola Kramer, daughter of Harvey Z. Kramer, a well-known tobacco dealer. Mrs. Schweitzer is a highly educated woman. She attended the Keystone State Normal, and taught school before her marriage, two terms at the Maple Grove school and two terms at Gebhart's school. Mr. and Mrs. Schweitzer have a son, Mark D., born Oct. 19, 1905. They are Lutheran members of the Allegheny church, and in politics he is a Democrat.

(V) Augustus W. Schweitzer, son of John and brother of Benaniah, is the merchant and postmaster at Hummel's store, Brecknock township. He was born May 30, 1839. He was a farmer's son, and he has not departed from his early training, but has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits. He owns a tract of seventy acres and attends the Reading market. In 1872 he purchased his property from Daniel Hummel, after whom the post-office was named, and he began trading in merchandise on a small scale. Since then he has conducted the store and served as postmaster. As a Democrat like all the Schweitzers, he has taken an interest in public matters, and has been school director of the township. He and his family are Lutherans, and attend the Allegheny Union Church. In 1869 he was married to Mary Ann Paulsgrove, who was born May 1, 1847, daughter of Jacob and Anna Mary (Rintz) Paulsgrove, and eight children were born of this union, namely: Annie, who married Fred Mint, of Brecknock township; Ella, who married Mahlon Ziemer, a sawmill proprietor of Brecknock; Howard A., at home; Irwin J., who married Bessie Sengner, and lives in Brecknock; Irene, wife of Henry Ziemer, of Brecknock; Raymond A., a mute, at home; Emanuel, who died in infancy; and Elva, at home. The family are very popular in the community.


p. 1379


Franklin K. Schweitzer, of Spring township, Berks county, who makes a specialty of fruit growing and trucking, is a member of the Schweitzer family which has been so long represented in Brecknock township, and which is fully mentioned elsewhere in this work. Mr. Schweitzer was born in Brecknock township, Sept. 14, 1875, and was brought up on his father's farm there, from boyhood being familiar with agricultural work. When twenty-four years old he learned the hatter's trade at Hendel's hat factory in Hendleton, and later he learned the wool hat business at Spatz's hat factory, in Mohnton. He followed this line of work for four years, and since the spring of 1904 has been engaged at farming, having then purchased the C. H. Schwartz farm, near Textile, in Spring township. This place comprises thirty-five acres of valuable land, in fine condition, and Mr. Schweitzer has given special attention to fruit growing and the raising of truck. He also keeps excellent live stock, and he disposes of all his products in the Reading market, having stands Nos. 21 and 22 on West Buttonwood street, at the Market House. Mr. Schweitzer keeps his place up well, having good buildings, a substantial barn which was erected in 1898, and a neat lawn around the house, his surroundings indicating thrift and industry.

On Oct. 16, 1899, Mr. Schweitzer was married to Miss Cassie Trostle, daughter of Levi and Lizzie (Brendel) Trostle, and to this union have been born two children, Lillie May and Violet Elizabeth, the latter of whom died when five months, nine days old.


p. 1413


S. S. Schweriner. Among the enterprising business men of Reading, Pa., who have built up a large and thriving industry from the humble walks of life, may be mentioned S. S. Schweriner, one of Reading's leading shoe dealers, who is a native of the northern part of Germany.

Mr. Schweriner received his educational training in the schools of his native country, where he remained until 1870, there learning his trade. In the year mentioned he arrived in New York and traveled throughout the United States, finally choosing Reading as his place of residence, establishing himself in business at No. 432 Penn Square, where he has continued to the present time. Mr. Schweriner's start in business life was in a small way, but his natural executive ability in connection with his prosper, and the business has gradually increased in size, until he now employs thirty-seven skilled salespeople and custom workers. His footwear is of the finest quality and workmanship, and finds a ready market all over the surrounding country, and Mr. Schweriner is very fond of travel and has made two trips to Europe, the first one in 1890 and the second in 1906, when he visited his old home in Germany, and many points of interest in the old country. He is a public-spirited citizen, recognized in the different charitable and other institutions, and he has won the esteem of all who know him well.


p. 1535


Daniel Helfrich Schweyer, a representative citizen of Berks county residing at Bowers Station, operating one of the largest granite and marble works in the country, senior member of the firm of Schweyer & Leiss, manufacturers of monuments, and president of the Laurel Hill Lumber Company, of Somerset and Fayette counties, was born on his grandfather's homestead, Feb. 29, 1836, son of John and Elizabeth (Helfrich) Schweyer.

The name Schweyer has been variously spelled by the different branches, and even by members of the same family. Tradition says the original home of the family was in France and that about the middle of the eighteenth century there came to America four brothers, Christian, Heinrich, Samuel and Esau Schweyer (Sweyer or Schwoyer). But from authentic sources found in the Heraldic Library at Vienna we glean the following account of the Schweyer family, their origin and place of settlement.

The Schweyer family sprang from Pomerania, the eastern province of the Kingdom of Prussia, and the founder of the same was living in the year 1172. His name was "Edgar Schweyer," which name in the ancient Pomeranian language meant "saint." He held the office of Fellerber (that is, "high priest") of the clan of the Obetuter. His residence was on the island of Hiddensoe. His wife, "Thorga," was the daughter of a count from the island of Rugen. Edgar was a brave warrior. On his shield he bore an eagle with outspread wings, the symbol of courage and sagacity. On his helmet he wore two buffalo horns, the symbol of the god Woden, representing great strength. These symbols were also assumed by his descendants, as their coat of arms. Edgar in the year 1172 was converted to the Christian faith and baptized by the German missionary Orosius. He died on the island of Hiddensoe, A. D. 1213. He had three sons, namely: Pelagin, Orosius and Anagas; the two first named entered a monastery. Orosius had large possessions on the island of Hiddensoe and Rugen, and his descendants were still flourishing in the same place at the time of the Emperor Sigismund. About the year 1412 two brothers of the family, Wendel and George Schweyer, were the only persons surviving of the name. Their descendants were still flourishing about the middle of the sixteenth century in Pomerania, and were still maintaining the old title of nobility. At the time when the glorious King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, arrived at the court of Pomerania, two of the members of this family joined him at Hallem, these being Felix and Conrad Schweyer. Felix was killed in an assault on the city of Frankfort, near the river Oder. Conrad remained in the army during the war, which lasted thirty years, and finally settled at Rebuick, in the Dukedom of Hessen. He married Francisca Kleinger, dropped his title of nobility and lived as a farmer at Rebuick. He died in the year 1672. The name of his son was Augustus Schweyer, farmer and hotel keeper at Rebuick, whose wife was Elizabeth Homer. He died in 1713, leaving three sons, whose names were: Nicholas, Leopold and Christopher Schweyer. From there the family spread over the Dukedom of Nassau, Hesse Frankland (Franklin) and the grand duchy of Baden.

Presumably from one of these sons comes the branch in Maxatawny township, through Nicholas Schweyer, great-grandfather of Daniel Helfrich Schweyer. He was born Oct. 18, 1721, and died March 25, 1800. His children were: George; Jacob, who was recruiting officer in Philadelphia, and served as lieutenant in the 5th United States Infantry, during the war of 1812; Peter, who died in 1828; Christian, mentioned below; Henry; Nicholas, whose son Nicholas was given the old family Bible by his grandfather; Valentine, and Barbara. Nicholas Schweyer, the great-grandfather, was an officer in the Prussian army. He was gathering arms and flannels to come to America to trade with the Indians, when he was arrested by the government and charged with inciting insurrection. He was disfranchised and his estate confiscated. He escaped and came to America, bringing with him the family Bible. His family followed him in care of a brother some years afterward. He was proved innocent and the franchise restored, but the estate was not looked after and was yet to be recovered.

From "30,000 names, German, Swiss, Dutch, French, Portuguese and other immigrants in Pennsylvania," edited by I. Daniel Rupp, Harrisburg, Pa., 1856, we learn that Nicholas Schweyer came to America, Oct. 4, 1752, on the ship "Neptune," Capt. John Mason, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes. Johannes (John) Schweyer came Oct. 13, 1768, on the ship "Betsy," T. Hank, captain, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes.

Christian Schweyer, son of the emigrant Nicholas, was born in 1780, and he made his home in Maxatawny township, where he was a farmer in early life, and later became an innkeeper at Rothrocksville. His wife was Elizabeth Keyser, born in 1784. He died in 1856, and she in 1858, and both are buried at Zion's Church in Maxatawny township. Their children were: Jonathan; John; Peter; Christian; Elizabeth (m. Isaac Kemp), and Matilda (m. a Mr. Boger). The Kutztown cemetery gives the record of two other children, that is "Zwei kindern von Christian Schweyer & seiner Eha Gattin, Elizabeth born Keyser," Jacob, born Oct. 19, 1805, died Jan. 11, 1827, and Esther, born Dec. 23, 1808, died Feb. 12, 1824.

John Schweyer, son of Christian, was born in Maxatawny township, in 1800, and died in 1893, at the age of ninety-two years. In his youth he learned the duties pertaining to a farmer's life, and that occupation he followed during his active years. When he was nearing seventy years of age he retired, living at Rothrocksville. He was an official member of Maxatawny Zion's church, belonging to the Lutheran congregation, and is buried there. His first wife was Elizabeth Helfrich, who died in 1844, aged thirty-four years. She was a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Hoch) Helfrich, of Lehigh county. Nine children were born of this union, as follows: James; Allen; Henry; Daniel Helfrich; Jacob; Alfred; Francis; and George and Mary, who both died in infancy. Allen, Daniel H. and Francis are the only survivors of the family. The Christian name of John Schweyer's second wife was Elizabeth.

Daniel Helfrich Schweyer, son of John, was born in Maxatawny township on the property now owned by Alfred H. Smith. He attended the old pay schools of his day, and later was a pupil at Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College. He also attended the Normal class at Reading, conducted by Profs. Lee and Bechtel, for one term. He taught school for six consecutive terms, beginning in Siesholtzville, and later teaching in Red Lion, Maple Grove and near Harlem, all in Hereford and Longswamp townships. At Siesholtzville he learned the stone cutter's trade from D. Y. Bittenbender, a brother-in-law, remaining there for three summers, while in the winters he still followed the teacher's profession. In 1856 he succeeded his brother-in-law in business and there continued for six years, when he came to Bowers Station, enlarging the scope of his business. At the same time in 1862, he was elected organist at Bowers Church, and he served in that capacity for sixteen years. When he moved to Bowers he formed a partnership with Levi H. Leiss, under the firm name of Schweyer & Leiss, to engage in the wholesale marble business. They also took up the iron ore business near Bowers, employing in both lines some thirty men. The iron business proved a source of profit for about ten years. In 1882 the firm purchased the marble quarries and mills at King of Prussia, in Montgomery county, and they now employ there as many as 125 men. They also owned and operated the Easton Marble and Granite Quarries at Easton, Pa. After the death of Mr. Leiss in 1902 Mr. Schweyer purchased the interest of the estate, and the plant at Easton was organized under the name of Henry A. Schweyer Company. The plants at Bowers and at King of Prussia are still conducted under the old firm name of Schweyer & Leiss. The Henry A. Schweyer Company is a corporation capitalized at $150,000 common stock and $50,000 preferred. They have a great deal of foreign trade.

Mr. Schweyer is also president of the Laurel Hill Lumber Company of Somerset and Fayette counties. On the land belonging to this company there are large deposits of bituminous coal, which is mined in great quantities. Mr. Schweyer operates a portable sawmill in Berks county, where he manufactures lumber of various descriptions. He owns a valuable farm of 125 acres, known as the old Hunter homestead and located one and one-half miles southeast of Bowers in Rockland township.

In politics Mr. Schweyer is a strong Democrat, and has always been active for his party's welfare. His first political office was that of school director of Maxatawny, in which he served with honor for six years. He was justice of the peace of his township for fifteen years, settling important controversies. He has settled up many estates, being executor, or administrator, and he has been guardian for a number of children. His term as justice of the peace ended only in 1888 with his becoming prothonotary. To the last named office he was elected with the largest vote given to any candidate on the ticket. He was made an elector by the State convention, representing the Ninth Congressional District, in 1888. In 1894 he was appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction a trustee of the Keystone State Normal School, a position he continues to occupy.

Fraternally Mr. Schweyer is a member of Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F & A. M., Kutztown; Reading Chapter, No. 42, R. A. M.; DeMolay Commandery, No. 9, K. T.; and he was a charter member of Lyons Lodge, No. 634, I. O. O. F. With his family he belongs to Christ Reformed (De Long's) Church, at Bowers, of which he is an elder at the present time, and is also secretary of the consistory, besides having been treasurer of the church for a quarter of a century.

Mr. Schweyer was married, Feb. 6, 1856, to Catharine Bittenbender born April 16, 1836, daughter of Jacob and Susanna (Young) Bittenbender, of Hereford township. She died May 8, 1859. The only child of this union, Mary, died in childhood. Oct. 18, 1862, Mr. Schweyer married (second) Catharine Landis, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Hertzog) Landis, of Landis Store. Seven children were born to this union: Samuel and Anna, twins, who both died in childhood; Henry A., connected with his father in business, who married Maria Bittenbender, and has three children - D. Herbert, J. Leroy and Katherine M.; Harvey L., born in 1867, and died in 1891; Nora L., who m. Dr. W. T. Miller, of Wayne, Pa., and has a son, E. Dismant; Katherine L.; and Solon L., born 1874, and died in 1901.


p. 708


Cosmos Merkel Schwoyer, one of the very prominent citizens of Fleetwood borough, Berks county, who lived retired after the year 1876, was born Sept. 27, 1825, in Richmond township, on his father's farm situated along Moselem creek, and died in August, 1906.

Mr. Schwoyer was brought up on the farm and attended the public school near the Moselem Church. When he reached the age of seventeen years, besides assisting in the farming operations, he engaged in dealing in cattle and sheep, which he collected in Reading and adjoining townships and disposed of them at Pottsville, in Schuylkill county, driving them there on foot several times a year. He carried on this business successfully for upwards of twenty years. He then engaged in farming for himself in 1852, and continued operations as a farmer until 1876, when he retired, settling at Fleetwood, the most prominent town in the township, and this was his home until his death.

From his early manhood Mr. Schwoyer took great interest in politics and identified himself with the Democratic party, although never desiring to fill any offices. However, after living at Fleetwood for awhile, and becoming much interested in local affairs, he was elected chief burgess in 1881, serving the office one year, and the next year was elected as one of the jury commissioners of the county, serving for three years, 1883-4-5.

Mr. Schwoyer was married three times. In 1862 he m. Christina Neff, born Jan. 15, 1826, daughter of John Neff of Kutztown. He m. (second) Susanna Schneider, daughter of Jacob Schneider, of Centre township. In 1876 Mr. Schwoyer m. (third) Maria (Hoch) Peter, of Maiden-creek township.

Mrs. Schwoyer was the daughter of Samuel and Sally (Herbein) Hoch, of Oley township. Her first husband was Peter Rothermel of Richmond township, by whom she had one child, a daughter, Sarah Amanda, who married John Maurer, of Fleetwood, and died in January, 1907. Mr. Rothermel died at Fleetwood. She was next married to Joseph E. Peter, of Richmond township, and seven children were born of this union: Mary, who died in childhood; Samuel; Charles; Susanna, m. to Dr. A. K. Seaman of Reading; Emily, m. to Daniel Kelchner of Fleetwood; and Solomon and Lillie, who both died in infancy.


p. 1553


Peter S. Schwoyer. Among the well-known and prosperous young farmers of the northeastern end of Richmond township, Berks county, may be mentioned Peter S. Schwoyer, who was born Dec. 12, 1868, on the farm on which he now resides, son of Solomon M. Schwoyer, and grandson of John Schwoyer.

Christian Schwoyer, the great-grandfather of Peter S., came to this country about the middle of the eighteenth century with his brothers Heinrich, Samuel and Esau. Cosmos Schwoyer, who is now nearly eighty-one years of age, says that he distinctly remembers that his father and mother often said that the family came from France. Christian Sweyer married a Miss Keyser, and had the following children: Peter, Christian, Jonathon, Malinda and John. John Schwoyer was one of the leading agriculturists of his day, owning 100 acres of land all situated in Richmond township with the exception of 110 acres, which lay in Maxatawny township, the latter now being owned by his grandson Jacob Schwoyer. John Schwoyer married Polly Merkel, daughter of Casper Merkel of Richmond, and to this union there were born children as follows: Elizabeth, the wife of Abraham Hoch, of Bernville; Anna who married Jacob Deysher; Kate; Maria; Florenda; John, who settled at Hamburg; Jacob of Richmond township; Stanley of Kutztown; Solomon and Daniel, twins; Daniel, who died in infancy; and Cosmus, who lives on Main street, Fleetwood.

Solomon M. Schwoyer was a most highly respected citizen and prosperous farmer, owning 300 acres of highly cultivated land in Richmond township.

He was a member of Moselem Church, serving that body as trustee for eight years and as treasurer for a period of twelve years. In 1855 he was married to Lovina Seisholtz, daughter of Samuel Seisholtz, and to them were born these children: Eliza, the wife of Charles Kutz, a former miller of Greenwich township, now living retired at Kutztown, Pa.; John A., the well-known coal and lumber dealer of Kutztown; Jacob S., a farmer of Richmond township; and Peter S.

Peter S. Schwoyer received his intellectual training in the public schools of his native township. On April 8, 1893, he married Miss Anna M. Bieber, daughter of John and Brigetta (Schmoyer) Bieber, who resided in Maxatawny township about two miles east of Kutztown, Pa. To this union one son has been born: John D., Feb. 18, 1894, who is attending the Kutztown Normal School. Peter S. Schwoyer has resided on his present farm all of his life. He is a good type of the Pennsylvania farmer, sturdy, energetic and enterprising. He is a good farmer, a kind neighbor, a public-spirited citizen and a Christian gentleman. The buildings on his farm are large and substantially built, and he has water connection in the house, yard and barn. Mr. Schwoyer is the possessor of an interesting collection of old dishes, and also owns one of the few "grandfather" clocks made by Daniel Oyster, which was owned by his grandfather, John Schwoyer, and which has been standing in the same house for over 110 years. Mr. Schwoyer is a consistent member of Moselem Lutheran Church, with which he is officially connected. He earnestly supports the Democratic party.

John Bieber, father of Mrs. Peter S. Schwoyer, married Brigetta Schwoyer, daughter of Samuel Schwoyer, whose wife was a Kutz. To this union were born: Clara, wife of Allen Butz, deceased; Rev. Milton J., a missionary of the Lutheran faith, stationed in New York; Dr. U. S. G., a veterinarian at Kutztown; Anna M., Mrs. Schwoyer; Robert S., an electrician in New York; and Jonathon E., of Columbus, Ohio.


p. 1105


Samuel G. Schwoyer, a prominent resident and well to do agriculturist of Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa., who is engaged in cultivating his 103?acre farm, was born on the place where he now resides, and where he has spent his entire life, Sept. 13, 1863.

John Schwoyer, grandfather of Samuel G., was the owner of the homestead above mentioned, and followed agricultural pursuits throughout a long and useful life. He married Polly (Maria) Mercklen, daughter of Casper Mercklen, an early settler and large property owner of Richmond township, and to this union were born these children: Elizabeth, Benneville, Anna, Kate, Maria, Florenda, John, Jacob, Stanley, Solomon and Daniel (twins) and Cosmus, who still resides in Fleetwood, who was born Sept. 27, 1825.

Benneville Schwoyer (1809?1877) was a wealthy farmer of Richmond township, owning considerable property, including that now owned by his son, Samuel G. He married Sophia Adam, daughter of William and Kate (Gift) Adam, of Richmond township. To them were born the following children: Maria, Emma, Catherine, Daniel , Samuel G., Tella, Allen, William and Edwin. Of these children Emma, Catherine, Daniel, Tella, and Allen all died young.

Samuel G. Schwoyer has spent his entire life on the farm on which he now resides. He is energetic and industrious, and his farm, which is very well cultivated, shows the effect of his labors.

Mr. Schwoyer was married, Dec. 25, 1886, to Emma Stetzler, daughter of Jacob and Hettie (SchappeI) Stetzler, of Perry township, and to this union were born three sons and two daughters: Jennie C., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School of Kutztown, is teaching in Richmond township; Spaydt R. died aged one year, Solon P. and Esther F. are attending the State Normal School; and Paul S.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:07 EDT

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