Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 646


Among the prominent men of Reading, Pa., may be mentioned Jeremiah Seider, of No. 927 Douglas street, who has for some years been engaged in contracting. He was born Jan. 5, 1830, in Reading, son of Daniel and Mary (Yeager) Seider.

Daniel Seider, who was a boatbuilder in Reading in the early days, later removed to Northumberland county, Pa., where he engaged in farming until 1845, then returning to Reading, where he carried on the work of carpenter. In 1850 he was engaged in the Reading Cotton factory, and in 1862 as a soldier in the Union army, he lost his life in the Civil war. He and his wife had about twelve children, of whom Jeremiah was the fifth. Daniel Seider was a Lutheran in religious belief, while his wife belonged to the Reformed denomination.

Jeremiah Seider secured a somewhat limited education in the schools of Reading. He enlisted on April 18, 1861, and was made sergeant. He re-enlisted in the Ordinance department and became first lieutenant of artillery, serving ninety days in 1863, and being now the only living officer of that command. After being honorably discharged he engaged in the contracting business. which he followed to the present time, and was for one year in partnership with John B. Wagner. Mr. Seider was the first building inspector of Reading, and has been one of the best known contractors of the city. Although he has reached an age when most men are willing to give up their active operations, Mr. Seider has not thought of so doing. Standing six feet, one inch in height, and weighing 200 pounds, he is robust and hearty, and is in full possession of all his faculties, being able to read without glasses as well as a young man of twenty.

Mr. Seider was married in April, 1856, to Leann Armpreister, born 1830, and who died in November, 1904, aged seventy-two years. To this union there were born two children: Rosanna, deceased; and Jerome, deceased, formerly a letter carrier, and also captain of Company I, 4th Reg. Pa. National Guards. Mr. Seider is a member of McLean Post, G. A. R., formerly a member of Chandler Lodge of Masons, and of the I. O. O. F. In politics he is a Republican.


p. 1496


Henry Seiders is a representative citizen of Hamburg, Berks county, Pa., engaged in the manufacture of boilers. He was born May 2, 1858, in Lebanon county, this State, son of William and Mary (Hoffman) Seiders.

Friederich Seiders, his grandfather, was born about 1792, dying in 1847. His wife, Christina, bore him fourteen children, among them being Jacob, Godlieb, Friederich, Godfrey, Charles, and William.

William Sieders was born in February, 1822, and died of dropsy, July 9, 1875. He was a boiler-maker by occupation. He was the father of these children: Christina married John Engelbach; Mary married William A. Nagel; Elizabeth died in her nineteenth year; Charles married Crilla Clillinger; Rosa married John Burkert; Henry; Lewis died in childhood; William died single aged thirty-three years; Maud, deceased, married John Pennypacker; Annie is deceased; three children died young.

Picture of Henry SeidersHenry Seiders attended the public schools of Reading-whither his family had removed when he was still quite young?until he was thirteen years of age, and then learned the trade of boiler-making, which he has followed ever since. In 1886 he engaged in the manufacture of boilers at East Stroudsburg, employing thirty-five men, and in 1901 sold out at this place, coming to Hamburg in September of that year. Here he engaged in the same business, and now employs a force of fifteen men. His boilers have a ready sale in the open markets, and are shipped to all countries of the world. He resides with his family in his own residence at the corner of Grand and Third streets, Hamburg.

Mr. Seiders was married March 10, 1882, to Catherine Fisher, daughter of George and Mary (Mast) Fisher, and four children have been born to this union; Harry A., Mary L., Glossie W. and Nellie E.



Henry E. Seiders, who is engaged in the draying business at Millmont, Berks county, is a veteran of the Civil war, in which great struggle he took an active part. Mr. Seiders was born May 2, 1847, in Reading, Pa., son of Benjamin L. and Esther (Engle) Seiders.

Lewis Seiders, the grandfather of Henry E., was a boatbuilder by occupation, and was a man of substance and sterling worth. He married Mary Levan, and to them were born the following children: Isaac; Lewis; Solomon; Benjamin L.; Jackson; John; Emma, who married Mahlon G. Hoyer, a soldier in the Civil war; and Caroline, who married Reuben Breish. Lewis Seiders died at the age of seventy-six years.

Benjamin L. Seiders was born Jan. 19, 1826, in Reading, where his death occurred Sept. 11, 1861. Like his father, he was a boat-builder, was employed as engineer on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad when wood was used for fuel, and also held a responsible position with the Navigation Company of Reading. His wife survived him some years, dying when seventy-four years of age. Their children were: Katie, m. John W. Ringler, of No. 205 Bingaman street, Reading; Mary A., m. the late Henry Adams; and Henry E. In political matters Benjamin L. Seiders was a Republican.

The educational advantages of Henry E. Seiders were decidedly limited, consisting of but three days attendance in the Reading schools. When but fourteen years old he enlisted, July 31, 1861, in Co. L, 1st Pa. Cav., and while a member of that organization was captured by the Confederates, May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville. For about three months he was kept a prisoner, being confined in the famous Libby Prison, and was then paroled, when he returned home. Shortly thereafter, however, he rejoined his regiment, and served with it until the close of the war, receiving his honorable discharge Aug. 16, 1865. Mr. Seiders' record in the army is that of a brave and faithful soldier, and one of which any man might well be proud. While giving Mr. Seiders' war record, the following may be quoted which appeared in a Reading paper under the caption "Soldiers meet after lapse of over forty years": "A reunion took place in Reading on Memorial

Day, between Henry H. Brownmiller, burgess of Orwigsburg, and Henry E. Seiders of Millmont. It was their first meeting since the war. The 'Squire', who is a Civil war veteran, had accepted an invitation to make an address at Boyertown. He arrived in Reading in the morning, and learned that his car would not be due for over an hour. While on Penn street he saw the letters--'Keim Post, No. 76, G. A. R.' in front of the building at No. 410. As he had some time to spare he dropped in, and one of the first to greet him was Mr. Seiders. Each eyed the other closely, and the 'Squire' finally said: 'Isn't your name Seiders, a member of Co. L, 1st Pa. Cav.?' 'Yes,' was the reply, and a moment later Mr. Brownmiller recognized his old comrade in arms. This was their first meeting since June, 1865, at Chancellorsville, and a merry time followed."

On his return to Reading after the close of the war, Mr. Seiders secured employment in the rolling mill of the Philadelphia & Reading Company, and later at John Kreig's mill, continuing at this kind of work for twenty-five years, when he became foreman in the coal establishment of A. L. Frame for a period of five years. He was for one year engaged in the ice business in Reading, and July 10, 1893, came to Millmont. Since 1899 he has been engaged in draying for the Prizer Painter Stove works, owning all of his own teams. Mr. Seiders makes this business a paying one, as he is known to be reliable and trustworthy and faithful in carrying out the letter of any contract. He is a member of the Keim Post No. 76, G. A. R., which he joined in 1899, and of which he is past commander, and also of Lodge No. 169, I. O. O. F., Reading. From 1870 to 1872 Mr. Seiders served as a member of the Reading police force, under Mayor Samuel C. Mayer.

On April 11, 1868, Henry E. Seiders was united in marriage with Amanda Emore, daughter of Frederick and Caroline (Grant) Emore, and to this union there were born the following children: Henry F., of No. 831 Bingaman street, m. Ida Rohrbach; Samuel W., of No. 1051 Culvert street, Reading, m. Fianna Clark; Israel E. and Ammon O. are at home; Benjamin died when eighteen years of age; and Emma died when seven years old. Mr. and Mrs.

Seiders are also rearing two of their grandchildren--Charles H. and Benjamin F. Seiders.


p. 1178

Thomas C. Seidle, of George W., Beard & C., prominent and successful building contractors at Reading, and chairman of the Republican county committee, was born Jan. 22, 1866, in Birdsboro, Pa., son of William R. and Elizabeth (Care) Seidle.

The forerunners of the Berks county Seidles were three brothers, emigrants from Sweden prior to the war of the Revolution, one of whom became the owner of land in Longswamp township, which he sold later to purchase a tract near Stony Creek, just above the Stony Creek mills in Exeter township, where he erected an iron forge, subsequently becoming one of the pioneer ironmasters of Berks county. He had three sons: Benjamin, Philip and Nicholas, the first named of whom became associated with his father in the forge at Stony Creek, and the latter two removed to where the village of Gibraltar is located, Nicholas afterward building what are known as the Yocum forges in Cumru township, which he operated for some years. These he later sold and removed to Reading, where the remainder of his life was spent in retirement.

William R. Seidle, father of Thomas C., was a native of Robeson township, Berks county. He became an agriculturist and a rolling mill employee. He died from the effects of an accident in July, 1893, in his fifty-sixth year, and his wife Elizabeth Care survived him until 1905, when she died aged seventy-two years. They were the parents of six children, namely: Nicholas; Sarah (m. Henry Johnson); Thomas C.; Harry H.; William and Annie. In religious belief Mr. Seidel was a Lutheran, while his wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal faith. In politics he was a Republican, and he was very patriotic, enlisting as a soldier in the Civil war in response to President Lincoln's call for 100-day men.

Thomas C. Seidel received his education in the schools of Birdsboro, Pa., and as a boy started to work in the nail factory of the E. & G. Brooke Iron Company, during the summer months and in vacations, while still attending school in the winter months. After graduating from the Birdsboro high school, he taught school for six years, and passed a preliminary examination. This, however, he gave up, and in 1888 he became assistant chief clerk for L. H. Focht, being appointed chief clerk in 1890, a position he retained until 1894, when he resigned to engage in the publishing business, putting out "Thomas C. Seidle's Photographs of the Most Eminent Modern Statesmen and Politicians of the United States of America." This he continued to do with an office in Washington, D. C., but two years later he sold out his interest to Harry Moyer, to accept a position as bookkeeper with George W. Beard, and this he retained until the incorporation of the firm under the name of George W. Beard & Co., Inc., with George W. Beard, president; Thomas C. Seidle, secretary and treasurer; and Andrew J. Fink, Jr., manager. This was unchanged until 1903, when Mr. Fink and Mr. Seidle purchased Mr. Beard's interest, and they have since carried on the business under the same firm name.

In 1892 Mr. Seidle married Ella V. Conner, a native of Birdsboro, Pa., and to this union has been born one daughter, Marion C., at school. Mrs. Seidel is a member of the I. O. O. F., of Birdsboro; the K. G. E.; and the P. O. S. of A. He has been prominent in politics, and is now serving as chairman of the Republican county committee. For six years he served as school director in Birdsboro, and has been delegate to many county conventions. He was elected delegate to the national convention which met in Chicago in June, 1908, and nominated Judge William H. Taft for President of the United States.


p. 1579

Surnames: SEILING

George Seiling, fresco painter in Reading from 1850-1890, was born Aug. 22, 1818, in Bavaria, and was there educated. He studied art at Bremen intending to become an artist, but soon inclined to frescoing. He emigrated to America when nineteen, and located at Carlisle, Pa. After remaining there, and at Hamburg, until 1846, he removed to Reading and there carried on the business of church interior decorating until he died, June 27, 1893. He produced many master-pieces of a religious character in various churches in Pennsylvania, several of which are in Reading and others in Philadelphia.


p 1223


Mandon W. Seitzinger, junior member of the well-known plumbing firm of Fritz & Seitzinger, of Reading, Pa., was born March 1, 1869, in Wernersville, Pa., son of Josiah H. and Sarah (Wenrich) Seitzinger.

Josiah H. Seitzinger was born April 26, 1836, in Heidelberg township, Berks county, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Hart) Seitzinger, the former of whom was born in Berks county, and for many years engaged in blacksmithing and farming in Heidelberg township, then going to Lebanon county, where he died. Josiah H. Seitzinger attended the schools of his native township, and under his father learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for thirty years in Reading, for a number of years being in the Philadelphia & Reading shop. On Jan. 19, 1858, he married Sarah Wenrich, daughter of Jacob Wenrich, of Robesonia, and they had children as follows: Katie M., born April 28, 1859, m. Davilla Wenrich, and they reside in Heidelberg township; Ida L. E. , born May 1, 1860, is single; Morgan W., born Oct. 25, 1861, died when twenty-four years old; Sarah A., born May 10, 1863, m. Levi Enck, and resides in Reading; Milton W., born June 9, 1866, m. Annie Graul, and they reside in Reading; Mandon W.; Clara P., born June 10, 1871, m. Warren W. Brown, and they reside in Reading; Maggie A., born Dec. 8, 1872, m. (first) James Pickens and since his death has married again; Morris J., born Sept. 10, 1874, m. Annie Stirk; Monroe W., born Oct. 21, 1876, resides with his mother in Reading; and Eva E., born June 1, 1879, died when four months and fifteen days old.

Mandon W. Seitzinger was educated in the schools of Reading, after leaving which he became a newsboy. Later he engaged at the Reading Hardware Works, his next employment being in a cigar factory. In 1888 he apprenticed himself to John Drexel at the plumbing business, and for thirteen and one-half years worked as a journeyman. In 1905 Mr. Seitzinger formed a partnership with J. Howard Fritz, and since that time they have conducted a first class business at No. 328 N. Sixth street, employing on a average ten people. Their specialty is steam and hot water fitting. They carry a full line of stock connected with the business. Mr. Seitzinger is a member of the P. O. S. of A., and Juniata Tribe, No. 174, I. O., R. M. He votes independent of party ties, and his religious belief is that of the Lutheran Church.

On Nov. 27, 1895, Mr. Seitzinger married Miss Elizabeth Good, daughter of Peter and Emeline (Hoffmaster) Good. Mr. and Mrs. Seitzinger have no children. They have resided in their own home at No. 921 Windsor street, Reading, since the spring of 1902.



In the early death of William W. Seitzinger, which occurred at his home Sept. 21,1909, there was lost to the city of Reading one of its most enterprising young business men. Mr. Seitzinger was born in 1860, in Philadelphia, Pa., son of Jacob J. and Hannah (Collins) Seitzinger.

After leaving the common schools of his native city Mr. Seitzinger entered the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated, and in April, 1896, he took up civil engineering. Later he became associated with Mr. James K. Getz, as secretary and treasurer of the Reading Shale Brick Company, a prominent business concern, and in this capacity he was serving at the time of his death. He was an able business man, and was popular in business and fraternal circles. Mr. Seitzinger was a thirty- second degree Mason, a member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and was also connected with the Wyomissing and Berkshire Clubs. In religious belief he was a Lutheran, and attended Trinity Church of that faith, of which his widow is a member.

In 1895 Mr. Seitzinger married Miss Anna L. Barbey, the eldest daughter of John Barbey, a sketch of whose life will be found elsewhere.


p. 1222


Frank C. Selak, for some time a business man of Reading, Pa., but best known, perhaps, in connection with his work as a musician and conductor of an orchestra, was born in York county, Pa., Oct. 17, 1860.

Mr. Selak grew up in York county, attending the public schools, and while yet a mere boy showed marked promise along musical lines. During his youth and early manhood he was employed in several capacities, but through it all he kept up his musical studies and was for many years actively connected with various organizations of that nature. For a long time he was president and treasurer of the Germania Band, and in that position rendered valuable service. In 1903 he organized Selak's Band and Orchestra, and for four years was the conductor of that body. His musicians became very favorably known and besides furnishing the music for the Carsonia Park Association for several years, he and his men were called upon at many of Reading's social functions, banquets, etc. while their fine music made the equally well known and popular in Carlisle, York, Harrisburg, and other cities in the southeastern part of the State.

After settling in Reading Mr. Selak went into business and was prominently engaged in carrying on a bird store. For a number of years he was located on South Sixth street, and did a flourishing business, but finally sold the property and established himself in the Mansion House Building. His health failed, however, and he was obliged to give up his business and take up his residence on a farm of 100 acres, which he owned in Cumru township, Berks county, one of the finest farms of that section. There he devoted himself to the culture of gold fish, having twenty large ponds, and, with every facility at hand for breeding them successfully, has made his venture a profitable one. Mr. Selak owns some valuable property in Reading, including a handsome residence, which he has remodeled and made into one of the most desirable places in the city. This was the well-known George Frill mansion at No. 118 South Fifth street. In the fall of 1908, he built a large aquarium (30 x 65 feet), in the rear of his Fifth street residence, which he devotes to the purpose of breeding Japanese goldfish. This has been pronounced one of the most up to date and finest in the country. Entirely a self made man, Mr. Selak has won his success by strict attention to business, and has won an enviable reputation among Reading's men of affairs. He is a member of the Reading Board of Trade, and as such always used his influence to promote the city's best welfare, both commercially and financially. He is a Democrat in politics, but has never sought political preferment.

In 18889 Mr. Selak married Miss Rosie Reiner, of Reading, and their union has been blessed with four children, Edmond, Maria (deceased), Carl and Florence. The family are connected with the St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church.


p. 799


Elmer Jacob Sellers, druggist at Kutztown since 1887, was born at Windsor Castle, Berks county, June 18, 1861, son of Mahlon A. and Leah (Heinly) Sellers, both descendants of early families of Pennsylvania.

(I) The home of the Sellers family (the name being originally spelled Soller) was in Germany, in a town called Vinom, near the city of Mannheim, on the Bergstrasse, in the Palatinate, and the progenitor was Philip Henry Soller. He there learned the trade of a butcher, and after following it some years, until about 1730, he with his wife and four children, emigrated to America, landing at Philadelphia. He then proceeded up the Schuylkill Valley to the Skippack, and after remaining there a short time bought two hundred acres of land along the creek, one mile below Sellersville, in Bucks county, and on this plantation he carried on farming during the remainder of his life, dying at the age of sixty-five years. He had ten children?seven sons and three daughters?Philip, Leonard, Philip Henry, John, Paul, Peter, Jacob, Elizabeth, Magdalena, and Margaret.

(II) John Sellers, the fourth son, located in Hilltown township, Berks county, and there he died at the age of fifty-five years. He was the father of seven children, of whom two daughters and one son died in infancy, those surviving to maturity being Abraham, Samuel, John and Elizabeth. His wife was a daughter of William Johnson, a native of Holland, was became a substantial farmer in Skippack. When Mr. Sellers and his wife were married she could speak but little German, and he little and very poor English.

(III) Abraham Sellers, eldest son of John, was born June 30, 1758, and he died Sept. 27, 1831. He married Sophia Bodder, born March 9, 1762, and died Dec. 10, 1836, daughter of Peter and Regina Bodder. Peter Bodder, born June 20, 1727, came from Germany, was bound as a servant to Charles Leidy, and when free, married and settled in Hilltown, Bucks county, where he died Aug. 25, 1805. His wife Regina, also from Germany, born in December, 1735, died Dec. 3, 1808, and they had four children?Jacob, John Sophia, and Catherine. To Abraham and Sophia (Bodder) Sellers were born the following children: Tobias, born Sept. 19, 1781; Sarah, March 26, 1783; Lydia, Nov. 26, 1785; Mary, June 24, 1787; Jesse, March 16, 1789; John, Nov. 17, 1790; Cornelius, April 13, 1793; Amelia, Sept. 1, 1794; Tirza, March 13, 1797; Peter Franklin, Aug. 14, 1800; Joel, Feb. 23, 1806.

(IV) Tobias Sellers, son of Abraham and Sophia, was married on Easter Sunday, 1805, to Elizabeth Faber, daughter of the Rev. John Theobald Faber, and they had eight children: Charles, born Oct. 2, 1806 (m. Hannah Boyer, daughter of Henry Boyer, of Boyertown); Nathaniel, born July 27, 1808 (m. Magdaline McNolty, daughter of Samuel McNolty); William, born March 23, 1810 (m. Jane Marret, daughter of William Marret); Faber, born May 15, 1812; Evaline, born June 17, 1815; Mahlon Abraham, born Aug. 22, 1818 (m. Leah Heinly, daughter of Jacob Heinly and Maria Kelchner, his wife); Henry Augustus, born Sept. 11, 1820 (m. Mary Hesser, daughter of George Hesser); Washington John, born July 30, 1825 (m. Amanda Horne, daughter of Pearson Horne). Tobias Sellers was a physician of note, practising at Sumneytown, Montgomery county, and three of his sons followed the same profession. He was one of the delegates to revise the Constitution of Pennsylvania in 1837.

(V) Mahlon Abraham Sellers, son of Tobias and Elizabeth, was born at Sumneytown, and his long and useful life closed at Philadelphia, Dec. 16, 1901. His wife was born at the old hotel stand in Windsor Castle, April 22, 1825, and died Jan. 22, 1901. Among their twelve children were: Elenora E. Maria, born June 15, 1844, died Feb. 18, 1892; Oliver H. Tobias, born Feb. 8, 1846, lives at Hamburg, where he is superintendent of the Prudential Life Insurance Company; Andora Evelina, born June 2, 1848, died at Windsor Castle Feb. 20, 1852; Washington Mahlon, born Dec. 20, 1850, died March 3, 1863; Tobias Faber, born May 8, 1853, has been in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Philadelphia for many years; Clara Leah was born Oct. 6, 1855; Arpa Sophia, born March 16, 1858, died Dec. 10, 1860; Elmer J. was born June 18, 1861; Oscar William, born Oct. 3, 1863, is a druggist at Philadelphia; Lenus Theobald, born June 2, 1870, died Oct. 10, 1885. Jacob Heinly, father of Mrs. Sellers, kept the hotel at Windsor Castle from 1820 to 1843. This hotel was then known as the "Black Horse Inn," its sign showing the picture of a black horse. It was one of the oldest in that section of the country, and was a two-story frame building, with five rooms and a hall on each floor. It was torn down some years ago.

In 1836 Mahlon A. Sellers began as an apprentice to the printer's trade, and served there years, receiving besides board and clothing the first year $25, the second $50, and the third $75. This was in the office of the Bauern Freund, published at Sumneytown (now at Pennsburg). At the end of his apprenticeship he traveled over the State, and worked in newspaper and job offices at Doylestown, Harrisburg, Aaronsburg, Hamburg and elsewhere. For a time he was one of the managers of the German weekly at Reading called Stern im Oesten, and after ward published the Hamburg Schnellpost. At Harrisburg, Mr. Sellers was one of three partners who published a newspaper known as the Porter Banner, which was popular among the State politicians of that day.

Mahlon A. Sellers named Windsor Castle because it was the business center of the township. When he first located there, Hamburg was the nearest postoffice, and through his efforts a postoffice was established in 1856. He was appointed postmaster and filled the office for forty-five years. For many years he took much interest in military affairs, serving as captain of the Windsor Cavalry, and being one of the organizers of the Windsor Rifle Rangers. He aided materially in organizing the Windsor Mutual Fire Insurance Company in 1844, and its annual meetings were held at his hotel for many years. The company is still in existence and in good standing. He also assisted in establishing the Windsor Society for Detecting Horse Thieves in 1859; and he served as secretary for many years. He started a creamery about 1876, which is still carried on there. In 1847 he was elected justice of the peace, and held the office for upwards of thirty years. From 1876 to 1879 he was clerk of the Quarter Session of Berks county.

For more than fifty years Mahlon A. Sellers was proprietor of the hotel. For about fifty years a store was carried on in a room adjoining the bar-room, but in 1840 a store building was erected on the opposite side of the road. Mr. Sellers operated the store for about twenty years until 1868. The hotel was very popular through the courtesy and sociability of Mr. Sellers and the superior cooking of Mrs. Sellers.

(VI) Elmer Jacob Sellers was educated in the public schools of his native township, and at the Keystone State Normal School. At the age of sixteen, he became an apprentice in the drug store of Adam Bodenhorn, at Hamburg, and later that of Jacob Stein, at Reading, serving an apprenticeship of three years. He then worked as a clerk in different places, and in 1887 he became a registered pharmacist when he purchased his present stand on Main street, Kutztown, and he has since carried on a successful business.

Dr. Sellers is a man of high literary attainments. He has written considerable poetry which has attracted much attention; and he has also published a number of articles on scientific subjects. He is an inventor, and some of his patented inventions are in use today. In 1898 he invented a hitching post for pavements.

On July 31, 1884, Mr. Sellers was married to Sarah A. Skelton, daughter of James and Sarah Skelton, of Lykens, Dauphin county. She died May 14, 1908, aged forty-four years. They had two children: (1) Roy M., born July 26, 1885, educated in the public schools of Kutztown and in the Keystone State Normal School; took two years' course in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and served as assistant under Dr. Robert White in Microscopy at the Temple College of Pharmacy, graduating with first honors, June 1, 1907; became a registered pharmacist in 1908, and received the degree of Pharmaceutical chemist from the Temple University in 1909. He is now assisting his father. He married Nettie G. Trexler, daughter of David S. Trexler. (2) Bertha L, is a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1908. Mr. Sellers and his family are members of the St. Paul Reformed Church at Kutztown. In politics he is a Democrat. For three years he served as a member of the borough council, for two years acting as president. For many years he was a director of the Kutztown Park Association. He is a member of Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. & A. M.; of the National Association of Retail Druggists; and the Berks County Association of Retail Druggists.


p. 528


James Philip Sellers, clothier at Reading for forty years and still in active business, was born at Allentown, Pa., May 9, 1844, and there educated in the public schools and the Allentown Academy. At the suggestion of his uncle, James Jameson, he went to Reading in 1865, and after working in the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company's shop for eighteen months, entered the large wholesale and retail clothing house of his uncle at the northeast corner of Penn square, where he has continued to the present time.

For ten years Mr. Sellers was a salesman in the store and his great interest and success in the business so won the confidence of his uncle that he was then admitted as a partner in the firm which has been trading for many years at the same stand as J. Jameson & Co. In 1890 Mr. Jameson died; then the firm was re-organized by the surviving partners, William A. Medlar, Mr. Jameson's son-in-law, Charles S. Bachman, a former employee for many years, and Mr. Sellers, as Sellers, Medlar & Bachman, the nephew having taken the uncle's place as the senior partner in the business, which evidences his superior character. In 1900 Mr. Bachman withdrew from the firm on account of his age, and his interest was purchased by William J. Frederick, of Allentown, a nephew of Mr. Sellers, when the name was changed to J. P. Sellers & Co. And thus it has continued to the present time. In 1908 Joseph Ritter Sellers, a son of the senior member, was admitted as a partner.

In 1882 the electors of the Seventh ward elected Mr. Sellers to represent them in the Common branch of the city councils, and he served one term of two years, having been elected on the Republican ticker. In 1890 he became identified with the Board of Trade, and after serving on different committees, he officiated as its president in 1901 and 1902. During the observance of the sesqui-centennial of Reading in 1898, he was president of the executive committee, and much of its success was due mainly to his unremitting labors during a preparatory period of two years. Mr. Sellers has also been identified with the financial affairs of Reading, serving as a director of the Reading Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and of the Pennsylvania Trust Company.

In 1868 Mr. Sellers was married to Elizabeth Ritter, the only child of Joseph Ritter and Eliza Witman, his wife, both of whom were descendants of the earliest inhabitants of Reading. By her he is the father of a son Joseph Ritter, who married Minnie Heffner, daughter of Daniel Heffner of Reading, and they have one son James Heffner Sellers. Mrs. Sellers died in 1908. She was a devoted member of Trinity Lutheran Church from her childhood, as her parents and grandparents had been in the early history of the church, and, on account of her superior voice was chosen as a singer in the choir for fifteen years. She took an active part in the Sunday-school work for many years, and also in works of charity for the congregation as well as the community at large.

Joseph Ritter, father of Mrs. Sellers, was the honored court crier of the Berks county courts for forty years from the establishment of the court house at Sixth and Court streets in 1840, and upon his decease in 1880 the judges and lawyers, at a public meeting held for that purpose, passed highly complimentary resolutions eulogizing his superior character. At a Bar supper, Dec. 20, 1872, in appreciation of his distinguished services and uniform courtesy, they presented him with a fine gold watch and chain.

The father of Mr. Sellers was Philip Sellers, a wholesale tobacco and cigar manufacturer at Allentown for fifteen years. He died in 1851 aged forty-six years. He was married to Elizabeth Worman, daughter of Henry Worman, of Allentown, who died in 1876, aged seventy-three years. They had three children: James P.; Henry; and Mary, m. to Benneville Frederick, of Allentown, whose son William J. is now a member of J. P. Sellers & Co. His antecedents were brought up in the vicinity of Sellersville in Bucks county, Pennsylvania.

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