Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 969


[See the Notes following this biography for additions and corrections.]

William Siegfried, formerly a leading citizen of Maxatawny township, was born on one of the Siegfried homesteads in Siegfried's Dale, Pa., Feb. 19, 1842, and died Oct. 25, 1886, aged forty-four years, eight months, six days. He passed his entire life in the home in which he was born. His parents were Abraham and Lydia (Zeigler) Siegfried.

The Siegfried family of Maxatawny township is representative of the best kind of old Berks county stock. While the larger number of its members are engaged in the pursuits pertaining to agriculture, there are also those who have become prominent in business and professional life. It was in 1752 that two brothers, John and Joseph Siegfried, settled in the section which for more than 100 years has born the name of Siegfried's Dale There they owned a large body of land, probably 1,000 acres. In 1759 John Siegfried paid a tax of twenty-one pounds and Joseph paid one of twenty pounds. They increased in numbers as a family and prospered and founded organizations which still bear their honored name. Siegfried's school and Siegfried's Church testify to their progress and the latter was so known for several years, but is now generally known as the Maxatawny Zion's Union Church. In Lehigh County, in the cement district, there is a pretty borough known as Siegfrieds, so named after a prominent member of this family. It has a population of about 1,000. In Siegfried's Dale, in Maxatawny township, about one-fourth mile due west of the school-house, is the private burial ground of this well-known family. It is about 100 square feet and in that enclosure rest the remains of the early pioneers of this name, five generations sleeping there. It is well kept and evidently is regarded as a sacred spot by the present generation.

John Siegfried, brother of Joseph, and co-founder of the Siegfried family in Maxatawny township, died late in the spring of 1766. His widow, Elizabeth , made her last will and testament, June 17, 1766, and she died between that date and the filing of her will, Nov. 10, 1767 . She designated her son, Joseph Siegfried, and her trusted and esteemed friend Sebastian Zimmerman as her executors. The children mentioned in the will were: Joseph; Margaret, m. to Jacob Moss, of Lynn township, Lehigh County; Catherine, m. to Frederick Raumich; Susanna, m. to Daniel Levan; Elizabeth, m. to John Rothermel; Magdalena, m. to Anthony Fisher; and Anna, m. to Jacob Fisher.

(I) Joseph Siegfried, one of the founders of the family in Berks county, and great-great-grandfather of the late William Siegfried, died before the close of the eighteenth century. The will of his widow, Anna Mary Siegfried, is dated Dec. 14, 1795, and was probated Jan 3. 1806. The executors of it were: Gideon Grim and Johannes Siegfried. The children of Joseph Siegfried were: Catherine, Magdalena (m. Abraham Levan), Johannes, Joseph, Henry (born April 17, 1751, died Aug. 9, 1822), Jacob, Abraham, Isaac, and Daniel (born Dec. 29, 1763, died Nov. 20, 1846, m. Magdalena Kline, born 1768, died 1852).

(II) Johannes Siegfried, son of Joseph, born Oct. 1, 1758, died April 4, 1821, aged sixty-two years, six months, three days.

(III) Johannes Siegfried, son of Johannes, grandson of Joseph, born Jan 20, 1782, died June 18, 1835, aged fifty-three years, five months, twenty-eight days. He was a farmer. In 1819 he erected a barn in Siegfried's Dale that was replaced in 1905 by a modern and improved building that is one of the best barns in Upper Berks County. He was married to Catherine Fetterolf (1776-1850), and they had five sons and two daughters, some of whom died young.

(IV) Johannes Siegfried, son of Johannes and Catherine, was born Aug. 27, 1802, and died July 30, 1840, aged thirty-seven years, eleven months, three days. He was a farmer on the homestead. By his wife, Hannah Grim (1803-1840), he had the following children: Mary; John; Jesse, residing at Allentown, has a son Harry; Alfred, residing at Allentown, has Robert, James and Henry; Hannah; and one died young.

(V) John Siegfried, son of Johannes and Hannah Siegfried, born in 1829, died in 1902. He was a life-long farmer on the Siegfried homestead, which, when he acquired it, contained 165 acres. He married Catherine Grim, daughter of Joshua Grim, born in 1837, and still living in Siegfried's Dale. Their seven children are: Hannah, John, Mary, Joshua, Sue, Celia, and Jacob.

(II) Jacob Siegfried, son of Joseph , the first settler, and great-grandfather to William, was a native of Siegfried's Dale in Maxatawny township. There he was born Aug. 19, 1762, and died March 28, 1829, aged sixty-six years, seven months, nine days. On June 15, 1784, he married Dorothea Levan, born Feb. 2, 1765, died March 14, 1831, aged sixty-six years, one month, twelve days. Their children were: Alexander settled at Sunbury, PA; William, born 1797, died 1826, m. Maria Reiser; Samuel; Benjamin; Jonathan; George, who was blind, lived in Ohio; and several daughters (names not preserved)

(III) Jonathan Siegfried, son of Jacob, was born Oct. 28, 1790, in Maxatawny township, and died in June 1853, near Rebersburg, Schuylkill county, and is buried at the Bethel Church. He owned a farm and kept an inn across the Blue mountains from Rebersburg and was a well-known man. He married Barbara Fiegol (1787-1854). They had the following children: Abraham; William, of Harrisburg; Sarah, born June 25, 1827, m. Philip Boltz, of Annville; B. Matilda, born Jan 8, 1825, m. (first) an Overholtzer, had one son, Alfred (killed in the Civil war), and m. (second) Thomas Straub (died at Perryville), and they had fifteen children; and Daniel, born Nov. 30 1818, m. a Kauffman and went West (after his father's death), where he died.

(IV) Abraham Siegfried, father of the late William Siegfried, was born Aug. 29, 1813, in Siegfried's Dale, and died Jan 31, 1895, aged eighty-one years, five months, two days. He was a farmer and drover, and for many years was supervisor of Maxatawny township. He owned a farm of seventy acres in Greenwich township, from which he subsequently moved to Topton and later to Reading., where he died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. John Fisher. He was buried at the Maxatawny Zion Church. He married (first Lydia Ziegler, born April 24, 1816, in Lehigh county, and died June 7, 1873. They had two children: Amelia, m. John Fisher, who died at Reading June 27, 1907, aged seventy-five years, ten months, eighteen days; and William. Abraham Siegfried m. (second) Mrs. Sally Ann Kramlich, daughter of Solomon Kuhns, and they had one daughter Kate.

(V) William Siegfried attended the early schools of his neighborhood and grew to manhood with a knowledge of farming and stock raising. He was a farmer and drover and dealt largely in horses and cattle for many years. He was a man of fine business capacity and of excellent judgment and was frequently elected to local offices on the Democratic ticket. He served Maxatawny township as assessor and also as tax collector and performed his full duty on every occasion. He was a leading member of the Maxatawny Zion Union Church, belonging to the Reformed congregation, and served some years as a deacon, and then was made an elder, sustaining that relation at the time of his death. For a number of years he was the Sunday-school superintendent, and always gave liberally for all religious purposes. In every relation of life he was a most worthy man.

On April 5, 1856, William Siegfried was married to Mary Ellen Hoch, daughter of William and Sallie (Bieber) Hoch, of Maxatawny township, and a granddaughter of Abraham and Hannah (Doumayer) Hoch of Richmond township. Five children were born to William Siegfried and wife, namely: Sallie H; Mary Ellen, m. Dr. C. Q. Hillegars, of Pennsburg; Edwin A. H. resides in Maxatawny township; and Victor G. H. manages the home farm for his mother.


The following corrections and additions to the Siegfried family biography were submitted by Leon F. Borst:


Either Morton Montgomery in his editing or the submitter of the biography, wrongfully inserted Joseph Siegfried at the beginning of William Siegfried's line. It should be: Johannes, John II, Jacob, Jonathan, Abraham, William

Paragraph 1: The house where William Siegfried died was originally the home of his Great Uncle, Benjamin Siegfried. William inherited the property at age 20 in 1862 when Benjamin Siegfried died.

Paragraph 2: Joseph (b.1721) and John (b.1723) were born in Oley, the sons of Johannes (b. 1690's) and Elizabeth Siegfried. Johannes moved his family from Oley to land the Indians called "Mach-set-Hanne" (Bear's path stream) about 1724 (eight years before the Penns "purchased" the land from the Indians in 1732). Johannes purchased his first land in "Maxatawny" in 1732 from Casper Wister, a Brass Button Maker and Land Speculator from Philadelphia. Johannes Siegfried owned 600 acres when he died in December of 1747 and willed each son 300 acres.

The place known as Siegfrieds is in Northampton County, not Lehigh as stated. When this was published in 1909, there was a covered bridge (built in 1828} which replaced "Siegfried's Ferry" that crossed the Lehigh River. The village on the east side of the bridge was known as 'Siegfried's Bridge" and later shortened to "Siegfrieds". In 1901, three contiguous villages (Siegfried, New Port, and Stempton) combined to form the town of "Alliance". In 1909, Alliance was renamed" Northampton". The present steel bridge, which connects Cementon to Northampton, replaced the covered bridge in 1933. The prominent member after whom the village of Siegfrieds was named is Col. John Siegfried (1745) who moved from Maxatawny, Berks Co. about 1770 to the east bank of the Lehigh River in Allen Township, Northampton, County where he owned a Tavern and operated the ferry.

Paragraph 3. This paragraph should be about Johannes Siegfried (1790's - Dec 1747). Johannes was the founder of the Siegfried family in Maxatawny and not his sons, Joseph and John. As mentioned, Joseph & John are brothers and brother John died in May of 1766. The rest of the paragraph is not about brother John's widow (whose name was Catherine) but about Elizabeth, mother of Joseph and John and wife of Johannes the immigrant. The author fails to mention that "the heirs of my recently deceased son John" (who died in May of 1766) was also mentioned by Elizabeth (d. Sep 1767) in her will. Elizabeth's husband, Johannes, died in Dec. 1747. At the end of the paragraph, Jacob Fischer should be Jacob Deisher (Anna's Mother's Will has "Jacob Teisher").

Paragraph 4: (I) Joseph Siegfried. This paragraph is about Joseph Siegfried (1721-1795) who was the son of Johannes Siegfried (b. 1690's), the founder of the family in Berks Co., but he is NOT the g-g-grandfather of William Siegfried. Joseph(1721)'s brother, Johannes ( John) II (1723), is the g-g-grandfather of William Siegfried. The Johannes mentioned in Joseph's Wife's will is her oldest child, Col. John Siegfried (1745 - 1793) and is mentioned in phrase, "children of my deceased son Johannes". The Daniel mentioned (b.1763) is not Joseph's son but the son of Joseph's brother, John II (b.1723). Joseph's son is Daniel R.(b.1767) who married Sarah Bechtel .

Paragraph 5: (II) Johannes Siegfried. Johannes III(1758) is not the son of Joseph, but is the son of Joseph's Brother, Johannes II (1723) and wife Catherine Federolf. Johannes (John) III (1758) m. Maria Gertraud Sassaman.

Paragraph 6: (III) Johannes Siegfried. Johannes IV (1782) is the grandson of Johannes II (1723), not Joseph (1721). Like his Grandfather, John II, John IV also married a woman named Catherine Federolf.

Numbering starts over, since Jacob (1762) is also a son of John Siegfried II and Catherine Federolf. Their children were: Elizabeth (1754), m. Michael Werlin; Peter (1757), m. Catherine Munnig; Margaret (1758 ?). m. Henry Lantz; John III (1758), m. Maria Gertraud Sassaman; Susanna (1760), m. Albrecht Werlin; Jacob (1762), m. Dorothy Levan; Daniel (1763), m. Mary Magdalena Kline.

Paragraph 9: Jacob Siegfried (1762) is the son of Johannes II, not Joseph. Joseph is not the first settler. Jacob's death date and age on the tombstone are in error, and should be March 28, 1830, with his age as sixty-seven years, seven months, nine days. "Alexander settled in Sunbury" should be deleted as Jacob's son. There was an Alexander Siegfried who lived in the Sunbury area but he was not the son of Jacob but was actually his grandson, the son of Jacob's son Samuel. Biography mentions a son "George, who was blind in Ohio". No record of a George, son of Jacob (1762), has ever been found. I believe this should be Jacob (1788), who moved to Ohio in 1827, and had a son that was blind. Jacob (1762) had daughters named Sarah and Elizabeth. Jacob Siegfried and wife, Dorothy (Levan) are interred in Siegfried's Burial Ground, Maxatawny Township.

Paragraph 10: (III) Jonathan Siegfried. Jonathan died in Bethel Township, Berks County (see page 154 of 1850 US census for Bethel Township, Berks County, PA).His death date of June 1853 is in error. Estate record in Berks County Court House shows that his Widow, Barbara, took a Widow's Share of the estate in March 1853. Also in the Estate record it states, "He died sometime in 1851". I doubt that Jonathan "kept an inn across the Blue Mountain", since he had 53 acres and a hotel on the state road from Jonestown to Pinegrove in Bethel Township. His son Daniel (1818), m. 12 Feb 1846 Sarah Kauffman in Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lebanon County, PA. Daniel went to Ohio or Iowa after his father died in 1851/53.

Paragraph 11: (IV) Abraham Siegfried. Abraham is a son of Jonathan.

Last Paragraph: William Siegfried. William's daughter, Mary Ellen, m. a Dentist, Dr. Charles Quentin Hillegass of Perkiomenville, Montgomery County, PA. Dr. C.Q. Hillegass discontinued his Dental Practice and became Owner and Editor of the "Town and Country" newspaper in Pennsburg, Montgomery County, PA.


p. 1356

Surnames: SIGMUND

Matthias C. Sigmund, of Reading, proprietor of the only hat block manufacturing establishment in the city, was born in Thurmont, Md., in 1858.

In 1881 Mr. Sigmund removed from his native place to Ohio, and was for some time employed in the experimental department of the Champion machine works at Springfield. He learned the pattern-maker's trade in Waynesboro, Pa., and on coming to Reading in 1887, engaged at the Malleable Iron works. Later he erected a plant at Detroit, Mich., and one in Montreal, Canada, and in 1888 engaged in his present business. He not only furnishes the leading hat manufacturers of Reading and the surrounding country, but ships his goods to Boston, New York, St. Louis, Chicago, and all of the leading cities of the United States. He manufactures block forms, some of which are of his own invention, and employs from four to six men in his establishment, which is furnished with the latest machinery, and which has electricity for its motor power. Mr. Sigmund is not only an able business man, but is a man of much mechanical ability, and his inventions are practical and labor saving.

In 1887 Mr. Sigmund was married to Adelaide Sigmund, and to this union there have been born four children, as follows; Amy, a graduate of the Reading High School, class of 1907; Irma, who is attending high school; Jeanette, in high school; and Olive, in grammar school. Mr. and Mrs. Sigmund and their four daughters attend St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.


p. 928


Henry F. Simmon, a popular citizen of Robesonia, Berks Co., Pa., where he is carrying on a successful blacksmithing business, was born May 10, 1865, in Lower Heidelberg township, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Steffe) Simmon.

The paternal great-grandfather of Henry F. Simmon was born near Schaefferstown, Lebanon co., Pa., where he spent his life in agricultural pursuits. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, namely: Daniel, John, Michael, Nancy, Elizabeth, Nettie and Peter.

Michael Simmon, grandfather of Henry F., was born at Schaefferstown, where he secured his education, afterward coming to Berks county to engage in the tanning trade. Later he returned to Lebanon county, where the remainder of his life was spent, his death occurring near Sheridan, at the age of seventy-eight years, and he is buried at Hain's Church. His wife was Annie Gittleman, who died when eighty-eight years old. They were the parents of these children: Susan; Benjamin; Michael, Jr., Daniel; Henry; William; Hannah, who died young; and Elizabeth, who married Sullivan Frey, residing in Ohio.

Daniel Simmon, father of Henry F., was born July 15, 1832, in Lower Heidelberg township, where much of his life has been spent in laboring. He now resides in his own home near Wernersville, where he is a highly esteemed citizen and prominent member of Hain's Reformed Church. Mr. Simmon married Elizabeth Steffe, born in 1840, daughter of John Steffe, and to this union there were born eleven children: John; Daniel; Ellen; Hannah; Henry F.; Elizabeth m. Adam Klopp, and died aged about twenty-three years; Mary; Sallie; Charles; Emma, and one died in infancy.

Henry F Simmon was reared to agricultural pursuits, and when nineteen years old learned the trade of blacksmith with N. R. Wenrich, at Robesonia, in the shop which he now conducts. After continuing in Mr. Wenrich's employ for four and one-half years, Mr. Simmon contracted a partnership with him, and the firm of Wenrich & Simmon continued to do business until the senior partner's retirement in 1903. Since this time Mr. Simmon has carried on the business by himself, and, assisted by one skilled mechanic, holds the bulk of the trade in the section, Mr. Simmon has his own home on Main street, and he is known as a good citizen, a kind neighbor, and a business man of much ability. In politics he is a Democrat, and his popularity in his neighborhood has been proven on a number of occasions when he has been elected a delegate to country conventions. Fraternally he is connected with Knights of Pythias Lodge No, 119, of Robesonia. He is a member of St. Paul's Reformed Church, in which he has been a deacon, elder and trustee, and a member of the building committee which erected the present edifice in 1904.

On Jan. 1, 1886, Mr. Simmon was married (first) to Ellen C. Spatz, born Sept. 30, 1860, who died April 12, 1894, daughter of Daniel and Mary (Werner) Spatz the former a shoemaker of Robesonia. Three children were born to this union, namely: Annie N., born April 29, 1887, who died Nov. 3, 1891; Franklin D., born Aug. 4, 1890; and Mary E., born April 6, 1894.

Mr. Simmon married (second) Rebecca H. Fidler, daughter of Adam and Sophia (Hall) Fidler, of Bern township, and three sons have been born to this marriage; George F., born June 9, 1896; Paul A., March 8., 1901; and Luther C., May 26, 1903.

Michael Simmon, Jr., son of Michael, who was born at Schaefferstown, was born in 1839 died near Shillington, Berks Co., Pa., March 17, 1907, aged seventy-seven years. He is buried at Shillington. He was a carpenter by trade, and for many years lived in Lower Heidelberg township. His wife was Susannah Steffey, who was born July 6, 1834, and is now living with her son, Frank, near Wernersville. They had these children: Frank; Lydia m. Enos Conrad; George, deceased; Henry; John; Alice m. Daniel Boyer.

Frank Simmon, son of Michael, Jr., was born in Lower Heidelberg May 12, 1855. He learned the gunsmith's trade in Alsace township, and later learned blacksmithing, and these trades he followed many years in Lower Heidelberg and Alsace townships. He married Katie, daughter of John Huey. They have one son, Daniel H., born at Frush Valley, April 8, 1878, who follows blacksmithing at Wernersville, Pennsylvania.


p. 1200


Reuben Sindel, a substantial business man of Reading, Pa., who is engaged in the grocery business at the corner of Sixth and Laurel streets, was born Dec. 3, 1862, in Lancaster county, Pa., son of George and Lydia (Hagy) Sindel.

George Sindel came from Germany of the United States in 1847, being the only one of his family to come to this country. He had engaged in the milling business in the old country, and on locating in Lancaster county engaged in that occupation there and in Chester county. He died in 1894; his wife was a native of Lancaster county and a sister of William Hagy, of Reading. Fifteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sindel, six of whom grew to maturity, they being: George H., deceased, a miller by trade; Edwin H., a grocer of Reading; Mary A., m to A. S. Aston of Safe Harbor; John A., a locksmith of Reading; Reuben; and Emma L., single, of Reading, forelady of the Mr. Penn Box Factory. In religious belief the family were first Lutherans, but later became converted to the belief of the Methodist Episcopal faith. Mr. Sindel was Democrat in politics.

Reuben Sindel was educated in the schools of Lancaster county and Reading, and his first employment was as a clerk in the grocery store of William Morris, with whom he remained eight years, then engaging in stove moulding for two years with Painter & Co. Mr. Sindel then went to Chester county, where he was engaged in the grocery business for four years. After selling out the grocery business Mr. Sindel returned to Reading, clerking in Bright & Co.'s hardware store for one year, and then, in 1890, engaged in his present business at the corner of Sixth and Laurel streets, where he keeps constantly on hand a full line of fancy and staple groceries, notions and dry goods. Mr. Sindel is affable and courteous, and his honest business methods have won the confidence of a large trade. He is regarded as one of the substantial and representative business men in his line in the city.

Mr. Sindel was married in 1884, to Miss Emma Pflugfelter, and to this union were born five children: Wilber G., a salesman for the National Biscuit Co., of Reading; Leroy J. E.; Ralph L.; Emma C., deceased, and an infant , deceased. Mr. Sindel is fraternally connected with the Maccabees, Reading Tent, and in political matters he is a Republican. He attends the Methodist Episcopal Church.


p. 1397


Samuel W. Slater, one of the popular young business men of North Reading, Pa., who is proprietor of the "Riverside Hotel," was born in 1876, in Terre Hill, Lancaster Co., Pa., son of Maberry and Margaret (Matz) Slater, the former of whom died in 1891, and the latter in 1882.

Samuel W. Slater was educated in the schools of Terre Hill, and as a boy learned the cigar making business, which he followed for three years. He then located in Reading, and entered the employ of Sternbergh, with whom he continued for one year, then serving a six months' apprenticeship with the Reading Scale and Machine works. Mr. Slater's next employment was as clerk in George Kenyon's hotel on Penn street, and later he was engaged for one year in the restaurant business for a Mr. Eberly, from whose employ he went to the Reading Market, being engaged with George N. Albright one year. Mr. Slater then became clerk of the "Riverside Market, being engaged with George N. Albright for one year. Mr. Slater then became clerk of the "Riverside Hotel," under Harry Fidler, now deceased, and continued in this capacity until Mr. Fidler's death, when he was prevailed upon by the Brewing Company to accept the proprietorship of this hotel, which is one of the finest stands in this section of Reading. Mr. Slater has been very successful since taking charge of this well-known hostelry, and makes a very efficient hotel proprietor, being genial and courteous, and popular with all who know him. Fraternally he is connected with Reading Aerie, F. O. E., Knights of the Golden Eagle, Quakers, Neversink Fire Company, and Hotel and Restaurant Employers' national Alliance.

In 1902 Mr. Slater was married to Lillie Tomkins, of Trenton, N. J., and to them there has been born one child: Margaret. They are members of the Lutheran Church, and in political matters Mr. Slater is a Republican.


p. 1151


Wilmer H. Slater, one of the energetic and enterprising young business men of Reading, who as W. H. Slater & Co, is engaged in the printing business at No. 500 North Tenth street, was born July 11, 1879, at Terre Hill, Lancaster county, son of John and Sarah (Lesher) Slater, who resides at that place.

Wilmer H. Slater attended the schools of his native county, and when a young man learned the printing trade at the office of the "Times" at Terrehill. He remained in this capacity for six years, and in July, 1895, came to Reading, where he secured employment with Henry Bieber , continuing with this gentleman a period of five years. He later engaged in the restaurant business for a short time, but sold this and bought the printing business of William Turner, known as the Christian Life Printing Company, at No. 991

Walnut street. This he operated for a short time, but sold it back to Mr. Turner, establishing his present business Aug. 1, 1905. He enjoys a good and growing trade, doing all kinds of job and book work, also manufacturing postal cards and advertising novelties. His office is fully equipped with the best and most modern machinery. Until October, 1908, he was located at No. 806 Walnut street, but the increased volume of business necessitated larger quarters, and he removed to his present location on North Tenth street, where he has five times the space. He occupies the entire three stories. He has added books, stationery and novelties to his stock, and under the name of "Slater's Novelty Shop" carries on a mail-order business. He is the sole owner of the business, and directs it all himself.

Mr. Slater married Esther E. Weber, and four children have been born to this union: Warren F., Mary H. (deceased), and Ruth I. and Naomi A., twins. Mr. Slater is a member of St. Paul's United Evangelical Church of Reading, in which he is class leader and a teacher in the Sunday-school. He is very popular in his community, as is his wife, and their many friends always find a cheery welcome at their home at No. 810 Walnut street.


p. 1223


W. Scott Slegel, superintendent of the contracting firm of George W. Beard & Co., with main offices in the Colonial building, Reading, is a member of an old family of Berks county. He was born June 17, 1866, in Reading, son of Joel E. Slegel.

John Slegel (also spelled Schlegel), grandfather of W. Scott, was a well known tailor located at Fleetwood, Berks county, where he died at a ripe old age. His wife, whose maiden name had been Estella Ely, died in her ninetieth year. They were the parents of five children. Of these Joel E. Slegel was born in 1833, at Fleetwood, Berks county, and when a boy learned the tailor's trade, under the tuition of his father. He later traveled through the Western States following his vocation. Later giving up the tailoring trade, he commenced the study of dentistry, and subsequently received his diploma, being for some time in partnership with his brother, Levi, and later in business on his own account at No. 111 North Fifth street. He built up a large larger practice, which he held until his death in 1888. Dr. Joel E. Slegel married Susan J. Reber, daughter of W. W. Reber, and she died at the age of fifty-eight years. They had two children: Walter R., D. D. S., of Reading; and W. Scott.

W. Scott Slegel was educated in the public schools of Reading, subsequently graduated from Schuylkill Seminary, and later took a course in bookkeeping at Professor Brunner's Business College. After leaving the latter school he was engaged in farming for two years near Boyertown, Berks county, after which he learned the carpenter's trade and was first employed by John Kissinger. He was engaged in business for five years on his own account, during that time building fifty-two residences and several business buildings. In 1897 Mr. Slegel entered the employ of George W. Beard & Co., as a journeyman, working as such from October to April, 1898, when he was made foreman. Mr. Slegel continued in this capacity until 1901, in which year he was appointed superintendent of the company, a position which he is filling at the present time.

Mr. Slegel married Ida May King, and with their three children-W. Scott, Jr., Harry W. and Annie S. W.-they have resided near Birdsboro, Pa., since the spring of 1909. In political matters Mr. Slegel is a Republican. He is fraternally connected with Lodge No. 115, I. O. O. F.; and Commandery No. 47, Knights of Malta.


p. 1531


Frank W. Slichter, a resident of Mohnton, Pa., where he owns considerable property, was born Feb. 26, 1867, on what is now the Yocum farm in Cumru township, son of David and Catherine (Warner) Slichter.

The grandfather of Frank W. Slichter, who came from Alsace township, was a farmer by occupation, and met his death accidentally while shaking an opossum out of a tree. His children were: Jacob, deceased, was a minister of the Methodist Church; Joseph is in the trucking and fruit business in Robeson township; Henry, of Exeter township; and David.

David Slichter also met an accidental death in his fifty-sixth year. He was a farmer by occupation in Cumru township, near the Old Yeager farm, now private in the Civil war. Mr. Slichter was a member of the Lutheran Church, serving as an elder at Gouglersville, where he is buried. In politics he was a Democrat, but never took an active part therein. He was married to Catherine Warner, daughter of Levi Warner, and she died in 1904, having been the mother of these children: Mary, who married Ellsworth Mills, of Sinking Spring, Berks county; Frank W.; John, who married Sallie Keller, of Mohnton; and William, who married Mary Kessler, of Mohnton.

Frank W. Slichter attended the schools of Cumru township, and as a boy worked with his father. At the age of sixteen years he began to learn the hatting business at Edison with George Hendel & Son, with whom he continued for five years and then went to Reading, being with John Hendel for five years, Henry Hendel for three years and with J. G. Mohn & Company for five years. He then engaged in business with Isaac D. Spatz and Joseph Hornberger, under the firm name of the Globe Hat Company, as superintendent and general manager, continuing with this firm for four years, this being at Mohnton. Since 1901 he has been employed by J. G. Mohn & Company, at Reading, as a skilled mechanic in the hat department.

Mr. Slichter married Sallie Mosser, daughter of Nicholas and Sallie (Grill) Mosser, whose sketch will appear elsewhere in this volume, and to this union there have been born: Earl, an apprentice to the molder's trade; and Emma, attending school. In his political belief Mr. Slichter is a Democrat, and he served as school director of Cumru township from 1903 to 1906, with much ability, being greatly interested in educational matters. He refused a second nomination. He is interested in the movement to have Mohnton made a borough, and is a leader in that enterprise. He is a member, trustee and steward of the Salem Evangelical Association of Mohnton, and a teacher and treasurer of the Sunday-school. He owns five fine properties in Mohnton. Mr. Slichter is a leading raiser of poultry, having some of the best stock in the county.


p. 832


John W. Slipp, one of the most active citizens of Birdsboro at the present day, prominent in business circles in fraternal affairs, in the local civil government and in the development of the borough generally, has resided there for the past twenty-five years. His principal business interests during this period have been centered in the lumber and hardware trade, but in recent years he has also done considerable in local real estate dealing, in which connection he has been instrumental in enlarging and building up the borough.

Mr. Slipp is a native of Chester county, Pa., born in 1856, son of Daniel and Mary (Houck) Slipp. He was reared there, and received his education in the public schools, and upon commencing work learned the carpenter's trade, which he continued to follow in all for fifteen years. In 1882 he came to Birdsboro, where he has ever since made his home. For the first eight years or so after his removal to the borough he worked at his old trade, in 1891 commencing what has since developed into a profitable lumber business. He began so modestly in this line that he delivered his first orders for lumber with a wheelbarrow, but his trade increased steadily, and his lumberyard is now well stocked and the center of a thriving business. He also carried on a flour and feed business for two years, at the end of that time selling out of that line and engaging in the hardware trade, in which he has since continued. His business in this line has become quite extensive, proving an excellent adjunct to the sale of lumber, especially among builders. Mr. Slipp also acts as agent for several manufacturing concerns. Besides attending to all these interests he has engaged quite extensively in the real estate business and building. In association with several other men he opened up the addition to Birdsboro known as Wayne Heights, one of the most attractive parts of the borough, a credit to its projectors and to the town of which it forms a part. Mr. Slipp has served the community in various public offices, having been a member of the borough council, assessor, judge of elections and county commissioner, to which latter position he was elected in 1900, serving one term. He is a Republican in political sentiment.

In 1902 Mr. Slipp was raised a Mason in Birdsboro Lodge, F. & A. M., and he has since attained the thirty-second degree, belonging to Philadelphia Consistory; he is a member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He also affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as a member of Neversink Lodge, No. 514, of Birdsboro, and with the Knights of the Golden Eagle at Birdsboro; and he is a charter member of the Friendship Fire Company.

In 1886 Mr. Slipp was married to Annie Smith, and they have five children namely: May, Blaine, Viola, Florence and a son who died in infancy. The family are Baptists in religious connection.


p. 1218


Charles M. Smeck, one of the well-known hotel men of Reading, Pa., who is proprietor of the "Wayside Inn", located at Nos. 257 and 259 Penn street, corner of Third, has been prominently identified with the political and fraternal interests of the city, and belongs to one of the old and honored families of Berks county. Mr. Smeck was born at Birdsboro, Pa., March 17, 1866, son of Ephraim and Caroline (Moser) Smeck.

Samuel Schmeck, great-grandfather of Charles M. Smeck, was born Sept. 7, 1778, and his life was spent in Reading, where he followed the trade of hatter. He was first buried at Sixth and Washington streets, Reading, but his remains were later removed to the Charles Evans cemetery. On July 6, 1800, Samuel Schmeck married Ann Eliza Ritzey, born Aug. 25, 1781, and to this union there were born the following children: Edward; Charles, who lived in Reading; William, born Jan. 21, 1812, in Reading, and died in Ohio; Henry, who died while on his way home from Brazil, and was buried at sea; Susanna, m. to Peter Eisenbise, and lived in Reading; Barbara Ann, born March 10, 1822, m. to Elmer Lewis of Reading; and Ann Eliza, m. to Harrison Hardy, and lived in Reading.

Edward Schmeck, son of Samuel and grandfather of Charles M. Smeck, was born in Reading Jan. 14, 1801, and died in that city aged seventy-four years, nine months, twenty-five days. He was carpenter by occupation, and for fifteen years followed that trade in northern Ohio, but subsequently returned to Reading, where for a number of years he was engaged in building houses. He was the assessor and tax collector of the First ward (then called Spruce ward) for sixteen or seventeen years, and was a well-known and highly esteemed citizen. He is buried in Aulenbach cemetery. Edward Schmeck married Hannah Moser, daughter of George Moser, who was wounded five times during his service as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. On one occasion while on picket duty Mr. Moser had a wonderful experience: The picket line where he was put on guard on this night was a very dangerous point, as for five or six nights the picket here had been either captured or killed. According to his report he "heard something crawling and grunting like hogs" and shot and killed an Indian, but was captured. The horse on which he was spirited away, however, was shot by the other Continental picket, and falling, crushed Moser's leg, thus disabling him from further service. It is said he was a brother of Burkhard Moser, around whose estate centers a litigation that has assumed large proportions. He is said to have died a bachelor and left extensive coal lands in Schuylkill county. Edward Schmeck and his wife had the following children: a son, born Dec. 27, 1827, died in infancy; Angeline M. born March 28, 1828, m. James Jones; Ephraim M., born July 26, 1831; James M., born Jan. 25, 1834, died on Penn street, Reading; George M., born Nov. 13, 1835, died in Reading; Elizabeth, born May 11, 1838, in Ohio, m. Thomas Rusk, and now resides in Philadelphia, Pa., Susan, born Jan. 3, 1840, m. (first) Charles Snyder, and (second) Ephraim Renninger; Mary Ann, born Feb. 3, 1844, m. Tobias Bartlett; Ann Eliza, born Oct. 9, 1846, died young; Permilla, born Aug. 27, 1849, also died young; and Charles W., born Nov. 7, 1851, died in Reading.

Ephraim M. Smeck, father of Charles M., was born July 26, 1831, in Reading, and when one year old accompanied his parents to the Western Reserve, where he lived fifteen years. When sixteen years of age he returned to Reading and became a heater for Seyfert, McManus & Co., a capacity in which he served thirty years, being located at Reading, Port Clinton, Schuylkill Haven, Philadelphia and other points. After spending two years at Birdsboro he purchased a farm of 100 acres in Pike township, and there resided for three years, subsequently selling out to return to Reading, where he has lived ever since. Mr. Smeck now occupies his own residence at No. 421 Schuylkill avenue, where he has lived since 1889. In political matters he is independent. He and his family are members of St. Mark's Reformed Church. In 1852 Mr. Smeck married (first) Mary Wunder, daughter of Daniel Wunder, and to this union there were born two children, namely: Lillie, m. to Samuel Landis; and Hannah, m. to John Renninger. Mrs. Smeck died quite young, and was buried at the family plot at Aulenbach cemetery. Mr. Smeck m. (second) Caroline Moser, daughter of Frederick and Christiana (Wiend) Moser, farming people of Pike township. There were six children born to this marriage: James is a barber at Lebanon, Pa.; Ellen, m. William Miller; William lives at Reading; Charles M.; Carrie is single; and Harry lives in Philadelphia.

Ephraim M. Smeck enlisted April 2, 1861, in Company A. 14th Pa. V. I., for three months' service during the Civil war, and was honorably discharged Aug. 5, 1861. He was about to re-enlist as a soldier, when he received information that teamsters were needed in the army, and he subsequently served in that capacity on a supply wagon, from August, 1862, until in 1863, when he was again honorably discharged.

When a mere lad, Charles M. Smeck accompanied his parents to Hillchurch, in Pike township, and there spent several years on the farm, coming to Reading with his parents when five years old. He attended the German Lutheran parochial school at Reading, and as a youth commenced working in the sheet mill of the Reading Iron Company, continuing in the iron business until twenty-two years of age. For one year he operated the big twelve-inch heating furnace at the Blandon Rolling Mill, and then entered the employ of the Prudential Life Insurance Company, with which he continued for eighteen months. He was a distributing clerk in the Reading post-office during this administration of Capt. R. P. Stetson for two years and nine months, and then became proprietor of "Lauer's Park Hotel," where he remained two seasons. He next conducted the "Metropolitan Hotel" at Harrisburg for one season, but subsequently returned to Reading and for two years was the proprietor of the "East Reading Hotel." He was also for six months the proprietor of the "Hamilton House," but this he sold out to become House Sergeant under the administration of Mayor H. H. Leader, a capacity in which he served for eighteen months. Following this he purchased the hotel property at Nos. 1356 and 1358 Cotton street, corner of Fourteenth, taking possession thereof on July 31, 1900, and successfully conducted it until Sept. 9, 1907, when he sold the property to the Lauer Brewing Company, and became the proprietor of his present stand. This is one of the best hotel stands in the city, and Mr. Smeck has a large and growing patronage. He is also the owner of a number of building lots in Reading, and has been very successful in his business operations.

In politics Mr. Smeck is a Republican in national matters, while in local affairs he is independent. He has held various positions of trust and responsibility, and in the spring of 1906 was elected common councilman from the Sixteenth ward, an office which he resigned on his removal to the Sixth ward. He is a member of Aerie No. 66, F. O. E., Reading; Camp No. 330, P. O. S. of A.; Resolute Council No 27, I. O. A; and Court Wyomissing, F. O. A., of which he has been treasurer since 1904. He is also an active member of Schuylkill Fire Company, and a contributing member of the Union and Neversink Fire Companies, as well as of the Philharmonic Band. He is one of the members and heavy stockholders of the Eagles' Mountain Home Association, and is connected with various other Reading clubs and organizations. With his family he attends the First Reformed Church.

Mr. Smeck was married Oct. 6, 1887 to Elizabeth Houck, daughter of Charles and Susanna (Dietrich) Houck, and they have had four children: Florence, at home; William, a cornet player of wide reputation who, although but twenty-one years of age, is assistant treasurer of the Academy of Music; and Walter and James, who are attending school. All of the Smeck children are musicians of ability.

William M. Smeck, brother of Charles M. and son of Ephraim M., was born Sept. 2, 1863, in Reading, and his education was obtained in the public schools of this city. He learned the machinist's trade as a youth at the American Iron & Steel Company's plant, and continued in that company's employ for twenty-seven consecutive years. He is a skilled mechanic and a most trusted employee. In political matters he is a Republican, while socially he is connected with the I. O. R. M.; Resolute Council, American Mechanics; the Friendship Fire Company, and the Nursery Literary Association of Reading, of which he is a past official. He was chairman of the building committee in 1892, which erected the present building of the association, it now having a membership of 103 persons.

On May 28, 1891, Mr. Smeck was married to Emma Maurer, daughter of Isaac Maurer and wife (whose maiden name as Texter).

Last Modified Sunday, 26-Apr-2009 09:41:03 EDT

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