Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery

SMITH, ISAAC

p. 747

Surnames: SMITH, CORRELL, SASSAMAN, PAULEY, KEMP, STERNBERGH, SCHMIDT, LUTZ, GREENAWALT

Isaac Smith, who died at Albany, Pa., was a native of Albany township, Berks county, born in 1806. He learned the stone-mason's trade early in life, and that was his occupation throughout his active life; also owning and operating a small piece of land. Mr. Smith married Rachel Correll, a native of Albany township, Berks county, and to this union there were born eleven children, as follows: Christian and Charles, both deceased; Mary, to Emanuel Sassaman; James; Jonathan; Abraham; Isaac; Julia, who resides at Drehersville, m. to Reuben Pauley, the latter now deceased; William, who also resides at Drehersville, Schuylkill county; Emma E.; and a daughter Susan, who died in infancy. In religious belief the family were Lutherans. Mr. Smith was a Democrat in his political belief, but never cared for public office.

Emma E. Smith, daughter of Isaac, was married to Sylvester Kemp (now deceased) and to them was born one son, W. Wilson, who was educated in the schools of Reading, and is now employed at the J. H. Sternbergh mills, where he has a responsible position. Sylvester Kemp was a son of William Kemp, a native of Kutztown, who located at what is now Kempton, after the building of the Schuylkill & Lehigh Railroad.

John Schmidt, grandfather of Mrs. Emma E. Kemp, was born in Albany, where he was engaged as a farmer. He was the father of Isaac; Samuel; Sally (m. Christian Lutz); and Susanna (m. a Greenawalt).


SMITH, JOSEPH

p. 821

Surnames: SMITH, SCHLOGG, MOYER, KERCHNER, FREEMAN, SHONOWER

Joseph Smith, a well-known and highly esteemed resident of Fritztown, Spring township, who has been engaged in various business enterprises, was born at Womelsdorf, Berks county, Dec. 29, 1834, son of Frederick and Elizabeth (Schlogg) Smith.

Frederick Smith, who was born in Baden, Germany, came to America when twenty-five years old, and landed at Baltimore, where he remained for some years. He then went West for a short time, but subsequently located at Womelsdorf, Berks county, where he engaged in day laboring and lime burning for the remainder of his active period. He died at the age of ninety-two years, eleven months, and twenty days, and is buried at Sinking Spring cemetery. Mr. Smith married Elizabeth Schlogg, who died when sixty-six years of age, and to them were born these children: John, Levi, Mary, Sarah, Joseph, Elizabeth and Thomas.

Joseph Smith attended the common schools of Berks county, after leaving which he engaged in farm work for a short time, later going to Adams Mill, below Sinking Spring, and still later along the Tulpehocken creek, where he also followed milling. For a short period Mr. Smith was engaged in farming, and he then followed the trade of stone mason for fifteen years, also engaging in lime burning at Montello for a like period, in which he was very successful. Since 1876 Mr. Smith has made Fritztown his home, and here he is well and widely known and highly esteemed.

On Oct. 2, 1855, Mr. Smith married Lydia A. Moyer, born Aug. 1, 1835, daughter of David and Kathryn (Kerchner) Moyer, and to this union there have been born: Edwin; Ellen, wife of Joseph Shonower, of Fritztown; Frederick; and Matilda, wife of Solomon Freeman, of Fritztown. Mr. Smith is a member of St. John's Reformed Church, at Sinking Spring. In politics he is a Democrat, and for three years served Spring township as roadmaster.


SMITH, LEVI B.

p. 416

Surnames: SMITH, MCDONALD, FULTON, CARMICHAEL, VAUGHAN, BULL, HUNTER, POTTS, MAY, RUTTER, RICHARDS, LOESER, DARLING, O'BRIEN, BURCKER, BOWMAN, BADGER, CLYMER, WYERS, GRUBB

The Smith family from which Mr. Levi Bull Smith was descended is of Scotch extraction, the name being originally McDonald. During the reign of James I. of England they crossed the North Channel into Ireland; taking up their residence in the northeastern section of that country, where they left numerous descendants. The change of name is accounted for by an interesting circumstance handed down in the family tradition. Just before the battle of the Boyne, when the King, William III., was reconnoitering that famous field, his horse cast a shoe. There was no farrier to replace it, but McDonald, in whose neighborhood the incident occurred, being, like many other farmers of the region, something of a blacksmith, volunteered his services, shod the horse, and thus enabled the King to proceed. From that time his neighbors, who like himself were in sympathy with the cause of William, dubbed Mcdonald "the Smith," and the name clung to him, and was adopted by his family as a patronymic.

Being staunch Presbyterians, the Smiths, together with a large proportion of the Irish tenantry, at a subsequent period resisted the rigorous proceedings of the Established Church of England to enforce the provisions of the "Sacramental Test" law, under which they were required not only to pay tithes to the Church, but to conform to all its requirements respecting marriage and civil rights, under pain of invalidation of all religious acts performed without its pale. To enforce obedience to this arbitrary measure, the absentee landlords raised the rents of all their recusant tenantry, and otherwise rendered their condition intolerable. This was among the causes which induced the Scotch-Irish emigration in the first half of the eighteenth century to the Colony of Pennsylvania, founded preeminently upon the principle of absolute liberty of conscience.

Among the earliest of the emigrants were John Smith and his wife Susanna, of County Monaghan, Ulster, who came over in 1720, the year after the enforcement of the "Test." After a long and stormy voyage they landed at Philadelphia, and took up their new residence in Uwchlan township, Chester Co., Pa. With her brother John came Mary Smith, who married William Fulton, one of the grandchildren being Robert Fulton, born in Little Britain, Lancaster county, whose name is indissolubly linked with the evolution of the invention of the steamboat.

John and Susanna Smith were the parents of fifteen children. One of these, Robert, was born on the voyage to America. The father died in 1765, and the mother in 1767. His three older brothers having gone out to seek their fortunes elsewhere, the family homestead came into the possession of Robert, who became a prosperous and respected citizen and was prominently connected in his later years with public affairs. During the French and Indian war he was in the Provincial service with the rank of sergeant. At the outbreak of the Revolution he entered warmly into the Patriot cause, and was commissioned captain of the 1st Battalion of Associators of Chester county. In 1775-76 he assisted in the construction of a line of chevaux-de-frise across the Delaware below Philadelphia, designed to obstruct the progress of the enemy by the river to the city, and in the laying out of the land fortifications adjacent, under the direction of the Committee of Safety. He was a member of the Convention of 1776, which devised the first Constitution of Pennsylvania after Independence. In 1777 he was appointed lieutenant of the county of Chester, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, which office he held until 1786, being charged with the arduous and responsible duty of raising, arming and provisioning the military forces of the district. He was sheriff of the county in 1777 and 1778; member of Assembly in 1785-86, and during the same period a trustee of the loan office. In 1791 he as elected a justice of the peace and continued in that office until his death in December, 1803.

Robert Smith was a staunch Presbyterian, and an elder of the church at Brandywine Manor, of which the Rev. John Carmichael, like himself an ardent patriot, was pastor during the Revolutionary period. He married in 1758 Margaretta Vaughan, daughter of John Vaughan, of Uwchlan township, who survived him until 1822, dying at the age of eighty-six. They had eleven children. Of their sons, Jonathan was for many years connected with the first United States Bank and with the Bank of Pennsylvania, of which latter he was cashier, and was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Insurance Company; John was an iron-master, and Joseph an iron and shipping merchant of Philadelphia.

John Smith, iron-master, father of the subject of this sketch, was born at the old homestead in Chester county April 8, 1762. In early life he was manager of the Warwick Furnace in Chester county, then owned by Col. Thomas Bull, a distinguished Revolutionary patriot, long associated with the iron industry in eastern Pennsylvania in connection with the well known families of Rutter and Potts. Having married in 1790 Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Bull and his wife Ann Hunter, John Smith removed in that year to Dale Furnace, in Hereford township, Berks county, of which he had become co-owner with Thomas and Joseph Potts, Jr., and six years later went to Joanna Furnace, on Hay creek, Robeson township, having become partner in that establishment with his father-in-law, Colonel Bull, and Thomas May. Joanna Furnace was built in 1792 by Samuel Potts and Thomas Rutter, being named in honor of the wife of the former. The substantial stone mansion house, still standing, though modernized, was erected in 1793. Attached to the estate were numerous tracts of woodland, aggregating several thousand acres, from which the works were supplied with charcoal. Having eventually acquired the entire ownership Mr. Smith resided at Joanna until his death, which occurred April 2, 1815, when he was aged fifty-three. His wife survived him twenty years, dying in 1835. They left ten children, three sons and seven daughters. The former were: Thomas B., Levi B. and John Vaughan. Of the daughters, Ann Hunter married James Richards; Sarah Bull, Jacob Loeser; Margaretta Vaughan, William Darling; Elizabeth Bull, Joseph O'Brien; Susan Grier, Rev. George Burcker, and Jane Correy, Goodloe H. Bowman. Mary Cobean died unmarried.

Levi Bull Smith was born at Joanna Furnace Feb. 8, 1806. He received a liberal education, Picture of Levi Bull Smithgraduating at Princeton College in 1824. He subsequently studied law at the law school at Litchfield, Conn., and was admitted to the Bar of Berks county, Pa., Jan. 20, 1827. He married April 10th, of the same year, Emily H. Badger, a native of Bucksport, Maine (born Jan. 1, 1807), and a descendant upon the paternal side of the Buck family, of Puritan stock, who emigrated to New England in 1635. From 1829 to 1831 he was engaged in farming at the old Reading Furnace, in Chester county, and from 1831 to 1833 was in the mercantile business at Mount Airy, in Union township, Berks county. In the latter year he removed to Joanna, and became the partner in that works of his brother-in-law, William Darling, under the firm name of Darling & Smith. In connection with the manufacture of iron the casting of wood-burning stoves became the principal business. Mr. Darling, a prominent member of the county Bar, was an associate judge, and the active management devolved on Mr. Smith, who acquired eventually the interest of his partner, and admitted his sons into partnership under the firm name of Levi B. Smith & Sons. The manufacture of pig-iron exclusively was carried on with profit for many years before, during and subsequent to the Civil war, the estate passing into the sole ownership of one of the sons, Col. L. Heber Smith, in 1877, and the works discontinuing operations in 1905.

Upon his retirement from the active management of the iron business he removed in 1863 to Reading, where the remainder of his life was passed. He was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Reading in that year, and was its president from its incorporation until his death. These institutions, being government depositories, and under the management of men of patriotic principles, not only built up an efficient financial system but materially aided in sustaining the credit of the government at the most critical period of its history, and promoting the public faith in the ultimate restoration of its authority. In those troublous times Mr. Smith's most ardent sympathies and active efforts were devoted to the triumph of his country's cause. He gave freely of his means for the raising and equipping of troops for the field, and his vigilant attention to the thwarting of the opposition schemes of the enemies in the rear.

An Abolitionist in principal and an old-time Whig in his political faith, he became from the foundation of the Republican party one of its most zealous supporters. Whilst never seeking public office he was named as the Republican candidate for Congress in the Berks district in 1860, and his popularity was shown in the result at the election, when he ran considerably ahead of the State ticket. In the townships of the southern section of the county adjacent to his home his vote was especially strong. Having been placed the same year upon the Lincoln electoral ticket, he withdrew on the ground of the incompatibility of that position with his Congressional candidacy. At an earlier period he was upon several occasions a delegate to county and State conventions of the Whig and Republican parties. His judgment upon questions of finance was eminently conservative and sound, and the same shrewdness and forecast which he evinced in the management of his own large estate well qualified him for the successful discharge of the various business relations which he assumed toward others during his residence in Reading in the latter part of his life. Among these were his membership of the board of managers of the Reading Gas Company and of the Reading Fire Insurance Company, of the latter of which he was one of the organizers. Every associated effort for the literary culture and social betterment of the community received his co-operation and support.

In his denominational affiliations Mr. Smith was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was a member of the vestry of St. Thomas Church, Morgantown, and a delegate for more than thirty years from that parish to the diocesan convention. In 1858 he was a delegate to the general convention which met in New York City. Upon his removal to Reading he became a vestryman of Christ Church, remaining such until his death.

Personally Mr. Smith was of a genial and companionable disposition, possessing a marked and never-failing trait of humor, which made his presence at all times enlivening and agreeable. To be just to all men and faithful to his own was the ruling principle of his character and life. After a brief illness the end came to him at his home Aug. 8, 1876, when a few months advanced in the seventy-first year of his age. His estimable wife died Dec. 16, 1882. They had ten children: (1) Nancy Valeria, born March 14, 1828; married June 12, 1855, William Hiester Clymer, whom she survived, dying Aug. 17, 1901, leaving six children. (2) Elizabeth Frances, born March 19, 1830, married June 15, 1869, the Rev. Elias J. Richards, D. D., a talented and eminent clergyman of the Presbyterian denomination, for upward of twenty-five years pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Reading, whom, together with their only child, Jane Ellis (born April 8, 1870), she survives. (3) Bentley Howard. (4) William Darling. (5 and 6) Levi Heber and Emily Annetta. (7) Mary Badger, born March 19, 1840, died May 22, 1864. (8) Horace Vaughan, born Aug. 20, 1842, died July 23, 1878. (9) Thomas Stanley. (10) Edward Hunter, born April 17, 1847, died Sept. 7, 1856.

The eldest son, Bentley H. Smith, born Dec. 6, 1832, at Mt. Airy, Berks county, attended the academy of William F. Wyers, at New London, Chester county, and entered Amherst College at the age of fourteen, graduating in 1851. He was a bright scholar, especially versed in the classics, and three years after his graduation received from the college the degree of A. M. He was engaged the greater part of his active life in the iron manufacturing business, principally at Joanna, in partnership with his father and brothers, and subsequently as member of a firm owning and operating the Temple Iron Works, in Muhlenberg township. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he enlisted in the first three months' service, becoming a corporal in Company A, 14th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, mustered April 27, 1861, and before the expiration of his term was promoted to the second lieutenancy of Company K. In the latter pat of June, 1863, at the time of the Confederate invasion of the State, he raised a company which was attached to the 42d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia, enlisted for ninety days, and upon the regimental organization was appointed major. Retired from business for many years, he devoted himself to general literature, his reading embracing the works of all the great writers of the age in science, philosophy and theology. Of ecclesiastical lore he had an accumulation which would have qualified him for a professorship of Bible exegesis in the faculty of a university. In addition to habits of close and careful reading he was a profound thinker and clear reasoner, ever searching for truth, and rejecting the illogical and unscientific. His was a mind alike gifted and discriminating. His native geniality of disposition made him a most agreeable and entertaining companion. One of his most marked traits was his benevolence of heart, evidenced by his open-handed and unostentatious charities toward all classes and conditions of unfortunates. The possession of such qualities distinguished him as one of nature's noblemen, and won for him a wide circle of devoted friends. He died Jan. 19, 1909, when a little upward of seventy-six years of age.

L. Heber Smith, born Oct. 18, 1837, at Joanna Furnace, attended Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass., and, with his father and brothers, engaged in the iron manufacturing business. He was captain of Company A., 128th Regiment, P. V., mustered August, 1862, for nine months' service, and was promoted Feb. 1, 1863, to lieutenant-colonel; was taken prisoner at the battle of Chancellorsville and confined for a time in Libby prison, being subsequently exchanged. After the death of his father he acquired the sole ownership of the Joanna estate, and carried on the works until within a few years of his death, which occurred Aug. 5, 1898. He married June 17, 1868, E. Jennie Grubb, of Lancaster, Pa., who, with six children, survives him.

Thomas Stanley Smith, M. D., was born at Joanna Furnace, Jan. 25, 1845, graduated at Amherst College in 1865, and at the Jefferson Medical School in 1868. He subsequently spent a year at the University of Leipsic, Germany, pursuing studies in chemistry, a branch in which he specially excelled. Upon his return he filled the position of lecturer on physical diagnosis in the summer course at the Jefferson College. He practised his profession in Reading for a period of ten years, devoting his attention particularly to ophthalmology, in which he acquired notable skill. Dr. Smith's scientific attainments were of a high order, and had his ambition been for eminence in his profession, he possessed the genius to attain it. His health failing, his career was cut short by death, Nov. 25, 1887, in the forty-third year of his age.


SMITH, MARY ELIZABETH (MRS.)

p. 1141

Surnames: SMITH, HOLTZINGER, OBERT, SOTTERS, BEYERLE, BARTO, GOLL

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Smith, one of the best known and most highly esteemed ladies of Lower Alsace township, Berks county, who is now making her home with her children at "Pleasant View Hotel," near Carsonia Park, is the widow of the late Albert Smith, and daughter of John George and Wilhelmina (Holtzinger) Smith.

John George Smith was born Feb. 22, 1820, at Flahingen amt Bretten, Grofherzogthum Baden, Germany, emigrated to America from his native land with his brother, Conrad, nearly sixty years ago and settled first at Philadelphia, whence he removed to Reading, and there became foreman for F. J. Obert, with whom he was employed at the time of his death, Dec. 7, 1897. He was married to Wilhelmina Holtzinger, who was born April 2, 1822, at Altlofzheim, Baden, and died Aug. 25, 1883. To this union were born the following children: John George, a master boiler maker of Roxboro, Manayunk, Pa.; Frederick, deceased, who was also a boiler maker; Wilhelmina, m. to Henry Sotters, a boiler manufacturer of Pottstown; Catherine, m. to George Beyerle, a hotel proprietor of Reading; Emma, m. to Albert Barto, a retired hotel keeper of Reading; and Mary Elizabeth.

Mary Elizabeth Smith was reared under the parental roof, and educated in the public schools of Reading. She was married to Mr. Albert Smith, also of Reading, and this union was blessed with these children: Mary Elizabeth, m. to John George Goll, a carriage builder of near Stony Creek, Alsace township; John George, who died young; Wilhelmina and Albert, who also died young; Charles Frederick, who conducts his father's business and resides with his mother; and Misses Anna E., and Cora Mabel, at home.

The death of Mr. Albert Smith occurred at "Pleasant View Hotel," the present home of the family, Feb. 23, 1903.


SMITH, MILTON W.

p. 1110

Surnames: SMITH, SEIDEL, SCHMIDT, DREIBELBIS, REESER, WAGNER, BALTHASER, SUNDAY

Milton W. Smith, junior member of the mercantile firm of Seidel & Smith, of Virginville, Pa., is an enterprising business man of Berks county. He was born April 5, 1876, in Windsor township, son of S. Paul Smith.

Andrew Schmidt, a native of Germany, was the emigrant ancestor of this family in America, and his son, Michael, had eleven sons and two daughters. One of them was Joseph, a prominent farmer of Windsor township, who owned several farms near Windsor Castle. He was the father of George, John, Jacob, Maria, Daniel, Joseph, S. Paul, William and David.

S. Paul Smith, who has lived retired in Virginville for the past few years, was for a long time an agriculturist, his fertile farm of 116 acres being located near Windsor Castle. He married Ella L. Seidel, daughter of William and Susanna (Dreibelbis) Seidel, and had children-Mary, Sally, Milton W., George, Joseph and Annie.

Milton W. Smith was reared on his father's farm, receiving his education in the schools of his native township, and later attending the Keystone State Normal at Kutztown. He was still in his teens when he started to teach school in Greenwich township, and afterward taught two terms in his native township. In 1896 he began clerking in the general store of Daniel Reeser, at Hamburg, Pa., with whom he was employed until John Wagner purchased the store. He continued with Mr. Wagner until 1901, when he formed a partnership with William F. Seidel, and he has since carried on business with Mr. Seidel. Being a thorough business man, Mr. Smith ahs appreciated the needs of the people of this section and has accordingly carried a large and complete stock. The success of the firm is largely due to his ability, straightforward dealings and uniform courtesy to all patrons.

In 1895 Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Catharine Ida Balthaser, daughter of Joel and Esther (Sunday) Balthaser, and the children born to this union are: Paul Luther, Grace Emily and May Esther. Mr. Smith and family are connected with the Zion's Church in Perry township, of which they are Reformed members. Mr. Smith is identified with the Masonic fraternity; he is a member of Vaux Lodge, No. 406, Hamburg; Reading Lodge of Perfection; and Philadelphia Consistory.


SMITH, THOMAS JOSEPH

p. 1058

Surnames: SMITH, MENGEL, REBER, ADAM, KERSCHNER, TREXLER, MENGEL, DREIBELBIS, LEVAN, BORTZ, MONROE, LANDIS, BAER, HEINLY, BOYER, HOFFMAN, DUNKLEBERGER, ENGEL

Thomas Joseph Smith, an enterprising young farmer and poultry raiser of Windsor township, Berks county, was born on his father's farm in this township, Sept. 13, 1871, son of John R. and Sarah (Mengel) Smith.

Andraes Smith, a native of Germany, who was the immigrant ancestor of this family in America, settled in Berks county prior to 1750, and was the progenitor of a numerous offspring.

Michael Smith, son of Andraes, born Jan. 25, 1796, who died July 12, 1859, was twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth Reber, daughter of John Reber, became the mother of four daughters. His second wife, whom he married Jan. 24, 1829, was also named Elizabeth Reber (she was the daughter of Jacob Reber). They had a family of twelve children, eight of whom grew to maturity, namely: Jeremiah, Thomas, David, Michael, Joseph, Jacob, Mary (m. Jacob Adam) and Catherine (m. John Kerschner).

Joseph Smith, grandfather of Thomas J., born Nov. 15, 1809, was a well-known farmer and extensive land owner of Windsor township, owning several good properties near Windsor Castle. He held many public offices and was very prominent in his day. His children were; John R., Jacob, Maria, Daniel, Joseph L., S. Paul, William and David.

John R. Smith, who since the spring of 1896 has lived retired in Virginville, was born and reared upon a farm in Windsor township, and followed agricultural pursuits all of his life until his retirement. He owned two large properties, selling one to his son Thomas J. for $7,000 a few years ago, and the other to his son-in-law. Mr. Smith married (first) a Miss Trexler, and they had one daughter, Mary (m. Logan Dreibelbis). Mr. Smith m. (second) Sarah Mengel, daughter of Joseph Mengel, and their children were: Emma m. Benjamin Levan;Alice m. John Bortz; Maurice m. Annie Monroe; Agnes died aged twenty-six years; m. John Landis; Thomas J. Samuel m. Sabia A Baer; James m. Ella Heinly; David m. Susan Dreibelbis; Hettie (twin to David) died aged eleven years; Ella m. Daniel Boyer; John died in childhood; and Sallie m. Allen Hoffman.

Thomas J. Smith received his education in the township public schools, and has lived upon the same farm all of his life. In 1896 he began farming for himself on his father's farm, and after nine years of tenant farming purchased the property, which consists of 160 acres of good, fertile land, eight acres being timber land. Mr. Smith is a successful farmer. He uses the latest improved machinery, and in addition has two wind pumps, which pump his water supply to the house and barn. Mr. Smith has made a specialty of poultry raising, and in this he has been immensely successful, in 1903 raising 124 turkeys and 500 chickens. He has a fine chicken yard, and here matters are arranged very conveniently. He averages about fifteen head of cattle the year around. He has a home cream separator, and his fine quality of creamery butter finds a ready market. Honest and industrious, energetic and enterprising. Mr. Smith has made his farm one of the fine ones of his community, and the success which he has gained has been well deserved. He is popular in the vicinity of his home, where he has a number of friends, drawn to him by his many sterling qualities of character.

On Nov. 26, 1892, Thomas J. Smith married Miss Hettie L. Dunkleberger, daughter of Samuel and Fianna (Engel) Dunkleberger, and to them have been born three children, as follows: Florence M., born June 13, 1894; Nevin B., born March 28, 1897; and Irwin A., born Nov. 20, 1900. In political matters Mr. Smith is a Democrat, and is a tower of strength in the ranks of his party in this section. He has been chosen by his fellow citizens to represent them in various county conventions as a delegate, and his service as a member of the school board of the township for six years was eminently satisfactory to all concerned. Mr. Smith for some of this time was secretary of the board. He and his family are members of Zion's Union Church, belonging to the Reformed denomination, and he was a deacon of the church for three years.


SMITH, WILLIAM A.

p. 646

Surnames: SMITH, HARTUNG

William A. Smith, ex-member of the common council of Reading, has spent his whole life in that city, where he was born in 1864, son of Nicholas and Catherine (Hartung) Smith. William A. Smith was sent first to the parochial schools in Reading, and then to the public schools. After finishing his education he went into the shops of the Philadelphia & Reading railroad company, to become a machinist, but after about five years in that occupation he went into business as a manufacturer of optical supplies and as a practical optician. His place of business is at Nos. 202-208 Cedar street, and he has been very successful. Mr. Smith has always taken an active interest in the welfare of the city and in politics is quite well

known. He resides at No. 839 Washington street, his parents' home, in the Eighth ward, and for three terms has represented that constituency in the common council, elected on the Democratic ticket. He has served on all the important committees, and was a member of the board of appeals for a number of years. He is a progressive practical man, and was strongly supported by his fellow citizens in the ward, He has also for a long time been prominently connected with the Harmonie Maennerchor, and for the past four years has been its president. Besides being a member of the Sons of Veterans, Mr. Smith stands very high in the Masonic fraternity, in which his name is on the rolls of Teutonia Lodge, No. 367; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237; and Reading Commandery. No. 42, in all of which he is past officer. He also belongs to Rajah Temple.


SMITH, WILLIAM B.

p. 975

Surnames: SMITH, SCHMIDT, BAER, BUCK, OLD, SCHARM, SCHLENKER, SCHAEFFER, SCHMITT, SHIREY, PALMER, HARWICK, ROEMER

William B. Smith (Schmidt), a well known and highly respected citizen of Kutztown, who has retired from active labor and is passing the sunset of his life in peace and quiet, in the enjoyment of a well-earned competency, making his home at Greenwich and Walnut streets, was born March 23, 1841, near "Old Smithville," in Greenwich township, Berks Co., Pa., son of Samuel and Susanna (Baer) Schmidt.

Heinrich Schmidt, grandfather of William B., was a native of Greenwich township, owning and operating the farm now the property of George Buck, and here he died in 1853, aged seventy-seven years, being buried at Grimville. He had these children: Jonathan; Benjamin; Samuel; Mrs. Scharm; Judith m. Reuben Old, and Sally m. Daniel Schlenker. In 1800, Heinrich, John and Jacob Smith were taxables in Greenwich township. Either John or Jacob was the father of Reuben, another brother who settled in Michigan, and Solomon. The latter died of small-pox at Fogelsville, Pa. He had a son, Benneville, the founder of New Smithville, and the latter had an only daughter Clara, who is the wife of Dr. Charles D. Schaeffer, the former mayor of Allentown, Pa.

Michael Schmidt (Schmitt, Smith, etc.) was one of the pioneers of Greenwich, in Albany township, and in 1755 and 1756 and later the names of Henry and Adam Smith appear on the tax list in Greenwich township. It is traditional and probable that Michael, Daniel, Henry and Adam Smith were brothers, or that Michael was the father of the other three. In 1773 Peter Smith and Stophel Schmit were among the taxables in Greewich township.

Samuel Schmidt, father of William B., was born in Greenwich township in 1813, and died in 1899, after a long life spent at farming and the wheelwright's trade, his farm lying near Eagle Point, along the mill creek in Greenwich township. He is buried at Grimville. His wife was Susanna Baer, daughter of Johannes Baer, and they had these children: Mary m. Henry Shirey; William B.; Susanna m. William Palmer; Henry is of Hynemansville, Pa.; Daniel is of Kuhnsville, Pa.; Jonathan is of Eagle Point; Florenda m. Edward Harwick; and Wilson is of Maxatawny township.

William B. Smith was reared upon the home farm, upon which he continued to live until twenty-three years of age, and learned the wheelwright's trade from his father. He followed this trade for many years, and on reaching his sixty-second year retired. He has lived in Kutztown since 1868, and owns property with a 70-foot frontage and 180 feet deep at Greenwich and Walnut streets. Mr. Smith is a consistent member of the Lutheran Church.

In 1867 Mr. Smith married Catherine Roemer, born Feb. 22, 1835, daughter of John Roemer, and she died Dec. 6, 1902, the mother of seven children.


SMITH, WILLIAM D.

p. 424

Surnames: SMITH, POTTS, WALLACE, TUTTON, HARTRANFT

William D. Smith, son of Levi B. and Emily H. Smith, was born at Joanna Furnace March 12, 1835. Picture of William D. SmithHe attended the New London Academy, in Chester county, Pa., and the Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass. He was engaged from his youth in the iron manufacturing business with his father and brothers at Joanna, and from 1865 to 1881 at Isabella Furnace, in West Nantmeal township, Chester county, the greater part of that period in association with his brother Horace V. In the latter year the establishment was sold to Col. Joseph D. Potts. From 1861 to 1865 he served as an adjuster in the office of Dr. Edward Wallace, naval officer in the United States Custom House at Philadelphia, and from 1876 to 1888 was deputy collector and auditor during the terms of Alexander P. Tutton and his successor, Gen. John F. Hartranft, as collectors of the port, a position involving much labor and responsibility. In June, 1863, he raised and commanded Company D, 42d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia, a part of the force called out to repel the invasion of the State. The regiment was in service about six weeks, and during the latter part of that period his company did provost duty at Hagerstown, Md. In the summer of 1887 he made a tour of Europe, and upon his return became a permanent resident of Reading.

In addition to the care of the private business interests of himself and members of his family, he has engaged for upward of twenty years in a career of active usefulness on philanthropic lines, being prominently connected with the administration of various humane and charitable public institutions, to all of which he has given liberally of his means, his time and his personal services.

Of the board of trustees of the Reading Hospital, erected in 1886, he has served as president from 1889 to the present. The Home for Friendless Children was founded in 1886 by a number of charitably disposed citizens of Reading, and in 1888 its main building on Centre avenue, north of Spring street, was erected. As chairman of the building committee Mr. Smith supervised its construction, and he has since erected at his own expense the two wings, which have more than doubled its original capacity. By its charter the administration of the institution is committed to a female board of managers, with a male board of trustees. To this charity Mr. Smith devotes his unremitting attention, in looking after the comfort of its little inmates. Since 1890 he has been a member of the board of trustees of the Charles Evans Cemetery. Among other public charities with which Mr. Smith is connected, either as member or officer, are the Reading Benevolent Society, the Hope Rescue Mission, the Humane Society, the Associated Charities, and the Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis. He is a member of the County Historical Society, a vestryman of Christ Protestant Episcopal Church of Reading, and one of the founders and leading benefactor of the recently organized St. Mary's Church of that denomination in the northwestern section of the city. For many years he has been a trustee of the Young Men's Christian Association. He is a director of the Reading & Temple Railway Company, the Reading Trust Company and the Reading Gas Company. He has been a member of the Republican party since its organization, but has not been connected with its local management. He is the advocate of a high standard of municipal government, and a warm supporter of every movement for civil, social and moral reform. He has no superior in his own community in the zeal and energy which he devotees to the promotion of organized charity and practical benevolence.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:15 EDT

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