Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1363


Edward W. Spaar, a farmer in the eastern end of Washington township, has passed all his life in that section of Berks county, having been born near his present home, Sept. 30, 1841.

Peter Spaar, his father, was born May 10, 1798, in Switzerland. He had three brothers and two sisters, and one of his brothers, Frederick, was a priest in Switzerland, the Spaars being devout Catholics. Peter Spaar came to America before his marriage, when a young man, to avoid military service, and settled in the eastern end of Washington township, Berks Co., Pa., where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in that township July 19, 1872, aged seventy-four years, two months, nine days. He was engaged in farming, owning a tract of forty acres, on which there were three houses. He was a member of the Catholic Church at Bally, where he is buried. Peter Spaar married Elizabeth Wingert, daughter of John and Phoebe (Covely) Wingert, of Washington township, born March 10, 1808, died Oct. 7, 1880, aged seventy-two years, six months, twenty-seven days. Their married life covered a period of thirty-eight years. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Spaar, one dying unnamed. The others were as follows: John is a resident of Barnesville, Schuylkill Co., Pa.; Lucy Ann, twin if John, died young; Horatio died unmarried; Henry lived at Pittstown, Pa.; Edward W. is mentioned farther on; Mary, twin of Edward, married Augustus Grow; Phoebe died unmarried; Augustus, deceased, lived in Montgomery county, Pa.; Aaron is a resident of Shamokin, Pa.; Peter lives in Allentown. Of this family, Henry and Aaron spell the name Sparr; the original name, however, is Spaar.

Edward W. Spaar received his education in the schools of the home neighborhood, attending the public school the first day the system was inaugurated in his district; it was held on the second floor of an old mill building, where John Shuler now lives. He was reared on the farm, and still continues to follow farming, owning thirty-five acres of good land, on which are a stone house and a good barn. By thrift and industry he makes a good living from this place. For some years Mr. Spaar worked at the cigar-maker's trade. He has served three years as constable of his township, having been elected on the Democratic ticket.

Mr. Spaar married in 1863 Mary Ackerman, born Nov. 9, 1843, daughter of Stephen and Fietta (Griffith) Ackerman, of Washington township, and fourteen children have been born to them: Frank, who is deceased; Edwin, of Bally; David, who lives in Allentown; Jonathan, of Allentown; Elmer, of Allentown; Anthony, of Allentown; Tevillia, wife of E. Deysher; Joanna, wife of William Fister; Jane, wife of Earnt Waller; Amanda, wife of Frank Bauer; Estella, unmarried; Saphora, unmarried; Lydia, wife of Laurence Frey; and George, deceased. The family belong to the Catholic church of the Most Blessed Sacrament, at Bally, Berks county.


p. 1598


William J. Spaar, of Reading, Pa., was born Jan 26, 1871, at Hillegas, Montgomery County, Pa., son of Augustus and Matilda (Deysher) Spaar.

Augustus Spaar; who died Dec. 24, 1905, at the age of fifty-nine, is buried at Bally, Pa. He was a saddler by trade, a business which he carried on practically all of his life, also conducting a general store in connection therewith. He and his wife, who still survives him and makes her home in Montgomery county, had eight children, six of whom are still living: William, Henry, Charles, Augustus, Matilda and Katie. The family is connected with the Catholic Church.

William J. Spaar received his education in the schools of Montgomery county, and worked on a farm until sixteen years of age, when he entered a general store as clerk, a position which he continued to fill for about six years. He then went to Philadelphia in a like capacity, but after six years came to Reading, where he clerked in stores for several years. In 1905 he became connected with Deysher & Company, grocers, with whom he remained for one year, when the firm of Spaar Brothers -- William J. and Henry Spaar --was established. This business being converted in September, 1906, into a branch distributing point for the Penn Produce Company, which does a wholesale business, he remained with it for two years. Since the summer of 1909 he has been connected with S. S. Wisser, merchant at West Reading. Mr. Spaar has been successful as a salesman, and is favorably known to the business men of Reading. He is a member of the Grand Fraternity and the American Casualty Company, and in political matters is a Democrat.

On April 22, 1897, Mr. Spaar was united in marriage with Miss Leah Geiger, daughter of Amos and Lillie (Smeck) Geiger, and to them there have been born four children: Walter, Lillian, Raymond and Harold. Mr. Spaar is a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, while Mrs. Spaar is a Protestant.


p. 1585

Surnames: SPANG

Frederick Spang, an artist of great talent, a cultured gentleman at Reading from 1870 to 1891, was a lineal descendant of Frederick Spang-a prominent iron master of Berks county. Mr. Spang was born Jan. 31, 1834, in Oley township, and was educated at Norristown, to which place his parents had removed when he was but a boy. While prosecuting his studies in painting at Philadelphia he enlisted in Company C, of the 15th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, and served a term of three years. Upon his discharge he resumed his art studies in Philadelphia and afterward spent several years on California. In 1870, he located in Reading, Pa., where he continued his art work in a successful manner until his decease, Nov. 21, 1891. He painted many portraits and landscape views of great merit and his pictures of still life displayed talent of superior order


p. 1371


Jacob K. Spang, a prominent retired citizen of Reading, was born in Oley township, Berks county, son of Jacob S. and Deborah (Kline) Spang, and a grandson of Frederick Spang, an important figure of the time of the iron boom in the early part of the eighteenth century.

Jacob S. Spang early in life took up the pursuits of his fathers, and for many years was engaged in the iron business. He also owned and operated much farming property throughout Berks county, and at one time, conducted a mercantile establishment at Spangsville, a settlement named in his honor. He died in 1862 aged sixty-four years. His wife lived to the advanced age of eighty-one years, dying in the faith of the Lutheran church, to which her husband had also belonged. He was a Whig, and at the time of the formation of the Republican party joined its ranks.

Jacob K. Spang received a common school education, and while still in his 'teens worked in his father's store and around the furnaces. In 1865 he went to Dauphin county and engaged in the manufacture of iron, later removing to Hamburg, Pa., in the same line of business, and after three years in the latter place came to Reading, becoming associated with Bushong & Co., being one of the promoters of the Keystone Furnaces, holding the responsible position of superintendent for fifteen years. He then left the firm and purchased the Maiden-creek furnace property, which he personally conducted for a number of years, after which, in 1894 he discontinued the manufacture of iron and lived retired for a few years. Mr. Spang still owns this property, a very valuable one, and has also several fine farming properties, which he rents. Mr. Spang has been a very active business man, and has done much to further the business and manufacturing interests of this section.

Mr. Spang was married in 1861 to Sarah Kauffman, daughter of Samuel Kauffman, one of the early iron manufacturers of this section. Four children have blessed this union: Fanny m. Charles Breneiser, a tobacco manufacturer; Mary; Samuel m. Miss Ella Rick, and is connected with the Colonial Trust Co.; and Alice, at home. Politically Mr. Spang is a Republican.


p 734


Robert W. Spang, a veteran of the Civil war, who was one of the first to respond to his country's call in 1861, is a native of Reading, born Sept. 15, 1845, son of Daniel and Mary (Young) Spang.

Daniel Spang was a son of George, who resided in Amity township, Berks county. There were five children, George, William, John, Daniel and Catherine. Daniel in his earlier years was a manufacturer of mill stones in Reading, later ran a chair factory, and finally engaged in the china and toy business, being located at No.627 Penn street. He was very successful financially, and was a prominent man in Reading. He married Mary, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Young. Her father was a pioneer of Reading, and was well known there, a cabinet maker by trade. His father bought property at No.627-629 Penn street, where most of the family reside, from the Penns, and the old house is one of the landmarks of the city. Daniel Spang died when only forty-eight years of age, but his wife lived to be seventy-eight. Their children were as follows: Elizabeth, widow of H. D. Van Horn, a wholesale shoe dealer in Philadelphia, who now makes her home in the old family place on Penn street; Mary, deceased; H. W., engaged in the electrical business in New York City; Robert W.; Emma, Mrs. Holtman; Daniel, Jr., who died March 18, 1907; Sallie, also at the old home; and Isaac, formerly cashier of the Reading National Bank, who married Miss Emma Hendel. Daniel Spang was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, a Republican in politics, and a man highly esteemed by all who knew him.

Robert W. Spang was sent to the public schools, but he was of an active, adventurous temperament, and when only fourteen years of age ran away from home and enlisted in Company B, 93d Pa. V. I., being mustered in at Camp Coleman, Lebanon county. When the war broke out in 1861, he was one of the first to enlist, and saw much active service as a private in the Army of the Potomac, participating in the battles of Yorktown, the Wilderness, Antietam and Spottsylvania. In time he was given a furlough and returned to his home once more. His mother refused to let him rejoin the army, as he was still so young, and he never received a formal discharge until during Grover Cleveland's administration.

On settling down again in Reading Mr. Spang went into the Philadelphia and Reading shops, and learned the trade of a machinist, remaining in the employ of that road for eighteen years. The next eighteen were spent in the electrical business, in company with his brother, and during seven of those years he was in New York City. The last seven years he has been employed by the Carpenter Steel Company, at Reading.

Mr. Spang married Miss Cordelia Filbert, whose great-uncle was the first mayor of Reading. They have one son, Charles R., a plumber by occupation. Mr. Spang is a Lutheran in his religious faith, but his wife and son are of the Reformed faith. He is a man well known in Reading and has many friends. One of his greatest pleasures is to recall from his present pleasant vantage ground, stories of the many hardships which he endured in the days of the war.


p. 519


Samuel K. Spang, son of Jacob K. and Sarah (Kauffman) Spang, was born at Hamburg, Pa., Jan. 14, 1868. He was educated in the schools of Reading, including a business course in the Interstate Commercial College, and upon finishing his preparation, assisted his father for six years as clerk, etc., in the business of manufacturing charcoal iron at Lenhartsville, Berks county, where his father conducted an old-established iron works. In November, 1891, he became a clerk in the office of the Reading Trust Company, and after filling this position very satisfactorily until December, 1903, the directors selected him as treasurer of the company, which responsible position he has held since.

Mr. Spang was married in 1900, to Ella Rick, daughter of Cyrus Rick, who was for many years cashier of the Farmers' National Bank of Reading. They have three children: Emily R., Mary R, and Charles R. Mr. Spang is a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading. He has officiated as secretary of the congregation for four years.

His great-grandfather, Frederick Spang, was a prominent iron manufacturer in Oley township before 1800, having then become the owner of the Oley Forge along Manatawny Creek, and operated it very successfully until his death. He was succeeded by his son, Jacob K. Spang. For many years the plant was known as the "Spang Forge," and the settlement came to be called Spangville.




Harry Spangler, who has been connected with the Reading Hardware Company for a number of years, has proved his ability and worth. He was born in Reading in 1871, son of William R. and Annie (Seiders) Spangler, and grandson of Rueben Spangler.

Rueben Spangler was a native of Berks county, born in Heidelberg township, and was engaged all of his life as a farmer and veterinary surgeon, being very successful in these lines. He died in 1900, aged eighty-four years, while his widow, who survives him, resides in Reading. Mr. Spangler was a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic party. He and his estimable wife were the parents of six children: William R.; Samuel R.; David; Maria married William Toole; Rueben, deceased; and Sarah married Franklin Eagle.

William R. Spangler, father of Harry, was also born in Lower Heidelberg township, and until he came of age worked upon a farm. Locating in Reading, he was first employed on the Schuylkill canal as boatman, later engaging with Jacob Shaffer, an extensive coal dealer of the city, with whom he remained several years. At the end of this time he secured a position with the Reading Hardware Company, as polisher, in the finishing department, and was also employed by the Reading Stove Works as foreman, and the Cycle Manufacturing Company. In 1905 he accepted a position with the Berks County Trust Company, as messenger, and he has since been filling that position in a highly creditable manner. He married Annie Seiders, and they had two children; Harry; and John W., cashier for the Light & Hill Insurance Company of Reading, who married Annie Young, of Allentown, Pa., and had six children--John, Catherine (deceased), Paul, Edwin, and two who died in infancy. The family are members of the Reformed Church.

Harry Spangler received his education in the schools of Reading, after leaving which he learned the trade of polisher in the shops of the Reading Hardware Company, and here he has been engaged ever since. He is very popular among the young people of Reading, and is highly regarded by his employers as a steady, faithful man. Mr. Spangler was married in 1891 to Miss Elsie Trate, daughter of Urias Trate, and two children have been born to them: William and Herbert. Mr. and Mrs. Spangler are members of the Reformed Church. Fraternally a member of the I. O. R. M. Mr. Spangler is identified politically with the Democratic party. He is secretary and business manager of the Winona Band, at Mohnton, Pennsylvania.


p. 1510


John Spangler of Reading, who died Dec. 20, 1907, at NO. 211 South Second street, was born in Switzerland, Dec. 8, 1832, son of Ulrich and Margureta (Abultzchuser) Spangler, who lived and died in Switzerland. They had six children, Jacob; Ulrich; Heinrich; Gotlieb; John and Susan. The parents were members of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1860 John Spangler embarked on the sailing vessel "Frotingham," for New York, and after a voyage of thirty-two days, landed at Castle Garden. He had learned shoemaking in Switzerland, and for the first six months remained in New York City working at his trade. He then spent a year in Schenectady, N.Y., similarly employed, and another at Syracuse. Meantime the Rebellion had broken out, and in 1863 Mr. Spangler enlisted in the 3d N. Y. Light Artillery, under Captain Kelsey. He served from that time until, the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged by general orders. He was brave and fearless and had a most creditable record. His health suffered ever after from the effects of his military experience, as he not only contracted asthma but was permanently injured by a fall from his horse, when he struck on his neck. On returning to civilian life he settled in Geneva, N.Y., where he opened a shoe shop and store, and remained there until 1887. He then sold out and moved to Philadelphia, but remained there only a short time before settling permanently in Reading, where he continued in the shoe business as before. Mr. Spangler was married in 1866 to Miss Anna von Haven, and they had six children, only three of whom are living: John, Frank and Jennie. Mr. Spangler was formerly a member of the I. O. O. F., but of late years severed his connection with the organization. In politics he was always a good Republican.

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

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