Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 595


Harvey A. Spannuth, proprietor of the Kempton Creamery, was born at Crosskill Mills, Bethel township, Berks Co., Pa., Sept. 14, 1877, son of Emanuel and Lydia (Trautman) Spannuth.

On the memorable Christmas night of 1776, when General Washington crossed the Delaware and surprised and captured the German contingent of the British Army, one Henry Spannuth was made a prisoner. He was a native of Brussels and had been hired by a British soldier. but after he had met his American captors and was released by them, like many others he not only refused to take up arms against them. but on the other hand cast his lot in with the struggling patriots and assisted them in their battle for justice. After the close of the Revolution, he settled in Lebanon county, Pa., on land now owned by Jonathan Yeiser. Here he reared his family. and died. His children were: Jacob and George (twins), Mollie, Elizabeth, Catherine, Christian, Eva and Sarah, long since deceased.

George Spannuth was born Nov. 17, 1800, in Jackson township, Lebanon county. In 1823 he married Mary Weber, of Bethel township, and of their seven children six grew to maturity: Andrew, J. Henry, Emanuel, Mary, George and John. of whom the last survivor was J. Henry, who died. Feb. 8, 1908.

Emanuel Spannuth, son of George, was born in Jackson township, Lebanon county, Feb. 2, 1828, and died Feb. 13, 1896. In his young manhood he came to Berks county, and he purchased the Newcomet Mill in Bethel township, Berks county, and for thirty- five years conducted it with great success. This he remodeled at great expense and made it thoroughly up-to-date, being one of the first roller mills between Hamburg and Lebanon. It had a capacity of seventy-five barrels per day (twenty-four hours). It is said that altogether the mill cost him $50,000, but he had a large local trade and regardless of the amount expended on his mill, he made a good per cent on his investment. This mill and the one hundred acres of land belonging to the mill property had been in the Newcomet name for a century. Mr. Spannuth employed six or seven men all the time, and he was succeeded in this mill by his son Acquillas, who now operates it and owns the property. It was burned Oct. 1, 1891, causing a loss of $12,000. Mr. Spannuth was a Republican and for many years was committeeman of' his party, and he was delegate to various county conventions. He and his family were members of the Lutheran congregation of Klopp's Union Church, in which he had held membership for forty years, and was deacon, elder and trustee, In 1882 when the present church was built he was chairman of the building committee, He was buried in the cemetery adjoining. Emanuel Spannuth married Lydia Trautman, daughter of Jonathan Trautman, and she survived her husband but eleven months. They had thirteen children: Henry, a wholesale milk and ice cream dealer at Pottsville; Elizabeth, who died young; Madeline, who died young; Emma, m. to Isaac Bensing; Amelia, unmarried; Lydia, deceased, m. to Benjamin Strause, and had two daughters; Morris, a miller at Fredericksburg, Pa.; Andrew, a miller and farmer at Enders, Dauphin county; Acquillas, successor to his father and owner of the homestead; Alice, m, to Isaac Deck, of Fredericksburg; William, a miller at Fredericksburg; Lillie, widow of Jacob Deck, and living at Crosskill Mills; and Harvey A.

Harvey A, Spannuth received a good education in the public schools which he supplemented by a course in the Commercial Department of the Lebanon Business college, from which he graduated in 1899. At the age of sixteen he learned milling under his father, and this he followed for five years. In 1900 he began in the creamery business at Crosskill Mills, and at the same time took a course in the Dairy Department of the Pennsylvania State College. Mr. Spannuth and his brother Acquillas, under the firm name of A. A. Spannuth & Brother, conducted Crosskill Mills Creamery for one year, when the firm dissolved. Mr. Harvey A. Spannuth went to Fredericksburg, and operated the Fredericksburg roller mills for two and one-half years. In the fall of 1904 he came to Reading, and for one year was in the employ of the Reading Railroad Company. In 1905 he moved to Lyon Valley, and there conducted the Lyon Valley Creamery and farm for Smale Brothers, remaining two and one-half years. From there he came to Kempton in the spring of 1909, and has since successfully operated the Kempton Creamery, He receives about 20,000 pounds of milk per week.

Socially Mr. Spannuth is a member of Fredericksburg Lodge, No, 353, I. O. O. F.; and Jordan Encampment of this order, at Pleasant Corner, in Lehigh county. He and his wife belong to the old Lutheran church at Rehrersburg.

On May 20, 1902, Mr. Spannuth married Laura H. Snyder, daughter of Davilla and Catharine (Schneider) Snyder, the former a horse dealer in Bethel township. Two children have been born of this union: Ray S., who died in infancy; and Donald S.


p. 852


Adam Spatz, building contractor at Wernersville, was born in Lower Heidelberg township, April 17, 1865, son of Jacob H. and Amanda (Horn) Spatz.

Jacob Spatz, his grandfather, was a farmer of Lancaster county, in the vicinity of Adamstown. He married twice, his wives being sisters by the name of Hornberger. By the first union he had five children: John m. a Miss Potteiger; Jacob H.; Catharine m. Peter Holl; Polly marr1ed Edward Leed; and Josiah married a Harner. By the second marriage he had two children: Malinda m. Jacob Richard; and Elizabeth died young.

Jacob H. Spatz was born in Brecknock township, Lancaster county, near Adamstown. Before he was of age his father died and the family moved to Heidelberg township-on a farm previously purchased by the father. Jacob H. Spatz died in 1894 at the age of fifty-five years. He married Amanda Horn, daughter of Peter Horn, of Lower Heidelberg, and they had five children: Charles and Catharine died young; Adam P.; Eva m. John Krick, and after his death, William Krick; and Edwin m. Elsie Putt.

Adam P. Spatz was educated in the local schools and learned the trade of carpenter under Reuben Brossman, who afterward became his father-in-law. After completing his apprenticeship he was employed by the Mt. Penn Gravity Railroad Company, to act as foreman in the erection of the "Tower." Upon its completion he worked at his trade for several years, and then engaged in coachmaking at Brownsville, in the northern end of the township. He carried on this business for three years, when he located permanently at Wernersville for the purpose of becoming a building contractor. In this occupation he has been successful up to the present time, covering a period of upward of ten years. During this time he has erected at "Wenrich's Grand View" the elevator tower, solarium, and dairy barn; at Walter's Sanitarium the large six-story stone addition to that already imposing institution; at the State Asylum near Wernersville, a large dormitory and a large infirmary; the Pomeroy residence in Lower Heidelberg; the costly improvements to Gery's country home "Glen-Gery," in Ontelaunee township; large additions to the Montello Brick Company works at different places; and a number of fine residences in Wernersville. All these show a busy career for so short a time. He employs from twenty to thirty-five hands.

Mr. Spatz officiated as school director of the township for five years, serving as secretary of the board four years; and he has also served as a deacon and elder in Hain's Church for four years.

Mr. Spatz married Eva Brossman, daughter of Reuben Brossman, a farmer of Heidelberg township, and they became the parents of eight children: William, Bessie, Edna, Adam, Alvin, Laura, Mamie and Florence.


p. 456


Charles B. Spatz, former member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature and the editor and publisher of the Berks County Democrat and Der Boyertown Bauer, was born in Philadelphia Nov. 25, 1865, son of Charles and Julia (Busch) Spatz. The Spatz family is highly connected in Germany, and closely related to the Krupps of the famous gun manufactory.

Charles Spatz, father of Charles B., was born in Elberfeld, Germany. He learned the printer's trade, and this he followed the greater part of his life. His education was broadened by travel, and he became an excellent linguist, speaking fluently German, English, French, Russian, Polish, Hebrew and Italian. He was married and had two children when he came to America, bringing his little family with him. He found employment at his trade, and in 1871 he moved to Boyertown, buying the Boyertown Democrat, which he conducted until his death Aug. 7, 1884. He was an active Democrat in politics, and in religion was a member of the Reformed Church. He married Julia Busch, and their children were: Mrs. William Grosscup, of Camden, N. J.; Mrs. Gussie Orr, of Camden, N. J.; Charles B.; and Mrs. Otto Janssen, of Camden.

Charles B. Spatz was educated in the public schools, Kallynean Academy and Mt. Pleasant Seminary. From boyhood he has been familiar with the printer's trade, and he was but nineteen when his father died and he assumed the management of the estate. Like his father he published the paper in both English and German, but later he took a more advanced ground and published two papers, the Democrat, an English weekly, and the Bauer, a German sheet. Both are progressive, newsy papers, and are very popular. The plant is equipped with a linotype, large presses and folding machines, besides modern job presses. The politics of both papers is Democratic.

Mr. Spatz has always been interested in politics, and has been several times a delegate to State and National Conventions. He served two terms in the State Legislature, beginning with 1896, and he took an active part in the legislation at that time, being the author of the first resolution acknowledging the belligerent rights of Cuba passed by any Legislature; and he was also responsible for legislation in behalf of good government. He is at present committeeman from his district. He is a Past Master of Stichter Lodge, No.254, F. & A. M., Pottstown; and is also a member of Pottstown R. A. Chapter; Nativity Commandery K. T., No.71 ; Bloomsburg Consistory, 32d degree Masonry, and Rajah Temple of the Mystic Shrine.

On Jan. 17, 1889, Mr. Spatz married Anna Muntz, daughter of Andrew Muntz, of Reading. They have five children: Flora, Carl, Ruth, Frederick and Anna.


p. 650


Cyrus K. Spatz, who is engaged in operating his 108-acre farm in Muhlenberg township, Berks county, one of the finest properties of the locality, was born June 17, 1841, in Bern township, son of Valentine and Elizabeth (Kauffman) Spatz.

Valentine Spatz, who was a farmer in Bern township all of his life, died on his farm of 135 acres, about one mile from Bern Church, at the age of sixty-three years, and his wife passed away when seventy-three years of age. He was a member of the Reformed Church, while she was a Lutheran, and both were highly esteemed in the community in which they spent so many years. Mr. Spatz was a Democrat in his political opinions, and was a school director for some years in Bern township. Valentine Spatz and his wife had children: Cyrus K., Johnathan, Levi, Lovina, William, Elam, Amelia, Benjamin.

Cyrus K. Spatz was reared upon his father's farm in Bern township, where he remained until twenty-seven years of age, and at this time located in Muhlenberg township, where he has since resided. He bought the John Barnhart property of 108 acres, a fine, fertile tract, upon which he built, at a cost of $4000, a two story brick dwelling, the brick for which were manufactured in Leesport. This home, which is very substantial in character and model in design is one of the finest in Muhlenberg township.

In 1868 Mr. Spatz was married to Catharine Barnhart, daughter of John Barnhart, and to this union there have been born five children: Irvin D. B. m. Mary Shepp, and has three children, Mabel, Charles and Laura; Wilson D. B. m. Bessie Huntsberger, and has four children, Catherine, Warren, Emily and Eber; Catherine m. H. P. Shaffer, and has one child, Catherine; Ella m. Howard Adam, and has one child, Mary; and Florence is single In religious belief Mr. And Mrs. Spatz belong to the Reformed denomination, Mr. Spatz having been a deacon and elder in the Hinnershitz Reformed Church for nearly thirty-five years. He is a democrat in politics, and for twenty-seven years was a school director. Fraternally he is connected with Muhlenberg Castle, No. 372, K. G. E., Hyde Park, Pennsylvania.


p. 1048


Isaac S. Spatz, vice-president of the Berks County Trust Company since its organization in 1901, owner of or stockholder in several large manufacturing plants, is one of the leading men of Mohnton. He was born there Oct. 15, 1857, son of John H. and Mary (Snader) Spatz.

John H. Spatz, born in Cumru township, died Jan. 5, 1898, aged seventy years, and is buried in the old cemetery at Mohnton. He was reared in Chester county, Pa., and in his youth learned the trade of wheelwright and blacksmith, which he followed some twenty years. About 1850 he moved to Mohnsville, and here purchased a farm, which he spent several years in cultivating. For three years ? 1870-1873-he was a member of a company engaged in the manufacture of wool hats. He then built the lower factory, and organized the firm of Spatz, Mohn & Co., engaging in the manufacture of hats until 1879, when the firm was changed to J. H. Spatz & Co., and a new mill erected. This he continued to operate as long as he lived. He was also for seven years the proprietor of the Wyomissing Hat Company, and was a member of the Mohnsville Water Company. Active and enterprising in business, he was far seeing, progressive and public-spirited, and was well known throughout the county. He dealt in real estate, and erected many of the first houses in the town. In politic he was a Republican, and in religion a member of the Evangelical Church, being class-leader and steward. He married Mary Snader, of Terre Hill, Lancaster county, and their children were: Emma, married to J. G. Mohn, a hat manufacturer of Reading; Isaac S.; Anna, married to Aaron Warner, a hat manufacturer of Mohnton; and Susan, married to Monroe Killion, a hosiery and underwear manufacturer of Mohnton (in partnership with Aaron S. Hornberger).

Picture of Isaac S. SpatzIsaac S. Spatz received his education in the common schools and in Cedar Hill Seminary, at Mount Joy, Pa. In 1879 he joined his father in business, and after the latter's death assumed control of their combined interests. In 1885 he took charge of the Reinhold Hosiery Mills, and he is the owner of the Wyomissing Hosiery Mills, of Mohnsville, as he is also of the Penn Straw Works, which he built in 1886. The remarkable success of his ventures and the rapidly increasing business induced him to look for another outlet, and he formed the Globe Hat Company, which, since 1897, has been manufacturing wool hats at Mohnsville. Mr. Spatz employs a large force and he has the happy faculty of winning and retaining the respect and esteem of his employees. Besides looking after his manufacturing interests he serves as president of the Safe Harbor Electric Light and Power Company, capitalized at $50,000 and is a heavy stockholder in the Mohnton Electric Light Plant, the latter having six hundred lights and being one of the advantages of the town. He is the owner of several hundred well-improved acres of land, well stocked with high-grade cattle; and he is also engaged to some extent in the lumber business. For a time he was also a director in the Penn National Bank. Mr. Spatz is a man of remarkable business ability and of sound judgment, and his advice has been of inestimable value to all the concerns with which he has been identified.

On March 18, 1879, Mr. Spatz married Ellen Gring, of Cumru township, and three children have been born to them: Norah, a clerk in her father's office; Sallie; and Elmer. Mr. Spatz is a Republican in his political belief, and on April 30, 1907, at the first borough election, he was elected a member of the Mohnton council by a large majority; he is serving at present as secretary of that body. He is a member of the Evangelical Church, in which he has been Sunday-school superintendent, trustee and class-leader; and he is a member of the board of publishing of the Evangelical Association of Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Spatz is a man of genuine worth, and has many friends in the community in which his entire life has been spent.


p. 1181


Samuel K. Spatz, who passed away at his home in Reading on the morning of March 26, 1909, was a man prominent in fraternal and social circles in the city of Reading. He was the proprietor of the Metropolitan Buffet, situated at No. 904 Penn street, that city.

Valentine Spatz, great-grandfather of Samuel K. Spatz, owned farming land in Bern township, and he was a member of the Bern Union church of the Reformed faith. Both he and his wife were buried there. They had children: Jacob, Valentine and Benjamin, sons, all of whom settled in Bern township; and Betsey and Molly, daughters, who married, respectively, William Weaver and John Schmaltz.

Valentine Spatz, grandfather of Samuel K., was born April 23, 1818, in Bern township, Berks county, and died April 1, 1879, aged 60 years, 11 months and 8 days. He was a farmer during all his active years, and owned 145 acres of land in Bern township. He married Elizabeth A. Kauffman, daughter of David Kauffman of Centre township, born Nov. 17, 1815, and died Nov. 14, 1888, aged 72 years, 11 months and 27 days. The children of Valentine and Elizabeth A. Spatz were: Cyrus, born June 17, 1841; Jonathan K., Oct. 9, 1842; Levi, Sept. 21, 1844; William, Dec. 26, 1847; Lovina, June 12, 1848; Valentine, June 7, 1849; Susanna, in October, 1850 (died young); Helen Elizabeth, Sept. 23, 1854; Amelia, April 25, 1857; and Benjamin, Aug. 7, 1859.

Jonathan K. Spatz, father of Samuel K., was born in the old family home in Bern township and grew up on his father's farm. In 1867 he began farming for himself, and for 35 years he continued to farm in different sections of Berks county. In 1903 he became the proprietor of the "Cacoosing Hotel" in Spring township, which he conducted for one year. For a number of years he was known as a horseman in this section and at various times he owned fine animals. Since 1905 he has resided in Reading. In politics he is a Democrat, and when he lived in Maiden-creek township he was school director for three years and frequently was a delegate to county conventions. He is a member of the Castle No. 372, K. G. E. of Hyde Park. With his family he belongs to the Reformed congregation of the Bern Union church. On May 15, 1867, he was married to Sarah Kauffman, born in 1846, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Shartle) Kauffman, of Centre township, and they had three children, namely: Harry, residing in Reading, m. to Mary Kline; Kate, residing in Reading, m. to Calvin Rothenberger; and Samuel K.

Samuel K. Spatz was born Aug. 1, 1879 in Penn township, Berks county, Pa., and was reared on his father's farm. His education was obtained at the schools of Muhlenberg township, Prof. D. B. Brunner's Business College, of Reading, and the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, graduating from the latter institution with the class of 1898. For five subsequent years he taught school in Spring township. In 1900 he entered the Dickinson School of Law, where he was graduated in 1902, and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. He was employed for a time with the Metropolitan Insurance Company, at Temple, and also worked for W. H. Boyd & Co., directory publishers, as solicitor. In 1906 Mr. Spatz opened the Metropolitan Buffet on Penn street, and carried on a successful business there. He was a great enthusiast in athletics, having been manager of the Reading football team, and was Berks County champion of 1906.

Mr. Spatz was associated with many fraternal organizations. He was secretary of the Owls and held membership in the following: Lodge No. 62, F.& A. M., Reading; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree; Oley Lodge No. 218, I. O. O. F., of Reading; Manangy Tribe, No. 316, I. O. R. M.; Reading Aerie, No. 66, F. O. E.; Sinking Spring Camp, P. O. S. of A.; 1900 Beneficial Association; Friendship Fire Company; and the Twentieth Century Quakers, in which he was a charter member. He was a man who was very popular and he had a host of friends. He was buried at Hinnershitz Church.


p. 1200


Charles E. Spayd, of West Leesport, Pa., was born there Feb. 10, 1860, son of Samuel and Susan (Gauger) Spayd and a member of a family that was planted in this country in 1753, the date of the arrival of the emigrant ancestor on the ship "Rowand." In 1790 the Federal census records Henry, Sebastian, John and Philip as taxables of Heidelberg township, Berks county. Henry Spead had three sons under sixteen years of age, and two daughters; Sebastian Spead had one son over sixteen, three under sixteen and three daughters. John Spead was married and had one daughter.

Philip Spayd, great-grandfather of Charles E., is reported by the Federal census of 1790 as a resident of Heidelberg township, and as married and having one daughter. His son John was born two years later in 1792.

John Spayd, son of Philip, was born Feb. 16, 1792, and died Feb. 6, 1860, and is buried at Epler's Church, of which he was a Reformed member. He lived in Bern township, in the vicinity of West Leesport, where he followed the trade of carpenter. He married Elizabeth Albrecht, born April 6, 1791, daughter of Jacob and Magdalena Albrecht, and she died March 28, 1846. Their children were: John, who followed the trade of carpenter at Leesport and became the owner of considerable real estate, had children ? George and Emma ? by his first marriage; Daniel, a cooper by trade, lived at Reading; William, a carpenter at Leesport, m. Louise Loose, and had children ? Helen, Ella, Sallie, Minerva, Louise, Kate, Howard, Rufus L. and William, Jr.; Samuel is mentioned below; Elizabeth died unmarried; and Mary m. Adam Gehry, of Reading.

Samuel Spayd, son of John, was born in Bern township Feb. 25, 1831, and died at West Leesport March 14, 1892, and was buried at Leesport. He was a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and for many years followed the undertaking business at West Leesport. He was an active member of Trinity Reformed Church, and was a deacon for some years. For many years he was treasurer of the Leesport Lodge of Odd Fellows, and was also active in the Sr. O. U. A. M. He was the owner of three houses besides his own home, and was well known in business circles. In politics he was a Republican. He married Susan Gauger, daughter of John and Mary (Powley) Gauger. She is still living.

Their children were: Charles E.; Samuel, of West Leesport; Carrie, who died aged eleven years; and John G.; bookkeeper for the Reading Lumber Company.

Charles E. Spayd received his education in the public schools of Bern township, and later attended Palatinate College at Myerstown. At the age of thirteen he began clerking in the general store of S. H. Lenhart, at West Leesport, where he was employed for a period of eighteen years. From 1892 to 1895 he was in business with M. T. Schlappig, under the firm name of Spayd & Schlappig, and they carried on a general merchandise business at West Leesport. In July 1898, Mr. Spayd became a salesman for the wholesale notion house of Sheibley, Tyler & Co., of Philadelphia, traveling all over Berks and Lancaster counties. He resides with his family at West Leesport, which is one of the boroughs of Berks county. He is a man of intelligence and enterprise, and was instrumental in securing the incorporation of the borough, becoming one of the first councilmen, serving in that body seven years, during all of which time he was the secretary. In politics he is a Republican, and he is interested in all public movements.

In church life Mr. Spayd is especially active. He belongs to Trinity Reformed Church, of Leesport, of which he was deacon, and in 1909 was elected an elder of the church. He is superintendent of the Union Sunday school, an office he has held since 1898. He is a member of Leesport Lodge, No. 141, I. O. O. F.; Senior O. U. A. M., No. 141; Knights of the Golden Eagle; Independent Americans; and Daughters of Rebekah.

On Jan. 30, 1891, Mr. Spayd married Miss Alvesta Schearer, born June 8, 1859, daughter of Reuben and Rebecca Schearer, of Allentown. Mrs. Spayd died Dec. 22, 1904, and was buried at Leesport. Two sons were born to this union, namely: Samuel N., a stenographer; and Paul R., a student still in school.


p. 340


John Spayd, second President Judge of Berks county, was born in Dauphin county, Pa., in January, 1764. He acquired a classical education, read law and was admitted to the Bar Feb. 14, 1788, and began practising at Reading, where he attained great prominence. He was appointed judge of the courts of Berks county in 1806, and officiated three years. Between the years 1795 and 1810 he was a member of the General Assembly. The remainder of his life was devoted to the practice of law at Reading. In 1833 he went to Philadelphia for surgical relief, undergoing an operation, but his case was beyond human skill, and he died there October 13th, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. His remains were interred in the Lutheran graveyard, and subsequently transferred to the Charles Evans Cemetery. The judges of the court, members of the Bar, and the borough council each passed appropriate resolutions commendatory of his life and character as a lawyer, as a judge, and as a public-spirited citizen. Members of the Philadelphia Bar held a meeting in the District Court-room and also adopted appropriate resolutions.

Judge Spayd married Catharine Hiester, eldest daughter of Governor Joseph Hiester. Their children were: Elizabeth (m. Edward B. Hubley, member of Congress from Schuylkill county); John (graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania); Catharine B. (m. John B. Brooke, merchant of Reading, and father of Dr. John B. Brooke); Joseph H. (member of the Berks County Bar); George W. (burgess of Reading); Henry (graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania and died soon after graduation); Amelia (m. Dr. Diller Luther, of Reading).

At the time of his death, Judge Spayd resided in Penn Square, next house west of the Farmers' Bank.


p. 942


William Spayd, who for many years was one of the early inn-keepers of the Blue Marsh district, was a native of Bern township, Berks county. The early spelling of the name was Spathe.

Mr. Spayd was educated in the pay schools of his native locality, and as a young man it is supposed that he was a lock tender on the Union Canal. Later he purchased the property now owned by a Mr. Reifsnyder in the Blue Marsh district, in Bern township, near the State Road, and he operated a farm of ten acres and conducted what was then known as the "Blue Marsh Hotel." There the remainder of his life was spent, his death occurring in 1862, at the age of fifty-six years. His remains were interred in the cemetery at Bern Church. For many years Mr. Spayd was engaged in the manufacture of fish nets, which he sold in Reading and vicinity.

William Spayd married Mary Moyer, a native of Hanover, Germany. To this union were born five children, as follows: Louisa, who married Henry R. Miller, of Hyde Park, and has two children, Katie and Wallace; William H., who died young; Henrietta; Amanda, who died single; and John, who married Jennie Campbell, has one son, George H., and lives at Frush Valley. In religious belief Mr. Spayd was Reformed, while his wife was a member of the Lutheran Church, in which faith she died in October, 1876. Mr. Spayd was a Democrat in politics, but only took a good citizen's part in public matters. By his first marriage, to a Miss Shower, Mr. Spayd had two children, George W., who died single; and Lydia, who married James Fromm, and had four children ? Adam, Mary, Clara and Melinda.

Miss Henrietta Spayd was eleven years of age when she went to live with the family of Israel B. Sallade, Mrs. Sallade keeping a millinery establishment, in which Miss Spayd clerked until twenty-one years old, at which time she went to Philadelphia and clerked in a notion store for four years, and then returned to Reading and clerked in H.R. and A. S. Boyer's store, at No. 528 Penn street, for ten years. Miss Spayd then resigned to engage in the millinery business, at the place formerly occupied by Mrs. Sallade, where with Misses E. L. Grotevent and M. M. Rorke, she conducted the business for eleven years. Miss Spayd then sold out, and in 1898 went to live with Mrs. Sallade, remaining until the latter's death. She now resides in Hyde Park, and is a member of Alsace Lutheran Church. She belongs to the Ladies' Mite Society, and is a contributor to all worthy Christian causes.


p. 1653


Cyrus G. Spears, a venerable citizen of Reading, Pa., who is now living retired at No. 1604 Perkiomen avenue, was born in Robesonia, Berks Co., Pa., Nov. 15, 1827, son of William and Susan (Gibson) Spears.

John Spears, the grandfather of Cyrus G., was a native of England, from which country as a young man he came to America with two brothers, landing in Philadelphia. John Spears settled in Heidelberg township and for many years worked at the Robesonia iron furnace. His brother Charles settled in Virginia, between Harrisonburg and New Market, in the Shenandoah Valley, where he reared a family, descendants of which reside there to this day. The other brother was lost, and no trace of his whereabouts was ever known. John Spears had three children: Peter, John and William, of whom Peter and John settled in Schuylkill county.

William Spears, father of Cyrus G., was born in Heidelberg township, Berks county, in the neighborhood of Robesonia, and died in the early '60s, when past middle age, being buried at St. Daniel's (Corner) Church, where his wife, Susan (Gibson) Spears, was also buried. William Spears was a farmer and millwright by occupation, and for many years was also engaged in carpenter work at the Charming Forge. He and his wife had these children: Amelia, who married George Zellers; Alfred, formerly of Robesonia and later of Hamburg; Mahlon, of Windsor Castle; Cyrus G.; Edward, a tailor of Reading; Elizabeth, who died unmarried; Emma, who died young; and Mary, who married Andrew Helms, formerly of Reading and now of Philadelphia.

Cyrus G. Spears is a stonemason by trade, which occupation he followed in early life, later taking up as a vocation boating on the old Union canal, which was abandoned in the '70s, after which he worked for the Reading Railway Company, the family living in the company's oil house on North Ninth street. Prior to this time he had worked at the depot, and he was also employed at the watch tower at Seventh and Penn streets for some years, but in 1900 he retired from active life, and is now enjoying the fruits of his early labor in comfortable rest. Considering his age, Mr. Spears is very well preserved in body and mind, and he is in possession of all of his faculties. Formerly, he and his family were members of the First Baptist Church of Reading, but since 1900 the family have been attendants of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

In 1853 Mr. Spears was married to Mary Reber, daughter of John and Catherine (Koch) Reber of Heidelberg township. Five children were born to this union: Emily C., who died aged fifteen years; Ida M., who has devoted her life to the care of her aged father, is a single lady and has the esteem and love of the entire community; Agnes R., widow of Thomas Ellis, a boiler maker of Pottstown, who died in 1889; John, who married Millie Orchie, resides at Shillington and has two sons, Charles and Earl; and Charles, who died aged four years, one month after the death of his sister Emily, both deaths being caused by scarlet fever. Rev. Charles A. Pauli performed the burial ceremony, and this was the occasion of his last sermon, his own death occurring soon thereafter.


p. 733


James Spears, an aged citizen of Robesonia, Berks Co., Pa., was born near Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 15, 1833, a son of William and Christie (Kirkwood) Spears. William Spears was born near Glasgow, about 1793, and died in 1843 surviving his wife by some few years. He was a weaver by trade. They had seven children: William, James, Alexander, Christie, Jennie, Mary and Ellen. With the exception of Alexander all the children emigrated to America. James came alone, and five other having preceded him by one year. They all lived at Moselem, in Berks county. William was taken prisoner and died in the Civil war. Jennifer married Jacob Warner, of Womelsdorf, and still survives. Christie married James McCallen and they lived at Fritztown, Berks county, where she died. Mary married Horatio Hillesley and lives at Manayunk, Pa. Ellen lives at Philadelphia. James spears learned weaving with his father, in his native land, where he followed the trade for a short time before coming to America. This was in 1853, during the administration of President Franklin Pierce. He settled in Berks county and began to work in the mines at Moselem, where he lived for four years. In the spring of 1859 he came to Robesonia and began working at the Robesonia Iron Company's plant, where he continued until his retirement in 1901, since then he has occupied his pleasant home on Elm street. During his long connection with the iron works he was variously employed in almost every department, being a good mechanic and a regular handy man. Mr. Spears is a veteran of the Civil war. He enlisted at Reading, in February 1865, in Company A., 99th Pennsylvania Volunteers and served until the close of the war, being honorably discharged after four months of service. On Aug. 16, 1862, Mr. Spears was married to Elizabeth Yonson, born March 16, 1838, in Heidelberg township, Berks county, daughter of Henry and Catherine (Mayer) Yonson. Mr. and Mrs. Spears have two children, Leah and William. The daughter married Joseph Putt and they reside at Robesonia; they have one son, James H. S. The son married Priscilla Putt, and they have two children, Jennie and James.


p. 809


As far back as can be traced, in many instances, Prof. Specht's ancestors on both sides of the family, were noted musicians. A half-brother of his father served as musician in the regular army with Gen. G. A. Custer at the time of the terrible massacre in 1876, and a cousin of his mother, Emil Scheck, is holding the position of first clarinetists in the Philharmonic Orchestra of New York City. Prof. Specht had three uncles in the Civil War, one already spoken of, and Peter Specht, who was killed during an engagement at Rappahannock; and George Specht, who served through the entire war. His maternal grandfather enlisted in the American Navy, and was lost at sea in 1848. Prof. Charles G. Specht, music teacher and organist at Sinking Spring for upward of twenty years, was born June 27, 1860, in Spring township, near Montello. He was brought up there and educated in the public schools, and after leaving school he learned the trade of potter, working under his father until he was twenty years old.

When but a boy of ten years, Charles G. Sprecht manifested a great talent for music, both vocal and instrumental, and by the time he was fifteen years old he was capable of performing on all kinds of instruments, becoming particularly fond of the clarinet, and at the early age he was a member of a local band. He took lessons under Prof. Berg in harmony, modulation and composition, also for singing and playing on the piano and organ, later a special course in harmony, counterpoint and composition under Prof. Theodore Kolb, and under Prof. Rothenberger on the cornet and clarinet. The attention of musicians at Altoona was attracted to his musical accomplishments and they invited him to that place; there he became a member of the Mountain City Band, and afterward of the famous and popular Altoona City Band. Not liking the place he remained but a short time and returned to Reading.

Upon returning home he learned cigar making, and followed that business for about two years to assist in making his living and musical expenses. In 1884 he married, and then determined to follow the profession of teaching music in all its branches, with his home at Sinking Spring, and in this he has been very successful. He has been the organist of the Sinking Spring Reformed Church since 1886. In the past twenty years he has taught more than sixty musical organizations, such as bands, orchestras, and hundreds of pupils in the art of singing and playing the piano, organ and pipe organ. He also served as Clarinetist for sixteen years in the famous Ringgold Band of Reading.

Prof. Specht married Esther Elizabeth Reber, daughter of Levi and Sophia (Heckman) Reber, the former a farmer of Bern township, and by her had four children: Minnie E., m. Herbert Hornberger; George R.; Paul L.; and Frederick E. died when nineteen years old.

The Professor's father, John George Specht, was born in 1827, in Baden, Germany, where he learned the trade of Potter. He emigrated to America in 1852, and landing at New York, lived there and in Canada, following his trade until 1858. Then he moved to Berks county, Pa., locating a mile south of Sinking Spring, and here he followed the pottery business until his decease in 1895. He married Hannah R. (Sifferman) Geibel, widow of John Geibel, of Spring township and by her he had two sons: Charges G. and John P. (m. Amanda Snader, of Adamstown).


p. 1064

Surnames: SPEIDEL, WEIS,

Picture of John G. SpeidelJohn G. Speidel, engaged at Reading, Pa., in the manufacture of machinery, is a native of Balingen, Wurtemberg, Germany, born Dec. 4, 1855. He received his education in his native country, where he also learned the machinist's trade, and he came to America when a little over sixteen years of age, going from New York City after a year and a half to Philadelphia, where he followed his trade for about three and a half years. In 1876 Mr. Speidel returned to the Old World, and attended a technical school in Winterthur, Switzerland, and in 1881 he came to Reading. For two years he was employed in Philadelphia as a draughtsman, and in 1881 he came to Reading. For three years he was employed at the Scott foundry, in the drawing department, and he then went to Scranton, where he was employed as draughtsman by the Dickinson Manufacturing Company for a period of five years. Again returning to Reading in 1888, he engaged in business on his own account, first in a small shop at Orange and Bingaman streets, and in 1893 he located on Cherry street, above Eighth. In 1896 Mr. Speidel moved to Eighth street, below Chestnut, and there remained until 1900, when he erected on West Buttonwood and Gordon streets his present place of business, a two-story brick building, 130x95 feet, fitted with the latest improved machinery, and with an extensive yard for the storage of iron, wood, coal, etc. He manufactures Speidel's patent chain hoists, cranes, overhead tramways, elevators, dumb-waiters, special hoisting machinery, and he holds patents on all of his goods. Mr. Speidel was the inventor of all of his valuable patents, and was the architect of his own plant. He employs from thirty to thirty-five men, and his product finds a ready market all over the United States, as well as in nearly every foreign country in the world. Mr. Speidel resides at Mt. Penn, on Perkiomen avenue, and opposite twenty-fourth street. Mr. Speidel made all the plans and superintended the construction of the present buildings of the Reading Hardware Company, which had been destroyed by the fire July 2, 1888.

Mr. Speidel married Miss Sophie Weis, and to them have been born the following children: Clara, Marie, Lillian, Florence and John George, Jr. He is a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church. Few men have gained such great success as rapidly as has Mr. Speidel. He is skilled in his profession, and is energetic and enterprising, an employer who is kind and considerate. In all business transactions he is honest and trustworthy, and as a citizen he is held in the highest esteem in the community.


p. 1392


William H. Sperry, a representative businessman of Reading, Pa., who is proprietor of Sperry's Caf?formerly the Washington Library, was born at "The Buck," in Chester county, Pa., Jan. 18, 1863, son of Samuel and Sarah (Feather) Sperry.

Francis Sperry, the grandfather of William H., was a resident of Warwick township, Montgomery county, Pa., was a farmer by occupation, and died at the ripe old age of ninety-four years, in about 1872. He had two sons, namely: Francis, who died in 1898, and who had two sons, Samuel and Jacob, who both died at Norristown; and Samuel, the father of William H.

Samuel Sperry was born in December 1829, in Worchester township, Montgomery county, and died at Reading May 13, 1901, and was buried at Pottstown. He was a farmer and carriage builder in Pottstown, occupations which he also followed in Chester county, and later became the proprietor of the "Mansion House," at Boyertown, which he successfully conducted for a number of years. He married Sarah Feather, who survives him and makes her home with her son William H., and they had three children, namely: Clara and George, both of whom died young; and William H.

William H. Sperry was educated at Washington Hall, The Trappe, Pa., having prior to this attended Koons Pleasant View Seminary, at Boyertown, Pa. When eighteen years old he became a clerk in J. & K. Boyer's general store at Boyertown, learning the grocery dry goods and hardware business, and continued one year as an apprentice and one year as a journeyman. He then became a hotel clerk in his father's hostelry at Boyertown, Pa., in which capacity he continued for fourteen years, and in 1889 he came to Reading and engaged in the coal business at Ninth and Marion streets, continuing in this line for four years. Subsequently he rented Frill's coal yard, which had been established by George Frill about 1850, at the present site of Luden's candy factory, and here Mr. Sperry continued for four years, handling about 9,000 tons of coal annually, and also engaging in contracting. He removed the old building located on the site of the present Masonic Temple, on North Fifth street, excavated that cellar, which is the largest in the city of Reading, being 228 x 54 feet and also delivered 600 tons of iron there from the Eighth street freight house. He then sold out his coal business on North Eighth street, and in July, 1897, he engaged in the hotel business at No. 217 North Eighth street, where he continued about seven years. His next venture was the conducting of the "Hotel Monterey," at Atlantic City, for one year, but in 1903 he returned to Reading and assumed charge of his present place of business, located at No. 640 Penn street, which is one of the most popular and best patronized stands in Reading.

Fraternally, Mr. Sperry is connected with Stichter Lodge No. 254 F. & A.M. of Pottstown; Excelsior Chapter, Reading Commandery, Council at Bethlehem, Lodge of Perfection and Consistory at Bloomsburg, and Rajah Temple, A. A O. N. M. S., at Reading. He is also a member of Opopokasset Tribe No. 122, I. O. R. M., of Reading, having passed all the chairs and being past sachem. In June 1907, at the Great Council at Lancaster, Pa., to which he had been elected a representative of his tribe, Mr. Sperry was appointed District Deputy Great Sachem of Pennsylvania, having charge of five tribes of Reading, comprising about 1,800 Red Men. He is very popular in this order, and numbers his friends by the number of his acquaintances.

On Nov. 24, 1887, Mr. Sperry was married to Mary E. Merkel, daughter of Frederick and Fredericka Merkel, natives of Germany, and one son has been born to this union, namely: S. Merkel Sperry.


p. 884


Spohn Family. The name of Spohn is well represented in Berks county in the present generation by the two brothers, Evan M. and Lewis E. Spohn, of Spring township. The family has long lived in this county, and several members have been conspicuous in its history. The cemeteries show some of the early records of the family: Henry Spohn, born March 10, 1729, died Jan. 21, 1813; and his wife, Maria Katharine, born March 12, 1736, died Jan. 25, 1810. Adam Spohn (son of Henry) born Jan. 25, 1758, died Jan. 18, 1831; and his wife, Elizabeth, born Dec. 15, 1764, died Sept. 23, 1829. Maria Katharine Spohn, wife of Henry, was a famous nurse in her day, and attended the births of 1,114 children. During the war of the Revolution, Philip Spohn became, May 17, 1777, first lieutenant in the Eighth Company, Berks county militia; on May 31, 1781, he was a private in Col. Joseph Hiester's Battalion and Sebastian Miller's Company; he was captain of the Eighth Company, Sixth Battalion, a Lieut-Col. Joseph Hiester, May 27, 1780. Henry Spohn presumably the Henry mentioned above, as born March 10, 1729, was court-martial man in the Eighth Company, of which Philip Krick was captain, May 17, 1777.

Joseph Spohn, father of Henry, grandfather of Adam, and great-grandfather of Samuel, mentioned just below, settled under a big oak tree on the farm later owned by Abraham Goul, now owned by John Barbey.

Samuel Spohn, son of Adam, born in Spring township, what is know known as the Sailor farm, Feb. 28, 1797, died Aug. 30, 1869. He was a farmer and distiller, and was a very substantial citizen, deeply interested in public questions. He helped to establish the boundary line between Cumru and Spring townships. He owned the farm that is now the property of his grandson, Lewis E. He helped to build the Reformed Church at Sinking Spring, was always one of its active and most interested members, and was buried in the cemetery there. On May 16, 1820, he married Mary Rollman, who was born Oct. 3, 1803, and who died Sept. 30, 1882, daughter of John Rollman. They became the parents of children as follows: Richard born March 3, 1821, who died Jan. 25, ----; Ellen, James and Daniel, who all died young; and Adam R.

Adam R. Spohn, son of Samuel, was born on the Spohn homestead in Spring township, July 14, 1831, and died Sept. 26, 1904. He was a farmer and for some years was a clerk in a store at Sinking Spring. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of St. John's Lutheran Church at Sinking Spring, in which he served both as deacon and elder. He and his wife both sleep in the cemetery there. The farm now owned by his son Lewis E. was his home. He was a most useful citizen of his community, and one highly respected. His wife Sarah Ann Yost, born Oct. 10, 1833, was a daughter of Nicholas and Susan (Seidel) Yost, and died Sept. 30, 1905. Their union was blessed with two sons, Evan M. and Lewis E.

Evan M. Spohn, son of Adam R., and now a retired farmer and good citizen of Sinking Spring, was born in Spring township, on the old Spohn homestead, March 30, 1857. He obtained a good education in the township schools and the Keystone State Norman School at Kutztown, worked on his father's farm until he was twenty-five years old, and in 1882 began farming for himself on the home place. This he continued for twenty-four years, in the spring of 1906 retiring and moving to Sinking Spring, where he owned a good residence on Cacoosing street. He was treasurer of the Liberty Chemical Fire Company of Sinking Spring for some years. His only employment at present is the general management of his property. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and he takes a keen interest in the success of his party. He is a member of Lodge No. 660, I. O. O. F., at Sinking Spring. With his family he belongs to St. John's Church at Sinking Spring, being a Lutheran member thereof. For two years he served as deacon.

On May 29, 1880, Mr. Spohn was married to Lydia H. Kurtz, born Feb. 22, 1857, daughter of Samuel and Catharine (Haines) Kurtz. To Mr. and Mrs. Spohn have been born two children: Ammon K., born July 18, 1882; and Sarah K., born May 17, 1887 who married Charles Wengert, of Sinking Spring.

Lewis E. Spohn, son of Adam R., and an influential and representative citizen of near Sinking Spring, was born on the old Spohn homestead, which he now owns, March 22, 1859. He was given a good education, and for two terms taught school, was brought up to farming, and worked for his father until he was twenty-two years old. After his marriage he worked one year for his father-in-law, and in 1883 he moved to Wernersville, and for three years worked in E. M. Huyett & Co.'s lumber and coal yard. In 1887 he began farming on the Charles Huyett farm of seventy-six acres, near Wernersville, and lived there two years. He next farmed for his father-in-law three years, and then sold out his farm stock. In the spring of 1891 he moved to his uncle Richard Spohn's place, near Sinking Spring, where he now lives. He superintends the work on the farm, and engages in trucking, visiting the Reading market once or twice a week. He owns two good tracts, in all eighty-five acres, one of which is now rented by his son, Adam F. Mr. Spohn is a well-read man, and he takes a great interest in agricultural societies, being connected with those in Berks county. He is a man of progress and enterprise, and is highly esteemed. In politics he is independent. With his family he belongs to St. Daniel's Lutheran Church.

On Dec. 3, 1881, Mr. Spohn was married to Sarah G. Ruth, daughter of Francis and Magdalena (Gerhart) Ruth, of Heidelberg township, and they have had two children; Magdalena, who died aged eight months; and Adam Francis, who married Mary Kissling, and has two children, Adam Francis and James Lewis.


p. 1430


James W. Sponagle, who has recently retire from active business cares and settled down in the borough of Birdsboro, has been for many years one of the best known citizens of Berks county. He was successfully engaged for a number of years in the contracting business, has filled several important public offices, and has in various other ways participated in local activities affecting the prosperity and good government of this region. He has always been regarded as a man of notable intelligence and honesty of purpose, and his influence has been used toward the most worthy ends.

Mr. Sponagle, was born Feb. 12, 1843, in Chester county, Pa., whither his grandfather, John Sponagle, moved from Berks county (formerly from Huntingdon county), this State. John Sponagle was of German extraction. His family consisted of four children, George, John, Samuel and Mary, the latter marrying Albert Bell, of Robeson township. This family united with the Reformed Church.

George Sponagle was born near Gibraltar, in Berks county, but lived in Chester county for several years. In early manhood he learned the plasterer's trade, which he followed for about forty years. On returning to his native county he settled in Robeson township, where he made his home for fifty years, finally removing to Union township, where he died in 1895, at the advanced age of eighty-five. Mr. Sponagle was an industrious and respected man, was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was frequently honored by his fellow citizens with election to local offices. He cast his first presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, and always a stanch Democrat. He was an Odd Fellow, belonging to the lodge at Morgantown. George Sponagle married Margaret Wilson, daughter of Andrew and All Wilson, the former of whom was of Irish descent, and a miller by trade. Mr. Wilson passed most of his life in the southern part of Berks county, and the northern part of Chester county. To Mr. and Mrs. Sponagle were born nine children, six of whom survive, viz.: Susan Jane married Henry Umstead, and both are now-deceased; Samuel, deceased, was a resident of Reading; Ann married Jacob Geiger, and lives at the old Geiger homestead in Union township; John, who formerly lived in Robeson township, is now engaged as a plasterer in Reading; James W. is mentioned below; Joseph, a plasterer, is a citizen of Geigertown; Mary Elizabeth is the widow of A. Jackson Westley, of Pottstown; George Howard died when about twenty-four years old; Harry B., a plasterer, is a resident of Birdsboro.

James W. Sponagle was only a small boy when his father removed from Chester to Berks county, and he received his early education in the public schools of Robeson township. His health was so poor, however, during his childhood, that he was not able to go to school until he was twelve years old, and he had not even been strong enough to indulge in boyish sports and pastimes, or to perform the work ordinarily expected of a boy at that time. But he made up for lost time by close application, and after attending school for six terms of four months each he was considered competent to teach ? a fact which proves his aptitude and diligence. He was given his first position as a teacher when only nineteen years old, and continued to follow that profession for many years, teaching in all fifteen winter terms, in Robeson and Union townships. Meantime he had also learned the plasterer's trade, under his father, and was employed at such work during the summer season, finally engaging in that business with his father. They worked together until 1864, when Mr. George Sponagle retired, leaving the business to his sons, John, James W. and Joseph, who carried it on under the firm name of Sponagle Brothers. Their headquarters were at Geigers Mills. James W. Sponagle managed the business for several years, until 1895, when he withdrew from the firm to enter upon his duties as county recorder. On resuming business life (which he had given up while serving as recorder) he engaged in general contracting, and followed that line until his retirement in 1907. He settled in Birdsboro in 1903.

In spite of early handicaps Mr. Sponagle has led a most active and useful life. The greater part of his early training was eminently practical. He did not attend school long, but having entered upon his studies at an age when he could realize something of their value, he made the most of his advantages. Outside of his public school work he had a course in the People's Business College of Reading. The rest of his knowledge, both of books and of the world, was gained in the school of experience, which has proved a sufficient training ground for those who do not lack ambition. It fitted him for years of successful work as a teacher and in business, in which he displayed such sterling qualities that his fellow citizens have on several occasions' chosen him for public honors. He has been prominent in politics as a member of the Democratic Party, and has run on that ticket as a candidate for several offices. For eight years he served as justice of the peace in his township, resigning in 1882, when elected representative to the State Legislature. He represented Berks county in that body from 1883 to 1887, after which he gave all of his time to the management of the business of Sponagle Brothers until elected recorder of deeds, in 1894. He held that office from January 1895, to January 1898, when his term expired, after which, as previously stated, he was in business again until his retirement. Mr. Sponagle was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Birdsboro, and is still a director in that institution.

Mr. Sponagle has a social disposition and is very companionable, and he has enjoyed membership in various fraternal orders, at present, however, belonging only to Neversink Lodge, No. 514, I. O. O. F., of Birdsboro. He was formerly affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Brotherhood of the Union. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was active in the congregation at Geigers Mills, where he lived for thirty-two years.

On Nov. 14, 1867, Mr. Sponagle married Harriet U. Geiger, and they have one child, John H., born April 6, 1870. John H. Sponagle married Joan Wagner, and they have had two children, Matilda and Alvin.


p. 1013


John Sponagle is a well-known plasterer residing in Reading. He was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1840, son of George and Margaret (Wilson) Sponagle.

John Sponagle, grandfather of John, of Reading, at one time resided in Huntingdon county, then moved to Berks county, and later to Chester county. He was of German extraction, and was a member of the Reformed denomination, as were all the members of his family. His children were: George, John, Samuel, and Mary (m. Albert Bell, of Robeson township). George Sponagle, son of John, was born near Gibraltar, Berks county, but several years of his life were passed in Chester county. He learned the plasterer's trade, and this he followed for some forty years. On his return to Berks county he located in Robeson township, whence after fifty years of residence he removed to Union township, and there he died in 1895, aged eighty-five years. He became an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he was prominent in local politics. He cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, and he was always loyal to his first party choice. He belonged to the Odd Fellows at Morgantown. He married Margaret Wilson, daughter of Andrew and Ann Wilson, and the nine children of this union were: Susan Jane m. Henry Umstead, and both are deceased; Samuel, deceased, resided in Reading; Ann m. Jacob Geiger, and lives on the Geiger farm in Union township; John, formerly of Robeson, is now in Reading; James W. lives retired in Birdsboro, after many active years in business and public life; Joseph is a plasterer at Geigertown; Mary Elizabeth is the widow of A. Jackson Westley, of Pottstown; George Howard died in young manhood; Harry B. is a plasterer at Birdsboro.

John Sponagle attended school in Robeson township, Berks county, whither his parents had removed, and was only a boy of fifteen when he began to learn the plasterer's trade under his father's instructions, and he is still employed at the same business. He came to Reading in 1901, and located at No. 151 West Douglass street, where he has a comfortable home. He is one of the oldest men in the city at his trade, and his excellent work has made him very popular.

In 1864, Mr. Sponagle married Mary E. Kaler, daughter of Mathias and Esther (Bender) Kaler, the former a prominent farmer in Summit Level, Robeson township. Their children are: Anna L. m. Peter Buchanan, who died in 1905, and she lives on the old Sponagle farm in Robeson township, and has nine children; Elizabeth E. m. Kauffman Kurtz and lives in Pittsburg; Margaret m. Theodore Sheeler and lives in Robeson township; Mathias K. lives in Reading; Joseph lives in Pittsburg; Edgar is at home in Reading; Susan J. m. Clarence Strubble, of Pittsburg; Florence m. Frank Fall, and lives at Gilbertsville; Ralph is at home. In politics Mr. Sponagle is a Democrat, and while living in Robeson township served twelve years as school director. In 1863 he enlisted in Company A. 53d Pa. Vols., and served three months.

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