Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1099


John J. Spotts, a good, practical farmer at Caernarvon township, Berks county, whose fertile farm of ninety acres is situated near Morgantown, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., in 1859, son of George and Mary Ann (Grube) Spotts, the former of whom was born in 1837 and died in 1882, and the latter of whom makes her home in Morgantown, being about seventy years of age. George Spotts, Mr. Spotts' grandfather, died in 1861, and was buried at Churchtown, as was also his wife, who had been a Miss Ax.

John J. Spotts has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits and his present farm is in a high state of cultivation. He is a Republican in politics, but has always refused to allow his name to be connected n the way of political preferment. He and his family are members of the Morgantown Methodist Church. He married the Sept. 2, 1885, Emma Byler, born on the farm on which the Spotts family now reside, it formerly having belonged to her father. Three children have been born to this union: Dora, born in 1886; Mamie, born in 1889; and Ralph, born July 13, 1895.

Jacob Byler, Mrs. Spotts' great-grandfather, came to this township from Germany and settled on the old Byler homestead in Lancaster county, and of whom the following story is told: After a heavy snow storm had subsided, Mr. Byler went to the woods, to gather fire-wood. Noting several snow-covered mounts his curiosity was aroused and he brushed away the snow, only to find that the mounds were Indians, who had wrapped themselves in blankets and gone to sleep! Mr. Byler's curiosity nearly cost him his life.

Jacob Byler's son, also named Jacob, was born July 3, 1776, and died June 23, 1845. He married Magdalene Byler, born Dec. 11, 1775, and among their children was a son David, the father of Mrs. Spotts, born July 20, 1821, who died Jan. 4, 1885. He married Phoebe Bean, who survives him and lives in Morgantown, being in her eighty-third year.

Sprecher, Jesse M.

p. 1113


Jesse M. Sprecher, painter and paper-hanger, with place of business at No. 102 North Eighth street, Reading, is one of the city's thorough and representative business men. He was born at Reading, Pa., Jan. 10, 1852, son of Solomon and Radosa (Michael) Sprecher.

Like many other old families, the Sprechers have a tradition that the name was brought to this country by three bothers who were born in Germany. After reaching America they separated, one settling in Lebanon county, and one in Lancaster county, Pa., while the third located n Western Maryland. The Pennsylvania archives show the following facts in this connection: Hans Georg Sprecher, on ship "Pink," landed at Philadelphia, Oct. 17, 1732. His wife Cathrina was also a passenger on the same ship.

Johan Christoph Sprecher, on ship "Patience," landed at Philadelphia, Sept. 16, 1748, and was then twenty-five years old. A second Hans George Sprecher came over the Atlantic on the ship "Janet," landing at Philadelphia, Oct. 7, 1751. Jacob Andreas Sprecher emigrated on the ship "Peggy," landing at Philadelphia, Oct. 10, 1754. Solomon Sprecher, father of Jesse M., had a half brother named George and it is claimed that the head of the Lebanon county Sprechers was named George, and in all probability one of the above mentioned Hans Georg Sprechers was the great -grandfather of Jesse M. The subject of ancestry is a very interesting one, and there are many who can claim a much less clear line than Mr. Sprecher.

Frederick F. Sprecher, grandfather of Jesse, was born in Lebanon county, Pa., and is buried at hill Church, above Lebanon. In that vicinity he owned a large farm and conducted it throughout his active years. His three children were: Frederick, who lived on the homestead farm; Solomon; and Mrs. Jacob Stoever, who lived on an adjoining farm.

Solomon Sprecher was born in Lebanon county, Pa., Feb. 8 1814, and died in November 1885, and was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. He came to Reading in the spring of 1846, and followed the carpenter's trade, doing a large amount of work of a most substantial character, much of which stands practically unimpaired to the present day. He built a row of houses on Pine street above Fourth' a row on Fourth below Pine street, and Boas mansion at Fourth and Pine, the Kerper Building at Eight and Penn streets, and many others in all parts of the city as it was in his day. In politics he was a Democrat, and for twelve years served as a member of the school board of the First ward, then refusing reelection. He and family were members of the First Reformed Church, and he was on the building committee when the church was remodeled in the early eighties. Solomon Sprecher married Radosa Michael, who was born in the neighborhood of Rehrersberg, Berks co., Pa.., Feb. 12, 1812, and died Jan. 9, 1889, and is buried at the side of her husband in the Charles Evans cemetery. They had five children, namely: Mary, born Jan. 13, 1838, m. David Paulsgrove, and lives with her daughter in Reading; Darius M., born Jan. 131846, who is a well-known and skillful carpenter at Reading, and has a son, Harry F., who is foreman of a large machine shop in Chicago; Jesse M.' and two others died in infancy.

Jesse M. Sprecher attended the public schools of Reading until he was sixteen, and then for two years he was salesman in a grocery business. At the age of eighteen he entered the shops of Leymaster, Leiling & Co., at Reading, where he remained six years, and became thoroughly informed workman in the trade of paper-hanging and painting. On April 1, 1876, he formed a partnership with Jacob E. Babb, under the firm name of Sprecher & Babb. This lasted until Aug. 1, 1883, when Mr. Sprecher began business alone at his present location. He carries a full line of wall papers, paints, glass, etc., and gives employment to twelve experienced men. There is no doubt of the fact that Mr. Sprecher enjoys the best trade in his line at Reading, and when contracts are to be given out for particular and artistic work, he is pretty sure to receive them. He has twice painted the Trinity Lutheran Church.

On April 9, 1874, Mr. Sprecher was married to Rosa C. Coleman, a daughter of Owen and Catherine (Phillppi) Coleman, and they have had five children: Ida M. And Elmer M., surviving; while Charles O., Edwin J. and Willard S. died young. With his family he belongs to the First Reformed Church, of which he was both treasurer and deacon for three years. He has many social and fraternal connections. He belongs to Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, 14th degree; Reading Commandery No. 42, K. T.; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is a member also of Perseverance Council No. 19, Order of Independent Americans, of which he was secretary for the unusual period of thrity0nine consecutive years and then voluntarily retired, but he is still chairman of the board of trustees of the lodge and manages their finances. He belongs to Reading Council No. 46, O. U. A. M., of which he has been financial secretary for a quarter of a century. He was the organizer of Fidelia Chamber, No. 5, Knights of Friendship, passed all its chairs and also the chairs of the Grand Body of the United States. He was a personal friend of the founder of the order, Dr. Mark G. Kerr, of Philadelphia.


p. 1537


William H. Sproesser, a well-known citizen of Reading, Pa., who holds the rank of sergeant on the Reading police force, was born in the city of Philadelphia, Nov. 8, 1847, son of Charles E. And Elizabeth (Bowers) Sproesser.

The grandfather of William H. Sproesser was born in Germany, in a town called Winnenden, in Oberamt Waiblinger. He was engaged in the tile business also operated a brick yard for the manufacture of ornamental brick, having a large business. He died in his native place at an advanced age, the father of these children: Gottlieb, who succeeded his father in business and died in Germany at the age of ninety-four years, married Fredericka Fuchs, by whom he had a family of fifteen children, of whom only two are living, Charles, of Richmond township, and Ernst of Glenside; Wilhelmina, who married Louis Stahley, died in Germany; Catherine, who married Gottlieb Bower; Caroline, who married her sister Catherine's husband's brother; Lujdwig, who died aged seventy years; Christian, who died in Philadelphia, Pa.; Charles, the father of William H.; and one son who is engaged in the sugar refining business in Germany.

Charles E. Sproesser was born in Germany in 1821, and in his native country learned the blacksmith trade, but on coming to America took up the trade of pattern fitting with Lyall & McDonald, Philadelphia, with which firm he continued until 1868, coming in this year to Reading. He accepted a position with Orr, Painter & Company, and worked for that firm until 1873, when he engaged in the hotel business which he continued until his death, which occurred in 1895. His wife passed away in 1906, in the faith of t he Lutheran Church, of which he was also a member. He was a Democrat in politics, and was fraternally connected with Herman Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Teutonia Lodge of Masons. Three children were born to Mr. And Mrs. Sproesser, the only survivor being William H.

William H. Sproesser received his education in the schools of Philadelphia, and when a young man learned the trade of molder, which he followed with the firm of Lyall & McDonald until coming to Reading in 1868. On March 1st of this year he made the first cook stove manufactured in Orr, Painter & Company's stove works, and he continued with that firm until 1873, when he engaged in clerking in his father's hotel. After the retirement of his father, Mr. Sproesser carried on the business for ten years, but in 1901 retired from active life, living so until 1904, when he was appointed sergeant of police by Mayor Edwin R. Gerber, a position he has filled to the present time with much satisfaction.

Mr. Sproesser was married to Catherine Geltz, a native of Germany, and to them have been born two children: George W., who married Katie Sodders, has one child. Catherine; and Edward W., who married Minnie Herner, has three children, Irene, Ruth and Stanley. Mr. Sproesser is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is a Democrat in politics, and has given his party much valuable service, serving in 1880 as councilman of the Tenth ward, and as delegate to conventions on numerous occasions.


p. 886


George M. Spuhler, one of the well known residents and influential citizens of Lower Alsace township, Berks Co., Pa., was born near Harrisburg, Dauphin county, Jan. 12, 1846, son of Joseph and Mary (Cook) Spuhler.

Gregory Spuhler, the grandfather of George M., was a native of Switzerland, where he died at the advanced age of ninety years, the father of children as follows: Xavier, who married a Miss Willy, and resided in Alsace township, where both died (no issue); Joseph; Frederick, who died in Camden, N. J.; John, who resided in Pottsville, Schuylkill county, and left on child, John; Margaretta, who married a Mr. Fisher, a boat builder of Reading, and had four children, all deceased.

Joseph Spuhler, father of George M., was born in Switzerland in 1816, and there learned the carpenter's trade. He emigrated to America in 1836, and was here married to Miss Mary Cook, by who he had the following children: George M.; John M., who married Francesco Flamm, an d has had six children, Rose, Frank and Emma, (all three deceased) and Joseph, Edward and Jennie (living); Henry, a resident of Reading, who married Miss Kate Knapp, and has a large family of children; Elizabeth, who married Thomas Cronan and resided in Reading, where both died; Louisa, who married William Oberlin, in business at Reading, and Catherine (Kate) who died when in her sixteenth year.

George M. Spuhler was educated in the public schools of his native district and early learned the trade of blacksmith, which he followed for a number of years in Berks and Schuylkill counties. He was married (first) to Lina Neuberger, who bore him one son, Frank, now living in California. He married (second) Mary Drake, by whom he has had five children: Andrew, Augustus, Peter and George, all single and at home; and Theresa, deceased. The family are members of the Catholic Church.


p. 868


John M. Spuhler, one of Lower Alsace's well-to-do truck farmers, who is also engaged to some extent in carpentering, was born May 15, 1847, on the old homestead near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pa., son of Joseph and Mary (Cook) Spuhler.

Gregory Spuhler, grandfather of John M., was a native of Switzerland, where he died at the advanced age of ninety years, the father of the following children: Xaviar, who married a Miss Willy, and lived in Alsace township, where both died (no issue); Joseph; Frederick, who died in Camden, N. J.; John, who resided in Pottsville, Schuylkill county, and left one child, John; and Margaretta, who married a Mr. Fisher, a boat builder, of Reading, and had four children, all deceased.

Joseph Spuhler, father of John M., was born in Switzerland in 1816, and there learned the carpenter's trade. He emigrated to America in 1836, and was here married to Miss Mary Cook, by whom he had the following children: George M.; John M.; Henry, a resident of Reading, who married Miss Kate Knapp, and had a large family of children: Elizabeth, deceased, who married Thomas Cronan, and resided in Reading, where both died; Louisa, who married William Oberlin, who is carrying on a successful business on North Ninth street, Reading; and Catherine (Kate), who died when in her sixteenth year.

John M. Spuhler was educated in the public schools and at the age of sixteen years learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed very successfully for many years. On May 3, 1868, he was married to Francesco Flamm, born Oct. 4, 1847, daughter of Anthony and Victoria (Nebiller) Flamm, and to this union there have been born the following children: Rose died in infancy; Joseph H., who married Miss Mary Zimmerman, works with the P. & R. R. Co., and resides at No. 1202 Fidelity street, Reading; Frank and Emma are deceased; Edward; and Jennie.


p. 1220


Edwin C. Stahl, who died Aug. 29, 1909, was one of Reading's representative business men. He was born in Union county, Pa., Oct. 18, 1860, son of Jeremiah and Harriet (Noll) Stahl, the former of whom died at the age of twenty-three years. After the death of her husband Mrs. Stahl m. (second) Aaron Reber, of Union county, and died in December, 1905, when sixty-eight years of age. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Stahl were: Ida C. (m. to J. W. Hoch), Daniel (died in infancy) and Edwin C.

Edwin C. Stahl was educated in the common schools of his native county, and lived with his grandparents until his twenty-fifth year, as indeed he had since his father's death, this even occurring when Edwin C. Was thirteen months old. He took a two years' course at Bushnell Academy at Lewisberry, and from the age of twenty-one years to twenty-five taught school. He then went to Williamsport, Pa., and entered Prof. F. E. Woods Business College, graduating therefrom Aug. 25, 1885, and immediately came to Reading, where he found employment at Reading Hardware Works, continuing with that firm until 1893. In 1892 Mr. Stahl purchased the bakery business at No. 323 Penn street, and this was conducted by his wife and mother for one year, when he resigned his position with the hardware works in order to give his entire attention to the new enterprise. This was at first conducted on a very small scale but by excellent management and honorable business dealings Mr. Stahl built up one of the finest bakery trades in this city, his goods being second to none. He made a specialty of bread and cakes. In 1904 Mr. Stahl erected a storage warehouse, part of which he utilized for the storage of flour, etc., used in his business, the remainder of the warehouse being rented out to the public for the storing of household goods, etc. Starting out in business with little or no capital, Mr. Stahl worked his way up the ladder of success, and became one of the capable, well-to-do business men of the city.

In 1886 Mr. Stahl married Miss Nellie Millhouse, of Middleburg, Snyder Co., Pa., and one child was born to this union: Clarence D., born in 1891. Mrs. Stahl died June 18, 1909, in the faith of the Lutheran Church, to which her husband also adhered. She was a member of the Bible class at St. Matthew's Sunday-school, of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society, and of the Young Women's Christian Association. Mr. Stahl was a member of the I. O. O. F., the Reading Hardware Company Relief Association and the Royal Arcanum.


p. 1110


Otto J. Stahl, who is a well-known business man of Reading, Pa., conducting the Eclipse Supply Company at No. 106 South Fifth street, was born Jan. 22, 1871, in Brooklyn, N. Y., son of Otto and Mary (Neville) Stahl.

Otto Stahl, father of Otto J., was a native of Germany, who emigrated to America in about 1860, and settled first in Brooklyn, N. Y., there following the trade of machinist all of his active period. He married Mary Neville, who emigrated from Limerick, Ireland, about 1855. They became the parents of three children: Bertha, m. to Otto Hugh, and living in New York; Amelia, deceased; and Otto J.

Otto J. Stahl was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn, N. Y., and when a boy was employed by Journeay & Burnham of that city as a cash boy, with which firm he continued for some time. His attention to business and his inherent ability soon gained him promotion, and when he left this well known firm some years later he had worked his way up to the head of a department. He then accepted the position of collector with the American Wringer Company, No. 99 Chambers street, New York City, with which company he continued six years, when he was made manager of the Reading office, a position in which he continued two years. At the end of this time Mr. Stahl purchased the firm's interest, and since then he has conducted the business under the firm style of Eclipse Supply Company. The business was first located in the Stauffer building, at the corner of Sixth and Franklin streets, but in 1906 it was removed to its present location, where Mr. Stahl has by fair methods, and honestly represented goods, gained his share of public patronage. He employs on an average from fifteen to twenty-five persons in his establishment, where are sold furniture, carpets, and household specialties of all kinds.

Mr. Stahl is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 115, B. P. O. E.; Friendship Lodge No. 5, Knights of Pythias; and the Knights of Khorassan. He is independent in politics. Mr. Stahl has made many acquaintances since coming to Reading in 1899, and each acquaintance has become a warm friend.


p. 542


Cornelius S. Stamm at the time of his death was a well-known resident of Reading. He was born in Bern township, Berks county, March 21, 1828, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Seaman) Stamm.

(I) Werner Stamm, his earliest ancestor in this country, is mentioned above.

(II) Nicholas Stamm, son of Werner, born April 22, 1752, died Oct. 6, 1828. He m. Catharine Lerch, born April 21, 1754, died May 16, 1844. Like his parents, they are buried at the Bern church. Among their children are were: Johann Adam, Frederick, Peter, John, Mrs. Benjamin Graeff, Philip, William, Catharine (m. Peter Reinhart) and Benjamin. Some of this family moved to Lycoming, Snyder and Northumberland counties, Pennsylvania.

(III) Benjamin Stamm, youngest son of Nicholas, was born Feb. 21, 1795. He became interested in the stonemason's trade early in life, and followed it throughout his active career. For several years prior to his death, on Dec. 20, 1873, he lived retired. Mr. Stamm was twice married. By his first wife, whose maiden name was Seaman, he had four children: (1) William S., chief engineer in the United States navy, was on the retired list at the time of his death, June 27, 1897; he married Emily Paxton, and had four children of whom Norman, a resident of Philadelphia, survives. (2) Cornelius S. (3) Mary A. Became the wife of James P. Walter, of St. Louis, Mo. (4) Elmira married Samuel Fulton. Benjamin Stamm married (second) a widow, Mrs. Heacock (born Oct. 13, 1814, died April 11, 1897), and three children were born of this marriage, namely: Franklin, Jane (deceased) and Wellington. The family were at one time members of the Reformed Church but later became Universalists. Mr. Stamm was a Whig in politics, but on the organization of the Republican party cast his vote in its support.

(IV) Cornelius S. Stamm was educated in the schools of Reading. He learned the brick-layer's trade, and followed it for many years, later, however, engaging in contracting, a business he followed for many years.

Mr. Stamm was prominently connected with the Masons, belonging to the Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M.; Reading Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M.; and DeMolay Commandery, No. 9, K. T. For many years he also belonged to the I. O. O. F. In his political views he was a stanch Republican, and for several years he was a member of the city council. He died Feb. 21, 1902, sincerely regretted, the people realizing the city had lost an able business man and public spirited and valuable citizen.

On Feb. 13, 1870, in Reading, Mr. Stamm was married, by the Rev. Aaron Leinbach, to Emma M. Rick, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Fisher) Rick; her father born Feb. 28, 1799, died Jan 29, 1839. To this union were born: William W. B.; and Emily E., born 1876, a teacher in the public schools and an accomplished musician, who died Aug. 24, 1897.

William W. B. Stamm, son of Cornelius S. and Emma M. (Rick) Stamm, was born in Reading April 9, 1874. He attended the public schools and graduated from the high school in 1892. He then took a course in mechanical drawing at Franklin Institute, in Philadelphia, and completed it in 1894. From 1895 to 1897 he studied applied electricity at Drexel Institute, and he is now a thoroughly equipped and practical mechanical draughtsman and machinist with the E. & G. Brooke Co. at Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Stamm is very prominent fraternally. He belongs to Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M., which he joined in 1901, and he was Worshipful Master in 1908, when the lodge celebrated its sixtieth anniversary; he represented it at the Grand Lodge in 1909. He is a member of Williamsport Lodge of Perfection, fourteenth degree, and Williamsport Consistory, thirty-second degree, serving as a member of the choir. Among other Masonic bodies to which he belongs are Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T., and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Mr. Stamm resides with his mother at No. 316 Washington street, Reading.


p. 541


Levi S. Stamm, a resident of West Reading, has been engaged at the carpenter's trade since 1867, and is one of the thrifty, intelligent citizens of the borough. He has been a lifelong resident of Berks county, having been born Aug. 21, 1848, in Penn township, where his ancestors have lived for over a century.

The name Stamm or Stam is found frequently among the lists of emigrants to America. On the passenger list of the "Hope," Daniel Reed, master, from Rotterdam, qualified Sept. 23, 1734, is the name of Peter Stam, aged twenty; on the "Samuel," Hugh Percy, captain, from Rotterdam, qualified Dec. 3, 1740, that of Adam Stam, aged twenty-five; on the "Francis and Elizabeth," George North, master, from Rotterdam, qualified Sept. 21, 1742, those of Johann Adam Stam and Werner Stam; on the "Snow Charlotte," John Mason, master, from Rotterdam, Sept. 5, 1743, Johann Jacob Stam; on the "Phoenix," William Wilson, commander, from Rotterdam, Sept. 20, 1743, Johannes Stamm; and on the "Union," Andrew Bryson, captain, from Rotterdam, Sept. 30, 1774, Adam Stam.

The Stamm family is one of the oldest in Berks county. (I) Werner (or Peter*) and Johann Adam Stam (or Stamm), brothers, were natives of Switzerland, and emigrated to the New World on the ship "Francis and Elisabeth," George North, commander, from Rotterdam. It qualified at Philadelphia Sept. 21, 1742, and of the 141 male emigrants who had taken passage many settled in Berks county, their descendants being still found in goodly numbers in the districts where they located. Where Johann Adam Stam settled, or what became of him, we do not know. The other brother, Werner, was the ancestor of the Stamms of Berks county. He was born Nov. 13, 1726, in Bern, Switzerland, and died May 16, 1795. He settled in what is now Bern township, in 1763, obtaining a large tract of land in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant, in this county, where he lived and died. He and his wife are buried at the old Bern Church. He married May, 26, 1748, Catharine, born in 1728, died Nov. 4, 1812. Among his children were two sons named Nicholas and Frederick, the latter the next in line of descent we are tracing.

(II) Frederick Stamm, son of Werner, the emigrant ancestor, had the following children: John; Frederick; Jacob; Catharine married Abraham Good; Mary m. Dr. Schwartz; Maria Magdalena m. Peter Bright (1793-1877).

(III) John Stamm, son of Frederick, had these children: Benjamin; John; Levi; Henry; William; Lydia m. George Staudt; Maria m. Jonathan Eberling; Catharine m. John Billman; Julian m. Joseph Greth; Cassia m. ______ Bohn; Eliza died unmarried.

(III) Frederick Stamm, son of Frederick, and grandfather of Levi S., was born June 20, 1790, in Penn township, and died Oct. 3, 1860. He married Susanna Gerhart, born Dec. 22, 1792, died Sept. 8, 1876, and he and his wife are both interred at the Bern Church. Their children were: Emanuel; Isaac; William; Adam; Jacob; Elias; Levi; Serena m. Nathan Billman; Catharine m. Adam Moyer; Harriet m. William Hetrich; Mary m. Jonathan Spangler. Frederick Stamm, the father of this family, was a farmer by occupation. He was a prominent man in his day, serving as county commissioner from 1822 to 1825.

(III) Jacob Stamm, son of Frederick, lived at Orwigsburg, Schuylkill Co., Pa., and his family consisted of two children, Israel and Mary. The latter married a Walborn, of Millersburg, Pa., and later they lived at Orwigsburg.

(IV) William Stamm, son of Frederick and father of Levi S., was born in Penn township Oct. 23, 1815, his birthplace being near Stamm's Hotel, which is now known as the Pleasant Valley Hotel. In early manhood he learned shoemaking, but he did not follow the trade for long, farming being the principal business of his life. For a period of sixteen years he was engaged in farming in Jefferson township, this county, whence he moved to Penn township, continuing to carry on agricultural pursuits there until his retirement, in the year 1885. He now resides with his daughter, Mrs. Fietta Shade. Though over ninety-three years old he enjoys comparatively good health, and he is a man of genial disposition and pleasant manners, highly honored and universally liked in his community. His upright life has won him the good-will and respect of the many who have known him, and he is accorded the utmost consideration wherever he goes?not only the veneration due to his years but the recognition of the life well spent. Mr. Stamm m. Magdalena Schneider, daughter of William Schneider, whose wife was a Rothenberger. To them were born children as follows: Cassia m. Daniel F. Kline, of Strausstown, Pa., and lives in Upper Tulpehocken township; William was a member of Company G, 151st P. V. I., and was killed at the battle of Gettysburg; Adam S., a miller, is living in Penn township, near Mt. Pleasant; Albert was a miller at Centreport, this county, throughout his active years, retired in 1906, and now makes his home at Shoemakersville; John is a farmer of Jefferson township; Levi S. is a resident of West Reading; Fietta m. Jacob Shade and resides in Penn township; Franklin, now living retired at Bernville, was a farmer all his active life; Rebecca m. William Lengel and resides in Penn township; Allison A., M. D., is engaged in the practice of medicine at Mohnton, Pa.; James, a farmer of Penn township, m. Clara Wenrich. The mother of this family died Sept. 12, 1885, at the age of sixty-six years, and her remains rest in the Bernville cemetery. William Stamm has always been active in the religious life of his community and a zealous worker for churches and church enterprises. He is a member of the Reformed denomination, his filled the offices of deacon and elder in his church, and had the honor of taking out the first spadeful of earth removed when the construction of the St. Thomas Union church was commenced , in 1904. In political opinion he is a Democrat, and he took a public-spirited interest in the administration of local affairs, serving as supervisor and school director of Penn township. During his early manhood he belonged to the State militia.

(V) Levi S. Stamm attended the schools of Jefferson township during his boyhood and youth, meantime assisting with the farm work at home until ready to commence carpentering. He learned his trade in Tulpehocken township. During the years 1885 and 1886 Mr. Stamm was in Carbon county, Pa., and thence removed to Columbia county, this State, where he lived for about eight years. In 1896 he returned to Berks county, remaining in Reading until his removal to West Reading in 1899. Mr. Stamm has found steady employment at his trade in his present location, being in the employ of a contractor, and bears a reputation for skill and reliability which brings him all the work he can attend to. His character is above reproach, and he receives the respect which he deserves. In 1870 Mr. Stamm m. Matilda R. Blatt, daughter of Joseph and Catherine (Reigle) Blatt, and to this union have been born the following named children: Robert died in infancy; Rev. James C. is pastor of St. Paul's Reformed Church at Pottstown, Pa.; Maggie and Clara died in infancy; Ida has been teaching in West Berwick, Columbia Co., Pa., since 1904; T. Wilhelm is at present a student at Ursinus College; Laura M. has taught school in West Reading since 1902; Gertrude died young; Charles L. is a pupil at the West Reading high school. The family are all identified with the Reformed Church, in which Mr. Stamm was formerly quite active, having served as deacon during his residence in Bernville. He is a Democrat on political questions.

(VI) Rev. James Calvin Stamm, son of Levi S. Stamm, was born in Bernville in 1876, and was nine years old when the family removed to Birdsboro. Later they moved to Bloomburg, where he was confirmed in Trinity Reformed Church and graduated from high school with creditable standing. When the family moved to Reading he learned the locksmith's trade at the Penn Hardware Works. But it was his ambition to secure a higher education and engage in professional work, and he accordingly entered the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, where he was given a teacher's certificate at the end of a year's study. He immediately obtained the position of instructor at the Butler Orphans' Home, near Pittsburg, where he was principal of the school-room for one year, resigning to become a traveling salesman, in which line he was also successful. He covered the entire South, selling stereoscopes and similar goods, but after almost a year at that work he decided to take up chemistry. However, he changed his mind before he had taken any serious steps in that direction, determining that he would devote his life to the ministry. Entering Ursinus School of Theology, at Philadelphia, he took the three years' course graduating May 3, 1906. The same year he was made a licentiate by the reading Reformed Classis. Meantime he had gained experience in the practical duties of a minister of the gospel by serving St. Paul's Church, at Pottstown, as supply, and upon his graduation he was called to become the regular pastor of that congregation. He accepted, was ordained and installed May 27, 1906, and has since been in charge of that pastorate. He gave early evidence that he possessed the requisites of a forceful preacher, and his energy has found many useful outlets in the field in which he is located. Rev. Mr. Stamm m. in the fall of 1906 Miss Pauline Herbrecht, of Doylestown, Pa., formerly of Philadelphia.

(V) Adam S. Stamm, son of William, was born May 22, 1841, in Penn township, and since he was twenty-one years old has conducted the old Stamm mill in Penn township. He has followed farming and milling all his life, and has been very successful in material matters, being a man of thrift and intelligence, energetic and honorable. His business has naturally brought him into contact with most of the residents of his section, and he is held in high esteem by all who know him, being regarded as a straight-forward business man and an excellent citizen. Like the members of the Stamm family generally he belongs to the Reformed denomination, being a member of Christ's Little Tulpehocken Church. Mr. Stamm m. Anna E. Kalbach, who was born Feb. 17, 1841, daughter of Joseph and Anna Elizabeth (Stump) Kalbach, and this marriage has been blessed with nine children: Morris K., Francis and Martha (twins), Isabella R., Ella K., and a son that died in infancy, Edwin A., William J., and Maggie K.

(VI) William J. Stamm, son of Adam S., was born July 5, 1873, in Jefferson township. He received his education at the schools of Penn and Upper Tulpehocken townships, attending until he was fourteen years old, since which time he has been engaged at the carpenter's trade, with the exception of three years he worked for his father. He served his apprenticeship with John Moyer, of Bernville, in whose employ he remained for a year and a half as apprentice, until he went to Reading. There he was employed by George F. Foos, contractor and builder, and in 1901 he removed to the borough of West Reading, where he has since lived and labored. For three years Mr. Stamm worked for his father at milling.

During his residence in West Reading he has built up a large local patronage in his line, particular in the execution of fine cabinet work, in which he is especially skillful. There are few mechanics as proficient as Mr. Stamm. He delights in intricate and difficult work, the kind that requires artistic ability and patience as well s expert workmanship, and several specimens of his art are worthy of mention. In 1904 he finished a chest 17 x 8 1/4 inches, and 10 3/8 inches deep, which contains 2,384 pieces of wood of seven different varieties; the smallest pieces are diamond shaped, and measure 5/16 by 9/16 inches. Mr. Stamm has also made puzzles of various kinds. He is a master hand at any kind of wood-working. He enjoys the highest standing in his line, and is a prominent member of the Carpenters' Union.

Upon his removal to West Reading Mr. Stamm purchased the brick residence at No. 113 Obold street where he and his family have since resided. He m. in 1893 Emma E. Bohn, born Nov. 12, 1870, died Nov. 14, 1900, the mother of five children, viz.: Bertha M., Elsie E., Simon S., William J. and Elizabeth E., of whom Bertha is the only survivor. The others died in childhood, and are laid to rest in the cemetery of Christ's Little Tulpehocken Church, where there mother is also interred.

In 1901 Mr. Stamm m. (second) Lillie M. Webber, born Oct. 8, 1876, daughter of Davilla and Caroline (Strause) Webber, the former of whom is now deceased. One child has been born to this union, Caroline M. Mr. Stamm and his family are members of St. James Reformed Church, in which he at present holds the office of deacon. He is an active worker for the welfare of the church, and has aided faithfully in its upbuilding. In politics he is a member of the Republican party.



The name Peter is said to have been Werner Stam. There is a Werner Stam buried at the Bern Church. The Pennsylvania Archives record the name as Peter, but this is reputed to be an error, the tax-lists, church records, etc., all bearing evidence to the contrary. However, it is reasonable to suppose that Werner Stamm was under age when the two mentioned in the Archives arrived, and that for that reason his name does not appear. The date of their landing agrees with the date tradition and old members of the family have of Werner's coming to America.


p. 1655


Charles E. Stangier, ex-county commissioner of Berks county, Pa., formerly engaged in the hardware business at No. 1400 North Tenth street, Reading, was born Oct. 13, 1855 at Mertztown, Longswamp township, Berks county, son of Lawrence and Elizabeth Stangier.

Lawrence Stangier was born in 1819, in Bavaria, Germany. In 1852 he came to America, and after living in Philadelphia for several years, became acquainted with a farmer of Longswamp township, who had been in the habit of marketing his products by team to Philadelphia. At the request of this gentleman Mr. Stangier removed to Longswamp township and labored on his farm for two years, after which he went to Washington township, and there worked in the ore mines until his retirement. He died in 1901, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years, and was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Bally, in Washington township. Lawrence and Elizabeth Stangier had six children, as follows: John, born in 1852, was tinsmith at Bechtelsville, and died in 1899; Charles E.; William, former tax-collector of Reading; Amelia, m. to Samuel Swoyer of Bally, Pa.; David, of Reading; and Mary, who is unmarried and resides at Bally.

At the age of nineteen years Charles E. Stangier began to learn the tinsmith trade from Joseph Diehl of Washington township, in whose employ he served as an apprentice and journeyman for a period of eight years and six months; later he engaged in business for himself at Bechtelsville. He carried a full line of stoves and tinware and conducted his business successfully for sixteen years, when in 1896, he sold out to his brother David, and removed to Reading to assume charge of the office of county commissioner, to which he had been elected in November of that year. This office he continued to hold for three years, serving with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned; helping to reduce the county's debt, erecting six bridges and working in various other matters for the benefit of his community. While still a resident of Bechtelsville, he and his brother John were the leading spirits in the movement to incorporate the town into a borough, and after its accomplishment he was made on of its first councilmen, and was school director and treasurer of the board for three years. In 1902 Mr. Stangier engaged in business at No. 1400 North Tenth street, where he carried on business for several years, dealing in tinware, hardware, stoves, paints, etc.

In 1884 Mr. Stangier was married to Malinda Bechtel, whose father was a butcher of Bechtelsville, Pa., and to them were born two children: Annie and Lawrence. Mr. Stangier is a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, of Reading. His first wife died, and he was again married in 1908.




John P. Stapleton, a well-known school teacher of Berks county, was born in Oley township Nov. 14, 1881, son of Samuel B. and Catharine (Pyle) Stapleton.

"The Stapleton family is of English nobility. Becoming a Quaker, Robert P. Stapleton was ostracized by his kindred and came to Pennsylvania. He 'settled' a plantation known as the Stapleton Place. The date of his coming to Oley township is not known. His plantation of over four hundred acres lay on the Manatawny Creek in Oley, immediately south of the Oley Churches. The small brick house built by the emigrant sometime prior to 1745 may still be seen, just across the field to the east where the pike turns at right angle toward Reading, at the toll gate near Stapleton. In 1734 he had surveyed a tract of land 'adjoining his own.' This land was on the east side of the creek. In 1736 he had a warrant granted him for two hundred acres, originally surveyed for Thomas Miller, millwright, March 20, 1719, who sold his right to said Robert (Pa. Arch. III, Series, Vol. 2). But this was after he warranted land 'adjoining his own' and does not settle the date of his coming.

"The Stapleton family history was difficult to trace. The foresight of Rev. A. Stapleton, a foremost minister of the United Evangelical Church, stationed now (1909) at York, Pa., preserves to posterity the following data. Rev. Stapleton writes: 'In 1861-63, when I was a mere boy and lived with my grandmother, Elizabeth Stapleton, of Oley (1795-1874), the widow of William Stapleton, of Oley (1781-1849), she told me of my ancestor. This stimulated me to know my full history, and with determination I began to unravel it. It took me over twenty-five years of most recondite and seemingly hopeless research before I was able to give a satisfactory account of Robert P. Stapleton and his family. He seems to have been a younger scion of the Carlton branch of the family, the baronial name of which was 'Beaumont.' A full history going back to A. D. 1308, is found in 'Burke's British Peerage' and 'Burke's County Families of the United Kingdom.'

"Robert and Catharine Stapleton had children as follows: (1) Tobias patented land in Albany township, 1747, and where he died at a very advanced age in 1805, leaving descendants. (2) John died, 1754, on the old home, leaving an only son, John 2d, born 1751, died 1820, buried at Amityville. He was the great-grandfather of Rev. A. Stapleton. (3) William, born 1720, died 1785, on the lower half of the lower plantation. Left no issue. (4) Charles emigrated with his father to the Shenandoah Valley, Va., and became a great land owner there. (5) Elizabeth m. Mich. Keltner, emigrated to Virginia. (6) Catherine m. Samuel Dark, emigrated to Virginia. (7) Mary m. Fred Painter; emigrated to Virginia. (8) Sarah m. Conrad Arnold; emigrated to Virginia. (9) Margaret m. (first) Jacob Reich, (second) Fred Cutley, Virginia.

"In 1750 a considerable emigration took place from Oley to the newly surveyed lands of Lord Fairfax in Virginia. The wife of Lord Fairfax being a Stapleton, it is probable that there was some connection with that fact and the emigration of Robert P. Stapleton, of Oley, to that region, as he seems to have been the promoter of the movement from Oley. Stapleton left his son John in charge of the Oley plantation, while he started anew on a plantation of 428 acres on Holman's Creek, seventeen miles southwest of Woodstock, Va. Here he died near the beginning of 1755, at which time his will, which is at Winchester, Va., was probated. Unfortunately his son John died in Oley, near the same time (December, 1754).

"The family Stapleton, descendants of Robert, is very small. The descendants of Charles in Virginia cannot now be differentiated from those of Sir John Stapleton of Virginia, who seems to have been a close connection of Lady Fairfax. The descendants of Tobias are few and scattered in the hilly district of Albany township, Berks county, and Penn township in Schuylkill county. They spell the name Steveldon, and are thoroughly Germanized. William, as said, had no issue. John had an only son, John Jr. He was a first lieutenant in the Revolutionary war. This John, Jr., in 1780 married Rosina Miller, daughter of John Wilhelm Miller who in 1751 came from Ittligen, near Carlsruhe, Baden, to Pennsylvania, and settled at now Pleasantville, in Oley, on the Manatawny. He was the first potter and tiler in the valley.

"John Stapleton, Jr., a grandson of the emigrant, had two sons and five daughters. Sons: William, 1781-1849; John, 1790-1861. William only was married of the sons. He had a large family, but only two sons who had issue, viz.: William, b. 1815, father of Rev. A., died 1899; and John D., 1817-1897, the grandfather of John P. Stapleton."

John D. Stapleton, grandfather of John P., was born in Oley township March 21, 1817, and died Aug. 27, 1897, and is buried at Oley Churches. He was a carpenter and undertaker, and lived below Griesemersville. He built many barns and houses in his locality, and buried many people. He was a Lutheran member of Oley Churches, and was treasurer of the church many years, and was highly esteemed by all. He married Catharine Biehl, born Oct. 21, 1822, died Jan. 31, 1890. Their children were: Albert, a carpenter and undertaker, who lived in Earl township; Samuel B.; John B., 1852- 1898, unmarried; and Rebecca, m. to John Kupp.

Samuel B. Stapleton, son of John D., was born in Oley township May 23, 1846 and died Oct. 30, 1906, having passed his entire life in his native township. By occupation he was a carpenter, and he also cultivated an eleven acre tract of land he owned. He was a Lutheran and is buried at Amityville, of which church he was a member. He was tax collector of Oley township at the time of his death. He married Catharine Pyle, daughter of Henry Pyle, a school master. She was born May 10, 1849, and died Dec. 10, 1904. Their ten children were: Sallie, who died in infancy; Harry, a railway mail clerk; Annie, m. to Eli B Griesemer; Katie, m. to Henry Conrad; Rebecca, deceased, m. to Jonas Snyder; Samuel, of Oley; John P.; Frank, a lineman; a daughter that died in infancy; and Martin L., of Oley.

John P. Stapleton received early home training on his father's farm. He attended the public schools of Oley, Oley Academy, and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, which he attended three terms. For four seasons he was hired out on the farm with Ammon S. Hartman, and also on the farm in Oley, working in all eight seasons at farm work by the month. During vacation he works on the farm for relatives and friends in the neighborhood. On June 23, 1902, he was licensed by Prof. E. M. Rapp to teach in the public schools, and four years later was granted a professional certificate, and at the end of another year a permanent certificate. He taught two terms in Earl township, and five terms in Pleasantville, the latter being the only independent school district in Berks county, and in the fall of 1909 he will be in Earl township. He is very successful in his work, and is a thoroughly conscientious worker for the good of his pupils. Upon the death of his father the court of Berks county appointed him tax collector of Oley township, which position he filled very creditably for two and one half years. Mr. Stapleton is a member of the Lutheran Church at Amityville, and his wife is a member of the same faith, at Oley.

On May 18, 1907, Mr. Stapleton married Clara S. Drumheller, daughter of Mahlon B. Drumheller, of Earl township. To this union has been born one daughter, Agnes C., June 5, 1908.


p. 1662


John Stark, who retired from business sixteen years previous to his death, which occurred Oct. 3, 1907, on the fifty-third anniversary of his marriage, was one of the oldest residents of his section of Reading. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, Feb. 25, 1827, son of Conrad Stark, who was engaged in the butchering business in Germany, and who died in that country.

John Stark was educated in the schools of his native place, and there learned the trade of a butcher under his father. On Oct. 25, 1852, he landed at New York City, where, however he did not remain for any length of time, but made his way to Philadelphia. There he was employed at his trade for two years, at the end of which time he came to Reading, where he afterward made his home. He engaged in killing beef, sheep, hogs, etc., carrying on a general butchering business until 1888, and being very successful therein. In the latter year he embarked in the milk business, which he engaged in for one year, after which he lived retired. His home at No. 307 Lombard street, was situated at the foot of Mt. Penn, where he first built in 1855, and in 1898 he erected his new modern residence. Mr. Stark was the owner of sixteen acres of land at Butterworth and Greenwich streets, but sold this for building purposes. He owned six acres adjoining his home and that of Peter D. Wanner in the Ninth ward, the property being very desirable and is continually rising in value. Years ago, when Mr. Stark purchased this land, it was barren and uncultivated, but subsequently it became one of the finest parts of the city.

On Oct. 3, 1854, Mr. Stark married Miss Antenlieth, a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, who came to this country in young womanhood, and these children were born to them: Amelia, deceased; Louisa (m. Henry Frentzel, of Reading); Bertha Agnes (m. Charles Egner, of Reading); Mary (m. Jacob Dearolf, of Reading); Ida (m. Ambrose Dotterer); George, a well known butcher in Reading. Mr. Stark was a Democrat in politics, and served in the Select Council from the Ninth ward from 1877 to 1880. He was a member of St. Luke's German Lutheran Church. He was a man of sound convictions and good judgment, and was very highly respected. Mrs. Stark died June 25, 1908, and with her husband rests in Aulenbach cemetery.


p. 1093


The Staudt family have lived for several generations in Berks county, and at the present time in Lower Heidelberg township are found the brothers Henry L. Staudt and Aaron L. Staudt, both successful and highly esteemed farmers.

Matthias Staudt, their grandfather, lived in Penn (formerly Bern) township, near Bernville, having his home at Staudt's gristmill, on the Tulpehocken creek. He married Catharine Geiss, daughter of John Geiss, of the same township, and she died in 1848. He died in 1847. They had nine children, as follows: William m. Mary Wenrich John m. Mary Christ; Samuel m. Catharine Leiss; Elias m. Catharine Brecht; Elizabeth m. Samuel Rentschaler; Mary m. Jacob Potteiger; Leah m. Jared Faust; Sarah m. Isaac Stepp; Hettie m. John Reber.

Samuel Staudt, son of Matthias, grew to manhood and engaged in farming. He died in 1900, when aged eighty-five years. He m. Catharine Leiss, daughter of Henry Leiss, and she died in 1877, aged fifty-six years. Of their sixteen children, twelve died young, those reaching maturity being: Henry L., Aaron L., Violanda (m. Henry Keroch), and James (unmarried).

Henry Leiss, father of Mrs. Catharine (Leiss) Staudt, was a farmer in Tulpehocken township. He m. Catharine Vogel, daughter of Melchior Vogel, of Bern township and they had ten children: David m. Anna Bright; John m. Kate Filbert; Adam m. Catharine Miller; Jonathan m. Justina Moyer; Joseph m. Eliza Stupp; Judith m. John Kline; Rebecca m. Thomas Kilmer; Mary m. Benneville Dundore; Catharine m. Samuel Staudt; Elizabeth m. John Moore.

Henry M. Staudt, son of Samuel and Catherine (Leiss) Staudt, was born in North Heidelberg township Nov. 23, 1848. He was brought up on his father's farm, giving his assistance at home until he was twenty-five years old. In 1867, however, he began farming for himself on his father's farm. For twenty-five years he tenanted all in Lower Heidelberg with the exception of five years he lived on the farm of David Klopp (an uncle of Mrs. Staudt) in North Heidelberg. In 1898 he purchased his present farm of 158 acres, improved with good buildings. He erected the present barn, 40 x 95 feet, in 1900. He also owns another tract, containing eighty-four acres, adjoining his large farm. Mr. Staudt is a believer in modern methods, and he has a complete stock of up-to-date farm implements. He keeps nine horses and twenty-two head of cattle. His product is disposed of at the Reading market, which he attends once a week, having stands Nos. 172-173 at the West Buttonwood street market. Beside the farms just mentioned Mr. Staudt owns a one-half interest in the old Staudt homestead in Lower Heidelberg, consisting of 133 acres. His son Charles K. cultivates this place which is very valuable, the buildings being exceptional. The house was built in 1847, and the barn, 40 x 101 feet, was erected by Samuel Staudt in 1858.

In his political affiliations Mr. Staudt is a Republican, and he is one of the foremost men of his township. He has served as deacon and elder of Hain's Church of which he and his family are Reformed members. He is a man of sound judgment, and has encouraged his children to avail themselves of the best educational advantages, and to fit themselves for places of usefulness and honor in the world.

On Nov. 14, 1874, Mr. Staudt m. Emma R. Klopp, daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Allspach) Klopp, farming people of Marion township. Six children were born of this union, namely; (1) Rev. Calvin K., born Feb. 29, 1876, graduated from Palatinate college, Myerstown and from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, winning high honors, and is a minister. He preached in Iowa and in Dakota, Ill., and for some time conducted the Interior Academy at the latter place. At the present time he is connected with the University of Chicago. He m. Ida Dunges. (2) John S. received his education in the public schools, the Wernersville high school, Lancaster Academy, and Franklin and Marshall College. He taught first at Parkville, Mo., then two years at Shreveport, La., after which he was made a member of the faculty of the University at Ithaca, N. Y. (3) Charles K. is a farmer on his father's place in Lower Heidelberg. He m. Eve Bender. (4) Paul K. assists his father at farming. He owns a tract of twenty-six acres in Lower Heidelberg, which he purchased from the Schaeffer estate (the previous owner being James Wahl), this tract being located along the Tulpehocken creek, and having considerable fruit and good water. (5) Irwin H., a bright and promising youth, died in 1906, at the age of fifteen years. (6) Levin K. died aged seven months.

Aaron L. Staudt, son of Samuel and brother of Henry L., was born in Lower Heidelberg township, on the old Staudt homestead, Dec. 22, 1849. H received his education in the township schools and was brought up by his father to a thorough knowledge of farming. At the age of twenty-four he began farming for himself on the farm whereon he now lives, and he has continued there uninterruptedly from that time. From the beginning until 1907 he attended the Reading market, covering a continuous period of over thirty years. He served the township as a school director for one term, and he officiated as a deacon and elder at Hain's Church for several terms.

In 1872 Mr. Staudt m. Catharine Spatz, daughter of John Spatz, of Lower Heidelberg, and they have five children: William m. Cora Hain; Eva m. Adam Kintzer; Carrie m. Harry Reber; Gertrude m. George Teter; Florence is attending the township school.

John Spatz, Sr., grandfather of Mrs. Catharine (Spatz) Staudt, was a farmer in Centre township. He m. Mollie Runkel, and became the father of ten children: Samuel m. (first) Kate Wagner and (second) Catharine Bernhard; Benneville m. Sarah Reich; William m. Lizzie Kurtz; Daniel m. Leah Kurtz; Peter m. Kate Lindenmuth; Jared m. Sarah Becker; Abraham m. Matilda Hollenbach; Mary M. Daniel Faust; Sarah m. Joseph Hix; and John.

John Spatz, son of John, Sr., and father of Mrs. Staudt, was engaged in farming in Lower Heidelberg. He died in 1886, aged seventy-five years. His wife, Sarah Faust daughter of John Faust, of Centre township, died in 1902, aged eighty-two years. They had eleven children, namely: Amelia m. Darius Leininger; Matilda m. Jacob Moyer; Daniel m. (first) Rebecca Blankenbiller, and (second) Elizabeth Ruth; Catharine m. Aaron L. Staudt; Caroline m. Henry Stitzel; Anna m. Charles Noll, John m. Catharine Hiester; Elizabeth Edwin Tobias; and Sarah, William and Joseph died young.


p. 1484


Franklin H. Staudt. Tracing back the ancestors of the well known Staudt family of Berks county, Pa., it is discovered that from the English family of that name thirteen brothers came to Philadelphia in 1754, one of whom eventually settled in Berks county, becoming the founder of the Staudts of this section.

Beginning with the grandfather of Franklin H. Staudt, Jonathan Staudt, there is an authentic record of his life in Upper Bern township, where he was a farmer and distiller until his somewhat early death at the age of thirty-eight years. His remains are interred in Upper Bern township. By his marriage with a Miss Miller he had children as follows: David, who died at the old homestead, was twice married; Sarah died unmarried; Michael was the father of Franklin H.; Annie m. Bennewell Bagentose; Levina m. Albert Sausser; and Joel settled in Illinois, where he died.

Michael Staudt, father of Franklin H., first farmed on the homestead, but later purchased two farms near Leesport, where he died in 1887, aged seventy-five years, eleven months, three days. He was a Republican in politics, a true citizen, and an excellent neighbor. His religious affiliations were with the Reformed Church. Michael Staudt's wife bore the name of Salome Hiester, and her death occurred in her eightieth year. Their children were: Jared m. Louisa Bucks of Hyde Park; Elmira m. Aaron B. Blatt; Katie m. Daniel L. Althouse; Fayette m. Morris Spatz; Cerena m. Calvin Stoudt; Louisa m. Henry Saylor; Jonathan m. Isabella Bucks, of Centre township; William H. m. Caroline Reiger, of Jefferson township; Adam m. Sarah Weber, of Bern township; and Franklin H.

Franklin H. Staudt received a very thorough education, going from the schools of Centre township to the State Normal school in 1883, and in 1884 taking a course at the Reading Business College. After this, he taught school for a short time in Centre township, but took up the carpenter trade and followed it for five years. At this time he became interested in farming in Spring and Centre townships, and was thus employed for ten years. Returning then to his trade, he entered the employ of George W. Beard and Company, and has been with them since 1903. Since 1899 his place of residence has been in West Reading.

On May 4, 1889, Mr. Staudt was married to Mary R. Ruth, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Fisher) Ruth, well known people of the community. To this union there have been born: Jennie N. and Emily M., graduates of the Sinking Spring High school; and Annie E. Mr. Staudt is a Republican, and while a resident of Cumru township, served on the school board during 1893, 1894, and 1895. In 1907 he was elected a member of the board of West Reading borough to serve for a term of two years. Mr. Staudt is largely interested in educational matters, and lends valuable aid to workers along this line. In religious matters, he is a member of St. James Reformed Church of West Reading, and takes part in the Sunday-school.


p. 1422


William B. Staudt, implement and cattle dealer at Pricetown. was born in Maidencreek township, Berks county, Nov. 16, 1847, son of Benneville and Hettie (Berndt) Staudt.

Jacob Staudt. his grandfather, was a farmer in Maidencreek township, where he owned a large farm, now the property of Mrs. John K. Rothermel. He was a life-long farmer and died advanced in years and is buried at Becker's St. Peter's Church. His wife died quite young. Their children were: Joel, who had Cyrus, Ira, Daniel, Mrs. George and Mrs. Amos Weidenhammer and Mrs. Frank Rothermel; George, who had Simarias and Solomon; Daniel, who had a son, Silas; Benneville; and Peggy Huey.

Benneville Staudt, son of Jacob. was a native of Maiden-creek township. He died in 1897, aged seventy-six years, and is buried at Becker's St. Peter's Church. He was a life-long farmer, owning a farm in Maidencreek township of nearly 100 acres. This farm is now owned by his son Edwin Staudt. His wife, Hettie Berndt, born Aug. 11, 1822, was a daughter of John Berndt, and lives at Evansville. Their children were: John, of Alburtis, Pa.; Racy, m. to Abraham Heffner; William B.; Mary, m. to John Adams; Louis. of Maidencreek township; Edwin. on the homestead; George, of Kirbyville; and Sallie. m. to Ezra Hoch.

William B. Staudt was reared to farm life, and in the spring of 1871 he began farming at Evansville, in Maiden-creek township, where he remained three years. He then conducted the hotel stand at Kirbyville, where he lived twenty-six years. In the spring of 1904 he moved from Kirbyville to Blandon, and after a year there located, in 1905. at Pricetown, where he has a comfortable home. Here Mr. Staudt lives a semi-retired life and deals in farm implements and cattle. He is a director of the Pricetown Rural Telephone Company. He is a Democrat in politics, and was school director and auditor and delegate to various county conventions from Richmond township.

He and his family are members of Becker's St. Peter's Church of Richmond township, in which he was a deacon and an elder many years.

On May 28, 1870. Mr. Staudt married Emma Brown, daughter of David and Susanna (Wahl) Brown; the former was a farmer of Ruscombmanor township. To Mr. and Mrs. Staudt have been born children as follows: Laura, m. to George Dieffenbach, of Reading; Alvin, a merchant in Reading; David, a letter carrier in Philadelphia; Elmer, a clerk for a railway company at Hummelstown. Pa.; Carrie. a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1909, now a dressmaker and living at home; Jennie, a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1909. now a teacher in Ruscombmanor township; and Benneville. a graduate of Stoner's Business College, now engaged as a bookkeeper.


p. 1032


William M. Staufer, a prominent retired citizen of Reading was born in Chester county, Pa., Nov. 12, 1831, son of Jacob and Mary (Meyers) Staufer.

The Staufer family is of German descent, John Staufer, the great-grandfather of William M., being the progenitor of the family in America. He settled first in Berks county, in the early part of the eighteenth century.

John Staufer, son of the emigrant John, was born in Berks county, but in early life removed to Chester county, settling in East Coventry township. There he purchased a tract of 127 acres of fine farming land, which is still called the "old Staufer homestead." He was known for his thrift and enterprise, and it is said of him that his honesty and integrity were never questioned, his word being as good as his bond. He married a Miss Latshaw, and they became the parents of five children: John (deceased) was a lifelong resident of Chester county; Catherine m. Rev. Jacob Harley, a minister of the German Baptist Church; Elizabeth died in early womanhood; Jacob is mentioned below; Mary died young. In religious belief the family were Mennonites.

Jacob Staufer, father of William M., was born in 1790 in Berks county, Pa. He received his early schooling in the common and subscription schools of Berks and Chester counties, was reared on the farm, and early evinced a desire to make farming his life work, following it successfully all of his active years. He died on the old Staufer homestead, Sept. 22, 1862, aged seventy-two years. His wife, Mary Meyers, daughter of Martin Meyers, died Nov. 7, 1873, in her seventy-ninth year. They were also members of the Mennonite Church. In politics he was a Republican. He was known as a good man, honest and upright in all of his dealings with his fellow-men. The children born to Jacob Staufer and wife were: John M., a farmer, died in 1891; Catherine m. Abram Halteman, lived in Juniata county, and is now deceased; Mary Ann m. Christian Bleim, lived in Montgomery county, and is now deceased; Jacob, Jr., is deceased; Abraham; Henry M. ; Sarah m. John Latshaw; Elizabeth m. Joel Ebert; Isaac died in 1891 in Montgomery county; William M. is mentioned below; Leah m. Hiram Ellis; Harriet m. Henry S. Pennypacker, of Chester county; Lovinia m. George C. Green.

Picture of William M. StauferWilliam M. Staufer was educated in the schools of Chester county and also in Montgomery county, completing his studies at Freeland Seminary, at Trappe, conducted for many years by H. A. Hunsicker, and known to many as the old Hunsicker school. After completing his schooling he turned his attention to farming during the summer months, and to teaching during the winter seasons. This he followed for seven terms, teaching in both Berks and Chester counties.

On Feb. 7, 1857, Mr. Staufer m. Miss Susan Prizer, daughter of Henry Prizer, of East Coventry, Chester county. Their one child died in infancy.

After farming for several years more Mr. Staufer became associated with Orr, Painter & Co., of Reading, in the manufacture of stoves. He continued with this firm eleven years, and after leaving the concern built the well-known Mt. Penn Stove Works and Foundry. Upon placing this company on a paying basis he sold out and engaged in business at Royersford, where he followed a similar line of work successfully until 1903, and then retired from active business lines. He has been one of the best known business men of Reading, and during his later life has been financially successful. His operations have always been of a legitimate character, as he does not believe in so-called wild-cat schemes or investments. He has invested much of his money in real estate and local enterprises. He built the handsome four-story brick block known as the Staufer building, at the corner of Sixth and Franklin streets, which is equipped with all modern conveniences---light, heat and elevator service. The first floor is utilized for store rooms and offices; the second floor is given by Mr. Staufer to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the third floor being occupied by the Women's Employment Association. The object of this latter society is to find employment for girls and women in the various vocations of life, and afford a temporary home for the worthy, friendless and homeless, while unemployed, and to elevate and improve the conditions of domestic service as much as lies within the ability and power of the Association. The business of the Association is controlled by a local board of managers, consisting of Christian men and women, representing many of the different religious denominations, and elected by delegates of the different churches in the city, on Dec. 7, 1897, and thereafter by the membership of the association. This organization consists of persons who contribute toward the expenses of it the sum of one dollar or more annually. All persons paying the sum of twenty-five dollars become life members. Mr. Staufer is serving as president of this association in Reading, of which he was one of the originators and to which he has devoted much time and money. The building occupied by the association, in addition to conveniences and equipments already mentioned, has a fourth floor for sleeping apartments. The building is open for any and all kinds of reform work, the uplifting of humanity in its various forms of endeavor, and Mr. Staufer has provided for its future by an endowment.

Mr. Staufer is one of the directors of the Homeopathic Hospital, and of Hope Rescue Mission. He is president and a director of the Commercial Trust Company, one of the safest banking and trust institutions in Pennsylvania. For many years he has been a member of St. Peter's M. E. Church, and is one of the board of trustees. In political matters he is a stanch Prohibitionist, but takes no active part in political campaigns outside of temperance work. His influence is universally acknowledged. Mrs. Staufer has been a faithful laborer in the W. C. T. U. for a number of years. Both she and Mr. Stauffer are noted for their many charities and philanthropies, and few citizens in Reading are held in higher esteem.


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Abner Keeley Stauffer, for many years one of the prominent members of the Berks County Bar, was a descendant of Henry Stauffer (a scion of the imperial Hohen-Stauffen family of Germany), who came to America from Rhenish Germany early in the eighteenth century. Mr. Stauffer was born at Boyertown, Berks Co., Pa., Oct. 11, 1836, son of John and Elizabeth (Keeley) Stauffer.

Judge John Stauffer was born July 4, 1792, and died Nov. 28, 1854. He served as county surveyor, and was later honored with election to the State Legislature, in which he served in 1829-30. From 1840 to 1850 he served as associate judge of Berks county, and so popular was he, and so satisfactory were his actions, that he was tendered the Democratic nomination for Congress, which was equivalent to an election in Berks county. But because of failing health he was obliged to decline the honor, and he died in 1854, just four years after his term as judge had expired. To his home at Boyertown came all the people to have their disputes adjusted, his reputation as a wise, considerate judge having extended far and wide, and his fame as a counselor being scarcely equaled in the county.

Judge Stauffer married Elizabeth Keeley, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Keeley, the former a prominent farmer in Douglass township. Mrs. Stauffer was born Oct. 1, 1798, and died Dec. 30, 1857. She was the mother of ten children, five sons and five daughters, of whom two survive, viz.: Elizabeth, widow of Abraham G. Schwenk of Schwenkville, Montgomery Co., Pa., a settlement founded by the father of Mr. Schwenk, who at one time owned nearly all the land in that neighborhood; and Amanda, widow of Rev. Abraham E. Dechant, of Pennsburg, a minister of the Reformed Church, who was born in Montgomery county Jan. 26, 1823, graduated at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, and at the Reformed Theological Seminary of that city.

Abner K. Stauffer received his preparatory education at Mt. Pleasant Seminary, in his native town, which institution was organized by his father in 1850. He was graduated from Franklin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, in 1858, and after teaching school for one year at Boyertown came to Reading in 1860, here taking up the reading of law with the late John S. Richards. He was admitted to practice April 15, 1861, on the very day which witnessed the issuance of the proclamation of President Lincoln calling for 75,00 troops, this proclamation being read in court, all the members of the Bar then assembled taking the oath of allegiance. On June 28, 1863, Mr. Stauffer enlisted, becoming a member of Company C, 42d Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served with loyalty and fidelity until his company was mustered out because their services were no longer required, practically at the end of the war. He returned to Reading, and in 1867 he was nominated by the Republicans of Berks county for the State Senate, and made a gallant run on the minority ticket, carrying the city of Reading by a large majority, running far ahead of his ticket, but being defeated in the county.

This was but the beginning of a most active career. Mr. Stauffer was always deeply interested in all matters of public moment, and did yeoman service for his city. He served three terms--1869, 1873 and 1881--as a member of the city councils of Reading, and during one year of this time, 1873, he was president of same. During his membership in that body Mr. Stauffer, through his persevering efforts, brought about many measures for the public good which stand as lasting monuments to his intelligence and public spirit, his good citizenship and civic pride. But he worked equally hard in office and out, and among the many things he did for the general welfare was the promotion of a measure which secured the removal of the old market sheds which stood in Penn Square, resulting in the erection, in their stead, of the splendid market-houses that are now the pride of the Reading householders. This was accomplished in 1871. Mr. Stauffer also used his ability as a lawyer as well as his courage as a man in making free (in 1883) the three bridges which cross the Schuylkill at Reading, the citizens formerly having been forced to pay toll. Mr. Stauffer discovered that this toll was collectible only until the cost of the bridges (and repairs needed during the time the original cost was being made up) was paid. He went over the records for eighty-eight years, a truly Herculean task, and found that not only had all costs been secured from the tolls, but also $7,000 in excess, proving by facts and figures the injustice of the conditions, and when these were properly brought before the court the bridges were made free. He worked over this problem for six years, and for this service the councils presented him a set of resolutions thanking him in behalf of the city. A third very important measure for which the city is indebted to Mr. Stauffer was the securing to the city of the old parade ground, now Penn Common, thirty-nine acres of ground, worth nearly $1,000,000. It had been leased (but without legal warrant) by the commissioners of Berks county to the Agricultural Society for a period of ninety-nine years, at an annual rental of one dollar. This resulted in lengthy litigation, the lower court deciding against the city, but the Supreme court reversed the decision and gave the land to the city. Hon. George F. Baer was associated with Mr. Stauffer in making this fight, Mr. Baer bringing the case before the Supreme court. Both gentlemen declined pay for their services, and the Board of Trade and city councils spread upon their minutes the most eulogistic praise of the eminent and public-spirited services that Mr. Stauffer and Mr. Baer had rendered.

Mr. Stauffer was married Sept. 25, 1860, to Emma Louisa Ranninger, a daughter of one of the pioneer bookbinders of Lancaster, Pa., where his bindery was a familiar landmark. Mrs. Stauffer was born Feb. 7, 1841, and died March 29, 1865. Two children were born to this union, viz.,: Ella Selina, born March 11, 1862, died May 3, 1866, as the result of a fall. Edgar Embery, born March 8, 1865, died July 27, 1865.

Mr. Stauffer married for his second wife Mary High Keim, daughter of Col. John Keim, a lumber dealer of Reading, and later a banker at Dubuque, Iowa. At the death of Mrs. Stauffer, which occurred in 1891, the newspapers of Reading vied in their tributes to her rare gifts of mind and heart, one of them saying, in an extended obituary, "She united the old Keim family of Berks and the Randolph stock of Virginia. She was descended maternally from the Tuckahoe branch of the Randolphs of Virginia, and was a granddaughter of Col. Thomas Beverly Randolph, one of the first graduates of West Point. She was of the tenth generation in descent from the Algonquin princess, Pocahontas. She became the beloved mother of four children, all of whom survive, viz.: John Keim, Frederick Randolph, Anna Keim and Mary Virginia. William Wirt Mills, of New York, a son of Mrs. Stauffer by her first husband, Col. William Wirt Mills, of Dubuque, Iowa, also survives."

Of the children, John K. Stauffer, a graduate of Yale College, class of 1895, is connected with the Times of Washington, D. C., and is Washington correspondent for the New York Evening Post and for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. Frederick Randolph Stauffer, now a lawyer in practice at Reading, was graduated from Yale, class of 1903, and then studied law with Hon. George F. Baer and Jefferson Snyder, Esq. In June, 1907, he was nominated for District Attorney of Berks county on the Republican ticket but subsequently withdrew because ineligible to serve, as he had not been in practice the required length of time. The daughters graduated from the Reading high school and the National Park Seminary, at Washington, D. C. They are socially prominent in Reading.

Mr. Stauffer was a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to Reading Commandery, No. 42. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, and a vestryman at Christ Church, Reading, and he was one of the founders and treasurer of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Reading. In 1872 Mr. Stauffer was made a director and trustee of the Reading Public Library, continuing to serve as such to the end of his days, and he gave considerable time to furthering its interests. It was through his efforts that the property was saved to the company when the failure of the Reading Savings Bank threatened to sweep it away, and it was he who fought for so many years for a city appropriation. Primarily a professional man, with large interests, he thus found time on many occasions to give his best efforts to the advancement of the civic welfare and the promotion of enterprises in which his concern personally was simply that of a public-spirited citizen. Though past seventy, Mr. Stauffer enjoyed excellent health until a week before his death, when he contracted a cold which ended in pneumonia, and he died at the family residence, No.. 1513 Hill Road, Nov. 4, 1906.


p. 413


Elmer E. Stauffer, prominent in the business, religious and social life of Boyertown and vicinity, comes of an old family whose early home was in the mountains of Switzerland. Extracts gleaned from various sources, chiefly from the diary of Hans Stauffer, written during his voyage from Switzerland, through Germany, Holland and England, to America, give the earlier history of the family.

(I) Daniel Stauffer, a descendant of the ancient house of Hohenstaufen, in Suabia, was born at Alzheim, near the Rhine, in Switzerland, about 1630, and there he also died.

(II) Hans Stauffer, son of Daniel, was born at Alzheim about 1650 or 1655. In 1685 he married a widow named Kinget Heisland. They belonged to a religious sect called Mennonites, and in 1709 they were driven by persecution to North America, but first they went to the Pfalz. The diary reads as, follows: "In the year 1709, I, Hans Stauffer, left my own native land, the Schw?z, on the 5th day of November, with my wife and children,-Jacob, aged 13, Daniel 12, Henry 9, Elizabeth with her husband Paul Fried, and one child named Mary. After a stormy voyage, on Jan. 20, 1710, we arrived in London." In the spring after a perilous voyage they landed probably at Philadelphia, and settled at or near Valley Forge, Chester county, in the land of Penn. It is said that Hans Stauffer is buried in the Mennonite graveyard near Valley Forge. The sons who survived him were: Jacob, Daniel and Henry.

(III) Jacob Stauffer, eldest son of Hans, was born at Alzheim in 1696, and accompanied his father to America in 1710. At Valley Forge he married, and afterward moved to a place called Hereford (now Washington township). The country was then a vast wilderness, and a remnant of one of the Indian tribes resided there. He was one of the first settlers and original purchasers of a plantation in that neighborhood, which adjoined the land where later the Roman Catholic chapel was erected. His grain was carried on horseback to the gristmill somewhere below Norristown, twenty miles away. Like many of his descendants he was a Mennonite, and he is buried in the Mennonite cemetery adjoining his plantation. His children were: Henry; born 1725; Christian, 1728; Susan, 1730; Esther, 1732; Abraham 1737; and John, 1737.

(IV) Henry Stauffer, son of Jacob, was born Aug. 13, 1725, and he died June 19, 1803. He went to Colebrookdale township, where he purchased a farm and developed it. His grave is in the cemetery of the Mennonites at Boyertown, on a lot he gave to the congregation of that faith for burial purposes. In 1770 he married Maria Buckwalter.

(V) Jacob Stauffer, eldest son of Henry, was born Aug. 2, 1754, and he bought his father's farm in Colebrookdale township, there following farming. He died March 20, 1839, and is buried in the Mennonite cemetery at Boyertown. This graveyard was given by him to the Lutheran and Reformed Churches. In 1785 he married Susanna Huff, and among their children were: Catherine, Esther, Maria, Judge John, Henry and Elizabeth.

(VI) Judge John Stauffer, son of Jacob, was born July 4, 1792, and he died Nov. 28, 1854. He was a great friend of education, and was a leading citizen of Boyertown. The Stauffer mansion, which he erected and which is now occupied by Elmer E., is a fine building, and contains much hand carved wood. Judge John Stauffer married Elizabeth Keely, and they had twelve children, among whom was William K.
(VII) William K. Stauffer, son of Judge John, was born in Boyertown Sept. 19, 1819, and he became a foremost man there. He died April 1, 1891, in a room immediately below the one in which he was born. This old home has some sixty acres of valuable land, and this Mr. Stauffer cultivated. He was a surveyor and conveyancer many years, and was a useful man in his district. He was secretary of the cemetery board, and in this was succeeded by his son Elmer E., who also succeeded him as treasurer of the old Boyertown Water Company. Mr. Stauffer was a pillar in the Evangelical Church, and did much for the benefit of that church. He married Harriet Gilbert, daughter of Henry and Lydia (Spang) Gilbert, the former of whom, now deceased, was a miller in Colebrookdale. She was born Nov. 6, 1824, and now lives with her son Elmer E. They had children as follows: (1) Irwin G., born 1846, died 1849. (2) James G. born 1848, died 1849. (3) Sidney G., born 1850, died 1851. (4) One born in 1852 died unnamed. (5) George Washington, born 1853, died 1857. (6) Rev. William Henry, born Aug. 28, 1857, was educated at Mt. Pleasant Seminary, Palatinate College (one year), and Ursinus College, from which he graduated, after which he again graduated at the Northwestern Theological College, at Naperville, Ill. He entered the ministry of the Evangelical Association, and is now stationed at Lyons, N. Y. He married Sybilla Schneider, of Suspension Bridge, N. Y., and their children were: Grace, Milton. Edith (deceased), Edna, Ruth, William and Arthur. (7) Francis G., born Aug. 6, 1859, married Feb. 22, 1881, Lizzie Keiper, of Naperville, Ill., where he also attended Northwestern College, and was graduated. Their children were: A son born in 1886 (died in infancy); and Leslie De Witt, born April 3, 1888, a noted athlete taking a college course in Wesleyan College, Delaware, Ohio. Francis G. is in the fence and wire business. (8) Elmer E. is the youngest in the family.

(VIII) Elmer E. Stauffer was born on the old Stauffer homestead July 2, 1864. He was educated in the public schools of Boyertown, Mt. Pleasant Seminary, and Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. He took the civil engineering course, but on account of his father's ill health, he was compelled to abandon his college education for the time, and consequently did not graduate at Easton, but later, in January, 1886, graduated from Bryant & Stratton's Business College at Philadelphia. After his return home he engaged in conveyancing, together with the real estate business. He did most of the grading and surveying for the borough of Boyertown, and in 1907, when the brick Street paving was put down, he was elected by the council as engineer with an assistant to oversee that the work was done according to the specifications. He is associated in business with Horace F. Tyson, under the firm name of Tyson & Stauffer, dealing in lumber, coal and feed at Barto, and doing an extensive business. Mr. Stauffer is a director in the Boyertown Casket Company, a position he has held since 1902. He is notary for the National Bank of Boyertown, and is secretary of the Fairview Cemetery. He and his family are members of the Trinity United Evangelical Church, Boyertown, and he served the church faithfully as treasurer and trustee many years. He has been superintendent of the Sunday school since his young manhood, and in many ways has proved himself an earnest worker in the cause of Christ. Mr. Stauffer has settled up many large estates, among these being the Kuser, Levengood and Bleyler estates. He was also executor of his father's estate. In politics he is a Prohibitionist, but in home elections often votes the Republican ticket, always trying to vote for the best man and for the best interests of the community. He was a member of the school board three years, and was also secretary, and helped on the plans of the present high school.

On Oct. 16, 1888, Mr. Stauffer married Andora F. Tyson, daughter of Abraham and Susan (Fetterolf) Tyson, of Royersford, Pa. Mrs. Tyson was a sister of Dr. A. H. Fetterolf, President of Girard College, Philadelphia. Mr. and Mrs. Stauffer have three children: Eva May, Walter Tyson and William Everett.

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