Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1044


David H. Steckler (deceased), who was for many years a prominent business man of Reading, was born in Allegheny county, Pa., and accompanied his parents to York county, where a portion of his education was received. When about seventeen years of age he went to Philadelphia, where he remained a few years as clerk in Green's restaurant, coming to Reading in 1874. He engaged in the dairy and farm produce business, and at one time operated a large milk route, employing three wagons to distribute the product of his dairy. In connection with this he also operated a grocery store on Sixth street, at the present site of Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart's new building, and there he continued until 1878. In January of the latter year he engaged in the greenhouse business which had been established by his father-in-law, Michael Hauser, and in this line he continued until 1903, when he was compelled to retire from active work on account of ill health. Mr. Steckler died in that year, and the business is now conducted by his sons, Bertram D. and Leo G.

On Sept. 25, 1877, Mr. Steckler married Theresa Hauser, daughter of Michael and Barbara (Christ) Hauser, and to this union were born five children: George (deceased), Bertram D., Irene, Leo G. and Loretto. In religious belief the family are Catholics, attending St. Paul's German Catholic Church. Mr. Steckler was a stanch Republican in political matters.




George Laurence Steckline, a lifelong resident of the city of Reading, Pa., where for many years he was engaged in an extensive baking business, died at his home, No. 419 Maple street, Oct. 9, 1896. He was born in Reading, Dec. 22, 1859, son of John C. and Catherine (Ziegler) Steckline.

John C. Steckline was born in 1837, in Germany, and died Nov. 28, 1891, in Philadelphia, being buried in the Fernwood cemetery of the latter place, while his wife was interred in the German Lutheran cemetery, Reading. In his native country he had learned the shoemaker's trade, and this he followed in Philadelphia during all of his residence there. In 1858 he married Catherine Ziegler, daughter of George and Catherine Ziegler, and she died in 1872, aged thirty-six years. Six children were born to Mr. And Mrs. Steckline, as follows: George L.; Charles m. Alice Machmer; Julia m. Allen Body; John m. Ida Billman; Kate m. James Eisenhart; William m. Alice Goodman, deceased.

George L. Steckline attended the public schools of Reading, and in 1883 engaged in the baking business at No. 1041 Cotton street, where he lived for some years, then removing to No. 417 Maple street, where he made his home until his death, at which time he was in comfortable circumstances, owning the residence at No. 417 Maple street, and the building at No. 419 corner of Culvert street, in the latter of which Mrs. Steckline now resides. He was a good business man, and his bakery goods were well known for their excellence and purity, finding a ready sale throughout Reading and the surrounding country. In politics he was a Democrat, and his fraternal connections were with Germania Lodge, I. O. O. F.; Charity Lodge No. 34, Jr. A. P. A.; Knights of Honor, and Friendship Fire Company. He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church.

In 1883, Mr. Steckline, married Miss Mary Catharine Grund, born ____ 15, 1867, and to them were born six children, as follows: Annie C., born Oct. 7, 1883 m. Herbert Lichty, and has one son, Charles G.; Laura M., born Feb. 21, 1885; Gertrude E., born Dec. 11, 1887; George L., born April 12, 1889, died Feb. 20, 1890; Helen M., born July 9, 1893; and Emily C., born July 29, 1896.

Johann Christian Frederick Grund, father of Mrs. Steckline, was born Sept. 17, 1836, in Wittenburg, Germany, son of Johann and Barbara Grund. In 1857 Mr. Grund came to America, and from that time until his death followed moulding in Reading. He. m. Catharine Koch, born Dec. 31, 1840, in Wittenburg, and to them were born seven children: Johannes, born March 27, 1861 m. Mary Hadley, deceased; Heinrich, born Feb. 13, 1865, m. Amelia Libka; Mary Catharine, born ____15, 1867; Barbara, born April 17, 1872, m. John Pfantz, a baker of Reading; Frederick W., born June 19, 1874, m. Emma Shoemaker; Annie C., born Nov. 23, 1876, m. John Lonsberger, of Reading; and Karl C., born March 18, 1879, died at the age of eleven years.


p. 532


C. Gilbert Steffe, late of Reading was in the service of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company for over fifty years before his retirement, in 1904. For a number of years previously he acted as general road foreman for the company. He was an expert in his line and recognized as such in railroad circles all over the country.

Mr. Steffe was a native of Lancaster county, Pa., born in Earl township, Jan. 26, 1834, son of Frederick and Annie (Unger) Steffe, who were farming people. Somewhat late in life his father went to Ohio, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits and remained to the close of his days.

Mr. Steffe spent his boyhood and youth in the public schools of Earl township, helping his father at farming. At the age of eighteen he came to Reading, where he became an apprentice in the machine shop of the Philadelphia & Reading Company. He remained in the shops there three years, for he had determined even then to learn the business of practical railroading from the very beginning. In 1855 he began on the road as brakeman and later was fireman on both passenger and freight engines, all of which at that time burned wood. During the years 1853-54 he was on the Williamsport branch with Reading engines, in 1855 returning to Reading, and becoming fireman for passenger trains on the well known "Mohawk" and other engines then quite famous. He was made fireman for the "Illinois," the first engine in the United States to burn anthracite coal.

In 1858 Mr. Steffe was promoted to the position of engineer, running trains on the main line. When the Civil war broke out he and others connected with the motive department of the road, evinced a desire to enlist in the service of the Union, but the superintendent requested them to stand by the railroad, arguing that they were needed there as badly as at the front. The superintendent then went to Washington, D. C., and after an interview with Lincoln and Stanton secured exemption papers for Mr. Steffe and others whose services he wished to retain. During the battle of Gettysburg, Mr. Steffe was under orders to hold a train at Harrisburg, ready to take all the valuable documents there to Philadelphia in case of Lee's victory. In 1866 he was appointed engine examiner, to take charge of the engines as they came out of the shops, and he remained in that position until 1871. In that year he was sent with efficient help to install what was known as the "pop valves" over the whole system. His mind was constantly on the alert for a solution of the various problems of his work, and in 1876 he assisted in the arrangement of a means of improving engines so that they could burn all kinds of fuel, and especially fine anthracite coal.

Through all these years Mr. Steffe was steadily gaining recognition as an expert in his line, and when, in March, 1878, the great engine"412" was made in the Reading shops, to be sent to the Paris Exposition, he oversaw its packing and shipment, and then went over to France to install it in its place. Returning in July of that year, he spent some time in experimental work on the New England railroads in the interest of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, and in October, 1878, made a second trip to Paris to install "412" on the road. During the winter of 1878 and spring of 1879, prior to the opening of the exposition he traveled through France operating the engine on the different railroads in that country, and thence went to Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, running his engine in each of these countries. In November, 1879, he returned to America with his engine, on his arrival in America being appointed road foreman of engines with headquarters in Philadelphia. There he remained until transferred to Reading in 1888, as general road foreman, a position he was still holding when put on the company's retired list, March 2, 1904, after a faithful service of just fifty-two years. When Mr. Steffe entered the employ of the Reading Company they had only between fifty-five and sixty engines, and at the time of his retirement the equipment included eleven hundred. Though all of this large number were under his charge he was able to locate any engine and day of the year, a feat considered remarkable even among railroad men. During his career he had many experiences not included in the duties of the average railroad man, and was called upon to exercise his resourcefulness in various unusual circumstances. While at Milan, competing with the French, English and Italian engine builders, he had some exciting as well as enjoyable experiences. It was necessary for him to be constantly on his guard against the Italians, who made every conceivable effort to create the impression that the American engine was not equal to theirs, especially as regarded consumption of fuel. But Mr. Steffe was ready at every turn, and succeeded in convincing the judges that the Americans were not only the best builders but also capable of caring for their own interests.

Mr. Steffe enjoyed nearly half a century of happy married life. Wedded in June, 1858, to Esther, daughter of John Hill, their union was unbroken until March 25, 1905 when Mrs. Steffe passed from this world. She left no children. Mr. Steffe continued to reside at No. 106 North Ninth street, during the remainder of his life. Mr. Steffe was a member of a number of organizations, principally of fraternal character, and he was an enthusiastic Mason, belonging to Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M.; Reading Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M.; De Molay Commandery, No. 9; and Philadelphia Consistory. On Sept. 19, 1893, the Thirty-third degree was conferred upon him in Chicago, and he was enrolled as an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, and on the same date was made a member of the Royal Order of Scotland. Mr. Steffe was also a member of the Philadelphia Veteran Association. In May, 1907, Mr. Steffe attended the Masonic gathering at Los Angeles, Cal., and was on his way home in the train wrecked in Honda, Cal., May 11th, meeting his death in that frightful accident.

Mr. Steffe was a man of real achievement, actively concerned in the forwarding of our country's material advancement, and his work won the unstinted respect of all informed on the general subject of railroading.


p. 1049


Benjamin Franklin Steffy, a representative citizen of Cumru township, who has for some years been Steffy family of Berks county, and was born Feb. 1, 1868, engaged in piano tuning, is a member of the well-known at Adamstown, Lancaster county, son of Benjamin K. and Catherine (Ruffner) Steffy.

Benjamin K. Steffy was born Dec. 20, 1834, on the Steffy homestead, and for upward of forty years conducted a smithy at Adamstown, where he also owned a farm and grew fruit. Since 1899 he has lived retired at Mohnton. Mr. Steffy and his family attend Allegheny Church, and fraternally he is connected with the Sr. O. U. A. M., at Adamstown. He married Catherine Ruffner, daughter of Daniel and Barbara (Keffer) Ruffner, of Angelica, and they had these children: Rosa m. Frank Hatt, of Adamstown; Sarah m. Abner Harding, of Edison; Wayne died Jan. 13, 1908; B. Franklin; Lydia, born Jan. 7, 1871, m. John Rollman, of Adamstown, and died Nov. 27, 1891; Maggie, born June 12, 1874, died Jan. 17, 1895; Mary, born April 2, 1877, died Feb. 15, 1898; and Edwin, born Aug. 7, 1880, died Jan. 31, 1898.

B. Franklin Steffy spent his school days at Adamstown and then assisted his father on the farm and in the fruit growing business. Later he engaged with his father for some years in the manufacture of cigars, a trade he had learned from his father when a mere lad. Mr. Steffy is an accomplished musician, showing his talent when but ten years of age. He was a teacher and instructor of bands in various parts of Berks county when but sixteen years of age, being especially accomplished on the piano, violin and clarionet, and he now has many pupils in Reading and all over the southwestern portion of Berks county. In 1906 Professor Steffy took a special course in the Boston School of Piano Tuning, and on New Year's Day, 1907, he associated himself with the well-known O. F. Kauffman Music House, No. 48 North Eighth street, Reading. Professor Steffy was located for a time in Mohnton, but since 1906 he has made his home at No. 623 Weiser street, Reading. In the spring of 1903 Mr. Steffy, with Dr. M. L. Miller and William G. Leininger, organized the Steffy Furniture Company of which he was made president, and this enterprise was successful from the start and now does a large business, being now conducted by Dr. Miller, who purchased his partners' interests. Fraternally Mr. Steffy is connected with Mohnton Lodge No. 485, Knights of Pythias, and he and his family are members of Grace United Evangelical Church, Sixth and Elm streets, Reading.

On March 4, 1886, Professor Steffy was married to Ella F. Remp, daughter of Henry Remp, a complete sketch of whose life will be found elsewhere. Six children have been born to this union: Mazie R., Emma M., James L., Alta, Arthur L., and one that died in infancy.


p. 1012


Among the well-known residents of Cumru township, Berks county, may be mentioned Joseph K. Steffy, a retired agriculturist, who is living on his fine tract of fifty-seven and one-half acres. He was born Nov. 14, 1838, across the line in Brecknock township, son of Joseph and Anna (Kohl) Steffy.

Abraham Steffy, grandfather of Joseph K., was a lifelong resident of Cumru township, where he was engaged in laboring and in farming in a small way. He married a Miss Remp, and their children were: Benjamin; Samuel; Joseph, and Abraham. Of these Abraham married Sarah Harding, daughter of Christil Harding, owner of a small farm in Cumru township. His eleven children were: Christil, Samuel, Henry, Benjamin, John, William, Moses, Reuben, Elizabeth (m. Jonathan Epler), Sarah (m Levi Kohl) and Rachel (died single aged twenty-six). Christil, Samuel, Henry, Benjamin and John of this family served in the union army during the Civil war, the latter being but eighteen years of age at the time of his enlistment. Samuel Steffy, second son of Abraham, J., was born Jan. 8, 1836, and is now a retired hatter, living on his eight-acre tract in Mohnton. He has an honorable Civil war record. He married Mrs. Rebecca (Spangler) Ruth, and their only child, Sarah E., now deceased, was the wife of John Shilling.

Joseph Steffy, father of Joseph K., was born in Brecknock township, March 6, 1809, and died April 13, 1879. He was the owner of a tract of fifty acres of land in Brecknock township, and engaged in farming and charcoal burning all of his life, and was regarded as a substantial man and good citizen. He and his family attended Allegheny Church, of which he was an elder for some years. Mr. Steffy married Anna Kohl, of Gouglersville, and to them were born eight children, as follows: Samuel died in 1899, aged seventy-one years; Lydia m. Jonathan Blankenbiller; Benjamin m. Catherine Ruffner, and died in 1908; Daniel m. Amelia Hill; Joseph K.; Peter m. Kate White; Annie m. Jacob Trostle; Susan m. Henry Long.

Joseph K. Steffy attended the old pay schools of his day for a few months during the winter, and when but fifteen years of age began chopping wood during the winter months, while the summer seasons were spent on the farm. When he was eighteen years of age he began burning charcoal during the six warmer months, while the rest of the year was spent shoemaking. In about 1868 Mr. Steffy located on his farm in Cumru township, which he had purchased in 1862, and which he still owns, it being rented to his son-in-law, John S. Long. The tract of fifty-seven and one-half acres on which he now resides was purchased by him in 1898, and has been furnished with good, substantial buildings. In politics Mr. Steffy is a Democrat, and he is fraternally connected with the Sr. O. U. A. M., Council No. 91, Angelica, Pa. He and his family are Reformed members of Allegheny Union Church, of which he was a deacon and elder for more than twenty years.

On Dec. 24, 1863, Mr. Steffy married Catherine Blankenbiller, born in 1840 and died Dec. 18, 1899, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Seibert) Blankenbiller. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steffy: Henry, born Jan. 27, 1868, died aged fifteen days; Daniel, born June 22, 1869, died Dec. 16, 1890; Nelson, born Aug. 5, 1871, died Jan. 7, 1873; Emma Elizabeth, born June 23, 1873, m. John s. Long, and has had children, Charley (deceased), William (deceased), Viola, Victor, Lester and Margie; Maggie Ann, born July 11, 1875, m. William Trago; Joseph born Aug. 12, 1878, m. Alice Kessler, and has a son Morris Wayne; and Katie Alice, born July 30, 1881, m. Charles Schlabach.


p. 1545


John H. Steffy, a truck farmer and butcher of Lower Heidelberg township, is a native of Cumru township, Berks county, born Feb. 9,1845.

(I) Abraham Steffy, grandfather of John H., passed all his life in Cumru township, where he worked as a laborer and carried on farming in a small way. He married a Miss Remp, and they had four children, Benjamin, Samuel, Joseph and Abraham.

(II) Abraham Steffy, son of Abraham, owned small farm in Cumru township. He married Sarah Harding, daughter of Christil Harding, and their eleven children were: Christil, Samuel, Henry, Benjamin, John H., William, Moses, Reuben, Elizabeth (m. Jonathan Epler), Sarah (m. Levi Kohl), and Rachel (who died unmarried at the age of twenty-six). Five sons of family fought in the Union army during the Rebellion, Christil, Samuel, Henry, Benjamin and John H.

(III) John H. Steffy was reared on the parental farm, and worked at home until his enlistment for service in the Union army. He was mustered in Feb. 23, 1864, at Reading, becoming a member of Co. B, 55th P. V. I., which was attached to the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 24th Army Corps. Mr. Steffy saw active service at the battles of Cold Harbor and Petersburg and throughout the Richmond campaign, and was honorably discharged at Petersburg, Va., August 31, 1865.

After his return from the army, Mr. Steffy worked at stone quarrying as well as farming, and in 1873 purchased the tract of land upon which he has since lived, eleven acres at the foot of Cushion Hill (upon which Wenrich's observatory is located), in Lower Heidelberg township. The place is especially suited truck farming, and Mr. Steffy raises all kinds of garden stuff, which he disposes of at the Bingaman Street Market House in Reading, having stand No.195. He has attended this market for the past thirty-five years, in winter selling meat which he butchers himself. He has prospered in his work and has all the most modern appliances for carrying it on, including a gasoline engine of approved make. In 1889 he built the house he now occupies, and the barn upon his property put up in 1898.

Mr. Steffy has been twice married; His first wife, Lavina Fisher, born Jan. 21, 1842, daughter of William Fisher of Lower Heidelberg township, died May 17, 1898 in her fifty-seventh year. There were no children by union. Mr. Steffy married for his second wife Emma Ulrich, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (White) Ulrich, of Spring township, and they have had five children namely: Sarah S., John William, Franklin Pierce, Harry Edwin and Maggie M. Mr. Steffy is a Lutheran and attends the Hain's Church. He is a Republican in political sentiment.


p. 1385


Pierce K. Steffy, a cigar manufacturer and active citizen of Sinking Spring, Berks county, was born here, in Spring township, Nov. 23, 1864, and is a member of a family which has been numerous in this section for several generations.

Daniel Steffy, his great-grandfather, was born in Cumru township and was engaged as a laborer in the vicinity of Sinking Spring, where he is buried. Among his children were Daniel, Lizzie, Penina and John.

John Steffy, son of Daniel, was born Jan. 14, 1800, and died Aug. 6, 1865. He is buried in the old graveyard at Sinking Spring, close to where his father lies, and like his father he was a laborer in that section. He married Lydia A. Luft, born Aug. 28, 1805, daughter of Johannes Luft (born Aug. 15, 1777, died Aug. 17, 1864, and his wife Magdalena (born Sept. 23, 1777, died Oct. 27, 1865). Mrs. Steffy died Nov. 28, 1839, aged sixty-four years, three months, and is buried beside her husband. They had a family of twelve children, namely: Rebecca, John, Lydia, Jane, Daniel, Isaac, Elizabeth, Maria, Molly, William (who died in infancy), William and Benneville.

Isaac L. Steffy, a respected resident of Spring township, living just above Fritztown, was born in that township, near Sinking Spring April 28, 1841. When only five years old he moved with his parents to Heidelberg township, where he lived for fourteen years with the family of Adam Ruth, a farmer. After leaving the Ruths he continued to do farm work for two years longer, in 1863 beginning to work as a repairman on the Reading & Columbia railroad, where he was employed for eight years as a journeyman. For twenty-four years he was engaged as foreman of a section, during this time having under his charge at different times two to sixty men, with corresponding responsibilities. In the spring of 1894 Mr. Steffy became the proprietor of the "Fanners Hotel" at Fritztown, which he himself conducted for three and a half years. Since 1900 he has been engaged in coal and fertilizer business at that place, and he has prospered by thrift and good management. He has his own home above Fritztown, a comfortable dwelling with one acre of ground. Mr. Steffy is known to all as a conscientious and honorable man, and he is highly esteemed in his community. In 1860 he married Margaret Kline, daughter of William and Mary (Ruth) Kline, and granddaughter of William Ruth. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Steffy, as follows: John who lives at Lyons, Pa.; William, of Montello, this county; Pierce K.; Ida, married to James Grimes, a shoemaker of Reynolds, Pa.; Ellen, wife of Henry Bucher, a painter of Denver, Pa.; Mary, wife of Harry R. Gring, a cigar manufacturer of Fritztown, Pa.; Rufus, who died in infancy; and Maggie, married to Stephen Hornberger, a cigar maker at Denver, Pa. Mr. Steffy and his family belong to the church, which they attend, at Sinking Spring. He is a Democrat in political opinion.

Pierce K. Steffy received his education in the public schools of his native township, and learned his trade at Lititz, Lancaster Co. Pa., from John Yenland. After following his trade for six years at Lititz, Denver (Lancaster county) and other points he became foreman for John S. Nolde, a cigar manufacturer at Denver, continuing in that capacity for seven years, until he started in business on his own account, at Denver, in 1891, as Mr. Nolde's successor. He carried that business on until 1896, in the fall of which year he came to Sinking Spring, where he has since been engaged in cigar manufacturing. He is established in a two-story factory on Main street, 20 x 44 feet in dimensions, and gives employment to about forty people. The product is confined to high-grade cigars, which are disposed of through jobbing houses at Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania cities, as well as in New Jersey. Mr. Steffy has a lucrative business, and he owns his factory and his home. In addition to cigar-making he runs a coal yard at Fritztown, having a profitable patronage.

Mr. Steffy has taken an interest in the administration of public affairs in the various communities in which he has resided. He is a Democrat in politics, and has been active in the local workings of the party. While a resident of Lancaster county he was delegate to many county conventions, and during President Cleveland's second administration he served as postmaster at Denver, that county. Since he became a resident of Berks county he has served a term of three years as school director of Spring township, was treasurer of the board, and at present holds the office of supervisor, being president of the board of roadmasters. He has done able work for the township, where his efforts have been highly appreciated. In 1907 he was a delegate to the Democratic State Convention.

Socially Mr. Steffy is well known, being a member of Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A. M., of Womelsdorf; of Sinking Spring Lodge, No. 660, I. O. O. F.; of Lexington Lodge, No. 155, K. of P.; and of Wyanet Tribe, No. 301, I. O. R. M., of Reading. He is a leading member of Salem U. B. Church at Sinking Spring, which he has served as trustee and steward. His family are also identified with this church.

In October, 1896, Mr. Steffy married Miss Emma Smith, daughter of Levi and Elizabeth (Barry) Smith, of Lancaster county, and to this union have been born six children: Robert P., Charles S., and Alvin S., Martha, Russel and Luke.


p. 962


Rudolph Steffy, one of Berks county's prominent citizens, who has for many years been before the public in positions of trust and responsibility, is now holding office of assessor of Brecknock township. Mr. Steffy was born Feb. 23, 1849, in Alleghenyville, Pa., son of John and Catherine (Eshelman) Steffy.

John Steffy was born April 2, 1827, in Brecknock township, and died Dec. 24, 1892, after a long life spent in agricultural pursuits, he being the owner of the farm which in later years belonged to his son Rudolph. He was a charter member of Allegheny Church, where he served as an official for many years, and was a highly respected citizen. Mr. Steffy married Catherine Eshelman, daughter of Martin Eshelman, and to this union there were born ten children: Matilda, m. Benjamin Hetrich, of Spring township; Lydia, m. William Hill, of Indiana; Levi a farmer of Brecknock township, m. Caroline Borkert; William, who was county auditor of Berks from 1860 to 1863, m. Catherine Krick, of Delaware, where he died; Elizabeth, m. Jacob Gebhart, of Allegheny Church; Richard, an artilleryman during the Civil war, m. Hannah Hill, of Reading; Susannah m. William Blankenbiller, of Brecknock township; Maria m. Adam Schweitzer, of Shillington; John m. Mary Witman, of Plowville; and Rudolph.

Rudolph Steffy was reared upon his father's farm, his education was secured in the township schools, which he attended until fifteen years of age, obtaining a fair education. In 1871 he started out in life for himself as a farmer in Alleghenyville, having obtained this property from his brother Levi, and here he continued for years, then selling out to purchase the farm now owned by Harry Ziegler, where he lived for thirty-two years. Since selling this farm Mr. Steffy has made his home with Samuel B. Gehman, a well-known farmer and trucker in the Allegheny Valley.

In politics Mr. Steffy is a Democrat, and when twenty one years of age he was elected township clerk, an office in which he served for some years, being then elected township assessor, being the incumbent of that office three years. For many years Mr. Steffy served as school director, and in 1898 he was again elected township assessor, since which time he has been twice elected. Mr. Steffy has always been an honest, fearless public official and the long period of his holding office indicates his ability and popularity. He and his family are members Allegheny Union Church, and he is a member of the choir thereof.

In 1871, Mr. Steffy married Emma R. DeTurk, born April 19, 1849, died in August, 1905, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Hollenbach) De Turk, of Leesport. and to this union there were born nine children, as follows: Miss Elizabeth; John, who lives in Spring township; Annette, m. to Henry Ludwig, of Lancaster county ; Henry of Montgomery county ; and five children who died in youth.


p 436


D. W. Stehman, formerly a prominent business man of Reading, particularly identified with banking interests, was born in 1837, at Middletown, Dauphin Co., Pa., where he was reared and liberally educated.

From 1869 to 1887 Mr. Stehman was cashier of the Middletown National Bank. For many years he was treasurer of the borough, was a member of the Middletown Market Company, and of the cemetery association, served on the town council and held many positions of trust and responsibility at that place. In 1887 Mr. Stehman came to Reading and accepted the position of secretary of the Pennsylvania Trust Company, which was unanimously tendered by the board of directors, to which position he was re-elected in 1888, and made also assistant to the treasurer, H. T. Kendall. In 1892 he succeeded Mr. Kendall as treasurer, and held this position until his death. He was a man of acknowledged business ability and of the highest integrity. His loss was deeply felt by the company with which he had been identified for so many years, and at a meeting of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Trust Company, held Feb. 9, 1904, the following resolutions were adopted: RESOLVED, That we make this record of the feelings of the board of directors upon the deeply regretted death of our late trust officer and treasurer, D. W. Stehman, and this is followed by a statement which showed the great trust and confidence reposed in him by his fellow officials, as well as testimonials to the personal esteem in which he was held by them.

Mr. Stehman was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, of which he had been treasurer for a number of years. He was notably charitable, liberally contributing to benevolent enterprises. His death was a distinct loss to Reading.

In 1874 Mr. Stehman married Mary Van Reed, daughter of John and Amelia (Addams) Van Reed. Two children survive, John V. R. and Edith A.


p. 962


Samuel S. Steiger, one of Mount Penn borough's venerable citizens, who for some years lived retired at his comfortable home, was a native of Berks county, Pa., born in Exeter township, March 26, 1830, son of William and Susannah (Strunk) Steiger, and died June 2, 1907, aged seventy-seven years.

William Steiger was born and reared in Exeter township, where his entire life was spent in weaving and farm laboring. He died in October, 1855, being then upward of sixty-three years of age. He married Susannah Strunk, born in Cumru township, one of a large family all of whom attained advanced age, and at her death, in. 1875, she was eighty-six years old. Mr. and Mrs. Steiger were the parents of five children: Sarah, who died at the age of ninety-two years, m. David H. Hill; Levi, who died, at the age of seventy-seven years, m. Caroline Breiner; Catherine, who died at the age of seventy-eight years, was unmarried; John, who died when thirty years old, m. Hettie Lorah ; and Samuel S.

Samuel. S. Steiger was educated in the public schools, and remained at home until twenty-four years old, when he removed to Lower Alsace township. He worked in the woolen mills at St. Lawrence for forty-two years, being loom boss for thirty-five years of this time, and then engaged in shoemaking for six years, after which time he lived retired. Mr. Steiger was well known in his community He was interested in public matters, and was a Democrat. For many years he was a member of Schwartzwald Church, but later connected with Trinity Reformed Church of Mount Penn.

On May 14, 1854, Mr. Steiger married Miss Catherine Haupt, daughter of John and Catherine (Deer) Haupt, born Sept. 11, 1833, in Exeter township, who died Dec. 21, 1900. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steiger; Telemachus, who died in childhood; Alice E., born Sept. 8, 1861; and Ida E., who died when twenty-six years of age. Alice E. Steiger ,was married Oct. 25, 1879, to Henry F. Lutz, son of David Lutz and wife (whose name was Shildt), of Alsace township. Mr. Lutz was born March 28, 1858, and at an early age learned the blacksmith trade, but for the past fifteen years has been engaged in electrical work, now being in the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. He is a member of the Lutheran Church, and is fraternally connected with the K. G. E. and the P. O. S. of A., Reading.


p. 1234


Thomas Steigerwald, a prominent farmer and wine grower of Lower Alsace township, whose fine residence is situated near the Gravity Railroad, on Mount Penn, was born in 1831 on his father's homestead in Unter-Franken, Bavaria, Germany, son of Michael and Magdalena (Seaman) Steigerwald.

Michael and Magdalena Steigerwald were both born at Unter-Franken, and were the parents of eight children, two of whom died young. Eva m. Martin Wright, and both died in Germany leaving one son, who now resides in Reading. Adam, who emigrated to America after serving his time in the army, m. Lucinda Bower, and they resided for a time in Cincinnati, 0., but subsequently located in Reading, where both died. John, who emigrated to America in 1847 with one of his sisters, m. Sarah Bower, and they reside in Lower Alsace township. Thomas. Margarita, who came to America with Thomas in 1849, m. Sebastian Smith, and resides at Chestnut and Maple streets, in Reading, her husband having passed away twelve years ago. Catherine, who came to America with her brother John in 1847, m. John Eiler, and both are deceased.

Thomas Steigerwald came to America at the age of eighteen years with his sister Margarita and brother Adam, and settled near Reading. For some time he conducted a bakery at Fourth and Penn streets, in that city, but subsequently embarked in agricultural pursuits, and became one of the leading agriculturists and wine growers of this section of Berks county. In politics Mr. Steigerwald is a Democrat in the true sense of the word, always voting for the candidate whom he deems best fitted to fill the office. His first Presidential vote was cast in 1856, in favor of James Buchanan. With his family he attends the Catholic Church.

Mr. Steigerwald was married to Barbara Silberman, daughter of David and Margaretta Silberman. and to this union there have been born four children: Anthony, who resides in the West; Catherine, who is a Sister and a teacher in the Catholic schools; Margaret, who is unmarried and resides at home; and Sarah, who is also a Sister and teacher in the Catholic schools.


p. 1475


Jacob D. Stein, of Richmond township, conducts the old Merkel grist mill located about one mile east of Moselem. The first mill at this place was built in 1749, and stood very near where the county bridge crosses the creek, midway between Moselem and Moselem Springs. That Mr. Stein's mill is an old one is seen from the fact that several stones in the front wall bear inscriptions, viz.: "C. M. B. M. 1796; Old Mill. B. 1749," and again "S. Merkel. His wife D. A. Merkel, 1854."

Daniel Stein, the grandfather of Jacob D., came from Lehigh county, and settled in Windsor township, near Hamburg, Pa. He was buried at Zion's church, in Perry township. Among his children was Jacob Stein, who became an agriculturalist and land owner of Windsor township. He married Elizabeth Dunkel, and they had children as follows: Lizzie Ann, wife of Aaron Miller, of Cressona, Schuylkill county; John, a farmer of Upper Bern township. Berks county; Benneville, who owns and operates the Stein homestead in Windsor township; Hettie, who married David Phillips of Mohrsville, both being deceased; Elizabeth, widow of John Shearer, who was a farmer of Windsor township; George, who died single, aged fifty-two years; Beckie, who married Samuel Phillips of Reading, Pa.; Jacob D.; William, of Ohio; and Sarah, who married James Strauss, deceased, of Reading.

Jacob D. Stein has been a miller for the past twenty-five years. Reared to hard work on the farm, his educational advantages were few, consisting of about four terms at free school. In 1884 Mr. Stein was married to Mary Wanner, daughter of Jacob and Barbara (Schlegel) Wanner, of Richmond township, and Mr. Stein then purchased the old Wanner homestead for $14,000. Here he and his wife and children, Daniel, Charles, William, Alice and Irwin, have since resided.

In addition to the following milling as an occupation Mr. Stein has engaged extensively in farming, and has become a prosperous and highly esteemed citizen. Politically like his ancestors, he supports the Democratic ticket, but his time and attention are demanded by his business interests, and he has never accepted public office. He and his family are attendants of the New St. Peter's Church, of the Lutheran denomination.


pg. 1146


Frank P. Steiner, proprietor of the Reading Commission Company, located at the southeast corner of Sixth and Franklin streets, Reading, was born at Myerstown, Lebanon Co., Pa., Aug. 4, 1879, son of Frank Steiner and grandson of Michael Steiner.

The Steiner family is of German origin, and was located in Pennsylvania prior to the war of the Revolution. It has had a reputation for honesty and industry. Michael Steiner was born in Lebanon county, and he became the owner of land in Jackson township, that county. He died on his farm there and is buried at Myerstown. In political principle he was a Democrat, while his religious connection was with the Reformed Church. He and his wife had three children, namely : Moses died in Lebanon county ; Rebecca married Daniel Robeson ; and Frank is mentioned below.

Frank Steiner, son of Michael, was born in Jackson township, Lebanon county, and he followed farming on the old homestead which he bought from his father. He died there in 1890, and is buried at Myerstown. He was a very well known man, and was long active in the Democratic party. He was a member of the Reformed Church. He married Susanna Wolever, daughter of Peter Wolever, of Millersburg, Berks county, and she now resides on Railroad street, in Myerstown. The five children born of this union were: Selma m. Francis Reber, and lives in West Myerstown ; John M. m. Mary Smith, and is a farmer at Myerstown ; Rebecca m. Jonathan Miller, a farmer at Myerstown ; Frank P. ; and Emma m. Lloyd Laysher, a cigar maker at Richland, Pennsylvania.

Frank P. Steiner attended the local schools in the vicinity of his home and the Myerstown high school, graduating from the latter in 1896. He then assisted his mother on the home farm until he was nineteen years of age, when he engaged in the milk business along Lebanon Valley Railroad at Myerstown, Womelsdorf and Sheradin. He shipped the first milk to the Reading Pure Milk Company, Reading, but later shipped mostly to Philadelphia. The business he followed with great success for five years, and then, Feb. 11, 1904, he came to Reading and became a salesman for E. B. Slichter, then located at No. 25 South Sixth street, in the commission business. At the end of one year and seven months, in company with Warren F. Linderman and Seidel Handwork, Mr. Steiner bought out Mr. Slichter and formed the Reading Commission Company. Shortly afterward Mr. Linderman sold out his interest to his partners, and the two carried on the business for a year. Mr. Steiner then purchased Mr. Handwork's interest, Dec. 24, 1907, and since that time has been the sole owner of this large and growing business. He deals in fish, clams, oysters, produce, oranges, bananas, peanuts, doing both a wholesale and retail business, and making a specialty of fish, oysters and peanuts, being the largest dealer in these products in the State, outside of Philadelphia. He has trade in five counties and keeps four teams constantly busy, and employs six men. He is located at the old place at Sixth and Franklin streets.

On Sept. 17, 1898, Mr. Steiner married Ida M. Leininger, daughter of Cyrus and Malinda (Zerbe) Leininger, and they have one son, Ralph C., who is in school. In politics Mr. Steiner is a Democrat, but in local affairs is not bound by party ties. Fraternally he belongs to Aerie No. 66, F. O. E. ; the Reading Hose Company ; Ogalala Tribe, No. 186, I. O. R. M., in all of which he is very popular. He bears an untarnished reputation in the business world, and the success he has attained is well merited.

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

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