Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1304


Walter G. Steininger, of Reading, engaged in the practice of law, was born there April 11, 1877, son of Isaac W. and Emma S. (Althouse) Steininger. His grandfather, George Steininger, was a farmer and drover of Lehigh county, Pa. His father is in the real estate business in Reading, and his mother is a daughter of Adam Althouse, a prominent farmer and large landowner of Bern township, Berks county. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac W. Steininger had three children: Harry A., a traveling salesman, of Reading; Lillian M., a graduate of the high school, class of 1900, now the wife of Eugene O. Siegrist, Esq., of Lebanon, Pa.; and Walter G.

Walter G. Steininger has passed his entire life in the city of Reading. He received his education in the public schools, graduating from the high school in 1894, after which he entered upon an active business life at once, securing employment as time clerk and inspector for the National Bolt, Nut & Rivet Works of Reading. He was with this firm until 1899, when he entered the office of the late J. Howard Jacobs, as clerk, and began preparation for the Bar. He studied there until the death of his preceptor in October, 1902, when he registered in the office of Harvey F. Heinly, where he remained until admitted to practice at the Berks county Bar, Feb. 11, 1905, later passing the examination before the State board, which admitted him to the Supreme court. Mr. Steininger occupies offices at No. 541 Court street. He has been a notary since 1899, now holding his second commission; and he represents the Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland.

Mr. Steininger belongs to the Young Men's Christian Association, and is active in all work of that institution. He is an active member of Olivet Presbyterian Church, serving on the board of trustees, teaches a class in the Sunday-school and is president of the Christian Endeavor Society.



The Steinmans of Berks county are descendants of Hans George Steinman (also spelled Stoneman), who in a deed for land is said to have come from Holland at an early date. Prior to 1760 he had located in Hereford township, Berks county, and in 1764 Agnes Steinman, relict of Hans George Steinman, purchased from Michael Schell a tract of land in Hereford township consisting of thirty-two acres. She also purchased a tract of twenty acres, with an allowance from Thomas and Richard Penn, which is still in the family name, being at present owned by the brothers John F. Steinman and George H. Steinman. The deeds are of parchment, and beautifully written with a good quill. One of the deeds begins as follows:

"This Indenture made the Tenth Day of April, in the Eighth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, George III, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., and in the Year of our Lord 1768, between Agnes Stoneman of Hereford township - in the County of Berks, in province of Pennsylvania - Widow - the relict of Hans Georg Stoneman, late of same township, yeoman, deceased, John Stoneman, of Hereford township -aforesaid - yeoman, and Andrew Mamer, of Upper Hanover township - in county of Philadelphia - in the said Province, Miller, and Anna Barbara, his wife, They the said John and Anna Barbara being of the children of the said Hans George Stoneman by the said Agnes, his wife - on the one part and Georg Stoneman of Hereford township - aforesaid - Yeoman, another of the sons of the said Hans George Stoneman, by the said Agnes his wife of the other part." Hans George Steinman it appears had three children. He is buried in the old graveyard, but the exact location of his grave is uncertain. One of his sons who bears his name has the following tombstone inscription:

"Dieser Stein zeiget die Ruhestette des verstorben John Georg Steinman geboren June 14, 1747, gestorben Nov. 25, 1826, war alt 79-5-10."

The following refers to his wife: "Hier ruhe in dieser Grabe die Gebeine von Catherine Steinman, zine Ehefrau von Georg Steinman. Sie erblickte das Lict dieser Welt d. 12 Oct. Anno 1750. Zeugte in ihrem Ehestand 8 Kinder, davon 4 mit der Mutter in die Ewigkeit gegangen, die unbrigen noch am Leben. Sie wurde alt 47 Jah, 10 Monat, und 2 Wochen."

Among their children were Peter (1775-1813) and George (1775-1817), twins, and Catharine (1788-1829).

The second wife of Johan Georg Steinman was Elizabeth (Lehr), born in 1774, died in 1852, by whom he also had a number of children, among them being: Johannes is mentioned farther on; George, who located at Bethlehem, Pa., where he died, had four children, Amanda (who married Dr. Henry Dickensheid), Angeline (Mrs. Snyder), Henry (who died unmarried) and Willis; Heinrich, born in 1801, died in 1822; Jesse, born in 1804, died in 1827; Elizabeth married George Weigner, who lived in Hereford at the mill now owned by Lewis Kehl.

Johannes Steinman, son of Johan Georg, was born in Hereford township June 24, 1799, and died on his farm - the old Steinman homestead - Feb. 23, 1870, aged seventy years, seven months, twenty-nine days. He is buried in the graveyard at New Goshenhoppen Church, of which church he was a member. He owned the old place of 139 acres, and the farm of forty-eight acres now belonging to his grandsons, John F. and George H. Steinman. He built the brick house which still stands on the homestead in 1851, and had erected the barn some time previously. He also built the present house and barn on the old homestead now owned by Jeremiah H. Schultz, located on the Treichlersville and Clayton turnpike. He married Katharine Kehl, born Dec. 18, 1802, died April 11, 1857, and they had two children, William F. and James A.

William F. Steinman, son of Johannes, was born on the old homestead in Hereford township, Berks county, Nov. 15, 1836, and died April 22, 1890, aged fifty-three years, five months, seven days. In his early life William F. Steinman clerked in a store at Philadelphia, beginning at the humble salary of $1.75 a week and board, and he traveled with a show for a year before settling down to farming on the old homestead in Hereford with his brother, in 1859 or 1860. They continued in partnership until 1870, when William F. Steinman moved to the farm now belonging to his two sons, James remaining on the old homestead, where he farmed until his death in 1898. William F. Steinman was a member of the Reformed Church at New Goshenhoppen, and he was a Democrat in political opinion; he served six years as school director in Hereford township. He was married April 26, 1862, to Ellena Gery, daughter of John W. and Catharine (Glaser) Gery of Upper Hanover township, Montgomery Co., Pa., born Nov. 21, 1831, died March 4, 1905. They became the parents of two children, John F. and George H., both of whom are mentioned below.

James A. Steinman, son of Johannes, owned and lived upon the old homestead until his death, which occurred April 25, 1898, when he was aged fifty-eight years, four months, sixteen days. Like his brother he was a Democrat in politics and served as school director of Hereford township. He married Fianna Christman, sister of Charles, who hailed from Kutztown, and they had a large family, namely: Katie, John, Agnes, James, Annie (who died young), Ida (who died young), Lottie, Charles and Ralph.

John F. Steinman, eldest son of William F. Steinman, was born Nov. 7, 1863, on the old family homestead in Hereford township, and began his education in the public schools of the neighborhood. Later he went to the Perkiomen Seminary. He was reared to farming, and so far has spent all his days on the farm, making his home with his brother. They own the old David Gery tract, located on the old Maxatawny road, now better known as the Green Lane and Goshenhoppen turnpike, over which the early residents of Maxatawny township hauled their grain and produce to Philadelphia in the old-time Conestoga wagons. The Steinman brothers have made their home there since 1870. To the forty-eight-acre tract previously mentioned as having formerly belonged to their grandfather they have added twelve acres.

The Steinman brothers are Democrats in politics, and in religion they adhere to the Reformed faith, belonging to the New Goshenhoppen church. John F. Steinman was active in the Sunday-school for many years, serving long as teacher, and George H. Steinman is one of the deacons at the present time.

George H. Steinman was born July 1. 1869, on the homestead in Hereford township, attended the common schools, and for a time was a student at the Perkiomen Seminary. He married Mary Christman, daughter of Jacob and Matilda (Gery) Christman, and they have had three children: Katie A., William F. and Willis J.

An old building on the Steinman Brothers' property, and used by them as a store-house for farm implements, is one of the landmarks of the community and must be almost two hundred years old. People now in the eighties say that it was very old when they were children, and that their parents told them it was over one hundred years old then. It was one of the first stone houses in the township, and is of German architecture throughout, 26 feet wide and 40 feet long, two stories in height, with an attic. Standing on the pike formerly known as the old Maxatawny road, it was one of the earliest taverns in the county and was long known as the "Stone Tavern." Store and hotel were kept there up to about 1825. It was the stopping-place for teams and travelers between Kutztown and Maxatawny and Philadelphia, and old residents recall that people from Kutztown and Maxatawny remained there overnight going to and coming from Philadelphia, whither they took their grain and produce, bringing merchandise back. In those days they laid on the floor, rolling themselves in their blankets, and according to tradition they took turns keeping the wood fire going - a story which undoubtedly had its foundation in fact.


p. 1512


David Stephan, deceased, of Reading, was of German birth, a native of Baden, and came to this country early in life, in 1817.

Before coming to America Mr. Stephan had learned the trade of a carpenter and was a thoroughly competent workman. After reaching this country he located in Reading, and before long was in business for himself as a contractor and builder, becoming one of the most prosperous men in his line, and holding a prominent place among the other contractors of the city. He was married May 11, 1856, to Julia A., daughter of William and Barbara (Zerby) Berger, and four children were born to their union, viz. : Augustus, who married Miss Rebecca Morrison ; Ida, Mrs. Albert Mercer ; Alice, Mrs. John Kline ; and Lewis, who married Miss Ella Schuman. Mr. Stephan's religious faith was that of the Lutheran Church, and his adherence in political matters was given to the Democratic party. He was a man held in general esteem, and his death was felt as a personal loss to many beyond the family circle.

Mrs. Stephan was one of six children born to her parents, viz. : Jonathan ; William and Gerard, who were both soldiers in the Civil war ; Julia ; Sarah ; and Susan. Both Mr. and Mrs. Berger died at Millersburg, Berks county, he at the age of ninety-six and she at seventy-eight, and their remains lie in the cemetery in that town. Mr. Berger was a carpenter and journeyman by trade. He and his wife were members of the Reformed Church. Mrs. Stephan owns a comfortable property, including two houses in Oakland, a suburb of Reading.


p. 585


John B. Sterley, M. D., one of the most prominent citizens of Reading, Berks Co., Pa., who was distinguished as a physician and surgeon, died in Reading, Nov. 24, 1905. Dr. Sterley was born July 26, 1837, in Limerick township, Montgomery county, son of Philip and Elizabeth (Bertolette) Sterley, both of French origin.

The Sterley family was founded at an early day in Salford township, Montgomery county, by great-grandfather Sterley, who emigrated from Lorraine, France, and here the grandfather of the Doctor was born and reared until manhood, when he removed to Limerick township, carrying on agricultural pursuits in that locality all the rest of his life.

Philip Sterley, father of the Doctor, was born Feb. 22, 1800, and was educated in the common schools. He followed the occupation of his father, being a good, practical farmer and public-spirited citizen. In politics a Whig and later Republican, he was interested in the success of his party, but never to the extent of running for any office. He died in 1868.

The early life of Dr. John B. Sterley was spent upon his father's farm, and until about sixteen years of age he attended the common schools of his native locality. At this time he went to Philadelphia, where for one year he was employed by his cousin, Simon R. Snyder, after leaving whom he entered Freeland Seminary (Now Ursinus College). After two and one-half years of study, young Sterley engaged in teaching in Oley township, but after six months gave up the profession, having fully decided to engage in the practice of medicine. He entered the offices of Drs. Keeler and Groff of Harleysville, Pa., to take up his preliminary studies, and shortly after entered the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he was graduated with honor, March 6, 1857. Locating at Earlville, Lancaster county, Dr. Sterley continued there until 1860, when he moved his office to Annville, Lebanon county. In July, 1862, Dr. Sterley joined the 167th Pa. V. I., receiving the commission of surgeon, and at the expiration of nine months was appointed examining district surgeon for the Ninth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, a position he ably filled until June, 1864, when he left the service. Until 1879 he practiced at St. Mary's, Elk Co., Pa., but in the year mentioned he removed to Reading, to which city, its people, its development and its varied interests, he devoted the remainder of his life. The first board of pension examiners of Berks county was organized in 1881 with Dr. Sterley as one of its members, and he served the full term, being returned to the board under the Harrison administration, when he was made president. On May 11, 1898, he was reappointed by President McKinley.

On Sept. 1, 1864, Dr. Sterley was married to Amanda R. Rightmeyer, and the one child of this union, Winfield Bradley, born Sept. 18, 1865, died Jan. 17, 1877.

Dr. Sterley was a Republican in politics. He was one of the organizers and vice-president of the Reading & Southwestern Electric Railroad. His profession connects him with the following societies : the Reading Medical Association ; Berks County Medical Society, and the Pennsylvania State Medical Society. He was prominently connected with St. John's Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M., and was also an active worker of Gen. William H. Keim Post, No. 76, G. A. R. The death of Dr. Sterley bought grief to a large circle outside his own immediate family. His personality was strong, and of him it may be truly said as of another: "He earned honor and respect in public life as well as affection and veneration in private."

Mrs. Sterley, who survives her husband, resides in Reading, where she is very well known, and where she owns considerable city and suburban property.


p. 341


James Hervey Sternbergh, of Reading. Pa., former president of the America Steel & Iron Manufacturing company, of Lebanon and Reading, pioneer in the manufacture of nuts and bolts in America, is one of the most notable figures in the steel and iron trade in Pennsylvania, if not, indeed, the United States. Mr. Sternbergh was born in Henrietta, Monroe Co., N. Y., May 20, 1834. His father, a Genesee Valley farmer, was descended from German ancestry, who settled in America in 1703; in that year four unmarried brothers came over, David, Adam, Nicholas, and Lambert, who were driven out of the Rhine Valley at the time of the religious troubles in the Palatinate. They were the first to raise wheat in Schoharie county, in the Mohawk Valley, where they became large agriculturists. William Sternbergh, father of James Hervey, died at the age of eighty-six years; the forefather for several generations had reached advanced age.

The Sternbergh family removed to Saratoga Springs and lived there until James H. was thirty-one years old. He spent a number of these years as general passenger agent of the railroad running through Saratoga. His choice had been to become a professional man, but study affected his sight, and in 1865, he removed to Reading, Pa., where he became interested in the manufacture of bolts, nuts, rivets, etc. In 1867 Mr. Sternbergh invented and patented a machine for making hot-pressed nuts, and this machine has been in use ever since, its inventor and maker even having demands for it from competitors in business at home and abroad. This is only one of many important and useful inventions of Mr. Sternbergh. He invented a superior grinding machine for grinding hard metals, doing the work much more effectively than before, and at much less cost. There were only two or three other establishments of the kind in the United States, and Mr. Sternbergh may be justly called the pioneer in the business of nut manufacturing.

In 1886, when his son Philip attained his majority, Mr. Sternbergh took him into partnership, and the latter subsequently became the manager of the branch work in Kansas City, Mo. There he died April 2, 1903, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, just in the prime of manhood, with every promise bright for a great future.

On Feb. 6, 1891, during Mr. Sternbergh's absence in New York, his works caught fire and were totally destroyed, save the rolling mill buildings and part of the large machinery. It was a heavy financial blow, but with characteristic energy he went about immediately getting things in shape, and within ten days after the fire the works were again in operation, and in the May following were turning out more goods than ever before. The Reading Bolt and Nut Works is a plant extending over some eight acres of land, lying between Third and Buttonwood street. This large and important industry had its inception in 1865, when Mr. Sternbergh established it. From modest beginnings, in temporary buildings at the foot of Pine street and the leasing of necessary power from an adjoining concern, and the employment of from eight to ten men, to the present day, when a large tract of land is covered with the commodious buildings and a force of 1,500 men find employment, is a story of commercial success and industrial progress which holds much matter of interest.

The present substantial buildings are located on North Third street, above Buttonwood, and were first occupied in January 1869. Since the fire above mentioned, every new building has been made larger and more convenient than the old ones and the machinery and equipment are those of a first-class, modern plant. One building, 456 x 110 feet in dimensions, supplied with all kinds of improved machinery, is used for the manufacture of nuts, bolts, washers, rivets, and rods for bridges, buildings, etc. Another, 325 x 90 feet in dimensions, is used as a rolling mill building and contains three trains of rolls, four heating furnaces, three upright steam engines, in addition to steam shears, lathes, pumps, etc. Another, the new rolling mill building, 200 x80 feet, contains two trains of rolls, two heating furnaces and other machinery. The capacity of these mills is about 40,000 tons of rolled iron annually, embracing all sizes of merchant bar iron in common use.

Mr.Sternbergh's own articles of manufacture are disposed of to merchants and consumers of refined bar and band iron. At all times it is necessary to carry a large stock in order to meet the demands, and this need was recognized by the erection in 1880 of a large warehouse 150 x 40 feet, four stories high. The railroad facilities are of the best, three tracks running into the works, the first for the delivery of coal, the second for the delivery of crude iron, and the third for shipments. Mr. Sternbergh's goods were awarded medals at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876; at the Chicago Exposition in 1883; at the New Orleans Exposition in 1885; at the Paris Exposition in 1889; and at the Columbian Exposition in 1893, where they had three exhibits.

On Sept 1, 1899, J. H. Sternbergh & Son consolidated their works with the Pennsylvania Nut & Bolt Company, of Lebanon, the Lebanon Iron Company, the East Lebanon Iron Company of Lebanon, and the National Nut, Bolt & Rivet Works, of Reading, thus forming what is known as the American Iron & Steel Manufacturing Company, of which Mr. Sternbergh was president during the six years ending February, 1907, when he retired. It is capitalized at $5,550,000, $3,000,000 being full paid preferred stock, and $2,550,000 full paid common stock. The works now give employment to 4,000 men.

J. H. Sternbergh, in addition to being the head of this vast concern, in a director in the Second National Bank of Reading; a director in the Reading Trust company; and president of the Kansas City Bolt & Nut Company, which was founded by him in 1887. He was one of the founders of the Reading Board of Trade, and its president for the first three years, and he was also one of the founders of the Young Men's Christian Association, and served as its president many years.

Mr. Sternbergh has been twice married. In 1862 he was married (first) to Harriet M. May, of Southbridge, Mass., who bore him five children, two of whom survive, Herbert M. and Hattie May. He married (second) Mary Candace Dodds, of North Hero, Vt., and they had six children born to them, namely: James Hervey; born May 26, 1890; Helen, Aug. 18, 1891 (who died Nov. 11, 1894); David, Dec. 29, 1892; Lambert, March 29, 1895; Margaret, May 20, 1897; and Gertrude, May 8, 1899.

Mr. Sternbergh is an honorary member of the Academy of Inventors and Manufacturers of Paris, and the European Society of Brussels, Belgium. He is a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Reading, and for eighteen years with all his many and onerous duties found time to serve as Sunday-school superintendent. A remarkable fact about Mr. Sternbergh is that his years of strenuous work have been endured without a day's illness, and he stands today as an example of manly strength and mental superiority.


p. 1628


Jacob Knabb Sterrett, one of the publishers of the Berks and Schuylkill Journal from 1865 to 1884, was born in Union township, Berks county, May 1, 1827. His father, David Sterrett, was a native of Cumberland county, Pa., and died in Berks county in 1833. Previous to his location in this county, he had traveled extensively throughout the United States, and had compiled a dictionary of the Chippewa language. He was married to Margaret Knabb, a sister of Jacob Knabb.

When thirteen years of age Jacob K. Sterrett entered the printing-office of Knabb & Getz (sho then published the Reading Gazette), as an apprentice to learn the printers trade, and continued in this office till 1845, when he entered the office of the Berks and Schuykill Journal.

After being in this office twenty years he became one of the proprietors of the Journal. He continued his business connections with the firm of J. Knabb & Co., publishers of the Journal and Times, till December, 1881, when, on account of ill health, he transferred his interest to his son William. He died Nov. 2, 1884.

Mr. Sterrett was a superior printer and an enterprising journalist. During his connection with the J ournal and Times he occasionally contributed articles of rare interest. He was particularly fond of local reminiscences, and by the aid of a strong memory and a facile pen published a series of historical sketches, relating to the early days of Reading. He was a great reader, and became familiar with the standard literature of his time. He was partial to the works of Moore, Poe, Irving and Cooper. His nature was of a most genial kind, which ,'Ion him many friends, and though positive in his convictions he created no enmities.

In the early days of the St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Mr. Sterrett was one of its vestrymen; and when the Reading Musical Society was in its active existence, previous to 1860, he was a prominent member. He always resided in Berks county. For several months, about the beginning of the year 1853, he was in. South Carolina. engaged as a journeyman printer on the legislative proceedings of that State. Mr. Sterrett was an active Republican and took an earnest part in the management of the Republican party. He frequently represented his district in local, State, and national conventions-having been a delegate to the National Republican Convention which assembled at Cincinnati and nominated Rutherford B. Hayes. He acted as a jury commissioner of the county for the years 1881 and 1882. During the Civil war he enlisted twice,-first in Captain Bickley's company, which served in the emergency of 1862, and then in 1863, in Captain Rhoads' company, 42nd Regt. Pa. V. M. For some years before the Civil war, he took an active part in the military affairs of the county, having been a member of the Ringgold Light Artillery.

In 1855 Mr. Sterrett married Anna M. Arnold, daughter of John Arnold, a dentist of Reading. They had three surviving children :-William (m. to Laura V. Yeager, of Birdsboro), Henry (m. to Anna Weitzel, of Reading), and Ellen Knabb (who died at the age of twenty-five years).


p. 1629


Capt. Prince Redington Stetson, youngest son of Charles A. Stetson who was for forty years (from 1837 to 1877) proprietor of the well-known "Astor House" in New York City, was mentioned June 5, 1839, and there educated. He entered the regular army by appointment as first lieutenant of the 15th United States Infantry, May 14, 1861, and served with the regiment in Kentucky until January , 1863, when he was appointed chief of ordnance on the staff of Gen. D. N. Couch, Department of the Susquehanna, in Pennsylvania, with headquarters at Harrisburg. While stationed there, he organized and mustered into service the 167th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers at Reading. Upon rejoining his regiment at Chattanooga, Tenn., he was detached by Special Order, Army of the Cumberland, as Aide de Camp on the staff of Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and he served as his personal aide he resigned in December, 1865. While in the service he participated in the battles of New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Utoy Station and Atlanta.

In 1863 Captain Stetson was married to Rebecca Heister Eckert, daughter of Isaac Eckert (president of the Farmer's Bank at Reading from 1836 to 1873, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this publication). To this marriage were born two children, Edward Eckert and Alice Develin (m. to Charles B. Knapp of New York City and died Feb. 26, 1907).

Upon this location at Reading, after resigning from the regular army, Captain Stetson identified himself with Christ Protestant Episcopal Church and served as a vestryman for upward of forty years; also as treasurer of the Diocese of Bethlehem and Central Pennsylvania ; manager and treasurer of the Reading Hospital for upward of twenty-five years; also as a trustee of Charles Evans Cemetery since 1900 (having succeeded Geo. B. Eckert upon his decease).

Captain Stetson took an active interest in the management of the Leesport Iron Company, as treasurer of the company for a number of years until the plant was sold. During the administration of President Harrison he officiated as postmaster of Reading from 1889 to 1893, having developed the office to a very high standard for which he received congratulatory letters from Postmaster General Wanamaker. He is a member of the Loyal Legion, the Union Veteran Legion of Reading, and Keim Post No. 76, G. A. R., of Reading.

Captain Stetson is a lineal descendant of Cornet Robert Stetson, who raised the Plymouth Troop of Horse in Plymouth county, Mass., in 1658, the first company in that early settlement: and a great grandson of Capt. Prince Stetson, whose company was in the 23d Regt. U.S. Regular Army in the Revolution, commanded by Col. John Bailey.


p. 1252


Jeremiah W. Stetzler. This enterprising young farmer of Perry township, Berks county, who is operating the original Stetzler homestead, was born on this farm May 12, 1876, son of Jacob and Esther (Schappell) Stetzler.

Johan Peter Stetzler, the progenitor of this numerous family of Berks county, was a native of Europe, born March 5, 1724. He was married in 1761 to Maria Eva Freyin, widow of Michael Kelchner, and she bore him five sons: Peter, born in 1764, who was killed in 1841 by falling from a barn ; Johan Martin, great-grandfather of Jeremiah W. ; and three whose names are unknown. Johan Peter Stetzler died July 18, 1795, in his seventy-second year.

Johan Martin Stetzler, who was born March 18, 1770, lived on the old homestead, which has been in the possession of the family since 1768. In 1830 he build the stone house on the farm, which is still standing, in a very good state of preservation. His death occurred April 5, 1849. He was twice married, his first wife being Maria Seidel, with whom he was united March 22, 1797. She was born Feb. 13, 1774, and died Dec. 7, 1820, and was the mother of five sons and two daughters among whom were: Jacob, Daniel and Polly, the latter of whom married Joseph Kline. Johan Martin Stetzler was married (second) April 14, 1822, to Maria Susannah Baer, widow of Jacob Hoffman. She died Dec. 12, 1852, aged seventy-three years, seven months, seven days.

Daniel Stetzler, grandfather of Jeremiah W., was born March 21, 1802, and died Aug. 14, 1877. He was born and reared on the old homestead, which he acquired in later years by purchase, and in 1861 built the brick house still standing on the property now owned by his grand-son. He was a prominent and well-to-do citizen, influential in his section, and in politics was a Democrat, serving as school director in Perry township. He and his family were connected with Zion church, in the Lutheran denomination, in Perry township, and he was prominent in church and Sunday school matters, serving as superintendent. May 3, 1833, Daniel Stetzler was united in marriage with Catherine Hoffman, born Nov. 1, 1809, who died July 16, 1847. They had seven children: Jacob ; Susanna, who died young ; Martin ; Catherine, Elizabeth, Polly and Daniel.

Jacob Stetzler, of the foregoing family, was born and reared on the Stetzler homestead, where he spent the major part of his life farming. He attended the public schools of his district and was later sent to Union county to school to learn English. He died March 18, 1904, in his sixty-ninth year, having been born Nov. 13, 1835. Mr. Stetzler was married to Esther Schappell, daughter of Jeremiah and Esther (Miller) Schappell. Their marriage occurred May 6, 1854, and their married life continued until within forty-eight days of fifty years when their Golden Wedding was to have been celebrated. To Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Stetzler were born the following children : Andora, m. Martin R. Mengel ; Daniel F., who died in his ninth year ; Catherine m. Jeremiah De Turk, warden at the Berks county prison ; Alfred L., of Shoemakersville, Pa. ; Jacob M., who died in 1905 ; Mary m. Charles Muntz ; Emma, m. Samuel Schwoyer ; John W., who died aged seven years ; Adeline, m. Hiram Kauffman ; Samuel, who died aged twenty-five years ; and Jeremiah W.

Jeremiah W. Stetzler obtained a limited education in the public schools of his native district, since leaving which he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits on the old Stetzler homestead. He has been energetic and enterprising and is considered one of the substantial young farmers of Perry township. June 17, 1899, he was united in marriage with Cora Luckenbill, daughter of Cyrus and Susan (De Turk) Luckenbill, prosperous farming people of Perry township. To this union have been born two sons, Luther D. and Guy D.


p. 782


Garrett B. Stevens, lawyer of Reading, is the head of a family of lawyers, as all his sons are practising attorneys. He was senior member of the former law firm of Stevens & Stevens, though not connected by the ties of consanguinity with his partner, W. Kerper Stevens, with whom he was associated from 1894, but who is now serving as Judge by appointment.

Benjamin Stevens, father of Garrett B. Stevens, was a farmer, and his father, Abraham Stevens, was a merchant. The first of the family in America came from Holland and held title to lands in Bucks county previous to the advent of the Penns in Pennsylvania. Benjamin Stevens married Elizabeth Barcalow, daughter of Garrett Barcalow, of Bucks county, and seven children were born of this union: Hogeland Stevens, at one time deputy sheriff of Bucks county, who died in 1898; Abraham, a farmer and store-keeper in Indiana; James Vansant, a merchant of St. Paul, Minn.; Maria, wife of Isaac Bennet, a farmer and contractor of Ivyland, Bucks county; Dr. Elwood, of Fox Chase, Philadelphia; B. Frank, formerly of Hill & Stevens, contracting carpenters of Oak Lane, Philadelphia; and Garrett B. The father of this family died in 1895, aged eighty-seven years, and the mother in 1898, in her eighty-eighth year.

Garrett B. Stevens is eminent among the members of his profession in Reading, both for his attainments and his success. He married, Nov. 9, 1876, Kate M Zeller; daughter of John Zeller, deceased, of Reading, and five children were born to this union: Garrett, now of Cleveland, Ohio; Wallace, a graduate of Harvard and of the New York Law School, who after spending a year in the law office of Peckham, Warner & Strong was admitted in June, 1904, to practise law in the courts of New York; John B., a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, admitted to the Berks county Bar in 1902 and now associated with his father forming the firm of G. B. & J. B. Stevens; Elizabeth and Katharine.

Garrett Stevens was born in Reading, Dec. 19, 1877. He was graduated from the Reading high school in 1895, from Andover in 1896, from Yale in 1897, and from Dickinson Law school in 1898. He then registered as a law student in the office of Stevens & Stevens, and was admitted to practice Dec. 20, 1899. On Sept. 4, 1901, Mr. Stevens m. Sarah S. Stayman, daughter of Joseph B. and Mary Stayman, of Carlisle, and the one son born to this union is Garrett Barcalow, named after his grandfather. Fraternally Mr. Stevens is a Mason. He is connected with the Presbyterian Church, and in politics is a Democrat. In 1902 he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Legislature from Reading, and received a very handsome support.

John B. Stevens, son of Garrett B., was born Dec. 9, 1880, in the city of Reading, and there received his early training in the public schools of the city, graduating from the high school in 1897. He then entered the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1901 received his diploma from that famous old school, immediately afterwards taking up the study of law in his father's office. On Nov. 10. 1902, he was admitted to the Berks county Bar, and in February, 1905, was admitted to practice before the Supreme court. Mr. Stevens is a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity of the University. He is a Presbyterian in religion. He has taken considerable interest in politics as a member of the Democratic party, and has engaged in campaign work to some extent.


p. 543


Hon. William Kerper Stevens. Additional Law Judge of Berks county, was born at Reading in 1861. He attended the public schools for several years and after taking a special preparatory course under a private tutor, entered Yale College where he pursued the regular course and was graduated in 1883. Choosing the law as his profession, he entered the office of Isaac Hiester, Esq., of Reading, and pursuing the regular course of reading under Mr. Hiester's direction, was admitted to the Bar Nov. 10, 1884. He immediately engaged in active practice in the office of his preceptor and after carrying it on several years in a successful manner formed a law co-partnership with Garrett B. Stevens, Esq. (an older attorney, but no relative), and they continued to practice together with increasing success until Sept. 10, 1908, when he received the appointment of additional law judge to fill the vacancy caused by the promotion of Hon. G. A. Endlich to the office of president judge; then the co-partnership was dissolved and he has been performing the duties of additional law judge until the present time in a most satisfactory manner. The term for which he was appointed by the Governor terminates on the first Monday in January, 1910. At the primary election of the county in June, 1909, his name was placed on the Republican ticket for the office of judge and he was nominated without any opposition, which evidences the superior manner in which he performed his judicial duties.

Immediately after being admitted to the Bar, Judge Stevens identified himself with the Republican party and took much interest in the management of its affairs. In appreciation of his services and ability he was selected as school solicitor for the years 1892, 1893 and 1894, and as city solicitor in 1895. In 1901 he was the nominee of the Republican ticket for Congress from this District. He served as chairman of the county committee for some years and also as a member of the State central committee. He assisted in organizing the Reading National Bank in 1893, the Berks County Trust Company in 1900, and the American Casualty Company in 1903, and served as a director until he became additional law judge, when he resigned. He co-operated earnestly with other gentlemen of Reading in the establishment of the Wyomissing Club, and the Berkshire Club, and has since taken much interest in their affairs. He is a member of the University Club of Philadelphia, and of the Yale Club of New York.

In 1887 Judge Stevens was married to Mary Depuy Davis, daughter of Col. Depuy Davis, and they have a son Frederick William.

His father was Dr. Sadosa S. Stevens, a prominent and successful druggist at Reading for fifty years. He was born in Cumberland county in 1825, and there obtained his education in the subscription schools until he was fifteen years old, when he went to Carlisle and, entering a drug store, became a druggist. He was then engaged for several years until 1849 in a drug store at Philadelphia when he located in Reading and embarked in the drug business, which he carried on in a successful manner until his decease in 1900. In the organization of the board of health, he was selected as one of the members and served on the board from 1874 to 1882. He also took much interest in the Reading free library, and the Historical Society of Berks County.

In 1852 he was married to Eleanora B. Kerper, daughter of Abraham Kerper and Elizabeth Boyer, his wife, of Reading, and they had four children: Frank and Emily (died young) ; William Kerper ; and Bessie Kerper (m. Rev. William P. Taylor, an Episcopalian clergyman at Morristown, New Jersey).

The first ancestor of Judge Stevens in America was Thomas Stephens, a native of Leicestershire, England, who emigrated from that place to Philadelphia in June, 1777. Two months after his arrival (Aug. 2, 1777), was born his son George, who became a prominent woolen manufacturer of Cumberland county, where he lived until he died at the age of ninety years. He was enlisted in the English war of 1812-15. In 1797, he was married to Margaret Clendenin, and they had two sons : John C. and Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson Stevens, grandfather of Judge Stevens, was born in Cumberland county in 1800, and after becoming of age succeeded his father in the woolen business which he carried on for a number of years. He was a man of unusual literary culture, and displayed great fondness for music and painting. He became an intimate friend of the famous scientist and superintendent of the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, D. C., Spencer Baird, and through his association with Mr. Baird accumulated a large and interesting collection of curios. He died in 1884 leaving to survive him his eldest son, Dr. Stevens, who died April 17, 1900.

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