Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 739


George W. Stoudt, a retired farmer living at Shartlesville, in Upper Bern township, Berks county, owns a fine farm of 115 acres in that township, where he followed agricultural pursuits for twenty-four years before his retirement. Mr. Stoudt was born at Rehrersburg, Berks county, June 9, 1850, son of Isaac K. Stoudt, and grandson of George Stoudt. Both his father and grandfather were natives of Berks county.

George Stoudt was born above Strausstown. He farmed in Maiden-creek township for a time, later returning to Rehrersburg, where he died. He married a Miss Kutz, of Kutztown, and to them were born the following named children: William K., George K., Isaac K., John K., Mary, Sarah and Eliza.

Isaac K. Stoudt was born in Maiden-creek township, and died at Rehrersburg. He, too was a farmer, and he owned two farms, one of sixty-five acres and one of 100 acres, as well as a smaller tract of twelve acres. He was a well-known man in his day and a much respected citizen. His wife, Mary Moyer, was a daughter of Peter Moyer. To Mr. and Mrs. Stoudt were born children as follows: Adam W. is living at Rehrersburg; Mary m. (first) Daniel Hartman and (second) Philip Peifer; George W.; Amelia m. Adam Dieffenbach; Emma; Kate is deceased; and Franklin P. lives near Millersburg, this State.

George W. Stoudt received his education in the public schools, and was reared to farming, remaining with his father until he reached the age of twenty-six years. He then married, after which he began farming in Bethel township, this county, where he remained for six years, moving thence to Upper Bern township, where he bought the William G. Rentschler farm of eighty-two acres. There he made his home and carried on general farming for twenty-four years, meantime adding thirty-three acres to the original tract. Though he has retired from active farm work himself, Mr. Stoudt still retains the ownership of this land, which is a valuable piece of property, well watered and well located. In 1908, Mr. Stoudt built himself a fine home on the main street, in Shartlesville, and he also owns another good place, which he rents. He takes an interest in the life of his community, being an active member of St. Michael's Reformed Church, which he has served as deacon, and he has been a member of the board of school directors of Upper Bern township. He is a Democrat in political sentiment.

Mr. Stoudt's first wife was Annie Maria Rentschler, daughter of William G. Rentschler. She died in 1896, and is buried at St. Michael's Church. Four children were born to this union: Lucretia m. Harry Groff, and lives near Millersburg; Robert m. Mary Rentschler, and lives in Upper Bern township, this county; Carrie, unmarried, is living in Reading, Pa.; and Masie, died at the age of ten years. For his second wife Mr. Stoudt married Clara L. Rishel, daughter of William and Maria (Wenrich) Rishel, and to them has been born one daughter, Sallie V., who is attending school.


p. 804


Staudt (Stoudt, Stout) is one of the early Palatinate family names. Members of the family figured prominently in some of the Crusades. The family spread northward into Holland, where several members obtained noble rank. During the persecutions of Bloody Alba some members of the family fled to England, one of them, Richard by name, enlisting in the English navy. Upon one of his visits to New Amsterdam he met Penelope Van Princis, who later became his wife, and they settled in Middletown, N. J., prior to 1688, becoming the progenitors of a large and honorable family.

The Staudts of Pennsylvania come directly from the Palatinate and seem to be divided into two groups, that of Berks and that of Bucks county. On Aug. 30, 1737, there landed at Philadelphia John Jacob, Johannes and Hans Adam Staudt, and on Sept. 24th of the same year Peter Staudt. These four, it is claimed, were brothers. The following year arrived Peter and Daniel; in 1741 another Peter arrived, and in 1744 George Wilhelm joined the group. It is believed that all the above named were related. John Jacob settled at what is now Perkasie, and was the father of the following children: Abraham, Henry K., Jacob, Hannah, Magdalena, Annie Margret. Abraham was a man of prominence in his day, serving during the Revolution as a member of the Committee of Safety, also of the Committee of Observation, member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and of the Convention of 1789-90. The Stoudts of Lehigh and Northampton counties are descendants of the Bucks group.

At the head of the Berks group stands John Michael Staudt, who took the oath of allegiance at Philadelphia Sept. 18, 1733. Tradition says that his father died at sea, and that the headship of the family fell upon him, though he was only twenty-one years of age. How large the family was we do not know, but we know that Mathias, aged eight, and Johannes, probably still younger, were in the group, and we have reason to think that the family was even larger.

On Oct. 25, 1737, there was surveyed for John Michael Staudt a tract of land in Bern township on the west bank of the Schuylkill river, "opposite the flat meadows," of 180 acres. Later the estate was doubled. The place is known as Stoudts Ferry. Johannes was probably never married. Mathias married Anna Margeret Schrader, who was born Oct. 13, 1728, and died May 22, 1797. He was born in 1725 an died in 1795. They resided in Bern township, and raised the following children: John, Mathias, Abraham, Catherine Maria (married Thomas Umbenhauer) and Elizabeth. Of these, Abraham, born Jan. 25, 1757, died Oct. 9, 1824; to him and his wife Maria Elizabeth (Brown), born June 22, 1756, died Aug. 15, 1824, were born the following children: Mathias, John, Jacob, Catherine, Magdalena, Anna Maria, and Sussanna. Johannes, Mathias and John Michael were members of the Bern Church, where their ashes rest in peace.

John Michael Staudt, the ancestor of Rev. John Baer Stoudt, was born in 1712 and died May 13, 1776. To him and his wife Barbara were born the following children: (1) Johannes (1737-Oct. 13, 1801) married Maria Catherine Kerschner (1751-Dec. 21, 1826) and lived on a farm in Maiden-creek township. Their union was blessed with the following children: George, Catherine (married to Henry Body), Barbara (married to George Snyder), Elizabeth (married to Daniel Maurer), Jacob, John, Daniel and Samuel. (2) Jacob (1735-1802) moved in 1790 from Bern township to Richmond township, having bought the farm now owned by Edwin Kutz. To him and his wife Margaret were born the following children: John Jacob, Adam, John Henry, Daniel, Barbara (married to John Schucker), Mary (married to Michael Knittle), Catherine (who died unmarried), Elizabeth (married to William Ebling). (3) Michael (1742-1807) married Maria Elizabeth Brown (1759-1820) and had four sons and five daughters. He received the old homestead. (4) George Wilhelm (1748-1820) lived in Maiden-creek township, and became the progenitor of a large posterity. He married Christina Weidenhammer (1752-1817), daughter of Johannes Weidenhammer (1726-1804) and Margareth (Ehteigie) (born in Kurpfalz in 1727-died in 1812), and their children were: George, Margaret (married to Daniel Gross)*, Magdalina (married to John Mohn), Daniel, Maria (married to Daniel Mertz), Adam, Jacob, Catherine (married to Daniel Mickly). George Wilhelm Staudt and his brother Jacob lie buried in the Kutztown Union cemetery. (5) John George and his wife Anna Margreta moved to Tulpehocken township. (6) Jost and his wife Mary Elizabeth lived in Bern township. To them were born the following children: Jacob, Margretha, Catherine and Magdalina. (7) Anna Barbara married Baltzer Leach, of Bern township, and this union was blessed with seven children. (8) Catherine married Christopher Leach and resided in Heidelberg township. (9) Apolonia married Daniel Aurandt and moved to Buffalo Valley. (10) Catherine Elizabeth married Peter Wise and resided in Bern township.

[*Note: Per Judy, Margaret m. David Gross, not Daniel Gross.]

Daniel, son of Jacob (1735-1802), was a distiller by trade. His declining years were spent in the vicinity of Kutztown, where he died in 1853; he was buried in Hottenstein's private cemetery. He married a Miss Bowman, and this union was blessed with the following children: Adam moved to Logansport, Ind., where he died; George married Hannah Borrel and reared a family of nine children; Reuben is mentioned below; Frank died unmarried; Margaretha married Jacob Saul, of Molltown; Polly and Hannah died unmarried; Maria married Joseph Hampshire and lived at Bowers Station; Hettie Ester died young; Isaac served in the Mexican war, and soon after his return left again for the Western country.

Reuben, the third son of Daniel, married Hannah Koch, daughter of John Koch and his wife Catherine (Gehret), and this union was blessed with the following children: Benjamin, who located at Pinegrove, Schuylkill county; Daniel, who located at Circleville, Ohio; William, who located at Pottsville, Schuylkill county; Henry; Kate, who died unmarried; Hannah, married to Mr. Lobo and living in Chicago; Reuben, who was killed in the Civil war; Samuel, who settled in Carlisle, Pa.; Charles, who died of disease contracted in the Civil war; James, who served in the Civil war and afterward located in California; Melinda and Ellen, unmarried, who live at Reading; and Sarah, who married a Mr. Yingst and lives at Carlisle.

Henry, son of Reuben, married Olivia Reppert, daughter of Peter an Elizabeth (Diehl) Reppert, and this union was blessed with six children, John, Hannah, Francis, Oliver, Daniel and Lucius. Henry is said to have died of hiccough and he and his wife lie buried at DeLong's Reformed Church.

John R. Stoudt, son of Henry, was born Feb. 10, 1848. He married Anna Amanda, daughter of Charles and Anna (Carl) Baer, the latter the daughter of George and Barbara (Keiffer) Carl. This union was blessed with the following children: Henry, a molder by trade, residing at Reading, married Minnie Lease and has two children, Mabel and Charles; John Baer is mentioned below; George Baer, a machinist by trade, residing at Topeka, Kans., has two sons, Calvin and Francis; Jacob, of Fleetwood, Pa., a molder by trade, is married to Kate, daughter of Adam Kline; Frederick and Annie are at home with their mother, who lives at Fleetwood.

John Baer Stoudt, son of John R. and Anna Amanda (Baer) Stoudt, was born Oct. 17, 1878, in Maxatawny township, and later removed with his father to Richmond township, where he attended the public schools of the township.

In 1896 he was licensed to teach, which profession he followed for three years. In 1900 he graduated from the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa., and in 1905 from Franklin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, Pa. Both at the normal school and at college he took an active interest in literary and oratorical work, winning a number of prizes, collegiate and inter-collegiate, among them the John W. Wetzel prize, second prize in the inter-collegiate oratorical contest and the State Camp oratorical contest of the P. O. S. of A. During the summer of 1906 he studied theology in the University of Chicago, and in 1908 was graduated from the Eastern Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church. He now resides at Emaus, Lehigh Co., Pa., where he is pastor of three Reformed congregations. He is regarded as a pulpit orator of more than ordinary ability.

On Oct. 15, 1908, Mr. Stoudt was married to Miss Elizabeth A. DeLong, daughter of the late Joseph and Mary H. (Yoder) DeLong, of Topton, Pennsylvania.


p. 1042


John B. Stoudt, stove dealer, tinsmith and roofing and spouting contractor of Womelsdorf, Berks county, was born March 26, 1852 in Shelby county, Ohio, son of Simon and Catherine Oliver Stoudt, and grandson of Daniel Stoudt.

Daniel Stoudt was born Oct. 26, 1785 and died Jan. 18, 1855. He resided in North Heidelberg township, where he was a shoemaker and where he also cultivated a seventy-five-acre tract of land. Mr. Stoudt married Susanna Ulrich, born Nov. 4, 1787, who died July 1, 1841, aged fifty-three years, seven months, twenty-seven days, and they had the following children: Daniel; Peter had a son Frank, who resides at Myerstown, Pa.; Reuben, who had a son William (now deceased), resides at Myerstown, and is in his seventy-seventh year; Simon (also know as Samuel) is mentioned below; Salome m. Andrew Zerbe; and Susanna m. John Schaeffer, a farmer of North Heidelberg township.

Simon Stoudt, father of John B., was born in Marion township, Berks county, in 1819, and died in 1892, at the age of seventy-three years. He is buried at Houston Station, Ohio, whither he had gone in middle life. Mr. Stoudt married Catherine Oliver (born at Erie, Pa., in 1820, daughter of James Oliver, and died in 1895), whom he met in Ohio. To this union were born the following children: Sarah; Nancy and Susanna, twins; Daniel; James; John B.; Simon B.; William; Reuben, and Mary Jane. They all remained near Houston Station, Shelby Co., Ohio, with the exception of John B., who came back to the land of his fathers.

John B. Stoudt was reared to agricultural pursuits, which he followed until eighteen years of age, and then, having returned East in company with his uncle Reuben Stoudt, who had visited his brother, learned his trade at Myerstown, Pa. After completing his apprenticeship Mr. Stoudt went to Lebanon, Pa., where he continued until 1897, and in this year located at Womelsdorf, where he has since continued, having built up a large trade. He employs two men, carries a large stock of tinware, and enjoys an extensive patronage from the people of his town. He is a Democrat in politics, and he and his family are members of the Reformed Church, of which he has been deacon and is now elder.

In 1876 Mr. Stoudt was married to Emma Barto, of Myerstown, Pa., daughter of Jeremiah and Rachel (Engelhart) Barto, farming people. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stoudt, namely Oliver, who died in 1884, at the age of nine years; and Eve, born in 1890 who resides at home.


p. 1461


Joseph Stoudt, of Penn township, whose blacksmith establishment is situated at Obold postoffice, Mt. Pleasant, Pa., was born April 3, 1852, in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county, son of William and Catherine (Kelchner) Stoudt.

Daniel Stoudt, the grandfather of Joseph, was a farmer of Wernersville, Pa., where his death occurred, he being buried at Hain's Church. His children were: Daniel died in Dauphin county; Henry lives in Michigan; William; Richard and Nathan live in Schuylkill county; James and David live in Wernersville; Sarah m. Mr. Kopp; Rebecca; Mary m. Henry Yoe; and Ann m. Jacob Spotts.

William Stoudt was born at Wernersville and there learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for some time at Charming Forge, later engaging in business in Lower Heidelberg township, where he remained fifteen years, when he came to Obold and for five years worked for his son Joseph. He then went to live with his son George in Marion township until his retirement, when he went to the home of his son Conrad, in Reading, where he died in 1898, being buried at Hain's Church. He married Catherine Kelchner, daughter of Joseph Kelchner, who died in 1877, and they had these children: Richard lives in Dayton, Ohio; Ellen m. Edward Schell, of Dayton, Ohio; William is also a resident of Dayton; Joseph; Conrad lives at Third and Walnut streets, Reading; Lizzie m. Tyrer Schoener; Daniel died at the age of fifteen years; Sallie m. the late W. Shilling; Katie died young; and George lives in Womelsdorf.

Joseph Stoudt attended the public schools of Marion, Heidelberg and North Heidelberg townships, and when seventeen years of age learned the blacksmith's trade with his father, with whom he remained three years, then engaging in farming in North Heidelberg township for four years. Returning to his trade he formed a partnership with his father in Heidelberg township, but after four years this was dissolved and in 1881 Mr. Stoudt came to Obold, where he purchased the business of Jacob Madeira, building a new house and shop. He has a flourishing business, which requires the help of one assistant.

Mr. Stoudt was married to Lizzie Mountz, daughter of William and Annie (Boyer) Mountz, and they have had one son: Irwin S., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He lives at East St. Louis, where he is a druggist and chemist. He married Margaret Musser. Joseph Stoudt is a member of Hain's Church. In political matters he is a Republican and he has served a number of times as a member of the election board.


p. 1419


Lewis B. Stoudt, proprietor of the "Half-Way House," near Blandon, in Maiden-creek township, was born July 24, 1854, at Molltown, Pa., son of Benneville and Hettie (Bernt) Stoudt.

Jacob Stoudt, grandfather of Lewis B., who was a farmer near Calcium, in Maiden-creek township, married a Miss Reeser, and they had these children: Jacob m. a Miss Hill; Benneville; Daniel m. Elizabeth Forney; Joel m. Eliza Rickenbach; and Rebecca m. Isaac Huy.

Benneville Stoudt, who was also a farmer, carried on operations near Molltown, in Maiden-creek township. He married Hettie Bernt, and they had nine children, as follows: John, a resident of Alburtis, m. Emma Hawkins, and they have six children - Stanley, Benneville, John, Wilson, Victoria and Lizzie; William m. Emma Brown and has had seven children - Alvin, David Benneville, Oneida (deceased), Laura, Jennie and Carrie; Lewis B., Edwin B.; George B.; Racy m Abraham Heffner and has four children - Samuel, Mary, Sallie and Susan; Mary m. John Adams and has three children - John Edgar and Hettie; Sallie m. Ezra High and has two children -Hettie and Lena; and Wilson died when nearly twenty-one years old.

Lewis B. Stoudt was reared and educated in his native township, and assisted his father upon the home farm until attaining his majority, at which time he engaged in farming on his own account. Subsequently, in 1890, he went to Fresno. Cal., where he remained for three years, and after his return he engaged in the hotel business at Molltown, later becoming the proprietor of the "Black Horse Hotel.," at Kutztown, and still later of the "Fair Ground Hotel," at Reading. For the past nine years he has been conducting the well Known "Half-Way House," near Blandon, where he enjoys a large patronage.

Mr. Stoudt was married to Amanda Smith, daughter of Peter Adam Smith, and to this union there were born four children: Irvin, a farmer, m. Cora Frederick and has one child; Robert, unmarried, resides at home; Harvey, unmarried is engaged in farming in Heidelberg township; and Lydema, also unmarried, is employed in a Reading store.

Mr. Stoudt and his family are members of the Reformed Church. In his political belief he is a Democrat, but he has never aspired to public office. He is fraternally connected with the Knights of the Mystic Chain, and he was formerly a member of the K. G. E., the P. O. S. of A. and the Berks County Liquor Dealers' Association.

Edwin B. Stoudt, brother of Lewis B., and son of Benneville Stoudt, was born Jan. 18, 1860, on the old homestead in Maiden-creek township, which he now owns and operates. He received his education in the local schools, and spent one term at Reading. Most of his life has been spent in agricultural pursuits, although for seven years he kept a hotel in Blandon. He now resides on a valuable farm in Maiden-creek township, and is known as one of the section's good, practical agriculturists and substantial men.

In 1880 Mr. Stoudt was married to Lucetta D. Koller, daughter of John and Kate (Dubson) Koller, and to this union four children have been born: Stella E., Howard W., Harry A., and John K. The children are all well educated, Howard and John being graduates of the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. Mr. Stoudt and his family belong to Becker's St. Peter's Reformed Church, in which he has served as deacon and elder. In politics a Democrat, Mr. Stoudt has held various township offices, but has never aspired to higher positions. He is fraternally connected with Huguenot Lodge No. 377, F. & A. M., Kutztown; Camp No. 250, P. O. S. of A.; Rock Castle No. 80, K. G. E., and Blandon Lodge, I. O. O. F.

George B. Stoudt, brother of Lewis B. and Edwin B., and son of Benneville Stoudt, was born on the old homestead, June 27, 1864, and received his education in the common schools of his native locality. He first engaged in farming, and later became the owner of the "Six-Mile House," which he conducted for eight years, subsequently purchasing a farm in Maiden-creek township, where he is now successfully engaged in cultivating the soil.

Mr. Stoudt was married March 22, 1884, to Josephine M. Oswaldt, daughter of John and Sarah (Snyder) Oswaldt. Four children have been born to this union: Lottie M., born Dec. 25, 1884, m. Willington Lerch, a painter and has one child, Josephine Caroline; Warren O., born Dec. 18, 1887; George B., Nov. 20, 1897; and Sallie Ella, Feb. 25, 1900. The family are members of Becker's St. Peter's Reformed Church. Mr. Stoudt is a member of Blandon Lodge No. 1087, I. O. O. F., and I. O. R. M., Fleetwood. In politics Mr. Stoudt is a Democrat, and has served as school director.


p. 1682


Lucian Stoudt, one of the Alsace township's representative citizens, who in addition to carrying on farming and trucking is engaged in blacksmithing at Seidel's blacksmith shop, was born April 14, 1857, in Maxatawny township, Berks county, Pa., son of Henry Francis and Tillie (Reppert) Stoudt, and grandson of Reuben Stoudt.

Henry Francis Stoudt was reared in Maxatawny township, where he was married to Tillie Reppert, and to them the following children were born: John, who died in March, 1907, on Judge Stitzel's farm in Richmond township (m. Amanda Bear, and they had six children, -- Jacob; Henry; John; George; Frederick and Annie) Hannah (m. Charles Golmoyer, resides in Reading and has four children, -- Jacob, John, Asher and Llewellyn); Henry Francis (who died at Kutztown, Berks County, m. Katie Emore, and they had five children, -- Harry, Bartolette, Francis, Lizzie and Annie); Oliver (who is engaged as an auctioneer at Bowers, m. Sallie Hilbert, and they have three children, -- Franklin, William and Katie); Lucian; Daniel (a liquor agent of Allentown, married Katie Long and has two children,-Lillie and Daniel); and Louisa (m. William Kershner, a blacksmith of Macungie, has four children, -- Amelia, William, Lillie and Louisa).

Lucian Stoudt was three years of age when his father died, and he was taken charge of by his sponsor, Lucian Ginger, who kept him until he was six years old, at which time he went to live with John Henning, and worked around the iron ore mines for some time. He subsequently learned blacksmithing, which he has followed to the present time, also engaging in trucking and farming. In 1873 he went with companions who had enlisted in the regular army, and although too young to shoulder a gun, went with them to Salt Lake City, Utah, to the Black Hills, and was for a time with Custer's army. He later joined Barnum's circus troupe, but finally returned to Berks county and settled down on a good farm at Seidel's blacksmith shop in Alsace township.

In 1877 Mr. Stoudt was married to Sarah Schmeck, daughter of John and Catherine (Schmeck) Schmeck, and eight children have been born to this union: Catherine (m. Samuel Schmeck, a trucker of Alsace township, has five children, -- Harry: Helen; Frank; Clarence and Carrie); Ellsworth; John Lucian; Charles Edward; Henry Francis; Sallie; Ruth Bertie; Oliver Gruber and Lottie Ellen. In politics Mr. Stoudt is a Democrat, but he has never been an office seeker. The family attend the Reformed Church.


p. 1462


Nathaniel P. Stoudt, who for more than twenty years has been engaged in supplying meat to the residents of Bernville, is one of the best known men in his line of business in Penn township. Mr. Stoudt was born Dec. 6, 1855, in Penn township, Berks county, Pa., son of Jared and Sophia (Obold) Stoudt.

Abraham Stoudt, the grandfather of Nathaniel P., was a farmer in Bern (now Penn) township, owning a tract of 150 acres about one mile south of Bernville. He married Barbara Schellhammer, and to them there were born two children: Jared; and Abraham, a saddler by trade who later engaged in the grocery business in Reading, where he died. Abraham Stoudt married a Miss Mosser, and to them there were born these children: Milton, lives in the West; Mary m. Harrison Reber; James m. a Miss Yoder and resides in Reading; and Elizabeth m. G. M. Britton, the well-known Reading merchant.

Jared Stoudt was born on the Stoudt family homestead in Penn township, March 18, 1826, and died there Feb. 19, 1862, being buried at the Union Cemetery at Bernville. His whole life was spent in agricultural pursuits. Jared Stoudt married Sophia Obold, born Aug 9, 1827, a daughter of Philip Obold, and she died nine weeks before the death of her husband. They had these children: Emma, who resides in Bernville; Elias, who died at the age of eleven years; Nathaniel P.; Harrison A., deceased; and Mary S., also deceased.

Nathaniel P. Stoudt was accorded a fair public school education, but losing his parents when still a youth, he was forced to shift for himself, and at the age of eighteen years learned the trade of a butcher, engaging in business on his own account in 1886, since which time he has built up a large patronage, supplying the best trade in Bernville and engaging the use of three wagons and four employes. He has a comfortable residence on Main street, and is known as a reliable and public-spirited citizen. A Republican in politics, he has served the borough as school director and councilman and has shown himself to be a conscientious public official. With his family, he belongs to the Reformed Church.

Mr. Stoudt was married to Diana Potteiger, daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Strause) Potteiger, the former of whom was a miller by trade, an occupation which he followed near Hamburg, Pa., for some years; subsequently he came to Bernville, where until his death he was engaged in the hotel business. Mr. and Mrs. Stoudt have had these children: Edwin; Bertha, m. to Milton Kline; Anna, m. to S. P. Wilhelm; Charles A.; William; Albert; Warren; John, who died at the age of seven years; an infant daughter, deceased; Sallie and Mary.


p. 505


David Engle Stout, deceased, paymaster of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company for forty years, was born in Muhlenberg township, Berks county, six miles north of Reading, Feb. 10, 1820. He was educated in the local schools and at an early age became a clerk in the hardware store of John M. Keim, at Reading, where he continued until 1844, when he entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Company. In 1847 he was appointed paymaster, and this responsible position he filled in a most satisfactory manner for forty years, retiring in 1887, with the highest respect of the officials. He lived retired from that time until his death at Ocean Grove, N. J., Sept. 12, 1894.

Mr. Stout took an active part in the local affairs of Reading for many years, more especially of a financial nature, having assisted in the organization of the Union Bank, the Reading Gas Company and the Reading Trust Company and he served as a director in each. He also served as a school controller for several terms. In his early manhood he was interested in the Union Fire Company, acting for a time as secretary. He became a member of Christ Episcopal Church at an early age, and showed a constant interest in the welfare of the congregation, officiating for a time as superintendent of the Sunday-school, and as vestryman and warden of this church, and of other parishes with which he was subsequently identified for upward of fifty years. He was also greatly interested in the charitable societies of Reading, contributing liberally toward their success.

In politics Mr. Stout started as a Whig and became a Republican upon the formation of that party. He represented the Berks district of Pennsylvania in the national Republican Convention of 1860, which nominated Abraham Lincoln for President; and in 1864 he was a member of the Pennsylvania Electoral College on the Republican ticket headed by Lincoln. The several positions which he filled at Reading for many consecutive years evidence his prominence and superiority as a man in the community. He was identified with the Free Masons for a long while; was a charter member of the De Molay Commandery; and a member of the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania, having for a time officiated as District-Deputy Grand-Master of Berks county.

In 1848 Mr. Stout was married to Margaretta Duey, of Philadelphia, by whom he had five children: Emily D., who married Samuel R. Kerper; Edward H., who married Katherine Kerper; David D.; William H., who married Mary McCoy; and Charles E., who married Mary Pidgeon.

His father was John Stout, born at Schuylkill Bend, in Maiden-creek township and he carried on farming. He married Elizabeth Engle, and had ten children: Mary, John, Solomon, Esther, Valentine, James, Jacob, David, Caroline, and Alfred.

His grandfather was John Stout, who was born in Bern township, in 1737, and who was brought up to farming. In 1772 he purchased a farm of 162 acres in Maiden-creek township, and then moved there carrying on the cultivation of this land until his death, in 1801. He was married to Maria Catharine Kershner, by whom he had eight children: George, Jacob, John, Daniel, Samuel, Catharine (who married Henry Body), Barbara (who married George Snyder) and Elizabeth.

His great-grandfather was John Michael Staudt, who emigrated with his father from Germany in 1733, when twenty-two years of age, and settled at Schuylkill Bend, above Reading (now Stout's Ferry), where he carried on farming until his death in 1776. He had nine children: John Jacob, Michael, George William, John George, Jost, Anna Barbara, Catharine Elizabeth, Appolonia and Catharine.


p. 493


Henry Stoyer, manufacturer of paper boxes at Shoemakersville and Fleetwood, Berks Co., Pa., who has been placed prominently before the public in business and political life, was born Oct. 14, 1848, at Hamburg, this county, son of Samuel F. Stoyer.

Samuel Stoyer, of Greenwich township, grandfather of Henry, married Catherine Focht, of Windsor township, and to this union there were born children as follows: Samuel F.; Benneville m Catherine Raubenhold; Daniel m. Anna Miller; Elizabeth m. Jacob Kepner; Hannah m. William Kepner, Catherine m. John Billman; and Sallie m. William Deisher.

Samuel F. Stoyer, son of Samuel and now of Bethel township, where he had been a farmer for thirty years, was born and reared at Hamburg. He married Catherine Weidner, daughter of Jonathan Weidner, and to them were born twelve children: Henry; Susan m. Andrew Schmeltzer; Franklin m. Mary Schreck; Sarah m. John Peiffer; Charles m. Clara Moore; Caroline m. Werren F. Kline; Amanda m. George Snyder; Ida m. Samuel Strausse; Anna m. Charles Strausse; Samuel m. Clara Resh; Joel m. Mame Reber; and John died in infancy.

Henry Stoyer received his education in the public school of his native place, upon leaving which, while still a boy, he assisted at butchering and store-keeping until his twentieth year, then going to Centreport, where, after serving as a clerk in the butchering business for two years, and for four years in the general store of James A. Koller, he engaged in the huckstering business for nineteen years. While engaged at the latter occupation, Mr. Stoyer came to know the whole northwestern section of the county, and this acquaintanceship was afterwards of great political assistance to him, for in 1893 he secured the nomination for county commissioner on the Democratic ticket, and was elected. He served in this important county office for a term of three years, for 1894 to 1897. Upon the erection of the borough of Centreport, in 1884, Mr. Stoyer served in the council for three terms, and also in the school board for the same period; and when his name was on the Democratic ticket for election, there was no nomination against him on the opposition ticket. He receiving the unanimous vote of the electors, an exceptional honor.

Upon assuming the office of county commissioner, Mr. Stoyer removed to Reading so as to be able to devote all of this time to the interests of the county, and he served his term with great fidelity to his trust. At the expiration of his term, he served as collector of ward and county taxes for four years. In 1902 he purchased the Acme Paper Box Factory at Shoemakersville, and in 1907 he purchased the Fleetwood Paper Box Factory which he has been operating successfully to the present time. He manufactures all sizes of paper boxes, which are supplied to the mills in the village and vicinity. He retains his residence in Reading, traveling to and fro daily in operating his business.

Mr. Stoyer married Catherine Dunkel, daughter of Jacob Dunkel, of Upper Bern township. She died in 1870, leaving one daughter, Sallie (m. W. P. Brown). Mr. Stoyer m. (second) Annie Schieffert, daughter of Reuben Schiffert, of Perry township, and to this union were born: Katie (m. Tomas Bickel); Tamah (m. Harry A. Breidegam); and Annie (died in infancy).


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Strasser. The biography of the individual man is but the history of the human race and his family, plus his environments.

Since the beginning of time our sun and the myriads of shining stars have been oscillating and radiating energy in the form of wireless waves into the ether of infinite space. Primitive man viewed them with superstitious awe and framed supernatural myths. Science regards them as an electro-magnetic displacement or disturbance of the ether, periodic in space and time, traveling 186,500 miles per second. The ether being the source and reservoir of all energy, there is a constant interchange of energy from ether to matter, and matter to ether, transforming it at one time into kinetic, at another into potential energy, thus causing or constituting all the phenomena of the material universe and known as the science of Natural Philosophy. But the loftiest ideal of man conceives them as symbols of infinite Wisdom, Power and Love, and as wireless telephonic messages of glad tidings of peace on earth and good-will toward men.

"The works of God are fair for naught Unless our eyes, in seeing, See hidden in the thing the thought That animates its being."

Mother Nature, the patient teacher, is ever beckoning to man the imitator, and ready to unlock her secrets. But how blind and deaf a pupil is man!

Thunders rolled and lightning flashed for ages before he heard or saw how to use these wireless waves to perform the recent wonders of the X-ray, the wireless telegraph and wireless telephone. Nature never sleeps. Her essence is motion. Ether, matter and motion acting and reacting, forming and transforming are the bases of all phenomena in time and space. The highest and most mysterious is life with all its environments.

Thus is man, his energy, his powers, his physical and mental characteristics-all that he is-indirectly indebted to the wireless ether waves of space. Wave motion is cyclic-crest and trough, nodes and loops of energy. Such is the story of the Universe and Life. Exaltation alternating debasement with intermediate nodes of equilibrium-in fine, evolution, involution, dissolution.

Tradition is ever rife, but vague and mythical, hence the data here given are only such as are based on authentic records.

The family name Strasser (or Strascher) is of ancient origin extensively disseminated, and its influence in church and State, in both the Old and the New world was no small factor. The genealogical and heraldry records (Vol. VI, Page 87) at Vienna, Austria, date the origin of the family to the age of Knighthood and Chivalry. In A. D. 1143 they were found at Mergentheim, Swabia (the headquarters of the order of Teutonic Knights in the year 1386), and vicinity, where a Knight Templar whose birthplace and home was Mergentheim, after long and strenuous service in the Holy Land, and being disabled for further service from wounds, returning, took unto himself an orphaned nephew, named Edward Strasser. He taught him Astronomy, Astrology, Alchemy and other occult arts he had learned in the East. Edward practiced these arts among many rich Counts and Princesses, compiled books on these subjects and acquired great wealth and fame. He united in matrimony with Jutta Von Schenck, and died at Mergentheim, A. D. 1197, leaving one son Rudiger Strasser, who loved arms more than the arts of peace. He sold his father's books and possessions, and as a man of war roamed over many lands with a company of mounted knights called the Black Band. Only after he had had enough of the warrior's life did he marry Euphragine Mehring, the wealthy widow of a patrician at Zweibr Here he lived until his death, A. D. 1252, and left three sons, viz.: Arnold, Gunther and Frederick. Arnold, being of delicate health, entered a cloister, and there is no further record of him, nor of Frederick, who, after a duel with Count Von Spanheim, whom he killed, fled and was never after heard from. Gunther, however, remained at Zweibrof which he was Mayor (Stadtfocht), and was married to Sophia Von Elrichshousen, of a good Frankish or Franconian noble family. He died A. D. 1315, leaving one son John Strasser. The latter had no love for arms, engaged himself with books, music, literary work and the fine arts, and lived a quiet private life. His wife was Elizabeth Mastlin of humble birth, but had wealth of beauty and mind. In A. D. 1335, during a violent storm, his house was destroyed by fire, and his wife and five children perished, only one small boy being rescued. In consequence of this misfortune the circumstances and standing of this family were greatly reduced, and later we find the family mostly as farmers, mechanics and merchants in the vicinity of Zweibr Alsace and the Palatinates in which regions they were still found in the beginning of the 18th century, but accurate and connected records are wanting. The American Strasser family is without a doubt of German ancestry. Their nativity and time of emigration cannot now be definitely fixed. Tradition has the ancestral home at Wurtemberg, Rhenish Palatinate and Zweibr and the time antedates the American Revolution, for we find them enrolled as soldiers of the war for independence as well as all the wars for the defense and preservation of the Union.

According to Colonial Records, on Nov. 3, 1749, John Nicholas Strasser enters a caveat against the acceptance of a survey on that piece of land which he holds by warrant of 27th of March-made to George Boone, until he hears as to his claim, signed Richard Peters, to Nicholas Schull, Surveyor General. Also warrants of land surveyor May 7, 1753, Oct. 6, 1773, etc. The same John Nicholas Strasser, of Albany, Berks Co., Pa., was naturalized April 11, 1763, and as early as 1754 he is assessed 18, 4s., 6d. tax in Albany township, and his name appears for successive years to 1790, with the additional names of John, Jr., a weaver, Henry, Peter George.

Not until 1772 does the name of Conrad Strasser appear as a taxable married man in Windsor township. This is the great-grandfather of Dr. Thomas A. Strasser, of Reading, and Strasser's Thal or Valley, Windsor township, Berks Co., Pa., was the permanent if not the original homestead of this family. What was the relationship of this family and the Albany family is not now known, but from the similarity of the names of their children as we shall see it must have been close.

The church books of Zion's Church at or near Windsor Castle record the baptisms of seven children, the parents being Conrad Strascher and his wife Catharina. They are Conrad, born August, 1744; sponsors, Conrad Strascher and wife Catharina, the parents; Andon, July 1, 1746, sponsor Andon -----; Elizabeth, born Nov. 1, 1747, sponsor Elizabeth -----; Peter, born April 9, 1749; sponsors: Peter Rothermel and wife Sabylla; Mathias, born July 22, 1751, sponsor Mathias -----; Phillipus, born 1753; and Johanes, born April 20, 1756. Where these baptisms took place is not stated, by Zion's Church was not then organized. Another record is the baptism of John Henry Strasser, born April 11, 1777; sponsors, Conrad Strasser and wife Dorethy.

Conrad Strasser was twice married; his first wife, Dorethy (Housknecht), bore him six children, viz.: Conrad, born in 1768; John, 1770; Magdalena; John Nicholas, died previous to 1795; John Henry; and George. His second wife, Christina (Rausch or Hummel?) also bore him two daughters and four sons.

They were: Elizabeth, Catharine, Frederick, Michael (grandfather of our subject), Peter and Daniel.

Accordingly, there was Conrad, the first, father of seven children; Conrad, the second, father of twelve children; and Conrad, the third, oldest son of Conrad the second and brother of Michael. Conrad, the third, was thrice married, first to a Miss Sheidy, by whom he had a son John; second to a Miss Hummel, by whom he had one daughter, Rosina; third to Rosina Hummel, a sister of second wife, and they had nine children, Jeremiah, Jacob, Isaac (m. to Hannah Knittle), Hetty, Sallie, Catharine, Polly, Rachael and Leah.

On Nov. 9, 1790, Conrad Strasser, the second, petitioned the Orphans' court of Berks county, to appoint guardians for his sons, John Henry and George, they being minors under the age of fourteen years. On the same day Magdalena, a daughter, John (Johanes), John Nicholas, minors above the age of fourteen years, petitioned court to choose guardians; they chose Conrad, the father, and the court approved and appointed him for all the above children. Conrad, the third and oldest son, born in 1768, being of age, was not included in the above. On May 5, 1802, Christina Strasser, widow and relict of Conrad Strasser, late of Windsor township, petitioned the courts-says her husband died and left issue eleven children (John Nicholas having died between 1790 and 1795), that Frederick, Michael, Peter and Daniel are minors under age of fourteen years and have no guardians to care for their persons and estates; the court appointed John George Focht. The same day appeared Elizabeth Strasser and Catharine Strasser, daughters of the aforesaid Conrad Strasser, they being minors above the age of fourteen years; they chose Peter Bauscher, which choice was approved by the court. This accounts for the twelve children of Conrad Strasser, the second. The court records show that Magdalena Strasser gave a power of attorney to John Strasser, her next friend, both then living in Paxton township, Dauphin county, dated 1795, to collect that share of inheritance due her from her mother's estate through the death of John Nicholas (Honnickel) Strasser, her brother.

Elizabeth Strasser was married to --- Adam (no farther record). Catharine was born Sept. 16, 1785, and married George Sontag, the progenitor of the Windsor Sundays, and died March 5, 1850 (tombstone record, Zion's Church). Frederick's name is on the tax lists of Greenwich township from 1810 to 1813, when it disappears. Peter settled at Roaring Creek, Columbia county, and his wife's tombstone at Zion's Churchyard records-"mother of seventeen children." Daniel lived on one of the original Conrad Strasser farms, died there about 1840, leaving a large family.

Michael Strasser, the grandfather of Dr. Thomas Augustus, the seventh son of Conrad, the second, and his second wife, Christina, was born at the old homestead in Strasser's Valley, Windsor township, about the year 1791. He was confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Zion's Church. His father having died about January, 1799 (his will probated Feb. 12, 1799), and he being one of the three youngest sons mentioned in above will, who were to learn a trade arriving at the age of sixteen years, he accordingly became a carpenter and cabinetmaker and his name appears as a taxable single man in Maxatawny from 1810 to 1815. At this time Kutztown was incorporated as a borough and it was here he made his permanent home and carried on his trade. He was a member of the first fire company of Kutztown organized in 1815, and built one of the first three houses in Freetown, upper Main street, above Baldy's lane. He was married to Sarah Kittling, about 1816, a native of Mifflinburg, Pa., a sister of Mrs. Jacob Humbert, mother of Rev. David Humbert, Bowers Station. Mrs. Jacob Baldy and Mrs. Peter Fritz of Kutztown were aunts. Jacob of Mifflin burg, was a brother and so was William, of near Blandon. Michael was successful in business, had just finished a new home, and had a promising future, but in the prime of life he became the victim of a typhoid fever epidemic and died about December, 1821. His remains were interred in the old Union Churchyard at Kutztown, but his resting-place cannot now be located. Letters of administration were granted to John Wanner and Solomon Kutz, Jan. 7, 1822. He left his widow and one son, Isaac Kittling Strasser, and one daughter, Abigail. The widow was remarried to Solomon Kutz, a widower with a large family. Their issue was seven children: among them, Louisa E., born in 1826, m. Daniel B. Kutz, in 1850, both living over fifty years in the house built by Michael Strasser; Lydia m. John Van Scheetz; Susan, born Sept. 3, 1832, m. Harry Scheidt. Sarah, mother of the above and maternal grandmother of our subject, died on her birthday, on June 29, about the year 1846, aged exactly fifty years. Abigail, only daughter of Michael Strasser, was born Sept. 10, 1821, and was married to John Snyder. They reared a large family. Mr. Snyder dying, she married Egedius Butz. She survived him and died in 1908, aged almost eighty-seven years.

Isaac K. Strasser was born on his father's (Michael) homestead at Kutztown, Pa., Aug. 3, 1817. Orphaned at an early age, he lived with his mother until he was apprenticed to a Mr. Kraft at Reading, Pa., serving four years as a saddler and harness maker. Returning to Kutztown he bought the property now the corner of Main street and Strasser Alley, where he lived over half a century, reared a large family, and carried on his business.

In 1842, he married Flora Anna Koser, a daughter of John George Koser and wife Esther (Christ) of Greenwich township. Esther was the oldest daughter of Jacob Christ and wife (nee Merkel). She is buried at Bethel or Zion's Church, Grimville, Pa., and her tombstone records: "Esther Koser, daughter of Jacob Christ, born March 21st, 1794, married Dec. 26th, 1811. Had 3 children, 1 son and 2 daughters. Died Jan. 24th, 1832, aged 37 years, 10 months, and 3 days. Text, St. John 5-24." Her sisters were Rachel m. Daniel Beaver, and moved to Tulpehocken; Kate m. a Christman; Polly m. a Messersmith, of Fleetwood; and Hannah m. Martin Wanner, she aged over ninety years. Her brothers were Jonathan, m. to Susan Bieber; Daniel, Jacob and Solomon (the grandfather of Nathan C. Schaeffer, State Superintendent of Pennsylvania Schools).

John George Koser, maternal grandfather of Dr. Thomas A. Strasser, was born in Greenwich township, Jan. 7, 1787, on the old homestead, and died at Kutztown Nov. 28, 1872. He was the son of John George Koser of Greenwich and his second wife a Baer, of Albany. His second wife was Anna Maria Helfrich, widow of Sam Helfrich, and sister of Colonel Daniel Grim, and a born Krouse. She had four daughters, Anna Maria, Sallie, Amelia and Betzy Helfrich, and died at Kutztown about 1865. His sisters were: Regina, wife of Henry Adam, who went West; Barbara, wife of A. Schearer of Windsor; another married to a Mr. Bailer; and one married to a Kercher, moved to Lehigh Gap. The Koser family were pioneer settlers of Greenwich and extensive land owners. In 1754 George Koser is taxed 16, 4s., 5d.; in 1759, John Koser, 20, and later we have names of John, Jacob, and George. One Jacob Koser (according to Colonial records), aged twenty-three years, qualified Sept. 23, 1734, having emigrated in ship "Hope" from Rotterdam; and Christopher Koser, aged thirty-six years, in the ship "Mary" of London, qualified Sept. 6, 1732.

John Koser was naturalized at Northern Liberties, Philadelphia county, on the 24th and 25th of Sept., 1764. The Kosers who first emigrated were natives of Wurtemberg, Swabia.

The Koser family is of Greek origin. In the year 1102 one Herman Abolde, a crusader, armourer and farrier returning homeward from the east, took a Cyprian youth captive in the mountains of the Isle of Cyprus, and brought him safely through Italy and Switzerland to his home in Saltzbug, Germany. Here the Bishop Eustachius, after a consultation, himself baptized and named him Herman Koser-signifying, "the rescued, or the redeemed." He learned the trade of his captor and later became a great warrior, and by his valor became the chief of a large troop of knights he massed in Bohmen, Ungarn and Sclavonia, with which he made many destructive invasions into Baiern, Schlesien and Sachsen. In Schlesien he stole and married a lady of noble family whose name was Isabella Von Koeneritz. During an engagement in the vicinity of Regentsburg, while following up the enemy and rashly crossing the Danube at a dangerous place, he was drowned in the year 1145. His four sons followed the footsteps of their father and three remained in the many violent battles they fought. The fourth and youngest, named Ferdinand Koser, joined the Crusades and returning he found most of his property at Saltzburg destroyed. He sold the rest at a small price and moved to Augsburg and from there to Donauworth, where he married Dorethe Meininger, and on his death, A. D. 1203, he left one son Karl Koser. He married Elenora Schippen of Innsbruck, and left several sons, whose descendants were decimated by famine, pestilence and the sword during thew Thirty Years' war, so that (according to the genealogicial tables at Vienna, Vol. III, Page 202), in the year 1654, only two remained. These two were distantly related and the one, Albert Koser, was a magistrate or judge (Schultheiss Zu Soflingen) at Ulm, and his descendants were scattered in Upper Swabia and Switzerland. The other one was John George Koser, who was primus or principal (Kloisterfocht) of a monastery at Frankfurt-on-the-Main. In the middle of the eighteenth century his descendants are found at Frankfurt and also in other places on the Main, and the Rhine, and in various circumstances.

Flora Anna Koser had one brother, Daniel, who died March 18, 1821, in his ninth year. She was born March 2, 1822, on the original Koser homestead, in Greenwich township. She had one sister, Hannah, born July 12, 1824, married to Joseph Dry, of Drysville. She raised a family of ten children, and is now living at Reading, Pa., in her eighty-fifth year.

Isaac K. Strassr and his wife, Flora Anna, were the parents of eleven children as follows: (1) Charles Koser, born July 19, 1843, died in infancy. (2) Dr. Thomas Augustus was born Dec. 24, 1845. (3) Anna Familia Caroline, born Sept. 23, 1847, is the deceased wife of William Weaver, a traveling salesman (left no issue). (4) Sarah Sabina C., born Oct. 27, 1849, (first) m. Eugene D. Bieber, of Kutztown (had children: Rev. Herbert Walter, a Presbyterian minister at Bradford, Pa., and Stella Louisa, m. to Mr. Robert Alsover, of Big Stone Gap, Va.), and (second) Charles Messersmith, deceased (children: George Strasser Messersmith and Lieutenant Robert Eugene Messersmith of the U. S. Marine service). (5) Horace William, born March 23, 1852, a railroad engineer and former clerk in a mercantile house, died in Reading in October, 1885. He m. Mary Scheidy, and left no children. (6) Leander Gustave, born Feb. 27, 1854, died in infancy. (7) Ellen Esther, born Feb. 10, 1855, died at Kutztown in July, 1876, aged over twenty-one years. (8) Clara Louisa, born March 28, 1857, m. Levi S. Mabry, of Mertztown, at one time a justice of the peace and deputy treasurer and later Register of Wills of Berks county. They have none son Roy, a graduate of Keystone State Normal School, and of Ursinus College. (9) Annie Lydia, born Nov. 8, 1858, m. Nathan S. Schaeffer, a merchant of Fleetwood, and they have one daughter Helen. (10) Elizabeth Alice, born Sept. 10, 1861, m. Josiah Koch, a contractor and builder of Reading, and died the mother of Harry, Elsie, Floyd and Evelyn. (11) Avila Maria, born April 22, 1864, died in infancy. Isaac K. Strasser, father of above, died at Fleetwood, June, 1897, aged seventy-nine years and ten months. His wife Flora Anna died in August, 1896, aged seventy-four years. Both are resting in Hope Cemetery, at Kutztown.

Dr. Thomas Augustus Strasser was born at Kutztown, Berks Co., Pa., on Dec. 24, 1845. From boyhood he loved books and Nature, and evinced a desire for study, preferring the field of Science. His ambition was to obtain a classical or higher university education but circumstances were not favorable as he was the oldest of a large family. He felt it incumbent to assist his parents rather than impose a burden. He regularly attended the public and private schools at Kutztown and at the age of fourteen, the Allentown Seminary, now Muhlenberg College. Against his own inclination, but to comply with his father's wishes, he served as a clerk in the store of G. Y. Kemp and Jacob Sunday from the Spring of 1861 to the Fall of 1862. At this time a business life being distasteful and not conducive to study, he resolved to enter upon teaching as a stepping-stone to a learned profession. He secured the Lockridge school, Longswamp township, and in the spring of 1863 returning home he continued his studies at Maxatawny and Fairview Seminary (now Keystone State Normal School), until fall, when he taught two successive terms in the Kutztown public schools, in the meantime continuing his studies at Fairview Seminary during the summer and private tutoring while teaching. In the spring of 1865 he entered the office of Drs. Gerasche and Trexler as a medical student and in the following October matriculated in and attended the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, sessions 1865-66. Returning to Kutztown in the Spring of this year he opened a private school having 75 to 85 pupils on the roll, continuing the same time his medical studies with his preceptors. In October, 1866, he re-entered the University and took his degree in Medicine on March 14, 1867. The following May he located at Pleasant Corner, Lehigh county; the field being contracted and isolated and not adapted for a permanent home he returned to his native place to await the opportunity of a more promising field. On Oct. 21, 1868, he located at Millerstown, Lehigh county (now Macungie), where by January, 1869, he had succeeded in establishing himself in an extensive and lucrative practice, and here he remained for a period of seventeen years, having a career of continued success. This success he ascribes in a large measure to the advice of his mother: Remember the poor, be kind and considerate, the Lord is their paymaster. During this time he succeeded Dr. William Herbst, of Trexlertown, as physician and surgeon to the Lehigh County Almshouse and hospital, serving nine years. In 1870 he became a member of Lehigh Lodge, No. 326, F. & A. M., Trexlertown, and other organizations. He served fourteen years as a school director of Macungie. The most important events here were his marriage and the birth of his three children. On May 17, 1870 Dr. Strasser united himself in hymeneal bonds with Alawilda Catharine Elizabeth Greasemer, only daughter of Dr. Abraham Greasemer, a dentist of Allentown and his wife Sarah (Stettler) and sister of their only son, Asher B., a physician and dentist. Dr. Greasemer was born in Hereford township, Nov. 4, 1822, and is still living. His wife Sarah was born December, 1826, near Ziegels church, Weisenburg, Lehigh county, and died Aug. 7, 1907.

The children of Dr. and Mrs. Strasser are: (1) Charles William Thomas, born March 22, 1871, is a graduate of Allentown high school, Muhlenberg College, attended Mt. Airy Lutheran Theological Seminary and graduated from Divinity Department, Yale University. He has served over ten years the Hamilton charge, Monroe county. He was married to Minnie Harman, of the same place. (2) Robert Eugene, born June 5, 1873, a successful physician at Reading, is mentioned farther on. (3) Ellen Esther, born Aug. 8, 1876, a graduate of the Reading high school, is the wife of H. M. Albright, a manufacturer and wholesale shoe merchant, at No. 335 Penn street, Reading. They have one daughter, Elizabeth Strasser Albright.

A Reading medical practitioner expressing an urgent desire to retire from practice, induced Dr. Strasser to buy the house at No. 210 North Sixth street, on condition that they enter into partnership for a short time until he introduced him into the practice, when he was to relinquish in his favor. Accordingly Dr. Strasser moved from Macungie to the above place on Oct. 5, 1885, but the latter part of the above contract never having been fulfilled, this move proved neither agreeable nor profitable, but entailed a great financial sacrifice on the part of Dr. Strasser. In October, 1888 he moved to No. 31 South Ninth street, and attended special courses on eye, ear, nose and throat diseases at the Philadelphia and New York Polyclinic and post-graduate schools. His practice steadily increased and in April, 1891, he located at No. 914 Penn street, and in May, 1899, he moved to No. 931 Penn street, where having relinquished general practice he still continues the treatment of eye, ear, nose and throat and chronic diseases.

Dr. Strasser is now past sixty-three years and is still a lover of books and nature and although his youthful aspirations for a higher university training were not realized he has more than compensated for it by his studious life and a library of standard authors. As a relaxation from his professional duties, he has engaged in original research in signalling through space, direct conversions of the energy of coal (crystallized sunlight) into electricity, local and long-distance electric stethoscopy for diagnosis of diseases of heart and lungs, transportation of electric power, navigation of space, heating and lighting, aids of hearing for the deaf, means of a literature for the blind, the phonograph and other fascinating and interesting subjects. In 1899 he discovered the principle of long-distance telegraphy and telephony, by means of loading the lines thereby neutralizing the electrostatic capacity with the electro-magnetic induction and sending along the wires distortionless waves suffering equal attenuation. He was anticipated by Prof. Pupin, of Columbia University, who realized over one million dollars from the idea. In the spring of 1900 he designed a self-restoring or automatic eye or ear for the detection of wireless telegraphic and telephonic waves, and later found it was used in the Italian navy and was the coherer used by Signor Marconi to receive the first wireless signal across the Atlantic on Dec. 12, 1901. He has since continued the work and his experiments, and invented transmitters, repeaters and receivers embodying an entire new and broad principle for telephony, with and without wires, and foresees the possibility at a day not far distant of talking across the Atlantic and the Continent as easily as we talk to New York or Chicago.

Dr. Strasser, having considered through life that the acquisition of knowledge for the betterment of society or race and the conscientious discharge of the duties of his self-sacrificing profession are paramount, found no time for the acquisition of wealth.

Dr. Robert Eugene Strasser began his education at the common schools of Macungie and Reading, to which city he had come with his father when a boy, and later attended the high school. He took up the reading of medicine with his father, following with courses in the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia, and the Baltimore Medical University, from which latter he graduated in 1894. After that he did post-graduate work at the University of Vermont, graduating therefrom in 1895, and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, graduating from the latter in 1896. While there he was on the hospital staff as clinical assistant in the eye and surgical department of Jefferson College Hospital. He commenced practice in Lehigh county in July, 1896, remaining at his father's old location in Macungie until Sept. 28, 1898, when he came to Reading, becoming a member of the staff of Reading Hospital, where he served for a period of five years. Meantime he had entered upon general practice as assistant to his successful father, and his increasing practice made it necessary for him to resign from his hospital duties at the end of that time. Dr. Strasser is a general practitioner, and has been very successful in his treatment of many complicated cases, giving most careful attention to his patients, sparing himself in no way when life or health are in the balance. Thus he has won the confidence and affection of the community, and he enjoys as much practice as he is able to handle. He was nominated as candidate for Coroner of Berks county on June 5, 1906, his thirty-third birthday, and was elected the following fall, being his first candidacy and the winner over five competitors. It was his lot to officiate at the Boyertown fire which occurred Jan. 13, 1908, and where 171 lives perished. The Doctor is a close student and has associated himself with the various medical organizations of his county and State, including the Lehigh County Medical Society, the Reading Medical Society and the Pennsylvania State Medical Association. The Doctor's offices are located at No. 1024 Elm Street, where he also has his home. In politics he is a Democrat.

Dr. Strasser married Miss Laura E. Dreibelbis, daughter of Dr. Samuel L. Dreibelbis, and one child has been born to this union, a daughter, Hazel.


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The name of Strasser has been identified with the development of Berks county, and especially with Windsor township, where for generations through one hundred and fifty years property has been handed down from father to son.

(I) The first of the name to come to Pennsylvania was Conrad Strasser, who emigrated from Germany some time prior to 1750, and located in Windsor township, Berks county. He became the owner of about 2,500 acres, and he erected some good farm buildings on his estate, traces of the first buildings still being found. These were located about 500 yards west of the present homestead, and the foundations still remain under the sod. Conrad Strasser made a will which was probated Feb. 12, 1799, soon after his death, which occurred when he was advanced in years. This will was witnessed by Jacob Schappel and Johann George Focht (also spelled Voigt). The executors of the will were Conrad Strasser (the eldest son) and Andrew Smith, a friend. Conrad Strasser and his wife Christine had a number of children, but the names of Conrad and Johannes alone are mentioned in the will. This will also says that the three youngest Sons shall learn a trade when sixteen years old. Son Conrad obtained the original homestead farm, and Johannes obtained another large tract. The latter was to give his mother yearly during her lifetime the following items: "Plant one-half acre of potatoes, plant one-half acre of flax, give forty bushels of rye, give three bushels of wheat, give twenty bushels of buckwheat, give twenty bushels of Indian corn and give six sheep."

(II) Conrad Strasser, son of Conrad, was born in Windsor township Oct. 27,1768, and passed his whole life on his farm there, his share of his father's estate being 375 acres. In 1803 he married Rosina Hummel, who was born Dec. 26, 1778, and who died Feb. 12, 1869, at the ripe old age of ninety years, one month and sixteen days. Conrad Strasser died Aug. 28,1847, aged seventy-eight years, ten months and one day. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom there is record of nine, namely: Michael; Jacob; Isaac; Jeremiah; Rachel, who married Jacob Miller; Polly m. John Kramer; Kate m. Jesse Mengel; Sally m. Frederick Ritter; and Leah m. Simon Dreibelbis.

(III) Jeremiah Strasser was born April 22,1815. After his father's death he became the owner of the homestead, and built thereon the house, barn and outbuildings that are in use at the present time. He was a prominent man in his day, and was a stanch believer in the principles of the Democratic party. For many years he served as school director of his township. He died March 8,1887, near the close of his seventy-second year. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Reichelderfer, born May 23, 1818, died five years later than her husband, April 20, 1892, when nearly seventy-four years of age. Their children were: Rebecca, m. to Israel Engel; Simon, m. to Maria Stein; Alfred, m. to Sarah Trexler; Cornelius R.; Conrad, who was burned to death when about four years old; Elizabeth, who died young; and Joseph, m. to Sarah Hoch.

(IV) Cornelius R. Strasser, son of Jeremiah, was, like his ancestors, a life-long farmer on the old homestead where he was born Aug. 15,1850. One hundred and sixteen acres of the property was his share, and on it he was engaged mainly in potato raising, for the land, a fertile gravel, is better adapted to that crop than is any other part of the county. Mr. Strasser's life was cut short in its prime, and he passed away Jan.13,1895. He was a quiet, unassuming man and devoted member of Zion Lutheran Church, with which the family have always been connected, and in whose churchyard lie the remains of preceding generations of the family. Cornelius R. Strasser m. Miss Amelia Heffner, daughter of Jacob and Annie (Spohn) Heffner, and granddaughter of Jacob and Becky (Dietrich) Heffner. She bore her husband children as follows: Alvin, m. Camelia Smith; Wilson H.; Elizabeth, m. Charles Stump; Cornelius H.; Annie, died Sept. 9, 1906, aged twenty-four years; Ellen, m. Herbert Wissner; and Clara, m. Jacob Miller.

(V) Wilson H. Strasser, son of Cornelius R., was born on the old Strasser homestead in Windsor township, April 3, 1876. He was brought up on the farm, and worked for his parents until he was nineteen years old, and then for the next two years was given wages by his father. When he attained his majority he entered Brunner's Reading Academy and Business College, which he attended one year. At the close of that year he was married and then learned the trade of carpenter and millwright from Charles Reinhart, of Hamburg, and this has since engaged his attention with the exception of three years when he was employed as motorman (1902- 03-04) on the trolley lines in Reading, to which city he had removed in 1899. He is an excellent mechanic, and is thorough in all that he does. He belongs to the Grand Fraternity-a social order-and is very popular with all who know him.

Mr. Strasser and his family belong to St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Reading, and are active in its work. In his political belief he is independent, and believes in looking to qualification and integrity of purpose rather than to partisanship.

On June 9,1898, Mr. Strasser married Miss Eva B. Heinly, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hagenbach) Heinly, of Waltham township, LaSalle Co., Ill., and grand-daughter of Charles and Julia Hagenbach, farming people of Illinois. Jacob Heinly was born in Upper Berks county, son of the late David Heinly of Albany township, and in his young manhood went to Illinois, where he married and had children: Cora (m. Charles Penman), Warren (of Illinois), Eva B. (Mrs. Strasser), Irene (m. Harry Bryan), Harry and Arthur. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Strasser, namely: Marian H., Irene A., Edward A., Dorothy E. (who died in the fall of 1905, in her sixth year) and Grace Olga.

(V) Cornelius H. Strasser, son of Cornelius R., was seventeen years old when his father died, and up to that time had been in the public schools. By that sad event he was compelled to leave school and under the direction of his older brother, Wilson H., carry on the farm. Young though he was he proved himself fully equal to the arduous demands upon him and he won the respect of all by the capable and successful way he assisted his brother in managing the place, and in caring for the mother. Since 1900 he has been farming for himself, beginning with only a few acres, which he planted in potatoes. He has increased his acreage gradually and now has from twelve to fifteen from which he gets from 2.500 to 3,500 bushels annually. He is a good citizen, an earnest member of Zion Church and one of the promising young men of the district.

In the year 1901 Cornelius H. Strasser married Miss Katie Seidel, daughter of Henry G. and Emma (Balthaser) Seidel, and granddaughter of William and Susanna (Dreibelbis) Seidel. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Strasser, as follows: George William, March 4. 1902; Mabel Rebecca, May 16, 1903; Clarence Henry, June, 1904; and Esther Catherine, Aug. 11, 1905.


p. 1703


Thomas Strauser was born July 3, 1861, in Perry township, son of Reuben and Polly (Adams) Strauser.

The immigrant ancestor of this family, Conrad Strauser, owned 2500 acres of land originally, and was well-to-do. His son also named Conrad was a prominent man in Perry township, a leading member of Lion's Lutheran Church, and a well-to-do and highly respected citizen. His building stood near where the present buildings of the late Cornelius Strauser's homestead are now located. Benneville Strauser, son of Conrad, was born Oct. 27, 1768, and died Aug. 28, 1847. In 1803 he was married to Rosina Hummer., born Dec. 28, 1778, who died Feb. 12, 1869. They were married for more than forty-four years, and had eleven children as follows: Isaac; Jacob; Jeremiah; Benneville; Rachel, m. to Jacob Miller; Polly, m. to John Kramer; Katie, m. to Jesse Mengel; Sally, m. to Frederick Ritters; Leah, m. to Simon Dreibelbis; and two whose names are unknown. Benneville Strauser was a successful farmer and well known citizen in Windsor (now Perry)township, and was highly esteemed by all who knew him.

Reuben Strauser, of Perry township, who was engaged as a building contractor all of his life, was born in 1826, and died in 1882. He was married (first) to Polly Adams, daughter of Jacob Adams, of Richmond township, and granddaughter of Peter Adam, who was a son of Anthony Adam, who came from Germany. Ten children were born to this union: Wilson. Mary Dries; Cornelius m. Sallie Clouser; Alfred m. Harriet Himmelreich; Emanuel m. Sallie Kreamer; Thomas; Mary m. James Becker; and two boys and two girls died young. Mr. Strauser's second marriage was to Mary Woomer, and to this union were born five children: Rufus is single; Catherine. Peter Bloffer; Ella m. Thomas Olinger; and two boys, Jacob and Franklin died young.

Thomas Strauser received his education in the township schools and was reared on the farm, learning the trade of carpenter under the tuition of his father. He followed his trade in the vicinity of his father's home for three years, at the end of which time he went to Reading and worked as a journeyman for two years. With this experience he started in business as a building contractor, and he carried on this occupation for eleven years, putting up in Reading during this time over 1,000 dwelling for numerous parties. He then removed to Pittsburg for the purpose of carrying on his operations more extensively, and within two years superintended the erection of three hundred dwellings, but not liking the "Iron City of the West," he returned to Reading, and concluding to retire from the business, he purchased the "Metropolitan House" at Shoemakersville, taking possession April 2, 1906. He immediately made extensive improvements, costing over $5,000, and it became one of the largest, best-equipped and best- conducted hotels in the county. Mr. Strauser is now located in Spokane, Washington.

In 1882 Mr. Strauser married Catherine High, daughter of Aaron High, or Reading, and there have been four children born to this union: Beulah; Oran, an enterprising young carpenter of Spokane, Wash., and the owner and operator of a 200-acres farm; Ada, and Carroll. His family are members of the Lutheran church.


p. 386


B. Morris Strauss. Strauss is the name of one of the old and honored families in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who members in their different generations have been prominent in the public life of their local communities, and several of wider fame throughout the State and nation. Thrift seems to have followed the history of the family since its first coming to America from the Fatherland, back in the eighteenth century, and many of its members have been men of wealth and influence in the financial world. This review has chiefly to do with the gentleman whose name is mentioned above, but it is entirely proper to mention first some of the more salient points in the family history.

On Sept. 26, 1732, there landed in the city of Philadelphia from Wurtenberg, Germany, two brothers of the name Strauss, Albrecht and John Philip. They were mere boys, the elder, (I) Albrecht, swearing in his oath of allegiance, then necessary to take on landing, that he was but twenty, while (Ia) John Philip left a record in his family Bible that he was born on Sept. 13, 1713. They soon appeared in Berks county, Pa., where in the vicinity of what is now Bernville they each took up large tracts of land, a part of the original acres still being held by members of the present generation. They were both Lutherans, so that their later marriages, the births of their children, and indeed the whole Strauss family history, became a part of the records of that church.

Albrecht Strauss, the elder of the brothers, was the great-great-grandfather of B. Morris Strauss. He took up a tract of 350 acres, upon which he settled and reared a large family, eleven children in all, their mother, whom he married in 1734, being Anna Margaret Zerbe, who came with her father, Martin Zerbe, from Schoharie, New York, in 1723. The children were as follows: (1) Maria Barbara, born Nov. 16, 1735, m. June 2, 1754, John Kloss (now Klohs), born in Brechkebel, Hanau, Germany, Dec. 6, 1723, son of Thomas and Margaret Kloss, with whom he came to America in 1738. They resided a little north of Reading and were the parents of ten children, six of whom survived and left issue, viz.: Maria Elizabeth, m. to Abraham Schneider; Maria Barbara, m. John Adam Spengler; Maria Christina, m. Conrad Scheop (Shepp); Maria Magdalena, m. Philip Huyett; Maria Catherine, m. William Diehm; and Jacob - all leaving numerous descendants. (2) John Jacob Strauss, born May 5, 1737, m. Elizabeth Brecht, Aug. 21, 1759. They lived on a part of the homestead acres north of Bernville and became the parents of nine children, viz.: Albrecht, who remained on the homestead; John who settled near Orwigsburg, Schuylkill county; David; Elizabeth; Philip; Jacob; Samuel; Michael; and Catharine. This branch also became very numerous. (3) Maria Elizabeth (twin to John Jacob), born May 5, 1737, m. John Daniel Madery, May 4, 1760. So far as known, three children were born to them, viz.: Maria Eva Rosina, John Thomas and Michael. (4) Anna Elizabeth was born March 25, 1739. (5) John Casper, born Aug. 5, 1741, died in infancy. (6) Maria Eva Rosina, born Nov. 6, 1742, m. Christopher Schaber, Nov. 9, 1762. The records of the Old Red Church, near Orwigsburg, Pa., show the baptism of five of their children, viz.: Maria Elizabeth, March 29, 1771; John, Oct. 4, 1772; John Philip, Feb.9, 1775; Eva Rosina, April 4, 1779; and Daniel, March 4, 1781. (7) Maria Catharine, born March 6, 1745, m. John Long, Nov.9, 1762, and their son John Jacob, was born Aug. 7, 1763. (8) John Philip born Jun. 4. 1748, m. Sevilla, daughter of Benedict and Maria Salone Kepner, April 21, 1771. They moved to Cumberland (now Juniata) county, Pa., before the Revolution, purchasing 400 acres of land along the Juniata river, the homestead residence being at Mexico Station on the Pennsylvania Railroad. They had eight children, viz.: John; Jacob, born Oct. 5, 1775; who walked out to Ohio in 1779 and settled in Pickaway county, and left numerous and influential descendants; Polly; Betsey; Catharine; David, one of whose descendants, Philip, still owns the ancestral homestead; Susannah, and Sidney. (9) Maria Christina was born July 26, 1751. (10) Maria Susanna, born Oct. 5, 1753, m Benjamin Kebner, May 24, 1884, and they also resided in the Juniata Valley, near Mexico. (11) John Samuel.

Albrecht Strauss was a prominent man of the locality during his time; and his penmanship denoted that he was an educated man. He was naturalized by the "Supream Court" of the Province on Sept. 25, 1755, the certificate thereof now being in the possession of our subject. He died a short time previous to May 7, 1787, that being the date of the filing of his administration papers. His wife died about the same time.

(Ia) John Philip Strauss, the younger of the emigrant brothers, took up about 250 acres of land including (1908) Rev. Mr. Trexler's farm and the tract of Adam W. Strauss. On Feb. 28, 1744, he married Anna Margaret Reimer. He died shortly before May 28, 1792, (the date of the probate of his will). His wife is mentioned in his will and must then have been still living. Their nine children were: (1) Anna Magdalena, born Dec. 21, 1744, m. John George Thomas, born July 1, 1746, son of John and Barbara Long. Their children were: John, Anna Margaret, Maria Catharine, Christian, Maria Elizabeth, John Philip, Jacob, Thomas and Daniel. She died April 5, 1823; and he, May 20, 1823. (2) Anna Elizabeth, born Sept. 18, 1746, m. George Daniel Gicker, Nov. 26, 1776. They had children. (3) Maria Christina, born Feb. 20, 1749, m. on June 3, 1773, Christian Zerbe, born Dec. 25, 1750, son of John and Catharine Zerbe. They moved to White Deer township, Northumberland (now Union) county, Pa. They had a family of eleven children: John George, John, Maria Catharine, Susanna, Jacob, Maria Christina, Henry, Mary Salome, Elizabeth, Anna Maria and Samuel. (4) Casper, born Jan. 27, 1751, married Elizabeth Schreck. They left issue, viz.: John (Dec. 2, 1780 - April 7, 1876), Ludwig Benjamin, Matilda, Susanna, and Anna Maria. (5) Maria Catharine was born Dec. 22, 1752. (6) John Philip, born Nov.9, 1754, m. Susanna Wenrich, Sept. 23, 1783. He obtained the homestead and died there July 20, 1816. Their children so far as known were: John, Susanna, Joseph, Philip (Feb. 1, 1790 -May 12, 1885), Daniel, Elizabeth, Sybilla, Anna Margaret and Mary Magdalena. (7) John Jacob, born May 5, 1757, m. Barbara Zerbe, June 14, 1785. He died Oct. 22, 1822, his wife probably preceding him in death as she is not mentioned in his will. They had the following children so far as known: Catharine, Barbara, Daniel, Magdalena, Peter, Sarah, Adam and Susanna. (8) Christian, born June 16, 1760, m. Aug. 4, 1794, Catharine, daughter of Joseph Schneider. They had as far as known two children, Elizabeth and Catharine. (9) John Matthias, born April 16, 1762, m. (first) Magdalena Schneider, on May 25, 1790. After the death of his wife he m. (second), Sept. 10, 1797, Frederica Gottle. He died March 4, 1819, and his wife survived him.

(II) John Samuel Strauss, youngest child of Albrecht and great-grandfather of B. Morris, was born May 13, 1756. On Nov. 10, 1784, he married Catharine Elizabeth (born May 10, 1758), daughter of Balthaser and Maria Appalonia Umbenhauer, the owner of a large tract of land including the site of Bernville, Pa. He became the owner of the homestead by purchase on Aug. 5, 1784, whereon they resided all their life. He, as also did his cousin, John Philip, son of Philip, served actively in the Revolutionary struggle and was an influential and useful citizen of his locality. He died March 25, 1835, his wife having preceded him, Dec. 16, 1821. They had a family of thirteen children, viz.: John, the founder of Strausstown; Maria Magdalena, m. to Tobias Henne; John Philip (Sept. 26, 178-Feb 12, 1865); Samuel; Johanna, m. Samuel Greim; John Jacob (Nov. 23, 1788-Nov. 9. 1877); Elizabeth Strauss (Feb 21, 1790-Aug. 19, 1875), m. to Elias Redcay; Susanna; Joseph; John William (Oct 26, 1795-Oct 13, 1885); Catharine; Benjamin (April 30, 1800 -Dec.14, 1886); and Jonathan. This family was noted for their longevity.

(III) Benjamin Strauss, son of John Samuel, was born on the old homestead April 30, 1800, and at its division by John Samuel, his father, before his death, he was allotted a share thereof. He married on Dec. 12, 1829, Rebecca, daughter of Jacob and Juliana (Shellhammer) Long, born April 20, 1811. In his youth he lived in Virginia for some time. He returned to his native place and followed the trade of a tailor. He afterward purchased a large farm (the dwelling-house on which place, a large, commodious and substantial one and one-half story log building, was known in Colonial times as "Casper Snavely's Indian Fort," where a posse of soldiers were regularly stationed to protect the settlers during that perilous period) adjoining now Meckville, Bethel township, Pa., on which he resided the rest of his lifetime. His wife died Dec. 3, 1861. The had two sons, Percival Long and Joel.

(IV) Percival Long Strauss was the eldest son of Benjamin and is now living retired in Reading after an active life in the mercantile, building and lumber business. His wife, Malinda, who died on April 16, 1896, was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Ann (Batdorf) Smith, farmers of Bethel township. They were both descendants of the earliest settlers, his ancestors Smith, Eisenhauer, Fetterhaff and Heberling have been prominent at and during the making of the first white settlements in Bethel, while her ancestors Batdorf and Zeller came from Schoharie, New York, in 1723, and were of the leaders in the making of the first settlement at Tulpehocken. To Percival L.; and Malinda (Smith) Strauss were born twelve children: Harry, who died aged ten years; Sophia who died at thirty-five; J. Franklin a Lebanon county builder and contractor; Mary Ann and Emma Rebecca, at home; John, of Kansas City, Mo.; James a hotel-keeper, Reading; Lavina, wife of Dr. Frank W. Bucks, Reading; William, a merchant at Rehrerburg, Berks county; Elizabeth, wife of George Schreiner, at the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia; Percival S., a graduate of the West Chester State Normal School and the University of Pennsylvania, and now a teacher in the Philadelphia high school; and B. Morris. These children are all occupying responsible positions in life and are all living up to the record made by former generations.

(V) B. Morris Strauss was born on the family homestead in Bethel township, Sept. 20, 1855. He passed the early part of his boyhood on the home farm, securing the rudiments of his education in the common schools. Later he attended the Swatara Institute at Jonestown, and afterward the Millersville State Normal School. He finished his literary education at the Palatinate College, Myerstown; and taught school for a while afterward. Having decided on the law as a profession, he now took up its study with John Benson as his preceptor and on May 26, 1880, was admitted to the Lebanon County Bar. His admission to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania followed in 1885, and to the Supreme Court of the United States, Oct. 11, 1897. He became a member of the Berks County Bar in 1898. He is also admitted to practice in the Superior Court of the State. Mr. Strauss lived and practised his profession with success at Lebanon, where he was prominent in local affairs, having served a term as clerk of the water board of that city, and then located at Reading, where he has since maintained offices at No. 30 North Sixth street.

Mr. Strauss has been a lifelong Democrat, and takes an active interest in the political life of the city, county, and State. He is a member of the Hope Lutheran Church, and is interested in several societies which have for the object the preservation of family, county and national history. He is thus a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Berks County and the Lebanon County Historical Societies and the Pennsylvania German Society. In April, 1903, he with several others started a movement among the descendants of the two original emigrants, Albrecht and John Philip Strauss, to interest all the members of the family in a yearly reunion. All the meetings have proved a source of great pleasure to all and are always largely attended, the latest one have been held at Strausstown, founded by John Strauss, a grand-uncle of our subject. From the number of the members that have been gathered it is safe to estimate that the descendants of these two early emigrants number from 8,000 to 10,000, most numerously found in Berks and Schuylkill counties, yet settled in almost every State of the Union.

Mr. Strauss married (second) Miss Hannah S., daughter of Elwood S. and Sarah R. Layton, and they are the parents of one daughter, Anna Margaret.


p. 1057


Cameron E. Strauss, of the real estate firm of Strauss & Company, Reading, Pa., is a descendant of the Strauss family which settled Strausstown, Berks county. Two brothers came to America from Germany--John and Philip--as early as 1700, and took up large estates. Our subject's grandfather, Solomon, lived at Strausstown, and there spent his life in farming.

Joel S. Strauss, the father of Cameron E., was a merchant tailor at one time, and also followed farming near Strausstown, the land there still being in the possession of the family. He enlisted in the Civil war, and served gallantly throughout that long struggle, at the close of which he received his honorable discharge. He married Amelia R. Miller, daughter of William L. Miller, a marble dealer of Myerstown, and six children were born to this union, two of whom, Elizabeth and William, died in early childhood. The survivors are: Charles A., assistant superintendent of the Prudential Life, at Baltimore; Laura, wife of W. Wray, of Bridgeport, Conn.; Sallie K., wife of William Labe, of Myerstown; and Cameron E.

Cameron E. Strauss was born in Myerstown, May 5, 1869. He was educated in the public schools of Reading, graduating from the high school in 1886. He then became stenographer for C. H. Schaeffer, and drifted into the real estate business, trading as Strauss & Co., E. Carroll Schaeffer being the partner. Mr. Strauss is a member of the P. O. S. of A., the Knights of Friendship, the Sons of Veterans, and Isaac Hiester Lodge, No. 660, F. & A. M. In politics he is a Republican, and since January, 1891, has held five commissions as notary public.

Mr. Strauss married Minnie I. Schwartz, daughter of Charles and Carrie B. Schwartz, of Allentown, Pennsylvania.


p. 1108


James Strauss, a popular citizen of Reading, Pa., who is proprietor of the well known "Berkshire Hotel," was born in Bethel township, Berks county, in 18654, son of Percival L. Strauss, and was but four years of age when he went to Lebanon county with his father, there receiving his education.

After leaving school Mr. Strauss assisted his father in the hotel business until 1889, in which year he moved to Reading, and was employed for a period of fifteen years at the "Penn Hotel," his services being efficient and faithful. At the end of this time, May 9, 1904, Mr. Strauss took charge of the well known "Lafayette Hotel," Nos. 721-727 Franklin street, Reading, making many improvements and changing the name to that it now bears--the "Berkshire Hotel." Mr. Strauss has spared no pains to make this one of the finest hotels of its size in Reading, and many out-of-town visitors make the "Berkshire" their headquarters while in the city. Mr. Strauss is a genial and jovial host, and he has made many friends since coming to this city.

In 1894 Mr. James Strauss married Miss Catherine E. Franks, daughter of Alfred Franks, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere. Mr. and Mrs. Strauss are connected with the Reformed Church. He takes much interest in political matters, and casts his vote with the Democratic party.


p. 1449


Albert J. Strohecker, of Reading, who is proprietor of the Pennsylvania Rubber Tire Company, with office and factory located at Nos. 42-43 Moss street, was born in Reading April 27, 1880, son of J. A. and Emma (Brumbach) Strohecker.

J. A. Strohecker, whose death occurred in Reading Feb. 27, 1909, was born in Spring township, Berks county, seventy-two years ago. When a young man he learned the butchering business, which he followed in Reading until his retirement in 1896. He was a Lutheran in religious belief; and was a Democrat politically being prominent in the ranks of that party, having served as councilman from the Eighth ward, where he was very well and favorably known. He was a member of the park board for ten years. He is survived by these children: Mary, wife of Robert Wetherhold, of Reading; Edward, an employe of the city engineer's office in Reading; Emma, wife of Dr. Schlegel, a dentist of the city; and Albert J.

Albert J. Strohecker attended the public schools of Reading, after leaving which he engaged in learning the carriage building business. Acquainting himself thoroughly in all the branches of this trade, in 1897 he opened up the first rubber tire works in Reading, or, in fact, in Berks county, and in this line he has continued very successfully to the present time. He builds both heavy and light express wagons, and the excellent quality of the work has won him the confidence and patronage of the community.

Mr. Strohecker was married in 1903 to Miss Millie Hoskins, daughter of the late George H. Hoskins, and to this union there has been born one son, Albert J., Jr. In political matters Mr. Strohecker is a Democrat, like his father, but so far has given all of his time and attention to his growing business. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. He is connected with the Junior Fire Company.


p. 1390


John A. Strohecker, one of the foremost citizens of Reading, Pa., who is engaged in the painting and decorating business at No. 439 North Eleventh street, has also been prominent in the public life of the city, and was recently Democratic candidate from the Eleventh ward for the select council. Mr. Strohecker was born in Reading July 6, 1867, son of Edward and Ellen (Hafer) Strohecker.

Edward Strohecker, father of John A., was born in Reading, where for upward of thirty years he was engaged in the butchering business, retiring some years prior to his death. He was married to Ellen Hafer, and they became the parents of these children: Emma, who married Sherman Yeager; Rosa,, who married Jacob Custer; Sallie, who is single; John A.; and Edwin, who resides in Reading.

John A. Strohecker received his education in the public schools of his native city, after leaving which he learned the painter's trade with Edward Fasig, in whose employ he remained for four years. He then engaged in business on his own account at Phoenixville, Chester county, continuing there successfully for three years, at the end of which time he went to Oneonta, N. Y., and there spent a like period. On his return to Reading he established himself in business at No. 439 North Eleventh street, where he has one of the leading business houses of its kind in the city. A Democrat in politics, Mr. Strohecker has always been an unswerving supporter of his party's principles, and his enterprise and public spirit make him the leading candidate for the office he is seeking. He was one of the first members of Reading Encampment of Progressive Americans, No. 1, and is also connected with Mt. Penn Lodge, No. 65, Knights of Pythias. With his family he attends the Reformed Church.

In 1891 Mr. Strohecker was married to Annie Muringer, daughter of Sebastian and Matilda (Regenfuse) Muringer, of French ancestry, and one son has been born to this union, namely: Raymond.


p. 343

Surnames: STRONG

William Strong, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1870 to 1878, was born at Somers, Conn., May 6, 1808. When sixteen years of age he entered Yale College, and was graduated in 1828. He subsequently taught a classical and mathematical school, occupying his leisure hours in the study of the law, and so continued until February, 1832, when he entered the Law Department of Yale College. In October, 1832, he was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Connecticut; and in November of the same year he opened a law office at Reading, and made that place his residence. In political faith he was a Democrat, and as such served several terms as a member of the city councils and was one of the controllers of the public schools. In 1846 he was elected as the representative to Congress from the Berks county district and re-elected in 1848. In 1850, he declined a re-election and returned to the practice of his profession. In 1857, he was elected a judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the term of fifteen years, but he resigned this position Oct. 1, 1868, to resume the practice of his profession at Philadelphia. On Feb. 18, 1870, he was appointed by President Grant an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, which high position he held till 1878, when he was retired under the Act of Congress. While a resident of Reading he was for many years a director of the Farmers Bank. He was counsel for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company until he was elevated to the Supreme Bench. In religious faith he was a Presbyterian, and for many years a ruling elder. For several years he was one of the vice presidents of the American Bible Society and also of the American Sunday-school Union; and in 1873 he was elected president of the American Tract Society. He received in 1867 the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Lafayette College, at Easton, and in 1870 the same honorary diploma was granted him by Nassau Hall, Princeton, N. J., and also by his Alma Mater, Yale College. His remains were brought to Reading and buried in the Charles Evans Cemetery.


p. 1681


Edward Stroud, who for a number of years was engaged in the brick manufacturing and draying business in the city of Reading, passed away in that city, in 1878. Mr. Stroud was born Dec. 2, 1818, and received his education in the common schools. He worked his way up from a humble start, accumulating through honest methods a handsome competency. His brick yard was located on a property owned by Mrs. High, near where Simon Kline's brick yard is now located. Mr. Stroud was noted for his moral habits and his honesty and generosity. He was averse to liquor in any form, and used but sparingly of tobacco.

In 1844 Mr. Stroud was married to Susan Hettrick, who was born Aug. 20, 1820, daughter of Henry Hettrick, and the following children were born to this union: Catherine, wife of Penrose Brownbeck; Albert; Clara; Charles, deceased; Emily, Alice; Edward. Mr. and Mrs. Stroud were members of the Lutheran Church. In his political belief Mr. Stroud was a Democrat, but was not a radical, voting rather for the man than the party. He was a great lover of home and family, and had few or no connections with fraternal or secret societies. Mr. Stroud was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. Mrs. Stroud died Aug. 12, 1907.


p. 1050


John Stroup, a highly esteemed citizen of Wyomissing, Pa., where he now holds the position of school director, was born Jan. 14, 1870, at Harrisburg, Pa., son of John and Anna (Thomas) Stroup.

John Stroup, father of John, was born Jan. 1, 1818, in Mifflin county, Pa., and in his young manhood learned the trade of stair-builder, which he followed all of his life. He was a skilled mechanic, and did much work at the State Capitol at Harrisburg, becoming one of the best-known men in his line in this section of the country. A remarkable example of his skill is a large walnut sideboard upon which is carved the coat of arms of Pennsylvania, made by Mr. Stroup when seventy years old, and which is now one of the valued possessions of his son John. Mr. Stroup died at Reading Feb. 14, 1896, aged seventy-eight years, one month, thirteen days, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. He married Anna Thomas, born Nov. 3, 1838, who still survives her husband and makes her home with her son John, being well preserved both in body and mind. five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stroup, namely: Sallie T. m. George W. Francis, of Reading; Anna died young; Carrie M. m. William McClelland, formerly of New York and now of East Orange, N. J.; Herbert lives in Reading; and John.

John Stroup received his education in the schools of Reading, whither his parents had come when he was a child, and when only eleven years old he became an errand boy in the millinery establishment of J. K. Righter at No. 514 Penn street, where he remained two years. He then learned the book-binding trade with Charles F. Heller, with whom he also remained two years, and in 1885 entered the employ of C. K. Whitner, dry-goods merchant at Reading. The following year, 1886, Mr. Stroup became a salesman in the dress goods department of Kline & Eppihimer's dry goods establishment at No. 522 Penn street, Reading, and in 1891 was placed in charge of the silk department, a position which he has since occupied. He has entire charge of the buying of silks for the department, in which capacity he is called upon to exercise his knowledge of the business.

In 1895 Mr. Stroup located in Wyomissing, having formerly lived at No. 815 Front street, Reading, and on Sept. 18th of that year moved to his fine new residence, which he had erected in the spring. Mr. Stroup is a member and Past Master of Reading Lodge No. 549, F. & A. M. In politics he is an independent Republican, and became one of the first school directors of Wyomissing, serving in the office one year, and in February, 1907, he was elected to a full term of three years. He is a member of the Wyomissing Civic League, and was prominent in the incorporation of the town into a borough.

On Sept. 14, 1898, Mr. Stroup was married to Miss Jennie M. Cutler, estimable daughter of James Q. and Salinda (Homan) Cutler, of Reading, and to this union there had been born two bright children: Anna K. and Robert. C.


p. 1468


Jonathan M. Strouse, proprietor of the "Marion House," at Stouchsburg, is a native of Bethel township, Berks county, born Dec. 6, 1864, son of Joel and Elizabeth (Meck) Strouse.

Joel Strouse, the father, was also a native of Berks county, and he now rests from his earthly labors in the cemetery at Klopp's Church. He was a farmer, and became the owner of the farm to which he had come with his parents at the age of twelve years. In his political affiliations he was a Democrat. For many years he was an official of Klopp's church. He married Elizabeth Meck, daughter of Benjamin Meck, and they became the parents of ten children: Rebecca m. William Bensing; Benjamin m. Lydia Spannuth; Peter died aged twenty-one years; Willoughby died young; Jonathan M.; Alice m. Jacob Scholl; Jane m. Dr. William Holsburg; Charles m. Ida Smith; and Lizzie and Minnie both died young. The only ones now living are Benjamin, Jonathan M. and Charles.

Jonathan M. Strouse received such educational advantages as were afforded by the district school, and from his boyhood was familiar with the work of carrying on a farm. He remained at home until he was thirty-one years of age, and then moved to Reading, where for six years he was employed in the bolt and nut works. At the end of that time he returned to Bethel township, and became the proprietor of the "Black Bear Inn," a stand he conducted with great success for five years. In the spring of 1907 he assumed charge of the "Marion House" at Stouchsburg, which he had previously purchased. This contains sixteen rooms, all of which are newly furnished, and Mr. Strouse has twelve regular boarders, to say nothing of a good transient trade. He sets an excellent table, and is very popular with his guests.

Mr. Strouse is an ardent Democrat, and has been actively interested in the success of his party. He and his family are Reformed members of Klopp's Church, at Hamlin, Lebanon county.

Mr. Strouse married Kate Haas, daughter of J. P. T. Haas. To this union has been born one son, Robert P., a stenographer in the employ of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. Jonathan Haas, of Topton, grandfather of Mrs. Strouse, was a justice of the peace for many years, and was very favorably known all over the county.

J. P. T. Haas, the father of Mrs. Strouse, married Brigitta Kroninger, and their children were: Oliver, Orlando, Jonathan, Howard, Peter (deceased), Emma, Katie L., Annie, Maggie, and Ellenora (deceased).

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:23 EDT

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