Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery

Wahl, J. H. (DR.)

p. 740

Surnames: WAHL, KRICK, DREIBLE, ALBERT, SCHILT, SAYLOR, FAUST, HINNERSHITZ, ROTHENBERGER, GEISS, TODD, MOHN

Dr. J. H. Wahl, a successful medical practitioner, who has been in general practice in the city of Reading, Pa., since 1904, was born Aug. 19, 1859, in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks county, son of James and Rebecca(Krick) Wahl.

Michael Wahl, great-grandfather of the Doctor, settled in Alsace township, where he owned a farm and where the rest of his life was spent. He and his wife had the following children: John, Samuel, Jacob, Magdalena and Kate.

John Wahl, son of Michael, married Susannah Dreible, and to them were born children as follows: Samuel, Nicholas, John, Daniel, William, Abraham, Amos, James (the father of Dr. J. H.), Susannah and Henry. In religious belief the family were connected with the Reformed Church. Amos Wahl, son of John, married Mary Ann Albert, a native of Berks county, daughter of Henry Albert, and to them were born ten children: Ellen (m. Amos Schilt), John (m. Mary Saylor), Francis (m. Magdalena Faust), Mary (m. Reuben Hinnershitz), Emma (m. James Rothenberger), and five that died in infancy.

James Wahl, son of John, was born in Berks county, and there followed his trade of blacksmith, also operating a small farm in Lower Heidelberg township. He died at West Reading, Feb. 4, 1905, aged seventy-three years. His wife, Rebecca Krick, who is still living, resides at West Reading, and is sixty-nine years old. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wahl, of whom two grew to maturity: Katie A. m. Morris Geiss, and has two children- Florence and Raymond; and Dr. J. H. The family were members of the Reformed Church.

Dr. J. H. Wahl received his early education in the common schools of his native place and Brunner's Scientific Academy, and on June 25, 1883, graduated from the Keystone State Normal School. He commenced teaching in Berks county, and later taught in Lancaster county, in all nine years, two years of which were spent in the Boyertown high school. He read medicine with Dr. Samuel M. Todd, and entered the University of Michigan, and later the Medical College of Indiana, at Indianapolis. His first field of practice was the town of Adamstown, Lancaster county, where he spent four years, the next thirteen years being at Grantville, Dauphin county. In 1904 he located on West Oley street, Reading, where he has since been located in a general practice. Dr. Wahl is a member of the Medical Staff of St. Joseph Hospital, Reading.

In 1891, Dr. Wahl married Annie R. Mohn, daughter of William Mohn, and to this union there have been born two children, one dying in infancy, and Ethel Pauline, who is attending school. Dr. Wahl is a Democrat in politics, and while living in Dauphin county was for eight years county physician. He is connected with the Reformed Church, while Mrs. Wahl is a member of the United Evangelical Church.


WALBERT, LEVI ALFRED

p. 918

Surnames: WALBERT, BENNER, RITTER, LENTZ, HEFFNER, WERT, HOLBEN, DORNBLASER, HARBINE, HISER

Levi Alfred Walbert, residing at Topton, where he is successfully conducting a grain, coal and lumber business, has a similar establishment at Hancock Station on the same line of railroad. He was born in Lehigh county, Pa., Nov. 27, 1857, son of Levi and Mary Ann (Benner) Walbert.

Jacob Walbert, grandfather of Levi Alfred, was a farmer who resided at Hynemansville, Lehigh Co., Pa. He died there and was buried at Zeigler's Church. He had a large family but all are deceased.

Levi Walbert, son of Jacob, owned the old homestead, on which he died aged fifty-six years. He married Mary Ann Benner, a daughter of George Benner, and they had the following children: Diana (deceased) married (first) Ephraim Ritter and (second) Stephen Lentz; Isabella (deceased) m. Manoa Heffner; Milton m. Susan Wert; Levi A.; and Mary Alice m. Dr. Frank Holben.

Formerly Levi Alfred Walbert owned the old homestead, but he has sold that property and for some years has been engaged in his present enterprise. He is a good business man and is prosperous. He married Arabella Dornblaser, daughter of Benjamin Dornblaser, and they have five children, namely: Levi (m. Sallie Harbine, and has had three children - Earl, Mary and Lulu, the last named deceased); Mamie (unmarried); Thomas (m. Menerva Hiser); Clistie and Paul. Mr. Walbert is a member of Zeigler's Reformed Church. He belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles.


WALLEY, SAMUEL N.

p. 1065

Surnames: WALLEY, WALLEIGH, LOCKHARDT, FREDERICKS, REINOEHL

Samuel N, Walley, one of Reading's successful and representative business men, was born June 10, 1871, at Reading, son of Samuel Walley, a member of one of the old families of Chester county. The name was formerly spelled Walleigh.

Samuel Walley was born in Chester county, Pa., but for many years was engaged in business at Reading, conducting a large grocery store in this city, in association with his sons. He died March 16, 1909. Mr. Walley married Miss T. Jane Lockhardt, and of their children are living: George William; Samuel N.; Charles H., also in the grocery business; and Mary E., wife of John S. Fredericks, who is in business in Reading.

Samuel N. Walley attended school in his native city until the age of fifteen years, and then accepted a position as clerk in a tea and coffee store, later filled the same position as manager of the Reading Branch, and subsequently became concerned with his brother in the grocery business, the firm being C. H. Walley & Bro. They have very suitably fitted business houses located respectively on the corner of Fifth and Elm streets, at No. 246 South Fifth street, and at No. 300 South Tenth street. Their business was one of the most extensive in the city, but Mr. Samuel N. Walley has disposed of his grocery business and is now interested in a real estate and building business , and owns two apartment houses, one located at Fifth and Elm, and the other at No. 133 South Eighth street.

My Walley married T. Elmira Reinoehl, daughter of the late William H. Reinoehl, formerly a large hat manufacturer at Reading, and they have one son, Harold R. Mr. and Mrs. Walley are members of Grace United Evangelical Church, in which Mr. Walley is a trustee, steward and superintendent of the Sunday school.


WALTER, ROBERT (DR.)

p. 504

Surnames: WALTER, LIPPINCOTT, BETTS, VODDEN, KITCHEN

Picture of Robert WalterDr. Robert Walter, founder and proprietor of "The Walter Sanitarium," near Wernersville, in Berks county, the largest and most successful health resort in Pennsylvania, was born Feb. 14, 1841, in Canada (township of Esquesing, county of Halton, Province of Ontario). He received his early education in the township schools and afterward by his own efforts. When fourteen years old, he entered a store as clerk and filled the position successfully for a year, after which he was employed as cashier and bookkeeper in a large tannery, where he continued until the chief employer died one year afterward. Notwithstanding his youth, the interested parties retained him to settle up the estate, which he accomplished satisfactorily; and his grandfather dying he was requested to administer his estate also, and this he did in such manner as to lead to the settlement of other estates. For a year he was assistant Division court clerk and then he directed his attention to teaching in the public schools for several years; and learning stenography, he followed this occupation for some time, being employed for a while in the land office of the Northern Pacific Railroad company at New York.

During much of this time he was more or less of an invalid, with the chances for continued life against him, and though his case was regarded as hopeless he nevertheless finally recovered. He attributed his recovery to a course of treatment which he himself had originated, and which had come to be everywhere employed in the sanitarium. The results so encouraged him that he resigned his position in the land office and devoted himself to a more complete study of medicine, to which he had devoted much labor for several years.

In 1872, he married Eunice C. Lippincott, of Dirigo, Maine (a graduated physician from Hygeio- Therapeutic College of New York in 1865), and accompanied by his wife located in New Jersey, where he delivered lectures on mental science, a subject which had received a great deal of his attention for a number of years. He attended a course of medical lectures in the college from which his wife was graduated; and he too was graduated from the institution in 1873. Upon his graduation he took charge of a sanitarium and mountain home in Franklin county, Pa., and while serving this position he was invited to visit Berks county and carry on a health resort on South Mountain, near Wernersville. He accepted this invitation, and leasing the place, conducted it successfully for three years. During this time he abandoned the water-cure idea and originated the sanitarium treatment, as it is now understood.

Toward the termination of his lease, Dr. Walter decided to start an establishment of his own, and in 1876 began the erection of the first institution in this, and it is believed the first in any, county, devoted to the treatment of invalids and preservation of the health of well people by purely sanitary methods. This building was erected on South Mountain, one mile south of Wernersville, and he moved into it in May, 1877, his success already established becoming still more pronounced, and has continued without interruption for thirty-five years. His patronage almost from the first came from all parts of the United States, and his establishment necessarily grew with his patronage until it became on of the famous resorts of the country. Now it is admittedly the largest, most complete and most successful sanitarium in Pennsylvania.

The institution comprises a number of contiguous, substantial stone building, five stories in height, 350 feet long, and numerous tracts of farming and woodland, which altogether cover 500 acres. It is thoroughly equipped with all modern conveniences and appliances. The view in the rear along and about the mountain sides is picturesque, but the extensive view in front, reaching from the mountains of Reading in the east to the hills of Lebanon county in the west, a distance of thirty miles, and from the South Mountain across the rolling fields and hills of the Tulpehocken, Schuylkill and Ontelaunee Valleys to the Blue Mountains, a varying distance of from twenty to forty miles, with all the growing towns, rich enterprises and internal improvements is indescribably grand.

During the great development of his sanitarium and his sanitary methods, Dr. Walter was also intellectually a thoughtful and busy man, for he published a monthly journal of health, numerous pamphlets relating to sanitary topics, an octavo volume of 320 pages entitled "Vital Science," and a large octavo volume of 300 pages entitled "The Exact Science of Health," the latter being based upon the same principles that have made astronomy and chemistry to be regarded as among the exact sciences.

Besides graduating from the Hygeio-Therapeutic College of New York in 1873, Dr. Walter took a special course of lectures in Hahnemann Medical College at Philadelphia, and was graduated from institution in 1888.

Dr. Walter and his wife have five children: Maud M.; Robert L. (M. Alice Betts); Mabel H.; Estella M.; and Earnest A. The first two are graduated physicians. His wife and the first three children from the time of quitting school have co-operated most earnestly with him in the successful development of his great sanitarium.

His father was George Walter, of Devonshire, England, by occupation a farmer and by relationship connected with the Walter family of southern England. He married Elizabeth Vodden, a daughter of Robert Vodden, also of Southern England. They emigrated to Canada in 1837, and to Ontario in 1839, thus being among the pioneers of that section. He died in 1892, at the age of eighty-four years; and his wife died in 1884 at the age of sixty eight. They had ten children: William, John, George, Robert, Sarah, Mary, Albert Lorenzo, Elizabeth, Frances Amelia, Augusta, and Emma Maria. Mrs. Walter is the daughter of John Lippincott and Sarah Kitchen, his wife. John Lippincott's father was Jacob Lippincott, of Shrewsbury, N. J., who being a Friend and conscientiously opposed to war, migrated to Nova Scotia to avoid Revolutionary operations. Jacob Lippincott was of the same lineage as the numerous Lippincotts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


WALTER, ROBERT F.

p. 1159

Surnames: WALTER

Robert F. Walter, a carpenter at Reading, was born in that city Nov. 4, 1871, and there he spent his boyhood days. In 1879 his parents moved to Gettysburg, Adams county, and there, too, he attended school, completing his education at the age of eighteen years. He then learned the carpenters trade, and followed it for six years. On June 2, 1898, he enlisted in the Second United States Cavalry, and was sent to Fort McPherson, Ga., remaining there until June 28th, when he was sent to Tampa, Fla., and assigned to Troop A, going then to Fernandina, Fla. From that point the regiment was sent to Montauk Point, L. I., where Mr. Walter was taken sick, and was sent home on furlough, being discharged while home Nov. 7, 1898. He re-enlisted Jan. 24, 1899, and was sent to Huntsville, Ala., being returned to Troop A, Second United States Cavalry. He served until Jan. 23, 1902, and in that time he went to Cuba, and remained three years and three months at Matanzas. On Jan. 23, 1900, he was promoted to corporal, and on March 6, 1901, to sergeant, and he was discharged at Matanzas, Jan. 23, 1902. The next day he re-enlisted in the same troop, and served in Cuba until April 24, 1902, when the troop was sent to Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., remaining there until Dec. 18, 1903, when they were ordered to the Philippine Islands, embarking from New York Dec. 20, 1903, and arriving at Manila Feb. 18, 1904. They served in the Islands until Dec. 15, 1904, when they embarked for San Francisco, where they arrived Jan. 15, 1905, and on Jan. 31, 1905, they were discharged at Angel Island, California. Since that date Mr. Walter has been in Berks county, and has been engaged in carpenter work at Wyomissing. His brother, William A. Walter, also lives in Wyomissing.


WALTER, WILLIAM A.

p. 1318

Surnames: WALTER, BENNER, RAHN, SLATHAUER, HIESTER, LEASE, SNYDER, PORTER, BIGLER, PACKER, CURTIN, GEARY, BUNTING, RUSSEL, DEVINNEY, KELLER, BAHR, BOWSER, MILLER

William A. Walter, who is well-known to the citizens of Wyomissing, Berks county, as a prominent architect and builder, was born in Reading, Pa., April 15, 1866, son of Col. William F. and Julia (Benner) Walter.

Adam Walter, grandfather of William A., was born in 1800, at Gettysburg, Adams Co., Pa., and there resided all his life, dying in 1840, and being buried in the Evergreen cemetery. He was a tailor by trade, and owned several properties in addition to his home. Adam Walter was a tall, well proportioned man. He was a leader in Democratic politics and a pillar in the Lutheran Church. He married Polly Rahn, of Leesport, and their children were: William F.; Matilda, m. to a Mr. Slathauer, of Gratiot, Wis.; Charles, of Biglerville, Pa.; Sophia, M. to Gabriel O. Hiester, of Reading; Jesse, a soldier who died on the way home from the Mexican war in 1848; James of Gettysburg; Mary, m. to John B. Lease, of Gettysburg; and John, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Col. William F. Walter, father of William A., was born March 18, 1821, at Gettysburg, Pa., where some years later he graduated from Gettysburg College. For three terms he taught school at Hiester's Mill, in Bern township, and in 1857 he located in Berks county, where he made his home until 1879. At this time he went to Gettysburg, but subsequently, in 1891, he located in Reading, and there died at his home, No. 231 North Third street, early in 1904, interment being made in Evergreen cemetery, Gettysburg. Col. Walter was a man of more than ordinary intelligence. He clerked for many years in law offices in Reading, where he was exceedingly popular, and in addition he held the position of store keeper for the Government. Col. William F. Walter married Julia Benner, daughter of Christian and Susan (Snyder) Benner, on whose land the battle of Gettysburg was begun. Nine children, all sons, were born to them, namely: Henry, who died aged six years; Oliver, unmarried and at home; Christian, who died when three years old; William A., Simon, of East Berlin, Pa.; Edward, who died aged two years; Robert, unmarred and at home, John, of Reading; and Paul, of Wyomissing.

Col. William F. Walter won his title through a long military career in the service of the State and of the nation. When a young man he entered the militia in Adams county, and was appointed Aug.3, 1842, by Gov. David R. Porter, captain of the 3d company, 80th Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, 2d Brigade, 5th Division, composed of the counties of York and Adams, until Aug. 3, 1849. He was commissioned June 28, 1854, by Gov. William Bigler, brigadier general of the 2d Brigade, 4th Division, Uniformed Militia of the county of Adams, State of Pennsylvania, his commission expiring the first Monday in June, 1859. He was elected captain of Independent Riflemen of the Uniformed Militia of Pa., 2d Brigade, 4th Division, counties of York and Adams, from June 19, 1858, to the third Monday in August, 1859. Gov. William F. Packer, commissioned him brigadier general of the 2d Brigade, 4th Division, Uniformed Militia, counties of York and Adams from June 6, 1859, to the first Monday of June 1864. Gov. Andrew Curtin commissioned him captain of Company H, 104th Pa. V. I., to rank as such from Sept. 22, 1861, and this he was obliged to resign Nov. 3, 1862, on account of wounds received in knee and ankle at the battle of Fair Oaks, Va. Gov. Curtin again commissioned him captain, this time of Company A. 42d Pennsylvania Militia, June 3, 1863, and he was mustered out Aug. 11, 1863. Gov. Curtin commissioned him a third time, making him lieutenant colonel of the 205th Pa. V. I., Sept. 2, 1864. He was made brigadier general by brevet April 2, 1865, and was mustered out with his regiment June 2. 1865, receiving his honorable discharge at Alexandria, Va. Gov. John W. Geary appointed him captain of the First Reading Rifles, Uniformed Militia of Pennsylvania, 5th Division, composed of the counties of Berks, Lebanon and Dauphin, Feb. 23, 1869. He was made deputy marshal for the eastern district of the United States for Berks county, Pa., July 12, 1867. Col. Walter was a member of the Corporal Skelly Post, No. 9, G. A. R. of Gettysburg.

William Walter was reared in Reading, where he attended the public school, after leaving which he worked on a farm at Gettysburg, Adams county, for two years. When twenty years old, Mr. Walter learned the carpenter's trade at Gettysburg, and three years later when to Illinois, where he spent five years at that occupation. Mr. Walter came to Reading in 1894, and in 1904 became engaged exclusively in contracting, which he has followed with much success. He has erected twenty buildings in Wyomissing and Pottstown, most of these being dwellings, including some of the finest structures in those borough. He built two fine residences, one of brick and the other pebble dashed, at Pottstown; made the plans and superintended the building of the Tri-County Bank at Pottstown; erected two double houses for William M. Bunting, treasurer of the Security Company of Pottstown; made the plans and superintended the construction of two residences for Paul Russel, of Stow, Pa.; one for Miss Jennie DeVinney, of Pottstown; the residence of Rudolph Keller, of the Pottstown Brewing Company; the Jacob S. Bahr residence; the Warwick Iron and Steel Company building; and the Searles Knitting Mills building, the latter a two-story brick structure, 40 x 150 feet. Mr. Walter erected the first house at Wyomissing in 1896, and was instrumental in the organization of the borough in 1907.

Mr. Walter married, Dec. 23, 1895, Annie E. Bowser, daughter of Joseph and Lydia (Miller) Bowser, of East Berlin, Pa., and three children have been born to this union: Grace M., Ester M. and George J. In politics Mr. Walter is a Republican, and fraternally is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. With his family he attends St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.


WANNER, ABRAM K. (M. D.)

p. 1557

Surnames: WANNER, KISSINGER, ROTHERMEL, REESER, REIGEL, GRING, HARTMAN, DUNKLEBERGER, LAMM

Abram K. Wanner, M. D., physician and surgeon, whose selected field of practice is the city of Reading, has made such a success of his profession as to make him of great value to the residents of his city. He was born July 24, 1870, near Reading, in Spring township Berks county, son of Daniel R. and Abalonia (Kissinger) Wanner.

Daniel Wanner, grandfather of Dr. Abram K., was reared and educated in the schools of Berks county, and was a brick dealer and farmer, one of his farms being situated at Red Bridge, on Tulpehocken Creek. His residence was in Spring township, near Reading. On retiring from active business life he located in West Reading, where his death occurred in his seventy-third year. Daniel Wanner married, June 10, 1835, Elizabeth Rothermel, born Dec. 2, 1816, by whom he had these children: John; Sarah, m. to Jacob Reeser; Jacob; Daniel R.; Catherine, m. to Frank Reigel; William; Frank R.; Emma, m. Calvin Gring; Mary, m. Milton Gring; and George R. Mr. and Mrs. Wanner were members of the Reformed Church. In politics Mr. Wanner is a Democrat.

Daniel R. Wanner, father of Abram K., was a farmer by occupation and lives at Riverside. He married Abalonia Kissinger, and to them there were born four children: Abram K., m. to Caroline Hartman; Elizabeth Alice, m. to Daniel I. Dunkleberger; Anna L., m. to David A. Lamm; and Daniel L., who died in infancy.

Abram K. Wanner was educated in the public schools of Bern township, and graduated from the Reading Business College in 1890. He later attended the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pa., after leaving which he taught school for four years. In 1894, after having read medicine for some time, he entered the Jefferson Medical College, being graduated therefrom in 1898, when he immediately began the practice of his chosen profession at the place where he is still located. His practice, which is large and lucrative, evidences the confidence of his many patients and the success he has attained in his profession.

Dr. Wanner was married in 1896 to Miss Caroline Hartman, and to them there have come one child, Arthur B., who was born March 28, 1895. Dr. and Mrs. Wanner are members of the Reformed Church. The Doctor is connected with the city, county, State and national medical associations, and is a member of the surgical staff of the Reading Hospital. He was made a Mason, Aug.5, 1901, in Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., and belongs to the Royal Arch Chapter; Reading commandery No 42, K. T.; and Rajah Temple. A. A. O. N. M. S. He is medical examiner for the Sun Life Insurance Company, of Canada, the Brotherhood of Railroad Firemen, the Hartford Life Insurance Company, and others.


WANNER, DANIEL R.

p 1563

Surnames: WANNER, ROTHERMEL, KISSINGER, HILL, HARTMAN, DUNKLEBERGER, LAMM

Daniel R. Wanner, a highly esteemed resident of Reading, Pa., who for the past fifteen years has been a caretaker at the Charles Evans cemetery, belongs to one of the best known families of the city. Mr. Wanner was born Oct. 21, 1843, at Temple, Maiden-creek township Berks county, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Rothermel) Wanner.

Daniel Wanner, a respected citizen of Spring township, followed agricultural pursuits in that locality all of his life. He died in 1888, at the age of seventy-two years, and his burial took place at Sinking Spring. His wife died in 1894, at the age of seventy-five years, and she was laid to rest beside her husband. They had these children: John, Sarah, Jacob, Daniel R., Catherine (deceased), William R., Frank R., Emma, Mary and George R. The family all belong to the Reformed Church. In politics Mr. Wanner was a Democrat.

Daniel R. Wanner was educated in the schools of Maiden-creek township, and was reared on the home farm where he continued for several years after his majority. For the past fifteen years he has been caretaker at the Charles Evans cemetery. He is a highly respected citizen, and one whose duties in life have always been performed according to the best of his ability.

Mr. Wanner married Abalonia Kissinger, daughter of Abraham and Abalonia (Hill) Kissinger, a history of whom appears elsewhere. Mr. and Mrs. Wanner have four children: Abram K. m. Caroline Hartman, daughter of Absalom and Caroline Hartman, and has one child, Arthur; Elizabeth Alice m. Daniel Irvin Dunkleberger (of Riverside, an employe at the Philadelphia & Reading shops, and member of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.), and has four children-Ralph, Irene, William and Paul; Anna L. m. David A. Lamm (of Riverside, and employe of Swift & Co., at Reading, and member of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M., and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.); and one child died young. Mr. and Mrs. Wanner are members of the Reformed Church. In politics he is a Democrat


WANNER, ELMER E.

p. 684

Surnames: WANNER, MOYER, ZIEGLER, METZGAR, SHERIDAN, SCHAEFFER, STIEF, FREY

Elmer E. Wanner, senior member of the firm of Wanner & Stief, hatters, at Reading, was born in 1861 in Kutztown, Berks county, son of Peter C. and Sarah (Moyer) Wanner.

Peter C. Wanner was born in Kutztown, and as a boy worked on a farm. Later he owned a farm and tannery one-half mile from Kutztown, which he operated until his retirement some years before his death, in 1899, in his seventy-sixth year. Their four children were: John; Elmer E.; Ellen, m. to J. C. Ziegler; and Ida, m. to P. A. Metzgar. In religious belief the family were connected with the Reformed Church. Mr. Wanner was a Democrat in political faith.

Elmer E. Wanner was educated in the schools of Maxatawny township and the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, after leaving which he clerked in W. W. Sheridan's boot and shoe store for two years. He then went to Goshen, Ind., to accept a position in his brother John's leather establishment, where he remained four years. He then returned to his native county, and in 1883 secured a position in J. B. Schaeffer's wholesale hat house as traveling representative, covering the entire State of Pennsylvania, and continued with that firm for seventeen years. On Dec. 1, 1900, Mr. Wanner formed a partnership with A. J. Stief, and since that time they have carried on a prosperous hat business at No. 605 Penn street. The firm's first class line of goods finds a ready sale in the retail houses of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Wanner is considered one of the good, substantial citizens of Reading. He is fraternally connected with Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M.; the B. P. O. E., No. 115, Reading; and the Americus Club.

In 1897 Mr. Wanner was married to Mary Frey. They attend the Reformed Church. In political matters he is a Democrat.


WANNER FAMILY

p. 612

Surnames: WANNER, DREIBELBIS, BURGHART, ANGOSTADT, ROTHERMEL, REDINGER, CHRIST, BROWN, LEIS, ALBRIGHT, ADAMS, HECKMAN, SCHWARTZ, BIEHL, BOWER, SHARADIN, MERTZ, ZIEBER, MOYER, HILBERT, SELL, BOWER, DECH, LESH, HERITH, MERKEL, HASKEL, LEIBY, WERTZ, KELCHNER, SHEIRER, SCHAEFFER

The Wanner family was one of a half dozen families who came from the southwestern section of Germany or Switzerland prior to 1740, and settled in Richmond township, Berks Co., Pa., Old settlers, tradition, appearance and descendants of these families who are posted on genealogy, in many cases confirm the idea that they were Palatinates, who accepted the Christian religion before they came to the New World.

(I) Martin Wanner, the emigrant ancestor of this old family, came from Germany in the fall of 1733. He had six children, namely: Christian, of whom we have no record; Jacob, who married Mary Elizabeth Dreibelbis, and had issue, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Peter, Magdalena and Mary; Peter; Margaret, who married a Burghart; Mrs. Muthart; and Mrs. Angostadt.

(II) Peter Wanner, son of Martin the emigrant, was thrice married. He m. (first) Catherine Rothermel, and they had six children, as follows: (1) Daniel is mentioned below. (2) Jacob is not mentioned in the records. (3) Peter m. Catharine Redinger, and had seven children - Martin, m. to Hannah Christ; Anna and William, unmarried; Peter, m. to a Brown; Elizabeth, m. to Charles Leis, and mother of seven children; Isaac; and Esther. (4) Thomas m. Rebecca Albright, and had three children - Susanna, m. to John Adams, and had two children who died in infancy; and Mary and Peter, who are unmarried. (5) Cabilla was married, but we have no record of either her or her family. (6) Esther m. a Heckman, and had three children - George, Aaron and Esther. Peter Wanner m. (second) a Miss Schwartz, and by her had three children, all of whom died in infancy. He m. (third) Magdalena Dreibelbis, and they were the parents of John Wanner, the grandfather of Solon A. Wanner.

(III) John Wanner m. Elizabeth Biehl, daughter of Christian Biehl, and to this union were born the following children: Maria, born May 6, 1811, m. into the Sharadin family; Anna, born Feb. 4, 1813, m. into the Mertz family; Ephraim, born Feb. 4, 1815, died young; William, born Feb. 22, 1817, is a farmer; John Daniel is mention below; Joel B., born March 5, 1821, a graduate of the Franklin and Marshall College, a lawyer, and during the Civil war a major in the Union army, m. into the Zieber family; Peter Christian, born Mary 24, 1823, m. a Moyer; John Charles, born Jan. 22, 1825, is a successful china merchant in Philadelphia; Charles H., born Sept. 3, 1827, a doctor, m. into the Hilbert family; Elizabeth, born Oct. 13, 1829, m. a Humbert; Amos, born Dec. 25, 1831, a lawyer and a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, m. into the Zieber family; and Henry, born March 28, 1834, is a tanner and currier, and is unmarried. John Wanner, the father, was a prominent politician, and served several terms in the Legislature.

(IV) John Daniel Wanner, father of Solon A., was born near Kutztown, in Maxatawny township, Berks Co., Pa., Feb. 20, 1819. He m. Elizabeth, daughter of Jonas and Elizabeth (Sell) Bower, and to them were born these children: (1) Llewellyn, a graduate of the Franklin and Marshall College, was a member of the Reading Bar, and after a successful career in Reading he went to Goshen, Ind., with his family, where he practised law until his death. He m. Catherine M. Dech, of Allentown, Lehigh Co., Pa., and to this union were born four children: Kate Laneta, m. to Joseph H. Lesh, a lumber merchant of Chicago, Ill., has one daughter, Kathrine; Lulona Elizabeth, m. to Edward Herith, a piano dealer in Indianapolis, Ins., has two daughters; William Ralph married Carrie-------; and Gertrude Bower m. a Mr. Haskel, of Goshen, Ind. (2) Clara E. m. Wilson R. Merkel, of Lenhartsville, son of George Merkel, an iron master of that place. The only child of this union was a daughter who died at birth, the mother passing away at the same time, April 10. 1882. (3) Solon A. is mentioned below.

(V) Solon A. Wanner was born Nov. 13, 1850, and spent his boyhood days in Kutztown. There he attended the public schools and later entered the Keystone State Normal School, in 1868 taking the regular course at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N., Y. graduating therefrom in 1869. After his return to Kutztown he became a clerk in the Peabody Bank under his father, and four years later entered the employ of the Farmers State Bank, of Goshen, Ind. He remained there for three years, and then on account of the age of his parents he returned home, and engaged in business on Main street, conducting a branch office for the Keystone and Farmers' National Banks of Reading, Pa. He later engaged in the cigar and tobacco business, but is now yeoman. In 1905 he was called as an expert accountant to examine and audit the accounts of the county alms house, which duty he performed with great credit. Besides being a good business man Mr. Wanner is a musician of some note.

On Sept. 10, 1885, Mr. Wanner was married to Mary A. Leiby, daughter of Alfred and Susan (Wertz) Leiby, and to this union were born children: Lee, a telegraph operator; Vernon; Daniel, an expert electrician at the Locomotive works at Huntington, W. Va., and a clever musician; and Clara Mary, a bright and accomplished daughter, who is now teaching school.


(III) Daniel Wanner, son of Peter and great-grandfather of Charles A. Wanner, married and became the father of three children, Samuel, Thomas and Jacob.

(IV) Samuel Wanner, son of Daniel, was a farmer and miller, and erected a number of grist mills, among which was the Leinbach mill in Fleetwood. He was very prosperous, owning an excellent farm of 100 acres in Richmond township. He was a member of the Reformed Church of St. Paul, of Fleetwood. In politics he was a Democrat. He m. Anna Albright, and to them were born children as follows: Daniel A., a farmer in Alsace township; Thomas A., now retired, who was an iron worker, having a forge in Chester county; Peter A., retired drover; John A., deceased; and Lewis A.

(V) Lewis A. Wanner was a well known and prosperous business man of Fleetwood, and a member of the firm of Schaeffer, Wanner & Co. He m. Hettie Kelchner, daughter of Jacob and Ann (Sheirer) Kelchner, and to this union were born the following children: Katie, wife of Marvin Moyer, a dealer in wall papers at Quakertown Pa.; Isaac, deceased; Annie, m. to Henry D. Schaeffer, or Reading; Charles A; Elizabeth, who resides with he mother in Fleetwood; Lewis A., a student in the Department of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania; and Oliver B., a student at Albright College.

(VI) Charles Albright Wanner was born Aug. 25, 1876, and received his primary education in the public schools of the place of his nativity, later attending the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. Later he attended Albright College, at Myerstown, Lebanon county, and graduated from that institution in 1895. The senior partner in his father's business retired, and the present firm, that of Schaeffer, Wanner & Co., was formed consisting of Charles A. Wanner, and Llewellyn D. and Webster D. Schaeffer, the two latter being sons of George B. Schaeffer, ex- sheriff of Berks county. The new firm has thus far been very successful.

Charles A. Wanner is a Republican in politics. In religion he is connected with the United Evangelical Church. Besides other business interests he is a member of the hosiery manufacturing firm of Madeira & Wanner of Fleetwood. He is an honorable and public-spirited citizen, and a representative man of his community.


WANNER, FRANK R.

p.907

Surnames: WANNER, DREIBELBIS, BURGHART, MUTHART, ANGOSTADT, ROTHERMEL, WILLIAMS, MILLER , RIEGEL

Frank R. Wanner, now living retired from active work in West Reading, is a native of Spring township, born Feb. 5, 1853.

The first of the family to come to America was Michael Wanner, who left his home in Germany in 1733. He had six children, namely: Christian; Jacob (m. Mary Elizabeth Dreibelbis); Peter (m. Magdalena Dreibelbis); Margaret (m. A Burghart); Mrs. Muthart; and Mrs. Angostadt. On coming to America Michael Wanner settled in Richmond township. Old settlers, as well as those who have delved deeply into genealogical records, claim that the Wanners were Huguenots and of French descent, the early home being in Alsace-Lorraine, whence they went into Bavaria.

Daniel Wanner, father of Frank R., was a respected citizen of Spring township, and he devoted his active years to farming. He died Jan. 11, 1888, aged seventy-three years, ten months and twenty-three days, and was buried at Sinking Spring. His wife, Elizabeth Rothermel, , died Feb. 18, 1894, aged seventy-seven years, two months and sixteen days. Their children were: John, Sarah (deceased), Daniel R., Catherine (died June 14, 1897), William, Frank R., Emma, Mary and George. The children were all reared in the faith of the Reformed church. Daniel Wanner, the father was a Democrat.

Frank R. Wanner, son of Daniel and the subject of this sketch, spent his boyhood upon his father's farm, on which he worked until he was of age. He then began farming it for himself, so continuing for seven years. In 1893 he came to West Reading, and in 1895 he erected his large brick residence on Penn avenue, where he makes his home. This is a beautiful three-story brick dwelling, tastefully furnished, and surrounded by a well-kept lawn.

In his political principles Mr. Wanner is a stanch Democrat, and he has taken an active interest in party work. On Nov. 6, 1888, he was elected jury commissioner of Berks county, receiving the remarkable vote of 17,987, and in this office he served most acceptably for three years. With his family he belongs to the Reformed congregation in Sinking Spring. He is a man who can count his friends by the number of his acquaintances, and he bears an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity.

On Feb. 14, 1875, Mr. Wanner married Emma Williams, born Feb. 13, 1856, daughter of Conrad and Mary Ann (Miller) Williams. She died Nov. 14, 1895, leaving one daughter, Lillie Medora, who married William H. Riegel, a clerk in Obold's hardware store, and has three children, Marion E., Helen C. and William F. Mr. and Mrs. Riegel reside with Mr. Wanner, keeping his home bright and cheerful.


WANNER, JACOB

p. 1453

Surnames: WANNER, KIEFFER, HELFRICH, MILLER, SCHLEGEL, RESSLER, ADAM, KUTZ, SCHUCKER, STEIN, HEFFNER, SPOHN, SPANGLER, REESER, BERGER

Jacob Wanner, of Maxatawny township, was born April 2, 1845, and is the fourth in direct line to bear the name Jacob. The Wanner family came from the southwestern section of Germany, or from Switzerland, and family tradition, well corroborated by facts, says that they were of Jewish extraction. The first of the name to come to America was Michael Wanner, who settled in this locality in 1733, and was the progenitor of those bearing the name in Berks county.

The great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Jacob Wanner, and his son, Jacob Wanner (2), made his home in the vicinity of Fleetwood, where he was engaged in farming. He married and became the father of the following children: Jacob (3); Lena, m. to Peter Kieffer; Daniel, who settled in Exeter township; Betzy, m. to a Mr. Helfrich; Hannah, m. to Henry Miller; Peter, of Rockland township.

Jacob Wanner (3) was born in Richmond township in 1810, and he died in August, 1872, aged sixty-two years. He is buried at St. Peter's Church in Richmond, of which he was an official member. In his earlier life he was a farmer, but later he engaged in the building business at Fleetwood, where he continued for five years. At the end of that time he again engaged in farming. He owned a farm of 140 acres near Moselem, and another near Virginville, in Perry township, of 140 acres. He was well known and at his death left an estate valued at $30,000. He married Barbara Schlegel, daughter of Henry Schlegel, of Richmond township. Their children were: John, of Perry township; Catharine, m. to Reuben Ressler, both deceased; Elizabeth, who died unmarried; Lydia, m. to Lazarus Adam, both deceased; Esther and Peter, twins, of whom the former m. the late Jacob Kutz, and the latter resides in Kirbyville; Miss Sarah; Jacob (4); Daniel, of Richmond township; Amanda, deceased, m. to Urias Schucker of Richmond township; William, who died young; Susan, who died unmarried; and Mary, deceased, m. to Jacob Stein.

Jacob Wanner (4) was reared to farming on his father's estate, and this calling he has followed all his life. He continued for his parents until he was twenty-one years old, and the farmed at home with his brother Daniel for four years. The next two years he served with his brother Peter on another farm. In 1879 he began farming near Crystal Cave on his father-in-law's farm, remaining two years. Then he purchased a farm from his father-in-law, Jacob Heffner, which contains 129 acres of good land near Kemp's Hotel in Maxatawny township. This has since been his home, and he has made of it not only one of the most profitable places in that vicinity but also one of the most attractive. He and his family attend St. John's Reformed Church at Kutztown.

On May 31, 1879, Mr. Wanner was married to Amanda S. Heffner, daughter of Jacob and Anna (Spohn) Heffner, of Richmond township. Six children have blessed their union, namely: Alice A., m. to Morris Spangler, of Kutztown; Jacob E.; Clara S., m. to John A. Reeser, of Kutztown; Solon H.; Ellen A., m. to Charles A. Berger, of Kuhnsville; and Ida V.


WANNER, JACOB S.

p. 925

Surnames: WANNER, STRIPE, HARNER, QUINTER, KLINE, MECK, WEINERTH, LOOSE

Jacob S. Wanner, proprietor of the "Stonetown Hotel" in Exeter township, and a man well known in business circles, was born Oct. 25, 1859, just across the street from where his hotel is located, son of Jacob and Susanna (Stripe) Wanner.

Jacob Wanner and his wife Susanna were natives of Baden, Germany. They came to this country with two children, and first settled in Reading, where they remained for two years, at the end of which time they located in Stonetown, Exeter township. Here the father, who was engaged in laboring, and also kept a small cigar and tobacco stand, died in 1869, at the age of fifty-five years. His widow, who survives him and lives with her son Jacob S., celebrated her ninety-third birthday Nov. 5, 1908. Mr. Wanner was a Democrat, and he and his family were members of the Reformed Church. Five children were born to him and his wife, namely: Catherine m. Samuel Harner, of Gibraltar, Pa.; Margaret m. James Quinter, of Exeter township; Susan m. Charles L. Kline, of Reading; Hannah m. Benjamin Meck, of St. Lawrence, Pa.; and Jacob S.

Jacob S. Wanner was educated in the township public school of his native locality, and when about sixteen years of age became employed with the E. & G. Brooke Company, at Birdsboro, becoming a proficient mechanic during his fourteen years stay with this firm. He then entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway company, at the Walnut street yards. Reading, as freight and passenger car inspector, but after four years engaged in the dairy business, conducting a milk route in Reading for nine years. In 1902 Mr. Wanner erected his present hotel at Stonetown, and here he has successfully continued to the present time. Mr. Wanner also conducts a grocery, which, with the hotel bar, occupies the lower part of the building, while the hotel rooms, ten in number, are located in the upper floors. This hotel, which has become one of the most popular resorts for large dinner parties, is supplied with a large banquet hall and dancing pavilion, horses and equipages for the use of guests, and the most modern improvements of all kinds. As many as 164 guests have been served in one night. Mr. Wanner is a genial, hearty host, popular with all, and is a competent hotel man. He is also the owner of a twenty-acre farm adjoining his hotel property, stocked with the best machinery and finest farm stock, and here he has two good tenant houses.

In politics Mr. Wanner is a Democrat, and during his career as a politician in this township he has never been defeated. For seven years he was postmaster at Stonetown, for four terms has been county committeeman, has been inspector of elections and treasurer of the township, and in 1905, received the second largest vote ever given a candidate in the township for registrar of wills. He was a State delegate in 1908, having over 5,000 votes, and so far no opposition has developed against him for the same position in 1910. Fraternally he is connected with Birdsboro Lodge No. 479, F. & A. M.; Reading Royal Arch Chapter No. 152; De Molay Commandery, No. 42, and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., both of Reading; with the P. O. S. of A., No. 230; K. G. E., Syrius Castle, No. 63; Progressive Lodge No. 470, I. O. O. F., of Reading; and the F. O. E., also of Reading.

In 1894 Mr. Wanner married Miss Annie Weinerth, daughter of Adam and Dorothy (Loose) Weinerth, and one child, - Warren Leroy, has been born to this union. Mr. Wanner is a member of the Schwartzwald Reformed Church, while his wife attends the Kindig Lutheran Church, Reading.


WANNER, J. EDWARD

p. 426

Surnames: WANNER, KELLER, ZIEBER, BIEHL, SHARADIN, MERTZ, DEISHER, BOWER, MOYER, HILBERT, HUMBERT, ROTHERMEL, SCHWARTZ, DREIBELBIS

J. Edward Wanner, assistant cashier of the National Union Bank, and president of the Reading school board, is a descendant of one of the earliest families which settled in the northeastern section of Berks county. He was born at Reading on July 11, 1864, and was educated in the local public schools. Upon his graduation from the high school in 1882, he took a commercial course in the Eastman National Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in the fall of that year; and in 1883 he became a clerk in the National Union Bank of Reading, with which financial institution he has continued until the present time. He was gradually promoted from one position to another, and on Feb. 26, 1901, he was elected as assistant cashier by the board of directors on account of his superior record in the service of the bank for nearly twenty years.

In 1892, Mr. Wanner assisted in organizing the Reading Paper Box Company. His brother Howard officiated as president from that time until his decease in 1895; then he succeeded him in the position, which he has filled until now. In 1900 Mr. Wanner was one of the incorporators of the Greth Machine Works for the manufacture of stationary engines, &c., and he was selected as one of the directors, and also vice-president of the company, filling these positions until the present time.

Upon reaching his majority in 1885, Mr. Wanner identified himself with the Americus Club, the leading Democratic Society at Reading, and he took an active part in its affairs from the start. His activity led to his selection as vice-president of the Club several years afterward; and having filled this position for a number years, when the president, Jefferson M. Keller, Esq.; died in 1899, he was elected as his successor. The members have appreciated his services so highly that they have retained him since then as their president.

In 1894, the Democratic electors of the Seventh Ward elected Mr. Wanner as a school controller, and he has been one of the representatives of the Ward in the board of controllers continuously until now. In 1898 the controllers selected him to be the president of the board; and again in 1905, 1906, 1907 and 1908. While connected with the board, twelve large modern school buildings were erected in different parts of the city; and during his later presidency the superior high school for boys was erected at a total cost of $365,000, this great structure in the cause or local education receiving a great deal of his attention. In social matters, Mr. Wanner has affiliated with the Free Masons, Elks, Wyomissing Club, Penn Wheelmen, and the Junior Volunteer Fire Company.

His parents were amongst the first members of the Second Reformed Church at Reading upon its organization in 1848, and he joined the same church at an early age, retaining his membership until now. The father of Mr. Wanner was Amos B. Wanner, Esq., a prominent member of the Berks County Bar for many years. He was born in Maxatawny township (near where the Normal School is situated) in 1831, educated in the local schools and at a seminary at Philadelphia, and admitted to the Bar as an attorney-at-law at Reading in 1857. He became a very successful practitioner and was in active practice until his decease in 1892. He represented the Reading District in the Legislature during the years 1875 and 1876, having been elected on the Democratic ticket; he served as a State delegate to the Democratic National Convention which assembled at St. Louis in 1876; and he represented the Seventh ward in common council for 1882 to 1884, officiating as president of that body during the first year., He was married to Clementine C. Zieber (a daughter of Philip Zieber, of Reading, for many years in the mercantile business, and prominently identified with the insurance and real estate business in this section of the State). She was born in 1833 and died in 1893, shortly after her husband. They had three children: Howard P. (a practicing attorney at Reading who died in 1895 at the age of thirty-four years); George A. (who is engaged in the manufacturing and insurance business at Reading): and J. Edward, the subject of this sketch.

Mr. Wanner's grandfather was John Wanner, of Maiden-creek township, where he was born Oct. 10. 1788. He removed at an early age to Ruscombmanor township, there married Elizabeth Biehl (a daughter of Christina Biehl) and carried on farming. He had twelve children: Maria Magdalena (m. David Sharadin); Anna (m. John Mertz); Ephraim, single; William (m. Elizabeth Deisher); John Daniel (m. Elizabeth Bower); Joel B. (m. Louisa Zieber); Peter Christian (m. Sarah A. Moyer); John Charles, single; Dr. Charles Herman (m. Hannah Hilbert); Elizabeth (m. John Humbert); Amos B., above; and Henry, single.

His great-grandfather was Peter Wanner, a farmer of Colebrookdale township, who married three times. His first wife was Esther Rothermel; his second, Anna M. Schwartz; and his third, Magdalena Rothermel (widow, nee Dreibelbis), he having had by the third an only child, John Wanner above named.

His great-great-grandfather was Martin Wanner, who emigrated to Pennsylvania from Palatinate in 1733, on the ship "Samuel" from Rotterdam, landing on the 17th day of August.


WANNER, PETER D.

p. 1096

Surnames: WANNER, VANNERES, KURTZ, DOLLINGER, JANNETKA, CLYMER, MELLERT

Peter D. Wanner, a member of the Berks county Bar and one of the prominent men of Reading, is descended from French-German ancestry, whose first American representative, Martin Wanner, lived in the Palatinate, Germany, and came to America in August, 1732, landing in Philadelphia, and after remaining at Germantown for several years, removed to Colebrookdale Township, in this county.

In the Old World, however, the line is carried back for centuries. From an old manuscript it is learned that the name Wanner is recorded in the genealogical table book of the German noblemen, at Vienna, Austria, among the nobles that resided in Wangen, Upper Swabia. The ancestral line is traced back to the year A.D. 790. At this period Charles the Great, King of France, enlarged the city and surrounded it by high walls; this being completed he appointed Bertrande de Vanneres, a distinguished and experienced warrior, as chief counsellor of the city. Bertrande de Vanneres was born in France and afterwards went to Germany, and when he became a resident of the town Wangen, he changed his name into Bertrand Wanner. His wife was Julia Kurtz, from Ricordia.

The Escutcheon. - Two lilies were engraved upon his shield, and one on the helmet; these composed the escutcheon of his family in France. Besides two lilies he had engraved on each side of the one a horn, as a sign that he was empowered to counsel and to protect the City. He died A. D. 832, and left two sons, names Winfred and Herbert, who bore the same escutcheon.

The family soon became very large, and a number still remain residents of Wangen, where they are held in high estimation among the nobility. In the reign of King Ludwig their nobility was re- established and ratified, by order of the King. The escutcheon was improved and distributed among those that resided in Upper Swabia. By order of Charles V., of Germany, the biographies of those most distinguished were written and placed in the archives at Vienna, where they can be seen at the present day.

The two above mentioned were officers under the king, the one stationed at Augsburg and the other at Constance. On account of the unremitting war which raged at that time throughout nearly all Germany, only two of the Wanner family remained in Germany in the year 1539. Those were named Godfried and Henry Wanner. They were both Counsellors at Wangen, and from then the Wanner lineage became divided into two families:

(1) Godfried became the father of those that remained in the Swabian line, but soon some settled in Baiern and Switzerland. Godfried became the chief burgess of Wangen. The name of his wife was Lucia Dollinger. He died A. D. 1592, and left three sons, named William, Anthony and Friedrich. Of these William remained in Wangen, Anthony resided in Augsburg, and Friedrich went to Switzerland.

(2) Henry went to Frankfort-on-the-Main and became a trader in gold and silver. The name of his wife was Bertha Jannetka. He died in 1580, and left a son names Rudolf Wanner, who died in 1580 and left a son who became a goldsmith Frankfort, and obtained great wealth; but during the Thirty Years' war he was plundered by the Spaniards and left but a small patrimony to his sons at his death. The foregoing is taken from the Europe Escutcheon Book and the family record in the library at Vienna.

Martin Wanner, previously mentioned as the first Wanner to come to America, was Peter D. Wanner's great-great-grandfather. He came to Colebrookdale township, where he followed farming and became the father of three sons, Christian, Jacob and Peter, the last named our subject's great-grandfather.

Peter Wanner, who came to Fleetwood, then call Coxtown, where he became noted for his activity and influence, built and was for a time "mine host" of the famous old stone hotel at that point, which has housed many important personages in its time. He was also proprietor of the old stone grist mill there, and of an abandoned woolen mill higher up on the stream. He died at the home of his son John about 1831, when he was aged ninety-two years.

John Wanner, son of Peter, was born at Coxtown, and was a very talented man and highly esteemed by the people, who elected him Justice of the Peace for a number of years, also county commissioner, and member of the Legislature. He established and lived on a farm near Kutztown on the Reading road, where he died in November, 1842, in the prime of life.

Peter D. Wanner, the immediate subject of this review, was born near Kutztown, Berks county, Pa., Dec. 1, 1840, son of William Wanner, son of John Wanner. He passed the formative period of his life with his parents on the Wanner Homestead, in hard work-the lot of the average farmer's boy-in the winters picking up the rudiments of an education at the local school. Although his opportunities were poor, he manifested such aptness and was so eager to advance, that he finally prepared himself to enter the schoolroom as a teacher. Whatever else can be said of this time-honored occupation, it is true that it has been the stepping-stone by which many a poor boy has been enabled to get a start n life. After teaching during the winters of 1857, 1858 and 1859, Mr. Wanner, in the Spring of 1859, entered Union Seminary, New Berlin, Pa., where he made rapid progress, and in 1860 became a student of Fairview Seminary, at Kutztown, and later on one of the assistant teachers, pursuing his studies at the same time. At the close of two years he was far enough advanced to enter Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., where he graduated in 1865. Two months later he was admitted to the Bar at Lancaster, which means that he crowded a college and legal course into three years, an unusual accomplishment.

Mr. Wanner commenced to practice his profession at Reading in the fall of 1865, and soon acquired prominence at the Bar. He ran for district attorney in 1868 as a Democrat, but was not elected to the office; until 1871. In 1875 he was appointed county solicitor. In 1878 he ran for Congress against the Hon. Hiester Clymer, and came very near defeating him at the Primary. Prior to the defeat, Mr. Wanner had given all his time and attention to law and politics.

In 1879 he became interested in the works of The Mellert Foundry & Machine Company, Limited, and later on also in the Reading Foundry Company, Limited, both large concerns, in which he succeeded remarkable well up to the panic of 1893, having become almost sole owner of both, and he had amassed a handsome fortune; but during the prolonged depression between 1893 and 1900, he lost the greater portion of it, but by no fault of his, and he claims for himself that no man could have managed better, or would have stood more heroically by the works than he did; and that with but slight support from some friend, with money and influence, he could easily have bridged over the crisis, and would now be one of the richest men in Reading. Fate, however, decided against him on this line, and he again returned to his first love, the practice of law, and occupies fine offices on the third floor of the building known by his name, corner of Court and Reed streets, which he built in 1895. While in the iron business, Mr. Wanner also became interested in the construction and management of a large number of water works, in which he made considerable money, and he is still interested in some four or five companies. He has been an active member of the Reading Board of Trade since its organization many years ago, and served as its third President.

In 1904 Mr. Wanner, in his anxiety to get back into practice more quickly, became a candidate for district attorney; and again in 1907, but his candidacy was not well received owing to a custom in Berks county politics, against giving a candidate a second term in certain offices that he held once before. However, Mr. Wanner does not propose to lie down either in law or politics, and is determined to succeed in both before making his final exit.

Mr. Wanner is of a literary turn of mind, and has read and written a great deal in his time. Many of his papers have bees published in newspapers, etc. He has also been very fond of speaking even from his boyhood, and has, without doubt, made more public speeches than any other man in his County.

Mr. Wanner was married to Miss Kate Mellert, daughter of Arnold Mellert, Sept. 5, 1872. There were born to them two daughters, Mary E. and Elsie F. and three sons, William A., John P., and Clarence M.; three other children died in infancy.

The possibilities of the American boy have had a fair demonstration in the career under consideration. By sheer will power and determination, securing an education in the face of great obstacles, battling his way unaided to the front in his chosen profession, succeeding in a line foreign to his preparation, only to have the coveted prize slip from his grasp, but through no fault of his own, and again to achieve success in law and politics,-great is the American boy! But he must be great in spirit, must "hitch his wagon to a star" and keep his eye on the main chance. For such men of Peter D. Wanner's stamp are examples for earnest study, for the qualities which lifted them may be cultivated, and achieved by the youth who has the strength and force of character to attempt it.

Mr. Wanner resides at the head of Walnut street, in one of the most beautiful homes of his adopted city.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:31 EDT

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