Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1472


George W. Weida, justice of the peace and surveyor in Greenwich township, Berks county, was born in that same township June 3, 1865, son of Joseph and Eva Elizabeth (Steiger) Weida.

Jonathon Weida, grandfather of George W., lived near Kutztown, where he died in 1867, and he is buried in the cemetery adjoining St. John's Church. He married Mary Bucher, of Berks county, who survived him a few years, and is buried in the Grimville cemetery.

Joseph Weida, son of Jonathon and father of George W., purchased a farm of over one hundred acres in Greenwich township, and thereon made his home until his death Jan. 16, 1886. After his death his widow made her home with her children, until May 1, 1902, when she, too, fell asleep, having reached the age of seventy-one years, four months, eleven days. In her maidenhood she was Eva Elizabeth Steiger, and her parents, Jonathon and Mary A. (Dietrich) Steiger, are both buried at Dunkel's Church. To Joseph Weida and wife were born children as follows: Susan E., born Sept. 15, 1854, died Feb. 13, 1903; Katie A. married Frank Spohn, and died in April, 1902; Katura A., born July 5, 1862, married Washington Reinhart, and has two children--Lizzie F. and Selwyn G.; and George W.

George W. Weida owns a good farm of fifty-six acres on which he lives, and he also owns an adjoining tract of fifty-two acres, which is the home of his sister. In 1902 he was elected justice of the peace, of his native township, and this office he still holds. He is a man of excellent education, having supplemented the learning acquired in the public schools by a course in the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, and he has taught twenty-five terms of school, having a high reputation as an instructor and for scholarship. As a worker in the Democratic party he is well known, and for a number of years he held the office of township auditor, and he has been delegate to a number of county conventions. For some years he was committeeman from his district, and he was once the candidate of his party for county surveyor. He has an excellent business as surveyor, and he takes great pleasure in this work.

In his religious faith Mr. Weida is a Lutheran, attending Dunkel's Church, of which he is a trustee. He is a man widely known, and he enjoys the friendship of many people. He takes a leading part in any movement for the advancement of his town and county.

Mr. Weida married Katie C. Heffner, who was born in 1870. Two sons have blessed this union: George C., born Oct. 14, 1891, and Maximilian Joseph, born Nov. 7, 1895, both now (1908) students in the Keystone State Normal at Kutztown.

Mrs. Weida is a direct descendant of Heinrich and Eva (Kelchner) Haeffner, natives of Germany.

Hans Georg Haeffner, son of Heinrich and Eva, was born 1757-6-10, and died 1825-6-27. He married Maria Hummel, born 1759-10-16, died 1848-1-24. They had six children.

Jacob Haeffner, eldest son of Hans Georg and Maria, born 1781-6-29, died 1867-8-13. He married Anna M. Dietrich, born 1787, died 1838-7-14. They had ten children.

Jacob Haeffner, fifth child of Jacob and Anna M., was born Sept. 20, 1812, and died Oct. 13, 1880. He married Anna Spohn, born July 20, 1819, died April 24, 1889.

Jacob S. Haeffner, born in 1839, married Elenora Schlenker, daughter of Rueben and Anna (Fisher) Schlenker, and sister of the Rev. Mr. Schlenker. She was born in 1838, and died in 1893, and is buried at Grimville.


p. 1648


George S. Weidenhammer, well-known and prosperous farmer, living about three-quarters of a mile north of Moselem Springs, on the old Leibelsperger homestead, was born Oct. 18, 1851 on the original Weidenhammer homestead, about the same distance north of Moselem Springs on the Easton road.

The progenitor of the Weidenhammer family in this country was Johannes Weidenhammer, born Nov. 14, 1726 in Germany. He was married to Margaret Magdalena Eblinger in 1750, and died Aug. 3, 1804 in his seventy-eighth year and the fifty-fourth year of his marriage, his wife, who was born in 1729, passing away in April 1812, when eighty-three years old. They were survived by five sons and four daughters, twenty-seven grandchildren and forty-eight great-grandchildren. Of the children of Johannes, George was born July 17, 1761 and died May 5, 1807, his remains, like those of the numerous other members of this family, being interred in Moselem Lutheran cemetery. He was married to Catherine Heberacker, and among their children was John, the grandfather of George S.

John Weidenhammer was a foremost citizen of Richmond township, owning 325 acres of the best land in the locality. He was a true friend of the poor, having at the time of his death about a dozen tenant houses on his farm in which lived the needy whom he helped to support both as an individual and as an overseer of the poor of Berks county, no man ever serving an office more acceptably. His funeral, which was a large one, was largely attended by the people of the community, especially by those to whom he had been a lifelong friend and benefactor. Mr. Weidenhammer married Sarah Ganser, and to this union were born: George, of Richmond township; Reuben; Kate, who married John Adam; Jacob, a farmer of Richmond township, and later of Reading: Adam, who for many years conducted the store and hotel at Moselem Springs: Susan, who married John Gehret; Annie, the wife of Benneville Kline; and John, who made his home with his brother Reuben, died single.

Reuben Weidenhammer, born Sept. 2, 1816, who died July 7, 1887, was an extensive farmer of Richmond township, operating on the old Weidenhammer homestead. He was a man of influence in his community and was greatly esteemed and respected by all with whom he came into contact. In politics he was one of the first to embrace the principles of the Republican party in Berks county, was a delegate to numerous conventions, and served the township in most of its public offices. He and his family were consistent members of the Moselem Lutheran Church. Mr. Weidenhammer married Hannah Smith, daughter of John Smith of Ruscombmanor township, and these children were born to this union: James, a retired grain and lumber merchant, and owner of the original Weidenhammer homestead, resides at Kutztown, Matilda, deceased, Sarah, the wife of Reuben Sell, a well to do farmer of Richmond township; George S.; Mary, wife of Cyranius Kutz, deceased; Amos, the well-known merchant at Farmington, in Maxatawny township: Ellen, the wife of Frank Seidel, of Reading; and Lizzie, who is single and lives with her sister, Mrs. Sell.

George S. Weidenhammer lived at home until thirty-seven years of age, having received his education in the public schools of his native township and in the Kutztown Normal School which he attended for several sessions when John S. Ermentrout was principal, having for a schoolmate Frank K. Flood, of Reading. He was married Dec. 2, 1872, to Sarah M. Stoudt, daughter of Joel and Eliza (Rickenbach) Stoudt of Ontelaunee township, and to this union were born children as follows: Laura; John and Linnie, twins, both died in infancy; Lizzie M., who also died in infancy; Carrie, who married William Prizer, a railroad man of Reading; Sallie, the wife of William Schlegel, a machinist of Fleetwood; Oliver, the husband of Rosie Shalters of Moselem; Jennie, who married John Bieber, a moulder of Reading; Mattie F., the wife of Charles Bast, a farmer of near Kutztown; Ruth B.; Charlotte M.; Solon, and Susannah May, at home with their parents.

After his marriage Mr. Weidenhammer removed to his present farm, where he has since resided, extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and has been elected by his fellow citizens to be a delegate to many conventions, and to other positions of trust and honor. He and his children are members of Moselem Lutheran Church, while his wife belongs to the Reformed denomination. Mr. Weidenhammer is much esteemed in his community, where all of his life has been spent.


p. 960


Joel K. Weidman, the veteran telegraph operator at Perry Siding, on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, below Berne Station, was born April 20, 1852, in Perry township, Berks Co., Pa., son of Benjamin and Anna Kline Weidman.

Johannes Weidman, great-grandfather of Joel K., was the founder of this family in Berks county. He came from Germany on the ship "Royal Union", which landed at Philadelphia, August 15, 1750, with 250 passengers. He obtained a number of acres of land in Windsor township, two miles north of Shoemakersville, upon which he settled, and there prospered. He was a Dunkard and reared his children in that faith. The remains of himself and wife, as well as some of their children are interred on the farm on which he settled now owned by his great-grandson. He had these children: John; and Jonas, who settled at Myerstown, was a miller by trade and the owner of considerable property.

John Weidman, grandfather of Joel K., was the owner and operator of the homestead, and also engaged in carrying produce to Philadelphia, bringing back merchandise with the big Conestoga wagon, although at this time the roads were bad, the trip requiring a week. A strict Dunkard, Mr. Weidman clung to the customs of his people, wearing a broad-brimmed hat, and his clothes were fastened by hooks and eyes. He married Magdalena Kauffman, and they had children as follows: Magdalena, born Oct. 11, 1803; Joseph, Feb 22, 1805, Jonathan, Jan. 16, 1809; Sarah, April 17, 1811; Benjamin, ______5, 1813; Elias, Sept 2, 1815; John, March 3, 1818; Lydia, Nov 1, 1820; Reuben Jan 15, 1823; Lydia, m. to John Shomo; Syria, born April 17, 1828, m. to Isaac Unger.

Benjamin Weidman, father of Joel K., born on the old homestead in 1813, died in July 1891. He owned the homestead and was a prosperous farmer, living at the same place all his life. He was an early educator, teaching school for a period of five years, part of the time in Centre, and in the pay school of his native district. Mr. Weidman was a democrat in politics, and efficiently served his district as school director for six years, being secretary of the board and auditor of the district for six years. He was a director of the old Windsor Mutual Assistance and Fire Insurance Company for many years, and was a useful and foremost citizen. He and his family worshipped with the Dunkards, their church being located in Centre township, one mile west of Shoemakersville, Pa. They were a Christian family and a credit to the community in which they resided. Mr. Weidman married Anna Kline, and to them were born children as follows: Walter, born Jan 29, 1845, m. Lenora Michael; Catherine, born Feb. 5, 1847, m. Franklin Althouse; Henry, born Jan. 5, 1849, m. Emma Clauser; Wilhelmina, born Oct 11, 1850, m. William Kirst, and died March 13, 1874; Joel K., born April 20, 1852, m. Sara Ann Brownmiller; Alfred, born May 20, 1854, m. Ellen Bressler; Sara I., born Jan 13, 1857, m. William Heckman; Elias, born April 13, 1859, died in childhood; and John, born Nov 13, 1864, m. Maggie Nies.

Joel K. Weidman obtained a good education in the schools of his native district and later attended Freeland Seminary for two terms, and the Carversville Seminary in Bucks county. After the completion of his education he assisted his father upon the farm until 1871, when he learned the profession of telegraphy in Hamburg with the late Henry H. Beideman. Mr. Weidman was an apt student and after he had passed a very severe test the Reading Railroad Company placed him in charge of the responsible Perry Siding station, established April 1, 1872, and since that time he has been regularly at his post. That he is a painstaking, faithful and efficient operator is best shown by his record of thirty-seven years of continuous service. In this time no accident or error has been charged against him, and he has the honor of one of the cleanest records in the company's service. He goes on duty at 6 a.m. and works until 6 p.m. His habits of life and conduct as a citizen are the best. He is an honest, able, faithful employee, and a citizen who reflects credit on the community in which he resides. In politics he is a Democrat, but has never accepted public office. Mr. Weidman lost his left arm in a threshing machine when but thirteen years of age.

On Jan. 1, 1884 Mr. Weidman married Sara A. Brownmiller, daughter of Joseph and Susanna (Madeira) Brownmiller, and granddaughter of Daniel and Anna (Stoyer) Brownmiller. Mrs. Weidman's sister and brothers were: Charles M., a businessman of Shoemakersville; Nora, who died in infancy; and John W., of Chester, Pa. To Mrs. Weidman's grandparents were born children as follows: Samuel, who died aged fourteen years, Emanuel, who lived in Prospect, Ohio; Henry, a farmer of South Allentown, Lehigh county; Joseph; Isabella, m. to Benjamin Oldt, of Mertztown, Pa., Christiana, m. to Jacob Forringer of Breiningsville, Pa.; and Amelia m. to Charles Fisher, of Tripoli, Pennsylvania.

To Mr. and Mrs. Weidman there have been born six children as follows: Foster Brown, born Dec 22, 1889, is a graduate of the Shoemakersville high school and of Stoner's Business College, Reading; Warren Miller, born Sept 2, 1891, also a graduate of the high school and Stoner's Business College, holds a position as bookkeeper in one of the largest merchandises houses in Reading; Rhea Edna, born Oct 16, 1892, is a graduate of the high school, and is now engaged in teaching music in the city and vicinity; Carl Wendell, born March 25, 1897, is in high school; Lynn Walter, born April 5, 1899, is in grammar school; and Ivan Benjamin, born May 5, 1904, is at home. Mr. and Mrs. Weidman are ambitious for their children, and determined that each one shall receive a good education, and be fitted well for his or her life work.

Mr. Weidman owns the original Weidman homestead of 170 acres, situated in Perry township, two miles north of Shoemakersville. The soil is fertile and yields abundant crops of grain, hay and fruit. Since he has owned the home farm many improvements have been made, and the land is no noted for its various minerals; Red and yellow ochre are found and shipped in bulk to various factories, where they are utilized in the manufacture of paint; casting and molding sand is there in large quantities, and the Bern Sand Company ships extensively to various iron firms from the Weidman farm; clay, for paving and building bricks, is also found. These products are easily shipped by the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia & Reading railroads, the former entering the farm, and the latter bordering it. It is Mr. Weidman's wish that the farm continue to be held in the Weidman name through future generations. Mr. Weidman resides in a fine residence in Shoemakersville, which is surrounded by a large and well-kept lawn, that especially during the summer months, with its abundance of beautiful flowers, presents a charming appearance.


p. 1571


William Murray Weidman, M. D., for almost forty years a practicing physician and surgeon of Reading, was located in that city from the close of his service in the Civil war until his death, Feb. 8, 1902. A man of notable intelligence and devotion to his life work, he achieved success and distinction in the profession of his choice, in which he was actively engaged to the end of his days. Dr. Weidman was born May 8, 1835, at Lebanon, Pa., and came of good old Colonial stock which has been settled in this part of Pennsylvania since 1733. The family is a numerous one, and he members of this branch have resided principally in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. The fact that the post office near the original homestead is called Durlach, which is also the name of a school in the vicinity, seems to show conclusively that the Weidmans came from Durlach, in Baden, Germany. In the "History of Lancaster County" we find that Mathias Weidman secured a warrant for 144* acres of land May 3, 1733, but he died before obtaining his patent. Martin Weidman, evidently a son of Mathias, received a patent Oct. 6, 1733, from William Penn and his associates, for 385 acres in what is now Clay township, Lancaster county, paying therefore 59 , 19s, 6d. In 1745 Martin Weidman apparently the same man had patented 387 1/2 acres which had been surveyed for Faladine Miller in 1733. In 1757 he sold 172 1/2 acres to Abraham Brubaker, and 214 1/2 acres to his son, Jacob. It is not known whether the two tracts purchased by Martin Weidman adjoined, but the 385-acre tract constituted what was afterward called the Weidman homestead.

There was also a Weidman saw and gristmill on Middle Creek, built in 1755 by Christopher Weidman, who owned it until 1811. Christopher moved to the neighborhood of New Holland, and his younger brother John kept the homestead. Christopher was a farmer, miller, and owner of Antietam Forge near Frederick City, and Antietam Battlefield on the Monocacy.

From Martin Weidman the ancestral line of Dr. W. Murray Weidman is traced through Martin's son Jacob and the latter's son Christopher. Christopher Weidman married a Miss Buchanan, a member of the same family as President James Buchanan, and their son, Lieutenant Adjutant John Weidman, was the Doctor's grandfather.

John Weidman was born in Warwick township, Lancaster county, June 4, 1756. He was in the Continental Army throughout the Revolutionary war, serving from 1776 to 1781, experiencing with his regiment the hardships of the winter of 1778 at Valley Forge and participating in the engagements at Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth, Brandywine, Germantown, and various other points. He also took an active part in the expedition against the Indians under General Sullivan, in 1778, and in the Knox campaign on the Hudson in 1780. His regiment disbanding in 1787, because of its reduced numbers, he retired from the army altogether. He was an original member of the Order of the Cincinnati. At the close of the Revolution Lieutenant-Adjutant Weidman settled in Philadelphia, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, but after his marriage he returned to his native county of Lancaster, where he followed surveying. He then spent ten years at Antietam Forge. The most important years of his active life were, however, spent in the town of Lebanon, whither he removed from Lancaster county, and where he continued to reside until his death. For many years he was one of the most prominent citizens of Lebanon county. In 1791 he purchased from Robert Coleman the Union forge (Lickdale), at Lebanon, which he carried on for many years. He was also prominent in public life, being one of the associate judges of the county from 1821 until he passed away June 6, 1830. He was buried in Salem Lutheran cemetery. His wife was Catharine Mason, whom he married May 1, 1786.

Jacob Barge Weidman, son of Lieutenant-Adjutant John Weidman, was born May 12, 1789 in Philadelphia. He received an excellent literary education, attending the Latin school of General James Ross, at Lancaster, and later graduating from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. He then took up the study of law, reading with Samuel Laird, at Harrisburg, and was admitted to the Bar in Dauphin county at the August term, 1813. Locating at Lebanon, he became identified with the best legal talent of the newly organized county, and for over forty years was one of its most eminent legal practitioners. He was contemporaneous with James Hopkins, Thomas Elder, George Fisher and James Buchanan. He was a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1837-38. Jacob Barge Weidman was married three times, his first wife being Mary Murray, daughter of William Murray. His second union was with Mary Elizabeth Morris, of Philadelphia, and his third with Elizabeth Chambers Murray, a younger step-sister of his first wife. Mr. Weidman died March 5, 1857. Of his children, Rev. Dr. Jacob Weidman is a Presbyterian minister of Clifton Heights, N. J.: Barge Weidman is a resident of Pottsville, Pa.; Elizabeth is the wife of Adolph Dill of Richmond, Va.' Miss Helen resides at Richmond, Va.; General John; Judge Mason of Pottsville; Charles; Morris; and Dr. W. Murray Weidman, deceased. All except Gen. John Weidman were his children by his third wife, Elizabeth Chambers Murray.

General John Weidman, son of Jacob Barge Weidman and Mary Murray his first wife, died at a comparatively early age, but he was nevertheless one of the most prominent men in the State in his time. He received his literary education at Lebanon Academy, Dickinson College, Carlisle, and at Princeton University, and took the medical course at the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of M. D. But he afterward studied law, was admitted to the Bar of Lebanon county in 1842, and made a reputation as a legal practitioner and prominent political worker. He served one term as district attorney, 1859. He was active in the State Militia, in which he was a brigadier General before the Civil war, and upon the breaking out of that conflict he entered the Union army as captain of Company F, Fourth Cavalry, serving until broken health made his resignation necessary. He died shortly afterward April 23, 1863.

William Murray Weidman, son of Jacob Barge and Elizabeth Chambers (Murray) Weidman, was reared at Lebanon, and there obtained his early education in the Lebanon Academy. In 1851 he entered the preparatory department of Pennsylvania College, and the next year began his college course at that institution, from which he and his brother Jacob graduated together in 1856. Immediately thereafter Murray Weidman commenced the study of medicine in the office of Drs. J. W. and Cyrus D. Gloninger, at Lebanon. He took the medical course at the University of Pennsylvania, and received his degree in 1860. He was then appointed one of the resident physicians at the Philadelphia Hospital (Blockley), where he remained for nineteen months, after which he entered the Union army for service in the Civil war, becoming assistant surgeon of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry. Thence he was ordered to the Second Presbyterian Cavalry, and on Oct. 1, 1862, was promoted to be a surgeon of that regiment with the rank of Major. On Dec. 28, 1863, he was captured near Occoquan, Va. His captor happened to be a connection of his future wife, a Dr. Randolph of Virginia. He was paroled the following day and was left in charge of the wounded. He was mustered out at the expiration of his term, Oct 31, 1864, and from that time until his death practiced his profession in Reading. The year of his arrival in the city he was appointed surgeon of the Reading Railway Company. He built up an extensive general practice during his long career in Reading, but he was specially noted for his skill in surgery, and at the time of his death he was consulting surgeon of the State Asylum for the Chronic Insane at South Mountain, and of St. Luke's Hospital, South Bethlehem. His interest in the advancement of medical science led him into prominent connection with various organizations of the profession, the Reading Medical Society, the Berks County Medical Association, the Medical Society of Pennsylvania (of all which he served as president), the American Medical Association and the Academy of Medicine. It was largely owing to his efforts that the Reading Hospital became established, and he was called the Father of the Medical Library of Reading. He was a member of the Loyal Legion. Shortly before his death he was made president of the Berks county Alumni of the University of Pennsylvania. For many years he was one of the governors of the Men's Whist Club. During his college days he held membership in the Philomathian Literary Society and the Linnaean Scientific Association.

Dr. Weidman was naturally best known in his professional capacity, but he exhibited traits which convinced his friends and associates that he might have attained as great a measure of success in other lines. As a man he was universally respected and admired. He was one who made the most of the special opportunities a physician meets for benefiting his fellowmen, and his wisdom and intelligence enabled him to do much real good, which he accomplished in an unostentatious way. Dr. Weidman's conspicuous traits were cheerfulness, courage, and generosity. He was interested in the municipal welfare, and gave able service as city auditor from 1868 to 1872, this being the only office he ever held. He was President of the Board of Health many years. In religious matters he was connected with Christ Cathedral, of which he was a vestryman. On Feb. 23, 1865, Dr. Weidman was united in marriage to Mary May Keim, youngest daughter of the Hon. George May Keim, of a family prominent for generations in the social life of Reading. She preceded him to the grave, dying Jan. 18, 1900. Five children were born to this union. Those still living are: Julia Keim (wife of Dr. Grahame Dove Johnson, of Andover, Mass), Bessie Murray and Marion Douglass; the deceased were Laura Farquhar and Helen Murray. The family residence is at No. 214 South Fifth Street, Reading, where Dr. Weidman died suddenly Feb. 8, 1902.


p. 394


Caleb Weidner, city clerk of Reading and one of the prominent workers in the Democratic party, was born in Exeter township, Berks county, Nov. 11, 1869, son of George D. and Susan (Clark) Weidner, and member of an early settled family of the county.

Peter Weidner, great-grandfather of Caleb, was born in Oley township, Berks county, April 13, 1759, and he died at the Falls of the Schuylkill, where he had conducted a ferry for many years, March 30, 1822, at the age of sixty-two years, eleven months, and twelve days. His wife, Susan Levering in her maidenhood, was born Nov. 28, 1757, and she died Oct 17, 1845, in the eighty-seventh year of her age. Their children were: Henry, born Aug 30, 1781, died Feb. 5, 1846; Charles, born Sept 11, 1783; Elizabeth, born Aug. 6, 1785, died Aug 14, 1785; Peter, born Sept. 4, 1786, died June 18, 1788; Peter (2) born Feb. 6, 1789; John, born June 22, 1791; Margaret, born Feb. 17, 1794; Elizabeth (2) born July 26, 1796, died April 25, 1822; Susan born Jan. 26, 1799, died Dec. 18, 1800; Susan (2) born Oct. 25, 1801; and Catharine, born Oct. 28, 1803.

Peter Weidner, son of Peter, born at the falls of the Schuylkill Feb. 6, 1789, learned the cooper's trade in his youth, and followed it all his life. In 1833 he came with his family from Roxboro to Stonetown, and he died at the latter place June 21, 1878, in the ninetieth year of his age. He was twice married. By his first wife he had three sons: Charles, who died at Birdsboro; Malcolm, who died at Philadelphia; and John, who died at Stonetown. For his second wife Peter Weidner married Elizabeth Good, who died in March, 1884, at the age of seventy-four years. Their children were: Jane, m. to William Sherman; Susan, m. to Thomas Wolf; Mary, m. to Caleb B. Ruth; Margaret m. to George Hart; Peter, who died young; and George D., mentioned below.

George D. Weidner, son of Peter and Elizabeth, was born at Stonersville, in Exeter township, Sept 23, 1844. In his young manhood he learned telegraphy, and for many years he was station agent at Exeter, now Lorane. During the Civil war he evinced his patriotism by enlisting in Company K, 151st Pa. V. I., and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. He participated in the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, and was severely wounded at the latter. He was for some time in the hospital at Harrisburg, and after his release and partial recovery he came to Reading and learned the cigar maker's trade. This he was obliged to abandon on account of his health, and he then worked at the Signal tower near Exeter, until 1865. The next year he timed the trains at Quinter's Bridge, and continued there until 1868. From 1868 until 1872 he was operator at Exeter station, and in the latter year he purchased the store and hotel property at Exeter, and these he successfully conducted until 1883. The next two years were spent in Wayne township, Schuylkill county, where he owned a valuable farm which he cultivated. His wife and family then removed to Reading, and there the family home has since been maintained. Since locating in Reading Mr. Weidner has worked at different vocations, for several years being in the employ of the railroad. Mr. Weidner married Miss Susan Clark, who was born April 1, 1848, daughter of William and Susan (Hiester) Clark. Eight children---six sons and two daughters---blessed this union: Miss Mary; Kate, m. to Frederick Weidenhammer, of Reading, Caleb; George m. to Laura Weidner, daughter of Henry Weidner, of Reading; Harry, of Reading; William, m. to Ella Morris, and engaged as a barber in Reading; Winifred S., of Reading; and Walter, a well known showman who has traveled all over the United States.

Caleb Weidner, son of George D., attended school in the township and later in Schuylkill county. He early started out for himself, working upon the farm in Schuylkill county. On Dec. 2, 1884, he accompanied his mother to Reading, and this has since been his home. He has been the main support of his mother since before he was eleven years of age. His first employment in this city was with the Reading Hardware Company, with whom he remained for two years. He then learned the hatter's trade with John H. Hendel, and this he followed from 1886 to 1903. On May 1, 1903, he became registry clerk to Elmer H. Beard, in the city engineer's office at the city hall. After four years of efficient service with the city engineer he was elected by the council to the office of city clerk of Reading, on March 11, 1907, and in April following assumed the duties of that office.

Mr. Weidner is one of the leading men at the city hall, and wields a powerful influence in local politics. He has always been a Democrat, and has been a worker for his party since he was nineteen. He has frequently been a delegate to county conventions, and in 1906 was a delegate to the State Convention. His first political office was election inspector of the 2d precinct of the Tenth ward. Since 1900 he has been a member of the City Democratic executive committee, and is vice president of same. The future looks most promising to him. He has kept himself upright and honorable, keeping his promises and fulfilling his obligations, and he has won the respect of men in all parties.

Mr. Weidner was instrumental in the reorganization of the Wood Hatters' Union of Reading, which is a chartered institution. Of this he was president from 1892 to 1904. In 1893 he was elected national vice president, and was president, for a number of years, of the International Hatters Union of North America, after having been twice sent as delegate to that convention by the local association which he placed on so high a standard. He is a member of many organizations, among them being: Lodge No. 549, F. & A. M., Reading; Reading Chapter, No. 152, Allen Council, No. 23, R. & S. M., Allentown; De Molay Commandery, No. 9; Rajah Temple, Mystic Shrine; Reading Aerie No. 66, Fraternal order of Eagles, of which he is treasurer, Freedom Circle No. 7, Brotherhood of America; and he is an active member, stockholder and vice president of the Eagles Mountain Home Association. He also belongs to Washington Fire Company No. 2, of which he was trustee for six terms. He is likewise connected with a number of social clubs. In his religious faith he is a member of the First Reformed Church. He is well read, progressive and intelligent, and has hosts of warm friends. He is a great comfort to his venerable mother, with whom he resides at No. 253 South Tenth street, Reading.


p. 395


The ancestor of the Weidner family in Berks County was (I) Adam Weidner, who settled in Oley Township prior to 1744, in which year he bought a considerable tract of land from Benjamin Lee, a part of which, located in the vicinity of Pleasantville, is now the property of Philip D. Hoch. He had three sons, (II) Tychicus, Lazarus and David, whom tradition says were born in Wurtemberg, Germany. They, too, came to Pennsylvania, and Tychicus Weidner, who is also called "Dietrich" Weidner, and his brother Lazarus had settled in Oley Township before 1744. In 1759 "Dehecus" Weidner paid a federal tax of 17 pounds in Oley. He died in 1798, the year in which his will was probated. He was a large land owner, and at his death left a large estate, which he divided equitably among his children, who were eleven in number and named as follows: Jacob, John, Hannah, Catharine, Esther, Susanna, Mary, Peter, Jonathan, Christian, and Daniel. The eldest daughter, Hannah, was never married. She was bequested [sic] with a house, so much flax every year, and the walnut wash props.

In 1788 (II) Tychicus Weidner sold a tract of land located in Amity Township, this county, to his eldest son, Jacob, and to the same son he sold another tract, of 200 acres, situated in Oley Township (being a part of a tract of 404 acres), in the year 1791.

(III) Jacob Weidner, eldest son of Tychicus, was first married to Elizabeth Price, and they became the parents of the following children: Peter, who settled at the Falls of the Schuylkill; Daniel, who died aged twenty years; David; Jacob, m. Hannah Yoder (they had Benneville and Mary); Hannah, m. to Daniel Brown, of Pricetown, Berks County (she lived to the great age of ninety -eight years); a daughter m. to David Yoder, moving with him to New York State; and William.

(IV) William Weidner, son of Jacob, married Susanna Yoder. They were farming people and lived in Oley Township. Their nine children were: Jacob; Daniel, who moved to Northumberland County, PA., and later settled in Ohio; William, m. to Catharine Beam; Reuben, m. to Mary Beam; George, m. to Theresa Berndt; Rachel, m. to William Dilaplain; Amanda, m. to Reuben Dry; Leah, m. to Israel Keim (they settled in the vicinity of Milton, PA); and Polly, m. to David Weidner.

(V) Jacob Weidner, eldest son of William, was born in Oley, and during his earlier manhood followed farming, also conducting a wheelwright shop above Pleasantville until 1855, when he moved to Reading. There he was a car builder for Johnston & Shaaber. He married Mary Ann Weidner, a daughter of David Weidner, of Friedensburg, PA, and they had the following named children: Augustus, who died young; Jacob, who died young; James, who was killed in battle in the Civil War; Gideon; Daniel W.; [and] Malinda.

(VI) Gideon Weidner was born in 1842, son of Jacob, was a shoemaker in Reading all his life, and he died in 1906. His wife was Esther Graul, and to them were born two children: James L. and Annie, the latter the wife of Samuel Kridler, of Lancaster, PA.

(VII) James L. Weidner, son of Gideon, was born in Reading Aug. 8, 1865, and still makes his home in that city. He is engaged as a brick maker during the warm weather and as a shoemaker in the wintertime. In 1889 he married Mary Monroe, and to them have been born two children, Annie and Charles.

(VI) Daniel W. Weidner, brother of Gideon, was born Oct. 12, 1844. When seventeen years old he commenced to learn shoemaking, and has ever since followed that trade, having his shop and home at No. 231 South Tenth Street, Reading. He is active in religious work and identified with independent church activities as a member of the Gospel Tabernacle in Reading. In 1866 Mr. Weidner m. Sallie Price, by whom he has two children: Harry J., a shoemaker of Reading; and Annie, m. to Jeremiah Auge, of Reading.

(V) Reuben Weidner (son of William, son of Jacob, son of Tychicus) was born in 1832 and died in 1889. He m. Mary Beam, and had a family of five children: Annie m. Alvin Levan; Elias m. Amanda Cleaver; Helen m. Chester B. Cleaver; William m. Hannah George; Amanda m. Charles Holt.

After the death of (III) Jacob Weidner (eldest son of Tychicus) his widow Elizabeth, nee Price, remarried, her second husband being Peter Weidner, a younger brother of her first. Peter Weidner was born in 1774 and died in 1838, in his sixty-fifth year. His widow survived a number of years, dying July 4, 1857, in the eighty-eighth year of her age. He was a farmer, and owned a large tract of land in Pike Township, this county. To Peter and Elizabeth Weidner were born two children, viz.: John P. and Mary. The daughter, who was the youngest, m. Daniel Weidner, and they settled in Milton, PA, where they both died.

(IV) John P. Weidner (son of Peter, son of Tychicus) was born in Pike Township, Berks County, April 13, 1812, and died March 7, 1885, in his seventy-third year. He was a weaver and farmer by occupation. By his wife, Elizabeth Reppert, he had a family of ten children, namely: William R., Jonathan, Sarah, John R., Eliza, Kate, Leanda, Caroline, Mary and Peter.

(V) William R. Weidner, son of John P., was born in Pike Township, Nov. 27, 1837, and is a farmer by occupation. He has lived successively in Oley, Ruscombmanor, Alsace and Exeter Townships, having made his home continuously on one farm in Exeter from 1881 to the present time. In 1884 he married Emma Himmelreich, by whom he had these children: Seth, Amanda, Emma, William, Katie, John and Daniel (twins) and Thomas.

(V) John R. Weidner, brother of William R., was born in Pike Township, Oct. 12, 1842, and lived upon the farm in that township until 1866, in which year he moved to Reading, where he has lived ever since. He is a boss carpenter, contracting business. In 1867 he was married to Hattie Brown, by whom he had one child, Clara, and in 1880 he was married to Elva F. Weber. Nine children have been born to the second union, namely: Nora, Howard, Florence, Bessie, Almeretta, John, Benjamin, Minerva and Edgar.

(III) Jonathan Weidner, one of the sons of Tychicus, of Oley, was born there in 1766, and died in 1838, in his seventy-third year. He lived on a farm near Pricetown, in Ruscombmanor Township. He m. Bevvy Gambler, and their family consisted of three children: Abraham, who lived in Alsace Township, m. Katie Beck, and they had two daughters, Bevvy and Amelia; Bevvy m. John Focht; Jonathan was born in 1805 and died in 1861.

(IV) Johnathan Weidner, son of Jonathan, was born in 1805 and died in 1861. He had a family of three children: Augustus, who is mentioned presently; Maberry, of Allentown, PA; and Sarah, m. to Elias Becker.

(V) Augustus Weidner, eldest son of Jonathan, was born Aug. 14, 1838, is a huckster and farmer by calling and lives near Pricetown. He m. Maria Diehl, and they have had children as follows: Katie m. Harry Fritz; Hannah m. Howard Hartman; Olivia (deceased) m. Oscar Bush; Anna M. m. Howard Homan; Edwin m. Nora Ballard; Augustus m. Lizzie Kern; Irwin m. Louisa Everhart; John died in childhood.

(II) Lazarus Weidner, son of Adam the emigrant ancestor, settled in Oley Township, where he and his brother Tychicus owned adjoining estates. These lands were separated by a lane which has since become a public road. In 1759 Lazarus Weidner paid a federal tax of 18 pounds. His will was probated in 1802, the executors being his son Jacob and his sons-in-law George Yoder and Jacob Preiss. An item of the will was to the effect that Elizabeth, a daughter of John Lobach, was to have 15 pounds in money. The following children were mentioned in the will: Abraham; Catharine Seisholtz; Elizabeth m. Jacob Preiss; Mary m. George Yoder; Jacob; Daniel; Isaac; David, and John.

(III) Jacob Weidner, son of Lazarus, obtained the homestead in Oley, and he is buried there in a private cemetery on the farm. His wife, Veronica, died in 1865. They had three children: Catharine, born March 29, 1823, m. Isaac Reiff; Caroline m. Jacob Keim; John m. Sarah Angstadt, and they had two children, Samuel and George. The son, John, came into possession of his father's homestead, which he cultivated.

Samuel Weidner (who had a brother Benjamin) was a farmer in Pike Township, where he died in 1876. His wife was Catharine Gauger, and they had the following children: William G. came into possession of the homestead; Samuel G. m. Hannah Yoder; John G. obtained part of the homestead; Catharine m. Thomas Weidner; Rachel m. Samuel G. Ruppert, Sarah m. (first) Henry Adam and (second) Henry Miller; Anna m. David Fry; Caroline m. Israel Leinbach. Both of the parents died at South Bethlehem, PA, in December, 1906, at about the same time, and they were buried the same day in one grave.


p. 1062


Daniel H. Weidner, engaged in truck farming in Berks county, was born March 6, 1875, in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county, son of William R. and Emma (Himmelreich) Weidner.

William R. Weidner was born Nov. 27, 1837, in Pike township, and when fourteen years of age began going to the public school, which he attended for a few winters only. He has been a lifelong farmer in Oley, Ruscombmanor, Alsace and Exeter townships, having spent the last twenty-six years in the latter, and the last twenty years in one location. Mr. Weidner is wonderfully preserved for his age, and works every day. In politics he is a Democrat, and he and his family worship at Spies's Church, being Lutheran members thereof. On Dec. 31, 1864, Mr. Weidner married Emma Himmelreich, and to them were born children as follows: Seth, a woolen goods manufacturer of Reading, m. Emma Clauser; Amanda m. Augustus Wentzel, a trucker of Alsace township; Emma m. George Haag, a hosiery manufacturer of Reading; William, a milk dealer of Exeter, m. Sallie Schmehl; Katie died aged twenty-two years; John H. and Daniel H. are twins, the former of whom has been an invalid since 1901; Thomas, a farmer of Muhlenberg township, m. Dora Buchert; Mary m. Cleaven Steffey, of Wyomissing; Valentine, a hatter of Reading, m. Irene Hinnershitz; and Misses Sallie and Lillie are at home.

Daniel H. Weidner attended the schools of Alsace township for two years and for several years those of Exeter township and at an early age went to work in Brumbach's woolen mills, at St. Lawrence, where he continued for twelve years, nine years of which time he was a weaver. This position he was compelled to resign on account of failing health, and on Jan. 2, 1906, he established himself in the milk business, which he successfully carried on, having a route in Reading and disposing of 130 quarts daily. He lived for some time in Mount Penn borough, when he and his family resided in their own home on Perkiomen avenue, which was erected by them in 1905. In 1907 he moved to his own farm and now as a trucker attends market regularly. In political matters Mr. Weidner is a Democrat, while his fraternal affiliations are with P. O. S. of A. Camp No. 230, of St. Lawrence, and Knights of Friendship Chamber No. 26, of the same town. He and his family worship at Spies's Church, he being a Lutheran, while his wife is a member of the Reformed denomination.

On Dec. 17, 1904, Mr. Weidner was united in marriage with Carrie Grommis, daughter of John and Rebecca (Weitzel) Grommis, and to this union there have been born four children: Helen Rebecca, Verna Carrie, Alice May and Elmer Harry.


p. 1414


George A. Weidner, now living retired from active life at his comfortable home in Pike Township, Berks County, was born in Oley Township, Oct. 17, 1871, son of John And Sarah (Angstadt) Weidner.

Mr. Weidner is a direct descendant of Adam Weidner, who emigrated from the Old World home of the family and settled in Pennsylvania. His children were: Lazarus, Tichicus, David, Jacob, and several daughters.

Tichicus Weidner, son of Adam, was born in April, 1721, and died July 9, 1799. His wife Anna Maria was born Feb. 24, 1732, and died April 30, 1791. Johannes Weidner, son of Tichicus and Anna Maria, was born Jan. 17, 1756, and died Aug. 2, 1836. On Jan. 30, 1793, he married Catharine Borgert, born April 15, 1753, died Aug. 8, 1826. They were married thirty-three years, and were the parents of two sons and one daughter.

Jacob Weidner, son of Johannes and Catharine, was born Nov. 20, 1793, and died Nov. 14, 1860, and is buried in the Weidner private burial ground. He was a farmer and owned a large tract of land which later belonged to his son John. On July 30, 1820, he married Veronica Barto, born June 8, 1793, died May 8, 1865. Their children were: Catharine, widow of Isaac Reiff, lives in Friedensburg; Caroline m. Jacob Keim; and John B.

John B. Weidner, son of Jacob and father of George A., was born in Oley Township, Oct 19, 1825, and died May 13, 1892, and is buried in the family burial ground near Pleasantville. He was a lifelong farmer and owned the farm near Lobachsville now the property of Jacob Moyer. He was a school director and was deacon of Lobachsville Church a number of years. His wife, Sarah Angstadt, was a daughter of Gideon Angstadt, who is buried at New Jerusalem Church. She was born July 4, 1833, and died Nov. 7, 1891, and is buried in the Weidner family cemetery. Their children were: Albert; Samuel, who has his home with his brother George A.; Ellen and George A.

George A. Weidner received his education in the public schools of Oley Town- ship, and grew to manhood on the home farm. He began farming in the spring of 1896 at Lobachsville, to which place he moved at that time. Here he continued until the spring of 1903, when he retired and rented the farm. Mr. Weidner's land at Lobachsville consists of 104 acres, and he also owns the hotel and store. In addition he owns the creamery at Lobachsville. He is a substantial citizen, and is favorably known in his district. In politics he is a Democrat. The family attend St. Paul's Union Church, Mrs. Weidner being a Lutheran and Mr. Weidner is a Reformed member.

On June 2, 1894, Mr. Weidner married Maggie Rohrbach, daughter of Augustus and Mary (Grim) Rohrbach. Three children came to bless this union, but one, Ellen died aged two years. The two surviving children are: Minni R. and George R.


p. 1211


George L. Weidner, tax collector for Eshbach, Washington Township, Berks County, PA., and one of the best known residents of that place, where he has engaged in shoemaking since 1861, was born in Earl Township, near the Amity Township line, Aug. 17, 1836.

Jacob Weidner, his grandfather, lived in Earl Township, and was the owner of a large farm, the greater part of which was in Amity Township. He was buried in a private cemetery on his land. His death occurred prior to 1836. He married a Miss Boyer, and their children were: George, Peter, Daniel, Jacob, Ann and several other daughters, one of whom married Tobias Fisher.

Jacob Weidner, son of Jacob and father of George L., was born on his father's farm in Earl Township in 1789, and died in 1847 on his own farm in Earl and Amity Townships. There were 150 acres of fine land in this farm, and the buildings stood in Earl Township. Mr. Weidner engaged in farming and was a substantial citizen. He was buried at Boyertown. His wife, Polly Landis, bore him children as follows: Martin, Elizabeth (Leaver) , Catharine (Albright), Ellen (unmarried), Samuel, David, Jacob, George L., John, Mahlon and Mary (Gilbert).

George L. Weidner received his first schooling in the German pay school of his native district, near Greshville, and later he attended the free school. In 1852 he went to learn the shoe maker's trade with Abraham Fry, of Colebrookdale, a trade he has followed in Washington Township since 1855. In 1861 he came to Eshbach and here he has since been at work, having made thousands of pairs of shoes in his time. Before the days of shoe factories he did a large business, keeping three men constantly employed, and he became quite well-to-do. He is now one of the most substantial men of his vicinity, and is certainly one of the most highly respected. Since 1879 he has been tax collector of Washington Township, and for ten years he was a supervisor. In politics he is a Democrat.

With his family Mr. Weidner attends the Hill Church, of which he is a Lutheran member. He was a deacon, and at present is a trustee of the cemetery. He is one of the active workers in the church, and he collected much money for the church.

In 1859 Mr. George L. Weidner was united in marriage with Sarah Reitenauer, daughter of John and granddaughter of Frederick Reitenauer. She was born in 1840. The children born to them are: Susan m. Enos Culp, of Phoenixville; Elizabeth is the widow of Daniel Gruber; Mary m. John Hoppes, of Barto; Ida m. Wilson Fisher, of Allentown; Ella m. Edwin Heydt, and lives in Washington Township at the Montgomery County line; and Daniel lives at Weisstown, in Colebrookdale Township, Berks County.


p. 1348


Harry Jacob Weidner, engaged in the shoemaking business in the Sixteenth ward, Reading, is a member of the old Weidner family of Berks County. Mr. Weidner was born Oct. 14, 1866, in Reading, son of Daniel W. and Sally (Price) Weidner.

Tychicus (Dietrich) Weidner, the progenitor of this branch of the family in America, was one of three brothers who came from the Fatherland about 1750 and settled in Oley Township, where one of his brothers, Lazarus, also settled, the other one, Adam, locating in Amity Township. The death of Tychicus Weidner occurred in 1798, he being at a very advanced age, and his will, which was probated in that year, mentions these children: Jacob, John, Hannah, Catherine, Esther, Susannah, Mary, Peter, Jonathan, Christian, and Daniel. Of these Jacob Weidner was the great-great-grandfather of Harry J., was a farmer and owned the old homestead, where he was buried, and had a number of children, among them the great-grandfather of Harry J., [and] William.

William Weidner, like his father, spent his life in Oley Township, where his entire Attention was given to agricultural pursuits on the homestead farm. He married Susannah Yoder, and to them were born the following children: Daniel; Jacob, who married Mary Ann Weidner; William, who married Catherine Bean; Reuben (1832-1889), who married Mary Bean; Amanda, who married Reuben Dry; George, who married Theresa Barndt; Rachel, who married William Dilaplain; Leah, who married Israel Keim; and Polly, who married David Weidner.

Jacob Weidner, grandfather of Harry J. was a native of Oley Township, and was engaged in farming and wheelwrighting above Pleasantville, but in 1855 he located in Reading and there engaged in car building for Shaaber & Johnson until his death in 1888. He married Mary Ann Weidner, daughter of David Weidner of Friedensburg, and to the union there were born children as follows: Augustus, who died young; Jacob, who died aged eighteen years; James, who was killed in the Civil War; Gideon, born 1842, who died in 1906, was a shoemaker of Reading, married Esther Graul, and had two children, of whom James, born Aug. 8, 1865, a shoemaker of Reading, married Mary Monroe, by whom he has two children, Annie and Charles; Daniel W., father of Henry J.; and Malinda who married Luke Koch, of Reading.

Daniel W. Weidner was born Oct 12, 1844, in Oley Township, was reared on the farm, and at eleven years old came with his parents to Reading. When seventeen years of age he learned the shoemaking trade, and he has been engaged in this business to the present time. For twelve years he was located at No. 214 Chapel Terrace but since 1904 he has resided at No. 231 South Tenth Street, where he owns property and conducts his business. Mr. Weidner was married in 1866 to Sallie Price, born Sept 2, 1847, and to them have been born three children: Harry Jacob; Annie, who married Jeremiah Auge, of No. 214 Chapel Terrace, Reading; and another that died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Weidner are members of the Gospel Tabernacle on Franklin Street, above Eleventh, where Mr. Weidner is an official and exhorter.

Harry J. Weidner obtained his education in the public schools of his native city, which he left after completing the grammar school course. At the age of fourteen years he became an errand boy in A. Haugen's shoe store, where he remained one year, and from 1871, when he learned the shoemaking trade with his father, until 1888, they worked together at No. 231 South Tenth Street. At the latter date Mr. Weidner married and opened up a shop of his own at Maple Street and Benner's Court, and there he followed his trade until 1892, when he bought the house at No. 239 Miller Street, and here he has continued to the present time, having all the trade that he can handle. Mr. Weidner is very proficient at his trade, and his good work has won for him much custom, while his pleasant and courteous manner has won for him many friends. In political matters he is independent, and socially he is connected with the Knights of Good Templar of Reading. He and his wife are regular attendants of the Gospel Tabernacle.

On Oct 11, 1888, Mr. Weidner was married to Clara D. Hartline, born June 29, 1867, daughter of George A. and Deborah (Drumheller) Hartline, the former a shoemaker and farmer of Alsace Township. To Mr. and Mrs. Weidner have been born five children, sons as follows: Earl R., born Sept 29, 1889; Harold C., born Jan. 1, 1891; Daniel W., born July 10, 1892; George S., born Oct 16, 1895, died May 9, 1904; and H. Clifford born Oct. 15, 1903.


p. 1437


John Weidner, a retired citizen of Reading, Pa., living at No. 114 Walnut street, was born in Exeter township, Berks county, Nov. 30, 1838, son of John and Sarah (Mowrey) Weidner.

John Weidner, the father, was a farmer in Exeter township, and was a well-known and much respected citizen. He married Mrs. Sarah Kline, a widow, who had had by her first marriage three children: Mary, who married Solomon Stoudt; Amanda, m. to Dr. John Marshall, and Al, who lost his life in an accident in Iowa having been a locomotive engineer. To Mr. and Mrs. Weidner were born three children: John; Sarah, second wife of Solomon Stoudt; and Elizabeth m. Frederick Fritz. In religious belief the family were Lutherans, while Mr. Weidner was politically a stanch Democrat. Mr. and Mrs. Weidner are both deceased.

John Weidner received a common school education, and left the home farm to work for William Brumbach, in his woolen mill. Later he came to Reading and engaged in work at the J. G. Leinbach woolen mill, where he learned weaving, carding and spinning. He was there over twenty-five years, and earned the respect and confidence of his employer, having a clean, honest record.

Mr. Weidner was married to Mrs. Angeline Everet, the widow of William Everet, who had one child, Nora, residing at home.

In 1861 Mr. Weidner enlisted in Captain Schraeder's Company C, 7th P. V. I., for three months service and served faithfully. He has been a member of the Rainbow Fire Company for many years, and is also connected with the Veteran Fireman's Association and Keim Post No. 76, G.A.R.


p. 1649


John Y. Weidner, of Mohnton, PA., was born Aug. 3, 1846, at Sinking Spring, Berks County, son of Obadiah and Hannah (Yocum) Weidner.

Obadiah Weidner was born Feb. 17, 1817, in Rockland Township, and died in Boyertown, in the thirty-third year of his age. For some years he lived near Sinking Spring, and later removed to the village, where he conducted a restaurant. On Feb. 1, 1842, he married to Hannah Yocum, born Aug. 21, 1821, who died Sept. 2, 1897, daughter of Nicholas and Catherine (Seidel) Yocum, and to them were born these children: Anna Eliza, born Oct. 11, 1842, died single; Catherine, born Nov. 8, 1844, married John Marks, of Cumru Township; and John Y.

John Y. Weidner attended the Cumru Township schools, which he left at the age of eighteen years, obtaining a fair business education. In 1865 he located in Mohnton, where he has resided to the present time, with the exception of four years when he farmed the Yocum property and dealt in ice. On first locating in Mohnton, Mr. Weidner engaged in the mercantile business at the northeast corner of Church Street and Wyomissing Avenue, but after three years purchased the house now owned by his son-in-law, Martin D. Grill, where he remained for four years. Mr. Weidner was the first man to handle Angelica ice, starting at the old forge. In 1882, after returning to Mohnton, he built a large ice house, 40x50 feet, and engaged extensively in the ice business, which he successfully continued until 1900, when he leased his plant to the Reading Cold Storage Company. For some years after returning to Mohnton, Mr. Weidner conducted a general feed store with his mercantile business, and in 1901 engaged in the sawmill business, his mill being on the Wyomissing Creek at Mohnton, where he employs six men and does a very flourishing business.

Mr. Weidner has been as prominent in public life as he has been in the business world. He is well known as an unswerving Republican, was assessor of his township in 1884, 1885, and 1886, and in the latter year he was elected tax assessor of Cumru Township, a most responsible position. This he filled for a full term of three years with entire satisfaction to all concerned. In 1896 Mr. Weidner was appointed postmaster of Mohnton by President McKinley, and has since been twice re-appointed. He was first appointed under President Harrison, but owing to the controversy between Postmaster-General John Wanamaker and the Republican organization of Pennsylvania he was not commissioned until President McKinley's administration. Mr. Weidner and his family are members of Zion's U. E. Church of Mohnton.

On Feb. 8, 1866, Mr. Weidner was married to Catherine Hornberger, daughter of Joseph and Catherine (Spatz) Hornberger, born May 23, 1846, and to this union there were born: Emma, born Nov. 15, 1867, died in her second year; Maggie, born Oct. 10, 1869, who is a mute, is intelligent, beautiful and is much interested in her church; Lizzie H., born Oct 1, 1872, married Hiram J. Bigony, a well-known business man of Mohnton, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; Hannah R., born Aug. 27, 1875, married Martin D. Grill, a school teacher of Cumru Township; and Kate A., born May 21, 1883, married Charles S. Richwein, also a school teacher of the township.


p. 565


Mahlon E. Weidner, director of the National Bank of Boyertown, proprietor of the Manatawny Flour Mills, in Amity Township, and extensive land owner, is a member of an early settled Berks County family.

(I) David Weidner, son of Adam of Oley Township, located in Amity Township prior to 1752, and settled on a farm now (1909) owned by Matthias Levengood, but which at that time was much more extensive, including the adjoining property now owned by Anthony Albright. On the Levengood farm was a private burial ground which since 1900 has been under cultivation. Here were buried David Weidner and wife, and some of their children and grandchildren. David Weidner was a farmer by occupation. He married Hannah Moser. In the federal census of 1790 he is recorded as the head of a family consisting of nine persons, as follows: father and mother, one son above sixteen years of age, and two sons below sixteen years of age and four daughters.

(II) Jacob Weidner, son of David, in the federal census report of 1790 is recorded the head of a family consisting of eight persons: the parents, four sons under sixteen years of age, and two daughters. Jacob Weidner, married Barbara Weidner and their children were: Peter; Jacob lived in Amity Township, where he owned a small farm now the property of a Frymuth; David m. and lived at Birdsboro (No issue); Susanna m. a Romich, and had a blind daughter, Susanna; Elizabeth m. Tobias Fisher; and one whose name is not given. Jacob Weidner owned the farm on the Swamp Road in Amity which later became property of John Swavely.

(III) Peter Weidner, son of Jacob, was born Dec. 4, 1787, and died Nov. 9, 1847. He was a weaver by trade, and had a shop in Amityville on a lot now owned by John Bertolett. He also owned a small farm at Amityville, which became the property of his son Charles. He married Elizabeth Levengood, born May 1, 1792, and died May 21, 1844, and they are both buried west of the present church at Amityville. They were members of the Reformed congregation. Peter Weidner and his wife became the parents of twelve children, namely: Harriet m. Jared Jones; Charles and Samuel were twins; Nellie m. Charles Goodman; Sallie m. John Lundy, and they moved to Greencastle, IN, where both died; Lewis (Ludwig) is mentioned below. Anna, born Jan. 6, 1823, m. in 1852 Christopher Renz, a native of Germany, who died Nov. 10, 1876, aged seventy years, the father of Lydia, Emma, Rosa, Albert, Annie and Laura, widow of Edward G. Davis, of Reading. Peter was next in the order of birth. Aaron, born 1826, died 1847. Elizabeth m. William Schaeffer. Catharine is the widow of Samuel Dehart, of Bloomsburg, PA. Lydia died aged nineteen years.

(IV) Lewis (Ludwig) Weidner, son of Peter, was born in Amity Township, Dec. 27, 1820, and died Aug. 25, 1907. He was a laborer and post fence maker, being an expert at the latter. In the possession of his son, Mahlon E., is the following document: "On the 19th day of August, 1843, Lewis Weidner was honorably discharged from all the duties enjoined of him as a member of the National Blues attached to the Washington Battalion of Volunteers, within the Second Brigade, 6th Division of P. M. Given under my hand and seal the day and year above written. J. W. Rhoads, Capt." Lewis Weidner was a private in Company B, 205th PA. V. I., enlisting Aug. 24, 1864, to serve one year. On June 2, 1865, he was honorably discharged. During the latter years of his life he lived with his son Mahlon E., and from the time of the Spanish-American war in 1898, in which James S. (son of Mahlon E.) served as a private under Gen. Nelson A. Miles in the Porto Rico campaign, three generations of one family lived in the same house, who had served their country in time of war. Lewis Weidner married Hannah Engel (daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth), born Oct. 1, 1820, died Dec. 3, 1895, and both she and her husband are buried at Amityville, where they were Reformed members of the Amityville Church. Their children were: Mahlon E.; Francis, of Amityville; George, who died in 1867; Bertolet, of Pottstown; and John, of Reading. Lewis Weidner was a stanch Republican from the time of the organization of the party.

(V) Mahlon E. Weidner was born in Amity, Oct. 2, 1844. His schooling was limited, and was all received in the common schools of Amity. From the time he was ten years of age he worked among the neighboring farmers, and at fifteen he was apprenticed to learn the wheelwright's trade. He had served eighteen months of his time when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted Sept. 30, 1861, at Lebanon, PA, in Company B., 93d PA V. I., under Capt. John E. Arthur (afterward Col. Arthur), and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and served principally in the Sixth Army Corps. While with the regiment (which was one of the fighting regiments from Pennsylvania) he participated in the battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Seven Days' Retreat, Malvern Hill, Chantilly, Harper's Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Marye's Heights, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, Mine Run and the Wilderness. In the last mentioned battle Mr. Weidner was wounded in the right fore arm (May 5, 1864), and was confined eight months in the Carver General Hospital, Washington, D. C. He was first honorably discharged Dec. 31, 1863, at Halltown, VA, and re-enlisted as a Veteran Volunteer Jan. 1, 1864, and was promoted for merit to corporal, and was honorably discharged at Carver General Hospital Jan. 27, 1865, because of wounds received in battle.

After the war Mr. Weidner learned the milling trade at Solomon Rhoads' mill, serving an apprenticeship of two years. He then worked two years more as a journeyman at the same place and eight years at a neighboring mill. In the spring of 1879 he took possession of the Manatawny Flour Mill, which he had purchased of the Solomon Rhoads estate in the fall of 1878, and he has successfully conducted this mill for thirty years. In 1884 he entirely remodeled the mill, and installed the roller process, and since then has made many other improvements, having one of the most up-to-date mills in the county, with a capacity of two and one-half barrels an hour. There is a tract of sixty acres of land with this mill, on which in 1899 Mr. Weidner built a new barn 43 x 70. The large stone house was built in 1807 by Othniel R. Sands. In 1893 Mr. Weidner purchased the Amity Mill, also on Manatawny Creek, and this has been named the Glen Alpine Flour Mill. It also has the roller process and a capacity of two barrels per hour. To this mill belongs thirty acres of land. On this property was a stone mill erected in 1745, but the present brick mill replaced it in about 1840. This mill is conducted by Mr. Weidner and his brother Francis, under the firm name of F. E. Weidner & Brother. The flour is shipped to Philadelphia. Mr. Weidner owns the Ezekiel #RhoadsFamily"arm of 122 acres in Amity Township, which he purchased in October, 1907. He is a director of the National Bank of Boyertown, to which position he was elected in 1896. He is one of the substantial and foremost citizens of the township, and wields great influence in public affairs.

In politics Mr. Weidner is a stanch Republican, and from 1866 to 1902 served as a member of the county committee, giving efficient and faithful service. He has, however, always refused to hold office. Fraternally he belongs to Camp No. 43, Union Veteran Legion, of Reading; Post No. 16, G. A. R., of Reading; and the P. O. S. of A., No. 213, of Amityville.

On Sept 23, 1865, Mr. Weidner married Amanda Shadler, daughter of Jeremiah and Harriet (Shealer) Shadler, who in later years lived near Republic, Ohio, where they died and were buried. They became the parents of eleven children: Mary Ellen m. Irwin Reinert; George is deceased; Grant C. died in infancy; Emma m. Marks Boyer, and both are deceased; William H. is miller at the Glen Alpine Mill; Anna m. George Delcamp; Louisa m. Jeremiah Hine; Irwin died in infancy; John is a farmer in Amity; James operates the Manatawny roller mills; and Sallie died in infancy.


p. 903


Milton N. Weidner, a progressive farmer residing near Friedensburg, Oley Township, Berks Co., PA, was born in Oley Township, June 5, 1856, and he comes of an old and honored family, a partial record of which is given.

(I) Jacob Weidner, great-grandfather of Milton N., was native of Greshville, Douglass Township [Berks Co.], where he owned three farms and engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits. One of these farms is now owned by Wm. Davidheiser. For his times Jacob Weidner was a man of wealth and was very influential. He is buried at Boyertown, PA. To him and his wife, Barbara Weidner, were born children as follows: Peter, Jacob, Daniel W. and Mrs. Albright and one who married and settled in Lancaster County.

(II) Daniel W. Weidner, son of Jacob, was born in Douglass Township, Berks Co, PA in 1815, and he died about 1878, aged sixty-three years, and is buried at Lobachsville. He married Sarah Reichert, who died about 1881, aged eighty years. Their children were: David, Levi, Mahlon, Daniel R. (father of Milton), Rebecca, Matilda, Wilhelmina, Sarah and Harriet.

(III) Daniel R. Weidner, son of Daniel W., was born in Colebrookdale Township, Berks Co., PA, March 30, 1834. He was reared to farm life, following farming all his days. He owns a farm of twenty-one acres, but now resides with his son, Milton, having been with him since the death of his wife, whose maiden name was Esther Noll. She was born Dec. 20, 1833, and died Feb. 2, 1907, aged seventy-four years. Their children were: Milton N., and Mary, who married Norvin Zimmerman, and died in 1889, and is buried at Lobachsville, PA. Mr. Weidner learned the trade of wheelwright, but never followed it.

When Milton N. Weidner was nineteen years of age he learned the carpenter's trade and followed it for twenty-three years, having helped to build many of the handsome residences of Friedensburg, as well as many of the barns of Oley Township. In the fall of 1887, he bought his present home, and owns a fine farm of thirty-three acres. The buildings and premises are in excellent order. The house was built by Daniel Leinbach, a brother of Mrs. Weidner. In addition to the home farm, Mr. Weidner owns a tract of woodland, forty-six acres in extent, located in Oley Township. In politics Mr. Weidner is a Democrat. In religious faith he is a Lutheran, while his wife is a member of the Reformed Church.

In 1884 Mr. Weidner married Elizabeth Leinbach, daughter of Samuel Leinbach, and granddaughter of Samuel Leinbach. Mr. and Mrs. Weidner have four children: Edna I., Verna and Hettie, all at home; and Daniel who died in infancy. Mr. Weidner and his family are highly respected in their neighborhood.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:34 EDT

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