Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1041


Harry John Wendler, an enterprising young business man of Reading, Pa., who is the popular proprietor of the well known "Hotel Wendler," was born Sept. 14, 1871, at Wilmington, Del., son of Martin J. and Anna (Moyer) Wendler.

Martin J. Wendler was born in 1841, at Reutlingen, Wurtemberg, Germany, and died at Wilmington, Del., in March, 1885. He came to America at the close of the Civil war, as did his wife, Anna Moyer, to whom he was married at Philadelphia, in 1868. He was a carriage finisher by trade, and was a skilled mechanic, being for many years the superintendent of the Kendal and McLear Carriage Works, at Wilmington, Del. He had four children: Sophia (m. Frank Ernst, of Reading); Harry J.; Lena (m. Bernard Stoeber, of Reading); and Julius. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Wendler came to Reading, where she was married (second) to Michael Mayser, a native or Wurtemberg, Germany, who was for seven years in the United States navy and five years in the army.

Harry John Wendler was educated in the public schools of his native city and had passed the examination for admission to the high school at the time of his father's death. When sixteen years of age he went to Omaha, Nebr., where he was a weighmaster for Swift & Company for one year, his mother having removed to Reading in the meantime. In 1887 Mr. Wendler came to this city where he has since resided with the exception of two years when he was proprietor of the "Hotel Cresson," at Atlantic City. In 1901, Mr. Wendler commenced business for himself, succeeding his mother, who had conducted the business eight years prior to that time. As proprietor of the "Hotel Wendler," Mr. Wendler has shown his business capacity, and his hostelry is now one of the most popular and best patronized in his section of the city. For three years he was also employed as flagman for the Reading Railway Company. He was one of the organizers of Company I, 4th Regiment, National Guard, and served as its first lieutenant for three years, at the end of which, in 1901, he resigned. Socially, he is connected with Aerie No. 66, F. O. E.; Unamis Tribe, I. O. R. M.; D. J. Laing Council, O. of I. A., of Reading; Junior Fire Company; Humane Association; the Old Guard Association, composed of all former members of the National Guard Harmonie Maennerchor; Philharmonic Band; and the Northeastern Republican League. Mr. Wendler is a gifted artist with the pencil, and has demonstrated his skill in this line by doing a number of fine crayon portraits. He is athletically built, standing six feet tall, and is of robust constitution.

On July 8, 1897, Mr. Wendler married Abbie S. Rutz, daughter of Henry and Susanna Rutz, of Reading. They have one son: Harry J., born June 7, 1898.


p. 1147


Frank R. Wendling, a successful young business man of Robeson township, Berks county, who is proprietor of the Gibraltar Flour Mills, Gibraltar, Pa., was born Nov. 10, 1876, in Mertztown, Pa., son of Edward and Catherine (Zeigler) Wendling.

David Wendling, grandfather of Frank R., was a native of Clarion county, Pa., and was a millwright by trade, also engaging for some years in agricultural pursuits. He died in Mertztown, pa., in 1889, in his eighty-fifth year, and his wife, at the same place in 1880 at the age of seventy-five years. They were consistent members of the Lutheran Church. Their children were: Joseph, Tillman, Mary, Carrie, Matilda and Edward. Mr. Wendling was a Democrat in politics.

After receiving a good common school education, Edward Wendling took up the trade of his father, that of millwright, and this he has followed all of this life, having since 1889, operated a mill at Bower's Station. He is a Lutheran in religious belief, in politics is a Democrat, and is fraternally connected with the Knights of Pythias and the I. O. O. F. He and his wife, Catherine Zeigler had these children: Ida, m. to A. F. DeLong; Olivia, m. to John A. Fenstmacher; Catherine, single; Emma, m. to Bennewell Miller; and Frank R.

Frank R. Wendling secured his education in the schools of Mertztown, and as a young man engaged in butter-making at the Mertztown creamery, continuing there until his father removed to Bower's Station, when he entered the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, pa., from which institution he was graduated in 1896. He then taught school for five years, when he removed to his present location, and has been very successful. Mr. Wendling is enterprising and energetic, and has built up a large and lucrative business, the capacity of his mill being twenty-five barrels, in addition to which he does a great deal of custom grinding. He also does all kinds of sawing, making a specialty of shingles. Politically he is a Democrat, and he has been a member of the Gibraltar school board since 1904, now serving in the capacity of secretary of that body. Fraternally he is connected with the K. G. E. and the P. O. S. of A.

Mr. Wendling was married in 1899 to Mary Bieber, of Lyons, Pa., and two children, Homer and Catharine, have been born to them. Mr. and Mrs. Wendling attend the Lutheran Church.


p. 800


Leroy J. Wenger, M. D., who is successfully engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery at Reading, Pa., was born May 5, 1879 in New York City, N. Y., son of M. Leroy and Anna T. (McGuire) Wenger.

Dr. Wenger's preliminary education was secured in the public schools of Reading, Pa., and he was graduated from the high school with the class of 1899, being salutatorian thereof, also holding the alumni medal. He read medicine with his father for some time, and then entered Bellevue Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1903. He then served as interne at the New York Maternity Hospital, having been sub-interne at St. Joseph's Hospital, Reading, during two vacations. Dr. Wenger first settled in the general practice of his chosen profession at No. 1040 North Eighth street, at which location he remained one and one-half years, then removing to No. 1031 North Ninth street, where he continued for a like period. In 1906 he came to his present location, No. 1044 North Eleventh street, where he has built up a large and lucrative practice. The Doctor is a member of the surgical staff of St. Joseph's Hospital.

Dr. Wenger married Katherine A. Rice, of Reading. From this union there is one son, LeRoy Rice Wenger.


p. 901


Albert D. Wenrich, a prominent citizen and retired farmer of Berks county, Pa., who for many years operated in Heidelberg township, is now living a quiet life at Robesonia. He was born June 15, 1850, in Lower Heidelberg township, son of David L. and Molly (Gockley) Wenrich.

Mathias Wenrich, grandfather of Albert d., was born in Lower Heidelberg township, on the Wenrich homestead, and was an extensive farmer all of his life. He died at the farm along the Berks and Dauphin pike, and is buried at the Corner Church, of which he was a member. He married Sophia Kalbach, and to them were born: David L.; Adam, the father of Dr. Reuben; Richard, the father of Robert and Elwood; Franklin, the father of Charles; Emma, Mrs. Frank Miller, of Womelsdorf; and Angemia, Mrs. Jacob Yoder of Wernersville.

David S. Wenrich was born on the Wenrich homestead, and for many years was a prominent farmer of Lower Heidelberg township, on the farm on the pike, now owned by John E. Moyer. Mr. Wenrich was a most substantial citizen and also owned the farm that is now the property of Silas Gaul and that of James Hill. He was a stanch Democrat in politics, was county commissioner from 1857 to 1860, and from 1863 to 1866, prison inspector from auditor and school director for many years. He was prominent in church matters, being deacon and elder of St. Daniel's (Corner) Church, of Heidelberg township. Mr. Wenrich married Molly (Mary) Gockley, daughter of Dietrich and Eve (Moore) Gockley, and to this union there were born children as follows: Mary, deceased (m. Daniel Althouse, of Womelsdorf); Joanna (married Daniel Frank Sheeler, of Robesonia); Elmira G., born Dec. 21, 1841 (m. William Himmelberger, deceased, who conducted the "Eagle Hotel" at Robesonia for many years); Henrietta (died at the age of five months); Wellington, of Waynesboro (m. Hannah Mohler); Aaron M., of Robesonia, warden of the county jail for many years (m. Emma Yost); Albert D.; and Michael A., a farmer of Cumru township (m. Kate Kintzer).

Albert D. Wenrich was educated in the common schools, and later attended Palatinate College at Myerstown, Pa., for two years. He was reared upon the farm and successfully followed farming until 1887, when he purchased the unfinished Frank Brown mansion, immediately back of Robesonia, which he finished, this being a large, fine brick residence of eleven rooms and all modern conveniences, which is surrounded by porticos and a well-kept yard. Mr. Wenrich owns one of the finest farms in Berks county, a square tract of 161 acres of the most fertile land, forty acres of which he cut up into building lots, a number of which he sold. This property is the old John L. Fisher farm, and was the Fisher homestead. Fine buildings and spring-water are added advantages on this property. For twenty years Mr. Wenrich dealt extensively in cattle. He is one of the most popular men of his community, and is respected and esteemed by all who know him. As a man of good judgment and large means, he is prominent in all public matters in his township and may always be found casting his influence in the direction of progressive movements which promise to be of permanent benefit to his locality. He is a strong Democrat in political matters, for six years was a member of the school board, of which he was also secretary and treasurer, and he is now serving his township in the capacity of supervisor. Mr. Wenrich and his family are members of St. Daniel's (Corner) Church, near Robesonia, of which he has been an official member. This is one of the old churches of Berks county, and many of Mr. Wenrich's ancestors are buried there. Mr. Wenrich owns a fine lot in the cemetery.

On Sept. 30, 1871, Albert D. Wenrich was united in marriage with Mary Fisher, born March 13, 1852, daughter of Riley L. and Matilda (Reber) Fisher. Four children have been born to this union, one son and three daughters, as follows: Annie, who became the wife of Charles Brossman, a leading manufacturer of Reading, Pa., and has four sons,-John, Luke, Mark and Paul; Riley D., who makes his home at Columbus, Ohio, where he is in the service of the American Tobacco Company; Esther, who became the wife of William Dundore, of Womelsdorf; and Matilda May, who died Sept. 27, 1891.


p. 1049


Ezra S. Wenrich, proprietor of a restaurant at No. 705 Penn street, Reading, is a native of Berks county, born in Heidelberg township, in 1865, son of Richard M. and Mary Ann (Koch) Wenrich. The father, who has been one of the successful farmers of the region, has for the last few years been living retired at Reading. He and his wife, who died in October, 1906, had five children: Ezra S., Robert E., Richard C. N., Nathaniel C. R. and Annie (deceased wife of Levan Rabock).

Ezra S. Wenrich as a boy attended the township school, and later, in 1881, went to the Millersville State Normal School, and qualified himself for teaching. He followed that profession only one term, in Marion township, and then having in the meantime learned telegraphy, stenography and bookkeeping he secured a position at such work with Coxe Brothers & Co., at Drifton, Luzerne county, finally becoming chief clerk in the mining department. He remained with that firm for eight years, until 1893, and at the end of that time moved to Reading, and engaged in his present business. His first restaurant was located at No, 433 Penn street, whence he moved to No 545 Penn street, and then in 1900 to the location which he still occupies, at Nos. 705-707, on the same street. Mr. Wenrich purchased the property in 1902, and has since then added many improvements to the place. His restaurant is one of the most modern in the city, is very well conducted and is one of the most popular cafes of Reading. Mr. Wenrich's home is on the premises, as the family occupy the upper floors at No. 705 Penn street. Mr. Wenrich also owns Nos. 15 and 17 North Seventh street, and Nos. 700-02-04 Court street, all of which is valuable property and well improved.

In 1889, Mr. Wenrich married Miss Margaretta Marley, of Drifton, daughter of Mich. and Margaret (Drumheller) Marley, and to this union five children have been born, namely: Elwood, deceased; Claude G.; Mabel A.; Arthur E.; and Ruth M. M. Mr. Wenrich is a man of considerable influence in St., Matthew's Lutheran Church, of which he is a member and one of the trustees. In 1903 he placed his name upon the roll of the Y. M. C. A. Fraternally he is a Scottish Rite Mason, a member of Blue Lodge, No. 62, Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, Reading Commandery No. 42, the A. A. O. N. M. S., and the Lodge of Perfection. Mr. Wenrich is a man of much ability, has been very successful in his business operations, and enjoys the respect of all who know him.


p. 981


Martin H. Wenrich, a well-known and highly esteemed citizen of Marion township, Berks county, who is now serving as chief clerk in the county commissioner's office at Reading, Pa., was born in Heidelberg township, Berks county, Sept. 13, 1859, son of Mahlon and Harriet (Harp) Wenrich.

Joseph Wenrich, grandfather of Martin H., was born on the original family homestead in 1800, and died at Stouchsburg, Pa., in 1888. He was a lifelong and successful farmer, owning two properties in Heidelberg township, and was an honored and upright citizen. He married Elizabeth Denham, and they had three children: Mahlon; Caroline, m. to George Spangler; and Thomas.

Mahlon Wenrich was born on the original homestead, and lived in Heidelberg township until 1859, when he removed to Stouchsburg, and there resided until his death, Nov. 6, 1869. He was a farmer all of his life and a very successful one, owning a tract of land which is still in the possession of the family. He was greatly interested in all movements calculated to advance his community, especially in an educational way. In religious matters he was connected with Zion's Lutheran Church at Stouchsburg. Mr. Wenrich married Harriet Harp, daughter of Henry and Nancy (Nagel) Harp, of Womelsdorf, and four children were born to this union, namely; Martin H., Joseph H., of Stouchsburg; and two sons who died in infancy.

Martin H. Wenrich attended the public schools of Stouchsburg, whither he had been brought by his parents when less than a year old, and later entered White Hall Academy, at Stouchsburg, which was then under the tutorage of Prof. W. J. Sechler, Prof. Allen R. Bucks and Prof. Isaac L. Moyer, his last teacher being Prof. W. Z. Deck. At the age of sixteen years Mr. Wenrich engaged in teaching at the Tannery school-house, in Heidelberg township, where he continued two terms, then spending nineteen straight terms in his home district. His last six years in the profession were spent at the Stouchsburg high school, then known as the Stouchsburg grammar school. He was one of the best known educators in his day in this section, and his former pupils speak of him in highest terms. During the interim between the school terms, Mr. Wenrich pursued various occupations, including paper hanging, painting, clerking in a store, and putting up electrical appliances in western Berks county, and in 1889 he was appointed to a clerical position in the Census office, Agricultural Division, under the civil service. Later he was appointed chief of the Filing Division, on G street, Washington, D. C., a position in which he served with great efficiency for some years, when he was appointed county controller's bookkeeper by John F. Anacona, the incumbent at that time. After three years in that position, Mr. Wenrich connected himself with the Reading Telegram, in the capacity of advertising manager for one year, and at the end of that time he was appointed by the county commissioners who took office Jan. 1, 1906, to the position of chief clerk, in which he has served ever since to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Socially Mr. Wenrich is connected with Washington Camp No. 237, P. O. S. of A., and the Ancient Order of Good Fellows, both of Stouchsburg. With his family he attends Zion Lutheran Church, and he has served in various capacities. He was a member of the building committee which erected the present handsome edifice, and was superintendent of the Sunday-school for four years. He has been president of the Marion school board since 1904, and is greatly interested in educational movements, having been a prominent member of the Berks County School Directors' Convention. He is an active Democrat in politics, and a leader of his party in his section, having been delegate to a number of State conventions.

On June 17, 1879, Mr. Wenrich married Emma I. Reed, daughter of Samuel and Leah (Rutter) Reed, of Stouchsburg, and they have two children: Herbert Reed, of Reading; and Miriam Dorothy.


p., 1074


Nathan M. Wenrich, who stands deservedly high as a business citizen at Fritztown, Spring township, where he is the proprietor of a successful mercantile establishment, was born April 6, 1865, at Reinhold's Station, Lancaster county, son of John and Elizabeth (Merkel) Wenrich.

The Wenrich family, which is one of the oldest of the State, had its origin here in Mathias Wenrich, Sr., who was one of the very earliest settlers of Berks county. He was a large land owner in Heidelberg township, where two of his sons: Balthaser and Mathias, Jr., were taxables in 1759.

Matthias Wenrich, Jr., great-grandfather of Nathan M., was an early resident of that township, and was an extensive land owner. He served as an ensign in the Fourth Battalion of Col. Nicholas Lotz's Sixth Company, in the Revolutionary war, which was in service May 17, 1777. He was a man of prominence in his day. Among his sons were: Daniel, who married Hannah Hain and had these children: Daniel, Isaac, Adam, Manasses, Elizabeth, Sophia, Annie, Rebecca and Sarah; David L., who was a prominent citizen of Berks county and county commissioner in 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1863, 1864, 1865, and 1866; and John.

John Wenrich, grandfather of Nathan M., was an agriculturist, and for many years was engaged in operating a farm at Reinhold's Station. He is buried at Swamp Church. Mr. Wenrich married Sarah Schaeffer, and to them were born these children: James settled in Waterloo, Ind.; Sophia m. Michael Miller; Rebecca m. Augustus Emes; John; Anna m. Joseph Eberly; Rev. Samuel has a charge at Danville, Pa.; Benjamin is of Lehigh county, Pa.; and Mary m. Lewis Whitman.

John Wenrich, father of Nathan M., was born Aug. 3, 1833, and for many years has resided at Reinhold's Station, where he has been engaged in operating his sixty-five acre tract of fine land. Although well advanced in years, Mr. Wenrich is sound in body and mind, and he is well known and highly esteemed in his locality. In political matters he is a Democrat, while his religious belief is that of the Lutheran Church; he worships with that denomination at Swamp Church, where he has been deacon and elder. He married Elizabeth Merkel, born Feb. 20, 1835, who died Dec. 30, 1904, daughter of Solomon Merkel, of Gouglersville, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. John Wenrich became the parents of the following children: Daniel died in 1902, aged forty-four years; Sarah m. John Wealand; Miss Mary resides at Denver, Pa.; Rev. John is a Lutheran minister stationed at Stoutsville, Ohio; Nathan M.; Amanda m. Jacob H. Gelsimer, of Reinhold's Station, Pa.; Lemon; Alice m. Harry Aungst, of Reinhold's Station; Lydia died at the age of seventeen years; Rev. S. Martin is a Lutheran minister at Northampton Heights, Pa.; Clara m. Anson Moyer, of Reinhold's Station, Pa.; and Emma died in infancy.

Nathan M. Wenrich obtained a liberal education in the district schools and the Millersville State Normal School, the latter of which he attended for five terms. He then took a course at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. U., from which he was graduated in the spring of 1887, after which he taught school for two terms and subsequently became a clerk in J. S. Lauser's general store, at Schaefferstown, Lebanon county. After four years with Mr. Lauser, Mr. Wenrich resumed teaching, which he carried on for seven terms in Lancaster county, and became well and favorably known as an educator. In 1899 Mr. Wenrich obtained his permanent certificate, having been first licensed to teach in 1885, by Professor Brecht, and in 1900 he came to Fritztown, where he engaged in the mercantile business. From the first the business prospered, and it has now grown to large proportions. Mr. Wenrich carries everything in a mercantile line, and by paying strict attention to the needs of the people of his community he has won a place for himself among the leading business men of Fritztown.

On Sept. 14, 1889, Mr. Wenrich was married to Sarah Bechtel, born Oct. 12, 1866, daughter of William and Leah (Gensemer) Bechtel, by whom he has had two children: Emma, who died in infancy; and John William, born Jan. 24, 1898.


p. 1162


Paul A. Wenrich, whose restaurant is located at No. 545 Penn street, Reading, is one of the well-known business men of this city. He was born at Wernersville, Berks Co., Pa., in 1884, son of Franklin J. and grandson of Jonathan Wenrich.

Franklin J. Wenrich was also a native of Berks county, and for some years of his early manhood he was a school teacher in the vicinity of his home. Subsequently he bought a small farm in Lebanon county, on which he remained a few years, and then operated farms in Berks county prior to buying a small farm near Stouchsburg, on which he resided until his death May 30, 1891. He married Sarah R. Klopp, who resided on the farm above mentioned until her death in February, 1907. Their children were: Samuel E., a farmer of Wernersville; Reuben D., superintendent of the Grand View Sanitarium farm at Wernersville; John F., a clerk at Chicago, Ill.; Bertha, m. to H. B. Troutman, and residing with her mother; Hannah E., m. to Oliver W. Shaffer, of Wernersville; Sallie, m. to John Marks, of Wernersville; Paul A., and two sons deceased.

Paul A. Wenrich obtained his education in the township schools, and while still a lad, was employed on the farm of F. B. Reed, during the summer seasons. Later he became an employe of the Grand View Sanitarium at Wernersville, and remained there under his uncle, Dr. R. D. Wenrich, for four years, returning to school during the winter months. Mr. Wenrich then learned telegraphing, and for a number of years was in the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, and while stationed at Pawling, Chester county, he also conducted a restaurant there. Finding this line, when well managed, a successful one, on Dec. 11, 1905, he bought his present business at Reading, where he has realized his anticipations. He understands thoroughly the conditions under which a restaurant may be made a paying concern, and the increase in his patronage shows that he meets the requirements of a discriminating public. He is also sole proprietor of the Majestic pool room, shoe shine parlors and barber shop.

Mr. Wenrich married Ella N. White, daughter of Isaac S. White, of Sheridan, Lebanon Co., Pa., and they have three children: Ethel P., Sarah R. and Edgar A. They reside at No. 513 Elm street, Reading. Mr. Wenrich is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Wernersville. He belongs to Aerie No. 66, F. O. E., Reading; Washington Camp, No. 237, P. O. S. of A., of Stouchsburg; No. 489 K. O. T. M. Reading; No. 1489, K. O. T. M., Reading; Vigilance Lodge, No. 194, I. O. O. F., Reading; Ringgold Band, and O. R. T. No. 237, Reading, the Mutual Benefit Department of same, and other social and beneficial organizations.




Dr. Reuben D Wenrich, proprietor of the "Grand View Sanatorium." Near Wernersville, was born in Lower Heidelberg township May 15, 1842. He received his preliminary education in the township schools until he was fourteen years of age and for the next five years attended advanced institutions at Womelsdorf, Stouchsburg, Pughtown, Trappe and Millersville. He then took a completer course in Duffs Commercial College at Philadelphia in 1861. During the winter months from 1858 to 1862, he taught public school, and while teaching he determined to become a medical practitioner. In the summer of 1862, he taught public school, and while teaching he determined to become a medical practitioner. In the summer of 1862, he entered the office of Dr. D. D. Detweiler at the Trappe, where he continued during that season, and the next summer he read medicine in the office of Dr. William J. Schoener, at Strausstown, Berks county. During the winter months he attended lectures in the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from that institution in 1864. He then selected Wernersville as a place to start the practice of medicine, and after carrying on a successful practice there for nearly ten years he became a partner of Dr. James W. Deppen, an experienced physician at Wernersville, in medical practice. They also engaged in a general merchandise business, and dealt in coal, lime and lumber. Dr. Wenrich was associated with Dr. Deppen in a most agreeable and successful manner until his decease in 1895, a period covering more than twenty years.

In 1879, Dr. Deppen and Dr. Wenrich purchased the "Mountain Home, " a famous health institution situated on the South Mountain, two miles south of Wernersville, which had been carried on for about thirty years by different parties. Then they directed their attention to this great enterprise and gradually withdrew from business operations at Wernersville. Their joint management of it until Dr. Deppens decease was very successful, they having increased and improved the plant in various ways, and developed its patronage to extend throughout the United States. They changed the name to "Grand View Sanatorium," and it has been so known up to the present. Its situation commands a magnificent view of the Lebanon and Schuylkill Valleys, reaching to the Blue Mountains on the north, and to the city of Reading on the east, a view which has won the admiration and praise of the numerous patrons of the institution. On the settlement of Dr. Deppens estate, Dr. Wenrich became the sole owner of the institution, and since then he has secured adjoining farms and woodland, thereby increasing the total land area to about 600 acres. Costly permanent improvement were made to the plant, in January, 1907, comprising a large carriage house and barn, 101 x 120 feet; extension of main building for commodious dining-room to accommodate the guests, numbering at a time from 100 to 200; and power-house for installing electric plant and boilers for power, light and heat for the buildings. It is recognized as one of the finest and most complete health resorts in the United States.

On the organization of the National bank at Wernersville in April 1906, Dr. Wenrich gave it his active encouragement, and he has since served as one of the directors thereof.

In 1865 Dr. Wenrich married Miss Sarah Gockley, daughter of Moses Gockley, of Wernersville, and by her he had seven children: Dr. George G., a graduate physician of the University of Pennsylvania, m. to Anna May Coar; Dr. John A., also a graduate physician from the State University, m. to Grace Alvana Gaddis (he and his brother are on the medical staff of the Sanatorium); Eva Ann, m. to Alvin J. Gibbs, of Canton, Ohio; and four who died young. Mrs. Wenrich died in 1896, aged forty-eight years. Her father was the son of Dietrich and Eva (Moore) Gockley, and the grandson of John Gockley, a farmer of Cocalico township, Lancaster Co, Pa., who had settled there before 1790.

Dr. Wenrichs father was Adam Wenrich, a farmer of Lower Heidelberg. He was married to Eliza Klopp, daughter of John Klopp, of North Heidelberg, and by her had five children: Richard M. m. Mary Koch; Franklin J. m. Sarah Klopp; Emma E. m. Franklin Miller; Reuben D.; and Jemima m Jacob S. Yoder. The father died in 1851, aged forty-seven years; and the mother died in 1877, aged sixty-eight years.

Matthias Wenrich, Jr., father of Adam, was a farmer of Heidelberg. He married Sophia Kalbach, and by her had eleven children: Daniel m. Hannah Hain; Adam; John m. Anna Schaeffer; David L. m Magdalena Gockley; Maria m. John Fisher; Catherine m. Christian Walborn; Sarah m. John F. Miller; Sophia m. Joseph Nagle and upon her decease he m. her sister, Susanna and Elizabeth m. Michael Hain, who upon her decease m. her sister Rebecca. The father died in 1840, aged seventy-seven years, and his wife in 1841, aged seventy years.

Matthias Wenrich, Sr., father of Matthias, Jr., was a farmer. His father was also named Matthias, and he was a farmer of the same township, his farm having continued in the name from 1739 until 1889.


p. 855


Augustus L. Wentzel, a prominent and influential citizen of Lower Alsace township, Berks Co., Pa., where owns and operates one of the best truck farms in the State, was born Sept. 20, 1842, in Alsace (now Lower Alsace) township, son of Jesse B. and Sarah (Lindenmuth) Wentzel.

John Wentzel, grandfather of Augustus L., was a farmer of Alsace township, and was the father of these children: Samuel, a carpenter and builder, married a Miss Keller, and they had children, Henry, Augustus, Frank, Wilson, Samuel, Savilla and Ida; John died single; Daniel, a farmer of Lower Alsace township, m. Mary Flickinger, and had children, Daniel, Mary, Amelia, Maria, Jerre, Augustus and Israel; Jerre, a tailor and later a hotel clerk, m. a Miss Leinbach, of Muhlenberg township, and they had six children, Thomas, Dallas, Frederick, Jane, Mary and Amelia; Harry, a tailor at Reading, m. Angeline Heineman, and they had three children, Henry, Jane and Clara; Jacob, a shoemaker at Philadelphia, m. a Miss Seidel, and they had one daughter, Hettie; Solomon, a tailor at Reading, m. Catherine Houder, and they had seven children, Frank, Solomon, Emma, Clara, Harry, Howard and Ellen; Hettie m. Abraham Kline, a cooper of Reading, and had four children, Henry(a plumber), Emma (m. William Heckman), Hettie (m. Nathan Rohrbach), and Amanda (m. a Mr. Lerch); Jesse B.; Mrs. Hartman and Mrs. Ziebner.

Jesse B. Wentzel, father of Augustus L., was born Feb 22, 1813, in Alsace (now Lower Alsace) township, and in early life was a carpenter and builder. In 1849 he engaged in trucking and purchased a farm, which he cultivated the remainder of his life. Mr. Wentzel married Sarah Lindenmuth, and to them the following children were born: Jonathan m. (first) Anna Madeira, deceased, and (second) Mary ---------; Malinda m. Albert Burket, a brick layer at Reading, and has nine children, -Thomas, Harry, Sallie, Kate, Anna, Maggie, Nora, Bessie and Lillie; Sarah m. Charles Nagle, a blacksmith at Reading, where both died, and had four children, William, Emma, Ida and Hettie; Emma m. Harrison Hinnershitz, formerly a miller and now a dealer in flour, feed and coal at Mt. Penn, Pa., and has eleven children-Llewellyn, Charles, Edward, Clarence, Sallie, Laura, Emma, Maggie, Jennie, Esther and harry; Augustus L; Henry, a cabinet maker, died some years ago leaving one daughter, Lizzie (m. Irvin Eames); Frank, deceased, m. Ellen Reifsnyder, who survives him, and they had children, Harry, Ida, Zadie, George, Florence, Sallie, Emma, Catherine, Hettie, Elmer, Walter, Samuel and Helen.

Augustus L. Wentzel was reared at the home in which he now resides and was educated in the district schools, after leaving which he assisted his father in the work upon the farm. In 1871 he succeeded his father in business for twenty years, and after the latter's death managed it for the estate for one year. He subsequently purchased the main farm, and several years later, when the mother died, he bought that part of the property. Mr. Wentzel is still in possession of the old deeds and conveyances from the time his father bought the original tract, which at that time represented nothing more than an almost impenetrable wilderness. Where once was acre after acre of wild, unexplored timberland are now fertile fields crossed by miles of trolley lines; each farmer's home is equipped with the telephone and other modern conveniences, and the dense wilderness that was has given way before the march of civilization. Mr. Wentzel's property, which is one of the finest truck farms in the State, is supplied not only with the water found there, but also with Mt. Penn borough water. He and his family attend the Reformed Church. In political matters he is a Republican, and for three years was township auditor, although at no time has he ever sought office.

On Dec. 23, 1865, Mr. Wentzel was married to Hettie G. Price, daughter of Reuben and Angeline (Guldin) Price, who were residents of Jacksonwald, Exeter township. Nine children were born to this union: Katie, born June 18, 1866, died Nov. 10, 1870; Ellen, born Feb. 13, 1868, m. (first) John Meck, had one child, Clinton, and (second) Amos Wilder, and had three children, Viola, Nettie and Minnie; Maggie, born June 1, 1869, m. Charles Scholl, a dentist of Reading, and has three children, Esther, Dorothy and Carl; Anna, born Feb. 1, 1871, married John Kock, deceased, and had children, Pearl, Myrtle, Daisy, Clytia, Leah, Charles and Sarah; Charles, born July 19, 1872, died April 19, 1885; Harry, born Feb. 25, 1874, died April 19, 1885; Rosa, born June 28, 1875, m. (first) Harry Eisenbrown, deceased, had two children, Robert and Mildred, and (second) Samuel Eisenbrown, of the Eisenbrown Marble Works, a brother of her first husband, and they have two children, Arthur and Marie Christine; Sallie, born Sept. 23, 1878, m. Charles Yeager, an engraver of Reading; and Emma, born Feb. 7, 1880, died young.

Mrs. Wentzel died April 19, 1889, aged forty-one years, twelve days, and for his second wife Mr. Wentzel married, Sept. 20, 1890, Miss Amanda Weidener, daughter of William and Emma (Himmelreich) Weidener. To this union there were born children as follows: Jessie, June 8, 1891; Augustus W., Sept. 2, 1892; and Amy, Dec. 14, 1893.

The following is an account taken from a local newspaper, which describes the sad accident that threw a great shadow over Mr. Wentzel's life: "On Sunday morning, April 19, 1885, a small outbuilding on the property of Augustus L. Wentzel was burned. At the time of the occurrence the two sons of Mr. Wentzel, Charles and Harry, and two workmen named Hettinger were sleeping there, and they perished in the flames. Daniel W. Noll, a weak-minded son of a neighbor, was arrested for the deed, but was acquitted on the ground of insanity," whereupon he was taken to an insane asylum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This awful accident produced a profound sensation and moved the hearts of the entire community. The funeral services, conducted at Zion's Church, were attended by a multitude of sympathizing people from all parts of the county.


p. 1459


David S. Wentzel, who is engaged in cultivating the old Wentzel homestead in Oley township, was born May 27, 1842, on his present farm, son of William and Lydia (Seyler) Wentzel.

Lorentz Wentzel, the ancestor of this old Berks county family, lived in the vicinity of Spies's Church, where is a tombstone bearing the following inscription: Lorentz Wentzel war geboren D 22 April 1701 und starb 1780, 14 September-Alt 79 y. 4 monet 22.: On the same tombstone, below that of her husband, is found the inscription of his wife, which reads as follows: "Catharina Wentzelin war geboren 1709, 1 Jan. und starb d. 4 Februar 1793. Theres alter 85 yahre und etliche taga." Baltzer Wentzel, of Douglass township, Berks county, a son of the ancestor, made a will, which is on record in Book A, page 38. This will, made June 14, 1781, and probated April 8, 1782, was executed by his wife, Cathrine Wentzel, who survived him, and it mentioned "my son-in-law Henry Jorge." The children of Baltzer and Catharine Wentzel were: Johannes, Anna Maria and Catharine.

Daniel Wentzel, the great-grandfather of David S., and probably a grandson of the ancestor Lorentz, made his will May 23, 1811, and it was entered Dec. 22, 1812, the year of his death, being on record in Will Book A., page 602, his wife having preceded him in death. Their children were: Daniel, who had settled in Oley; John, of Alsace township; and Catharine, who married Matthias Balter.

Daniel Wentzel, grandfather of David S., was a native of Oley township, where he died in the fall of 1849, aged over seventy years. He was a farmer and tanner by occupation and bought the Wentzel farm from the Schwartz family prior to 1800, the tract then consisting of but eighty acres of land. He left a fair-sized estate in his will, which was made July 7, 1849, and entered Nov. 21, 1849, in Will Book 9, page 385, the executors being Abraham Wentzel and Daniel Buskirk. His wife, who was a Hoofnagel, bore him these children: Catharine, who married Solomon Hollenbush; Jacob and Abraham, of Ruscombmanor township; William; and Mary, who married George Bussler.

William Wentzel, father of David S., was born on his father's farm in Oley township, Sept. 25, 1797, and died July 27, 1870, being buried at Friedensburg. At the time of his father's death he obtained the home farm with $1,000 in money and he followed the occupation of an agriculturist and tanner throughout his life. William Wentzel married Lydia Seyler, born Nov. 6, 1806, who died Jan. 26, 1883, and to them there were born five children: Maria, born in 1832, who died in 1844; Sarah, who died in infancy; Daniel, born in 1829, who died in 1830; Susanna, born in 1840, who died in 1844, and David S.

David S. Wentzel was reared to the work of an agriculturist, and also learned the trade of tanner at Wentzel's tannery. When about twenty-five years old he engaged in farming and for nearly a quarter of a century carried on a tanning business, having a helper, and disposing of his product at Reading and Philadelphia. In 1897 he disposed of this enterprise to give his entire attention to his farming. The Wentzel tract, one of the fine farms of this locality, consists of 107 acres, the house thereon having been built by Mr. Wentzel in 1871, and the barn by his father and grandfather in 1837. In addition he owns four acres of woodland in Ruscombmanor township, and a tract of 106 acres there in partnership with Samuel Melot. He has been exceedingly successful in the various business enterprises in which he has been engaged, and enjoys the reputation of an honest and upright citizen. In political matters Mr. Wentzel is a Republican, and he has always had the interests of the community at heart, holding various local offices. He and his wife and children are faithful members of Friedensburg Reformed Church.

In 1868 Mr. Wentzel was united in marriage to Mary Ann Angstadt, daughter of Abraham Angstadt, and to this union there were born the following children: Clara, deceased, m. John Hinkle and had three children-Luella, Alvin and Charles; James, of Oley township, m. Alice Potteiger, and has had four children-Howard (deceased), Mary, Mabel and Eva; William, of Oley township, m. Sallie Hafer , and has one daughter-Clara; Wilson m. Katie DeLong and lives with his father; and Charles A., born Dec. 11, 1874, m. Lydia Angstadt, lives on the Wentzel homestead in Oley township and has these children; Emily and Alva (twins), Leroy, Maggie, Wilson, Floyd, Ira and Luella.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:35 EDT

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