Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 935


Albert S. Yocom, of Sinking Spring, the well-known and popular auctioneer, was born in Cumru township, Berks county, Oct. 31, 1855, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Spohn) Yocom.

Samuel Yocom, born Feb. 4, 1817, followed farming as an occupation and by industry and good judgment, won a comfortable competency. He died Jan. 25, 1890, aged seventy-two years, eleven months, twenty-one days. Mr. Yocom was twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth Spohn, daughter of William and Catharine Spohn, was born July 22, 1819, and died Feb. 26, 1864, aged forty-four years, seven months, four days. His second marriage was to Mrs. Susan (Zacharias) Yocom, widow of Samuel, born Aug. 17, 1822, died Oct. 3, 1903, aged eighty-one years, one month, sixteen days. Samuel Yocom's children were: Nicholas, William S., Samuel, Henry, John (deceased), Charles (deceased), and Albert S.

Albert S. Yocom passed his youth on the farm, and gave his services to his father until he had attained his majority. In 1884 he began farming for himself on the homestead, where he continued for eight years in 1892 purchasing a lot and building a brick house, in which place he made his home until he became proprietor of the "Central Hotel," which he conducted with great success for two years. He then sold it and bought the home in which he now resides, on Main street, Sinking Spring. Mr. Yocom was formerly assessor of Spring township, serving as such for eighteen years, his long continuance in that office being good evidence of the perfect satisfaction he gave. He is at present roadmaster. He began crying sales in 1882, and since then has been the auctioneer at nearly three thousand sales. During the months of February and March he is in daily demand, and his popularity and wide acquaintance--to say nothing of his ability, which is far above the average--insure him success in his work.

Mr. Yocom is a Democrat, and is an active worker in the ranks of his party. In the spring of 1907, at the earnest solicitation of his friends he ran for the office of high sheriff of Berks county, for which there were nine competitors; he received the fourth highest vote cast. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, Castle No. 334, Sinking Spring; the Sr. O. U. A. M. Council No. 77, Sinking Spring; Knights of Pythias, Lodge No. 66, of Reading; and the Sons of America. He is a Lutheran member of St. John's Church.

On Jan. 10, 1874, Mr. Yocom married Lydia B. Mosser, born Oct. 24, 1856, daughter of Franklin Mosser, of Ontelaunee township. To this union came twelve children, as follows: Irene, who married F. P. Ernfield; Gertrude, who wedded Cortland Fisher; Jennie, who died young; Sallie, who married John E. Nunnemacher; Maggie, who married Thomas Monday; Clayton, who died young; Alvin, of Green Bay, Ill.; Ellen, who died young; and Nora, Edward, Emma and Cora, at home.


p. 1351


Charles S. Yocom, who entered into rest, Feb. 6, 1901, aged fifty-five years, was a lifelong resident of Spring township. By occupation he was a carpenter, and for many years also carried on farming. In political faith he was a Republican and in religious connection a Lutheran member of St. John's Church at Sinking Spring, serving on the building committee when the present edifice was erected in 1897. he was twice married. By his first wife, Catharine Faust, he had one son, William H., of Sinking Spring. He married (second) Mrs. Kate A. (Shalter) Reeser, widow of Cyrus Reeser. She was born Oct. 19, 1848, and by her first marriage had four children, namely; J. Pierson, a coal, grain and lumber merchant at Sinking Spring; George G. employed by his brother, J. Pierson; Cora E., wife of Thomas Huyett, Sinking Spring; and Kate L., who died in infancy.

The early history of the Yocom family will be found in the sketch of Harry Y. Yocom, grandson of Nicholas Yocom.

George Yocom, son of Nicholas, was born in Cumru township Oct. 3, 1803. He was an iron worker by trade, and he and his father bought the old Spohn estate in Lower Heidelberg township, consisting of 101 acres of the best land in the county. Here he engaged in farming until his son Benjamin took charge, and he then retired to Sinking Spring, where he died Aug. 17, 1881, aged seventy-seven years, ten months, fourteen days. He is buried in the cemetery at Sinking Spring. His wife Catharine Hemmig, daughter of John and Susanna Hemmig, was born Dec. 23, 1805, and she died April 21, 1874, aged sixty-eight years, three months, twenty-nine days. Their children were: William, a farmer near Stouchsburg, married Mary Potteiger; Aaron, a flour merchant in Reading, married (first) Hannah Manery and (second) Kate Heffer; Sarah married Frederick Graeff; Amanda died unmarried; Amos, a shoemaker and farmer, married Isabella Miller (1843-1885); Benjamin is mentioned below; Lizzie married Aaron Fox, a butcher at Sinking Spring; Anna married Reuben Beecher, formerly at Wernersville.

Benjamin Yocom, son of George, was born on the Yocom homestead Nov. 7, 1836, and was reared upon the farm, working for his parents until after he was twenty-one years of age. He then began farming on his father's farm in Lower Heidelberg township, where he lived six years, after which he moved to the old Daniel Dechert farm, where he lived nineteen years. At the end of that time he bought a tract of eighty-one acres in lower Heidelberg. This was an exceptionally fertile tract, with fine water and good substantial buildings, and was in every way a comfortable and commodious place, where Mr. Yocom made his home for sixteen years. In the spring of 1907 he came to Sinking Spring, where he now lives retired, making his home with his son-in-law Charles E. Potteiger.

In politics Mr. Yocom is a stanch Republican. He and his family are Lutheran members of St. John's Church, in which he has served as deacon and elder. On Oct. 7, 1858, he wedded Catharine Huyett, born Dec. 16, 1838, daughter of Jacob and Magdalena (Hill) Huyett. To this union have been born four children, namely: Benjamin F. born May 2, 1860, married Alice Bieber, and is a farmer in Jefferson township; Mary M., born Oct. 12, 1865, married August Scheetz, of Denver, Pa.; Kate, born Dec. 31, 1868, married Charles E. Potteiger, a farmer and cattle dealer at Sinking Spring; and George W., born Aug. 17, 1871, married Katie Brown, and is farming the old home farm.


p. 1350


Harry Y. Yocom. The name of Yocom has been long familiar to the inhabitants of this section of Pennsylvania, and the family is particularly prominent in the lower end of Berks county. The earlier generations were identified with Oley township, but Nicholas Yocom, grandfather of Harry Y., who founded the family in Cumru township, settling there about the beginning of the last century, came from Douglassville.

Late in the seventeenth century a colony of Swedes settled at the Wissahickon, near Philadelphia. In 1701 a number of these Swedes, among whom were three "Yocom" brothers, settled along the eastern bank of the Schuylkill, in the locality of Douglassville, Berks county. Surveys for land for these pioneers were made on Oct. 21, 1701, and patents were issued between 1704 and 1705 for these lands. One J. Jonas "Jocum" (then "Yocomb"), the youngest of their brothers, had a patent granted him by the Penns for 350 acres in Amity township. On the eastern bank of the Schuylkill where the Douglassville bridge spans the river, is an historic stone house erected in 1716 by Mounce Jones. he was the son-in-law of J. Jonas Yocum, and was an executor with Peter Yocum, of the will of J. Jonas Yocum. This document was made Aug. 8, 1757, and was witnessed by these Quaker people of Union township: Mordecai, Thomas and Joseph Millard. The will was entered in Berks court house for probate Dec. 27, 1760, and is on record in Will Book I, page 89. This noble ancestor left a large estate, which he equitably divided among the following children: Peter, who obtained one of the homesteads; Judith Mary; Margaret, and John. At the making of the will the "beloved" wife of the ancestor was still living. The son, John, who had died prior to the making of his aged father's death. The ancestor amply provided for his widowed daughter-in-law. An item of the will states "and should she give birth to a son--he shall have an additional inheritance."

Moses Yocom, of Douglass township, a descendant of J. Jonas, made his will May 20, 1823; it was probated Feb. 28, 1824, and is recorded in Will Book D., page 449. His wife Susanna survived him. The executors of the will were: Daniel Yocom and Jacob Fritz. His children were: Moses, John, Peter, George, Mary, Ann and Hannah.

The will of Maria Yocom, of Douglass township, probated in 1829, provides that each of the legatees of her will shall buy a large family Bible for each of their children. her children were: Ann, who married Jonas Yocom; Rachel Ragsize, who had a daughter Mary; and Daniel Yocom. Daniel Yocom, son, and Jonas Yocom, son-in-law, were executors of the will.

John Yocom (son of John, and grandson of J. Jonas) was born in 1749, and died Oct. 14, 1823. He had a son Moses, born on the homestead in Amity township Oct. 11, 1786, who died Aug. 30, 1850. Moses Yocom was married to Susanna, a daughter of Jacob and Anna Weaver, who were the parents of Peter Weaver, who was the father of Col. Jeremiah Weaver. Susanna (Weaver) Yocom was born Aug. 18, 1791, and died May 19, 1872. Moses and Susanna Yocom had a son William, born Jan. 23, 1817. He married Mary B. Kline, a daughter of George Kline, and they had a son, William B. Yocom, a prominent man of Amity township.

Nicholas Yocom, a descendant, probably a grandson of J. Jonas, was born in Oley township, Sept. 3, 1776. As a young man he went to Lancaster county, and he learned to make gun-barrels. When ready to begin for himself he chose Cumru township as hi location, bought the old Seidel forge, and there prepared his own iron for the manufacture of his gun-barrels, following this calling many years with great profit, but he was of so generous and sympathetic a disposition that he was remembered for his benefactions rather then his wealth, and many were the men in financial straits whom he helped. In person he was tall, powerful and of commanding presence. He died April 23, 1857, aged eighty years, seven months, twenty days. His wife, Catherine (Lorah) Yocom, to whom he was united March 14, 1801, was born Oct. 3, 1783, and died Feb. 13, 1851, at the age of sixty-seven years, four months, ten days. They had four children, as follows: Daniel, born in 1805, who married Miss Catharine Thompson, and died in 1864; George, born 1803, of Sinking Spring; Moses; and Samuel, who married a Miss Spohn and settled in Sinking Spring.

Moses Yocom, father of Harry Y., was born in Lancaster county, Aug. 12, 1815, and died at Grill Oct. 25, 1886, aged seventy-one years, two moths, thirteen days. he was an iron manufacturer, following his father's line, and after the latter's death became the owner of Yocom's forge. he, too, was successful financially, while he found time tin addition to his business to assist in the educational progress of his section. A man of keen intelligence himself, he was much interested along educational lines and for nearly twelve years was school director. He was likewise prominent in church work, was an elder and treasurer of Yocom's Church for many years and one of the three substantial contributors toward its erection in 1854. Of devout spirit and regular in his attendance, the sincerity of his worship was made manifest in his daily life.

Moses Yocom married Miss Lydia Yost, who was born Oct. 6, 1821, and died Oct. 24, 1888, aged sixty-seven years, nineteen days. She was a daughter of Nicholas and Susanna (Seidel) Yost. The children born to her and her husband were three in number. (1) Nicholas is a farmer and also proprietor of one of the two licensed places in Chester county, outside of Chester. he has as bondsmen citizens whose aggregate wealth is at least $8,000,000. he married Miss Sarah Althouse, now deceased, and has one child, Emily. (2) Harry Y., whose life follows, was the second son. (3) George Y. married Miss Susan Hornberger, by whom he had two children, viz.: Carrie M., wife of John Hollenbach, a builder in Reading; and Arthur, at home. Mr. George Yocom resides in Reading and is the real estate agent of the Pennsylvania Trust company.

Harry Y. Yocom was born on the Yocom homestead April 26, 1849. He was given a good education, especially for those days, as he went first to the public school in his immediate vicinity, and then to the C. N. Farr Business College in Reading, from which he was graduated in 1869. Later he resumed his literary studies in the Weaversville Academy near Bethlehem. At the age of twenty-five he began his business career in the office of A. S. Boas and Company, lumber merchants at the corner of Eighth and Elm streets, with whom he remained as bookkeeper for four years. From there he went to E. S. Ammon, a dealer in dry-goods and notions at No. 354 Penn street, and worked with him as a clerk for four years more. With this experience Mr. Yocom went into business for himself in the same lien, opening a dry-goods store at Lincoln, Lancaster county, and ran it from 1882 till 1889 with great success and with the capital thus accumulated he embarked in the latter year upon the manufacturing enterprise with which he is still identified. Returning to Cumru township he erected his factory on the Wyomissing and began the manufacture of seamless half hose, of a high grade. His goods have a market all over the United State, and the business has prospered from the first. The plant is twenty by fifty-eight feet, two stories high, and twenty-five people are employed. Mr. Yocom possesses all the qualifications for success in business and well deserves his present assured position.

Since 1899 Mr. Yocom has served as justice of the peace for Cumru township. So, efficient did he prove during his first term that he was unanimously re-elected. In the course of his incumbency there has been not a single case sent to court nor one discharged.

On May 14, 1885, was solemnized the union of Mr. Yocom to Miss Louisa Yetter of Lancaster county. She was a daughter of Michael and Louise (Smith) Yetter, who came to Pennsylvania from Germany. Mrs. Yocom is a woman of many accomplishments and for ten years before her marriage was one of the most popular and efficient teachers in Lancaster county, having begun her career when only seventeen years old. Both Mr. and Mrs. Yocom are devout members of Christ Union (or Yocom's) Church, of the Lutheran persuasion. Mr. Yocom was a deacon and superintendent of the Sunday school for many years, while his wife is usually assiduous in the latter department. To her untiring efforts and skill in training the children, the church and Sunday school festivals owe much of their success. Their present home, "The Briarmere," was built by Mr. Yocom in 1903, and is located on the old State road leading from Reading to New Holland, at the corner of the cross road from Yocom's Church to Mohnton. It is one of the handsomest residences in the section, is surrounded by a beautifully kept lawn, equipped with every modern improvement and is furnished in a style fully commensurate with its attractive exterior.


p. 342


James W. Yocum, late of Reading, was one of the most successful business men of that city for a number of years before his death. He was a member of the firm of Yocum Brothers, the largest manufacturers of cigars in Berks county, and the business is still conducted under that name and ranks among the leading industries of this prosperous section of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Yocum was born May 24, 1854, in Spring township, Berks county, and was descended on both paternal and maternal sides from old Berks county stock, being a son of William and Mary (Potteiger) Yocum. George Yocum, his grandfather, was born at Yocum's Forge, this county, and there passed all his life, dying at the age of seventy-eight. He was an iron manufacturer, and a man of substance and standing, highly respected in his community. His family consisted of six children, four sons and two daughters.

William Yocum, son of George, was also born at Yocum's Forge, and was reared at his native place. He received his education in the local public schools, and learned the milling business, but he soon went to farming, in which he found a congenial and profitable field for his energies throughout his active career. He died in 1905 at Stouchsburg, this county. Mr. Yocum was a prominent member of the Lutheran Church, in which he had held all the official positions. In political matters, he was, like his father, a strong Republican. He married Mary Potteiger, and to them were born five children: Clara; James W.; William H., who was in partnership with his brother James for many years; Velaria; and George J.

James W. Yocum was reared in the locality of his birth and received his education in the common schools of that section. He was an ambitious student, and succeeded so well that he was able to teach, being thus engaged for six terms during his young manhood. His first business venture was as a general merchant, in partnership with S. F. Fisher, with whom he did business at Stouchsburg under the firm name of Fisher & Yocum, for two and a half years. On Jan. 1, 1885, he entered into partnership with his brother, William H. Yocum, under the name of Yocum Brothers, and they continued together in the manufacture of cigars until the death of Mr. James W. Yocum, building up their business until it became the most extensive of the kind in Berks county. Five hundred skilled workers found employment in the immense factory at the corner of Walnut and Seventh streets, the yearly product amounting to as much as 20,000,000 cigars, disposed of in various markets throughout the United States.

At the time of his death no business man in Reading enjoyed better standing than James W. Yocum. His integrity had stood the test of many years of business success, and his ability was unquestioned. He had the true business instinct, understanding the art of making business, and he had the basic honesty which always proved sufficient to hold trade after it had been won, his product being exactly as represented. He was reliable, conservative, considerate of all his associates, and a man of earnest public spirit, and he won the unfailing respect of all who knew him, whether in business or personal relations. His rise in the manufacturing world was due solely to merit, and he enjoyed universal good-will. His death, which occurred at his home in Reading, Dec. 22, 1903, was widely mourned throughout the city.

On Oct. 14, 1875, Mr. Yocum married Agnes G. Schaffer, and six children were born to them: Charles; John, who married Alice S. Weand; Frank, who married Nettie Newmark and has a daughter Frances E.; Paul; Ralph; and Sadie. The family reside at No. 619 North Fifth street. Mrs. Yocum is a daughter of John and Gustana (Schlaseman) Schaffer, the former a native of Pennsylvania, where he carried on agricultural pursuits. In later life, however, he removed to Indiana, where he died. He was twice married, first to Gustana Schlaseman, by whom he had two children: James, of Brook, Ind.; and Agnes G., who became Mrs. Yocum. His second marriage was to Sarah Schlaseman, sister of his first wife, and there were two children born to this unionalso, Melinda and Wilson, both residents of Indiana. Mr. Schaffer was an industrious, hard-working man all of his life, and died in 1891, aged about seventy years.

Mr. Yocum was a 32d-degree Mason, belonging to Williamson Lodge, No. 307, F. & A. M., and he was also a member of Camp No. 237, P. O. S. of A. His religious membership was in the Lutheran Church, and in political faith he was a Republican.


p. 1717


William S. Yocum, a well-known business man of Reading, Berks county, for many years, and retired from active life since 1900, was born May 13, 1843. near Sinking Spring. His father. Samuel Yocum, was an agriculturist of Spring township, where he carried on farming operations until he died, Jan. 25, 1890, aged seventy-three years. He was twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Spohn, daughter of William and Catharine Spohn, of the township named, born July 22, 1819, died Feb. 26, 1864. After her decease he married Mrs. Susan (Zacharias) Merkel, born Aug. 17, 1822, died Oct. 3, 1903. His children were: Nicholas S., William S., Samuel S., Henry, John, Charles and Albert S. In religious belief the family were Lutherans.

William Spohn Yocum was educated in the local schools, and early in life went to Reading, entering Birch's drygoods and grocery store at the corner of Fourth and Penn streets as a clerk. After serving in that store for several years, he engaged in the dry-goods business for himself and carried it on with much success for ten years. He then engaged in the scrap-iron business, which he carried on until his retirement in 1900. He was married to Catherine Klopp, daughter of Samuel Klopp, of Reading, and they have two children: Bessie K. and Mary S. The daughters are graduates of the Reading Girl's High School, entering it with the highest average and graduating with highest distinction; and afterward they attended Vassar College, and then made an extended tour through Europe for eighteen months, visiting many points of interest in fifteen countries, studying music and painting and becoming proficient in the French, German and Italian languages. While in Germany, at Berlin, they were domiciled in an apartment house, and there became very much interested in the subject of apartments, so that upon their return to Reading they improved properties on Third street, south of Penn, which they owned, converting them into fifteen apartments, which were some of the very first apartments in Reading; and in 1908-09 they and their parents made a second extended tour through Europe, covering eleven counties during the summer months. The family are members of St. Paul's Reformed Church. In politics Mr. Yocum is a Republican. He is a lineal descendant of J. Jonas Yocum, a Swede, one of the first settlers in Amity township in 1701.

The father of Mrs. Yocum, Samuel Klopp, was engaged in the coal, flour and feed business at the corner of Third and Cherry streets, in Reading, for thirty-six years. During this time he and his family were devoted members of the First Reformed Church, and in the re-building of the church he served as one of the building committee. He died Dec. 16, 1883, aged seventy-two years. He was married to Elizabeth Saylor, a daughter of John and Catharine Saylor of Heidelberg township, and they had four children, Charles, John, George, and Catharine, the first three dying in youth. His wife died Dec. 20, 1889, aged sixty-eight years.

Mrs. Yocum's grandfather was John Klopp, a farmer of Heidelberg township, and had nine children; Daniel, Peter, Richard, Samuel, Reuben, Jemima (m. Adam Wenrich) and Hannah (m. Frederick Sohl).


p. 1633


William Yocum, who died at Stouchsburg March 26, 1905, was living retired after many years engaged in farming. He was born in Cumru township, Jan. 29, 1830, son of George Yocum.

The name Yocum is quite common in the lower end of Berks county. Late in the seventeenth century a colony of Swedes settled at Wissahickon, near Philadelphia. In 1701 a number of these Swedes, including three Yocum brothers, located along the eastern bank of the SchuyIkill, near Douglassville, Berks county. Surveys of land were made for these settlers Oct. 21, 1701, and patents issued between 1704 and 1705. The name is variously spelled in the early records, being Jocum, Yocomb, Yokham, Yocom and Yocum.

Nicholas Yocum (Yocom), the founder of the Cumru branch of the family, was born in Oley township, Sept. 3, 1776. As a young man he went to Lancaster county, and learned to make gun-barrels. When ready to begin for himself, he chose Cumru township, Berks county, as this location, bought the old Seidel forge, and there prepared his own iron for the manufacture of his gun-barrels. He followed this calling many years with great profit, but he was of so generous and sympathetic a disposition that he was remembered for his benefactions rather than his wealth, and many were the men in financial straits whom he helped. In person he was tall, powerful and of commanding presence. He died April 23, 1857, aged eighty years, seven months, twenty days. His wife, Catherine (Lorah) Yocum, whom he married March 14, 1801, was born Oct. 3, 1783, and she died Feb. 13, 1851. They had four children: George, born 1803; Daniel, 1805, who married Miss Catharine Thompson, and died in 1864; Moses; and Samuel, who married a Miss Spohn, and settled in Sinking Spring.

George Yocum, son of Nicholas, was born in Cumru township Oct. 3, 1803. He was an iron worker by trade, and he and his father bought the old Spohn estate in Lower Heidelberg township, consisting of 101 acres of the best land in the county. Here he engaged in farming until his son Benjamin took charge and he then retired to Sinking Spring, where he died Aug. 17, 1881. He is buried in the cemetery at Sinking Spring. He married Catharine Hemmig, who was born Dec. 23, 1805, daughter of John and Susanna Hemmig. She died April 21, 1874. Their children were: William, a farmer near Stouchsburg, is now deceased; Aaron, a flour merchant in Reading, m. (first) Hannah and (second) Kate Heffer; Sarah m. Frederick Graeff; Amanda died unmarried; Amos, a shoemaker and farmer, m. Isabella Miller (1843-1885); Benjamin, born Nov. 7, 1836, now lives retired at Sinking Spring; Lizzie m. Aaron Fox, a butcher at Sinking Spring; Anna m. Reuben Beecher, formerly of Wernersville.

William Yocum grew to manhood in his native place, there in the local school receiving his education. He first learned the milling business and for some years was in Kissinger's Mill, but he afterwards went to farming, a vocation he followed with unfailing success until his retirement. He passed the last fifteen years of his life in Stouchsberg, and there in the old home his two daughters Misses Clara and Valeria, still reside. On Oct. 21, 1851, at Reading, Mr. Yocum married Mary M. Potteiger, born Jan. 2, 1830, died May 17, 1905, daughter of Jacob and Catharine (Minnich) Potteiger. Their children were: Clara E.; James W. (deceased), member of the firm of Yocum Brothers, largest cigar manufacturers in Berks county; Ellen M., deceased; William H., in partnership with his brother James W., many years; Valeria; and George J. Mr. and Mrs. Yocum died just six weeks apart, and both are buried in the family plot in the Charles Evans cemetery, Reading. They were members of the Lutheran Church, in which Mr. Yocum held office many years. In politics he was a firm believer in Republican principles.


p. 1088


Prominent among the agriculturists of Berks county, Pa., who deserve mention in this publication, is Adam Yoder, a substantial farmer and self-made man of Lower Heidelberg township. My. Yoder was born April 10, 1847, in Lower Heidelberg township, son of Amos and Elizabeth (Ruth) Yoder.

Jacob Yoder, grandfather of Adam, was born in Oley township, June 27, 1792, and when a young man learned the shoemaking trade, which he followed in Oley township until past thirty years of age. At this time he came to Lower Heidelberg township, where he became the owner of thirteen acres of land, on which he died Sept. 23, 1861, being buried at Hain's Church, of which he was a Reformed member. He was married (first) to Lydia Brown, of Rockland township, by whom he had children: Polly, m. to a Mr. Kelchner; Amos; William, who lives in the vicinity of Lower Heidelberg; John, who lived at Wernersville, where he followed the trade of Wheelwright (he was the father of Frank and grandfather of Leonard G. Yoder, both of Wernersville); and James, of Adamstown, a soldier in the Civil War, who was killed while in action. Mr. Yoder m. (second) Catharine Ernst, born Dec. 8, 1800. and died Jan. 11, 1875, and to this union there were also born five children: Sarah, Kate, Daniel, Hettie and Benneville.

Amos Yoder, father of Adam, was born in Oley township, March 23, 1816, and died at his own home in Wernersville, May 22, 1892 and was buried in the east cemetery at Hain's Church, of which he was a deacon and elder. He was a hard-working, industrious man, and followed agricultural pursuits all of his life. Mr. Yoder married Elizabeth Ruth born Oct. 31, 1811, and died Nov. 21, 1878, daughter of Philip Ruth, and they had two children, namely: Adam and David (who died aged twelve years), Adam Yoder was reared to agricultural pursuits, and he has followed this occupation all of his life with much success. For many years after his maturity he worked for his father, but later he purchased for himself a fine farm of twenty acres at Hain's Church, on which he has resided since 1901, and on which are located good buildings. In addition to this property, which is in excellent condition, Mr. Yoder owns a house in Wernersville, which was formerly his father's. Mr. Yoder is a good and substantial citizen, and is highly respected in his district for his many sterling traits of character, and for the fact that he has acquired his possessions through thrift and economy. In politics he is a Democrat, and his religious affiliations are with Hain's Church, of which he was a deacon and elder for a number of years.

In May, 1869, Mr. Yoder married Margaret Ruth, daughter of Joseph and Susan (Fisher) Ruth, and to this union there have been born eight children: Ella m. Reuben Wenrich of Grand View; David is of Wernersville; James died aged seven years; William is of Wernersville; Amos died aged four years; Harvey is of Wernersville; Lizzie died aged eighteen years, being buried on her birthday; and Freddy died in infancy.


p. 1088


Amos Yoder, manager of the Lauer farms of Spring township, and one of the most thoroughly practical and successful farmers in the county, was born at the Wool factory, near Wernersville, June 1, 1857, son of Daniel and Susanna (Gerhart) Yoder.

Daniel Yoder, son of Jacob (born June 27, 1792) and Catharine (Ernst) Yoder, was a lifelong farmer. He began work for himself on the old Reily Fisher farm in Lower Heidelberg, at the woolen mills, where he made his home many years. He then moved to the Van Reed farm, which he tenanted four years, and then moved to Womelsdorf, to a farm belonging to Dr. Horace F. Livingood, where he resided for thirty years. He was an excellent farmer, and ranked as one of the best in his district. He owned a tact of twenty-eight acres in Marion township, and at his death was possessed of much personal property. He died June 10, 1901, and was buried at Hain's Church. He married Susanna Gerhart, of Wernersville, and they were the parents of four children: Henry and John, of Wernersville; Amos; and George, of Womelsdorf. All are engaged in farming, the first two having now practically retired, while the last named is still at work and in very comfortable circumstances.

Amos Yoder was reared under his father's care and he worked for him until he was twenty-four years old. He then began for himself on the Joseph Leiss farm of 120 acres in Lower Heidelberg township, and there he lived for two years. He then moved to the Henry Hain farm, where is now located the State Insane Asylum. He remained there and farmed for himself four years, then sold out, and when in 1891 the Asylum was established there he was made superintendent of the farm connected therewith, overseeing the cultivation of some five hundred acres. He had a most responsible position, which he filled with credit for thirteen years. He possess good executive ability and was able to produce good crops on the State lands. It was his intention to retire to Wernersville, but Mr. Frank Lauer persuaded him to take his present place in Spring township, where he has charge of two hundred acres of the best land in the county. In politics he is a Democrat. With his family he attends Hain's Reformed Church. His fraternal conncion is with the I. O. O. F. of Wernersville.

On Sept. 25, 1885, Mr. Yoder married Candace Keim, born Feb. 19, 1869, and died Oct. 27, 1899, daughter of Abraham Keim, of Strausstown. Five children blessed this union: Minnie, born Sept. 26, 1886, was educated in the Reading Classical School; Mabel, born March 15, 1890, graduated from the Spring township high school; and Hattie, born June 9, 1893, Daniel, born Dec. 27, 1896, and Helen, born April 10, 1898, are still in school.


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Augustus Yoder, a well known hotel man of Berks county, who is engaged in conducting a popular hostelry at Henningsville, Pa., was born Sept. 27, 1851, in Pike township, son of Solomon and Elizabeth (Keim) Yoder.

Abraham Yoder, the great-grandfather of Augustus K., was of German descent, his parents having come from Wurtemberg, and was located in Catawissa, SchuyIkill county, where he followed milling until his death. One son, Abraham, was born to him. Like his father this son carried on milling at Catawissa. He married Elizabeth Yerger, of Pike township, Berks county, whence he removed to his wife's home, and conducted the farm there to such advantage that he became the owner of five farms and a gristmill. He died at this place aged eighty-six years, and his wife passed away when one year older. They had nine children, namely; Nathan m. Esther Rohrbach; Benneville m. a Miss Bower; Solomon; George m. (first) Miss Weller, and (second) Miss De Frane; Abraham, ex-treasurer of Berks county, m. Mary Yergey; Eliza m. Charles Renninger; Sarah m. Jacob Reider; Catherine died unmarried, aged thirty-three; and Mary m. Benjamin Rohrbach.

Solomon Yoder was born March 9, 1818, in Catawissa, and there learned the trade of milling , but later engaged in farming, which he followed until the time of his death, May 7, 1894. He married Elizabeth Keim, born Aug. 27, 1821, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Mensch) Keim, and she died in 1904, the mother of these six children: Franklin m. Catherine Angstadt; Manias m. Mary Moyer; William m. Sally Ruppert, deceased; Irwin m. Eliza Becker; Augustus K.; and Elmira m. Augustus Moyer.

Augustus K. Yoder was reared and educated at his native place, and learned the trade of tailoring, which he followed for nine years. Following that he entered the hotel business, and continued therein for eight years. He then worked at mounting engines for some time, but subsequently re-entered the hotel business, and is now conducting a well patronized place at Henningsville, Berks county.

On Sept. 12, 1874, Mr. Yoder married Judith Roads, born Sept. 19, 1851, daughter of Joel and Leanda (Behm) Roads, and three children were born to them: Solomon Edwin, born June 5, 1875, died Dec. 10, 1881; Cora Estella, born in Amity township, May 13, 1883, married Elmer Kern, of Longswamp township, and they have three children-Lester Granville, Flora Minerva and Earl George Washington.


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The first of the Yoder (sometimes spelled Yodder and Yotter in the German) name in America were Yost and Hans (or Hance), brothers, who sought refuge in England from the religious persecutions suffered in their native Switzerland. They brought little with them to America besides their Bible. Upon their arrival in the New World they pushed on into the wilderness beyond Oley hills, and finally settled on the Manatawny. Yost Yoder was one of the most active of the early frontiersmen of Pennsylvania. His chief occupations were hunting and trapping, which he always combined with farming, or rather with the "clearing and cultivation of a plantation." It is certain that he and his brother were located in Pennsylvania before 1714. Nine children were born to Yost Yoder, and of seven of these the record is as follows: (1) Johannes Yoder, often called Yost, was born in 1718. After 1752 he removed to Reading, where he died April 7, 1812, and his remains were interred on his father's land at Yottersville (Yodersville), named after his family, now Pleasantville, in Oley township. The following inscription marks his grave: "Hier Rhuet Johann-es Yoder. Erwurde geboren 1718. Verelichte sich mit Catharina Lyster (Lesher) 1747 und zeughte 4 sohne und 5 tochtern. Starb den 7th April, 1812, nach seiner 66 yahr in der ehe gelebt hatte war alt warden 94 yahr und 14 tag." In 1747 he married Catharine Lyster (Lesher), and her tombstone records "b. 1730, d. 1812, having lived married 66 years and aged 82 years." (2) Jacob Yoder removed to the western side of the Schuylkill. On Nov. 6, 1757, at the age of twenty-two years, he enlisted in the Provincial service of Pennsylvania, and was a saddler three years in Capt. John Nicholas Weatherholt's Company. He was stationed in Heidelberg township, Northampton county, in March and April, 1758 [Pa. Arch., 2d Ser., Vol. II]. He served in the American Revolution as a private in Peter Nagle's Company, and later in Capt. Charles Gobin's Company, 6th Battalion, Berks county, Pa. He was in a detachment of the 6th Battalion to guard prisoners of war from the Hessian camp, Reading, to Philadelphia. He married Maria Keim. (3) Samuel Yoder settled on a "plantation" near Lobachsville. about one and one-half miles from Pleasantville, which he received from his father. He had children: John, Jacob, Samuel and Catharine. (4) Mary Yoder married Daniel Bertolet. (5) Catharine Yoder married John Reppert. (6) Elizabeth Yoder was the wife of Mathias Rhode. and they had children: Jacob, John, Joseph, Abraham, Catharine, Maria and Esther. (7) Esther Yoder married a man named Cunius.

The wolves in Oley were a great injury to the sheep and hogs of the settlers. It was customary to make pitfalls and thus trap them. Many stories are told of Yost Yoder's efforts at their extermination. He sometimes disposed of five in a single night. He was a man of remarkable strength and powers of endurance, and possessed famous courage. He made customary hunting trips every fall into the Blue Mountains with his trusty rifle and faithful dog. On his trail at different stages of his journeys he had places of deposit for supplies in hollow trees.

The Yoder Bible, dated 1530, was printed during the lifetime of Martin Luther. It was held continuously by the family until as late as 1860, and is now the property of Mary B. Yoder, daughter of David, son of Daniel. It is well preserved, though unfortunately the lid and date are torn away. This priceless treasure of their faith from the Fatherland was "as a lamp unto their feet" in their flight to America. The Yoders of Berks extended into New York and the West. In the list of representatives in the Fiftieth United States Congress was S. S. Yoder: of Lima, Ohio.

(I) Hans (or Hance) Yoder, the emigrant brother of Yost, was the builder and owner of what is now known as Griesemer's Mills (burned in 1847, and rebuilt the same year). This property in the early days was the homestead of the Yoders of Oley. The survey of the plantation under proprietary warrant to Hance Yoder was returned March 25, 1714. At that time Oley township was the haunt of Indians, wolves, bear and other wild game. The wives of the German settlers also bore their part in the subjugation of the wilderness. One day while at work, extending their clearing in the forest, they having shut their children in the cabin as a protection from the beasts which roamed over their land, they were suddenly aroused by the report of a rifle in the direction of their cabin. As it was not unusual for predatory bands of blood-thirsty Iroquois from the North to roam over the country they hastened in the direction of the shot to see their cabin surrounded by a party of drunken savages, who having been refused admittance by the terrified children within retaliated by firing through the closed door. Mr. Yoder at once made an attack with a singletree, and soon put them to flight with threats of revenge. Returning with increased numbers they demanded satisfaction, but Mr. Yoder's coolness won him friends among them who forced the others to desist. Hans (Hance) Yoder was the father of four sons: Hans (2); Samuel; Peter; and Daniel, born in 1718, who died Aug. 21, 1749, aged thirty-one years, eight months, and was buried in the cemetery at Pleasantville.

(II) Hans Yoder (2), son of the emigrant, married in November, 1746, in Oley, Sarah Shingle (or Schenkel or Shankle). She died at Reading in 1789, and was buried during Whitsuntide in Peter de Turck's plot at Oley. They had sons: (1) Daniel, born 1748, died 1820, married 1773, Margaret Oyster, born 1753, died 1833, and both are buried at Pleasantville. (2) Martin was a lieutenant of the 4th Company, 5th Battalion, Berks county, May 10, 1780. (3) Jacob, born in Reading Aug. 11, 1758, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war in 1777 and 1778. In 1780 he moved to western Pennsylvania, and in May, 1782, descended the Monongahela, Ohio and Mississippi rivers from Fort Red Stone, Brownsville, Pa., in the first flat-boat (built by himself) that ever descended the Mississippi river, landing at New Orleans with a cargo of flour. He traded with Havana, Cuba, and also in the sugar market in Philadelphia. He was a man of national reputation at the time when Louisiana still belonged to France. His grave at his home in Kentucky was marked 1834 by an iron tablet. He died in Spencer county, Ky., April 7, 1832 (?). (4) Samuel, a Revolutionary soldier, died from a fall off a horse near Oley Church.

(III) Daniel Yoder, son of Hans, born in 1748, died in 1820. In 1773 he married Margaret Oyster, who was born May 5, 1753. and died Dec. 23, 1833, and both are buried at Pleasantville. He was a farmer, and he made frequent trips to Philadelphia, taking down grain and bringing back merchandise. The early settlers had but few crops at first. Finally they introduced apple trees and Mr. Yoder built a distillery and a flax oil mill, and in time, as the land became more cultivated, he made weekly trips to Philadelphia to dispose of his product. He cut down trees, cleared land, and made many pitfalls for the wolves. Some of these holes or traps are still visible in the pastures and woods. Daniel Yoder loved the free life of the woods, and was on friendly terms with the Indians, often taking hunting trips with them. He was a very powerful man physically. Before 1800 he built his home, which is well preserved and still in use. He had nine children: Hannah, born April 17, 1775, married Jacob Knabb, and died Aug. 23, 1825; Daniel, born Dec. 7, 1777, died Nov. (or Dec.) 27, 1826; Martin, born Oct. 19, 1780, died Jan. 10, 1837; Catharine. born Oct. 12, 1783, married William William, and died Aug. 20, 1882 aged ninety-eight years, ten months, eight days; Maria, born in Bern township April 22, 1786, married Philip De Turck, and died Jan. 19, 1864; ]ohn, born April 22 or 23, 1788, died unmarried May 3, 1868, and is buried at Pleasantville; Margaret, born Aug. 4, 1790, married Solomon Peter; Samuel, born Nov. 23, 1793; David, born Feb. 8, 1795, is mentioned below.

(IV) Martin Yoder, son of Daniel, was born in Oley Oct. 19, 1780, and died upon his own fine farm Jan. 10, 1837, aged fifty-six years, two months, twenty-one days. He was a tanner at Pleasantville, and also had a store and hotel on his farm, employing a number of people. He was one of the prosperous men of lower Berks county. The merchandise and general freight in the early history of the country were carried in big Conestoga wagons between Philadelphia and Pittsburg, and the road between these two points passed by the homestead of Mr. Yoder, through the woodland, thus making his hotel a popular stopping place. This roadway is still plainly to be seen, but no longer in use. Frequently so many guests appeared the same night that all the beds were filled, compelling the later comers to sleep on the floor, rolled up in blankets. In 1830 he built the barn, and in 1831 the house that now stands on the farm, the latter now the property of his grandson, Henry H. He married Susanna Peter, born Nov. 29, 1783, died March 13, 1844, aged sixty years, three months, fourteen days, and they both are buried in the Yoder lot at Friedensburg. Their children were: (1) David, who died in Union county, Pa., first married Persoda Yoder, born Dec. 16, 1816, died July 23, 1844, who is buried at Pleasantville. His daughter Priscilla, born May 7, 1838, at Pleasantville, died there Dec. 17, 1857. (2) Solomon, who died in 1905, at West Point, Nebr., first married Mary B. Yoder, born in Oley, June 24, 1818, died May 10, 1845, who is buried at Pleasantville. They had two sons and two daughters. Her mother, Charlotte (Bertolet) Yoder, was born in Oley, Feb. 10, 1778, died Sept. 8, 1868, and is buried at Pleasantville (she may have been the wife of Jacob Yoder, born Jan. 2, 1778, who died Aug. 18, 1826). (3) Maria (Polly) married George Kemp, of Lyons, Pa. (4) Martin.

(V) Martin Yoder, son of Martin and Susanna, was born at Pleasantville May 24, 1819, and died Feb. 7, 1888, aged sixty-eight years, eight months, thirteen days. He was a farmer and implement dealer, and owned the farm mentioned above as the home of his parents. In politics he was a Democrat, and for many years was interested in the schools of his district, serving efficiently as school director. He was a candidate for Congress, but was defeated by a small majority by Daniel S. Ermentrout. He was a man of affairs, and popular and influential in his district. He married Catharine Hoch, born June 20, 1821, who died June 1, 1879, aged fifty-seven years, eleven months, eleven days. They had four children: Mary, who married Joseph De Long, of Topton, Pa. (her children, Rev. Calvin De Long, his brother and two sisters, are the only living grandchildren of Martin Yoder; there is one great-grandchild, Erma De Long Hertzog); Ezra, born Sept. 7, 1848, who died Sept. 16, 1868; Henry H. and Susanna, born Oct. 24, 1860, who married Oliver Landenslayer, born April 13, 1870, of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.

(VI) Henry H. Yoder, son of Martin and Catharine, was born on his grandfather's farm Jan. 5, 1850. His early intellectual training was obtained in the common schools, and later Mr. Yoder attended the Oley Academy. He was licensed to teach in the public schools by Prof. D. B. Brunner, but he never cared for the profession. He was reared upon the home farm and this vocation he has, off and on, followed ever since, beginning for himself in 1874. This was his chief occupation until 1900. In connection with farming Mr. Yoder and his father were engaged in the implement business, and this he has continued, making a specialty of iron and wire fences. He owns the old homestead farm of 236 acres of valuable land, well located and very fertile. It contains valuable magnesia iron ore, and is considered one of the most desirable pieces of property in Oley Valley. On a board in the front of the barn below the cornice is the following: Martin Yoder Susana Yoder 1830. And on the house is the same, only the year is 1831 instead of 1830. Besides the home farm he owned eighty acres of good timberland. Mr. Yoder has the old military bugles which belonged to his father. In politics he is a Democrat, and he was school director of his township for three years, and since 1892 has been auditor, having been re-elected in the spring of 1908 for the fifth time. In 1907 he became one of the organizers of the First National Bank at Oley, of which he is now a director. He belongs to Friedens Lutheran Church, which for four years he served as deacon, and since 1902 he has been an elder. Mr. Yoder resides on Main street, Friedensburg. He has been twice married. In 1883 he wedded Andora Merkel, born Feb. 15, 1857, daughter of Elias Merkel, of Maxatawny. She died Jan. 15, 1903, and is buried in the Yoder lot at Friedensburg. On May 14, 1906, he married (second) Ella L. Hertzog, daughter of Jacob E. Bogh, of Frankfort, Clinton Co., Ind., and widow of Dr. William F. Hertzog, of Oley township, by whom she had two children: Marion S., of Kutztown; and Solis C., of Oley. From 1833 to 1838 there lived on the Moon farm in Oley, now owned by Benneville Herbein, Jacob Frederic Bogh, or Bock. He was born in Schorndorf, Wurtemberg, Germany, March 4, 1791. At the age of twenty-six, April 17, 1817, he married Barbara Bauer, then aged twenty. He was a general in the army under Napoleon, and won seven medals of honor. While shot nine times and badly scarred he was not crippled, yet the open wounds at times caused him trouble. He claimed he was fireproof. When Napoleon was exiled he refused to serve the new rulers, was arrested and thrown into prison, but friends liberated him and secretly placed him on board an American-bound ship, where he found his wife. He landed in Philadelphia Sept. 11, 1818. He was highly educated, and quite a linguist, speaking and writing seven different languages. For a living he engaged in school teaching, while in Berks county teaching at the Spies's church, and at the same time did what legal work he could get, writing deeds, mortgages, etc., and settling disputes. He also did some surveying. He took but little interest in his work in this country, being despondent over the downfall of his commander. He was the father of ten children, six of whom lived to honorable old age. He died Nov. 11, 1844, and is buried at Weissport, Carbon Co., Pa. His only descendants now living in Berks county are: Mrs. Louisa Hill, wife of Jenkin Hill, of Reading. and her three sons, Ralph, Layton and Harold Hill; and Mrs. Ella L. Yoder and her two sons, Marion S. Hertzog, of Kutztown, and Solis C. Hertzog, of Oley, and her granddaughter, Erma De Long Hertzog, of Kutztown. Among the Yoder family relics are zinc dishes made and used before the days of china. Some of the first china in this section found its way to the Yoders. An old sword used in the Revolution, and two bugles made in the old country and bought by Martin Yoder when a boy, are the property of Henry H. Yoder. Martin Yoder was taught to use these bugles by an escaped slave, and was the first man in Berks county to attain that accomplishment, and naturally he was in great demand at the old battalion drills. Old spreads and quilts, four generations old, are preserved in old chests with rare old books.

(IV) David Yoder, son of Daniel, was born Feb. 8, 1795, and died Oct. 26, 1881, aged eighty-six years, eight months, eighteen days. He was a lifelong farmer and was assisted by his brother John who never married. David Yoder was a millwright by trade, and made many blacksmith's bellows and windmills, which he sold throughout Berks county, especially in Bern township, where some of his relatives had settled. He owned the farm in conjunction with his brother John. He was county commissioner in 1846-49. This branch of the family are all buried at Yodersville, now Pleasantville. David Yoder married Hannah Bitler (daughter of Michael Bitler and his wife Hannah Yocum), born July 13, 1797, died Oct. 15, 1852. Their children were: Margaret, who married George K. Levan, of Maxatawny township; Miss Mary B.; Hannah, born July 27, 1824, who died Jan. 11, 1896, and was buried at Pleasantville; Daniel, born in April, 1827, who lived at Pleasantville; Catharine, born July 16, 1832, who married Nathan Schaeffer, of Fleetwood; and Sarah, born Aug. 5, 1840, who married Abraham Guldin.

(V) Mary B. Yoder, daughter of David, was born Oct. 19, 1821, and now resides on the homestead, which she owns, containing ninety-four acres. She has rented the land. Miss Yoder is liberal in her support of all the churches, but is, herself, affiliated with no particular denomination. She has been educated both in English and German. Among her cherished possessions is her grandfather's clock, made by John Keim for Daniel Yoder before the war of the Revolution. Miss Yoder is deeply interested in local history and the history of her family, and she carefully preserves everything that pertains to the early days. The original house on her farm was the log cabin which stood in the corner of the garden in front of the present house; this was the cabin through which the Indians shot at the children. Of two ancient pear trees standing on this farm, which Miss Yoder says must have been nearly two hundred years old, the taller one died during the winter of 1907-08, but the other is still alive and bearing fruit.

(V) Daniel B. Yoder, son of David, and late a resident of Oley, was born near Catawissa, along the Susquehanna river in Columbia county, in April, 1827. He attended a school conducted in a private house belonging to Jeremiah Lee, a Quaker, and his first teacher was Sarah Pierson, who like the Lees was a Quaker. In his young manhood he learned the millwright's trade from Levi J. Smith. He was a soldier in the Civil war in Company M, 5th U.S. Artillery, under Capt. James McKnight, for three years and three months, serving as a sergeant. For some years he followed farming in Oley. After the war he built a paper-mill in Oley township, on the Manatawny creek, and he manufactured paper for a number of years, selling out finally to the Reading Paper Company. He built the house at Pleasantville where he lived retired until his death, being in very comfortable circumstances. For three years he farmed in Pike township, and retained the ownership of his farm there, which consists of some ninety acres; he erected the present house and barn thereon. In politics he was a Republican, and served as school director of Oley township. Practically his entire life was passed in Oley, as he was but a small lad when he accompanied his parents from Columbia county. He married Amelia Yoder (daughter of Jesse Yoder, of Oley township), who died in 1895, leaving no children, and is buried at Hill Church. Mr. Yoder died Oct. 11, 1908, and is also buried at Hill Church.

John Yoder, great-grandfather of Absalom S. Yoder, of Reading, was born in Oley township Berks county, and there became an extensive farmer. He made his last will and testament Aug. 24, 1804, and it was entered for probate Nov. 7, 1807, being on record in Will Book A, page 528. He left a large estate, and was survived by his wife Anna. Their children were: David, "who shall have my property located in Mifflin county, Pa., on which he now lives"; Johannes and Jacob, who "shall receive my plantation in Oley township, consisting of 343 acres"; Freny; Anna, wife of Christian Gerber; Magdalena, who married Abraham Gerber; Elizabeth, who married Stephen Kurtz, of Marion township; Sarah, wife of David Kauffman; Catharine and Barbara, who died the wife of Jacob Vinegi.

Jacob Yoder, third son of John, settled early in life with others of the family in Bern township and he is buried on his farm in Centre township, now owned by Garean Y. Christ, his grandson. He married into the Rickenbach family, and his children were: Jacob, Reuben, Elizabeth (who married a King), Nancy (who lived with her brother Reuben, and later with her nephew David, and died unmarried), and Sarah (who married Daniel Christ).

Reuben Yoder, son of Jacob, was born in Centre (then Bern) township, and he died at the age of seventy-eight years. He owned four farms, the one on which he lived consisting of 180 acres, another in the same township of 190 acres, a third in the same district of about ninety acres, while the fourth was located near Schaefferstown. He built the present set of buildings on the farm now owned by his son Jacob in Centre township. He was a man of influence, and was a stanch Republican in politics. For many years he held the office of school director, and was treasurer of the board. In those days teachers were obliged to go to his home to collect their pay. He donated the land on which the German Baptist Church and schoolhouse stand, and he is buried in the German Baptist graveyard, midway between Centreport and Shoemakersville. He married Susanna Stepp, and their children were: Ellen, who married Thomas Egolf, of Bernville; David S., of Kutztown; James, of Lititz, Pa.; Emma, who married Harry F. Long, of Lititz; Israel, Tamsen, Harrison and Mabry, all deceased; Jacob, of Centre township; and Absalom S. The wife and mother died in 1867, and Mr. Yoder married (second) Elenora Hiester, and the only son of this union is Nathaniel, of Centreport, Pennsylvania.

David S. Yoder, son of Reuben, was born in Centre township, Oct. 14, 1862. He was reared to farming and remained at home until he was twenty-four years of age, when he began work on his own account on a farm in Centre township, on which he remained twenty-six years. On his last place he lived eighteen years--this was the homestead of Johannes Yoder, who had come up from Oley township. Mr. Yoder was a successful farmer and a man of high reputation in his district. He sold out in the spring of 1901, and going to Kutztown built a fine brick home in 1903 on Normal Hill, where he has since resided. He has been employed at the Keystone State Normal School since his removal into Kutztown. He is a consistent member of Grace United Evangelical Church at Kutztown. Mr. Yoder has been twice married. In 1874 he was married to Emma Kline, only daughter of John Kline of Centreport, where she died and is buried. To this union was born one son, Mabry K., who graduated from the Keystone State Normal School in 1898, and is now teaching at Northampton, Pennsylvania. Mr. Yoder married (second) Feb. 3, 1883, Ida Spatz, daughter of Dr. John Spatz of Centreport, though formerly of Reading. The only son of this union, Clarence H., is a student in the Keystone State Normal School.

Mabry K. Yoder, son of David S., was born Sept. 16, 1874, in Centre township, Berks county. He received his early education in the public schools of his native township. Later he attended select school at Centreport. When seventeen years of age he was appointed as one of the teachers of his township, in which he taught eight years. During vacation he completed a business course in the Reading Business College. In the spring of 1896 he registered as a student at the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, from which institution he graduated in 1898. He taught six years in Lehigh county, after which he resigned and accepted a position as teacher of one of the schools in the borough of Northampton, and to this position he has been elected for the third time. He is a faithful member of the United Evangelical Church.

On July 23, 1908, Mr. Yoder married Laura L., only daughter of Phaon S. and Ida (Walbert) Heffner. Absalom S. Yoder, son of Reuben, was born in Centre township, Berks county, Nov. 5, 1866. His early education was obtained at home and in the public schools of his district. Later he attended the select school at Centreport, the Millersville State Normal School, at Millersville, and the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, graduating from the last named institution in the class of 1899. Mr. Yoder began teaching in the fall of 1885, in Centre township, and there he taught two terms. In the spring of 1887 he went to Lancaster county, and for four terms was engaged in teaching in Warwick township. He lived at Lititz, where his wife died, and he returned to his native township, teaching the following term in Centre township, where he was located for eight more terms. Mr. Yoder has been a most successful teacher, and he has continued to study and advance ever since his graduation from Normal, by taking a special course in mathematics and ancient classics in the Reading Classical School under Rev. Dr. J. V. George. On Oct. 6, 1903, under civil service rules, Mr. Yoder was appointed to a clerkship in the post-office at Reading, and he has since continued to hold this position.

Mr. Yoder is a member of the United Brethren denomination. He married Sallie H. Yoder, daughter of Alfred and Mary (Haag) Yoder, of Centre township, and granddaughter of Fred Yoder, of near Belleman's Church. She died Feb. 12, 1893, the mother of children as follows: Herma R., a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1907, and now a successful teacher at Centreport; J. Russell, a graduate of the Keystone State Normal School, class of 1908; and Daisy E., a student in the Keystone State Normal.



Yoder. The Yoder family name is worthily borne by three young business men, Samuel D., Frank D. and Frederick D. Yoder, brothers, all engaged in the tinsmithing business.

Isaac Yoder, grandfather of these young men, was born July 3, 1805, and was the founder of Yodertown (now Pleasantville) in Oley township, and built many houses at that place, being a man of considerable prominence and influence. He was actively identified with the Evangelical Church of his section, and was a man of progress and enterprise, owning much land and being a large tax payer. He was twice married. His first wife is supposed to have been a sister to the second. His wife, Lydia Schall, was born Sept. 14, 1809, and died Feb. 28, 1893. He died April 27, 1878.

Mayberry S. Yoder, son of Isaac, now a resident of Pleasantville, was born in 1844 in that town. He has been a life-long tinsmith, and from his youth up has been prosperous. He owns his residence and shop, located on an acre of ground, and also has nineteen acres of good farm land which he cultivates. In politics he is a Republican and for many years was school director of Pleasantville Independent district. He and his family are consistent members of Pleasantville United Evangelical Church, of which he is an official. Mr. Yoder married Matilda Dierolf, daughter of John Dierolf, and to them have been born these children: Frederick D., a tinsmith, plumber and stove dealer at Friedensburg, m. Mary Fegley; Samuel D.; Amanda m. Albert Hertzog, a miller and merchant at Pleasantville; Frank D.; Lydia m. William Hafer, a public school teacher at Reading; and Rebecca died at the age of ten years.

Samuel D. Yoder, son of Mayberry S., has for some years engaged in tinsmithing at Reading. He was born in Pleasantville, Oley township, Nov. 8, 1869, and he was educated in the public schools of his native township, attending until he was seventeen years of age. For one year after leaving school he clerked in a store at Pottstown, and then, returning to the farm, assisted his father until he was twenty. That year he came to Reading, and for one year worked for the tinsmithing firm of Yoder & Ruckstool, and in 1901 returned to Pleasantville, where he was employed by F. F. Cleaver, proprietor of the Oley Creamery for six years. In 1896 he again began working at his trade which he followed for two years with his brother, F. D. Yoder, of Friedensburg, and in 1899 he again engaged in the creamery business, being employed as manager by Hertzog & Yoder, at Pleasantville. Their building was located at the site of the old Oley paper mill, and here Mr. Yoder was engaged for a period of five years, in 1904 again engaging at his trade which he has followed ever since with his brother, Frank D., of Mount Penn. Mr. Yoder resides in his comfortable, well-furnished brick residence at No. 1846 Perkiomen avenue.

In political matters Mr. Yoder is a Republican, and he has been active in the ranks of his party, serving in numerous minor township offices and frequently being a delegate to county conventions. He was a director of Pleasantville Independent school district for a period of nine years, and served very efficiently as secretary of the board during his entire incumbency. He is a charter member of the Manatawny Castle, K. G. E., No. 461, and passed all the chairs in his order, serving as master of records for fully four years, being noble chief of the degree team for seven years. He is a member of Washington Camp, No. 480, P. O. S. of A., of Pleasantville, in which he has passed all the chairs and has acted as a financial secretary for five years.

On Dec. 1, 1892, Mr. Yoder was married to Alice C. Snyder, born June 18, 1868, only daughter of Albert and Amelia (Clouser) Snyder, and granddaughter of Lando Udree and Mary (Knabb) Snyder. Mr. and Mrs. Yoder have no children.

Frank D. Yoder, son of Mayberry S., and now an enterprising and energetic young business man of Mt. Penn, was born at Pleasantville April 21, 1875. He attended the public schools, and when a mere lad learned the tinsmiths trade from his father, becoming an excellent mechanic. This he has followed ever since at Pleasantville, Friedensburg, Reading and Mt. Penn, locating at the latter place in 1902 and there purchasing a comfortable residence. He has built up a large trade, extending through the surrounding country, his work and that of his brother, Samuel D., who is associated with him, being most satisfactory. In his store on Perkiomen avenue he carries a good stock of tinware and stoves. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and frequently has served as delegate to county conventions, and he has also been on the school board of his borough. He is fraternally connected with Manatawny Castle No. 461, K. G. E., and Pleasantville Camp No. 480, P. O. S. of A. He and his family worship in the United Evangelical Church of Pleasantville.

Mr. Yoder was married March 10, 1894, to Jennie Marsteller, daughter of Edward and Rebecca (Miller) Marsteller, and to them have been born these children: Mayberry, Rebecca, Edwin and Frank D., Jr.


p. 1423


The Yoder family, so well known throughout Berks county, is represented in Ruscombmanor township by Amos S. and John S. Yoder, brothers, both engaged successfully in farming.

John Yoder, the great-grandfather of the brothers, is said to have come from Oley township, the original American home of the family, who were French Huguenots.

John Yoder, grandfather of Amos S. and John S., was a farmer in Richmond township, where he died. He married Magdalena Breyfogel, who, when one week old, was so small that she was placed in a quart measure, and a saucer placed over the top. She lived to be sixty-two years old, and at her death weighed about 155 pounds. To John and Magdelena (Breyfogel) Yoder were born ten children, as follows; John B.; Solomon; George; Seneca; Obeah; Catharine, who died young; Elizabeth, m. to David Sitler; Charlotte, m. to James Gass; Hannah, m. to John Swope; and Hettie, m. to Amos Weidenhammer. All are deceased except Charlotte, who is nearly eighty years old.

John B. Yoder, son of John, was born in Richmond township Feb. 8, 1833, and died at Lyons, Pa., Oct. 14, 1905, aged seventy-two yeas, and is buried at St. Peter's Church in Richmond township, of which he was a Reformed church member. He was a farmer and owned a farm of twenty-five acres in Richmond township, on which he lived. He also had a farm in Maiden-creek township of fifty-one acres. For twelve years before his death he lived retired. He served three years as a school director in Maiden-creek township. His wife, Sara Ann Sitler, was a daughter of Conrad and Catharine (Mertz) Sitler. Their children were: William, who died young; Amos S., of Ruscombmanor township; Jacob, who died young; John S.; Solomon, who died aged fourteen years; and Sallie, m. to Franklin Keyser of Topton, Pennsylvania.

Amos S. Yoder, son of John, is a farmer in Ruscombmanor township, Berks county. He was born Nov. 19, 1857, and was educated in the common schools of Maiden-creek township. When nineteen years old he was licensed to teach by Prof. S. A. Baer, and taught his first term at Leitheiser's School in Muhlenberg township. He taught in all nine terms in that township; Three terms in Maiden-creek, and three terms in Richmond township, and was one of the successful teachers of the county. He worked on the farm during the summer months. In 1891 he became an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as trackman, which position he filled three years, and then for nine years he worked in the freight station, and for a number of years had charge of the track scales. He was in the continuous service of the company twelve years, and was on of the efficient and trusted employee. From 1903 to 1906 he was in the employ of the United Traction Company as conductor on the Womelsdorf Division. In 1906 he came to Ruscombmanor township, where he owns a farm of fifty-eight acres in the southeastern section of the township, near to Oley township line. Mr. Yoder is a truck farmer, and is very successful. He attends the Reading street market once a week.

Mr. Yoder is a Democrat and takes an active interest in his party's welfare. He was registry assessor in Muhlenberg for six years and he is the secretary of the road commissioners of Ruscombmanor township. He and his family are members of the Reformed congregation at Friedensburg Church. His daughter Joyce (Mrs. Daniel R. Hoch), is the leading soprano in the Friedens Reformed Church choir and has an excellent voice.

On Jan. 29, 1891, Mr. Yoder was married to Sallie H. Dubson, daughter of Martin and Hettie (Haines) Dubson, of Maiden-creek township. They have had four children: Gertrude Esther, a musician of talent, m. Robert Ganter, of Oley, Pa.; S. Joyce m. Daniel R. Hoch, and lives in Ruscombmanor township; Miss Florence I., is at home; and John M.

John S. Yoder, son of John and brother of Amos S., is the most extensive farmer in Ruscombmanor township. He was born in Richmond township, March 20, 1861, son of John B. and Sarah A. (Sitler) Yoder. He received his education in the common schools, and when seventeen years old was licensed to teach in the public schools of Berks county, by Prof. S. A. Baer, then county superintendent, in 1878, and taught he first term at Kirbyville. He taught four terms in Richmond township; nine terms in Maiden-creek township; two terms in Muhlenberg township; one term in Ontelaunee township and three terms in Ruscombmanor township, a total of nineteen terms. He was reared to farm life, and during the summer months worked on the farm, with the exception of several summers, when he attended the subscription schools.

He began farming in the spring of 1892, in Maiden-creek township, where he continued four years, and in 1896 he came to Ruscombmanor to what is known as the Snyder homestead. The farm is located near Snyder's Hotel, in the western part of the township, and consists of some sixty acres. In 1903 he purchased the farm on which he now lives.

This tract is the old Schmehl homestead, and consists of 130 acres of land. The house on this property is one of the landmarks of this section, having been built during the Revolutionary War. Mr. Yoder is a successful farmer, and is modern in his methods. He is a member of the Reformed denomination, while his wife is a Lutheran, belonging to the church at Blandon, in which he has been a deacon.

On Dec. 24, 1883, Mr. Yoder married Andore L. R. Schmeck, daughter of Valentine and Louisa (Rothermel) Schmeck. They have four children: Irene L., Ira, Nelson, and Wayne J. V.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:42 EDT

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