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Maria 'Mary' (Friedrich) Walb


Maria "Mary" (Friedrich) Walb (1815-1866) was born on Feb. 27, 1815 in Rockland Township, Berks County, PA, the daughter of George "Adam" and Sarah (Meinder) Friedrich.

She was united in marriage with Andreas "Andrew" Walp (1807-1887), Americanized to "Walb" and sometimes misspelled "Wolb."

They produced a family of nine known children -- Sarah Ann "Sally" Miller, Elizabeth Walb, Franklin Walb, Carolina "Caroline" Dotterer, Adam Walb, Esther F. "Hettie" Beitler, Thomas F. Walb, Lavina Fegley and William Walb.

Circa 1850, when the U.S. Census was made, the family lived in Rockland Township, Berks County, with Andrew engaged in manufacturing oil cloths. During the decade of the 1850s, he focused more of his time generating income as a farmer.

They were members of the New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, also known as the Mertz, Rockland or Dryville church. Under the pastorship of Rev. Daniel Kohler on April 20, 1840, Andrew served as a deacon and helped lay the cornerstone of the new building, possibly built after a dispute with its parent church. By the time of the dedication that autumn, a new pastor, Rev. Knoske, had taken charge, suggesting unrest in the congregation. A declaration was written that while the new church was to serve the Evangelical Lutheran followers, "if, in the future, our neighbors and brethren of the Evangelical Reformed church, should organize a congregation, and call a Reformed pastor, the equal use of the church is to be granted them. As soon as the church is completed, any ordained minister of the Reformed church is to be allowed the use of it at funerals." A history of this church, by Rev. J.W. Early, was published in 1907 in the Reading Times.

Mary passed away the day after Christmas 1866 at the age of 51. Her remains are at rest in New Jerusalem Union Cemetery in Fleetwood, Berks County. No stone is known to mark her grave.

The widowed Andrew survived his wife by about 11 years. When the federal census again was enumerated in 1870, he headed a farm household including his unmarried children Esther, Thomas and William. He ran for the office of Rockland Township inspector in March 1872.

Andrew married again to Sarah A. ( ? - ? ). They are shown together in the 1880 census of Rockland.

He is reputed to have died in January 1887, at the age of 79. He also rests in New Jerusalem under a marker inscribed in English. [Find-a-Grave]


~ Daughter Sarah Ann "Sally" (Walb) Miller ~

Daughter Sarah Ann "Sally" Walb (1836-1928) was born on May 13, 1836 in Berks County.

She married Reuben Miller (Sept. 26, 1834-1918), son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Welder) Miller.

The known children born to this marriage were William Miller, Mary (Miller) Miller, Elizabeth Roth, Katie Ann Hertzog, Matilda Smith, Leanda Hilbert, Benjamin Miller, Franklin "Frank" Miller, Mathias Miller and Edwin Miller.

Their home in 1900 was Pikeville, Berks County and in 1918 near Ruppert's School House.

Reuben suffered from tuberculosis for the last decade of his life. He succumbed at the age of 83 on July 27, 1918.

Sarah made her final home with her sister Elizabeth Hess in Oley Township, Berks County and endured the untimely death of daughter Katie Hertzog in January 1923 and granddaughter Ella Leanda M. Hilbert in May 1925.

After suffering a stroke, she died there at the age of 89 on June 16, 1928. Her remains were lowered into rest in New Jerusalem Union Cemetery in Fleetwood, Berks County. Her obituary in the Allentown Morning opened by referring to her as "A nonagenarian survived by ninety-five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren..."

Son William Miller (1858-1919) was born on March 7, 1858. In retirement, he lived in Mertztown, Longswamp Township in 1918-1919. He suffered a stroke of apoplexy and died a day later, at the age of 61, on April 1, 1919. Burial was in New Jerusalem Cemetery.

Daughter Mary Miller ( ? - ? ) married Lewis Miller ( ? - ? ). Their home in 1918 was in Pricetown and in 1933 in Fleetwood.

Daughter Elizabeth Miller (1864-1933) was born on Jan. 20, 1864 in Rockland Township. As an infant, she was baptized by Rev. Alfred D. Croll on April 5, 1864. Then, at the age of 17, on April 28, 1881, she was confirmed by Rev. D.K. Humbert in the New Jerusalem Church. Later that year, on Nov. 26, 1881, she was joined in marital union with Benjamin Roth ( ? -1930?), with Rev. Humbert officiating at the wedding. The couple produced seven known children -- Francis Roth, William Roth, Herbert Roth, Harvey Roth, Ormrod Roth, Paul Roth, Jennie Guth and Mrs. Ira Stump. They lived in or near Huff's Church and Alburtis, Lehigh County and were members of the New Jerusalem Church. Benjamin is believed to have died in about 1930. As a widow, Elizabeth moved to South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. Burdened with heart and kidney disease for the last six months of her life, Elizabeth became bedfast at around Christmas 1932. She died a week later, in her daughter Jennie's home in Hoffmansville, on New Year's Day 1933, just a few weeks before her 69th birthday. Her pallbearers included Elmer Huntzinger, Elias Zettlemoyer, Franklin Guth, Llewellyn Guth, Lawrence Guth and Charles Guth. Rev. W.F. Bond, her pastor, preached the funeral sermon based on the Old Testament scripture Psalm 90:12 -- "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Son William Roth of Orefield, PA provided key details for the death certificate. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that her survivors included 23 grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren.

Daughter Katie Ann Miller (1866-1923) was born on May 14, 1866. She married Emanuel V. Hertzog (1863-1939) of New Jerusalem, son of Jacob and Judith (Rothermel) Hertzog. They produced three known offspring -- Herbert Hertzog, Esther Weiss and Annie Kuhns. In November 1901, having lived in between Breinigsville and Farmington, the family relocated to Alburtis. He was employed with local iron ore mines near Mertztown, Berks County, and later by Hoch Construction Company. They were members of the Lutheran wing of the Trexlertown Church. Circa 1923, they dwelled in Allentown at the address of 1545½ Tilghman Street. For the last two years of her life, Katie was burdened with pulmonary tuberculosis. She became bedfast in December 1922. A few weeks later, at the age of 56, she died on Jan. 10, 1923. Funeral services were held in their residence. Her remains were lowered into repose in Trexlertown Cemetery, and son-in-law Crawford E. Weiss, of 943 Chew Street in Allentown, signed the death certificate. The Allentown Morning Call published an obituary. Emanuel outlived his bride by 16 years. Toward the end he became completely blind and went to live with his married daughter Annie Kuhns at 937 Turner Street in Allentown. He died there at the age of 75 on April 8, 1939. Burial was in Trexlertown, with Rev. D.C. Kaufman officiating at the funeral, and an obituary published in the Morning Call.

Daughter Matilda Miller (1870-1955) was born on May 15, 1870 in Rockland Township, Berks County. She was joined in wedlock with Henry W. Smith ( ? -1950), son of William and Lucinda (Day) Smith of Berks County. Their 10 known offspring were Roland Smith, Bertha Smith, Henry Smith, Earl Smith, William Smith, Libby Parsons, Eva Weller, Verna Muth, Florence Eshbach and Mabel Smith. Over the years, they were tenant farmers and "moved into the western part of Lehigh county years ago and then returned to Berks 25 years ago," reported the Allentown Morning Call in 1950. The family belonged to the Lutheran wing of the church at Bowers. Henry passed away at their home near Topton/Mertztown on Aug. 9, 1950, just a week after reaching his 81st birthday. As a widow, Matilda made a home with her daughter Libby Parsons in Mertztown in Longswamp Township, Berks County. At the age of 85, she fell and fractured her right hip on Dec. 1, 1955 and went into acute cardiac failure. She was admitted to Allentown Hospital and succumbed there two days later on Dec. 3, 1955. Libby Parsons of Mertztown provided vital information for the Pennsylvania death certificate. Interment was in Union Cemetery in Bowers, Berks County. According to an obituary in the Morning Call, her survivors included 33 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.


Rev. Kline, pastor of
the Hilberts' church

Daughter Leanda W. Miller (1872-1953) was born on March 18, 1872 in Rockland Township, Berks County. She was united in matrimony with Franklin "Frank" Hilbert ( ? -1943). Their family of children included Fred Hilbert, Edwin Hilbert, Calvin Hilbert, William Hilbert, George Hilbert, Earl Hilbert, Paul Hilbert, Mamie Shaner, Minnie Gamler and Missouri Hilbert. At least one of the daughters was baptized as an infant by Rev. J.O. Henry and then confirmed by Rev. William H. Kline in the Christ Mertz Lutheran Church of Dryville. In about 1911, they relocated to Fredericksville in rural Rockland Township and stayed for decades. Grief overwhelmed the family in May 1925 when unmarried daughter Ella Leanda died at the age of about 20, shortly after having given birth. Frank passed away at age 74 on April 8, 1943 in Fredericksville. A death notice appeared in the Allentown Morning Call. Leanda lived for another decade. Stricken with thyroid and liver cancer, as well as diabetes, the 81-year-old succumbed at home on July 9, 1953. George R. Hilbert of Mertztown signed the death certificate. She was placed into repose in Mertz Church Cemetery.

Son Benjamin H. Miller (1868-1945) was born on Feb. 25, 1868 in Pike Township, Berks County. He wedded Sarah A. "Sally" (Hertzog) Prutzman ( ? - ? ). Sally had been married previously and brought two children to the second union, Clayton Prutzman and Maggie Oister. Benjamin and Sally went on to bear these children of their own -- Sally Schadler, Howard Miller and George Miller. They were farmers and lived in 1918 in Kutztown, Berks County. In 1945, the widowed Benjamin resided in Mertztown, Longswamp Township, Berks County. Suffering from congestive heart failure, cardiac asthma and hardening of the arteries, he became a patient in Allentown Hospital in the spring of 1945 and, after a 25-day stay, passed away at age 77 on April 29, 1945. Daughter Sally Schadler of Mertztown signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death. Rev. Luther Schlenker led the funeral service and burial. He rests for all time in Maxatawny Church Cemetery, Berks County. The Allentown Morning Call printed an obituary.

Son Frank Miller (1862-1930) was born on Feb. 7, 1862 in Rockland Township, Berks County. His first wife is believed to have been Sarah Hess ( ? - ? ). His second spouse (?) was Mary Day ( ? -1916?). Frank was the father of 10 children -- Calvin Miller, Henry Miller, Mrs. Peter Moser, Mrs. Wilson Heffner, Mrs. William Gaumer, Curtis Miller, Joseph Miller, Charles Miller, William Miller and Harvey Miller. They were members of the Lutheran wing of the Longswamp Church. Frank also belonged to the Topton Knights of the Golden Eagle. Circa 1918-1930, he lived in Topton, Berks County. From 1925 to 1930, Frank earned a living as a watchman at the Topton Rug Manufacturing Company. He lived under the roof of his son Calvin in 1930 on Franklin Street in Topton. His health in 1930 turned poor, and on the fateful day of Sept. 25, 1930, at the age of 68, the despondent Frank hung himself in the cellar of his son's home. The son discovered the body. Following funeral services led by Rev. William F. Bond, the remains were lowered into eternal peace and rest in Longswamp Cemetery. Son Calvin was the informant for the Pennsylvania certificate of death. A headline obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said he was survived by 23 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Son Mathias W. Miller (1875-1965) was born on Sept. 10, 1875 in Pike Township, Berks County. He married Anna Y. (Kline) Hertzog ( ? -1950). Anna had been married previously and brought a son to the union, Paul Hertzog. The couple went on to bear more children of their own -- Harry M. Miller, Edna Greiss and Esther Windish. They were farmers and made a home in 1918-1933 in Fredericksville. The family belonged to the Lutheran wing of New Jerusalem Church in Fleetwood. Sally passed into eternity in 1950. As a widower, in the mid-1960s, he dwelled in Alburtis, Lehigh County. Having borne hardening of the arteries, hypertension and chronic kidney disease, he died at home at age 89 on Aug. 1, 1955. Interment was in New Jerusalem Church Cemetery following funeral services at the church. Edna Greiss, of Alburtis, provided details for the death certificate and spelled the maiden name of Mathias' mother as "Webb" instead of "Walb." In an obituary, the Allentown Morning Call numbered his survivors at 21 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

Son Edwin W. Miller (1879-1960) was born on March 23, 1879 in Rockland Township. He grew up on his parents' farm and was a lifelong farmer. He resided with his parents in the Ruppert's School House village in 1918. At some point he was married Emma M. Heffner ( ? - ? ) and became widowed. Circa 1933, they were in Fredericksville, PA. In his early 80s, he was admitted as a long-term resident of St. Joseph Hospital in Reading. He died there after a two-months' stay at the age of 81 in Nov. 14, 1960. Interment was in New Jerusalem Church Cemetery.


~ Daughter Elizabeth (Walb) Reider Hess ~

Daughter Elizabeth Walb (1838-1930) was born in about 1838 in Rockland Township, Berks County. Circa 1860, unmarried, she lived at home.

She was twice married, first to (?) Reider ( ? - ? ). The marriage is thought to have taken place in the early 1860s, as their daughter was born in 1862.

Later, on Jan. 8, 1865, when she was age 26, she was wedded to stone mason and Civil War veteran George H. Hess (March 26, 1835-1921). He was the son of George and Mary Marguerite (Hartline) Hess of Pike Township. Rev. Gustave Hinterleiter officiated at the nuptials held at Kutztown.

In infancy, George was baptized by Rev. Lou Miller in a German-speaking church congregation, witnessed by Jacob Moser and Rebecca Bletlin. Then as an adult, George stood 5 feet, 7½ inches tall, weighed 165 lbs. and had a dark complexion, grey eyes and auburn hair.

The couple's known children were Susan Kuser, Katie Fryer, Edwin Hess, Luzetta Fisher, Violetta Swavely, Lydia Hess and Sallie Dotterer.

During the war, on Oct. 27, 1862, George was drafted into the Union Army, and was assigned to the 167th Pennsylvania Militia, Company H, commanded by Col. Charled Knoderer. He was on duty in late 1862 and early 1863 at Suffolk, VA, where he contracted rheumatism and began to suffer from inflammation in his left knee and ankle. George blamed his leg problems on "hard service and exposure" during cold, damp picket duty. For about three weeks, he could not get about and was treated in his tent by the regiment's surgeon. The ailment continued throughout the spring. Recalled fellow soldier Abraham Schaffer, "The first I recalect [him] complant was Paninsula March near Bottoms Bridge, Chickahomany. From there on his leg was swolen but he got along to Yorktown. That was about the Begining of July 1863, then he could not March any more. Then he was taken along to Frederick City when the Regt. left there he was [left behind]."

Now also stricken with diarrhea, he was sent for treatment to Annapolis Hospital on July 20, 1863, and may have spent some time at a hospital in Baltimore, spanning a total of seven weeks. With only a short time left in George's term of service, friend Schaffer was sent to Annapolis to bring him back, only to be denied by hospital authorities. George eventually was released and returned to duty on Aug. 26, 1863, although his term already had expired. He went to Harrisburg, PA, where he received an honorable discharge.

Upon returning home, friend Henry M. Moyer noted that George was suffering from leg problems and at times could not work. He was treated at home by "Dr. Gorr," likely Dr. Jonas Gorr, husband of Elizabeth's distant cousin Sarah Ann Gaumer. George also used a combination of linaments, oils, washes and other types of what he called "embrocations," but to little effect. They lived in Pikeville, Berks County and in 1870 were next door neighbors to George's parents, with the father marked as blind. Over the years, they also dwelled in Oley and Douglas Townships. George's occupation in 1870 continued to be stone mason. In 1880 he earned a living as a hotel manager in Pike Township. He also was a farmer. They were members of Christ Lutheran Church of Spangsville.

In 1886, George began receiving a military pension for his Civil War service. [Invalid App. #576.228 - Cert. #550.637] To help prove his age, he sent authorities his original baptismal certificate, in German, asking that it be returned once the case had been adjudicated. He received monthly government checks for the rest of his long life. Their home was located in Oley Townshiop "near the Oley churches," said the Reading Times. At the age of 85, he claimed that his ailments included dropsy, asthma, curvature of the left knee and a chronic sore on his left foot, confining him to his bed. A physician wrote that "His left knee is about two inches larger in circumference than the right."

Just a few weeks before his 86th birthday, and stricken with acute bronchitis, diabetes and chronic heart disease, George died on March 9, 1921.

Elizabeth lived for another seven years as a widow and was awarded her husband's military pension. [Widow App. #1.172.092 - Cert. #903.969] Among the friends and neighbors providing affidavits of support in her claim were Manias Yoder and Moses B. Eberhart. By 1928, she had moved to Oley Township, Berks County and made a home near the Oley churches. Her pension checks each month were in the amount of $40.

On March 27, 1930, having borne chronic bronchitis and heart lining disease, the 91-year-old Elizabeth passed away in Oley. Daughter Lydia W. Hess of Spangsville was the informant for the death certificate. Burial was in Oley Church Cemetery in Spangsville. An obituary in the Times noted that she left behind 29 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Daughter Susan Reider (1862-1938) was born on July 6, 1862 in Rockland Township. She married John D. Kuser (Sept. 18, 1856-1919), believed to have been the son of Mary (Davidheiser) Kuser. The couple bore one son. They dwelled on a farm near Woodchoppertown, near Shanesville. Sadly, having spent five years afflicted by hardening of the arteries, John was felled by cardiac paralysis and passed away at the age of 63 on July 3, 1919. Funeral services were held in the Good Shepherd Reformed Church in Boyertown, led by Rev. G.G. Greenawald. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Union Cemetery in Boyertown, with the Reading Times publishing an obituary. Susan lived for another 19 years as a widow. After her father's death, she made a residence with her mother and sister Lydia in the Boyertown area in 1930. Her address in 1938 was 40 West Philadelphia Avenue, Boyertown. She was afflicted with acute heart disease and succumbed at the age of 76 on Aug. 29, 1938. Burial was in Union Cemetery. Her sister Lydia Hess signed the death certificate.

Daughter Katie Hess (1865-1933) was born on Oct. 2, 1865 in Pike Township, Berks County. She wedded Amandus Fryer (Oct. 21, 1865-1954), son of B. Franklin and Maria (Walter) Fryer of Douglas Township, Montgomery County. The offspring born to this marriage were David Fryer, Harry Fryer, Lizzie Fryer, Maurice Fryer, Annie Reinert, Stella Renninger and Esther Fryer. They dwelled in Worman, PA in 1921 and on a farm near Gilbertsville, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County in the 1930s. Their residence in 1933 was described as "in New Yahover, along the Pottstown-Pennsburg concrete highway." At the age of 67, suffering from chronic heart disease and an enlarged heart, she died on March 27, 1938. Her remains were placed into repose in Union Cemetery in Boyertown, with an obituary appearing in the Reading Times. Amandus lived for another 16 years and joined her in death on March 26, 1954

  • Grandson David Fryer lived in New Hanover in 1933.
  • Grandson Harry Fryer resided in 1930 in New Hanover.
  • Granddaughter Lizzie Fryer dwelled in Hew Hanover.
  • Grandson Maurice Fryer made a home in New Hanover.
  • Granddaughter Annie Fryer married Clarence E. Reinert. In 1933, their residence was in New Hanover.
  • Granddaughter Stella Fryer wedded Fred B. Renninger. They were in New Hanover in the early 1930s.
  • Granddaughter Esther Fryer lived in New Hanover.

Son George "Edwin" W. Hess (1867-1947) was born on June 15, 1867. He married Katie D. ( ? - ? ). They resided in Boyertown in 1921-1930 at what was known as "Norma's Valley." As a widower, Edwin continued to live in Boyertown. He was felled by intestinal bleeding and, although admitted to Reading Community General Hospital, passed into eternity there a day later on Aug. 15, 1947. Interment was in Boyertown.

Daughter Luzetta W. Hess (1869-1934) was born on Oct. 5, 1869 in Pike Township, Berks County, a twin with her sister Violetta. She was united in wedlock with Samuel Fisher ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Mabel Groff, Esther (Fisher) Fisher, Anne Hossler, Alma Groft, Lester Fisher and Kathryn Fisner. Circa 1920, at the age of 49, she signed an affidavit attesting to her father's invalid condition so that he could obtain an increase in his soldier pension. In 1921-1930, she made a home in Greshville, PA and in 1934, as a widow, near Boyertown. Luzetta was a longtime member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Boyertown. She was burdened with diabetes for a decade and was diagnosed with hardening of the arteries in about 1928. Her home circa 1934 was in Greshville. She died suddenly at the age of 65 on Nov. 23, 1934. Alma Graft of Boyertown was the informant for the death certificate. Interment was in Fairview Cemetery in Boyertown. An obituary appeared in the Reading Times.


Fairview Cemetery, Boyertown, where Samuel and Luzetta (Hess) Fisher rest.


Daughter Violetta Hess (1869-1936) was was born on Oct. 5, 1869 in Pike Township, Berks County, a twin with her sister Luzetta. She was joined in matrimoy with Mahlon R. Swavely (May 1, 1865-1945), son of Daniel H. and Harriet (Rosenthal) Swavely. They were in Little Oley in 1921 and in Boyertown in 1930 at the address of 40 West Philadelphia Avenue. At the age of 66, suffering from diabetes as well as kidney and heart problems, she died on April 19, 1936. Her remains were lowered into repose in Oley Cemetery in Spangsville. Mahlon lived for another nine years after his wife's death and moved to 48 North Reading Avenue in Boyertown. The Angel of Death carried him away following a stroke on Sept. 19, 1945. Carrie H. Swavely of Boyertown signed the certificate of death.

Daughter Lydia W. Hess (1871-1941) was born on Valentine's Day 1871 in Pike Township, Berks County. She never married and lived at home in 1930. She spent the last five years of her life in Boyertown and, after suffering a heart attack, died at home on Nov. 2, 1941. Her sister Sallie Dotterer, with whom she shared a home, signed the death certificate. Burial was in Oley Church Cemetery.

Daughter Sallie Hess (1874-1947) was born on Feb. 20, 1874 in Berks County. She was wed to Frank Dotterer ( ? - ? ). They lived in 1930 in Boyertown. After becoming widowed, she shared a home with her single sister Lydia. Then after the sister's death in 1941, Sallie moved to a home at 39 South Madison Street. She was stricken with a heart attack in 1945 but survived and lived another two years. She died at the age of 73 on Dec. 2, 1947. G.H. Schaeffer, of the home, provided details for the Pennsylvania certificate of death.


~ Son Franklin Walb ~

Son Franklin Walb (1840- ? ) was born in about 1840 in Berks County. His fate is not yet known.


~ Daughter Caroline (Walb) Dotterer ~

Daughter Carolina "Caroline" Walb (1843-1900) was born on April 15, 1843 near New Jerusalem, Berks County. As an infant, she was baptized on July 23, 1843 in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County, PA.

Caroline was age 30 or 31 in 1874 when she was joined in marriage with John Dotterer (Dec. 1847- ? ), also spelled "Dottery."

The newlyweds established a residence in Lower Macungie, Lehigh County. Later, they moved a short distance to Macungie and remained there for good.

The couple produced four daughters -- Laura Ricker, Ida Dotterer, Annie Dotterer and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Morgans.

Circa 1900, John supported the family as a day laborer in Macungie.

Caroline passed into eternity at her home in Macungie at the age of 57 on July 22, 1900. Said the Allentown Leader, "A remarkable coincidence was that the family clock stopped ticking at exactly the time her spirit fled." Following funeral services in Grace Lutheran Church, led by Rev. W.M. Kopenhaver, interment was in Fairview Cemetery in Macungie. An obituary was published in the Reading Eagle.

Daughter Laura Dotterer (1874-1950) was born in April 1874 in Richmond Township, Berks County. In about 1896, when she would have been about age 22, she married Franklin "Frank" Ricker (March 29, 1865-1912), son of Henry and Levina (Nagel) Ricker. Their home in 1900 was in Macungie, with Frank laboring at John Walbert's stone quarry at Spring Creek. He was injured in the summer of 1900 when he cut his leg on a sharp stone, which left him out of work for several weeks. The quarry was shut down in 1902 when, due to a closure of the Lockridge Furnace, it could not affordably obtain coal, putting Frank out of work. He was hurt again in October 1902 when he fell out of a tree at the home of his brother in law "at the old Ricker homestead," reported the Allentown Leader. "While knocking chestnuts from a tree, [he] fell a considerable distance, a limb breaking. He broke no bones but was badly shaken up." The quarry opened again and he was able to resume working. But in 1904, he suffered two more unjuries, falling from a load of hay and damaging his spine, and then fracturing his wrist during a fall from atop a load of stones. Said the Leader, "Dr. W.B. Erdman attends him." Their world was disrupted in 1911 when Frank contracted pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 46 and suffered for six months. Unable to rally, he was cut away by the Grim Reaper on May 22, 1912. His remains were lowered into the earth at Fairview Cemetery in Macungie. Laura outlived him by 37 years and never remarried. In 1914, she resided in Rittersville, PA. Then in about 1920, she moved into Allentown and remained there for good at a residence of 113½ North Fifth Street. She supported herself by working at the Americus Hotel and was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, with active participation in its A.K. Jacks Memorial Bible Class (serving as treasurer) and Christian Endeavor Society. Laura became seriously ill in mid-1949 and could no longer stay in her own home. She moved in with her married niece Mrs. Julius Hessinger at 926 Fernwood Street in Bethlehem and became bedfast in late November or early December 1949. She succumbed five weeks later on Jan. 6, 1950.


Typical slate quarry in Lehigh County


Daughter Ida V. Dotterer (1877-1955) was born in November 1877. At the age of 22, in 1900, she boarded with the family of William and Katie Riedy in Allentown and earned a living through her work as a weaver at a local silk mill. On Aug. 26, 1900, she married Clinton M. Wehr ( ? -1936), son of Monroe and Frances (Walter) Wehr. The nuptials were held in New Tripoli, with Rev. H.S. Fegley officiating. They dwelled in Macungie and were the parents of Frances Hessinger, John Monroe Wehr and Walter W. Wehr. At least one of the sons was baptized in Grace Church in Macungie by Rev. W.M. Kopenhaver. Clinton had moved into Allentown in the year of their marriage to work as a driver for Lehigh Valley Transit Company. He was stabbed by a potential mugger while walking home from work in the wee morning hours of Oct. 28, 1904. Reported the Allentown Morning Call, the "highwayman ... demanded money. Upon being refused the highwayman drew a knife onWehr and stabbed him twice on the breast and once in the arm, the latter being the only cut, however, which inflicted any injury. In the scuffle Wehr managed to get away from his assailant and ran home. He got a gun and returned to the scene of the encounter but could find no track of the scoundrel." Later that year, he helped solve a mystery when the South Bethlehem cars would stop running without warning. He and colleague Walter DeLong used some detective work to discover that a thief had been cutting copper wires to sell to junk dealers. They caught the criminal and forced him to walk with his crowbar and 50 lbs. of wire to a local hotel where additional help was summoned. He was promoted to special detective for the utility and for decades served as constable for Hanover Township, later becoming part of the 15th Ward of Allentown. Said the Morning Call, "Mr. Wehr was later connected with the Merkle Bobbin company, and for five years operated a gasoline service station in Longswamp." He was a member of the Lehigh Lodge of the International Order of Long Fellows. Ida belonged to St. Peter's Lutheran Church on Allentown's Hanover Street and was an active volunteer with its Sunday School home department. Clinton passed away at the age of 55 on Jan. 15, 1936. After Clinton's death, Ida moved in 1940 to a home at 926 Fernwood Street in Bethlehem. Her health began to decline in about 1949 but she endured another six years. She was treated to a dinner party in honor of her 75th birthday in November 1952, reported in the gossip columns of the Morning Call. At the age of 77, she became bedfast and died after three weeks' duration on Nov. 13, 1955, in the home of her daughter.

Daughter Anna M. "Annie" Dotterer (1880-1959) was born on July 1, 1880 in Lower Macungie. She never married. Annie lived at home with her parents in 1900. Still single in 1914, her home was in Allentown. She worked in the pantry of the Americus Hotel and was a longtime member of Grace Lutheran Church in Macungie. Her address in the 1950s was with her nephew John Monroe Wehr at 110 North 10th Street in Allentown. Suffering from heart disease, she passed into eternity at home at the age of 79 on Sept. 18, 1959. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

Daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Dotterer (1882-1934) was born on Nov. 19, 1882 in Lower Macungie. In 1900, at the age of 17, she was single and lived at home. By 1920, she was wed to Spanish-American War veteran Wisson M.A. Morgans ( ? - ? ) and relocated to Scranton. The couple did not reproduce. They moved to Allentown in 1928 and had an address of 100 South Eighth Street. She was a member of the Emmaus Junction Pentecostal Church near Mountainville and a regular attendee of its Sunday School. Suffering from ovarian cancer, which then spread, Elizabeth was admitted to Allentown Hospital. She underwent surgery, but there was no hope. She died at the age of 51 on Jan. 18, 1934. Said an obituary in the Allentown Morning Call, she "had been in failing health for the past year and was bedfast since last Saturday." Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in Macungie.


~ Son Adam Walb ~

Son Adam Walb (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845 in Berks County. Nothing more is known.


~ Daughter Esther F. "Hettie" (Walb) Beitler ~

Daughter Esther F. "Hettie" Walb (1847-1922) was born on April 1, 1847 or 1848 in Berks County.

At the age of 22 in 1870, unmarried, Esther lived at home with her widowed father and kept house.

She was united in wedlock with William J. Beitler (1853-1893).

They were the parents of three children, among them Emma C. Beitler and two others who were deceased by 1922.

Circa 1880, they lived in Rockland Township, Berks County. Over the span of 40 years, William was employed as a railroad brakeman. They were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

In the 1890s, they lived in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County, NJ where William died in 1893.

Esther lived for another 29 years as a widow, with her final address in the rear of 138 Church Street, Allentown. She was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died on Feb. 18, 1922 in Allentown, Lehigh County. Brother-in-law Charles Fegley signed her death certificate. She rests with her presumed daughter Emma C. Beitler in Union-West End Cemetery in Allentown, Lehigh County, and an obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that Rev. G.A. Greiss officiated at her funeral service.

Daughter Emma C. Beitler (1879- ? ) was born in about 1879 in or near Rockland, Berks County.


~ Son Thomas F. Walb ~

Son Thomas F. Walb (1851-1932) -- born "Walp" -- was born on Aug. 3, 1851 in Berks County.

At the age of about 23, circa 1874, Thomas was united in matrimony with Sarah Amanda Weil, (Oct. 5, 1855-1927), daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Knaub) Weil. They made a home on a farm in New Jerusalem, Berks County.

Their four children were Alice M. Walb, Mantilla Walb, William Weil Walb and Harvey Walb.

In 1880, the couple is shown together in Rockland Township, Berks County, with Thomas laboring as a farmer, and his 72-year-old widowed father in the household. They remained in Rockland as shown in the 1900 census.

Having suffered with Parkinson's Disease for a decade, Amanda passed away in Boyertown, Berks County at age 68 on Jan. 11, 1927. Thomas moved to Reading as a widower. He died at the age of 80 on April 16, 1932. They rest for eternity in New Jersalem Union Cemetery.

Daughter Alice M. Walb (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874 in Berks County. She married (?) Landis.

Daughter Mantilla Walb (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876 in Berks County.

Son William Weil Walb (1881- ? ) was born in Dec. 1881 in Berks County.

Son Harvey Walb (1883- ? ) was born in Dec. 1883 in Berks County.


~ Daughter Lavina (Walb) Fegley ~

Daughter Lavina Walb (1853-1923) was born on Sept. 4, 1853 or 1854 in Rockland Township, Berks County.

She wedded Charles A. Fegley (Aug. 9, 1860-1929), son of George and Leah (Welder) Fegely.

Their known offspring were Mrs. Marcus Hellick, Effie M. Hahn and Claude A. Fegley.

The family joined St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Rittersville, and Lavina was active with its Missionary Society and Adult Bible class. They dwelled at 1104 North Main Street in Bethlehem, Northampton County, PA in the early 1920s.

Having contracted colon cancer,causing bleeding in the bowels, Lavinia suffered for six months before being swept away by the Grim Reaper on July 15, 1923. After a funeral was held in the family home and then church, her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Rittersville Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call.

Charles lived on for another six years. Burdened with pneumonia and enlarged heart, he fell and fractured his left femur. He was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, where he died on Dec. 8, 1929.

Daughter (?) Fegley married Marcus Hellick. They lived in Bethlehem in 1923.

Daughter Effie M. Fegley wedded Charles Hahn. They resided in 1923-1929 in Bethlehem.

Son Claude A. Fegley dwelled in Bethlehem in 1923.


~ Son William Walb ~

Son William Walb (1857- ? ) was born in about 1857 in Berks County. His story seems to be lost to history.


Copyright 2013-2015, 2019 Mark A. Miner