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Judith 'Judy' (Gaumer) Wenner
(1821-1908)

 

Judith "Judy" Gaumer -- sometimes known as "Julia" -- was born in June 1821 near Alburtis, Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA, the daughter of Johann "Adam" and Christiana (Wesco) Gaumer.

She married Charles Wenner (1820-1879).

They produced seven children -- the known six names were Charles Edwin Wenner, Anna Maria Koch, Melissa Reichard, Polly Ann C. Kuhns, Elemina Stettler and Allabella Bortz.

The couple began married life in Wennersville, where they were farmers, to a new home at Bortz's Mill near the Lehigh County Home. Charles operated the mill for a number of years, and they occupied the old stone house nearby. They were charter members of the Cetronia Church. Charles also may have served as a Lehigh County Poor Director circa 1865, at a time when a work house was erected in or near the county hospital.

 

Lehigh County Poor House, Allentown, early 1900s

 

Charles passed away in 1879, when he was only about 59.

Judith survived as a widow for nearly three decades. In 1900, federal census records show her making a home with her widowed daughter Allabella Bortz and family in Bortz's Mill. At her 80th birthday, in June 1901, a party was held in her honor at the the home of her daughter Mrs. Bortz. Reported the Allentown Leader, "All her children and most of the grandchildren were present. A very pleasant time was spent. An elegant dinner was served."

She was burdened with heart valve disease and suffered a stroke and died on Dec. 10, 1908, at the age of 87. Funeral services were held in the home of her son-in-law Mathias Bortz with shorter services in the family church, led by Rev. E.O. Leopold, followed by burial in the Union Cemetery. An obituary in the Allentown Democrat noted that her survivors included 30 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

 

~ Daughter Anna Maria J. (Wenner) Koch ~

Daughter Anna Maria J. Wenner (1843-1921) was born on Valentine's Day 1843.

On May 24, 1868, the 25-year-old Anna Maria married 22-year-old Alfred J. Koch (Jan. 2, 1846-1921), son of Samuel J. and Sarah S. (Snyder) Koch of Lehigh County.

They bore five known offspring -- Alice Flexer, Eda Morgan, Warren E. Koch, John G. Koch and Samuel J. Koch.

 

Alfred's profile, History of
Lehigh County,
1914

The couple were longtime farmers. When the 1870 federal census was taken, they and their baby daughter Alice dwelled with his parents on a farm in Upper Macungie. Later, they lived in Ironton, PA in 1901, Seigersville in 1914 and then under the roof of their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Morgan in Schnecksville, North Whitehall Township in 1919-1921. The couple were longtime members of the Jordan Lutheran Church, where Alfred served in the posts of trustee, elder and deacon.

Alfred was profiled in the 1914 book History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The entry said that Alfred grew up in Upper Macungie and lived there until the age of 26:

In the spring of 1876 he moved upon a farm near Wennersville and the following year he settled upon his 43-acre farm situated in the southern part of the township, where he lives to this time. This farm was the Daniel Gross homestead and was in that family about 110 years. The house still standing is one of the land-marks of that district. Mr. Koch is a director of the Lehigh Mutual Fire Insurance Company since 1886 and has served this company as its treasurer since 1899. Politically he is a Democrat and was elected assessor of Upper Macungie, and auditor of South Whitehall, serving both offices with marked ability.

In about 1917, Anna Maria suffered a stroke of apoplexy and lived in a paralyzed condition for another four years. During that time, which she appears to have spent mainly in bed, Anna developed extensive bedsores. On July 19, 1921, at the age of 78, her body finally gave out to death. Funeral services were held in the home of their married daughter Morgan, with additional services at the Jordan Lutheran Church and burial in the nearby church cemetery, with Dr. M.H. Kock (a relative) affixing his name to the death certificate. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

The widowed Alfred only survived his wife by five months. Burdened for five years with heart valve disease, he succumbed on Dec. 17, 1921, just 18 days before his 76th birthday. Son-in-law John R. Morgan was the informant for the official Pennsylvania death certificate.

Daughter Alice Koch (1869-1927) was born on Feb. 23, 1869. She married Ellsworth J.C. Flexer (Feb. 2, 1865-1950), son of Isaac and Sarah (Horn) Flexer of Stony Run, PA. As a boy, Ellsworth was an Allentown Morning Herald delivery boy for rural subscribers who lived distances apart in the country. In 1890, before they married, Alice and Ellsworth were among a host of friends who attended a 22nd birthday party for Mary Knecht in Ironton and had their names printed on the gossip columns of the Allentown Democrat. Ellsworth became a teacher and spent 53 years as an Allentown educator, with an astonishing 6,300 pupils under his tutelage over the decades. His first assignment was at the age of 17, when he taught 42 students in the red-brick, one-room schoolhouse at Breckmock, Berks County. Parents often dictated what the teacher was to teach. He was once quoted in the Allentown Morning Call, saying "I had to teach Amish; sometimes German. Occasionally I'd skip grammer, geography, or physiology, when a father would consider one or more of these studies 'poppycock'." Ellsworth purchased the residence of local bottler L.D. Clauss at 923 North Street in March 1902. Sadly, just a few years after inheriting a large sum of money from a deceased brother-in-law, but burdened with "cerebro-spinal sclerosis," she died in Allentown's Sacred Heart Hospital at the age of 58 on April 11, 1927. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery. The grieving Ellsworth lived for another 23 years and apparently remarried. The couple lived at 437 North 9th Street. He continued his work as an educator and was named "dean of city teachers" and was a member of the Schoolmen's Club. During World War II, when the Schoolmen held their annual Christmas party at the Elks Club, he set up a wooden stand containing 13 candles, in honor of each Allentown teacher serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. On April 3, 1949, he was pictured and featured in a story about his career in the Morning Call. Suffering from senility, he died the following year on Nov. 29,1950. In an editorial, the Morning Call said that he was "a man who had been highly interesting to his intimates and especially to his students over more than a half a century of educational work." Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery.

 

Schnecksville's Main Street -- in view are Merchants National Bank and signs for the Mover's Store and "Strout."

 

Daughter Eda J. Koch (1872-1924) was born on May 15, 1872 and sometimes was known as "Edith." She was the second wife of John R. Morgan (1858-1925), son of Thomas B. and Sarah J. (Romich) Morgan. He had been married once before, to Sarah Geiger ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth Geiger. Eda and John did not reproduce. He was a longtime farmer and flour miller, residing along Sand Spring Road near Schnecksville, North Whitehall Township. Sadly, Eda suffered fibroids on her uterus and underwent surgery at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem. There, she was stricken with a pulmonary embolism and died just six days shy of her 52nd birthday on May 9, 1924. Funeral services were held in the Morgan home, with burial following in Union Church Cemetery. John only survived his wife by about a year-and-a-half. In late 1924, the widowed John was diagnosed with cancer of the cecum, a pouch at the junction of the large and small intestine. He suffered for a year and passed away on Christmas Eve 1925. His remains were lowered into rest in the Union Church at Neffs. John's dear friend Addison H. Knecht of Schnecksville signed the death certificate. At his death, his estate was valued at $23,000 which was distributed to his wife's four surviving siblings. His six acres of land, including a house and lot in Schnecksville, was bequeathed to friend Knecht. The sum of $2,000 was subdivided among the niece and nephews of his first wife, with a small amount of funds set aside to pay for care of family graves at Union Church. These details were spelled out in a story in the Allentown Morning Call.

Son Warren E. Koch (1875-1926) was born on Aug. 21, 1875 in Ironton, North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. He was joined in matrimony with Cora E. Peters (March 23, 1878-1958), daughter of Mathias and Emma (Kramlich) Peters of Fogelsville, Lehigh County. They were the parents of two sons, Paul W. Koch and Joseph Peters Koch. Sadly, son Joseph passed away in infancy on Aug. 24, 1907. Early in his career, circa 1896, Warren was a teacher in the Ironton schools. He continued to teach until July 1903, when he secured employment as a post office clerk in Allentown. Later, they moved to a new residence at 304 North 14th Street. On the fateful day of Nov. 8, 1926, he was in his garage while his automobile was running and was overcome by the carbon dioxide fumes. He was rushed to Allentown Hospital where he died. The county coroner investigated and wrote that the death was "probably accidental." Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery. Cora lived for another three-plus decades as a widow. She supported herself by working in housekeeping at the Hotel Hershey, retiring in 1956. She also was a member of Christ Lutheran Church. Her address in her final years was with her son Paul 1149 Turner Street in Allentown. At the age of 80, she died at home on Oct. 29, 1958.

  • Grandson Paul W. Koch
  • Grandson Joseph Peters Koch

Son John G. Koch (1877-1949) was born on Oct. 9, 1877 in Ironton, Whitehall Township. In 1898, he graduated from Kutztown Normal School with the intention of becoming a teacher, a career which lasted for half a century. His first assignment was in a country school. In 1900, unmarried, he lived at home and worked as a teacher. On May 18, 1902, he wedded Goldie A. Biery ( ? - ? ), daughter of Sylvanus Biery of Orefield. the nuptials were held at the home of Goldie's parents, by the hand of Rev. E.J. Fogel of Jordan Reformed Church at Walberts. They produced three sons, Carl A. Koch, Philip S. Koch and John W. Koch. In about 1904, they moved to Siegfried, part of Northampton, PA, where in about 1909 he was hired to teach in the Northampton School District. In 1915, when George Wolf School was built on Northampton's Lincoln Avenue, he was named principal and remained so for decades. John and Goldie belonged to Zion Lutheran Church for 40 years, with John teaching Sunday School for 30 years, serving as Sunday School superintendent for 17 years and on the church council. The Kochs' address in 1949 was 1703 Main Street in Northampton. The couple celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary in May 1949. Burdened with congestive hepatic cirrhosis, and coronary artery disease, John suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 71 on June 3, 1949. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said he "had been ailing for some time." Burial was in Walberts Cemetery in Lehigh County.

  • Grandson Carl A. Koch
  • Grandson Philip S. Koch
  • Grandson John W. Koch

Son Samuel J. Koch (1881-1953) was born on Feb. 28, 1881. When he was 19 years of age, he earned a living through his labor with a cement works in or near North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. In 1911, he was united in holy wedlock with Mabel M. Handwerk (1886-1976). The couple bore four children -- Arlene Fritchman, Larue Hilbert, Alton Koch and Paul Koch. Samuel eventually attended the normal school at Kutztown. He worked in 1912 as a rural letter carrier, citing poor health. They went on to spend their lives as farmers in the Siegersville/Oreville area of Lehigh County and remained together for 42 years. Samuel and Mabel were members of Jordan Lutheran Church in Walberts. Samuel suffered a stroke in June 1953 and lingered for a few days until death took him away on June 23, 1953. Burial was the cemetery of their church. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said he was survived by seven grandchildren. Mabel lived for another 23 years. Her address at one time was 1930 Chew Street in Allentown before relocating to Hellertown. She succumbed at the age of 90 on Aug. 22, 1976. A death notice appeared in the Morning Call.

  • Granddaughter Arlene Koch married (?) Fritchman
  • Granddaughter Larue Koch wedded (?) Hilbert
  • Grandson Alton Koch
  • Grandson Paul Koch


~ Daughter Elemina A. (Wenner) Stettler ~

 

The old post office in Centre Valley

Daughter Elemina A. Wenner (1845-1914) was born on June 21, 1845.

She wedded Tilghman H. Stettler (Sept. 18, 1841-1910), son of Solomon and Esther (Schadt) Stettler.

They were the parents of Sabina Reinhard Meyer, Charles S. Stettler, Anna M.J. Fetzer and Cora A. Stettler.

The couple dwelled in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County in 1870-1880, with Tilghman working on a farm. They made a residence a half-mile north of Centre Valley near Friedensville, PA.

Tilghman contracted intestinal cancer and developed gangrene in his foot. He died at the age of 68 on Jan. 26, 1910.

Sadly, Elemina suffered a stroke at the age of 68 and died eight days later in Coopersburg, Lehigh County on April 25, 1914. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Kistler, with burial in Woodland Cemetery, also known as Blue Church. Son-in-law J.G. Fetzer of Coopersburg served as the informant for the death certificate.

Daughter Sabina Stettler (1869-1938) was born on Aug. 27, 1869 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. She was twice married. Her first husband was Norman J. Reinhard (Oct. 11, 1869-1917), also spelled "Reinhart," the son of Edwin W. and Sarah (Mast) Reinhard of Centre Valley. Their nuptials were held in March 1891 in the parsonage in Coopersburg, officiated by Rev. E.A. Yehl. Their wedding received extensive news coverage in the Allentown Democrat. They were farmers and lived in Applebutter Mill and produced these known children -- Alice E. Geisinger and Asher I. Reinhard. Their home in 1917 was near Blue Church in Coopersburg. Norman was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and rectum in abouit 1916. He suffered for a year and underwent a surgical procedure for a colostomy but could not rally. He died at the age of 47 on May 6, 1917. Burial was in Woodland Cemetery at Blue Church, with brother-in-law Jeremiah Fetzer signing the death certificate. Three years later, in 1920, Sabina wedded William H. Meyer ( ? - ? ), and they established a home at Mickley, Whitehall Township on the outskirts of Allentown. She was a member of the Egypt Reformed Church. Sabina suffered from congestion of her liver and kidneys added to an enlarged heart. She became bedfast in May 1938 and died at age 68 on July 23, 1938. Burial was in Blue Church's Woodland Cemetery, with an obituary printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

  • Granddaughter Alice E. Reinhard ( ? - ? ) wedded (?) Geisinger. They lived in Centre Valley in 1938.
  • Grandson Asher I. Reinhard ( ? - ? ) dwelled in Mickleys in 1938.

 

Bethlehem Steel's sprawling works, employing Charles S. Stettler

 

 

St. Paul's Lutheran Blue Church
in Coopersburg, Lehigh County
History of Lehigh County, 1914

Son Charles S. Stettler (1872-1905) was born in 1872 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. He married (?) and produced three daughters and a son. Circa 1905, they lived on the farm of William Kuhns, along the North Penn Railroad in between Coopersburg and Centre Valley. He was employed by Bethlehem Steel "and went to and from his work every day," reported the Allentown Democrat. They were members of the St. Paul's Lutheran Blue Church in Coopersburg. Charles was "well thought of by his acquaintances," said the Democrat. He was a member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle Castle in Coopersburg and the Bethlehem Steel Company Relief Association. For reasons not known, the 35-year-old Charles was absent from work one day in mid-September 1905, "and the past few days was a little the worse, it is said, for liquor," said the Democrat. He and his wife fought, and he left the house. He returned later that evening but again left. He then walked to the barn and hung himself from a rope in the hay loft. His wife found the body the next day. It was cut down by neighbors, and Coroner Scheirer investigated but ruled no inquest was needed.

Daughter Anna M.J. Stettler (1873-1960) was born on Oct. 20, 1873 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. She married Jeremiah H. Fetzer (March 28, 1872-1945), son of William and Levina (Mack) Fetzer. They did not reproduce. They moved to Coopersburg, Lehigh County in about 1898. From the 1890s to 1933, he was a jeweler in Coopersburg. Circa 1917, he served as assistant postmaster in Coopersburg and later became postmaster, hiring Anna as his assistant. They were members of the "Lutheran wing" of St. Paul's Blue Church, where he held the position of elder. He retired from the jewelry business in 1933 during the harsh grip of the Great Depression. He also was extraordinarily active in community groups and clubs. Among these were service as treasurer of the Coopersburg lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF); membership in the Saucon lodge of the Masons; Coopersburg Lions Club; Coopersburg Fire Company; Saucon Rod and Gun Club; and the Saucon Castle of the Knights of the Golden Eagle. Anna was a charter member of the North Penn Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star. Their address was on South Main Street in the 1940s. Suffering from acute heart disease, he died at the age of 73 on Sept. 22, 1945. Funeral services were held in the Fetzer home, led by Rev. Daniel D. Kistler and Rev. George Bingaman. The widowed Anna survived her husband by 15 years. She made her home in Coopersburg at 405 North Main Street in 1960. As her health failed, due to a combination of heart issues, she was admitted to Miller's Convalescent Home in rural Milford Township, Bucks County. She died there at the age of 86 on May 9, 1960. Interment was in Woodland Cemetery at Blue Church.

Daughter Cora A. Stettler (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. She married William J. Fern ( ? -1960). The couple is believed to have had two daughters, Eva A. Ritter and and Mabel Cora Fern. Sadness swept over the family when little Mabel, just a month and 22 days old, died on March 10, 1916. Over the years, they lived north of Coopersburg and in Centre Valley/Limeport. Circa 1960, their residence was at 405 North Main Street in Coopersburg. Sadly, William died at the age of 83 on Jan. 9, 1960. Burial was in the Woodland Cemetery at Blue Church, with a death notice printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

  • Granddaughter Eva A. Fern ( ? - ? ) married (?) Ritter.

 

Centre Valley, PA, looking east, where the Stettler family resided.

 

~ Son Charles Edwin Wenner ~

Son Charles Edwin Wenner (1850-1919) was born on April 5, 1850 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.

Charles married Emma Levan (May 1853- ? ), daughter of William Levan.

The couple bore these children -- William "Charles" Wenner, Howard Wenner, John F. Wenner, Mrs. Harry Weidner, Lloyd Wenner and Emma Eichelberger.

They were longtime farmers and resided in South Whitehall Township circa 1880, a year in which 24-year-old farm hand William Dorward and 19-year-old Hannah Levan lived under their roof. They made a home in Wennersville in 1908-1914 and in Eckert's in 1919.

In late 1917 or early 1918, Charles suffered a stroke. He lived for another year and in the fall of 1918 was confined to bed. At the age of 68, he died at home on Jan. 9, 1919. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call.

Son William "Charles" Wenner (1875- ? ) was born in Dec. 1875 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. He labored on the family farm at the age of 24 in 1900. He lived in Crackerport in 1919 and in Bethlehem, PA in 1937.

Son Howard E. Wenner (1876-1964) was born in Aug. 23, 1876 in Wennersville, South Whitehall Township. (Other sources give a birth year as 1882.) He learned the trade of upholstery and worked in this endeavor in 1900, at the age of 23, and for the balance of his career. Howard was married twice. His first spouse was Helen C. Albright ( ? -1945), daughter of Henry A. and Ida (Henninger) Albright. The couple bore two daughters, Verna Wavrek Diefenderfer and Ida Rhoads. They dwelled in Mechanicsville, PA in 1919 and at 1022 Catasauqua Street in Fullerton in 1945. They were members of the "Lutheran wing" of Mickley's Church, later known as St. John's Lutheran Church of Mickleys. Helen also belonged to the Reindeer Lodge and Daughters of Liberty, both of Allentown. Sadly, Helen's health began to fail in 1944 and she died on Aug. 25, 1945, with burial in Mickleys Cemetery. After Helen's death, he wedded Emma E. (Haldman) Cole ( ? -1974), the widow of Harry F. Cole and daughter of James M. and Susannah (Schlegel) Haldman of Danielsville, PA. For 25 years, he was employed by Fullerton Furniture Galleries. They made their home in Allentown in the 1960s at the address of 904 Walnut Street. At the age of 88, he suffered a heart attack and was admitted to Allentown Hospital and died there on Oct. 15, 1964. Interment was in St. John's Union Cemetery in Mickleys, with an obituary appearing in the Allentown Morning Call. Emma outlived Howard by a little under a decade and remained in their home. She became a patient at the Liberty Nursing Center in Allentown andpassed away there at the age of 91 on Jan. 26, 1974. The Morning Call ran an obituary which referred to her as "the oldest living member of Faith Lutheran Church, Whitehall."

  • Granddaughter Verna Wenner was married twice. Her first spouse was Fred Wavrek ( ? - ? ). They resided in 1945 in Fullerton. Later, by 1964, she had wedded (?) Diefenderfer. She lived in Allentown in 1964.
  • Granddaughter Ida Wenner wedded Charles H. Rhoads. They resided in 1964 in Allentown.

Son John F. Wenner (1877-1955) was born on Oct. 1, 1877 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. He "prided himself on his walking accomplishments in his earlier years," reported the Allentown Morning Call. He "walked to Philadelphia three times in his youth. Once he made the trip in 13 hours." In about 1895, he moved to Allentown. He married Olivia G. Guth (Dec. 31, 1877-1954), daughter of Elias and Elmira (Troxell) Guth. The couple produced three sons, Luther J.G. Wenner, Richard L. Wenner and (?) Wenner. They resided in 1919 in Allentown, where John, as with his brother Howard, was an upholsterer. For 47 years, until retirement in 1964, he was employed in upholstery by Hess Brothers. She operated a home-based dress-making business. They were members of Christ Lutheran Church and both were active in Sunday School. John belonged to the Greenleaf lodge of the Masons and Olivia to the Order of Eastern Star and the White shrine of Jerusalem. Sadly, burdened with heart problems and hardening of the arteries, Olivia was admitted to Yingst Nursing Home in Quakertown, Bucks County and died there at age 76 on Aug. 2, 1954. An obituary was published in the Morning Call. The widowed John remained in their residence at 1314½ Chew Street. He was stricken with prostate cancer and was admitted to Allentown Hospital. He succumbed there at the age of 77 on Jan. 4, 1955. His remains were lowered into rest at the Cedar Union Cemetery in Cetronia, Lehigh County. Luther J.G. Wenner signed the death certificate.

  • Grandson Luther J.G. Wenner lived in New Britain, CT in 1955.
  • Grandson Richard L. Wenner was in the U.S. Armed Forces and made a home in 1955 in Philadelphia. He was the father of Carol L. Wenner, Gay L. Wenner and John F. Wenner.

Daughter Edna Wenner (1885-1937) was born on Sept. 15, 1885. She married Harry Weidner ( ? - ? ). The couple were the parents of an only son, Charles Weidner. Their home in 1919 was Walberts and in 1937 in rural Wescosville. The Weidners were widely known as hotel-keepers and proprietors of a grocery market. For 17 years, from about 1916 to 1933, they operated Walbert's Hotel. Then in about 1933, in the iron grip of the Great Depression, they opened and moved into Weidner's Hotel at Wescosville along Route 222. The new facility became "a popular resort," said the Allentown Morning Call, "largely due to the pleasant personality of Mrs. Weidner and the tasty dishes prepared by her." They also owned a grocery and meat market at the corner of Gordon and 9th Streets for three years. The Weidners belonged to the Lutheran congregation of the Cedar Union Church. Suffering from cancer of the cervix, uterus and bladder, she was admitted to Allentown Hospital. She succumbed there at the age of 51 on New Year's Day 1937. Interment was in Jordan's Reformed Cemetery, with Rev. John L. Guth and Rev. Joseph Mohr officiating at the funeral service. The Morning Call printed an obituary.

Son Lloyd Wenner (1888- ? ) was born in July 1888. He made a residence in Allentown. By 1937, he had relocated to Los Angeles. In 1949, his sister and brother in law Emma and Francis Eichelberger visited his home during a vacation.

Daughter Emma Wenner (1892- ? ) was born in Jan. 1892. She wedded Francis Eichelberger ( ? - ? ). As a newlywed, she lived with her parents in 1919. The couple resided in Allentown in 1937-1955. Francis was employed as a Lehigh Valley Transit bus operator. In the winter of 1949, they enjoyed a six-week vacation "that took them to the west coast and the deep south," reported the Allentown Morning Call. "It proved to them that former residents of the Lehigh Valley are spread all over the nation, for they found them wherever they went." Their trip began by rail on Feb. 6, but they found themselves snowbound in Omaha for 22 horus and then in Denver for 16 hours. They arrived in San Francisco and met up with Francis' school chum Jolly Bill Steinke. They went on to Los Angeles to see Emma's brother Lloyd Wenner and his son Ralph. From there they went to South Gate to visit Mr. and Mrs. Horace Diehl, formerly of Hellertown, and thence to spend time with Mr. and Mrs. Paul Knauss in Compson, the husband a former colleague with Lehigh Valley Transit. Additional friends they saw were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fisher (former driver for Hershey Ice Cream Company), and Francis' cousin Helen McDaniels in Bogalusa, LA. They also toured El Paso and Juarez, Mexico and then went on to Clearwater, FL. By 1964, the Eichelbergers relocated to Zephyr Hills, FL.


~ Daughter Polly Ann C. (Wenner) Kuhns ~

Daughter Polly Ann C. Wenner (1853-1919) was born on May 3, 1853.

She wedded Henry A. Kuhns ( ? - ? ).

They had five offspring - Blanche Grammes, George Henry Kuhns, Jonas Kuhns, Tilden Kuhns and Preston Kuhns.

The family made a home in Walbert's in 1908 andin North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County in 1919.

For the final six years of her life, Polly Ann suffered from kidney and heart valve disease. She suffered a stroke of apoplexy and died suddenly on Dec. 9, 1919. Interment was in Jordan Lutheran Cemetery. George H. Kuhns of 321 North Franklin Street was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Daughter Blanche Kuhns ( ? - ? ) was united in holy matrimony with Ralph W. Grammes ( ? - ? ). Their residence in the mid-1950s was in Siegersville/Saegersville, PA and in 1967 in Orefield.

Son George Henry Kuhns (1880-1956) was born in about 1880 in Kuhnsville, Lehigh County. He married Cora E. ( ? - ? ). Their two children were Edna M. Kuhns and Henry George Kuhns. He moved to Allentown in 1902 at the age of 22. For 41 years, he was employed by M.S. Young Company. They were members of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church and its Lehigh Lodge. He also belonged to the Lehigh Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). Their address in 1956 was 321 North Franklin Street. George became bedfast in mid-March 1956 and died a week later on March 20, 1956. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call.

  • Granddaughter Edna M. Kuhns lived at home in 1956.
  • Grandson Henry George Kuhns resided in 1956 in Harrisburg. He was married and had a daughter, Coralee Kuhns.

Great-grand

Great-grandson

Son Jonas C. Kuhns (1873-1938) was born on Feb. 9, 1873 in Upper Macungie. He married Sarah R. Troxell ( ? - ? ). Their children were Edgar H. Kuhns, Melvin Kuhns, Mrs. Charles Hoch, Mrs. Norman Lichtenwalner and Mrs. Charles McIntyre. Jonas earned a living as a carpenter over the years. They were members of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. Circa 1938, their address was 1938 Green Street in Allentown. Jonas was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the winter of 1938, and his health plummeted. He died at the age of 65 on May 27, 1938. Interment was in the Jordan Lutheran Church Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call

  • Grandson Edgar H. Kuhns ( ? -1952) was born in about 1898 in Whitehall Township. He was a member of the Evangelical Reformed wing of St. Paul's Church in Trexlertown. Edgar married Ruth S. Diefenderfer ( ? - ? ). They produced three children, David H. Kuhns, Gerald E. Kuhns and Althea P. Sewards. Edgar was a longtime shop foreman at Town Auto Company. He became ill in about 1939 and had to give up work in about 1944. They lived at 1448 Linden Street. As Edgar's health declined, he became bedfast in 1949. He died at the age of 54 on May 27, 1952. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
  • Grandson Melvin Kuhns lived in Allentown.
  • Granddaughter (?) Kuhns wedded Charles Hoch and dwelled in Allentown.
  • Granddaughter (?) Kuhns married Norman Lichtenwalner and made a home in Allentown.
  • Granddaughter (?) Kuhns was joined in marriage with Charles McIntyre. Circa 1952, they lived in Easton.

Son Tilden E. Kuhns (1876-1943) was born on Oct. 15, 1876. He married Adora Shankweiler ( ? -1958), daughter of Wilson S. and Elmira (Moyer) Shankweiler. Their two daughters were Bertha Kuhns and Blanche Kells in addition to three babies who died in infancy. They lived at 14 North Main Street in Alburtis and belonged to the Jordan Lutheran Church in Walberts. Adora was active with the church's home department and was a member of the Daughters of America and Allen Commandery Auxiliary. Early in his career, for a quarter of a century, he operated a coal, seed and lumber business in Alburtis. At one point Tilden owned the American Hotel in Alburtis and served as treasurer of the Alburtis Building and Loan Association. He sold the hotel to Walter W. Wassum who held it for a year and then sold it to Ernest Bush. He then went on to repair and sell used cars in Alburtis circa 1941. He was exceptionally active in the community, belonging to the Knights of the Golden Eagle, Livingston Castle, Tox-E-Lox Tribe of the International order of Red Men, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Woodmen of the World, Knights of Malta, Alburtis Fire Company, Alburtis Road and Gun Club and Lehigh Valley Motor Club. Burdened with heart and kidney disease, he died in Alburtis at the age of 6 on April 12, 1943. His demise generated a headline in the Allentown Morning Call. Interment was in Jordan Lutheran Church Cemetery, following a funeral sermon preached by Rev. Wesley Wenner. Adora lived for another 15 years in their home. She died at the age of 78 on Dec. 1, 1958.

Son Preston S. Kuhns (1881?-1967) was born in about 1881 in Upper Macungie. He was joined in wedlock with Sadie ( ? - ? ). They bore three offspring -- Luther H. Kuhns, Martin L. Kuhns and Margaret Koehler. Preston was a longtime carpenter and farmer. They lived in Kuhnsville in 1938 and in rural Allentown in 1956, and their address was 117 North 38th Street. Said the Allentown Morning Call, "He was a member of Jordan Lutheran Church, Allentown, and was a charter member of the Lehigh Farm Bureau." Preston succumbed in Allentown Hospital at the age of 85 on Feb. 6, 1967. Funeral services were conducted in the family church. An obituary in the Morning Call numbered his grandchildren at nine and great-grandchildren at eight.

 

~ Daughter Allabella Christianna (Wenner) Bortz ~

Daughter Allabella Christianna Wenner (1856-1920) -- sometimes spelled "Arabella" -- was born on July 10, 1856 in Eckert's, Lehigh County.

She was united in matrimony with Matthias F. Bortz (Dec. 16, 1847-1893), also of Eckert's, the daughter of David and Anna Maria "Mary" (Andreas) Bortz.

The couple produced six offspring -- Alice Moyer Blose, Elizabeth A. "Lizzie" Bortz, Herbert D. Bortz, William C. Bortz, Sarah E.J. "Sadie" Mohr and Anna M.S. "Annie" Werner.

 

Matthias' profile, History of
Lehigh County,
1914

They lived on her old home farm at Bortz's Mill. Matthias was profiled in the 1914 book History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and the entry states:

He spent his boyhood upon the farm, after which he learned the milling trade from Nathan E bert, which he followed a number of years. He then spent a few years travelling through a number of western states, returning in 1877. In the same year he married Arabella Wenner.... After his marriage he conducted a custom mill near the county home.... the mill was built in 1800, and the house about the same time. The property includes about 7 acres. Mr. Bortz was a member of the church of the Evangelical Association at Wescoesville, and served the congregation in various offices for many years.

The United States Census of 1880 shows that Allabella suffered from a heart lesion.

Grief blanketed the family when Matthias died at the age of 44 on April 4, 1893, leaving Arabella with six children to raise.

The widowed Allabella operated the mills for about two years and then rented out the mill to others to operate. Her name was in the news in 1903 when the City of Allentown acquired Schantz's Spring and proposed to install a waterline through about 150 feet of her property, including the grist mill, which would have closed hers' and 30 other mills along Cedar Creek. She countered with a sales price of $14,000 to include the mill, dam and the right to cross another section of her property. The matter became complicated when the children under age 18 needed a legal guardian to represent their inheritance rights, and John Rupp was appointed their guardian ad litem (to act in their best interest). The City proceeded with its taking, and she sued. The case went to court, known as Arabella Bortz vs. the City of Allentown, and was argued by Lawrence H. Rupp, who later ran for district attorney. The court ruled in Allabella's favor in 1905, and awarded her $1,800 in damages, although she had asked for $30,000. The amount hinged on the jury's interpretation of "the difference between the market value of the property before the water line was taken by the city and its value immediately after the water was taken," said the Meadville Evening Republican.

She endured the untimely death of her daughter Lizzie Rhoads in 1907.

When Allabella's mother died in 1908, the funeral service was held in the Bortz residence. By 1913, the Morning Call reported, she subdivided her mill property into two dwelling houses. Her home was considered "Wescosville" in 1914. She helped to raise a grandson, Clifford Fritch. By 1919, she dwelled near Dorney Park in the Wescosville area.

She suffered a stroke of apoplexy and died at home at the age of 63 on March 7, 1920. Burial was in Wescoesville Evangelical Church Cemetery.

 

Business section of Emmaus, PA

 

Daughter Alice Bortz (1878- ? ) was born on Sept. 17, 1878 at Bortz's Mill near Wescosville, South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. She grew up learning how to make dresses. On March 9, 1905, when she was age 26, she wedded 26-year-old cement worker and house painter Oscar A. Moyer (1878-1923), son of William and Elvilda Moyer of North Heidelberg Township, Berks County. Rev. G. Heinrich officiated at the wedding held at Emmaus. They were the parents of Raymond Moyer. The family was plunged into grief on the first day of the new year 1923 when Oscar contracted acute pneumonia which led to heart failure. He passed away 12 days later on Jan. 13, 1923. His remains were placed into repose in Wescosville Evangelical Cemetery, with Rev. Gingrich, of Zion Evangelical Church, officiating. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call noted that he was survived by his mother Mrs. Charles Gross of Wernersville and brothers William Moyer and Daniel Moyer. As a widow, Alice continued to live in their home at 1051 Allen Street in Allentown. After several years alone, she married a second time at the age of 48, on Jan. 8, 1927, to 46-year-old laborer Clinton P. Blose (1880- ? ). He was the son of David and Sarah (Smith) Blose of Germansville, PA. Rev. F.J. Gingrich officiated. The couple made a home in Bethlehem, Northumberland County, at 502 East North Street. Alice was afflicted with cancer of her right breast and underwent a mastectomy in 1955. Two years later, burdened with hardening of the artery and a return of the cancer, she was admitted as a patient in St. Luke's Hospital. She only lasted for two days until death consumed her at the age of 78 on Sept. 6, 1957. Carl D. Blose of the family residence was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Burial was in the Evangelical Cemetery in Wescosville.

Daughter Elizabeth A. "Lizzie" Bortz (1881-1907) was born on May 16, 1881 at Bortz's Mill in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. At the age of 21, on Oct. 11, 1902, Lizzie was united in holy matrimony with 20-year-old laborer Luther Fritch (1882-1903), son of Henry Fritch of Longswamp Township, Berks County. The ceremony was led by Rev. D.K. Humbert at his parsonage in Bower's Station. News of the union was published in the Allentown Morning Call. The couple made a home with his parents in Wescosville. Tragically, with Lizzie expecting their first baby, just five months into their marriage, Luther contracted typhoid fever and died at the age of 21 on March 18, 1903. Rev. D.K. Humbert of Bowers and Rev. Jerome H. Smith of Emmaus officiated at the funeral service held in his parents' home, with a shorter one at the Longswamp Church, with burial following in Longswamp. An obituary in the Allentown Leader noted that "Only a few months ago he married Miss Lizzie Bortz." In addition to his parents and wife, he was survived by four siblings -- Milton Fritch, Percival Fritch, Lillie Fritch and Mabel Fritch. Some months later, the grieving Lizzie bore a son, Clifford L.S. Fritch. The baby born was taken in and raised by Lizzie's parents. She remained a widow for almost four years. On Dec. 22, 1906, at age 25, she wedded a second time to 25-year-old laborer Irvin A. Rhoads (1881- ? ), son of Aaron C. and Emma K. Rhoads of Lebanon County. The wedding was held in Emmaus. On her marriage license application, she was only able to state (incorrectly) that her first husband had died "In the year 1902." Adding further sadness to her story, the second marriage was short-lived. She contracted tuberculosis in early September 1906 and endured the illness for a year. She was confined to her bed in late August 1907 and passed away just eight days later, on Sept. 6, 1907, at the age of only 26. Burial was in Wescosville. Thirteen years later, in 1920, she was mentioned in the Morning Call obituary of her mother.

  • Grandson Clifford L.S. Fritch (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903, after the death of his father. He was taken in and raised by his mother's parents. Clifford married Miriam Diehl ( ? - ? ), daughter of Harvey and Mary E. (Serfass Diehl. Their home in 1960 was at 410 North 26th Street in Allentown. In 1960, they hosted a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for his aunt and uncle, Sarah and Harvin Mohr.

Son Herbert D. Bortz (1883-1921) was born on May 2, 1883 at Bortz's Mill in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. He never married but grew up working in the family flour mill. Herbert endured a painful accident in July 1901 while loading hay on his wagon. Some hayseeds fell into one of his eyes. "The happening was very annoying and painful, and he applied every known means to remove the seeds, but all efforts failed, and as a result he had to send for a doctor, who quickly gave him relief by removing them," said the Allentown Democrat. The following year, at the age of about 19, in Feb. 1902, he was in the mill office when he suffered a "fit" and "fell against a hot stove," reported the Allentown Leader. "One of his arms was burned painfully." Circa 1920, when he was age 36, he lived with his mother at the homestead mill property near the Lehigh County Home. After his mother's death in 1920, a petition was made to appoint a guardian as he was considered a "feeble minded person," said the Allentown Morning Call. But he did not outlive his mother by much time. At the age of 38, in the fall of 1921, suffering from chronic heart disease, he contracted pneumonia and was admitted to the Homeopathic State Hospital in Allentown. There, he succumbed on Oct. 31, 1921. His remains were lowered into eternal rest in Wescosville Evangelical Church Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Morning Call.

Son William C. Bortz (1888- ? ) was born in May 1888 at Bortz's Mill in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. At the age of 16, he left home and moved into Allentown, where he was apprenticed to Preston Lobach and E.D. Swoyer to learn the trade of plumbing. He and Swoyer were together for 14 years, until about 1920, when he decided to go into business for himself. His residence in 1920 was at 1110½ Court Street in Allentown. In July 1920, at the age of 32, he purchased a store and house at 1323 Chew Street near the West End Hotel. The Allentown Morning Call reported that his plans were to "establish a first class plumbing and steam fitting business at said location. Mr. Bortz has ordered an extensive stock of Plumbing and Heating supplies, and will be in a position to do all kinds of plumbing work... His long experience at that trade, and the wide and extensive knowledge he has acquired in the installatino of a great number of heating and water plants, as well as the equipment of numerous houses and buildings with first class plumbing fixtures, has fitted him well for his work, to serve the public of this city. We congratulate Mr. Bortz on his venture into the business world and wish him success." Circa 1923, he signed the death certificate of his brother-in-law Oscar A. Moyer, a house painter who had died of pneumonia.

Daughter Sarah E.J. "Sadie" Bortz (1891- ? ) was born in Feb. 1891 at Bortz's Mill in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. In Feb. 1910, she married Harvin P. Mohr ( ? - ? ). Rev. L.A. Werner, of the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Emmaus, officiated. The Mohrs produced two offspring, Muriel Althouse and Kenneth Mohr. They lived in Wescosville in 1920 and in Allentown in 1960 and were members of the Emmaus EUB Church for decades. Harvin owned a painting and decorating company and belonged to the Wescosville and Trexlertown fire departments and the Redman lodge in Wescosville. Sadie was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). When the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1960, a party was held in their honor at the home of their nephew Clifford Fritch in Allentown.

Daughter Anna Maria S. "Annie" Bortz (1893-1923) was born on Sept. 15, 1893 at Bortz's Mill near Wescosville in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. She received an education at the teacher's training class of 1917. At the age of 25, on June 13, 1919, she was joined in wedlock with Josiah Werner ( ? - ? ), son of Rev. L.A. Werner of Slatington. The nuptials were performed by Josiah's father. "The bride was dressed in a beautiful white Georgette crepe and her bridesmaid, Miss Edith Hoffman of Emaus, wore a blue Georgette," said the Allentown Morning Call. "The bride had a bouquet of white roses and the bridesmaid carried pale pink carnations." Josiah was a graduate of Muhlenberg College and had taught high school in Cape May, NJ. During World War I, he joined the U.S. Armed Forces and served in France with the 37th Division. The couple lived near Wescosville and bore a son, Wilmer L. Werner. Anna's health failed in the fall of 1923 and she was admitted to St. Luke's Hospital. She died there on Dec. 2, 1923. Burial was in Wescosville Evangelical Church Cemetery, led by Rev. Williams of Emmaus. An obituary was published in the Morning Call.

 

~ Daughter Melissa F. (Wenner) Reichard ~


Daughter Melissa F. Wenner (1859-1914) was born on Nov. 30, 1859 in Wennersville.

In about 1883, when she would have been age 24, she was joined in marriage with William R. Reichard (March 8, 1859-1941), son of Edward H. and Colletta (Newhard) Reichard.

Melissa "was well and favorably known," said the Allentown Leader. The couple soonafter moved into the city of Allentown.

They were the parents of six -- Escie Hollenbach, Emily C. Meyer, Jennie R. Reichard, Eva M. Drach, William E. Reichard and Laura M. Reichard.

They were members of St. Luke's Lutheran Church, with Melissa teaching in the infant department and was active with the Ladies' Aid and Missionary Societies. The federal census of 1900 shows William working as a machinist. Then by 1908, he was named superintendent of the Allentown Water Department. Their address was 634 Green Street.

Melissa was anemic and in about 1911 contracted intestinal cancer. She endured the illness for three years until death carried her away at the age of 54 on May 14, 1914. Her remains were lowered into eternal rest in Union Cemetery, with Rev. J. Charles Rausch leading the funeral service.

William lived for another 27 years after her death. He made his home at 623 Tenth Avenue in Bethlehem, where he worked as superintendent of the city's Bureau of Water. Suffering with heart disease, he was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital and succumbed there at age 81 on Jan. 27, 1941. Interment was in New Jerusalem Cemetery, with a death.

Daughter Escie J. Reichard (1883-1939) was born on Nov. 17, 1883 in South Whitehall Township. As a young unmarried woman, she worked in the office of Allentown City solicitor Wise. In May 1908, the 24-year-old Essie married Frederick J. "Fred" Hollenbach (1885- ? ), son of John H. and Massina Hollenbach. Their children were Catharine Hollenbach and John Hollenbach. Fred's employer in 1908 was Hess Bros. Circa 1910, the young family dwelled with Fred's parents in Allentown, and Fred and his father were employed as floor walkers at a dry goods store. The newlyweds honeymooned in New England. They made their home at 1434 Linden Street in Allentown in the late 1930s. Heartache blanketed the family in 1928 when Escie, age 54, was diagnosed with cancer of the rectum and chronic kidney disease. Her health declined for a year, ending in death on Aug. 25, 1939. Funeral services were held in St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, at the corner of Franklin and Turner Streets, officiated by Rev. A.W. Lindenmuth and Rev. J.C. Rausch. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery. Pallbearers were Earle Scheidy, George Sell, Val Guldin, George Hoffman, Edwin Rice and Fred Sittler.

Daughter Emily C. Reichard (1885- ? ) was born in Sept. 1885. She wedded Gerhard H. Meyer (March 5, 1871-1947), the son of German immigrants Otto and Marie (Klingler) Meyer. Circa 1941-1947, their address was 104 North 13th Street in Allentown. Gerhard was a salesman for Kemmemer Paper Company. Stricken with cancer of the prostate, he was admitted to Allentown Hospital and passed into eternity on Aug. 26, 1947. Interment was in Allentown's Fairview Cemetery. The widowed Emily relocated from Allentown to East Lansdowne, PA to live with her married sister and brother-in-law, Eva and Clinton "Ray" Drach.

Daughter Jennie R. Reichard (1887-1940) was born in Aug. 1887. She married William N. Crider ( ? - ? ). They lived in Baltimore, MD and had children. Jennie died in May 1940. Rev. Custard officiated at the burial at Union Cemetery. Pallbearers, said the Allentown Morning Call, were Joseph Geisinger, Frank Craig, Ed Workman Sr., Harry Strauss, Ed Fetterman and Henry Fetterman.

Daughter Eva M. Reichard (1889- ? ) was born in Dec. 1889. In about 1916, she wedded Clinton "Ray" Drach ( ? -1951) of New Windsor, MD. They were the parents of Evelyn Mae Drach. Ray held a degree from the Maryland Agricultural College and New Windsor College and in 1913 became employed by Bethlehem Steel works in Allentown. They were members of Christ Lutheran Church of Upper Darby, and he attended the Men's Bible Class. Circa 1951, Ray worked as a mechanical engineer at the Philadelphis Navy Yard, and they made a home at 47 Lewis Avenue in East Lansdowne, PA. On Nov. 6, 1951, while driving on Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard, the 62-year-old Ray suffered a heart attack and was killed when his vehicle swerved off the road and crashed into another automobile. Reported the Allentown Morning Call, "There was little damage to the cars."

Son William E. Reichard (1892- ? ) was born in March 1892. He lived in Bethlehem circa 1941 and is believed to have been employed by Bartlett Hayward Co.

Daughter Laura May Reichard (1893-1938) was born on Dec. 10, 1893 in Freemansburg, PA. She was born with a deformity and was considered a lifetime "invalid." "Despite her physical handicap," said the Allentown Morning Call, "she possessed a cheerful disposition and was favorably known in the neighborhood." She resided with her parents over the years. Having contracted Addison's Disease, he died at the age of 44 on March 25, 1938. Burial was in Union Cemetery.

 

Copyright 2000, 2009, 2017-2018 Mark A. Miner