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William R. Meinder


William and Hannah Meinder
Courtesy Annabelle Alfred Moyer

William R. Meinder, also spelled "Meinter" and "Minder," was born on March 25, 1828 in Peif (Pike Township), Berks County, the son of Daniel and Sarah (Breitigam) Meinder

A copy of their family Bible, printed in German and containing handwritten family inscriptions, is preserved today at the Historical Society of Berks County. 

As an infant, William was baptized by Rev. C. Mueller. His sponsors were Johann and Magdalena Ruppert. His mother died when he was very young. He was raised with Hannah (Bechtel) Meinder as his stepmother.

On April 15, 1855, when he was age 27, William was united in holy matrimony with 19-year-old Hannah Bechtel (March 12, 1834-1901), the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Bechtel. Rev. Strassburger performed the ceremony. The bride was eight years younger than the groom.

Hannah was a native of Exeter Township, Berks County. Her baptism as an infant was performed by Rev. Pauli, and her sponsors were Jacob and Susanna Faber.


Pennsylvania German farmers in Berks County
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Jan. 15, 1876

The Meinders were decades-long farmers and residents of Ruscombmanor Township, Berks County, and members of the Frieden's Lutheran Church. 

They had three daughters and outlived two of them -- Isabella "Belle" Hartman, Emma Rebecca Barbara Anna Stuber (sometimes spelled "Stuver") and Sarah Amanda Elizabeth Meinder. 

Circa 1860, the Meinders resided near Kutztown in Ruscombmanor. William registered for the military draft in June 1863, just a month before the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. He declared his age as 36 and his occupation as "Wheelwright." There is no evidence to suggest that he actually served in a military unit during the war.


German writing, Meinder Bible

The census of 1870 shows the family (spelled "Winder") living near Kutztown with William continuing his labors as a wheelwright. The census-taker marked his age as 40 when in fact it would have been closer to 42.

Heartache shook the family in the early spring of 1870, when daughter Sarah Amanda Elizabeth, age seven years, two months and 27 days, died on April 9, 1870, of causes not yet known. 

On Good Friday 1874, at Friedensburg, having not done so in the traditional teenage years, William was confirmed in the Lutheran church by Rev. Thomas Theophilus Iaeger. The clergyman marked him as "Married - Baptised." His daughter Isabella also was confirmed that day. At the time, William was age 46 and Isabella just eight. Rev. Iaeger also was the longtime pastor for William's uncle and aunt, Benjamin and Christiana (Albright) Meinder and their family of St. John's Church in Hamburg, Berks County.

When Elizabeth Herline of Oley died in 1878 or 1879, William was appointed as executor, with his name printed in the Reading Times.

The federal census enumeration of 1900 lists William and Hannah (last name spelled "Minder") making their home in Ruscombmanor, with his occupation marked as "landlord," suggesting that he owned farm property and rented it to tenant farmers. The census-taker noted that they both could read and write.

William is said to have been a farmer and cabinet maker, but crafting the furniture for his own personal use and not generally for sale.

Hannah died "after a lingering illness" of tuberculosis ("consumption") at the age of 67 years, four months and 26 days on Oct. 8, 1901. In a printed obituary, the Reading Eagle noted that Ellis Y. Weidner, undertaker, had "charge of the remains" and that the funeral "was largely attended." Her remains were laid to rest beside their daughter Sarah Amanda's in Friedens Cemetery. 


English Translations of William Meinder's 
Family Bible Inscriptions in German

Family Registry

William R. Meinter and the virgin Hannah Bechtel were married on April 15th 1855 by Priest Strassburger.

Family registry
The parents.

William R. Meinter was born on 25th March 1828 in Peif, Berks County, PA: baptized by Priest C. Mueller. Godparents were Johan Ruppert and his wife Mrs. Magdalena. Hannah Meinter, Maiden name Bechtel was born 12th March 1834 in Exeter Twp, Berks County, PA,  baptized by Priest W. Pauly. Godparents were Jacob Faber and his wife Mrs. Susanna.

Family Registry

The children:

1. Arabella was born on 14th September 1856 in Friedensburg, Berks County, PA, baptized by Priest Hinterleitner. Godparents were Daniel Härtlein and his wife Mrs. Elisabeth.

2. Emma Rebecka, Barbara Anna was born on 4th December 1858 baptized by Priest Hinterleitner in Roscomanor Township, Berks County, PA. Godparents were Daniel Lint and Mrs. Herriet

3. Sähre Mende Elisabeth was born January 12th 1863 In Roscomanor  Township, Berks county, PA. Was baptized by Priest Hinterleitner, Godparents were Jacob Jelli and Susanna Haertlein, both single.



Reading Eagle

(In 1986, a record of Hannah's burial was published by the Berks County Genealogical Society in the booklet, Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1867 to 1915.)

William spent his final years living in the home of his married daughter Emma Stuber at 643 Locust Street in Reading. Afflicted with hardening of the arteries and gastroenteritis -- inflammation of the stomach and intestines -- he passed away in the Stuber home at the age of 94 years, three months and 29 days -- on July 24, 1922. 

In an obituary in which he was pictured, the Reading Eagle reported that he was "possibly the oldest member of Frieden's Church" and that funeral services were held by Rev. I.S. Stahr. Said the Eagle, "The body was attired in a black suit and rested in a solid oak casket. Interment was made in Frieden's Cemetery, Friedensburg, by Undertaker Lutz." Granddaughter Nora Stuber was the informant for his official Pennsylvania death certificate, but was unable to furnish the names of William's parents.


William's grave

Hannah's grave



Isabella and Ezra buried with 3 of their 
adult daughters in Spies Church Cemetery

~ Daughter Isabella "Belle" (Meinder) Hartman ~

Daughter Isabella "Belle" Meinder (1856-1896) was born on Sept. 14, 1856 in Friedensburg (Oley), Berks County. She was baptized as an infant by Rev. Hinterleitner, and her godparents were Daniel and Elizabeth Härtlein. 

As a young lady, Belle lived in Ruscombmanor, Berks County. 

At the age of 19, Belle married 21-year-old Ezra S. Hartman (Sept. 11, 1854-1910), the son of Valentine D. and Mary (Rothermel) Hartman, and a native of Alsace, Berks County. The couple was wed on May 29, 1875, by Rev. A.S. Leinbach, with the news published three days later in the Reading Adler

The couple went on to produce an extraordinary 16 children, of whom nine are known by name, and of whom eight died before reaching their teens -- Clara Aresta Strunk, Emma Agnes Hartman, Washington Hartman, Ezra Garfield Hartman, Isabella Bingaman, Mary Hartman, Hannah Hartman, William Hartman, Edith Hartman and Margaret "Maggie" Hartman. 


Zion Evangelical Lutheran 
Church -- known as "Spies"

Sadly, son William died at the age of eight months and six days on Aug. 1, 1886, and daughter Maggie died on April 29, 1895 at the age of six years, 10 months and 16 days. The family also lost unnamed stillborn infants in November 1880, December 1889, November 1890, December 1891 and May 1893. All of their burials took place in the cemetery of the Spies Church (today known as the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church).

When the census was taken in 1880, the family dwelled in Exeter Township, Berks County, with farm laborer Jefferson Marks and servant Catharina Fox living under their roof.

They were members of Spies Church. The building was made of stone, until replaced by a brick church in May 1888. 

Less than two years after the birth of their youngest daughter Edith in December 1894, Isabella suffered a stroke and died on Dec. 28, 1896, at the age of 43. Reported the Reading Eagle, she "died suddenly, Monday evening. She had been in excellent health all day, after which the evening was spent with her family. At 8 o'clock she commenced complaining that she did not feel as well as usual. Dr. Hartline was sent for and prescribed for her, but at at 8:30 she was dead, caused by apoplexy." She was laid to rest in the Spies Church Cemetery in Alsace. 

The 1900 census shows 45-year-old widower Ezra living in the western section of Oley Township, heading a household of six children, as well as boarder Olivia Specht, a milliner (hat maker).


Reading Eagle, 1910

In addition to farming, Ezra earned additional income as proprietor of the Friedensburg Hotel, whicn included operation of a restaurant. The hotel was used as an election house in the 1890s.  In May 1901, the liquor license was transferred to James W. Wertz of Muhlenberg. Later, the restaurant was taken over by William C. Bahr. His address was considered "Stony Creek Mills" in 1902.

In later years, Ezra generated income as a landlord. For the last quarter century of his life, a physician once wrote, he demonstrated "laziness" and did not show much exertion or live a "high life." His kidneys failed, and he contracted a toxic poisoning of his urinary system.

Ezra passed away at the age of 75 at home in Friedensburg on March 11, 1910. The Eagle said he died "of a complication of diseases" and "had been ailing for two weeks" and that he was survived by 10 grandchildren. In a death notice, the Reading Times mis-printed his age as 55. He was interred in Spies Church Cemetery following a funeral held at the church by Rev. M.L. Herbein. Son Ezra, living in Oley, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.


Reading Eagle, 1969

Daughter Clara Aresta Hartman (1876-1969) was born on Nov. 1, 1876 in Alsace or Ruscombmanor, Berks County. She was baptized in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County the day after Christmas 1875, with Valentine and Mary Hartman as witnesses. She married Samuel H. Strunk (Jan. 13, 1877-1949), the son of Jacob S. and Lucy M. (Herbein) Strunk of Oley, and a resident of Lime Kiln, Berks County. Their wedding took place on June 3, 1898, at Friedensburg, Berks County, by the hand of J.S. Stahr. Likely because Clara was expecting, the couple asked that the news of their nuptials not be published in the local newspaper. They went on to produce at least 11 children -- Howard H. Strunk, Lucy H. Shade, Clara Rebholz, Samuel Strunk, Hannah Moyer, Eva Mountz, George Strunk, Ezra Strunk, Edith Shirk, Cora Bollinger and John Strunk. The federal census of 1900 shows the family living as farmers in Alsace. By 1910, the census shows, the Strunks had moved to a farm in Exeter Township, Berks County. That year, Samuel was employed as a laborer in a stone quarry near Oley Line. While working one day in March with Harvey Boyer, setting explosives, the the charges detonated off prematurely. Samuel suffered lacerations of the face and scalp in the explosion, and he lost three fingers on his right hand and two on the left. His co-worker Boyer also was lacerated about the hands and head. Reported the Reading Times, "Both men were brought to the Reading hospital on a special car on the Oley Valley line of the United Traction Company.

In 1920, Samuel was employed as a foreman with a contracting company, while many of their children living under their roof held occupations as well -- Howard and Samuel Jr. (shop laborer), Lucy, Clara and  Hannah (hosiery knitting), and Eva (spooling in a woolen mill). Among his projects over the years was building detached brick garages for homeowners. Samuel eventually retired from self-employment as a cement contractor. Tragically, he suffered a gunshot wound to the head at age 72 and died on May 6, 1949, at the age of 72. Whether or not it was self-inflicted is unknown, and is not stated on his death certificate. Neither has a newspaper obituary been found. Clara outlived him by two decades, making her home at 1113 Carbon Street in Reading. She died in Reading Hospital at the age of 93 on April 17, 1969. At the time, said the Reading Eagle, she was "the oldest confirmed member of Zion (Spies) United Church of Christ" in Alsace Township. Rev. Merrill Q. Ressler officiated at her funeral, with burial following in the Spies-Zion Cemetery. The Eagle reported that Clara was survived by an eye-opening 29 grandchildren, 69 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.


Typical lime kiln near in the Berks-Lehigh Counties region


  • Grandson Howard H. Strunk (1898- ? ) was born in August 1898. As a young man, he lived at 1113 Carbon Street in Glenside near Reading. He was married at the age of 29 in 1927 with Cora V. Labe ( ? - ? ), daughter of Silas E and Elenora Labe of West Reading. The news of their engagement was printed in the gossip columns of the Reading Times.
  • Granddaughter Lucy H. Strunk (1899-1983) was born on Aug. 29, 1899. She married (?) Shade ( ? - ? ). She passed away at the age of 84 in Nov. 1983. Burial was in Spies Zion Cemetery in Alsace Manor, Berks County.
  • Spies Church's 175th
    anniversary booklet, 1949

    Granddaughter Clara Strunk (1902-1999?) was born in 1902. She married (?) Rebholz and resided in Reading. Circa 1987, her home was in Topton, Berks County. Clara is known to have researched this family at one time and was cited by name in the Meinder/Hartman papers of her niece Annabelle Alfred Moyer of Reading. Her final years were spent as a resident of the Lutheran Home in Topton. She is believed to have died at the age of 98 on June 6, 1999. She rests in Spies Zion Cemetery.
  • Grandson Samuel Strunk (1903- ? ) was born in 1903.
  • Granddaughter Hannah Strunk (1904-1987) was born on Feb. 7, 1904 in Oley. In May 1928, at the age of 24, she wedded 27-year-old Lloyd Alfred Moyer (Jan. 23, 1901-1973) and lived in Reading. The couple's address in 1936 was 1113 Carbon Street. Lloyd entered eternity in February 1973. Hannah outlived her spouse by more than 14 years. The Grim Reaper cut her away in Reading on June 24, 1987. Burial was in Laureldale Cemetery in Tuckerton, Berks County. Circa 1994, their daughter Annabelle Alfrey Moyer of Reading was researching this family.
  • Granddaughter Irene Eva Strunk (1905-1996) was born on Nov. 18, 1905 in Oley, Berks County. She was joined in marriage with (?) Mountz. They were the parents of Harry D. Mountz, June Alice Eisenhower and Jacqueline Lobach. Irene earned a living over the years through her work at Narrow Fabric Company in West Reading, later renamed Narrow Fabric Industries. Her home in 1987 was in Reading and in final years in the Berks Heim nursing home. The Angel of Death gathered her away at the age of 90 on Oct. 13, 1996. Among her survivors were nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. An obituary appeared in the Reading Eagle. She rests for all time in Spies Zion Cemetery.
  • Grandson George Washington Strunk (1907-1986) was born on Feb. 22, 1907 in Exeter Township, Berks County. He was joined in the bonds of weclock with Georgia Ellenora Jones (April 4, 1919-1988), daughter of Thomas Anthony and Zelma Inza (Grmon) Jones. The couple eventually moved to New Jersey and lived in the vicinity of Woodbine, Cape May County, NJ. Sadly, at the age of 79, George died in Aug. 1986. His remains were interred in Head of the River Cemetry in Estell Manor, Atlantic County, NJ. Georgia survived for another two years and succumbed in Somers Point, Atlantic County on May 31, 1988.
  • Grandson Ezra Walter H. Strunk (1908-1987) was born on Dec. 11, 1908. On Oct. 20, 1934, at the age of 25, he married June C. Marks ( ? - ? ). They lived at 166 West Greenwich Street and bore two children, Norita Sarah "Sandy" (Strunk) DeTemple Wenrich and Ezra Strunk Jr. Citing infidelity, Ezra sued for divorce in 1939, with him apparently granted custody of their child. During World War II, Ezra served as a corporal in the U.S. Army. Over the years, he earned a living working at a textile mill. Ezra was plunged into grief at the self-inflicted death of his only daughter in Rock Island, IL at age 29 on March 6, 1965. According to one source, he liked to walk along Manatawny Creek, quoting scripture for anyone who might hear. He succumbed to death in the Duke Convalescent Residence in Lancaster County, PA on Aug. 10, 1987. Burial of the remains was in Spies Zion Cemetery in Alsace Manor. Said an obituary in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, he was survived by five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His ex-wife married again to (?) Jablonski and remained in Reading.
  • Granddaughter Edith Strunk (1912- ? ) was born in 1912. She wed Thomas Shirk ( ? - ? ) and made their home in Laureldale, PA. Circa 1935, their home was in Temple, Berks County.
  • Granddaughter Cora Strunk (1912-1998) was born on Oct. 31, 1912. She married Edward C. Bollinger (1909-1970), son of Lewis and Hattie (Witchey) Bollinger of Mahanoy City. Their children were Eugene E. Bollinger and Barry Bollinger. Edward served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was a member of the Goodwill Fire company in Hyde Park. They lived for many years in Hyde Villa at the address of 315 George Street. At the age of 61, as a patient in Community General Hospital in Reading, Edward died on Dec. 3, 1970. His remains were interred in Forest Hills Memorial Park, with Rev. Paul L. Rahn officiating. An obituary was printed in the Pottsville Republican and Herald. Cora outlived her spouse by 28 years. In 1987, she lived in Hyde Park, PA. Her final years were spent in the Berks Heim nursing home. She passed into eternity at the age of 85 on July 8, 1998.
  • Grandson John H. Strunk (1914-1939) was born on Dec. 1, 1914. He was joined in wedlock with Elizabeth Woomert ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of at least two daughters. The Strunks' address was 1515 West 9th Street in Reading. For about 10 years, John earned a living as a twister, employed by Nolde and Horst Company in a knitting mill near Reading. In his spare time, he was a Berks County champion bicycle rider. Tragedy cut short John's life at the age of 24. On the fateful day of Sept. 5, 1939, he went cycling with a friend, Paul Hunsberger, to practice for an upcoming competition. The friend was concerned for their safety that day, with his mother having had a premonition. So John rode closer to the road, with the friend ou the outside position. As it happened, the two men were struck by moving vehicles, on Fifth Street near Temple Inn, and John was killed. His skull and nose were fractured, with multiple lacerations of the face, arms and legs. Reported the Reading Times, "State Motor Patrolman P.F. Chulick declared [the driver] told him that he was blinded by the lights of an approaching car, and did not see the two cyclists. [He] swerved to the left in a futile attempt to avoid striking Strunk, then plunged down an embankment on the left side of the highway... He found Strunk pinned under the rear wheel and had to raise the car with a jack to extricate the cyclist." Hunsberger was injured but survived. Interment of the remains was in Spies Zion Cemetery in Alsace Manor, Berks County.


Daughter Emma Agnes M. Hartman (1877-1954) was born on Nov. 30, 1877 in Berks County. She was baptized in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County on Feb. 17, 1878, with Thomas Schmeck and Emma's aunt Emma Meinder serving as sponsors. She lived at home with her father in Friedensburg circa 1910, when she was age 33. She later moved to Philadelphia, making her home with her unmarried sister Edith at 5845 North Lawrence Street, and working as a house keeper. Afflicted with heart disease, she suffered a pulmonary embolism and died in Germantown Hospital on Jan. 10, 1954, at the age of 77. Her remains were placed into eternal rest with her parents in Spies Zion Church Cemetery.


Friedensburg/Oley landscape, early 1900s



Washington Hartman grave

Son Washington Hartman (1879-1891) was born on Feb. 22, 1879. On Aug. 3, 1879, at the age of about five-plus months, he received the rite of Christian baptism in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County, with his parents named as his sponsors. Washington did not reach his teenage years. He succumbed to the Angel of Death on July 7, 1891, at the age of 12 years, four months and 15 days. A large stone marks his grave at Spies Cemetery. The cause of such an untimely death is not yet known but is being researched.

Son Ezra Garfield Hartman (1881-1961) was born on Dec. 5, 1881. He he was baptized in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County, on March 12, 1882, with his parents as sponsors. He made news in June 1897 when he accidentally "shot himself in the foot with a rifle," said the Reading Eagle. In 1908, he is believed to have married Althea Merkel (1889- ? ). They had no children. Two years after their wedding, in 1910, they lived in Lower Alsace, Berks County, with Ezra working as a shipping clerk in a local store. He may be the same "Ezra Hartman" whose right arm was amputated at the elbow in an accident in October 1912, while "repairing a stone crusher, of which he is part owner," reported the Eagle, and "his arm was caught in a chain." By 1920, they moved into the city of Reading, Berks County, making their home on North 11th Street, with Ezra employed as a receiving clerk in a hardware store. That year, a toddler named Charles Weide, age 17 months, lived under their roof, with the census-taker recording him as a "boarder." The census of 1930 shows Ezra living alone, but marked as "married," in Reading, and continuing to work as a hardware store clerk, while Althea was an "inmate" at the Wernersville State Hospital in South Heidelberg, Berks County, a facility devoted to mental health treatment. He also worked as a watchman and retired from the position. In later years his home was at Reading's 343 North 11th Street. At age 79, on July 16, 1961, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Reading, he was felled with a stroke and died instantly. Interment was in Spies Cemetery in Alsace Township.

Daughter Isabella "Belle" Hartman (1883- ? ) was born on April 21, 1883 in Oley Township, Berks County. She received Christian baptism in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County on July 29, 1883. At the age of 19, Belle married 23-year-old foreman Harry "George" Bingaman (July 23, 1879-1974), the son of William and Mary (Reich) Bingaman. The ceremony was performed on Sept. 22, 1902, by M.L. Herbein, and the news of their engagement was published in the Reading Times. At the time, both made their home in Stony Creek Mills, Berks County, with Harry employed as a foreman. The couple bore two known daughters, Lillian Sweitzer and Edna Bingaman. They lived in Stony Creek Mills in 1910, at the time of death of Belle's father. The United States Census of 1910 shows that Harry worked as a laborer in a woolen mill. George passed away on Sept. 13, 1974. Burial was in Spies Zion Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Lillian Bingaman (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903. On July 28, 1928, at the age of about 25, Lillian was joined in marriage with Paul K. Sweitzer ( ? - ? ), son of Irvin H. Sweitzer. The ceremony was held in a church parsonage in Mt. Penn, officiated by Rev. D.U. Druckenmiller and was announced on the pages of the Reading Times.
  • Granddaughter Edna Bingaman (1908- ? ) was born in about 1908.


Graves of 7 Hartman children who died before age 7, all resting for eternity at Zion Evangelical (Spies)  Church Cemetery




Reading Eagle, 1975

Daughter Mary Hartman (1884-1975) was born on Aug. 23, 1884 in Oley Township. She was baptized in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County, with her grandmother Mary Hartman serving as a witness, on Oct. 19, 1884. She lived in Reading in 1910 and never married. After the death of her father, she moved to Ambler, Montgomery County, PA, living with her widowed sister, Hannah Hilbert. She was a member of the Tabor United Church of Christ in Philadelphia. She had a home in Redington Beach, FL, at 250 Bath Club Boulevard. She died in St. Petersburg General Hospital at the age of 91 on Oct. 2, 1975. Her remains were shipped back to Berks County for burial in the Spies Cemetery in Alsace Township, with her funeral led by Rev. Merlin Getz.

Daughter Hannah Hartman (1887- ? ) was born in March 1887 in Alsace, Berks County. As a young woman, she secured employment as a school teacher and made her home in Stony Creek Mills, Berks County. On May 5, 1914, at the age of 27, Hannah married 25-year-old Charles W.Z. Hilbert (1889-1969), son of Levi and Louise (Werley) Hilbert. The ceremony was held in Allentown, Lehigh County, PA. The couple raised two foster children, G. Clyde Shurr and Violet E. Powell. Charles was an automobile dealer who resided in Kutztown, Berks County. For 13 years, beginning in 1914 until 1927, he owned and operated an automobile and truck dealership in Allentown. He then took over the operation of Keystone Duco Company in Philadelphia and stayed there for 17 years until retirement in 1944. The family made a home in Ambler, Montgomery County, PA. In the 1960s, they lived in Hill Acres, Sumneytown Pike. Sadly, at the age of 80, Charles succumbed at home on Oct. 17, 1969. His remains were placed into repose in Ivy Hill Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Allentown Morning Call.

  • Foster grandson G. Clyde Shurr lived in Harleysville, PA in 1969.
  • Foster granddaughter Violet E. Powell resided in Port Lavaca, TX.


Oley Grammar School, known as Oley Academy



Daughter Edith Hartman (1894-1985) was born three days after Christmas in December 1894 in Friedensburg. She was baptized in the Zion (Spies) Reformed Church of Alsace, Berks County on March 1895 by Rev. J.H. Leinbach. Edith never married, and lived at home with her father in Friedensburg circa 1910. Pursuing education as a career, she was a graduate of Oley Academy in Friedensburg and Keystone Normal School (now Kutztown University) in Berks County. She taught school in Stonersville for five years, from 1913 to 1918. During World War I, she accepted employment with the Internal Revenue Service, and spent 43 years as a corporate income tax return reviewer in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. She retired from the IRS in 1961. In 1969, she resided in Philadelphia, and in 1974 moved to Rydal, Montgomery County, PA, where she spent her final years in Rydal Park Presbyterian Home. She was a member of the Grace Presbyterian Church of Jenkintown. Edith died in the Rydal Home at the age of 90 on April 25, 1985. She is buried in Spies Cemetery with her parents.


Emma's grave

~ Daughter Emma Rebecca Barbara Anna (Meinder) Stuber ~

Daughter Emma Rebecca Barbara Anna Stuber (1858-1932) was born on Dec. 4, 1858 in Ruscombmanor, Berks County. As an infant, she was baptized by Rev. Hinterleitner, and her godparents were Daniel and Harriet Lint.

As a teenager, Emma was confirmed in the Friedensburg Lutheran Church at age 16, in March 1876, by Rev. Thomas Theophilus Iaeger. 


Reading Eagle, Sept. 12, '32

Emma married farmer William M. Stuber (April 7, 1860-1934) (also spelled "Stuver"), a resident of Alsace, on Oct. 29, 1881, when she was 21 years of age, and he 22. The ceremony was performed by Rev. A.S. Leinbach of the Reformed Church. William was the son of Jacob and Anna Barbara (Moyer) Stuber.

The Stubers had six children -- among them James William Stuber, Nora E. Jester, Jennie Sampsel, Daniel Irvin Stuber, Annie M. Stuber and Hannah Stuber. 

Sadly, daughter Hannah died of diphtheria in 1895 at the age of four, and daughter Annie passed in 1898, also at the age of four. The girls are buried in the Meinder/Stuber plot of graves in Friedens Cemetery. Small, somewhat legible stones mark their graves today.

The federal census of 1900 shows the family living in the western section of Oley Township, Berks County, where William and son James were day laborers. Emma was a longtime member of the First Evangelical Christian Church of Reading and the Ladies Golden Eagles of Oley as well as the Reading Temple of the Loyal Americans lodge.



Graves of young sisters Annie (left) and Hannah Stuber, 1890s



During the decade between 1900 and 1910, the couple divorced.

Circa 1910-1932, Emma dwelled at 643 Locust Street in Reading. To earn income, circa 1920, she was employed as a baker in a local bakery shop. During a portion of that time, her elderly, widowed father lived under her roof,

Suffering from an enlarged heart, Emma died at the age of 73 years, nine months and eight days on Sept. 12, 1932. Daughter Jennie signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Her remains were placed beside her parents, sister and children in Friedens Cemetery.

Former husband William made his final home in Sinking Spring. Sadly, while on a visit to his sister Lizzie Leinbach at 319 Hoskins Place in Reading, he died in his sleep at the age of 74 on Aug. 24, 1934. Interment was in Aulenbach's Cemetery. An obituary in the Reading Times said he was a member of the Reformed denomination and the Orioles' Home Association of Sinking Spring.


James' grave, Oley, PA

Reading Eagle, June 4, 1910

Son James William Stuber (1883-1910 ) was born on Sept. 12, 1882 (or 1883). He moved to Reading in about 1903, living with his mother. He accepted employment as a teamster (driver) in a "creamery route." James was a member of the First United Evangelical Church of Reading and the I.O. of U.A. For seven years, said the Reading Eagle, he suffered periodic "attacks" of uncontrolled bleeding. In late May 1910, he endured another hemorrhage, became unconscious and became bedfast. Several days later he died, on June 3, 1910, at the age of 27 years, eight months and 21 days. Upon accidentally learning of his death, his sister Emma, who was recuperating from appendicitis, fainted -- "the shock rendered her unconscious," reported the Eagle. He was buried in the Meinder plot of graves in Friedens Cemetery in Oley.

Daughter Nora E. Stuber (1886- ? ) was born on Oct. 2, 1886 in Oley Township. She is believed to have been baptized at Spies Zion Church on Feb. 20, 1887. She was unmarried and resided with her mother in 1910 and 1920. She was prone to attacks of appendicitis. Once, in June 1910, as she was recovering, she accidentally learned of the death of her brother James, and she promptly fainted. She worked as a knitter in a local hosiery mill. In about 1929, she married elevator operator George C. Jester ( ? - ? ) of Reading. She was named in each of her parents' newspaper obituaries in the early half of the 1930s. The Grim Reaper swept her away at the age of 82 on May 30, 1969. She rests beside her sister Jennie in Friedens Church Cemetery.

Daughter Jennie Etna Stuber (1884-1967) was born on the next to last day of 1884. Evidence suggests that she was baptized when she was a few months old on April 19, 1885. She was joined in wedlock with Charles Albright Sampsel (June 16, 1881-1945), sometimes referred to as "George." He was a native of Terre Hill, Lancaster County, PA and the son of Albert and Katherine (Albright) Sampsel. They lived at 643 Locust Street in Reading circa 1932-1934. The couple eventually divorced. Jennie may never have remarried, while Charles wedded a second time to Sadie M. Riley ( ? - ? ) and made a home at 915 Elm Street in Reading. He earned a living as a clerk for the city of Reading, working in town hall. Sadly, Charles was burdened with heart and kidney problems and admitted to Reading Hospital, where he died on Christmas Day 1945. Burial was in Charles Evans Cemetery in Reading. Jennie lived for many years after the divorce. In September 1967, at the age of 82, Jennie passed away. Her remains are at rest in Friedens Cemetery in Oley.

Son Daniel Irvin Stuber (1888- ? ), also spelled "Stuver," was born on May 12, 1888 in Friedensburg. He married Edith Wells ( ? - ? ) and lived at 3136 Kutztown Road in Bernharts, Berks County. He earned a living as an inspector with the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. On Sept. 29, 1942, at the age of 54, Daniel suffered a heart attack and died at home. Interment was in the Friedens Cemetery.


Sarah Amanda's grave

~ Daughter Sarah Amanda Elizabeth Meinder ~

Daughter Sarah Amanda Elizabeth Meinder (1863-1870) was born on Jan. 12, 1863 in Ruscombmanor, Berks County. 

As a baby, she was baptized by Rev. Hinterleitner, and her godparents were Jacob Jelli and Susanna Haertlein. In the family Bible, her name was spelled "Sähre Mende Elisabeth Meinter."

At the age of seven years, two months and 27 days, Sarah Amanda died on April 9, 1870, of causes unknown. 

No obituary was published in the local German news weekly, the Reading Adler

She was buried in the Meinder family plot in Friedens Cemetery, and her parents and sister Emma Stuber and family later joined her there in eternal rest. A grave marker was erected on the site, and it remains very legible today. At the top of the marker is carved the word "Sister."


Copyright © 2000-2001, 2011-2015, 2019-2020 Eugene F. Podraza and Mark A. Miner

William Meinder photo and Meinder/Hartman obituaries published originally in the Reading (PA) Eagle, courtesy of Google Books. Research by the late Annabelle Alfred Moyer of Reading has been used as reference for this biography. Clara (Strunk) Rebholz is known to have researched this family at one time.