Maria (Meitzler) Rothenberger was born on June 20, 1792 in or around Longswamp Township, Berks County, PA, the daughter of Heinrich and Maria Gertraut (Gaumer) Meitzler.
She was joined in matrimony with Joseph P. Rothenberger (May 6, 1787-1875), also spelled "Rotenberger" and "Rodenberger."
The Rothenbergers bore these known offspring -- Joseph S. Rothenberger, Levina Fegely, David Rothenberger, Anna "Carolina" Rothenberger, Adlina Rothenberger and Jacob J. Rothenberger.
The 1850 federal census enumeration shows Joseph earning a living as a laborer in Longswamp Township.
The family has not yet been located in the 1860 U.S. Census.
Maria passed away on March 8, 1861, when she was 68 years of age. [Find-a-Grave]
Joseph lived for another 14 years as a widower. He may be the same "Joseph Rothenberger," age 72, marked as a retired carpenter and boarding with the Longswamp family of Peter and Sarah Walbert circa 1870.
He was carried away by the Angel of Death at the age of 88 on Aug. 16, 1875.
They are buried at the Longswamp Cemetery in Berks County, PA.
One isolated mystery about Maria needs to be resolved. In the pastoral records of one family clergyman, Rev. Eli Keller, her maiden name is written as "Schwenk" instead of "Meitzler." Her daughter Levina's Pennsylvania death certificates give the name apparently correctly as "Meitzler."
~ Son Joseph S. Rothenberger ~
Son Joseph S. Rothenberger (1825-1898) -- also spelled "Rodenberger" -- was born on Valentine's Day 1825.
Joseph was twice married. His first bride was Eliza Ann Gerhard (1827-1856), also spelled "Gearhart" and "Gerhart." They tied the knot on July 23, 1848.
The couple produced two daughters and two sons -- Emma R. Miller, Allen Winfield Rothenberger, Mary Jane Kleinsmith and Richard M. Rothenberger. The family grieved when son Allen died at the age of about one in 1851.
Sadly, Eliza died on April 27, 1856, at the age of only 28 or 29.
Joseph mourned for more than two years. On Aug. 14, 1858, at the age of 33, he wedded his second spouse, Elizabeth Ann Arndt (1827-1910).
To the second marriage, two sons and four daughters were born -- the known names are Ellen Catharine Diehl, Polly S. Dillinger and two unnamed sons. One of the sons died in infancy in 1861.
The federal census enumerations of 1870 and 1880 place the family in Upper Milford, Lehigh County, with Joseph laboring as a blacksmith during those years.
He died after suffering a stroke at the age of 73 on June 16, 1898. Funeral services were held in Zions Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Old Zionsville, with Rev. Dr. Eli Keller officiating. A one-paragraph obituary was printed in the Allentown Leader. [Find-a-Grave] Rev. Keller pastor kept a record of the event in his papers. In the record, he named Joseph's mother as "Maria Schwenk" instead of "Maria Meitzler" which is a mystery needing to be resolved. The original volume of Keller's handwritten records is housed in the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA. A copy of the typed version, prepared by Raymond E. Hollenbach of Royersford, PA on Dec. 5, 1975, is maintained in the Minerd.com Archives.
The widowed Elizabeth endured for another dozen years. She was felled by a stroke of apoplexy and died at the age of 83 years, one month and 17 days on Oct. 3, 1910. Her funeral was held in the Zions Evangelical church, with Rev. D.C. Kaufman preaching. An obituary in the Allentown Democrat said that she was survived by two daughters, two step-daughters and her sister Susan Knauss of Old Zionsville.
Daughter Emma R. Rothenberger (1849-1920) was born on April 7, 1849 in Zionsville, Lehigh County. She married Franklin W. "Frank" Miller (1849-1915). The children born to this union were Anna Bennethum, Lena Fenstermacher, Wilson Miller, Harvey R. Miller and Eva Baus. For many years, Frank operated a grocery business in Allentown. Frank died in Norristown, PA on March 12, 1915. The funeral was held in the residence of Emma's sister Mary Jane Kleinsmith. His obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call. Her final address was 339 North West Street in Allentown, in the home of her married daughter Eva Baus. Having contracted pneumonia, she lingered for a week before dying at the age of 71 on Nov. 28, 1920. A short funeral was held in the Baus home "followed with regular services in Old Zionsville Lutheran church, of which the deceased was a consistent and faithful member," reported the Morning Call. "A large number of relatives and friends attended...." Preaching was done by Rev. D.C. Kauffman of Emmaus. She rests in the church burying ground. Harvey R. Miller, of Mountainville, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Great-granddaughter Dorothy May Baus (1919- ? ) was born on May 25, 1919 in Allentown. When she was 22 years of age, on July 5, 1941, she was joined in marriage with Boyd Walton (March 5, 1916- ? ), a native of Bethlehem. Their daughter Sally Ann Walton (1943- ? ) married LeRoy Martin (1933- ? ), of Wilmington, DE. Sally corresponded with Minerd cousin and researcher Eugene F. Podraza, and her research has contributed to this biography. One her her letters is preserved in the Minerd.com Archives.
Daughter Mary Jane Rothenberger (1852-1916) was born on July 31, 1852 or 1853 in Lehigh County. She was a young girl when her mother died, and may have been raised by her mother's relatives, Joseph and Mary (Roduck) Gerhard. Evidence suggests that she and horse stableman Hiram Fretz (1854- ? ) produced a son out of wedlock, William Ulysses Fretz. She and the son made a home in 1880 with her father and stepmother in Old Zionsville, and earned income that year making pants. Later, she married carpenter Daniel Kleinsmith (May 4, 1838-1921), son of Anthony and Julia (Bartholomew) Kleinsmith. Stricken with intestinal cancer, the 63-year-old Mary Jane succumbed in Allentown on April 17, 1916, at the age of 63. Her remains were buried in Zionsville. Daniel outlived his wife by five years, with a postal address of 1323 Liberty Street in Allentown. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died five days later, at age 83, on Oct. 27, 1921. Burial was in West End Cemetery in Allentown.
Son Richard M. Rothenberger (1854-1924) -- also spelled "Rotenberger" -- was born on Feb. 20, 1854 at Old Zionsville, Lehigh County. He was united in wedlock with Amanda Gilbert (Nov. 20, 1856-1925), daughter of John and Susanna (Freyer) Gilbert of Green Lane, Montgomery County. They were the parents of 11 offspring, among them John O. Rothenberger, Annie Kromer, Harry G. Rothenberger, Mabel U. Nevins, Frank R. Rothenberger, Almoran G. Rothenberger, Howard Rothenberger, Edgar Rothenberger, Wallace Rothenberger and Bessie B. Roth. Circa 1880, United States Census records list the Rothenbergers living in Upper Hanover, Montgomery County. They relocated into Allentown in about 1893 and stayed for the remaining decades of their lives. Richard was a longtime shoemaker by trade and belonged to the Allen Council of the Order of Independent Americans, while Amanda was a member of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Daughters of America and the Star of Bethlehem. Their home in 1916 was in Allentown and in the early 1920s at 221 North Hall Street. He was burdened with chronic kidney disease which led to an infection of his urinary tract, and he died at the age of 70 on April 26, 1924. The Grim Reaper cut him away at the age of 70 on April 26, 1924. Interment was in Allentown's Greenwood Cemetery, and a death notice was published in the Allentown Morning Call. Among those attending his funeral were his step-sister and husband, Ellen and Alvin Diehl in addition to Frank Snyder. Amanda survived him by only a year. She had long been burdened with kidney problems and was carried away by the Angel of Death, at age 68, on July 6, 1925. Rev. G.M. Greiss preached the funeral sermon, with interment in Greenwood Cemetery, and an obituary appearing in the Morning Call.
Daughter Ellen Catharine Rothenberger (1859-1927) was born on Dec. 9, 1859. She was united in matrimony with Alvin Peter J. Diehl (1854-1944). They dwelled in Zionsville in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. At the age of 67, having borne pleurisy and poor blood flow, she experienced an acutely enlarged heart and died on April 8, 1927. They rest in Zions Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Old Zionsville.
Daughter Polly Rothenberger (1861-1930) was born on Sept. 9, 1861 in Macungie. At the age of 18, in 1880, she helped earn income for the family by making pants. When she was 19 or 20 years of age, in 1881, she was joined in holy wedlock with Uriah Samuel Dillinger (Feb. 14, 1860-1939), son of Jesse and Matilda (Smith) Dillinger of Lehigh County. Uriah supported the family over the years through his work as a laborer with Donaldson Iron Company of Emmaus, Lehigh County. Their address was 222 South Fourth Street. Cancer developed in her liver, and she suffered for a year. At the age of 68, she passed into eternity in Emmaus on June 14, 1930. Uriah lived for another nine years and remained in their home. Having contracted hardening of the arteries and chronic heart disease, he succumbed to death at the age of 79 on Aug. 8, 1939.
Son [?] Rothenberger (1871- ? ) was born in 1871.
~ Daughter Levina (Rothenberger) Fegely ~
Daughter Levina Rothenberger (1825-1908) was born on June 23, 1825 in Alburtis, Lehigh County, PA.
She was joined in holy wedlock with Nathan Fegely (March 27, 1826-1878), the son of farmer Philip Fegely, also known as "Vogely" in German.
They produced a family of 11 offspring. The known names were Sobina/Sebilla M. Fagele, Susanna A. Fegele, Philip Franklin Fegely, Joseph Alvin Fegely, Caroline Sarah Schubert, Amanda Adalina Oswald, Marietta "Jane" Bear, Manoah A. Fegely, Louisa S. Miller, Anna "Annie" Seifert and Rosa A. Fegele.
Nathan's father Philip was Lutheran and active with the congregation that, without its own building in the early 1800s, worshipped in the Longswamp Reformed Church. The Lutherans broke away circa 1837 when they were not allowed an equal share of ownership in the building. Philip was named as a deacon to a Lutheran church council, with ironmaster Reuben Trexler and Jacob Frederick as elders and Nathan Trexler, Solomon Frederick and George Fritch as deacons. This council began holding services in Mertztown, taking with them their Lutheran records as well as many of the Longswamp members. This new congregation then purchased a two-acre tract and began to construct a building on Ascension Day, May 4, 1837. The new building was dedicated on Nov. 12, 1837, and not long after, a Reformed congregation agreed to share the facility.
Among the pastors who served the St. Pauls Church at Mertztown, two are known to have been active in performing weddings and baptisms of the extended family over many branches -- Rev. Isaac Roeller (1837-1860) and Rev. Benjamin E. Kramlich (1860-1900). The building aged with time and, in 1925, it was rebuilt and remodeled, with a "large vestibule and reinforced steel tower ... added to the front of the original building," reported the Reading Times, "and the old galleries removed and replaced with new and modern ones." It was dedicated on May 25, 1925.
The 1850 United States Census shows the Fegelys living just a few doors away from her parents in Longswamp Township, Berks County.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1860, the family dwelled with Nathan's widowed father in Longswamp. They remained in the township during the 1860s and are shown there in the 1870 census.
Grief blanketed the family when Nathan -- only 51 years of age -- died on Feb. 21, 1878.
Levina survived as a widow for three decades. Census records for 1880 list her in Longswamp, with four children under her roof. For the final 22 years, she made a home with her married daughter Louisa Miller on Church Street in Macungie, Lehigh County.
Burdened with senility, acute indigestion and heart valve disease, she died at the age of 83 years, four months and 10 days on Nov. 3, 1908. Following funeral services held at her home, her aged remains were transported by rail to Mertztown to be interred in St. Pauls Union Church Cemetery. Rev. M.H. Brensinger preached the funeral sermon. [Find-a-Grave] An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that "She suffered from ills incident to her years, though the immediate cause of death was heart failure."
Daughter Sobina M. Fegele (1850- ? ) -- also spelled "Sebilla" -- was born in about April 1850.
Son Philip "Franklin" Fegely (1852- ? ) was born in about 1852. At the age of 18, in 1870, he lived at home and worked in a local ore mine.
Son Joseph "Alvin" Fegely (1853-1936) was born on Oct. 31, 1853 in Berks County. He was joined in holy matrimony with Catherine "Katie" Schappell ( ? -1939), daughter of Daniel Shappell of Longswamp. They were the parents of Hilarius D. Fegely and a daughter who died in infancy. Alvin was a longtime bricklayer. They were in Macungie in 1900-1908. By the 1930s, they had relocated to 102 Locust Street in Macungie. He was a member of the Macungie Beneficial Association, and they belonged to the Lutheran congregation of the St. Pauls Union Church of Mertztown. For two years, he bore heart disease followed by kidney failure. He passed away at the age of 83 on Nov. 20, 1936. Funeral services were held in the home, said the Allentown Morning Call, and burial was in the St. Pauls Union Cemetery in Mertztown. Katie lived for another two-and-a-half years and made a home with her son Hilarius at the corner of Race and Locust Streets in Macungie. She was in poor health for the final three years of life, and bedfast for the final year. She died at the age of 81 on April 29, 1939. Burial was in Mertztown. An obituary in the Morning Call referred to her as "an octogenarian resident of Macungie."
Daughter Sarah "Caroline" Fegely (1855-1942) was born on Nov. 6, 1855 in Longswamp, Berks County. On Feb. 2, 1877, when she was 21 years of age, she married 35-year-old William Schubert (Aug. 26, 1841-1926), son of William Schubert Sr. of Longswamp, widely known as the organist for the Dunkels Church and Longswamp Church. Rev. William D. Menning officiated at their wedding. Of William's childhood, reported the Allentown Morning Call:
Through the influence of the late Rev. William A. Helffrich, D.D., the family was attracted to Longswamp, where the Senior Schubert was elected ni 1842. Thus the deceased was about a year old when the family moved here. He was baptized October 4, 1841 by Rev. George H. Yeager, the sponsors having been Mr. and Mrs. George Dietrich. In early youth he was confirmed by Rev. G.A. Hinterleitner, D.D., then living in Kutztown.... As sexton and surveyor he did much to improve the premises of the Longswamp church. He laid out the cemetery plots and did much of the grading, also of the planning and excavation for the heating plant.
After nine years, the Schuberts relocated into Allentown circa 1886 and, reported the Morning Call, for 56 years lived at 1135 Linden Street. Two children were born to the marriage, Harry F. Schubert and Rosa Moyer. From the home, William and Caroline's brother Manoah operated a grocery store, known as Schubert and Fegely. They belonged to the First Church of the Nazarene. William and Manoah dissolved their partnership about 1910, with William opening his own business in Allentown, and Manoah in Kutztown and later to Maxatawny, Berks County in 1915. Four years later, William sold the balance of his interest in the Maxatawny property to Manoah's son William. William died in Feb. 1926. The body was shipped via the East Penn Railway to the Shamrock station and thence was taken to Longswamp Cemetery for interment. His pastor, Rev. W.F. Bond, preached the funeral sermon. Pallbearers were Samuel Biery, William Bortz, Paul Moyer and William Wendling. An obituary said that William had been "well known here as a member of the Schubert-Fegely mercantile firm doing business at the old Longswamp store. When the firm dissolved partnershiop, Manoah Fegely went to Kutztown and later to Maxatawny, and Mr. Schubert to Allentown." Caroline lived as a widow for 16 years. As her health failed, she was admitted to the Lehigh County Home. She died there after a stay of five months, at age 86, following a cerebral hemorrage, on Feb. 21, 1942. Interment was in Longswamp Cemetery. Noted the Morning Call, her survivors included a dozen grandchildren and a half-dozen great-grandchildren.
Daughter Susanna A. Fegele (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858. Her whereabouts in 1870 are not known.
Daughter Amanda Adalina "Adaline" Fegely (1859-1907) was born on Dec. 11, 1859 in Berks County. She wedded Jonathan H. Oswald ( ? - ? ). They resided in the village of Wescoesville, Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County. For the last two-plus months of her life, Adaline suffered from heart valve disease. She succumbed at the age of 47 on Jan. 18, 1907. Her remains were interred in the Longswamp Church Cemetery.
Daughter Marietta "Jane" Fegely (1861-1900) -- sometimes known as "Margaret" -- was born on Sept. 23, 1861 in Berks County. When she was 18 years of age, in 1880, she was in her widowed mother's Longswamp household. On Oct. 2, 1884, she wedded David Bear (May 1850-1904), son of Charles Bear of Lower Macungie, officiated by Rev. J. Yaeger. News of the wedding was printed in the Allentown Democrat. During their 16 years of marriage, the couple produced five known offspring -- Gertrude Bear, James Alvin Bear, Anna "Annie" Bear, Ellen "Ella" Bear and John David Bear. David earned a living as a carpenter, and their home circa 1900 was in Breinigsville, Lehigh County. The Bears were members of the Lutheran congregation of the Zion Lehigh Evangelical Lutheran Church. Jane and David made news in the gossip columns of the Allentown Leader in May 1900 when they visited her brother Manoah in Longswamp Township. In the fall of 1900, Jane began to suffer heart pain, or "neuralgia." On the fateful day of Dec. 29, 1900, the 39-year-old Jane went shopping in Allentown. While in front of the E. & L. Moyer shoe store, at 919 Hamilton Street, she suffered a heart attack and collapsed to the pavement. Unconscious, she was carried to the office of Dr. Fetherolf, who rendered what little help he could. She then was brought to the residence of her husband's brother William at 829 Jackson Street. She died there that evening without regaining consciousness. Her remains were brought home and thence to the family church for funeral services, led by Rev. Dr. A.R. Horne, and placed into eternal rest in Zion Lehigh cemetery in Alburtis. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that she "leaves her husband and five children, the oldest of whom is fifteen years and the youngest six years." David outlived his wife, but only by a little more than four years. During that time, he dwelled near Lehigh Church and plied his trade working for contractor David Hinkle. He was considered one of the more widely known men in the community. He married again, in mid-July 1903, to Jane Funk ( ? - ? ) of Wescosville. The nuptials were held in Jane's home, officiated by Rev. I.B. Ritter of Emmaus, and the newlyweds were serenaded by the Wescoesville Calithumpian Band. In combining their households, David held a sale of housewares on Sept. 12, 1903. But they were not destined for a long married life together. In early 1904, while rebuilding several houses in Mertztown, "he contracted a cold from which he never recovered," reported the Leader. He also was stricken with kidney failure, known as "Bright's Disease," and was forced to stay home in an attempt to get well. A recovery was not possible. He joined Jane in death on April 21, 1904, at the age of 53. In addition to his wife and five children, the Leader noted that he was survived by his father, brothers William Bear, Charles C. Bear and James Bear and married sisters Mrs. John Romig and Mrs. Willoughby Heimbach. The funeral service was preached by Rev. C.E. Sandt, with interment in the church burying ground. Their graves are not known to be marked.
Great-grandson Luther Bieber lived in Allentown in 1968.
Great-grandson Clarence Bieber made his home in 1968 in Emmaus.
Great-grandson Paul W. Bieber was with the U.S. Maritime Service during World War II, specializing as a chief radio operator. After the war, he dwelled in Emmaus.
Great-grandson Millard Bieber was in New Cumberland, PA in 1943 and in Fort Wayne, IN in the late 1960s.
Great-grandson Donald L. Bieber served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He married Lucille Lukens ( ? - ? ), daughter of Fred E. Lukens of Philadelphia. They were in Allentown in 1946, where he worked as production manager for American Stamp and Stencil Company. They relocated to Fort Wayne, IN and were there in 1950-1955.
Great-grandson Russell Bieber joined the United States Army at the age of 18. He is "credited with being one of the initial founders of the first WAC school in Des Moines, Iowa," said the Allentown Morning Call. He was stationed in the Philippine Islands in the 1940s, Daytona Beach, FL in 1943, Newport News, VA in 1955, Fort Leavenworth, KS in 1955 and Camp Meade, MD in 1968. He was promoted to Major in 1950 and in 1955 was a Lieutenant Colonel.
Great-grandson Peter D. Bear
Great-grandson Clarence J. Bear
Great-grandson Samuel A. Bear
Great-grandson Ray D. Bear
Great-grandson James H. Meitzler (1920-1944) was born in about 1920. As a young man, he worked for the Bally Block Company and belonged to the Baptist Missionary Church in Macungie, the Good Will Fire Company of Bally and the Keystone Fire Company of Boyertown. Then, in 1941, he joined the U.S. Army and was sent overseas to Europe. During the Battle of the Bulge, on Dec. 10, 1944, he was killed "somewhere in Germany ... when a German shell hit his tank destroyer," reported the Allentown Morning Call. His body was not repatriated for several years. Then in November 1947 it was shipped home via the Reading Railroad, arriving at the Pottstown station. The Boyertown Service Mothers, Wives and Sisters gathered to attend the funeral, held at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, preached by Rev. David F. Longacre. The Charles B. Yerger Post of the American Legion provided a firing squad and color guard for the burial. News of the event was printed in the Pottstown (PA) Mercury. Interment was in the Macungie Baptist Church Cemetery, sometimes known as the German Baptist Cemetery..
Great-grandson Stanley A. Meitzler (1923-1948) was born on May 9, 1923 in Hereford Township, Berks County. As a young man, he lived at Clayton on the outskirts of Bally, Berks County, and earned a living as a truck driver. Tragedy struck on July 21, 1948, when the truck he was piloting in Fountain Hill crashed into a trolley. He suffered fractures of the sternum, tibia and femur as well as brain bleeding. He was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, Lehigh County, where he died less than eight hours later. Funeral services were held at the Baptist Missionary Church in Macungie, led by Rev. George Condit and Ref. J. Gaylord Gehman.
Great-grandson Arthur Meitzler lived in Barto in 1947 and in Boyertown in 1972.
Great-grandson Preston Meitzler resided in East Greenville, Montgomery County in 1947 and later in Bechtelsville, Berks County.
Great-grandson Charles Meitzler married Margaret E. Mathias, daughter of Howard Mathias of Bechtelsville, Berks County. They dwelled in Bechtelsville and were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Sassamansville. Their offspring included Randy D. Meitzler, Rodney Meitzler, Christine Meitzler, Wendy Meitzler, Phyllis Meitzler and Greta Meitzler. Their son Randy, who contracted multiple sclerosis, died at home at the age of 15 on April 23, 1970.
Great-grandson Paul Meitzler made a home in 1972 in Bechtelsville, Berks County.
Great-grandson Isadore Meitzler was in Barto in the 1940s-1970s.
Great-grandson Samuel Meitzler lived in Boyertown. His wife was elected secretary of the first Meitzler Reunion in 1968.
Great-grandson Ralph Meitzler made a residence in Boyertown in 1972.
Great-granddaughter Edith Meitzler rmarried (?) Rohrbach. Her home in 1947 was in Spring City. Later, after the marriage ended, she resided with her parents in 1972.
Great-granddaughter Ella Meitzler wedded William Dierolf. In 1947-1972, they dwelled in Boyertown, PA.
Great-granddaughter Annie Meitzler married Wayne Hoffman. They established a home in Barto by 1947 and eventually relocated to East Greenville, Montgomery County, PA.
Son Manoah A. Fegely (1865-1923) was born in Sept. 1865 in Berks County. At the age of about 26, circa 1891, he married Mantana ( ? - ? ). They produced three offspring, William H. Fegely, Alvin N. Fegely and a son who died young. Manoah went into a business partnership with his brother in law William Schubert in the operation of a grocery store in the Schuberts' home, known as Schubert and Fegely. Then in March 1899, he and Nathan K. Fegely are known to have attended the funeral of Maggie Guth, who had been murdered in the local Cedarville Hotel. The United States Census enumeration of 1900 lists the family in Longswamp Township, with Manoah continuing his work as a merchant. That year, 18-year-old nephew Fred W. Fegely, a dry goods salesman, lived under their roof. Grief blanketed the family when Mantana, at age 37, died on Feb. 16, 1903. Rev. Brensinger and Rev. Bernd co-officiated at the funeral, with burial at St. Pauls Union Church Cemetery in Mertztown. Manoah married a second time, in about 1905, to Tina A. Romig ( ? -1947). He was a member of the Alburtis Camp of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America and the Lyons Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows. He also was active with the family church and was elected to a committee of the congregation in 1911. That year, the church members agreed to provide free meals at the anniversary celebration of the Orphans Home in Topton. Manoah made a home in Kutztown, Berks County from 1910 to 1915, managing a general store on Park Avenue. He relocated to Maxatawny, Berks County in April 1915, selling the business to W.S. Wynn of Pottstown. In leaving Kutztown, the Allentown Democrat said that "Mr. Fegely leaves a host of friends here who wish him success in his new venture." He and Schubert ran their general store in Maxatawny. In october 1919, Manoah's son William purchased Schubert's interest in the store, and renamed it "Manoah A. Fegely & Son. The partnership continued until Manoah's death in 1923. Burdened with heart failure, Manoah died at the age of 47 years, four months and 10 days on Jan. 1923. An obituary appeared in the Reading Times. Tina lived on for another 24 years after her spouse's death. At the age of 78 years, one month and 22 days, at Maxatawny, she died on April 16, 1947. Her remains were transported to St. Pauls Union Church in Mertztown for funeral services and burial. A death notice ran in the Morning Call.
Daughter Louisa S. Fegely (1867-1956) was born on Aug. 31, 1867 in Longswamp, Berks County. She married Frank J.J. Miller ( ? -1944?). The couple produced six children -- Walter J. Miller, Fred F. Miller, Clara Weaver, Meda Shelly, Mamie Wean and Marie Sponheimer. In 1908, they resided in Macungie on Church Street. Louisa was a member of the Grace Lutheran Church of Macungie and was active with its Ladies Aid Society. Frank is believed to have died in 1944. As a widow for the next dozen years, she lived with her married daughter Meda Shelly in Allentown, with an address of 1125 North 19th Street. At the age of 88, she suffered bleeding in the brain and died on May 11, 1956. Her remains were placed into eternal rest in the Moravian Cemetery in Emmaus, Lehigh County. The Allentown Morning Call noted in an obituary that she was survived by 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Daughter Anna "Annie" Fegely (1868-1957) was born on Dec. 4, 1868 in Berks County. She was joined in marital union with John G. Seifert ( ? -1943), son of John "Benjamin" and Emma (Neumoyer) Seifert of Emmaus. They bore one son, identity unknown. John earned a living working for several Macungie businesses over the years. He was a member of the Macungie Beneficial Association and Continental Castle of the Knights of the Golden Eagle. They belonged to the Macungie Baptist Church and lived on Cedar Street. On the fateful day of March 1, 1943, feeling in good health, he left home to visit a friend. He returned home but then suffered a heart attack and died immediately. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that he was "a resident of Macungie practically all his life.... He came to Macungie when he was a boy." Funeral services were held in the family house of worship, conducted by Rev. J.G. Lehman. Annie outlived him by 14 years and shared a home with her married niece Mrs. Stanley Deily in Allentown. She was a longtime member of the Macungie Baptist Missionary Church and in 1957 was considered its "oldest member." In poor health for several years, she died at the age of 88 on April 12, 1957. Funeral services were held in the family church, with an obituary published in the Allentown Morning Call.
Daughter Rosa A. Fegely (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874 in Longswamp Township. She was but the age of four when her father died.
~ Son David Rothenberger ~
Son David Rothenberger (1828-1868) was born on March 30, 1828.
At the age of 40, he passed into eternity on June 18, 1868. Interment was in Longswamp Union Church Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Research is underway to confirm the rest of David's biography.
Evidence suggests that he was united in wedlock with Catherine "Kitty Ann" Wetzel (Aug. 11, 1822-1901). Born near Alburtis, she "never lived more than four miles away from the place of her birth in the 78 years of her life," said the Allentown Leader.
The couple produced these known children -- Sabina Rothenberger, Anna Rothenberger, Catharine Rothenberger, James Alfred Rothenberger and Louisa Amanda Beers.
The 1860 federal census enumeration shows this family in Lower Macungie Township, with David earning a living as a day laborer, and the family surname spelled "Rodenberger." That year, day laborers Tilghman Boger (age 21) and Joseph Fishner (49) and 15-year-old Catharine Schantz lived under their roof.
Catherine outlived her spouse by more than three decades and maintained a home in Alburtis. In April 1901, she fell and broke her leg, prompting the Leader to say that she was "in a critical condition, owing to her advanced age." Her daughter came home from Perth Amboy, NJ to be at her side.
At the age of 78 years, nine months and 13 days, she passed away in late May 1901. An obituary in the Leader opined that "She was greatly beloved and respected by every one that knew her, and is mourned by hosts of friends."
Funeral services were held in the home of her son James, with burial in Longswamp Church. Reported the Leader, "In spite of the inclement weather the funeral was largely attended. Shortly before her death she had selected her own funeral text from John 14:28, from which a most impressive sermon was preached by Rev. Nevin W. Helffrich." The biblical verse she chose reads, in the King James Version: "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."
Her son James served as a pallbearer along with her nephew Theodore Mertz of Jersey City and sons-in-law Frank Druckenmiller of Perth Amboy, NJ and Chester Q. Beers of Alburtis.
Daughter Sabina Rothenberger (1852-1897) was born on April 9, 1852. She never married and maintained a home with her mother in Alburtis/Lower Macungie. In the fall of 1897, she underwent surgery in St. Luke's Hospital. She did not recover from the operation and died on Nov. 15, 1897 at the age of 45 years, seven months and six days. Her remains were brought to her brother James' home in Lock Ridge, near Alburtis, Lehigh County, where funeral services were held. Rev. Nevin W. Helffrich officiated at the funeral and burial, held in Longwamp Cemetery. The Allentown Leader printed an obituary.
Daughter Anna Rothenberger (1854-1933) was born in April 1854. In about 1870, when she was age 16, she wedded Frank L. Druckenmiller (March 1854-1929), also spelled "Drugenmiller." They relocated to Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, NJ where he earned a living as an engineer. They were the parents of Fay Druckenmiller. Frank died in 1929, with burial in Alpine Cemetery in Perth Amboy. Anna joined him in death four years later, in 1933.
Daughter Catharine Rothenberger (1858-1905) was born on June 1, 1858 in Lehigh County. At the age of 29, on Dec. 15, 1887, she was united in holy matrimony with 52-year-old medicine salesman Walter C. Scott Jr. (Feb. 22, 1835-1891), the son of Walter C. Scott Sr. and a native of St. Louis but a resident of Alburtis at the time. The nuptials were held in Alburtis, officiated by Rev. Nathan W. Helffrich. The groom was some 22 years older than his bride. They did not reproduce. During the Civil War, Walter had served with the General Recruiting Service, and possibly the 5th U.S. Cavalry. He reputedly received $72 per month in military pension payments as compensation for wartime service. Within two years of the wedding, Walter became afflicted with what the Allentown Morning Call said was "a nervous condition which caused his head to shake constantly." Then he claimed a miraculous cure.
He received the shock to his nerves during the war. He had been to several hospitals, but was pronounced incurable. His affliction became worse and he fell down in a fit. When he came to himself his malady had left him. He attributes his recovery to Divine Providence, to whom he has offered up almost constant appeals. It is a remarkable case.
Sadly, Walter's mental condition deteriorated, and perhaps his relationship with his wife. His thoughts turned to self-destruction. On Feb. 26, 1891, he shot himself three times in a suicide attempt. Said the Morning Call:
About one o'clock several men about the Gordon street Terminal depot saw the man enter the brick kiln of Mr. William Roth, which is just a few feet from the railroad, but they gave the matter little attention. An hour later when Mrs. Schoneberger was passing down Gordon street, she saw the body of a man lying in the kiln and she immediately informed several persons about the place to this effect. The latter went thither and found the man, lying no a pile of bricks with a revolver in his hand and an examination showed that he had three bullet holes in his head. He was still living, and his eyes were open and he appeared to be quite rational. Several men picked up the body and carried it to the Lehigh Valley depot at Gordon street, where, to questions asked him, he answered.... The reason assigned by him for the performance of this rash act is because his enemies are too numerous and he also said that he had family troubles.... The weapon used is a American bull dog revolver, 5 chambers, and when found it was tightly clinched in his hand. It still contained two loaded cartridges. In his pockets were found a pocket book, containing about $3 in cash and slips of paper. His discharge papers from the army were lying at his side. On the slips of paper found on his person, three of them contained the following: Walter C. Scott, Alburtis, Lehigh County, Pa. My wife lives in Alburtis." Thesw were written in ink and on the back of one was found: "I am a disable Soldier. I am a pensonere on the U.S. penson Roll." Another piece of paper contained the following, written in pencil: "I like all the Book of Proverbs and all the Book of Psalm."
Examining physicians deemed that he would die of his injuries, and he was sent by train to St. Luke's Hospital. The bullets were removed from his skull, and he was sent home. But he contracted cholera at home and passed into eternity on March 19, 1891. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery. Catharine lived for another 14 years as a widow. She attempted to obtain a military pension for her husband's wartime service, but her claim was rejected. [Widow App. #521.208]. When her sister Sabina died in 1897, Catharine was named in the newspaper obituary. She was carried away by the Angel of Death on Aug. 4, 1905.
Son James Alfred Rothenberger (1860-1936) was born on May 6, 1860 in Lower Macungie Township. At the age of 20, unmarried, in 1880, he resided with his mother and earned a living as a laborer. He was united in holy wedlock with Mary Ellamanda Romig (1855-1933), of Salisbury Township, Lehigh County, the daughter of Thomas and Anna (Miller) Romig. The known children born to this marriage were Annie C. Miller, William Rothenberger, Mrs. Lawrence Schmidt, John Rothenberger and Mrs. William Neith. In 1897, they lived in Lock Ridge, near Alburtis. For 47 years, he was employed at the Alburtis furnace of Thomas Iron Company, with the last 37 spent as a locomotive engineer at the plant. He belonged to the Friendly Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Reformed congregation of the Longswamp Church. His final years were spent in Alburtis, in a home on Franklin Street. Burdened with chronic heart and artery disease, at the age of 76, he suffered a heart attack and stroke and died two days later on Aug. 29, 1936. John Rothenberger of Alburtis signed the death certificate. Burial was in Longswamp Church Cemetery, with funeral services presided by Rev. Donald Englert, pastor of the family church. An obituary in the local newspaper reported that he was survived by 25 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Louisa Amanda Rothenberger (1863- ? ) was born in 1863 or 1864 in Alburtis. She was but a girl of three when her father died. As a young unmarried woman, she learned to sew and became a tailoress. On April 22, 1893, in nuptials held in Allentown, the 30-year-old Louisa was joined in wedlock with 42-year-old Chester Q. Beers (Nov. 18, 1850-1906), son of James and Lucinda (Newhart) Beers and a native of Whitehall, Lehigh County. Rev. Frederick A. Kolb officiated. Chester was a locomotive engineer at the time of marriage. They bore two known daughters, Marion Beers and Alva Beers. With their home in Alburtis, Louisa enjoyed hosting visits from her Druckenmiller nieces of Perth Amboy, NJ. She was a member of the Lockridge Presbyterian Church of Alburtis. Tragedy rocked the family when Chester was diagnosed in 1906 with cancer of the stomach and bowels. He declined rapidly and succumbed, at the age of 56, on Nov. 22, 1906. His remains were placed into rest in Lehigh Church Cemetery. Louisa endured his death and lived for another three decades. Her home in the mid-1930s was on Franklin Street in Emmaus. She died 19 days after her 73rd birthday on April 24, 1936. Rev. J. Scott Butt of Allentown led the funeral services held at the home and then at the Lehigh Church Cemetery.
~ Daughter Anna "Carolina" Rothenberger ~
Daughter Anna "Carolina" Rothenberger (1832-1859) was born on Jan. 26, 1832.
She grew up in Longswamp Township but apparently never married. When the federal census was made in 1850, the 18-year-old Carolina dwelled at home with her parents.
The Grim Reaper cut her life away at the age of 27 years, one month and five days on March 1, 1859.
She is in eternal rest in Longswamp Union Church Cemetery. A grave marker, inscribed in German, stands today at the grave. [Find-a-Grave] Among the other texts on the face of the grave is the text on which her funeral sermon was preached -- Lukas "Luke" 8:52 -- which reads (in the King James Version): "And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth."
~ Daughter Adlina Rothenberger ~
Daughter Adlina Rothenberger (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838.
~ Son Jacob J. Rothenberger ~
Son Jacob J. Rothenberger (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845, most likely in Longswamp Township, Berks County.