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Philip Bergh was a grandson of Philip Bergh, one of the first settlers of "Kneiskerndorf." The old gentleman left but two sons, Abram and Philip, to perpetuate the family name. The latter dying childless, the Berghs of today are the descendants of Abram Bergh.
Philip, Jr., as he was familiarly known was born upon the old homestead in October, 1794. His early days were passed as was the custom of that time, in laboring upon the farm. He was possessed of a good, common English education.
In 1815, he was married to Catherine E. Sidney, of the same "dorf", who is still living at the age of eighty-nine, in the full possession of her mental faculties, and is, as her husband's portrait shows him to have been, a true type of the old stock.. The year following their marriage they removed to Breakabeen, upon the farm still owned in part by the family. A few years afterward, he purchased a half interest in the grist-mill there, and in 1838, the entire property. That year he built the present structure now owned by his son, Washington Bergh.
Mr. Bergh was a member of the Lutheran church, and for many years an elder, and was one of those sturdy, quiet, yet earnest Christians, in whom confidence might be placed without fear. In politics he was a Democrat, and was honored by his townsmen with an election to the office of supervisor for three terms, and various other offices. As a business man he was just, prompt, and accommodating, as many will testify, who found aid and comfort when in distress, through the generosity of Mr. Bergh. He was successful in his business and accumulated a large property. He died July 22, 1874, at the age of eighty years, leaving a community in which he was highly appreciated, and an honored family to mourn his death.
His children were as follows:--Washington, David P., Mrs. David Zeh, Mrs. Henry W. Becker, Mrs. Stephen Nelson, Mrs. Jacob W. Zeh, Mrs. Washington Mackey, Mrs. Peter M. Becker, and Mrs. John J. Zeh.
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