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Biographical Notes of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania


by John William Barr

"B" Surnames

BONAWITZ, MAJOR BEN; who owned the largest part of what is now called the annex to Pine Grove, served in the war in Baltimore, 1814, as a Lieut. in one of the companies He had a family of eight children, four sons and four daughter.'s; three of the sons served in the Civil War, John, Frederick and Jacob, Ben died in 1855. Caroline was married to Anthony Kline and lived in Pottsville. Eliza was married to Mr. Hartman and lived in Reading; Barbara was married to J. L.. Snyder and lived in Pine Grove; Sarah was married to John Thoma and lived in Pine Grove Township. Some of his progeny are living in Pottsville and Reading.

BONAWITZ, JOHN, a brother to Ben, also served in the war at Baltimore in 1814; he had two sons and three daughters. John and William both served in the Civil War. John was killed in the mines. One daughter was married to Michael Minnig; one to James Rohrer, and one to John Fegley.

BONAWITZ, GEORGE, another brother to Ben, had two sons and two daughters, both sons served in the Civil War; Daniel was killed in the battle of Spottsylvania, John lives in Lebanon; both daughters were married and moved away from Pine Grove.

BONAWITZ, POLLY, a sister, was married to John Keiser and moved to Womeisdorf, Berks Co.

BARR, JOHN, came from Berks Co., in 1810 located on a farm two miles South of Pine Grove, now owned by the Weimers at Bxmoor, sold it and bought what is now the Eagle Hotel, lived there till about 1828, bought a farm in Lebanon Co., lived there one year, returned to Pine Grove and built the house where George W. Gensemer lives. He had four sons and four daughters: George, Paul, Jacob and John, Jr. The daughters married as follows: Polly to John Snyder, Sarah to Jacob Huber, Susan to William Lutz, Eliza to Henry Wile. He owned considerable property in Pine Grove. He was guardian for Michael Fritz who learned the trade of Tanner and established the first team tannery in Schuylkill Co. at Friedensburg. He served in the war at Baltimore in 1814. John Barr was the first post master in Pine Grove.

BRANT, PAUL, was born in Germany Nov. 3, 1792, and died Nov. 14, 1863, he kept store at one time in the house where Mrs. A. Wigton now lives, also in the room where Christ & Rehrer now have their store and at one time in what is now the Mansion House. When he retired from business he was elected Justice of the Peace and lived where Col. John Earnest has his home. What is now the post office was his squire's office; he had three daughters; Elizabeth was married to Mr. Mace, Emma was married to Henry Seidel, Angeline remained single.

BRENNER, JACOB, SR., was a laborer, he lived in what is now the annex to Pine Grove; he had three sons and one daughter. The daughter was married to a man by the name of Koch who lived at Lorberry; the sons were Jacob, George and Jonathan. George moved to South Bend, Ind..; Jonathan was in the Civil War, died in the service; Jacob Brenner, Jr., was a carpenter, was married to a daughter of Henry Reinoehl, Sr. He built the house on Union street near the Overhead Bridge. He had three sons: William, a machinist, was foreman for Robert Allison at Pt. Carbon. David was also a machinist. William and David were in the Civil War. Solomon died young.

BRENNER, NICHOLAS, came from Germany in 3851. He was a stone mason by trade and became a builder and contractor. He built the house where William Ley lives, the stone arch at Lorberry, the building association houses in South Tulpehocken street and on Pottsville Street. He owned the Eagle Hotel, the house where John Schiappich lives and several farms He had three sons and three daughters: Nicholas, Jr., kept the Eagle Hotel for some years, Francis lives in Colorado, John lives in Reading and works for the P. & R. R. R., Mary was married to W. S. Werntz, Sarah was a music teacher, Josephine was married to Samuel Haug and lives in Reading.

BRETZIUS, MICHAEL, a tanner by trade, worked for John A. Bechtel and for D. and J. Gensemer. He had two sons and one daughter. He served in the Civil War and both sons served in the Spanish American War. Hezekiah lives in Reading.

BOWEN, LONDON, was born in Pine Grove Township. He was a farmer, came to Pine Grove, lived in the house where George W. Gensemer lives, built the house where Amos Boughter has store, carried on the hardware and plumbing business for a few years, sold out and moved to Perkasie.

BARR, GEORGE, a son of John Barr, was born in Berks County, April 3, 1803, died Sept. 22, 1886. He came to Pine Grove with his father in 1810. He learned the tanning trade with Michael Fritz at Friedensburg; after he was free he worked for his uncle for one year near Reading then came back to Schuylkill County and built a tannery in Snyder Valley, halfway between Pine Grove and Friedensburg, where he carried on the tanning business for three years, then sold out and lived on a farm owned by his father in Lebanon County, farmed from 1829 to 1841, moved to Pine Grove and bought the property now owned by the P. & R. Go. where the tower is, carried on the butchering business till 1845, went in the store and coal business, the firm being Snyder, Barr & Wile, kept store where Thomas Leffler lived. Half way between Tremont and Donalson they built the first breaker in the west end of the county, they built what was called Frogtown in Tremont. He had three sons and two daughters, Josiah, William and Paul H. Paul and William served in the Civil War. Mary A. was married to Henry Harvey; J. W. Harvey who lives in Denver, Col., is a son; Adam is also a son, he is employed by the P. & R. R. R. Catherine was married to Josiah Stees. George was tax collector in 1844, was constable for 15 years.

BARR, PAUL H., was born in Lebanon County in 1838. He was a carpenter by trade and built the house where J. J. Krimmel lives. He was married to Martha J. Tracy, had one son and two daughters. Tracy Barr was educated in the Soldiers' Orphan School at Scotland, Cumberland County. He is a machinist by trade and lives in Virginia. Abbie and Edna are both married. Mr. Barr enlisted in the first three months' call, and in Co. B, 96th Regt. for three years, was wounded at Spottsylvania in 1864.

BARR, PAUL, another son of John Barr, Sr., was a tanner by trade, having learned the trade with Jonathan Seidel, and went in the store business in the house where George Gensemer lives. in 1842 he built the house where Theodore Barr now lives; he started the drug store and carried on the business till 1872 or till he died. He was postmaster for 24 years. Theodore took the business after his father's death. Paul Barr had four sons and one daughter; two sons died young; Henry wag married to Sallie Snyder and had three sons and one daughter. Theodore was married to Agnes Sutton, Rebecca was married to Rev. Smith.

BARR, THEODORE, a son of Paul Barr, has been in the drug business some 40 years, is also an insurance agent. He was postmaster under Cleveland's first administration. He is doing a fine business and has accumulated some wealth. He has one son and one daughter. Elwyn is in partnership with his father; he was married to Louisa Rank; his wife died about a year ago. He has one daughter. Eva is married to Charles Keeney, they have one son and one daughter. The drug business was established about 1845 and 1846 by Theodore's father and has been continuously in the family for about 70 years.

BARR, HARRY, a son of Paul, was born in 1838; he was married to Sallie Snyder. He was clerk in the Register and Recorder's office under Levi Huber; was clerk in the Union Canal freight office under J. H. Cowden from 1863 to 1871. Under the P. & R. he was station agent at Pine Grove and removed to Chester. He had three sons and one daughter. G. Douglas is married to Stella Wheeler and is employed as clerk for P. & R. at Harrisburg. Harry is married to Miss Kaufman and is Supervisor on P. & R. R. R. on the Lebanon Division. Lewis is married to Lillian Kitzmiller and is a conductor on a passenger train and lives at Trenton.

BARTO, RUBEN, was born in Fredericksburg, Lebanon Co., came to Pine Grove in 1864 in Graeff & Forry's store, then was clerk for Nutting & Lewis, afterwards for Miller, Graeff & Co. for some 30 years. He had two sons and one daughter Edward was clerk in the P. & R. weighing office for about 15 years, and was warden in the Schuylkill County Jail three years. He lives in Mt. Zion, Lebanon County, and is in the Mercantile business with his nephew. Reuben Barto's daughter was married to Morgan Parry. She has one son and one daughter.

BARTO, J. WILSON, was clerking in the Miller, Graeff & Co. office for a few years, then went in the hardware business with J. W. Minning for a few years, then bought Minning's interest and is carrying on the business in his own name. He has been in business for about 24 years and is doing a thriving business in plumbing and tinsmithing. He has four sons: Warren, who is with his uncle in business at Mt. Zion; Harry is helping in his father's business; Robert is a doctor; John is clerk in Gensemer & Salem's office; Pauline is married and lives in New York; Hilda is married to Harry Z. Gensemer; Marion is at home

BARTO, PENROSE, came from Lebanon Co., was a blacksmith and carried on the trade down where the Brommers are now. He went into the manufacturing of carriages on Tulpehocken street, opposite the Pine Grove Bank. He carried on an extensive business at one time. He had one son and three daughters. He served in the Civil War and afterwards removed to Tremont.

BOE, MICHAEL, was a colored man who lived on Carbon and Union street, used to drive team for Samuel Fry. moved to Rausch Creek. He had two sons and one daughter. They were a nice family.

BEUCHLER, JOHN, a farmer, lives next to Barto's Hardware Store, and is one of the oldest families in Pine Grove Township. He has served in Council and was Supervisor. He has two sons and one daughter. Merrit is married to Emma Richter and lives in Reading.

BAUTSCH, DANIEL, came to Pine Grove from Auburn. He was a blacksmith and worked for the P. & R. for many years. He was what you might call an expert, there was nothing that he could not make, from a quilt to an engine. He was missed in town when he died. He had two sons and three daughters. Calvin has a jewelry store and is doing a good business. He has been tax collector for some twenty years. He has one son and one daughter, the son is also a jeweler. William is a barber by trade; he carried on the business for some time, moved to Schuylkill Haven and is working for the P. & R. Co. One of the daughters is married to Ross Huber and lives in Reading. Two are married and live in Pine Grove.

BOUGHTER, AMOS, came from Lebanon Co., was clerking for Hummel for some time, then started in the Mercantile business. His place of business is on the north side of the Eagle Hotel where he does a safe business; he is married to Amelia Fegley; they have one son.

BARR, JOHN, JR., was a son of John Barr, Sr. He was a blacksmith by trade and carried on the business, at one time where the Evangelical Church now stands; boated for some time; and worked for J. L. Nutting in the blacksmith shop. He had two sons and five daughters. Edward served in the Civil War; John lives in Hegins; one daughter in New York, and one in Philadelphia; one at home, and two died.

BARR, JACOB, another son of John, Sr., was born in Berks Co.; he was a tailor by trade, and carried on the business for about 20 years. He owned the place which. Wellington Christ and Peter Keeney now own. He sold the place and moved on a farm two miles west of Pine Grove. He kept a clothing store at one time and the hotel in the annex where Mrs. Culbert now lives. He was married twice, and had a daughter with his first wife; she was married to Harry Neal. He had one son and three daughters with the second; the son was married to a Miss Werntz and lived in Harrisburg; one daughter was married to Mr. Gengle; Sue was married to Reuben Keeffer, and one to William Huber.

BROWN, WILLIAM H., was born in Shenandoah; is a civil engineer, and a graduate of Lehigh University; can:? to Pine Grove in 1905, and is supervisor on the Pine Grove and Mine Hill divisions of the P. & R. R. R. He was married in 1901 to Miss Mary White, of Pottsville.

BORTZ, JOHN, came from Berks Co. about 1890. He is a carpenter and has charge of all the bridges and the stations on the S. & S. and Mine Hill divisions of the P. & R. R. R. He has his own home. He has one daughter who is clerk in the Pine Grove Bank.

BOYER, M. H., came to Pine Grove in 1872. He was born in Reading, Dec. 6, 1837. He has been a dealer in lumber for 45 years. He built the beautiful home at the corner of Tulpehocken and Maple streets, and is one of the substantial merof town. He has served several terms in the School Board. He has three sons and five daughters. George W., one of the sons. is also in the lumber .business, and has a fine home right opposite his father's; he has several nice farms, and is engaged in sheep raising and fattening of cattle; he is at present in the school board. Frank is a graduate of Gettysburg College and Ann Arbor, Michigan; he is a lawyer located in Toledo, Ohio, and is single. Charles is also in the lumber business, he is married and lives in Reading. Margaret and Ella are teaching; Anna, Mary and Gertrude are at home. The Boyers have a large circle of friends.

BERGER, FRANK, was a tailor by trade, was stationary engineer at the foundry for J. L. Nutting; he had bunt a house near where Barto's Hardware Store is. He was married to Wm. Krick's daughter, and had two sons and one daughter. He had a brother, Nelson, who served in the Mexican War in 1846 and 1848, and two half sisters; Sarah married Richard Musser and lived in Muscatine, Iowa; Susan lived for many years with the Filbert family. Mr. Berger moved to South Bend, Indiana.

BATDORF, GEORGE, was a blacksmith by trade, and was car inspector for the P. & R. Co. at Pine Grove. He had two sons; he was married to Maria Longer, and built the house where Mrs. Nicholas Brenner now lives. He went from here to Mahanoy City.

BORDLEMAY, SIMON, came from Lebanon Co., was a barber and dealt in tobacco. He built the house where his widow lives. He did a good business and was a very sociable companion. He had one daughter, Loretta, who married George W. Dubbs. He served in the Civil War.

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