What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us



Johan 'George' Wetzel


George's grave in German, Longswamp

Johan "George" Wetzel was born on Nov. 10, 1817 in Longswamp Township, Berks County, the son of Johan "Peter" and Anna Margaretha (Gaumer) Wetzel.

He married Leah Lovina Conrad (May 9, 1819-1897), daughter of David and Catherine (Keinert) Conrad, also of Longswamp.

The couple produced these offspring -- Peter C. Wetzel, Maria Wetzel, Charles C. Wetzel, Caroline Wetzel, David C. Wetzel, Henry C. Wetzel, Lovina Wetzel, Sarah "Sally" Druckenmiller, Amanda Maria Rothenberger, Catharine "Katie" Wetzel and Levi Wetzel.

The 1850-1870 federal censuses show the family in Longswamp Township, with George's occupation in 1850 listed as "cooper" -- barrel-making -- and in 1860 and 1870 as a farmer.

The Wetzels endured an extreme loss in 1862 when diphtheria swept through the family and carried off five of their children -- Maria, Caroline, Lovina, Katie and Levi, all within six weeks of time.

George inherited his father's 30-acre homestead in Longswamp. He also acquired a 120-acre tract and at one time enlarged the old barn on the property.

They were members of the German Reformed Church. George served as an elder and deacon in the congregation. At one time, on the Democratic ticket, he was elected to the local school board.

Grief cascaded over the family when Leah died on Oct. 24, 1897, at the age of 78. The cause of her death is not known. Interment was in the burying ground of the Longswamp Church. No obituary has been located in the Reading newspapers of the era.


German-script graves at Longswamp, near the corner of Clay and Church Roads, of the 5 Wetzel children who died within 6 weeks of each other in 1860-1861. L-R: Lovina, Levi, Catharine, Caroline and Maria.



Leah's grave in German,

Longswamp Church Cemetery

A marker was erected at Leah's grave, inscribed entirely in German. At the bottom of the face was written the biblical chapter and verse on which her funeral sermon was preached -- Psalm 73:23, 24, 25. That passage (from the King James Version) reads:

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

After Leah's death, George moved into the residence of his married daughter Amanda Rothenberger in Longswamp.

He passed away at the age of 82 on Sept. 28, 1900. His remains were lowered into the earth in Longswamp Union Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

His sons Peter, Charles, David and Henry served as executors of the estate. Then in July 1901, they advertised that they were going to sell George's farm of 119 acres and 116 perches. The property bordered the farms of Henry Miller, Ed Butz, Dr. Hartzell, Franklin Moll, Saul and Long, Rittenhouse, William Trexler, Aaron Dankel and others. It included a log house, with three rooms on the first floor and four on the second. As well, it held a tenant house with three rooms on the first floor and two on the second; a "swiss barn;" wagon shed; two pig sties; two corn cribs; a spring house; and a spring of "never-failing water" at the houses and running water at the barn. "Two rich veins of magnetic iron ore are on the premises, ready oxplored to mine ore," read the ad in the Allentown Democrat. Of the acreage, 15 acres held heavy timber, 24 acres were "good pasture land," seven acres of meadow and 65 acres of "arable land in a high state of cultivation and the balance woodland. Choice fruit trees of all kinds are on the premises." The other property, containing 17 acres and five perches, featured a log and stone dwelling house, barn, three acres of heavy timber land, three-and-a-half acres of meadow and pasture, and the balance "arable land in a high state of cultivation. Fruit trees of all kinds..."

In 1911, the family was profiled in the book Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, published by J.L. Floyd & Co. of Chicago.


~ Son Peter C. Wetzel ~


Longswamp Church Cemetery


Son Peter C. Wetzel (1841-1911) was born on Jan. 6, 1841.

He was married to Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hoffman (Dec. 23, 1844-1911), daughter of Henry and Susanna (Moll) Hoffman.

They bore one son, Alfred H. Wetzel.

Over the years, Peter labored as a lime-burner, the last instance of which took place at the Hertzog limestone quarries. Said the Allentown Morning Call in May 1911, Peter "was engaged in burning lime on the Hertzog farm for farmers throughout this vicinity for many years. and only retiring from the business last fall. He was a staunch democrat, was well known throughout the county and is well to do financially, ownign two beautiful residences in town, on Railroad street and a farm about one mile west of town."

As they aged, the couple made a home with their son near Alburtis in Longswamp Township, Berks County.

In early April 1911, Lizzie suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, from which she initially survived but proved to be fatal.

At the age of 70 years, three months and 18 days, suffering from valvular heart disease and asthma, Peter passed away on April 24, 1911. Burial was in Longswamp Church Cemetery, following funeral services led by Rev. Meckstroth. Among those attending the funeral were his sister Sally Druckenmiller and her adult offspring Erwin H. and Lizzie Druckenmiller, Herbert Druckenmiller and Percival Druckenmiller. A story in the Morning Call said that the funeral "was very largely attended. Deceased rested in a heavy square casket with silver mountings and was reposed, in a black shroud. He is survived by his widow who was unable to attend his funeral as she was struck with apoplexy a few months ago and is in a critcal condition. She is bed fast ever since and is not able to speak anymore.... After a short sermon at the house, the funeral cortege proceeded to Longswamp Church of which deceased was a life long member, where the regular funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Wm. L. Meckstroth, pastor of the Reformed denomination and interment made in the cemetery adjoining the church." Son Alfred signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Lizzie only lasted a few more months after the death of her spouse. She succumbed on July 23, 1911 at home, at the age of 66. She was survived by a brother, Jonathan Hoffman. Rev. Meckstroth again preached at her funeral service.


Wetzel family plot in the Longswamp Church Cemetery


Son Alfred H. Wetzel (1867-1928) was born on May 9, 1867. When he was about 21 years of age, in 1888, he was joined in wedlock with 19-year-old Rosa Conrad (June 8, 1869-1952), daughter of Daniel and Rachel (Reinert) Conract of Longswamp Township. They lived on a farm near Alburtis and Longswamp and produced two children, Elmer P. Wetzel and Elizabeth M. "Lizzie" Werst. In 1910, when the federal census enumeration was made, Alfred worked as an engineer in a local iron ore mine. He also farmed. The family were members of the Longswamp Evangelical and Reformed Church, today's Longswamp United Church of Christ. He also belonged to the Alburtis Council of the F.P.A. At the age of 60, Alfred suffered from heart disease and then contracted pleurisy and pneumonia, with a toxic infection developing in the intestine. He died on Jan. 27, 1928. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Longswamp Church Cemetery. Rosa survived her husband by nearly a quarter of a century. Toward the end, she went to live with her son Elmer at 1009½ South Sixth Street. She was burdened with senility as well as an infected throat ("pharyngitis") and then contracted bronchial pneumonia. Just two weeks shy of her 83rd birthday, she died at home on May 25, 1952. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call, saying she "was the last of 10 children in her family."

  • Longswamp Church Cemetery
    Grandson Elmer P. Wetzel (1888-1958) was born on June 20, 1888. In about 1909, when he was 20 years of age, he was joined in marriage with 19-year-old Emma M. Frey (April 7, 1890-1984). Circa 1910, United States Census records show the newlywed Wetzels living in Lower Macungie, Lehigh County, with Elmer's occupation listed as a weaver in a local silk mill. Later, Elmer secured employment as a trolleyman with the Lehigh Valley Transit Company. The couple lived at 1009½ South Sixth Street in 1952-1958. Elmer was burdened over the years with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a sense of tingling and weakness which spreads from the legs and feet to the upper body. At the death of his mother in 1952, he was the informant for her death certificate but signed the document in a very shaky hand. At the age of 70, on Oct. 3, 1958, Elmer suffered a heart attack and died in Allentown Hospital. Burial was in Longswamp Church Cemetery. Emma lived for another 26 years in widowhood. She joined her husband in death on July 14, 1984, at the age of 94 years, three months and seven days.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth M. "Lizzie" Wetzel (1891- ? ) was born in May 1891. Evidence suggests that, as a teenager, and prior to marriage, she bore a child. The youth's identity is not yet know. She supported herself as a single woman as a silk weaver. Then on Oct. 16, 1909, the 18-year-old Elizabeth was united in holy wedlock with 24-year-old Harvey E. Werst (1885- ? ), son of Peter and Judith Werst. Rev. W.L. Meckstroth officiated at the wedding, held in Mertztown. The couple initially resided with Elizabeth's parents in Longswamp, with Harvey working as a stationery engineer. Later, by 1952, their residence was in Emmaus, Lehigh County.


~ Son Charles C. Wetzel ~


Wetzel family plot in the Longswamp Church Cemetery


Son Charles C. Wetzel (1844-1925) was born on Feb. 3, 1844 in Berks County.

He was united in holy matrimony with Elizabeth Moll (June 4, 1842-1914), daughter of Christopher and Susan (Repp) Moll.

The Wetzels were the parents of Rosa Schmoyer, Oscar Wetzel, Mary M. Stengel, Lillie S. Dierolf, Sallie Anna Beitler and H. Ellsworth Wetzel.

They belonged to the Reformed congregation of the Longswamp Church, and Charles belonged to the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America of Siesholtzville. Charles was a longtime shoemaker, retiring in 1913. Their home for many years was along the road between Siesholtzville and Hsingersville.

In the spring of 1914, Elizabeth suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, and the couple moved into the home of their son Oscar in Alburtis/Lehigh Church. Elizabeth lingered for three months until she had another stroke and death swept her away at home on May 20, 1914. Rev. W.L. Meckstroh preached the funeral sermon, with interment was in Longswamp Church Cemetery. In addition to her children, the Allentown Morning Call reported in an obituary that she was survived by sisters Mrs. David Rauch, Mrs. Abraham Heydt and Mrs. Albert Snyder.

As a widower, Charles continued to dwell with their son Oscar. Diagnosed with heart valve disease, Charles fell over suddenly while seated at the breakfast table at the age of 81 on Sept. 22, 1925. Dr. E.H. Mohr of Alburtis was called, but Charles was pronounced dead. His remains were lowered into rest in Longswamp Cemetery following funeral services conducted by Rev. W.L. Meckstroth. Son Oscar signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call noted that his survivors included 38 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. Those who provided flowers for the funeral included a spray of carnations representing Charles' age at death, from daughter Lillie and family; a spray of astors from son Ellsworth and family; a gasket of gladiolas from the Stengels and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Conrad; palms and carnations from grandson William and his wife; a spray of lilies from his sister Amanda Rothenberger; a spray of chrysanthemums from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schmoyer; a basket of gladioli from Roy Stengel and Thomas Richard and family; a spray of carnations and lilies from neighbors on East Second Street; a basket of mixed flowers from Wetzel grandchildren; a basket of dahlias from great-grandchildren Arline, Verna and Alton; and a hand bouquet from grandsons Raymond and Lloyd. Son Oscar and his wife provided a slumber robe.

Daughter Rosa Wetzel (1867-1916) was born on Feb. 27, 1867. She was joined in matrimony with Horatio Schmoyer (Feb. 5, 1861-1934), son of David and Eliza (Dankel) Schmoyer. The couple bore these known children, Charles Schmoyer, Clarence Schmoyer, Wilson Schmoyer, Mrs. W.L. Mauer, Mrs. Clarence Hauser, Mrs. Robert Moll, Mrs. Herbert Lichtenwalner, Mrs. Howard Roth and Norman W. Schmoyer. Sadness blanketed the family on May 2, 1907 when four-year-old son Norman, stricken with diphtheria, passed away, with his tender remains placed into rest in Longswamp Church Cemetery. Horatio worked at his trade of carpentry and cabinet-making over the years. Said the Allentown Morning Call, "He was employed by furniture factories in Allentown for many years, his last position being with the Yeager company." They belonged to the Reformed congregation of the Longswamp Church, and Horatio was a member of the Fraternal Patriotic Americans of Alburtis. Their residence in 1914 was in Alburtis. Death cleaved apart the marriage on May 20, 1916 when the 49-year-old Rosa died suddenly of acute heart problems. She had spent the day driving in an automobile with her sister. Said the Allentown Democrat, "when they got to Beinigsville she complained of not feeling well. The machine was turned around and started home, but Mrs. Schmoyer died before medical aid could be gotten. Burial was in Longswamp Church Cemetery. After a period of grieving, Horatio married a second time to widow Matilda (Schiffert) Dreas ( ? -1952), widow of Alvin Dreas and daughter of Elias and Amilie (Klotz) Schiffert. Their union lasted for about 17 years until his demise on June 19, 1934. Funeral services were held in the home of his daughter Mrs. Maurer in Red Lion, with burial in Longswamp Church Cemetery. An obituary in the Morning Call gave the count of his survivors as 21 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Son Oscar Wetzel (1868-1942) was born on June 28, 1868 in Longswamp Township, Berks County. He was joined in holy marriage with Annie Reppert ( ? -1932?). The couple were the parents of a baker's dozen of children -- William Wetzel, Herbert Wetzel, George Wetzel, Alvin Wetzel, Clinton Wetzel, Milton Wetzel, Lloyd Wetzel, Raymond Wetzel, Mrs. Clarence Scherer, Mrs. Morris Long, Mabel Wetzel, Mrs Claude Rauch and a daughter who died young. Said the Allentown Morning Call, "For many years he was a farmer and then became a carpenter and woodworker in the Topton Furniture Co. Later he conducted the Keystone hotel in Alburtis but retired about [1938]." They lived in Lehigh Church in 1914 and then in about 1918 moved to Alburtis, Lehigh County. They were members of the Zion Lehigh Church's Reformed congregation. Sadly, Annie died in about 1932. Oscar lived for another decade in his home on West Second Street. At the age of 73, suffering from chronic kidney problems, he passed away at home on March 8, 1942. Burial was in the Zion Lehigh Church Cemetery, with Rev. William O. Wolford officiating at funeral services held in the home of son Herbert in Alburtis. An obituary in the Morning Call gave the count of his grandchildren at 37 and great-grandchildren as 10.


George Stengel's workplace, the Boyertown Casket Company



Church of the Blessed Sacrament, where the George Stengels worshipped

Daughter Mary M. Wetzel (1871-1946) was born on Jan. 17, 1871 in Berks County. She was twice married. Her first husband was Joseph Covely ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Seisholtzville and were the parents of Claude Covely. Later, she wedded her second spouse, George G. Stengel (Nov. 13, 1876-1949), a native of Washington Township and the son of German immigrants Benedict and Emma (Garman) Stengel. They were the parents of Elizabeth Fronheiser, Louise Reichard, Sidna Conrad and LeRoy Stengel. Their home for decades was in Bally, Berks County, PA. George spent his working career over 42 years as a cabinet-maker for Boyertown Burial Casket Company, retiring in 1945. He also occasionally was an auctioneer for local estate sales. Mary was a member of the Longswamp Evangelical and Reformed Church and George of the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Bally. He belonged to the Knights of St. George and St. Joseph's Beneficial Society and the Harleysville Beneficial Association as well as the Boyertown Nest of the Fraternal Order of Orioles. Burdened with hypertension and hardening of the arteries, Mary passed away at the age of 75 on Dec. 2, 1946. Interment was in Longswamp Church Cemetery. George survived for another three years, living in the home of married daughter Elizabeth on Main Street in Bally. He died on Dec. 6, 1949, at the age of 73. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call noted that he was survived by 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Claude W. Covely (1890-1964) was born in about 1890 in Seisholtzville. He married Agnes Melcher ( ? - ? ). The couple bore three children -- Anthony Covely, Rev. Herbert Covely and Josephine Moran. They resided in Allentown for many years with an address in the 1960s of 389 Turner Avenue. Claude earned income over the years as a silkworker. The family were members of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Allentown, and their son Herbert later became ordained and in 1964 was a Jesuit missionary serving in India. Sadly, Claude passed away at home at the age of 74 on Feb. 23, 1964. A requiem high mass was sung in the family church, with an obituary appearig in the Allentown Morning Call.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Stengel ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was united in holy matrimony with Charles H. Fronheiser (1907-1960), son of Ephraim and Sarah (Hart) Fronheiser of New Berlinville. The couple bore a daughter, Mary S. Cressman. They lived in Bally, where for 27 years Charles owned and operated a grocery store known as "Fronheiser's Self-Service Food Market," which advertised that "We Deliver Daily." They were members of the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, and he was a charter member of the Bally Lions Club. Sadly, Charles' health failed, and he was admitted to Pottstown Hospital. He died there at the age of 53 on Aug. 26, 1960. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call. A requiem high mass was held in the family church.


Ad for Fronheiser's Market, 1954
Annual Union Year-book of the Zionsville Evangelical and Reformed Charge, 1853-1954



  • Granddaughter Louise Stengel ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded (?) Reichard ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Reichert." They dwelled in 1949-1964 in Bally.
  • Granddaughter Sidna Stengel ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). As a young woman, she was employed in the Great American Knitting Mill. In June 1924, she was joined in wedlock with Fred Conrad ( ? - ? ), son of Ephraim Conrad of Boyertown. The Allentown Morning Call noted that Rev. A.F. Scherf performed the nuptials, and that the couple was "quietly married." Fred earned a living as an automobile salesman at the time of marriage. Their home in 1949-1964 was in Boyertown.
  • Grandson LeRoy W. Stengel (1899-1958) was born in about 1899 in Bally. He married Carrie Leister ( ? -1981). Their children were LeRoy S. Stengel, Roland J. Stengel, Gloria L. Gosch and Mary E. Hunsberger. They lived in Boyertown. LeRoy was known for owning and operating a grocery store in Birdsboro, Berks County, and for serving as postmaster in Bally. The family were members of St. Columbkill Catholic Church and its Holy Name Society in Boyertown, and he belonged to the Knights of St. George of Bally as well as the Fraternal Order of Orioles of Boyertown, Keystone Fire Company, Liberty Fire Company of New Berlinsville, the Pennsylvania Grocers Association and the Birdsboro and Pike Township sportsman's clubs. Anxiety blanketed the family during World War II when sons LeRoy and Roland both joined the U.S. Navy. Tragically, LeRoy, a seaman first class, was killed in what the Navy called a "marine disaster" when his merchant ship, the William H. Welsch, was wrecked off the coast of Scotland on Feb. 26, 1944. He had been in the military for only seven months. His remains were laid to rest in territory controlled by the Allies. Later, in mid-July 1948, the body was returned to Berks County for reburial in the cemetery of the Most Blessed Catholic Sacrament. Their address in 1948-1958 was 627 Rhoads Avenue, Boyertown. LeRoy died at home at the age of 59 on Jan. 25, 1958. After becoming widowed, Carrie made a home in Sinking Spring, Berks County. She further endured heatache in February 1971 when her 51-year-old daughter Mary Hunsbergr was killed in an automobile accident. Carrie was admitted as a resident of Hassler Home in Shillington, where she succumbed at the age of 81 on Aug. 8, 1981.

Daughter Lillie S. Wetzel (1875-1946) was born on Sept. 20, 1875. She wedded Harvey F. Dierolf (Jan. 4, 1878-1934), son of Jeremiah and Mary Ann (Frey) Dierolf and a native of Washington Township, Berks County. Their children were Russell Dierolf, Ralph Dierolf and Verna Dierolf. They dwelled in Bechtelsville in 1914-1916 and Boyertown, PA in 1925-1939. Harvey earned a living as a realtor. At the age of 56, he was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died on April 6, 1934. Interment was in Fairview Cemetery in Boyertown. Lillie outlived her spouse by a dozen years and lived at 110 North Reading Avenue in Boyertown. Death came at the age of 66 on July 11, 1946 from the effects of heart disease and hardening of the arteries. Her remains were placed into repose in Fairview Cemetery.


Fairview Cemetery in Boyertown, where Harvey and Lillie (Wetzel) Dierolf and H. Ellsworth and Lizzie (Snyder) Wetzel rest for eternity.



Huff's Church

Daughter Sallie Anna Wetzel (1880-1914) was born on Jan. 3, 1880. She was united in wedlock with James Beitler ( ? - ? ). The couple's address in 1914 was Fogelsville. At the age of 34, apparently while pregnant, Sallie began to suffer from multiple abscesses in her pelvic region due to a rupture of her fallopian tubes. She was admitted to Allentown Hospital, but she could not rally. She succumbed there after a 16-days' stay on June 16, 1914. Following funeral services at the family home, her tired remains were lowered into eternal rest in Huff's Church Cemetery. Clinton L.A. Schmoyer of Breinigsville was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. A funeral notice appeared in the Allentown Morning Call, and a notice in the gossip columns of the Allentown Democrat said that the village of Fogelsville was grieved over her sudden passing.

Son H. Ellsworth Wetzel (1883-1939) was born on Nov. 10, 1883 in Longswamp Township. The Allentown Morning Call once used these words to describe him -- "respected" -- "well known" -- and "popular." Ellsworth married Lizzie Snyder ( ? - ? ). They produced four children -- George Wetzel, Charles Wetzel, Mrs. Roy Wiedner and Sallie Wetzel. Early in his working career, he labored near Seisholtzville as a stone crusher. Then for 17 years, he was employed at the Singmaster coal and lumberyard in Allentown. They were members of Solomon's Reformed Church at Macungie, and Ellsworth belonged to the Friendly Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows, the Macungie Encampment, the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America and the Tox-E-Lox Tribe of the International Order of Red Men. Their residence was on East Main Street in Macungie in 1939. Ellsworth was ill for the last few years of his life. He died at home on April 30, 1939. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery, with an obituary printed in the Morning Call.


~ Son David C. Wetzel ~


Longswamp Church Cemetery


Son David C. Wetzel (1847-1916) was born on Feb. 28, 1847 in Longswamp Township. At the age of 17, he was taught the trade of shoemaking by his brother Charles and was known as a "cobbler."

In about 1871, when he was 24 years of age, he was joined in holy wedlock with Amelia Meitzler (April 27, 1848-1942), daughter of William and Amelia (Ruth) Meitzler of Hereford Township.

Their children were Irwin D. Wetzel  and Minnie Moll.

They initially lived in the Longswamp area and in about 1873 relocated to Seisholtzville, Hereford Township, Berks County. The family appears to have remained in Seizholtzville for the rest of their lives but continued to belong to the Reformed Church in Longswamp. Said the Genealogical and Biographical Annals, "He usually had three or four apprentices, and in a winter season made several hundred pairs of shoes by hand, shoe factories in those days being unknown. He and his family occupy a house that was built abouit the time of the Revolutionary war, if not earlier; it is of log construction, but is now weather-boarded, and in winter is very warm."

The Wetzels enjoyed attending the Hill Church picnic circa 1900. In February 1904, David suffered a theft from his smokehouse of two smoked sausages, two pieces of smoked beef and one piece of flitch (bacon). The Wetzels hosted the Gery reunion in a picturesque grove on their farm in August 1912. In reporting on the event, the Allentown Leader said "This clan is one of the largest in the Eastern States and the reunions are annually attended by an immeise throng, some coming from Indiana." More than 1,000 people attended. He also was a devoted member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America. Their home in 1916 was in Alburtis, Lehigh County.

Having contracted chronic kidney disease, David suffered for nine months and died at the age of 69 on June 13, 1916. Burial was in Longswamp Reformed Church Cemetery in Mertztown, with Rev. Meckstroth officiating.

Now widowed, Amelia spent long periods of time in the homes of her children. She was with son Irwin in Norristown in the late winter of 1918. Later she went to live with her married daughter Minnie Moll in East Greenville, PA, where she spent the final two decades of life. She died there at the age of 94 on Aug. 5, 1942. Rev. Donald Engler led funeral services at the Longswamp Church Cemetry. The Allentown Morning Call printed an obituary.

Son Irwin David Wetzel (1878-1953) -- also spelled "Erwin" -- was born on May 28, 1878 in Seisholtzville. At the age of 14, he and his future wife were members of the confirmation class of 1892 of Longswamp Reformed Church, led by Rev. Nevin Helffrich. On Sept. 12, 1897, when he was 19 years of age, Irwin wedded Rosa Frey ( ? - ? ), daughter of Wilson Frey. They bore these children -- Ambrose Wetzel, Herbert Wetzel, Warren Wetzel and Minerva Wetzel. Their home circa 1900-1942 was in Morristown, PA. In August 1900, the Allentown Leader noted that Irwin "went to Norristown a few weeks ago in search of work, [and] is now engaged by John Reitnauer, a tinsmith of Huffs Church." He was injured in an accident at the mines at Rittenhouse Gap in December 1900. In March 1901, the Leader said that Irwin, "who worked at the Rittenhouse Gap mines, is now working for Evan Master, who is engaged in quarrying stones for building purposes and tombstones." During the summer of 1912, he is known to have been employed at the Allentown brick works. They made a residence in Norristown, Montgomery County in 1918. He finally settled into the occupation of woodworking, making patterns for molds. He held a reputation as a popular musician, having been a charter member of the Tall Cedars Band and Norristown Band and was honorary president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians. He belonged to the Christ Evangelical Reformed Church of Norristown, the Norristown Hancock Fire Company and the Charity lodge of the Masons. Irwin also was a member of the Fox-E-Lox Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men and held an interest in making sure tribes throughout the state were covered by self-sustaining insurance. When their Longswamp Church confirmation class celebrated its 50th reunion, in Oct. 1942, Irwin and Rosa were among 14 alumni to attend and were pictured in a related story in the Allentown Morning Call. In the early 1950s, Irwin and Rosa lived at 517 Noble Street in Norristown. Sadly, he suffered a heart attack and, although admitted to Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, died there 48 hours later on April 20, 1953. His remains were placed into eternal repose in the Jeffersonville Presbyterian Church churchyard.

  • Grandson Ambrose Wetzel lived in Macungie in 1953.
  • Grandson Albert D. Wetzel dwelled in 1953 in Norristown.
  • Grandson Warren Wetzel was at home with his parents in 1953.

Daughter Minnie Wetzel (1886-1963) was born on Dec. 8, 1886 in Berks County. She married Harry O. Moll (July 8, 1879-1945), a resident of Seizholtzville and the son of Reuben and Kate Moll. Their offspring were Stanley Moll, Pearl Miller, Verna Schlicher, Bertha Kline, George R. Moll and Elmer Moll. The family were farmers. In 1942-1945, their home was at 416 Fourth Street in East Greenville and in 1953 in Red Hill, Montgomery County. Stricken at the age of 66 with kidney failure and hypertension, Harry suffered a cerebral embolism and died two weeks later on Aug. 23, 1945. His remains were placed into eternal rest in Longswamp Church Cemetery. Minnie outlived her spouse by almost two decades. She resided during that time on Montgomery Avenue in Pennsburg, Montgomery County. She was felled by a heart attack and succumbed on May 19, 1963, at age 76. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call noted that her survivors included 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Stanley Moll lived in Red Hill.
  • Granddaughter Pearl Moll wedded Henry B. Miller and dwelled in Pennsburg.
  • Granddaughter Verna Moll married Samuel Schlicher and made a home in East Greenville.
  • Granddaughter Bertha Moll was joined in holy wedlock with Wilmer Kline. They resided in 1963 in Pennsburg.
  • Grandson George Moll lived in Pennsburg.
  • Grandson Elmer Moll dwelled in rural Pennsburg.


Huff's Church

~ Son Henry C. Wetzel ~

Son Henry C. Wetzel (1849-1924) was born on Feb. 17, 1849 in Longswamp Township.

He grew up laboring on his father's farm.

In 1875, at the age of about 26, he was united in matrimony with Hannah Susanna Bittenbender (Aug. 21, 1850-1934), daughter of Christopel "Christopher" and Abigail "Abby" (Rush) Bittenbender and granddaughter of Jacob and Susanna (Jung) Bittenbender of Hereford Township.

Said the Genealogical and Biographical Annals, "When twenty-one years of age he began farming for his father at Red Lion, continuing thus for fourteen years. In 1888 he purchased the Christopher Bittenbender farm on which he has since lived, a tract of 112 acres. The present house on this farm was built by Jacob Bittenbender, Sr.  Mr. Wetzel in 1895 built the present barn. He has a valuable property and the excellent condition of farm and buildings testifies to his good management and prosperity."


Huff's Church

The Wetzels produced an only son, Ambrose Wetzel.

They family were near neighbors to Henry's parents in 1880 in Longswamp and boarded in the farmhouse of Jacob and Elizabeth Boyer. They dwelled in the Seisholtzville community circa 1895 and then in Hereford Township, Berks County in 1900 as shown in the federal census enumeration. By 1900, the 51-year-old Henry earned a living as a landlord, likely renting his farm to tenants who paid with a previously determined percentage of their produce at harvest-time.

Unspeakable grief swept over Henry and Hannah when May 1895 their only son, age 19, died in from what appears to have been food poisoning after attending a local wild west show.

Over the years, Henry won elections to township offices as a Democrat. Henry and Hannah were members of Huff's Church, and he served the congregation as an elder. He retired in 1900, at the age of 51. Remaining in Seisholtzville, he was named in the 1916 Allentown Democrat obituary of his brother David.

In 1910, still in rural Hereford, Henry was recorded by the census-taker as having his "own income." Both he and Hannah were marked as speaking German as their native tongue. The couple remained in Hereford during the decade of the 1910s and are listed there in the 1920 United States Census, with Henry having no occupation.


Huff's Reformed Church Cemetery in Sept. 2019



Ambrose's grave, in German, Huff's Church

The Wetzels resided in the town of Barto, Washington Township in 1924.

Admitted to Allentown's Sacred Heart Hospital for surgery at the age of 75, for kidney disease and an enlarged prostate, Henry died on Sept. 8, 1924. The Allentown Morning Call reported that among those traveling to the funeral from Allentown were Henry's sister Sallie Druckenmiller in company with John Druckenmiller, Irwin Druckenmiller, Lizzie Millhouse and Myron Barner.

Hannah outlived her spouse by a decade. She was named as a surviving sibling in the 1932 Morning Call obituary of her sister Mary Ann Fegley.

She was stricken with cerebral apoplexy and died a week later at the age of 84 on Sept. 29, 1934. Mrs. J.A. Reidenauer of Barto signed the death certificate. Her remains wee lowered into repose next to her husband's in Huff's Church Cemetery. Unlike the grave marker of their son, from nearly four decades earlier, both of the parents' markers are inscribed entirely in English.

Son Ambrose Wetzel (1876-1895) was born on Jan. 30, 1876 in Berks County. He grew to manhood in the community of Seisholtzville. On the fateful day of May 16, 1895, he went to Allentown to watch Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He "then ate a plate of ice cream, after which he became chilly," said the Allentown Leader. "The following morning he became seriously ill, and lay in the same condition until his death took place. The funeral was held at the Huff's Church on Thursday last." His age at death was 19 years, three months and 17 days. An upright marker was erected at the grave, inscribed entirely in the old German script. The top of the marker's face features what appears to be a crown with a cross in the center, while at the bottom is carved a sketch of a church building, possibly Huff's itself.


~ Daughter Sarah A. "Sally" (Wetzel) Druckenmiller ~

Daughter Sarah A. "Sally" Wetzel (1853-1947) was born on July 30, 1853 in Berks County.

When she was 22 years of age, in about 1875, she married Addison M. Druckenmiller (June 6, 1852-1907), son of Daniel and Catherine (Miller) Druckenmiller. Leading their nuptials was Rev. Helfrick of the Longswamp Reformed Church.

They produced five children -- Lizzie C. Millhouse, Erwin H. Druckenmiller, John Druckenmiller, Herbert Druckenmiller and Percival Druckenmiller.

Addison was a longtime shoe maker. The Druckenmillers dwelled in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County in the 1870s. Then for three decades they lived in Hereford Township, Berks County. Then in 1905, they relocated to Emmaus, Lehigh County.


Heavy snowfall in Upper Milford Township, early 1900s


Having contracted organic heart disease in about 1904, Addison carried the burden for three years until death took him away at the age of 55 on Oct. 11, 1907. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in the Emmaus Lutheran and Reformed Church Cemetery.

Sally outlived her spouse by four decades, variously making her home with her four sons. In 1916, she was in Allentown and in 1927 in Emmaus. Her address in 1944-1947 was in the home of Mrs. Margaret Young at 56 Berks Street in Easton, Northampton County. When she reached her 91st birthday in 1944, she was pictured with a feature story in the Allentown Morning Call. At the age of 93, afflicted with hardening of the arteries, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died on April 25, 1947. Burial was in the Lutheran and Reformed Cemetery in Emmaus, with Herbert Druckenmiller signing the death certificate.

Son Erwin H. Druckenmiller (1875-1954) was born on Oct. 17, 1875 in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. On or about Dec. 11, 1905, he wedded Lizzie (?). They were the parents of Marion Druckenmiller and Martin Druckenmiller. They celebrated their 10th anniversary in 1915, and held a dinner of goose at their home on New Street in Emmaus. Attending the party were Erwin's mother in addition to sister Lizzie Millhouse and niece Arlene Millhouse. Erwin was an expert carpenter and cabinet maker. Their home in 1934 was at 350 Broad Street in Emmaus. Sadly, he outlived both Lizzie and their daughter Marion. In later years, he lived in Shimerville. He passed away at home at the age of 78 on March 25, 1954. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call.

Daughter Lizzie C. Druckenmiller (1877-1934) was born on Dec. 30, 1877 in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. She was joined in wedlock with Edward H. Millhouse (Feb. 26, 1876-1910), son of Alfred and Rosa (Hartzell) Millhouse of Emmaus. Their children were Pearl May Millhouse and Arlene Millhouse. As a young man, Edward played the double B cornet in the Emmaus Band. He belonged to the Reformed wing of the Jerusalem Church in western Salisbury. For several years, he served with the 4th Regiment, Company B, of the National Guard of Pennsylvania, and twice was called to active duty during coal strikes. Edward was considered "a well known resident of Emaus [sic]," and they dwelled on Ridge Street. He earned a living as a bricklayer and in 1910 as a carpenter working for contractor John Laudenslagger. Tragically, Edward and 11-year-old daughter Pearl May both contracted diphtheria in November 1910. Pearl May died on Nov. 28, 1910, and Edward succumbed a day later, at the age of 33. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call, saying that "He undoubtedly caught the dread disease nursing his little daughter Pearl, who died of it last week and was buried Monday. Where the child, who was a school girl, became infected, is a mystery. She complained of feeling unwell, and diphtheria developed, with deadly effect. At the time hers was the only case in the borough. Not only did the father contract the disease, but the mother also, and Mrs. Millhouse, bereft of child and husband, is sick with it." Interment for father and daughter was in Western Salisbury Church Cemetery, with Rev. John B. Stoudt preaching the sermon. Lizzie outlived her husband by another 24 years. To support herself, she worked as a silk weaver at Widder Brothers in Emmaus. Circa 1934, her address was 626 Walnut Street in Emmaus. In about December 1933, Lizzie was diagnosed with cancer of the left ovary. She suffered for two months and underwent surgery but succumbed at the age of 56 on Valentine's Day 1934. Funeral services were held in the home of her brother Erwin, Burial was in Western Salisbury Church Cemetery. Among those attending the funeral was Mrs. John F. Snyder of St. Peter's Church.

Son Herbert A. Druckenmiller (1890-1963) was born on Jan. 5, 1890. He was united in matrimony with Carrie Scheetz (Nov. 10, 1892-1953), daughter of Horace and Louisa (Weida) Scheetz of Jeffersonville, Montgomery County, PA. The couple did not reproduce but lived in Emmaus for decades. Herbert earned a living in the banking field, first with the Second Security Trust Company of Emmaus and then the Emmaus National Bank. Then, for 32 years, he was employed by the Emmaus branch of the First National Bank of Allentown. During that time, he served the community as secretary of the Emmaus Board of Health, as a board member for 33 years, stepping down in 1954. They were members of St. John's Lutheran Church of Emmaus. In the early 1950s, their address in Emmaus was 163 Main Street. Sadly, the 60-year-old Carrie, burdened with hypertension, was admitted to Decker's Home in Upper Milford Township and passed into eternity in about 1953. Herbert survived for another decade. He was diagnosed with cancer of the right colon in about 1959. He suffered for four years and eventually was admitted to the Reinmiller Nursing Home. He died there, at age 73, on Aug. 23, 1963. John Druckenmiller of Emmaus was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Burial was in Northwood Cemetery in Emmaus. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call referred to him as a "well-known banker."

Son John E. Druckenmiller (1891-1986) was born on Dec. 21, 1891. He wedded Minnie H. Becker (March 15, 1900-1985). Their only daughter was Joan Hanzlik. They made a home for many years in Emmaus. Early in his career, he was a cost accountant for a wire mill in Allentown. He then accepted a cost accounting position with General Electric Company in Allentown, which he held for 15 years, retiring in 1957. He belonged to St. John's Lutheran Church in Emmaus, where he served on the church council and was treasurer of the Building Committee. He also was a Mason. Their address in their last years was at 229 North Fifth Street. Sadly, Minnie died first, at age 85, on April 3, 1985. As his health declined, he went to live in Kutztown Manor. He died there, at age 94, on Nov. 11, 1986. The Allentown Morning Call ran an obituary. Burial was in the Moravian Cemetery in Emmaus. Daughter Joan married Stephen Hanzlik and lived in Emmaus in 1986.

Son Percival "Percy" Druckenmiller (1896-1970) was born on Aug. 19, 1896. He lived in Emmaus in 1907. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I. On June 16, 1923, he was wedded to Helen (1901- ? ). Their two known sons were Kent Druckenmiller and Lowell Druckenmiller. They lived on North Sixth Street in Emmaus. Percival earned a living over time as an architectural draftsman. He was employed by Jacoby and Everett Architects in the 1920s and '30s, and in May 1931 was involved with the new Thaddeus Stevens School building. He also was president of the Emmaus Exchange Club. In Jan. 1938, he was elected as a member of the church council of St. John Lutheran Church and remained active there for decades. Circa 1941, Percival is believed to have served as business manager for publication of the Lutheran Outlook. His name frequently was printed in local newspapers in connection with his many community offices. He died in May 1970 in or near Emmaus.


~ Daughter Amanda Maria (Wetzel) Rothenberger ~


Longswamp Church Cemetery

Daughter Amanda Maria Wetzel (1860-1927) was born on May 19, 1860 in Longswamp Township, Berks County.

At the age of about 21 or 22, in 1882, she wedded Henry Rothenberger (Feb. 17, 1860-1902). The couple resided in Rittenhouse Gap, Sieger's Mill and Seisholtzville, Berks County.

They produced five children, of whom two are known -- Peter G. Rothenberger and Mary Leiby. A third was born in about 1902 and was an infant at the time of Henry's death, and may not have lived long.

Their home in 1900 was on a farm in Longswamp, and that year, Amanda's widowed father lived in the household. Said the Allentown Leader, Henry "was an expert drifter, having learned that branch of work while a young man in Berks County.... [He] was a miner working for Contractor Weaver at Guths Station."

Sadly, at the age of 43, Henry contracted pneumonia and died at home on Oct. 24, 1902. The Leader published an obituary. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery, with Rev. Helffrich officiating.

Amanda outlived her husband by 25 years and generated income by renting rooms to lodgers in her home. She was a member of the Dubbs Memorial Reformed Church Sunday School, the Allen Temple of the L.G.E. [?] and the Alexander Hamilton Council of the Daughters of America. She lived in Allentown in 1916 and in 1927, her address was 726 New Street in Allentown.

For the last two years of her life, she was burdened with heart and kidney disease. She died from their effects at the age of 66 on Feb. 21, 1927. Funeral services were held in her home, with Rev. M.F. Klingaman officiating. Son Peter signed her death certificate, and the Allentown Morning Call printed an obituary.

Son Peter G. Rothenberger (1882-1961) was born on Jan. 16, 1882 in Seisholtzville, PA. He never married. He lived with his mother at 726 New Street in Allentown in 1927. After her death, he moved into the residence of his married sister Mary Leiby at 3819 Linden Street in Cetronia. He earned a living as a cabinet maker and designer with C.A. Dorney Furniture, joining the company in 1909 and retiring in 1943 after 34 years of employment. He belonged to the Dubbs Memorial United Church of Christ and was a member of the South Whitehall Beneficial Association. When queried by the Allentown Morning Call in Feb. 1956, about President Dwight D. Eisenhower's heart attack, Peter responded with his quote published: "Since doctors have okayed his health, I think President Eisenhower, a great leader, will be a candidate for reelection." Peter was felled by a heart attack at age 79 and passed into eternity in Allentown on April 1, 1961. His photograph and an obituary appeared in the Morning Call. Interment was in Longswamp Cemetery.

Daughter Mary M. Rothenberger (1890- ? ) was born in Dec. 1890. On Jan. 20, 1912, she wedded Raymond Leiby ( ? - ? ), son of George and Josephine (Levan) Leiby. They bore two sons, Kenneth G. Leiby and Woodrow Leiby. For decades, they lived in Allentown's Cetronia section at 3819 Linden Street. Raymond was employed for 42 years by Mack Trucks Inc. They belonged to Dubbs Memorial United Church of Christ. They are known to have attended the 1946 Lehigh County Fair. When they marked their 50th wedding anniversary in 1962 and their 60th anniversary in 1972, the couple was pictured on the pages of the Allentown Morning Call.

  • Grandson Kenneth G. Leiby married Althea Newhard and bore one daughter, Shirley Leiby.


Copyright © 2018-2019 Mark A. Miner