HAAK, GEORGE E., p. 624
Surnames: HAAK, KRAUSE, ADDAMS, ROBINSON, MUNCE, RHOADS, KEFFER
George E. Haak is widely acquainted in and known around Reading as proprietor of the Sienna Paint, Kaolin & Sand Works, being particularly well known among builders. His reputation in fraternal societies is even more extensive, his services in forming and promoting such organizations in this part of Pennsylvania having been particularly valuable.
The Haak family has long been represented among the prosperous agricultural class of Berks county. John Jacob Haak, the first American ancestor of George E., sailed from Deal, England, on the ship “Mortonhouse,” John Coulter, master, June 15, 1728, and arrived Aug. 24th of the same year. In that same year he is noted as a member of the Lutheran Church at Tulpehocken, Berks county.
John Haak, the grandfather of George E., was a farmer and large landowner in Alsace township, this county. He married Elizabeth Krause, a native of Berks county, and they had a family of five children, namely: William, Isaac, John, Rebecca (Mrs. Addams) and Michael. They were Lutherans in religious faith, and in politics John Haak supported the Whig party, and later the Republican.
Michael Haak, son of John, was born in 1803 in Berks county, was reared to farming, and continued to follow that calling all his life. Like his father he was a Lutheran in religion and a Republican in politics. He married Sarah Addams, and to them were born the following named children: Annie E. m. William A. Robinson; Mary C. m. Thomas Munce; George E. is mentioned below; Clara V. m. John H. Rhoads.
George E. Haak was born Oct. 3, 1842 in Leesport, Berks county, Pa., and received his education in the public schools of Alsace township, Lititz, Lancaster Co., Pa., and Reading. In 1874 he formed a partnership with Francis Keffer, conducting a glass and queensware business at No. 520 Penn street and continuing thus for three and a half years. After this experience he engaged in business for himself at No. 312 Penn street in the same line, continuing for ten years, and after the death of his father he took charge of the Haak estate, of which he had been appointed executor under the provisions of his fathers’ will. This estate comprises 229 acres in East Reading, which at that time was counted among the most valuable land in Berks county, the finest deposits of kaolin and sienna in the United States being located thereon. It also contains a valuable sand deposit, unequalled anywhere in the State, the product of which has been approved and adopted by the Reading school board for their buildings, in the construction of which no other sand is used. Mr. Haak furnishes sand and other products to many of the principal builders of Reading. He was one of the organizers of the Schuylkill Valley Bank, and served as a director of that institution for five years.
Mr. Haak is a man of note in social organizations, in which he has taken the deepest interest for a number of years. He has a nature which attracts and holds friendship, as is evidenced by his influential standing in a number of fraternities. He is past master of Lodge No. 62, F. & A. M.; past high priest of Excelsior Chapter, No. 237; past eminent commander of Reading Commandery, No. 42 K. T.; and a prominent member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Reading, of which he was the organizer and first potentate. Mr. Haak was the first member at Reading in both the Knights of the Golden Eagle and the Royal Arcanum; he was the first captain of a fully equipped company in Philadelphia and first major of the battalion.