ANDERSON, AUGUSTUS R., p. 571
Surnames: ANDERSON, RITTER, SPOHN, HARDLINE, REPPERT, MOSSER, FRUNHEISER, SEA CHRIST, NAGEL,MUTHART, RITTER, REPORT, LEVAN, REIFSNYDER, FOUST, SNYDER, KLINE, WELLINGTON, SCHNABEL, BODY, KELLEY, BAILEY, PATTISON, HARTMAN
Augustus R. Anderson, President of the Board of County Commissioners and a representative citizen of Mohnton, was born in Washington township, Berks county, March 21, 1865, son of Peter S. and Catherine (Ritter) Anderson.
The Anderson family to which Augustus R. belongs is of Irish origin, and is descended from James, a native of Ireland, who came to this country before the Revolution. He became a clerk in the Oley furnace and forge and is supposed to have boarded at "Woodchopper City." The little colony known by that name was located in Earl township, and sprang into existence about the middle of the eighteenth century.
James (2) Anderson was born in "Woodchopper City" in 1794, and lived to his ninetieth year, passing away in 1883. By trade, he was a shoemaker, but also farmed and was the owner of a tract of forty-four acres in Washington Township. He married Miss Rebecca Spohn, the daughter of Casper and Rebecca Spohn, and to their union children were born as follows: Hettie m. Gideon Hardline, a farmer at Shanesville; Matilda M. Daniel Mosser, of Reading; Sophia M. Henry Frunheiser, a farmer in Washington Township; Rebecca m. Jacob Seachrist, who moved to Fulton county, Ohio; Catherine m. Augustus Nagel, of Gilbertsville; James, a farmer and shoemaker of Washington Township, was twice married; Jeremiah, of New Berlinville, Pa., m Miss Catherine Muthart; Peter S.; John, twin brother of Peter, a blacksmith at Shanesville, was twice married; and Jacob died aged twenty-two.
Peter S. Anderson was born in Washington township, Sept. 24, 1835, and received most of his education in pay school in that section, with one year in the public schools. As a young man he learned the trade of wheelwright, at which he was employed but four and a half years, when he turned his attention to farming. In 1878, he moved to Reading and has since made his home there, except for a period of six years when he lived with his son Augustus at Mohnton. On Oct. 16, 1857, he married Catherine, daughter of Isaac an Anna (Mosser) Ritter, and they became the parents of: James of Boyertown, a victim of the Boyertown calamity of Jan. 13, 1908, m. Miss Laura Reppert; Henry died aged nineteen; Andora, deceased, m. Harry Levan; Lizzie m. Albert Reifsnyder; Jacob R. m. Miss Sallie Foust, and he conducts a secondhand furniture and auction house at No. 229 North Ninth Street, Reading, Pa.; Augustus R. m. Miss Rosa H. Snyder; Anna L. and Wellington both died during the "spotted fever" epidemic, and were buried in the same coffin; Ida died of the same disease two weeks later; Irwin m. Miss Norah Kline, and is a barber in Reading, Pa.; and Kate m. James Bailey of Reading.
Augustus R. Anderson was sent to the public schools during his boyhood, but left at an early age to go to work, and for five years was employed as a clerk at the "Union House" in Reading, the beginning of his association with hotel life. The next four years, he was in charge of the "Oley Line Hotel" at Lime Kiln, and in 1888, he engaged for a time as clerk in a hat store, and then was employed by a tea and coffee house. In 1891, he was ready to return to the hotel business and accordingly leased the "Mohnsville (now Mohnton) Hotel" from Frank F. Mosser for two years. Results proved entirely satisfactory and April 27, 1893, Mr. Anderson bought the place and at once proceeded to remodel it, adding all the latest improvements. The house has twenty-eight rooms, is well managed and regularly patronized by a large proportion of the traveling public.
Mr. Anderson is essentially a public-spirited man and has done much to add to the convenience and pleasure of his fellow citizens. One of his progressive enterprises was to purchase the Body estate at Mohnsville (now Mohnton), held at a high figure, and to erect on that site the upper station at Mohnton, a great accommodation. Just opposite this he built in the spring of 1906 the Mohnton Auditorium, standing near the trolley tracks. This building, 50X100 feet, is finished throughout in yellow pine and hard wood lumber, with all modern appointments, and is used for sociable, band rehearsals, basket ball, poultry shows, entertainments of all kinds. In 1907 there was added at a considerable expense an artistically equipped stage Politically, Mr. Anderson has made himself well known in Berks county, working in the Democratic ranks. He has served as Township committeeman, county and state delegate, acting in the latter capacity at the convention where Hon. Robert E. Pattison was nominated for governor. In 1904 he was candidate for director of the poor, and polled a large vote.
Mohnton became a borough in the spring of 1906, and Mr. Anderson was elected to the first council and chosen as the first President, thus evidencing his popularity in a community not fettered by party lines. On Nov. 3, 1908, he was elected to the office of County commissioner by the sanction of 16,204 voters, a compliment of no mean significance, and of this board he was also chosen president. He was one of the organizers of the Mohnton National Bank, in which he has held a directorship since its founding. Socially Mr. Anderson is equally prominent and popular. He belongs to the F. O. E., Aerie No. 66, Reading; Eagles' Mountain Home; the K. of P. No. 485, of Mohnton; D. O. K. K. No. 37 of Reading; and I. O. O. F. No 518, and Rebekah degree; the Knights of Friendship, Fidelis No. 5 (all of Reading); to the P. O. S. of A., No. 221, of Oley Line, also P. O. S. of A. Commandery Lexington No. 2, of Reading; the Liberty Fire Company, No. 5, and the Schuylkill Camp Club of Reading.
On Nov. 25, 1882, Mr. Anderson married Miss Rosa H. Snyder, daughter of Jacob an Emma R. (Hartman) Snyder, the former a landlord in Exeter township. Three children were born to them: Emma May; Wellington S., who died May 1, 1896, aged eleven years; and Edna.