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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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MISS HANNAH APPLE, of Pottstown, is the daughter of John D. Apple, a successful politician and a very prominent man in his day. He was born in New York, August 23, 1808. His parents emigrated from England to America and both died soon after their arrival in this country, being buried in New York city. Besides their son, John D. Apple, they had a daughter, Mary, who was reared by James Evans, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She married Benjamin Engert and removed to Palmyra, Burlington county, New Jersey, where Mr. Engert followed farming They are both deceased. They had five children, of whom some survive.

John D. Apple was reared in Worcester township, Montgomery county, in a family of Friends named Hoxworth. He was apprenticed to learn the blacksmith trade, and completed his term, but never followed that occupation, fate having other things in store for him. Through his indomitable energy he became self-educated until he was competent to take charge of a school, after which his progress was very rapid. He located in the upper section of Montgomery county, where he soon became a prominent citizen.

John D. Apple was for many years the most prominent Democratic politician in the upper section of Montgomery county, and for many years the intimate and personal friend of Hon. John B. Sterigere, and his staunch supporter until the latter’s death in 1852, at the age of fifty-three years.

Mr. Apple was elected a justice of the peace in Marlborough township, a position which he held for many years, transacting much neighborhood business and enjoying the confidence of the entire community. He engaged in the occupations of surveying and conveyancing and drew the drafts and title deeds for much property in that part of Montgomery county. Their fine execution and perfect accuracy attest his proficiency in the business and furnish abundant testimony of his artistic methods. He had no superior in this line. He was an extensive reader of standard works and magazines, and was one of the few American subscribers to Blackwood’s Magazine, the Penny Magazine and other noted British publications. Of studious nature, he became a good Greek, Latin and French scholar and an exellent mathematician.

In his younger years John D. Apple took an active part in military affairs and was captain of the Sumneytown Artillerists, who served during the Philadelphia riots in 1844. Jesse Fenstermacher was second lieutenant and others of the company were Jacob Gilbert, George Gangler, William Gilbert, Daniel Heffner, Charles Hersh, Henry Hersh, John Kepp, Henry Nace, John Royer, Christopher Royer, Tobias Shuller, John Shuler and William Sheffer.

On Sunday, May 19, 1834, John D. Apple married Sarah, daughter of John and Betty (Walter) Bitting, of New Hanover township. She was born November 11, 1807, and died June 23, 1884. Her father was a constable for many years and was a colonel in the War of 1812. His father, Anthony Bitting, was a colonel in the Revolutionary war. Anthony and Elizabeth Bitting came to America April 23, 1723, on the ship Franksheimer. He was a farmer.

The children of John D. and Sarah Apple were: Caroline, born August 8, 1836, and died January 5, 1837; Mary Ann, born May 3, 1838, and died March 23, 1892; Jane, born October 17, 1840, and died May 2, 1843; Hannah, born October 11, 1842; John Wright, born December 30, 1844, and died June 16, 1887; Sarah Jane, born February 5, 1849, and died unmarried, October 22, 1902; Lewis, born September 8, 1851, and died January 30, 1889.

J. Wright Apple, son of John D. Apple, attended the public schools and later Frederick Institute and Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College, at Collegeville. In 1867 he entered the law office of George N. Corson as a student, and was admitted to the Montgomery county bar, August 17, 1869. He soon acquired a large practice and on January 1, 1876, was appointed solicitor for the county commissioners. In 1877 he was chosen district attorney and during his term of office had occasion to assist Henry S. Hager, district attorney of Philadelphia, in the noted case of Blasius Pistorius, which had been taken there on a change of venue, and acquitted himself with much credit. He was very diligent and energetic in the practice of his profession. He served as delegate to the Democratic conventions and was a local party leader. His death cut short his promising career.

Lewis C. Apple, youngest son of John D. Apple, was clerk to the county commissioners and served as deputy prothonotary of Montgomery county for three years. He and his brother are buried in the Pottstown cemetery.

John D. Apple died April 9, 1862, and his wife survived for twenty-two years. She belonged to the Lutheran church. All of the members of the family are buried in Pottstown cemetery, except the three eldest who were interred in Lower Salford township, Montgomery county.

Ten years after John D. Apple’s death, in 1872, his family removed to Pottstown and built the home where Hannah Apple still lives. Miss Hannah Apple is the only surviving member of the family. She has reared and is educating Miss Mary Jane Toms, who lives with her. Miss Apple works a great deal for charity. She has a very fine collection of antiques.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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