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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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HENRY BOBB, M. D., a successful physician and prominent business man of East Greenville, is a descendant of two old settled German families, Hillegass and Bobb. He is the son or Henry and Elizabeth (Hillegass) Bobb, and was born at the old Hillegass homestead in Upper Hanover township, December 9, 1846.

Henry Bobb (father) was born at Forgedale, in Washington township, Berks county, October 10, 1809, and died August 13, 1891, at East Greenville. After attending neighborhood schools until his sixteenth year, he learned the trade of saddler which he followed until 1840, when he engaged in farming on the old Hillegass homestead, continuing that occupation successfully until 1868, when he retired. He was a Democrat in politics, and a member in high standing of the Lutheran church. He married, about 1833, Elizabeth Hillegass, the couple having five children, of whom Dr. Bobb is the sole survivor. John died in infancy; John 2d died at the age of ten years; George died at the age of twenty-nine years; James Daniel, the oldest, died in his fifty-third years, leaving three children, the eldest of whom, Dr. W. G. Bobb, is a prominent medical practitioner in Philadelphia. Henry Bobb was a school director and treasurer of the school board of Upper Hanover for many years.

Daniel Bobb (grandfather) married Anna Herb. He was born in Forgedale, Berks county, July 26, 1781. He had ten children, of whom three survive. He was a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Lutheran church. He died February 27, 1866.

Daniel Bobb (great-grandfather) was the youngest son of the immigrant, John Conrad Bobb. He was born in 1746. His father dying in 1760, when he was but fourteen years of age, the care of the hundred acre farm and grist and oil mill at Forgedale fell to his lot. He continued their management until 1774 when he bought it, continuing to operate it until 1827, when he sold it to his son Daniel.

John Conrad Bobb (great-great-grandfather) came from Germany prior to 1744. In that year he bought from Christian Beidler the farm, grist and oil mill at Forgedale. He died in 1760, intestate. John Conrad Bobb, who spelled his surname Bopp, as is shown by receipts and other papers in existence, married Elizabeth Stover. Their children were John, Abraham, Anna (Mrs. Bowman), and Daniel.

Dr. Henry Bobb’s early educational training was obtained at East Greenville, Quakertown and Washington Hall Collegiate Institute, Trappe. He taught school for a time, serving in this capacity in the public schools of Upper Hanover for two years. He then accepted a position as clerk in a general store, but after spending two years in this way decided to study medicine, which he did under the preceptorship of Dr. John G. Hillegass, of Pennsburg. Later he entered the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from the medical department of that institution in 1868. He practiced successfully for seven years at Herefordville, Berks county when in 1875, he removed to East Greenville where he opened a drug store, combining its management with the practice of medicine. He has been the preceptor of a number of physicians now practicing successfully in various sections of Pennsylvania. He is a Democrat in politics, and was for many years treasurer of East Greenville, and also of the Factory Company and Water Works of that place. In religious faith he affiliates with the Reformed denomination, and is prominently identified with the New Goshenhoppen church. He is also president of St. John’s Reformed Chapel at East Greenville. He owns and occupies one of the most beautiful homes in that borough.

Dr. Bobb married, May 14, 1868, Maria Catharine, daughter of Peter Hillegass, the well-known linseed oil manufacturer, who resided in Upper Hanover township. The couple have had five children, as follows: Vincent Peter, Nevin and Henry Hillegass, all of whom died in infancy; Eugene Hillegass, an alumnus of Franklin and Marshall College, of the class of ‘95, died from pneumonia on Friday, May 20, 1898. He had just completed his post-graduate course for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. He came to the college in 1892 as a boy of seventeen years, his preparatory training having been received under Dr. N. C. Schaeffer, then principal of the Kutztown State Normal School. He was the first student of Franklin and Marshall College who entered the second year of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania on certificate. But his love for Franklin and Marshall was greater than his taste for the practice of medicine, and in 1896 he returned in order to take up post-graduate work in the branches mentioned above. In 1897 he received the degree of Master of Arts on the basis of his thesis, “On the Origin of the Apple.” At his graduation as Doctor of Philosophy he wrote a unique thesis, “On the Development of the Middle Germ Layer,” which was worthy of a higher degree than that of the first academic distinction, and the drawings he made for the scientific contributions of Professor R. C. Schiedt evoked the commendations of the professors at Berlin. The funeral services were held on Thursday, May 26, 1898, six of his college friends served as pall-bearers, namely: Messrs. D. K. Laudenslager, W. F. DeLong, Harry D. Schaeffer, J. Frank Meyer, and Revs. Thomas Dickert and Daniel E. Schaeffer. Dr. John S. Stahr, president of Franklin and Marshall College, spoke very feelingly of the departed, and Professor R. C. Schiedt, with whom Mr. Bobb was intimately associated during the last six years of his life, paid a glowing tribute to the heroic self-sacrifice of his friend. His pastor preached a sermon in German, and the presence of many friends attested the high esteem in which he was held. Mary Mabel, only daughter of Dr. Bobb, was born August 5, 1882. She is a graduate of Perkiomen Seminarv, of Pennsburg, and of Woman’s College of Frederick, Maryland. She is now the wife of Professor J. Parsons Schaeffer, who attended the Central Pennsylvania College, of New Berlin, graduated with honors from the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, and was first honor man at the United States College of Embalming. He was supervising principal of the East Greenville schools for two years, but resigned to complete his medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also done special work at Cornell University.

The maternal ancestors of Dr. Henry Bobb were John Frederick and Elizabeth Hillegass. They came with his sister Barbara and his brother Michael, who was the father of Michael Hillegass, the first treasurer of the United States, from Germany, sailing from Rotterdam in the ship “William and Sarah,” and landing at Philadelphia, September 18, 1727, settling in Upper Hanover township in the region named by the Indians, “Goshenhoppen.” They were accompanied by the Rev. George Michael Weiss, a Reformed minister, and a graduate of the University of Heidelberg. John Frederick Hillegass took up a large tract of land along the Perkiomen near the present borough of East Greenville. Among his children were: George Peter (great-grandfather of Dr. Bobb); Leopold, a soldier in the Revolutionary war, who afterwards settled in the state of New York; John Adam, who built the first grist mill in the upper end of Montgomery county. George Peter Hillegass was born February 2, 1735, and died September 24, 1810. He married Anna Barbara Hornecker. The couple had the following children: Eve, John, Jacob, Frederick, Catharine, Elizabeth, Magdalena and Maria Margaret. Maria Margaret married John George Hillegass, a grandson of John Adam Hillegass. John George Hillegass (maternal grandfather) was born in Lower Milford township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, February 28, 1771. In early life he removed to Upper Hanover township, Montgomery county, where he engaged in farming and mercantile business, and being a man of great business tact and ability accumulated a competence. He was a Democrat in politics, a member and officer of the New Goshenhoppen Reformed church, and one of the most influential men in that section of Pennsylvania. He died May 8, 1851, leaving his estate to his children, Charles, George, Jacob, Maria, Elizabeth (mother), and Catharine. Of these Maria married Samuel Kepler, and has the following children: John, Samuel, Hannah, Maria, Eliza and Caroline. Catharine married Solomon Steltz, her children being John, William, Edward and two deceased.

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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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