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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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JOHN E. BRECHT, son of John Gottlieb and Catharine (Ernst) Brecht, for many years a member of the board of directors of the People’s National Bank, of Norristown, where he lived retired the last few years of his life, died early on the morning of March 25, 1904, at his residence, 926 West Marshall street. He had been in feeble health for more than a year, but his death came unexpectedly, being a severe shock to the community in which he lived, of which few members were more valued or so highly respected as he. He was interred at Worcester Schwenkfelder cemetery, March 30, 1904.

John G. Brecht (father) was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, February 6, 1806. He was the son of Conrad Brecht. He acquired near his home such education as was obtainable in his day. He became a weaver by occupation, and attained considerable skill in his calling. He wrought in silk, woolen and linen. At the age of twenty-one years he went to Marseilles, France, where he secured a good position in a large silk mill. In 1832 he came with his father to America, and located at New Britain near Doylestown, in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he continued to work as a weaver. In 1836 he married Catharine Frances Ernst, who was the daughter of George Ernst. The Ernsts were also natives of Germany. John G. Brecht was a farmer in addition to his occupation of weaving.

After farming in several localities, John G. Brecht removed with his family to Ohio, but his wife’s relatives being anxious that he should return to Pennsylvania, he did so, and took charge of a large farm and mill in Lancaster county. His wife died while he was at that place, on December 22, 1861, and was buried in the little Mennonite graveyard at Strasburg. Soon after Mrs. Brecht’s death the family returned to Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and resided for several years on the property of Jacob Heebner, now owned by Henry H. Heebner, in Worcester township.

In 1865 John G. Brecht purchased a lot in Towamencin township, west of Kulpsville. About this time he married (second wife) Mary, widow of Frederick Merkle. He died in Towamencin township, September 25, 1881, and his remains were interred in a cemetery connected with Wentz’s Reformed church, in Worcester township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He had been, however, a member of the Lutheran church. His widow died in Skippack township, August 8, 1898, her remains being also interred at Wentz’s church.

The children of John G. and Catharine (Ernst) Brecht (first marriage): John Ernst, subject of this sketch, born in Hilltown township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, November 25, 1837; Elizabeth, married Samuel H. Price, of Collegeville; Jacob E., of Fort Myers, Florida, who married Clara, daughter of the late Rev. J. H. A. Bomberger, of Collegeville, and practiced dentistry at Trappe, in that vicinity, and at St. Louis, Missouri, and for a number of years has been located in Florida, where he is now engaged in the practice of medicine; Samuel E., born June 15, 1844, now of Lansdale, formerly of Skippack and Worcester townships, who married, October 23, 1869, Annie, daughter of Michael and Ann Hallman, of Skippack; Susan Louisa, now of Collegeville; George E., now of Ashbourne, formerly of Philadelphia, and Montgomery county, who married (first wife) Kate, daughter of William D. Bean, of Skippack, and, she dying in 1879, he married (second wife) Elma, daughter of Milton and Sarah Jenkins, of Hatfield township, in Montgomery county; Abraham E., of Germantown, born December 4, 1851, married, February 24, 1876, Josephine Brong, of Germantown, adopted daughter, and reared in the family of Adam and Julia (Brodhead) Mintzer; Sarah E., married Ephraim Hertzler, of Johnson county, Kansas, where she died January 15, 1894.

The children of Samuel E. and Annie H. Brecht: Miriam H., wife of Jacob L. Gaumer, of Lansdale; Annie H., who married Edwin S. Godshall, now of Norristown, died March 9, 1895; and Mary H. Brecht. Jacob L. and Miriam B. Gaumer have one child, Samuel Brecht Gaumer.

The children of Samuel H. and Elizabeth B. Price: Ella B., of Collegeville; Harry B., of Philadelphia, who married Bertha Starr, their children being Marion Price, Samuel Price, Jr., and Catharine Price.

The children of George E. Brecht: Vincent B. and William Alvin by the first marriage, and Anson, John Ernst and Sarah Elizabeth by the second marriage.

The children of Abraham E. and Josephine B. Brecht: Julianna Brodhead Brecht and Frances Harland Brecht.

John Ernst Brecht, subject of this sketch, married, February 18, 1865, Sarah, daughter of George and Sophia Kriebel, prominent members of the Schwenkfelder congregation of Towamencin church or meeting-house, where Mr. Kriebel’s ancestors for several generations were born, lived and died, and where his son, Abraham Kriebel lived all his life and died, November 8, 1903, aged almost seventy years. The farm is now occupied by Abraham’s son, Charles Kriebel, Jr.

Soon after his marriage John E. Brecht united with the Schwenkfeldian church, of which he was a faithful member the remainder of his life. He, being the oldest child, was obliged, from an early age, to take part in a variety of employment incident to farm life, and had very little opportunity to make use of the educational advantages afforded by the public schools. He attended school irregularly, a few months during each winter, and grew up with a practical knowledge of the routine of farming. While quite a young man, he assisted the farmers in the neighborhood. At the time of his marriage, he was engaged in the work of cigar-making, living about one year in Gwynedd township, but in 1866 he purchased from William D. Bean a farm of one hundred and fifteen acres in Worcester township, on which he lived and engaged in the active pursuits of agriculture until 1898, at which time he leased his farm and removed to Norristown. Some time later he purchased the house on Marshall street in which he resided until his death, and in which his widow now lives. During almost the entire time, in the course of his farming career, he attended the Philadelphia markets, first the old Spring Garden market, and, after its erection, the Ridge Avenue market, at Eighteenth street and Ridge avenue, occupying a stand there. Having reached his majority about the time of the birth of the Republican party, he became active in its support, but he was too busy and too modest to aspire to public office. He was one of the organizers of the Worcester Creamery Association at Centre Point, in the early eighties, and was a director to the time of his death. He was also active in organizing the Ridge Avenue Market Company, although not officially connected with it. He was a member of the board of directors of the Girard Avenue Market Company. He was connected with the People’s National Bank of Norristown, from its organization in 1881 until his death.

The children of John E. and Sarah K. Brecht: Emma K., born January 21, 1866, in Gwynedd township, married, August 16, 1892, John D., son of George M. and Matilda Weber. Mr. Weber is the proprietor of Centre Point store. Their children: Sarah B., born July 6, 1895; Russell B., born January 27, 1898; John Herbert, barn June 30, 1900; Marion B., born September 9, 1903.

George K., born October 7, 1867, in Worcester township, was educated in the public schools of that township and in West Chester State Normal School, graduating from the latter in 1889. Before graduating he taught at Cassel’s school, in Skippack township, and at Metz school in Worcester township, one term each. In the autumn of 1889 he became principal of the Hatboro public school, remaining in that position one year. He then became principal of the Plymouth township high school, on its establishment. After five years there he registered as a law student with Childs & Evans, a prominent law firm of Norristown, finishing his law studies in the autumn of 1898, under the direction of Louis M. Childs, the firm of Childs & Evans having meantime been dissolved, and being admitted to the Montgomery county bar. In February, 1902, he was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Pennsylvania. In April, 1903, he assumed the duties of secretary and trust officer of the Montgomery Trust Company, which position he still holds. On October 7, 1902, he married Rebecca Allabough Wood, daughter of William H. and Belle Morgan Wood, of Philadelphia, formerly of Montgomery county. The couple reside at 539 George street, in a house which Mr. Brecht purchased about the time of his marriage.

Samuel K., born December 14, 1869, was educated in the public schools, being one of the first graduates in Worcester after the graded course of study was adopted. He graduated from the West Chester State Normal School, in 1891, and from Haverford College in 1896. Before his graduation from the normal school, he taught two terms at the Metz school, in Worcester. Before attending college, he was principal of Bryn Mawr high school, in Lower Merion township, for two years. After completing his college course, he was instructor in the preparatory school for the Annapolis Naval Academy, Maryland. He was also similarly engaged at Perkiomen Seminary, Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and at Pottstown high school. He was also principal of the Union school of Rushford, New York, for two years, and is at present a member of the corps of teachers at the Norristown high school. He married, August 2, 1898, Alberta Williams, of Rushford, New York. Their children are Harold Walton, born December 23, 1899, at Rushford, New York, and Arthur Malcolm, born December 1, 1902, at Norristown.

Catharine, born October 19, 1874, in Worcester township, also attended the State Normal School at West Chester. She married, June 9, 1903, John A. Longacre, son of David and Helena Longacre, of Norriton township. They reside in Elmira, New York, where Mr. Longacre is employed by the Empire Bridge Company, a branch of the American Bridge Company. They have one child, Ruth, born in Elmira, March 23, 1904.

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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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