The Life of Alvin S. Christ

Kutztown lost a prominent businessman in the death of Alvin S. Christ, who died at 8:25 p. m. on Sunday, June 27, at his home on Main Street. Mr. Christ was born in Greenwich Township on the old Christ homestead, adjoining the farm of Chester Christ. His father Isaac F. Christ, came to Kutztown in 1870.
He built a frame dwelling on the rear of the present store building and began the publication of the Kutztown Journal. The business office was in the present storeroom.
In connection with the publishing business, his father also opened a book and stationary store. A little later he began to publish the Patriot.

Deceased was educated in the public schools of Kutztown and the Keystone state Normal School. During his spare time he assisted his father in the printing office and bookstore. The Western Union Telegraph Co. opened its first telegraph office in town in the Christ building. Calvin Fister, brother of the late Colonel Thomas D. Fister was put in charge of the office. Mr. Christ, than a boy of 14or 15 years of age, soon became able to receive and send messages, and when the office was moved to the P. & R. railroad station, he was given charge of the office there. He followed telegraphy for a number of years, not only in Kutztown, but at other points along the East Penn railroad, Perkiomen Junction and later at Lewisburg. Returning to Kutztown from Lewisburg about 1885, he assisted his father in the management of the store and at the same time began the job printing business in the store, which had been enlarged some years before by a three story brick addition to the rear. Wall paper was added to the stationary and book line; also Reading, Philadelphia and New York newspapers and magazines were sold.
He had customers from all sections of adjoining counties and his store was considered the largest book and stationery store outside of Reading. In March 1904, A. S. Christ became proprietor of the store about two months before his father, Isaac died.

Before the free text book law was put in force people from near and far came here for their school equipment. Christ’s bookstore was well known to normal students, and while at school or in business, relations continued when they located in new fields or returned to their former homes.
He sold the job printing business to George Schlenker owing to inability to continue both the store and printing business.

Mr. Christ was a member of the first Kutztown Dramatic Club and took part in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and other plays. He was a Democrat and took a very active part in war work, serving as solicitor in the various drives.

He had been sick for sometime, but his death came unexpected to his friends. He attained the age of 57 years, 9 months and10 days.
He was director of the Deisher Knitting mills.

Deceased was born in Greenwich Township. Besides his widow, Maggie (nee Humbert), he leaves two sons, Raymond of Bethlehem, and Paul of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. There are two sisters, Minnie, wife of Elmer DeLong, and Miss Rosa, both of Philadelphia.
The funeral was held (Thursday) forenoon at 10 o’clock at the home. Further services were held in Trinity Lutheran Church, Rev. R. B. Lynch officiating. Funeral Director George R. Schaeffer had charge.
Patriot, 7/1/1920

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