The Life of John P. S. Fenstermacher

John P. S. Fenstermacher, former postmaster of Kutztown for 16 years and a veteran in the service of the Reading Railroad Company, succumbed this morning at 3:45 o’clock at his home at Main and Maple streets, Kutztown, to the effects of bronchial pneumonia aged 76 years, 6 months and 5 days. Mr Fenstermacher had never fully recovered from an attack of pneumonia suffered about two years ago and about six weeks his afflictions took a more serious turn, compelling his taking to bed last Friday. He was retired by the P and R. Railway Co., August 14, 1920, on physical disability.
The deceased had been twice married, his first wife Emma E. Heilig, to whom he was united in wedlock July 20, 1870, having passed away July 3, 1918. Surviving are the following; His widow, Frances Lyle (Hoover) to whom he was married August 18,1919; children – Elizabeth S., wife of Lynn J. Koch, Allentown; Sara Jane, wife of Harry Reiff, Altoona; Reba H., wife of Fred a Marx, reading; Edwin H. New York; Charlotte, wife of George Gensemer, Reading; Louise, wife of Elmer F. Lawyer, Long Beach, N. J.; Mabel H., wife of J. W. Trauger, Binghamton, N. J.; Marguerite, wife of Walter Fronheiser, Bechtelsville; Jay D., Reading; one sister, Anna L., wife of Aaron B. Frey, Allentown.

Arrangements have been made to hold the funeral Saturday, October 6, at 2 p.m. , from his home on Park Avenue, and interment will be made in Hope cemetery. The Rev. R. B. Lynch will officiate, assisted by Rev. G. B. Smith. The funeral director is George S. Fritz of this borough.
Mr. Fenstermacher was the son of the late Joseph and Louisa Fenstermacher and he was born in Lebanon, growing to manhood in that city.

His education was obtained in the public schools of his native town and was limited, as he early had to apply himself to the earning of a livelihood. At the age of fourteen he became a railway news agent, running between Lebanon and Philadelphia, and by his pleasing ways became very popular with the patrons of the trains. Franklin B. Gowan, than president of the Philadelphia & Reading Co., learned to know and to like him, and had him promoted to the position of brakeman when yet but seventeen years of age. From brakeman he rose to Baggage master, and from that on Jan. 15,1885, to passenger conductor on the Kutztown branch, a place he held continuously till 1909, a period of twenty-four years.

Mr. Fenstermacher has long been active and prominent in secret societies, a member and former officer of Huguenot Lodge, No. 377, F. &A.M.; a member of the junior O.U.A.M., and a member and was trustee of camp No. 383 P.O.S. of A. he is also a member of the K. G. E. and organized Adonal Castle No. 70, of that order in Kutztown, and was its master of records for thirteen years. He is a member of the F.O.E., Aerie No. 839, of Kutztown, and at this writing its treasurer. For many years he has been active in Republican politics, doing much hard and efficient party work, frequently representing his party in county and State conventions. He has always been in close touch with county and State leaders, and long recognized by them as a faithful and trusted lieutenant. These relations naturally brought him to the front for political preferment, and in 1898 he was made the Postmaster of Kutztown. Immediately upon assuming the duties of the position he set himself to work improving the office and succeeded so well that in 1902, and again in 1906he was re-elected with out opposition. He was an attentive and obliging official, ever on the watch to improve the efficiency of the office and the rural deliveries that radiate from it, and has won high praise both from the department at Washington and from the patrons he served.
His life was one of the busiest in this section of Berks.. For fourty eight years he served the P & R Railroad without a reprimand, most of the time between Allentown and Harrisburg and Kutztown and Allentown, several years on the Queen of the V

Filter John P. S. Fenstermacher's Timeline by the following Memory Categories

Photo Album