My Genealogy Hound

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.

* * * *

DR. GEORGE K. MESCHTER, one of the best known and most successful physicians of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, has been a resident of Centre Point, Worcester township, for more than thirty-five years. During all this time he has been engaged in active practice, except for a few years latterly when it has been interrupted by ill health. His professional ability and his sympathetic personal interest in all his patients brought him a large following even at the beginning of his career and as his skill became publicly recognized he was called frequently in consultation into the adjoining counties and even to Philadelphia.

His ancestors were among the brave followers of Casper Schwenkfeld, one of the leaders of the Protestant reformation in Germany in the sixteenth century. He differed from Luther on some points of doctrine that now seem immaterial, but which aroused the bitterest feeling at the time and subjected him and his adherents to persecution. The Schwenkfelders were stanch in their faith, and being unable to uphold it in Silesia, a band of about forty families under the leadership of the Rev. George Weiss, sought homes in America, settling in the southeastern counties of Pennsylvania. Weiss was the first Schwenkfelder pastor in America, and among his flock were three brothers by the name of Meschter.

Melchoir Meschter was the name of the immigrant from whom the line here traced is descended. He lived for many years in Towamensing township on a little brookside farm. He died October 5, 1776, and is probably buried in the Towamensing Schwenkfelder cemetery half a mile away, as it was the only burying-ground in that section at the time. A number of the graves there are unmarked and others are marked only by a common field stone with no inscription, so it is impossible to identify his burial place. This is a matter of regret to his descendants, who cherish the memory of these early fathers and who know where the succeeding generations lie. Melchoir Meschter had a son Christopher, who was a farmer of the township and who died at the age of fifty years and ten months. His son Christopher died on the same farm, March 7, 1853, aged seventy-three years, six months, and twenty-four days. These two are buried in the Schwenkfelder cemetery, close by the church of that denomination in Lower Salford. Here, too, lie the remains of the Rev. George Weiss. A small, plain, marble headstone marks his grave, bearing the inscription in German: “Zum Andenken an George Weiss, var geboren in Schlesien, und erster Lehrer du Schwenkfelder Gemeinde in Pennsylvania. Storb 11ten Marz 1740. Alt 53 Jahr.”

The second Christopher Meschter had one child, George, who succeeded him on the homestead. George Meschter, was a Schwenkfelder pastor as well as a farmer, and he possessed the earnestness and zeal that characterized the early ministers of the church. He died June 29, 1887, aged seventy-nine years, three months, and one day. He is buried in the Schwenkfelder cemetery in Lower Salford, where his father and grandfather lie.

George K. Meschter, son of the Rev. George Meschter, was born on the ancestral farm in Towamensing township, May 2, 1840. The farm was a large one and the son grew up in its activities, taking his part in such work as would fall to a boy and youth. His early education was gained mostly through home study, though he was sometimes a pupil in the public schools. He attended the Kulpsville Academy in Towamensing township and later was a student in the Quakertown Normal School, and in the Treemount Seminary at Norristown. In the Treemount Seminary he acquired a good knowledge of Greek, Latin and chemistry, thoroughly preparing himself for the study of medicine, which was the aim he had long had in view. In the course of his preparatory work he taught school for two terms in Montgomery county. The medical course as then laid down, required only two years, but the young student gave four years to the work, one year before he regularly matriculated and one year of post-graduate study, in addition to the usual two years. He found, moreover, that it was time well spent, for when he took up active practice after he was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, March 14, 1867, the experience that he had gained brought him immediate success. He has remained all his life in the place where he opened his first office and he is highly regarded as a man and valued as a citizen, for he has ever realized that life is broader than any profession. Soon after he began practice he became a member of the Montgomery County Medical Society and for one year was its president. In 1875 he was the delegate from that organization to the meeting of the State Medical Society. He is now an honorary member of the County Medical Society and a member of the board of trustees as well as vice- president of Perkiomen Seminary. In politics he is a Republican.

In the fall of 1867 Dr. Meschter married Mary, daughter of Charles Y. Kriebel of Franklinville, Pennsylvania. They have three children living: Cyrus K., who is married to Ella B. Cassel and has two children, Ada and George; Charles K., who is a teacher in the Perkiomen Seminary at Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and married Laura Isenbery; Nora, wife of Dr. E. G. Kriebel, they have one daughter, Mildred. Dr. Kriebel was born in Bucks county, Hereford township, is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia and has succeeded Dr. Meschter in practice in this field.

* * * *

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

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.