History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



            H. ERWIN FRETZ, of Fretz, one of the most highly esteemed citizens of Bedminster township, traces his descent from Abraham Fretz, who was the father of a son, also named Abraham. This second Abraham had a son who likewise received the name of Abraham. He was born August 17, 1775 , and married April 4, 1797 , Rachel Kratz, born in Plumstead, September 5, 1797 . Their children were: Susan, Mary, Jacob, Ann, Elizabeth, Abraham, and Philip K., mentioned at length hereinafter. Mr. Fretz died in May, 1815, and was survived many years by his widow, who passed away May 22, 1852 .

            Philip K. Fretz, son of Abraham and Rachel (Kratz) Fretz, was born June 25, 1809 , on the farm adjoining the one now occupied by his son, H. Erwin Fretz. For a few years he hired the Mitman farm, and then settled on that portion of the homestead which has since descended to his son above-mentioned. On the land he erected buildings which are still standing and in use. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Mennonite church. He married, November 22, 1836, Eliza daughter of Henry Fretz, by whom he was the father of the following children: Rebecca, who is the wife of James L. Reber, of Chicago, Illinois; Anna, who resides with her sister mentioned above; and H. Erwin, mentioned at length hereinafter. These three are the survivors of a family of five. The mother of the family died in August, 1867, and in September, 1872, Mr. Fretz married Magdalena Hunsberger, a native of New Britain . The death of Mr. Fretz occurred when he had reached the advanced age of eighty-three.

            H. Erwin Fretz, son of Philip K. and Eliza (Fretz) Fretz, was born April 6, 1847 , on the farm which is now his home, and received his education in the common schools and at the Normal School at North Wales , working on the farm during the summers. From his seventeenth year he spent the winters in Philadelphia working for different business houses for six years, and in 1870 took charge of the home farm. In 1882 his father purchased from the John K. Myers estate, for his son, Jacob F., the milling property now owned by H. H. Randt. Jacob F. Fretz, who was then in the west, came home and took charge of the property, but not meeting with the success he anticipated, his brother, H. Erwin Fretz, agreed to take a half interest in the business and endeavor to advance it. From that time the enterprise became prosperous, the firm handling almost all the grain from this section, together with many carloads of western grain. One year later, at the height of their success, Jacob F. Fretz was accidentally killed while waiting at the station with his team for the arrival of some grain. The business was then conducted by H. Erwin Fretz for about a year, after which he sold out to H. H. Randt. He then engaged in the sale of agricultural implements, beginning in a small way, but was soon compelled by the rapid growth of the business to provide greater facilities for its conduct. The second year he sold three carloads of reapers and mowers, and three years after the inception of the business he added to his line that of buggies, wagons and harnesses, and has become the leading business man in the community. He is now the owner of the homestead, the estate having descended to him by will on the death of his father. He is a Republican in politics and has never been an office-seeker. He is a member of the new Mennonite church. Mr. Fretz married, December 1, 1870, Amanda, daughter of Christian Moyer, of New Galena, and thirteen children have been born to them: Eliza, deceased; J. Oscar, who lives on the homestead; Warren, a resident of New Britain township; Philip, a steamfitter in Philadelphia; Clarence, who lives in Haycock township; Bertha, resides at home; Eugene, lives at home; Florence, who is attending the Millersville Normal School; Herbert; Blanche; Harold; Arthur, deceased; and Russell.

Text taken from page       of

Davis, William W. H., A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed 2003 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published December 2003 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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