John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Hereford Township

The following is reproduced from the 1876 Atlas of Berks County, Pennsylvania

This township was settled at a very early period principally by the sect known as Schwenkfelders. These people had been the objects of persecution in Europe. Missionaries were sent to Silesia to convert them to the Catholic faith. In vain they appealed to the emperor for protection. The edicts were published, requiring them to embrace the faith of the empire, under severe penalties. In consequence of this they fled to Saxony, where they remained eight years. They emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1734. The present inhabitants are principally descendants of the Schwenkfelders. Among those who first settled in Hereford were the Rev. Christopher Schultz, George Schultz, Melchior Schultz, Melchior Wiegner, David Mester, Gregorius Mester, Baltzer Yeagle.

The limits of the township have been reduced by the erection of Washington in 1839.

The soil is not generally very productive. Like that of other sections it is capable of being improved, as has been practically demonstrated by labor and care, and harvests of every variety of agricultural products are obtained from the land. The water-power. by which mills and other branches of industry are kept in operation, is supplied by the Perkiomen creek.

This region is especially noted for the large and valuable beds of iron ore, which are so common in this and other neighboring townships. Bittenbender's mine, situated near Siesholtzville, yields daily one hundred tons of first-class hematite ore. This is shipped from Red Lion Station, on the Catasauqua & Fogelsville Railroad, to the furnaces in the Lehigh Valley. Other mines are in operation near the village, all being probably veins of the inexhaustable supply, situated in Longswamp township.

The principal villages are Herefordsville, Clayton, Treichlersville and Perryville. At the last census there were 1,260 inhabitants in the township.