John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Conrad Weiser

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

This man, so prominent in the earlier history of this portion of the country, was born in Wittemberg, Germany, November 2, 1696. In 1709, his father, with others of his countrymen, left Germany for England. They remained here for a few months, and then embarked for America, where they arrived in June, 1710. In 1713, Conrad's father moved to Schenectady, New York. An Indian chief offered to take the son and to teach him the language of his nation. The offer was accepted by the father, and Conrad spent the winter of 1713 and 1714 in the wigwams of the natives. He was a great favorite with them, and became proficient in their language. This knowledge was of great benefit to him in after years. In 1729. he moved his family to the vicinity of Womelsdorf. He was in constant demand as an interpreter between the settlers and the natives. He was appointed Justice of the Peace, and also Indian Agent and Interpreter. These duties he fulfilled in a very acceptable manner for many years. In his capacity as agent and interpreter, he was called upon to travel through the forests for hundreds of miles, at all seasons of the year. During the alarms in 1755, he was appointed colonel of a regiment of volunteers from Berks county. During the French and Indian war, he was prominent both as a commander of troops and also as an interpreter at conferences. About 1759, his health began to fail, and on the 13th of July, 1760 lie died at his country seat, near Womelsdorf, after a short but severe sickness. His remains were interred in the family burying ground, about half a mile from the village. His memory was held in such respect by the Indians that for many years they paid frequent visits of affectionate remembrance to his grave. Conrad Weiser was the grandfather of the Rev. and Hon. Henry A. Muhlenberg.