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Biographical Sketch of George J. KAPP (1837-1909)
Source:  Morton Luther Montgomery.  1909.  The Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania.  2 vols.  J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL (excerpts online at the Berks County PAGenWeb site).
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George J. Kapp, one of Marion township's highly respected citizens, who lived retired at Stouchsburg from 1902, was for many years engaged in tailoring.  He was born Sept. 22, 1837, in Mill Creek township, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of John and Eliza (Meiser) Kapp, and died Sept. 26, 1909. 

Michael Kapp, the progenitor of this family, was of German descent and a pioneer settler of Heidelberg township, in the district that is now embraced in Jackson township, Lebanon county.  His name appears among the list of taxables of Heidelberg one year after Berks county had been separated from Lancaster.  Mr. Kapp had two children: Frederick; and Leonard, who had a son Leonard

Frederick Kapp (Capp), the great-grandfather of George J., was one of the pioneers of the Newmanstown section of what is now Lebanon county.  He owned in the neighborhood of 400 acres of land, on which he built log cabins, and dug a well in sandy soil.  He had reached a depth of sixty feet, but while he was at dinner the sides caved in, burying his tools, which stood at the bottom of the well, and there they remain to this day.  He was an excellent blacksmith, manufacturing all of his own farming implements in addition to forks and blacksmith nails.  He is buried in the old burial ground at the Tulpehocken Lutheran Church.  His grave has no head-stone, but a relative has a stone near by. Frederick Kapp had children:  George and Andrew; Molly, m. to Frederick Moyer; and Maria, m. to Jacob Kehl.

Andrew Kapp, grandfather of George J., was born Feb. 25, 1782, at Newmanstown, on the Kapp farm later owned by his son John.  He was a lifelong farmer and died Dec. 31. 1844, being buried at the burial ground at Newmanstown.  He married Elizabeth Miller, who was born Jan. 19, 1783, at Millcreek, Lebanon county, and died Aug. 27, 1867.  They had three children: Sarah died unmarried at an advanced age; Catherine, m. to Isaac Gerhart; and John.

John Kapp, father of George J., was born at Newmanstown, Pa., Nov. 24, 1809, and died Aug. 7, 1892 aged eighty-two years, eight months, thirteen days being buried at Newmanstown.  He was a lifelong farmer, having an excellent property of 123 acres in Millcreek township, Lebanon county, and was a man of wide acquaintance among the agriculturists of his district.  Mr. Kapp was also a well-known sportsman, being an excellent marksman, and frequently won prizes.  In his religious belief he was a Lutheran, and he attended St. Elias Church at Newmanstown.  Mr. Kapp married Elizabeth Meiser, born Dec. 4, 1807, and died Sept. 19, 1875, aged sixty-seven years, nine months, fifteen days, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Keller) Meiser.  They had nine children, all but one surviving, the oldest being seventy-five years of age, and the youngest past fifty-five:  Peter, Levi, Elizabeth, George, Thomas, James, Emma, Sarah and John.

George J. Kapp spent his youth upon the home farm, and until he was seventeen years of age remained with his parents, at this time learning the trade of tailor from Frederick A. Schultz, who was a member of the same family from which came Governor Schultz. Mr. Kapp came to Stouchsburg in 1862, and there carried on the tailoring business with marked success until his retirement in 1902.  He had in his employ five assistants, and enjoyed a large trade, much of which in the earlier days consisted in making up home-made woolen material, which was brought to him by the settlers in the surrounding country.  Mr. Kapp was an agent for the Northern Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Ephrata, Lancaster county, a position which he held since 1875, during which time he wrote up a large number of risks in his district. 

Although he was an invalid from the fall of 1906 and was almost entirely confined to his house, he was of cheerful disposition, bearing his suffering patiently.  He was a man of intelligence and conversed fluently in both English and German.  A Republican in his political affiliations, he always had the welfare of his township at heart, but would never allow his name to be used in connection with any office.  He was a member of the Order of Good Fellows at Stouchsburg, being one of the oldest members.  He was connected with Christ (Tulpehocken) Lutheran Church of Marion township.

On June 21, 1862, Mr. Kapp married Amanda M. Donges, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Burkholder) Donges, and to this union there have been born two children:  Ellen m. Frank Walborn, a cigar-packer of Stouchsburg, who was born March 17, 1858, and died April 6, 1905, aged forty-seven years, leaving two children, Ralph K. and Mary A.; and Charles F., born Oct. 30, 1867, met his death in the dynamite explosion which destroyed the Tulpehocken church in Marion township, Nov. 6, 1884, in his eighteenth year, and is buried in the Kapp family lot at that church, his last resting-place being marked by the Kapp monument.

Family Group Sheets

George J. KAPP & Amanda M. DONGES

John KAPP & Elizabeth MEISNER

Andrew KAPP & Elizabeth MILLER

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