|Birth: ||Jul. 15, 1829|
|Death: ||Jan. 10, 1894|
Henry S. Eckert, son of Isaac, was born in Reading, where he received his preparatory education in the public schools. He then became a student at Franklin and Marshall College, from which he graduated, after which he entered business life. Becoming associated with his father in the iron business, he soon qualified so thoroughly for its demands that he was able to take the management of the works himself, and on July 1, 1873, the year of their father's death, but shortly before that event, he and his brother George B. formed a partnership to engage in the iron business, under the firm name of Eckert & Brother. Before long the Henry Clay Furnace became their property, but with all their new responsibilities they passed successfully through the financial panic of 1873. They not only carried on the manufacturing business, but also owned the iron mines which supplied their works with the necessary ore, employing altogether, in the mines and works, over two hundred and fifty men.
Besides his important connection with the firm of Eckert & Brother Mr. Eckert's iron interests led him into other associations of even greater prominence, and he served as president of the Eastern Pig Iron Association, as president of the Topton Furnace Company of Topton, and president of the Pennsylvania Bolt & Nut Works of Lebanon. As to local enterprises, it has already been stated that he succeeded his father in the presidency of the Farmers Bank in 1873, and he continued to hold that position until his own death, in 1893, when his son Isaac succeeded to the incumbency. He was also a trustee of the Union Trust Company and of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, the latter a Philadelphia institution. He was one of the promoters of the Penn Street Passenger Railway, which was put into operation in 1874, and which played so important a part in the improvement of East Reading. He was one of the projectors of the Berks County railroad, from Reading to Slatington, becoming a member of the board of directors upon the organization of the company, and he also served as a director of the Wilmington & Northern Railroad Company. He was a director of the Reading Hospital and of the Charles Evans cemetery. For over twenty years he gave his services as president of the school board of control, and in recognition of his valuable work the Eckert school, erected in 1873, was named in his honor.
As a large manufacturer Mr. Eckert was naturally inclined to a belief in the principles of protection, and accordingly upheld the tenets of the Republican party, in whose workings he took an active and efficient part. In 1866 he was the Republican nominee for Congressman from his district, running against J. Lawrence Getz, but although supported handsomely by his home city, which gave him a majority, he could not overcome the normal Democratic vote in the district.
In 1857 Mr. Eckert married Carrie Hunter, daughter of Nicholas Hunter, an ironmaster of Reading, and four children were born to them, viz.: Isaac, Helen (Mrs. Herman Miegs), Hunter and Kate M. (Mrs. Reeves). The mother passed away March 28, 1880. Mr. Eckert was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, in which he served as vestryman for a number of years before his death, and he was a zealous worker in all its enterprises.
Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery
Isaac Eckert (1800 - 1873)
Judith Hahn Eckert (1802 - 1875)
Caroline Hunter Eckert (1834 - 1880)
Hunter Eckert (1861 - 1949)*
Henry S. Eckert (1829 - 1894)
George Brown Eckert (1840 - 1899)**
Note: Reading Eagle - Jan 11, 1894
Charles Evans Cemetery
Created by: Berks-Dauphin Roots
Record added: Apr 11, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50950515