1822–1912

De­cem­ber 6, 1822, Rit­ters­ville (now Han­o­ver), Penn­syl­van­ia.

Ju­ly 24, 1912, Read­ing, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Charles Ev­ans Cem­e­te­ry, Read­ing, Penn­syl­van­ia.

portrait

Isaac Mc­Hose, one of the ci­ty’s best known and most high­ly re­spect­ed cit­i­zens, passed away at 9:30 a.m. to­day, at the res­i­dence of his son-in-law, Jer­ome L. Boy­er, 524 Oley street, of the in­firm­i­ties of age. He would have been 90 years of age on Fri­day, Dec. 6.

Deceased was con­fined to bed for the past three weeks and grew grad­u­al­ly weak­er un­til the end came. For years de­ceased had lived re­tired and he was a fa­mil­iar fig­ure on the streets. Walk­ing was one of his fa­vor­ite re­cre­a­tions, and he took fre­quent jaunts ov­er the moun­tains as long as his health per­mit­ted. A de­cade ago he was a reg­u­lar at­tend­ant at all pub­lic meet­ings and al­ways took a prom­in­ent part in mat­ters look­ing to the wel­fare of the ci­ty.

He was an ex­cel­lent con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist and de­light­ed to dis­cuss trade and so­cial mat­ters. In his day he was con­sid­ered an au­thor­i­ty on pig ir­on and blast furn­ac­es. He was wide­ly known all over Eas­tern Penn­syl­van­ia in this con­nec­tion. Mr. Mc­Hose had a large cir­cle of friends who held him in high es­teem be­cause of his ma­ny ex­cel­lent qual­i­ties.

Mr. Mc­Hose built the hand­some res­i­dence at 217 North Fifth street, for ma­ny years re­gard­ed as the fin­est home in this ci­ty, now owned by Frank C. Smink, and oc­cu­pied it un­til the death of Mrs. Mc­Hose.

Deceased is sur­vived by the fol­low­ing child­ren: Am­brose A., Phil­a­del­phia; Wil­son V., Is­aac and Su­san E. wife of Je­rome L. Boy­er.

Mr. Mc­Hose was for ma­ny years a gen­er­ous sup­por­ter of pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions and the prime mov­er in var­i­ous bus­i­ness en­ter­pris­es. He lived in this ci­ty since 1852. He was born Dec. 6, 1822, in Han­ov­er, L­ehigh county, son of Is­aac and Eliz­a­beth (Loh­rbach [Lau­bach]) Mc­Hose and grand­son of Is­aac Mc­Hose, the lat­ter a na­tive of Scot­land, who came to Am­er­i­ca at an ear­ly date and set­tled in North­amp­ton coun­ty.

The father of Is­aac, de­ceased, was a con­trac­tor and build­er in North­amp­ton coun­ty for ma­ny years and was a lieu­ten­ant in the War of 1812. In lat­er years he re­moved to Rit­ters­ville, Le­high coun­ty, and there died in the faith of the Re­formed church. Po­li­tic­al­ly, he was a Dem­o­crat. Mr. Mc­Hose was mar­ried to Eliz­a­beth Lohr­bach, a na­tive of North­amp­ton coun­ty, and to their un­ion was born 10 child­ren.

Isaac Mc­Hose at­tend­ed the sub­scrip­tion schools of his na­tive lo­cal­i­ty and learned the trade of brick­lay­er with his fath­er, and when 17 years old helped to build the first an­thra­cite fur­nace at Cat­a­sau­qua in 1839. Work­ing with his fath­er at dif­fer­ent plac­es he soon learned how to build fur­nac­es and made this his bus­i­ness. For 30 years he was en­gaged in build­ing blast fur­nac­es in Read­ing, Ro­be­son­ia, Top­ton, Mil­lers­town, Temp­le and oth­er places in east­ern Penn­syl­van­ia, put­ting the fur­nac­es in suc­cess­ful blast be­fore turn­ing them ov­er to their own­ers and fin­al­ly be­came in­ter­est­ed him­self in the man­u­fac­ture of ir­on. In com­pa­ny with Mr. Cly­mer he car­ried on an ex­ten­sive ir­on bus­i­ness at Tem­ple fur­nace, which Mr. Mc­Hose built, known as Mc­Hose, Cl­ymer & Com­pa­ny, for eight years.

Mr. Mc­Hose de­vel­oped the Read­ing Fire Brick Works from a strug­gling plant to a flour­ish­ing bus­i­ness. For a num­ber of years he was pre­si­dent of the Key­stone Na­tion­al Bank. He served as a memb­er of Se­lect Coun­cil, the School Board and the Wa­ter Board. He was one of the three ci­ti­zens who se­cured the site now oc­cu­pied by the Read­ing Hos­pi­tal, and was one of the or­gan­iz­ers of that in­st­it­ution as well as of the Ho­me­o­path­ic Hos­pi­tal, of which he was the first Pre­si­dent. He helped to se­cure the lo­ca­tion of the Read­ing Silk Mill here, and was one of the or­gan­iz­ers of the Read­ing Steam Heat Com­pa­ny, bei­ng its first Pre­si­dent, and su­bse­quent­ly be­came its Su­per­in­tend­ent. He was the first Pres­i­dent of the Read­ing Lib­ra­ry Com­pa­ny, and with two other cit­i­zens bought the Odd Fel­lows’ Hall, Fifth and Frank­lin streets, in which to lo­cate the lib­ra­ry. He helped to or­gan­ize the Y.M.C.A., and was its first Pres­id­ent. As Pres­i­dent of the Board of Trade, and through his friend­ship with Pres­i­dent Rob­erts of the Penn­syl­van­ia Rail­road, he was in­stru­ment­al in se­cur­ing the erec­tion of the ir­on bridge span­ning the rail­road and the riv­er at the foot of Penn street. It was his sug­ges­tion that the ci­ty, the coun­ty and the rail­road com­pa­ny each pay one-third of the cost of the struc­ture. He con­tin­ued in the ir­on bus­i­ness unt­il 1890, when he re­tired. On August 16, 1862, Mr. Mc­Hose was made a mem­ber of Lodge No. 62, F. & A.M., and was con­nect­ed in lat­er years with Read­ing Com­mand­e­ry, Ex­cel­si­or and Ra­jah Tem­ple. For­mer­ly he was a mem­ber of the I.O.O.F.

Mr. Mc­Hose was prom­i­nent po­lit­ic­al­ly for ma­ny years, hav­ing been a staunch Re­pub­li­can ev­er since the for­ma­tion of that par­ty. He was de­vot­ed to its prin­ci­ples, re­gard­ed pro­tec­tion tar­iff as ne­ces­sa­ry in the build­ing up of the in­dust­ries of the coun­try, and for years was one of the ad­vis­ers of the pa­rty or­gan­iz­a­tion. Mr. Mc­Hose was a del­e­gate to ma­ny con­ven­tions, and in 1884 was hon­ored by be­ing chos­en as an Elec­tor to sup­port James G. Blaine for Pre­si­dent. Ma­ny years ago friends start­ed a boom for Mr. Mc­Hose as a can­di­date for State Trea­sur­er, and a dis­tin­guished del­e­ga­tion of Berks Re­pub­li­cans was sent to Har­ris­burg to pre­sent his can­di­da­cy. Ow­ing to a fall-out among the State lead­ers, how­ev­er, about that time, which led to oth­er com­pli­ca­tions, Mr. Mc­Hose failed to land the prize. De­ceased was the par­ty nom­in­ee for Con­gress some years ago, when he re­ceived a hand­some com­pli­ment­a­ry vote.

He was one of the old­est mem­bers of St. Paul’s Mem­or­ial Re­formed Church, served on its Con­sis­to­ry and pre­sent­ed to the con­gre­ga­tion the fine pipe or­gan, which cost $5,500. He was for ma­ny years a Trust­ee of Beth­a­ny Or­phans’ Home, Wom­els­dorf. Mr. Mc­Hose was re­mark­a­bly well pre­served for his age.

Mr. Mc­Hose, when at the height of his bus­i­ness ca­reer, ranked as one of Read­ing’s first cit­i­zens, and was al­ways rea­dy to work to ad­vance the best in­te­rests of the ci­ty. When ma­ny weal­thy men re­fused to give any time to civ­ics, Mr. Mc­Hose will­ing­ly served in Coun­cils, the Wa­ter Board and the School Board, and in each line of ac­tiv­i­ty gave his best ser­vice and judg­ment for the ben­e­fit of the com­mun­i­ty in which he lived. As a trust­ed of­fi­cial Mr. Mc­Hose was not sa­tis­fied to be a mere fi­gure­head, but was in touch with ev­ery de­part­ment of his work. His time and fi­nan­cial sup­port were nev­er re­fused at any pub­lic move­ment, bus­i­ness en­ter­prise, etc., which he be­lieved would re­sult in the bet­ter­ment of the ci­ty.

Reading, Penn­syl­van­ia, Ea­gle, July 24, 1912, pp. 1, 5

  1. Are You Com­ing to the Feast?
  2. King’s High­way, The
  3. Throw a Line
  4. Wand’rer, Come Home
  1. Gliding Out of Dark­ness
  2. Lo! He Com­eth
  3. Rock Hill

McHose’s full name