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Old Timers 1916

(Glimpses of prominent Frackville citizens from the borough's early days)

Dr. Berk, descendant of pioneers

BERK, JOHN K., M. D., a well known and popular physician of Frackville, is a descendant of some of the pioneer families of Berks county, Pa., and is of German lineage. His paternal grandfather, Henry Berk, was a prominent farmer of Berks county, married a Miss Greenawalt there and reared a family of children, one of whom was John G. Berk, the father of the subject of this sketch.

The maternal grandparents were Isaac and Louisa (Haas) Kalbach, both of whom died in Frackville. John G. Berk married Mary Jane Kalbach and in 1873 located at Girardville, Schuylkill county, where he clerked in a general store for about one year, when he came to Frackville as the senior member of the general merchandise firm of John G. Berk & Co. He continued at the head of this concern until his death in 1881, at the age of thirty-five years. He left two sons, viz: William H., a clergyman of the Lutheran church, and Dr. John K., who was reared from infancy in Schuylkill county, though he was born at Hamburg, Berks county, August 22, 1872. He received his education in the Frackville public schools and the Keystone normal school at Kutztown, where he graduated in 1892. He then taught for one year at Lewistown, Schuylkill county, and in 1894 began the study of medicine. After due preparation he entered Jefferson medical college, of Philadelphia, where he received the degree of M.D. as a member of the class of 1896. In October of that year he opened an office in Frackville, where he has ever since been engaged in the practice of his profession, and where he has built up a remunerative business. He is one of the progressive physicians of Schuylkill county; is a member of the American and State medical associations and the Schuylkill county medical society, and keeps fully abreast of the march of medical progress. Dr. Berk is also interested in other enterprises, being one of the charter members and a director of the First National bank of Frackville. He is a member of the Lutheran church. On June 6, 1900, Dr. Berk was united in marriage to Miss Rae Ethel Hand, daughter of Ludman and Hester (Goff) Hand, of Cape May Court House, N.J., and to this marriage has been born one son, John William.

[This article can be found in "1916 History of Schuylkill County" by J.H. Beers]

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