Portrait: The Hiester Family, The Pennsylvania German Society
Major William Muhlenberg Hiester (D5) Berks County 1853-1855
Major William Muhlenberg Hiester, born May 15, 1818, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania; son of Doctor Isaac and Esther Muhlenberg Hiester; Bristol College, Bristol, Pennsylvania; Harvard College (now Harvard University) 1839; read law, admitted to the bar, attorney, 1840; married, Julia F Rowland Hiester, 1849, son, Isaac Hiester; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1853-1855; elected, Speaker, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1855; appointed, Secretary of the Commonwealth, 1858, commissioned, major, Pennsylvania Militia, 1863; unsuccessful campaign, Republican, United States House of Representatives, 1864; first president, Historical Society of Berks County, 1869; director, Reading Library, director, Charles Evans Cemetery Company, director, Reading Gas Company; died, August 16, 1878, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania; interment, Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Attorney, law practice, Erie, Pennsylvania; law practice, law partner, Henry A. Muhlenberg, Reading, Pennsylvania.
Commissioned, Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin, Major, Pennsylvania Militia, Civil War, raised 8,000 troops for the defense of Pennsylvania, 1863. Later after politics, director, Reading Library, director, Charles Evans Cemetery Company, director, Reading Gas Company.
Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 5th district, Berks County, 1853-1855; chairman, Judiciary Committee elected, Speaker, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1855.
Appointed, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania Governor William Fisher Packer, 1858.
Unsuccessful campaign, Republican, United States House of Representatives, 1864.
In July 1869, interested citizens to gathered, "for the purpose of collecting and perpetuating the historical reminisces of Berks County, Pennsylvania." Following the first meeting in August, the Historical Society of Berks County, incorporated, December 13, 1869, elected, first president Honorable William M. Hiester.
Grandson of General Peter Muhlenberg, American clergyman, Continental Army soldier during the American Revolutionary War, political figure in the newly independent United States. A Lutheran minister, served, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate from Pennsylvania.
Great grandson, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. German Lutheran pastor sent to North America as a missionary, requested by Pennsylvania colonists.
Uncle, Hiester Clymer, 6th district, Pennsylvania State Senate, Berks County 1861-1864 8th district, Berks County 1865-1866; United States House of Representatives, 1873-1881.
Nephew, John Hiester, Pennsylvania State Senate, 3rd district, Chester County, 1801-1806 United States House of Representatives, Tenth Congress, 1807-1809.
Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania, editor Charles Robson (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Company, 1894), page 333. Snyder, 77; Valeria E. Clymer Hill, A Genealogy of the Hiester Family (Reading: Reading Eagle Press, 1941), page 33.
Morton L. Montgomery, Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J.H. Beers, 1909), pages 331, 756, 1692; Hill, 33