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History of Cambria County, V.2

    NORMAN WILLIAM BERKLEY, of Johnstown, was born at Berkley Mills, Somerset county, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1860, son of Israel and Annie Elizabeth (Lint) Berkley.
    Israel Berkly (father) was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, August 7, 1833. He was educated in the common schools of his native county and a normal school held at Bedford county, Pennsylvania, by Professor Jacob Miller. Through-out his active life he followed the occupation of farming. He was a lifelong member of the German Baptist Brethren (or Tunker) church, and as the policy of his church was against holding public office he held none except that of school director, in which capacity he served for a long period of time. With the exception of a few years when the Greenback party was in existence, he was a Republican in politics. He married Annie Elizabeth Lint, daughter of Gillian Lint, who was a relative of the famous Jenny Lind.
    Norman W. Berkley obtained his education in the public schools of Cambria county and various normal schools of Cambria and Somerset counties, and his business course was completed at Juniata College, Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. For eleven years he was a teacher in the public schools of Cambria county, rendering therein capable and efficient service. For two years he was employed in the mills of the Cambria Iron Company (now Cambria Steel Company), and in 1890 he entered the service of the Johnson Company (now the Lorain Steel Company) as laborer. He was soon given a position as timekeeper, and after serving one year was promoted to foreman of the planer shop of the switch works, which position he is filling at the present time (1907). During the panic of 1893-95, when the Johnson Company found it necessary to accept bonds from the different street railway companies for pay for their products, and paid their men these same bonds for wages. Mr. Berkley was chosen one of three trustees to represent the men in this transaction, a fact which amply testified to the esteem in which he was held in the company. In early life he became a member of the German Baptist church, and was chosen to serve in the office of the ministry. For a few years, like too many young men, he voted what he was taught was the “only party,” the Republican party ticket, but in his work in the mills he came in contact with so much drunkenness and debauchery, and saw how it unfitted men for reliable service, so he left the party of license and became a member of the Prohibition party. An eloquent testimonial to his integrity and high standing as a citizen was evidenced by the fact that for fifteen years he was elected by both Republicans and Democrats to fill the office of director of the school board, and he also served as secretary of the same.
    Mr. Berkley married, at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, March 8, 1883, Laura Belle Davis, educated in the schools of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, daughter of Chauncey and Rebecca

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Created: 30 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors