West Point was named after Henry Moyer and E. K. Freed's "West Point Feed House".
The West Point
Feed House was built in 1873. Where was it located??
There is no mention of it in any historical texts. Instead, what we find are many references to Heebner and Kriebel’s feed
mill and Mattern and Knerr’s hay press.
We know that Heebner’s Feed Mill was on the corner of Jones and Main,
across from the present day West Point Post Office.
The building still stands there today.
It was built in 1877, about four years after the
West Point Feed House was established. Therefore there is no
connection between this building and the West Point
We also know that Mattern and Knerr sold feed and coal in addition
to dealing in hay, which means there were two feed houses in West Point
in the 1870s.
Could there be a connection between Moyer and Freed’s West Point feed house and Mattern and Knerr’s hay press?
Once again we can use some historical documents and an old map to help us figure things out.
Here are the historical facts:
Henry Weishey Moyer (1841-1904)
In 1868 Henry W. Moyer and
George Schlotterer operated a
grist (flour) mill on Main Street in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
In 1870, Mr. Schlotterer sold his interest in the
mill to Elias K. Freed, and the firm E. K. Freed was
created, with Moyer as the junior partner. Sometime around 1873
Moyer and Freed
built the West Point Feed House. It was about a mile
west of the mill, and named accordingly.
In 1881 Moyer sold his interest in the mill to Elias K.
Freed but kept the West Point Feed House as
part of the deal. Moyer's first wife had died in
1873 and In 1878 he married again to Miss Adelaide
Mattern. Moyer's brother in law, Lesher Mattern,
began working for Moyer in 1883. After ten years
Mattern bought a share of the company and the name
was changed to Moyer & Mattern.
About 1905 Lesher Mattern bought out Henry Moyer and
became the sole owner of the business, and for 13
years business was conducted under the name of L.W.
Mattern. He built the business into one of the
largest hay pressing operations in Montgomery
county. 150 carloads of hay, each weighing 10 tons,
were shipped out yearly as far as Philadelphia,
Connecticut and New York. In addition, he sold
flour, feed, coal, cement and lime. Mattern owned
several houses in West Point, some of which he
On September 4, 1918 Lesher Mattern sold the
business to his cousin Edwin Mattern, who took on as
a senior partner Robert J. Knerr. Edwin worked for a
in Allentown, while Knerr, also of Allentown, had
worked for 16 years at the Portland Cement Company. Knerr bought the property at the corner of Garfield
and Main. He began making renovations and building
an addition, then in March of 1919 he moved his
family to West Point from Allentown.
The company was now known as Knerr & Mattern.
Now we have proven a direct connection between the
E. K. Freed & Co. West Point Feed House and Knerr
and Mattern’s feed house and hay press. It was the
To recap, the ownership of the feed house went like
Moyer and Elias Freed - Feed House built approx 1873
Moyer - 1881
Moyer and Lesher W. Mattern - 1893
Lesher W. Mattern - 1904
Knerr and Edwin Mattern 1918
But where was the feed house located? Let’s look at an old map,
There it is,
on Cottage avenue! Knerr and Mattern's feed
store and hay press, in plain sight of the train station!|
Let's zoom into
the map and compare it with a modern Google map.|
Note: A square or rectangle designates a brick or
The rectangles with the hash marks designate a
We also see a railroad siding leading
to the Feed House and hay press.
There is a building at the site designated "Knerr &
Mattern" in the previous picture.
Here is an old brick building. It had
large arched windows that have been sealed up. It's in
bad shape and the bricks need pointing.
It's too old to have been built for Allied Concrete.
What is this place?
It is now the site of Allied Concrete.
We can't tell what it is, so let's walk down to
abandoned railroad siding leads to the property.
was built by Knerr and Mattern in October of 1919. We're
on the right track!
This doesn't look like a feed house.
It's too industrial looking.
So what is this old brick building?
According to historian Dick Shearer of the Lansdale
According to Montgomery County property records, it
was built in 1900. It's not old enough.
If we look to the left we see this.
If we look to the left and travel
back in time, we see this! On the left is Lesher Mattern's
hay press. The building in the middle is the West
Point Feed House. West point got its name from this
Lesher Mattern on the left. (Click for larger
Society, it was the power house for the trolley cars of
the Montgomery Traction Company.
were taken in 2012 and 2013. Allied Concrete had
vacated the property at this time.
The building shown above no longer exists
and the area is now a housing development.
|On December 21, 2015 the Upper
commissioners voted unanimously to approve a change in
zoning, converting two parcels from limited industrial
to residential zoning, ahead of possible plans to build
homes on both.
In 2016 both parcels were razed and the
entire area was reduced to rubble.