The Mack legend can be traced to the dawn of this century,
when several years of building wagons
and experimenting with self-propelled vehicles paid off for the Mack brothers, and they
created and sold their first commercial vehicle. The year was 1901, and the vehicle wasn't a Mack
truck - it was a bus.
The Mack brothers went on to build trucks and to develop their own engines, engines that could
power trucks capable of hauling immense loads. As the brothers built their trucks, they didn't
simply build them large and strong, they built them to be solid, reliable, and dependable on the job.
They succeeded to the point where it's long been a compliment to say something's "Built Like a
Mack Truck." [from the book History of Mack Trucks, by Tom Brownell.]
But what about the Family behind the legend? Although
the company was sold in 1911, its
reputation for quality workmanship was so well established that the name MACK was never changed.
85 years later quality trucks are still being produced with the title and logo of their founders.
And just who were these innovators and pioneers of the infant automobile industry?
It is no accident that they were in the forefront of early truck manufacture. Members of the Mack
family were already established as makers of fine carriages and wagons. Indeed, the craft was a
tradition carried over from Germany when the family immigrated to America in 1852. Thanks to
excellent research by Joseph Newchok, we now know that Johann George MACK, the progenitor of
this large family, was listed as a wagonmaker in German records of the early 1700's. But of course,
the name in Germany was pronounced 'MAUCKH', and indeed the name is often spelled 'MOCK' in
early American records, as well as some German records.
I quote Joe Newchok:
"The book 'Neckartenzlingen Einst and Jetzt' by Fritz Reiff gives the
following information on the Mack Family.
Johann Georg Mack b. 1684 occupation Wagonmaker
wife Maria Agnes Ott b. April 4, 1694 d. Dec 5, 1752. (The previous info
we had about Maria was that her last name was Dost. The LDS IGI even
gives Dost as her last name, but when I checked the parish records for
Altenrieth I found her marriage record to Johann Georg, her birth record,
and her family in the Seelenregister. Her father was Hans Ott who was
also a Wagonmaker.)
Johann Georg Mack had a son Johann Michael (1722-1805) who is our direct
ancestor. Johann Michael's brother is Johannes Mack who went to the
US in 1766 with his family. Johannes was born March 12, 1736. "
[Johannes MACK, the 1766 immigrant, is featured in the front page
article of Mock Family Historian, Summer 1996.]
Daniel G. Reinhold III, direct descendant, charts his early family,
all from Neckartenzlingen:
(a.)Johann Michael MACK b. 18 Nov 1722, married Maria Barbara KIMMICH
(aa.) son Johan Michael MACK b. 3 Sep 1767, married Eva Johanna KUEMMERLE
(aaa.) son John Jacob MACK b. 29 Nov 1792, married Anna Margaretha KURZ
The History of Lehigh
County, published in 1914, contains a full page sketch
of the Allentown, Pennsylvania MACK Family, on page 847:
"John Jacob Mack and his wife, Margaret Kurtz, came to America in May, 1853.
[Some sources say 1852.] He was born at Neckerteunsling, province of
Wurtenberg, in 1792. [Neckartenzlingen, a small town on the Neckar River, just
across from Altenriet, and a few miles south of Esslingen.] Mrs. Mack was born
at the same place and died at Philadelphia, one week after landing in Pennsylvania.
There he remained for about six months, when he settled on a farm of about
125 acres at what is now Mount Cobb, Lackawanna County, PA. In Germany he
was a transportation merchant, an energetic and ambitious citizen of an ingenious
turn of mind. He was affiliated with the Lutheran Church.
Their children were:
1.John Christian MACK, a cobbler by trade, who settled in Philadelphia.
2.Frederica MACK, married Frederick Doernach.
3.John Jacob MACK, a farmer, born in 1822, living near Mt. Cobb @1913.
4.John Michael MACK, born 16 Dec 1824 in Germany, inherited and cultivated
his father's homestead in Jefferson Township.
5.Margaret MACK, married Joseph Zeiler.
6.Frederick MACK, a cabinet maker, lives in Connecticut @1913.
John Michael MACK
(#4 above) served as a private in the Civil War, with the Pennsylvania
drafted militia, from Sept.1864 until war's end. He was a Republican, and served as a
school director fro several years in Jefferson Township (Lackawanna Co. PA). He was an
active member of the Evangelical Church. He was an exceedingly kind hearted man, and
was a very popular and highly esteemed citizen. He died 27 Oct. 1880, and was buried at
Mount Cobb. In Feb. 1855 he married Christina Louise LAIBLIN, a daughter of Christian
and Christina (Reed) Laiblin, natives of Schoendorf, Wurtenberg, Germany. Christian
Laiblin was a professor and the principal of Schoendorf. Christina L. Laiblin was born
19 Nov.1828 and died 11 June 1890, interred at Mount Cobb beside her husband.
Their children were:
41.Mary Louise MACK, school teacher, married 1891 to Jacob Schantz.
She was living in Allentown, PA @1913.
42.William C. ["Will"] MACK, born 1859, lived in Brooklyn, married Matilda Rauschmeier.
Children: Carl Mack, Earl Mack, Lily Mack.
43.Carolyn MACK, died age three years.
44.Lena M. MACK, born 1863, married Rev. Daniel Gensemer Reinhold II.
She died 11 June 1939 in Allentown, PA.
45.John Michael MACK, born 27 Oct.1864, in Jefferson Twp. Carbon Co. PA.
Married 26 July 1901 to Mary Murtha of Brooklyn NY.
Children: John Michael Mack Jr. b.28 Aug 1902
Carroll Mack b.24 Mar.1906, married Peggy Blake. Kenneth Mack.
46.Joseph Sanford MACK, born 27 Nov.1870, married Caroline J. ("Carrie") Mack (a second cousin,
dau. of John Michael Mack #4). He died 25 July 1953 in San Diego, CA.
Children: Harper, Edna, Helen, William, Carolyn, Dorothy, Charles.
47.Augustus F. ("Gus") MACK born 14 July 1873, married Eleanor Pitts. He died 2 Dec 1940.
Children: Augustus Mack Jr., Henry Pitts Mack (San Diego attorney).
48.Charles William MACK, married Mary Zang, lived in San Diego, CA.
Children: Porter Mack, Ross Mack.
49.Lillian Fredericka MACK born 18 May 1876, died 11 Apr 1890.
4a.Harper MACK, died age five.
[Some of the above was supplemented by data from D.G.Reinhold III,
grandson of Lena MACK #44.]
John Michael MACK (#45)
was educated in public schools until age 14, when he was employed
as a teamster by a company engaged in costruction for the Erie Railroad. He subsequently was
a stationary engineer at Dunmore and in New York City. In about 1890, he went as second
engineer on a steamer to Panama. Upon his return he entered the employ of a Mr. Fallason,
a manufacturer of wagons. Soon after, in connection with his brothers Augustus F. and William,
he purchased the business, removing it to Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, NY. The two other brothers,
Joseph S. and Charles, subsequently entered the business. About the year 1900,
they began experimenting in the manufacture of automobile trucks, and in 1905 moved their
works to Allentown, PA, continuing successfully the production of auto trucks. In 1911 the
business was sold to the International Motor Company, who continue it up to the present time
 at Allentown, employing a large force of mechanics."
[End of article from Hist. of Lehigh Co. Today, in 1997, the Mack Company is owned by Renault.]
Cyclopedia of American Biography - 1944 states that "Joseph S. Mack
Sequoit Silk Manufacturing Co. in 1889, after attending Business College in Scranton, PA.
He worked his way up through that company, and in 1899 became the general manager of
Bethlehem Silk Co. One year later he established his own textile business, the Joseph S. Mack Silk Co.
at Allentown. By 1908 he acquired 5 related silk companies, and consolidated them all into the
United Textile Corporation of New York City, a holding company capitalized at 2 Million dollars.
Joseph was president of United Textile until 1912. In addition, he helped his three brothers
in forming the Mack Brothers Wagon Company in 1889.
Augustus F. Mack left the family business in 1897, because of impaired health, and joined the
gold rush to Alaska, where he spent two years as a miner and prospector. At the end of that time
he returned to Brooklyn and resumed his association with Mack Brothers Wagon Co.
Joseph Sanford Mack and Augustus Frederick Mack moved to San Diego in 1912. They were involved
in Real Estate, and acquired 5000 acres of land adjoining the city of San Diego. However, plans were halted
when the United States entered the First World War. The Federal government used all the property for
military purposes, including the establishment of Camp Kearny."
Daniel G. Reinhold III writes, "I am a direct descendant of the family
that produced the
three brothers who started the Mack Truck Company. William C. Mack (always called Will) was the
founder of Mack Brothers Company in Brooklyn, NY. His brothers John Michael (always called Jack)
and Augustus Frederich (always called Gus), were also part of this company. Later they formed the
Mack Truck Company in Allentown, PA, and Jack was the president. The photo of Jack looks like all
the Mack descendants down to today, and including me.
In the mid 1890's the Mack brothers were the leading supplier of wagons for NYC's many dairies.
After this they made wagons for the NYC produce market. Some reports say that the Mack brothers had
a small garage in Brooklyn, NY, where they built wagons. In fact it was a large factory. Mack wagons
would go into nearby NJ and Long Island to bring produce to the market every day. When they later formed
the Mack Truck Company their contacts in NYC helped them, as all NYC fire engines were Macks. In 1901
they expanded their limited partnership to form Mack Brothers Co. A Mack bus they made was a very
sucessful touring and sightseeing vehicle that became the talk of New York. These touring busses were
sold to many other countries."
Dan Reinhold, RR 4 Box 45, Mill Hall PA 17751 or
Joseph Newchok's E-mail address is JNEWCHOK@PICA.ARMY.MIL
Steve Lapp, 290 County Road, Hondo TX 78861 or firstname.lastname@example.org