Franklin M. Werner a native of nearby Greble, Pennsylvania was born on April 13, 1866 on his father’s farm. He was the son of William Werner, a prosperous farmer from Bethel Township. At the age of 16 in 1882, Werner was apprenticed to work the miller’s trade in East Hanover. This trade he followed for several years before eventually mastering the business for himself. He was able to derive a substantial income before coming to Fredericksburg where in 1895 where he opened a first class bakery. Because of his keen business intellect Werner had no problem securing patronage in the new bakery.
The F.M. Werner bakery was located in the center of town at 113 E. Main Street. Many improvements were made to the business over the years, and Werner employed citizens in town to work in his bakery. In 1897 shortly after opening, Werner built a new warehouse that was attached the original bakery. Supplies were received from nearby Jonestown by rail where shipments of flour and other necessities were delivered to run the bakery. In addition to running a bakery, he operated a grocery business for several years from 1906-1918, and operated a cracker business from 1901-1904 at the same location. He employed his son Lloyd P. Werner to work with him and apprenticed him in the business. In 1901 Werner hired Charles M. Strauss to work for him in the bakery and as a teamster making his deliveries. Strauss later opened his own bakery in town by 1914 several house down the street.
F.M. Werner operated the bakery until 1919 when he sold his interest to Ira Rudy who continued the business under a new name. At the time of the sale in 1919, according to the Pennsylvania Industrial Directory published that year, F.M. Werner employed 5 persons in his bakery. After the sale of his business he moved to Lebanon locating his business at 239 S. 9th Street in Lebanon, PA. His new location ran under the name of F.M. Werner and Son, with his son Lloyd P. Werner acting as his business partner. Werner retired from active work in 1942 when F.M. Werner when his son assumed control. Several years later he died on September 5, 1950 in Fredericksburg and was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery next to his wife.
Photograph Courtesy of Francis M. Ditzler